Popular Science Monthly/Volume 28/March 1886/Literary Notices

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LITERARY NOTICES.

Gray's Botanical Text-Book. Sixth edition. Vol. II. Physiological Botany. 1. Outlines of the Histology of Phanerogamous Plants; 2. Vegetable Physiology. By George Lincoln Goodale, A.M., M.D., Professor of Botany in Harvard University. New York and Chicago: Ivison, Blakeman, Taylor k Co. Price, $2.

The first edition of Gray's "Botanical Text-Hook" was published forty-three years ago, and took the highest rank at once as an American exposition of the science, both for college uses and for students generally. With the rapid development of the science successive editions appealed, each for the most part rewritten, the fifth edition coming out in 1857. Hut botanical science at length outgrew the possibility of dealing with it in any adequate way in a single volume. This led to the necessity of completer treatment in several connected works. Professor Gray says in his preface: "To secure the requisite fullness of treatment of the whole range of subjects it has been decided to divide the work into distinct volumes, each a treatise by itself, which may be independently used, while the whole will compose a comprehensive botanical course."

The first volume of this series was written by Professor Gray, and entitled "The Structural and Morphological Botany of Phanerogamous Plants." It deals chiefly with organography, or the account of the structures and forms of the organs of plants, and, as the author remarks, "should thoroughly equip a botanist for the scientific prosecution of systematic botany, and furnish needful preparation to those who proceed to the study of vegetable physiology and anatomy, and to the wide and varied departments of cryptogamic botany" which arc to be dealt with in the subsequent volumes of the series.

The second volume of this work upon "Physiological Botany" (vegetable histology and physiology), the treatise now before us, was written by Professor Goodale, the colleague of Professor Gray, and Professor of Botany in Harvard University, and is "devoted to a consideration of the microscopic structure, the development, and the functions of flowering plants; that is, to their vegetable histology, organogeny, and physiology." The volume is divided into two parts, the first taking up and pursuing with great thoroughness the subject of histology, or the minute microscopical structure and elements of plants. An introduction is devoted to "Histological Appliances," or the instruments of the botanical investigator—such as microscopes, dissecting implements, reagents, etc. Cells and tissues, in their structures, contents, compositions, and modifications, are then taken up in a general way, to be followed by the minute structure and development of root, stem, and leaf, flower, fruit, and seed. Elementary structures being mastered, the pupil then proceeds, in Part II, to the investigation of their functions, or physiological botany proper. Physiology considers the plant in action, the changes occurring in its multitudinous parts, the constituents involved, the products generated, the interactions of the vegetable organism with soil and air, the movements of plants, vegetable growth, germination, and reproduction.

What chiefly strikes us, in looking over this interesting volume, is the immense advance that has been made in late years in the elucidation of the laws of the internal vegetable economy. There has been a large increase in the resources of investigation, the skillful experience with which it is conducted, and a great amount of new light has been thrown upon the obscure and subtile processes of vegetable organisms. Vegetable physiology has been brought far more completely within the grasp of the experimental method than would have been thought possible thirty years ago. It has become laboratory-work, as established and necessary as in the case of chemistry or physics. It follows from this that to the thorough study of physiological botany not only microscopical observation but manipulatory exercises of various kinds are quite indispensable. It was formerly supposed that the physiology of plants was a subject to be mainly read about, and the knowledge of it derived from books, without much possibility of a direct and real acquaintance with the facts, but that view must now be abandoned. We observe with interest and great satisfaction that Professor Goodale has been fully alive to the educational implications of this circumstance, and has made his volume a working text-book by which the student is enabled and required to make the knowledge of the subject his own. Those who faithfully go through the work will not only acquire a mastery of the facts, and a thorough acquaintance with what is known of the processes of vegetal life, but they will gain a valuable training in the conditions of scientific method and the difficult and important art of scientific investigation.

We can not close this slight and very unsatisfactory notice of a most important book without some cordial recognition of the obligations of American scientific men and American teachers to the life-long and invaluable services of Professor Gray in the elaborate revision of his text-books which have now taken so comprehensive and complete a form in this series. With the patience and perseverance of the true scientific enthusiast, he has confined himself to his own line of work, and taken authoritative possession of the botanical field in this country. By securing the co-operation of other men whom he has assisted to qualify for the work. Professor Gray gives to his undertaking a solid and permanent value which will make it influential upon the growth of American botany for many years to come.

