Popular Science Monthly/Volume 24/April 1884/Literary Notices

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Hand-Book of Sanitary Information for Householders, containing Facts and Suggestions about Ventilation, Drainage, Care of Contagious Diseases, Disinfection, Food, and Water. With Appendices on Disinfectants and Plumbers' Materials. By Roger S. Tracy, M.D., Sanitary Inspector of the New York City Health Department. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 110. Price, 50 cents.

There are now but few persons who have the hardihood to say that hygienic knowledge, or information concerning the preservation of health, is without value. But if it have any value whatever for its purpose, then is it of very great importance, for the maintenance of health and life is the supremest earthly interest. It may of course be said that our fathers got along: very well without all this bother about ventilation, drainage, and other hygienic matters, but this is only an apology for ignorance, or a plea for indolence. Through the whole history of the world, and everywhere, long life and vigorous health have been dependent upon the necessary conditions, and, where these have been wanting, feebleness, invalidism, severe sickness, premature death, and the destruction of countless thousands by pestilence, have been the results. In the ignorant ages—the theological ages, when the phenomena of sickness and death were accounted for by the providence of God, against which it was in vain to strive—little was known of the real causes of disease, and it was therefore a subject that attracted but slight attention either privately or publicly. But in this more scientific age, devoted so assiduously to the extension and diffusion of knowledge, men are beginning to feel the importance of a better understanding of those physical conditions and physiological laws upon which health is dependent, and there is, of course, a good deal said about their urgency, and the need of reducing them to practical application. Ignorant and stupid people, and often excellent and pious people, are no doubt much bored by all this modern hygienic agitation, but in the happy order of the world this class of persons are certain to be gradually got out of the way, and they are to be replaced by others who will regard these subjects as not only of the first importance, but full of the liveliest interest. A good sanitary education involves a very considerable understanding of the method of Nature.

We heartily welcome, therefore, the increasing hygienic literature of the age, and are glad to see that the best minds are devoting themselves to it, and giving the public the results in various forms of their serious and careful studies. The little volume now before us is a timely and most valuable contribution to the subject in its practical, every-day aspects for the use of house-holders. First of all, it is a careful and trustworthy book by a thoroughly prepared man, who has had large experience of hygienic subjects as Sanitary Inspector of the New York City Health Department. It has been Dr. Tracy's business to apply sanitary science to the art of living under our present domestic constructions and arrangements. He has had to meet actual difficulties that arise from the influence of bad air, bad sewerage, bad drainage, bad house-construction, bad precautions respecting infectious diseases, bad food, bad water, and bad plumbing. It seemed to him that there was needed a little book simply of facts and results, free from theory, discussion, or speculation, and written in the plainest style, that would serve for every-day guidance in relation to all these sanitary subjects. It is full of brief rules and directions, and useful information regarding sanitary contrivances, how they are to be obtained and what they cost, and from this point of view it may be regarded as a practical summing up of the most urgent requirements, the best facilities, and the clearest directions, that will be of service every day and to everybody. We have read the book with care, and can recommend it, without hesitation or qualification, as one that should be kept for constant reference in every house.


The Concepts and Theories of Modern Physics. Second edition, revised; with an Introductory Essay. By J. B. Stallo. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 358. Price, $1.75.

The first edition, and a pretty large one, of this profound work was exhausted some time ago, which speaks well for the interest of American readers in the thorough discussion of the fundamental ideas that are at the basis of science and philosophy. The continued demand for the work making necessary a second edition, the author has subjected the text to a close revision, and prefixed to it a masterly introduction of forty-four pages. He here avails himself of the criticisms passed upon the work, both in this country and abroad (where several editions of it have also appeared), to restate the purpose of the volume, which has been a good deal misunderstood, and to reply to such objections as seemed to require attention. The effect of this lucid and brilliant discussion will be to greatly facilitate the general apprehension, and to enhance the interest of the work to those who take it up for the first time.

In our review of Judge Stallo's book upon its first appearance, we pointed out that it is a philosophical study of the relations of metaphysics to physics, designed to show that many of the leading physicists of the age are by no means as far emancipated from old metaphysical influences as it is customary to believe. He attacks some of the fundamental ideas of modern physics as being strictly metaphysical assumptions, and shows historically how they have survived, and performed their old duties in new relations. But the book was construed as an onslaught upon the foundations of modern physics in the interests of a bad metaphysics, and the author was called upon to offer his substitutes for the fundamental doctrines he aimed to sweep away. We quote some passages from the new introduction, which leave no room for further misunderstanding:

