Popular Science Monthly/Volume 38/January 1891/Literary Notices
Civil Government in the United States considered, with some reference to its Origins. By John Fiske. Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin & Co. Pp. xxx + 360.
If not the most important book that Mr. Fiske has written, this is, without doubt, one of the most useful. The plan of it is good, the spirit of it is good, the execution of it is good. Lucid arrangement seems to come naturally to Mr. Fiske, and to lucidity of arrangement he is always able to add extreme felicity of expression. With this book accessible to him, no American, young or old, can have any excuse for remaining ignorant of the leading facts in connection either with the political development or the existing political structure of his native country. Here we have the story told in the simplest language, and in a style which is not too vivacious to be serious nor too serious to be vivacious. Moreover, by a happy art in selection, Mr. Fiske has told us just what it is most important to understand and remember. His task is one of narrative and exposition; and he is not, therefore, called upon to any great extent for the expression of his individual opinions. Here and there, however, he has found occasion for a judicious comment or a penetrating criticism, with the result of making us feel regret that his limits did not permit more extended remarks of this character.
In the first chapter he deals with government as the taxing power, and broadly states that the taking of taxes for a wrong purpose, as by a political party in order to strengthen its hold on power, is robbery. In his second he sketches the rise of the township, and shows the connection existing between this primary political unit and the church congregation. The important functions exercised by the township authorities are fully described, and justice is done to the politically educative effect of township institutions. Very instructive parallels are drawn between the institutions of the parent state and those established on American soil. Except the development of our written Constitution, every bit of civil government described in his pages came to America, says Mr. Fiske, "directly from England, and not a bit of it from any other country unless by being first filtered through England." Much detailed information is given as to the local circumstances which helped to mold the development of counties and States in different parts of the country. Chapter V, on "The City," is most important. Here, again, our author takes us to the old land, and shows us the development of the Roman camp or military settlement into a burg, and the gradual growth in the burg of principles and traditions of liberty, though in many of them oligarchical tendencies became manifest in course of time, giving rise to the "rotten boroughs" which, on the political side, were dealt with by the Reform Act of 1832, and, on the civic side, by the Municipal Reform Act of 1835. It was the constitution of the English city or borough that determined the constitution of the first city governments established in this country; and here, too, a distinct tendency toward oligarchy, with its attendant evils, began to make itself felt. The city government, instead of being freely elected by the people, was, after the pattern of the English borough, a self-perpetuating corporation with a very limited responsibility to the citizens in general. In course of time this system was abolished; freedom of election for all city officers was established; and then, unfortunately, other evils set in, evils which perhaps reached their height in this city some twenty years ago. The tendency of late years in our cities, as Mr. Fiske points out, has been to concentrate larger powers in the hands of the mayor, and to fasten on him a proportionately heavy responsibility. "A hundred years ago," the author remarks, "our legislators and Constitution — makers were much afraid of what was called the 'one-man power.'" To-day we are getting to be more afraid of the myriad-headed tyrant, with its manager, "the ring." Fifty years ago to have had so few elective officers as, for example, there are in the neighboring city of Brooklyn, and so many nominated by one man, would, we are told, "have greatly shocked all good Americans." To-day we feel that we are safer in the hands of one honest man of good judgment, who knows that the eyes of all the citizens are fixed on him, than in those of any body of elected officers, each with only a partial and more or less doubtful responsibility. Mr. Fiske recalls one fact which should not be lost sight of, and that is the danger the finances of a city are sometimes exposed to, not from the votes of the poorer members of the community, but from the machinations of the richer, who have it in their power to bring the most corrupting influences to bear on city councils, with a view to obtaining grants for improvements quite unnecessary on public grounds, but eminently useful for increasing the value of private properties. Universal suffrage has not been the sole fount of our municipal troubles.
"The purification of our city governments," says Mr. Fiske, "will never be completed until they are entirely divorced from national party politics." This is a view which a leading newspaper in this city loses no opportunity to ridicule, but which we think founded in good sense. The matter does not admit of discussion here, further than to say that this is a subject on which the experience of England can be appealed to. As our author observes, "The degradation of so many English boroughs and cities during the Tudor and Stuart periods was chiefly due to the encroachment of national politics upon municipal politics."
