Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 24.djvu/431

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both from defective knowledge and from erroneous views of the nature of life, and shows that no explanations of the phenomena could be at all satisfactory until biology had fully accepted and broadly planted itself upon the evolution hypothesis. Dr. Brooks's summary in this chapter of the fundamental facts that have been established in this field of inquiry, and which he presents as requisites of a theory of heredity, is very discriminating and helpful in the prosecution of the inquiry. In Chapter III the same line of historic analysis is pursued more closely, and the author is here brought to the consideration of Darwin's theory of pangenesis, one of the latest forms of the explanation of hereditary phenomena. Dr. Brooks finds the hypothesis of Darwin to be unsatisfactory, in that it does not recognize such a difference in the functions of the reproductive elements of the opposite sexes as the facts require and now seem to warrant. And, after his review of the various theories that have been thus far offered, our author then proceeds to the main thesis of his work, which is the establishment of a new theory of heredity based upon the different powers and functions of the respective reproductive elements.

It will not be possible here to give any full or satisfactory account of Dr. Brooks's theory as elaborated and illustrated in the volume before us, nor will it be so necessary to the readers of the "Monthly," as Vol. XV of this magazine contains two articles upon the subject by the author representing his views, and exemplifying some of their higher applications. It may be stated, however, that while Darwin holds that male and female give equal elements in their combined offspring, Dr. Brooks maintains that they are not only different, but that the difference rises to the import of a general law. While the function of the female is conservative, or to preserve and hand on all the parts that belong to the race—all that has been acquired, with little or no tendency to vary from the race type—on the other hand, the male, leading a more varied and adventurous life, stamps the tendency to variation, the impulses to higher development, upon the common product of organization. There is more than plausibility, more even than probability, in this idea, and those who look critically into the evidence adduced by the author can hardly fail to recognize that he has seized upon an important principle in this field of investigation.

The English Grammar of William Cobbett. Carefully revised and annotated by Alfred Ayres. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 254.

"'Cobbett's Grammar,'" says the editor of this edition, "is probably the most readable grammar ever written. For the purposes of self-education it is unrivaled." This is probably because it is not strictly a grammar according to the common ideas of a grammatical text-book, but is rather a series of familiar, practical letters on the use of the English language. Technicalities are absent, and paradigms are rare, and given only in illustration of the discussions of the text. The editor's work has been chiefly to call attention to the points in which Cobbett's teachings differ from what is now considered the best usage, a matter in which changes may have occurred or more strict distinctions have been established since the first edition of the "Grammar" was published in 1818; to note the few errors of diction to be found in the letters; and to emphasize a more discriminating use of the relative pronouns than is customary in English literature. The last is a point on which the editor appears to set much store. The rule he announces on the subject is that "who and which are properly the co-ordinating relative pronouns, and that is properly the restrictive relative pronoun. Whenever a clause restricts, limits, defines, qualifies the antecedent—i. e., whenever it is adjectival—explanatory in its functions—it should be introduced with the relative pronoun that, and not with which, nor with who or whom. . . . Who and which are the proper co-ordinating relatives to use when the antecedent is completely expressed without the help of the clause introduced by the relative." The rule seems to be a useful one, other things being equal; but as we read the thats which the editor has inserted in brackets after Cobbett's who's and which's wherever he judges the change should be made in accordance with his rule, and as we observe in other places,