Popular Science Monthly/Volume 39/July 1891/Literary Notices

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
Popular Science Monthly Volume 39 July 1891  (1891) 
Literary Notices
 

LITERARY NOTICES.

The American Race: A Linguistic Classification and Ethnographic Description of the Native Tribes of North and South America. By Daniel G. Brinton. New York: N. D. C. Hodges. Pp. 392. Price, $2.

This is the first attempt — Dr. Latham's previous work of nearly forty years having been only partly in that direction — known to the author, at a systematic classification of the whole American race on the basis of language. While the value of physical data, culture, and traditional history is not depreciated, they are in this work constantly made subordinate to relationship as indicated by grammar and lexicography. Dr. Brinton is not alone in recognizing this fact, for the linguistic classification is also employed as the predominant criterion by the Bureau of Ethnology of the United States and the similar departments in the Governments of Canada and Mexico. The grammatical structure of the language is recognized as superior to the lexical elements in deciding on relationship; and this, too, is in agreement with the general opinion of the best scholars. Especial attention is paid to those parts of the continent whose ethnography remains obscure. The various theories of the origin of American man are reviewed. As to the time of his appearance here, the author agrees with most contemporary anthropologists that it was during the Glacial epoch. Too much importance should not be attached to the indications of an extremely early origin afforded by certain finds of human relics on the Pacific slope — for allowance has to be made for the disturbances to which the soil has been subjected in those regions. The hypothesis of an elevation of the bed of the North Atlantic above water during the Glacial period is accepted to account for the access of man to this continent. The physical traits of the American man of to-day are supposed to have been developed since his arrival, and while he was in his first American home, which is supposed, on the evidence of the superior adaptability of even the tropical Indian to a temperate climate, to have been east of the Rocky Mountains and between the receding wall of the continental ice-sheet and the Gulf of Mexico. The physical characteristics of the Indians North and South are found to be subject to considerable variations, but, "on the whole, the race is singularly uniform in its physical traits, and individuals taken from any part of the continent could easily be mistaken for inhabitants of numerous other parts. This uniformity finds one of its explanations in the geographical features of the continent, which are such as to favor migrations in longitude, and thus prevent the diversity which especial conditions of latitude tend to produce." Beyond all other criteria of a race must rank its mental endowments. Judged by accomplished results, rather than supposed endowments, "the American race certainly stands higher than the Australian, the Polynesian, or the African, but does not equal the Asian. No hard-and-fast line of difference in degrees of culture can be drawn between the tribes; and, when closely analyzed, the difference between the highest and the average culture of the race is much less than has usually been taught." America everywhere at the time of discovery is found to have been in the polished stone age. The religious sentiment was awake in all the tribes of the continent, and even the lowest tribes had LITERARY NOTICES.

��4*3

��myths and propitiatory rites ; and there is a singular similarity in these myths. The psychic identity of the Americans is well illustrated in their languages, which are strikingly alike in their logical substructure. The precise number of linguistic stocks in use in America at the discovery has not been made out. The Bureau of Ethnology has de- fined fifty-nine north of Mexico, forty of which were confined to the narrow strip be- tween the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific. The stocks, including the South American, are divided by Dr. Brinton into five groups the North Atlantic, the North Pacific, the Central, the South Pacific, and the South Atlantic ; and each stock is considered sepa- rately.

Woman's Work in America. Edited by

Annie Nathan Meyer. New York :

Henry Holt & Co. Pp. 457. Price, $1.50.

This voluminous record deals with a sub- ject which within the past generation has risen to great interest and importance to both sexes. The volume comprises an edit, or's preface, an introduction of two pages by Julia Ward Howe, and seventeen chap- ters, by as many writers (all women), three of them being on the education of women in different sections of the country, while the others deal with different fields of activity into which women have made their way, gen- erally against obstacles. Of the latter four- teen chapters, seven treat of special divis- ions of woman's work in philanthropy, and the subjects of the other seven are woman in literature, in journalism, in medicine, in the ministry, in law, in the state, and in in- dustry. The editor explains, in answer to the question, which has been asked her, why she has no chapter on woman in marriage, that the book is restricted to fields " in which women, if entrance were not absolutely de- nied them, were at least not welcomed nor valued." The editor had a perfect right to limit the book as she saw fit, but thus lim- ited it does not fulfill the promise of its title. An exact title would be, The Exten- sion of Woman's Work in America; the present one is a weapon for those who charge inexactness as a characteristic fault of wom- en. The occupations that are omitted, in- cluding the one above mentioned, domestic