The misapprehension I speak of is very surprising, in view of the explicit declaration, contained in the very first sentence of my preface, that the book is "designed as a contribution not to physics, nor certainly to metaphysics, but to the theory of cognition." Notwithstanding this declaration, most of my critics assume it to be my purpose to expose the short-comings and defects of particular theories as devices for the colligation of facts, or as instruments of research, and suppose that my endeavor is simply, as one of my critics expresses it, "to pick flaws in these theories," or, in the language of another critic, "to classify and develop contradictions" between them, to "set facts by the ears," and "bump friendly heads together"—in short, in the spirit of a sort of scientific pyrrhonism, to discredit the familiar methods of physical science, if not to invalidate its results. And they complain that I fail to apprehend what one of them is pleased to term the "laboratory function" of a physical theory or hypothesis, and to appreciate the distinction between a "working hypothesis" and a theory advanced with the claim of its final validity or truth. Now, the fact is, that for the purposes of the inquiry to which my book is devoted, I am not directly concerned with the "laboratory function" of "working hypotheses" or physical thories at all. My object is to consider current physical theories and the assumptions which underlie them in the light of the modern theory of cognition—a theory which has taken its rise in very recent times, and is founded upon the investigation, by scientific methods analogous to those employed in the physical sciences, of the laws governing the evolution of thought and speech. Among the important truths developed by the sciences of comparative linguistics and psychology are such as these: that the thoughts of men at any particular period are limited and controlled by the forms of their expression, viz., by language (using this term in its most comprehensive sense); that the language spoken and "thought in" by a given generation is to a certain extent a record of the intellectual activity of preceding generations, and thus embodies and serves to perpetuate its errors as well as its truths; that this is the fact hinted at, if not accurately expressed, in the old observation according to which every distinct form or system of speech involves a distinct metaphysical theory; that the metaphysical systems in vogue at any particular epoch, despite their apparent differences and antagonisms, on proper analysis are found to be characterized by certain common features in which the latent metaphysics of the language in which such systems have originated, or are presented, are brought to view; that philosophers as well as ordinary men are subject to the thralldom of the intellectual prepossessions embodied in their speech as well as in the other inherited forms of their mental and physical organizations, and are unable to emancipate themselves from this thralldom otherwise than by slow and gradual advances, in conformity to the law of continuity which governs all processes of evolution whatever. It being my belief that all this applies to the votaries of science as well as to the devotees of metaphysics or ontology, I sought to enforce this belief by an examination of the general concepts and theories of modern physics. According to the opinion of contemporary men of science, these concepts and theories are simply generalizations of the data of experience, and are thus not only independent of the old a priori notions of metaphysics, but destructive of them. But, although the founders of modern physical science at the outset of their labors were animated by a spirit of declared hostility to the teachings of mediæval scholasticism a fact which is nowhere more conspicuous than in the writings of Descartes nevertheless, when they entered upon the theoretical discussion of the results of their experiments and observations, they unconsciously proceeded upon the old assumptions of the very ontology which they openly repudiated. That ontology—founded upon the inveterate habit of searching for "essences" by the interpretation of words and the analysis of the concepts underlying them, before the relations of words to thoughts and of thoughts to things were properly understood—was characterized by three great errors: its hypostasis of concepts (notwithstanding the protest of the nominalists against the reification of universals); its disregard of the twofold relativity of all physical phenomena; and its confusion of the order of intellectual apprehension with the order of Nature. These errors gave rise to a number of cardinal doctrines respecting the "substance of things," among which were the assertion of its existence as a distinct thing or real entity, apart from its properties; the further assertion of its absolute permanence and immutability; and, finally, the assertion of the absolute solidity and inertia of its parts and their incapacity to act upon each other otherwise than by contact. And all these doctrines he at the base, not only of Cartesian physics and metaphysics, but of the scientific creed of the great majority of the physicists of the present day. The eminent physicist and physiologist who declares that "before the differential equations of the world-formula could be formed" (i.e., before the ultimate, true, and exhaustive theory of the universe could be constructed), "all processes of Nature must be reduced to the motions of a substratum substantially homogeneous, and therefore totally destitute of quality, of that which appears to us as heterogeneous matter—in other words, all quality must be explained by the arrangement and motion of such a substratum," and the equally distinguished physicist and mathematician who enters upon the attempt at a solution of the problem thus stated by endeavoring to deduce the phenomenal diversities and changes of the universe from imaginary vortical motions of the undistinguishable parts of an assumed universal, homogeneous, continuous, and incompressible fluid, are both as truly instinct with the spirit of the old scientia entis quatenus entis as the most ardent disciple of the Stagirite in the times of Erigena or Aquinas. The physicist who insists upon impact theories of gravitation, cohesion, or chemical affinity, has the same intellectual blood in his veins which coursed in those of the old disputants about "first matter" or "substantial forms." When the Professor of Physics in the University of Edinburgh teaches that matter is absolutely passive, dead, that all physical action is action by contact, that nothing is real which is not indestructible, etc., he stands as unmistakably upon scholastic ontological ground as did Descartes or any of his ecclesiastical contemporaries. The proposition of the modern kinematist, that the true explanation of the phenomena of heat, light, electricity, magnetism, etc., consists in their reduction to the elements of matter and motion, differs in little else than its phraseology from the metaphysical theorem that all the "secondary qualities" of the universal substance are mere specifications or derivatives of its "primary qualities."

Aboriginal American Authors and their Productions; especially those in the Native Languages. By Daniel G. Brinton. Philadelphia: 115 South Seventh Street. Pp. 63. Price, $1.