The rise of our Federal Constitution is well and graphically sketched; and in a few words the distinction between the two great political parties is well established. It is pointed out that, whereas the tariff question was formerly debated as a constitutional one, the predecessors of the present Democrats holding that Congress had no power under the Constitution to impose taxes for the purpose of advancing or protecting certain industries, it is now debated on economical grounds alone. The former view of the matter, however, we venture to hold, has not lost its pertinence, and we are not without hope that the citizens of this free republic will yet see that the tariff question is one in which their liberties are at stake. Mr. Fiske, as might be expected, has placed himself clearly on record as a friend and advocate of civil-service reform. Of the historic declaration that "to the victors belong the spoils," he observes that "the man who said this (W. L. Marcy) did not realize that he was making one of the most shameful remarks recorded in history."
There are appended to the volume some valuable and interesting historical documents, such as Magna Charta, the Constitution of the United States, with its amendments, etc. At the end of each chapter is a set of well chosen questions, adding not a little to the value of the book for educational purposes. Mr. Fiske has produced a work which can not fail to be widely read, and which will do much to develop a spirit of intelligent and high-minded American citizenship.
Wild Beasts and their Ways. By Sir Samuel W. Baker, F. R. S., etc. London and Kew York: Macmillan & Co. Pp. 455. Price, $3.50.
Sir Samuel Baker's last book of hunting adventures is a model of its class. Its accounts of hunts are spirited and fascinating, being neither too much nor too little detailed. Moreover, it is not made up solely of the circumstances of killing certain animals in specified places. It gives, in addition, the results of a vast deal of highly intelligent observation in regard to the nature and habits of the creatures that have fallen to the rifle of this humane and cultivated sportsman, as well as of the domesticated animals—horse, dog, elephant, and camel—which he employed in different expeditions. Many incidents of an amusing nature are included, the telling of which affords play for the delightful wit of the author. The greater part of the volume is devoted to large game—the tiger, leopard, lion, bear, hippopotamus, crocodile, buffalo, bison, and rhinoceros. Other animals included are the boar, hyena, giraffe, and various species of the deer family. The opening chapter deals with the development of the rifle during the past half-century, embodying Sir Samuel's reasons for preferring the sorts of arms and ammunition that he has used for different game. Following this are three chapters devoted to the elephant and his ways when tamed, including his behavior when employed for hunting tigers, etc. In all parts of the book appear traits of the animals described which will be new to many even who are well read in zoology. It appears that the elephant, who is generally thought of as a slow and lumbering, bulky body, can kick with extreme quickness and naturally with great force. "This is a peculiar action," says our author. "As the elephant is devoid of hocks, and it uses the knees of the hind legs in a similar manner to those of a human being, therefore a backward kick would seem unnatural; but the elephant can kick both backward and forward with equal dexterity, and this constitutes a special means of defense against an enemy, which seldom escapes when exposed to such a game between the fore and hind feet of the infuriated animal." In Sir Samuel's opinion, the intelligence of the elephant has been overrated. It has a wonderful power of learning, and hence can be taught to perform a great many acts on command, but it will never volunteer any service for its master. "There is no elephant that I ever saw," he says, "who would spontaneously interfere to save his master from drowning or attack. An enemy might assassinate you at the feet of your favorite elephant, but he would never attempt to interfere in your defense; he would probably run away, or remain impassive, unless guided and instructed by his mahout" Sir Samuel has evidently been fond of tiger hunting, for he recounts many exciting ad-, ventures with this dangerous game, the incidents of which make up a very full picture of tiger character. He has also hunted the lion, though evidently with less interest, as he says that he does "not consider the lion to be so formidable or ferocious as the tiger." Bears he has hunted in Ceylon and in Wyoming. He apologizes for admitting the crocodile, which he numbers among "vermin," to a place with the other animals that he describes. But he makes a very interesting chapter about them, in which he states that he has slaughtered a vast number of these reptiles in revenge for their killing his men. "On one occasion," he says, "I killed a crocodile which, although not longer than twelve feet three inches, was very thick in the body; this was proved to be a malefactor by the testimony of two bracelets and a necklace, belonging to a missing girl, which we found within its stomach." Sir Samuel's chapters on deer hunting take us through Scotland, India, Ceylon, and the Rocky Mountains, and are full of interest, though without the dangerous situations included in the earlier chapters. Besides the ways of wild beasts, something may be learned from this book of the ways of the human inhabitants of the countries in which the author has hunted. Judging, however, from the speeches he puts into the mouths of American hunters, he does not attempt to report conversations verbatim. In conclusion, some observations are given in regard to animals that have not been objects of his pursuit—monkeys, bats, wild asses, and camels. A number of appropriate fullpage illustrations embellish the volume.
