Popular Science Monthly/Volume 43/September 1893/Literary Notices
Vertebrate Embryology. A Text-book for Students and Practitioners. By A. Milnes Marshall, M. D., D. Sc, Professor in the Victoria University, etc. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1893. Price, $6.
As the author truly states in his preface, most of the text-books of embryology aim rather at explaining the general progress of development within the several animal groups than at supplying complete descriptions of individual examples. Thus there have been no reasonably complete accounts of the development of the common frog or of the rabbit, while in human embryology so much is yet unknown that the descriptions and figures given in illustration of them are those of embryonic rabbits, pigs, chickens, or dogfish. As the results of recent investigations have shown that marked differences, both in the earlier and the later stages of development, may occur between allied genera and species, it may be perceived that this practice of illustrating human embryology by embryological types selected from the lower animals may be the cause of much confusion.
In preparing this volume the author has selected a few types to each of which a separate chapter is devoted. The first chapter gives a general account of the development of animals, including the structure, maturation, and fertilization of the egg, and a description of the early stages of the development of the embryo. We think the author has made a slight lapsus calami in the statement on page 13 that "after one spermatozoon has entered an egg others seem incapable of making their way in"; we judge that he intended to write "yolk" instead of egg, for spermatozoa have been found not only in the zona but in the perivitelline space. We believe that it is after the spermatozoon gains entrance into the yolk instead of the egg, as is stated, that the tail is lost. The theory of sex is too meagerly presented to afford the student any enlightenment, none of the more important theories being mentioned.
The second chapter is devoted to the amphioxus, giving a general account of the early and late embryonic development of this fish-like animal. In this chapter the author has followed the descriptions of Kowalevsky, Hatschek, Lankester, and Willey; and this animal has been selected as an introduction to vertebrate embryology because of the simplicity of its earlier developmental history as well as on account of the clew that this affords to the more complicated conditions occurring in the higher vertebrates.
The third chapter gives a general account of the development of the frog, the description of the processes of maturation and fertilization of the egg being based on O. Schultze's investigations, while the account of the early stages of development of the nervous, circulatory, digestive, and reproductive organs is based on the observations of the author and his pupils.
The fourth chapter gives a description of the development of the chick that is so familiar from the accounts given in most of the physiologies.
The fifth chapter gives an account of the development of the rabbit, the author following the accounts of Van Beneden, Kölliker, and Duval in his description of the processes of segmentation of the egg, of the formation of the blastodermic vesicle, and of the placenta. The descriptions of the later stages of development are based on his own observations.
The sixth and final chapter describes the development of the human embryo, and is, of course, to a large extent, based on the researches of His.
The author requests that human embryos of any age, but more particularly those of the first month or six weeks, be wrapped in cotton, placed in a bottle of strong alcohol, and sent to him at Owens College.
We note, especially in the earlier part of the book, a duplication of illustrations: thus Figures 1 and 45; 2 and 14; 3 and 46, 47, 48, 49, and 50; 4 and 97; 5 and 102; 6 and 103; 7 and 105; 8 and 25; and 9 and 26, are identical.
The book is clearly written in English rather than Anglicized German, and there is a most agreeable omission of German terms that mar the harmony of some of the recent works on embryology. Long quotations and discussions of mooted points are avoided, the author apparently seeking to present that that will facilitate the work of the student. We believe that the volume will become a popular text-book on the subject.
A History of Crustacea. Recent Malacostraca. By Rev. Thomas R. R. Stebbing, M. A. With Numerous Illustrations. New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1893. Pp. 466. Price, .92. Being No. 71 of the International Scientific Series.
In the preface to this work the author says that his ambition was to prepare a volume "to which beginners in the subject will have recourse, and one which experienced observers may willingly keep at hand for refreshment of the memory and ready reference." He has succeeded eminently well in carrying out that project; for, besides giving the classification, physiology, habits, and description of some thousands of Crustacea, Mr. Stebbing has added several new species to the already voluminous list of crustaceans, and made interesting reading of what students and beginners so often find dreary and unentertaining.
The chapter entitled "Specimens" contains some very useful information on the collection of Crustacea for examination, and the author rather humorously points out that even at the breakfast table examples of three very distinct orders can be obtained "in a dishful of prawns." In the same chapter he explains the best methods of capturing Crustacea, and tells of some new genera which are found at the enormous depth of three thousand and fifty feet.
