Popular Science Monthly/Volume 28/February 1886/Literary Notices

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Louis Agassiz: Hrs Life and Correspondence. Edited by Elizabeth Cary Agassiz. In two volumes, pp. 794. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Co. Price, $4.

Mrs. Agassiz began the preparation of this extremely interesting biography with the simple purpose of preserving the facts, j letters, and journals bearing upon it from dispersion and final loss. But, as the work grew in her hands, she says she began to feel that an intellectual life, marked by such unusual coherence and unity of aim, might serve as a stimulus and an encouragement to others. And, for this reason, she at length decided to place it before the general public. The first volume contains a portrait of Agassiz at the age of nine-teen, and several other interesting illustrations connected with his birthplace and early life. The narrative in this volume covers the European portion of Agassiz's life, about which little is known in this country. It is woven together from family papers, and the contributions of fellow-students and others who knew Agassiz intimately at one period or another of his early career. A brother of Professor Agassiz, who survived him several years, took the greatest interest in preserving whatever concerned his scientific career, and this brother furnished Mrs. Agassiz with many papers and documents concerning his earlier life. After the brother's death the work was continued by a cousin, Mr. Auguste Mayor, who also selected from the glacier of the Aar, "at the request of Mr. Alexander Agassiz, the bowlder which now marks his father's grave."

Louis Agassiz had no other teacher than his parents for the first ten years of his life. "Having lost her first four children in infancy, his mother watched with trembling solicitude over his early years." She understood that his love of nature was an intellectual tendency, and throughout her whole life, as well in the work of his manhood as in the sports of his childhood, she remained his most intimate friend. He survived her but six years. When a very little fellow he had his collection of fishes, and the vignette represents the stone basin behind the parsonage, into which water from a spring was always flowing, and which was Agassiz's first aquarium. He had various pets, whose families he reared with the greatest care. "His pet animals," we are told, "suggested questions to answer, which was the task of his life." The story of his school-life, from the age of ten to seventeen, is briefly told, but leaves the distinct impression of a boy with a settled purpose. After spending two years at the medical school in Zürich, Agassiz went to the University of Heidelberg in the year 1S26, at the age of nineteen. It is not easy to make citationa from a book of such uniform interest; but his student-life at Heidelbt-rp, and afterward at Munich, as gathered from variuus passages in this history, has a peculiar fascination. In one of the first acquaintances made by him at this time, Agassiz found a life-long friend—

and in aflor-yoars a brother. Professor Tiedemann, by whom ho had U'en bo kindly received, rccouj- mendcd him to tccV. the acquaintance of young Alexander Braun, an ardent .otudent and especial lover of botany. At Tiedemann's lecture, the next day, Apassiz's attention was attracted by a young man who sat next him. and who was taking very careful notes, and illustrating them. There was something very winning In his calm, gentle face, fUll of benevolence and intelligence. Convinced, by his manner of listening to the lecture, that this was the student of whom Tiedemann had fpoken, Agissiz turned to his neighbor, as they both rose at the close of the hoar, and said, "Are you Alex- ander Braun?" "Yes. Are you Louis Agassiz f" . . . The two young men left the lecture-room to- gether, and from that time their studies, their ex- cursions, their amusements, were undertaken and pursued together. . . . Braun learned zoOlogy from Agassiz, and he in turn learned botany from Braun.

In a letter of young Braun to his parents, written at this time, he says:

In my leisure hours I go to the dissecting-room, where, in company with another young naturalist, who has appeared like a rare comet on the Heidel- berg horizon, I dissect all manner of beasts, such as dogs, cats, birds, ii-hes, and even smaller fry, as snails, butterflies, caterpillars, worms, and the like. ... I sometimes go with this naturalist on a hunt for animals and plants. Not only do we collect and learn to observe all manner of things, but we ex- change views on scientific matters In general.

