Popular Science Monthly/Volume 20/January 1882/Literary Notices
Artificial Anæsthesia and Anæsthetics. By Henry M. Lyman, A.M., M.D., Professor of Physiology and of Diseases of the Nervous System in Rush Medical College, Chicago, etc. New York: William Wood & Co. 1881. 8vo. Pp. vii-338.
"The most ancient record of the race," says Professor Lyman, "introduces the hero of the flood plunged in a deep and scandalous sleep, under the influence of wine which he had prepared." From the time of Noah to that of Long, Morton, Wells, and Warren, the history of anaesthesia is concisely summarized in the first chapter of the present work; a history terminating in the final success of the search, which man has been making from the remotest antiquity, for the means of arresting or annihilating physical pain. "The venerable Nestor came to the relief of the wounded Machaon with a medicated poultice composed of cheese, onions, and meal, mixed with the wine of Pramnos. . . . Some preparation of opium or of Indian-hemp it may have been with which, after the ten years' siege was ended, beautiful Helen drove away sad memories from the minds of her husband and his friends, making them drink of wine into which she cast a drug presented to her by the Egyptian princess Polydamna. Most potent this same nepenthe must have been, for we are told (Odyssey, iv, 220) that it delivered men from grief and wrath, and caused oblivion of every ill." Some of the ancient soporifics are well-known to us, as opium, Indian hemp, mandragora; and probably they employed carbonic-acid gas also. Mandragora was the favorite among the Greeks; infused in wine, it was known as morion. "Apuleius states that half an ounce of this would render a person insensible even to the pain of an amputation. Dioscorides taught that the sleep thus produced might continue four hours or more; hence, no doubt, various legends which were by Shakespeare interwoven into the story of Juliet. The wine mingled with myrrh which was offered, according to the custom of the kind-hearted Jewish women of the day, to Jesus on the cross, was unquestionably this same mandragora-wine." During the time of Dante the following soporific, Hugo di Lucca's prescription, was used for patients about to undergo operations: they were caused "to breathe the vapors given off from a sponge moistened with warm water, after it had been thoroughly steeped in a decoction of opium, deadly nightshade, hyoseyamus, mandragora, hemlock, ivy, and lettuce. Sponges thus medicated were to be dried in the sunshine, and stored for use as occasion might require.
During the eighteenth century trials were made for anæsthetic purposes of hypnotism, freezing mixtures, intoxication, and pressure upon the trunks of the principal nerves. All these methods were, of course, unsatisfactory; chemical science, indeed, was not yet sufficiently advanced for the more recent discoveries. In 1799 Sir Humphry Davy discovered the intoxicating effects of nitrous oxide gas. Sulphuric ether was employed by Dr. Pearson, of Birmingham, in 1785, as a means of relief for spasmodic asthma; and in 1805 by Dr. Warren, of Boston, in the later stages of consumption. It was first used to produce insensibility to pain during a surgical operation by Dr. W. C. Long, of Jefferson, Georgia, in 1842. This great event, says Professor Lyman, was thus simply recorded by Dr. Long in his ledger: 'James Venable, 18-12. Ether and excising tumor, $2.00.' In the same year, William T. G. Morton employed sulphuric ether in tooth-pulling. Then came nitrous oxide or laughing-gas, used in tooth-pulling in 1844, by Horace Wells. In October, 1840, Morton made the surgical use of ether known to the world. "From that date the success of anæsthesia in surgery was placed beyond all doubt." In 1847 the eminent physiologist, Flourens, discovered the anaesthetic properties of chloroform, and it came rapidly into use. These are the facts over which the endless controversies of the rival claimants have been raised—controversies which this is not the place to follow.
From the history of anaesthesia Professor Lyman passes to its physiology and its phenomena; discussing the various procedures by which it is produced, whether generally or locally, the statistics and the treatment of the accidents resulting from it, the medico-legal relations of the subject, and the various classes of cases in which the anaesthetic substances may be employed. The larger part of his book is taken up by a detailed examination of the numerous substances classifiable under his title, no less than forty-seven being enumerated and described, besides which other methods than the posological, as anæsthesia by electricity, by rapid respiration, and by cold, arc studied. A feature of the work is the citation of remarkable illustrative cases. The experience of Dr. J. Marion Sims (p. 58), in a case of apparent death from chloroform, is one of those dramatic recitals which give irresistible interest to a purely scientific discussion.
Professor Lyman has made an excellent compend of what is known upon the subject of anæsthetics and their use. The book covers the history, theory, and practice of the topics discussed; and not the least merit of the treatment is its attractive style. Dr. Lyman has not availed himself of the ancient prerogative of medical science, to be dull. The work of a learned physiologist and practitioner, it is properly classed by its publishers among their standard medical authors.
A Report on the Teaching of Chemistry and Physics in the United States. By Frank Wigglesworth Clarke, S. B., Professor of Chemistry and Physics in the University of Cincinnati. Washington: Government Printing-Office. Pp. 219.
