Popular Science Monthly/Volume 35/August 1889/Literary Notices
The Ice Age in North America, and its Bearing upon the Antiquity of Man. By G. Frederick Wright, D.D., LL.D., F.G.S.A. With an Appendix on "The Probable Cause of Glaciation." By Warren Upham, F.G.S.A. With 147 Maps and Illustrations. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 8vo, pp. xviii and 622. Price, $5.
The publication of "The Great Ice Age," by James Geikie, fifteen years ago, and of its second edition, revised, two or three years later, presented to the general reader a comprehensive and very interesting account of the Glacial period, the latest completed chapter of geologic history. In this, as in so many other portions of the geologic record, the most important recent contributions to knowledge have been gathered on this continent; and Prof. Wright, widely known for his extensive observations and fruitful investigations in glacial geology, has here set forth, in an attractive popular style, the vast array of evidence that an ice-sheet formerly overspread the northern half of North America, stretching southward to Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard, and Long Island, to the cities of New York, Cincinnati, and St. Louis, and on the Pacific coast to Seattle and Vancouver Island.
Conclusive proof that the drift deposits, bowlders, and striæ found upon all the country farther north are due to the agency of land-ice seems to be supplied by the terminal moraines which were recognized only about a dozen years ago by Clarence King in the Elizabeth Islands on the south coast of New England, by Cook and Smock in New Jersey, and by Chamberlin in Wisconsin. Since then Prof. Wright has devoted every vacation and leisure day to the fascinating study of the drift, and has personally examined and mapped large portions of the glacial boundary along its extent across the eastern half of the United States, from Nantucket and Cape Cod through New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, and South and North Dakota. This boundary traverses valleys, hills, and mountains, with surprising disregard of the contour, often rising or falling one thousand feet or more within short distances in crossing the Alleghany ranges.
Not content with these investigations, Prof. Wright went three years ago to Alaska, and there spent a month in observations of the Muir Glacier, which enters the sea at the head of Glacier Bay, terminating in water about six hundred feet deep, and rising above the water in a vertical cliff of ice a mile long and two hundred and fifty to three hundred feet high. The author's measurements showed that this glacier is pushed out into the bay at an average rate of forty feet per day, moving thus many times faster than the comparatively small glaciers of the Alps, though not surpassing the motion of Greenland glaciers, which similarly end in the sea, being there broken into icebergs and floated away.
Portions of Prof. Wright's exploration of the glacial boundary were done for the Geological Surveys of Pennsylvania and of the United States, the terminal moraine through Pennsylvania being traced by him in company with the late Prof. Henry Carvill Lewis. During these surveys, and in the visit to the Muir Glacier, many very instructive photographs were taken, which appear as engraved illustrations in this volume. The author also presents very fully the results of the labors of others, both in the United States and in Canada, as Agassiz, Dana, E. and C. H. Hitchcock, Newberry, Le Conte, Lesley, White, Chamberlin, Salisbury, Todd, Gilbert, McGee, Shaler, Davis, Stone, Russell, Upham, A. and N. H. Winchell, Claypole, Spencer, Whitney, Sir William and G. M. Dawson, Bell, Chalmers, and many more, often quoting from their reports and memoirs, and reproducing their illustrations and maps. The work is thus a compendium, well brought up to date, of the already voluminous literature of this wonderful geologic winter of our globe.
Glaciers now exist, as described in this volume, on the Sierra Nevada, on Mount Shasta, in the Selkirk Range, and in great numbers and extent northward to Mount St. Elias and Unalaska. In the chapter on the glaciers of Greenland, a map shows the route of Nordenskiöld in 1883, and of Dr. F. Nansen last year upon the ice-sheet that covers its interior, extending in a vast monotonous expanse which rises gradually to elevations in its central portion six thousand to ten thousand feet above the sea. The further description of glaciers in other parts of the world, and of the antarctic ice-sheet, prepare the reader for the discussion of the signs of former glaciation in the now temperate regions of North America and Europe.
The striation of the bed-rocks, the striated pebbles and bowlders of the drift, sections of till and of stratified drift and loess, the characteristic topography of kames, terminal moraines, and the oval hills of till called drumlins, are very clearly described, with excellent illustrations from photographs. The boundary of the glaciated area from the Atlantic to the Mississippi is shown in a series of six maps; and a general map showing the glacial geology of the United States delineates, besides this southern limit of the North American ice-sheet and drift, the successive terminal moraines formed at times of halt or readvance of the ice during its retreat and final melting, the courses of the glacial striæ and transportation of bowlders, the driftless area of southwestern Wisconsin and portions of adjoining States, the modified drift deposited in valleys of southward drainage from the ice-sheet, and the boundary of the glacial Lake Agassiz which was held in the basin of the Red River of the North and of Lake Winnipeg by the barrier of the ice while it was being melted away.