Prehistoric America. By the Marquis de Nadaillac. Translated by N. D'Anvers. Edited by W. If. Dall. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. Pp. 566. Price, $2.25.
The Veto Power. By Edward C. Mason. Harvard Historical Monographs, No. 1. Edited by Albert B. Hart. Boston: Ginn & Co. Pp. 232. Price, $1.
The first number of what promises to be a valuable series of publications has been issued by Harvard University. It gives the history of presidential vetoes in the United States from 1789 to 1889. This record is introduced by an account of the origin in English and colonial precedent of that particular form of the veto power which is found in the United States. Different classes of vetoes are discussed in successive chapters, namely, those affecting the form of government, those affecting the distribution of the powers of government, and those affecting the exercise of these powers. A chapter is added on the constitutional points which have arisen concerning the operation of the veto power, and another on the development of this function during the completed century of our national history. Appendix A is a chronological list of all bills vetoed from April 6, 1789, to March 4, 18S9, with dates and references to the journals of Congress containing the legislative histories of the bills. Five other appendixes contain similar lists and tables. The editor states that both the author and he have endeavored to make this work free from political bias, and that "the vetoes are condemned or approved upon what seem to us sound principles of constitutional law and political expediency, irrespective of the attitude of present parties."
International Journal of Ethics. Vol. I, No. 1; October, 1890. Issued quarterly. Philadelphia, 1602 Chestnut Street. Price, $2 yearly; single number, 50 cents.
We are confident that the world will profit from the founding of this magazine. It is designed to do work which must greatly aid the elevation of human character and the increase of human happiness. It is the successor of The Ethical Record, and it is more than this. The announcement states that the Journal will be devoted to the advancement of ethical knowledge and practice, and that it will not be the organ of any society or sect or of any particular set of opinions. The word International in its name is justified by the composition of its editorial committee, which consists of Felix Adler, Ph. D., New York; Stanton Coit, Ph. D., London; Prof. G. von Gizycki, Berlin; Prof. Fr. Jodl, Prague; J. S. Mackenzie, M. A., Manchester; J. H. Muirhead, M. A., London; and Prof. Josiah Royce, of Harvard University. The list of contributors already engaged has a still wider range. Seven body articles and a department of book reviews make up the contents of the first number. The opening article is on The Morality of Strife, by Prof. Henry Sidgwick, of Cambridge University, referring especially to wars. It has been said that the spread of altruism would bring wars between states to an end. Prof. Sidgwick maintains that little improvement would be secured until the predominance of good-will was complete; for, so long as any were wronged, those persons dominated by altruism would still be eager to fight, albeit in behalf of others and not for themselves. To the proposition that strife can generally be prevented by competent arbitration, Prof. Sidgwick objects that this "external" mode of solution can not be applied to all cases, and he thinks it inevitable that, "at least for a long time to come, every nation in the most important matters must to an important extent be judge in its own cause." Therefore "we must endeavor to be just judges." Prof. Felix Adler contributes an article on The Freedom of Ethical Fellowship, in which he states that it is the aim of the Ethical Societies "to unite men of diverse opinions and beliefs in the common endeavor to explore the field of duty," and "to embody the new insight in manners and institutions." Prof. Adler says further: "Ethics is both a science and an art. As a science its business is to explain the facts of the moral life. In order, therefore, to improve it as a science it is necessary, before all, to fix attention on the facts, to collect them, to bring them into view, especially the more recondite among them. It is necessary to effect in the treatment of the subject a revolution analogous to that which has taken place in the natural sciences, namely, instead of beginning with theories and descending to facts, to begin with the facts and to test theories by their fitness to account for the facts." The Popular Science Monthly has always held that there can be no substantial and lasting morality without a basis in inductive science. We maintained this at a time when the doctrine had few avowed friends and many active enemies. We are exceedingly gratified that now a dignified and ably edited magazine has been established in which this idea can have free and full expression. Among the other articles in this number of the Journal is The Law of Relativity in Ethics, in which the author, Prof. Harald Höffding, of Copenhagen University, maintains that "in an ideal state only that would be demanded of each individual which lay within his range and power." Prof. J. B. Clark, of Smith College, has a paper on The Ethics of Land Tenure, in defense of private ownership in land. Bernard Bosanquet writes on The Communication of Moral Ideas as a Function of an Ethical Society. Dr. Abbot's "Way out of Agnosticism" is criticised by Prof. Royce very fully and freely. As to this author's mode of thinking, Prof. Royce says, "Dr. Abbot's way is not careful, is not novel, and, when thus set forth to the people as new and bold and American, it is likely to do precisely as much harm to careful inquiry as it gets influence over immature or imperfectly trained minds." A brief paper on A Service of Ethics to Philosophy, by William M. Salter, of Chicago, suggests that "ethics not only enlarges our philosophy by opening to our view higher heights or deeper depths than Science is aware of, but it gives us something ultimate in philosophy, ideas that may be fairly classed as ultimate truths." The Journal's book reviews are all signed.
