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Power is cumulative, and although Napoleon III bas nobly fostered education and science, he started at a disadvantage. Poor, beleaguered Paris trembles to-day in greater terror of the ignorant and therefore brutalized rabble, shut in to watch and wait with her her deliverance or her doom, than the foe outside her gates.
I confess I am anxious that our own Government should keep on the best of terms with those Germans. I should dread a tyranny like that of Wurtemburg, wbich permits no child to learn a trade, enter any occupation, or receive any pay for any service whatsoever, until he has answered tbe demands of the scbool law. Imagine the consternation which the sudden : enforcement of such a regulation would cause in America, in low and high places! As an offset to this terror, imagine what it would be for you, teachers, to be enrolled among the “bigh mightinesses,” to be ranked and considered as the most valuable civil servitors of the State, with bonorable compensation and just promotions for your terms of service, and a comfortable pension when you are old.
Do not think I am praising overmuch, and covertly keeping back a part of the truth. Germany has outdone the world in education, and we bave outdone Germany in just one respect! We have discovered and put in practice a great natural law of education, viz: that women are better teachers than men. And they only need the higher education from wbich they have been so long excluded to make their superiority manifest.
The educational creed of Prussia does not take long in the reading.
Article one declares the sacred right of every individual to the best means of development.
Article two, the value to the Statė, to her wealth, power and civilization, of universal education.
Article three declares the realization of this impossible without the agency of a great profession, acting concertedly, wisely and zealously together, and that the members of this profession must be made to feel their position bonorable, secure and independent.
Unless you are dissenters, I ask you to listen patiently to something I have to say about industrial education, for your belp is very much needed in creating a desire for it.
On this new field of California, where we bave only begun our work, and wbere there is only a glimmering apprehension on the part of the public of what this business of education is, and what it is worth, the informing and propelling influence must go out from the body of teachers themselves. Let us get a clear idea of the scope and value of our work, and of the wants of the people; let us, with firm and strong convictions of what is essential to the growth and prosperity of the State, be prepared to meet the most uninformed with some practical, tangible knowledge of the things with wbich they bave to deal, and we shall create a public opinion, a demand for education, that will advance quite as fast as we can keep up with it. Our political system is of such a kind as to require this kind of effort And our public school system, from the university to the primary school, must be a unit in motive and in method, in this respect. · The question bas become one of vital importance to the nation, "How sball we educate our youth so that there shall be more farmers and mechanics in the land, and how shall we raise tbese pursuits to the rank they deserve in the hierarchy of industries ?" It is in vain to eulogize a calling whose votaries forsake it with every opportunity, and whose children turn from it with disgust. Congress might give every acre of the public domain to found Agricultural Colleges, making them not only free, but giving a bonus of land as a reward for attendance, and still their balls will remain empty, until the relations of agriculture to buman welfare and to buman nature are understood and carried into practiceuntil the farmer, out of bis sense of privation, loss, failure and one-sidedness, sball resolve that his children be as carefully cultured as his fields; that they sball grow up in pleasant homes, and lay up, if not dollars and cents, capital for after pleasures of thought and memory.
Let us consider for a little wherein this business of agriculture fails to meet the higher demands of human nature; and why, in California, we are looking to the lower classes of foreigners for the permanent tillers of the soil ?
The educational world has been aroused within the last few years to find a remedy for the growing aversion of American youth for pursuits most vital to the public welfare. What are the influences tending to the demoralization of young men by leading them to look to speculative enterprises, instead of steady industry, as a means of support? Is it the monotony of country life, or a want of the right kind of education ?
How shall we create in this country, as there is in Europe, a bigber attachment to the land than springs from a sordid self-interest, and make our paternal acres represent here, as they do in older lands, social standing, intelligence, leisure and culture ?
By educating our youth, boys and girls, into a respect for these pursuits, and by multiplying in every possible way the social enjoyments and embellishments of country life.
The disadvantages of agricultural pursuits were clearly stated, and the remedies by which they can be overcome; social and isolated industries and their results were contrasted, and the methods of uniting the abstract and practical sides of industrial education fully presented. In a rapid survey of European progress, we were shown to what the immense recent development of Prussian power is mainly due.
