Popular Science Monthly/Volume 27/May 1885/Literary Notices

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search


American Political Ideas: Viewed from the Standpoint of Universal History. Three Lectures delivered at the Royal Institution of Great Britain, in May, 1880. By John Fiske. New York: Harper & Brothers. Pp. 158. Price, $1.00.

As many will be gratified to learn, Mr. Fiske has at length published the brief course of lectures upon "American Political Ideas" which attracted so much attention at the time of their delivery in England, and subsequently in this country. They afford an excellent popular illustration of the scientific method in politics, and as an original statement of the place of American political institutions in the progress of civilization they will be read with deep interest and patriotic pride by multitudes of our thoughtful citizens. Under the three titles of "The Town-Meeting," "The Federal Union," and "Manifest Destiny," the author gives us a pregnant discussion of the ideas that are at the foundation of true political development, of their historic growth, and the vast consequences to the world of their present success and their future ascendency.

Mr. Fiske takes the "town-meeting," the idea of which is so thoroughly familiar in this country, as the elemental basis of our political system. He devotes his first lecture to the consideration of it as involving the principle of local self-government. The present or absence, in various degrees, of institutions corresponding to this, in different countries, is shown to be intimately connected with the progress of free government, and to have exerted a powerful control over the character and destiny of nations.

Having treated of the corporate units of society, the township, the village, the parish, or whatever grouping becomes the seat and center of local self-control, Mr. Fiske passes in his second lecture to the important problem of their combination or aggregation into coherent extended political organizations. In communities of despotic type this is done by conquest and centralized military power. But wherever and to the degree in which civilization or civil agencies have replaced militancy, the principle of representation arises, and the freer mode of government takes the form of federal union. Mr. Fiske illustrates the progress and vicissitudes of the federal principle very impressively from Greek, Roman, and modern history, and in the United States, where representation and federal unity have received their largest application.

The third lecture, on "Manifest Destiny," is a brilliant and powerful exposition of the vast scale and comprehensive interaction of the political forces that are now so potent in civilization, and that are destined to work out grand results in the future. He shows that civilization is to conquer through peace; that the militant countries will have to disband their armies under the irresistible influence of the industrial competition of nations; and that the pacific federation of great communities is as certain to replace brute force in the politics of the civilized world as civil processes have replaced arbitrary violence in the private relations of men. The real significance of the American civil war is shown to consist in the vindicated strength and supremacy of the great pacific and constructive federative principle which is to dominate in the political future of civilization; and the data are given by which to forecast the stupendous future of the English race, not only on this continent, but throughout the world.

Although written with sobriety, to be submitted to the critical judgment of a cultivated audience, yet these lectures are a good deal stirring and stimulating in their effect upon the reader's mind. This is due both to the charm of the presentation and to the magnitude of the elements of the author's imposing theme. "The stand-point of universal history" affords an exciting outlook, and Mr. Fiske gives his readers a clear command of the position. The author of "Cosmic Philosophy," with whom the conception of universal evolution has become part of his mental constitution, is well prepared to handle historical questions in the fullest breadth of their bearings, and the interest of the present book is chiefly derived from this preparation of its author. It may, in fact, be commended as a specially instructive study in political evolution. This is well explained by Mr. Fiske in the following prefatory passage:

In the three lectures now published I have endeavored to illustrate some of the fundamental ideas of American politics, by setting forth their relations to the general history of mankind. It is impossible thoroughly to grasp the meaning of any group of facts in any department of study until we have duly compared them with allied groups of facts; and the political history of the American people can be rightly understood only when it is studied in connection with that general process of political evolution which has been going on from the earliest times, and of which it is itself one of the most important and remarkable phases. The government of the United States is not the result of special creation, but of evolution. As the town meetings of New England are lineally descended from the village assemblies of the early Aryans; as our huge Federal Union was long ago foreshadowed in the little leagues of Greek cities and Swiss cantons—so the great political problem which we are (thus far successfully) solving is the very same problem upon which all civilized peoples have been working ever since civilization began. How to insure peaceful concerted action throughout the whole, without infringing upon local and individual freedom in the parts, this has ever been the chief aim of civilization viewed on its political side; and we rate the failure or success of nations 'politically according to their failure or success in attaining this supreme end. When thus considered in the light of the comparative method, our American history acquires added dignity and interest, and a broad and rational basis is secured for the detailed treatment of political questions.

The Nature and Reality of Religion. A Controversy between Frederic Harrison and Herbert Spencer. With an Introduction, Notes, and an Appendix on the Religious Value of the Unknowable, by Count D'Alviella. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 1885. Pp. 218. Price, cloth, $1; paper, 50 cents.

