Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 44.djvu/723

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LITERARY NOTICES.

that book appeared (1871) is much too late to be taken as "the proper origin of the science." Quotations from A. R. Wallace beginning in 1871 come nest, and are followed by some from Haeckel beginning in 1874. 'Having thus examined the theories of what our author calls "the great original authorities," he proceeds with "writers who have turned these theories to account and elaborated them." In this second group of writers he places Herbert Spencer first, and says, "In treating of Mr. Spencer's work, it is necessary to begin with a book which made its appearance before the publication of the Origin of Species, namely. Social Statics (1851)." Mr. Williams's designation of Darwin as "the first laborer in this line" needs no further comment. The views of Spencer are then presented as found in his Social Statics (both the 1851 and the recently revised edition), his Collected Essays, The Man versus the State, The Principles of Psychology, the several divisions of The Principles of Ethics, and one or two minor writings. By letting Spencer speak for himself in quotations our author secures a nearly correct representation of his ethical theory, but he states that Spencer in the original Social Statics "advocates the nationalization of land," and neglects to say that Spencer has since repeatedly abjured this doctrine, and leaves nothing in the revised edition that can be construed as supporting it. More space is found needful for Spencer, forty-eight pages, than for any other writer represented. John Fiske is taken up next, and the theories of the other authors noticed follow in the order in which they are named above.

The treatise which forms the second part of this work is one in which a wealth of data has been used, and a highly instructive and suggestive result has been attained. The author begins by examining the operation of heredity and variation in evolution, and passes next to a consideration of intelligence and "end." Among the other topics considered are the mutual relations of thought, feeling, and will in evolution, egoism, altruism, and conscience. There is an interesting chapter on The Moral Progress of the Human Species as shown by History, in which the morals of ancient Greece and Rome and mediæval England are shown to have been far below modern standards. In the closing chapter, on attainment of the ideal, the author touches upon a variety of considerations, and ends with some helpful words on the transition from the belief in a personal immortality to the expectation of persisting after death only as an influence upon those remaining in life.

So valuable a book should not have been issued without an index.

On the Old Frontier, or the Last Raid of the Iroquois. By William O. Stoddard. Pp. 340. Price, $1.50. New York: D. Appleton & Co.

This is a novel dealing with frontier life in Revolutionary times, when most of the fighting men were with Washington in the East, and the frontiers were therefore very weakly garrisoned. It describes the motives and nature of a raid by the Indians on a settlement known as Plum Creek.

The hero is a boy, who was stolen by the Indians when very young and brought up among them. He finally escapes and makes his way to Plum Creek, where he is adopted by the gunsmith of the settlement. He is able, by reason of his Indian training, to render valuable assistance to the settlers during the skirmishes preceding the concentrated attack, and just at the last, when the fort is about to fall into the hands of the Indians, he appears with a detachment of United States troops and saves its inmates, besides giving the death blow to the Indian raids. He then discovers a relative in the commanding officer of the soldiers, and learns that his family, which he had supposed were massacred at the time of his abduction, are alive, and mourning his early demise. The characters speak in dialect, and the book is well illustrated.

The story is "a fiction founded on fact."

 

After an interval of seven years the first volume of the History of the Theory of Elasticity, by the late Isaac Todhunter, has been followed by the two parts of Volume II (Macmillan, $7.50). The manuscript that Dr. Todhunter left has been edited and completed by Prof. Karl Pearson, the physical and technical branches of the subject being wholly the work of the editor, likewise the general history of the subject after the date