Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 43.djvu/288

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276
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

Action in Past Times, he has materially added to the existing literature upon geological research.

 

Three books in the series of English Classics for Schools, by the American Book Company, well illustrate the excellent idea on which the issue is based—which is that of presenting the best English books, of suitable size, with the accompaniment of full prefatory information concerning the subjects, environments, and authors of the works. The Sir Roger de Coverley Papers from the Spectator is introduced with an account of the Tatler, of which the Spectator was the direct outcome, and its characteristics, and biographical sketches of Addison, Steele, and Budgell, the authors of the Sir Roger de Coverley papers. To a similar edition of Sir Waller Scott's Marmion are prefixed a characterization of Scott's work in the poem, a description of the Scottish people of the time of the action, their customs and distinctions, an account of the significance of the battle of Flodden Field, and maps of the region and of the battle-ground. The Second Essay on the Earl of Chatham, by Lord Macaulay, is furnished with biographical sketches of the author and of William Pitt. These volumes are neat in appearance, moderate in price, and are suitable for the modest library as well as for the schoolroom.

Robinson's Arithmetics (American Book Company) have for many years had a wide use among the best American schools. In preparing new and revised editions, the object has been kept in view of retaining all the features which have contributed to their usefulness and popularity, and making only such changes as would add to their value and bring them up to date. In the Primary work, stress is laid upon teaching pupils to recognize numbers of objects before they are required to represent numbers by words or by figures. A valuable feature of the revision of the Rudiments consists in the addition of about forty pages of introductory exercises, of a general character, which adapt the book for use in a two-book series, in connection with the Practical Arithmetic, or it may be used without the introductory exercises, in a three-book series. The scheme of revision of the Practical Arithmetic has been rather one of judicious addition than of omission, and yet by an economical adjustment and by an occasional dropping out of useless matter it has been possible to add many valuable features and much new matter without materially increasing the size of the book. In the arrangement of subjects attention has been paid to placing those in sequence which run naturally and by easy stages into one another, and to giving early places to the most important and useful applications.

Ædeology, by Dr. Sydney Barrington Elliot, is devoted to the physiology, hygiene, etc., of the generative life of man. The volume is compiled from a great variety of sources, and is characterized by that vague generality of statement which appeals to a prurient curiosity without doing much for the enlightenment of the reader. Full and explicit instruction in the physiology of the generative system, suitably timed and adapted in the education of the young, would be of great service to society, and there is nothing in this class of publications that will take the place of it or approach it in value. (New York, St. Clair Publishing Co., 260 pages; price, $1.50.)

In the sixth edition of M. Foster's Textbook of Physiology, the appendix by Dr. A. Sheridan Lea, on The Chemical Basis of the Animal Body, is bound by itself as Part V (Macmillan, $1.75). It has been enlarged, and now constitutes a treatise on the chemical substances occurring in the animal body. The several classes of proteids are first described, after which the chemistry of the enzymes, or soluble unorganized ferments, is given. Certain amorphous bodies allied to proteids—mucin, gelatin, keratin, etc.—and the few carbohydrates found in the human body then receive attention. Other groups are the fatty acids and their allies, the amides and amido acids, the uric-acid group, the ptomaines, and the various coloring matters. Cuts showing the appearance of crystals of many of the substances described are scattered through the text, and the volume has a separate index and a list of authorities quoted.

A treatise on Varicocele and its Treatment has been prepared by Prof. G. Frank Lydston, M. D. (Keener). After a description of the disorder, its causes are reviewed, and