Popular Science Monthly/Volume 21/October 1882/Literary Notices

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Popular Science Monthly Volume 21 October 1882  (1882) 
Literary Notices
 
LITERARY NOTICES.
Natural Religion. By the author of "Ecce Homo." Boston: Roberts Brothers. Pp. 251. Price, $1.25.

This little book, by Professor J. R. Seeley, of the Cambridge University (England), deserves the most serious consideration on the part of all who care for the higher questions of modern controversy. Some of its chapters first appeared in "Macmillan's Magazine," and were reprinted in the "Monthly," while the author's name was unknown. But they were evidently by a man of power, insight, independence, and great catholicity of spirit; and they handled the exciting and even the exasperating questions of the time, not only with a striking originality, but with a forecast of new agreements most encouraging to all who are concerned about the religious progress of mankind. The great distinctions and differences over which people are quarreling and disputing in the religious and anti-religious world Professor Seeley does not regard as finalities. Under severe critical examination, they diminish and are found to have no justification in the truth of things. The work is one of the most composing and harmonizing that has appeared in this age. That the writer deals with the most radical problems of religious thought is shown in the titles of his chapters. In Part I the subjects treated are: (1) "God in Nature," (2) "The Abuse of the Word Atheism," (3) The words "Theology and Religion," (4) "The Three Kinds of Religion," (5) "Natural Religion in Practice," while in Part IT the questions discussed are: (1) "Religion and the World," (2) "Religion and Culture," (3) "Natural Christianity," (4) "Natural Religion and the State," (5) "Natural Religion and the Church."

Holding this book to be of unusual importance, we are desirous of conveying to our readers a fuller account of it than we can prepare, or are in the habit of allowing in these pages, and we therefore reprint the review of it which appeared in the London "Athenæum" of July 29th:

If it be the function of genius to interpret the age to itself, this is a work of genius. It gives articulate expression to the higher strivings of the time. It puts plainly the problem of these latter days, and so far contributes to its solution; a positive solution it scarcely claims to supply. No such important contribution to the question of the time has been published in England since the appearance, in 1866, of "Ecce Homo." That the same man should have written both books, that none but himself can be his parallel, argues a unique order of mind. He is a teacher whose words it is well to listen to. His words are wise but sad; it has not been given him to fire them with faith, but only to light them with reason. His readers may at least thank him for the intellectual illumination, if they can not owe him gratitude for any added fervor.
The object of this book, one might say with logical precision, is to extend the connotation of the term "religion." It groups together all the great idealisms—art, science, culture—and claims that these are natural religion. Thus, according to this author, everything that takes us beyond and above our selfish aims is religion. The opposition between science and theology becomes vain and of no effect: both are forms of religion. The indifference of art for the conventions is but another form of the struggle against worldliness, and here again art and religion join hands. "Wer Wissenschaft und Kunst besitzt," said Goethe, and our author repeats the saying with approval, "hat auch Religion." Professor Huxley and Mr. Burne Jones will be somewhat surprised to find themselves regarded as great lights in the religious world. The old triad of ideals—the good, the true, and the beautiful—are classed by this observer under the one genus of religion.
Turning to the practical side of the book, we have the demand that the Church should learn the error of her ways in not recognizing her two companions in the struggle against the lower life, and should renounce the parts of her doctrine that conflict with their ideals. The idea of development must be applied to religion as to everything else, and the conception of prophecy be revived in the modern form of a philosophy of history. Let the cultured classes teach culture, which is religion, to the lower classes, who will otherwise lapse into Nihilism; and let the cultured nations of Christendom spread the light of religion till one great bond of civilization span the earth. Above all. if we wish to master the art of life, let us study the experiments that have been made by time in the field of history, and learn the lessons of "philosophy teaching by example."
Such, in main outline, are the theorems and problems of this brilliant book. The boldness of the eirenicon can not but strike every reader; but the age is bold in these matters, and this quality is only another mark of the timeliness of the book. In looking at its practicability, however, a critic has to remember that, while it takes two parties to make a quarrel, it also requires two to patch one up. Our author is wanting in one of the qualities of the peace-maker that are almost necessary for the due performance of his office: he lacks sympathy with one of the sides. He is entirely on the side opposed
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��to the angels, and assumes too confidently that supernatural religion is spiritually defunct, and its advocates ready to own their in efficiency. He is candid and clear-sighted, and sees distinctly that what he calls religion will be called in turn pantheism and paganism by "religious " people. But he trusts too readily that they will be con- vinced that, in using these names, they are mis- calling persons of practically the same creed as themselves. He greatly underrates, one can not help thinking, the power that such concep- tions as miracles, and heaven and hell, exert upon minds that have once firmly grasped them. At times this miscalculation leads him to adopt a tone toward the adherents of supernatural religion which is, to say the least of it, by no means conciliatory. Take, for instance, the fol- lowing sentence :

