Popular Science Monthly/Volume 23/May 1883/Literary Notices
|←Editor's Table||Popular Science Monthly Volume 23 May 1883 (1883)
The author of this work has come prominently forward within the last few years as an able cultivator of the science of comparative psychology, and the treatise he has now given to the world is probably the most trustworthy and instructive that has yet been contributed to that science. There has been a copious literature of anecdote designed to illustrate the mental capacities of the most intelligent members of the animal series—as the dog, the elephant, the monkey, and the ant; but while, on the one hand, the statements have often been so extravagant as to awaken incredulity, on the other there has been but little exposition of principles which would enable the reader to judge of the truth or error of current representations. The interest in the subject has always been great, and, with the prevailing lax habits of criticising evidence, many stories have passed into circulation, and been accepted, which would hardly bear examination. It was eminently desirable, therefore, and for scientific purposes imperative, that the popular statements should be rigorously sifted, in order that we may find out what may be relied upon as true. It is obvious that only the thoroughly prepared psychologist is competent for such work, and many years of study in this field have well qualified Mr. Romanes to undertake it.
The present volume is in a certain sense complete in itself; and from another point of view it is but a foundation, which is yet to have its superstructure. It has long been the author's intention to write a treatise upon comparative psychology, in the light of the doctrine of evolution, and his intention was to treat the whole subject in a single work. His preliminary inquiry was, of course, into the facts upon which such a view must rest, but he found his materials so extensive, and in themselves so important, that he was compelled to arrange for two separate books; the first to be made up of the observed facts, carefully collated and classified, so as to give the grades of intelligence actually reached in the various groups of the animal kingdom, and to leave for a second volume the problem of psychical development to be derived from these data. The present book on "Animal Intelligence" is the first, and is mainly descriptive, while the second, to be built upon it, will be more analytic and philosophic.
Undoubtedly the present volume will have the highest interest for general readers, as it involves no speculation or abstruse reasoning, and aims only at descriptions and discriminating estimates of the degree of intelligence manifested in the different groups of animate creatures.
But while Mr. Romanes has closely sifted his materials, so as to furnish only authenticated facts, it would be a great mistake to suppose that his pages are less entertaining than the loose compilations with which we have been familiar upon this subject. The phenomena are equally surprising and wonderful, but with the further advantage that we have a fair confidence in their reality. The intelligence displayed by the inferior animals is often well calculated to awaken astonishment, and we are free to confess that some of Mr. Romanes's stories would excite incredulity if we had not a pretty strong confidence in his caution, and if the special manifestations alleged were not confirmed by other and similar observations. To the general reader, the book will prove a fund of interest on one of the most fascinating of subjects, and to the student of natural history it will have a scientific value as affording a sound basis for the formation of conclusions respecting the psychical capacities of animals.
In regard to the vexed question of mind and instinct in the lower animals, of which so much has been written, the author lays down at the outset the principle that he will follow in determining mental gradation, and this may be gathered from the following remarks in his introduction:
"The criterion of mind, therefore, which I propose, and to which I shall adhere throughout the present volume, is as follows: Does the organism learn to make new adjustments, or to modify old ones, in accordance with the results of its own individual experience?. . . I may, however, here explain that in my use of this criterion I shall always regard it as fixing only the upper limit of non-mental action; I shall never regard it as fixing the lower limit of mental action. . . . In other words, because a lowly-organized animal does not learn by its own individual experience, we may not therefore conclude that, in performing its natural or ancestral adaptations to appropriate stimuli, consciousness, or the mind-element, is wholly absent; we can only say that this element, if present, reveals no evidence of the fact. But, on the other hand, if a lowly-organized animal does learn by its own individual experience, we are in possession of the best available evidence of conscious memory leading to intentional adaptation."
Although but little oneness of form will be expected in a work like this, composed of occasional pieces which have appeared in divers journals and reviews, yet so much unity of purpose and thought are to be found in it as to give a considerable measure of coherence. The essays fall into two divisions, in the first of which legal topics predominate, in the second ethical. In the first, it has been the author's aim to consider legal ideas and institutions as affected by or as affecting the wider interests of history, politics, and practical legislation. In the second division he has endeavored to bring to a better-defined issue certain points of ethical discussion, by the help of distinctions founded on familiar legal conceptions, and by specifically applying those conceptions and distinctions to admitted facts. In both subjects he has preferred to use the historical method—taking the term in a pretty wide sense. Yet, in respect to the method followed, whether critical or analytical, the author takes no narrow view, and it will help to the understanding of the character of his book if we quote his prefatory remarks upon this subject:
Among the papers in this interesting volume we have been most impressed with those on the "Laws of Nature and Laws of Man," "The Theory of Persecution," "The Casuistry of Common Sense," and a "Review of Spencer's 'Data of Ethics.'"
In two provinces of thought, not formerly regarded as scientific, a powerful influence has, nevertheless, been exerted by the physical science of the present century—we refer to philology and to history. It is not the students of these subjects that have initiated the changes they have respectively undergone: the influence exerted has been indirect, and the result of the habits of thought engendered strictly within the physical sphere. Yet so considerable has been the impression made upon these subjects in this direction, that it is much more common now than it formerly was to speak of the science of philology and the science of history.