The present memoir is an enlargement of a paper which the author presented to the International Conference of Americanists at its last meeting in Copenhagen, in August, 1883. In it Dr. Brinton shows that the native Americans had a literary faculty, which is indicated by a vivid imagination, a love of narration, and an ample, appropriate, and logically developed vocabulary. They have left behind them a creditable literature of considerable extent which would have been larger, but much of it was wantonly destroyed by their self-styled civilized conquerors. They wrote in their own language, in Spanish, and in Latin, narrative, didactic, and oratorical works, poems, and dramas, the general character of which is briefly sketched and a partial list given. The Northern Indians are less fully represented in this literature than the Mexican and South American.

Cassell's Family Magazine, American edition. January and February, 1884. New York: Cassell & Co., Limited. Pp. 64 each. Price, 15 cents a number; $1.50 per year.

"Cassell's Magazine" is conducted with reference to the tastes of the family, and is designed to furnish that which will profit as well as amuse. Well-selected fiction is provided, in serial stories as well as in those that are completed in one number; and in addition to this are given, regularly, papers on "Household Management," "Domestic Cookery," "Gardening," "Education and Recreation," the "Family Doctor's Papers"; a department for the discussion of social questions of the day, papers on remunerative employment for women, records of useful inventions and discoveries, and numerous illustrations.

Natural Philosophy. By Isaac Sharpless, Sc. D., and G. M. Philips, A. M. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott & Co. 1884. Pp. 350.

So many text-books on natural philosophy have appeared within the past few years that the teacher of to-day is embarrassed by the surplus of riches. In most of these an effort may be observed to introduce the only true method, that of personal experimentation. Many difficulties remain to be overcome, and the task is not an easy one. Although the authors state in their introduction that this treatise differs from others in the large number of practical experiments and exercises which it contains, we are somewhat disappointed at the small number of novel and simple experiments adapted to the average school-room, while more difficult and dangerous experiments are given in detail, such as the preparation of cyanide of silver from a silver coin for electro-plating. In other cases there is a lack of fullness, as for example, under electrolysis of water no mention is made of the kind or size of battery required; under electrophorus the composition of the rosin-cake is not given, and the pupil is led to infer that it is pure rosin. Neither the Holtz nor Windhurst electrical machines is pictured and described, but the old cylindrical machine takes their place. The Morse registering apparatus is illustrated instead of the sounder actually in use, and the duplex, quadruplex, and ocean-cable systems are referred to in a manner neither satisfying nor instructive. Notwithstanding these obvious defects, there is much to recommend the book as quite equal to the average text-books on this subject, and in some respects it is an improvement on them. The illustrations are excellent, the type clear, and the paper good.

Transactions of the American Dermatological Association at the Seventh Annual Meeting, August, 1883. By Dr. Arthur Van Harlingen. Baltimore: Thomas & Evans. Pp. 49.

The pamphlet contains the official report of the proceedings of the Association, with abstracts of the papers read, a list of publications and writings of members of the Association during the year ending in July, 1883, and a statistical report of cases treated.

The Winter Resorts of Florida, South Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, California, Mexico, and Cuba. By John Temple Graves. Published by the Passenger Deparment of the Savannah, Florida, and Western Railway Company. Pp. 103, with Maps and Illustrations.

An attractive and popular guide-book to a whole region of health resorts and winter residences that are every year attracting more attention. It furnishes brief descriptions of the points of interest to the tourist, invalid, immigrant, or sportsman, and of the way to reach them.

God and the State. By Michael Bakounine, Founder of Nihilism and Apostle of Anarchy. Translated by Benjamin R. Tucker. Boston: Benjamin R. Tucker. Pp. 52. 15 cts.

The name of the author of this pamphlet ought to give a sufficient indication of its character. His apostleship of anarchy appears to have been as active in a religious as in a social and political aspect. We are informed that the work "contains an attack upon the theistic idea from a new stand-point, which, if successful, will result in tremendous consequences." It is certainly of interest to the student of mental phenomena, and of the order of social movements of which the author is a most conspicuous representative. A preface is furnished by Carlo Cafiero and Elisée Reclus.

Popular Essays on the Movements of the Atmosphere. By Professor William Ferrel. Washington: Government Printing-Office. Pp. 59.

The papers that make up this volume were originally published in the "Nashville Journal of Medicine and Surgery," "The American Journal of Science," and "Nature." They relate to the winds and currents of the ocean; the motions of fluids and solids relative to the earth's surface; the cause of low barometer in the polar regions and in the central part of cyclones; the relation between the barometric gradient and the velocity of the wind; and researches on cyclones, tornadoes, and water-spouts.

Elementary Botany, with Student's Guide to the Examination and Description of Plants. By George Macloskie, D. Sc, LL. D., Professor of Natural History in the J. C. Green School of Science, Princeton, N. J., and Medalist of Queen's and London Universities. New York: Henry Holt & Co. 1883.

Macloskie's "Botany" is a marked departure from our cherished models of botanical text-books, and we confess that it has taken considerable time for us to get accustomed to its novelty. It is a wholly modern work, and conforms to the revolution of method that followed the translation of "Sachs's Botany," from the German. The body of the book, which is devoted to the general principles of the science, is unusually free from the technicalities of textbooks. The treatment is very fresh and interesting, and in his aim to supply a readable sketch of botany the author has well succeeded.