That there is a "chaos of discordant opinion" in the religious world is a common remark, and, superficially regarded, the remark is true enough. There are divers great religious systems accepted by vast multitudes which exemplify profound diversities of belief; and these systems are broken up into sects innumerable, all marked by divergences of religious opinion. Yet this state of thought is by no means a "chaos"; there are order and law in it. Religious phenomena exhibit their predictable sequences of cause and effect. It may be counted on that people generally will stick to the faith into which they were born, and to the sect in which they were brought up, regardless of any question of the rationality of the creed they hold. Indeed, the tenacity with which, generation after generation, they cling to the accidental tenets they inherit, is an element of order which gives to religious organizations their stability and permanence.

Yet the condition of the religious world is by no means one of absolute immobility and stagnation. To the degree in which the human mind is active, religion shares the result. While many are quiescent, a few are ever inquiring, and, with increasing enlightenment and growing knowledge, the superstitious element in religion gradually diminishes and disappears. This, too, is an orderly change, and goes on in the religious world by the established laws of progress.

Such controversies as those of Spencer and Harrison are, hence, quite in the course of things. With whatever considerations of personality they may be mixed up, they are products of religious advancement, and still further contributions to it. The present discussion, however, is of more than usual significance, as it is not occupied with incidental but with fundamental religious questions. The conception of progress in religion is unquestionably revolutionizing and destructive, and no problem is more profound or momentous than that which seeks to determine the final result of religious evolution. However it is to be commended, or however deplored, the advanced mind of this generation is deeply engaged with the most radical religious questions; and it is fortunate, when, as in the present case, the contestants are men of earnestness, sincerity, and reverence, as well as of fearlessness, brilliancy, and power. To the readers of the "Monthly" nothing need be said in regard to the special merits of this controversy, except that they will find the volume convenient from the completeness of the views it presents.

Land-Laws of Mining Districts. By Charles Howard Shinn. Baltimore: N. Murray. Pp. 83. Price, 50 cents.

Mining-Camps. By Charles Howard Shinn. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. Pp. 316. Price, $2.

These two works present the results of an investigation into the history of mining camps, undertaken with a hope of giving the forms of social organization manifest in the early "districts" of the Sierras, Coast Range, and Rocky Mountains, their proper place in the story of institutional development on American soil. The work first named is one of the "Johns Hopkins University Series of Studies in Historical and Political Science"; and the editor of the series introduces it with the intimation that it is a "natural, though unconscious, continuation of Mr. Johnson's study of 'Rudimentary Society among Boys,'" which we have already noticed, "and that it might be called Rudimentary Society among Men.'" The second work is of larger scope and more fully wrought out. Mr. Shinn has done a good work in elucidating some peculiar phenomena of social and political development. What his essays teach may be illustrated by quoting one of the passages in "Mining Camps": "In every important particular the organizations of the typical mining camps, which we have been considering, offer sharply-outlined contrasts. Camp-law has never been the enemy of time-tried and age-honored judicial system, but its friend and forerunner. Axe of pioneer and pick of miner have leveled the forests, and broken down the ledges of rock, to. clear a place for the stately structures of a later civilization. Rude mountain courts, rude justice of miner-camps, truth reached by short cuts, decisions unclouded by the verbiage of legal lexicons, a rough-hewed, sturdy system that protected property, suppressed crime, prevented anarchy—such were the facts; and on these frontier government rests its claims to recognition as other than mob-law, and better than passionate accident."

"The Jukes": A Study in Crime, Pauperism, Disease, and Heredity. By R. L. Dugdale. Fourth edition. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. Pp. 121. Price, $1.25.

This book embodies the substance of a famous paper, which, first published in the report of the Prison Association for 1877, has probably done more to promote the investigation of methods for the reform of criminals and the prevention of crime than any other single document of the time. It is, as the editor, Mr. Round, says in the introduction, "known, read, and valued wherever the civilization of the world has advanced far enough to be alarmed at the increase of crime, and to be concerned in reducing the criminal classes." It relates the story of a large family of criminals, prostitutes, and vagrants, which infested a group of counties in New York for two or three generations, all the descendants of a prostitute who was left to go her ways for evil unrestrained by any efforts to reclaim her. A new edition has been demanded in the interest of penal science. The original paper is supplemented with further studies of criminals, and an introduction insisting on the importance of the investigations by Mr. William M. F. Round, Secretary of the National Prison Association.

A Popular Exposition of Electricity. With Sketches of some of its Discoverers. By the Rev. Martin S. Brennan. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 191. Price, 75 cents.

