Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 25.djvu/573

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LITERARY NOTICES.

growth of the young mind" is the one thing that seems especially given into the hands of the parents, and it is treated by the author as a duty that should be peremptorily observed from the very moment of birth. The subject is handled in all its aspects as by one who is well qualified to do it, and the presentment, both in matter and manner, is admirable.

Lectures on the Science and Art of Education, with other Lectures. By Joseph Payne. New York: E. L. Kellogg & Co. Pp. 256. Price, $1.

Dr. Joseph Payne was for many years a distinguished and most successful practical teacher in England, and, retiring from his profession late in life, he continued to devote himself to the subject with great assiduity, and became at this period the first Professor of the Science and Art of Education in the College of Preceptors in London. Dr. Payne was well versed in the history of education, and familiar with the most advanced methods of teaching, and the lectures contained in this volume are the ripe results of wide knowledge and critical experience. The book is full of valuable suggestions and wise practical observations, and will be found very useful to inquiring teachers.

A History of Tuberculosis. By Eric E. Sattler, M. D. Cincinnati: Robert Clarke & Co. Pp. 191. Price, $1.25.

The first five chapters of this book consist of a translation of the first part of a work on "Studies of Tuberculosis," by Dr. Arnold Spina, of Vienna, who is a vigorous opponent of the theories of Koch. These chapters present the results obtained from long series of inoculation, inhalation, and feeding experiments, the first of which date back to 1789, bringing the history of the subject up to March, 1882, when Robert Koch published his investigations. In the next chapter Dr. Sattler presents a review of the steps by which Koch arrived at the conclusion that tuberculosis is caused by a specific micro-organism. Koch's announcements set many investigators at work upon tuberculosis and other diseases supposed to be infectious, and many additional discoveries have been published. There are those also who deny many of the discoveries claimed, and even the existence of the Bacillus tuberculosis. After giving some account of the controversy. Dr. Sattler says in conclusion: "Whether Koch has been too sanguine in the one direction, or Spina has gone too far in the other, it is not for us to decide. The great number of scientific men engaged throughout the civilized world in repeating these experiments, and in studying their results, will soon sift out the truth of the matter, and bring the question to a final and authoritative decision."

Biogen: A Speculation on the Origin and Nature of Life. By Professor Elliot Coues. Second edition. Boston: Estes & Lauriat. Pp. 66. Price, 75 cents.

The substance of this disquisition was delivered as a lecture before the Philosophical Society of Washington, and now appears with the trimmings—dedication, mottoes, preface, introduction and appendix—forming altogether a very lively little treatise on biological mysticisms. Professor Coues seems to have got tired of working under the restraints of observation, analysis, and induction at the mere phenomena of life, as is the work-a-day habit of science, and so he determined to break away and have a spree of speculation, and see what might come of it. He makes a rally for the relief and rescue of the old but declining doctrine of the "vital principle," or "vital force," which he denominates "Biogen," and which he insists is a thing, and a very real thing, "possessed of sensible qualities and attributes which may be investigated by proper scientific methods, and by scientific experimentation, quite as readily as any other of the so-called 'imponderables' of Nature. It is as open to examination as luminiferous ether, and its properties if not its substance may be studied as we may study light, heat, or electricity; it is therefore not only a proper object of science, but a proper subject of philosophy." However this may be, it is certain that the doctrine of the "vital principle" was made the most of in times of ignorance before anything was known of the laws of life. The "vital principle" explained everything in the middle ages, and we observe that the publishers of this brochure, doubtless aware of the fitness of things, have printed it in mediæval type.