In the case of history, other influences, no doubt, have come into play to modify it, yet the reaction of the scientific method is seen in the more rigorous scrutiny of historic evidence, in the clearer conception of a natural order in human society, and in the greater importance assigned to the environing conditions of nature. But besides this it has been the effect of science to compel a closer attention to and a higher estimate of elements formerly neglected or overlooked. Science has thus concurred with the general advance of democratic ideas in giving greater consideration to the character and interests of the common people. Macaulay was no scientist, but he was a man of sufficient breadth and sagacity to discern the unmistakable tendencies of modern thought to obliterate the old factitious distinctions between the dignified and the vulgar in historic exposition. Down to the time of this writer, history remained very much what it had always been, a chronicle of the doings of kings, commanders, diplomatists, and the ruling classes of society. He made an epoch in historic literature by first systematically taking the people into account in his delineation of the progress of historical events. His example has been inevitably followed by other authors, so that a new quality, so to speak, has been given to recent historic works. Mr. Monaster's book has been written from a thorough appreciation of the later point of view. It is a history, and the first yet attempted, of the people of the United States. It is said it is an imitation of Macaulay; but it is high praise to recognize it as a successful imitation of his method in a new field.
It is not, however, to be supposed that Mr. McMaster has ignored the political aspect of the history of the country, or neglected the eminent political characters that have figured in American affairs. No account of the American people would be at all sufficient that did not give prominence to their relations to government. The citizens of the United States have always been participants in the political activity of the country; more so, indeed, than has been the case in any other nation. The work before us is, therefore, necessarily to a large extent a political history, and in the first volume, now issued, we have an interesting survey of the movements of the various communities which were at length fused into a national unity by the adoption of the Constitution of the United States.
Yet that which distinguishes the work is the detailed delineation of those various social conditions, characteristics, and habits of the common people, which are both of intrinsic importance in themselves and indispensable to the understanding of the course of political action. The pictures of the social life of the people at the close of the Revolution, in the various modifications it manifested in different localities, are most instructive. The accounts of the morals and manners, education and religion, professions and industries, the diet and dress of the people, their ideas and prejudices, the conflicts of sects and parties, the condition of cities, and the particulars of country life, in short, all the circumstances by which the complexion of society was affected, are described with a freshness of illustration which shows the most indefatigable and extended research into all available sources of information upon the subject.
This characteristic alone would give a fascinating interest to Mr. McMaster's volume, but that interest is greatly enhanced by the clearness, directness, simple earnestness, and often the eloquence of his style. This history is emphatically a book for the people, not only in the import and adaptation of its subject-matter, but in its thoroughly popular literary form. It is a book to please everybody. History here descends from its rhetorical stilts, and uses the plain vernacular of common sense, without abating a jot of its attractiveness. There is no fine writing, no straining after effect, because the interest of the topics is abundantly sufficient to maintain the reader's attention. We congratulate the author on the success of his undertaking, and all his readers on the pleasure they will have in perusing his book.
This new publication, conducted by a gentleman of the best standing in his profession, starts out with the promise of being a journal of a high order and a valuable addition to the literature of scientific specialties. It is devoted to the scientific and professional interests of pharmacy and kindred branches in the United States, and labors with well-directed vigor in every department for the maintenance and elevation of the standard of scientific attainment in its profession. The February number contains editorial articles on "Pharmacy and Public Sanitary Conditions," and "Pharmacy and Homœopathy." In the March number the editor, under the heading "Kurpfuscherei?"—which we might translate "Cure-bungling"—presents a well-considered and well-tempered discussion of the propriety of allowing apothecaries to dispense medicines, and of requiring them to qualify themselves to do so with discretion. The two numbers contain original contributions on the testing of liquorice-juice and of quinine-pills, sorghum-sugar, mass-analysis, the "Pharmacopœia of the United States," and the preparation of medicinal doses by compression. A considerable part of each number is occupied with the systematic presentation in a compressed form of notable facts in the progress of the science as currently recorded in the various journals of this and other countries, and to the proceedings of pharmaceutical societies and associations.
This thoughtful volume consists of inculcations, reflections, and speculations touching those questions of the origin, nature, and destiny of man that have ever been regarded as of transcendent interest, now man has originated, what is the true constitution of his being, and how he stands related to the great indefinite future, are inquiries that, on the one hand, find simple answers in the beliefs of uninstructed people, and which, on the other hand, have tasked the highest philosophy of all ages, with no final agreement. But, although there remains, perhaps, as much conflict as ever over these problems, it would be wrong to say that the outcome of inquiry in all these directions has been futile. Certainly, as regards the whence and the what of humanity, a great deal is now known of which men in earlier times were profoundly ignorant. Man's nature—that is, the laws of his constitution—has been studied with fruitful results, and the laws and the knowledge thus obtained have thrown a not entirely uncertain light upon the question of his origin. Of one thing we have positive assurance: the order of phenomenal nature, of which man is a part, is no inscrutable secret; it is open to the research of reason, and it is capable of being understood as far as the nature of human intelligence will permit. The field is, therefore, open in which we may verify and extend the inquiries already begun in regard to what man essentially is and whence he has originated—the field of orderly, phenomenal, explorable nature.
