Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 14.djvu/841

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LITERARY NOTICES.

between antiquated and recent—the living and the dead. He says, "I claim for the Greek tongue its place on the exactly opposite ground—because it is not dead but living, because if it is ancient, it is mediæval and modern no less." This is a new argument for the so-called ancient and dead languages that they are not as ordinarily characterized, but are in reality living and modern. And what else is it but the nonsensical makeshift of a hard-pushed advocate? If the Greek and Latin tongues are still living, why not the Greek and Latin nations? If these languages are not ancient, is there anything ancient? The course of nature goes on, and materials of all kinds are used over and over again in unbroken continuity, but because the present is thus born of the past, are we to forget the distinction between the living and the dead. If the ancient languages are modern, then of course ancient history, and ancient philosophy, and ancient art, are modern history, modern philosophy, and modern art, and there is no end to the stupid confusion. We can hardly congratulate Mr. Freeman on his defense of the cause he has espoused, and have referred to it merely as illustrating the best that can be said by a distinguished historical writer in defense of old academical superstitions.

 


LITERARY NOTICES.

Journal of a Tour in Marocco and the Great Atlas. By Joseph Dalton Hooker, K.C.S. I., C.B., Pres. R.S., Director of the Royal Gardens, Kew, etc.; and John Ball, F.R.S., M.R.I.A., etc., with an Appendix including a Sketch of the Geology of Marocco, by George Maw, F.L.S., F.G.S. Macmillan & Co. 1878. Pp. 489. Price, $6.50. Illustrated.

The territory of Marocco, which is larger than Spain, and is within six days' sail of England, extends along the Mediterranean from Algeria through the straits of Gibraltar to the Atlantic Ocean, and southward to nearly opposite the Canary Islands, having a coast-line of fully nine hundred miles. Although so near to Europe, this country, beyond its coast, is among the least known regions of the earth; but it is supposed to reach far into the Great Desert on the southern side of the Great Atlas range. It has been called the China of the West, but it is even more isolated and impenetrable than China itself. This scientific expedition to Marocco was undertaken at the beginning of April, 1871, and lasted till the middle of June, but for various reasons the account of it was not published till 1878. Delay of publication, however, can make no difference in the case of Marocco, where it seems there has been little change during the last two centuries. For a long time Sir Joseph D. Hooker had wished to explore the range of the Great Atlas, to learn whether its vegetation furnished connecting links between that of the Mediterranean and the peculiar flora of the Canary Islands. Maw had already made collections of living plants along the coast of Marocco, and had pushed farther into the interior than any but one preceding traveler, and Ball had visited the country in 1851, but its disturbed state made all exploration impossible. Now, however, through the intervention of the Foreign Office, the Sultan of Marocco gave permission for the visit of these distinguished travelers, and on the 7th of April they reached Tangier, one of the most important towns of Marocco, thirty-five miles from Gibraltar, on the coast of the Mediterranean. It is the residence of the diplomatic agents sent from other countries, and consequently the Moorish authorities are somewhat under the control of civilized opinion, and life and property are tolerably secure. Its neighborhood is the only part of all Marocco where a naturalist can wander without an escort of soldiers, and hence little was known of the flora of the empire, except collections from the Djebel Kebir or Great Mountain just west of Tangier. Before going to south Marocco, it was needful for their safety and success that the travelers should have an auto-graph letter from the Sultan, to prevent the local authorities from defeating their purpose. They had to wait several days for this document, and spent the interval in exploring the Lesser Atlas, with results of ex-