Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 56.djvu/134

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126
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.
"Gave us the doctrine of the enclitic De Dead from the waist down,"

but really we don't feel quite sure that the cause for which the old gentleman struggled was quite worthy of such desperate heroism. The world could have got along fairly well for a while with an imperfect knowledge of the subtle ways of the "enclitic De," and indeed a large portion of the world has neither concerned itself with the subject nor felt the worse for not having done so.

What we fear is that some people are "dead from the waist down," or even from higher up, without being aware of it, and all on account of a furious passion for "enclitic de's" or their equivalent in other lines of study. Gentlemen, it is not worth while! You can not all hope to be buried on mountain tops like the grammarian, for there are not peaks enough for all of you, and any way what good would it do you? There is need of specialization, of course; we began by saying that the drift of our remarks is simply this, that he who would go into minute specializing should be careful to lay in at the outset a good stock of common sense, a liberal dose (if he can get it) of humor, and quantum suff. of humanity. Thus provided he can go ahead.

 
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Scientific Literature.
SPECIAL BOOKS.

The comparison between the United States in 1790 and Australia in 1891, with which Mr. A. F. Weber opens his essay on The Growth of Cities in the Nineteenth Century[1] well illustrates how the tendency of population toward agglomeration in cities is one of the most striking social phenomena of the present age. Both countries were in nearly a corresponding state of development at the time of bringing them into the comparison. The population of the United States in 1790 was 3,929,214; that of Australia in 1891 was 3,809,895; while 3.14 per cent of the people of the United States were then living in cities of ten thousand or more inhabitants, 33.20 per cent of the Australians are now living in such cities. Similar conditions or the tendency toward them are evident in nearly every country of the world. What are the forces that have produced the shifting of population thus indicated; what the economic, moral, political, and social consequences of it; and what is to be the attitude of the publicist, the statesman, and the teacher toward the movement, are questions which Mr. Weber undertakes to discuss. The subject is a very complicated and intricate one, with no end of puzzles in it for the careless student, and requiring to be viewed in innumerable shifting lights, showing the case in changing aspects; for in the discussion lessons are drawn by the author from every country in the family of nations. Natural causes—variations in climate, soil, earth formation, political institutions, etc.—partly explain the distribution of population, but only partly. It sometimes contradicts what would be deduced from them. Increase and improvement in facilities for communication help the expansion of commercial and industrial centers,

  1. The Growth of Cities in the Nineteenth Century. A Study in Statistics. By Adna Ferrin Weber. (Columbia University Studies in History, Economics, and Public Law.) New York: Published for Columbia University by the Macmillan Company. Pp. 495. Price, $3.50.