A concise report of what bas been done in America by Michigan and other States, what has been done by Congress, and what California will be able to accomplish for industrial education, if ber people appreciate in any just degree the value of that system of free instruction which, from the common school to the University, guarantees to every child the general culture and special training necessary to evergize and economize, to lighten and enlighten all labor, until the measure of usefulness shall come to be the measure of greatness.
NATURAL LAW OF CIRCULATION.*
BY PROFESSOR JOSEPH LECONTE, OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA.
The law of circulation, or cyclical movement-of movement in everrecurring cycles, returning each upon itself-of flux and reflux, has ever been regarded by philosopbic thinkers of all ages and countries as the most fundamental and universal law of things material. Solomon says:Ť “One generation passeth away and another generation cometh ; but the earth abideth forever. The sun also ariseth and the sun goetb down, and basteth to his place where he arose. The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it wbirletb about continually, and the wind returneth again according to its circuits. All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full: unto the place from wbence the rivers came, thither they return again. There is no new thing under the sun.” My object this evening is to give some illustrations of this familiar truth and to show its universality, but at the same time to show that this cyclical movement is not vain, but that in every case there is ap important work accomplished.
The function of science is not only to discover new truth, but also, and equally, to give clear and perfect form to old trutb-to change popular notions into positive knowledge-to give definite rational form to the vague intuitions of the popular mind. This it does by means of its admirable methods. As is the eye among the sense organs, so is science among the means of acquiring knowledge. As the vague perceptions of the external world received through the otber sepses are changed into full, clear and precise knowledge only through the complex and delicately adjusted mechanism of the eye, even so the dim foreshadowings, tbe vague intuitions, the partial anticipations of truth by the popular mind and, even by pbilosopbic genius, take clear outline and permanent form only through the complex and exquisitely delicate methods of science. My object, therefore, more definitely stated, will be to give scientific illustrations of this great truth dimly seen by thinkers of all ages. In doing so, I bave chosen the more informal method of extemperaneous delivery, hoping tbat wbat I lose in grace and felicity of expression, I may gain in directness of personal address.
*This article, given on several occasions as an extemporaneous lecture, is now, January, 1871, written out for the first time. In doing so, I have attempted to retain, as much as possible, the style of extemporaneous delivery.
tEecles. Chap. 1, 4–9.
1. Air and Water. The circulation of air and water is so familiar, that it may seem unnecessary to refer to it. On that very account, however, I have chosen it as my first illustration, in order thus, at the outset, to fix clearly in the mind the idea of perpetual circulation.
The earth is everywhere and at all times both receiving heat from the sun and space, and radiating heat back into space-is all the time both heating and cooling. The amounts received and expended by the whole earth are equal; so that the mean temperature of the whole earth, leaving out of view those slow, secular changes of which geology tells us, may be regarded as constant. But it is far otherwise when we regard different portions of the earth's surface. The equator receives far more beat than it radiates, while the poles radiate more beat than they receive. Thus the earth may be regarded as beating at the equator and cooling at the poles. Tbe tendency, therefore, is for the equator to grow botter and hotter and the poles to grow colder and colder, at least to limit far beyond their present condition. But by the law of circulation, nature strives ever towards an equilibrium, which she never wholly attains. This condition of extreme diversity of temperature is prevented by exchange of air and water between poles and equator. Currents of air from equator to poles and counter currents from poles to equator, deflected by rotation of the eartb, reflected from mountain cbains, meeting and mingling with each other and contending for mastery, give rise to tbe almost infinitely variable winds, which, 6 wbirling about continually," have as yet baffled the efforts of science to bring them under the perfect dominion of law. Similarly, currents of water from poles to equator and counter currents from equator to poles, deflected by rotation of the earth, reflected by continents and submarine banks, produce those ocean streams the knowledge of wbicb is so important to commerce, but the theory of which is still so imperfect. · Again, land and sea may be regarded as the two parts of a distilling apparatus, tbe sea being tbe boiler and the land the condenser. By the power of sun heat, water rises as vapor from the ocean, is condensed by bigh mountains as snow and rain, and runs back again by rivers to the ocean, to recommence the same eternal round. “To the place whence the rivers come thither they go again.”
