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observers tbat the two conditions which serve to bring on the state of winter sleep and torpidity are failure of food-supply and fall of temperature with the approach of winter. Even this, however, cannot be affirmed as true in all cases. Some animals retire to their winter sleep when food is abundant, and the beginning of hibernation in others appears to be often independent of climate or temperature. Animals, like the marmot or the common squirrel, which usually hibernate, may often be kept in full activity all the year round if the conditions are favorable. There can be no doubt that all forms of winter sleep are protective in their character and help the species in its struggle for existence under adverse surroundings. But it seems very likely that rhythm lies at .the root of the adaptation and that winter sleep, just as ordinary sleep, is essentially a rhythmic diminution of the activities of the body.
It is a remarkable fact that while there is in all cases of true winter torpidity a cessation or slowing down of certain of the vital functions, other functions appear to be little diminished, and some to be even greatly increased in activity. In nearly all cases there is a great reduction in the secretions from the body. In bats they nearly entirely cease. The same !s true of bears, which are said often to have the end of the alimentary canal entirely closed. Yet some of the internal functions of nutrition continue. Although the animals" retire to rest in good condition, they are generally thin on resuming activity and the emaciation as a rule increases rapidly at first on awaking. Frogs convert their stored-up material into eggs, well nourished and ready to be deposited as spawn when they wake up in the spring and before they feed. The fe
male bear also produces her cubs during winter. While sensation and volition are usually dormant, there is a class of function which seems to be in a state of high activity during tbe torpor of hibernating animals. Muscular irritability is greatly increased. The slightest touch to the quills" on the spine of a torpid hedgehog induces a movement of inspiration. The same effect follows from a slight stimulus to the wing of a hibernating bat. When the marmot is in a state of winter torpor he is far more sensitive to slight stimuli, such as blowing on the hairs of the skin, than when merely sleeping. It is possible that this is not so much a proof of muscular Irritability as an indication that all the reflex mechanism of the animal is more excitable. It may be a result. that is to say, which follows simply because unconsciousness is so profound. The brain is so entirely dormant that the inhibition which, to a certain extent, it always exercises on some of the activities of the spinal cord is absent. Some animals, if suddenly awakened from the hibernating condition, speedily die. As the accession of torpidity is gradual in natural conditions, so also must the awakening be to avoid injury. Yet even in the profoundest winter sleep of animals there appears to be a kind of protective sub-consciousness which remains on the alert. Hibernating bats in cold weather maintain a temperature of a few degrees above freezingpoint. But if the temperature is greatly reduced they are found to awake, and if it continues to fall they freeze to death, a result which often happens. A large proportion Indeed of the creatures which hibernate never regain consciousness with the returning spring.
LETTERS WITHOUT ANSWERS.
Front Lt.-Col. Maldemar to Sir Wilson Phillimore, M.iK
H6tel Superbe, Nice, March 15, 1907.
My dear Phillimore,—1 am here. in fairly comfortable quarters. The journey was tiring, but i think we have now recovered from the effects. i say "we," but Mrs. Maldemar is a traveller whom nothing can fatigue. The only thing that worries me is your ukase against stimulants. i don't think you really understand how necessary a little stimulant—only a little—has been to me, and to stop them suddenly aud completely in this way may, according to a medical treatise which i have been reading, be a dangerous thing. Will you not reconsider this part of your treatment, and name some light and harmless wine that 1 may take? There is a very dry light champagne in this hotel which the Maitre d'HOtel tells me is a favorite with dyspeptics. Please let me know at your earliest convenience, if possible by wire. Yours very gratefully,
HOtel Suiwrbe, Nicc, March 21. My dear Phillimore,—1 am sorry that you feel so strongly about my total abstinence. i think you ought to know that i met at lunch to-day a very delightful and well-informed man, a retired indian Civil servant, who seems to have had very much the same kind of turn that i have, and you know, of course, what india is when a man has a good liver, to say nothing of any one predisposed to dyspepsia. Well, i was astonished to see him drinking claret freely, aud he said that, prejudicial as
he finds all other wines and spirits, claret has never done him any harm, and is allowed by his medical adviser. it seems to me that he and i resemble each other very closely—so closely. in fact, that there would probably be no harm in my adopting his regime. But of course i do not care to do so without your sanction.
i am, yours sincerely,
HOtel Superbe, Vice, March 25.
