Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 29.djvu/871

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

the period of the rhythmic wave to be about ten or eleven years; and according to his computations the period of depression in which we are now supposed to be sinking is to culminate in 1 887. Curiously enough, he predicts—it was a prediction when he wrote it—that "during the years of depression into which we are now entering—1885, 1886, 1887—we may expect numerous strikes, mobs, and troubles in our cities among laboring classes, incident to such times." While Mr. Smith's theory must be classed in the long list of hypotheses very much in need of proof, it is fair to say that he does not write like a wild visionary, but in the manner of a capable man who has thought long and earnestly upon the question he discusses.

The Fitting-Schools. By G. von Taube. New York: Gramercy Park School and Tool-House Association. Pp. 86.

The author is the originator and present director of the Gramercy Park Tool-House, and considers in this pamphlet the educational methods followed there—which attempt considerably more than simply to introduce the tools, or to train a future mechanic. From the statements of his theory of education we cite this about the primary work, or purpose, of the Kindergarten, which "is generally accomplished, notwithstanding' the school. The early culture of perceptions goes ahead according to Nature's rules, even if the ABC remains unmastered. And facing the fact that a great deal of the very Kindergarten work is not wisely (we should say philosophically) arranged and conducted, we are obliged to come to the conclusion that the knowledge how to lose time wisely is the best maxim to be followed at an early age of the child. What has to be attended to is the discipline of habits, that of steady preoccupation, a concentration of attention leading to future thoroughness. Then the habit of neatness, that of sociability, the early sympathy toward a sufferer, a good, square, friendly acquaintance with Mother Nature's objective department. . . . Thus the creation of a good motive in children depends greatly upon careful early management, and the spontaneous activity of the little ones is made available to that effect." Arriving at the age of generalizations the study is directed toward new and wider subjects—a higher analysis of life and its conditions. In the conclusion—"Education, let us believe, is a specialty, is a serious study; not a personal opinion on a light subject, but a generalization, the inductions of which extend through centuries, whose truths call for testimony of most mixed sciences. Education, therefore, as a science, can no more be mixed up with emotional ventures and declamations than physics, chemistry, or astronomy. The future of a generation, embodying the dearest we possess on earth—our children—is too serious a matter to be settled off-hand, or to be indiscriminately and blindly deduced from a few principles, even if these should be of the highest kind."

Anthropophagy, Historic and Prehistoric. By General Charles W. Darling, Utica, N. Y. Privately printed. Pp. 47.

The author, in his readings relating to the origin and history of the human family, was impressed with the frequent allusions to man-eating among many of the peoples of the world, and was prompted to collate

I some of the references to the custom, in a connected form. In doing this, he has endeavored to be faithful to the facts as related by historians and travelers. His record begins with the Cyclopes of the Greeks, and ends with the distressing incidents of the Greely Expedition.

Proceedings of the Sixth Meeting of the Society for the Promotion of Agricultural Science. 1885. B. D. Halsted, Secretary, Ames, Iowa. Manhattan, Kansas: State Agricultural College. Pp. 59.

The society was organized in 1880, for the purpose of bringing together those who are interested in the applications of science to agriculture, discussing the methods and results of investigations, and providing for publications relating to the same. The present meeting was held at Ann Arbor, Michigan. Among the papers recorded in the report are—"The Vitality of Seeds buried in the Soil," by W. J. Beal; "The Demands made by Agriculture upon the Science of Botany," by Charles E. Bessey; "On Some Redeeming Traits of Alkali Soils,"