And he adds, concerning Agassiz's at- tainments at this time:

I learn a great deal from him, for he is much more at home in zoology than I am. He is famil- iar with almost all the known mammalia, recog- nizes the birds from far off by their sonc, and can give a name to every fish in the water. In the morning we often stroll together through the fish- market, where he explains to me all the different species. He is going to teach me how to stuff fishes; and then wo intend so make a collection of all the native kinds. .Many other useful things he knows; speaks German and French equally well, Ensrlish and Ita'ian fairly. Is well acquainted with ancient laniruages. and studies medicine besides. ... To utilize the interval spent in the time-con- suming and mechanical work of preparing speci- mens, pinnini; insects, and the like, we have agreed that, while one Is employed, the other shall read aloud. In this way we shall go thronirh various works on physiology, anatomy, and zoology.

They spent their vacations together; "drew, studied, dissected, arranged speci- mens, discussed theories with their young brains teeming about the growth, struct- ure, and relations of animals and plants." Another young botanist, Karl Schiinpcr, was taken into this Heidelberg intimacy, and the three were inseparable in their stud- ies. At one time Agassiz was kept at home in Switzerland by sickne.-^s, but the letters passing between these fellow-inquirers were remarkable. Here is a set of questions pro- pounded by Agassiz to Braun and Schimpcr at Heidelberg. He was studying the fishes of the Swiss lakes and trying to catalogue them, and he says:

As I am on the chapter of fishes, I will ask yon— 1. 'Vrhat are the gillarches? 2. What the gill-blades' 3. What is the bladder in fishes?

4. What is the cloaca in the egglaj-ing animals?

5. What signify the many fins of fishes? 6. What is the sac which surrounds the eggs in bombinator obstetricians? [a creatnro about which there had been former correspondence].

Braun, on his part, writes to Agassiz: "On my last sheet I send some nuts for you to pick, some wholly, some half, others not at all cracked." The following are some of the mooted questions:

1. WTiere is the first diverging point of the stems and roots in plants, that is to say, the first genica- lum?

2. How do yon explain the origin of those leaves on the stem which, not arising from distinct geniculi, are placed spirally, or scattered round the stem?

8. Why do some plants, especially trees (contra- ry to the ordinary course of development in plauts), blossom iHjfore they have put forth leaves (elm-treea, willow-trees, and fruit-trees)?

4. In what succession does the development of the organs of a flower take place—and their forma- tion in the bud? (compare campanula, pnpaver).

5. What are the leaves of the spcrtmla?

6. What are the tufted leaves of pine-trees?

7. What is individuality in plants?

It matters not that most of these prob- lems were solved long ago; they no less illustrate the action of these young minds in carrying forward their fruitful studies. It is to these two botanist.s, Braun and Schimper, that botany owes the discovery of the law of Phyllotaxis which is hinted at in the first of the above questions. We next find the three friends established at Sluuich, attending the lectures of Dullin- ger, Martins, Schelling, Oken, the latter of whom was extremely friendly with them, inviting them once a week to his bouse, whore they listened to scientific papers or discussed scientitic matters. They took tea once a week with Trofessor von Martins, while with Dollinger they were still more intimate. " Not only did they go to him daily, but he often came to see them, bring- ing botanical specimens to Braun, or look- ing in upon Agassiz's breeding experiments, in which he took the liveliest interest, being always ready with advice and practical aid. The fact that Agassiz and Braun had their room in his house made intercourse with him especially easy. This room became the rendezvous of all the aspiring, active spirits among the young naturalists at Munich, and was known by the name of ' The Little Academy.' . . . The friends gave lectures in turn on various subjects, especially on modes of development in plants and ani- mals. These lectures were attended not only by students, but often by the profess- ors." In a letter to his father, Agassiz de- scribes his life at this period as exceedingly pleasant. He says:

When our lectures are over, we meet In the evening at Braun's room or mine, with three or four intimate acquaintances, and talk of scientific mat- ters, each one in his turn presenting a subject which is first developed by him and then discussed by all. These exercises are very instructive. As my share, I have begun to give a course of natural history, or rather of pure zoology. Braun talks to us of botany, and another of our company, Mahir, who is an ex- cellent fellow, teaches us mathematics and physics in his turn. In two months Schimper will join us and become our professor of philosophy. Thus we instruct each other, learning what we teach more thoroughly because obliged to demonstrate it. Each fe.ssion lasts two or three hours, during which the professor in charge retails his merchandise without aid of notes or book. You can imagine how useful this must be in preparing us to speak in public and with coherence; the experience is the more impor- tant, since we aU desire nothing so much as sooner or later to become professors in very truth.