My dear Phillimore,—I am sorry about the claret. Since i wrote i have met another man, at the English Club here, whose capacity to digest is practically nil, and yet he was putting away whiskey and seltzer with perfect composure and confidence. He had three during one rubber, and when i left in order, by your rules, to be in bed by halfpast ten (an infernal bore), he was beginning another. From the few words i was able to get with him between the games, 1 should say that his case was as like mine as two peas. This being so, don't you think i might try, say, one whiskey and seltzer every day? Life is very dull as things are, especially as Mrs. Maldemar will not (as i certainly should were she confined to water as i am) give up her halfbottle of champagne at lunch and dinner.
P.S.—i am very flat, and my-^rital processes seem to me dangerously slow.
HOtel Superbe, Nice, March 26. Dear Phillimore—One meets with kindred sufferers in strange places. Yesterday, in the train, on the way to Mentone, i found myself seated next to a very decent fellow, a chauffeur from Glasgow, on his way to a new employer. Gradually we got into conversation, and i found him, like myself, although otherwise a strong man. a martyr to defective alimentation, which, i need hardly say, he called by another name. Notwithstanding, he was continually nipping at a flask, containing, as i ascertained, neat brandy — which is, he says, tlw only thing that he can take teith safety- Now it seems to me that if he (a man very similar to myself in physique) can take ueat brandy with impunity if not profit. i should run no risk in taking some diluted with mineral water: say the admirable St. Galmier or Eau d'Evian. which one can get here so easily. Pray let me know—if possible by wire. Yours sincerely,
most identically as i do with mine. (What a little world it is!) But the curious thing is that so far from being denied any stimulant by her doctor she has actually been utilised by him to take a dry Santerne called Carbounieux with every meal. As i said, she is a cousin of my wife's, which brings her case very near my own. Surely i might venture to try a similar treatmeat? Awaiting your reply, i am, yours sincerely,
HOtel Superbe, Nice, April o. Dear Phillimore,—! do not wish to do anything unfriendly, as i am sure you will agree, but the advisability of having a medical man on the premises is urged upon me by Mrs. Maldemar, and, unwilling as i am to leave you, i have , at length consented. (You know what it is when one's wife insists.) The physician in question is a most capable man, highly spoken of here, and since he lives here and understands the climate, and as i am no better, i am disposed to give him a trial. i thought you ought to know this, but feel sure it will make no difference to our old and cordial relations.
Yours always sincerely,
BOOKS AND AUTHORS.
An italian study of the "Life and Works of Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning," by the Countessa Znmpini-Salazar, has just been published. The author was at one time editor of the extinct "italian Review."
"Dining and its Amenities" is a title suffKestive of the behavior book, but the "Lover of Good Cheer" who uses
the title discourses learnedly of foods, their history and value; of liquors and condiments, of table jests and superstitions, of such other topics as might interest those who have dined well, for the thirty-two papers in the volume were written to amuse a little group of friends who met to dine. it is an agreeable volume of trifling, to be read slowly, and to be read many times, and kept upon the shelf with the authors to whom one goes not to find new amusement but to renew the memory of amusement past. Redman Company.
than the ordinary unthinking playgoer to whose ears his work is familiar. This is one of those commentaries which once seen, become indispensable. The Macmillan Company.
A surfeit of any dialect is possible; even in Lowell an occasional bit of pure English is welcome, but a surfeit of such dialect as Mr. Norman Duncan bestows on the Newfoundland salt who is the foster father of the hero in his novel of "The Cruise of the Shining Light," comes very early in the book. Even if its matter were simple and straightforward, the dialect would give it an air of complication, but being elaborately mysterious, both in the narrative and in the conversational passages, the book is really difficult reading. When at last the mystery is disclosed, and the story is seen as a whole, the dialect becomes endurable in retrospect, but only the patient will read as far as that disclosure, and in this imperfect world patient folk are scarce. Harper & Brothers.