Important changes in the drainage of the country, caused by the ice-sheet and its drift deposits, are noticed in considerable detail. In the same way that Lake Agassiz was formed, outflowing by the glacial River Warren along the course of the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers, the Great Lakes of the St. Lawrence were held by the receding ice-barrier at levels much higher than now, similarly outflowing over the lowest points in their southern water-shed to the Mississippi; and these ancient lake-levels are still found distinctly marked by beach ridges and deltas of gravel and sand. Another very interesting glacial lake was formed in the basin of the Ohio River by the temporary dam of the ice-sheet, which at its time of maximum area extended across this river at Cincinnati, carrying its morainic drift into the northern edge of Kentucky. "These glacial deposits south of the Ohio," according to Prof. Wright's observations, "are such as to make it certain that the front of the continental glacier itself pushed, at some points, seven or eight miles beyond the Ohio River; and it is altogether probable that for a distance of fifty miles (or completely around the eastern, northern, and western sides of the Kentucky peninsula formed by the great bend of the river) the ice came down to the trough of the Ohio, and crossed it so as completely to choke the channel and form a glacial dam high enough to raise the level of the water five hundred and fifty feet—this being the height of the water-shed to the south." Traces of the former existence of this Lake Ohio are found along a distance of about four hundred miles in the valleys of the Ohio, Alleghany, and Monongahela Rivers and their tributaries. At the present time the abundant lakes, and the waterfalls on streams, throughout the glaciated area, so remarkably contrasted with their general absence farther south, are due to irregularities in the deposition of the drift and to its obstructions of the preglacial drainage.
A chapter is devoted to the flight of plants and animals during the Glacial period, species from far north having been driven southward by the severe climate and accumulating ice, as is sown by remnants of a flora and fauna like those of the arctic regions, which have managed to continue their existence since the Ice age on the tops of mountains in temperate latitudes. Many peculiarities in the distribution of forest trees, made known by the researches of the late Prof. Asa Gray, also find their only adequate explanation in these vicissitudes of climate.
Northwestern Europe was covered by an ice-sheet about half as extensive as that of our own continent, and the author gives on a single map a comparative view of the glaciated areas of both. Another map shows the course of the terminal moraines recently traced by Lewis in Ireland, Wales, and England, and by Salisbury in Germany, each of whom had much previous experience from work on glacial geology in the United States.
Treating of the cause and date of the Glacial period, Prof. Wright rejects the astronomic theory of Croll and Geikie, which attributes the severe climate to conditions dependent on the eccentricity of the earth's orbit between two hundred and forty thousand and eighty thousand years ago. Instead of this, the post-glacial erosion of the gorge below the Falls of Niagara and of that extending eight miles on the Mississippi from Fort Snelling to the Falls of St. Anthony at Minneapolis, similar erosion by streams tributary to Lake Erie, changes in the shores and deposits of dune sand about Lake Michigan, and other observations, afford much shorter measures of the time since the departure of the ice-sheet, agreeing in their testimony that it was no longer ago than seven to ten thousand years. Prof. Wright is also disposed to doubt that there have been two distinct Glacial epochs in America, and believes that the facts thus far obtained are capable of explanation on the theory of but one epoch, with the natural oscillations accompanying the retreat of so vast an ice front.
The last two chapters review the evidences of man's presence in America and Europe during the Glacial period, specially describing the important discoveries of paleolithic implements in glacial gravel deposits near Trenton, N. J., by Abbott; near Claymont, Del., by Cresson; in the Little Miami Valley, Ohio, by Metz; and at Little Falls, Minn., by Miss Babbitt. But doubts remain concerning the authenticity of the famous Calaveras skull and stone implements denoting a higher state of development than that of palæolithic man, reported as occurring in the lava-covered gold-bearing gravels of California, which, if obtained there in the undisturbed gravel, would give to our race a considerably greater antiquity than is otherwise known.