"The Eternal and the Infinite and the All- embracing has been represented as the head of the clerical interest, as a sort of clergyman, as a sort of schoolmaster, as a sort of philan- thropist."

The reminiscence of Mr. Matthew Arnold might remind our author that Mr. Arnold has scarcely reconciled Dissent, however he may have undermined it. In short, our author ap- pears to agree with Goethe, when he cynically concludes the above-quoted epigram :

" Wer Wissenchaft und Kunst nicht besitzt Der habe Religion."

Further, our author is scarcely so successful in showing the fundamental identity of art and religion as of science and religion. When touch- ing on the latter point he draws some instructive and novel analogies between the creed of science and the faith of the Old Testament :

" I say that man believes in a God who feels himself in the presence of a Power which is not hime elf. and is immeasurably above himself; a Power in the contemplation of which he is ab- sorbed, in the knowledge of which he finds safety and happiness."

" But now, either under the name of God, or under that of Nature, or under that of Science. or under that of Law, the conception works freshly and powerfully in a multitude of minds. It is an idea, indeed, that causes much unhappi- ness, much depression. Men now reason with God as Job did, or feel crushed before bim as Mo?es, or wrestle with him as Jacob, or blas- pheme him ; they do not so easily attain the Christian hope."

" We have spoken of science as replacing miracle ; prophecy it does not so much replace as restore. As it. grasps human affairs with more confidence, it begins to unravel the past, and with the past the future. It shows the significance of each new social or political phase as the He- brew prophets studied to do."

These quotations may serve to illustrate the author's main contentions as to the relation of science and religion. But it is more difficult to explain his views as to the connection of the ar- tistic and religious ideals. He points out the great influence of the poet on the higher life of

��the time, reviving Mr. Arnold's " criticism of life " view ; and he recognizes tne ideal tenden- cies of the Antinomianism that is generally as- sociated with artistic impulses. But he almost invariably regards art as solely dealing with beautiful objects of sight, and thus bringing it into contact with the scientific observation of nature. We have throughout observed not one word devoted to music, yet there are thousands nowadays with whom the cultus of rhythmic and harmonic sounds has usurped the place of almost all other worship, and a work on natural religion should have taken notice of their case. And on art in general, barring a few excellent pages on Goethe and Wordsworth, little is said that justifies the position given her alongside of science and religion. That position may be de-, served ; but the arguments brought forward in this book do not show adequate appreciation of the artistic mind.

Apart from this lack of sympathy with the orthodox schools of religious opinion, and an inadequate estimate of the artistic ideal, it is possible to find fault with other lines of the ar- gument. There is, perhaps, a certain amount of professional exaggeration in the estimate formed of the historian's office. It is, to say the least, paradoxical to assert, "It is not exclu- sively, but only par excellence, that religion is directed toward God." It is obscuring a funda- mental distinction to include, as our author often does, humanity in nature. The argument from Mohammedanism, that there may be a religion without miracles (p. 192), may be turned another way, when we reflect how inevitably the earliest traditions introduced miraculous events into the life of the Prophet. And interesting as is the attempt to widen the meaning of religion, it too often results in mere paradox, and manages only to evade difficulties by denying that they exist, Still the aim of the author, which is to point out the large amount of agreement among conflicting parties, is perfectly legitimate, and permits a certain exaggeration in looking only at common qualities, and neglecting divergencies.

Turning to the more pleasant and more prof- itable task of pointing out the many novel ideas and brilliant thoushts contained in this book, one has first to notice the power of acute social diagnosis that is throughout displayed. Take, for instance, the following remme of the scien- tific temper :

"Instead of that painful conflict with tempta- tion which moralists describe, there may be an almost unbroken peace arising from the absence of temptation ; instead of the gradual formation of virtuous habits, there may be the gradual dis- use of all habits except the habit of thought and study; there may be perpetual self-absorption, without what is commonly called selfishness, total disregard of other people, together with an unceasing labor for the human race. A life, in short, like that of the vestal, ' the world forget- ting, by the world forgot,' yet without any love or heavenly communion."

