Popular Science Monthly/Volume 19/July 1881/Literary Notices
|←Editor's Table||Popular Science Monthly Volume 19 July 1881 (1881)
Professor Rosenthal has well conformed to the theory of the "International Scientific Series" in the preparation of this work. It was designed to consist of monographs on special subjects, and not of complete scientific treatises. In this way particular subjects may be more fully expounded than they are in the text-books, while yet the form of publication is popular and convenient. If any one, for example, looks in the manuals of physiology for a statement of the relations of muscles and nerves, he will find that the information, if not scanty, is still most incomplete. Yet such arc the interest and importance of the subject, that many would like to consult a more adequate presentation. Professor Rosenthal's volume will meet their requirements. It goes over the whole ground of the recent researches into muscular and nervous action, and is, moreover, the first attempt to deal with it in a popular and methodical way.
But few men could have been found as well prepared for the execution of his task as Professor Rosenthal. The problem of muscles and nerves has occupied his life. He worked for many years in connection with Professor Émile Du Bois-Reymond, the celebrated Berlin physiologist, to whom the present volume is dedicated. Broadly cultivated in the physiological field, and long disciplined in the experimental research of nervo-muscular relations, he has been enabled to give weight and authority to his exposition of the subject.
On general and obvious grounds, no subject is more important than this, and we can think of none that should more deeply interest all classes of readers. Man is a being endowed with great capacities of accomplishment by virtue of the agency of muscles and nerves. They are the means of his pleasures and the sources of his pains. One would think that he might be concerned to understand something about them; and, if he has any sense of the relative values of different kinds of knowledge, that he would place the understanding of his own mechanism first, and desire a thorough acquaintance with all that is positively known concerning the conditions of muscular and nervous exercise. The topic, besides, is one of profound intellectual interest. Nothing is more wonderful than the working of that higher organic mechanism by which power in the living being is exerted and controlled. There is nothing so subtile, so curious, so marvelous, as that incessant interaction of the muscular and nervous systems which is involved in all the familiar activities and operations of the human body. The strange thing is how it has been so finely and fully elucidated. Many things, of course, remain still mysterious and unsettled, but we have a large body of well-established facts and principles that have been most difficult of determination, and which forms one of the great monuments of skillful, persevering, and successful scientific labor. Physics and chemistry arc generally spoken of as the experimental sciences, but physiology is also now in the highest sense an experimental science, while, for delicacy and difficulty of operation and consummate contrivances for dealing with obscure and complex phenomena, the physiological laboratory has precedence of all the workshops of experiment. Professor Rosenthal's book is filled with elegant illustrations of physiological instruments and apparatus, and there are many exquisite diagrams to show the interactions of the nervous and muscular parts, as it is now proved that they take place.
We have here no space for the details of the book, but may refer to one of the most delicate and interesting of the machines employed, which is a device for the electric measurement of the muscle-pulsation. By its use the infinitesimal periods of time consumed in these pulsations are magnified and represented side by side in a wavy line, so that their durations can be compared and measured by a standard. The continued strain of a muscle is shown to be a chain of these tiny pulsations which decline steadily in strength as each pulsation exhausts a certain amount of material corresponding to the carbon removed from its place under the steam-boiler by combustion. The modem view that the power generated by muscle is due to the hydrocarbonaceous matter oxidized, instead of the nitrogeneous element of muscular structure, is clearly brought out.