In the appendix Mr. Upham contributes "an explanation of the causes of the Glacial period, which, in this application of its fundamental principle, seems to be new, while in its secondary elements it combines many of the features of the explanations proposed by Lyell and Dana and by Croll. Briefly stated, the condition and relation of the earth's crust and interior appear to be such that they produce, in connection with contraction of the earth's mass, depressions and uplifts of extensive areas, some of which have been raised to heights where their precipitation of moisture throughout the year was almost wholly snow, gradually forming thick ice-sheets; but under the heavy load of ice subsidence ensued, with correlative uplift of other portions of the earth's crust; so that glacial conditions may have prevailed alternately in the northern and southern hemispheres, or in North America and Europe, and may have been repeated after warm interglacial epochs." Mr. Upham believes that the earth's crust floats in a condition of hydrostatic equilibrium upon the heavier liquid or viscous mobile interior, or layer enveloping the interior, subject, however, to strains and resulting deformation because of the earth's contraction. But such oscillations seem not inconsistent with the doctrine that the earth's interior is solid, with a degree of mobility like that of ice in glaciers. Whether the formation of the Himalayan mountain range has been contemporaneous and correlative with the Glacial period, and the Appalachian uplift with the Carboniferous and Permian glaciation of portions of the Eastern hemisphere, as is here suggested, must probably require many future years of observation and study to determine.
All who have read the earlier work of Prof. Geikie, or listened to Prof. Wright's lectures on this subject before the Lowell Institute in Boston, and the Peabody Institute in Baltimore, will welcome this elegantly printed volume as the most elaborate and complete presentation of this marvelous geologic period. The broad and critical knowledge which the authors have gained through long field-work, the admirable literary style with which the complex facts are grouped and explained, the abundant illustrations by engravings and maps, and the copious index making the volume a convenient manual, will be sure to incite many to observe for themselves the records of the Ice age in the vicinity of their own homes.
The Fisheries and Fishery Industries of the United States. By George Brown Goode and a Staff of Assistants. Sections III, IV, and V. Washington: Government Printing-Office. Four Vols. Pp. 176, 178, 808, 887, with Plates and Charts.
This great work is designed to give a complete survey of all that relates to our fisheries, and includes in its portly volumes a vast amount of information on every branch of the subject. This information is presented, moreover, in a way to attract readers, notwithstanding its discouraging voluminousness, and invite them to keep on. The first part of the present installment, Section III, is devoted to a description of the "Fishing Grounds of North America," and is edited by Richard Rathbun. The term "fishing-grounds" is defined to apply to "those areas of the sea-bottom which are known to be the feeding or spawning grounds of one or more species of edible fishes, and which afford fisheries of greater or less extent." The most important of our fishing-grounds are located off the eastern coast of North America, between Nantucket and Labrador; the most distant fields lying in Davis Strait off the coast of Greenland. These, with the other fields of the eastern coast down to Mexico, are described, under thirteen local or special headings, by Joseph W. Collins and Mr. Rathbun; the sea fishing-grounds of the Pacific States coast, by President Jordan; those of Alaska, with their resources, by Tarleton H. Bean; those of the Great Lakes, by Ludwig Kumlien and Frederick W. True. In addition, President Jordan furnishes a discussion of the "Geographical Distribution of Food-Fishes in the Several Hydrographic Basins of the United States." The text is supplemented by thirty-two "ocean temperature charts." Section IV comprises an account of "The Fishermen of the United States," by Prof. Goode and Mr. Collins, including the classification of their nationalities, their distribution, delineations of their mode of living, character, habits at work, intelligence, tastes, and other qualities. A feature of special interest is the section on the part played by "fishermen as investigators." In Section V, the "History and Methods of the Fisheries" are related in two very large volumes. The review of this part tends to take the form of an enumeration rather than an analysis. Nineteen authors are represented in the different papers. The accounts cover the history of the several fisheries described; their beginning, growth, or decay, and present condition; the methods pursued at the different grounds where each fishery is prosecuted; processes of preparation for the market; applications of the fish; statistics of returns and value; inquiry into the agencies which have affected the prosperity or existence of the fishing stations as such; and a variety of such other information as may help to a clear and comprehensive view of the condition and prospects of fishing enterprise. The first volume relates to food-fishes; the second to marine mammals, reptiles, and invertebrates which are used for food or other economical purposes. The special subjects are the halibut, cod, haddock, hake, mackerel, menhaden, herring and "sardine," Spanish mackerel, millet, red snapper, salmon, whale, blackfish and porpoise. Pacific walrus, seal and sea-otter, turtle and terrapin, oyster, scallop, clam, mussel and abalone, crab, lobster, crayfish, rock lobster, shrimp and prawn, leech and trepang, and sponge fisheries, industries, and trades; with special chapters on "The Shore Fisheries of Southern Delaware," the "Havana Market Fishery of Key West," "The Pound-net Fisheries of the United States," and "The Fisheries of the Great Lakes." In nearly every chapter may be found illustrations on the depreciation or destruction of fish-beds once extremely valuable and prolific, of the manner in which we have allowed great resources to go to waste through the reckless prosecution of speculative enterprises. One volume of the series is an atlas of two hundred and fifty-five plates.
A Treatise on Co-operative Savings and Loan Associations. By Seymour Dexter. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 299.
The author has aimed, in preparing this treatise, to furnish information concerning the class of associations described in the title, in a form in which it shall be accessible to all desiring it; to explain clearly the principles on which the typical association is founded; to describe variations from the type; to furnish a complete and safe guide to persons wishing to engage in such associations; to correct certain false notions concerning some matters of financial management in them; and to publish the best statutes of the several States concerning them, recommending particularly the New York act of 1887 and the laws of Massachusetts. While co-operation has existed under various forms and for many purposes, the efforts in the special shape considered in this book have been more uniformly successful than in any other. The associations formed for the purpose have had various names—building and loan associations, building associations, mutual savings and loan associations, homestead aid associations or co-operative banks. The name given them by Mr. Dexter includes all the others, and is believed to describe them more accurately than any other name. The benefits derived from them are all included under the general description that they encourage savings. This they do by affording a safe place of deposit, convenient, but out of the reach of pressing temptations to spend; that the ultimate object of the saving, to provide a home, is made practicable through them; that through them an opening is offered for the investment of small sums that might otherwise be frittered away; and that they afford convenient facilities to their members wishing to negotiate loans. A chapter is devoted to the delineation of the typical association; another chapter to a sketch of the growth and spread of the organizations and accounts of their conditions in the several States—which is imperfect as a history because it has been impossible as yet to get full information on the subject. The development of the scheme on which the associations are conducted is reviewed, with the modifications it has undergone, and "the best scheme" is determined; and this review is followed by directions for the organization of an association under the New York act of 1887, and also under that of 1851, and by instructions in the keeping of the association's accounts—this being, in fact, the exposition of a particular system of bookkeeping. In the appendix: are given the laws of New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Ohio respecting the associations, and forms for a constitution and the papers required in the transaction of their business. The book supplies satisfactory information on a subject in which there is wide-spread interest, and answers well to the familiar description that it responds to a want of the times.
Annual Report of the Geological Survey of Arkansas for 1888. Vol. I. By John C. Branner, State Geologist. Little Rock: Press Printing Company.
Operations under the present survey were begun in 1887. When the first report was made, they had been carried on for so short a time that only a meager statement could be published; hence the result of most of the work that has been done from the beginning will be given in the four volumes of the current report. The present volume, after a brief general account of the work done during the year, is occupied with the report of Dr. T. B. Comstock, assistant geologist, upon his preliminary examination of the mineral resources of the western central part of Arkansas, with especial reference to the production of the precious metals. The second volume will give the results of the combined work of the United States Geological Survey, and the Geological Survey of Arkansas, upon the Mesozoic geology of the State. The third volume will relate to the coal regions; and the fourth volume will contain miscellaneous and local reports. Dr. Comstock's work, as described in the present volume, relates to Pulaski, Saline, Hot Spring, Garland, Montgomery, Polk, and Scott Counties, and parts of Yell, Pike, Howard, Sevier, and Franklin Counties. The observations recorded were made in 1887 and 1888 in all the important places in the State where mining or prospecting for gold and silver were or had been carried on, and were also directed to a certain extent to the occurrence of the baser metals. After describing the surface geology and the mines of the counties named with considerable fullness, the author summarizes his conclusions that there is but little reason to believe that any workable deposits of gold occur in the State. The promise is better, though not brilliant, for silver; and much of the profit to arise in the working of the silver ores is likely to ensue from the presence of other metals, chiefly lead and zinc, with which the silver ores are closely linked. Other metals looked for were copper, which does not probably exist in deposits that can be profitably worked; tin, of which there is one slight indication; nickel and cobalt, of which one "claim" is mentioned that "deserves development"; manganese, which exists in considerable amount; iron, in ores the quantity and quality of which do not appear to have been definitely determined; and miscellaneous products, such as graphite, silica powder, pyrites, and mineral paints. A list of the minerals of western central Arkansas, and a chapter on the location of mining claims, complete the volume.
A Handbook of Cryptogamic Botany. By Alfred W. Bennett, F. L. S., and George Murray, F. L. S. London and New York: Longmans, Green & Co. Pp. 473. Price, $5.
This work fills an important gap in our botanical literature, for, while we have, on the one hand, numerous elaborate monographs dealing with special families or groups of cryptogams, and, on the other, our general treatises on botany give a sketch of the cryptogamic series, there is no book in the English language devoted to presenting the main facts of cryptogamic botany as they are known at the present time. The first subdivision treated is the vascular cryptogams, including fossil forms, and embracing six classes. In this subdivision and the Muscineæ, the classification adopted by the authors follows generally accepted principles. In the Thallophytes, however, where, on account of less complete knowledge, there is less general agreement, the systems are numerous, and the authors state that in choosing among them they have made an effort to bring together those organizations which are most nearly related to one another. To this end, while they adopt the Protophyta of Sachs as a primary class, they differ from that authority in holding to the older division of the higher Thallophytes into the two great groups of Algæ and Fungi. Besides those already mentioned, the two small groups, Characeæ and Mycetozoa, make up the seven chief subdivisions employed in this work. The language of the treatise is clear and smooth, and the authors have striven toward a simple terminology in their department by using such Anglicized forms of Latin and Greek terms as sporange, archegone, antherid, epiderm, etc. The text is illustrated by nearly four hundred excellent illustrations; lists of the literature of the several groups, classes, or orders are inserted at the appropriate places; and the volume is adequately indexed.
The Tree of Mythology, its Growth and Fruitage: A Study. By Charles De B. Mills. Syracuse, N. Y.: C. W. Bardeen. Pp. 288.
This work, which is declared to be the fruit of a love for the subject, seeks to ascertain something of the origin, nature, and growth of myth, what it primarily was, and what has come of it. The theme can not, in the author's view, be said to have become obsolete, "when the bale-fires are still kindled, as in Scotland and Norway, on each return of the solstice; when the peasant, as in Germany, still fodders wind and flame in deprecatory offering, and hunts on St. John's night the witches from house and stall; when, as in our own country, the superstitious regard for signs, omens, etc., still holds so strongly even in intelligent and comparatively freed minds, and survivals almost innumerable of old mythological beliefs exercise, to this hour, powerful sway over both opinions and conduct." The origin of myths is sought by the author chiefly in the disposition of childhood, "and so the child-mind of humanity," to view every object about it as having conscious life; as endowed, in some strange or vague way, with personality. Combined with this is a propensity to exaggerate, particularly in matters associated with the religious sentiment. Thus the illusions of mythology grew as the original appellative sense of words descriptive of objects in nature was lost, and the anthropomorphism and personification became more and more complete. From this general description and origin the author goes on to account for "myths of explanation," "myths arising from metaphor," "heroic legends," "nursery tales," "proverbs, folk-lore," etc., "survivals and reminiscences," "shadow and signification," "didactic and ethical myths," and "symbolism." Finally, he forecasts an "excelsior" for the human mind, when it shall grow beyond "anthropomorphism in reference to Deity?"
The book prepared by Paul Bert as an introduction to his "First Steps in Scientific Knowledge" has been translated and issued in this country, with the title Primer of Scientific Knowledge (Lippincott, 36 cents). The author says of the present volume: "This new work is carried out in the same spirit as the former and follows the same plan. The book is so arranged that the larger work becomes a review and extension of the subject. The method which consists in presenting to the child during two or three consecutive years the same subjects, in the same order, following the same general arrangement, but with an increasing number of facts and a progressive elevation of ideas, is an excellent one and is now universally adopted." The "Primer" is both more elementary and more practical in character than the "First Steps." It treats of man (his organs and their uses), animals, plants, stones, and the three states of matter, with a few paragraphs on light, sound, electricity, and magnetism. Reading lessons and subjects for composition are given at the end of each section. The book is full of pictures and is provided with a glossary. These two books serve admirably to bring the study of nature into the early education of pupils, where it will do them most good.
A very attractive little book, entitled Outlines of Lessons in Botany, is offered by Jane H. Newell, for the use of teachers, or of mothers studying with their children (Ginn). The lessons here outlined are suitable for children of twelve years of age and upward. They follow the plan of Dr. Gray's "First Lessons" and "How Plants Grow," and are intended to be used in connection with either of those books. The necessary references are given at the end of each section. These lessons contain directions for getting plants to work upon by raising them from the seed, etc.; also suggestions for leading the pupils to observe and to experiment for themselves. Part I, now before us, deals with the organs of plants and their functions, taking up in succession roots, buds and branches, stems and leaves, and thus affords a basis for classification, which Part II, on flowers, is to develop. A general description of seedlings precedes the chapters on the special organs, and prefixed to that is a brief account of plants and their uses. Only the flowering plants are studied in these lessons. The book has twenty-five illustrations.
Prof. Wentworth's series of mathematical text-books has been increased by the first volume of a work on Algebraic Analysis, by G. A. Wentworth, J. A. McLellan, and J. C. Glashan (Ginn, $1.60). This work is intended to supply students of mathematics with a well-filled storehouse of solved examples and unsolved exercises in the application of the fundamental theorems and processes of pure algebra, and to exhibit to them the highest and most important results of modern algebraic analysis. It may be used to follow and supplement the ordinary text-books, or as a work of reference in a course of instruction under a teacher. The present volume ends with a large collection of exercises in determinants.
Studies in the Outlying Fields of Psychic Science, by Hudson Tuttle (Holbrook, $1.25), is an attempt to explain those occurrences which have come to be known by the name of psychic phenomena. His theory is, that there is a psychic ether which conveys thought as the luminiferous ether conveys light; that every one's thoughts produce waves in this psychic ether, which may be felt by a person at a distance who has the requisite sensitiveness, and that in this way mesmerism, clairvoyance, mind-reading, visions, thought-transference, etc., are made possible. He regards this theory and these phenomena as furnishing a scientific basis for the belief in immortality. The closing chapter is a record of impressions which the author believes he received from the spirit world. Mr. Tuttle appears to be acquainted with the physiological explanations of hallucination, the influence of the mind upon the bodily functions, and allied phenomena, and he accepts some and rejects others according as they happen to run with or counter to his speculations. Other results of scientific research he treats in the same arbitrary fashion.
The second volume to appear in the four volume history of English literature, which is being published by Macmillan & Co., is A History of Eighteenth Century Literature (1660-1780), by Edmund Gosse, M. A. ($1.75). The first great writer of this period is Dryden, and the other prominent names which come in the scope of the present volume are Pope, Swift, Steele, Addison, Defoe, Richardson, Fielding, Smollett, Johnson, Hume, Goldsmith, and Gibbon, the period ending with Fanny Burney, Junius, and Burke. In regard to the critical opinions expressed in the work the author says: "In every case I have attempted to set forward my own view of the literary character of each figure, founded on personal study. Hence, in a few cases, it may be discovered that the verdicts in this volume differ in some degree from those commonly held. A few names which are habitually found chronicled are here omitted, and still fewer which are new to a general sketch are included. . . . In the final chapter I have stated my theory with regard to the mode in which the philosophical, theological, and political writing of the period should be examined. But I may explain here that it has been my object, while giving a rough sketch of the tenets of each didactic specialist, to leave the discussion of those tenets to critics of the specialist's own profession, and to treat his publications mainly from the point of view of style." The work is provided with an index, and a brief bibliography designed to refer the student to the most accessible text of the chief writers mentioned.
Schiller's Jungfrau von Orleans, edited by Benjamin W. Wells (Heath, 65 cents), has been adapted for the class-room by a copious accompaniment of notes and other information. The text is prefaced by an introduction of fifteen pages dealing with the composition of the drama, editions and manuscripts, meter and rhyme, and the divergence of the play from history, and includes some biographical notes on the historical characters in the drama. The text has a clear, attractive look, although the stage directions and foot-notes are in rather small type for German print, which is trying enough to the eyes even when large. Thirty-eight pages of notes—grammatical and historical—are appended.
Prof. B. Perrin's edition of Homer's Odyssey, Books I-IV (Ginn & Co.'s "College Series of Greek Authors," $1.50), is based on the edition of Karl Friedrich Ameis and C. Hentze, with adaptation to what the editor believes to be the requirements of American college classes. Considerable material has been furnished for the higher criticism of the poem, in which the first four books are of special significance. At the same time, enough assistance of an elementary sort has been provided to enable a good teacher to use the volume in introducing students to the study of Homer. Certain interpretations characteristic of the Ameis-Hentze edition have been retained in the current notes, while the editor expresses in the appendix his preference for other views. On the other hand, he has incorporated in the notes views at variance with those of the German edition. Variations in the manuscript, readings of other editors, and other data appropriate to a text-book of the kind, are given in the appendix.
John Charáxes (John B. Lippincott Company, $1.25) is a tale of the civil war in North America, by Peter Boynton, an author whose identity is left indefinite in a prefatory note by his "literary executor." The plot affords room for considerable variety of situation and incident, and the management is lively. The history of the title character is invested with a degree of mystery which adds to the interest and complexity of the story; and a negro woman from the slave-markets of the South, having decided individuality of character, is introduced with some skill.
The Beginner's Reading-Book, by Eben H. Davis (Lippincott, 42 cents), starts with short sentences, in both script and Roman type; new words are not arranged in columns on the page, nor does the alphabet appear by itself in the book. The "Teacher's edition" contains a chapter on how to teach reading, in which the teacher is advised to exercise the pupils in talking about objects, and in reading from the blackboard, before putting the reader into their hands. Pictures of the objects named accompany most of the lessons, and when long sentences are reached they are broken into short sections at natural pauses, each standing in a line by itself, in order that the pupil's mind may not be required to take in too much at once.
Dr. Mary Putnam Jacobi has published, under the title Physiological Notes on Primary Education and the Study of Language (Putnam, $1), four essays, of which three appeared in "The Popular Science Monthly" for 1885 and 1886, and the fourth in "The Teacher" during 1888. Two of these essays describe "An Experiment in Primary Education," being a record of the method employed in training the intellectual faculties, especially the perception and memory, of a child between the ages of four and six and a half years. The next essay, entitled "The Flower or the Leaf," is a reply to a criticism by Miss E. A. Youmans on the method of teaching a knowledge of plants employed in the afore-mentioned "Experiment." The subject of the paper which concludes the volume is "The Place for the Study of Language in a Curriculum of Education," and embraces a consideration of what special influence language study has upon mental development, what is the age at which this influence should be exerted, and what relative proportion language and other subjects should have in a general curriculum.
One might suppose The Geography of Marriage (Putnam, $1.50) to be a survey of the diversified natural features of the state of matrimony. But, under this title, Mr. William L. Snyder offers a law-book written in such a popular style as to make it, aside from its subject, attractive and useful to the lay reader. In a score of chapters he compares the provisions of the marriage and divorce laws of the States of the Federal Union as to who may marry, what constitutes a valid marriage, clandestine and runaway marriages, bigamy, divorce, and various other features of the subject, taking occasion to point out the evils arising from the differences among these laws in different parts of our country. Of the two ways of securing a uniform law which have been proposed, he favors concerted action by the States rather than a constitutional amendment giving up the control of this matter to Congress. A summary of the marriage and divorce laws existing in this country, arranged by States, concludes the volume. The index, which covers the general part of the book tolerably, is very meager with respect to this summary.
The fifth volume in the series of "English History by Contemporary Writers" tells the story of The Crusade of Richard I, (1189-'92), and the materials were selected and arranged by T. A. Archer (Putnam, 81.25). There is an ample number of accounts of this expedition, some by contemporary writers who were in Palestine when the events narrated occurred; others by contemporaries who remained at home; and still others by writers of the next generation, some of whom had visited the scenes of the crusade. Accounts of the authors and books from which extracts are taken, and notes on various customs and things of the time, are appended to the volume. Pictures of war-engines, fortresses, etc., illustrate the text. The volume lacks an index.
Mr. D. H. Montgomery has made a book which claims to embody The Leading Facts of French History (Ginn, $1.25), and is evidently intended to serve either as a textbook or for general reading. It begins with a reference to the cave-men and the latest event which it records is the election of President Camot. The narrative is popular and picturesque in style, and is enlivened with numerous anecdotes. Many additional bits of information and the pronunciation of all difficult names are supplied in foot-notes. Fourteen maps, mostly in colors, show the changing boundaries of France throughout the history. A list of dates, a genealogical table of French sovereigns, and a list of books on French history, are appended to the volume.
Six Species of North American Fishes, published by the Smithsonian Institution, under the head of "Natural History Illustrations," contains representations of the figures and details of five species of minor fresh-water fishes and the pickerel, as they were prepared under the direction of Profs. Agassiz and Baird, from drawings by A. Sourel, with explanations by President David Starr Jordan. The publication is made "as a memorial of a project undertaken early in the history of American science, by two of the most eminent naturalists this country has ever possessed."
A full and valuable paper on The Cave Fauna of North America is published by Prof. A. S. Packard, from the memoirs of the National Academy of Sciences. It contains descriptions of the caves, with notes on their hydrography, temperature, origin, and geological age; the source of the food supply of their inhabitants; the probable mode of colonization; with lists of the species inhabiting the better-known caves. This general introduction to the subject is followed by more special articles on the vegetable life of the caves; a systematic description of the invertebrate animals found in them; a systematic list of the cave animals of North America; geographical distribution of the cave species; lists of American and European cave animals and of blind non-cavernicolous animals; anatomical studies; a discussion of the origin of the cave species and genera; and a bibliography. To all these are appended twenty-seven plates of illustrations.