The object of this book is to make all familiar with the essential principles, at least, of the science of electricity; a purpose which none of the learned and excellent treatises devoted to the subject, "but so illustrated with complex and intricate mechanical diagrams as to frighten away the timid and uninitiated," seem adapted to effect. The author has, therefore, devoted his attention almost entirely to the explanation of principles, to the exclusion of mechanics. He has aimed to exhibit the identity of all the forms of electricity, and has accordingly so arranged the matter of his treatise that each succeeding form shall appear to flow naturally from its predecessor. For the biographical sketches, those men have been selected whose discoveries have added most to the science; and the sketches are so distributed that each one shall be in logical juxtaposition with those branches of the science that have been most conspicuously illustrated by its subject. In the several chapters are given explanations of magnetism; the "Mariner's Compass," statical and atmospheric electricity, galvanism and galvanic batteries, electro-chemical decomposition, electrotyping and gilding, electro-magnetism, the electric telegraph, magneto-electricity and dynamos, the storage of electricity, the telephone, the aurora borealis, and Faraday's observations on table-moving. The subjects of the sketches are Faraday, Franklin, Galvani, Volta, Oersted, Ampère, and Professor Morse.

The Care of Infants: A Manual for Mothers and Nurses. By Sophia Jex-Blake, M. D. London and New York: Macmillan & Co. Pp. 109. Price, 40 cents.

The subject of this primer is a most important one, especially in view of the frightful rate of infant mortality that prevails, largely the result of ignorance and carelessness. The author is a most competent person to discuss it. Her purpose, she says, is "to supply, in the simplest and easiest possible way, the few leading facts respecting infant existence, and to specify, as briefly and clearly as may be, the treatment demanded by Nature and common sense for the preservation of the frail little lives that are perishing by millions for want of it."

Annual and Seasonal Climatic Maps of the United States. By Charles Denison, Denver, Colorado. Chicago: Rand, McNally & Co. Five Maps, in Colors, variously mounted.

These maps are compiled from the returns of the Signal-Service Office, and are designed to show, graphically, by an equable standard and on impartial authority, chiefly, the average amount of cloudiness and precipitation at every place in the United States, for the year and for each season. In addition to this, they give the isothermal lines, the directions of prevailing winds, and of winds that usually and those that do not usually bring rain or snow, elevation above the sea, location of mineral springs, annual, monthly, and daily ranges of temperature, and other information that can be given graphically, or in a table, relating to the climatology of our country. The maps can be had separately, or, as in the case of the set submitted to us for examination, mounted on opposite sides of the same sheet.

Controlling Sex in Generation. By Samuel Hough Terry. New York: Fowler & Wells Company. Pp. 147. Price, $1.

This is an attempt to discover the physical law influencing sex in the embryo of man and brute, and its direction to produce male and female offspring at will. The subject is an important one to breeders, and the author thinks he has discovered its law, claiming that the determination of the sex of offspring in all life lies in the separate physical conditions of the two parents. In his book he shows how he has reached his conclusion, brings forward the evidence by which he believes it is sustained, and makes suggestions respecting its practical bearing.

The National Dispensatory. Containing the Natural History, Chemistry, Pharmacy, Actions, and Uses of Medicines. By Alfred Stillé, M. D., and John M. Maisch, Ph. D. Third edition. Philadelphia: Henry C. Lea's Son & Co. Pp. 1,755, with 311 Illustrations.

The first edition of the "National Dispensatory" was published in 1879. It included descriptions of all crude drugs and chemical and pharmaceutical preparations, officinal in the Pharmacopoeias of the United States and Great Britain, together with the more important medicines of the French Codex and German Pharmacopœia which were, to some extent, prescribed here, or which might serve for comparison with similar articles in the English and American standards; also, of drugs not recognized by any Pharmacopœia, but often kept in the shops because they were prescribed by physicians, or used in domestic practice, either entered under their own headings, or as "allied drugs" under those of more important substances. With these descriptions was given such information about the botanical character of plants yielding drugs, the external and structural characteristics, and the modes of preparation of drugs, their chemical properties, and their physiological action as determined by experiment, as seemed appropriate to the purposes of the work. The present edition may be regarded as embodying the pharmacopœias of the four chief civilized nations. Those of the United States and Germany appeared at the close of 1882, and formed the basis' of the revision. The French Codex was published after the work was prepared for the press, but in time to admit of its incorporation. The British Pharmacopœia has not been revised since 1867. Many of the newer statements have been tested and corrected by special experiments. A large number of extra-pharmacopœial medicines have been added to those in previous editions. Numerous historical notes have been added. The descriptions have been condensed or extended as occasion seemed to require, and microscopical structure has been more fully described and illustrated. While the most recent views of the physiological action, so far as it explains the curative effects of medicines, have been given, all generalizations have been kept subordinate to the practical character of the work. The General Index contains more than 3,700 more references than that of the second edition, and the Index of Therapeutics nearly 1,600 new references. The references to authorities in the therapeutical portion of the work have been extended.

Occult Science in India and among the Ancients, with an Account of their Mystic Initiations, and the History of Spiritism. By Louis Jacolliot. Translated by Willard L. Felt. New York: John W. Lovell Company. Pp. 275.

