Popular Science Monthly/Volume 43/August 1893/Literary Notices
The Principles of Ethics. By Herbert Spencer. Vol. II. New York: D. Appleton & Co.
Of the three portions into which Mr. Spencer's new volume is divided, the first was published separately two years ago, under the title of Justice, and dealt with those things which human beings may claim as rights. The two latter portions now appear for the first time, and deal respectively with Negative Beneficence and Positive Beneficence. Mr. Spencer recognizes the sentiment of justice no less than the sentiment of beneficence as altruistic, the first implying a voluntary concession of the claims of others to free activity and the products or results of free activity, and the second a disposition to aid others in obtaining the objects of their legitimate desires. In the preface to the present volume the author acknowledges that the new parts fall short of his expectations. He has not been able to affiliate them to the extent that he hoped to the doctrine of evolution. "Most of the conclusions," he says, "drawn empirically, are such as right feelings enlightened by cultivated intelligence have already sufficed to establish." It is in ethics very much the same as in purely scientific theory. Specially gifted individuals will, by their deeper intuitions, anticipate the results of later experience or reasoning, and will thus succeed in formulating principles in advance of their definitive establishment. That the principal conclusions of ethics should not stand in very direct relation to the theory of evolution is not, however, surprising, inasmuch as these conclusions would in all probability be the same even if the history of human development had been materially different in its earlier stages from what it has been. What the evolutionist philosopher has to show, as it seems to us, is that there is no conflict between the principles of ethics and any of the deductions from the doctrine of evolution. If that doctrine were fundamentally unsound, the proof of its unsoundness might lie in the region of ethics, but the attentive reader of Mr. Spencer's last volume will at least be convinced that this is not so.
The warrant for beneficence as distinguished from justice lies in the fact that like justice it tends, if properly regulated, to promote life and happiness; but being in excess of justice, and therefore a more or less indefinite thing, the need for its proper regulation is very obvious. Mr. Spencer, as we have seen, deals with it under the two heads of Negative and Positive. A man is negatively beneficent if he abstains from actions which might promote his private interests, because he sees that such abstinence Will promote the interests of another, his own being already sufficiently secured. Some of the examples which Mr. Spencer gives under this head may seem a little trite; but there are different ways of being familiar with a principle or rule of action, as John Stuart Mill once remarked. It is one thing to assent to a truth in a general way, and another to accept it with a full perception of all that it either presupposes or involves. Some of Mr. Spencer's counsels under the head of Negative Beneficence seem to resolve themselves into the familiar formula, "Live and let live"; but how many carry out that formula as fully as they should? It is an easy thing to repeat such a motto as "Live and let live"; but when it comes to foregoing a business advantage clearly within reach, in order that another individual may not unduly or undeservedly suffer, the motto is very apt to go to the wall, which, as every one knows, is a favorite place for mottoes. The question, therefore, is not whether the specific counsels given by Mr. Spencer have previously been given by others—Mr. Spencer admits that to a large extent they have been—but whether they are severally sound, and whether they are in harmony with his general system of philosophy. A motto or maxim floating in a kind of disengaged way in the moral atmosphere of the age does not carry at all the same authority as a rule of action forming part of a well-established system of thought; and the hope may therefore be indulged that an attentive reading of Mr. Spencer's new volume will lead many to see that maxims of conduct which heretofore they have felt themselves S free to act upon or set aside according to the humor of the moment have a sanction which can not rightly be disregarded. Under the several heads of Restraints on Free Competition, Restraints on Free Contract, Restraints on Undeserved Payments, Restraints on plays of Ability, Restraints on Blame, and Restraints on Praise, Mr. Spencer makes many excellent remarks bearing on everyday conduct. We regard these chapters, indeed, as moral discourses of the highest value, and commend them to the earnest attention of all whose duty it is to give moral instruction to old or young. Many a Christian minister might, we are convinced, infuse new life into his teaching by simply assimilating the contents of this volume and thus acquiring a fresh sense of the truth, the authority, and the interdependence of moral precepts which have heretofore had the warrant only of dogma or of sentiment.
To illustrate the class of matters with which Mr. Spencer here deals, we may quote the following from the chapter on Restraints on Displays of Ability:
"In nearly all cases the intrusion of personal feeling makes controversy of small value for its ostensible purpose—the establishment of truth. Desire for the éclat which victory brings often causes a mercilessness and a dishonesty which hinder the arrival at right conclusions. Negative beneficence here conduces to public benefit while it mitigates private injury. Usually the evidence may be marshaled, and a valid argument set forth, without discrediting an opponent in too conspicuous a manner. Small slips of statement and reasoning, which do not affect the general issue, may be generously passed over. A due negative beneficence will respect an antagonist's amour propre; save, perhaps, in cases where his dishonesty and his consequent endeavor to obscure the truth demand exposure. Lack of right feeling in this sphere has disastrous public effects. It needs but to glance around at the courses of political and of theological controversy to see how extreme are the perversions of men's beliefs caused by absence of that sympathetic interpretation which negative beneficence enjoins."