But there are those and they are possibly more numerous in these days than ever before—who maintain that man is shut into the present sphere by inexorable limits, and that, while he remains the being he is, he can never know that which is beyond the cosmical sphere of his observation and experience. They hold that this human intelligence is finite, and therefore by its quality is restricted to finite things, and can never grasp what is beyond the finite. They claim that, in its very essence, knowing is but a recognition of finite relations; that mind itself has been evolved and constituted by intercourse with nature, and is without capacities to deal with any other sphere of being. They insist that, as the human mind is finite and limited, it must stop somewhere by virtue of inherent incapacity, and that this boundary is the phenomenal sphere of being. That there may be other orders of being, and other universes beyond, they do not deny; but they say that our relations to them can never include a knowledge of them in the sense in which the term knowledge is applied to the surrounding order of things.
But the protest against this circumscription of the human mind is ancient, universal, and very deep in human nature. It is held that man has as much right to be measured by his aspirations as by any other of his psychical traits, and that he has reaches of intuition and inspirations of insight that will not be hemmed in by his transient experiences of time and space. They say he has a bodily organism by which he is confined to a very narrow area upon the little planet which he inhabits, but that, nevertheless, in virtue of his higher capacities, he makes himself at home in a universe of which he can nowhere find the limit, and they hold that this fact gives high assurance that there may be still vaster possibilities and extensions in the ever-unfolding future.
The author of the little book before us belongs to this class which refuse to be shut in by the material limitations of the surrounding world. While admitting that science is phenomenally circumscribed, they hold that the unknown may not be exhausted by its methods. The book is a quiet but earnest presentation of the considerations which, in the mind of the writer, are sufficient to justify a steadfast faith in man's immortal future. It is impossible here to give any synopsis of the course of Dr. Nichols's reasoning; but those who are interested in its line of thought will find that its arguments are ingenious and instructive, and by many they will undoubtedly be regarded as cogent and valid. But they are not put forward in any dogmatic spirit. They aim simply to be suggestive and helpful, and from this point of view there arc multitudes who will find them satisfactory.
The work of the Institute was carried on at the ancient Greek city of Assos, in Asia Minor, during the spring, summer, and autumn of 1882, with fruitful and interesting results. The explorations, not yet completed, will be continued during the present year, till the expiration of the permission which has been accorded by the Turkish Government. It is probable, the report states, that, when all is done, "the remains at Assos will not only present the most perfect idea of a Greek city that is anywhere to be obtained, but will afford a better insight into the life of an antique city than is to be gained even from the streets and houses of Pompeii." Mr. Ad. F. Bandelier presents an interesting summary of his work in New Mexico, chiefly among the ruined pueblos, and outlines the plan of a journey of archaeological exploration which he is now making through the comparatively unexplored regions of the Mexican border.
We have here a careful study in local geology and physical geography, from which interesting conclusions are drawn respecting the contour of the glacial terminal moraine and the conditions under which the drift deposits were accumulated in the region of Des Moines. The peculiar fact is brought out that the rivers in this region have avoided low-lying plains and sought elevated plateaus and ridges of both sedimentary rocks and quaternary deposits, and that their general course is at right angles to the mean slope of the surface which they drain.
The publication of this journal has now been continued for over two years, the first number having appeared in January, 1881. During this time it has contained articles upon the insects within its scope, by the most distinguished entomologists in Europe and the United States. The two volumes that have been completed contain, together, about 430 pages of matter and six colored lithographs, besides several woodcuts of interest. As occurs in the early career of most natural history publications, this magazine has entailed upon its projectors a heavy loss. But they are still full of hope, and urgently ask of all who recognize the importance of such a publication, that such help as can be afforded may be freely given, in order that so excellent a labor may not be allowed to languish for the want of a little support at a critical period.
Admirable papers on subjects connected with Lepidoptera are either in hand or promised by their authors for the present volume. Each monthly part contains from eighteen to twenty-five pages, and at least four colored plates will be given during the year. For its aims, value of its articles, and general appearance, "Papilio" is one of the cheapest scientific publications in the world, and its directors promise that nothing shall hereafter be wanting on their part to maintain it in the high position to which it aspires.