It may be well to say, in view of the manner in which the title has been used by a certain sect, that this is apparently a real historical study and an account of phenomena which, whatever may be their character, exist and have not been explained. The author is Chief-Justice of Chantlemagore, in the French East Indies, and of Tahiti, who has, during long residence in India, given considerable attention to investigations of the subject, and to observations of the practices of those who have been initiated into the sect of the Pitris, or ancestral shades. The book, he declares, is neither a doctrinal one nor a work of criticism. He does not feel himself called upon to decide either for or against the belief in spirits, either meditating or inspiring, which was held by those who had been initiated in the temples of antiquity, and which is the keystone of the philosophical and religious instruction of the Brahmans; therefore he regards himself as the better able to write its history. He assumes to give "the words themselves," and set forth things as they actually were; to interpret and explain the philosophical compendium of the Hindoo spiritists; to tell what he saw with his own eyes, and faithfully record such explanations as he received from the Brahmans. He pays attention to the phenomena which the fakirs produce at will, which are variously regarded, but concerning which he remarks that "the facts which are simply magnetic are indisputable, extraordinary as they may seem. As to the facts which are purely spiritual, we were only able to explain those in which we participated, either as actor or spectator, upon the hypothesis that we were the victims of hallucination, unless we are willing to admit that there was an occult intervention."

The Sanitary Engineer. Conducted by Henry C. Meyer. Volume X. June to November, 1884. 140 William Street, New York. Pp. 612. Price, $4 a year.

The "Sanitary Engineer" is a journal of civil and sanitary engineering and public and private hygiene, and gives particular attention to plumbing and the construction and arrangement of houses, with reference to sanitary conditions. The present volume contains many valuable papers; among them those relating to the International Health Exhibition, to describing and illustrating the plumbing, heating, ventilating and lighting of notable buildings, to steam-fitting and steam-heating, and the reports of various hygienic conventions.

Johns Hopkins University Studies in Historical and Political Science.

The projectors of the "Johns Hopkins University Studies in Historical and Political Science" offer a third series of their monthly monographs, which have proved so valuable and instructive, to be devoted to American institutions and economies. The series will include papers on "Local and Municipal Government," "State and National Institutions," and "American Socialism" and "Economies." The numbers may be obtained separately, or the series as a whole after it is completed, from N. Murray, publication agent, Baltimore.

One Hundred Years of Publishing, 1785-1885. Philadelphia: Lea Brothers & Co. Pp. 20.

This is a memorial volume commemorative of the hundredth year of the publishing house whose imprint it bears. The business of the house was founded by Matthew Carey, an Irish exile, who began a daily paper in 1785, to which he soon added a monthly magazine. He and his successors then published quarto Bibles the Douay and authorized versions—the Waverley Novels, the works of Fenimore Cooper, Washington Irving, and other early American authors, with some encyclopedic books which evinced considerable boldness of enterprise for their day, and introduced the American public to the genius of Charles Dickens. Gradually the business of the house tended to medical and scientific publications, to which, giving up literary and miscellaneous works, it has of late years been exclusively devoted. No member of the house has died in the business, but each one has in his turn withdrawn in season to enjoy the fruits of his industry.

The Mentor. By Alfred Ayres. New York: Funk & Wagnalls. Pp. 211.

This little book., by an author already well known by his "Orthoëpist," "Verbalist," etc., is intended "for the guidance of such men and boys as would appear to advantage in the society of persons of the better sort." As the author well says, not wealth, but moral worth, supplemented with education, and enough money to make one's self presentable, are the passport to the better circles of society In the body of the work are given common-sense principles respecting what constitutes a good personal appearance and good behavior—at the dinner-table, and in public, in conversation, in calls, and at cards, "odds and ends," and "What is a Gentleman?"

The Next Step of Progress: A Limitation of Wealth. By John H. Keyser, 115 Beekman Street, New York. Pp. 50. Price, 20 cents.

This document expounds the principles of a new party which has been formed, or is in the process of formation, of which the author appears as one of the active organizers. It proposes to "level up, not down," and to break monopoly by promoting a limitation of wealth. For this purpose, it would impose a graduated taxation on accumulating and accumulated fortunes, ranging, say, from one half of one per cent on estates of between $10,000 and $20,000, to fifty per cent on estates of $5,000,000 and upward.

School-Keeping, now to do it. By Hiram Orcutt. Boston: N. E. Publishing Company. Pp. 244. Price, $1.

This volume embodies to a great extent fruits of the author's experience; incidents that have happened during his school-keeping, and the thoughts and principles that have been suggested by them. Its design is to aid and encourage teachers who need and would profit by the experience of others; and to awaken an interest in the subjects treated, and lead to a more extensive reading and study of the works of standard authors on pedagogics, with a more careful preparation for the important duties of their position. It is a pleasant book, and contains good thoughts.

Diluvium: or, The End of the World. By George S. Pidgeon. St. Louis: Commercial Printing Company. Pp. 175, with Plates.