This is No. 6 of the "Circulars of Information" of the Bureau of Education for 1880. It embraces the substance of the replies to a schedule of questions which the Commissioner of Education sent out in 1878 to the schools of the country relative to the teaching of physics and chemistry, and covering the items of the courses of study, the text-books used, the value of apparatus, the library facilities and policy, the character of examinations, and the cultivation of original research. These replies were referred to Professor Clarke to digest and collate. His report, the purpose of which, in accordance with the design of the Commissioner of Education is, first, to state the facts, and second, to point out defects and remedies, includes a specific account of the instruction given in all those schools, public or private, of whatever grade, from which sufficient information to form the basis of such an account was received. In the prefatory parts of the descriptive chapters assigned to the several classes of schools, the author offers free general criticisms of the methods, and his own views of their defects, and the improvements of which they are susceptible, in observations which are of much value and interest. Passing the question of the desirability of teaching the sciences in primary and intermediate schools as an open one, the expediency of teaching chemistry and physics in secondary schools is regarded as generally admitted. Not less than half a year should be given to each, and "a year can usually be given without difficulty." Instruction should be general rather than special, and the textbook should be supplemented by the knowledge of the teacher, which ought to be enough "to render him in a measure independent of text-books." Normal schools by the theory of their existence ought to recognize the fact that their students may be called upon to teach chemistry and physics, and endeavor to train them intelligently in methods of instruction, and a few of them do so. As to the colleges, in most cases they teach chemistry and physics to the same extent as the preparatory schools, and in essentially the same way. "The conclusion is obvious that the colleges ought to do higher work. . . . The present repetition or duplication of studies is clearly wasteful, and ought to be abolished." With a few honorable exceptions, the colleges which are doing the best work in chemistry and physics are those which have adopted the elective system. The system of instruction in medical and related schools needs, as a rule, much improvement, but, "fortunately, a healthier state of affairs is rapidly developing." Insufficient attention to laboratory work or the neglect of it is a chief defect in a large proportion of the schools. Laboratory practice in physics is necessarily limited in preparatory schools, but a greater variety is attainable in chemistry, in numerous simple and ordinary experiments, which are cheap, and ought to be sought out and used. In the normal schools the future teacher may be taught the art of getting along with make-shifts, and to construct simple apparatus out of the commonest materials.
Illustrations of the Earth's Surface. Glaciers. By Nathaniel Southgate Shaler, Professor of Paleontology, and William Morris Davis, Instructor in Geology, in Harvard University. Boston: James R. Osgood & Co. Pp. 196, with 25 Plates and Descriptive Texts. Price, $10.
This work is designed to be one of a series of volumes of "Illustrations of the Earth's Surface," to be entitled severally "Glaciers," "Mountains," "Volcanoes and Earthquakes," "Lakes and Plains," "Rivers and Valleys," "The Sea and its Shores," "Structure of Rocks," and the "Effects of Life." The purpose of the series is to remedy, as far as can practically be done by using the best attainable pictorial illustrations, the difficulties besetting the teaching of geology, which arise from the remoteness of the facts on which the teaching must rest, and the present impossibility of the pupil's going and observing them for himself. Hence, photographs are chosen, when they can be got, on a scale represented by a page as large as that of the current sixteen page newspaper. The present work was originally designed merely to furnish a collection of photographs of glaciers, along with descriptions that might serve to call the attention of the student to the most noteworthy features in the objects represented. The photographs given are bright and spirited, far superior to anything found in books accessible to students, and the descriptions, lucid and satisfactory; but it was found by the projectors of the work that this would not be enough. The descriptions needed to be supplemented by a connected sketch of the more important part of the subject matter. The author of the sketch, Professor Shaler, was compelled by the contract with the publishers to prepare it "with far greater haste than was proper in such a work," a fact which he and the publishers should not have tolerated, for the public have a right in such a work to the best preparation possible; but he has given a comprehensive and excellent review of the whole subject of glaciers and glacial action. The sketch embraces chapters on existing glaciers and their distribution, the distribution of ancient glaciers, "The Work of the Glacial Time," "The Origin and Nature of Glacial Periods," "Ancient Glacial Periods," "The Climatal Conditions of Glacial Periods," "The Effect of Glaciers on the Altitude of the Lands," "The Effect of Glaciation on the Life of the Earth," "Relation of Glaciation to the History of Man," "The Movement of Glaciers," "Certain Effects of Glaciers," a glossary, and a bibliography of the subject. The plates are mostly illustrative of Swiss glaciers, and are arranged so as to show—1. A general view of glacial form; 2. Details of structures from greater to less altitudes; and, 3. Effects of glacial action. A few are added from Norway, the Himalayas, and Colorado, with illustrations of glacial and weather-marks on rocks, and maps of the distribution of glaciers, ancient and modern.
Adams's Synchronological Chart of Universal History. Price, $15. New York: Colby & Co., No. 5 Union Square.
