Popular Science Monthly/Volume 22/March 1883/Literary Notices
|←Editor's Table||Popular Science Monthly Volume 22 March 1883 (1883)
Facts and Phases of Animal Life, interspersed with Amusing and Original Anecdotes. By Vernon S. Morwood, Lecturer to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 286. With Engravings. Price, $1.50.
The author has endeavored to describe, especially for the young, in simple language, the marvelous organization, the instinct, memory, sagacity, and inventive faculties of some of the more common animals and insects. He has also made a prominent presentation of the fidelity, love, affection, LITERARY NOTICES.
��and other pleasing characteristics which all animals exhibit, more or less, one to an- other, in order to cultivate in his readers a higher regard for all animals, and to lessen the aversion with which some animals are contemplated. The whole is varied and illustrated with numerous anecdotes. The usefulness of animals and the services they render to man are discussed in a more gen- eral manner, and the considerations which should induce a kindly treatment of them are presented in the final chapters. The subject-matter of the work, its arrangement, even to the chapter-titles, the method of treatment, the anecdotes, the style, and the author's genial manner, are all adapted to excite and hold interest, and make the book an excellent one to put into the hands of children.
Swift. By Leslie Stephen. Harper & Brothers. 1882.
This is an interesting example of the in- fluence of modern knowledge upon our esti- mate of character. Swift's life, as present- ed by his earlier biographers, has left the impression that he was so unlike the rest of the world that he could not be judged by ordinary rules ; that the traits of his char- acter were inharmonious and inexplicable. He has been set down as a sort of human monster, as made up of the rarest genius, the most unusual kindness, and the most abominable cruelty. But, when we rise from the perusal of this little volume, we find that our abhorrence has been changed to teuder sympathy for the misfortunes of this extraordinary man.
Mr. Stephen does not think that Swift was a blameless man. In considering his conduct toward the women he loved, when he can no further unravel the threads of the story and consistently explain events, he closes with this sensible and kindly remark : " It is one of the cases in which, if the act- ors be our contemporaries, we hold that out- siders arc incompetent to form a judgment, as none but the principals can really know the facts."
As an example of Stephen's mode of treatment, take the following. After giving na account of the poverty endured by Swift in his youth, the author remarks: " The mis- ery of dependence was burned into his soul. VOL. xxii. 45
��To secure independence became his most cherished wish ; and the first condition of independence was a rigid practice of econ- omy. We shall see hereafter how deeply this principle became rooted in his mind ; here I need only notice that it is the lesson which poverty teaches to none but men of strong character." This trait is again re- ferred to in connection with Swift's behav- ior to Stella and Vanessa. He says : " Swift had very obvious motives for not marrying. In the first place, he became almost a mono- maniac upon the question of money. His hatred of wasting a penny unnecessarily, be- gan at Trinity College and is prominent in all his letters and journals. It colored even his politics, for a conviction that the nation was hopelessly ruined is one of his strong- est prejudices. He kept accounts down to half-pence and rejoices at every saving of a shilling.
" The passion was not the vulgar desire for wealth of the ordinary miser. It sprang from the conviction stored up in all his aspirations that money meant independ- ence. Like all Swift's prejudices, this be- came a fixed idea which was always gath- ering strength. He did not love money for its own sake. He was even magnificent in his generosity. He scorned to receive money for his writings ; he abandoned the profit to his printers in compensation for the risks they ran, or gave it to his friends. His charity was splendid, relatively to his means. In later years he lived on a third of his in- come, gave away a third, and saved the re- maining third for his posthumous charity, and posthumous charity, which involves present saving, is charity of the most un. questionable kind. His principle was that, by reducing his expenditure to the lowest possible point, he secured his independence, and could then make a generous use of the remainder. Until he received his deanery, however, he could only make both ends meet. Marriage would, therefore, have meant pov- erty, probably dependence, and the complete sacrifice of his ambition. If, under these circumstances, Swift had become engaged to Stella, he would have been doing what was regularly done by fellows of colleges under the old system. There is, however, no trace of such an engagement. It would be in keeping with Swift's character if we
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��should suppose he shrank from the bondage of an engagement."