The author's purpose in publishing this book is to invite consideration of the possible consequences that may follow the execution of such a project as the French one for turning the waters of the ocean into the Desert of Sahara, and forming a great inland sea there. He apprehends that the sudden transfer of so large a mass of matter from one part of the earth's surface to another will be attended with a disturbance of the center of gravity of the planet, and with convulsions, floods, and great disasters to the continents and what is upon them. Further, "meteorological, electrical, and other phenomena of equal greatness, grandeur, and sublimity, as those of land and water, would follow a paroxysmal movement of the earth." Therefore, it will be well to halt before making real so rash a scheme.

Ingglish az She iz Spelt. Perpetrated by Fritz Federheld. New York: G. W. Carleton & Co. Pp. 93. Price, 25 cents.

The compiler of this odd composition evidently regards the accepted English orthography as a fetich to whose sanctity he does not consider himself bound to pay any respect; for he holds it up to ridicule in a very amusing style by parodies, epigrams, comic poems, anecdotes, and witty extracts, the purport of all of which is to stamp the whole system as inconsistent with itself, and particular features of it as absurd. The variety of the sounds which are given to the groups of letters "ough" is humorously set forth in several pieces, the most noteworthy of which is Planché's squib on the pronunciation of the name of Lord Houghton. Other rhymes, drawn from Professor Barnard, Professor Gregory, and others, expose what appear to be monstrosities of spelling, but which are shown to be justified by analogous spellings in other words recognized as orthographic. A series of extracts from standard authors shows what was the condition of English spelling, at intervals of about fifty years, from Chaucer to Samuel Johnson.

Practical Work in the School-Room. Object-Lessons on the Human Body. New York: A. Lovell & Co. Pp. 167.

This volume embraces transcripts of lessons that have been given in the primary department of Grammar-School, No. 49, New York, and which include instructions consonant with the plan, on the subject of physiology and the effects of stimulants and narcotics. The plan of teaching comprises a model lesson, to show how each subject should be developed and taught; a formula, embodying the principal facts presented; questions on the formula; directions for touching, or pointing to the part under description; questions on the lesson; and a blackboard outline.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and Through the Looking-Glass. By Lewis Carrol. New York: Macmillan & Co. Pp. 192 and 224, with 92 Illustrations. Price, paper, 50 cents; cloth, 75 cents.

Two books in one, of pure nonsense and delightful absurdities, which have for several years enjoyed extensive popularity. In the first book, Alice goes down into a rabbit-hole and has stirring adventures with the rabbit and an animated pack of cards. In the second story, she succeeds in getting into the country behind the looking-glass, where she finds everything reversed, and meets the characters of Mother Goose and English folk-lore mythology.

Serapis. By George Ebers. From the German by Clara Bell. New York: William S. Gottsberger. Pp. 387. Price, 90 cents.

This is a story of Alexandria in a. d. 391, under Roman rule; one of those attempts to restore and present to the present age the life of antiquity, with some of the most successful of which the author's name is associated.

The Wane of an Ideal. By La Marchesa Colombi. From the Italian byClara Bell. New York: W. S. Gottsberger. Pp. 260. Price, 90 cents.

A story, by a popular living Italian novelist, of contemporary village life in the north of Italy, in which "a variety of the social problems which occupy Italian thought are treated in a way which is humorous without being cynical," and having a close "which is melancholy but scarcely tragical."

The Canadian Record of Science. Vol. I, No. 1. Quarterly. Pp. 64. Price, $3 per volume of eight numbers.

This journal takes the place of "The Canadian Naturalist and Geologist," and is under the charge of an editing committee of the Natural History Society of Montreal, which is composed of T. Sterry Hunt, B. P. Penhallow, B. J. Harrington, J. Wanless, and J. T. Donald. The intention of the editors is to present both original and selected articles, more particularly those of especial interest to the Dominion. In the present number we find a history of the journal of which this is a continuation; an account of "The Royal Society of Canada"; a paper by Professor Dawson on "Rhizocarps in the Palæozoic Period;" a description by the Rev. Émile Petitot of "the Athabasca District of the Canadian Northwest Territory"; and shorter papers.

"Shadows": Being a Familiar Presentation of Thoughts and Experiences in Spiritual Matters, with Illustrative Narratives. By John Wetherbee. Boston: Colby & Rich. Pp. 288.

The author's endeavor has been to give, in a series of chapters, each of which shall be a finished one of itself, the reasons, without particularly saying 60, why he is a spiritualist; or to make a familiar presentation of the subject of modern spiritualism to those whom it may concern, both among its exponents, and among that wider world who feel interested in the subject, "and wish it were true," and want the "bottom facts."

Maryland's Influence upon Land Cessions to the United States. With Minor Papers. By Herbert B. Adams, Ph. D. Baltimore: N. Murray. Pp. 102. Price, 75 cents.