Fench Dishes for American Tables. By Pierre Caron (formerly chef d'entremets at Delmonico's). Translated by Mrs. Frederic Sherman. Pp. 231. D. Appleton & Co. Price, $1.

This may not be "the cook-book of the future," but, what is more to the purpose, it is a pretty good cook-book for the present. Written by a man and translated by a woman, it ought to be full of the implied by its double origin. At any rate, the man understood the business of cooking, and the woman understands the business of translation; and so the man's full and accurate knowledge of culinary operations is made as simple and clear to the reader as plain, well-chosen language can make it. The book contains six hundred receipts, and it is said the quantities are all calculated for tables of eight persons. We have heard that this book has been tried with marked success.

Railroad Transportation: Its History and Laws. By Arthur T. Hadley, Commissioner of Labor Statistics of the State of Connecticut, Instructor in Political Science in Yale College. Pp. 269. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. Price, $1.50.

The laying down of an iron track on leveled ground, whereby vehicles could carry heavier loads, and the attachment of steam-machines instead of animals to draw the vehicles were mechanical novelties in their time which many could not fail to see were full of new possibilities, but nobody even suspected the tremendous implications of the steps that had been taken. He who saw the first car moved by steam upon a tramway, and hauling a load of stone, may also have lived to see an express train of palace-cars, with a meeting-house full of people, shooting along with the proverbial swiftness of the pigeon, "a mile a minute." This result shows the astonishing rapidity of the development of the art of locomotion, and always impresses the observer with wonder at the triumphs of invention, and the new conquest over space and time that may be shared by everybody.

And yet all this is but the superficial aspect of the railroad dispensation upon which we have entered. The discovery has been gradually made that the railroad system is a new social power, the destiny of which is to force to such a solution as they may be capable of receiving a large number of fundamental questions relating to industry, commerce, the laws of competition, individual rights and corporate prerogatives, the operation of natural laws in society, and the compass and limitations of legislative authority. These problems are forced upon the community by the development of railroads, as they could have been in no other way. They must be met and acted upon, if not with far-seeing intelligence, then with short-sighted ignorance; and as the results of experience disclose themselves—good or bad—we shall have a large and instructive example of that compulsory education which originates in social conditions and the nature of things.

It is somewhat from this point of view that the timely and admirable book of Professor Hadley has been prepared. It is not at all a treatise on the railroad in itself, and is not to be ranked with books of construction, improvement, and railway management that are made for the uses of railroad-men. It is rather a book on the relations of railroads to the community, and therefore deals with a class of subjects in which all citizens are interested. The writer's point of view is thus briefly indicated in his preface: "This book deals with those questions of railroad history and management which have become matters of public concern. It aims to do two things; first, to present clearly the more important facts of American railroad business, and explain the principles involved; second, to compare the railroad legislation of different countries, and the results achieved. The two things need to be viewed in connection with one another. The attempt to manage railroads without regard to the demands of public policy, or to legislate concerning railroads without regard to the necessities of railroad business, results in disastrous failure. This fact has been gradually recognized by thoughtful men on both sides."

To meet this view of the subject, Professor Hadley has written his volume, which, for popular use, is beyond comparison the most instructive and valuable railroad-book that we have seen. It is a work which ought to be very generally read; for there is a great deal of ignorance, prejudice, and passion among many people in regard to railroad management, which would be dispelled if the matter were better understood—a result to which the perusal of this volume will certainly lead. The author writes neither in the blind interest of railroad corporations, nor of the people as a class victimized by these corporations, but in the light of facts and principles to which both must bow. It may be added that the volume is one that will be read with much pleasure, from the freshness and variety of its information on the latest results of railroad experience.

The Philosophy of Education: or, The Principles and Practice of Teaching. By T. Tait, F. R. A. S, Pp. 331. New York: E. Kellogg & Co. Price, $1.

This seems to be a kind of general treatise on the art and mystery of school-keeping, and was evidently reprinted, as the editor intimates, because of "the growing desire for treatises on education." It contains a great deal of information about schools and teaching, and various parts of it will prove suggestive and useful, but it is a good deal behind the age. Originally published in 1837, it represents the state of thought in the early part of the century; and its psychology, the vital point in any educational work that proposes to deal with principles, is completely outgrown and discredited, as editor Traub acknowledges. But, after all, most teachers, notwithstanding all the progressive talk about psychology, are still deep in the old dispensation of "mental philosophy," and will therefore find themselves much at home with this volume.