Emblematic Mounds and Animal Effigies By Stephen D. Peet. Chicago: American Antiquarian Office. Pp 350. Price, $3.50.
This book is the second volume of a series to which the author has given the name of Nadaillac's work—Prehistoric America. It is devoted to describing those mounds of various shapes in our Western States which it is thought were intended to represent the forms of certain animals. The author has aimed to describe all the effigy mounds in the country; hence the volume, which is based on his own explorations in Wisconsin, Iowa, and Ohio, includes also the results gathered by other explorers in the same States and in Dakota, Georgia, and Florida. The descriptions are illustrated with two hundred and thirty-seven cuts, besides numerous plates, comprising plans of mounds, maps of the localities in which they have been found, and drawings of articles of aboriginal workmanship. The figures of mounds are generally silhouettes. The author gives the following as the points that he has sought to bring out by his explorations and descriptions: "1. The effigies were undoubtedly imitations of the wild animals which were once common in the region, but they are at the same time totemic in their character and may be supposed to represent many things in the clan life of the people. 2. The effigies are interesting as works of art, but, at the same time, they were evidently used for practical purposes, such as screens for hunters, guards for villages, foundations for houses, heaps on which sentinels were stationed. 3. There are some remarkable features embodied in the effigies which render them especially interesting, since they reveal certain strange superstitions and customs which are rarely found, but which are suggestive of the religious system prevalent in prehistoric times. 4. The question, Who built the effigies? is treated briefly, but is left undecided." The successive chapters deal with special divisions of the subject, such as the animals represented by the effigies, religious character of the emblematic mounds, the location of the effigies as related to the topography, etc. The author is editor of The American Antiquarian.
Sugar Analysis. By Ferdinand G. Wiechmann, Ph. D. New Fork: John Wiley & Sons. Pp. 187. Price, $2.50.
This work is designed to be an authority for use in refineries, sugar-houses, experimental stations, schools of technology, etc. Within the past few years numerous new methods and modifications in old methods of sugar analysis have been brought forward, and many researches of importance to the chemistry of sugar have been accomplished. This material is scattered through so many publications, some of them being foreign journals not readily accessible, that it can be of use to the majority of American students and practicing chemists only when the best of it is selected and embodied in a manual like the present one. The schemes of analysis here presented embrace those which, "after careful investigation, and, in many cases, after prolonged trial in practice, have seemed to the writer best adapted to the requirements of a technical laboratory." Dr. Wiechmann has avoided many repetitions by giving the methods of determining each constituent of saccharine substances once for all, and adding such suggestions as special cases call for, instead of giving a complete scheme of analysis for each product of the sugar manufacture. The opening chapters contain directions for the use of polariscopes, hydrometers, and other instruments and apparatus, for the verification of hydrometers, balances, and graduated vessels, and for the sampling of sugars and molasses. The methods for optical and chemical analysis follow, and in conclusion there are given notes on reporting sugar analyses, methods of calculating rendement, lists of synonyms in English, French, and German, and references to the literature of sugar analysis. Nineteen tables required in the various operations detailed are appended to the volume. These have been selected by Dr. Wiechmann with great care, and, to secure uniformity of basis, several have been calculated expressly for this volume.
Proceedings of the Boston Society of Natural History. Vol. 24, Parts III and IV. Boston. Pp. 257-597.