It has long been a question in what way the nerves are mechanically or structurally related to the muscles, or what is the nature of the ultimate connection. Of course this was a microscopical problem upon which further light was constantly thrown as the instruments reached higher powers, and observers became more skilled in their use, and more experienced in guarding against errors. As was natural, different views were entertained by different able observers, and, as was equally natural, sharp controversies followed. How the case stands at present may be gathered from the following statement from Chapter XV: "If we trace the course of the nerve within the muscle, we find that the separate fibers, which enter the muscle in a connected bundle, separate, run among the muscle-fibers, and spread throughout the muscle. It then appears that the single nerve-fibers divide, and this explains the fact that each muscle fiber is eventually provided with a nerve fiber—long nerve-fibers even with two—although the number of nerve-fibers which enter the muscle is generally much less than the number of the muscle-fibers which compose the muscle. Till the nerve approaches the muscle-fiber, it retains its three characteristic marks—the neurilemma, medullary sheath, and axis-cylinder. When near the muscle-fiber the nerve suddenly becomes thinner, loses the medullary sheath, then again thickens, the neurilemma coalesces with the sarcolemma of the muscle-fiber, and the axis-cylinder passes directly into a structure which lies within the sarcolemma pouch, in immediate contact with the actual muscle-substance, and is called the terminal nerve-plate." There are some differences here in different classes of animals, but "the essential fact is the same in all cases: the nerve passes into direct contact with the muscle-substance. All observers are now agreed on this point. Uncertainty prevails only as to the further nature of the terminal plate."
Probably no subject which interests so many people and interests them so deeply is so little studied or understood as the history of the Bible. In these three kingdoms there are every Sunday between fifty and sixty thousand clergymen of various religious bodies discoursing upon it, a very much larger number of persons teaching it in Sunday-schools and day-schools, an overwhelming majority of the population reading it, more or less, and looking to it as the guide of faith and practice. Yet not one man in a thousand, even in the educated classes, knows anything about the respective dates of the different books of the Bible, the mode in which they were preserved and received into the canon of Scripture, or the views entertained by scholars as to their authorship. This ignorance is deepest and most widespread as regards the Old Testament. Wonderful progress has been made during the last fifty years in the criticism of the numerous writings which make it up. It is not too much to say that we have gained more knowledge on the subject within that period than all the labors of all Biblical scholars succeeded in amassing during the two thousand years that preceded. Yet the bulk of the English cultivated public, which learned at college at least all that is known about the Servian Constitution and the Twelve Tables, which has a fair idea of the issues of the great Homeric controversy, has no idea of the fresh light that has been thrown on the books which are read under the name of Moses, or the character and historical position of such men as Samuel, David, or Isaiah. Oriental scholars, a very small class in England, have been so much occupied in study as to have scarcely cared to give the results of recent inquiry to the general public. Lately some valuable translations of German treatises have begun to appear, but these have been too elaborate and bulky to attract ordinary readers. The appetite has continued to languish for want of the proper food.
It need now languish no longer. Professor Robertson Smith's book is exactly what was wanted at once to inform and to stimulate. Written by one of the first Semitic scholars of our time, it is completely abreast of the most recent investigations, and pervaded by a thoroughly scholar-like spirit. His easy mastery of the subject and his sense of which are the really difficult points and which the settled ones are apparent on every page. What is more surprising is the skill wherewith these resources are used. Although scientific in the sense of being thorough, exact, and business-like, the book is also popular—that is to say, it is perfectly intelligible to every person of fair general education who has read the Bible. For clearness of statement, for cogency of argument, for breadth of view, for impartiality of tone, for the judgment with which details are subordinated to the most interesting and instructive principles and facts, it is a model of how a great and difficult subject should be presented to the world. It is so condensed as to need close attention. But those who have any taste for these studies will not find it hard to give that close attention, for it carries one on like a romance from beginning to end, and we can well believe, what was stated in the newspapers some weeks ago, that the lectures, of which it is a summarized reprint, were listened to by immense audiences in Scotland with the keenest interest.