Or, again, take the few but weighty words dealing with Nihilism ; or the account of the

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��epidemic character of crime ; or the remarks on the rise of self-distrust consequent on the decline of authority; or the view that the modern school- master is a kind of professional parent. And joined to this power of observation is found the power of expressing its results in short, pithy phrases or sentences that stick in the memory. "Life is interesting if not happy" is a whole answer to Mr. Mallock. " Is life but a liveli- hood ? " is a home-thrust at a certain school of politicians. " Worship is habitual admiration " is not likely to be bettered for some time as a working definition.

Nowadays one is not allowed to call a book brilliant unless it says some witty and therefore spiteful things. Even these are not wanting in the pages of " Natural Religion." Let us cull a few that display this quality:

" If you want to see the true white-heat of controversial passion if you want to see men fling away the very thought of reconciliation, and close in internecine conflict, yon should look at controversialists who do not differ at all, but who have adopted different words to express the same opinion."

" What should we think, then, if its name and its glories formed the staple of our religious wor- ship, if our church-goers sang, ' Oh, pray for the peace of England they shall prosper that love thee 1 ?"

" ' Erudition ' and ' philosophy ' are terms of contempt in their mouths. They denounce the former as a busy idleness, and the latter as a sham wisdom, consistingmainly of empty words, and offering solutions either imaginary cr unin- telligible of problems which are either imaginary or unintelligible themselves."

But of far more iaiportance than these isolat- ed instances of acuteness of thought or phrase are the many new positions taken up in this book. The distinction between theology and religion has never been brought so clearly into connection with the difference between scientific and imaginative knowledge. The three different phases of atheism by which term is meant by this author want of adaptation to the environ- mentare excellently discriminated.

It may cause some surprise, but can not fail to cause as much enlightenment, to find our au- thor, most modern of the moderns as he is, advo- cating the closest possi bl3 union between Chu rch and state, and defending his position by all the wealth of his historical knowledge. But has ever the modern temper been hit off more exactly than in the following passage ?

" Another maxim has to be learned in time, that some things are impossible, and to master this is to enter upon the manhood of the higher life. But it ought not to be mastered as a mere depressing negation, but rather as a new religion. The law that is independent of us, and that con- ditions all our activity, is not to be reluctantly acknowledged, but studied with absorbing de- light and awe. At the moment when our own self-consciousness is liveliest, when our own be- liefs, hopes, and purposes a^e most precious to us, we are to acknowledge that the universe is VOL. xxi. 54

��greater than ourselves, and that our wills are weak compared with the law that governs it, and our purposes futile except so far as they are in agreement with that law."

But enough. We have given the main argu- ment of the book, aud selected some of its de- tails for discussion or lor admiration. It remains to discuss its probable effect on the two parties between whom, in a measure, it attempts to effect a reconciliation. It has already been pointed out that the religious world will regard its religion as having been misunderstood, and not sympathized with ; and this complaint will be just. It is natural, at this point, to compare the somewhat similar attempts of Mr. Matthew Arnold in this direction; and it must be owned that, with regard to knowledge of and sympathy with orthodox belief, the whilom Oxford pro- fessor is the superior of his Cambridge rival, if we may venture so to term the author of " Ecce Homo." Mr. Matthew Arnold was bent on bat- tling with religious Philistinism, and did not disdain to deal it some heavy and rather unfair blows, chiefly by way of irony. Our author, on the contrary, cares more to expound the position of nous antres, and has, for the first time, given an adequate exposition of the creed of culture. "Religion," he says, "has been revived under the artificial name of culture " ; and, again, " The momentary evanescence of the Church in modern life is only caused by the decay of one sort of Church coinciding in time with the infancy of another." In thus boldly pointing out that the spiritual currents now flow in other channels than those that are technically called religious, the book says what many have been feeling. It must necessarily give courage to the Antinomi- ans, and give, for the first time, a true sense of their position to the followers of ancient lines of thought. That the followers cf culture will con- sent, to call their ideal by the name of religion, and that the believers of religion in its old sense will grant that name, full of the most sacred as- sociations, to fie pursuit of truth and of beauty, are very doubtful propositions. So far, there- fore, as our author seriously aims at these inno- vations his efforts appear doomed to failure. No eirenicon can be effected between two opposing schools by inducing them to acfopt the same name on their banners. It is by bringing into full consciousness the thoughts and feelings of modern men that this book will exercise its chief influence It will enable the adherents of the old and of the upw faith to know for what the strife is being carried on. And it shows how fast and for the world has been drifting since 1866 to re^e-t that this b^ok takes the place of an exposition of " Christ's ttaeolosry " promised in the preface of" Ecce Homo." But the second or " practical " nart of the book is not practical in any sense that leads to action. It merely shows that the natural religion which is his theme i* renVv in action among us in influ- encing men's lives. It may set men thinking, it can not Kid them to act. Meanwhile, let us close t' is notice of a book which we assume will be read by most thinking Englishmen with a

