Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 44.djvu/573

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LITERARY NOTICES.

chapters the practical details of the various problems of domestic sanitation are discussed from the standpoint of personal experience.

The author advocates, in the twelfth chapter, the advantages of inhumation over cremation, because the former is cheaper, simpler, and quicker, and it is productive, not destructive.

The thirteenth chapter gives a brief biography of Nicolas Thomas Bremontier, and describes his successful efforts in the reclamation of the sand wastes of Gascony.

There is a great deal of sound common sense in this volume, and the advice it gives can not but be of advantage to every householder.

The Meaning and the Method of Life. A Search for Religion in Biology. By George M. Gould, A. M., M. D. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1893. Pp. 297. Price, $1.75.

It would seem that the anagram that some schoolman of the middle ages made of Pontius Pilate's question. Quid est veritas? (What is truth?) the letters being ingeniously transposed into Est vir qui adest (It is the man who is before you), anticipated the fundamental fact of Dr. Gould's philosophy. For as in the life of Him that was tried by Pilate is to be found an explanation of life's meaning and a suggestion of its method, so in all living matter does Dr. Gould find an evidence of the Deity. He says, "It is plain that a practically omnipresent, invisible, living, intelligent force is operating in and through every living thing." He does not consider that the inorganic world shows any hint of design or of divinity. In the word Biologos he would connate the purpose, wisdom, and intelligence instinct in every living thing, and his philosophy takes no heed of unknown power and possibility. This is a wide step beyond agnosticism, that the author considers an unmanly resignation and despair after a first defeat, and yet beyond monism that he says is muddleism, or pantheism that ignores the dead material, or materialism that ignores the living worker. Rather than an infinite there is a finite creative being, aiming at the highest, encouraging all that is good, and while combating the bad still often baffled because of the refractoriness of material laws.

The world may be considered as a letter direct from the Father's own hand, advising us, telling us of himself, and urging us to hasten our return to him. During the long journey we read it over and over again, delighted at the kindness it witnesses, and the beautiful suggestions it gives of his thoughtfulness and wisdom and lovableness.

The author's creed is that the extension and perfection of healthy life over the globe are the plainest aim and the most primary work of Biologos. Whatever aids in that is right and whatever opposes it is wrong.

Many will not, can not accept Dr. Gould's conclusions, but all must be impressed by his earnestness that finds expression in such sentiments: "Dazzled and dazed the scientific mind is at present like the aphakic, suddenly brought to see, but not recognizing or knowing what he sees. It still sees men as trees walking, and does not know that what it sees is at last the benignant and beckoning God himself."

A Dictionary of Birds. By Alfred Newton, assisted by Hans Gadow. With Contributions from Richard Lydekker, Charles S. Roy, and Robert W. Shufeldt, M. D. Part I (A to Ga) and II (Ga to Moa). London: Adam and Charles Black; New York: Macmillan & Co. Pp. 304. Price, $2.60 each.

This work is founded on a series of articles contributed to the ninth edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, modified so as to make them more continuous so far as alphabetical arrangement will admit, and supplemented by the intercalation of a much greater number. Of the additional articles the most important, chiefly anatomical, are furnished by Dr. Gadow. Dr. Shufeldt, of Washington, who is well known to our readers by his contributions to the Monthly, has also furnished valuable aid. In the choice of subjects for additional articles the author has aimed to supply information which he knows, from inquiries made of him, is greatly needed. Hence he has had regard to names found in books of travel and other works, which no dictionary will explain. But there are other names, compounded (mostly of late years) by writers on ornithology, which have not come, and are not likely to come, into general use; and these are left out, for "these clumsy inventions