The book opens with a sketch of the criticism of the Old Testament in the Christian Church from the days of the earliest Fathers. It is shown how their entire want of Hebrew scholarship contributed, with their theories as to the nature and value of Scripture, to lead them away from a critical interpretation of the text; how even Jerome was obliged, when making his famous translation, to lean upon Jewish rabbis; how it was only among the Jews that the knowledge of the old language was preserved down till the Reformation, when such revivers of learning as Reuchlin drew their knowledge from Jewish sources; how thus the traditional interpretations and notions which were current among the Jews continued to influence Protestant scholars in their translations, and have colored our own authorized version. Then the author goes on to show how the Jewish traditional interpretation was itself formed. Old Hebrew became a dead language in or before the fourth century b. c., so that the Jews of our Lord's time, speaking Aramaic, needed special school-training to understand the Law, the Psalms, and the Prophets. As there were no grammars nor dictionaries, the knowledge of the old tongue was given orally, and a traditional mass of learning grew up, consisting of the interpretation of the sacred writings, with explanations and commentaries, partly legal (the so-called Halacha), partly moral or hortatory (the Haggada). The Law having now become the center of the whole life of the nation, as well civil as religious, and the guide of all its habits and usages, the function of those who interpreted and expounded and applied it became an extremely important one, and they rose, in the period between the return from Babylon and the birth of Christ, into a class of great power and influence. They are those whom we find mentioned in the New Testament as the Scribes, mostly belonging to and in fact heading the party called Pharisees. Their interest in the Law was primarily practical, and in their work of extending, supplementing, harmonizing, refining upon its rules they created a large body of customary law side by side with it, and were thus led to originate many forced and unreasonable interpretations, which have come down to us in the Talmud, and long continued to pervert the true meaning of the old writings. Though philology or grammatical exegesis was not in their way, nor indeed within their competence, they were of course zealous for the preservation of a correct and uniform text, and it was apparently by them that the text which we now have was fixed. The date of this fixing becomes important, and may be proved by incidental evidence. Down to the apostolic age there seem to have been manuscripts of the various books of the Old Testament in circulation which varied considerably from one another; this appears by the divergences from our received text both of the Septuagint Greek translation made in the third century b. c., and of the Samaritan Pentateuch dating from the fifth century b. c., as well as by other evidence. But all our present MSS., none of which is older than the ninth century a. d., present what is practically one and the same text—showing that they must have been made from one archetypal MS. This text is the same text as Jerome used in making his Latin version in the fifth century a. d.; and it may be traced back with some certainty to the second century a. d. There is, therefore, good reason to believe that in the first Christian century one MS.—probably one of the three which we are told were then preserved in the Temple—was taken as authoritative, and all official copies ordered to be thenceforth made from it, every other MS., showing a different text, being discredited or even suppressed. From that time the text was guarded with the most scrupulous care, copies being made by a guild named the Massorets (possessors of tradition), who did not venture to change even an accidental peculiarity of writing. But, as many centuries had elapsed between the original writing of the books and the determination of this received text in the post-apostolic age, many variations had of course grown up. By far the most ample evidence of these variations is that supplied by the Septuagint; and one of the most interesting parts of Professor Smith's book consists in his account of the relation between the present Hebrew text and this old Greek translation, which carries us back to forms of the text that afterward perished. In common with the bulk of recent scholars, he sets a high value on many of the Septuagint readings, conceiving that they often give passages in a simpler and earlier form than that of the established Hebrew, which has been injured by the amplifications of editors, or, in some few cases, altered by copyists who did not fully understand the old language. These variations are more numerous and important in the Prophets than in the Law, because the latter held so important a place in the services of public worship, where it was read through once in three years, that the copying of it was performed more accurately and a uniform text better preserved. The author then goes on to show how little reliance can be placed on some of the titles prefixed to the canonical books, and how many traces we find of the action of a succession of editors or rédacteurs in getting the books into their present shape. Explanations were added; one document was joined on to another; in some cases it would seem that a book was written by taking an old series of annals or official records and filling into it anecdotes and descriptions from some other source. Next the formation of the Old Testament canon is discussed; and it is shown how, as in the case of the New Testament, different views as to the canonicity of particular books were from time to time prevalent among the Jews down till the second century a. d. The tales which ascribe the settlement of a canon to Ezra or to Nehemiah are shown to rest on no foundation. The inclusion of some of the Apocryphal books in the Septuagint shows that among the Alexandrian Jews these books enjoyed a certain authority, and yet they are not quoted—y Philo, for instance—as if they stood on the same level with the Prophets; for there was a feeling, a true feeling, that the prophetic voices had come to an end a few generations after the return from Babylon, or as Josephus too precisely puts it, in the time of Artaxerxes I. These books are all comparatively late, and to modern criticism stand on quite a different footing from the Prophets, whose authority seems to have become early established. But grave doubts were long entertained as to some of what we now consider canonical books. Daniel and Esther were disputed in the apostolic age, Ecclesiastes and the Song of Solomon not finally admitted till the time of Rabbi Akiba, who lived under Hadrian.