If any have heretofore supposed that the evolution philosophy leaves but a very restricted field, if any, for the exercise of practical benevolence, the volume before us should suffice to banish the idea. There is a wide scope, as Mr. Spencer shows, for negative beneficence, or self-restraint in the interest of weaker individuals, and there is also a wide scope for the exercise of positive beneficence or the active assistance to those less favorably circumstanced than ourselves. The one condition to be kept in view is that our assistance be not of a nature to cause subsequently more serious trouble or suffering than it alleviates in the present. The subdivisions of Positive Beneficence treated by Mr. Spencer are Marital Beneficence, Parental Beneficence, Filial Beneficence, Aiding the Sick and Injured, Succor to the Ill-used and the Endangered, Pecuniary Aid to Relatives and Friends, Relief of the Poor, Social Beneficence, and Political Beneficence. Here and there in reading these chapters, as also indeed in the section on Negative Beneficence, we find the line of demarcation between Beneficence and Justice a little shadowy. Both, of course, are subdivisions of Ethical Conduct in general, and that the two aspects, which Mr. Spencer for convenience of exposition tries to keep separate, should now and then seem to merge in a higher unity is not surprising. The man who has it in his power to be just or unjust, and who decides, against his own immediate interest, in favor of justice, must in general be moved by a sentiment of beneficence; and, on the other hand, the man who exercises a wise, rational, and restrained beneficence will probably regard his own conduct as, on a broad view of the matter, scarcely going beyond the limits of justice.
It might possibly puzzle some fairly informed readers to understand in advance what Mr. Spencer means by "political beneficence": the virtue is certainly one not much understood in political circles. Let the following sentence give the key to the puzzle: "Under a political régime like that into which we have grown, taking a share in political life is the duty of every citizen; and not to do so is at once short-sighted, ungrateful, and mean: short-sighted, because abstention, if general, must bring decay of any good institutions which exist; ungrateful, because to leave uncared for these good institutions which patriotic ancestors established is to ignore our indebtedness to them; mean, because to benefit by such institutions and devolve the maintenance and improvement of them entirely upon others implies a readiness to receive an advantage and give nothing in return." A passage which has special application to this country is the following: "In America, where party organization is more developed than here, whoever declines to surrender his convictions and follow in the mob which is led by a 'boss' to the polls, is labeled with the contemptuous name of 'Mugwump,' and is condemned as pharisaic and of an unsocial disposition. In the 'land of liberty' it has become a political crime to act on your own judgment."
Mr. Spencer has not for a long time given us a book from which a greater number of striking and helpful quotations could be made than from this; but our notice has already exceeded the limits usual in these columns, and we close by renewing the expression of our hope that the admirably practical teachings which the book contains may be widely diffused and bring forth fruit abundantly.
Darwin et ses Précurseurs Français. Étude sur le Transformisme (Darwin and his French Precursors. A Study of Transformism). By A. de Quatrefages. Paris: Félix Alcan. Pp. 294. Price, 6 francs.
The purpose of this work, as defined by the author, is, looking at the subject from the point of view of natural science, to determine exactly what is Darwin's, find what is true in it as well as what can not be accepted of it, and to try and assign to each its value and the deductions which are drawn from it. Reduced to the terms of a descent of all animal and vegetable species by successive transformations from three or four original types and probably from a primitive archetype, it is found to offer little wholly new. Darwin himself has given a list of twenty-six naturalists of various nationalities who had published views more or less similar to his before him. Of these, M. Quatrefages has compared the expressions of the French naturalists, including Benoist de Maillet (or Telliamed), Robinet, Buffon, Lamarck, Étienne and Isidore Geoffroy-SaintHilaire, Bory de Saint-Vincent, and M. Charles Naudin. Suggestions of these ideas may be found further back still, even among the alchemists of the middle ages and the Greek sophists; but the question of the formation of species could not present itself to those thinkers with the same significance that it has done with us. Beginning with the seventeenth century, the proposed solutions multiplied rapidly. The author, not appreciating, perhaps, the patience which English philosophers have cultivated in the matter, thinks the process described by the term evolution too slow to account for the changes of species, and prefers transformism, with transformists as the appellation of the advocates of the theory. After the accounts of Darwin's French precursors, a general exposition of Darwinism and a review of its agreement with certain general facts are given; following which the Darwinian system is subjected to a full discussion in eight chapters. As every one knows, M. Quatrefages is not a Darwinian; but differences of opinion concerning heretofore unexplained phenomena, he says, never make him unjust toward eminent men. While he contests their doctrines he desires to render a sincere and cordial homage to their works. In Darwin he admires the almost chivalric good faith which enables him, even when his mind is most preoccupied with his hypotheses, to be still calm enough to see in his own labors reasons and facts that militate in favor of his adversaries and sincerity enough to point them out. "There is a real charm in following such a mind in its excursions." In the preface to a second edition of the work he dwells upon the neutrality of the Darwinian theory as concerns religious questions, and the impartiality with which it is sustained by orthodox and by agnostic supporters, or opposed alike by adversaries of either school.