As a "guide to work in the field and laboratory," if supplemented by the further guidance of the master, the work will no doubt prove a success; but as a manual for private study it strikes us as unattractive and unsatisfactory. But such a use of it was probably not in the author's mind in its preparation.

Many people will object to Macloskie's innovations in descriptive botany. If anything in science is firmly settled it is thought that botanical technology might make the claim. But our author has not scrupled to alter and amend its time-honored usages; yet, if improvement be a sufficient warrant for change, we suspect that he can justify himself. He has certainly gained in brevity, if not in greater precision of statement, by which beginners in the study will be gainers. Old botanists, however, will be slow to adopt the new terms. We cordially commend the volume to that large class of readers who wish to know something of the fundamental principles and philosophical bearings of this important science.

The Sun changes its Position in Space, therefore it can not be regarded as being "in a Condition of Rest." By August Tischner. Leipsic: Gustav Fock. Pp. 37.

The obvious truth expressed in the title is used as a basis of attack upon the adequacy of the received theories of astronomy. "The smallest movement of the sun," says the author, "overthrows the entire fabric of Copernicus." If the sun is moving, the orbits traversed by the planets can not be closed; and the astronomical dictum that, with reference to the planets, we may regard the sun as being in a state of rest, involves absurdity, for it assumes a motion which is at rest.

A Dictionary of Music and Musicians. Edited by George Grove, D. C. L. Parts XVII and XVIII. London and New York: Macmillan & Co. Pp. 240. $2.

The present double part of the "Dictionary" contains the titles from "Sketches" to "Sumer is icumen in," with the title-page and a list of contributions to Volume III. The article in the midst of which the part opens, on "Sketches," is one of great interest, and is liberally illustrated with musical citations. "The Sonata" is fully considered. Forty-eight pages are given to the subject of "Song," which is treated historically and systematically with reference to the characteristic features of the songs of different nationalities. The work appears destined to be one that no musician will be willing to be without.

Evolution: A Summary of Evidence. By Robert C. Adams. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. Pp. 44.

This paper is the substance of a lecture delivered in Montreal, in which the evidence in favor of the doctrine of evolution is reviewed and stated in brief in a very clear and forcible manner. Concerning the orders of life, the author shows that animals and plants appear as they would have done if one race sprang from another; that each being does spring from (embryonic) forms common to the races below it; and that life has appeared on the earth in the order that it would have done if each higher race had been developed from a lower one. Brief consideration is also given to the evolution of mind and of the universe as postulated by the nebular hypothesis; and, finally, the author, admitting that evolution does not solve all the mystery of life, asserts that it does not either question the existence of God, but "only concerns itself as to the manner in which the Supreme Power works, and claims that it acts through natural law, and not through miracle.

Lessons in Qualitative Chemical Analysis. By Dr. F. Beilstein. Translated, with Copious Additions, by Charles O. Curtman, M. D. St. Louis Stationery and Book Co. 1883. Pp. 164, and Thirteen Woodcuts. Price, $1.50.

Dr. Beilstein's little work is the textbook in several German and Russian universities, and more than one English translation has already appeared in this country. The present translation differs essentially from the previous ones in the amount of new matter added. The short introduction on chemical manipulations will prove valuable to the student who is working alone or in laboratories imperfectly supplied with instructors, and in any case saves a great deal of oral teaching and demonstration. Next follow the special examples of the original with several additional ones, but rearranged so as to place the reactions for bases and acids under separate headings, and eliminating those which require too long a time in preparation. A new chapter is then introduced to serve as a guide in the various practical examinations during the course. An excellent table of spectra accompanies the book, with a chapter on the use of the spectroscope. Directions are also given for the detection of a few organic substances such as alcohol, chloroform, glucose, phenol, and the alkaloids. The book closes with a chapter of thirty-eight pages on volumetric analysis, in which very full directions are given for preparing test solutions, with description of apparatus employed. The course embraced in Dr. Curtman's book is sufficient for physicians and others who do not intend to become chemists, while it is a useful introduction to a more thorough course for the latter.

A Manual of Chemistry, Physical and Inorganic. By Henry Watts, B. A., F. R. S. Philadelphia: P. Blakiston, Son & Co. 1884. Pp. 595.

The name of Watts is already familiar to the chemists of all countries, not only as the author of the only complete dictionary of chemistry in the English language, but also as the editor of the leading English journals of that science, "The Chemical News" and the "Journal of the London Chemical Society." In 1868 Mr. Watts revised Fowne's well-known "Manual of Chemistry," and from time to time new editions of that work have appeared under his editorial care. The book continued to increase in size until it became necessary to divide it into two volumes, the one containing the inorganic and physical portion, the other being devoted to organic chemistry. The work before us is but a new edition of the first volume of Fownes's, having the same ancient woodcuts, and in most cases the same matter accompanies them. We notice, however, new cuts of a Holtz machine and a Ruhmkorff's coil, but none of any modern dynamo, although the obsolete cylinder machine is still paraded before the reader. In matters more intimately associated with the chemical laboratory there is less to criticise. Sprengel's air-pump is illustrated and described (Bunsen's modification is not); the modern methods of determining vapor densities, devised by Hofmann and Victor Meyer, are illustrated and explained. The theoretical portions have been mostly rewritten, and many improvements are noticed. The order of studying the non-metals has been changed so that the halogens precede oxygen and other dyads. The metals are grouped in their natural order, so that silver no longer finds itself in the same box with sodium, as it did in the artificial grouping according to quantivalence adopted in previous editions.

