Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 16.djvu/589

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563
LITERARY NOTICES.

The illustrations of these sentiments, occurring in Mr. Perinchief's letters, are noteworthy. He was a careful reader of this magazine, and thus wrote concerning it to his friend Mr. John A. Graham, of New York: "I am exceedingly obliged to you for that copy of the 'Science Monthly'; I am much delighted with it. This is an enterprise I would very gladly see prosper in this country. It is very much needed, and I believe it will be sustained. It will help men who are now thinking along their own solitary lines; it will stimulate thought in those who have not thought before; it will gradually elevate the tone of our entire literature. If it can only get among our church people, it will make many of them more truly religious. Success to it."

Again he wrote to the same gentleman regarding two books bearing in opposite directions upon current controversies.

Draper's book is better than I expected to find it. I knew it was a book with something in it, but I find a great deal in it, and I am satisfied there is a great deal more in it than he has put in 80 many words upon the face of it. This book, like many others of recent origin, convinces me that there is such a thing as the spirit of an age, a something which turns the general mind in a given direction. It startles me a little to find, in books, things which I have dug out little by little. It startles me to find, in black and white, conclusions at which I have very reluctantly arrived, which I have tried to resist, but at last found irresistible. And there are yet other things which must come, for there is much that is "rotten in Denmark"!—other things which have made me sick in discovering them, and now make me sick in contemplating them. What changes the last twenty-five years j have wrought I How much greater changes the next twenty-five years will work I All too late, however, for me personally; I was born too soon or too late. The churches, the ministry, the theology of the past will not do for the future. The new wine can not be put into the old bottles. . . . The Duke of Somerset's book is hardly a book. There is really very little in it. It is not a spontaneous production of his, it is a mechanical collection of scraps, things somebody else has evolved; many of those things are true enough, but they lack life. Some of them are not true at all, only "my Lord Duke" don't know it. In some cases he don't even see the idea he wants to hit. He simply Arcs up the tree, violating Davy Crockett's first law of shooting. The work of the true seer is not destruction, but construction. If the Duke had lived fifty or a hundred years ago he would have been in his proper time. Any landsman can see the waves and the storm and the rocks, but the true pilot is the man who takes us safely past them. Men like Draper and Arnold show us a continent ahead. The Duke of Somerset only tells us there is not one behind us.

Some of Mr. Perinchief's sermons have been published, but are out of print; new editions are announced. They are remarkable for vigorous simplicity of style, warmth of religious feeling, and independence of thought. Mr. Perinchief's position in the Church was similar to that of Frederick Robertson. There is much likeness in their intellectual work, and in the opinion of many the excellences of Mr. Perinchief's discourses are quite equal to those of the eminent and liberal English clergyman.

The Arctic Voyages of Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld from 1858 to 1879. With Illustrations and Maps. London: Macmillan & Co. 1879. $4.50.

Nordenskiöld occupies an eminent position among the explorers of Arctic lands. For upward of twenty-one years, or since 1858, he has devoted his great abilities to that laborious and often perilous work. Accounts of his researches and discoveries have appeared from time to time, and the Swedish Arctic and Polar Expeditions planned by him, or in which he took a conspicuous part, have a wide fame, and are rich in results. The latest expedition undertaken by the great explorer was a successful effort to reach Behring's Strait and the Pacific Ocean from Norway by way of the Kara Sea and the Arctic Ocean. In this and in two previous expeditions along the north shores of Europe and Asia an extensive series of observations was made of the greatest importance to commerce and to science. The coast-line was well determined and mapped, soundings were made, and a record kept of meteorological and magnetical observations. Besides these, some of the great rivers which empty into the Arctic Sea were explored; the important fact was shown that the northern lands of Siberia are not only highly fertile, but are susceptible of cultivation; and that a vast pine forest of gigantic growth extends northward of the Arctic Circle, stretching from the Ural quite to the Sea of Okhotsk. Many more plants were found at home in higher latitudes in Siberia than in Sweden. The white and red currant