Classification of the Elements of Matter. Among the papers read before the American Association for the Advancement of Science, we notice an sibl e one from the pen of Prof. Charles A. Seeley, of New York. The title of this paper was " The Classification of the Elements of Matter." In the introduction to this paper some points in the philosophy of classification were discussed, and a doubt suggested of the wisdom of creating classes of natural objects with confused and indefinite boundaries. The notion of atomicity was the foundation of modern chemistry, and was a part of almost every theoretical speculation on the subject. Various of the old groupings of the elements, on the basis of their physical properties, had been independently arrived at through the doctrine of atomicity. The elements had been divided into two kinds, viz., those of odd and those of even atomicity. Prof. Seeley was the first to observe that the elements of the two kinds which had corresponding or closely approximating atomic numbers were related in physical properties. In short, the elements are paired. Mr. Charles S. Peirce, of Cambridge, had greatly added to the illustration of the fact of pairing by representing in a diagram the elements in positions determined by ordinates representing the atomic numbers. The important conclusion of the paper was, that the various groupings of the elements by reason of physical properties were dependent upon certain numerical relations. ACTION OF THE HUMAN HEART The general session of the evening of the 19th August was perhaps the most interesting to the general audience, partly because the proceedings were more generally and easily understood by those not skilled in scientific investigations, and partly on account of the rather sensational character of the experiments performed. On this occasion the physical peculiarities of the action of the human heart were clearly shown by the aid of a remarkable case of malformation of the thorax in a healthy living subject. Dr. Groux, a native of Hamburg, and at present a practicing physician in Brooklyn, N.Y., was born without the sternum or breastbone. Dr. J. Baxter Upham, of Boston, having been intimately acquainted for many years with Dr. Groux, has devised a number of ingenious experiments liy which, in his case, the action of the heart is made to manifest itself both to the eyes and ears of persons situated at a considerable distance. It should be borne in mind that the action of the heart in Dr. Groux is perfectly normal and healthy, while the absence of the sternum renders it possible to make certain studies of the utmost importance, which are impossible in the case of the human being as ordinarily constructed. Dr. Groux's case has been treated of at lengcli in various medical journals in Europe, but never before lias it been brought in such a striking manner before so large an audience of scientific men. The mechanism of the heart is somewhat analogous to that of a double-action pump. In both cases the machinery, hdwever perfectly it may work, makes some noise. Dr. Groux was able to show three distinct motions and sounds occurring successively, and a certain rhythm, in every beat of the heart. Dr. Groux also exercised the power, rarely bestowed and never used without great danger, of stopping at will, during a short period, the action of his heart. This was done this evening to the satisfaction of several medical men, one of whom was listening with the stethoscope at the chest, and two others feeling at the wrists for the pulse. For about twenty seconds the action of the vital organ in the frail chest of Dr. Groux completely ceased. Some years ago there existed an individual who was wont to experiment with himself in this manner, and who finally perished through, being unable to resume the ordinary conditions of human existence. Dr. Upham, so far from encouraging his friend, Dr. Groux, in the repetition of this perilous experiment has earnestly entreated him never to make the venture again. Some years ago Dr. Groux, having made up his mind to travel in various cities of Europe and America, caused Ru-fus Choate, the renowned lawyer, to draw up a will making over his body, in the event of his death, to the surgeons for dissection. Portions of this will, which is a long document composed in Mr. Choate's happiest vein, were read to the great delight of the audience. The original draft, in the inimitable handwriting of Mr. Choate himself, was also exhibited. The experiments and explanations specially relating to Dr. Groux were given with great clearness by that gentleman, who is a regularly graduated physician. It is clearly of great advantage to science that this rare malformation occurs in one who is so well qualified to observe the obscure vita] processes which it affords an opportunity ot studying. Dr. Upham contributed a valuable paper on the action of the heart, describing its anatomical position, appearance, and action. Our knowledge of its position had been improved by studies of the case of Dr. Groux. In death the relaxed muscles of the corpse caused the heart to fall somewhat from the place it naturally holds in life. The sounds of pulsation were fully described, as well as the intervals between the successive portions of the pulsation in the auricle, ventricle, and aorta. These intervals have been measured in thousandths of of a second by the chronograph, a