Of all recent biographies written in Hnglisb, there is but one. Professor Palmer's George Herbert, so provocative of keen envy as Professor Raleigh's "Shakespeare," and, as with that work, oue's envy is a triple cord; envy of the work itself, of the subject, and of the author's evident joy in his work. The book belongs to that "English Men of Letters" Series for which Mr. John Morley has found so mnny admirable writers, and consequently its length is settled by an arbitrary standard, but Professor Raleigh has so distributed his matter that its arrangement is in no sense mechanical of aspect. His longest chapter, that called "Story and Character," is almost purely critical, scarcely less so than that on "Books and Poetry." With this work, a reader otherwise ignorant of Shakespeare is better equipped to appreciate him justly.
in each of the fourteeu stories which make up his volume of "Ghetto Comedies," Mr. Zangwill shows, as was to have been expected, his intimate knowledge of his subject. His characters are not idealized in the least. On the contrary, the sardonic irony with which he often treats them is sometimes disappointing to the reader, who would fain have felt his sympathies stirred to the eud, in spite of the title's warning, and is met, instead, by an anti-climax. But the whole impression made by the book is so strong that one lays it down with little disposition to criticize a method which has erred, if at all, on the side of candor. Especially noticeable are "The Bearer of Burdens." a study of the maternal passion; "The Red Mark," a delightful sketch of London schoolchildren, during a vaccination-panic: and "Holy Wedlock," the serious and moving picture of the courtship of au old man of seventy-five and a dame ten years his senior. The volume is one to be owned as well as read. The Macmillan Co.
in "The New Chronicles of Rebecca," Kate Douglas Wiggin does not carryforward the story of the quaint young girl who made such a host of friends on her first appearance, but goes back and fills in with more detail the earlier narrative. We meet again the original characters—Aunt Jane and Aunt Miranda, Jerry Cobb, the stage-driver, the Simpson family. Emma Jane and the chore-l>oy Abljah, and Mr. Aladdin—but new ones equally sprightly and original are introduced. There is no figure in either volume more distinct and appealing than that of the Little Prophet, driving his contrary cow, though Miss Dearborn, taking Rebecca behind the pine-trees to "make her prettier" for the flag-raising, is quite irresistible. For pure fun, Rebecca's composition, with the experiments that furnished data for it—"Which has the Most Benefercent influence On Character, Punishment or Reward?"—will provoke as many chuckles as any chapter in the book. Houghton, Mifflin & Co.
Miss Sara King Wiley's "The Coming of Phllibert" is a play, written for the closet rather than the stage and therefore destitute both of the detail necessary to explain character to the unthinking, and of the artificial stimuli demanded by the flagging attention tf the groundlings. its plot is simplicity itself, its action being merely that produced by the Artaclan King's determination that, on the very eve of his coronation, the twin brother from his birth concealed by their father, shall be brought to court. Phllibert, reared simply, but instructed in all knightliness, creates confusion and consternation among the courtiers and ministers by every word and act, but in his better truth and loyalty opens to his brother the only road by which he can be redeemed from the depravity ingrained in his nature by court breeding, and the little tragedy has a gleam of light at its close. The play is dedicated to the President in a few verses quoted from the description of Philibert himself ns it is given by two characters who have dispassionately studied him, and it is improbable that he will receive any finer literary compliment for many a day, for Philibert is a creation, and the play, although somewhat shadowy as to its female characters, is a strong ;ind no
ble piece of work, giving its author great prominence, possibly pre-eminence among American women who write verse. The Macmillan Company.
it is the current controversy over the "Virgin Birth" which has led to the preparation of Professor Alexander V. G. Allen's volume on "Freedom in the Church." Stated with admirable clearness, and strengthened by copious quotations from authorities patristic, mediaeval and modern, Professor Allen's points are, briefly, these: there is a certain undogmatic character in the formularies of the Anglican church which has been one of its greatest charms for thoughtful minds; it is ii misapprehension that the Church enforces upon her clergy an oath to believe and recite the Apostles' Creed with some authoritative sense attached to each phrase, under penalty of incurring the stigma of dishonesty and perjury; accusations of dishonesty, if brought, must be brought equally against clergy and laity; not the truth but the sense of the Creed is at issue in the present discussion: history shows that the purpose of the Creed was to assert not the unique and miraculous character of Christ's birth, but its human reality; the sensitiveness now felt has its root in a divergence of view regarding the incarnation although the silences of St. John and St. Paul would seem to imply that belief in the Virgin Birth is not essential to belief in the incarnation; the vow which the Church imposes on her clergy to be "diligent in reading of the Holy Scriptures, and in such studies as help to the knowledge of the same." makes progress possible. The Macmillan Company.