These parts conclude the volume, covering the meetings of the society from May, 1889, to April, 1890, inclusive. Among the more extended papers in this portion of the volume is Mr. August F. Foerste's Notes on Clinton Group Fossils, illustrated with nine plates, and containing descriptions of a large number of species. Prof. Alpheus S. Packard contributes a paper on The Life History of Drepana arcuata, and another, occupying sixty-seven pages, entitled Hints on the Evolution of the Bristles, Spines, and Tubercles of Certain Caterpillars, apparently resulting from a Change from Low Feeding to Arboreal Habits, illustrated by the Life Histories of some Notodontians. The latter is accompanied by two plates, and by figures in the text. Messrs. W. M. Davis and J. W. Wood, Jr., publish an account of The Geographic Development of Northern New Jersey, illustrated with fourteen diagrams and small maps. The scope of the investigation embraces a description of the probable course of development of the present geographical features of the highlands in New Jersey, a similar account of the formation of the central plain of the State and the highland valleys, and a discussion of the deformation of the central plain indicated by the present course of the Millstone River. Other papers are by Prof. G. F. Wright, on The Climatic Condition of the Glacial Period; by Mr. Frederick Tuckerman, on The Gustatory Organs of the Mammalia; and by Mr. Samuel H. Scudder, on The Physiognomy of the American Tertiary Hemiptera.
Among the Moths and Butterflies. By Julia P. Ballard. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. Pp. 237. Price, $1.50.
This book is a revised and enlarged edition of Insect Lives; or, Born in Prison, and is devoted to the natural history of the insects named in the title. It is written for children, but the author does not take the trouble to express herself uniformly in words with which children are familiar. The two following passages illustrate the different styles of language that are mingled throughout the volume. The first chapter opens thus: "I am only a day old! I wonder if every butterfly comes into the world to find such queer things about Mm? I was born in prison. I can see right through my walls; but I can't find any door." Simple enough for any child to understand; and the following sentence from the top of page 35 contrasts strangely with it: "No philosopher ever showed more patience and dignity under repeated trials at the hands of a photographer than he displayed in the hands of his persecutors, with no knowledge of the cause to stimulate his vanity and inspire his courage." This is not an isolated case. Nearly every page bristles with polysyllables, very few of which can be excused by the plea that they are needed to secure scientifically accurate description. We fear that the children who may be condemned to see nature under the guidance of Mrs. Ballard will get a much obstructed view of it. The volume is handsomely printed and liberally illustrated. We have received in pamphlet form Prof. Lester F. Ward's article on Genius and Woman's Intuition, published in the Forum. It is a reply to an article on Woman's Intuition, by Mr. Grant Allen, who, Prof. Ward says, entirely mistakes the nature of this faculty. It is defined by Prof. Ward as a power of instantaneous accurate judgment in matters that affect the safety of the woman or her children. Out of its own field this instantaneous judgment fails to be accurate, which is the reason why men are unwilling to trust the conclusions of women on the broader questions of society and the state. Prof. Ward maintains, also, that Mr. Allen errs in identifying genius with the intuition of woman, and speaks of the former as essentially a creative faculty, which man as a rule possesses to a greater degree than woman.
The Journal of Morphology (Ginn) opens its fourth volume with a number containing five papers. These are The Origin of the Cerebral Cortex and the Homologies of the Optic Lobe Layers in the Lower Vertebrates, by Isaac Nakagawa; The Skeletal Anatomy of Amphiuma during its Earlier Stages, by 0. P. Hay; The Segmentation of the Primitive Vertebrate Brain, by Charles F. W. McClure; and two by Mr. W. H. Howell, one being on The Life History of the Formed Elements of the Blood, especially the Red Blood Corpuscles, the other being occupied with Observations upon the Occurrence, Structure, and Function of the Giant Cells of the Marrow. Three folded plates accompany the issue.
Bulletin No. 63 of The Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station is a pamphlet on Greenhouse Building and Heating, by L. R. Taft. "The greatest defects in the ordinary forcing house," Mr. Taft says, "are, that there is generally too much wood in the roof in the shape of rafters and sashbars, and that sufficient care is not taken to so erect them that they will not rot down, or the walls, if of brick or of masonry, be broken apart or thrown down by frost." He discusses the material for walls, the arrangement of sash bars and supports, methods of glazing, ventilating apparatus, steam and hot-water heating, etc.