��service, teaching, and dressmaking represent the greater part of the work that women do, and others are such as the sex has won some of its proudest laurels in, namely, the fine arts and the stage. Although this record seems to have been limited by a purpose of celebrating triumphs over public opinion, it contains much information, and recounts many noble works. The profession in which woman has won the highest success in spite of the most determined opposition, and hence has the greatest victory to celebrate, is that of medicine. The chapter on this sub- ject is by Mary Putnam Jacobi, M. D. It traces the history of the movement with con- siderable detail, giving many names and dates, but without permitting the statistical to overshadow the literary features of the essay. The most important division of the volume is the group of occupations included under the general head Woman in Industry. The essay with this title is by Alice II. Rhine ; it describes the transfer of spin- ning, weaving, and knitting from the home to the factory, the change in the labor of seamstresses which the sewing machine in- troduced, the establishment of exchanges for goods made by women, the participation of women in trades-unions, various State investi- gations of the work of women, and some of the legislation based on the information thus gathered. It also gives an account of the rise of woman's education in industrial art, the establishment of various organizations to furnish working-women with comfortable liv- ing, to protect them from being cheated out of their wages or savings, and to teach them various gainful occupations, and closes with glowing praise of the Knights of Labor and the principles of socialism. Little or noth- ing is said about saleswomen, or women as stenographers, typewriters, telegraphers, cashiers, book-keepers, Government clerks, canvassers, and teachers of cookery. Miss Rhine calls the sewing-machine a curse, " like all other labor-saving machines " a delusion which is mostly confined to the uneducated. One quality for which this essay deserves praise is its freedom from useless words. The paper on Woman in Literature, by Helen G. Cone, records much of glorious achievement. It is rather apologetic, assigning lack of ad- vantages and opportunities as the reason why still more women have not succeeded in this

�� � 4H

��THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

��field. This plea gives scant credit for gen- ius to the women who have done well. Many of the essays overrun into the fields that be- long to others ; most of them contain irrele- vant matter or are overdressed with rhetoric and poetical quotations ; nursing as a means of support is mixed up with the charitable care of the sick ; and there is other evidence of defective arrangement and editing. Taking it altogether, however, the book has a great deal to tell to any one who is interested in " the woman question," and this consists in not only the facts which the writers have set forth, but largely, also, in what the char- acter of the volume unconsciously reveals of woman's intellectual peculiarities, her mode of action in various circumstances, her atti- tude toward certain questions of the day, etc.

Physical Religion. By F. Max Mitller. London and New York : Longmans, Green & Co. Pp. 410.

This volume contains the author's sec- ond course of Gifford Lectures, which were delivered before the University of Glasgow in 1890. The first course was chiefly of an introductory character. In it the questions were discussed of the limits of natural religion, the proper method of studying it, and the materials accessible for the study. The principal manifestations of natural religion were found to be physical, anthropological, and psychological. The present course is devoted to the consider- ation of the first of these aspects. Physi- cal religion is defined as a worship of the powers of Nature. The author finds it most completely developed, in its simplest form, in the India of the Vedas ; and this leads to a survey of the Vedic literature, the circum- stances of its discovery, and its age. The whole process of deification is laid before our eyes in the greatest fullness and most perspicuity in the Vedas. In the hymns grouped under that name we may trace " the gradual and perfectly intelligible develop- ment of the predicate God from out of the simplest perceptions and conceptions which the human mind gained from that objective nature by which man found himself sur- rounded." The name of deva, or God, in Sanskrit, meant originally bright, and came to mean God after a long process of evolu- tion. Of the many Devas, or Gods, of the

��Pantheon of the Veda, Agni, or the God of Fire, is selected for an analysis, by means of which the history may be understood " of that long psychological process which, be- ginning with the simplest and purely mate- rial conceptions, has led the mind to that highest concept of duty which we have in- herited, together with our language, as mem- bers of the great Aryan, and not of the Semitic family." In the lectures succeeding the introduction of Agni, Prof. Miiller dis- cusses the biography of the divinity Agni as divested of his material character ; the use- fulness of the Vedic religion for a compar- ative study of other religions ; fire as con- ceived in other religions ; the mythological development of Agni ; Religion, Myth, and Custom ; Other Gods of Nature ; and the conclusion to which the whole leads " that the human mind, such as it is, and unas- sisted by any miracles except the eternal miracles of nature, did arrive at the concept of God in its highest and purest form, did arrive at some of the fundamental doctrines of our own religion. Whatever ' the im- pregnable rock of Scripture truth ' may be, here we have the ' impregnable rock of eternal and universal truth.' ' There is a God above all other gods,' whatever their names, whatever their concepts may have been in the progress of the ages and in the growth of the human mind. Whoever will ponder on that fact, in all its bearings, will discover in time that a comparative study of the religions of the world has lessons to teach us which the study of no single re- ligion by itself can possibly teach."