Egotism and love of dominion were also dominant traits of his character, which, along with his love of independence, his almost diseased sensitiveness, and his life-long ill health, enable his biographer to give, in most cases, a consistent view of his life. But, when psychology breaks down, medical sci- ence steps in and completes the rational ac- count of this hitherto mysterious man.
Readers of the " Monthly " will remem- ber an article by Dr. Bucknill, in the April number of last year, giving an account of " Dean Swift's disease." We were there told of Meniere's recent discovery of a defi- nite form of disease labyrinthine vertigo, which is shown by conclusive evidence to have been the " cruel illness " to which Swift so often alludes in his journal and correspondence. From the age of twenty he suffered from this disease, whose charac- teristic symptoms are, that the patient is suddenly seized with vertigo and a feeling of nausea or positive sickness, with great constitutional depression and faintuess.
" This fact," says Stephen, " requires to be remembered in every estimate of Swift's character. His life was passed under a Damocles's sword. . . . The references to his sufferings are frequent in all his writ- ings. It tormented him for days, weeks, and months." Dr. Bucknill says that it was not necessarily connected with the brain- disease which ultimately came upon him, but it accounts for the terrible anxiety always in the background, and for much in Swift's gloomy despondency.
"We commend the book, as well for its in- trinsic charm, as because it dispels a most painful feeling in regard to one of the great- est of men.
Herbert Spencer on American Nervous- ness : A Scientific Coincidence. By George M. Beard, A. M., M. D. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. Pp. 17. Price, 50 cents.
The late Dr. Beard, as is well known, has for some years made a professional study of nervous diseases, and has published a book, which was duly noticed in these pages, en- titled "American Nervousness." As was natural, writing and publishing much upon
��the subject, he came to regard himself as a representative man who had made the field very much his own; and, as was equally natural, he grew somewhat sensitive in re- gard to the recognition of his claims.
The present pamphlet has its origin in this state of feeling. It is put forth as a reclamation of ideas which he regards as belonging to himself, and which have been used, he thinks, without due recognition of this fact. He is of the opinion that Mr. Herbert Spencer was to a very notable ex- tent indebted to him, consciously or uncon- sciously, for the distinctive ideas of his speech at the late complimentary dinner in New York. Dr. Beard does not accuse Spencer of plagiarism ; indeed, he repeatedly disclaims the accusation. Yet he declares that there is a "coincidence," both of thought and language, between what he had published and Mr. Spencer's expressions, that is so remarkable as to justify calling public attention to it by printing the respec- tive statements in parallel columns. There is here, if not an insinuation of plagiarism, at least an oblique imputation of literary indebtedness not acknowledged.
Dr. Beard is at the pains to say that his action in this matter is not entirely of his own motion ; he has been influenced in it by others. He remarks : " I have not been the first or only person to notice this paral- lelism ; it has been the subject of independ- ent comment by various individuals. The frequency of these comments led me to make the following detailed comparison." Dr. Beard was here mislad, both by his own bias and the bad judgment of his friends. There is nothing even remarkable in the similarity of passages quoted, letting alone all questionable implications noth- ing more than that vague "coincidence" which is constantly arising when two think- ers happen to be running upon the same track. Dr. Beard puts his most pointed illustration first. He quotes Mr. Spencer as saying : " We have had somewhat too much of the gospel of work. It is time to preach the gospel of relaxation." He then quotes from "American Nervousness," p. 313, his own expression, " The gospel of work must make way for the gospel of rest," and this he offers as a remarkable " coincidence." But certainly no word is more stereo-
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��typed in universal usage than the term " gospel," as applied to views or doctrines which a party is engaged in propagating, from the gospels of the evangelists to Car- lyle's " Gospel of Dirt," and the " gospel of dig " now discussed in the educational jour- nals. The "coincidence" in the applica- tion of this word we should hold to be of a very innocent sort.