The superiority of the eye as an inlet of knowledge, over all the other senses, is generally admitted, though it is not generally half appreciated. If people will examine the contents of their minds, they will find that far the greatest portion of them are visual acquisitions. It would be a very moderate estimate to say that nine tenths of our ideas are got through the help of the eye. Visual impressions are, besides, of a higher grade than those of the other senses. They are sharper, clearer, and all their relations are more definite. Then, again, they are more adherent than any other impressions—that is, they stick in the mind and are easiest remembered. Visual ideas are also the most perfect—that is, all the complexities and fine diversities of nature are reproduced in thought through the eye. At a glance a whole landscape becomes the property of the mind. We think in pictures; and the highest faculty of the intellect is that which pieces together old pictures and creates new ones. The eye is the only sense that gives us images; and how far imagining goes in mental processes is shown by the exalted office of the imagination—the image-working faculty of the mind.
From these facts we are led to perceive the transcendent importance of the eye in education. Acquisitions made by light are of course the most lucid. They are not only the most vivid, but the easiest understood and the longest retained. Hence, wherever a subject can be illustrated by maps, charts, and pictorial diagrams, there is an enormous gain in the mental economics of learning.
History is a subject which in its leading facts is capable of treatment by the visual method, as Adams's chart strikingly illustrates. The events of the world have all occurred in a double relation of coexistence and of sequence. Many trains of occurrences go on together or synchronously; and in each line there is a chain of succession in the parts, which proceed in the order of cause and effect. Nations and empires run their careers as it were side by side, rising, flourishing, decaying, and giving place to others; while each nation has its epochal changes of dynasty, revolution, or conquest. These relations of events are capable of being mapped, and they are so skillfully represented in Adams's chart that we get, as it were, a bird's-eye view of the procession of great terrestrial affairs. The chart is twenty-five feet long by three deep, and mounted on rollers, so that, if there is not room to fully display it, its parts may be brought successively into view. Vertical lines show contemporaneous events, and horizontal bars of color represent succession, the stream of time, and the progress of civilization. The march of fifty-nine centuries is delineated, and the great transactions of the world—national, civil, military, religious, maritime, architectural, inventive, and literary—with the advent of great men, are all pictorially represented in their time relations, so that an accurate outline of history may be rapidly and easily acquired.
It would take a book to describe the chart, and so we shall not attempt it, but will only say that for introducing the young to the study of history, and for common reference in reading general history, it will have great usefulness. Much pains has been bestowed upon its preparation, and a good deal of information crowded into limited space. The Hebrew cosmology and Usher's chronology are adopted, and more supernatural events are located than science might perhaps approve; but this does not impair the general utility of the work, which is conformed, if not to the latest, at any rate to the prevailing, state of knowledge.
Mexican Paper: an Article of Tribute. Its Manufacture, Varieties, Employment, and Uses, compiled from Pictorial and Written Records. By Philipp J. Valentini, Ph. D. Worcester, Massachusetts: Charles Hamilton. Pp. 26.
An interesting study of a single feature of ancient Mexican civilization. The painted records of the "Codex Mendoza" show that certain towns had to furnish enormous quantities of paper to the city of Mexico. The fact suggests an examination into the Nahuatl name for paper, and its occurrence in combination in the names of some towns, the symbols by which it is represented in the pictographs, the method of manufacturing it, and the uses that were made of it, which were very diversified. Especially were large quantities of paper employed on occasions of ceremonial and dress.
Tenth Report of the State Entomologist on the Noxious and Beneficial Insects of the State of Illinois. Fifth Annual Report, by Cyrus Thomas, Ph. D., State Entomologist. Springfield, Illinois: State Board, of Agriculture. Pp. 214.
The demand for the entomological reports is steadily increasing within and without the State, and even in Europe. In order to make the work as useful as possible to farmers, who most frequently meet the insects and can most readily recognize them as larvae, predominance is given to descriptions of the larval state. The plan has been adopted of making a specialty each year of some particular class of insects. Thus Dr. Thomas's second report gave considerable space to the chinch-bug; his third report was devoted to plant-lice; the fourth report largely to the European cabbage-worm; and the present volume considers at some length the history and habits of the army-worm, with a view of arriving at the best practical remedy. It also gives a paper, by Dr. A. S. Packard, on the Hessian fly, and accounts of many other insects.
The Landa Alphabet a Spanish Fabrication. By Philipp J. Valentini, Ph. D. Worcester, Massachusetts: Charles Hamilton. Pp. 35.
Generally, the ancient 'Mexicans were supposed to have no alphabet, and their writing to be pictorial, but an alphabet ascribed by Bishop Diego Landa, of Yucatan, to the Maya people was regarded as an exception. The author advances the opinion that this was not a genuine alphabet, but was compiled by the bishop from selections of ideographs whose sounds most nearly approached the sounds of the letters, for the purpose of assisting the Yucatecans in learning their pater nosters. In support of this position, an analysis of each character is presented.