Arr-LETONs' School Physics. By John D. Quackenbos (Literary Editor) and oth- ers. New York : American Book Com- pany. Pp. 544. Price, $1.50.

This volume embraces the results of the most recent researches in the several de- partments of natural philosophy. It is in- tended to meet a demand for a thoroughly modern text-book on the subject, which shall reflect the most advanced laboratory and pedagogical methods, and at the same time be adapted, in style and matter, for use in the higher grades of our grammar schools, high schools, and academies. In order to secure the best expositions of the several departments of the science, the dif-

�� � LITERARY NOTICES.

��415

��ferent sections of the book have been as- signed to educators of recognized eminence and skill, especially qualified to deal with the particular topics which are especially given them. Thus, the sections on motion, energy, force, the properties and constitu- tion of matter, solids, liquids, gases, and mechanics proper have been prepared by Prof. S. W. Holman, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; those on heat, light, frictional and voltaic electricity, by Prof. Francis E. Nipher, of Washington University, St. Louis ; the chapter on sound, by Prof. Alfred M. Mayer, of Stevens Insti- tute ; and the sections relating to magnet- ism and the practical applications of elec- tricity, by Prof. F. B. Crocker, of the Co- lumbia College School of Mines.. Among the specific features claimed for the work are the thorough and original treatment of motion, energy, force, and work ; and the modern and appliable conception of the nature, transformation, and conservation of energy, and of the relation between energy and force. The book is adapted to students fourteen years old and upward, but, by the omission of certain classes of paragraphs, it may be made comprehensible to younger learners. It has been the aim of the authors not to teach results merely, but to show how these results have been reached, and what practical use is made of them. Precedence is everywhere given to the practical.

The Evolution of Photography. By John Werge. London : Piper & Carter and J. Werge. Pp. 312.

Although photography can now claim a literature of its own, the historical aspect of the art has naturally been neglected. Espe- cially in later years has discovery followed upon discovery so closely as to allow little time for retrospection. The rapid introduc- tion of different processes has been followed by numerous treatises on special methods, and manuals on the general practice of the art abound, but the field of reminiscence has been mostly untrodden save by Mr. Werge, who in 1880 published an account of the origin and process of photography. The present volume easily divides itself into three sections : the first containing an outline of the development of photography ; the second, a chronological record ; and the third, per-

��sonal recollections. The author marks four periods in the history of the art : the dark ages ; the age of publicity ; the epoch of collodion triumphant ; the epoch of gelatin successful. The dark ages include the time from the thirteenth century to the advent of the daguerreotype. The first three centuries may be justly regarded as very nebulous in- deed, without the glimmering of a photo- graphic ray, and marked only by the discovery of the agents that were long afterward em- ployed in producing pictures. Among such may be counted the invention and perfection of the camera obscura and the metallic re- searches of the early alchemists. The first step toward acquaintance with actinic influ- ence was the observation of the darkening of chloride of silver in the sixteenth century. As chemical knowledge increased, other phenomena were noted ; and finally Scheele, the Swedish chemist, experimented with the prism and demonstrated the greater activity of the violet ray. Meanwhile the double achromatic lens had been constructed, and the possibility of sun portraiture was real- ized. Scientific men essayed the problem, and in 1839 M. Daguerre's process was given to the world by the French Academy. In spite of this official announcement, there seems to be every reason to agree with Mr. Werge that England had preceded France in photographic discovery, as the Rev. J. B. Reade produced ineffaceable pictures upon paper by means of tannin and hyposulphite of soda in 1837.

The next important advance was made by Talbot in demonstrating the latent image to be the basis of photogenic manipulation. The subsequent discovery and solution of gun-cotton made possible the collodion nega. tives of Archer; and in 1850, a gelatin pro- cess was introduced by M. Poitevin. The art then enters upon its marvelous series of developments ; the heliochromes of Niepce de St. Victor, photo-engraving on steel, orthochromatic plates, platinotypes, carbon- printing, and gelatin dry plates. As a duti- ful daughter of Science, Photography assists in her researches, makes visible the stars, the mechanism of muscular movement, and the progress of disease.

