Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 56.djvu/136

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128
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

waters is a more potent curative agency than drugs. He believes that Americans have within their own borders the close counterparts of the best foreign springs, and that in charms of scenery and surroundings, salubrity of climate and facilities for comfort, many of our spas will compare as resorts with the most highly developed ones of Europe. The purpose of the present volume is to set forth the qualities and attractions of American springs, of which we have a large number and variety, and the author has aimed to present the most complete and advanced work on the subject yet prepared. To make it so, he has carefully examined all the available literature on the subject, has addressed letters of inquiry to proprietors and other persons cognizant of spring resorts and commercial springs, and has made personal visits. While a considerable number of the 2,822 springs enumerated by Dr. A. C. Peale in his report to the United States Geological Survey have dropped out through non-use or non-development, more than two hundred mineral spring localities are here described for the first time in a book of this kind. Every known variety of mineral water is represented. The subject is introduced by chapters on what might be called the science of mineral waters and their therapeutic uses, including the definition, the origin of mineral waters, and the sources whence they are mineralized; the classification, the discussion of their value, and mode of action; their solid and gaseous components; their therapeutics or applications to different disorders; and baths and douches and their medicinal uses. The springs are then described severally by States. The treatise on potable waters in the appendix is brief, but contains much.


GENERAL NOTICES.

In Every-Day Butterflies[1] Mr. Scudder relates the story of the very commonest butterflies—"those which every rambler at all observant sees about him at one time or another, inciting his curiosity or pleasing his eye." The sequence of the stories is mainly the order of appearance of the different subjects treated—which the author compares to the flowers in that each kind has its own season for appearing in perfect bloom, both together variegating the landscape in the open season of the year. This order of description is modified occasionally by the substitution of a later appearance for the first, when the butterfly is double or triple brooded. An illustrations are furnished of each butterfly discussed, it is not necessary that the descriptions should be long and minute, hence they are given in brief and general terms. But it must be remembered that the describer is a thorough master of his subject, and also a master in writing the English language, so that nothing will be found lacking in his descriptions. They are literature as well as butterfly history. Of the illustrations, all of which are good, a considerable number are in colors.

Dr. M. E. Gellé's L'Audition et ses Organcs[2] (The Hearing and its Organs) is a full, not over-elaborate treatise on the subject, in which prominence is given to the physiological side. The first part treats of the excitant of the sense of hearing—sonorous vibrations—including the vibrations themselves, the length of the vibratory phenomena, the intensity of sound, range of audition, tone, and timbre of sounds. The second chapter relates to the organs of hearing, both the peripheric organs and the acoustic centers, the anatomy of which is described in detail, with excellent and ample illustrations. The third chapter is devoted to the sensation of hearing under its various aspects—the time

  1. Every-Day Butterflies. A Group of Biographies. By Samuel Hubbard Scudder. Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin & Co. Pp. 386. Price, $2.
  2. L'Audition et ses Organes. By Dr. M. E. Gellé. Paris: Félix Alcan (Bibliothèque Scientifique). Pp. 326. Price, six francs.