Botany. Outlines of Morphology, Physiology, and Classification of Plants. By William Kamsey McNab, M. D., F. L. S., Professor of Botany, Royal College of Science for Ireland, Dublin. Specially revised for American Students, by Charles E. Bessey, M. Sc, Ph. D., Professor of Botany in Iowa Agricultural College. New York: Henry Holt & Co. 1881. Pp. 400. Price, $1.10.
It is claimed for the American revision of McNab's work that it is less technical than the foreign book, and has been completely adapted to American use by changes in the classification, and by the introduction of American examples. There has also been a considerable simplification of the text, an omission of some paragraphs and a use of smaller type in others, so as to bring the work into the compass of one volume. Besides, the book has been divided into chapters, sections, and numbered paragraphs. It is designed for "second or middle class schools," and aims to present the "study of plants as living things, rather than their bare analysis and classification."
In clearness, conciseness, and perfect adequacy of statement, the text of this school-book leaves nothing to be desired. It is well illustrated, and may be recommended as a valuable book for general readers. But we are a little puzzled about its place as a school-book. We do not understand what the editor means by "second or middle class schools." Is it the next grade above our primary schools? Is it meant as a first book to introduce children of say a dozen years to the study of plants. If it is designed for beginners in botany, we do not hesitate to pronounce the work a mistake. To begin this study with the minute structural elements of plants which are only discernible through the microscope, and with the lower microscopical forms of vegetation, is to put the difficult and complex before the plain and apparent. It can not be claimed that vegetable anatomy is a more important division of the science than organography; but it is certainly more requisite to the comprehension of vegetable physiology, or the plant considered as a "living being." It would seem that there existed in the mind of the American editor 'a kind of partisan feeling as regards the various departments of this science, He prefers the "study of plants as living beings," to what he terms their "bare analysis and classification," and so he offers us a school-book which is neither in accord with the true order of the science of botany nor with the unfolding faculties of the pupil.
Botany has to deal with plants in respect to their kinds as well as their functions. Professor Gray, who has had some experience of the contrary method, says that the study of botany naturally begins with the structural botany of flowering plants. In his recently published "Structural Botany" he omits, as far as possible, all reference to intimate structure, development, and function, leaving these subjects to be treated in the second part of his work, which has not yet appeared, and which is devoted to physiology.
That children should begin the study of botany with organography follows, not only from a consideration of the science as a whole, but is still more obvious when we regard the particular subjects dealt with in its various divisions. In organography, distinctive names are applied to the different organs of plants and their endless variations of form. A knowledge of these terms is indispensable to the botanist, and in childhood it is acquired with ease and pleasure. This botanical vocabulary enables the student to describe the objects of his study with precision and brevity, and in its acquisition and use he is forming the all-important habit of careful observation, and is getting knowledge at first-hand or by self-teaching. In fact there is not another subject in the whole range of the sciences so well suited to the training of the dominant faculties of children in the earlier grades of our public schools as is this department of botany, which is declared on high authority to be the natural beginning of the study.
Seedless Fruits. By E. Lewis Sturtevant, M. D., South Framingham, Massachusetts. Pp. 29.
Numerous instances of plants in which such combinations occur are cited in support of the view that the abnormal development or richness of any part of a plant, as the pulp of a fine fruit, the root, or the tuber in case of the potato, is apt to be attended with deficiency, defectiveness, or entire absence of seeds.
A Memoir on Loxolophodon and Uintatherium, by Henry P. Osborn, Sc. D.; accompanied by a Stratigraphical Report of the Bridger Beds in the Washakie Basin, by John Bach McMaster, C. E., Princeton, New Jersey. Pp. 54, with Four Plates, a Map, and a Profile.
Besides its ample collection of specimens for college instruction, the E. M. Museum of Geology and Archæology of Princeton College contains a large amount of material for more advanced study in the shape of fossils new to science, mainly collected by the college scientific expeditious of 1877 and 1878. The paleontologists and biologists connected with the museum have decided to place the results of their studies in a permanent and suitable form before the scientific public; and, in pursuance of this resolve, begin, with this pair of monographs, a series of memoirs, in quarto, of more mature researches, in addition to the bulletins of their current work which they have published since 1878. There are many persons not acquainted with the early history of the institution who might be glad to know the meaning of the initials E. M., in the name of the museum.
A Sketch of Ancient Philosophy, from Thales to Cicero. By Joseph B. Mayor, M. A., Professor of Moral Philosophy at King's College. New York: Macmillan & Co. Pp. 254. Price, 75 cents.
The large divisions of this work are three, as follows: (A.) The Socratic Philosophy of Nature. (B.) Socrates to Aristotle—Philosophy of Nature and Man. (C.) Post-Aristotelian Philosophy of Man.