2. Glaciers and Icebergs. In certain countries, where the mountains rise into the regions of perpetual snow, and wbere other conditions are favorable, we find large masses of solid ice filling the mountain valleys, reaching down below the line of perpetual snow, below the mean line of thirty-two degrees, into the genial regions of cultivated fields. Moving ever downwards, plougbing up the earth, scoring, planing, grinding to dust the bardest rocks, moving ever downwards yet nev r passing a certain point, where the waste balances the downward motion. Such evermoving masses of solid ice or ice streams are called glaciers. I will not stop to explain the theory of this wonderful motion, or show the powerful effect which glaciers have now, and still more bave bad in former times, in determining the forms of mountain chains, as may be plainly seen on the slopes of our own Sierras, although few subjects are more interesting both to the physicist and the geologist. My object now is only to show that both the existence of glaciers and their motion is the necessary result of tbe law of circulation.
In regions where glaciers occur, ibe amount of snow wbich falls on the mountaip tops is always far greater than the waste by melting and
evaporation in the same area. If there was no law by which this excess was removed, the accumulation of snow would continue apparently without limit. But this indefinite accumulation is provented and tbe excess of snow is returned into the general circulation of meteoric waters by the formation and the downward motion of glaciers wbich carry it in to lower and warmer regions where the waste may be equal to tbe supply.
Again, the snow wbich falls in polar regions is far greater than the waste in the same region. Without sore means of removal of this excess, there seems no limit to the accumulation; there seems no avoid. ing the conclusion that all the waters on the earth would eventually accumulate as snow in these regions. But nature abhors indefinite accu. mulation as she does a vacuum or indefinite exhaustion, and tends ever toward equilibrium. This indefinite accumulation is prevented by the formation and drifting of icebergs. The universal ice sheet of polar continents, moving slowly coastward, reaches and runs out into the sea. Great fragments are here broken off by waves and tides, and, floating away as icebergs, are taken by oceanic currents and carried southward into warmer seas, where they are melted and again returned into the general circulation of meteoric waters.
3. Organic Kingdom and the Atmosphere. The next example of circulation which we give is far more subtle and beautiful. It is the circulation of certain chemical elements, called organogens, between the organic kingdom and the atmosphere. We will show, first, the necessity, and then the process, of this circulation.
The food of plants, with the exception of the small quantity of mineral matter taken from the earth and left by combustion as ash, consists entirely of carbonic acid (CO,), water (HO) and ammonia (NH2).* The wbole organic matter of the plant is made from these materials. Now, all these exist in the atmosphere; and it is from tbis source entirely that plants derive them. They take them, either directly from the atmosphere by their leaves or in the form of rain water by their roots; but, with the exception of water, the whole supply of these substances is extremely limited, and, if not restored, would be speedily exhausted. Only about one two-thousandth by volume, or one one-thousand six bundred and sixty-sixth by weight, of the atmosphere consists of carbonic acid, and the quantity of ammonia is so small as to be scarcely detectible. Now, according to the experiments of Boussingault,+ one acre of luxuriant vegetation takes from the atmosphere, per annum, about a half ton (one thousand one hundred and twenty pounds) of carbon, which is equivalent to nearly two tons (four thousand one hundred and six pounds) of carbonic acid. Estimating tbe weight of the atmos. phere as one ton per square foot, the weigbt of carbonic acid in the atmosphere resting on an acre of ground is about twenty-six tons. An acre of vigorous vegetation would exhaust this in about fourteen years. If the earth were entirely covered with vigorous vegetation, the whole stock of carbonic acid, if unrenewed, would be exbausted in that short space of time. It is true that the earth's surface is not covered in every part with vigorous vegetation; many parts being, in fact, desert. · It is irue, too, that three-fourths of the eartb's surface is covered with ocean, although it is by no means certain that the amount of vegetation in the ocean, for equal are s, is much, if at all, less than that of the land; for the ocean teems with animal life, and animal life is entirely dependent
* I have preferred to use the old notation, as being more familiar. † Johnson's Agricultural Chemistry.