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luminous organ at the head, while the body shines with a pale green light. The light of the glowworm is not intermittent, but glows steadily.

The glowworm possesses the power of anesthesia. It can administer a nerve-deadening drug. While the surgeon gives chloroform that the patient may not mind the knife, the glowworm gives its victim an anesthetic so that it will not mind being devoured. When the worm intends to make a meal off a snail, its favorite meat, it gives the snail a few gentle tweaks with its fangs. At each tweak there is injected in the animal a min

ute dose of virus that soon completely paralyzes it and deprives it of all feeling. The glowworm can then feast at its leisure. A sail rescued from a worm will remain completely paralyzed for nearly two days, but it will then recover its normal state.

After a hearty meal the glowworm always takes a sponge bath. It never loses its sponge, for the sponge is a sort of brush that grows on its tall. It is very particular about its bathing, spending much time at it. It curls itself first one way, then the other, 80 that the brush will not miss any part of the body.

The Sifting Power of Cities

(Continued from Page 362)

with the people among whom he has lived hitherto. It requires more initiative to settle on a pioneer farm than to go to the city. Thus in its first stage an agricultural population is relatively active, aggressive, and competent. That stage is represented in the United States by California. There the farming population contains a large number of unusually competent people. It has organized itself into strong fruit-growers' cooperative societies which meet the great commercial corporations on equal terms. The California farmers have not yet been drained of their best men.

The second type of farmers consists of those who have been on the land for several generations. The cityward migration of their abler elements has not yet taken all the leaders. Those who remain struggle valiantly, and make a strong bid for public aid. This seems to be the condition among the great farming States of the Mississippi Valley. Something of the pioneer condition still survives, there is much energy and real ability. Nevertheless, whenever a leader of any kind arises the chances are nine out of ten that he will be weaned from purely rural

interests and become identified with something urban. This is the great tragedy of farming.

The third type of farmer is repre sented in New England. There the process of draining away the stronger elements has gone so far that only in rare cases does one find many strong forceful farmers. Their sons go forth to be merchants, manufacturers, laws yers. Thus rural New England is voiceless and discouraged. Its native sons who remain on the farms cannot compete with the energetic foreign born immigrants who are pushing it among them. The farms of the nativ sons, according to the census of 1920 have an average value of about $6000 while their British-born neighbors ow farms worth $10,700 on an average their Irish-born neighbors, $10,000; th French, Dutch, and Swiss, $7800. Th explanation seems to be that the able native-born farmers have left the farm in such numbers for several genera tions that those who remain have bee reduced in some places almost to th condition of negligible and inarticulat peasants.

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My Great-Great-Grandfather and I

the

Condensed from The Nation (September 1, '26)

1800

Stuart Chase

great-great

I grandfather was living in Newbury

port, Mass. I live in New York City. As a test of progress, how much more abundant, more rewarding, is my life than his? He lived at the threshold of the industrial revolution -the first textile mill in America was built in 1802. I live on the crest of the greatest wave of applied technology the world has ever seen. Let us compare essentials.

First, as to shelter. I live in a decaying Victorian apartment house up three flights of stairs in a dark and dirty stair well. There is very little light; and not too much fresh air. We never, if we can avoid it, look out of our windows. We have a bathroom, it is true, electric lights, a gas stove. But is my housing today-particularly when children are considered-superior to that of my great-great-grandfather in his sunny, low-eaved, greatovened farmhouse in the town of Newburyport? I sometimes think that High Street in Newburyport is the loveliest architectural grouping in America-unless it be the village green of Old Lyme in Connecticut. It was the work not of an individual genius but of general culture level.

Take food. The food we eat is vastly more varied; but its softness has an unfortunate effect on our teeth, and one wonders if the whole-wheat grains, the fruits and berries fresh picked, the simple vegetables from the garden or the root cellar, did not constitute not only a more wholesome but a more toothsome diet.

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the machine. I saw an overcoat recently which had been used continuously for ten winters-and showed no signs of wear. It was made of cloth tested by the Government for a military officer. Today the clothes my wife wears are, I suspect, more comfortable, more suited to the lines of the body, than those of my great-great-grandmother-however deficient in workmanship. But the clothes I wear are both flimsy and hideous compared with the knee breeches, the noble colors, the brave brass buttons of Newburyport a century ago. I doubt if in all the centuries since men wore clothes there has ever been a mode so ugly and so depressing as the somber cylinders which have encased us since the 40's. Along with the smoke of the coal age came what might be termed the smoke-stack style for men. Just lately one notes the arrival of a special sports mode which admits color and line; but undertakers' regimentals still constitute the last word for the bulk of the male citizenry.