The Second Annual Report of the Storrs School Agricultural Experiment Station, at Storrs, Conn., contains the following papers: The Acquisition of Atmospheric Nitrogen by Plants, by W. O. Atwater and C. D. Woods; Bacteria in Milk, Cream, and Butter, by H. W. Conn; Stubble and Roots of Plants as Manure, by Charles D. Woods; Meteorological Observations, by C. S. Phelps; Co-operative Field Experiments with Fertilizers, by C. S. Phelps; and Effects of Different Fertilizers upon the Composition of Corn, by Charles D. Woods.
The papers contributed to the Second Annual Report of the Experiment Station, at the Kansas Agricultural College, by the Botanical Department of the station, comprise a Report on the Loose Smuts of Cereals; an account of Experiments in Crossing Varieties of Corn; Observations on Crossed Corn the Second Year; and Brief Notes of a Preliminary Study of the Receptivity of Corn Silk. Nine plates illustrate the smuts and their natural enemies, and two are devoted to the crossed corn.
A Chart Relative to the Composition, Digestibility, and Nutritive Value of Food has been prepared by Prof. Henry A. Mott (Wiley, $1.25). It contains a large number of tables of the nature indicated by the title, the authority for each and the name of the publication from which the table is taken being given. A few general comments on the digestibility of foods are given in a foot-note.
The first number of a magazine whose purpose is indicated by its name—Physical Culture—has been issued in New York. Its editor is Archibald Cuthbertson, who says that his magazine will endeavor to avoid publishing articles simply because subscribed by a prominent name. "Physical Culture will stand or fall, not by or for lack of certain names appended to its articles, but by the quality of these attributed to them by intelligent people." Accordingly, except the opening article, "by the editor," none of the papers in this issue are signed at all, and certain marks indicate that they are mostly the product of one pen, The number contains a biographical sketch of James Douglas Andrews, illustrated with a full-page portrait of Prof. Andrews, and a view of the interior of the Brooklyn Young Men's Christian Association Gymnasium. Other articles take up The Checkley System, Jenness Miller and her Work, Color and Calisthenics, Prohibition, etc. The price is $2 a year.
Prof. Robert T. Hill contributes to the First Annual Report of the Geological Survey of Texas A Brief Description of the Cretaceous Rocks of Texas, and their Economic Value. The areas covered by these rocks comprise the tracts known as the Black Prairie, the Grand Prairie, the two Cross Timbers, and certain smaller regions. These form a broad belt of fertile country across the heart of the State, in which lie the principal inland cities of Texas. Prof. Hill's paper describes and locates the several deposits of chalky sands, chalky clays, and chalky limestones which make up the surface formations of this territory. The author gives also a table in which the arrangement of the rock sheets is summarized, and describes the main disturbances of the strata, illustrating them with a diagram. The several economic features of the Cretaceous system are touched upon by themselves, and the investigations in regard to them which the geologists of the survey hope to make are alluded to.
We have received an address by Colonel George E. Waring, Jr., on The Sewerage of Columbus, Ohio, which, although largely local in application, contains also the latest views of this well-known sanitary engineer on the general subject of sewerage. An interesting discussion that followed the delivery of the address is printed with it, and brings out a number of points more fully and clearly than is usually done in continuous treatises.
The Wagner Free Institute of Science of Philadelphia devotes the third volume of its Transactions to Contributions to the Tertiary Fauna of Florida, by William H. Dall. Part I of Mr. Dall's contributions—on Pulmonate, Opisthobranchiate, and Orthodont Gastropods—occupies the whole of the volume. The text is accompanied by twelve fine plates, each containing from ten to twenty figures.
The New England Meteorological Society has issued a volume of Investigations for the Year 1889, prepared under the supervision of its new director, Prof. W. M. Davis. In addition to the tabulated reports of observers, and the review of the year's weather, which the society publishes yearly, this volume contains several papers on special topics. The most extended of these is an Investigation of the Sea-breeze, conducted by W. M. Davis, L. G. Schultz, and R. De C. Ward, with the aid of observers at over one hundred stations. There is also a short paper on Characteristics of New England Climate, by Prof. Winslow Upton.
Among the reprints which have come to us is an essay on Tornadoes, by A. McAdie, which won the second prize in a recent competition, and was published in The American Meteorological Journal. It is a technical discussion of the nature of tornadoes and the practicability of predicting them. The author believes that a careful study of the secondary whirlings in the atmosphere would reveal the causes of the seeming irregularities of the primary whirlings, and make possible not only the prediction of tornadoes, but also greater success in foretelling general weather conditions.