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��final quotation, which shows at once the power and the weakness of the writer, his clear visiou and his depressing tone :

" For Art and Science are not of the world, though the world may corrupt them ; they have the nature of religion. When, therefore, we see them shaking off the fetters of the reigning re- ligion, we may he anxious, but we are not to call this an outbreak of secularity ; it is the ap- pearance of new forms of religion, which, if they threaten orthodoxy, threaten secularity quite as niucu. Now, secularity is the English vice, and we may rejoice to see it attacked. It ought to be the beginning of a new life for England that the heavy materialism which has so long weighed upon her is shaken at last. We have been, perhaps, little aware of it, as one is usual- ly liltle aware of the atmosphere one has long breathed. We have been aware only of an ener- getic industrialism. We have been proud of our national k self-help,' of our industry, and solv- ency, and have taken as but the due reward of these virtues our good fortune in politics- and colonization. We have even framed for our- selves a sort of Deuteronomic religion which is a great comfort to us ; it teaches that because we are honest and peaceable and industrious, therefore our Jehovah gives us wealth in abun- dance, and our exports and imports swell, and our debt diminishes, and our emigrants people half the globe."

Ernestine. A Novel. By Wilhelmine von Hillern, author of " The Hour will Come," etc. From the German by S. Caring-Gould. In two vols. New York : William S. Gottsberger. Pp. 711. Price, $1.50.

Ernestine first appears before the reader as a little, much-abused, ill-tempered girl, about ten years old, who was neglected in everything except her schooling. When grown up, she thus describes herself : " From earliest childhood at a time when most are rocked in the arms of love are laid to sleep in the lap of love I was trampled on, kicked about, almost tortured to death, be- cause I was a girl. Every anguish-cry of my breast, every thought of my soul, every feeling of my young heart, was gathered into this one question, ' Why, why must I expiate what is no fault of mine that I am not a boy ? ' And, in every wound that was dealt me, the seed of revenge was strewn the seed of revenge for my own wrongs and those of my sex the seed of ambition to do all that can be achieved by that sex whose superiority was so insultingly, so brutally paraded before me. It ripened quickly in the glow of indignation I felt at the injustice my sex is forced to endure, the difficulties

��which were opposed to its endeavors to rise above vulgar routine. It grew with me ; it became mighty; it ramified through my whole mental life, like the veins and nerves of my body." When her application to at- tend the lectures and to be admitted to the dissecting-tables of the university was re- jected, she declared to the committee that " the great struggle for the emancipation of woman can only be fought out to a definite conclusion on the comparative anatomy of the brain. ... If, in some less scrupulous universitv, I be admitted to the dissecting"- tables, and allowed the necessary anatom- ical and physiological studies, my time and energies will be given up to the solution of this question." But unceasing study under- mined her health, and after a painful and involved experience the anti-social feelings that had been fostered by her abnormal childhood and youth gave way, and she be- came an affectionate wife and mother.

As a novel the book is engrossing and satisfactory, and, as a German contribution to the discussion of " The woman ques- tion," it is very interesting. The implica- tion would seem to be that the usual course of domestic and social life in Germany does not favor the discontent of woman with her woman's destiny. It is under most ex- ceptional circumstances that Ernestine is developed, and whenever she comes in con- tact with German society she is rebuked on all sides. It is the impression produced upon a very high-minded and accomplished young savant by her wonderful spiritual beauty, her purity of purpose, and earnest- ness of character that leads to her disen- chantment. She is, however, allowed a little more time for a radical change of character than is accorded in most novels. But, as the author is dealing with people who are deeply versed in medical science and all modern research, this much was not unrea- sonably to be expected.