Again, in writing to his father, Braun says of these private lectures:

Sometimes Agassiz tries to beat French rules and constructions into our brains, or we have a les- son in anatomy, or I read general natural history aloud to William Schimper. By-and-by I shall re- view the natural history of grasses and ferns, two families of which I made a special study last sum- mer. Twice a week Karl Schimper lectures to us on the morphology- of pjlants. He has twelve listen- ers. Agassiz is also to give us lectures occasion- ally on Sundays upon the natural history of fishes.

An artist who was already in the employ of Agassiz, and who afterward made the illus-

trations of his works upon fossil fishes, de- scribes Agassiz's life and surroundings at this time as follows;

lie never lost his temper, though often under great trial, . , . Uis studio was a pcrfoct German stu- dent's room. It was large, with several wide win- dows; the furniture consisted of a couch and about half a dozen chairs, besides some tables, fur the use of his artists and himself. Alexander Braun and Dr. Schimper lodged in the same house and seemed to me to share bis studio. Being botanists, they too brought homo what they collected in their ex- cursions, and all this found a place in the atelier, on the couch, on the seats, on the floors. Books filled the chairs, one alone being left for the other artists, while I occupied a standing desk with my drawing. No visitor could sit down, and sometimes there was litile room to stand or move about. The walls were white, and diagrams were drawn upon them, to which by-and-by we artists added skeletons and caricatures. In short, it was quite original.

The second volume is devoted to Agas- siz's life in America. The frontispiece is a portrait taken at the age of fifty-five, and bringing at once to mind the features so well known to multitudes of people in all parts of the country. Besides the vignette, show- ing us the laboratory at Nahant, there is a view of the cottage at Nahant, of the Muse- um of Comparative Zoology, a portrait bust by Powers, and a view of Penikese.

Scientific Theism. By Francis Elling- AvooD AniiOT, Ph. D. Boston: Little, Brown k Co. Pp. 219. Price, $2.

This work is an attempt at developing theism from science and the scientific meth- od. Dr. Abbot criticises nominalism and conceptualism, and argues for a noumenism in which every phenomenon is, as far as it goes, a real revelation of the noumenon. He holds that the mind perceives true rela- tions in nature, and that therefore to the extent to which human knowledge has gone it forms a part, however small, of that con- tained in the Divine Mind. The theory of the unknowable the author rejects, holding that absolute knowledge of a thing would consist in knowing the sum of its relationB to all other things in the universe.

Dr. Abbot argues from the intelligibili- ty of the universe to its intelligence; and hence, since it is all-inclusive, to its self- consciousness. His is no external deity re- lated to the universe, as machinist to ma- chine, but the immanent mind, whose organic life and growth, manifested to us in nature, is none other than evolution, which has dawned upon the iuveatigatora and thinkers of to-day.


Characteristics or Amkkican Lan- 0UA0K3. Hy Daniel (i. Biunton, M. D. rhiiadelphia. Pp. 41,

Dr. Bri.ston appears to have struck upon an undeveloped mine of linguistic research. Philologists have told us of monosyllabic, agglutinative, and inflectional languages, and of analytic and synthetic languages, and we have means in the libraries of books they have written upon them of learning all about them. The American languages, ac- cording to the present author, present en- tirely different types—those named in the title above—which have so far been only vaguely described, probably because they were only vaguely understood. Polysyn- thesis, according to Dr. Brinton, is a method of word-building which employs juxtaposi- tion of words with the modifications they usually undergo when brought together, and also words, forms of words, and significant phonetic elements which have no existence apart from the compounds into which they enter. By incorporation, the nominal and pronomial elements of the proposition are subordinated to the verbal elements, and either have no independent existence in the form required by the verb, or are included within the specific verbal signs of tense and mood. By the use of these methods, of which various illustrative examples are given from several languages, the whole sentence is woven into a single word. These peculiari- ties constitute the American languages a distinct and independent class.