The chronological record given by Mr. Werge contains not only a list of discoveries and inventions pertaining to photography,

�� � 416

��THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

��but also the bibliography of the art. Some doubt may be justly felt in regard to the dates assigned to the use of iron and glass ; a preliminary acquaintance of a thousand years would, however, suffice for the germi- nation of the photographic idea. The recol- lections and sketches are sprightly, and in- clude many suggestions for artists and amateurs.

The Philosophy of Fiction in Literature.

By Daniel Greenleaf Thompson. New

York and London : Longmans, Green &

Co. Pp. 22L Price, $1.50.

This essay begins with a survey of the office of fiction in literature, estimates its value in the bearings of scientific teaching, morals, and aesthetics, analyzes the qualities of a novel, seeks for its various sources of interest, discusses its relations to art, mor- als, and science, and closes with observa- tions on the construction and the criticism of a work of fiction. The first quality, un- derlying all the others, and most essential, of a work of fiction is, that it be of sufficient interest to cause one to read it through. Many and very different qualities may be combined with this interest. Hence we have discussions of the manner and extent to which science, morals, and aesthetics may enter into its scope, and the rival qualities that give the most pronounced distinctions of schools, of realism and idealism. Under the last category we have the important principle that a fiction is a work of art, and must respect the canons of art ; it must ap- peal to the aesthetic sense, never losing sight of that primal condition of artistic work, the elimination of the disagreeable. This and other precepts teach that, in the matter of "naturalism," now so much talked about, "the 'experimental' method is a means, not an end. We must not make the mistake of supposing that the study of Nature consists only in an enumeration of Nature's phenom- ena. Nor can we impose upon the world by giving it our sketches and studies as the finale of art. The use of ' observation and experi- ment ' is to enable us the better to employ our faculties. . . . ' Naturalism ' never must be allowed to limit our creative activity, but only minister unto it, chastening it to enable us to give substance rather than shadow. It must not chain genius down. It must not restrict its selection of subjects, nor must it

��absolutely control its treatment of them. It may lay the foundation, furnish the brick and stone and mortar, but not the architect- ure of the building." The author agrees with M. David Sauvageot, that the important service has been performed by realism of inaugurating a reaction against the arbitrary conventions of degenerate classic and of ro- mantic art ; and that it has prepared the way for a new and dominating idealism. The conclusion is forced that, while realism could not dispense with creativeness, it is, if rightly understood, of great value in making strong, clear, and life-like the products of creation. Other objects of interest and causes of in- terest considered as giving popularity and success to the story that brings them before the mind are the exhibition of power; the exhibition of love, which "plays so promi- nent a part in life, has so dominant an in- fluence on conduct, that its absence as a mo- tive is at once felt by the reader, and the plot from which it is omitted seems very artifi- cial " ; the exhibition of social life ; and the comic or ludicrous element. Important points to be considered by a story-writer are, that he should understand exactly what he is about when he forms the plan of bis tale, and should appreciate how far he is appealing to each of the three great inter ests in a work of fiction, and how far he may disregard one for the sake of the other.

Animal Life and Intelligence. By C. Lloyd Morgan. Boston : Ginn & Co. Pp. 512. Price, $4.

The primary aim of the author of this book has been the consideration of animal intelligence from the scientific and philo- sophical point of view. He has endeavored to contribute from the results of several years' study and thought to our deeper knowledge of those mental processes which we may fairly infer from the activities of dumb animals. But so inextricably entwined does the subject of intelligence seem to be with the subject of life, the subject of or- ganic evolution with the subject of mental evolution, and so closely questions of natu- ral selection to be interwoven with questions of habit and instinct, that he has devoted the first part of the volume to a considera- tion of organic evolution. From this con- sideration the conclusion is reached that the

�� � LITERARY NOTICES.

