Popular Science Monthly/Volume 23/July 1883/Literary Notices
|←Editor's Table||Popular Science Monthly Volume 23 July 1883 (1883)
Conflict in Nature and Life: A Study of Antagonism in the Constitution of Things. For the Elucidation of the Problem of Good and Evil, and the Reconciliation of Optimism and Pessimism. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 488. Price, $2.
This anonymous work is in the most comprehensive sense an ethical essay upon human life in connection with the order of nature. It is a philosophical inquiry into the constitution of natural things, as it bears on the fundamental problems of good and evil, which, as the writer thinks, have
been prematurely resolved in the theological stages of thought, before science had furnished the conditioning data for dealing with the morality of nature and the ethical possibilities of mankind. With legendary ideals of golden ages and paradisiacal states, at the opening of man's career, and the hopes and prophecies of millennial felicity to be finally attained, and with numerous intervening revelations, evolutions, and reforms, as means of regaining the lost paradise and reaching a condition of ultimate perfection and supreme happiness—as exemplified by all this, the author thinks that we have been dominated by a chaotic and groundless philosophy, only to be escaped through a better understanding of the existing order of things, and the way it must operate until replaced with quite another order. Is the optimist justified in blessing the world? is the pessimist justified in cursing it? or is it a mixed affair, that must be systematically comprehended before it can be morally estimated?
It appears that, long ago, while the author was hoping for harmony and happiness on the basis of an optimistic constitution of nature, he began to perceive that, at every point gained in the direction of freedom and intelligence to secure greater harmony and perfection in life, some new element of discord and danger would arise to vitiate the result—such element being not incidental but necessary, and bound up with the scheme of things. Thus, in order to avoid the evils of ignorance, we must promote education, which increases the sensibilities for keener enjoyment, but which at the same time whets them equally for intenser suffering. Civilized people enjoy more than savages, but they also suffer more; and, while the higher classes enjoy more exquisitely than the lower, they have their own characteristic troubles to deal with. Further, personal sovereignty has a good side, but also an evil side; and there is no such thing as absolute or perfect freedom. Freedom is self-limiting, and hedged about by barriers which are necessarily impassable, except at the expense of freedom itself. Again, political centralization has advantages which no great people can afford to dispense with, but it must be carefully guarded or it will result in LITERARY NOTICES.
��ism. So, also, local self-government has pe- culiar benefits which no tree and intelligent people should ever forego ; but local au- tonomy involves political weakness, which is not to be neglected. And so in attempt- ing to get away from the evils of indissolu- ble marriage by opening a way of escape, we find ourselves at once in the presence of new evils, and the proper balance of strin- gency and liberality is by no means clearly seen and ready of attainment.
It was this conception of life, as involv- ing in all its aspects a choice of evils, that led the author on to the study of the ne- cessary antagonisms in the constitution of nature, and which he found to be equally displayed in the lower orders of life, and to be rooted in the actions and reactions of the physical forces themselves. His book is an attempt to trace out this principle of conflict in the order of natural things, from its simplest to its most complicated mani- festations.