Rational Communism. The Present and Future Republic of North America. By a Capitalist. New York: The Social Science Publishing Company. Pp. 498. Price, $1.50.

The capitalist author presents in this work a plea and a scheme for a new social organization. His ideas are said to be the outgrowth of a vision, in which, lifted high in the air, he saw New York, Brooklyn, Long Island, etc., newly laid out and peopled on an ideal plan adapted to promote the equal wealth, standing, and happiness of all. Coming back to the reality, he finds things organized to promote inequality and not happiness. He then proceeds to develop his plan, in which he aims to avoid the particular rocks on which all the social communities hitherto projected in this country have been severally wrecked.

The Will: A Novel. By Ernst Eckstein, author of "Quintus Claudius," etc. From the German by Clara Bell. Authorized edition. In two volumes. New York: Gottsberger.

The will here intended is not that mental element sometimes known as volition, but a document of an entirely material nature, which meant not only fortune to the hero of the story but name and titles as well. Like so many other modern novels, the tale winds in and out among socialists and their doings and beliefs, although it can scarcely be called a partisan book. The attempt seems to have been expository of the workings of that order of beliefs and feelings, which seems to lend itself to dramatic treatment with as remarkable success as the grand passion itself.

On the Heating and Ventilation of Dwellings and School-rooms. By Charles O. Curtman, M. D., St. Louis. Pp. 10.

This is a reproduction of a paper that was read before the American Public Health Association. It presents a careful review, with suitable illustrations, of the operation, merits, and demerits of all the methods of house-heating in current use, with especial reference to their adaptability to schoolrooms.

Joint Diseases: Treatment by Rest and Fixation. Pp. 15. Surgical Treatment of Infants. Pp. 12. By De Forest Willard, M. D. Philadelphia.

Dr. Willard holds that rest subdues joint-inflammation more effectually than all other means combined, and that the more perfect the rest the greater will be the diminution of pressure, tension, and inflammation, and of their resultant ankylosis and suppuration. The pamphlet contains the arguments in support of his views and descriptions of the appliances, and their applications, by which he secures the rest he prescribes.

The second paper is an address which was read in June of last year before the Philadelphia Obstetrical Society. The author believes that the surgery of childhood, as compared with that of adult life, is, aside even from congenital defects, sufficiently marked and distinctive to entitle it to separate consideration. Even the anatomy of the child can not be learned from the ordinary adult dissections during a college course, but the surgeon must make himself specially acquainted with it. References are made, in the course of the address, to classes of cases in which special treatment and applications may be called for.

The Prehistoric Palace of the Kings of Tiryns. By Dr. Henry Schliemann. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. Pp. 385, with Chromo-lithographic Plates, Map, and Plans. Price, $10.