CossASorixEors Marriages: their Effect UPON Offspring. By Charles F. With- iNOTON, M. D. Roxbury, Massachusetts. Pp. 32.

Dr. Withington inquires into the valid- ity of the belief that consanguinity of parents is in and of itself detrimental to offspring. He finds the evidence usually presented in favor of that opinion insuffi- cient to demonstrate it. He presents evi- dence collected by himself, which, while he is far from regarding it as decisive, seems to go a great way toward justifying a neg- ative view of the case.

Bad Times. An Essay on the Present De- pres.-iion of Trade, tracing it to its Sources in Enormous Foreign Loans, Excessive War Expenditure, tho Increase of Specu- lation and of Millionaires, and the De- jjopulatiou of the Uural Districts. With Suggested Remedies. By Alfred Ri s- 8EL Wallace, LL. D. New York: Mac- millan Ac Co. Pp. 118. Price, "iO cents.

A PKEMiCM was offered in England, known as the " Pears Prize," of one hun- dred guineas for the best essay on the depres- sion of trade. Mr. Alfred Russel Wallace, the celebrated naturalist and philosophic thinker, who anticipated the chief work of Durwin, competed for it. It was, of course, thought singular that a traveling naturalist, a collector of butterflies, and an investigator on the origin of species, should have the as- surance to strike into the great field of finance and international trade relations with a view of determining the causes of the present extensive hard times. But Mr. Wallace was not unprepared for the task. In his early life he had spent twelve years as a land surveyor and valuer, when he had much observation of agricultural life, and became familiar with a wide range of facts which had a bearing upon the land question now 80 prominent, and all of which gave a turn to his thought that well prepared him to take up the present discussion. But Mr. Wallace did not get the prize. Ilis inde- pendent handling of the general subject, the deviation of many of his views from orthodox lines, and the introduction of new and more comprehensive causes of the pre- vailing bad times, probably explained the failure of his essay before the committee of award.

But the book is none the less valuable because uncrowned with a golden prize, and he did well to have it printed. In review- ing his previous works we have had repeated occasion to speak of his power as a clear thinker and lucid writer, and the present volume illustrates these traits as signally as anything he has previously done. He first states the general problem, and then considers the popular explanations for the extensive business depression, which is fol- lowed by the criteria indispensable to a true explanation. In successive chapters he takes up the baneful influence of ex- tensive foreign loans, both upon England and the numerous countries which have re- ceived her capital. Prominent among the causes of business cahiniity he discusses the recent increase of war expenditures, rural depopulation, pauperism in England and Ireland, bad agricultural policy, millionaires as a cause of depression, speculation and finance, adulteration and dishonesty. In Part II several brief chapters are devoted to the suggestion of remedies.

The view taken by Mr. AVallace is broad and very instructive, llis facts arc copious and pertinent, and the reasoning cogent and forcible. His ideas are far more ele- vated and philosophical than we arc ac- customed to in treating this class of ques- tions. This well appears in his closing paragraphs. He says: " In conclusion, I wish to direct my readers' attention to a very suggestive fact elicited by our present inquiry, and which appears to me to express the moral teaching of the whole subject. In every case in which we have traced out the efficient causes of the present depres- sion, we have found it to originate in cus- toms, laws, or modes of action which are ethically unsound, if not positively immoral. Wars and excessive war armaments, loans to despots, or for war purposes, the accu- mulation of vast wealth by individuals, ex- cessive speculation, adulteration of manu- factured goods, and lastly, our bad land system, with its insecurity of tenure, exces- sive rents, confiscation of tenants' property, its common-inclosures, evictions, and de- population of the rural districts—all come under this category; while the one apparent exception, the bad seasons, would have been comparatively harmless (as instances here quoted have shown) under a thoroughly good system of land-tenure.