The seventh series of the "Johns Hopkins University Studies in Historical and Political Science" is devoted to social science, education, and government. The first number is a sketch, by F. C. Montague, of Arnold Toynbee, a tutor at Oxford, and an earnest and practical advocate of political, economical, and ecclesiastical reform, and of measures for improving the condition of the masses, who died in 1883, in his thirty-first year. Accounts are added of "The Work of Toynbee Hall," which is named after him, and in which the effort is made to further what he had at heart, and of "The Neighborhood Guild in New York"—the former by P. L. Gill, and the latter by the Rev. Charles B. Stover. The second and third numbers present the history of The Establishment of Municipal Government in San Francisco, by Prof. Bernard Moses, of the University of California. The history begins with the foundation of the Spanish pueblo in 1776, and is considered in three "somewhat clearly defined periods": those of Spanish settlement and stagnation; of transition, extending from the conquest to the adoption of the charter of 1850; and the third period, ending with the adoption of the charter of 1851. No. 4 is The Municipal History of New Orleans, by William W. Howe. It begins with the foundation of the town in 1718, and traces the gradual development of the municipal organization and its vicissitudes under the changes of jurisdiction which the Louisiana Territory suffered, with the experiments in charter-making that marked the career of the American city, down to the adoption of the present charter in 1882. To this are added notices of the fire department, Commission of Public Works, and water and gas supply, and accounts of the charitable gifts that have been made to the city, and the voluntary public associations. The sixth and seventh numbers embrace a sketch of English Culture in Virginia, by Prof. William P. Trent, of the University of the South. The paper consists chiefly of a study of the letters of Francis Walker Gilmer, one of the most active of the Virginia gentlemen of the old school for the advancement of education, who was also considerably distinguished in his day for literary achievements—and an account of the English professors obtained by Jefferson for the University of Virginia.
No. XXV of the Economic Tracts of the Society for Political Education (330 Pearl Street, New York) is a pamphlet on Electoral Reform. In it the purposes of those persons who are seeking to withdraw the control of the distribution of ballots from partisan manipulators and lodge it with public officers, and to secure a really secret and independent vote, are explained; the objections to their proposed system are answered; the operation of the Australian system is described; and the text of the Massachusetts ballot-reform act and the New York Saxton bill are given in full. No. XXVI of this series is The Liquor Question in Politics, by George Iles. It deals with the growing and alarming power of the liquor traffic, and with the efforts of various forms to restrain it, gives clear and impartial analyses of the propositions and arguments of the advocates of "regulation" by high license, and of the prohibitionists; and contains summaries according prominence to peculiar features of the more recent antiliquor legislation in several States. Mr. O. J. Smith, 30 Vesey Street, New York, in a pamphlet entitled Is all well with us? assumes that we have not politically degenerated from any standard of our ancestors, but are quite as pure as they; and, admitting the existence and hold of the spoils system, maintains that it is a legitimate and direct fruit of the restrictions imposed in the Constitution of the United States upon freedom and elasticity of legislative action. He believes that, to get rid of it, our form of government must be so modified that the will of the people may find certain and immediate expression in law.
The Teacher's Outlook, edited by W. G. Todd (Des Moines, Iowa), is a monthly magazine, devoted to general literature, science, health, and industrial and national affairs. Its peculiar feature is a semi-coöperative plan of publication, under which teachers are invited to become stockholders under certain easy conditions; when they are enrolled on the list of contributors, and are entitled to send one article each year for publication (if it be found suitable), for which they receive another share of stock.
The American Workman, published for O. M. Dunham by Cassell & Co., is "an illustrated weekly magazine of practice and theory for all workmen, professional and amateur. Its purpose is to furnish articles, with designs, for various kinds of work, particularly such as an amateur might incline to undertake. The half-dozen numbers on our table contain, on their first pages, articles with views and diagrams on "A Cabinet in Fret-cutting," "A Drawing-room Overmantel," "A Cheap, Strong, and Tasteful Method of binding Pamphlets, Music, etc.," "Wood-Carving," "Saw Filing and Setting," "A Summer Fitment for the Fireplace," etc.; and the other pages are occupied with similar matter.
In The Story of William and Lucy Smith, edited by George S. Merriam (Houghton, Mifflin & Co.), are presented the life and thoughts of a literary man whose career was distinguished by creditable work through forty years, but who did not acquire fame. "He was a man of genius and rare fineness of nature; the associate in early years of Mill, Sterling, Maurice, and Lewes," of Samuel Warren, and of Grove, author of "The Correlation of Physical Forces." He became a contributor to "Blackwood's Magazine" in 1839, and was regularly represented in its pages—as literary reviewer, and in essays embodying philosophical thought—till his death in 1871. His contributions were mostly anonymous; no collection of his papers was made; and this book is published to exhibit his best work, in dramatic, critical, and philosophical writings. His best and best-known work was "Thomdale, or the Conflict of Opinions," published in 1857; after it was "Gravenhurst, or Thoughts on Good and Evil," 1862. Lucy Smith was his wife, and his mate in the best sense of the word. The book is divided into three parts, covering Mr. Smith's bachelor life, the joint married life of the couple, and Mrs. Smith's widowhood. It bears the character of a tribute of admiration, as well as of literary analysis, and its interest is literary and psychological.