Part I is intended to show the past prevalence of optimism and the fragment- ary and fruitless conceptions of antagonism exemplified in the views of eminent repre- sentative men by summaries and brief quo- tations from their writings. Part II deals with the fundamental conceptions of exist- ence, and speculations concerning the pri- mary forces into which the conception of conflict has entered as an undefined princi- ple of the philosophy of science. Its illus- trations are traced through a series of the principal branches of science, physics, chem- istry, biology, mind, morals, etc. The last chapter deals with morality in accordance with the ethical systems that have grown out of utilitarian experience, on the hypoth- esis that the moral instincts become fixed by association and habit, and in which the higher faculties or the later organized or more complex feelings overrule the lower or earlier developed feelings in determining ethical action. This chapter insists on the struggle in life through which morality has taken form as conduct in the direction of least social conflict. The author maintains that the prevalence of moral order has been determined and is maintained through con- flict as really and to quite as great a degree as the struggle for existence has produced the local forms among plants and animals. vol. xxiii. 27
��The writer observes that Mr. Spencer recog- nizes antagonism in the origin and develop- ment of moral systems, but also indulges in optimistic anticipations which are without warrant in " the constitution of things." He interprets Spencer as maintaining that in- dustrialism is to supersede militancy in such a manner that antagonism will be done away with. But the author insists that any possible industrialism only complicates an- tagonism and changes its forms. Part III illustrates the subject from a survey of his- tory, and Part IV deals with it in connection with the theory of evolution. The doctrine is, of course, accepted, and the exposition of it given in Spencer's " First Principles " is taken as authoritative ; but the writer is of opinion that the principle of antago- nism is not accorded its due weight, and various exceptions are taken to the Spen- cerian argument. Part V is chiefly devoted to the discussion from the point of view of geology and meteorology, showing that the necessary conditions of physical life and enjoyment necessarily involve discord and pain. Part VI illustrates the subject in relation to practical life, and aims to show that, whatever schemes of improvement may be adopted, there are always drawbacks, accompanying evils, which stand in the way of perfection in results. The chapter on " Relative Prolificacy " deals with this agen- cy not only as a permanent and perpetual social element, but in its immediate bear- ing upon the various grades and classes of society, and it involves a criticism of the tendency to overrate the optimistic side of evolution.
It will appear, from what we have said, that this work on conflict is offered as a contribution to the philosophy of life, or as deepening the foundations for such a phi- losophy. The claims in this direction are brought out in a general way in the final chapter. Its conclusions are broadly prac- tical. The philosophy of conflict inculcates moderate expectations. Avoiding the ex- tremes of optimism and pessimism, of con- servatism and radicalism, it aims to do work only where work will be effectual work that will make things better, and work which prevents them from becoming worse.
We have here endeavored simply to state the general object of the book before
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��us, and briefly to outline the course of its argument ; but our sketch gives no ade- quate idea of the number and importance of the specific topics that are treated in the course of the exposition. Many of the larger and more urgent questions of the time are taken up, and, while considered in relation to the fundamental principle which it is the object of the work to develop, they are handled in a way that is full of sug- gestiveness and valuable instruction.
Our Home Physician : A Popular Guide to the Art of preserving Health and treating disease. by george m. Beard, M. D., assisted by Eminent Medi- cal Authorities. New York : E. B. Treat. Pp. 1,506, with Plates. Price, $6.
This work is designed to present, in a form intelligible to ordinary readers, a re- view of the whole field of medical science, so far as it is of practical application and popular acquaintance with it is desirable. It includes within its scope anatomy, physi- ology, hygiene, and the employment of sim- ple treatment and remedies. It gives in- formation concerning the structure of the human body and the functions of its organs ; on diet, stimulants, narcotics, air, sunlight, exercise, and bathing ; on the care of the sick-room, the management of infants and children ; on the general laws and history of disease ; and on the treatment of accidents and emergencies, with descriptions of fa- miliar remedies, for all persons and every household ; together with suggestions con- cerning the special care and treatment of obscure and grave diseases and the applica- tion of powerful remedies, for persons who, like planters, miners, sailors, travelers, and dwellers in remote districts, are beyond the reach of skillful medical aid, and must be either treated by themselves or by their friends, or left to suffer. The great advance that has been made in the science of medi- cine during the last quarter of a century is duly recognized ; and prominence is given to the view that the types, phases, and names of diseases have wonderfully changed during that period, and that a greater revo- lution has been wrought in the method of treatment and the selection of remedies. Hence, physicians are more successful in the treatment of disease now than formerally ; and the fact is enforced that a large num-
��ber of maladies formerly regarded as incur- able have been found susceptible of relief and cure, and that the accession of a con- siderable proportion of diseases may be pre- vented by timely and suitable precautions. On the subject of medical schools and sys- tems, the broad principle is assumed that " the wise physician of our time uses for his patients all things that have been proved to be beneficial." The author has been aided by authorities and physicians of recognized standing in the preparation of the several departments of his work. His aim has been, in his own words, " to prepare a comprehen- sive, popular treatise, . . . that shall say just enough to instruct and not so much as to be- wilder ; that shall fairly represent the va- rious departments in language both clear and attractive, as well as accurate and in. structive ; that shall make broad and plain the boundaries between those subjects which the people can and should know and those which they should not attempt to know ; and that shall treat all this large variety of themes in such a manner as not to offend the taste of the best-ordered household." The work is illustrated by fifteen chromo- lithographic plates and numerous woodcuts.