Abstract of Report on the Geology of the Eureka District, Nevada. By Arnold Hague. Washington: Government Printing-Office. Pp. 48, with Map and Sections.

The Eureka District embraces a region about twenty miles square, situated on the Nevada Plateau, in Central Nevada, midway between the basins of Lake Lahontan and Lake Bonneville. It is doubtful, in the opinion of Mr. Hague, if there is any region of equally restricted area in the Great Basin that surpasses it in its grand exposures of palæozoic formations, especially of the lower and middle portions of the series. It also possesses a great economic interest as the seat of an active mining industry, and has been, moreover, the center of intense volcanic action. It is therefore selected for a more careful survey and study than had heretofore been given to any region of sedimentary rocks in Nevada. The results of this survey and study are recorded in the present memoir.

United States Geological Survey. Second Annual Report, 1880-'81. Pp. 588, with 61 Plates; Third Annual Report, 1881-'82. Pp. 564, with 32 Plates. By J. W. Powell, Director. Washington: Government Printing-Office.

Many of the special papers included in the second volume of the report have already been noticed in the "Monthly," as monographs. The whole list includes Captain Dutton's "Tertiary history of the Grand Canon District," Mr. Gilbert's "History of Lake Bonneville," Mr. Hague's "Geology of the Eureka District," Mr. S. F. Emmons's "Geology of Leadville," Mr. G. F. Becker's "Geology of the Comstock Lode," Professor Pumpelly's "Statistics of Coal and Iron," Dr. Irving's Copper-bearing Rocks of Lake Superior," Mr. Clarence King's "Precious Metal Statistics," Mr. Eliot Lord's "History of the Comstock Lode," and Mr. G. K. Gilbert's "New Method of Hypsometry." The other volume (third report) contains papers on "Birds with Teeth," by Professor O. C. Marsh; "The Copper-bearing Rocks of Lake Superior," by Roland D. Irving; the "Geological History of Lake Lahontan," by Israel C. Russell; "The Geology of the Eureka District, Nevada," by Arnold Hague; a preliminary paper "On the Terminal Moraine of the Second Glacial Epoch," by Thomas C. Chamberlin; and "A Review of the Non-Marine Fossil Mollusca of North America," by Dr. C. A. White.

The Natural Genesis. By Gerald Massey. New York: Scribner & Welford. 2 vols. Pp. 552 and 535.

Mr. Massey has given his critics a hard task to perform. He states that Mr. Alfred Russel Wallace, having read the previous volumes of his series, expressed the fear that there might not be a score of people in England who were prepared by their previous education to understand the book; and he intimates that few of its reviewers could be included among that number. Herr Pietschmann, a German Egyptologist, was startled by the "unheard-of suggestions" the book contained, and thought it was "inspired by an unrestrained lust for discovery." "The Natural Genesis" is the second part of "A Book of the Beginnings," of which two volumes had previously been published, the whole containing "an attempt to recover and reconstitute the lost origins of the myths and mysteries, types and symbols, religion and language, with Egypt for the mouth-piece and Africa as the birthplace." It is written "by an evolutionist for evolutionists," is intended to trace the natural origins and teach the doctrine of development, and is based upon the new matter supplied by the ancient monuments. The predominant argument of the book is, that Africa and not Asia was the birthplace of articulate man, and therefore the primordial home of all things human; and that the human race and human development started from the interior of the dark continent, and went out down the Nile and through Egypt, confessedly the oldest civilized nation, to all the quarters of the earth. As a corollary to this, all customs, all myths, all civilization, all speech, and all religion, had their origin in Egypt, and are traceable directly back there. Another corollary is that all the sociological science and comparative philology that have been built up on the theory of a primitive Aryan race and civilization and language are idle speculations, except as these Aryan institutions are admitted to be children of the Egyptians. The Christian religion also suffers at Mr. Massey's hands; for this work, to use his own language, "culminates in tracing the transformation of astronomical mythology into the system of equinoctial Christology called Christianity, and demonstrating the non-historic nature of the canonical gospels by means of the original myths in which the Messianic mystery, the Virgin motherhood, the incarnation and birth, the miraculous life and character, the crucifixion and resurrection of the Saviour Son, who was the Word of all ages, were altogether allegorical." Having devoted a dozen years exclusively to his work, Mr. Massey has been able to bring to his aid a vast amount of learning, and has used it with considerable ingenuity. His text abounds with interesting facts and citations not to be found elsewhere in a whole library, and with skillful applications. If his conclusions do not carry conviction, it is not for lack of bravery and address on the part of their champion.

On the Contents of a Bone-Cave in the Island of Anguilla (West Indies). By Edward D. Cope. Washington: Smithsonian Institution. Pp. 30, with Five Plates.