The second half of Professor Robertson Smith's book is devoted to an inquiry into the relative date of the more important of the Old Testament books, and particularly of the Pentateuch. He examines the view, which has been traditional among Jews and Christians for two thousand years or so, that the books containing the Law of Moses are the oldest part of all the sacred writings, and belong to the time of Moses himself; pointing out that on this hypothesis we may reasonably expect to find many references to it in the historical and prophetic books, which would show that its ordinances were well known and were obeyed at least by the loyal worshipers of Jehovah, even if neglected by a large part of the nation during its frequent lapses into idolatrous worship. And he remarks with great truth that, considering not only the importance of ritual in early times, but the great prominence given to ceremonial in the Levitical system, the way in which "the feasts, the sacrificial ritual, the ordinances of ceremonial purity are always in the foreground, as the necessary forms in which alone the inner side of religion, love to God and man, can find acceptable expression," the observance of these forms and rites must have been a matter of the highest consequence, a matter in which the devotion of good kings and priests would appear, and on which the prophets would frequently insist in their exhortations to the people. The Law purporting to be, as we read it, a complete revelation of God's will for Israel's life, a rule of absolute validity, the keeping of which is the whole of Israel's religion, "the religious history of Israel can be nothing else than the history of Israel's obedience or disobedience to the law." Moreover, the position "that the whole legal system was revealed to Israel at the very beginning of its national existence, strictly limits our conception of the function and significance of subsequent revelation. The prophets had no power to abrogate any part of the law, to dispense with Mosaic ordinances, or institute new means of grace, other methods of approach to God in lieu of the hierarchical sacraments." The theory, the usual orthodox theory of modern times, that the prophets were "exponents of the spiritual elements of the law, who showed the people that its precepts were not mere forms, but veiled declarations of the spiritual truths of a future dispensation which was the true substance of the shadows of the old ritual, implies that the prophets were constantly intent on enforcing the observance of the ceremonial as well as the moral precepts of the Pentateuch. Neglect of the ritual law was all the more culpable when the spiritual meaning of its precepts was made plain."
To give this brief summary of Professor Robertson Smith's conclusions conveys a very imperfect idea of the admirable skill with which he applies his critical method. It sets familiar facts and expressiors in a perfectly new light, illumining for us the whole religious and political history of Israel, and making that history more intelligible, more self-consistent, more instructive, than it had ever appeared upon the traditional view.—Abridged from the Pall Mall Gazette.
Trance is defined by Dr. Beard as "a concentration of nervous activity in some one direction, with corresponding suspension of nervous activity in other directions." It can be induced in all animals that have the rudiments of a nervous system, and is essentially the same in all, the differences that may be observed being in degree rather than in kind. The methods of inducing it are infinite, and no one of those that are best known can be said to have any special or preëminent virtue over any other, except of convenience and degree. Induced trance, by whatever way it is brought about, trance resulting from functional derangements, and spontaneous trance, are all parts of and obedient to the same law, and should be studied under that view. Hence special terms, like hypnotism, Braidism, somnambulism, catalepsy, etc., are misleading, and ought not to be used. Among the examples of trance in animals. Dr. Beard cites the various methods of subduing them by fear, lion-taming, the horse-taming operations of Rarey and Home, affecting them with music, all the phenomena that pass under the name of fascination, and stupefaction in the presence of fire.
This part of the Academy's "Journal" contains four papers, of which the first two, embodying descriptions of the Miocene and Pleiocene fossils of the Caribbean area and Costa Rica, were written by the late William M. Gabb while in San Domingo, during the winter of 1877-'78, and have been published since his death. The third paper is on "The Terrestrial Mollusca inhabiting the Cook's or Harvey Islands," by Andrew Garrett. The next paper, on "The Placenta and Generative Apparatus of the Elephant," by Henry C. Chapman, M. D., is based on observations of a female elephant attached to a menagerie, that gave birth to a young one in Philadelphia in 1880, and establishes the interesting fact that the period of gestation of the elephant is from six hundred and thirty to six hundred and fifty-six days. The other papers are by Joseph Leidy, M. D., and are on "The Parasites of the Termites," and on the Bathygnatus borealis, a fossil saurian from Prince Edward Island.