William L. Green issues from Honolulu a pamphlet under the title Notice of Prof. James B. Dana's "Characteristics of Volcanoes," in which he criticises certain statements in Prof. Dana's work that differ from his own views and observations, as published in his Vestiges of the Molten Globe.
The president's address at the thirteenth annual meeting of the American Bar Association, delivered by Henry Hitchcock; LL. D., has been printed from the Proceedings of the Association, with the title A Year's legislation. As prescribed it reviews "the most noteworthy changes in the statute law on points of general interest made in the several States and by Congress during the preceding year." The national legislation includes the Administrative Customs bill, the Dependent Pensions act, the Silver bill, and acts in relation to the World's Fair, the admission of six new States into the Union, desertions from the army, an inland quarantine, trusts, the original-package decision, and bridging the Hudson at New York. Mr. Hitchcock expresses regret that no bill had yet been passed for the relief of the Supreme and other courts of the United States. Statutes had been passed by the Legislatures of twenty-one States and Territories during the year which he covers, and he groups those that he mentions under the heads of education and charity, protection of women and children, public safety and morals, labor and trade, legal procedure, development of natural resources, and the machinery of government. Mr. Hitchcock also glances at the Constitutions of the new Northwestern States, and calls attention to both these and the statutes above mentioned as reflecting the life and convictions of the respective communities by which they have been made.
The Ethical Societies welcome to membership all who desire to learn and practice right conduct, without requiring them to accept any particular theory. In fact, the societies as organizations do not teach a definite philosophical system, and take pains not to commit themselves to the views of their own individual lecturers. In the opinion of Dr. Paul Carus, they are too colorless in this respect; he thinks they should make an active search for a basis of ethics, and he has published, in a volume entitled The Ethical Problem (The Open Court, fifty cents), three lectures embodying his views. He maintains that a system of ethics suited to the present stage of the world must have a basis in facts and in a logical structure. "The facts to be considered in ethics," he says, "are the many and various relations in which man stands to his surroundings. These relations produce the many different motives that prompt men's actions." The function of ethics is to tell us which motives we shall resist and which we shall allow to produce action. Coming to the theories of ethics, Dr. Carus reviews supernaturalism, intuitionalism, utilitarianism, and hedonism, none of which he deems sufficient ground for a system of morality. His own theory is, that man should live not merely to secure happiness for himself, but so as to pass on to posterity a still richer "treasure of human soul-life" than he has himself inherited. But Dr. Carus leaves us still without a criterion for judging what makes human soul-life richer and higher.
Dr. H. Carrington Bolton has collected a considerable quantity of very curious information in a special field of coin-lore which he has published in the American Journal of Numismatics, under the title Contributions of Alchemy to Numismatics. The paper consists of a preliminary sketch of the aims and practices of the alchemists, followed by detailed descriptions of a large number of coins and medals struck in evidence of alleged transmutations of base metals into gold or silver. The circumstances attending the issue of most of these pieces are also given. Three of them are figured in the paper.
A Digest of English and American Literature, prepared by Mr. Alfred H. West, author of Development of English Literature and Language, and published by S. C. Griggs & Co., Chicago, presents a condensed parallel view of history and literature in England and the United States, from the time of the Roman invasion down to the present. It is intended to assist the student to that acquaintance with the characters and leading events among which he wrote which is necessary to the proper comprehension of any of the great writers. That its preparation was suggested by the author's experiences as a teacher is sufficient indication that it is intended practically to meet a real want. The pages facing one another are divided into four columns, in which are presented on one side the events and the characteristics of the period during which the writers flourished, and on the other side the writers by which those periods are distinguished, with brief accounts of their principal writings. The whole forms a connected outline of the successive periods and their literary features.
Mr. W. H. Babcock has made an effort, in The Two Lost Centuries of Britain (J. B. Lippincott Company), to restore in some shape the history of that country during the transition period of the Saxon conquest. The study is an outgrowth, as he expresses it, of an endeavor to see clearly in his own mind, and for his own purposes, a part of the life of the sixth-century Britain. In executing his purpose, incidents and periods were found linked to one another in such a way that each illustrated and was illustrated by another, and called up still others, the light of which was needed; so that the study grew into a kind of history. The author acknowledges that there may be questions as to whether what he writes is history, because he admits and preserves what is probable, but is not provable in a strict sense. But if history be a setting forth of the past as the past really was, he reasons, the aid of inference and analogy can not be excluded. An interesting picture is presented of times of which not much is accurately known, for the composing of which the authorities of the chronicles and poems have been collated.