Extinct Monsters. A Popular Account of some of the Larger Forms of Ancient Animal Life. By the Rev. H. N. Hutchinson. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 254.
The object of this book is twofold: to describe some of the larger and more monstrous forms of the past, and endeavor by pen and pencil to present them as they were in life; and to illustrate how in animal life the past has grown into the present without the long and abrupt leaps which we are too liable to regard as one of the chief features of the transition. Stress is laid upon the quality of the illustrations. They are still to a certain extent conjectural, but they rest upon larger and more accurate information than any portraits of the giants and dragons of old that have previously appeared. Many of the former pictures of these creatures were highly sensational; in some of the later ones neither art nor Nature had fair play, and we had to put up with awkward-looking creatures that could not get along at all in life, or with animals in attitudes which later researches have shown were not theirs. Hence our ideas upon these points need to be revised. The discoveries of later years have shown, as Dr. Henry Woodward observes m the preface he furnishes, "that the dicynodon and labyrinthodon, instead of being toadhke in form, were lacertilian or salamander-like reptiles, with elongated bodies and moderately long tails; that the iguanodon did not usually stand upon 'all fours,' but more frequently sat up like some huge kangaroo with short fore limbs." The discoveries of Marsh, Cope, Leidy, and others in America have added vastly to our knowledge of the real structure of these animals. We have now almost complete skeletons and details of the flying membranes of long and short tailed pterodactyles; the archæopteryx and Marsh's hesperomis and ichthyomis have given more definite shape to our knowledge of primitive birds; and the discovery by Prof. Fraas of the outlines of the skin and fins of ichthyosaurus have established the pertinency of the term fish-lizard as applied to it. These and other discoveries have been applied in the text and illustrations of this book; and we have, accordingly, the saurians of the sea and the land, the real dragons and sea-serpents of old, the monsters of America and of India—megatheriums, glyptodons, mastodon, mammoth, giant birds, Irish elk, and Steller's sea cow—represented with a clearer approach to accuracy than ever before, but still subject to correction by future discoveries.
Bible Studies. By Henry Ward Beecher. New York: Ford, Howards, & Hulbert. Pp. 438. Price, $1.50.
This is a volume of lectures on the early Old Testament books which were delivered in Plymouth Church on Sunday evenings in 1878-79, as part of an unrealized design eventually to cover the whole Old Testament with the course. The lectures were taken down by Mr. T. J. Ellinwood, according to his custom of stenographically reporting all Mr. Beecher's public addresses, and are now published under the editorial supervision of Mr. John R. Howard. The whole force of them, Mr. Howard says, "goes to throw off all the cramping theory of 'inspiration' which makes God responsible for all the evil that was done by the inchoate Hebrew people in his name. Thus the student is left free to follow this master expositor in rediscovering and newly appreciating the wisdom, the goodness, the grand foundation-work of Moses under the divine impulse, which both served to build up the Israelitish nation and has entered into many of the soundest elements of modern civilization. . . . The attentive reader of these Bible studies will lose no living belief in the ancient Scriptures as containing the word of God to men, while he will gain new and larger views of their worth for Christian life to-day—and that not in spite of the new philosophy of growth, but in full harmony with its irresistible advance." Of special interest, as bearing upon the subject in its generality, are the first three lectures, on The Inspiration of the Bible, How to read the Bible, and The Book of Beginnings.
Representative English Literature from Chaucer to Tennyson. Selected and supplemented with Historical Connections and a Map. By Henry S. Pancoast. New York: Henry Holt & Co. Pp. 514. Price, $1.60.
The author's attempt has been to write a book which should answer the needs of those who are beginning to teach the subject according to new methods. The tendency formerly was to study the history of literature without coming into real contact with the literature itself; now, in our anxiety to avoid this error, we are in danger of rushing into the opposite one, and of studying the literature torn from its living historic and human relations. In the present work the attempt is made to put the student in direct contact with some representative masterpieces, without ignoring the study of literature from its historical side. The sketches and selections are therefore presented in the order of their time by sequence, with a distinct historical thread running through the whole. The authors mentioned and quoted are presented in direct connection with the ages and surroundings in which they lived and wrote. The history and the surroundings are described in four periods—the period of preparation, ending about a. d. 1400, of which Chaucer is the principal representative; the period of Italian influence (The Revival of Learning and the Puritan in Literature), 1400 to 1600, represented by Spenser, Bacon, Milton, the Elizabethans and the Puritans; the period of French influence, 1660 to about 1750, of which Dryden, Addison and the eighteenth century essays, and Pope are the most conspicuous examples: and the modern English period, including the earlier writers of this century and recent writers to Browning and Tennyson. In the appendix are a Literary Map of England, a list of authors to accompany the map, a Chaucer glossary, and an index.