The present report embodies the conclusions that have been reached after careful examinations of the breeding-ground of the insects, of the regions in which they are permanently propagated, and of the "temporary region" where they may breed for a few years and then die out, with other knowledge that has been gained concerning their habits, and the best means of contending against them. The Commission claims that its prediction, that the series of invasions by the locust of the cultivated regions that began in 1874 would close in 1877, has been completely confirmed, and that its theory that the pest could not remain permanently in this region has been conclusively proved; consequently, the insect no longer excites the terror which its first appearances evoked. The locust is bred in the prairie tracts of the rainless district, in the loose, warm, gravelly soil, in the comparatively open spots, rather than in the thick grass, in different parts of a "permanent region," the area of which is not less than five hundred thousand square miles. The best single means of exterminating the broods would be to burn the grass while they are in the larva state; but this can not be relied on alone, because of the great extent of uninhabited country to which it would have to be applied, and because it can not be made thorough, since the burning would be lightest in the spots where the insects are thickest. The object must be promoted by other means, of which the first is to induce the settlement of the breeding district by farmers, who will fight the locusts in their homes; next, by the encouragement of irrigation, to bring unfriendly water to bear upon them, and of the planting of forests, in which they do not flourish; and by instituting a system of Signal-Service warnings of the progress of their migrations. The discussion of these points forms one of the most important chapters of the report; and this chapter, with the eight maps showing the vegetation of the regions the insects infest, has been also published separately. In addition to these topics, information is given concerning the migrations and ravages of locusts in other countries, their natural history and structure, and their natural enemies.
Mr. Barnard devotes a chapter to the description of each of the principal forms in which coöperation has been practiced with success. In the first chapter the workings of the Philadelphia building associations are explained in full; accounts are given of the English systems nearest like theirs; the English and American systems are compared; and cooperative banks are explained. The second chapter is devoted to the coöperative stores that have been established in Great Britain for the benefit of consumers; the third to those which are conducted in the interest of producers, of which the establishment of the Paisley shawl weavers is taken as the type. In the succeeding chapters are described the civil-service and similar stores, the coöperative insurance societies, the provident dispensaries, and the people's banks. The scope of the work is not, however, limited to the consideration of schemes of coöperation that have succeeded. Attention is also given to those that have failed, particularly in the United States, and the attempt has been made to examine and analyze the causes that have conduced to failure.
This monograph is intended to serve as a guide to the general study of the structure of the Lepidoptera. The particular species is chosen as a type of the order well adapted to the purpose, on account of its large size, common occurrence, and wide distribution, and partly because the anatomy of no species of Danaidæ has yet been studied.
Although this fragment is not finished, but was written and left only as a rough draught of a chapter which the author intended to complete and add to its essay, it has been regarded, even in its crude shape, as one of the most valuable aids to self-culture. Professor Fowler has endeavored to make it more generally useful by means of added notes and suggestions, without changing the text.
The address marks the completion of the tenth year of the Association, the meetings of which have been kept up all the time with reasonable regularity. The President discusses the special subject of "The Universality of the Laws of Heredity and Variability."
The author recognizes the wickedness of monopolies and the abuses they engender, but holds that the remedy is not to be found in State possession or control of railroads and telegraphs. Any close regulation or supervision by the State would aggravate the evils and increase the number and power of rings. The people who use the lines should take the control into their own hands by becoming stockholders and attending to the management of them.
This book teaches that pure food makes pure blood, and pure blood builds up a healthy body. The author believes that it is needed, notwithstanding all that has been written on the subject, because "there are still people who eat and drink more than is good for them, as well as what is bad for them."
The purpose of this work is to present new and original designs of dwellings at moderate cost, in the Queen Anne, Eastlake, Elizabethan, and other modernized styles, exterior and interior details of houses, stores, offices, etc., and designs of low priced-cottages. The drawings are furnished by a considerable number of contributors, so that variety is assured. The sixth number contains perspectives of two dwellings, with the details carefully wrought out.