"We thus see that the evils under which we have suffered, and arc still suffering, are due to no recondite causes, to no laws of inevitable fluctuation of trade, but wholly to our own acts, and to those of other civilized nations. Whenever we depart from the great principles of truth and honesty, of equal freedom and justice to all men, whether in our relations with other states, or in our dealings with our fellow-men, the evil that we do surely comes back to us, and the suffering and poverty and crime of which we are the direct or indirect causes.

help to impoverish ourselves. It is, then, by applying the teachings of a higher mo- rality to our commerce and manufactures, to our laws and customs, and to our dealings with all other nationalities, that we shall find the only effective and permanent rem- edy for depression of trade."


pp. 9. By W. S. RoBEUTSON, M. D.

Muscatine, Iowa.

The author of these papers is President of the Iowa State Board of Health, and in the essays discusses two very important points in public hygiene. The former pa- per relates to the effects of overpressure upon the health and progress of school-chil- dren, and the signs by which its evil work- ings may be discovered. The second paper relates to the importance of diffusing sound information among the people, in order that they may recognize the value of sanitary science, and may learn how to participate in its benefits,

American CoKSTirrTiONS. By Horace Da- vis. Baltimore: N. Murray. Pp. '70. Price, 50 cents.

This is one of the Johns Hopkins Uni- versity studies in historical and political science. Its purpose is to follow the changes in the relations of the three depart- ments of government—legislative, executive, and judicial—which have been silently go- ing on in the United States for the past century. In the State governments, un- der numerous alterations in their Constitu- tions, the powers of the Executive have been steadily enlarged, and the functions of the j Legislature have been cramped and limited; in the Federal Government, Congi-ess has encroached upon the field of Executive pow- I er; and everywhere, in both national and ] State governments, the judiciary has gained I vastly in power and importance. The au- I thor believes that there have been three distinct strata of government in the old I thirteen colonies. In the first or colonial 1 period, the Executive was too strong; in the second, the Legislature; in the third, the balance was restored, and our State Con- stitutions are to-day, he believes, "as a whole, the most perfect framework of gov- I emment for men living in a democracy, [ that human skill has ever devised." New Youk Aonicii.TCRAL Expekimknt Sta- tion. Third Aiiiiuiil Kc])urt of the IJoiird of Control, for 18SI. Albany: WecJ, Parsons A: Co. I'l). 421, with IMates.

The station is reported as now better equipped for its work than at any previous poriod. Not only have the apparatus for ^clentific and practical work been provided, but infonnation has been and is being ac- ((uired regardinf; the condition of our soil and climate. The work at such a station is necessarily cumulative in its chariicter, and each year must mark improvement in con- ditions whereby previous work may become more available. Con.siderable space in the report is devoted to the examination of "duplicates," under the conviction that where true duplicates can not be obtained, '* it is unwise to expend our energy in at- tempting work over which we can have no check. . . . Indeed, until agricultural sci- ence, 80 called, can be subjected to the tests that are recognized as essential to correct- ness in other sciences, we can not hope for that progress which we desire." The most important feature of the present report is the description and classification of the va- rieties of com, which are graphically illus- trated in the plates. The attempt at classi- fication has been extended to the varieties of vegetables, of which some twelve hun- dred have been grown, " but the work is a difficult one, and requires much careful study." Other subjects embraced in the report arc the trial of germinations, the rooting habits of plants, nitrogen-supply, feeding-experiments, and experiments with milk.

Itali.vn PoprLAK Tales. By Thomas Fred- erick Crane, Professor of the Romance Languages in Cornell University. Bos- ton and New York: Houghton, MilHin, & Co. Pp. 3S9. Price, $2.50.

The growing interest in the popular talcs of Europe, and in the new branch of anthropological research, folklore, is the justification for the appearance of this handsome volume. By popular tales, the translator means the stories that are handed down by word of mouth from one genera- tion to another of illiterate people, .seninp almost exclusively to amuse but seldom to instruct. They may be roughly divided into three classes: nursery talcs, fairy stories.

and jests. They were regarded with con- tempt by the learned till the brothera Grimm some sixty years ago collected those of Ger- many and introduced them to the public. Now they are industriously sought for and collected from all parts of the world. The stories in the present volume arc, for the most part, presented for the first time to the English reader, and have been translated from recent Italian collections, which give them exactly as they were taken down from th« mouths of the people. The stories are annotated for comment and illustration, and the subject is further elucidated by a his- tory, in the introduction, of the principal Italian collections, and a bibliography.