This is a competent and comprehensive work that admirably fulfills the aim with which the author says he set out, "to write a concise and practical treatise, one which, while making no pretensions to being exhaustive, should comprise sufficient to afford a clear insight into the elements of dermatology, and a knowledge of the important facts in connection with each disease treated of." Simplicity and intelligibility have been primarily sought, and therefore questions of theory, discussions of unsettled points, and obsolete terms have been avoided. The classification of Hebra has been adopted, with some changes and modifications. The definitions of the diseases have been made from the clinical stand-point, with a view to giving them practical value, and to having them embody succinct descriptions of characteristic symptoms. In the matter of treatment, the methods favorably regarded by dermatologists at large have been mentioned, and the author has furthermore taken the pains to describe the remedies and mode of treatment which have proved of the greatest benefit in his own experience. The work was considerably enlarged in the second edition, with many additions and new chapters, and was entirely rewritten to meet the remarkable progress which had been made in the science of dermatology during the five years since the first edition was published, in 1876. Then, in a little more than another year, a critical revision was called for, with a rewriting and elaboration of the chapter on the anatomy and physiology of the skin, for the sake of incorporating the later results of the studies in microscopic anatomy. Advantage was taken of the revision to introduce additional cases illustrating rare forms of disease, and new and important observations and personal experiences. The method and arrangement of the treatise deserve commendation. The general considerations of the subject are given in the first part under the headings "Anatomy and Physiology," "Symptomatology," "Etiology," "Pathology," "Diagnosis," "Treatment," "Prognosis," and "Classification." The second part is devoted to the account of special diseases, which are classified as "Disorders of Secretion," "Hyperæmias," "Inflammations," "Hæmorrhages," "Hypertrophies," "Atrophies," "New Growths," "Neuroses," and "Parasites." In connection with each disease are given its synonyms, a general description in a sentence, its symptoms, diagnosis, etiology, pathology, prognosis, treatment, and, when proper, illustrations. The curious facts are brought out by the author that skin-diseases manifest variations of type in different parts of the world; that the differences are quite material between the United States and Europe; and that the diseases met with here resemble more closely those of Great Britain than those of cither France or Germany. These facts give the work the more value as an American treatise describing American types of disease.
Mr. Greer hopes, in the preface to his dictionary, that "the explanations may meet the wants of students and others engaged in these professions" (electrical and telegraph engineering), and it may be presumed that such was his object in preparing it; but had he been attempting instead to crowd the greatest amount of rubbish possible into the least space, he would have had no occasion to depart widely from his present performance. One example—his description of the Edison steam-dynamo—will suffice to show the accuracy and lucidity of the definitions of this remarkable dictionary:
The pamphlet on the storage of electricity has the advantage of the dictionary in that Mr. Greer's work consists in little more than editorial revision. The pamphlet contains a good part of Professor Sylvanus Thompson's excellent lecture before the Society of Arts on the storage of electricity, the advantage of the storage-battery as set forth in the circular of the Brush-Swan Company, and the statement of the value of the Faure battery given in the circular issued by the American company controlling this apparatus, together with descriptions of various other storage-batteries, some taken from different technical journals, and some written by Mr. Greer.
Though published as one of the documents of the Powell Geographical and Geological Survey, the matter of this monograph is more European than American, but is susceptible of an American application. The author has aimed, starting from Broca's summary of the subject in 1877, to collect the accounts of discoveries of examples of trephining and cranial amulets scattered through the journals of anthropology, not only on account of their interest in themselves, but also for the sake of the illustration and guidance they may afford in American research. Numerous curious instances of the practice of trephining and the fabrication of amulets are brought to light, and the conclusions are adduced that the large number of perforated crania, exhibiting cicatrized edges, establishes the existence of a custom of trephining; that the operation was performed on both sexes? and generally at an early age; that it seems (from analogy) to have been for the relief of disease of brain, injury of skull, epilepsy, or convulsions; that it was probably performed by scraping, possibly by a scries of punctures; that posthumous trephining consisted in removing fragments of the skull of a person who had undergone surgical trephining, in which each fragment was probably to form an amulet to protect from the same disease or injury for relief of which the operation had been performed; and that the evidence so far confines the custom to neolithic man on the Continent of Europe.
In this paper, Lieutenant Murdock has collected and compiled from the current scientific literature of the day such information bearing on the subject as will enable one to reach a more exact comprehension of the field open for the electric light in modern naval warfare. The applicability of the various machines and apparatuses that have been introduced is discussed, and the modifications are considered that may be necessary to adapt them to use on shipboard.
The publication of this journal has been undertaken for the love of the cause. The editor has sought for a paper especially devoted to the study of sociology, and, not finding it, has decided to furnish one. Profit is not the especial object of the publishers, but to create a means of communication and a means of exchange of thoughts and opinions.
The present number of the "Journal" contains, besides the opening address of the President of the Association, Professor Francis Wayland, and the report of the General Secretary, the papers read at the meeting in the Health and the Social Economy Departments. Among the papers in the former department we notice especially those of Dr. Ezra M. Hunt, on "The Health Care of Households, with Especial Reference to House Drainage"; of Dr. D. F. Lincoln, on "The Health of Boys' Boarding Schools"; of Dr. E. M. Mosher, on "The Health of Criminal Women"; and of Dr. A. N. Blodgett, on "The Management of Chronic Inebriates and Insane Drunkards." Two papers in the Social Economy Department, those of Mrs. Robinson on "Early Factory Life in New England" and Lucy Larcom on "American Factory Life," depict a condition of life and, intelligence among factory-operatives, and relations between employers and employed, which Americans were once proud of, and foreigners admired, but which have now—thanks largely to the protective policy—become things of the past, and which we can hardly hope to enjoy again.
