Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 24.djvu/871

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LITERARY NOTICES.

and that the human race and human development started from the interior of the dark continent, and went out down the Nile and through Egypt, confessedly the oldest civilized nation, to all the quarters of the earth. As a corollary to this, all customs, all myths, all civilization, all speech, and all religion, had their origin in Egypt, and are traceable directly back there. Another corollary is that all the sociological science and comparative philology that have been built up on the theory of a primitive Aryan race and civilization and language are idle speculations, except as these Aryan institutions are admitted to be children of the Egyptians. The Christian religion also suffers at Mr. Massey's hands; for this work, to use his own language, "culminates in tracing the transformation of astronomical mythology into the system of equinoctial Christology called Christianity, and demonstrating the non-historic nature of the canonical gospels by means of the original myths in which the Messianic mystery, the Virgin motherhood, the incarnation and birth, the miraculous life and character, the crucifixion and resurrection of the Saviour Son, who was the Word of all ages, were altogether allegorical." Having devoted a dozen years exclusively to his work, Mr. Massey has been able to bring to his aid a vast amount of learning, and has used it with considerable ingenuity. His text abounds with interesting facts and citations not to be found elsewhere in a whole library, and with skillful applications. If his conclusions do not carry conviction, it is not for lack of bravery and address on the part of their champion.

On the Contents of a Bone-Cave in the Island of Anguilla (West Indies). By Edward D. Cope. Washington: Smithsonian Institution. Pp. 30, with Five Plates.

Attention was first called to the interesting bone-deposit described in this memoir in 1868, when a load of the cave-earth was brought to Philadelphia as a fertilizing material, and the bones were examined by Professor Cope. Together with the bones was found a chisel of human manufacture, made from a shell. The quantity of animal remains in the deposit and their dimensions point to the former existence of a more extensive and larger fauna than the island as it now stands could have supported. This fact is regarded as confirmatory of the hypothesis that the Antilles were once connected by ranges which have been submerged since Pliocene times. In the light of these facts, Professor Cope claims that the study is of importance, because it is the first investigation of the life of the cave age in the West Indies; because it gives the first reliable indication of the period of the submergence by which the islands were separated; because it furnishes the first evidence as to the antiquity of man there; and because it describes some peculiar forms of life not previously known.

Cruise of the Revenue Steamer Corwin in Alaska and the Northwest Arctic Ocean, in 1881. Notes and Memoranda. Washington: Government Printing-office. Pp. 120.

The notes include a very interesting paper by Dr. Irving C. Rosse, on the medical features of the expedition, with anthropological memoranda respecting the Esquimaux, and the effects of the Arctic climate on the members of the expedition and the natives; botanical observations, by Mr. John Muir; description of the birds of Behring Sea and the Arctic Ocean, by E. W. Nelson; and a list of fishes, by Tarleton II. Bean. The text is illustrated with heliotype and colored lithographic plates.

Report on the Oyster-Beds of the James River, Virginia, and of Tangier and Pocomoke Sounds, Maryland and Virginia. 1881. By Francis Winslow, U. S. N. Washington: Government Printing-Office. Pp. 87, with Plates.

This monograph is one of the series of "Methods and Results" of the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey. In it, Captain Winslow presents the results of an investigation which he was ordered in 1878 to make with the schooner Palinurus, and which should include the determination of the positions and areas of the oyster-beds and the depth of water over them, at both high and low water; the determination of the character of the beds, whether natural or artificial, and how the oysters were distributed; the determination of the temperatures of the surface and bottom water, and the velocity of currents; the preservation of specimens of oysters; the determination