The Naturalist on the River Amazons. By Henry Walter Bates, with a Memoir of the Author by Edward Clodd. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 395.
We have already, in our biographical sketch of Mr. Bates, borne testimony to the value of his work on the Amazons, and to the value and interest of this book, and now speak of the peculiar features of the present edition. It is a reprint of the original unabridged edition, with a map and illustrations, including a double colored plate of butterflies to illustrate the theory of mimicry. The description of the book in the subtitle as A Record of Adventures, Habits of Animals, Sketches of Brazilian and Indian Life, and Aspects of Nature under the Equator, during Eleven Years of Travel, shows how comprehensive and varied it is. The memoir, by Mr. Edward Clodd, a near personal friend, who had more than an editor's interest in composing the tribute, has been enriched by letters furnished by Sir Joseph Hooker and Mr. Francis Darwin, with letters from Sir Joseph Hooker and the elder Darwin to Mr. Bates.
A Treatise on Public Health and its Applications in Different European Countries. By Albert Palmberg. New York: Macmillan & Co. Pp. 530. Price, $5.
The author is a health officer, and is active in movements in behalf of public health in Finland. The present edition of his work is a translation from the French original, made at his request by Dr. Arthur Newsholme, of Brighton, who has also brought up to date and completed the chapter on England, and summarized the recent legislation. The treatise is based on the practice in different countries. An analysis of the part relating to England will illustrate the plan and scope of the whole. The first chapter gives a general review of the sanitary administration, with accounts of the local government board, local sanitary districts, and local boards of health, duties of the several health officers, statistical tables, and the daily progress in an urban sanitary office. The next chapter comprises a summary of sanitary legislation as embodied in the Public Health Act of 1875—referring to drainage, utilization of sewage, privies and water-closets, sweeping and cleansing of streets, courts, and houses, water supply, common lodging houses, nuisances, offensive trades, etc., through many particulars provided for in the law named and in other sanitary laws. In a third chapter sanitary regulations are described with similar detail. The two following chapters arc given to the sanitary conditions, administration, and regulations of London. The account is there extended to include other countries and their principal cities—Scotland and Edinburgh, Belgium and Brussels, Austria and Vienna, Sweden and Stockholm, and Finland and Helsingfors. These extracts arc followed by statistics showing the importance of public hygiene. The book is rich in descriptions and illustrations of sanitary appliances modern and practical. The author has confined his accounts to countries whose methods he has seen and studied personally on the spot.
The Philosophy of Individuality. By Antoinette Brown Blackwell. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. Pp. 517. Price, $3.
This work or essay is characterized by the author as "a revised, a broadened, a more full attempt at verification of a system of thoughts less matured in the author's former works, Studies in General Science, and the Physical Basis of Immortality." Its position is that "the character of every perception and of every cognition, and of every mental act of all kinds is dependent in definite degrees upon each and all of the co-operating factors, psychical and physical, which together make up the entire process of every act in which the sensibility is consciously concerned. In other words, all change, all action (change and action include both feeling and motion) is so entirely under the control of definite law that the sequence of every thought is fully determined by its correlatives of all kinds, in the sense that it must obey the associated laws of thought and of things. The mind must perceive objects, must know them, and must reason about them legitimately in true accord with its own mental attitude working in correspondence with the organism and the extra-organic world." We have found nothing in it clearer than this.
An Elementary Manual on Applied Mechanics. By Andrew Jamieson. London: Charles Griffin & Co. 1892. Pp. 268. Price, $1.25.
This manual is intended especially for students beginning the subject, and forms a companion to the author's other elementary manuals on Steam and the Steam Engine and Magnetism and Electricity. The subject is treated under four general divisions, the first being devoted to statics or forces in equilibrium, the second to hydraulics and hydraulic machines, the third to the laws of motion, and the fourth to the properties and strength of materials.
The book consists of twenty-four lectures delivered by Prof. Jamieson, to his students and the method of treatment and the order of arrangement of the subject matter are based upon the author's experience in teaching. In conformity with this, he has placed the consideration of the laws of motion after that of hydraulics and hydraulic machines, as he finds that it is much better for the student to have some knowledge of simple mechanism before trying to understand the abstract laws of motion. Illustrative examples are given in each lecture, and a list of suitable questions at the end.
Practical Electric-light Fitting. By F. C. Allsop. London: Whittaker k, Co.; New York: Macmillan & Co. Pp. 275. Price, $1.50.