And here all coincidence ceases. The two gospels are not of the same kind. The two phrases "gospel of rest" and "gos- pel of relaxation " do not mean the same thing. Instead of being alike, their mean- ings are rather contrasted. We have sim- ple passivity on the one hand, and activity of a given kind on the other. The " gospel of rest " is obeyed by inaction, by stopping work, or going to bed ; while the " gospel of relaxation " implies rather a change of ac- tivity from work to play, and it connotes recreation, entertainment, and amusement. The " gospel of relaxation " means the sub- stitution of agreeable diversion for tiresome labor. The Puritanical Sunday would an- swer to Dr. Beard's " gospel of rest," but it would not answer to Herbert Spencer's "gospel of relaxation." Dr. Beard's re- quirement was made into a gospel of duty by the ancient Jews ; Mr. Spencer's require- ment has as yet been made into a gospel of duty nowhere. The cases are, therefore, conspicuous for their lack of " coincidence," and the same thing will be observed in all the other counts.
The burden of Dr. Beard's pamphlet, as we have intimated, is to show that he was first in the field in the systematic treatment of " American nervousness " ; and, as he en- titles his pamphlet "Herbert Spencer on American Nervousness," the impression is sought to be conveyed that Mr. Spencer has recently entered upon a definite field of in- quiry which Dr. Beard had made his own long ago. But in the first place the views of the two men are far from being of the same character, and, in the next place, Spen- cer's views are much older than those of Dr. Beard. As regards priority, it is only necessary to say that we heard Mr. Spencer give expression to the main ideas of his ad- dress long before the name of Dr. Beard was ever publicly heard of. It was an early outcome of his evolution studies, that, as in
��social progress the fighting dispensation of society gave way to the working dispensa- tion, so the working dispensation must in turn give way and become subordinate to the higher objects to which work and wealth are tributary. The stage beyond, to which he maintains we are tending, will be char- acterized by a more perfect organization of the means of human enjoyment. That life is for pleasure in its largest sense is a car- dinal idea of the Spencerian philosophy, and that the social fulfillment of this su- preme end must come in practical forms, by giving larger and more systematic play to our pleasure-loving impulses and varied ca- pacities of enjoyment, is an explicit and leading inculcation of Mr. Spencer's works. That completer living is to be attained by a multiplication of pleasurable satisfactions, and the perfected art of enjoyment was taught ; for example, in his " Education," written twenty-five years ago, and the doc- trine is at the basis of the " Data of Ethics," the most advanced treatise of his philo" sophical system. Mr. Spencer took up this cherished and long-familiar topic, in his New York address, simply because he was freshly and forcibly reminded of its impor- tance by what he saw in this country.
History of the Pacific States of North America. Central America, Vol. 1, 1501- 1530. By Hubert Howe Bancroft. San Francisco : A. L. Bancroft & Co. Pp. 704. Price, cloth, $4.50. This volume, the sixth in the great series of historical works by Mr. Bancroft, gives the history of the southernmost section of North America which borders on the Pacific, during the period of discovery and coloniza- tion previous to 1530. The first chapter, of a hundred and fifty pages, is introduc- tory ; half of it being devoted to " Spain and Civilization at the Beginning of the Six- teenth Century," and the rest to a " Sum- mary of Geographical Knowledge aud Dis- covery from the Earliest Eecords to the Year 1540." The summary includes a se- ries of voyages by the Northmen to the northeastern shores of America, extending over five centuries ; and mentions many ex- peditions both eastward and westward by travelers from Southern Europe, the earli- est of these being made in 1096. The value of this account is increased by copies of fif-
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��teen maps drawn by the geographers of this period. In the second chapter, the continu- ous narrative of exploration and conquest begins with the first voyage of Columbus.
The author shows that the princes and navigators of this period had plenty of faults. The sovereigns of Spain joined to their zeal in increasing geographical knowl- edge, and in extending the domain of the holy Roman Church, a lively solicitude for their own power and revenue. The author finds, both from his study of Spanish au- thorities and from the admissions of Pres- cott, that Queen Isabella has been far too highly lauded by both Prescott and Irving. Even Columbus, who generally gets so much pity for the ungrateful treatment he re- ceived, is shown to have had weaknesses and faults which brought many of his mis- fortunes upon him.
The American natives do not suffer much from a comparison with their white conquerors. If they sometimes showed a thirst for Spanish blood, it was because the means employed to make them good Catho- lics and citzens were, to say the least, no gentler than those in use in the Old World. " They were more children than wild beasts. .... Seldom was the Indian treacherous until he had been deceived."