The citadel of Tiryns is one of the most ancient ruins in Europe. The city which it represents had its origin and probably its whole existence in prehistoric times. It is treated in Homer's "Iliad" as a place whose greatness was of the past, while Mycenæ was still vigorous and Argos rising. Its massive remains or "cyclopean walls," standing some eighty feet above the sea back of the Gulf of Nauplia, were regarded as a miracle in ancient days, and have been objects of wonder to Greeks, Romans, and moderns, for twenty-five hundred years. Dr. Schliemann having attacked, with more or less of satisfaction in the result, Troy, Mycenæ, and Orchomenos, it was natural that the attention of the great archæologist should be directed to their rival in antiquity and in association with the legends of the heroic age. His work at Tiryns has been rather more successful than at the other places he has explored, because he has gone at it with the benefit of acquired experience, and has been able to perform it more systematically and in such a way as to insure the preservation of everything. He has laid bare the whole plan of the palace and fortress, with all of its most important details, and has given the means for forming a clear idea of how those Herakleid or Perseid Greeks lived. The palace was reached by a winding carriage-way duly guarded with gates, the thresholds, bolt-holes, and pivotal hinge-holes of which, and the ashes of the wooden parts, are still visible. The plan of the palace was elaborate, and reveals a grouping around two centers, the hall of the men and the hall of the women, communication between which was only indirect. The walls were adorned with paintings in animal and geometrical designs, and plaques of alabaster with designs in blue-glass paste, fac-similes of which are given in the colored plates of the book. One of the most remarkable features of the building was the bath-room, which was floored with a single slab of stone of eight by ten feet, that can not weigh less than nineteen tons. Within this room was found a fragment of the terra-cotta tub in which the heroes took their baths. The arrangements for drainage and the whole plan of the palace show a considerable advance in civilization, when, as we have been accustomed to believe, civilization had hardly begun on that spot. The excavations, to which Dr. Schliemann had given his personal attention, were continued while he was preparing his account, during 1885, by his collaborator, the distinguished German archaeologist, Dr. William Dorpfeld. He made a series of new discoveries hardly less interesting than those which had already been made. Among them are the facts that the huge stones of which the walls were built were not absolutely rude, but were roughly hewed and shaped for their purpose; that the walls were built with clay mortar, which has been washed away in all the exposed portions; and that these walls, which arc of great thickness, have chambers within them to which access was had by galleries, the use of which had previously been a puzzle to the explorers. We have also in Professor F. Adler's preface, in which the writer makes comparisons between the ruins of Tiryns and other monuments of prehistoric Greece, and deduces the significance in some points of the whole, a few suggestions which open to us new conceptions of the capacity and arts of the heroes. Many of the blocks of the upper citadel must weigh from 12,000 to 15,000 kilogrammes-even middle-sized stones weigh from 3,700 to 4,000 kilogrammes—and their transport, to their exact place on a high and rocky site, was only possible with the aid of many technical devices and a host of workmen. These figures prove that the citadel can not have been built in a hurry, in the sight of an enemy, or as the first stronghold of an invasion based on maritime supremacy. In fact, "the colossal walls tell every one able to read the language of stones that their erection can only have been effected in a long period of peace, by a ruler with unusual sources of power, and who had trained workmen under his permanent control." There are other facts that point to these buildings being second structures on the site; and, reviewing all the sites, "a real primitive architecture is nowhere to be found; even in Troy the first steps of development are long past. Within certain limits, the materials are already under control, and worked variously, according to the available means and the ends required. A moderate but yet very fruitful store of detail forms is already gathered, so as to cover the gradually elaborated shapes of rooms with significant adornments full of meaning. In some peculiarly favored places, the domain of the higher monumental architecture has already been entered upon with decisive success. In the face of such extended and yet closely connected achievements, which form a consistent whole, the attempt to search for the roots from which arose this early bloom of the art of building is doubly attractive." Other suggestions may be found relative to the development of forms of architecture in stone from models afforded by the primitive wooden structures, and to the connection of this early European with already old Egyptian art.

Brain-Rest. By J. Leonard Corning, M. D. Second edition. New York; G. P. Putnam's Sons.

This little book, which may be regarded as a supplement to the same author's treatise on "Brain Exhaustion," published by D. Appleton & Co., and already noticed in the "Monthly," deals with the important question of the reinvigoration of the brain after exhausting mental labor or after disease. Dr. Corning has made a special study of the subject, and his book contains many facts and suggestions which brain-workers may find of service, and by the help of which they may be able to avoid or remedy to some extent the great danger to which their method of life exposes them.

Report of the Committee of the Citizens' Association on the Main Drainage and Water-supply of Chicago. J. C. Ambler, Secretary: Rooms, 35 Merchants' Building, Chicago. Pp. 32.

The report shows that the water-supply from the lake is always liable to contamination from sewage entering the lake anywhere within the present district. Hence, all sewage whatsoever in this district should be diverted from the lake as its outfall. The flood-waters of the Desplaines and the North Branch may be diverted to the lake north of this district, or through Lake View township, and the South Fork may be connected with the lake by a conduit. But the main reliance for drainage should be by conveyance to the Illinois River. The general plan suggested by the committee may be carried out step by step, to the gradual improvement of the sanitary condition, and without creating a debt or requiring an extraordinary tax-levy.

National Conference of State Boards of Health. J. N. McCormack, of Kentucky, Secretary. Pp. 63.