The chapters on the various tribes, legions, and families of the suborders Macrura and Brachyura, which contain among them the edible crab, lobster, shrimp, etc., are full of interesting and valuable information, and the author has in many instances corrected the errors of former natural historians who named certain members of the smaller crustaceans before they had properly developed from the larval stage. Mr. Stebbing also bemoans "the hard fate of natural historians," particularly beginners, for he says that the confusion of names would sometimes deter a timid person from pursuing the study. He believes in the simplest possible nomenclature, and he has himself endeavored to simplify his work by making it easily understood by those who are inexperienced. The chapters on the habits of the cocoanut crab (Birgos) and of the various kinds of land crabs will be read with very great interest by all classes of people, apart from those who are engaged in the study of the Crustacea. As a matter of fact, the entertaining manner in which the author tells of the curious habits of these most curious animals, of their strangely developed instincts, and of their general modes of living, makes more interesting reading than is generally found in such exhaustive scientific works.
The vexed question of the position and existence of eyes in some of the crustaceans is finally set at rest in this work. Mr. Stebbing also proves beyond question that the crab uses the bases of his walking legs as mandibles—a fact which has heretofore been accepted only in theory by a few scientists. In describing the latter peculiarity of the edible and other species of crab, the author humorously remarks that, although it may seem as strange for a crab to use his feet for the purpose of mastication as it would be for a human being to have his teeth upon his elbow for a similar purpose, it is nevertheless a fact indisputably proved. Over three thousand species of crustaceans are defined in this volume, which can not fail to interest the general reader, as well as being of much importance to the student and as a book of reference.
Electricity and Magnetism. By Edwin J. Houston. Pp. 306. Electrical Measurements. By Edwin J. Houston. Pp. 429. Price, $1 New York: The W. J. Johnston Co., 1893.
There are already so many elementary books on electrical subjects, addressed either to the student or the general public, that a new book must needs have distinctive merit to justify its publication. This is possessed in an eminent degree by the above collection of primers from the pen of Prof. Houston. He has the gift of lucid exposition, and is, moreover, thoroughly familiar with his subject. Not the least of the merit of his exposition is his interpretation of the phenomena in the light of more recent electric theory, which has undergone marked changes in the past few years. Each book consists of a collection of chapters complete in itself, which the author terms a primer, the closing chapter being a brief review of all the others, and termed a primer of primers. A feature of the work is the appending to each primer of one or more extracts from current electrical works on the subject matter of the primer.
In electricity and magnetism the author deals with the sources and phenomena of static and current electricity and magnetism. His statement of the theories of magnetism is a particularly clear and concise summing up of the present views of the subject, and it is to be regretted that he did not undertake to do the same with the theories of the electric current. In the primer on atmospheric electricity our quite limited knowledge of the subject is presented concisely, though it is to be noted that the author follows the accepted views of lightning protection, and gives no hint of the recent important experiments and theories of Prof. Lodge on this subject.
The second of the books takes its name from the first three primers, which are devoted to the measurement of electric currents, electro-motive force and resistance, and are concerned with an account of how these measurements are made.
The voltaic cell forms the subject of one primer, and thermo-electric batteries of another. The distribution of electricity by continuous currents and the arc and the incandescent light are considered in three primers. In the primer devoted to the alternating current a brief account is given of the modern theory of such a current; and in a primer on alternating currents of high frequency there is an excellent summary of the remarkable experiments of Tesla with such currents. A primer is devoted to induction coils and transformers, one to dynamos, another to the electric motor, and another to the electric transmission of power. Other primers are on electro-dynamics, electro-dynamic induction, and alternating current distribution. The books are printed on good paper, in clear type, and are of convenient size.
Original Papers on Dynamo Machinery and Allied Subjects. By John Hopkinson, F. R. S. New York: The W. J. Johnston Co., 1893. Pp. 249. Price, $4.
The researches of Dr. Hopkinson on electro-technical subjects, more especially those upon the dynamo, have long been recognized as of the highest importance, both for their theoretical interest and for their value in the bearing they have upon the work of the practical constructor. The papers in which these researches have been described have heretofore been accessible only in the proceedings of scientific societies and in the technical journals, and are now for the first time collected in the present volume. The collection consists of eleven papers, five of which are devoted to the dynamo, in which are developed the theory and use of what has come to be known as the "characteristic curve of the dynamo."