valuable invention of the late Prof. Bond, of Harvard University. At the conclusion of his lecture Dr. Upham gave some remarkable experiments. The beatings of the hearts of several of the physicians and patients of the City Hospital, in Boston, were automatically transmitted by telegraph from the hospital to the hall in Salem. By means of the magnesium light these pulsations were made to manifest themselves to the sight by the vibration of a beam of light on the wall of the darkened room. A regular pulse of 60 per minute was first sent. Then was transmitted the healthy pulse of an excited person, regular, but having a rapidity of 90 per minute. But the most interesting cases were those of U patient suffering from pneumonia, whose pulsations numbered 118 per minute, and that of another afflicted with organic disease of the heart. The irregularity of the beats in this latter case was vividly impressed on the mind by the sounds of the instrument. Prof. Farmer, the well-known electrician, assisted , by a skillful operator from Boston, had charge of the electrical arrangements in Salem. Dr. Knight was in charge at , the hospital in Boston. The Franklin Telegraph, too, gave the free use of their lines for the experiments, which were successful to a degree even surpassing the anticipations of Dr. Upham. It needs only to be added that these experiments are entirely new, and have their origin in Dr. Upham's studies for making the motions of Dr. Groux's heart perceptible to those in distant parts of a lecture room. THE SEXES OF PLANTS. The " Sorosisters," as a humorous friend calls the members of the Sorosis, may find comfort and support in a paper read by Professor Meehan. If male blossoms only grow in the weakest stems while the stronger stems produce female blossoms, does it not plainly show that tho national weakness usually ascribed to females of the human family is utterly a mistake. It cannot be for a moment supposed that nature ' has different laws in the vegetable kingdom from those which govern the animal kingdom ; ergo the weakness of woman must be artificial—the result of the dire oppression to which she has been for ages subjected. Prof. Meshan referred to some discoveries published by him last year, showing that in plants of the pine family the greater the vigor of tbe axis or stem growth the greater was the adhesion of the leaves with the stem. Norway spruce0 only produced cones on the very strong branches. As they grew weaker they ceased to produce these, and only male ones followed. In the larch there was the same phenomenon. When the tree came to a bearing age the most vigorous shoots had t'.i e leaves adherent to the stems ; only green acorns (commonly called leaves) appeared from the apices. As the shoots weakened they lost power of axial development, and the leaves the power of producing acorns, and true leaves grew in verticils or spurs. As these gradually grew weaker, they produced female flowers, and ultimately, when they became much weakened by shade or by a diversion of food into other channels, they produced male flowers. This was the last expiring effort of life—to produce male flowers and die. In the amentaceous plants a similar law of vigor in connection with sex prevailed. In the oak, the male flowers appear as soon as the leaf buds open in spring, but the female flower only appears after the shoot has achieved some vigor. In all other plants of this family—in the alder, hazel, walnut, hornbeams, etc., the male flowers were always in the weakest direction, the female in the strongest. So in the sedge grasses {Gyperaeem), the apex was not always the moat vigorous, but when :A w*s$he female flowers were there. Vigorous growth was only one form of vitality. Power of endurance was another. The hardiest individuals among Norway spruces pushed first into leaf, and these were far more productive of female flowers. Hermaphrodite flowers were not so good as those which had the sexes in separate flowers for observing this law, but yet abnormal forms showed the existence of the same law. Sometimes they showed a tendency to become pistillate or staminate, very double or very single ; with the addition of petals, stamens, or other indications of male influence, came weakness. Double flower plants were difficult to root. Variegated plants were not easy to keep ; on the other hand the apetalous violets and other tendencies in a female direction were always accompanied by increased vital tendencies. The conclusion the speaker arrived at was that it is the highest types of vitality only which take on the female form ; and suggested that probably the same laws prevailed in the animal world, but contented himself with the bare suggestion. The essayist merely presented a great number of facts, offering them not as an established theory, but as one of great probability and inviting further investigation. THE CONSTITUTION OF MAN.—AINOS. Among the savans in attendance at the Association is Clinton Rosevelt, a well-known scientific philosopher of this city. He read a paper upon the " Constitution of Man ,;' but beyond this brief announcement we have no inkling of the scope of this document. We do not doubt, however, that it was an able eclaircimment of the subject. Mr. Rosevelt is a student of the profound mysteries. Professor Beckmore followed with a paper on " Ainos, or Hairy Men of Jesso, Saghalien, and the Kurlie Islands.”