This number contains, besides special papers, articles on "Symbolism in Art," "Architectural Sculpture," and the "Ideal in Ancient Painting."
Dr. Abbott is also the author of other works on the construction of the English language, which, with this, have the common characteristics that, in them, the artificial rubbish that overloads nearly all English grammars is rejected, and the endeavor is made to place the study of the language on a basis of common-sense. They are prepared under the conviction that it is the business of a teacher to teach the boy not how to speak, but how to understand, English, and how to see the reasons for the anomalies in the language; that the pupil should first learn to perceive the function of the word, and thence deduce its grammatical quality, rather than to give first the grammatical definition, and afterward seek the reason for it.
This is the substance of a lecture which was delivered before the Franklin Institute, February 17th last, when some of the experiments of Professor Crookes were repeated and his theory was explained with familiar illustrations and a reference to the "vortex atom theory" of Sir William Thomson.
In the astronomical department of the observatory two comets were discovered, one of which was new; the other had been seen the evening before at Strasburg. The meteorological observations were directed to the study of the climate of Ann Arbor, the daily fluctuations of the meteorological elements,, and the character of local storms. As collated and summarized in the report, and compared with the general observations of the Signal Service, they furnish facts of much value.
The theory of cyclones is wrought out in the first chapter with great care and elaboration. In the second chapter, the practical applications of the theory, as its operation is modified by the encounter with actualities, are discussed, and the theoretic results are compared with those of observation. The third chapter is devoted to the phenomena of tornadoes, hail-storms, and water-spouts.
This is the substance of a paper which was read at the first winter field meeting of the Essex Institute, at Chebacco Pond, held in January last. It discusses the faculty which many trees possess of adapting themselves to different climates; the manner in which trees escape injury from freezing through the withdrawal of water from their tissues in winter; and the opportunities which winter affords for the study of trees, which are better for many purposes than those given by summer.
The Corwin left Oonalaska June 8, 1880, and proceeded by way of Nunivak Island, St. Lawrence Island, Kotzebue Sound, the "ice-deposits" of Elephant Point, and the coal-veins of Cape Lisburn, to Point Barrow, and thence to Herald Island and within twenty-five miles of Cape Wrangel, whence it returned. During the cruise, observations were taken on the lands and the people, the illicit trade of the coast was looked after, and the Jeannette was inquired for. The report contains fresh and valuable anthropological notes, observations on natural history, and "the ice and its habits," and views of prominent points.
Mr. Weeks has furnished in this paper a large amount of information from the experience of business establishments in his own and other States. Conciliation is the arrival at a mutual understanding, in case of difficulties between employers and employed, either through their own discussions or the intervention of friendly parties, and is voluntary. It was first brought into effect in the iron-works at Pittsburg. in 1866, and has been continued, with only such interruptions as were provided for in the agreements and were consistent with their terms, till the present time. Thence it has been extended to establishments in West Virginia and Ohio, Arbitration is reference of the dispute to an umpire, whose decision is intended to be binding. It has been tried in the anthracite, Pittsburg, and Shenango coal-regions in Pennsylvania, and in the coal-mines of Ohio, and has always so far. failed. One instance of its successful operation in this country is in a large cigar-manufactory in this city, where the relations between the proprietors and their workmen appear to be established on the most agreeable basis. The full history of all these efforts is given in the pamphlet.
M. Trouvelot began in 1876 a series of observations on the planets, for the purpose of studying them at every point of their orbits. Five hundred and ninety-one observations were made on Jupiter during five years, and not quite as many drawings were taken. The planet showed signs of lively commotion in 1876, when a spot was recognized on a second observation only once. During the following years the planet was more quiet, the spots were more durable, and one, the "great red spot," was persistent for several months. The periods of rotation of the planet, as deduced from observations of the spots, exhibit variations which appear to be dependent upon their proper motion. The great spot gives a period of between 9h, 55m, 38·81s, and 9h. 55m. 43·96s. M. Trouvelot thinks this is as near to the actual period as we are ever likely to arrive.