This handbook should prove of interest and value not only to the practical electric light fitter, to whom it is primarily addressed, but to the householder using the electric light who desires to take an intelligent interest in the subject as well. The author begins his exposition with a brief but clear statement of the meaning and relation of current, electromotive force, and resistance, which is quite free from technicalities and understandable by any one without previous knowledge of the subject, and then passes to a consideration of the various appliances and details of construction essential to a complete electric-light outfit. Among the subjects considered are systems of central station supply, switches, cutouts, incandescent and arc lamps and their accessories, electroliers, running of wires, arrangement of circuits in a house, sizes of wires for a given number of lamps, and meters. All these subjects are treated briefly but clearly, so that the ordinary householder can readily understand them. A full statement is given of the rules of the London underwriters, and the work closes with a chapter upon private installations.
Magnetism and Electricity. By Arthur William Poyser, M. A. London and New York: Longmans, Green & Co. 1892. Pp. 382. Price, $1.50.
This very excellent manual is designed for advanced students, and the subject is treated so as to give the student an experimental knowledge, the text being intended to be an aid to the experimental study and not a substitute for it, as is so often the case.
The main experimental facts of the science of magnetism and electricity are set forth by the author, and simple experiments suggested which the student can perform without the use of elaborate apparatus. A chapter is devoted at the close of the book to some of the applications of the principles of the science, in which the telephone, microphone, electric lamps, and the dynamo are briefly described, and a short but instructive account is given of the recent researches of Hertz in proof of the electro-magnetic theory of light of Clerk Maxwell, and those of Tesla with currents of great frequency.
Hereditary Genius. By Francis Galton. London and New York: Macmillan & Co. 1892. Pp. 379. Price, $2.50.
Is republishing this inquiry into the question whether natural ability is hereditary, Dr Galton has chosen to leave it in much the same form in which it first appeared more than twenty years ago, as to recast it and incorporate data now accessible would have greater labor than he could well undertake. The inquiry was originally undertaken at a time when it was believed that the individual mind was capable of almost indefinite development, if only it was properly trained and had coupled with it the necessary will power to urge it on. The outcome of the researches was, however, to show that the mental faculties of the individual are as rigorously limited by ancestral conditions as are those of the body. In support of his conclusions Dr. Galton has examined the kinship of a number of men who have attained eminence in various fields of labor, and has shown that the number of relatives who have been above the average are greatly in excess of the number of such relatives that would exist if there were no causal relation. The classes of eminent men passed in review comprise the English judges, statesmen, great commanders, literary men, men of science, poets, musicians, painters, divines, senior classics of Cambridge, oarsmen, and wrestlers. While the range of Dr. Galton's inquiries is necessarily limited, his main position seems to be established and all our later knowledge is in the direction of its support. The important bearing of this research is upon the future of the race, and Dr. Galton therefore discusses the relation of fertility to ability, and sees reason to believe that in the course of evolution the race may attain a level as high above the highest now existing as this is above the lowest at the present time.
Electrical Papers. By Oliver Heaviside. Two volumes. London and New York: Macmillan & Co., 1892. Pp. 560, 587. Price, 30s.
These volumes contain the contributions of the author during the past ten years to the mathematical development of electrical theory. The papers have been contributed to various scientific periodicals without any intention originally of making them the basis of a systematic treatise, but aside from a few miscellaneous ones at the beginning of the first volume they are of sufficient continuity to present the subject in an orderly, logical development. The papers cover the mathematical treatment of the relations between magnetic force and electric current, the energy of the electric current, induction of currents in cores, electro-magnetic induction and its propagation, and electro-magnetic waves. The views of electrical action and the propagation of electric disturbances here worked out are those first propounded by Clerk Maxwell, and which have in the last decade come to be widely accepted by scientific men, and are forming the basis of all further research. Mr. Heaviside's discussions are addressed only to the mathematical physicist, and are quite beyond the lay reader. They have been recognized as of a high order of merit by scientific men, and have taken their place as a valuable contribution to the scientific literature of the subject.
Alternating Currents. By Frederick Bedell, Ph. D., and Albert Gushing Crehore, Ph. D. New York: W. J. Johnston Co.; London: Whittaker & Co. 1893. Pp. 325. Price,
In this work Drs. Bedell and Crehore, of Cornell University, have undertaken to develop the theory of the alternating current in a more complete and logical form than has hitherto been done. The work is mathematical, and appeals only to the scientific student of physics. The authors divide their treatment into two main divisions, in the first of which the problems of an alternating circuit are treated analytically, and in the second graphically. In each mode of treatment the simpler cases of circuits containing resistance and self-induction only, and resistance and capacity only, are first taken up, and then the more complex cases of circuits containing resistance, self-induction and capacity, and resistance and distributed capacity are considered. The solutions obtained are of universal application, though for the sake of clearness the authors give numerous examples of the application of the general formulas. Parts of the work have appeared as separate papers in various scientific periodicals, and have met with very favorable reception from scientific men.
An Atlas of Astronomy. By Sir Robert Stawell Ball. A Series of Seventy-two Plates, with Introduction and Index. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Price, $4.
Having received an invitation to prepare a new astronomical atlas. Prof. Ball undertook the work with the view of supplying an elementary series of maps, such as had been asked for by the readers of his Starland. The scheme gradually developed, however, so that while suitably supplying the wants of beginners in astronomical study, the atlas has taken on a scope which makes it more widely serviceable. The plates comprise a general star map in twenty sections, a series of twelve monthly star maps, and several other important single maps and groups. The moon is represented in charts of the four quadrants, and there are also telescopic views of the moon of each day's age from the third to the fourteenth. Each of these pictures is furnished with a key and index of names, and it is believed that students of our satellite will find these plates of much service in identifying the various lunar objects. Other plates represent phases and orbits of the planets, solar phenomena, comets, nebulas, systems of satellites, eclipses, etc. An introduction of fifty-seven pages describes the plates and gives a list of select telescopic objects suitable for observation with small instruments. Another feature of the present work is an index to planets. The identification of these bodies is difficult for a beginner, on account of their shifting positions. The author has removed this difficulty for the next decade by providing a simple method of learning in a few seconds the approximate position of every important planet. It should be noted that the mechanical execution of the volume is of a high grade.
Life and Labor of the People in London. Edited by Charles Booth. Vol. III Blocks of Buildings, Schools, and Immigration. Vol. IV. The Trades of East London. London and New York: Macmillan & Co. Price, $1.50 each.
These volumes consist of correlated essays on various features of its subject by a number of special writers. They form a uniformly straightforward account, abundantly fortified by statistics, of how the poorer classes of London work and live, and how their children are educated. There is no sentiment and few comments or suggestions in these volumes; they are crowded so full of facts that no room is left for such matter. Compact tables of figures are introduced frequently, and in Volume III colored maps show the proportions of native and foreign-born population in London and in England. The information which the work contains is of the highest value to the sociologist and deeply interesting to any one who wishes to know "how the other half lives" in a great city. The essays are far from dry, in spite of their meatiness. Thus, one of those devoted to model buildings is a sketch of life in buildings, which is notably graphic. In the chapter on the Jewish Community is a vivid account of the progress of a "greener" from the time he enters the Thames on board an immigrant steamer until he is established in a little business, perhaps two or three years later. The accounts of elementary education and of the secondary education of boys and of girls are also very readable. The trades that receive attention in Volume IV are tailoring, bootmaking, dock labor, furniture-making, tobacco-working, silk manufacture, and women's work; there is also a special chapter on Sweating by the editor. A thorough insight is given into the conditions of work in these trades, and some idea of how both male workers and factory girls spend their leisure is also afforded. These volumes are an excellent example of what sort of investigation is necessary as a basis for any intelligent efforts toward bettering the condition of the poor in a large city.
The Handbook of Emergencies and Common Ailments of E. F. Bradford, M. D., assisted by Louis Lewis, M. D. (B. B. Russell, publisher, Boston), is a really valuable work, larger and fuller than most of the books of similar title, but less bulky and diffuse, and therefore more valuable and practical than ordinary books of household medicine. The author's purpose in preparing it was to present to non-professional readers directions for the diagnosis and treatment of the class of cases described in the title. The author's plan has been to treat the subjects more fully and extensively than is done in the numerous handbooks already in circulation, and to describe in sufficient detail the latest remedies and methods of treatment, or such as are available and easily understood. The object has been kept in view, too, besides pointing out specific remedies for different ailments, to discuss and explain some of the general principles upon which a sensible practice of medicine is founded. The book is divided into five parts. Part I presents some general introductory remarks on symptoms and the signs of disease and of death, and on the use of medicines; Part II relates to injuries and wounds and their treatment; Part III, to sudden attacks, painful attacks, pain in the chest, and pain in the stomach; Part IV, to some common ailments and diseases of the skin; and Part V, to diseases of infancy and childhood; numerous particular forms of attack being described under each heading.
A Manual of Physics for university students, prepared by Prof. William Peddie, of Edinburgh, has been issued by G. P. Putnam's Sons (price, $2.50). It is a treatise of a high grade, and is confined to pure science. It makes large use of mathematics, but the author states that the student may assume the results of the mathematical portions, and use the remainder, which is much the larger part, of the text in his study of experimental physics. The volume has an index, and there are over two hundred diagrams in the text.