Under these divisions there is given an account of—1. The Ionic School; 2. The Italic School; 3. The Ionico-Italic School; 4. The Sophists; 5. Socrates; 6. The Cynics; 7. The Cyrenaics; 8. Plato; 9. Aristotle; 10. The Peripatetics; 11. The Skeptics; 12. The Old Academy; 13. The Skeptical Academy; 14. Stoicism; 15. Epicureanism; 16. Eclecticism; 17. Cicero.
As to the treatment, it is brief; but quite sufficient and most scholarly—so much so, indeed, as quite to unfit the book for general use. It abounds with Latin and Greek quotations that are not translated, and this was in accordance with the author's plan, which was to prepare a book expressly for students acquiring these languages. It is, therefore, properly "A Classical Student's Ancient Philosophy," and the author intends it for "undergraduates at the university," or others who are commencing the study of the philosophical works of Cicero, Plato, or Aristotle, in the original language." Nothing could certainly be more sensible than to furnish them at the outset in English what they propose to get in the original, but by all experience very rarely do get. The author complains of his own bewilderment in early student days when he was put upon the works of the classical masters, and proposes to help those similarly situated. But the question remains, Is it worth while, after all, to go beyond what is communicable in English?
Professor Mayor, of course, thinks it is, as he is an inveterate classicist; but he furnishes a fine example of the blinding and distorting bias of classical studies. Having given his life to the study of the ancients, all his feelings go in. .the direction of his work, so that he has become a devout worshiper of the ancients. We will not say that Professor Mayor is ignorant of modern science, but it is obvious that from his classical prejudices he has but little interest in it, but little sympathy with it, and therefore no just appreciation of its proper influence or true value. The author is a Professor of Moral Philosophy in King's College, and ought, therefore, to be intelligent on this subject, yet he says: "Is there any modern work of systematic morality which could be compared with Aristotle's 'Ethics,' for its power of stimulating moral thought? Most moderns appear to write under the consciousness that they arc uttering truisms; or, if they escape from this, it is by running off from the main highway of morality into by-paths of psychology, or physiology, or sociology." Does he think, then, that the laws of mind, the laws of life, and the laws of social relations, as determined by modern science, have no bearing upon the laws of human action and conduct? Have the nature, constitution, and conditions of man nothing to do with his obligations?
The author agrees with Clement of Alexandria that "philosophy was to the Greek what the law was to the Jew, the schoolmaster to bring him to Christ"; but to what moral end bring anybody to Christ, if, as he elsewhere says, "there is a freshness and a completeness about the ethics of the ancients which we seek in vain in the moderns"? Again, he remarks, "We might be spared much of crudeness and violence and one-sidedness, if people were aware that what they hold to be the last result of modern enlightenment was, perhaps, the commonplace of two thousand years ago." But would it not be better if we could be spared something more of that crude, one-sided education which disqualifies its victims from understanding what are "the last results of modern enlightenment"?
Annual Report of the Chief Signal-Officer to the Secretary of War, for the Year 1879. Washington: Government Printing-Office. Pp. 782, with Seventy-four Charts.
The report claims that the duties of corps analogous in their service to the Signal Corps become more prominent with each ensuing year, and hardly a month passes without some improvement in apparatus deserving the attention of the office being suggested. Instruction on the subjects bearing on the duties of the service is given regularly at Fort Whipple, Virginia, whence it is intended a supply of well-drilled men shall be kept to draw from for the needs of the work. The men of the Signal Corps being engaged on duty as constant in time of peace as in the presence of actual war, return, it is admitted, more than the cost of the service, and are at the same time kept in readiness for any emergency of armed duty by regular drills. The value of the advantages gained by the existence of a corps so trained and having its experts distributed as they are over the country, can hardly be estimated; and the adoption of the exercises and practice of the corps is recommended to the militia of the several States. The office is in communication with numerous foreign correspondents, has official relations with the scientific men and chiefs of meteorological services of nearly every prominent power in the northern hemisphere, has become the acknowledged center of meteorological information on the continent, and has connected itself with the meteorological work of the world. It had, at the date of the report, two hundred and twenty-nine stations in the United States, and also received reports from twenty stations in Canada and British America. The summaries of the reports from these stations, which are published in the volume, illustrate the variety of ways in which the stations have made themselves useful and beneficial to the people and interests of the localities in which they are situated.
First Annual Report of the Astronomer in Charge of the Horological and Thermometry Bureaus of the Winchester Observatory of Yale College, 1880-81. By Leonard Waldo. New Haven: Tuttle, Morehouse & Taylor. Pp. 32.
The tests for watches are more stringent in some points than those made at Neufchatel and Geneva, but a uniform standard is declared desirable. The time, as determined at the observatory, has been made by law the standard for the State of Connecticut, the first instance in the United States in which a State standard of time has been officially adopted. The testing of thermometers has been so satisfactorily done that the makers, particularly the makers of physicians' thermometers, have accepted the authority of the observatory as final, and have greatly improved under its encouragement. Thus, while in June, 1880, all the thermometers received were in error over one third of a degree, and two per cent, of them had errors exceeding a whole degree, in April and May, 1881, four fifths of all sent had errors of less than three tenths of a degree. The experiments indicate that the majority of physicians' thermometers in use are from one half a degree to two degrees too high.