The "Nearctic," in Messrs. Sclater and Wallace's classification, corresponds with the North American zoölogical region, as distinguished from the Palæarctic or EurAsian, and the Neotropical, or South American, regions. The question under discussion is "whether the Nearctic region should be kept separate, or whether it should form part of the Palæarctic or of the Neotropical regions." Eminent authorities differ on the subject. Professor Heilprin makes an examination, by families, genera, and species, of the mammalia, birds, reptiles, and partially the butterflies and mollusca of the three regions, inquiring how many of each are common to the Nearctic and one of the two others, and to which of the two; and concludes "that, by the community of its mammalian, batrachian, and reptilian characters, the Nearctic fauna. . . is shown to be of a distinctively Old World type, and to be indissolubly linked to the Palæarctic (of which it forms only a lateral extension)." The conclusion is further illustrated by the mollusca and the butterflies.
The present report, which necessarily covers only a small part of the work actually done in the entomologist's office, is devoted to some of the more important observations and experiments of a practical nature on such subjects as the cultivation of pyrethrum and its use as an insecticide, silk-culture, the cotton-worm, the chinch bug, the army-worm, the insects affecting the orange and those affecting rice, some new depredators on corn, and various miscellaneous insects that attracted more than usual attention during the year. The large number of letters, asking for information, received at the office, has led to the preparation of bulletins on special subjects to be sent out. Such bulletins are ready on the Northern army-worm, the boll-or corn-worm, and canker-worms, and others are in preparation on cabbage-insects and the chinch bug. Three special reports, which will be more bulky, are in preparation—a bibliography of economic entomology, and reports on the insects affecting the orange-tree, and forest-tree insects.
The club was organized in 1880, and has shown great vitality and enlisted much interest. Being in a condition to establish a periodical of its own, and that seeming desirable, it has originated the "Bulletin," the plan of which is to publish brief summaries of general papers read at the winter meetings of the club, short original papers, or memoirs on all branches of natural science, and notes on the occurrence and habits of local plants and animals. While practical work and research are especially cultivated and encouraged, the æsthetic is not disdained, and we find the "Bulletin" as bright on that side as it is instructive on the other. Among the papers which may be mentioned as of general interest are Mr. Cowell's study of the "Adventives"—plants that have been brought, by the railroads and other means, from distant points—that have made their appearance in the stock-yards at East Buffalo, and Professor Linden's account of prominent objects of scientific interest within convenient access of the city and its neighborhood.
The report is accompanied by the itinerary of Colonel James F. Gregory, and a geological and botanical report by Surgeon W. H. Forwood. The expeditions centred around the Yellowstone National Park. General Sheridan recommends an enlargement of the park by extending it about forty miles east and ten miles south, and making it a national game reservation, within which the killing of game shall be prohibited. Colonel Gregory's journey resulted in a demonstration of the practicability of the route into the park from the forks of Wind River, by way of Lincoln Pass, the valleys of the Gros Ventre and Snake Rivers and Lewis's or Lake Fork of the Snake River. Surgeon Forwood's report illustrates the general features, natural history, and resources of the regions explored.
"Original research," as used by the author in connection with a college education, means chiefly work pursued in subjects embraced in college instruction; and, inasmuch as the major part of the college course is made up of linguistic, literary, historical, and philosophical studies, the topics of inquiry are ordinarily drawn from those fields, as well as from physical science, in connection with which the term is more commonly used. The essential character of the work is that it consists in and is based upon direct personal observation and actual examination, together with inductions suggested by the facts investigated and discovered, made independently by the inquirer and without outside help. In the recorded results of the studies, the matter of chief consequence will be the earnest, independent work, the exact observation, and the hard thinking that they represent. The manner in which research of this kind is furthered and encouraged at the German universities and seminaries is described; the question whether similar methods can be applied at American institutions is answered in the affirmative; and observations and suggestions are added as to the manner in which the applications may be made.
This is an attempt to give intelligibility to one of those mysterious documents which have been left to us from the former masters of Central America; from the people who probably built some of the cities the ruins of which are numerous in that region, and were the authors of the inscriptions of Palenque. The manuscript, or Codex Troano, was so called by the Abbé Brasseur de Bourbourg, after the gentleman, Don Juan de Tro y Ortolano, of Madrid, a descendant of Hernando Cortez, in whose possession he found it. It is written, like the two other Maya codexes which have been chromo-lithographed and published, on paper manufactured from the leaves of the maguey plant. In form, it was folded into thirty-five folds, like the panoramic books of illustrations or "souvenirs," which are sold at the watering places, and was written on both sides of the folds, giving seventy pages. The inscriptions consist of lines and columns of characters and numerals occupying the top and left side of the page, and inframing, in the rest of the space, symbolical or descriptive figures. Dr. Thomas, who acknowledges that his investigation is not as complete as he would desire, but deems it best to give the results tentatively, concludes that the work was intended chiefly as a ritual or religious calendar, to guide the priests in the observance of religious festivals, in their ceremonies, and in other duties; that the figures in the spaces are symbolical or pictographs, and refer to religious ceremonies or to the habits, customs, and occupations of the people; that the work appertained to an inland, peaceable, and sedentary people; and that the original of it was written in about the middle or latter half of the fourteenth century. Dr. Brinton gives, in his introduction, a summary of what is known respecting the Maya language and writings, which, it must be borne in mind, are quite distinct from those of the Aztecs. Two other Maya manuscripts have been published in chromo-lithography, but no attempt appears to have been made to decipher them, and several are believed to exist in private hands. In addition to the manuscripts, we have the mural paintings and inscriptions of Palenque, Copan, Chichen Itza, and other ruined cities, of the same general character. The use of the Maya mode of writing ceased after the Spanish conquest, on account of the intolerance of the priests, but many books were written by natives in their own language with the Spanish alphabet, a number of which still exist.