The Correspondence of Thomas Carlyle and Halm Waldo Emerson, lS34-"72. Boston: James R. Osgood & Co. Vol. I, pp. 368 ; Vol. II, pp. 383. Price, $4.
This work, edited by Charles Elliot Nor- ton, is one of remarkable interest, and is unique in literature. It covers a period of thirty-eight years in the intellectual life of two gifted and remarkable men belonging to different nationalities, and who were early drawn together by a sympathy of ideas and a mutual appreciation of genius before either had conquered a position in the world of pub- lic letters. The work has all the interest of personality, and is a sort of compound auto- biography or revelation of the inside life of the distinguished men whose intimate and prolonged correspondence makes up the vol- umes. The characters of Carlyle and Em- erson were, of course, both formed before they came into this relation of close corre- spondence ; but the epistolary record covers the period of their mental development, and brings it to the maturity of advanced age, when it ceased, through the decline of liter-
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��ary enthusiasm, and perhaps through a di- vergeucy of views which became settled in the later period of life. Both men went through important transitional stages in their mental experience, Emerson escaping from the transcendentalism of which he was the early apostle, and is said to have been the inventor, in New England ; and Carlyle escaping from the intense radicalism of his opening career into the pessimistic con- servatism of his maturer years. The work, therefore, has abundant interest as a study of character through the free disclosures of a copious and varied private correspond- ence. In the first place they were both men of unrivaled powers of expression, and the highest capacity of analyzing their own mental conditions, and presenting them with vividness and original force. It is, perhaps, not to be supposed that they were uncon- scious that what they said would ultimately be given to the world ; but this considera- tion operated as but a partial restraint-upon the freedom of their communications. They were both men of opinions thinkers, doc- trinaires, students of men and society and therefore had much to say pertaining to contemporary events, especially in the field of current speculation, and in relation to the literary phenomena of their period. They spoke with a liberty about contemporary men in the world of authorship which gives a pungent interest to the letters, and which was sometimes carried so far that the editor is constrained to disguise the names of parties implicated. But the strictures made were generally within such proper limits that no such editorial kitervention was ne- cessary. The two men are here pictured by themselves in their full individualities. These, of course, are shown in their respect- ive writings, and it can hardly be said that there are any new disclosures in the corre- spondence that can much revise or affect the judgment of those who are already fa- miliar with their books ; but the result of a perusal of their letters is like turning on the gas which brings everything out into greater distinctness. It is unnecessary, of course, to commend these volumes to the attention of readers. All those who are familiar with the thought and the history of these men as authors, displayed in their successive publi- cations, are certain to procure and peruse
��this correspondence. But Carlyle and Em- erson now belong to the past, and the new generation of readers can be but partially familiar with those stages of mental devel- opment through which they passed many years since, and which were eagerly observed by their contemporaries as they went for- ward with the issue of their books. For those younger readers, therefore, to whom these authors are historic, the volumes be- fore us may be recommended as full of special instructiveness in interpreting the character and position of these men whose eminent position will be permanent in the literature of the future.
The Examination op Medicinal Chemicals : A Guide for thb Determination of their Identity and Quality. Illustrated ; third edition, revised and enlarged. By Fred- erick IIoffmann, A. M., Th. D., Public Analyst to the State of New York, etc., and Frederick B. Bovver, Th. D., Pro- fessor of Analytical Chemistry in the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy. Phil- adelphia : Henry C. Lea's Son & Co. Pp. 624. Price, $4.25.
The present edition of this valuable work contains a large amount of new matter, and has been adapted to the recent editions of the United States and German Pharmaco- poeias. Part I describes the operations and reagents necessary for analytical work, gives a system of cmalitative analysis, directions for volumetric analysis, and for detecting the most important alkaloids. Part II de- scribes the various substances that are used medicinally, giving their physical and chem- ical properties, the impurities that are to be looked for in each, and the way to detect them, and, whenever desirable, a method of assay. Under their appropriate heads are given directions for testing for the impor- tant poisons in forensic investigations, pro- cesses for the determination of glycerine in wine and beer, of the alkaloids in cinchona- barks, etc., and rules for the dilution of the important acids, etc., together with tables of the strength of solutions.