Report of Field Experiments with Fertilizers. By Professor W. O. Atwater, Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut. 1881. Pp. 56, including five tables.
The investigations have now been conducted for four years, both in the form of general experiments involving the use of seven or eight or more different kinds and mixtures of fertilizing materials, containing nitrogen, phosphoric acid, and potash, for the purpose of ascertaining what fertilizing ingredients would most benefit the several soils and crops; and in the form of special experiments of a more complicated character, for the study of the feeding capacities of some of the more common plants, with special reference to the nitrogen supply. The present report gives the results for 1880.
Report of Professor Spencer F. Baird, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, for the Year 1880. Washington: Government Printing-Office. Pp. 83.
Within the few pages of this publication are reviewed very briefly the transactions of the Institution in connection with numerous enterprises and interests bearing upon the advancement of science. Among them are the announcement of astronomical discoveries by telegraph; the exchange and distribution of publications and specimens; explorations in New Mexico, the West Indies, Arizona, Oregon, the Pacific coast, and Alaska; the Howgate Arctic Expedition; the publication of the twenty-second and the near readiness of the twenty-third volumes of "Contributions"; the publication of the sixteenth, seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth volumes of "Miscellaneous Collections"; the transactions of the National Museum and the growth of its collections; and the work of the United States Fish Commission.
A Short History of the Bible. Being a Popular Account of the Formation and Development of the Canon. By Bronson C. Keeler. Chicago: The Century Publishing Company. Pp. 126.
This is an inquiry into the origin and development of the doctrine of divine revelation, "beginning with a time when the books composing the Bible were not considered inspired, and following the belief, in the light of history and approved scholarship, from its inception to the present day." It aims to show who first affirmed the books to be inspired, who compiled them into the accepted volume, what changes have taken place in the canon, and "who first affirmed that we must believe the Bible or be damned." The author says that he has no theory to advocate, but he is evidently opposed to the doctrine of inspiration.
The Spelling Reform. Circulars of Information of the Bureau of Education, No. 7, 1880. Washington: Government Printing-Office. Pp. 36.
The statement embraced in this publication was prepared at the request of the United States Commissioner of Education by Professor F. A. March, of Lafayette College, President of the American Spelling Reform Association. It reviews the reasons for the spelling-reform movement and its history; explains the plan proposed by the American Philological Association, in accordance with which a large part of the essay is printed; gives a list of special words for which the Philological Society of England has proposed a reformed spelling, and catalogues the literature of the subject.
English History for Young Folks, b. c. 55 to a. d. 1880. By S. C. Gardiner, Honorary Student of Christ Church, and Professor of Modern History at King's College, London. Edition revised for American Students. New York: Henry Holt & Co. Pp. 457.
The subject is presented in an easy, flowing style, designed to engage the attention and hold the interest of young readers. With this purpose, important events have been given in fuller detail than usual, though no story has been told simply because it is interesting, and much has been omitted that would be merely burdensome to the memory. The character of the revision that has been made for American readers is not defined, nor is the necessity for it explained.
On Maximum Synchronous Glaciation. By W. J. McGee, of Farley, Iowa. Pp. 65.
This is the substance of a paper which was read by the author at the Boston meeting of the American Association reviewing what is known as the "ice-cap theory." It endeavors to show, from the mode of operation of the agencies which effect glaciation, that precipitation over the central parts of any extensive ice-field must be very slight or even nil, and that there is no sufficient reason for believing that the polar regions were ever much more extensively glaciated than at present; and that the assumption of a vast polar ice-cap to force outward the peripheral portion of the ice that may have accumulated in any latitude is unnecessary and incompetent. The viscous theory of ice-motion is adopted, with some modifications, and some of the most serious objections to it are considered.
Circulars of Information of the Bureau of Education. 1881. No. 1. The Construction of Library-Buildings. Pp. 26. No. 2. The Relation of Education to Industry and Technical Training in American Schools. Pp. 22. Washington: Government Printing-Office.
The first of these circulars is the paper on the construction of library-buildings, which was read by Mr. William F. Poole, of Chicago, at the last meeting of librarians in Washington. Its object is not to formulate rules that must be rigidly followed, but to set forth the conditions for library-buildings which experience has shown to be indispensable.
The second circular embraces papers which have been prepared by President White, of Purdue University, Lafayette, Indiana, on the two subjects of "Technical Training in American Schools" and "The Relation of Education to Industry."
The Disposal of the Dead: A Plea for Cremation. By Edward J. Bermingham, M. D. New York: Bermingham & Co. Pp. 89. Price, $2.
