Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 15.djvu/140
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.
ties. This would be discouraging for book- makers and book-sellers, but for the cir- cumstance that the old editions become soon worthless, and new ones indispensable. And it would be hard on the book-buyers, but for the fact that the new improvements are often so invaluable as to be cheap at almost any cost. We can not stop the growth of the arts in order to keep the treatises that we hare bought perennially fresh.
Cooley's " Cyclopaedia of Practical Re- ceipts " is a work of high reputation, not only for its comprehensiveness and accu- racy, but because it has been kept faith- fully up to the times by its successive revi- sions; and a careful examination of the sixth edition shows that its standard of ex- cellence has been strictly maintained. The title " Receipts " is in some respects unfor- tunate, as the work is by no means a mere receipt-book, and it makes no clap-trap claim on the ground that its receipts can be count- ed by the thousand. It abounds in important practical information of general interest in reference to the materials furnished by com- merce and used in the arts, their prepara- tion, and their purity, and is very full in illustrated directions for carrying on ma- nipulations, and preparing numerous articles and products of general utility. The work is important to the chemist, the mechanic, the manufacturer, and the householder. It will be completed in two volumes, and the second may be expected to appear in a few months.
Health, and how to promote it. By Richard McSherrt, M. D., Professor of Practice of Medicine, Maryland Uni- versity, President of Baltimore Academy of Sciences, etc. New York: D. Apple- ton & Co. Pp. 185. Price, $1.25.
Dr. McSherry has here made both a readable and a useful little manual of hy- giene. He has no hobbies, and does not profess to be the author of any new theo- ries for the preservation of health, but he goes over the general ground of its condi- tions as affected by education, as related to the sexes, and as influenced by clothing, exercise, diet, and the habitual use of stim- ulants. Upon these topics there will be found much fresh information, with many judicious extracts from the best authori- ties, derived from wide and critical reading. The author's pages are enlivened with many personal references, and interspersed with acute observations calculated to please as well as to instruct the reader. The book will well repay perusal, and we heartily com- mend it.
After Death, what? or, Hell and Sal- vation, considered in the Light of Science and Philosophy. By Rev. W. H. Platt. San Francisco: H. Roman & Co. Pp. 209.
This is decidedly a lively volume. It is a sort of colloquial symposium; that is, it undertakes to present both sides of a con- troverted subject, or some of the issues of religion and science. Yet it differs from the symposium proper, in that the discussion is carried on conversationally, and still more that both sides are represented by one par- tisan. The book is written by a clergyman, and takes the form of a debate between a preacher and a skeptic. The skeptic seems a kind of poor stick, made to order for the convenience of the preacher, who cuffs him about in a very unceremonious way, and finally " converts " him.
The theory of the origin of the book we are half inclined to infer may be something like this: Rev. W. H. Platt is Rector of Grace Church, San Francisco, which is no doubt a sound and we trust a prosperous orthodox establishment. It is quite likely that, in that city of hoodlums, Chinese pa- gans, and wicked doubters, some graceless persons have poked fun at the Grace Church people about their antiquated, superstitious notions of hell. Now, even the regenerate are liable to suffer from lingering remnants of pride, and do not like to be made fun of; and so, we may suppose, they turned to their shepherd, Rev. W. H. Platt, for protection. Whereupon, it may be further assumed, he rose in some wrath and resolved to give these scoffing skeptics more scientific hell than they had ever had of the theological sort. We vaguely conjecture this situation from the first paragraph of the book: "The scientist boldly asks the preacher why he continues to preach the old-fashioned hell. ' Do you not know,' he says, ' that intelli- gent people now laugh at your lake of fire and brimstone, your devil with horns and dragon-tail, and all that sort of stuff?'"