��4*7

��diversity of animal life is the result of pro- cesses of evolution or continuity of develop- ment. This involves adaptation, which has to be conformed to a changing environment. When the change is in the direction of com- plexity, we have elaboration ; when it is in the direction of simplicity, we have degen- eration. Continued elaboration, involving a tendency to differentiation that gives rise to individuality, and a tendency to integration giving rise to association, is progress ; and this is opposed to degeneration. The fac- tors of evolution are those of origin and guidance. The origin of variations lies in mechanical stresses and chemical or physi- cal influences. Whether these act on the body, and are transmitted by inheritance, or only on the germ, is not decided. It is also debatable whether use and disuse are factors of origin. The almost universally admitted factor in guidance is natural selection. The physiology of the senses and sense-organs of animals is studied as preliminary to the psychical or mental accompaniments of affec- tions of those organs, which are styled ex- plosive disturbances in the brain or other aggregated mass of nerve-cells. In the men- tal processes of man a distinction is made between perceptual construction, by which we construct an image of an object from the complex of our perceptions of it, and con- ceptual analysis, by which wc isolate partic- ular qualities of it, forming concepts of the isolates. The formation of a conceptual in- ference or a judgment is regarded as the first stage of reason, and any mental process involving conceptual inference is rational. In contradistinction to this, an intelligent act is an act performed as the outcome of merely perceptual inference. The quality in animals is intelligence ; their faculties are only perceptual. In man alone, and in no other animal, it is contended, is the ra- tional faculty thus defined, developed ; and that, " among human folk, that process of natural selection which is so potent a factor in the lower reaches of organic life, sinks into insignificance. For him the moral fac- tor becomes one of the very highest impor- tance. He becomes a conscious participator in the evolution of man, in the progress of humanity." But he can never be wholly in- dependent of natural selection, for biological laws still hold true, though moral consid- vol. xxxix. 29

��erations and the law of duty may modify them ; but, however profound the modifica- tion by the introduction of newer and higher factors, the older and lower factors are still at work beneath the surface. The relations of mind and the material organism are dis- cussed in the last chapter.

The Theory of Light. By Thomas Pres- ton, M. A. London and New York : Macmillan & Co. Pp. 465. Price, $3.26.

The history and present condition of the science of optics form the field of this trea- tise. In his preface the author refers to the difficulty experienced by students of science in obtaining the scattered publica- tions which contain the latest advances in their respective specialties, and states that in no branch of experimental physics is the English student placed at such a disadvantage as in the theory of light. " Influenced by these considerations," he continues, " I have been induced to undertake the present work, with the hope of furnishing the student with an accurate and connected account of the most important optical researches from the earliest times up to the most recent date. I have, however, avoided entering into the more complicated mathematical theories, yet the mathematical theory, in its most element- ary form, as well as the experiments on which it is founded, will be found in suffi- cient detail to enable the student, furnished with the necessary knowledge of higher mathematics, to attack at once with profit the original memoirs and theories recently elaborated by various English and foreign writers." The book gives a few pages to the views of the ancient philosophers, and comes down so far as to include the recent experiments of Prof. Hertz. The divisions of the book, however, are topical rather than historical ; thus, the second chapter describes the propagation of light-waves and the composition of vibrations ; the rectilinear propagation of light is the subject of the third ; and succeeding chapters deal with re- flection, refraction, interference, polarization, etc., the topic which concludes the volume being electro-magnetic radiation. The book is supplied with over two hundred diagrams ; it is descriptive, not controversial in char- acter, and is adapted to students well ad- vanced in the science.

�� � 418

��THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

��Heredity, Health, and Personal Beauty. By John V. Shoemaker, M. D. Phila- delphia and London : F. A. Davis. Pp. 422. Price, $2.50.

In this book the author presents his subjects in a conversational rather than a formal style, and varies the statement of the scientific principles on which every such treatise must rest with practical directions and illustrative incident. The book can be read with pleasure and amusement as well as with instruction ; and if sticklers for form object that in some parts it is hardly dignified enough for science, the author may reply that his book conveys useful knowledge which is none the less knowledge or useful because it is so presented as to be entertaining and easy reading. In the first chapters, which deal with evolution, the Law of Life and Growth, Man's Spiritual and Physical Place in Nature, and kindred topics, are discussed. Weissmann's views on the hereditability of acquired faculties are often referred to, with a disposition to dissent from Weissmann and accept the doc- trine of hereditability. The source of the beauty of the fair sex, and the effect of environment and training on the physique, are considered ; then the elements of grace, with a chapter on the Art of Walking ; the care of the skin and the breath ; cosmetic art as applied to the face, hands, feet, hair, and teeth ; the care of the eye, ear, and nose ; food, clothing, and ventilation ; the circulation and digestion ; and, in the latter chapters, lists of cosmetic articles, medicated soaps, and household remedies are given.

The Daughter : Her Health, Education, and Wedlock. By William M. Capp, M. D. Philadelphia and London : F. A. Davis. Pp. 144. Price, $1. The matter of this book was written by special request for a young wife whose edu- cation on subjects bearing on her prospect- ive duties as a mother had been insufficient. It furnishes suggestions on subjects of gen- eral and obvious interest which might be advantageously worked out in daily home life. Its aim is to enable the mother to sec- ond more intelligently the efforts of the medical adviser when he comes profession- ally into the family, and to offer some prac- tical considerations affecting woman in her family relation. The successive sections of

��the book treat of the care of the infant from the moment of birth; the child, its training and education ; the girl at the age of puberty, and the instruction it is proper to give her then ; the wife ; and general suggestions upon health.

An Introduction to the Study of Petrol- ogy : The Igneous Rocks. By Fred- erick H. Hatch, F. G. S. Second edition. New York: Macmillan & Co. Pp. 128. Price, 90 cents.

The author has undertaken in this little book to describe briefly the mineral constit- uents and internal structures of the igneous rocks, their mode of occurrence at the sur- face, and their origin beneath the crust of the earth. After a few pages of introductory matter, he begins the particular descriptions of the rocks, taking them by groups. Each rock receives a paragraph, in which its chem- ical composition, crystalline form, hardness, and other characteristics are given, and its mode of occurrence is stated. There is also an extended chapter on the classification and description of the igneous rocks, which gives the distribution of each group in the British Isles. The volume contains forty-three illus- trations.

Chapters on the Theory and History

of Banking. By Charles F. Dunbar.

New York and London : G. P. Putnam's

Sons. Pp. 199.

These chapters have been prepared un- der a feeling of the need of some conven- ient statement of ordinary banking opera- tions, experienced by the writer when lect- uring upon banking to a large class of stu- dents in political economy. To the chap- ters devoted to such operations it was found useful to add a series of historical chapters on certain of the great banks and banking systems. Special chapters have also been added on combined reserves, or the system of clearing-house loan certificates, and the Bank of Amsterdam ; and the whole has been revised and the notices of current history have been brought down to the present date.

It is hard to speak too highly of the value of Appalachia, the periodical and or- gan of the Appalachian Mountain Club. It serves, in one department of geographical science, a similar purpose with the Proceed- ings of the Royal Geographical Society, and

�� � LITERARY NOTICES.

��419

��in an at least equally acceptable manner. Projected with especial reference to pro- moting the exploration of American mount- ains, its range has become, without neglect- ing these, very catholic, and we may now look in it for original studies of mountain structure and scenery and geographical characteris- tics in all quarters of the world. The sec- ond number of Volume VI (December, 1890), for instance, contains accounts of the Ascent of Three Japanese Volcanoes, by W. J. Hol- land, of the United States Eclipse Expe- dition, 1887 ; the Great Smoky Mountains and Thunderhead Peak, by Frank 0. Car- penter ; the San Juan Mountains, by F. H. Chapin ; and An Ascent of Sierra Blanca, by Charles G. Van Brunt. Mr. Holland's and Mr. Chapin's papers are accompanied by illustrations of a high class. W. B. Clark & Co., Boston. Price, 50 cents.

A most welcome aid in the study of Eng- lish literature, and a charming piece for leisure-hour reading as well, is Sir Philip Sidney's Defense of Poesy, otherwise known as An Apology for Poetry, which Ginn & Co. publish (price, 90 cents), edited, with in- troduction and notes, by Albert S. Cook. The essay is a masterpiece of English writ- ing, and is replete with noble thoughts ex- pressed in noble style, The apology of fifty- eight pages hardly too long to be read at a sitting, if one would read fast is preceded by a sketch of Sidney's life, a discussion of the date of composition and publication, and observations on the author's learning, style, theory of poetry, and followers and imita- tors, constituting the introduction, and an analysis. The notes give explanations of the allusions in the work and the peculiari- ties of language and grammar ; and are fol- lowed by a list of variants in the different editions and an index of proper names.

An edition of the first two extant books of Quintius Curtius (probably the third and fourth books of the original), Historiarum Alexandri Magni Macedonia, or Histories of Alexander the Great of Macedon, is pub- lished by Ginn & Co. (price, 35 cents), edited for sight-reading by Harold N. Fowler. It is intended for the upper classes of prepara- tory schools and the lower classes of colleges. The editor's principal work has been to sup- ply foot-notes on each page, giving such words and uses of words as the student can

��not be reasonably expected to be as yet fa- miliar with. In an introduction, Prof. James B. Greenough tells us what sight-reading is, and gives a drill-exercise to teach the student how to proceed to acquire the art. It means to take in the passage and comprehend it without translating it. " A pupil," Prof. Greenough says, " should begin from the start to try to read straight away, as if the language were his own, to see what mental pictures the author meant to present to him- self, and only then, if necessary at all, trans- fer the thought to an English form of ex- pression." This method, he believes, is, in some form or other, consciously or uncon- sciously, indispensable for any real knowl- edge of a foreign tongue.

Contributions to the History of the South- western Portion of the United States is the fourth substantial volume, besides a number of essays and statements, included in the annual reports which the Archa3ological Institute of America has published of the work of Mr. A. F. Bandelier. It appears as one of the papers of the Hemenway South- western Archaeological Expedition. The vol- ume includes an introductory sketch of the knowledge which the Spaniards in Mexico pos- sessed of the countries north of the province of New Galicia, previous to the return of Ca- beza de Vaca, in 1536 ; with papers on Ca- beza de Vaca and the importance of his wan- derings for Spanish explorations toward New Mexico and Arizona; Spanish efforts to penetrate to the north of Sinaloa, be- tween 1536 and 1539 ; Fray Marcos of Niz- za ; and the expedition of Piedro de Villa- zur, from Santa Fe to the banks of the Platte River in 1720. It was the author's plan, treating the history of the Southwest in sections, monographically, to publish pa- pers further on the expeditions of Coro- nada, Chamuscado, Espejo, and Ofiate, but a suspension of the enterprise is at present forced upon him ; and he intimates that there is material to be found in Spain which has not yet been examined that would con- tribute to the completeness of the work.

Mr. H. L. Green, of the Freethinker' 's Magazine, has sent us a bundle of pamphlets on subjects in which freethinkers are inter- ested, or the thought of which is in accord with that of the school described under that name. It includes two pamphlets on Giorda-

�� � 420

��THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

��no Bruno and his Monument, containing half a dozen papers by as many authors, and rep- resentations of the monument as originally designed and as erected ; Ingersoll's Cen- tennial Oration on the Declaration of Inde- pendence and Memorial Oration on Koscoe Conkling ; The Myth of the Great Deluge, by James M. McCann ; Church and State ; and a statement of What constitutes a Free- thinker ? by Mr. Green. The last presents several points of interest. Freethinkers, we learn, "have no war with the Bible they should have no prejudices against it " ; but they are disposed to regard it as like other books, and to decline to accept it, on trust, at the value at which Christians hold it. The author contends that his best and safest friend in matters of religion is reason, and holds everything subject to investigation. "But, notwithstanding the freethinker re- jects the Christian view of the Bible and religion, he is an earnest advocate of certain views and opinions of his own. He accepts the truth wherever found. For this reason, although he rejects the claim made for the Bible and religion, he accepts whatever is true or good in either."

In The Death Penalty (Putnam's Ques- tions of the Day Series, price $1.50) Mr. Andrew J. Palm presents, in rather an im- passioned manner, the principal objections to capital punishment. He holds that it is essentially cruel ; and that justice as well as mercy should make great allowance for human conduct. He puts aside the Bible argument as not bearing upon the relations of capital punishment to society at the pres- ent time ; dwells upon the capriciousness of juries, the perils of convicting the innocent, and the harshness of treating the insane as if they were criminals ; holds up the detesta- tion with which the executioner is regarded as evidence that the death penalty is repul- sive to the better feelings of men ; shows how inadequate is fear of the death penalty to repress crime ; cites " the voice of expe- rience " of states which have abolished capital punishment as being on his side ; and quotes the opinions of some noted men on the subject. He then pleads for the re- formatory theory of treatment ; and closes with a chapter on war.

The compact little work on Mixed Metals or Metallic Alloys, by Arthur H. Hiorns

��(Macmillan, $1.50), gives the composition and mode of making a great number of al- loys, and in some cases describes the appa- ratus used in producing them. The author, who is principal of the School of Metallurgy in the Birmingham and Midland Institute, states that his book is designed to give prac- tical men and students a more intimate ac- quaintance with the nature and properties of metals in the alloyed state, as well as with metals in the free state. The first portion deals with the principal chemical elements, and their classification into suitable groups ; the refractory materials used in making cru- cibles and in furnace construction ; as well as the properties and uses of various fluxes. " It has been thought advisable to give a brief account of the main properties of the separate metals, and of the effect of certain elements upon them, seeing that commercial metals are not chemically pure substances, and that the presence of the common im- purities often produces a characteristic re- sult, which may be a useful guide to the manufacturer in special cases, and assist him to determine the cause of those anomalies which are constantly occurring in practice."

A manual for medical students and phy- sicians, on The Physical Diagnosis of the Diseases of the Heart and Lungs, has been published by Dr. D. M. Vammann (Put- nams, $1.25). Some topics in this field which have especially interested the author, or on which a reasonable difference of opin- ion exists, have been considered more in de- tail than is usual in such a work. In particu- lar the author has improved this opportunity to explain at length his modification of the Cammann stethoscope and the binaural hy- drophone. The volume contains twenty-two figures.

A great deal of material is compressed into a small compass in the Lessons in Ap- plied Mechanics, by James H. Cotterill and John Henry Slade (Macmillan, $1.25). The volume is a text-book consisting largely of matter contained in a more extended treatise by the senior author. The chapters are grouped under three heads : Part I, The Principle of Work, includes the subjects of motion, friction, work and energy, the opera- tion of simple machines, the direct-acting en- gine, unbalanced forces, and dynamometers. Part II deals with Strength of Materials and

�� � Structures; and two chapters on Hydraulics constitute Part III. A list of examples follows each chapter, the total number being over 250, and there are 377 diagrams in the text.

Under the title Cotton Facts, a compilation of statistics is published by Alfred B. Shepperson (New York), relating to the crops, receipts, exports, stocks, home and foreign consumption, visible supply, prices and acreage of cotton for a series of years, and other related matters. The present edition of the book continues to the close of the cotton season of 1889-'90 the statistics contained in previous issues. Besides the tables, there are several special articles in the volume, one being on Cotton Culture in Central Asia, by Henry G. Kittredge, editor of the Journal of Commerce, Boston, and others on the Cotton Caterpillar, and the Cotton Season of 1889-'90.

The purpose carried out in Christ and Our Country, by Rev. John B. Robins (Farnesworth Bros., Dalton, Ga., 75 cents), is to combat some of the apprehensions expressed in Our Country, by Dr. Josiah Strong, and Modern Cities, by Samuel L. Loomis. The author has strong hope that Christianity will counteract the dangers that these authors discern in immigration, increasing wealth, Romanism, Mormonism, socialism, city life, etc.

A volume of satire in verse, entitled The Devil's Visit, has just appeared, without the author's name (Excelsior Publishing House, $1). A marvelous variety of topics is touched upon in this book, ranging from practical politics to the teaching of Greek, and from communism to the deceptions of a woman's toilet. Every reader will find the faults and follies of many people he knows sharply touched up, and, if he only succeeds in skipping the part where his own weaknesses are similarly treated, will doubtless get much enjoyment from the volume.

The American Patent System, by D. Walter Brown (the author, New York), is a manual of direction and advice for inventors in regard to obtaining patents, and in correcting and transferring them.

We have received from Brentano's a fancifully got up volume entitled Gentlemen, and divided into two parts, treating respectively of dress and "essential customs" for gentlemen. From the former part we learn that the monocle "is worn any time of day," and in the latter we are informed that no gentleman should ask for a lady's picture "without first having met her at least seven times." These quotations sufficiently indicate the nature of the book. (Price $1.50.)

With its first number for the current year, The Teacher began a new series, and added several elements of strength to its already high character. Mrs. Mary Hargrove Simpson remains the general editor, and now has as associates the following well-known educators: Louisa P. Hopkins, of Boston; Ellen E. Kenyon and Caroline B. Le Row, of Brooklyn; W. N. Hailmann, of La Porte, Ind.; B. A. Hinsdale, of Ann Arbor; H. M. Leipziger, of New York; and C. M. Woodward, of St. Louis. This journal has been from the start an exponent of advanced modern thought in the domain of education. Its special purpose is to set forth the scientific principles on which the art of teaching is coming more and more to depend, and the working out of which every teacher and school officer must keep track of, if he wishes to keep up with the progress of the time in his profession. The departments of The Teacher are Editorial and Miscellaneous, Theory and Practice of Teaching, Correspondence, Reviews, and Notes. Its articles have the character expected in magazine articles, and it may be questioned whether the nature of the journal would not be better indicated if it should adopt the magazine form. (The Teacher Co., New York. $1 a year.)