Mr. Bancroft has consulted many books and manuscripts in preparing this work, and the list of authorities quoted, which occupies forty-eight octavo pages, together with the references in the foot-notes on spe- cial topics, give the volume great biblio- graphical value. The numerous foot-notes give interesting details in regard to ships, trading, methods of administration, of di- viding land, and of locating towns. The volume is well supplied with maps, and the chronicle is enlivened by many amusing and illustrative anecdotes.
Statement of Work done at the Harvard College Observatory, 1 811-1 882. By Edward C. Pickering, Director of the Observatory. Cambridge, Massachusetts : John Wilson & Son. Pp. 23.
The observatory has enjoyed for four years the revenue derived from an annual subscription of five thousand dollars. The last installments of the subscription expire in the present month, and an effort is now making to replace it with a permanent en-
��dowment of one hundred thousand dollars. The director calls attention to the fact that the increased amount of work made possible by the increased income is quite out of pro- portion to the augmentation of funds, be- cause the expenses are largely the same in either case, and the increase is, there- fore, directly available for scientific results. Fiftetii assistants are attached to the ob- servatory, and, by the division of labor ren- dered possible by so large a force, each man may be assigned the kind of work to which he is peculiarly adapted. In this way researches can be carried out in a few years which are beyond the reach of observ- atories where the corps of assistants is small.
Proceedings of the American Society of Microscofists. Fifth Annual Meeting. D. S. Kellicot, Secretary, Buffalo, New York. Pp. 292, with Plates.
The meeting of the society was held at Elmira, New York, August loth to 17th last, under the presidency of George E. Blackham, F. R. M. S. The record contains a considerable number of papers of interest to specialists and students of microscopy, many of them well illustrated, of which two or three relating to organisms in Lake Erie and the water-supply of Buffalo and a me- moir of Charles A. Spencer, the eminent maker of microscopes, deserve especial no- tice and are of more general interest.
Contributions to the Anatomy of Birds. By R. W. Shufeldt, M. D., United States Army. Washington, D. C Pp. 210, in- cluding Twenty-four Plates. This monograph is also embodied in the twelfth annual report of Professor Hayden's " Geological and Geographical Survey of the Territories," from which it is extracted. It contains descriptions, abundantly illus- trated, of the osteology of the Speotyto, or burrowing owl ; the Ereniophila Alpestris, or horned lark ; the Tetraonidce, or grouse family ; the Lanius, or Shrike ; and the Ca- (harlidce, or buzzards.
Poems. By Minot J. Savage. Boston: George H. Ellis.
Mr. Sayage sings his unpinioned thought and free religion as well as preaches it. Not that he has made a hymn-book for his Bos-
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��ton society, or can not pretermit, if need be, the professional function. Quite the con- trary. There are many quiet poems in this collection pervaded by genuine humor, or with fine touches of feeling for nature and human life, which show that the author writes from the inspiration of true poetic art. But the poems that most interest us are those marked by the strong poetic ex- pression of ideas and emotions with which the author's mind is " possessed." The poems entitled "Where is God?" "The Age's Unrest," "Infidelity," "Galileo," "Vanini," "Magellan," "Darwin," "Kep- ler," and many other pieces, although mak- ing up but a small part of the book, would well justify the title, " Songs of Modern Thought."
The Gospel of the Stars, or Primeval Astronomy. By Joseph A. Seiss, D. D., author of " A Miracle in Stone," " Voices from Babylon," " The Last Times," "Lec- tures on the Apocalypse," " Holy Types," etc. Philadelphia: E. Claxton & Co. Pp. 450. Price, $1.50.
This is an instructive book instructive not because of the value of its information, but because it is an excellent representation of a certain phase of mind peculiar to these times, which springs out of the conflict of great adverse systems of thought. In the struggle of religion and science, which has been long developing, and is precipitated upon this age with much intensity, the fun- damental question is, Which order of ideas theological or scientific shall predom- inate, and which take the subordinate place ? It is now universally held that all truth is one. But, in the palpable issues that arise, unity can only be secured by some latitude of interpretation on one side or the other. Though all truth is one, the systems of belief are two, and there has got to be a yielding somewhere before the al- leged unity can become a real unity. Men of science start with nature as it exists around them, and is open to exploration and the demonstration of its truths. And, when any system of thought is offered for acceptance, the men of science insist that it must be brought into conformity by inter- pretation with the order of truth established by science. Religious teachers, on the other hand most of them, at least start from
��theology, hold its doctrines to be in the ascendant, and demand that nature shall be interpreted in conformity with them aw a subordinate system.
