Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 8.djvu/129

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119
LITERARY NOTICES.

Charles G. Putnam, M. D.; Nathaniel B. Shurtleif; James Walker, ex-President Harvard College; Jeffries Wyman, Professor, Harvard College; F. W. A. Argelander, Professor, University of Bonn; Elie de Beaumont, Secretary Paris Academy of Sciences; Sir William Fairbairn, F. R. S., etc.; F. P. G. Guizot; Sir Charles Lyell.

Of the scientific papers given, ten are devoted to Chemistry and Physics, four to Botany, four to Astronomy and Astronomical Physics, two to pure Mathematics, etc. But such an enumeration does not convey any adequate idea of the amount of original research represented by this volume, which is in every way creditable to American science, and fully equal to similar publications in Europe. It is not possible within the limits of our space to attempt any analysis of individual papers, for a knowledge of which reference must be made to the volume itself; but it is impossible to avoid a renewed notice of the remarkable freshness of the volume as a whole. It bears the evidence of being the systematized results of faithful work in the laboratory, the field, and the study, and it has in this and in other respects an advantage not common to all American publications of the same kind.

American State Universities. With a Particular Account of the Rise and Development of the University of Michigan. By Andrew Ten Brook. 418 pages. Price, $3.50. Cincinnati: R. Clarke & Co.

The author of this work, in his first chapter, presents a sketch of the early progress of academic education in the Atlantic States. Next he describes the state of culture in the West at the beginning of the congressional land-grant policy and subsequently. The history of congressional land-grants for universities is given in the third chapter. The remainder of the book is more specially devoted to the subject of education in Michigan, and the matters treated in the successive chapters are: Michigan's early condition as to culture and education; early organization for higher education in that Territory; grant of the present university fund, and its administration by the board of trustees; organization of the school system and administration of the endowment fund; rise of union schools; opening of the Ann Arbor University; review of the period from 1844 to 1852; the administration of President Tappan; administration of President Haven and his successors. Finally, the author essays to forecast the future of American universities. He is in favor of retaining the study of ancient languages as the dominant feature, the very backbone of the university system. "The long-agitated question," he says, "of the place which the Latin and Greek languages should hold in education, the University of Michigan settled originally by giving them the same prominence which they had in the old colleges of this country, and the State universities generally have inclined to this course. This action needs no comment or defense beyond a statement of the reasons which have been supposed to justify it. The relation of the study of these languages to that of other subjects has been greatly changed by the introduction of new branches of study, but not by any special change of views in regard to the value of languages themselves." Science, according to Mr. Ten Brook, is of little or no importance except for specialists. "Language is of all studies the most practical. The useful and sublime sciences, such as chemistry, botany, geology, and astronomy, are of little immediate use even to the learned. Their main facts and generalizations are indeed well employed in literature, in philosophy, and in social life; but beyond these they are only to be pursued by the special student." Again, he says: "It was the ancient classics, and the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures in their originals, which awakened Europe from the sleep of the middle ages. They are adapted to just that kind of work, and they will probably hold their place for ages to come, as for centuries past, in the course of higher education." Our own views on this question are fully stated in the leading editorial of the present number.

Annual Report of the Directors of the St. Louis Public Schools. Pp. 398.

Besides the usual statistics, the various annual reports contained in this volume convey a large amount of valuable information on school management in general. The idea of having attached to the Normal School