This curve expresses the relation between the current and electro-motive force of a dynamo at a given speed—the horizontal distances or abscissas representing the amount of current, and the ordinates the electromotive forces—and in the hands of Dr. Hopkinson has been found capable of giving a solution to all the complicated questions of practical dynamo construction. Other papers are: Some Points in Electric Lighting, the Theory of Alternating Currents, the Theory of the Alternate-Current Dynamos, and a report upon the Westinghouse transformers. In the first of these a very interesting mechanical illustration is given of the facts of electrical induction by means of a model, first suggested by the late Prof. Clerk Maxwell, and in the second the proper method of coupling up alternating dynamos in a supply circuit is pointed out, and the conditions for the most efficient action determined. Alike to the student and the practical dynamo designer these papers will prove of the greatest value, and will form a desirable if not essential addition to his technical library.
Idle Days in Patagonia. By W. H. Hudson.New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 256. Price, $4.
The author of The Naturalist in La Plata gives us in this volume some further account of his wanderings in South America. He calls himself an "idler" here, being made such by an accidental pistol-shot which kept him for some time from active exploration. Yet, though unable to go far afield, Mr. Hudson gathered many curious observations and much store of entertaining anecdote during his idle days. The reader will learn from these chapters that Patagonia is not wholly a wild, inhospitable tract, inhabited by wandering savages, but that the northern part, at least, is a grazing country, with settlements and white inhabitants, much like the adjoining districts of the Argentine Republic. He will learn also something about the natural products of the land, its climate, life among the settlers, the Indians, the wild animals, and most of all, for the author is an ornithologist, about the birds. In the cultivated valley of the Rio Negro there are birds in plenty—mocking-birds, several varieties of finches, wood-hewers, swallows, and among larger fowls the upland geese, owls, vultures, condors, ostriches, swans, and flamingoes. Mr. Hudson does not write like a teacher nor like a restless searcher after discoveries, but rather like one telling of a pleasant vacation; hence it is safe to predict for him many delighted readers. The book has been fully and pleasingly illustrated by Alfred Hartley and J. Smit.
Evolution and Man's Place in Nature. By Henry Calderwood, LL. D., F. R. S. E., Professor of Moral Philosophy, University of Edinburgh. New York and London: Macmillan & Co., 1893. Pp. 349. Price, $2.
In the opening chapter of this work Prof. Calderwood says that "the general acceptance of Darwin's theory of evolution gives force to the demand for discussion of this problem." The author uses the sentence just quoted as a reason for writing the book. He accentuates that sentence by stating, on page 2, that "whatever limitations are to be assigned to the theory, we must at least grant that a law of evolution has had continual application in the world's history"; and he adds that in the matter of elucidating the phenomena "the researches of Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace have led the way."
It is not easy to understand how such a man as Prof. Calderwood could have fallen into the too common error of attributing priority to Darwin in connection with the doctrine of evolution. Herbert Spencer published his essay on the Development Hypothesis in 1852; in 1855 the Principles of Psychology, an application of the doctrine of evolution to mental phenomena, followed from the same pen; and, finally, in 1837, or two years before the appearance of Darwin's Origin of Species, Mr. Spencer published Progress: its Law and Causes, which was devoted to the discussion of universal evolution.
Nevertheless, Prof. Calderwood's work is an ably argued treatise on the subject, and oddly enough, in the chapters on Sensory and Rational Discrimination and Rational Life, he quotes from the earlier works of Mr. Spencer to substantiate his own attempted refutation of the Darwinian theory. At the outset he asks, "How has he (man) found his place on the summit of existence, and what has he done since coming to his heritage?" Then follows a chapter on the characteristics of human life, in which the contrasts between organic and rational life are treated; the author asserting that intelligence alone makes man the master in Nature; that in human activity "dualism of function is complete"—i. e., both rational and organic life—whereas "evidence fails when we look for independent action of intelligence in animals." And he continues: "We do not find that any of them" (animals) "in their natural state rise above interpretation of signs."