The work of Dr. Seiss is a thorough-go- ing example of the dominance of theological ideas over scientific ideas. He, too, is en- gaged in the laudable work of reconcilia- tion, but, like Hood's butcher, who "con- ciliated "his sheep by main force, our au- thor reconciles science to theology by no little violence of interpretation. Its lesser details he knocks about without ceremony, and its larger conceptions he waves aside as illusions of not the slightest moment. Evo- lution, he declares, "is a lie" and, as this sufficiently illustrates, scientific truth has no weight with him. Steeped through and through with theological ideas, he can see nothing in the universe but his own system of divinity, while science is only useful as furnishing material to be twisted into con- formity with theology, as he understands it. His book is pervaded with Scripture, and, both from the titles of the works he has formerly written and from the whole qual- ity of this, it is seen that his mind is drawn to the mystical, the obscure, the enigmatic, cabalistic, and transcendental.
The special object of the present work is to show that " the true explanation of the origin and meaning of the constellations of the heavens, their figures and their names, as they have come down to us from the earliest ages of the human race," are only to be found in connection with Christian theology. It is commonly supposed that those fanciful celestial groupings of the stars into resemblances of animals, men, and other objects were devices of primi- tive times, before astronomical science had arisen. Herschel characterizes "those un- couth figures and outlines of men and mon- sters usually scribbled over celestial globes and maps" as "puerile and absurd." Dr. Seiss declares all this to be mere " rational- ist conjecture," and solemnly maintains, on the other hand, that the constellations are pious intimations, illustrations, and wit- nesses of the scheme of salvation. The breadth of his view of the Christian system in the present year of grace is indicated by the following passage : " The gospel is chiefly made up of the story of the serpent
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��and the cross the doctrine of the fall and depravity of man through the subtlety of 'the dragon, that old serpent called the Devil and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world,' and the recovery of fallen man through a still mightier One, who comes from heaven, assumes human nature, and, by suffering, death, and exaltation to the right band of supreme dominion, vanquishes the dragon, and becomes the author of eter- nal salvation. The preaching of this is the preaching of the gospel."
But the rubbishy erudition that seems necessary to understand this gospel, accord- ing to the present commentator, is some- thing frightful. Certainly, if such a per- formance as this can pass muster, and the " Pastor of the Church of the Holy Com- munion, Philadelphia," has a rightful place in the Episcopal Church, Heber Newton has no business in the organization.
Moral Education, its Laws and Methods. By Joseph Rodes Buchanan, M. B. New York : S. W. Green's Son, 74 & 7<3 Beek- man Street. Pp. 395. Price, $1.50.
Although this work, by its title, is lim- ited to one phase of the great subject of education, and although the moral idea pre- vails throughout the exposition, yet the book is far from being a mere homiletic essay in the ordinary sense. The moral conception is dealt with in connection with many prac- tical questions, so that there is a good deal of generality in the instructiveness of the treatise. Indeed, it is chiefly valuable from the breadth of the author's preparation for dealing with radical educational questions. Dr. Buchanan is an unfettered thinker, and his work is stamped with the individuality of his studies. He is, first of all, a physi- ologist a student of man as a corporeal being, and he assigns to the subject of or- ganization that fundamental place which it must hold in every rational system of cul- ture, and which is beginning to be more clearly recognized in our own times than ever before. Yet the work is by no means and in no sense a physiological one, and the author is far enough from being a material- ist. The truths of organic science are as- sumed rather than expounded, and on its basis and under its limitations the author deals with a whole range of the higher edu-
��cational problems. No person interested in education can read the book without being helped by its information and its sugges- tions. It contains much of the philosophy of life, and many special problems that are now beginning to press upon teachers and educational managers are discussed with acuteness, ability, and much freedom from the restraints of tradition. It is impossible to enter here into any of the particular in- quiries opened by Dr. Buchanan, and we have to confine ourselves to a general esti- mate of the character of the book. But, while very cordially commending it, the reader will not infer our agreement with all its views. We are all in that inquiring stage in regard to education which implies incompleteness of knowledge and a result- ing diversity of opinion. We are working, it is to be hoped, toward a higher agree- ment, and such contributions as this of Dr. Buchanan are unquestionably valuable as means to this important end.
