Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 44.djvu/569

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LITERARY NOTICES.

students without means who might wish to devote themselves to scientific research. Difficulties having presented themselves in the way of applying the money precisely as intended, the trustees retained it with Prof. Tyndall's approval, and finally divided it between the Universities of Harvard, Columbia, and Pennsylvania, each receiving — so successful had been the management of the fund — no less a sum than ten thousand eight hundred dollars. The generous donor of the original sum had a good right to say as he did at the banquet, "Not as a servant of Mammon do I ask you to take science to your hearts, but as the strengthener and enlightener of the mind of man." These words were the key to his own life, and might well be engraved on any monument raised in his honor.

Dr. Andrew D. White contributes to this number of the Monthly the first of a group of papers which, while they form part of his New Chapters in the Warfare of Science, have also a distinctive leading idea. Their general title is From Creation to Evolution, and they are Intended to show that the modern scientific conception of the universe, including man and his activities, has been developed out of the theological and metaphysical conceptions through a continuous progression. In the article published this month the change of belief in regard to the formation of the earth and stars is traced, and, as our readers will find, with all the wealth and definiteness of evidence which always characterize Dr. White's writings.




LITERARY NOTICES.

Romance of a Born Criminal. Milan: Chiesi, 1893.

This remarkable book, published and prefaced by a well-known Italian criminal anthropologist, can not and ought not to be judged by the usual canons of criticism. The title of romance must be subjectively justified, since the feeling that inspired the protagonist, a convict, to write these pages was certainly not diverse from that which moves other contemporary authors to expose their intimate ideas and sentiments in biographical form. Le Crime et le Châtiment, by Dostojewski; La Bête Humaine, by Émile Zola, Giovanni Episcopo, and L'Innocent, by Gabriele d'Annunzio, are the latest examples of this pathological literature, in which the skill of the authors opens before our minds a vista of deep knowledge of morbid states of mind, in which art takes the place of truth. In this book art there is none, but of truth there is perhaps a great deal more, and the very literary inexperience of the writer throws this into high relief; for, if truth comes to the fore because it is touched with the accent of veracity, what is false can not be glossed over here as with professional scribes, who know how to varnish and pleasantly hide by means of a pleasing and misleading style. It may have been the writer's intention to indite a work of art, but he has succeeded rather in furnishing the world with a most precious scientific and human document, and as a scientific document the book must be perused. The adventures of this capo camorra, a perfect type of the instinctive criminal, who believes he can justify and rehabilitate himself in the eyes of the world by recounting his crimes, his changes of fortune, are not without interest. The protagonist endeavors to attenuate and almost to vindicate the former by excusing them in his own way. In publishing this work A. G. Bianchi wishes to give a practical illustration of the theories of the new penal school of criminal anthropology which, thanks to Lombroso, Tamassia, and other well-known observers, has developed so greatly in Italy, and is beginning to influence the decrees of human justice when called upon to decide on the culpability of criminals. This book by Bianchi is, in short, the offspring of analytical studies.

"This work of mine," says Bianchi in his preface, "ought to be a help to the study of individual criminality, whether subjectively by the narration of his own adventures by the delinquent himself, or objectively and scientifically, thanks to the help of the great savant, Silvio Venturi, professor at the university at Naples and director of the lunatic