The authors have aimed to make each article complete in itself, preferring to re- peat text and illustrations rather than send the reader to several cross-references. The volume is well supplied with illustrations of apparatus and forms of crystals, and con. tains unusually detailed tables of equivalent
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��weights, measures, and temperature, in the decimal and the old system. It has been brought up to the latest established results in its department, and can not fail to be a valuable possession to every one whose busi- ness it is to prepare, prescribe, or dispense medicines.
The Possibility of not Dying : a Specu- lation. Bv Hyland C. Kirk. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. Pp. 112. Price, 75 cents.
The author of this speculation says : " The proposition ' all men are mortal ' is an unsound assumption unsound because not based on actual knowledge. Men sub- jected to certain conditions are mortal. This is a true proposition. That men subjected to certain other conditions may be immor- tal, we can not deny. As knowledge is, our subject involves merely a matter of uncer- tainty, unless data can be procured such as shall afford means of determining the truth." The author then goes back, as usual, to Columbus and Galileo, to show that both in the realms of discovery and invention sup- positions generally regarded as absurd have proved to be correct. And as the doctrine of the sphericity of the earth was once held to be absurd, but is now proved to be true, he maintains that the theory of physical im- mortality, though now regarded as absurd, may yet be found true.
Moreover, it is a great time now for progress of all sorts, and after the telegraph and phonograph and telephone, who shall assume to say what may come next ? The secret of earthly immortality has been dreamed about a great deal, and patentable arts of prolonging life indefinitely are no novelty. Paracelsus announced that he had found the elixir of life by which men might be enabled to live forever, but, as he died himself in middle age, the announcement seems to have been premature, the inven- tion, like that of perpetual motion, having been probably not quite perfected. Mr. Kirk offers no contrivance by which death may be escaped, but he is full of ingenious rea- sonings to show the theoretic possibility that, by a system of right living, earthly life could be made to last forever.
Mr. Kirk argues that the end he proposes is desirable, which is far from certain. The question is very seriously mooted nowadays
��whether, even in its brevity, " life is worth living" at all; but it is pretty clear, at any rate, that it is only tolerable through its brevity. The experiment of trying life for a time is certainly interesting; but the most beneficent part of the arrangement is, that its eternal continuance can be escaped, at least in this state of being. Mr. Kirk con- siders the matter from the point of view of evolution, wdiich, as it raises humanity to a plane of higher possibilities, may find everlasting life among them. But evolution seems to be made possible only through death by constantly getting rid of the less perfect to make room for the more perfect. Shortening life multiplies lives, so that while the vital stream is continuous, in an im- mortal progress, individuals are replaced in the succession by better ones, and, if there be the slightest advantage in living, it is increased by the indefinite multiplication of separate lives. If any one set could find a way of holding on, would there not be an end of evolution ? "We are much inclined to think that it would be hard to conceive anything more calamitous than to have Mr. Kirk's reform practically carried out. Even now the " Old Hunker " element in human affairs defies everything but death, but what kind of a world would this be if the Civil- Service Commission could confer upon office- holders an immortal tenure ?
��Bulletin or the United States Fish Com- mission. Vol. I, for 1881. Washing- ton: Government Printing-Office. Pp. 466, with Twenty-one Plates.
To secure a more speedy dissemination of the information collected by the Pish Commission, it has been authorized to pub- lish an annual " Bulletin," of the edition of which a part is to be distributed signature by signature (in the sheets as they are print- ed), and the rest in bound volumes. The present is the first of the series of volumes. It contains a large number of papers of va- ried importance on the different aspects of fish-culture and fishing, with a table of con- tents arranged alphabetically by authors, and an admirable index. Among the papers of more general interest are those on " Recent Contributions to Pond Cultivation," " Treat- ment of Fish-Eggs at Sea," " The Dry Trans- mission of Fish-Eggs," "The Destruction of
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��Young Fish by Unsuitable Fishing Imple- ments," " The Winter Haddock-Fishery of New England," " The Influence on the Coast Fisheries of the Steamers used in the Men- haden Fishery," " Artificial Culture of Me- dicinal Leeches and of Species of Helix," and " Changes in the Fisheries of the Great Lakes during the Decade 1870-1880."