If Miss Yon Hillern had been writing of woman's position in a novel of American life, her problem would have been different. She would find her discontented, ambitious, over-intellectual girls everywhere ; which, of course, implies a state of society that fos- ters their production. She would find them both welcomed and influential in society, and, if not considered the most eligible can-

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��didates for matrimony, it matters very little to them. There is scope enough in this country for independent careers, and many of our "smart" girls fancy that on the whole an independent career is more desira- ble than marriage with its inevitable subor- dination of the woman. Fairly to present this subject to the American mind requires a careful study of the influences at home, at school, and on all sides, that are acting upon the minds of our girls and modifying their tastes and feelings, and, also, of those deeper biological characteristics which must remain essentially the same from age to age. It must be shown that from the beginning woman has been, and to the end she must remain, an emotional rather than an intel- lectual being that much transient mis- chief and no good can come from a disturb- ance of this normal balance of thought and feeling in the mind of woman. It is high time that somebody in this country, be it nov- elist or essayist, should bring forward this view of the subject of " woman's rights." For the assumption of the identity of the minds of men and women is wide-spread. Hence the demand for identical education, and the opening to women of all our halls of learning. The fact that the emotional nature of woman has precedence at the present time is regarded as a principal rea- son for the educational movement. It is no education, or wrong education, we are told, that has deformed her true nature, and that her mind may assume right proportions she is called upon to cultivate intellect as a means of suppressing emotion.

This is precisely what Hiss Yon Hil- lern's heroine had striven all her life to do, and she fancied at one time that she had gained the victory for intellect. But all her striving comes to nothing. At last we find her exclaiming: " What are learning and fame, what the pride of position, com- pared with the happiness of this moment ? Away with them all ! my choice is made, Jo- hannes," and" she sank upon his breast. And this, too, when the last words said to her by her lover were these : " True humility will teach you to yield your fate unquestion- ingly to the man who gives his life to you. Go from me and you may be great, but you can not be womanly, a*id what is such great- ness attained at the cost of a heart ? Give

��up the false pride that would seek fame be- yond the bounds of a woman's sphere, and confess that there is nothing greater that you can do than to enrich and bless the man who loves you." But, in Germany, where all the forces of society conspired to Ernes- tine's defeat, our authoress had no difificult task in reaching this result. It is not so easy to imagine a discipline that would bring one of our learned girls to this humble pass.

The subject is one of profound impor- tance, and we commend the work to thought- ful readers, as well as to those who read novels only for entertainment.

Practical Microscopy. By George E. Davis, F. R. M. S., F. I. C, F. C. S., etc. Illustrated with 258 Woodcuts and a Colored Frontispiece. London : David Bogue. Pp. 335.

The neatly printed and beautifully illus- trated book before us is somewhat similar to Quekett's " Practical Treatise on the Use of the Microscope," but is a smaller and less costly book, and one that brings the subject down to the present time. The

! various parts of a microscope are briefly described from a practical stand point, no mathematical calculations being introduced,

j nor is any attempt made to explain the theory of the microscope, further than it is of practical value. Although intended for

! students and even beginners, some singular

1 omissions occur, such as explanations of the oft-used term " air-angle," or of the principle of " immersion lenses." The va- rious accessories of the microscope are fully illustrated and described. There is a

1 chapter on the collection of objects, another on micro-dissections, also on section-cutting and microscopic measurements. One of the most valuable features of the book is its full and accurate directions for making photo-micrographs, with cuts of apparatus. Recipes are given for the developing and fixing solutions, the printing and toning baths, and other parts of the photographic operations are minutely described. The chapter on the polarizing microscope is more full than we usually meet with in books of this character. The micro-spec- troscope, the most modern of all the adap- tations of the microscope, here receives the

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��attention that so remarkable an instrument deserves. The staining and injecting of ob- jects are as fully treated of as the size of the book would permit, and a colored frontis- piece is introduced to show the effect of double-staining on wood-sections.

The author exhibits commendable fair- ness in his treatment of American micro- scopists, and of instruments made on this side of the water, especially the wide- angled objectives of Spencer, of Geneva, and Tolles, of Boston. Ue says : " It is only recently that American objectives of the widest aperture have found their way into the author's hands. Their definition is marvelous." Medium angles have been advised for students' use, because they can be employed without much previous knowl- edge or difficulty ; but for all purposes of scientific investigation wide apertures give more satisfactory results.