Attention was first called to the interesting bone-deposit described in this memoir in 1868, when a load of the cave-earth was brought to Philadelphia as a fertilizing material, and the bones were examined by Professor Cope. Together with the bones was found a chisel of human manufacture, made from a shell. The quantity of animal remains in the deposit and their dimensions point to the former existence of a more extensive and larger fauna than the island as it now stands could have supported. This fact is regarded as confirmatory of the hypothesis that the Antilles were once connected by ranges which have been submerged since Pliocene times. In the light of these facts, Professor Cope claims that the study is of importance, because it is the first investigation of the life of the cave age in the West Indies; because it gives the first reliable indication of the period of the submergence by which the islands were separated; because it furnishes the first evidence as to the antiquity of man there; and because it describes some peculiar forms of life not previously known.

Cruise of the Revenue Steamer Corwin in Alaska and the Northwest Arctic Ocean, in 1881. Notes and Memoranda. Washington: Government Printing-office. Pp. 120.

The notes include a very interesting paper by Dr. Irving C. Rosse, on the medical features of the expedition, with anthropological memoranda respecting the Esquimaux, and the effects of the Arctic climate on the members of the expedition and the natives; botanical observations, by Mr. John Muir; description of the birds of Behring Sea and the Arctic Ocean, by E. W. Nelson; and a list of fishes, by Tarleton II. Bean. The text is illustrated with heliotype and colored lithographic plates.

Report on the Oyster-Beds of the James River, Virginia, and of Tangier and Pocomoke Sounds, Maryland and Virginia. 1881. By Francis Winslow, U. S. N. Washington: Government Printing-Office. Pp. 87, with Plates.

This monograph is one of the series of "Methods and Results" of the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey. In it, Captain Winslow presents the results of an investigation which he was ordered in 1878 to make with the schooner Palinurus, and which should include the determination of the positions and areas of the oyster-beds and the depth of water over them, at both high and low water; the determination of the character of the beds, whether natural or artificial, and how the oysters were distributed; the determination of the temperatures of the surface and bottom water, and the velocity of currents; the preservation of specimens of oysters; the determination of the characters of bottoms and of the existence of any sediment or deposit; of the sources of sediment and the means of turning it away; the examination of the effects of ice on the beds; and the determination of the density of the water, with special reference to the displacement of salt water by fresh water from adjacent streams and rivers. The plan of the work was to make the investigation exhaustive over a limited area, and extend it afterward as circumstances should permit. The results are given in the present memoir.

Explosive Materials. By M. P. E. Berthelot. Translated from the French by Marcus Benjamin. New York: D. Van Nostrand. (Science Series.) 1883. Pp. 180. Price, 50 cents.

In these lectures M. Berthelot has summed up the results of his researches upon explosives, and indicated the theory of their action which they seem to him to warrant. He is mainly concerned in considering how an explosive is set in operation by means of shock, and reaches the conclusion that in all cases, whether the explosive influence be propagated from particle to particle of an explosive, or from one explosive body to another, not in contact with it, the action consists in the transformation of the energy of the shock into heat. Before an explosion can occur, some portion of the substance must be raised to the temperature necessary for the chemical reaction between its constituents. That this temperature should be reached, it is necessary that the impact be sudden, as otherwise the transformation into heat will take place so slowly that this heat will be distributed through too great a mass of material to raise its temperature to the requisite point. The explosion of one particle of the substance produces a sudden pressure, the energy of which, transformed into heat, causes the next particle to explode, and so on, the disturbance being thus propagated through the entire mass of the explosive. M. Berthelot rejects the synchronous theory of explosions by influence—where a body is exploded by another at a distance—of Abel, holding that the theory of transformation of mechanical energy into heat, and the retransformation of this into mechanical energy, is competent to explain all the phenomena. In discussing the conditions of maximum effect in explosion, he points out the reason for the extremely low velocity of propagation of the explosive wave in gases, obtained by Bunsen, and shows that this in reality moves with great rapidity.

Mr. Benjamin's translation appears to be accurate, and, despite occasional roughness, is fairly well done. The volume contains also a short historical sketch of gunpowder, translated from the German of Karl Braun, and a bibliography of works on explosives.

The Ores of Leadville and their Modes of Occurrence, as illustrated in the Morning and Evening Star Mines. With a Chapter on the Methods of their Extraction as practiced at those Mines. By Louis D. Ricketts, B. S., Princeton, N. J. Pp. 68, with Six Plates.

The author, in order to comply with the requirements of the W. S. Ward Fellowship in Economic Geology, in connection with Princeton College, devoted four months at Leadville to the study of the ores and their modes of occurrence, and to the extraction of the ores in the mines named in the title we have cited. The result of this study is given in the present paper, of which the first part considers the scientific and the second part the practical side.

J. A. Berly's British, American, and Continental Electrical Directory and Advertiser. London: William Dawson & Sons; New York: George Cumming, 219 East Eighteenth Street. Pp. 664. Price, $2.50.