��Electro-Magnets: The Determination of the Elements of their Construction. By Th. Dc Moncel. New York : D. "Van Nostrand. Pp. 122. Price, 50 cents.
The author's purpose is to give a plain, practical essay on the subject, adapted to the use of amateurs, experimenters, and working artisans, as well as of students. Though the laws on which the formulas are based have not been fully verified, yet re- sults have been obtained so nearly approach- ing verification as to make it safe to ad- mit them as guides in the construction of electro-magnets.
A Perpetual Calendar. By President F. A. P. Barnard. Price, 40 cents.
The calendar, though having a rather complicated appearance at first sight, be- comes simple and easy of operation when its theory is once explained. It consists of a sheet of stiff pasteboard, to the top of which is attached a revolving disk bearing the names of the months and the numbers from 1 to 99, while the main sheet contains seven parallel columns of the days of the month. The disk should be properly set to the col- umns at the beginning of each year ; then the day of the month can be found on look- ing for it.
Pocket Logarithms, to Four Places of Decimals. New York : D. Van Nos- trand. Pp. 139. Price, 50 cents.
Surveyors and other persons engaged in field-work often find themselves in need of tables of logarithms in a form which they can conveniently carry with them. The present volume is for the use of such per- sons. Its four-place tables give as close an accuracy as is likely to be required in field- work. They include the logarithms of num- bers, and logarithmic sines and tangents to single minutes, with a table of natural sines, tangents, and co-tangents.
��First Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, 1879-80. By J. W. Powell, Director. Illustrated. Washington: Government Printing-Uf- fice. Pp. 603.
The act of Congress of March 3, 1879, which established the United States Geologi- cal Survey, made provision for continuing, under the direction of the Smithsonian In- stitution, the anthropologic work that had been carried on by the earlier surveys. The methods of the new bureau have been, "first, the prosecution of research by the direct employment of scholars and special- ists ; and, second, by inciting and guiding research immediately conducted by collabo- rators at work throughout the country." The latter division of the work has been fur- thered by distributing manuals upon various branches of the study, designed to make the investigations of independent workers systematic and thorough. Being convinced that the social institutions of the Indians can not be understood without a knowledge of the means adapted to express accurately the ideas embodied in those institutions, Major Powell has directed a large share of attention to language, and about two thirds of the present volume is occupied by papers on that subject. The longest of these is one by Lieutenant-Colonel Garrick Mal- lery on " Sign Language among North Amer- ican Indians compared with that among other Peoples and Deaf-Mutes." This is drawn up merely as a report of progress, and consists of a part of the data on this subject that have been obtained by the bureau. A large number of Indian signs are herein graphically described and fully il- lustrated, though perhaps more space is given to describing the signs of other peoples than is absolutely necessary for purposes of com- parison. A paper by the director describes quite a complete system of government that exists among the Wyandots ; and another, also by Major Powell, is an interesting and thoughtful sketch of " Indian Mythology." The contribution of greatest popular inter- est is a second paper by Dr. n. C. Yarrow on mortuary customs, which embodies many communications from recent investigators, together with a large number of extracts from writers who have touched upon this subject within the last two hundred years.
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��"While earth-burial, either with or without embalmment or partial cremation, seems to have been the general custom among North American Indians, other methods of dispos- ing of bodies are also known : as aerial sepul- ture, or leaving the body in a box or canoe, which is supported on a scaffold or tree ; and aquatic burial, which consists in sinking the body in a stream, or setting it afloat in a canoe. Violent expressions of grief are expected from the friends of the dead, and especially from widows. Some of these are, blackening the face, shaving the head, and cutting the flesh all being accompanied by mournful cries, and sometimes hired mourn- ers being employed. In some tribes, the widow observes a long period of mourning, involving many discomforts, and in others she submits to being put to death at the grave. This volume does not include all the material collected before its date, nor does it mark the end of the bureau's labors ; all investigators of American ethnology are earnestly requested to co-operate in the further work of the bureau, and cordial thanks are offered to those who have al- ready contributed their observations.
