Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 10.djvu/255

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243
LITERARY NOTICES.

stone in the arch reaching from the Alleghanies to the Mississippi, and offered the probable means of solving the perplexing difficulties.

According to Prof. Newberry, "the topographical features may be described as those of a plain slightly raised along a line traversing it from northeast to southwest, and worn in the lapse of time by the draining streams into broad valleys, which impart a pleasing variety to the surface, afford free and healthful drainage, and yet leave unimpaired all the productiveness of its original monotony; in fact, exhibiting perhaps the most perfect adaptation to the wants of man which any surface affected by such climatic influences can present." The climate is one of extremes. The soil over much more than half the State is of foreign origin, being transported by Drift agencies frequently from a great distance. The physical substructure is not simple like the surface, but is diversified in different places, both as to the number, character, and thickness of the strata, and the position which they occupy relative to each other and to the horizon. The coal-measures underlie the surface of the southeastern third of the State, there being an aggregate of about 12,000 square miles over which the coal is unequally distributed. All the coals are classed as bituminous, and are divided into dry or furnace coals, coking-coals, and cannel-coals, by far the greater portion being of the coking variety. It is proposed to discuss the distribution, qualities, and uses of the coals in the volume on economic geology.

Manual of the Vertebrates of the Northern United States, including the District east of the Mississippi River and north of North Carolina and Tennessee, exclusive of Marine Species. By David Starr Jordan, M. S., M. D., Professor of Natural History in N. W. C. University, and in Indiana State Medical College. Chicago: Jansen, McClurg & Co. 12mo, pp. 342. Price, $2.00.

The object of this work is to facilitate the classification of vertebrate animals by means of artificial keys, such as have been used in the study of botany. It has been prepared for the use of collectors and students who are not specialists, and has been compressed within the narrowest limits in order to render it as cheap a handbook as possible. There are descriptions of 817 species, representing 116 families. It is the only work containing arranged descriptions of the reptiles and fresh-water fishes of this country.

The Centennial Situation of Woman. A Commencement Address at Mount Holyoke Seminary, by Hon. Alexander Bullock. Charles Hamilton, Worcester, Massachusetts. Pp. 45.

Governor Bullock made an eloquent speech to the South Hadley ladies, but whether he was quite equal to the occasion may be a question depending upon the view taken of the duties of such an opportunity. Some may think that, in reviewing a hundred years of progress in public or social affairs, it is most suitable to take note of what has been gained; to dwell upon the triumphs, the causes of congratulation, and give indulgence to the more complacent feelings. Others may regard it as the most fitting time to be on our guard against this ever besetting tendency, the time to survey closely and critically the position that has been reached, to sift current claims, to look sharply after mistakes, and utilize an impressive occasion to forecast the best course of action for the future. Governor Bullock took the most agreeable alternative, and discoursed pleasantly, and with commendable gallantry, of what woman has done to improve her condition in various ways, and what civilization has accomplished for her in furtherance of the same end. He points out the progress that woman has made toward the independence of self-dependence through the opening to her of modern industries; sketches the changes that have taken place in the recognition of her civil rights; and dwells upon the great advance that has been made in the work of female elevation, and in opening to woman a wide opportunity in the vocation of teaching. He touches lightly the vexed question of the intellectual equality of the sexes, saying it has been settled that there is no question at all about it, and deftly quotes a woman—Mrs. Jameson—as expressing the opinion that "the intellect of woman bears the same relation to that of man as her physical organization; it is inferior in power and different in kind. In men the intellectual facul-