This work is designed to afford information concerning the planting and care of forest-trees for ornament or profit, and to give suggestions upon the creation and care of woodlands, with the view of securing the greatest benefit for the longest time; and is particularly adapted to the wants and conditions of the United States. The author believes it to be the first attempt to present, in our language, and in one volume, the subject of forestry in the comprehensive sense in which he has defined it. He has endeavored to adapt the work to the wants of students of the subject, whether they be in the class-rooms of an institution, or engaged in practical labors, and to present information applicable to our own country, and to those regions where tree planting is most needed, and often most difficult. The matter of the treatise has been admirably condensed, so that the volume is made to contain an amount of information, all of practical bearing and well expressed, that might have been made to fill two or three times the space without appearing "padded." Besides reviewing the general principles of forest botany, forestry, and the growth of trees in their various aspects, it includes chapters on the reproduction of trees from seed, and by other methods; the best manner and systems of planting; special suggestions on ornamental planting, and planting for hedges, screens, and shelter-belts; forest-fires, and protection from them, and from other sources of injury; the ravages of insects; the profit of forest cultivation; the acts of Congress in reference to timber-rights; European plans of forest management; the cutting and seasoning of wood, defects in timber and processes for increasing the durability of timber and improving its quality; the various products obtained from wood and trees; descriptions of particular species of trees, their uses and adaptations; with a special chapter on the conifers; and tree planting in Kansas and Nebraska—the whole constituting a treatise at once scientific and practical.
This new publication is devoted to the interests of forest-tree planting, the formation and care of woodlands and ornamental plantations generally, and to the various economies therein concerned, and comes very appropriately when public attention is called to the subject by a dozen different influences and agencies. The present numbers are occupied to a considerable extent with the proceedings of the American Forestry Congress, at its Cincinnati and Montreal meetings, and publish some of the valuable papers that were read there. One of the most noticeable papers is that of Mr. Charles Mohr, of Mobile, Alabama, on the
"Distribution of the more Important Forest Trees in the Gulf Region." The editor contributes observations in forestry matters made by him during a recent journey in Europe; Professor Spalding, of Ann Arbor, a paper on "Forestry in Michigan"; and Dr. Warder, of Ohio, accounts of experimental forest plantations in Iowa and near Waukegan, Illinois.
The "Reader" is a compendium of brief selections in different departments of science, usually from standard authors, arranged so as to present a general order of collection, and designed to instruct the reader on the subjects discussed in an agreeable manner. The selections are classified and arranged under the heads "Geographical," "Geological," "Botanical," "Zoölogical," "Physiological," "Physical," and "Technical."
This work was first conceived as an aid to the author's own students in vegetable histology. It has been prepared with the aim to bring together the most prominent facts and reactions of an elementary course of histology in such a manner that the student may have them on his work-table ready for immediate and constant reference, and may use them as a general guide. The work being tentative, it has been deemed desirable not to make it too extended till the plan has been approved by qualified judges.
The Linnæan Society of New York was formed in 1878, with eleven members, and was organized with Clinton Hart Merriam as president; Harold Derrick as vice-president; and Ernest Ingersoll as secretary. Abstracts of its proceedings and various papers read before it have appeared in different scientific serials, but it has felt the need of a direct medium of publication. The outgrowth of that need is the present volume, executed in the highest style of the printer's art, with thick paper and wide margins—a volume worthy of the objects of the society, and of the valuable and interesting papers which it contains. The papers are: "The Vertebrates of the Adirondack Region, Northeastern New York (General Introduction—Mammalia; Carnivora), by Clinton Dart Merriam, M. D.;" Is not the Fish-Crow (Corvus ossifragus, Wilson) a Winter as well as a Summer Resident at the Northern Limit of its Range?" by William Dutcher; and "A Review of the Summer Birds of a Part of the Catskill Mountains, with Prefatory Remarks on the Faunal and Floral Features of the Region," by Eugene P. Bicknell. The volume is adorned with a steel-plate portrait of Linnæus, from an old engraving in the possession of Mr. L. S. Foster, as a frontispiece.