Take health. I suspect that we spend more days per year incapacitated by sickness, but medical science pulls us through where the blood-letters of Newburyport only assisted the gentleman with the scythe. The net result is a lower death rate today, but for that advantage consider the price that we pay in the services of doctors, dentists, hospitals, X-rays, injections, inoculations, and the staggering costs of blasting water systems, sewage-disposal systems, garbage-collection systems, and public-sanitation systems generally.

Take education. I send two children to one of the best, modern experimental schools. We have tolerated the bleak apartment chiefly to be near this school. Yet I gather that this experiment in education is directed to the

re-creation in a hostile environment of those factors of craftsmanship, manual dexterity, awareness of nature, spontaneous play, which my greatgreat-grandfather's children received naturally, automatically, and costlessly in Newburyport. The world these children took to as a duck takes to water, is now being searched for in the city's canyons with a large outlay for "equipment" and "material" and "project study."

Coming finally to intellectual life. In New York City one can take one's pick of 60 theaters, scores of lectures, the opera, a dozen concerts, art galleries, museums, scientific gatherings, what not. And I, for one, in the face of such an intellectual feast, feel often like the historic centipede.

The centipede was happy quite
Until the frog in fun

Said, "Pray which leg comes
which?"

after

And wrought his mind to such a pitch
He fell exhausted in the ditch,
Considering how to run.

Or else, more frequently, I try to keep up to some extent with the plays, the concerts, lecturers, exhibitions and books that are being talked about. Which leaves me very little time in which to talk about things that are being talked about. My wife and I become two highly specialized automatons, gathering pollen with incredible dispatch from a hundred flowers, booming our way in subway and elevated train and taxicab, but-and here's the rub-when the cultural debauch is ended, with so little opportunity to distil honey for our future joy and sustenance.

And the most saddening thing of all to us is the hostility which New York offers to the making and holding of friendships. Almost never do we sit down in that atmosphere of peace and timelessness which is essential in the cultivation of friendship. And we find that good, unhurried discussion in this city is as rare as friendly intercourse. It was Goethe who said that a civilization should be measured by the excellence of its conversation. The keenest

intellectual joy I know is good dis cussion. In all the four years we have lived in New York, I have not had a dozen good discussions.

God knows there is culture enough but it is a spectator's culture, a list. ener's culture, not a participant's cul ture. It is handed down at so much a head including war tax. It is not the culture which the free citizens Athens knew as they sauntered eager and expostulating through their acad emies, nor yet the cruder but still vital culture which drew every man who could walk to the New England town meeting a century ago.

In terms of living as set off from mere existing, who lives more abundantly, my great-great-grandfather or myself? Before you answer, note this point well. He was an average citizen of his community, economically; while probably the joint income of my wife and myself is two or three times the average of my community. Compare him with the average New York fam ily as you find it in the Bronx, on the East Side, in Brooklyn. Where then does the balance lie?

I confess I do not know. But the significant thing is that there should be any question at all; that I should look back with eyes that are so often envious to a time when all the results. of modern technology were nonexistent. True, I have compared life in a small town with life in a great city. But by and large, I believe that a properly planned city promises more in net welfare, and so I think the comparison not unreasonable.

The wheels hum, the freight trains roar, the mines belch, the forests crash, the oil wells spout, the sand hogs curse, the cities reach their white pin nacles to the stars--and what do we get out of it? Not nearly as much as we ought. The world is full of stuff, but it is largely ugly, depressing, mean or swanky stuff. It carries little nourishment for the human organism This is no triumph of human intelli gence. This is the defeat of human intelligence. This is waste-meaning less, destructive, gigantic.

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Darwin the Destroyer

Condensed from Harper's Magazine (September '26)

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Gamaliel Bradford

ism we should realize the religious conceptions which prevailed through the Middle Ages and well into the 19th I century, as they prevail still among large portions of the population. According to these conceptions the universe was created by an omnipotent Deity. In that universe the terrestrial globe occupied a pivotal position. The globe was peopled by living beings, each created by the Deity, and all, like the whole universe, subordinated to Iman, who alone was endowed with a reasoning intellect and a moral nature. Thus gifted, he was an object of peculiar solicitude to his Creator, who interfered in every aspect of his human fate, and whose favor could be secured and his wrath deprecated by prayer and by the conformity of human conduct to the divine decrees. In other words, the earth was the primary object of the universe, and man the primary object of the earth, and hence of the universe also.

The Copernican theory, with the later development of astronomy, showing that the earth was merely an inI significant speck in the vastness of stellar space, gave this orthodox view a shattering shock. If the earth was of no consequence, how could man's consequence be supreme? Then along came Darwin and shattered human distinction and superiority, and with them the ancient ideas of Deity, even more completely than Copernicus had done.