The purpose of this volume is to give an exposition of the present state of the subject of cremation in public discussions, to point out the supposed evils of inhumation, to assist in removing the prejudice against cremation, and secure new friends for it. After considering the different methods of disposing of the dead, and the inconveniences of burial, it reviews the history of cremation among ancient nations and in modern times; considers it from a sentimental point of view, showing its consistency with the best and holiest feelings with reference to the dead; furnishes descriptions of the process and of the different apparatus in use; shows how economical and salutary it would be to cremate dead animals and garbage; and closes with a summary of the arguments on both sides of the question.
Pliocene Man in America. By James C. Southall, A. M., LL. D., of Richmond, Virginia. Being a Paper read before the Victoria Institute, or Philosophical Society of Great Britain. With Remarks by the Duke of Argyll, Professor W. Boyd Dawkins, Principal Dawson, Professor T. McKenny Hughes, and others. New York: A. D. F. Randolph & Co. Pp. 30.
The author takes up the cases of human relics that have been found in California in such situations and under such circumstances as to cause a pre-glacial antiquity to be assigned them, and argues to show that that conclusion is not necessary, and that there is nothing in either the situation or condition of the relics to make a post-glacial origin impossible or even improbable.
Report on the Cotton Production of the State of Louisiana, with a Discussion of the General Agricultural Features of the State. By Eugene W. Hilgard, Professor of Agriculture at the University of California (extra "Census Bulletin"). Washington: Government Printing-Office. Pp. 99.
This report is intended to form a part of the complete report on the cotton-culture of the United States shortly to be issued. It is designed for the information of the general public, as well as of the statistician and student, and is therefore thrown into a popular form. The author is surprised that so few State surveys have popular use of the results of their systematic investigations in view, but has always in his own work considered this the most important object to be compassed. Were it always sought, State surveys, he believes, would be more popular, better sustained, and therefore more complete.
The Young Folks' Astronomy. By John D. Champlin, Jr. New York: Henry Holt & Co. 1881. Pp. 236. Price, 60 cents.
The author of this book says, "There can be little question of the propriety of early grounding a child in an elementary knowledge of the astronomical features of the earth on which he lives and of the universe of which it forms a part." He adds also that the "primers" hitherto made for the purpose are failures. In this he is right, and his own book will have to take its place among them, for the reason that he is wholly wrong in what he says of the propriety of grounding children in a knowledge of the astronomical relations of the earth to the universe. The reason of this is that the immature mind can not grasp that order of ideas, and ideas that can not be clearly seized are not suitable for educational purposes. A child sees the sun, moon, and stars, and may be curious to ask questions about them, but that is no evidence that it can comprehend those truths about them that it took thousands of years to discover, and which it still tasks the adult mind to understand. A child sees also that fire converts water into steam, but it is not, therefore, competent to take in, even in its rudiments, the science of thermo-dynamics. The child can learn words, and astronomical words just as well as any, because the power of verbal acquisition is quite independent of any meaning that may be attached to words. This learning of mere words and the passing off verbal statements for knowledge is the bane of education; and nowhere will this mischievous result be more certain than in the attempt to teach children astronomy. Nevertheless, parents will be flattered to see their wonderful little prodigies at the same time in breeches and astronomy, and so Mr. Champlin's neat little book will no doubt be a "success."
The Total Solar Eclipse of July 29, 1878. Observations at Pike's Peak, Colorado. Report of Professor S. P. Langley. Pp. 15, with Plate.
The most interesting features of Professor Langley's observations were the narrow, structureless ring of vivid light around the sun, which faded suddenly into a nebulous luminosity, extending for two and a half solar diameters all around; and a stream of light with parallel borders extending to three and a half diameters on one side and six diameters on the opposite side, in a direction nearly corresponding with that of the ecliptic, which were seen with the naked eye; and a coarse, sharply defined filamentary structure in the corona seen through the telescope. Some of Professor Langley's assistants observed very peculiar and striking color-phenomena in the clouds during the moment of the coming on of totality.
Papers of the Archæological Institute of America. American Series, I. 1. Historical Introduction to Studies among the Sedentary Indians of Mexico. 2. Report on the Ruins of the Pueblo of Pecos. By A. F. Bandolier. Boston: A. Williams & Co. Pp. 135, with Plates.
This handsomely printed and finished volume gives a favorable introduction to the society under whose auspices it is put forth and of which it is the first publication. The first part gives the history of the Pueblos from the time they are first mentioned by the Spaniards, and the theories that have been urged and inquiries made respecting them. The second part gives the results of the author's examinations, surveys, and measurements of the ruins of the Pueblo in the valley of the Rio Pecos, with views, plans, sections, and estimates, and observations such as the information at hand makes appropriate concerning the character, customs, and arts of the Indians who constructed the buildings.
Materialism Ancient and Modern. By a late Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. New York: Macmillan & Co.
This essay of forty-three pages, in large type, is a very commonplace argument intended to be opposed to materialism, and its quality is as slight as its form. It can help nobody.
