Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 54.djvu/290

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276
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

of the stories of his Conde Lucanor — " one of the books of the world " — created the germ of the Taming of the Shrew. Passing a numerous list of writers of respectable merit, for whose names even we have not room, we come to the age of the Catholic kings and Charles V, when for a hundred and fifty years literature most flourished in Spain. Among the features of this period are the Amadis de Gaul — u the best in that kind" — which inspired Cervantes; Columbus, who, though of Italian birth, "was probably the truest Spaniard in all the Spains," the poet Garcilaso de la Vega, and Berual Diaz and other historians whose names dot Prescott's books. Passing a large number of writers of mark whose works appeared in this age, and stopping only to mention Alonzo de Ercilla y Zuñiga's Araucana as the first literary work of real merit composed in either American continent, we come to the age of Cervantes, whose story of Don Quixote — "the friendless people's friend," as Browning styles him — is not more distinguished for its satirical wit and humor than for its kindly humanity; and Lope de Vega, that most prolific of all dramatic authors, who "left no achievement unattempted," and died lamented by a hundred and fifty-three Spanish and fifty Italian authors, who sang his praises. Among other of the most distinguished writers of this and succeeding periods are Mariana, "the greatest of all Spanish historians"; Góngora, a famous poet in his day; Quevedo; Tirse de Molina, the creator of Don Juan; Calderon, second as a dramatist among Spaniards, if second, only to Lope de Vega, and Alarcón his compeer; and Velásquez, great in art and not small in letters. An interregnum came in during the reign of Carlos II, and French influence made itself felt. The age of the Bourbons produced among others the Benedictine Sarmiento, who as a botanist "won the admiration and friendship of Linné." The present century has been marked by the names of many authors of merit, novelists known to us in translations, by an active movement of historical composition developing brilliant monographs, and by a marked advance of scholarship and tolerance, led by Marcelino Menéndez y Pelayo; with a tendency to produce "a breed of writers of the German type."


GENERAL NOTICES.

The great importance of the problems of forestry and all that pertains to them can not fail to be appreciated by any one who has seen the devastation wrought in many sections of this country by the "wood chopper." Forestry is one of the subjects where natural science can step in and guide the way to economic success, and where, in default of scientific methods, economically fatal results inevitably ensue. The preservation of forests has been an important problem in Europe for many years, but until quite recently it has received little attention in the United States. One of the pioneers in the field of forestry in this country was Franklin B. Hough, whose Elements of Forestry is still a used and useful manual. Among his many schemes for attracting attention and study to this important subject was one of making actual sections of the wood of American trees, and arranging them in a compact and attractive manner for general distribution. This idea he never carried out, and it has remained for his son, Mr. R. B. Hough, to finally carry out the scheme, by publishing a complete series of such sections, carefully prepared and compactly bound.[1] In Part I of the series there are cuttings representing twenty-five species of American trees. The sections are sufficiently thin to allow of

  1. The American Woods. Exhibited by Actual Specimens. Parti, representing Twenty-five Species. By Romeyn B. Hough: Lowville, N. Y. The Author.