Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 14.djvu/415

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.



The Railway in its Relation to Public and Private Interests. By Simon Sterne. New York, 1878. Press of the Chamber of Commerce. Pp. 38.

Mr. Sterne advocates governmental control of the railway lines. The cry that this is "centralization" does not frighten him, because "whether centralization is objectionable depends upon whether it is good or bad, and whether it supersedes a better or a worse system." And he quotes with approval the remarks made by Burke: "If I am not able to correct a system of oppression and tyranny that goes to the utter ruin of 30,000,000 of my fellow-creatures, but by some increase of the influence of the crown, I am ready here to declare that I, who have been active to reduce it, shall be as active and strenuous to restore it again. I am no lover of names; I contend for the substance of good and protecting government, let it come from what quarter it will."

Golden Songs of Great Poets. Illustrated by Darley, Moran, Hart, Fredericks, Smillie, and McEntee. New York: Sarah H. Leggett. Price, $5.

Few books have fallen into our hands having a more distinguished paternity than this one. It contains six poems, not elsewhere published, from six of the leading American poets of the century, and its pages are embellished with thirty-six beautiful illustrations, by artists of scarcely inferior rank. Holmes contributes the introduction, "On the Threshold;" Bryant follows with a pleasant bit of Nature entitled "The Song Sparrow;" and Longfellow writes of what he is supposed to know most about, "The Poets." "June on the Merrimac," by Whittier, is a gem well worth the price of the book, and there follows Lowell on "The Fire-Fly," and Bayard Taylor on "The Lost Caryatid." The printer and binder have done their share of the work in befitting style, making the volume, taken altogether, one of the handsomest and most interesting holiday books we have seen.

Geology of Wisconsin. Vol. II. Madison: Published by the Commissioners of Public Printing, 1877. Pp. 797.

Though this volume is numbered II., it is in fact the first of the series in the order of publication, and Vol. I. is yet to follow. The reason of this reversal of the logical sequence is that, while the matter belonging to Vol. II. is completed, that which of right belongs to Vol. I. has to await the completion of the survey. The volume, which, by-the-way, is highly creditable to Wisconsin lithography and typography, consists of four parts, viz.: Part I., containing the annual reports for 1873, 1874, and 1875, now first published. During the two former years, the survey was under the general direction of Dr. Increase A. Lapham, and during the last year under Dr. O. W. Wight. Part II. treats of the geology of Eastern Wisconsin, and is written by the geologist-in-chief, Mr. T. C. Chamberlin. Part III., by Roland D. Irving, treats of the geology of Central Wisconsin. Finally, Part IV., on the "Geology and Topography of the Lead-Region," is by Moses Strong. Accompanying the volume is a set of maps, fourteen in number. Numerous colored and plain lithographic plates and wood-engravings serve to embellish the volume and to illustrate the text.

First Annual Report of the United States Entomological Commission, for the Year 1877, relating to the Rocky Mountain Locust. With Maps and Illustrations. Washington: Government Printing-Office, 1878. Pp. 787.

The vast fund of information acquired by the Entomological Commission during the first year of its labors is in this report laid before the agricultural population of the States and Territories exposed to the locust-plague. The commissioners, Messrs. Riley, Packard, and Thomas, justly congratulate themselves on the success which has attended their efforts to determine certain cardinal points touching the origin and distribution of the Rocky Mountain locust—its breeding-grounds, geographical range, migrations, habits and natural history, the means of checking its ravages, etc. Much, indeed, has been done toward accomplishing the purpose for which the commission was appointed; but still more remains to be done, both in the way of research and, above all, in the way of applying on the large scale the remedies and devices for exterminating the locust which are here explained. "Further surveys need to be made of the permanent breeding-grounds in the Northwestern Territories; more facts are needed to perfect our knowledge of the mi-