This essay constitutes the first number of the third series of "Johns Hopkins University Studies in Historical and Political Science"—a series which is to be devoted to American institutions and economics. Among the purposes the author endeavors to serve in publishing it is to "call attention to the territorial foundations of the American Union, and point out the fact that our public lands stand in the same fundamental relation to our national commonwealth as did common lands to the village republics of New England. The great West was the Folkland of the United States; it bound them together by economic interests when they would otherwise have fallen apart after the Revolution. To trace out the further constitutional influence of our public lands upon the development of these States, which have increased and multiplied within the national domain, as did New England parishes within the original limits of one town, this would be a contribution indeed to American institutional history." As bearing upon this point, the author outlines a wide and varied field of research, on which it is hoped laborers will soon be engaged, and parts of which are to be exploited in future numbers of this series. The "Minor Papers" include articles on "George Washington's Interest in Western Lands," the "Potomac Company," and a "National University."

Egypt and Babylon, from Sacred and Profane Sources. By George Rawlinson. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. Pp. 329. Price, $1.50.

The Bible abounds in references to Egypt and the Mesopotamian empires and their affairs. So long as we had to depend for our knowledge of those countries in ancient times from the statements, generally half informed and often erroneous, of the Greek historians, these references were obscure and difficult to verify. The progress of archaeological discovery has put a different face upon matters. Under its light the life and history of these extremely ancient empires have been revealed at many points with remarkable vividness and a precision which we have hardly yet attained concerning some contemporary people, and the references in the Bible have been, to a very large extent, endowed with an exact significance. It is hardly necessary to say that further elucidations on points that are still dark may be anticipated from continued researches. It has been Mr. Rawlinson's task to collect the references, separately for Egypt and for Babylon, in the Bible, taking them nearly in chronological order, and to compare them with the facts, as related in other histories, and as inscribed in contemporary records, on the monuments executed by the rulers and peoples of the empires to which the references are made.

Van Nostrand's Engineering Magazine. Vol. XXXI, July-December, 1884. New York: D. Van Nostrand. Pp. 524.

This publication has a place of its own. It appeals especially to engineers, and to persons who are interested in the construction of works beyond the sphere of ordinary builders, and in extensive applications of machinery; and its papers on subjects of such class, both original and selected from foreign journals, are, as a rule, written by experts, by men who have made special study of the points they are discussing, or have had experience in the application of them. It also pays considerable attention to topics of a more general scientific character, and gives much withal that commends itself to persons who are not specialists or professionally informed, but who have an intelligent interest in the progress of the departments to which it is devoted.

Proposed Plan for a Sewerage System, and for the disposal of the sewage of the City of Providence. By Samuel M. Gray, City Engineer. Pp. 146, with Plans and Maps.

City Engineer Gray was deputed by the City Council of Providence, a year ago, to proceed with his assistant to Europe to investigate the various plans in practical operation for the disposition and utilization of sewage, and upon the information thus obtained to report a plan for adoption in that city. The list of cities and works he visited, in England, Wales, Holland, France, and Germany—wherever, in fact, important sewerage-works have been undertaken, or systems for the disposition of sewage have been tried, or are under trial—shows that his inspection was a busy one. In the plan which he has devised, with the aid of these observations, he has had in view the principle which is in reality the Hamlet of the question, but is too often left out, that "no system of sewerage is complete which fails to dispose of the sewage so as to avoid its causing a nuisance." The report embodies a large mass of information, presented with commendable brevity. After an historical review of the subject, the several systems for disposing of sewage are considered as to their general principles and specifically. Among these are the systems of sewage interception, or dry-sewage systems, the pneumatic systems (Liernur, Berlier, and Shone); the water-carriage system; and the systems of disposal by irrigation and precipitation; with a comparison of the different methods of purifying sewage. Although prepared only for a special object, the report might, in the absence of any other comprehensive work, serve as a general manual of the subject.

Tables, Meteorological and Physical. By Arnold Guyot. Fourth edition, revised and enlarged. Edited by William Libbey, Jr. Washington: Smithsonian Institution. Pp. 738.

Professor Guyot's original work, published in 1852, was the first of the series of "Tables of Constants," to which the Smithsonian Institution is gradually making important contributions, and has proved, by the demand which arose for it, to be the one of the series that has met the most general public want. A second revised edition was published in 1857, in which the tables were so enlarged as to extend the volume of the book from two hundred and twelve to more than six hundred pages. A third edition was published in 1879, with further amendments. The author began the revision for this fourth edition in 1879, but was met with delays, and died before completing the work, which was left for his assistant and successor in his college professorship to finish. The contents consist of tables comparing the different thermometrical scales, with reductions from one to another; hygrometrical tables, with tables for the conversion of metrical hygrometric measures into others; barometrical tables; hypsometrical tables; geographical measures, in which means are given for reducing the measures of all countries from one to another; meteorological corrections; and "Miscellaneous Tables useful in Terrestrial Physics and Meteorology." The whole constitute a valuable reference book.