The chapter on Sensory and Rational Discrimination presents forcible argument demonstrative of this duality of function culminating in man's possession of rational power, by virtue of which "every member of the race goes forth on his way as a free man, taking possession of his inheritance in the earth. For every man who does not lose his way in darkness or through blinding passion. . . a rich possession is waiting, quite above supply of the common requirements of organic life. Science is his servant, literature is his property, philosophy is his guide in higher thought, revelation becomes his inspiration. Under warrant of abundant evidence, we distinguish two worlds in Nature—the world of matter and the world of mind; a world visible to the eye, a world invisible to organism—visible only to rational insight. . . . Thinkers of quite opposite schools are agreed that there is no possible science of Nature which does not distinguish between the material and the spiritual, between that which is known by sense and that which is known in consciousness. Nature's testimony admits of no doubt as to the reality of these separate spheres." The chapter on Animal and Rational Intelligence is a searching examination of the difference between the two kinds, or rather three kinds, for a distinction is made between the intelligence of the higher and that of lower animals. A weakness is found in the argument for evolution of mind; for to prove it "we must open a road from sensory impressions to ideas of objects, and from these to general abstract ideas, and this must be such a road as the higher mammals could find for themselves before man's appearance on the earth. Here is the essential test of an all-embracing scheme of evolution; to account for interpretation of sensory experience. . . this problem separates us from much that has been already assured in natural history, strongly favoring evolution." The argument, as to man, is continued in the chapter on Rational Life, where the science of mind is found to outstretch the science of biology, and man's life to be superior to all animal life, possessing powers which are not shared by the animals; having possibilities and a destiny peculiar to himself, impossible to organic life, even to the organism which is part of his own being. This conclusion as to the inability of biology to present a science of human life "is reached by all that biology has to offer by way of explanation." All that has been demonstrated as to the action of the nerve system and of the brain is accepted and turned to full use, but it "carries no explanation of the activities of the rational life."
The lines of investigation pursued do not include any examination of Christianity as a supernatural religion, but only as a spiritual force contributing to the advance of the race, certain of the characteristics of which "have wielded a mighty influence in the course of the ages."
Summing up his investigations of the theories of Darwin, Wallace, and their followers, the author claims that the origin of man is completely severed from the scheme of organic evolution. "Man has his place in a physical system within which all is subject to decay and death; he has his place in a spiritual system, within which is no trace of death, but promise of continuity beyond the present state. Evolution has turned attention on different phases of the origin of existence on the earth. It helps us bettor to see how varied these origins have been." But it is insufficient to account for life itself. It stands "before us an impressive reality in the history of Nature. But this evolution is only a limited cycle, within the greater cycle of Being and its history," and all leads to the conclusion that "there is a power operating continually in Nature, which does not come within range of the observation possible to scientific modes and appliances, yet to which science is ever indirectly bearing witness."
This is a reprint of a lecture delivered before the Birmingham and Midland Institute, of which the author is president. The words of such a man as Mr. Lecky, on the value of history as a precedent for guiding political policy to-day, can not fail to be of value. The question is one which has by no means always been answered affirmatively, and one which in recent times has been much argued.
Mr. Lecky first shows how history arose and what was its original function, and then briefly traces its development as a science down to the present century. That he has taken a judicial attitude is shown by the following passage: "Nor will any wise man judge the merits of existing institutions solely on historic grounds. Do not persuade yourself that any institution, however great may be its antiquity, however transcendent may have been its uses in a remote past, can permanently justify its existence, unless it can be shown to exercise a really beneficial influence over our own society and our age. It is equally true that no institution which is exercising such a beneficial influence should be condemned because it can be shown from history that under other conditions and in other times its influence was rather for evil than for good." He dwells on the necessity for understanding the "dominant idea or characteristic of the period" which the student is investigating; "what forces chiefly ruled it, what forces were then rising into a dangerous importance of the history of institutions, their changes to meet, new want?, and their inevitable fall, although, perhaps, by a process of slow decay, upon failure to adapt themselves to new requirements. He says: "There is probably no better test of the political genius of a nation than the power which it possesses of adapting old institutions to new wants." Next he considers the value of a Study of the great revolutions, discussing the two theories extant as to their causes and possible avoidance. "My own view of this question," he says, "is that although there are certain streams of tendency, though there is a certain steady and orderly evolution that it is impossible in the long run to resist, yet individual action and even mere accident have borne a very great part in modifying the direction of history." Having characterized history as one of the best schools for that kind of reasoning which is most useful in practical life, teaching men to weigh conflicting probabilities, to estimate degrees of evidence, to form a sound judgment of the value of authorities, Mr. Lecky concludes by observing that its most precious lessons are moral ones. It expands the range of our vision and teaches us, in judging the true interests of nations, to look beyond the immediate future. A perusal of this little book will well repay the general reader and be especially valuable to those engaged in the study or teaching of history., and what forces were on the decline." He speaks of the
However widely apart the theologian and naturalist may be at the present moment, the time is not far distant, according to Prof. Shaler, when they may stand upon common ground. In the next century science may even people the unknown with powers justly inferred from their manifestations. There will be no longer a natural and a supernatural realm, but one universe "through which the spirit of man ranges with ever-increasing freedom."
