Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 37.djvu/290

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

win's subsidence theory. The following chapters deal with the zoölogy of the islands, consisting mainly of descriptions of the species collected. Prof. Heilprin states that "the Bermudian fauna is essentially a wind-drift and current-drift fauna, whose elements have been received in principal part from the United States and the West Indies," while certain mollusca and Crustacea are of a distinctively Pacific type. An appendix, consisting of notes on the recent literature of coral reefs, is added. The volume is illustrated with seventeen full-page photoengravings and lithographic plates.

Lectures on Russian Literature. By Ivan Panin. New York and London: G. P. Putnam's Sons. Pp. 220. Price, $1.50.

The curious confession made in this volume that there is no originality in Russian literature, but that it acts as "a sieve for Western thought," or as "a wall against Asiatic barbarism," would seem to condemn it to the obscurity from which it has so lately emerged. The author believes, however, that the three virtues—intensity, moderation, and sincerity—which pre-eminently distinguish Russian poets and novelists, will not only rescue them from oblivion, but oblige Western writers finally to seek in them models of expression. He finds four phases of evolution in literature: First, the youthful period of joyous song; second, rebellion and lament; third, aggression and warfare; fourth, belief and inspiration. These are exemplified in Russia by Pushkin, the bard; Gogol, the protester; Turgenef, the warrior; and Tolstoi, the preacher. The Lectures are entertaining, and give the reader an insight into four typical Russian authors.

Lessons in the Structure, Life, and Growth of Plants. By Alphonso Wood. Revised and edited by Oliver R. Willis. New York: A. S. Barnes & Co. Pp. 220. Price, $1.

This text-book was written more than twenty years ago, and is now recast and revised to adapt it to new means and methods of study, and to the advanced state of the science. In its new form it is offered as a suitable introduction and companion to any of the manuals of the flora of North America. Part I is devoted to structural, Part II to physiological, and Part III to systematic botany, but it is not prescribed that the subjects shall be taken up in this order. The volume is clearly printed and copiously illustrated, and is provided with a combined index and glossary.

 

A paper of nearly three hundred quarto pages on The Geographical Distribution of Fossil Plants has been prepared by Lester F. Ward, to form a part of the report of the United States Geological Survey for 1886-'87. It is a continuation of the Sketch of Paleobotany which appeared in the Fifth Annual Report, and will be followed by a paper on Problems of Paleobotany, in which the author will discuss many subjects in this field that he has not yet treated. The present paper takes the form of a narrative of the publication of discoveries of plant fossils. The division of the earth first taken up is Europe, and here the great number of small beds that have been discovered and of monographs that have been written about them precludes much more than a mention of each one. The flora of the arctic regions has been so magnificently treated by Prof. Oswald Heer that Mr. Ward has deemed it superfluous to pick up what little collateral matter has been brought out by other authors. Nearly the same statement applies to India, on account of Feistmantel's labors; and to Canada, where Dawson has done thorough work. But, in treating the United States, Mr. Ward has felt in duty bound to make the geographical review as complete as the data in his possession would permit. Here more analysis of the separate finds is made than in the case of the European countries. This section is accompanied by a map of the United States, on which the chief localities in which fossil plants of various geological ages have been found are indicated by different colored circles. Numerous foot-notes on every page give exact bibliographical information concerning the works referred to in the text. The paper has a full index.

The second number of the Bulletin from the Laboratories of Natural History of the State University of Iowa contains papers on the Anatomy of the Gorgonidæ, by C. C. Nutting—well illustrated; and on the Native Fishes of Iowa, by Seth E. Meek.

The Report of the Council of the Cana-