American Humorists. By the Rev. H. R. Haweis, M. A. New York : Funk & "W agnails. Pp. 180. Price, 75 cents.
This is a reprint of a course of lectures which were delivered at the Royal Institu- tion in London, on six of those whom the English regard as our most characteristic and typical humorous writers, viz., Washington Irving, Dr. Holmes, Mr. Lowell, Arternus Ward, Mark Twain, and Bret Harte. The pervading quality of the wit of each of these authors is analyzed, and is illustrated by lib- eral citations from the most characteristic of their writings. The work is not satisfac- tory to all the critics, but this arises proba- bly as much from the fact that the flavor of humor can not be conveyed, as from any deficiencies of the author.
Jesus, his Opinions and Character : The New Testament Studies of a Layman. Boston : George II. Ellis. Pp. 471. Price, $1.50.
Taking a judicial and critical rather than a partisan attitude, the author has col- lected and arranged systematically what Je- sus seems to have thought about the various
��subjects upon which his followers represent him as teaching. The author's data are taken from the first three gospels, while the fourth is regarded as a genuine early com- mentary, and as such is referred to by way of illustration. "Every great historical per- sonage," our anonymous author writes, "to be understood, must be studied in connec- tion with his dominant idea." This domi- nant idea in the case of Jesus he finds to be the " doctrine of the kingdom of heaven," and insists that this doctrine be kept clearly in view, as the central idea " around which was grouped all that he said and taught.'.' Successive chapters take up the political, ethical, philosophical, and religious ideas of Jesus, his ideas of a future life, the miracles attributed to him, his arrest, trial, and death, his personal pretensions and character, and the legend of the resurrection, the last chapter being devoted to the " Influence on Historic Christianity of Paul and John."
An Introduction to the Study of Or- ganic Chemistry. By Adolph Pinker, Th. D. Translated and revised from the sixth German edition, by Peter T. Austen, Ph. D., F. C. S., Professor of Chemistry in Rutgers College and the New Jersey State Scientific School. New York : John Wiley & Sons. Pp. 382. Price, $2.55.
English-speaking students of organic chemistry have suffered from a dearth of suitable elementary text-books in their own language; hence this translation of Pinner's standard work is to be heartily welcomed. The book is too well appreciated in the original to need comment here ; the trans- lation follows the easy lecture-style of the original, and contains additional matter de- scribing the most important recent discov- eries.
Entomological Papers from the Transac- tions of the Iowa State Horticultu- ral Society, for the Year 1882. Des Moines, Iowa: F. M. Mills, State Printer. Pp. 42.
The papers include one on the injury done by insects in orchards, by the Hon. J. N. Dixon ; notes on the " Injurious Insects of 1882," by Miss Alice B. Walton; and "Entomological Notes," for the year, by Professor Herbert Osborn, all of which have a practical bearing.
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��Manual of assaying Gold, Silver, Cop- ter, and Lead Ores. By Walter Lee Brown, B. Sc. Chicago : Janscn, Mo Clung & Co. Pp. 318. With Illustra- tions. Price, $1.75.
The author of this manual has aimed to produce a guide for those who, having had no previous training in chemical work, wish to learn assaying. Hence, he gives first full descriptions of the apparatus required, gen- erally with illustrations, names of makers, and prices. The reagents are as fully de- scribed, and, wherever necessary, methods of preparing and testing them are given. The processes of assaying are detailed with great clearness, from the crushing of the ore to the estimation of its value per ton, and in the appendix are given various special methods of assay, lists of minerals likely to contain gold, silver, copper, or lead, a list of books on assaying, various depart- ments of chemistry, mineralogy, mining law, etc., and useful tables. The volume is got up in much better style than is usual with scientific and technical manuals.
Reports of Experiments, chiefly -with Kerosene, upon the Insects injuriously affkcting the orange-tree and the Cotton- Plant. Made under the Direc- tion of the United States Entomologist. Washington: Government Printing-Of- fice. Pp. 62.