This pamphlet, which is a reprint from the Report of the Illinois State Board of Health for 1885, contains an account of the organization of the Conference in connection with the meeting of the American Public Health Association at Detroit, Michigan, in November, 1883, and the reports of its first meeting at St. Louis, in October, and the adjourned meeting, at Washington, in December, 1884.

The Annals of the Cakchiquels. The Original Text, with a Translation, Notes, and Introduction. By Daniel G. Brinton, M. D. Philadelphia. Pp. 234. Price, $3.

This is the sixth volume of Dr. Brinton's "Library of Aboriginal American Literature." In the editor's estimation, on account of both its historical and linguistic merits, the document which it presents is one of the most important in the class to which it belongs. "Written by a native who had grown to adult years before the whites penetrated to his ancestral home, himself a member of the ruling family of one of the most civilized nations of the continent and intimately acquainted with its traditions, the work displays the language in its pure original form, and also preserves the tribal history and a part of its mythology, as they were current before they were in the least affected by European influences." The translation is made directly from the orignial text. The Cakchiquels were a nation of somewhat advanced culture, who lived within the area of the present state of Guatemala, and spoke a language related to the Maya. They were agriculturists and skillful builders, and had a picture-writing. The present work takes up the history of the tribe during the latter part of the fourteenth century, and brings it down to about 1559. It was introduced to public notice by the Abbé Brasseur de Bourbourg, and Dr. Brinton's translation is made from his copy.

Third Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology, 1881-'82. By J. W. Powell, Director. Washington: Government Printing-office. Pp. 606, with Plates.

The plan of the work of the Bureau of Ethnology, of which this volume covers one year, contemplates the direct employment of scholars and specialists to conduct investigations and prepare the results for publication; and the stimulation and guidance of research by collaborators who voluntarily contribute the results of their work for publication or other use. Papers were published during the year covered by the report in Volume V, of "Contributions to North American Ethnology," on cup-shaped and other lapidary sculptures, "Prehistoric Trepanning and Cranial Amulets," and the Maya (Yucatan) "Manuscript Troano." The field-work of the year embraced the researches of Mr. Gushing among the Zuñis, with the labors of other observers in that tribe and among the Pueblos; researches by Mr. Gatschet among the Katábas in South Carolina, Mrs. Erminnie A. Smith among the Iroquois, Dr. W. J. Hoffman among the Indians at Fort Berthold, Dakota; and "Mound Explorations." Subjects bearing upon linguistics and related branches have been studied and elaborated in the office of the Bureau. In the present volume are included as "accompanying papers," and constituting the greater part of its bulk, "Notes on Certain Maya and Mexican Manuscripts," by Cyrus Thomas; "Masks, Labrets, and Certain Aboriginal Customs," by William H. Dall; "Omaha Sociology," by J. Owen Dorsey; "Navajo Weavers," by Dr. Washington Matthews; "Prehistoric Textile Fabrics of the United States, derived from Impressions on Pottery," by W. H. Holmes; and catalogues of two collections—one from mounds and one from Arizona and New Mexico—made during 1881.

Modern Molding and Pattern-making. By Joseph P. Mullin, M. E. New York: D. Van Nostrand. Pp. 257.

This is designed to be a practical treatise on pattern-shop and foundry work, and embraces the molding of pulleys, spur-gears, worm-gears, balance-wheels, stationary engines, and locomotive cylinders, globe-valves, tool-work, mining machinery, screw-propellers, pattern-shop machinery, and the latest improvements in English and American cupolas, together with rules and tables for everyday use. Everything is given, in all of its details, as the result of the author's own careful study and actual personal experience, and, he says, "I have simply narrated the work of my hands."

A Dictionary of Music and Musicians. Edited by George Grove, D. C. L. Parts XX and XXI. New York: Macmillan & Co. Pp. 256. Price, $1.

These numbers embrace the titles from "'Tis the Last Rose of Summer" to "The Water-Music." Among the longer articles are one on "Variations," "The Violin," "Violin-Playing," and ample biographical sketches, with accounts of their works, of Verdi, the Abbé Vogler, and Richard Wagner.

The Journal of Physiology. Edited by Michael Foster, with Co-operators in England and America. Vol. VI, Nos. 4 and 5. American Agency with Professor H. Newell Martin, Johns Hopkins University. Baltimore: Pp. 160, with Plates. Price, $5 a volume.

