Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 23.djvu/578

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

we should have a virtual life of Holmes while he is yet among us and busy as ever, seems to us as far as possible from being objectionable.

And certainly no man ever had a greater temptation for working up a personal career to the edification of all contemporaries than the writer of this book. His materials are abundant and attractive, to many they will be fresh, and to all entertaining. The account of the early life of Dr. Holmes we have found very pleasant and satisfactory, and the information about his various publications interesting; the eulogy is of course inevitable, and the criticism more or less passable. For Mr. Kennedy must also favor us with his estimates of the genius, performances, and opinions of the author he has taken in hand. But his judgments, if not very valuable, can not be much misleading, because everybody has read these fascinating books, and each one can make up his own mind as to their merits. On the whole, however, we confess ourselves much obliged to Mr. Kennedy for his agreeable volume.

Methods of Social Reform, and other Papers. By W. Stanley Jevons, F. R. S. New York: Macmillan & Co. Pp. 383. Price, $3.

This volume consists of various articles contributed within the last few years by Dr. Jevons to the reviews on a variety of social subjects, and which have been collected by his wife for those who desire to possess them in a permanent form. It was the intention of Dr. Jevons to reissue them himself, and before his untimely and lamented death he had already revised two of them, "Experimental Legislation and the Drink Traffic," and "Amusements of the People." The remainder are reprinted just as they were originally written.

It is unnecessary to commend the work of this able writer. His several treatises on philosophical subjects are of excellent repute. But the present volume, while quite miscellaneous in its topics, probably represents his latest views on important practical questions of a social character. They are marked by clearness and moderation, and will be found full of sober reflection upon questions too frequently treated by extremists in visionary and extravagant ways. Much of Dr. Jevons's criticism deals with the social condition of things in England, and is designed to bear upon special practical reforms, but the discussions are always carried on with reference to principles that are not without application in other countries.

Inquiries into Human Faculty and its Development. By Francis Galton, F. R. S., author of "Hereditary Genius." New York: Macmillan & Co. Pp. 387. Price, 83.

Mr. Galton, as is very well known, has taken up the systematic study of human character from the most modern point of view, and, pursuing it in the light of the doctrine of evolution, has carried out a course of experimental inquiries ingenious in conception and fruitful of many new conclusions. With his numerous papers contributed to learned societies and to the periodical press, scientific readers are familiar; these, which are of a varied character, he has now revised, extended, reduced to considerable unity of method, and published in the volume before us. Mr. Galton's researches are characterized by great subtilty of perception, a remarkable insight into the elements of human character, and a surprising skill in pursuing his fertile suggestions to verification by experimental tests. He has done much, more indeed than any other investigator, to bring the elements of research respecting individual characteristics into quantitative and statistical form, so as to favor accuracy of inductions. If a more technical title had been admissible, the present work might have been called a treatise on anthropometry—the measurement of the traits of human nature. It is through the bodily correlations of intellectual and emotional effects that this experimental method becomes possible, and all Mr. Galton's studies, although they deal largely with psychical phenomena, are made upon the basis of organic conditions and physical characteristics. The subject of composite portraiture, to which Mr. Galton has given much attention, and which, indeed, he has created as an important branch of investigation, is fully treated in this volume, the result of his latest methods being given and pictorially illustrated, while graphic and diagrammatic resources are extended to other