Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 20.djvu/427

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413
LITERARY NOTICES.

rences go on together or synchronously; and in each line there is a chain of succession in the parts, which proceed in the order of cause and effect. Nations and empires run their careers as it were side by side, rising, flourishing, decaying, and giving place to others; while each nation has its epochal changes of dynasty, revolution, or conquest. These relations of events are capable of being mapped, and they are so skillfully represented in Adams's chart that we get, as it were, a bird's-eye view of the procession of great terrestrial affairs. The chart is twenty-five feet long by three deep, and mounted on rollers, so that, if there is not room to fully display it, its parts may be brought successively into view. Vertical lines show contemporaneous events, and horizontal bars of color represent succession, the stream of time, and the progress of civilization. The march of fifty-nine centuries is delineated, and the great transactions of the world—national, civil, military, religious, maritime, architectural, inventive, and literary—with the advent of great men, are all pictorially represented in their time relations, so that an accurate outline of history may be rapidly and easily acquired.

It would take a book to describe the chart, and so we shall not attempt it, but will only say that for introducing the young to the study of history, and for common reference in reading general history, it will have great usefulness. Much pains has been bestowed upon its preparation, and a good deal of information crowded into limited space. The Hebrew cosmology and Usher's chronology are adopted, and more supernatural events are located than science might perhaps approve; but this does not impair the general utility of the work, which is conformed, if not to the latest, at any rate to the prevailing, state of knowledge.

Mexican Paper: an Article of Tribute. Its Manufacture, Varieties, Employment, and Uses, compiled from Pictorial and Written Records. By Philipp J. Valentini, Ph. D. Worcester, Massachusetts: Charles Hamilton. Pp. 26.

An interesting study of a single feature of ancient Mexican civilization. The painted records of the "Codex Mendoza" show that certain towns had to furnish enormous quantities of paper to the city of Mexico. The fact suggests an examination into the Nahuatl name for paper, and its occurrence in combination in the names of some towns, the symbols by which it is represented in the pictographs, the method of manufacturing it, and the uses that were made of it, which were very diversified. Especially were large quantities of paper employed on occasions of ceremonial and dress.

Tenth Report of the State Entomologist on the Noxious and Beneficial Insects of the State of Illinois. Fifth Annual Report, by Cyrus Thomas, Ph. D., State Entomologist. Springfield, Illinois: State Board, of Agriculture. Pp. 214.

The demand for the entomological reports is steadily increasing within and without the State, and even in Europe. In order to make the work as useful as possible to farmers, who most frequently meet the insects and can most readily recognize them as larvae, predominance is given to descriptions of the larval state. The plan has been adopted of making a specialty each year of some particular class of insects. Thus Dr. Thomas's second report gave considerable space to the chinch-bug; his third report was devoted to plant-lice; the fourth report largely to the European cabbage-worm; and the present volume considers at some length the history and habits of the army-worm, with a view of arriving at the best practical remedy. It also gives a paper, by Dr. A. S. Packard, on the Hessian fly, and accounts of many other insects.

The Landa Alphabet a Spanish Fabrication. By Philipp J. Valentini, Ph. D. Worcester, Massachusetts: Charles Hamilton. Pp. 35.

Generally, the ancient 'Mexicans were supposed to have no alphabet, and their writing to be pictorial, but an alphabet ascribed by Bishop Diego Landa, of Yucatan, to the Maya people was regarded as an exception. The author advances the opinion that this was not a genuine alphabet, but was compiled by the bishop from selections of ideographs whose sounds most nearly approached the sounds of the letters, for the purpose of assisting the Yucatecans in learning their pater nosters. In support of this position, an analysis of each character is presented.