This volume, which embodies a record of all the industries directly or indirectly connected with electricity and magnetism, and the names and addresses of manufacturers in England, the United States, Canada, and the European Continent, is a valuable book of reference for all persons interested in electrical art. The increased size and importance of this, the second edition, over the volume published a year previously, which was chiefly limited to England, is one of many signs of the rapidly expanding development of the applications of electricity. Another similar sign is afforded by the variety of trades some of them appearing at first sight only very remotely related to electricity that have been included within its scope. The relation is nevertheless real, for all these trades have been brought in to comply with some demand. A brief, comprehensive record of the progress in the applications of electricity and of events illustrating it, during 1882, adds value to the work. Classified indexes are provided, and reference is further facilitated by differences in the coloring of the leaf-edges of the several departments.

Recherches sur la Structure de quelques diatomées contenues dans le "Cementstein" du Jutland (Researches on the Structure of some Diatoms contained in the "Cementstein" of Jutland). By MM. W. Prinz and E. Van Ermengen. Brussels: A. Manceaux. Pp. 74, with Four Plates.

A record of a minute and careful examination of the curious organic structures designated, of particular interest to microscopists and students of the Diatomacæ. The authors claim, moreover, a kind of educational interest and utility for studies of the class to which this one belongs, because acquaintance with the exact forms of the varied and delicate designs that adorn the siliceous envelopes of the microscopic algae facilitates the interpretation of similar images that appear in other microscopic investigations, and furnishes a safeguard against the causes of error and illusions to which microscopists are exposed from the presentation of figures under their instruments which do not conform to the reality.

Geological Survey of Alabama. Report for 1881 and 1882. By Eugene Allen Smith, Ph. D., State Geologist. Montgomery, Alabama: W. D. Brown & Co. Pp. 614, with Maps.

The present volume of the reports is devoted chiefly to an account of the agricultural features of the State. The author was commissioned to prepare the cotton report of Alabama in connection with the tenth census, and by joining the two works has been able to make both more complete than he could have made either separately. Special attention is given to the descriptions of the soils, as to the State and by counties, of timber-trees and other plants, and to cotton production. Excellent graphic, colored maps are inserted, showing the soils, the rainfall and temperature by the seasons and by the year, and the percentages of land in different parts of the State cultivated in cotton.

First Annual Report on the Injurious and other Insects of the State of New York. By J. A. Lintner, State Entomologist. Albany: Weed, Parsons & Co. Pp. 383.

Dr. Lintner has given a large amount of information on the subject of his report. Beginning with an exposition of the importance of entomological study, he considers the extent of insect depredations and the losses from them, particularly in the United States, the immense number of insects, and the necessity, for the sake of contending with them, of acquiring knowledge of their habits. He then reviews the progress that has been made in economic entomology, estimates the value of the various insecticides that have been introduced and of other remedies for and preventives of insect depredations, after which he furnishes descriptions and life-histories of the more injurious insects. Among the preventives of insect depredations suggested by Dr. Lintner is one which we believe is new: it depends upon the theory that insects are attracted to the plants they infest by the odor, and consists in the use of some substance by which that odor may be overcome or neutralized.

Hints on the Drainage and Sewerage of Dwellings. By William Paul Gerhard, Civil Engineer. New York: William T. Comstock, 6 Astor Place. 1884. Pp. 302. Price, $2.50.

This little work has grown out of a series of articles contributed by the author, under the signature "Hippocrates," to the periodical "Building." Its object is to give an account of the usual condition in which plumbing-work done years ago, and some quite recently done, may be found, and to give suggestions on the proper manner of doing the work. A valuable report on "Filth Diseases and their Prevention," by medical officer John Simon, of Great Britain, and other works on dwelling-house sanitation are referred to to fortify conclusions. The book is frequently illustrated with examples of bad work to be avoided and of good work to be patterned after.

The Trichiniasis Question.—D. Appleton & Co., of New York, will publish shortly a work on "The Relation of Animal Diseases to the Public Health, and their Prevention," by Frank S. Billings, V. S., Boston. The trichiniasis question, now a subject of congressional investigation, is fully discussed by the author, whose researches on this subject have been thorough and long continued. He has also compiled many valuable statistics having a direct bearing on the question, and which are contained in no other volume in the English language. The book should be read by all who have an interest in the settlement of this most important question.


The Correspondence University: Announcement for 1884, January. Ithaca, N. Y.: Lucien A. Wait. Pp. about 50.

Archaeological Excursions in Wisconsin and Ohio. By F. W. Putnam. Pp. 16.

Massachusetts Agricultural College: Twenty-first Annual Report. Boston: Wright and Potter Printing Company. Pp. 73.

Pilot Chart of the North Atlantic for February, with Supplement of 3 pages showing position and detail of floating wrecks.

Inaugural Addresses of Stephen A. Walker, President of Board of Education, etc., of the City of New York. Pp. 22.

Beitrag zur Kenntniss der Kobalt,-Nickel,-und Eisen-Kiese. (Contribution to the Knowledge of Cobalt, Nickel, and Iron Stones.) By Leroy W. McCay, M. A. Freiberg (Saxony). Pp. 46.

Out-Door Relief, State of New York: Report of Standing Committee. Albany, N. Y. Pp. 15.

New York State Board of Charities: Report on Establishment of a State Asylum for Indigent Blind. Albany, N. Y. Pp. 9.

