Six centuries have not sufficed to abate this ecclesiastical bigotry. There is the Bishop of Montpellier claiming for his Church the exclusive right to teach mankind. He leaves no doubt as to what sort of teaching it would be. Nothing inconsistent with the dogmas of the Church. None of your astronomy, or geology, or physiology, or other atheistic sciences. Let American colleges and universities lay this thing to heart! Their turn may some day come.
A book has long been wanted, making clear to the popular mind the most interesting and important principles of the beautiful science of optics. The subject is usually treated in a meagre way as a subdivision in our text-books of physics, and, even in the largest of these, the discussion of light is usually very incomplete. But no subject is more worthy of separate treatment, and Dr. Lommel has made a volume well worthy of its position in the "International Scientific Series." An interesting portion of one of his chapters, that dealing with the curious and wonderful phenomena of fluorescence, is given in our present number, furnishing a fair illustration of the clearness of the author's writing and the freshness of his presentation.
In an elaborate notice of the work, which appeared in Nature it is remarked: "In the present treatise. Prof. Lommel has given an admirable outline of the nature of light and the laws of optics. Unlike most other writers on this subject, the author has, we think wisely, postponed all reference to theories of the nature of light, until the laws of reflection, refraction, and absorption, have been clearly set before the reader. Then, in the fifteenth chapter Prof. Lommel discusses Fresnel's famous interference experiment, and leads the reader to see that the undulatory theory is the only conclusion that can be satisfactorily arrived at. A clear exposition is now given of Huyghens's theory, after which follow several chapters on the diffraction and polarization of light-bearing waves. The reader is thus led onward much in the same way as the science itself has unfolded, and this, we think, is the surest and best way of teaching natural knowledge."
We have here the promise of a periodical new in its plan, broad and important in its scope, and very ably sustained. It represents the new departure in psychological study, from the point of view taken by Bain and the modern school; in fact, the project of its establishment is largely due to Prof. Bain himself, who will have an active share in its management, although the responsible editor is Prof. George Croom Robertson, of University College, London. The range and quality of this work will be best gathered from the following passages taken from the prospectus: