Page:Journal of botany, British and foreign, Volume 9 (1871).djvu/102

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described several uew species from Madeira and Tenerifte, and his portion of the book is a vahiable addition to our knowledge of the Moss flora of the parts to which it refers.

We miss in the book an account of the climate, geology, and topo- graphy of the Azores, useful adjuncts to a ' Natural History.'

H. T.

��A Manual of Botany : incliuUng the Structure, Functions, Classification, Properties, and Uses of Plants. By Robekt Bentley, F.L.S., Second Edition. London : Churchill. 1870. Pp. 832.

Professor Bentley's ' Mannal' beloiiijs to a well-known series of text- books for the medical schools, many of which have obtained a more than professional popularity. The conditions of their publication imply a some- what conveulionMl treatment of their subjects ; and while anything like origi- nality is therefore hardly to be expected in the present case, as indeed it would be scarcely appreciated, it would yet be difficult to name any existing treatise, which contains, in so compendious a form, an equivalent mass of information. Indeed, if the book were to be criticized quite abstractedly upon its own merits, it might be objected that it contained too much, and that the wealth of illustration and exposition of often almost purely hypothe- tical terms, applicable only to Phanerogams, might be desirably exchanged for a fuller account of Cryptogams. Take for example the Fungi ; all t he in- formation given about them is compressed into some seven pages, while the mere terminology of Phanerogamic fruits alone occupies thirty. One sighs to turn over the old familiar useless story about Clalbnliis and Tryma, Nuculaniuiu and Diploti'ijin , Syconus and Sorosis, to find at the end, as a reward for one's pains, that of such names " in practice, only a few are in common use." The statement that "the diseases known as blight, mil- dew, rust, smut, vine-mildew, potato-disease, ergot, etc., are either caused from, or accelei"ated by, the agency of Pungi " (p. 721), is, in contrast with this, a more condensed than useful account of some of the most ter- rible scourges of humanity. A great deal is known of the part played by Fungi in causing these maladies, and of the measures which are more or less remedial of them, but of these nothing is stated. Yeast, by the way, is not very correctly supposed to be " a mycelial state, composed of coni- dial cells of a species of Penicillium" and no mention is made, in connec- tion with it, of Bacteria , nor is there any account of the curious history of jEcidiam Berberidis, or, except a passing allusion, of De Bary's Alyce- tozoa. Such things, however, are not required for examinations, the nomenclature of fruits possibly may be.

Yet, in this matter, we must not forget that the exigencies of a text- book adapted to the present requirements of students, have deprived Pro- fessor Bentley of miuli room to exercise his own judgment. We cannot expect philosophically-arranged text-books till we get students who are willing to work at the botanical sides of biology for its own sake alone. The subject-matter is arranged after the usual fashion in English books ; the so-called structural, systematic, and physiological divisions follow in successive order. Such an arrangement does tolerably well for Phanero- gams, but breaks down miserably for all other plants, so that nowhere in the book do we get a connected account of any Cryptoganiic class ; but, in trying to follow it out, are sent on no particularly hxed principle fiom one

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