Value of the Nearctic as one of the Primary Zoölogical Regions: Reply to Criticisms. By Professor Angelo Heilprin. Philadelphia. Pp. 10.

Radiation: A Function of Gravity. By I. E. Craig. Camden, Ohio. Pp. 21.

Renal Circulation during Fever. By Walter Mendelson, M. D., of New York. Pp. 24.

Recent School-Law Decisions. By Lyndon A. Smith. Washington: U. S. Bureau of Education. Pp. 82.

Bulletin of the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences. Vol. IV, No. 4. Julius Pohlman. M. D., Corresponding Secretary. Buffalo, N. Y. Pp. 138.

Medico-Legal Society of New York: Inaugural Address of President Clark Bell, Esq., etc. Pp. 24.

Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station: Annual Report for 1883. New Haven, Conn. Pp. 120

Diccionario Tecnológico: Inglés-Españiol y Españiol-Inglés. (Technological Dictionary: English-Spanish and Spanish-English.) By Nestor Ponce de Leon. No. 5. New York: N. Ponce de Leon. Pp. 48. 50 cents.

"Reception-Day." No. 3. (Readings and Recitations.) Quarterly, No. 3. New York: E. L. Kellogg & Co. Pp. 152. 80 cents each; $1 a year.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology: President's Report, 1883. Boston: J. S. Cushlng & Co. Pp. 31.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Annual Catalogue, etc., 1883-'84. Boston: George H. Ellis. Pp. 144.

The Book of Plant Descriptions and Record of Plant Analyses, etc. By George G. Groff, A. M., M. D. Lewisburg, Pa.: Science and Health Publishing Company. Pp. 100. 30 cents.

Absence of Design in Nature. By Professor H. D. Garrison. Chicago. Pp. 19.

Manual Training-School of Washington University, St. Louis: Annual Catalogue, 1883-'84. Pp. 42.

The Teaching of Drawing in Grammar-Schools. By Walter S. Perry. Boston: The Prang Educational Company. Pp. 26.

The World's Industrial Cotton Centennial Exposition at New Orleans, Louisiana, to be opened in December, 1884: Announcement. Pp. 18.

"The Cornell University Register," 1883-'84 Ithaca, N. Y. Pp. 134.

Administrative Organization. By LL. B. Washington, D. C.: William H. Morrison. Pp. 108.

Woman Suffrage. By John George Hertwig. Pp 16. Sunday Laws. By John George Hertwig. Washington, D. C. Pp. 12. 10 cents each.

Reports of School Committee and of Superintendent of Schools of the City of Gloucester, Massachusetts, for 1883. Pp. 75.

Energy in Nature By William Lant-Carpenter. London, Paris, and New York: Cassell & Co. 1883. Pp. 212. $1.25.

Merv: A Story of Adventures and Captivity. By Edmund O'Donovan. New York: Funk & Wassails. 1884. Pp. 313. $1.

Martin Luther: A Study of Reformation. By Edwin D. Mead. Boston: George H. Ellis. 1884. Pp. 194. $1.25.

The Land Laws. By Frederick Pollock. London: Macmillan & Co. 1883. Pp. 215. $1.

Bleaching, Dyeing, and Calico-Printing. Philadelphia: P. Blakiston, Son & Co. 1884. Pp. 203 $1.75.

Momu and the Diary of a Superstitious Man. By Ivan Turgenieff. Translated by Henry Gersoni. New York: Funk & Wagnalls. 1884. Pp. 131. 75 cents.

Prusias: A Romance of Ancient Rome. By Ernst Eckstein. Two vols. New York: William S. Gottsberger. 1884. Pp. 355 and 335.

Clavis Rerum. Norwich, Conn.: F. A. Robinson & Co. 1883. Pp. 142. $1.

Memorie and Reine. By Joaquin Miller. New York: Funk & Wagnalls. 1884. Pp. 237.

The Topographer: His Instruments and Methods. By Lewis M. Haupt, C. E. New York: J. M. Stoddart. 1883. Pp. 184. Illustrated.

"Patents and Inventions: A Quarterly Patent-Law Review." By Henry Connett and Arthur O. Fraser. Vol. I. New York: Burke, Fraser & Connett. 1884. Pp. 214.

First Annual Report of the Provincial Board of Health of Ontario. Toronto: C. Blackett Robinson. 1883. Pp. 187.

Journal of Proceedings and Addresses of the National Educational Association of the United States, Session of 1883. Boston: J. E. Farwell & Co printers. 1884. Pp. 210.

Record of Family Faculties, consisting of Tabular Forms and Directions for entering Data, pp. 62. 90 cents; and Life-History Album. By Francis Galton, F. R. S. London: Macmillan & Co. 1884. Pp. 172. $1.25.

Bacteria. By Dr. Antoine Magnin and George M. Sternberg, M. D. New York: William Wood & Co. 1884. Pp. 454.

A System of Rhetoric. By C. W. Bardeen. New York: A. S. Barnes & Co. 1884. Pp. 673. $1.50.

Life and Times of the Right Hon. John Bright. By William Robertson. London and New York: Cassell & Co. Pp. 668. $2.50.

The Unity of Nature. By the Duke of Argyll New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. 1884. Pp. 571. $2.50.