Darwin himself was perfectly aware that his theories tended to shatter the rthodox view of man and his supremIcy, and even the orthodox God. Therefore, from the beginning, he proceeded with the greatest caution and moderation of statement. He wanted to push no argument for itself; he wanted only the facts. Although he frequently insists he is no atheist, it

The Reader's Digest

is clear that Darwin was content to let God alone. And the result, if God is left in His universe at all, is to remove Him very, very far away, and completely to demolish all sense of His intervention in the little daily actions and experiences of common life and all intimate communion with Him in regard to those actions. When the Descent of Man was published, Mrs. Darwin wrote to her daughter, "I think it will be very interesting, but that I shall dislike it very much as again putting God further off." For others besides Mrs. Darwin it reduced Him quite to the vanishing point.

The more ardent of Darwin's followers, however, were inclined to hustle the Creator out of the universe altogether. They extended the deductions of evolution in a fashion which Darwin distinctly disapproved. Spencer, for example, in his First Principles spread a wide leaven of Agnosticism among the youth of a generation ago, and I do not know where you will find a much more desolating statement of the possible barrenness of evolutionary results than in the conclusion of his Autobiography: "Then behind these mysteries lies the all-embracing mystery-whence this universal transformation which has gone on unceasingly through a past eternity and will go on unceasingly through a future eternity? . . . No wonder that men take refuge in authoritative dogma."

Let me try to suggest the indirect workings of scientific theory in the popular mind. The old material hell, for example, has surely vanished, never to return. In the scientifically arranged physical universe there is no place for it. Even my friend Moody, whose ideas of heaven were so specific, does not attempt any physical location of hell. There cannot be many persons who still suffer from the brooding

367

gloom with which the concrete vision of hell genuinely oppressed thousands of sensitive souls in ages past. For gain or loss, it will hardly be disputed that the boiling depths of hell have largely boiled away.

Unfortunately, hell, in departing, has shown a marked tendency to drag heaven with it. The same material difficulty of course obtains here. And it is not only that the pearly gates and golden pavements have gone. Their disappearance has given a rude jar to the belief in any kind of future life whatever. I am merely speaking of the average American man in the street, and perhaps of even the woman also. The best that millions of men can say is that it is their business to live the life here in the most energetic, straight-forward, profitable way they can, to see that after their deaths their wives and children are provided for.

And then, as Mrs. Darwin suggests, God grows farther and farther away. In the Middle Ages men treated God as familiarly as if He were a friend round the corner, but they felt Him. Today, worship, at any rate Protestant worship, tends to lose its devotional character and the overpowering sense of the Divine presence, and to become a mere polite fraternizing for social purposes. And how many people think of Him at all on the golf links, or in the hurry and swirl of crowded highways? And prayer? With how many is it still a passionate intercession for divine help in their daily needs or a means of self-forgetful communion with the comforting, supporting, everlasting Arms?

The most striking of all the dislocations effected by the intrusion of the scientific attitude is in the banishment of sin. The uneasy, haunting torment of conscience appears to have been greatly diminished. Expediency, the belief that it does not pay to do wrong, takes the place of the old divine sanction, divine command, divine reward

and punishment. And to many, it seems that expediency is but a chill and slender reed to lean upon when the stress of passion and temptation

come. The fire of hell was often a mild deterrent enough; but it is doubt. ful whether remote considerations of expediency will suffice to deter even sɔ effectively as hell-fire.

Of course there are many scientists and theologians who insist that there is no conflict whatever between a firm belief in Darwinism and a spiritual hope. Evolution, according to them, teaches the splendid progress of man in the past and in the future, his en riching development, his enlarging solidarity in well-being and well-doing. "In the past religion's chief concern was the salvation of individual souls and their preparation for a future life; it has been largely egocentric. The religion of the future must more and more deal with the salvation of society; it must be ethnocentric."

I confess that I am myself enor mously egocentric, and these ethno considerations appeal to me very lit tle. Nevertheless, it is probable that humanity will achieve some adjust ment in this matter. Mankind has always demanded spiritual ideals andst the divine presence, and always willas demand them. If any are destroyed, it will re-create them.

Yet, speaking for oneself: when was 16 or 17, I read the Origin and the Descent, and I think the impressioni they produce has never been obliterate ed. It is not any aggressive Agnostic ism. It is simply a sense of utter in significance in face of the unappre0 hended processes of nature, such as Leopardi expresses: "Nature in all her workings has other things to think of than our good or ill." It is a feel ing of being aimlessly adrift in the vast universe, among an infinity ofes atoms, all struggling desperately toy assert their own existence at the exc pense of all the others. And it was Darwin, the gentle, the kindly, theh human, who could not bear the sight of blood, who raged against the cruelt ty of vivisection and slavery, who der. tested suffering in men or animals, la was Darwin who at least typified thida rigorous logic that wrecked the un H verse for me and for millions of otherles

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