Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 30.djvu/137

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125
LITERARY NOTICES.

vote of thanks to the people, said that the meeting would stand prominent in regard to comfort as well as to its scientific qualities. In the latter feature it stood very high. The programme in every section was full to excess, so that, while usually all the sections have finished their work on the Tuesday, and some of them on the Monday, five sections had this year to meet on the Wednesday. In all, three hundred and eighty-eight papers and reports were brought forward, the larger numbers of which were, in mathematics eighty-four, and geology seventy-seven. A new feature, and one the introduction of which was crowned with unexpected success, was that of provision for the discussion in some of the sections of subjects of unusual and pressing importance. The discussions on this plan in the joint meetings of the Physical and Biological Sections on color-vision, and in the Geographical Section on geographical education, were particularly edifying. Another discussion which followed the reading of a paper by Mr. Seebohn, on the theory of physiological selection, recently announced by Dr. Romanes, in which Professors Michael Foster and Newton and Francis Darwin took part, showed that the prevailing sentiment of the section was still in favor of Mr. Darwin's view and against Dr. Romanes's proposed modification of it. Another instructive discussion was on the existence of a pre-glacial man. About the usual proportion of the papers read were of a technical or special character, and a few were perhaps hardly at home in such a body as this; but the very full reports of the meetings in the London "Times," occupying about twenty-five columns, show how much was said and done that was of such living interest and value as to appeal to the general public. The addresses of the sectional presidents, of the essential features of which we give abstracts in another place, were for the most part attractive and intelligible presentations of the particular fields of research in which their authors are engaged. Public interest in the meetings may be gauged by the fact of the sale of twenty-five hundred membership tickets. Appropriations of thirteen hundred pounds sterling were made in encouragement of research in numerous fields. The meeting of the French Association was held at Nancy, under the presidency of M. Friedel, the chemist, and was marked by a numerous attendance and the presentation of a good list of papers, indicating a healthy growth. The secretary reported that three hundred and forty-two contributions had been presented at the Grenoble meeting of last year—being within forty-six of the number offered at the British Association this year. The treasurer presented reports showing that the financial strength of the Association and its consequent power for usefulness were steadily increasing.

 


LITERARY NOTICES.

Aristocracy in England. By Adam Badeau. New York: Harper & Brothers. 1886. Pp. 306. Price, $1.25.

There was need of such a volume (especially in this country) as that which General Badeau has here prepared. The truth is, that our national independence and the birth of the Great Republic consisted in little else than a formal repudiation of the British aristocratical system—monarchy and nobility; so that it can hardly be expected that the American people would be very impartial judges of the merits of a system we have got rid of under such circumstances. Our general idea is, that the English aristocracy is a worn-out, worthless, useless, ridiculous, and tyrannical system that is destined to disappear in a very few years. But American contempt for English aristocracy hardly equals American ignorance of it.

General Badeau recognized that there was wanting a book that should give an in-