Fifteenth Annual Report of the Trustees of the Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and Ethnology. Cam- bridge, Massachusetts. Printed by or- der of the Trustees. F. W; Putnam, Curator. Pp. 103.
The trustees of the museum, in an ap- peal to the public last year, called attention to the fact that it is the only institution in the country especially for the preservation of collections and the study of American archaeology, and that its income (the inter- est of $90,000) is only $4,500 a year. Its rooms, reasonably commodious and contain- ing larger or smaller collections from dif- ferent parts of the world several hundred thousand specimens in all are open free to visitors during business hours, and are sup- plemented with free descriptive lectures by the curator. The additions during the year include a valuable series of objects from the Ainos of Yesso (Japan), by Professor Pen- hallow ; more than two thousand stone im- plements from Delaware, by Mr. II. R. Ben- net ; new objects, by Dr. C. C. Abbott, from his own collections in New Jersey, and ex- changes from Ohio, Kentucky, and England ; new specimens of the Wakefield (Massa- chusetts) stone implements in every stage of manufacture ; potteries from Southeast- ern Missouri and Southern New Mexico, by
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��Mrs. S. B. Schlesinger ; M. Bandelier's col- lections from the Pueblos and from Cholula, and Mr. Fred A. Obcr's collection of cop- per implements from Oajaca, Mexico ; speci- mens from English caves, and casts, by Mr. Dawkins ; articles illustrating the mak- ing of pottery by the Caribs of British Guiana, from Professor H. A. Ward ; soap- stone pots from Northern Italy, by Dr. Emil Schmidt ; and a cast of the " Endicott Rock" of New Hampshire. The curator carried on field-work at Madisonville, Ohio, and Indian Hill, Kentucky. More was done to make the museum and its objects known to the public, and more use was made of its collections for instruction and research, than in any previous year.
Lectures on Art. Delivered in Support of the Society for the Protection of An- cient Buildings. London : Macmillan & Co. Pp. 232.
The six lectures are by five authors, each of whom has devoted particular atten- tion to the study of the subject he presents. The lecturers and their subjects are Regi- nald Stuart Poole, on " The Egyptian Tomb and the Future State " ; Professor W. B. Richmond, on " Monumental Painting " ; Edward J. Poynter, R. A., on " Ancient Decorative Art " ; J. T. Micklethwaite, on "English Parish Churches"; and William Morris, on " The History of Pattern Design- ing," and " The Lesser Arts of Life." The lectures are, one and all, interesting and in- structive.
The Factors of Civilization, Real and Assumed : Considered in their Relation to Vice, Misery, Happiness, Unhappi- ness, and Progress. Vol. II. Atlanta, Georgia : James P. Harrison & Co. Pp. 359.
The whole work is to be in three vol- umes, of which the second precedes the first in time of publication. It treats of the sub- jects of more immediate and practical im- portance than those to be discussed in the first volume. The author maintains that man naturally inclines to goodness, and that all vice and misery arise from the operation of theological causes, bad government, igno- rance, and poverty ; or that the structure of society is defective because of defective in- stitutions. Man, he holds, has a vital im- pulse to do implanted within him, which
��only requires that the institutions of society shall permit of its development, to create a growth "as grand in results as the mag- nificent oak bears in comparison to the in- significant acorn." The political econom- ical factors of civilization arc considered in this volume under the heads of " The Un- happiness arising from Poverty " and " The Unhappiness arising from Uncongenial Pur- suits and Labor." The theological, govern- mental, and educational factors will be con- sidered in the first volume ; and the third volume will be devoted to " The Analysis of Happiness."
American Hero-Myths. A Study in the Native Religions of the Western Conti- nent. By Daniel G. Brinton, M. D. Philadelphia: H. C. Watts & Co. Pp. 251. Price, $1.75.