The expediency of using kerosene has been disputed, chiefly on account of the danger of its injuring the plants. The ob- jection is applicable to pure kerosene, and with greater force as regards some species than others. Professor Riley advises that kerosene be used with caution where its ef- fects are not already known, and never be employed pure. With this reservation, his own experience and that of his assistants shows that neither lye nor whale-oil soap, the other substances recommended, " bears comparison with an effectual kerosene emul- sion as an effectual destroyer of scale-in- sects and their eees."
Shade-Trees, Indigenous Shrubs, and Vines. By J. T. Stewart, M. D. Second edition, revised and improved. Peoria, 111.: Transcript Publishing Companv' Pp. 37. J
This paper was prepared with particular reference to the city of Peoria, and was
��read by request, in December last, before the Scientific Association of that place. It is the fruit of many years of observation and much careful study, and consists chiefly of notes on native species and their adapta- bility to the soil, climate, and situation of Peoria, with directions for their cultivation and care. Much of it is applicable to other places than Peoria.
Professional Papers of the Corps of Engineers, United States Army. No. 24. Report upon the Primary Triangu- lation of the United States Lake Sur- vey. With 30 Plates. By Lieutenant- Colonel C. B. Comstock. Washington : Government Printing-Office. Pp. 922.
This is the final report of the survey, be- gun in 1841, of the Northern and Northwest- ern lakes. The work is described under the headings, " Standards of Length, Bases, and Base Apparatus." " Primary Triangulation," " Astronomical Determinations," and " Prin- cipal Results of the Geodetic Work." A short history of the survey is prefixed to the volume.
Astronomical Papers, prepared for the Use of the American Ephemeris and Nautical Almanac, under the Direction of Simon Newcomb, Ph.D., LL. D. Vol. I. Washington : Bureau of Navigation, Navy Department. Pp. 4S7.
In this volume is begun the publication of a series of papers whose objects are " a systematic determination of the constants of astronomy from the best existing data, a reinvestigation of the theories of the celes- tial motions, and the preparation of tables, formulae, and precepts for the construction of ephemerides, and for other applications of the results." The present volume con- tains papers on the " Recurrence of Solar Eclipses," "Hansen's Lunar Theory," "A Determination of the Velocity of Light," " A Catalogue of 1,098 Standard Clock and Zodiacal Stars," on "Gauss's Method of computing Secular Perturbations," and a " Discussion of Transits of Mercury from 1677 to 1881."
The Bacteria. By T. J. Burrill, Ph. D. Springfield, 111. : H. W. Rorker, State Printer. Pp. 65, with Illustrations. Everybody wants to know all about the
bacteria which have been found to play so
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��important a part in the operations, whether useful or destructive, of life ; but books in which satisfactory accounts of them are given are as yet rare, and hardly accessible. The author of the present paper, who is Professor of Botany and Horticulture in the Illinois Industrial University, has prepared it with the object of presenting, in language as far as possible freed from technical terms, the principal and most interesting facts now known about these active agents. He also gives references to other sources of information on the subject.
The Q. P. Index Annual for 1882. Ban- gor, Me. : Q. P. Index. Pp. 51.
A valuable, usef ul, and convenient pub- lication. It contains a list of all the articles that appeared during the year in twenty -three different American and foreign publications, indicated by a notation simple and easily learned, so that, while reference is easy, the whole is compressed into a very small space.
��PUBLICATIONS RECEIVED. =V :: Authors and others, sending papers and monographs for notice, will please specify, for gen- eral information, where tliey can be procured.
Inundations in Louisiana: Their Influence on Health. By Stanford E. Chaiile, A. M , M. L>. New Orleans. Pp. 27.
Eleventh Cincinnati Industrial Exhibition : Rules and Premium List. Cincinnati: Davis & Heineman. Pp. 76, with Plans.
Contributions to the History of Lake Bon- neville. By C. K. Gilbert. Washington : Gov- ernment Printing-Oflice. Pp. 32, with Two Maps.
The Yellowstone National Park : Manual for Tourists. By Henry J. Winger. New York : G. P. Putnam's Sons. Pp. 96, with Map. 40 cents.
Didactics in the State University of Iowa. By S. N. Fellows, Iowa City, Iowa. Pp. 24.
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