Many of the illustrations have been photographed by the author from nature and then cut in wood. Some of these are very fine, as, for example, the sting and poison-bag of the bee and wasp, the diges- tive apparatus of the water-beetle and of the blow-fly, and various other natural ob- jects.

The rapid strides that have recently been made in the manufacture of cheap and very good working microscopes have created a de- mand for works of this character, and Mr. Davis's book supplies a real want.

Guide to the Flora of Washington and Vicinity. By Lester F. Ward, A. M. Washington : Government Printing-Of- fice. 1881. Pp. 264. This recent publication of the Smith- sonian Institution contains the scientific and common names of 1,384 plants found in the vicinity of the national capital, together with their time of flowering, and in many cases the localities where they may be sought for. Appended arc a check-list and a map of the region for fifteen or twenty miles around the city of Washington. The labor of preparing a " flora " of even a lim- ited space of country is much greater than might be supposed, and in the present case many able and active botanists have co- operated with the author, as well as many energetic amateurs. The appearance of this work recalls to mind a remark of the late

��Dr. John Torrcy, that in his younger days he attempted to prepare a flora of the City Hall Park, New York. At that time there was neither post-office nor court-house there. Even in that small space he met with so many and such a rapidly increasing number of varieties and species that he was compelled to abandon the project. From its cosmopolitan nature New York naturally receives fresh additions to her flora annual- ly from every quarter of the globe. Even in Washington there has been a considerable change in the flora since the " Prodromus " appeared half a century ago. Of the 860 distinct plants enumerated therein, the au- thor has succeeded in identifying 70S, while nearly as many more have been added. Although the primary aim of the author was to furnish a guide to botanists in ex- ploring the locality, it will serve as an aid to beginners in practical botany elsewhere. An appendix is added, especially addressed to the latter class, and containing among other things suggestions regarding identi- fication of plants, collection of plants, pres- ervation of plants, making an herbarium, care of duplicates, exchanging specimens, etc. On the first of these points the author re- marks that " a young botanist's struggles with botanical keys can only be sympa- thized with ; they can scarely be aided by any general directions, and there is no more effectual drill than the persevering effort to identify, by the aid of a key, a plant to which he has no clew. It should be the ambition of every such beginner to analyze in this manner all the plants of his local flora." The less help he receives the better, and, the more ignorant the beginner is at the outset, the better will be his ultimate acquaintance with botany if he perseveres in the work. In regard to localities the writer very appropriately remarks that " in many respects the botanist looks at the world from a point of view precisely the reverse of that of other people. Rich fields of corn are to him waste lands ; cities are his abhorrence, and great open areas under high cultivation he calls 'poor country'; while on the other hand the impenetrable forest delights his gaze, the rocky cliff charms him, thin-soiled barrens, boggy fens, and irreclaimable swamps and morasses are for him the finest land in the State. He

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��takes no delight in the * march of civiliza- tion,' the axe and the plow are to him sym- bols of barbarism, and the reclaiming of waste lands and opening up of his favorite haunts to cultivation he instinctively de- nounces as acts of vandalism." Yet we may add, the botanist himself is no vandal, but his humble labors do contribute to the onward march of civilization. The humblest flower or coarsest weed may contain lessons of wisdom the most profound, and botany is particularly adapted to combine science and culture.

We can not close our brief notice without a mention of his defense of the herbarium as an instrument of scientific culture. It is a collection of natural objects, scientifically classified and ever present for inspection ; an herbarium is a library to be consulted, studied, and read. It is a library filled with volumes written by Nature, and which those who have learned the language of Nature can read and enjoy with a satisfaction as much keener than anything that man-made books can give as it is nearer to the source of all truth.

��Reminiscences chiefly of Oriel College and the Oxford Movement. By Itev. T. Mozely, M. A., formerly Fellow of Oriel. In 2 vols. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Co. Pp. 900. Price, $3.