Two Years in thk Jingle. By William T. HoRNADAY. New York: Charles Scribncr's Sons. Pp. 512, with Map and Plates. Price, $4.

Mr. IIornaday is chief taxidermist in the United States National Museum, and was for several years collector for the nat- ural science establishment of Professor Henry A. Ward, of Rochester, New York. The observations and adventures related in this book are such as happened to him while on a collecting tour for that gentleman, in the course of which he spent two years in India, Ceylon, the Malay Peninsula, and Borneo. That which he describes in it is offered as a faithful pen-picture "of what may be seen and done by almost any healthy young man in two years of ups and downs in the East Indies." The author says that he has labored in preparing his pages " to avoid all forms of exaggeration, and to rep- resent everything with photographic accu- racy as to facts and figures. It is easy to overestimate and color too highly, and I have fought hard to keep out of my story every elephant and monkey who had no right to a place in it. I consider it the highest duty of a traveler to avoid careless- ness in the statement of facts. A narrative of a journey is not a novel, in which the writer may put down as seen anything that might have been seen."

Journal or the American Akademe. Al- exander Wilder, Editor. Newark, New Jersey. Pp. 24.

The American Akademo is an associa- tion having for its purpose to promote the knowledge of philosophic truth, and to woi k for the elevation of the mind from the sphere of the sensuous life into that of virtue and justice, etc. Its members, it will be discerned, are to a large extent students of the Platonic philosophy. The raost important paper in the present num- ber is by J. B. Turner, and is on " Diflfcr- cntiation of Energy as the Basis of Philoso- phy and ReUgion." Mr. D. A. AVasson dis- cusses the possibility of teaching virtue by verbal precept, with a decided inclination to the negative view.

A Political Crime. By A. M. Gibson. New York : William S. Gottsbergcr. Pp. 402.

This book is further entitled "The History of the Great Fraud," by which is meant the "counting in" of Hayes and Wheeler as President and Vice-President of the United States in 1870, when half of the American people believed that the candidates on the opposing ticket had been fairly elected. Its fundamental proposition, embodied in its opening sentence, is that Tildcn and Ucndiicks were elected, and "were deprived of their choice by illegal methods, bolstered by frauds, perjuries, and forgeries." The author adds, "The surprising thing is that within less than a decade an almost complete revulsion in the opinions of the minority [the Republicans] should have taken place." Mr. Tilden's case is presented in full. The proceedings of the Returning Boards are narrated in detail, and conspiracy is freely charged against many of the men who figured prominently in the transactions relative to the election. As no election is now pending, the book can not be regarded as a campaign document; and the author is entitled to the presumption that his purpose in preparing it is to preserve what he regards as important facts and materials for history.

SOMKTHIXG ABOCT NaTCRAL GaS: ItS AD- VANTAGES, Use, Scpplt, and Economies. By George H. Thceston. Pp. 32.

A PAMPHLET which applies more partic- ularly to the natural gas of Tarentum, near Pittsburg, and which also sets forth the advantage of that place as a manufacturing center.

��A Mortal Antipathy : First Opening of the New Portfolio. By Oliver Wendell Holmes. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Co. Pp. 307. Price, jil.50. A NEW book by Dr. Holmes, redolent of his versatile genius and worthy of his fame. Happy are they who survive to enjoy this ripest product of the author's exquisite thought, for verily, this world has pro- duced but one Dr. Holmes, and verily, veri- ly, there will never be another, no matter how long it takes the solar system to run down ! Great genius is never duplicated in the present economy of things, and the in- dividuaUty of Dr. Holmes will forever stand alone in the history of creative literature. So let us all thank God for our good for- tune in getting another of his charming and peerless books.