We may trace the evolution of scientific inquiry to the germ of curiosity evinced by the lower animals. The early races of men attributed the control of Nature to spirits like themselves. These were gradually endowed with greater powers until the idea of a hierarchy of gods was reached, and among the more intellectual nations this culminated in monotheism. Theologic explanations, however, could not satisfy the interrogative impulse possessed by the Aryan race, and especially by the Greeks. The want of scientific interest shown by the Romans is ascribed by the author to a different racial inheritance, and the long period of unquestioning quiet is not charged to the soporific influence of Church authority so much as to a religious bent derived from Semitic ancestors. With the revival of learning came the resurrection of inquiry, and to the system of Aristotle the moderns added the method of verification by experiment.
The naturalist is generally too apt to look upon the course of Nature as invariable, since he knows that any physical state is the resultant of previous conditions, and that the quantities of force and matter are unalterable. There are, however, phenomena which can not be predicted, the outcome of revolutionary changes that transcend experience. The crises at which these occur are termed critical points, and are typified by the point at which an orbit passes from the parabolic to the hyperbolic form. Similar results follow alterations in temperature and the manifestation of latent inheritances.
In considering the march of the generations it is seen that the psychic progress of man is unparalleled by anything in the evolution of species. The generations are also bound together by vast stores of experience and knowledge, which the human race accumulates and transmits in various ways to the young, so that great advance is made possible.
Man owes his moral development to the exercise of altruistic motives—sympathy with his kind, with animals, with God and Nature. We can follow these to lowly beginnings, but can not account for their growth by any theory of selection. The determinative influences are hidden, "unless we assume a law of moral advance."
As to the immortality of the soul, "it is easier to suppose that an individual mind can be perpetuated after death in a natural manner than to explain the phenomena of inheritance." The naturalist thus finds that, in order to interpret the latent powers of a molecule, or the transmission of organic tendencies, he must assume the intangible, and endow matter with a sort of soul. He also derives from his study of Nature motives that are moral and a confidence akin to faith. This is close upon religious territory, and the preacher may utilize it.
The substance of this volume was first presented in lecture form at Andover. It is suggestive, and teaches a form of monism, though scarcely such as Prof. Haeckel would indorse.
Horticulture. Ten Lectures delivered for the Surrey County Council. By J. Wright, F. R. H. S. With Thirty-seven Illustrations. Pp. 154. New York: Macmillan & Co. Price, 35 cents.
This "Primer of Horticulture" is designed as an introduction to a scientific and practical study of gardening and fruit growing, either for the small householder, who enjoys the care of his seven-by-nine piece of ground, or for the farmer to whom the best and most economical methods are matters of "dollars and cents."
The first lecture is devoted to the question of land allotments, with which we in the United States are not concerned. The second lecture is headed The Soil, its Nature, Preparation, and Improvement. This chapter contains in clear and concise language matter of the fir.st importance to every farmer—matter, in fact, without which the tiller of the soil is as much handicapped as was the compassless mariner—matter usually, however, locked up in large, expensive, and technical works, and therefore not at the command of the working farmer. Lecture III is devoted to the raising of "crops, plants, and trees," and includes, among many other important matters, a history of the seed from its formation to the development into a new plant; a description of the various methods of grafting, and the why and wherefore of fertilization. Lecture IV treats of the Food of Crops—Manuring the Soil, and, like Lecture II, is full of practical instruction. The Enemies of Crops and Trees, in the shape of weeds, birds, insects, fungi, etc., are next considered. Lecture VI deals with the very important part of the farmer's work—planting. In Lectures VII and VIII what are the most profitable crops is the question answered. Lecture IX considers the Preservation and Disposal of Garden Produce, including Flowers and Fruit; and Lecture X closes the book with a talk on the desirability of exhibitions and fairs and the necessity for high ideals in gardening. The construction of the work is admirable, and it might be read with profit by many scientific men as a model for popular scientific exposition. Great care has been taken to select the most important aspects of the topic discussed, the essential facts being presented in clear and untechnical language, while the subject is not overburdened with detail.
How to know the Wild Flowers. By Mrs. William Starr Dana. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. Pp. 298. Price, $1.50.
