Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 37.djvu/718

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itself and never too long to be carried, without risk of losing its balance, on a single breath of the speaker. Mr. Stedman would advise the literary aspirant that the first thing is to have "something he must say or express, and then he will say it in his natural and special way; and his way forms his style, and his style is thus the man." Mr. R. D. Blackmore, author of Lorna Doone, first makes sure what he means, then arranges the words in straight order without waste, and then looks at them, with a stranger's mind, to learn whether he would take them as himself had done. Mr. Edward Dowden regards as the most important thing, in writing narrative, "to discover and then conceal a rational order in the sequence of topics." In many cases the "logic" would be one of the emotions rather than of the intellect. Mr. F. Marion Crawford advises boys to cultivate style by taking pains about their letters. Mr. Thomas Hardy's impression is that if one "has anything to say which is of value, and words to say it with, the style will come of itself."

Semitic Philosophy: Showing the Ultimate Social and Scientific Outcome of Original Christianity in its Conflict with Surviving Ancient Heathenism. By Philip C. Friese. Chicago: S. C. Griggs & Co. Pp. 246.

The speculative theories of the Semites are not discussed in this work, as might be supposed from its title. It is named Semitic to distinguish it from "the philosophies of Greece and Rome and the Orient," and because the author of its great revival was a Semite. We learn that it is "the Christian doctrine of the kingdom of God," and that this formula implies a philosophy "all of which may be grasped into the one first principle as the uniformity of the uniformities of God's action." Christ did not intrust this precious system to writing because language is defective, but he "referred its keeping" to a better vehicle of thought, "the sensuous ideas." These are explained as possessing magnitude, color, motion, and relative place; superior to the differentials of mathematics, in that they are qualitative as well as quantitative, and, to cap the climax, they are "constructed, like the rest of the body, by man's spirit"! In spite of the inefficiency of. language, Mr. Friese gives us "An Ideal Written Social Constitution," and describes in another chapter a general social reformation. Whether we agree or not with his remedies and conclusions, he fully persuades us that words are poor instruments, and a snare for the unwary.

Monographs of the United States Geological Survey. Volume XV. The Potomac or Younger Mesozoic Flora. By William Morris Fontaine. Part I, Text; Part II, Plates. Washington. Pp. 377, Plates 180.

In his introduction the author states that the formation whose flora he describes was for a long time included in the so-called Trias of the Atlantic slope. Prof. W. B. Rogers, however, early recognized the difference between this group of strata and most of the Mesozoic of Virginia. Nearly all the plants described in this work were collected by the author in Virginia; the few others were obtained from Maryland. The extent of the ground that Prof. Fontaine has examined makes him confident that the fossils herein described give a fair notion of the flora of the "Potomac" period. He gives the locations of the places in which plants have been found, and describes the mode of occurrence of the specimens. He describes also the location and geology of the Potomac beds. The botanical descriptions of the species to the number of three hundred and sixtyfive occupy the greater portion of the volume of text. A series of tables, comparing the Potomac plants with previously described fossil floras, are appended by permission of Prof. Lester F. Ward, by whom they were prepared, for his own use.

Bulletins of the United States Geological Survey. Nos. 54, 55, 56, and 57. Washington.

The first of these four bulletins is a volume of over three hundred pages by Carl Barus, entitled On the Thermo-electric Measurement of High Temperatures. In the introduction a general account of methods of pyrometry is given. The first chapter deals with the degree of constant high temperature attained in metallic vapor baths of large dimensions. The calibration of electrical pyrometers, by the aid of fixed thermal data and by direct comparison with the air thermometer, is fully described. A chap-