These volumes belong to a popular class of works, and have attracted a good deal of attention as being quite unique in their line. They are gossipy, sketchy, spicy, and read- able, and, although dealing with characters that figured and events that occurred half a eentury ago, and across the ocean, they will be read with interest and by many with avidity in this country. The interest in Oxford University, as a great seat of learn- ing, is not ' confined to England, and every- body has heard of the Oxford movement, an ecclesiastical fermentation in the university which greatly disturbed the English Church, and involved the secession of many of her theologians to the Church of Rome. The work is thus characterized by a writer in the " Quarterly Review " :

" It is, in great measure, a gallery of portraits, vividly and even brilliantly sketched, of the remarkable body of men who were connected with Oriel College for

��about half a century of its most famous period. The book is a succession of short chapters, each about the length of a leading article, most of them depicting the appear- ance, the habits, the capacities, and charac- ters of a number of men who, for two gen- erations, have played a leading part in English thought and life. Nothing but in- timate daily association could have enabled even a genius like that of Mr. Mozely to hit them off with such distinctness and accuracy. But he and they were, for the most part, fellows or gentlemen commoners, or undergraduates of the same college ; even if of different colleges, tliey lived in the same university, under similar conditions. lie saw them going out and coming in ; he dined with them ; spent the evenings with them ; worked side by side with them ; man- aged business with them for years. All their characteristic and tell-tale traits fell under his daily observation, and he came to know them as well as, or perhaps better than, himself. If we had no other occa- sion for welcoming this book, we could not but rejoice to have such a vivid picture of a kind of life which has played so large a part in English society, drawn at the very time and in the very college where, perhaps, it reached its culmination. Mr. Mozely depicts it, not only with very rare powers of observation and of description, but with the keen appreciation of sympa- thy and of close attachment. As we read his pages we live in the Oxford and the Oriel of his day ; we fellow all its social politics, slight as they may seem, with the interest of real human life ; we discern how all the little details developed characters and determined careers, and see before us, in scores of instances, that constant ac- tion and reaction of individuals and circum- stances out of which the drama of life is developed."

In a book of so many details, and re- lating mainly to distant personal experi- ences, we might naturally expect a good percentage of error, and our pages this month bear testimony to Mr. Mozely's fal- libility in this respect. He was a pupil in Derby of Mr. George Spencer, father of Her- bert Spencer, and some of his reminiscences of his early teacher have proved so mislead- ing as to require particular correction.

�� � 8 54

��THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

��The Students' Guide in Quantitative Analysis. Intended as an Aid to the Study of Fresenius's System. By H. Carrington Bolton, Ph. D., Professor of Chemistry in Trinity College, Hart- ford, Connecticut. Illustrated. New York: John Wiley & Sons. Pp. 127. Price, 1.50.

The little book before us is intended as a guide for the student at his desk rather than as a text-book for study ; it may be called a key to the comprehensive work of the distinguished Fresenius. In the latter the science of quantitative analysis is ex- haustively taught, but the young chemist is too often bewildered by the wealth of ma- terial therein presented. He can not see the forest for the trees. Professor Bolton has cut a path for him through the wilderness ; he has selected those points which it is im- portant for the student to see, and placed them prominently before him. This book seeks to teach the art of quantitative analy- sis, without, however, entirely neglecting the science that lies at its base. The author pre- sents a course of thirty -six typical analyses, arranged progressively from the simplest to the most complex, in the order that they are taken up in chemical laboratories gen- erally, in the Columbia School of Mines par- ticularly. The first analysis is that of barium chloride ; each step in the operation is given in detail, and when the student has faithfully repeated these operations he has learned how to estimate barium, chlorine, and water cf crystallization, in almost any salt. Next follows magnesium sulphate, in winch he determines magnesium, sul- phuric acid, and water. A few other salts follow, and, when the student has become familiar with chemical operations, natural and technical products are given, such as coal, ores, alloys, and slag, closing with water, sugar, milk, and petroleum. The whole course of quantitative analysis, both volumetric and gravim2tric, is herein de- scribed, and the student who has made the analyse swith care will certainly have at- tained a considerable skill in manipulation, and can scarcely fail of obtaining an insight into the underlying principles which would enable him to devise methods adapted to other cases not given in the book. To aid in this, every step in each analysis contains a reference to the chapter and section in

��"Fresenius," where the operation is de- scribed, or to other authorities, when, as in a few cases, others were made use of. For this reason we have called it a " key," or guide, to the study of Fresenius. The book is intended as an aid to the teachers of quantitative analysis, to spare them the ne- cessity of explaining to each student all the details of each analysis, which, in our over- crowded laboratories, the teacher has no time to do. It is equally suitable for "self- instruction," and by its aid any young per- son, with a fair knowledge of general chem- istry, can, by himself, go through a course of analysis, lasting say two years, that would fit him for a position in a commercial or technical laboratory. The work is sim- ilar to Woehler's " Mineral Analysis," but fuller in detail, newer in methods, and in every way better suited to the wants of the American student. To compare things in totally different spheres, we would say that it resembles the " South Kensington Cook- Book," and this is no small praise.