The Ornithologist and Oölogist, Vol. IX. 1884. Pawtucket, II. I.: Frank B. Webster, publisher. Twelve Numbers. Pp. 152. Price, $1.50 a year; 15 cents a number.

As is implied in its title, this is a magazine devoted to birds, their nests, and eggs. It is beautifully printed, and is sustained by a corps of competent and enthusiastic contributors, who record in it their daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, or occasional observations, on these the most attractive of man's companions on the earth. It is a pity that so many of them consider it an indispensable preliminary to the observations to shoot the birds or steal their eggs. In the present state of science, these things, when they are done, are unnecessary in nine cases out of ten. Except for the encouragement given to this practice, which is reprehensible, except when most sparingly and discriminatingly indulged in, we cordially recommend the "Ornithologist and Oölogist" as a publication that every lover of Nature will do well to have by his side. It also admits to its pages notes and observations on the kindred study of entomology.

Our Bodies; or, How we live. By Albert F. Blaisdell, M. D. Boston: Lee & Shepard; New York: Charles F. Dillingham. Pp. 285. Price, 60 cents.

This is a "Physiology for the Young," intended for an elementary text-book in the common schools. It aims to present clearly, concisely, and in a logical order, the most important facts about the build and health of our bodies. Prominence has been given to such facts of anatomy and physiology as are essential to a proper understanding of the laws of hygiene. Hence, special emphasis has been laid upon the practical bearing of this branch of science upon daily life and personal health. As far as possible, each paragraph is complete in itself, and discusses a definite subject. The instructions of the text are re-enforced by review and analytical chapters, and by a systematic series of practical and suggestive experiments, simple and not requiring expensive apparatus.

Stories by American Authors. IX. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. Pp. 180. Price, 50 cents.

It was a happy thought to gather up into this series of volumes, convenient to hold in the hand or to put in the pocket, the fugitive short stories that have appeared from time to time in various publications; many of them, perhaps, by authors whose works would never have been otherwise collected. To say nothing of their interest as stories, these works are of value—if we may judge from the present volume—as giving pictures of American character and life in various situations, with bright local coloring. One of the stories pictures a Virginia neighborhood before the war; another gives a piece of the life of a New England seaport village; a third offers a view of a California village, with its political boss; and another is a sailor's yarn, told in his own dialect.


Should Experiments on Animals be restricted or abolished? Pp. 18. Methods of studying the Physiological Action of Drugs. Pp. 20. Death. Pp. 5. All by Robert Meade Smith, M. D. Detroit: George H. Davis.

"The Pulpit of To-Day." A monthly magazine of sermons. Alfred E. Rose, Editor, Westfield, N. Y. New York: Fords, Howard & Hulbert. Pp. 58.

The Thermic Phenomena in Contraction of Mammalian Muscles. By Robert Meade Smith, M. D. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. Pp. 50.

The Truth-Seeker Annual and Free-Thinkers' Almanac, for 1885. New York: Truth-Seeker Office, 33 Clinton Place. Pp. 120. 25 cents.

A Correction of Certain Statements published in "The Zoöphilist." By H. Newell Martin, M. D., Baltimore. Pp. 11.

The New Departure in College Education. By James McCosh, President of Princeton College. New York: Charles Scribner's Sous. Pp. 23. 15 cents.

U. S. Department of Agriculture. Report of the Entomologist, for 1884. By Charles V. Riley. Washington: Government Printing-office. Pp. 144, with Ten Plates.

Report on the Waters of the Hudson River. By C. F. Chandler. Ph. D. New York: Trow's Printing and Bookbinding Company. Pp. 35.

"The Journal of Physiology." Edited by Michael Foster. M. D. Vol. V, Nos. 4, 5, 6. Cambridge, England. Baltimore: Professor H. Newell Martin. Pp. 180, with Plates. $5 a volume.

Alabama Weather Service. February, 1885. Auburn, Ala.: Agricultural and Mechanical College. Pp. 15.

Medical Jurisprudence in Divorce. By Carl H. von Klein, M. D., Dayton, Ohio. Pp. 8.

A General Description, etc., of the Cotton-producing States. By Eugene A. Smith, Ph. D. Tuscaloosa, Ala. Pp. 80, with Maps.

Septennial Report of Ligonier Public Schools, Indiana. Pp. 89.

Supplement to the Transactions of the Sei I Kwai, or Society for the Advancement of Medical Science in Japan. "Transactions" Monthly. Tokio. Pp. 16 English 40 Japanese. $2 silver a year.

Ten Days in the Laboratory with Dr. Robert Koch, of Berlin. By George W. Lenois, Jr. Buffalo, N. Y. Pp. 15.