By the usual teaching of drawing, pupils learn to observe and copy from models, and to construct perspectives "by rule-of thumb," but not, the author believes, except in the case of patterns for tapestry, carvings, and similar applications, to invent designs from which constructions can be made. For this purpose the designer should be able, in order that the object he conceives may be constructed from the drawing, to dissect it and so to project its several parts on the plane of the paper, that the artisan shall know just where to find them, and what they represent. The present work is designed as an introduction to this branch of the study.
M. Argand was the first who undertook (in 1806) to suggest the true theory of the so-called imaginary quantities of mathematics. He was followed, twenty-five years afterward, by Gauss, and later by other authors who have given the subject a fuller development. The translation of his essay is followed in the present volume by notes on the geometrical interpretation of imaginary quantities by Professor Hardy.
This is a strong presentation of the proofs that science is economically profitable, and of the arguments in favor of its endowment with means to prosecute investigations.
The President's address reviews the work of the Society during two years, and describes generally the papers that were read, according to the particular department of anthropological science to which they severally relate. The papers for the most part concern American subjects, and are founded on original observations. The summaries contain much that endows the subject with interest and is adapted to stimulate continued investigations.
Dr. Sturtevant explains in an address the purpose and scheme of an agricultural college. In the discussion following the address, a minute of which is published with it, the teaching of agriculture in the common schools and the relative importance to farmers of instruction in advanced arithmetic and agricultural chemistry are considered.
This is mainly an argument, based upon experiments made by the author in effecting the polarization of sound, to show that the phenomena of polarization of light, heretofore supposed to be due to transversal vibrations, can be explained on the basis of longitudinal vibrations alone. This done, no reason is left for assuming that the waves of light differ in character from other waves which are the result of longitudinal vibrations. The experiments and their results are described in detail.
This work is the result of years of laborious study, in which the author professes to have consulted all the writings of the first two centuries, and the works of the fathers of the Church, "in the interest of no church, creed, or dogma," but for his own satisfaction. In it he discusses the origin and history of all the gospels, those which are called apocryphal, forty in number, as well as those which have become canonical, and has compared three of the most famous of the apocryphal gospels in parallel passages with the canonical records. He adds sketches of nearly a hundred Christian writers of the first two centuries, with notices of their works, and a history of Christian doctrine for the same period, and declares his conclusions as to what is genuine.
Nervous exhaustion, according to Dr. Beard, is more common in this country than any other form of nervous disease, and, with other forms toward which it tends, constitutes a family of functional disorders that are of comparatively recent development, and that especially abound in the northern and eastern part of the United States. The author gives, in this volume, the result of the study and experience of his entire professional life on the subject. He describes the symptoms of the disease, showing their relations and interdependence, distinguishing them from the of ten closely resembling symptoms of other diseases, and discusses the complex developments and manifestations of the malady, its pathology, treatment, and hygiene. The consideration of the causes of the disorder is left for another volume.
On Philadelphite. By Henry Carvill Lewis. Reprinted from the "Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences," of Philadelphia. 1879 Pp. 16.
Extinct Cats of North America. 1880. Pp. 25. Some New Batrachia and Reptilia from the Permian Beds of Texas, etc. 1881. Pp. 45. The Systematic Arrangement of the Order Perissodactyla. 1881. Pp. 26. Second Contribution to the History of the Vertebrata of the Permian Formation of Texas. 1881. Figures. By Professor E. D. Cope.
The Bolometer. By Professor S. P. Langley.
Road before and published by the American Metrological Society. New York. 1881. Pp. 1. Illustrated.
Geological Survey of Alabama. By Eugene A. Smith, Ph.D. Montgomery, Alabama. 1881. Pp. 158, with Maps.
Politico-Social Functions. By Lester F. Ward. Reprint from "Penn Monthly." 1881. Pp. 16.
A Collector's Notes on the Breeding of a Few Western Birds. By J. Holterhoff. 1881. Pp. 12.
The Climate, Soils, Timber, etc., of Kentucky contrasted with those of the Northeast. By John R. Proctor. Frankfort, Kentucky. 1881. Pp. 29.
Notes on North American Microgasters. By C. V. Riley. Ph.D. from the "Transactions of the St. Louis Academy of Sciences." 1881. Pp. 20.
