Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 25.djvu/434

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Local Government and Free Schools in South Carolina. By B. James Ramage. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University. Pp. 40. Price, 40 cents.

This is the twelfth of the valuable series of "Johns Hopkins University Studies in Historical and Political Science." It traces the development of the peculiar political system by which South Carolina was distinguished before the war from the aristocratic plan of the original settlement in the province, under the influence of Locke's "Fundamental Constitutions," as a county palatine, with its lords proprietors, palatines, and its nobility of landgraves and cassiques. This scheme was short-lived, and gave way to the parish organizations in the coast country. Afterward the upper country was settled, and evolved a county system of local government. Then the county system and the parish system clashed, and the district system, which lasted till after the war, was formed for the whole State. This, in turn, was remodeled, and the name "district" was changed to "county" after the war. The second part of the pamphlet is devoted to the history of "Free Schools in South Carolina," with the design of showing that the State had earlier and more liberal provisions for free education than it has been supposed to have had.

Voice, Song, and Speech: A Practical Guide for Singers and Speakers. By Lennox Browne, F. R. C. S. Ed., author of "The Throat and its Diseases," "Medical Hints on the Singing Voice," etc., and Emil Behnke, author of "The Mechanism of the Human Voice," etc. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. Pp. 322. Price, $4.50.

This work deals mainly with the physiology and hygiene and the acoustics of the voice. The need of a scientific basis for the production, cultivation, and preservation of the voice is insisted on in the first chapter, and strikingly illustrated by directions given to pupils by some authorities. For instance, "To focus the sound; to direct the voice toward the roof of the mouth—against the hard palate—against the upper front teeth—into the head—to the bottom of the chest; to lean the tone against the eyes! to sing all over the face!" The laws of sound bearing on the voice are next stated, after which the anatomy of the vocal organ is described at length, and the respiratory action is explained. Under vocal hygiene, the proper mode of breathing is described, and cases are given which show the loss of vocal power resulting from a waist deformed by constriction. A chapter on the laryngoscope, its use, and teachings, follows. Voice-culture is taken up under the headings "Breathing, Attack, Resonance, Flexibility, and Registers." Directions are given for the "Daily Life of a Voice-User," and there are chapters on "Ailments of the Voice-User" and "Defects of Speech." As this work is the joint production of a vocal surgeon and a voice-trainer, who have been in the habit of collaborating in the treatment of patients and pupils, the authors believe that it possesses a completeness which is seldom attained by a specialist in a single department. The volume is illustrated with photographs of the larynx and the soft palate in various positions, and with numerous woodcuts.

The Güegüence: a Comedy Ballet in the Nahuatl-Spanish Dialect of Nicaragua. Edited by Daniel G. Brinton, A. M., M. D. Philadelphia: D. G. Brinton. Pp. lii-94. Price, $2.50.

This is the fourth volume of Dr. Brinton's "Library of Aboriginal American Literature." The play which is presented in it is the only specimen of the native American comedy known to the editor. It is of comparatively recent origin, and is composed in a mixed dialect, a jargon of low Spanish and corrupt Aztec, or Nahuatl. It bears marks of its native composition in both its history and spirit, and illustrates the sort of humor popular with the tribes from whom it has been obtained, so that it is of considerable anthropological value. The piece is one of several kinds of bailes or dramatic dances common among the Nahuas or Aztecs of Nicaragua, and pictures the devices which an elder of the tribe employed to escape the censure of the alguacil before whom he was brought up for discipline. Its chief literary character is a coarse, rollicking humor, and it contains some music of no little merit. The most valuable part of the book is the introduction, in which Dr. Brinton precedes the history and a minute analysis and criticism of the play