This volume is an endeavor to present in a critically correct fight some of the fundamental conceptions which are found in the native beliefs of the tribes of Amer- ica. The author does not consider it cred- itable that so little has been done in this field, and is disposed to be severe, but hard- ly too much so, on those who have had opportunities to investigate the subject, and have not used them. He rejects the idea that the native myths are distorted histor- ical reminiscences and exaggerated state- ments respecting persons that ever really existed, and has been guided by the princi- ple that " when the same, and that a very extraordinary, story is told by several tribes wholly apart in language and location, then the probabilities are enormous that it is not a legend, but a myth, and must be explained as such." The myths of the lower races, he believes, " express, in image and in cident, the opinions of these races on the mightiest topics of human thought, on the origin and destiny of man, his motives for duty, and his grounds for hope, and the source, history, and fate of all external nature. Certainly, the sincere expressions on these subjects of even humble members of the human race deserve our most respect- ful heed." With these views and in this spirit, Dr. Brinton presents the results of his studies, from the most authentic, ac- cessible sources, of the hero-gods of the Algonquins, the Iroquois, the Aztec tribes, the Mayas, and the Quichas.
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��Report on the Character of Six Hundred Tornadoes. By Sergeant J. P. Finley, Signal Corps, U. S. A. Washington: Office of Chief Signal Officer. Pp. 19, with Three Charts.
The increasing frequency with which notices of tornadoes appear, as the list ap- proaches the present time, is to be taken as a sign, not of more tornadoes, but of better observations. The season in which tornadoes appear most frequent is summer, and the month June. Spring is the next most frequent season, then autumn, then winter. The region most often visited in- cludes the States of Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, and Nebraska, of which Kansas suffers the most. Outside of this region New York has the most tornadoes, and next, Georgia. Suggestions are given for avoiding the vio- lence of tornadoes ; many other lessons are derived from the study, and further ones are anticipated from further studies.
The December (or Christmas) number of " Wide Awake " is a noble magazine of 13G pages, with a supplement of 60 pages, filled with articles of high literary character and unexceptionable tendency. It is adorned with a profusion of illustrations, which, though executed in the best style of the present fashion in wood-engraving, can not be considered equal to the illustrations in the same magazine ten years ago, when a purer taste and a better style prevailed.
- Authors and others, sending papers and
monographs for notice, will please specify, for gen- eral information, where they can be procured.
Dime Question-Books : General History, As- tronomy, Mythology, Rhetoric, and Composi- tion, Botany, with Notes, Queries, etc. Albert P. Southwick. Syracuse, New York : C. W. Bar- deen. Pp. 36 to 40 each. 10 cents.
Iowa Wenther-Service Annual for 1883. Gns- tavus Ilimiclis. Central Station, Iowa City. Pp. 40.
Should American Colleges be open to Wom- en as well as to Men ? Frederick A. P. Barnard, President of Columbia College, New York City. Pp. 17.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Eight- eenth Annual Catalogue, etc. Francis A.Walker, Ph. D., LL. D., President. Pp. 102.
The Taxation of the Elevated Railroads in the Citv of New York. Roger Foster. New York : G. P. Putnam's Sons. Pp. 61.
Apparent Attractions and Repulsions of Small Floating Bodies. John Le Conte. Berke- ley, California. Pp.10.
Medicine and Medicine-Men. Anniversary Address. John Godfrey. New Orleans, Louisi- ana. Pp. 17.
��" The Sociologist : A Monthly Journal." Vol. I, Nos. 1 and 2. Adair Creek, Knox County, Tennessee: A. Chavaiiues & Co.
On the Loess and Associated Deposits of Des Moines. W. J. McGee, Farley, and R. Ellsworth Call, Des Moines, Iowa. Pp. 24.
Circulars of the Department of Education: High-Schools for Girls in Sweden, pp. 6; In- struction in Moral and Civil Government, pp. 4; National Pedagogic Congress of Spain, pp. 4 ; Natural Science in Secondary Schools, pp. 9; The University of Bonn, pp. 67 ; Proceedings of Department of Superintendence of the National Educational Association, 1882, pp. 112. Washing- ton ; Government Printing-Oflice.
The Naval Use of the Dynamo-Machine and Electric Light. Lieutenant J. B. Murdock, U. S. N. Annapolis, Maryland. Pp. 385.
" Census Forestry Bulletin," No. 23 Esti- mate of the Consumption of Forest Products as Fuel during the Census Year. P. 1, with Map.