The first of these papers is a review of the three theories—those of interior heat, chemical action, and mechanical action—of the origin of volcanoes, with a discussion of the causes of eruptive phenomena and outbreaks. The second essay considers the relations of granite, porphyry, and lava, and the origin of granite.
The whole country is suffering to an increasing extent every year from the disastrous effects of the removal of the forests; and the best economical thought of the nation is busy with the problem of preventing further destruction, and repairing the damage that has already been done. Yet the Government, in imposing a tariff on foreign lumber, is offering a premium for further destruction and a direct encouragement to a continued course of ruin. Vigorous expressions of public opinion against this senseless policy have been made through various journals. The most important of the protests are collected in this pamphlet in aid of a fuller discussion and better understanding of the subject, and for the furtherance of measures for forest conservation.
The station was removed on the 1st of September last, from the rooms of the Sheffield Scientific School to the property of five acres, which had been bought for it on Suburban Street, nearly a mile and five eighths from the City Hall of New Haven. The analyses were interrupted at that time, yet nearly the usual number of fertilizer analyses were made during the year, and of these a large proportion were on samples of complex composition. In connection with analyses of salt and saltpeter at the request of the Wilton Farmers' Club, the use of those substances as antiseptic or preservative material is discussed. The testing of milk has assumed much prominence; and in connection with it considerable information of value is furnished respecting the qualities of the specimens examined. In connection with the reports of the analyses of fertilizers, a review of the fertilizer market is given, with notices of the prices of its principal staples; and an interesting observation is reported of the value of marine mud as a fertilizer. The reports on the analyses of ensilage go to confirm, generally, the representations previously made of the value of that preparation. Interesting information and suggestions are given in connection with the seed-tests, of which twenty-four were made, mostly on sweet-corn and onion seed.
The art of breeding seeds consists in producing and selecting such variations as may be found desirable, and then of establishing them so that they shall be transmissible either in their present or in an improved condition, by seed. Breeding may be carried on through the act of selection for several generations under well-considered conditions of environment, by which the heredity of the seed in the desired direction shall be strengthened. Particular attention is given in this pamphlet to the means by which the best selections of seed corn may be developed, and established in character.
The report claims that, by virtue of the largest returns, Colorado is the head of the mining states of the world as a producer of the precious metals. Its mines have also, for the past two years, furnished more than half the total lead product of the United States. The mining field is very large, embracing nearly all the mountain-ranges, and is extremely inviting to all persons interested in that pursuit. The report is well arranged, and gives in succession a history and description of the railroads of the State, accounts of the resources of the several counties, more general notices of certain mineral and agricultural staples and industries, and a systematic descriptive catalogue of the principal minerals in Colorado.
The managers of this school do not assume that in other schools there is too much intellectual and moral training, but that there is too little manual training for ordinary American boys. They exact close and thoughtful study with books, as well as with tools; but by abridging a little the number of daily recitations and adding an hour to the usual school-day, they find time for drawing and tool-work. Besides the usual literary training, the students are given a course of tool-instruction, including carpentry, wood-turning, forging, soldering, and bench and machine work in iron, for which shops are conveniently fitted up, and freehand and mechanical drawing. Each pupil before receiving a diploma must execute a project—the actual construction of a machine, with a full set of working drawings—satisfactory to the faculty. By the peculiar course pursued, the zeal and enthusiasm of the students, in all the departments of the work, have been developed to a most gratifying extent.
⁂ Authors and others, sending papers and monographs for notice, will please specify, for general information, where they can be procured.
Astronomical Photography, pp. 2; Circulars relative to the Collection and Distribution of Astronomical Intelligence, pp. 7; Observations of the Transit of Venus at Harvard College Observatory, pp. 28; Thirty-seventh Annual Report of the Director of the Astronomical Observatory of Harvard College, pp. 15. All by Edward C. Pickering. Cambridge, Massachusetts: University Press.
The Soul and the Body. A Sermon to Medical Students. By the Rev. L. P. Mercer. Chicago: Gross & Delbridge. Pp. 31.
Perpetual Calendar. By President F. A. P. Barnard, Columbia College, New York.
The Garden of Eden (Victoria Woodhull's lecture). Reviewed by Charles Stuart Welles. London. Pp. 30.
"The Freethinkers' Magazine, and Freethought Directory, for the United States and Canada." H. L. Green, Editor and Publisher. Salamanca, New York. Bimonthly. Pp. 44.
The Charge of "Exclusivism" as applied to Homœopathists. By F. H. Orme, M. D. New York. Pp. 8.
Natural Law, or the Science of Justice, pp. 21; A Letter to Thomas F. Bayard, pp. 11. Both by Lysander Spooner. Boston, Massachusetts.
Annual Report of the State Geologist of New Jersey for 1882. By George H. Cook. New Brunswick. Pp. 191, with Plates.
Lectures delivered to the Employés of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company. By Professor H. N. Martin, and Drs. H. Sewall, W. T. Sedgwick, and W. H. Brooks, of Johns Hopkins University. Baltimore: B. & O. R. R. Co. Pp. 98.