The ejection of blood from the eyes of the lizards of the genus Phrynosoma—popularly called horned toads—is now attracting considerable attention. In the Proceedings of the United States National Museum, O. P. Hay gives a very interesting account of his experiments with this lizard. It appears that upon irritating the animal blood spurts from just above the eye. For what purpose the horned toad thus besprinkles an enemy with his own blood, what is the source of the blood, and how is it expelled with.such force, are the questions that are puzzling biologists. It is suggested that the purpose of the ejection is to defend the animal from the attacks of enemies, although it seems improbable that the discharge would seriously pain or affect an enemy; however, Mr. Hay thinks it likely that this is the purpose of the habit, and he says: "A discharge of blood into the eyes of some pursuing bird or snake might so seriously interfere with its clearness of vision that the lizard might make its escape while its enemy was wiping its eyes."
The determination of the source of the blood has offered serious difficulties to the investigations of biologists, the most probable theory being that the blood or matter is lodged in a blood sinus upon each side of the head, a portion of the wall lying on the inner surface of the eyelid. This sinus is supposed to be surrounded with muscular tissue of sufficient force to cause the thin wall in the lid to be ruptured and the blood to be ejected to a considerable distance. These toads are found in nearly all parts of California, and are called by the Mexicans "sacred toads," "because they wept tears of blood."
In the Contemporary Review Prof. A. H. Sayce contributes a valuable paper to philological literature, which he entitles The Primitive Home of the Aryans. Until recent years the accepted belief was that the parent speech had its home in Asia, probably on the slopes of the Hindu Koosh. The parent speech of the Indo-European Languages was entitled the Ursprache, or "primæval language"; but, as linguistic history developed, this supposition was abandoned, for it was found to differ from Sanskrit or Greek only in its fuller inflectional character. Sanskrit then became the parent, and its home was determined to be in Asia, the choice being fixed upon two arguments, the first of which is linguistic, the second being historical. "On one hand it has been laid down by eminent philologists that the less one of the derived languages has deflected from the parent speech the more likely it is to be geographically nearer to its earliest home"; . . . and, "as Sanskrit was held to be the most primitive of the Indo-European languages to reflect clearly the features of the parent speech, the conclusion was drawn that that parent speech had been spoken at no great distance from the country where the hymns of Rig-Veda were first composed." Prof. Sayce, however, draws attention to the fact that the result of recent discoveries has been a complete revolution in the study of Indo-European etymology; and that whereas, ten years ago, Sanskrit was invoked to explain Greek, "it is to the Greek that the new school now turns to explain Sanskrit." He claims, with Dr. Penka, that "southern Scandinavia was the primitive "Aryan home," and he adds that "a more profound examination of Teutonic and Keltic mythology, a more exact knowledge of the words in the several Indo-European languages which are not of Indo-European origin, and the progress of archaeological discovery will furnish the verification we need" to establish that in Europe and not Asia was the home of the parent speech.
The Birth of Invention is a most interesting pamphlet, by Otis T. Mason, Ph. D., Curator of the Department of Ethnology, United States National Museum. He brings his reader to "the day when the first being worthy to be called a man" stood upon the earth, and he describes his utter poverty of clothing, tools, experience, language, etc. "All Nature laughed at him." But "the one endowment that this creature possessed, having in it the promise and potency of all future achievements, was the creative spark called invention." From this beginning Mr. Mason evolves an interesting narrative of the progress of invention, using "five guides upon his interesting journey." The first is history, the second philology, the third folk lore, the fourth is archæology, and the fifth ethnology. And, as a result of the assistance of these mediums, he claims that we now have on earth types of every sort of culture it has ever known.
The second part of the pamphlet is devoted to a treatise on American inventions and discoveries in medicine, surgery, and practical sanitation, by John S. Billings, M.D., Curator of the United States Medical Museum. Dr. Billings draws attention to the enormous number of applicants for license to prepare and sell patent and secret medicines, and, while denying the benefits derivable from such nostrums, he claims that their existence is solely due to advertising; that he knows of only four valuable secret remedies, and that proprietary and secret remedies are largely responsible for the establishment and support of some of our newspapers and journals. To give an idea of how far the patent-medicine craze has gone, he tells of a "patent automatic doctor," on the principle of "put a quarter in the slot and take out the pill that suits your case." In 1880 there were in the United States five hundred and ninety-two establishments devoted to the manufacture of drugs and chemicals, the capital invested being $28,598,458, while there were five hundred and ninety-three establishments devoted to the manufacture of patent medicines and compounds, the capital invested being $10,620,880.