The contents of the new volume ap- peared as a serial in the "Atlantic Month- ly " last year, under the title of " The New Portfolio." The scientific element which has been so striking and peculiar a charac- teristic of the former writings of Dr. Holmes here appears in the delineation of the ca- reer of a young man who, in infancy, had suffered a nervous disturbance so " sudden, overwhelming, unconquerable, appalling," from the carelessness of a pretty girl, that its effect remained in the system, so that afterward the sight of any young lady caused a repetition of the organic shock and deadly collapse. He was sent to a boys' school, and grew up to manhood the victim of this " mortal antipathy." The develop- ment of the story brings the young man, himself a pliysician of exquisite traits of mind and character, into such relations as, in the first place, to throw into a clear light all the physiological and medical aspects of the case, and then, with the most perfect art, the author relates the history of his restoration. The book is of absorbing in- terest, as well from its curious instructive- ness as from the fascination of the story.

Milk Analysis and Infant Feeding. By Arthur W. Meigs, M. D. Philadel- phia : P. Blakiston, Son & Co. Pp. 102. Price, 61.

Dr. Meigs publishes this little volume in the hope of contributing something to- ward the solution of the question of the composition of human milk, believing that, if some uniformity of opinion could be ar-

�� � rived at on the subject, it would be a great step iu advance toward the attainment of some positive conclusion in regard to tbe artificial feeding of infants. After a long and careful study of the matter, he is con- vinced that human milk contains much less casein than is commonly attributed to it; and he here puts forth his reasons, and a detail of the methods by which his conclu- sions have been attained.

A Text-Book of Medical Coemistuy. For Medical and Pharmaceutical Students and Practitioners. By Elias H. Bart- let, M. D. Philadelphia: P. Blakiston, Son & Co. Pp. 37G, Price, $2.50.

Tuis book is designed especially as a text-book for medical students during their attendance upon lectures, and as a book of ready reference for physicians. The au- thor, who finds the ordinary chemical text- books too voluminous and largely occupied with matter irrelevant to the wants of the medical student, has prepared in this one such a one as his experience of twelve years in the Long Island College Hospital, in which he is a professor, has taught him that his students need. In the first of the four parts into which the work is divided, are presented fundamental facts in chemi- cal physics; in the second part, the ele- mentary theories of chemistry; in the third part, the natural history of the elements and principal compounds, with their physi- ological and toxicological bearings; in the fourth part, those organic compounds only which the physician will be likely to meet. Tables and analyses are added for those who make the work a reference-book. The chemistry of the tissues and secretions is omitted, because it is considered to belong rather to physiological chemistry.

Sase IIolue SroniES. First and Second

Series. Pp. about 760. Paper. Price,

50 cents each series. A Wheel of Fire. By Arlo Bates. Pp.

3S2. Price, ^1. New York: Charles

Scribucr's Sons.

The "Saxe Holme Stories" attracted much interest when they were first pub- lished in " Scribner's Monthly," on account of their intrinsic merit, which was regarded as of the best, and of the mystery which was attached to their authorship. This was never revealed till a long time afterward.

This interest has been renewed by the re- cent death of Mrs. " II. II." Jackson, and the avowal in connection with it that she was the author of the stories. They hold the first place among works of the class to which they belong. " A Wheel of Fire " is a tragic story of a young woman whose life was tormented by the apprehension of hereditary insanity, and all of whose plans and movements were controlled or modified by it,

Binn-WATS. By Olive TnonsE Miller. Boston and New York: Houghton, Mif- llin & Co. Pp. 227. Price, |l.25.

A collection of sketches of the ways of certain birds which the author met in the fields or had as pets in her house, and of their moods and methods of expressing them. With the exception of a few in- cidents which are properly credited, every- thing recorded in the volume came, she says, under her own observation, and is lit- erally and entirely true so far as the fact is concerned, although she may have some- times misconstrued the motives of the little actors in the drama.

TnE Heart, and now to take Care of it. By Edwin M. Hale, M. I). New York: A. L. Chattcrton Publishing Company. Pp. 94.

The author has been moved to present a popular treatise on this subject by his conviction of the importance of the heart in the economy of the human organism, and by a belief that tbe public should know more about its functions, and the means of preventing or at least modifying the dan- gers to which it is exposed. His exposition is clear, practical, and unseneational.


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