Establishment of Secondary Meridians in the East Indies, China, and Japan. Washington: U. S. Hydrographic Office. Pp. 4.
The Pine Moth of Nantucket. By Samuel H. Scudder. Boston: A. Williams & Co. Pp. 22, with a Plate.
"Transactions of the New York Academy of Sciences." Monthly. Pp. 24 $5 per annum.
Annual Address before the American Academy of Medicine. Philadelphia, October, 1882. By Traill Green, M. D., President. Philadelphia. Pp. 16.
The Percentage of College-bred Men in the Medical Profession. By Charles McIntire, Jr., M. D., of Easton, Pennsylvania. Pp. 13.
Iowa Weather-Service Annual. Illustrated. 1883. By Gustavus Hinrichs. Iowa City, Iowa.
Shade-Trees, Indigenous Shrubs, and Vines. By J. T. Stewart, M. D. Peoria, Illinois. Pp. 37.
Dime Question Books. Algebra. By Albert P. Southwick. Syracuse, New York: U. W. Bardeen. Pp. 41. 10 cents.
Illustrations of the Durham System of House Drainage. New York: Durham House-Drainage Company. Pp. 24.
Houghton Farm Experiment Department. Meteorology and Soil Temperatures. By D. P. Penhallow, B. A. Newburg, New York: Ritchie & Hull. Pp. 57, with Plates.
Maternal Schools in France, pp. 14; Technical Instruction in France, pp. 63. (Circulars of Information of the Bureau of Education.) Washington: Government Printing-Office.
The Selective Absorption of Solar Energy. By S. P. Langley, Alleghany College. Pp. 88, with Plates.
Safety on Land and Sea. By Dr. W. F. Thorns. New York: Published by the Author, 92 Madison Street. Pp. 29.
On some Inclosures in Muscovite. By H. Carvill Lewis, of Philadelphia. Pp. 6, with One Plate.
Surgical Diseases of Women. By Romaine J. Curtiss, M. D., of Joliet, Illinois. Pp. 7.
College of Physicians and Surgeons of Chicago. Announcement. 1883. Pp. 8.
The Early American Chroniclers. By Hubert Howe Bancroft. San Francisco: A. L. Bancroft & Co. Pp. 45.
How can we escape Insanity? By Charles W. Page, M. D., of Hartford, Connecticut. Pp. 22.
The Order of Mental Disorder. By Orpheus Evarts. M. D. College Hill, Ohio. Pp. 8.
Monthly Weather Review (U. 8. Weather Service). Washington: office of the Chief Signal Officer. Pp. 23, with Four Plates.
Consultation Chart of the Eye Symptoms and Eye Complications of General Diseases. By H G. Cornwell, M. D. Columbus, Ohio: H. C. McClelland & Co. P. 1.
"The Jeweler's Circular and Horological Review." D. H. Hopkinson, Editor and Proprietor, 42 Nassau Street, New York. Monthly. Pp. 88. $2 a year.
Pocket Logarithms to Four Places of Decimals, etc. New York: D. Van Nostrand. 1883. Pp. 139. 50 cents.
American Humorists. By Rev. H. R. Haweis, M. A. New York: Funk & Wagnalls. 1882. Pp. 1805. 75 cents.
Studies in Logic. By Members of the Johns Hopkins University. Boston: Little, Brown & Co. 1883. Pp. 203. $2.
The Alternative: A Study in Psychology. London: Macmillan & Co. 1882. Pp. 387. $2.75.
The Diadem of School Songs. By W. M. Tillinghast. Syracuse, New York: C. W. Bardeen. Pp. 160. 50 cents.
Wealth Creation. By Augustus Mongredien, with Introduction by Simon Sterne. New York, London, and Paris: Cassell, Petter, Galpin & Co. 1888. Pp. 308. $1.25.
Science in Short Chapters. By W. Mattieu Williams. New York: Funk & Wagnalls. 1883. Pp. 308. $1.
Our Choir. By C. G. Bush. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. 1883. Pp. 20. Illustrated.
Leading Men of Japan. By Charles Lanman. Boston: D. Lothrop & Co. 1883. Pp. 421. $2.
Bulletin of the United States Fish Commission, vol. i, for 1881. Washington: Government Printing-Office. Pp. 465.
A Manual of Chemical Analysis. Third edition, revised and enlarged. By Frederick Hoffmann, A.M., Ph.D., and Frederick B. Power, Ph.D. Philadelphia: Henry C. Lea's Son & Co. 1883. Pp. 624.
Compendium of the Tenth Census. Part I, Pp. 933; Part II, pp. 847. Washington: Government Printing-Office. 1883.
Annual Report of the Chief Signal-Officer for the Year 1880. Washington: Government Printing-Office. 1881. Pp. 1,120, with 119 Maps and Charts.
The New Cyclopædia of Family Medicine: Our Home Physician. By George M. Beard, A.M., M.D. New York: E. B. Treat. 1881. Pp. 1,506. Illustrated. $7.50.
First Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology. 1879-'80 By J. W. Powell, Director. Washington: Government Printing-Office. 1881. Pp. 603. Illustrated.