The "Journal of Physiology" is the recognized register of physiological research by English-speaking investigators, and presents as they are accumulated the results of the studies of those distinguished experimentists, on either side of the ocean, whose discoveries have been the means of contributing so much to the intelligent and efficient treatment of human affliction. The present number contains papers by G. F. Yeo and J. W. Barrett, S. Ringer, H. Sewall and D. W. Steiner, J. A. McWilliam and T. Wesley Mills, on various aspects of the heart; S. Ringer and D. W. Buxton, on contractile tissue, etc.; C. S. Sherrington on the spinal cord of the dog; E. F. Herroun and G. F. Yeo, on "The Sound accompanying the Single Contraction of Skeletal Muscle"; and transcripts from the Proceedings of the Physiological Society, 1885.

Revision of the Palæocrinoidea. Part III. First Section. By Charles Wachsmuth and Frank Springer. Philadelphia: William P. Kildare, Printer. Pp. 138, with Eight Plates.

Hardly any kinds of fossils are more attractive to the collector than the crinoids, with their endless variety of forms, each distinguished by its peculiar style of beauty and grace; and hardly any other kind offers a richer reward to the searcher for specimens who is so fortunate as to find a bed of them. Since the first part of this work was published, some five years ago, great progress has been made in the study of both the recent and fossil members of the order, and many new and interesting forms have been discovered and described. The authors of the monograph confess that their own knowledge of the subject also has grown. The present section of the work includes a discussion of the classification and relations of the Brachiate crinoids, with generic descriptions. A second section is promised in the "Proceedings of the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences" for 1886, to contain the Articulata and Quadrinata.

The Published Writings of Isaac Lea, LL. D. By Newton Pratt Scudder. Washington: Government Printing-Office. Pp. 278.

This is Bulletin No. 23 of the United States National Museum, and is the second of a series of bibliographies of American naturalists which the Museum is publishing. Dr. Lea is our oldest conchologist, and is one of the most laborious and fruitful devotees in that branch of research that our country has had. lie is still living, in his ninety-fourth year, and blessed with good health and unimpaired mental and physical faculties. The list of his publications, as given in this work, with full descriptions of each, includes 279 titles. His cabinet of Unionidæ in Philadelphia displays about ten thousand individuals, of different ages, so arranged that each may be separately examined, and it is unique in having many species arranged with a sequence from the youngest to the oldest, so that the student may see at a glance the aspect of their growth.

Bulletin of the Sedalia Natural History Society. Sedalia, Mo. No. 1, August, 1885. F. A. Sampson, Corresponding Secretary. Pp. 30.

The society was organized January 14, 1884, and has been able to report a year and a half of successful operation. This first number of its "Bulletin" contains its constitution and by-laws, list of officers, and acknowledgments of contributions; together with papers on the "Shells of Pettis County," by F. A. Sampson, and "Pettis County Pentremites," by Dr. G. Hambach.

Bulletin of the Minnesota Academy of Natural Sciences. Volume II. No. 5. C. W. Hall, Secretary, Minneapolis, Minn. Pp. 84.

The present number of the "Bulletin" includes papers from May, 1881, to December, 1882, the publication of which has before been unavoidably delayed. Among the more important papers are a report "On Some Tests of Building-Stones," by J. A. Dodge; a report on the "Mineralogy of the State, with Notes on the Bibliography of the Subject," by N. U. Winchell; and "Meteorological Statistics of Minneapolis for Eighteen Years," by William Cheney.

The System of High Licenses: How it can be made successful. By O. Thomann. New York: The United States Brewers' Association. Pp. 36.

The imprint of this publication indicates the point of view from which the subject is considered. The paper is a plea for discrimination in the imposition of licenses in favor of what are called the lighter drinks. The author cites, in support of his views, from the records of licensing and liquor-selling in Switzerland and various places in Germany.

An Iron Crown: A Tale of the Great Republic. Chicago: T. S. Denison, 1885. Pp. 560. Price, $1.60.

In the course of this story the attempt is made to show the dangers to free government threatened in the growing abuses of corporate power. It deals with millionaires, mining, railroads, etc., and takes the side of the people against the "daring freebooters who would seize the people's rights."

The Fixed Idea of Astronomical Theory. By August Tischner. Leipsic: Gustav Fock. Pp. 86.