The chronology of historical events, originally compiled by the late George P. Putnam, and forming a part of his cyclopædia on The World's Progress, has been revised and brought down to the present time by Lynds E. Jones, and is issued in separate form by G. P. Putnam's Sons as Tabular Views of Universal History. The tables are arranged in parallel columns, the headings of which vary according to the b. c., is adopted as a compromise between extremes. The earliest Chaldean date is 2234 b. c., for the earliest astronomical observations; and the first Israelite date is about 1055 b. c., for the accession of Saul.of the succeeding ages, but which usually include a column for each of the leading nations of the time, one for the world elsewhere, often one devoted to ecclesiastical affairs, and always one headed Progress of Society. For ancient Egyptian events, the chronology of Brugsch and Duncker, which puts the erection of the Great Pyramid at about 3700
An excellent Brief History of the Empire State has been prepared for schools and families by Welland Hendrick, and is published by C. W. Bardeen, of Syracuse. The author assumes as one of the reasons why the history of New York deserves to be studied, that the importance of the colony in the making of America has been underrated. That it learned liberty under the Dutch and held to it through a century of English governors; that, handicapped by many disadvantages, it was among the first of the colonies in the war for freedom, and alone of the thirteen met every demand of Congress; and that with its canal it opened the Northwest—entitle it, he thinks, to prominent consideration at least in its own schools. There are also reasons, of a general character, for which he regards the study of State history as profitable.
An Easy Method for Beginners in Latin has been prepared by Prof. Albert Harkness, and is published by the American Book Company, with the intention of introducing the learner to such a practical and working knowledge of the Latin language as will enable him to read Cæsar or Nepos with some degree of pleasure. It approaches the subject on the practical side, introducing the student in the first lesson, without a word of grammar, to the complete Latin sentences, with verb, subject, and object.
The Handbook of Latin Writing of Henry Preble and Charles P. Parker grew, in the first place, out of the necessities of class work at Harvard College. The development of Latin writing there and the fuller experience of the authors have suggested modifications, and a new revised edition has been prepared and is published by Ginn & Co. The essential principle of the first edition is retained, but some of the exercises having proved less useful than they were expected to be, others have been substituted for them. The authors, attributing ill-success in Latin writing largely to the habit of translating the words rather than the thought, have been at pains to insist on fastening attention upon the thought, and have tried to show the learner how to express in Latin form the ideas which he has grasped from the English words.
The American Book Company publishes an edition of the Satires of Juvenal, edited, after several years of careful study, and a comparison of the views of the best critical editors, and annotated, by Thomas B. Lindsay, of Boston University. Thirteen of the sixteen satires are given, and from these such lines are omitted as seemed likely to offend a rational delicacy—a very proper measure for a Juvenal that is to be read in mixed classes. The notes are copious, and the whole work is richly illustrated. The author makes a comparison between Horace and Juvenal as satirists, showing that Horace wrote in a brilliant, hopeful age, and is therefore lively and amusing; while Juvenal, writing in an age of decline, when vices were rife, is contemptuous and bitter.
The short exposition of the Roman method made by Harry Thurston Peck in his handbook on Latin Pronunciation is principally intended for those persons interested in the study of Latin who have accepted the Roman method without acquainting themselves with the arguments on which it is maintained. It has now received the approval of all Latinists of authority in Europe and America, as giving substantially the pronunciation employed by educated Romans of the Augustan age, and has been formally adopted at our leading universities. After presenting the authorities upon which it has been established, Prof. Peck concludes that "it is not too much to claim that the system of pronunciation upon which scholars are now agreed differs less from that of the Romans of the Augustan age than does our modern pronunciation of English differ from that of Shakespeare and his contemporaries." Published by Henry Holt & Co. (sixty cents).
Much pains is taken in the Natural Speller and Word Book (American Book Company) to teach, with the spelling of the words, the proper use of them. The dictation exercises are intended to serve to teach composition and punctuation in addition to spelling. Homonyms are made to serve for memory exercises as well as for spelling, while by introducing the best thoughts of the best authors they become really elementary lessons in literature. Synonyms are introduced to teach discrimination in the use of words, and lessons in etymology to teach the meaning of the common stem in words of like derivation. Important points to be noted in pronunciation are indicated by typographical devices.