Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 13.djvu/643

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LITERARY NOTICES.

urges, should be retrenched in the gymnasia, and greater attention given to mathematics and the physical sciences. This conflict, therefore, belongs to no nation, but is as broad as the interests of science and the course of civilization itself.

 

 

Prof. William Monroe Davis, of Cleveland, Ohio, died on the 21st of July, at the age of seventy years. He was born in New Hampshire, and his ancestry on the father's side went back to the Pilgrims of the Mayflower, while on the mother's side he was closely related to the family of President Monroe. He went to Cincinnati in his boyhood, and grew up there with but a limited education. It was only when married and having children to be trained that he first began the study of science; but such was his native genius that he soon mastered a position as an original thinker and investigator in astronomy. The distinction he had won could not be better shown than by the fact that, when Prof. Mitchell abandoned science and took to the vocation of war, Mr. Davis was called to succeed him as director in the Cincinnati Observatory, a position which he filled with satisfaction and credit. His health failing five years ago, he came to Cleveland to reside with his son-in-law, Mr. A. J. Rickoff, the eminent educationist of Ohio. He constructed a very valuable telescope, the lenses of which were ground by his own hands. He published in the July number of The Popular Science Monthly a paper containing an able and profound discussion of the nebular hypothesis and the phenomena of planetary rings and satellites, the immediate occasion of the article being the recent discovery and apparently anomalous motions of the moons of Mars. Prof. Davis had worked out his own views on these recondite questions, and expected to develop them in a series of essays for the Monthly, when his work was arrested by death. It is to be hoped that his manuscript notes may have been sufficiently full to make it practicable and desirable for his friends to print them in a collected form.

 


LITERARY NOTICES.

Lessons in Cookery: Hand-Book of the National Training-School for Cookery (South Kensington, London). To which is added The Principles of Diet in Health and Disease, by Thomas K. Chambers, M.D. Edited by Eliza A. Youmans. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 382. Price, $1.50.

Two things closely connected are much and justly complained of in this country—the everlasting multiplication of new cook-books and the general badness of cookery. Publications of every form and variety abound upon this subject, with no corresponding improvement in the art by which food is prepared. It would be going too far to ascribe the low state of our culinary practice to the qualities of the literature that deals with it, for in many cases cook-books have no influence at all upon kitchen operations; but it is equally certain that the current manuals do much to perpetuate the bad methods to which they are conformed. The reason of their failure to effect much improvement is obvious enough, for our popular manuals of cookery make no provision for learning the business in the way all other arts have to be learned if they are to be successfully prosecuted. They proceed upon the false principle that a practical vocation, depending upon a knowledge of the properties of numerous substances, involving constant manipulation and the production of delicate and complicated effects, can be learned by simply reading about it. This mischievous error, however, is beginning to be recognized in various quarters, and it is seen that cookery, like all other subjects, must be studied in a rational way, in accordance with the nature of the subject. England has the honor of taking the lead in a vigorous movement to make the art of practical cookery a branch of common education. The effort has been successful in so eminent a degree that it promises to be perm-