We several months ago noticed the book by this author, "The Sun changes his Position in Space, therefore he can not be regarded as being in a Condition of Rest," in which the competency of the present astronomical system is attacked because it is based on the assumption of a fixed sun. In the present work the author postulates a new theory which takes the motion of the sun into account.

Free Cities in the Middle Ages. By L. R. Klemm. Hamilton, Ohio. Pp. 22.

This paper, which was read before a local literary and scientific society, is after the German of G. F. Kalb, and sketches one of the most remarkable and interesting phenomena of modern history—the development and life of those free communities which maintained a prosperous and independent existence amid the degradation and conflicts of mediæval times, holding their own against the military barons and princes who would have crushed them if they could, and whose part was most important in preserving civilization and giving life to industry and art.

Bulletins of the United States National Museum, No. 28. A Manual of American Land-shells. By W. G. Binney. Pp. 528. No. 29, Results of Ornithological explorations in the Commander Islands and Kamchatka. By Leonhard Stejneger. Pp. 382, with Eight Plates.

The "Manual of American Land-shells" appears as an enlarged and revised edition of "The Land and Fresh-water Shells of North America, Part I," which was published by the Smithsonian Institution in 1869. Subsequently described species are added. Fuller attention is given in separate chapters to the subjects of geographical distribution, organs of generation, jaw and lingual dentition, and classification. In description, the species arc grouped geographically rather than systematically. The work was prepared with Mr. Thomas Bland, who died in August, 1885, as co-author. The monograph by Mr. Stejneger is the first attempt to present a complete list of the birds known to have been observed in Kamchatka. It is divided into three parts, consisting of a review of the species of birds collected or observed by the author in the Commander Islands and at Petropaulski, a synopsis of the birds reported to inhabit Kamchatka, and conclusions. The second part is given to make the account of the birds of Kamchatka as complete as possible.

Reception Day, No. 4. New York: E. L. Kellogg & Co. Pp. 156. Price, 25 cents.

This is a collection of fresh and original dialogues, recitations, declamations, and short pieces for practical use in public and private schools. The compiler has aimed to have the pieces short, easy to be comprehended, infused with life and spirit, fitted for average pupils in the schools, and free from double-meanings and all that can verge on impropriety or vulgarity.

Notes on the Opium-Habit. By Asa P. Meylert, M. D. Fourth edition. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. Pp. 49.

Some additional data relative to the treatment of the habit have been inserted in this edition; and the author gives the result of his investigations on the administration of cocaine hydrochlorate as a specific.

 

 
PUBLICATIONS RECEIVED.

The Monthly Index. Vol. I. No. 1. Bangor, Me.: Q. P. Index. P. 1. 25 cents a year.

The Relations of Mind and Matter. By Charles Morris. Pp. 100.

Function: Its Evolution and Influence on Organization. By C. N. Pierce, D. D. S. Philadelphia. Pp. 11.

Chronological List of Scientific Books and Papers. Pp. 16. Address to the Department of Pharmacy, State University of Iowa. Pp. 8. By Gustavus Hinrichs. Iowa City, Iowa.

Journal of the Trenton Natural History Society, Trenton. N. J. Vol. I, No. 1. Pp. 22.

Bowlder Mosaics in Dakota. By Professor J. E. Todd. Pp. 4, with Plate.

Household Receipts. Boston: Joseph Burnett & Co. Pp. 68. 25 cents.

Report on Drainage of Mystic, Blackstone. and Charles River Valleys, Massachusetts. Boston: Wright & Potter Printing Company. Pp. 243, with Plates and Maps.

Monthly Catalogue. United States Government Publications. Nos. 9 and 10. Washington, D. C.: J. H. Hickey. Pp. 20 each. $2 a year.

The Bizarre Notes and Queries, January, 1886. Manchester, N. H.: S. C. & L. M. Gould. Pp. 28. $1 a year.

South Pass Jetties. Pp. 87, with Maps. Letters to the Mississippi River Commission, Pp. 14. By James B. Eads. New York.

Illinois State Board of Health, Annual Meeting, 1886, Report of Proceedings. Springfield, Ill. Pp. 66. Decisions under Medical Practice Laws. Pp. 44. Conspectus of Medical Education. Pp. 138.

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