Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 44.djvu/280

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

himself to speak on philosophical subjects with altogether too slender an equipment of necessary knowledge.




LITERARY NOTICES.

The History and Theory of Monet. By Sidney Sherwood, with Addresses by Dr. William Pepper and others. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Company. Pp. 413. Price, $2.

The American people has heard more about the theory of money during the past summer than in a long time before. Much that has been said has been erroneous, and, unfortunately, the error has often been put forth so speciously that many of those who have not given the subject of finance serious study have mistaken the false for the true. During the early months of 1892, when the subject of money was also attracting considerable attention, a series of lectures was delivered in Philadelphia, under the auspices of the American Society for the Extension of University Teaching, and the patronage of the bankers of Philadelphia. These lectures were given by Dr. Sherwood, of the Wharton School of Finance and Economy, and, with certain supplementary matter, constitute the volume before us. The twelve lectures are evenly divided between history and theory; under the former head the principal topics are coinage, past fluctuations in the supply of the coin metals, the development of credit, the history of the Bank of England, and the history of American currency. The first lecture on theories is also historical, while the remaining five are devoted wholly to monetary theories now current. Dr. Sherwood affirms that the practical law of value of money is the law of demand and supply. Governments can, within narrow limits, make money more or less desirable and more or less plenty, thus affecting its value. He presents the argument both for and against a large volume of currency, and then sets forth certain important facts that bear upon this matter. Paper money he describes as a promise to pay. In treating of banks of various kinds he states that there is a growing tendency to divorce note-issue from the deposit and discount functions of banks; that the latter functions are constantly becoming more important, while there are tendencies both for and against the extension of the former. The eleventh lecture deals with the monetary question of greatest current interest — the Battle of the Standards, or monometallism versus bimetallism. Dr. Sherwood gives the arguments of both parties in the controversy, and states his conviction that bimetallism based on an agreement of the chief commercial nations would be advantageous, but attempted by one nation alone would be disastrous. France maintained it only so long as certain accidental conditions existed. The policy of the United States under the Sherman law is not bimetallism. The subject of the closing lecture — monetary panics — is also a timely one. The lecturer points out seven causes of panics, and states the measures taken by financial institutions for allaying them. Each of the lectures was followed by a discussion, which is reported. Appended to the volume are a syllabus of the lectures and a list of books for reading. Addresses made by Dr. William Pepper, Mr. William H. Rhawn, and others, at the opening and closing of the course, are also included.


Brief Guide to the Commoner Butterflies of the Northern United States and Canada. By Samuel Hubbard Scudder. New York: Henry Holt & Co. Pp. 206. Price, $1.25.

The Life of a Butterfly. By S. H. Scudder. New York: Henry Holt & Co. Pp. 186. Price, $1.

The former of these small volumes is a manual for amateur collectors. The author has aimed to guard against alarming the beginner by its size, and to give quite full life-histories of the butterflies that are included in it. It is described further in his own words as follows: "I have accordingly selected the butterflies — less than a hundred of them — which would almost surely be met with by any industrious collector in the course of a year's or two years' work in the more populous Northern States and in Canada, and have here treated them as if they were the only ones found there. I have omitted many species which are common enough in certain restricted localities (such, for instance, as our White Mountain butterfly), and included only those which are common over wide areas. As the earlier stages of these insects are just as varied, as inter-