Sea-Mosses: a Collector's Guide and an Introduction to the Study of Marine Algæ. By A. B. Hervey, A. M. Boston: S. E. Cassino. 1831. Pp. 281. Price, $2.
Those who live by the sea, and those who frequent the seaside for recreation and health during summer vacations, if they have any desire to improve their opportunities for improving their minds, are placed under obligations to Mr. Hervey for the preparation of this volume. The author thus indicates his object: "I have attempted to make a book which should be a real and helpful guide to those who, though not expert botanists, and not having or using any aids to a good pair of eyes other than a simple pocket magnifier, desire to begin the collection and study of marine plants." The author has been freely assisted by many adepts in this fascinating study, and be has evidently spared no pains in preparing his manual, as his publisher has certainly spared no expense in illustrating it.
Education in Charleston, South Carolina. The Disabilities of the Unaided South in Public School Facilities. Published by the City Council. 1881. Pp. 32.
The Gesture Speech of Man. Address of Colonel Garrick Mallery, U. S. Army, before the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Salem, Massachusetts. 1881. Pp. 33.
The Duties of Women. By Frances Power Cobbe. Boston: George H. Ellis. 1881. Pp. 193. 25 cents.
Annual Report of the Surgeon-General of the U.S. Army. Washington. 1881. Pp. 23.
Reform in Medical Education. Annual Address before the American Academy of Medicine at New York. By Edward T. Caswell, M.D., President. Philadelphia. 1881. Pp. 16.
Circulars of Information from the Bureau of Education, No. 3. 1881. Washington: Government Printing-Office. Pp. 79.
Study of the Sphecidæ; List of the North American Larradæ; Notes on the Philanthinæ. By W. H. Patton. Pp. 28.
Education and Crime, pp. 10; The Discipline of the School, pp. 15. Bureau of Education. Washington: Government Printing-Office. 1881.
On the Filling of Amygdaloidal Cavities and Veins in the Keweenaw District of Lake Superior. By M. E. Wadsworth, Ph.D. Pp. 12.
The Areas of the United States: The Several States and Territories and their Counties. By Henry Gannett. E.M. Washington: Government Printing-Office. 1881. Pp. 20. With Map.
The Kinematics of Machinery. By Professor Alexander B. W. Kennedy, C. E. With an Introduction by Professor R. H. Thurston, C.E. New York: D. Van Nostrand. 1881. Pp. 88. 50 cents.
Malaria: What it Means and how Avoided. By Joseph F. Edwards, M.D. Philadelphia: Presley Blakiston. 1881. Pp. 81.
The Nature and Function of Art, more especially of Architecture. By Leopold Eidlitz. New York: A. C. Armstrong & Son. 1881. Pp. 493. $4.
The New Infidelity. By Augustus R. Grote. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. 1881. Pp. 101. $1.25.
Dangers to Health: A Pictorial Guide to Domestic Sanitary Defects. By T. Pridgin Teale, M.A. Third edition. Philadelphia: Presley Blakiston. Pp. 170. $3.50.
The Honey Ants of the Garden of the Gods, and the Occident Ants of the American Plain?. By Henry C. McCook. D.D. Illustrated. With Thirteen Plates. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott & Co. 1882. Pp. 188. $2.50.
Elements of Quaternions. By A. S. Hardy, Ph.D. Boston: Ginn & Heath. 1881. Pp. 230.
A Study of the Pentateuch for Popular Reading. By Rufus P. Stebbins, D.D. Boston: George H. Ellis. 1881. Pp. 233. $1.25.
Ecce Spiritus. A Statement of the Spiritual Principle of Jesus as the Law of Life. Boston: George H. Ellis. 1881. Pp. 238. $1.25.
Sparks from a Geologist's Hammer. By Alexander Winchell, LL.D. Chicago: S. C. Griggs & Co. 1881. Pp. 400. $2.
The League of the Iroquois and other Legends from the Indian Muse. By Benjamin Hathaway. Chicago: S. C. Griggs & Co. 1881. Pp. 319. $1.50.
Higher than the Church. An Art Legend of Ancient Times. By Wilhelmine von Hillern. From the German by Mary J. Safford. New York: William S. Gottsberger. 1881. Pp. 74.
Mechanics' Liens. How Acquired and Enforced. With an Appendix of Forms. By James T. Hoyt, of the New York Bar. New York: P. F. McBreen, printer. 1881. Pp. 310.
Zoölogical Atlas, including Comparative Anatomy, with Practical Directions and Explanatory Text. By D. M. Alpine, F.C.S. With 231 Colored Figures and Diagrams. Vertebra. Edinburgh and London: W. & A. K. Johnston. 1881.
Report upon United States Geographical Surveys west of the One Hundredth Meridian. Vol. VII, Archæology. By Frederick W. Putnam. Washington: Government Printing-Office. 1879. Pp. 497. Illustrated.