Ninth Annual Report of the Board of Directors of the Zoölogical Society of Philadelphia. 1881. Pp. 32.
Mya Arenaria in San Francisco Bay. By Robert E. C. Stearns. Reprint from "The American Naturalist." 1881. Pp. 5.
The Landa Alphabet. A Spanish Fabrication, 1880. Pp. 35. Mexican Paper, an Article of Tribute. Its Manufacture, Varieties, and Uses. 1881. Pp. 26. By Philipp J. J. Valentini, Ph.D. Worcester, Massachusetts.
Inductive Metrology. By W. J. McGee. Reprint from The "American Antiquarian." 1881. Pp. 8.
Nostrums in their Relation to the Public Health. By Albert B. Prescott, M.D., F.C.S. Reprint from "The Physician and Surgeon," Ann Arbor. Michigan. 1881. Pp. 12.
Principal Characters of American Jurassic Dinosaurs. By Professor O. C. Marsh. Part V, With Seven Plates. Reprint from the "American Journal of Science." 1881. Pp. 7.
Antiquities of New Mexico and Arizona. By W. J. Hoffman, M.D. Davenport Academy of Natural Sciences. 1881. Pp. 18. Four Plates.
Gill Nets in the Cod-Fishery, etc. By Captain J. W. Collins. Bulletin U. S. Fish Commissioner. 1881. Pp. 17. Twelve Plates.
The Total Solar Eclipse of July 29, 1878. Observation at Pike's Peak, Colorado. Report of Professor S. P. Langley. Pp. 14, with Plate.
Anthropology: an Introduction to the Study of Man and Civilization. By Edward B. Tylor, D.C.L., F.R.S. With Illustrations. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 448.
English Philosophers. David Hartley and James Mill. By G. S. Bower, M.A. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. Pp. 250. $1.25.
Osteology of Speotyto Cunicularia, Var. Hypogæa, and of Eremophila Alpestris. By E. W. Shufeldt, First-Lieutenant and Assistant Surgeon, U.S. Navy. Washington, D.C. Pp. 60, with Four Plates.
Literary Style, and other Essays. By William Mathews, LL.D. author of "Getting on in the World," etc. Chicago: S. C. Griggs & Co. Pp. 345. $1.50.
Text-Book of Experimental Organic Chemistry for Students. By H. Chapman Jones. New York: D. Van Nostrand. Pp. 145.
The Wilderness Cure. By Marc Cook, author of "Camp Lou." New York: William Wood & Co. Pp. 153.
The Figure of the Earth. An Introduction to Geodesy. By Mansfield Merriman, Professor of Civil Engineering in Lehigh University. New York: John Wiley & Sons. Pp. 88. $1.50.
Induction Coils: how made and how used. New York: D. Van Nostrand. Pp. 123 50 cents.
How a Person threatened or afflicted with Bright's Disease ought to live. By Joseph F. Edwards, M.D. Philadelphia: Presley Blakiston. Pp. 87. 75 cents.
The Library. By Andrew Lang. With a Chapter on Modern English Books, by Austin Dobson. London: Macmillan & Co. Pp. 184. $1.25.
Anniversary Memoirs of the Boston Society of Natural History, 1830-1880. Boston: Published by the Society 1880.
Kant and his English Critics. By John Watson, M.A., LL.D. New York: Macmillan & Co. 1881. Pp. 402. $4.00.
A Memorial of Joseph Henry. Published by Order of Congress. Washington: Government Printing-Office. 1880. Pp. 525.
Life of Voltaire. By James Parton. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Co. 1881. 2 vols. Pp. 639 and 653. Per vol., $3.
Demosthenes: with Extracts from his Orations, and a Critical Discussion of the Trial on the Crown. By L. Brédif. Translated by M. J. Macmahon, A.M. Chicago: S. C. Griggs & Co. 1881. Pp. 510. $3.
Illustrations of the Earth's Surface-Glaciers. By Nathaniel Southgate Shaler and William Morris Davis, Boston: James R. Osgood & Co. 1881 Folio, pp. 196. Twenty-five Plates, with descriptions. $10.