Mind in Nature. Vol. I, No 1. Monthly Chicago: Cosmic Publishing Company. Pp. 16. 10 cents a copy; $1 a year.

A Synopsis of the Medical Botany of Illinois. By J. M. G. Carter, M. D., Waukegan. Pp. 45.

The Progress of the Working-Classes in the Last Half-Century. By Robert Griffen. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. Pp. 43. 25 cents.

The Osteology of Amia Calva. By R. W. Shufeldt. Pp. 132, with Fourteen Plates.

The Action and Antagonism of some Drugs on the Frog's Ventricle. By Thomas J. Mays, M. D. Philadelphia. Pp. 17.

Sorgham, its Culture and Uses. By Dr. Peter Collier. New York: Chamber of Commerce. Pp. 20.

"The Cornell Review," March, 1885 (Woodford number). Pp. 28.

An Electric Ophthalmoscope. By Louis J. Lautenbach, M. D., of Philadelphia, Pp. 7.

New York State Board of Health. Monthly Bulletin, February, 1885. Pp. 2.

Science and the Supernatural. By Professor A. J. Dubois, New Haven. Pp. 32.

Defective and Corrupt Legislation, The Cause and the Remedy. By Simon Sterne. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. Pp. 26. 25 cents.

A Hand-Book on the Teeth of Gears. By George B. Grant. Boston. Pp. 29. $1.

U. S. Bureau of Entomology. Catalogue of New-Orleans Exhibit of Economic Entomology. Washington: Judd &, Detweiler. Pp. 95.

A Solution of the Mormon Problem. By John Codman. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. Pp. 25. 25 cents.

"The Alumni Magazine" (Lincoln University). Philadelphia: 924 Lombard Street. Quarterly. Pp. 24. 30 cents a number, $1 a year.

International Electrical Exhibition, 1884. Reports of Examiners: XIX, Electric Telegraphs, pp. 24. XXIV, Electro-Dental Apparatus, pp. 11. XXVII, Applications of Electricity to Warfare, pp. 8. With Plates. Philadelphia.

New York State Reformatory. Report of the Board of Managers, 1884. Elmira. Pp. 100.

Local Institutions of Virginia. By Edward Ingle. Baltimore: N. Murray. Pp. 127. 75 cents.

International Fisheries Exhibition. Report upon the American Section. By G. Brown Goode. Washington: Government Printing-Office. Pp. 1,279.

Man's Birthright: or, The Higher Law of Property. By Edward H. G. Clark. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. Pp. 133. 75 cents.

Madam How and Lady Why. By Charles Kingsley. New York: Macmillan & Co. Pp. 321, 50 cents.

Mind-Reading and beyond. By William A. Hovey. Boston: Lee & Shepard. New York: C. T. Dillingham. Pp. 201. $1.25.

Obiter Dicta. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. Pp. 232. $1.

The History of the Present Tariff. 1800-1883. By F. W. Taussig, Ph.D. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. Pp. 111. 75 cents.

Jelly-Fish, Star-Fish, and Sea-Urchins. By G. J. Romanes. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 323. $1.75.

Geology and the Deluge. By the Duke of Argyll. Glasgow: Wilson & McCormick. Pp. 47.

Paradise Found. By William F. Warren, S. T. D. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Co. Pp. 504. $2.

The Lenápé and their Legends. By Daniel G. Brinton. Philadelphia: D. G. Brinton. Pp. 202.

The "Quincy Methods" illustrated. By Lelia E. Partridge. New York: E. L. Kellogg &, Co. Pp. 060. $1.50.

The Rescue of Greely. By Commander W. S. Schley and Professor J. R. Soley. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. Pp. 277, with Maps. $3.

The Ten Laws of Health. By J. R. Black, M.D. Baltimore: J. R. Black, M. D. Pp. 413. $2.50.

The Life of Society. By Edmund Woodward Brown. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. Pp. 270. $2.

Contributions to American Ethnology. Vol. V. U.S. Geographical and Geological Survey. Washington: Government Printing-Office. Pp. 237, with Plates.

The Cretaceous and Tertiary Floras of the Territories. By Leo Lesquereux. Washington: Government Printing-Office. Pp. 253, with Fifty-nine Plates.

U. S. Geological Survey. Third Annual Report. J. W. Powell, Director. Washington: Government Printing-Office. Pp. 564, with Plates.

Geology of the Comstock Lode and the Washoe District. By George F. Becker. Washington: Government Printing-Office. Pp. 422. Atlas to accompany the same, 21 sheets and Maps.

The Religion of Philosophy, or the Unification of Knowledge. By Raymond S. Perrin. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. Pp. 566. $4.

Dinocerata. A Monograph of an Extinct Order of Gigantic Mammals. By Othniel Charles Marsh. Washington: U. S. Geological Survey. Pp. 287, with Fifty-six Plates,