Department of Agriculture Report of the Entomologist, 1882. C. V. Riley. Washington : GovernmentPrintiug-Offlce. Pp.l04,witkPlates.
The Condition of Niagara Falls, and the Measures needed to preserve them. J. B. Har- rison. (Author's address, Franklin Falls, New Hampshire.) Pp. 62.
"The Reconstructionist : Devoted to the Substitution of Good for Evil." Samuel T. Fowler. Quarterly. Philadelphia : George A. Fowler & Co. Pp. 64. 25 cents.
A Method of Teaching the Greek Language Tabulated. John W. Sanborn, Batavia, New York. Published by the author. Pp. 44. 30 cents.
Statistical Report of Imports, Exports, Im- migration, and Navigation, for the Three Months endfd September 30,1882. Washington: Gov- ernment Printing-Offlce. Pp. 157.
Hospital Accommodations of County Poor- Houses. Dr. Charles S. Hoyt, Secretary. New York State Board of Charities. AlbaDy, New York. Pp. 53.
Bromide of Ethyl (as an Anaesthetic). Julien J. Chisholm, M. D. Baltimore, Maryland. Pp. 8.
Report of an Exploration of Parts of Wyo- ming, Idaho, and Montana, in August and Sep- tember. 1882, made by Lieutenant-Genera] Sheri- dan. Washington : Government Printiug-Office. Pp. 69.
"Journal of Social Science." December, 1882. A. Williams & Co., Boston, and G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York. Pp. 178. $1.
Report of the Standing Committee, New York State Board of Charities, on County Poor- Houses. Pp. 8.
On the Geological Effects of a Varying Rota- tion of the Earth. Professor J. E. Todd. Pp. 12.
" Scientific Proceedings of the Ohio Mechan- ics' Institute." Quarterly. December, 1882. Cin- cinnati, Ohio. Publishing Committee, Ohio Me- chanics' Institute. Pp. 48. $1 a year.
The Place of Original Research in College Education. J. H. Wright, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire. Pp. 29.
Mutual Relations of Intellectual and Moral Culture. Joseph Le Conte. Berkeley, California. Pp. 7.
General Weather - Service, United States. "Monthly Weather Review," November, 1882. Washington, D. C. : Office of the Chief Signal- Officer. Pp. 21, with Maps.
Papers of California Academy of Sciences on " Footprints found at the Carson State-Prison " (H. W. Harkness, M.D., Joseph Le Conte, CD. GibDs) ; on " Fossil Jaw of a Mammoth " (C. D. Gibbs) ; and on " Fresh-water Mussels " (Robert E. C. Stearns). San Francisco, California. Pp. 58, with Plates.
�� � Science Ladders: Lowest Forms of Water Animals. N. D'Anvers. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. Pp. 59. 50 cents.
First Year Manual and Text-Book of Arithmetic. James H. House. Syracuse, New York: C. W. Bardeen. Pp. 15(5. 50 cents.
A Practical Arithmetic. G. A. Wentworth and Rev. Thomas Hill, D.D., LL.D. Boston: Ginn, Heath & Co. Pp. 351.
Notes on Ingersoll. Rev. L. A. Lambert. Buffalo, New York: Buffalo Catholic Publication Company. Pp. 184. 50 cents.
Herbert Spencer on American Nervousness. George M. Beard, M.D. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. Pp. 17. 50 cents.
Political Economy. Francis A. Walker. New York: Henry Holt & Co. Pp. 490. $3.25.
Introduction to the Study of Organic Chemistry. Adolph Pinner. Translated and revised by Peter T. Austen. New York: John Wiley & Sons. Pp. 403. $2.55.
Catalogue and Index of the Publications of the Smithsonian Institution. William J. Bases, Washington, D.C. Smithsonian Institution. Pp. 328.
Slight Ailments: Their Nature and Treatment. Lionel S. Beale. Philadelphia: P. Blakiston, Son & Co. Pp. 283. $1.25.
The Cause of Variation. M. M. Curtis. Marshall, Minnesota: Published by the author. Pp. 115.
Report of the Chief Signal-Officer, War Department, 1880, pp. 1,120, with 119 Charts. The same, 1881, pp. 1,290, with 59 Charts. Washington: Government Printing-Office.