As a pleasure resort and a reminiscence, the White Mountains never tire. As a field for scientific exploration they are likewise perennial. That their powers of literary suggestiveness have not yet been fully drawn upon is proved by a collection of out-of-door sketches of Mr. Frank Bolles, entitled At the North of Bearcamp Water (Houghton, Mifflin & Co., $1.25). Bearcamp Water is a little river that flows from Sandwich into the Ossipee Lakes. "At the north" of it are the Chocorua Lakes and the mountains Chocorua and Passaconaway and their less imposing companions--Mr. Bolles's home, where he lives when he is not drudging at Harvard University, nearly equally related to the base of Chocorua--famous as the most characteristic and picturesque peak in New England, and the lakes. His "strolling chronicles," as he calls them, give vivid photographs of this most interesting region, the lakes, rivers, valleys, and mountains, and the life there in summer and winter. Mr. Bolles roams around them at will; regardless of season or weather, pushes boldly into the obscure recesses of the untrodden wilderness; spends an August night in a thunder-shower alone on the narrow ledge of Chocorua's precipitous peak; essays climbing the mountain through the snow; carves his own way up Pangus; and accomplishes as a matter of course that which the amateur mountaineer of two weeks a year shrinks from as a kind of modified suicide. He knows the birds, the bears, and the squirrels, and has an Orphean way of calling the birds around him in flocks at will; and he tells of all these things with the air of one who is occupied with them for the love of them; and in telling of them has added another to the most valuable and attractive of our outdoor Nature books.
An excellent United States Relief Map, published by the Geological Survey, is of convenient size and shows clearly and distinctly the elevations of all the parts of the country--including coast lands, valleys, plateaus, and mountains regions, at convenient intervals. The elevations are designated by a series of nine distinct shades of color, from white to dark brown, showing depressions below sea level and elevations from sea level to 100 feet; from 100 to 500, 500 to 1,000, 1,000 to 2,000, 2,000 to 5,000, 5,000 to 8,000, 8,000 to 11,000, and above 11,000 feet.
Who? When? and What? (Parmalee & Chaffee, publishers, New York) is a chart of the famous men and events of the six centuries, 1250 to 1850. It shows the centuries in vertical columns; and in horizontal red lines within the columns the lives of the persons whose names the lines respectively bear, with arrowheads pointing out the years of their birth and death. The chart is otherwise arranged in three grand divisions, viz., literature, thought, discovery, invention, etc.; second, fine arts; and, third, music; while prominent movements and events marking the progress in each division are duly and plainly noticed. Attached to the chart is an index, by the aid of which each name recorded may be easily found.
A series of seventy-two Normal Temperature Charts, by Decade, for the United States and the Dominion of Canada, compiled by Mr. A. J. Henry, and published by the Signal Department under General Greely, comprises reductions of observations from about sixty stations, selected so as to represent the entire area of the country. These charts, it is observed, have become a necessary aid in the work of the Forest Division, and have been published in the expectation that they will also become valuable adjuncts in the duties of local observers, with reference to forecasting the weather and furnishing information; as well as to observers charged with the preparation of weekly or monthly crop bulletins.
Prof. Adolphe Dreyspring's method of teaching the French and German languages is conformed to the maxim Repetitio mater studiorum, or the rule of constant repetition. He uses only a limited vocabulary and enlarges it slowly; and exercises the pupil in all possible changes in the use and order of these words, and in a great variety of adaptations. Then he tries to make his lessons interesting and amusing by casting them in the form of a story, and illustrating them with pictures which, while pleasing to the eye, suggest the translation. The French Reader, on the Cumulative Method, is intended to follow the Easy Lessons in French, as a first attempt at more extended reading. In it the pupil will find a vocabulary familiar from the Easy Lessons, to which much has been added that is new. The book recites the story of Rodolph and Coco the chimpanzee, which has been composed with considerable knowledge of what children like, and is adapted to instruct them and amuse them at once. (American Book Company.)
A Report on the Higginsville Sheet, Lafayette County, is the first of a series of similar reports which are to be issued by the Geological Survey of Missouri, Arthur Winslow, State Geologist, containing the results of detailed examination in the respective areas. The localities selected for such work are those which are of prominent economic importance or of great geological and scientific interest. The form of publication is novel, and is intended to bring forward the map and section sheet as the prominent features, subordinating the report to them. Hence, the form of the modern small map sheet is adopted, with a scale of an inch to the mile, each map representing a quarter of a degree on each side, or one sixteenth of a square degree. The map is geological and topographical, and is accompanied with a section sheet containing cross-sections of profiles and underground structure and numbered columnar sections showing details of geological formations.
Truth in Fiction, by Paul Carus (Open Court Publishing Company, Chicago), includes Twelve Tales with a Moral, or rather allegories, for only the first one, The Chief's Daughter, is a real story, and in that the allegorical significance is as prominent as are the incidents. The lesson taught by it is that while we may throw away ordinances and ceremonies, we need not forget the principles and the truths which they cover, and which they are intended to symbolize or suggest. In the second story, After the Distribution of the Type, the doctrine is suggested that, while the man passes away, his work, that which he taught and gave to mankind, lives on eternally; and in that the real immortality. In like manner the particular forms of doctrine and philosophy which Mr. Carus upholds are presented, and agnostic principles are defended, or those features which he regards as absurd are satirized, in the other stories