Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 43.djvu/726

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order to interpret the latent powers of a molecule, or the transmission of organic tendencies, he must assume the intangible, and endow matter with a sort of soul. He also derives from his study of Nature motives that are moral and a confidence akin to faith. This is close upon religious territory, and the preacher may utilize it.

The substance of this volume was first presented in lecture form at Andover. It is suggestive, and teaches a form of monism, though scarcely such as Prof. Haeckel would indorse.

Horticulture. Ten Lectures delivered for the Surrey County Council. By J. Wright, F. R. H. S. With Thirty-seven Illustrations. Pp. 154. New York: Macmillan & Co. Price, 35 cents.

This "Primer of Horticulture" is designed as an introduction to a scientific and practical study of gardening and fruit growing, either for the small householder, who enjoys the care of his seven-by-nine piece of ground, or for the farmer to whom the best and most economical methods are matters of "dollars and cents."

The first lecture is devoted to the question of land allotments, with which we in the United States are not concerned. The second lecture is headed The Soil, its Nature, Preparation, and Improvement. This chapter contains in clear and concise language matter of the importance to every farmer—matter, in fact, without which the tiller of the soil is as much handicapped as was the compassless mariner—matter usually, however, locked up in large, expensive, and technical works, and therefore not at the command of the working farmer. Lecture III is devoted to the raising of "crops, plants, and trees," and includes, among many other important matters, a history of the seed from its formation to the development into a new plant; a description of the various methods of grafting, and the why and wherefore of fertilization. Lecture IV treats of the Food of Crops—Manuring the Soil, and, like Lecture II, is full of practical instruction. The Enemies of Crops and Trees, in the shape of weeds, birds, insects, fungi, etc., are next considered. Lecture VI deals with the very important part of the farmer's work—planting. In Lectures VII and VIII what are the most profitable crops is the question answered. Lecture IX considers the Preservation and Disposal of Garden Produce, including Flowers and Fruit; and Lecture X closes the book with a talk on the desirability of exhibitions and fairs and the necessity for high ideals in gardening. The construction of the work is admirable, and it might be read with profit by many scientific men as a model for popular scientific exposition. Great care has been taken to select the most important aspects of the topic discussed, the essential facts being presented in clear and untechnical language, while the subject is not overburdened with detail.

How to know the Wild Flowers. By Mrs. William Starr Dana. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. Pp. 298. Price, $1.50.

This title will attract the attention of lovers of Nature, especially if they are able to spend the summer months in the country. An acquaintance with natural history, even if it be slight, unquestionably adds very much to the pleasure of out-of-door life, rendering interesting, localities which but for their animal and vegetable forms would be quite the reverse, and making doubly pleasurable a sojourn in a region where scenic beauties are also present. The author's purpose has been to give the reader a "bowing acquaintance with the common wild flowers of our woods and fields"; but, while the attempt is well meant, we can not say that it is a success. There are descriptions of most of the common wild flowers of the Middle States, with the exception of "flowers so common as to be generally recognized," "flowers so inconspicuous as generally to escape notice," and "rare flowers and escapes from gardens." But the descriptions, particularly of essential parts, resemble those in Gray's Manual, and are too short and technical for the uninstructed observer. What remains is more of a literary than a scientific character, there being considerable poetry and more or less sentimental comment. The illustrations, of which there are one hundred and four, are not at all satisfactory as an aid in identification, the purpose for which they are intended. A classification based on colors is introduced which is necessarily of little value, as the