��Astronomy for Schools and General Headers. By Isaac Sharpless, Pro- fessor of Mathematics and Astronomy, Haverford College, and Professor G. M. Phillips, Principal of State Normal School, Westchester, Pennsylvania. J. B. Lippincott & Co. Pp. 303. Price, $1.25.

This is a very judiciously prepared school-book, neatly printed and elegantly illustrated. The explanations are clear, and the subject-matter of exposition well chosen for popular purposes. It opens with a sketch cf the history of astronomy as part cf an introduction, which is followed by a general view of the heavens and some considerations of the usefulness of as- tronomy. The solar system is then taken up in Tart I, and the sidereal system in Part II, while Part III is devoted to the proper- ties of light and astronomical instruments. There are no questions to the volume, but pains are taken to give the proper pronun- ciation of terms, and there are brief notices of the eminent men who have contributed to the progress of astronomy. No one book can combine all excellences, but this may be commended as well adapted for general school use.

��

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Social Equality. A Short Study in a Missing Science. By William Hurrell Mallock, author of "Is Life worth Living?" New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. Pp. 212. $1.00.

A Dictionary of the Popular Names of Economic Plants. By John Smith, A. L. S., author of "Historia Filicum," "History of Bible Plants." etc. London: Macmillan & Co. Pp. 457. $3.50.

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Memoir of Daniel Macmillan. By Thomas Hushes, Q. C, author of "Tom Brown's Schooldays at Rugby." London: Macmillan & Co. Pp. 308. $1.50.

Strength of Wrought-Iron Bridge Members. By S. W. Robinson, C.E. New York: D. Van Nostrand. Pp. 175. 50 cents.

Railroad Economics. By S. W. Robinson, C.E. New York: D. Van Nostrand. Pp. 131. 50 cents.

First Annual Report of the Board of Health of Detroit. July, 1882. Detroit: Post & Tribune Co., Printers. Pp. 270.

The New Botany. A Lecture on the Best Method of teaching the Science. By W. J. Beal, M.Sc., Ph.D. Second edition, revised. Philadelphia: C. H. Marot. Pp. 16. 25 cents.

Houghton Farm: Experiments with Indian Corn. 1830-1831. By Manley Miles, Director of Experiments, with a Summary of the Experiments with Wheat for Forty Years at Rothamsted. By J. B. Lawes, Bart., LL.D., F.R.S. Cambridge: Riverside Press. Pp. 75.

Hand-Book of the St. Nicholas Agassiz Association. By Harlan M Ballard, Principal of Lenox Academy. Pittsfield, Massachusetts: Axtell & Pomeroy, Printers. Pp. v-85.

Proceedings of the Department of Superintendence of the National Education Association at its Meeting in Washington, March 21-23, 1382. Washington: Government Printing-Office. Pp. 112.

The Comparative Action of Sulphate of Daturia and of Sulphate of Hyoscyamia upon the Iris and Ciliary Muscles. By Charles A. Oliver, M.D., of Philadelphia. Pp. 7.

Map of Alaska and Adjoining Regions. Compiled by Ivan Petroff, Special Agent, Tenth Census. Washington. Large Sheet.

Report. of T. B. Ferguson, a Commissioner of Fisheries of Maryland. January, 1881. Hagerstown, Maryland: Bell & Co., Printers. Pp. cxiv, 152, and 6, with Plates.

Proceedings of the Davenport Academy of Natural Science. Volume III. Part II. Davenport. Iowa: Published by the Academy. Pp. 132. with Five Plates.

A Synonymical Catalogue of the Described Tortricidæ of North America, north of Mexico. By C. H. Fernald, A.M.. Professor of Natural History in the Maine State College. Pp. 72.

The Hyperbolic Curve and the Law of Progression of Rotating Bodies. Boston: A. Williams & Co. Pp. 16.

Annual Report upon the Surveys of Northern and Northwestern Lakes, in charge of Major C. B. Comstock. Washington: Government Printing-Office. Pp. 24.

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Elements of Universology. By Stephen Pearl Andrews. New York: S. P. Lathrop & Co. Pp. 48. 15 cents.

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