This title will attract the attention of lovers of Nature, especially if they are able to spend the summer months in the country. An acquaintance with natural history, even if it be slight, unquestionably adds very much to the pleasure of out-of-door life, rendering interesting, localities which but for their animal and vegetable forms would be quite the reverse, and making doubly pleasurable a sojourn in a region where scenic beauties are also present. The author's purpose has been to give the reader a "bowing acquaintance with the common wild flowers of our woods and fields"; but, while the attempt is well meant, we can not say that it is a success. There are descriptions of most of the common wild flowers of the Middle States, with the exception of "flowers so common as to be generally recognized," "flowers so inconspicuous as generally to escape notice," and "rare flowers and escapes from gardens." But the descriptions, particularly of essential parts, resemble those in Gray's Manual, and are too short and technical for the uninstructed observer. What remains is more of a literary than a scientific character, there being considerable poetry and more or less sentimental comment. The illustrations, of which there are one hundred and four, are not at all satisfactory as an aid in identification, the purpose for which they are intended. A classification based on colors is introduced which is necessarily of little value, as the colors of flowers shade off so imperceptibly into one another, and are at the same time 80 variegated and inconstant, that they are likely to mislead even the trained observer.
The book will do good, however, if it incites to the study of a department of Nature which more than any other is calculated to stimulate the powers of observation.
The Silver Situation in the United States. By F. W. Taussig, Ph. D., Professor of Political Economy in Harvard University, New York and London: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1893. Pp. 133. Price, 75 cents.
This work is divided into two parts. The first discusses the history of the "silver legislation" and the economic conditions which have been brought about by the adoption of a silver currency in 18*78. The second portion of the book considers the arguments in favor of a silver standard. In the chapters under the general title, The Economic Situation, Prof. Taussig closely analyzes the movements of gold and silver during the last fourteen years. He does not believe that the gold reserve of $100,000,000, fixed as the minimum by Congress, can very measurably be increased, and he attributes the decrease in the amount of gold held by the Treasury—from $190,000,000 in 1890 to 8108,000,000 at the beginning of the present year—to the fact that "the great sums due the United States by foreign countries" are not paid for by the return of gold, but by "the transmission of American securities held by foreign investors and sent by them for sale in the United States." He claims that the Treasury estimate of the stock of gold in the United States is many millions of dollars "in excess of the actual stock." Having summarized the arguments in favor of silver, quoting the very words of those who present them, "as compared with commodities silver has been more steady in value than gold," and that, "so far as the attainment of the closest possible approach to the ideal justice is concerned, a silver standard would have served the purpose better than a gold one"—the author offers as a simple answer to them the facts he has recited in his preceding pages, and says that the silver men "have not made out their case against the existing order of things. There are no serious evils due to an insufficient supply of money." These and other negative reasons apply to the arguments of those who favor international bimetallism and of those who favor the independent use of silver by the United States. When we consider the importance not only of stability in the medium of exchange, but of general confidence in that stability, these and other negative names which are mentioned ought to suffice for rejecting the proposals of the silver advocates. But there are positive reasons in addition. The eventual effect of a silver standard must be to cause a rise in prices—not immediate, but certain. This, while the present tendency to falling in prices, with stationary or rising incomes, work no hardships to debtors, would be fraught with real and serious inconveniences to creditors. Other positive reasons lie in the conditions of the production and use of silver at the present time, which are increasing with extraordinary rapidity. Another objection to a change to a silver standard is the immorality of the disposition to tamper with the currency as a remedy for real or fancied evils. Gold, on the other hand, performs the functions of a measure of value and a standard of value with as close an approach to perfection as there is any reasonable ground for expecting from any monetary system. For these reasons the schemes proposed for a tabular or multiple standard of value do not seem called for by any serious exigency not met by the gold standard. The book contains some useful comparative statistics and a comprehensive chart of fluctuations in gold and silver.
Telephone Lines and their Properties. By Prof. W. J. Hopkins. New York: Longmans, Green & Co., 1893. Pp. 258. Price, $1.50.
This is a work which has for its object a more complete account than has yet been given of the telephone line, not only its mechanical construction, but its electrical properties, and the way telephonic transmission is affected by telegraphic and other electric currents. The range of subjects comprise a brief account of overhead construction in city lines, and a somewhat full one of underground work, in which the relative advantages and disadvantages of various kinds of conduits are considered. Long-distance lines, the various kinds of wire suitable for telephone use, insulators, and the exchange system are among the subjects treated of in the part of the book devoted to the mechanical construction of telephone lines. A chapter upon the propagation of energy, in which a brief account is given of the modern view of electric currents, precedes the consideration of the electrical properties of the telephone line. Among the subjects discussed in this portion of the work are self-induction, interference from outside sources—such as air and earth currents—telegraphic induction and induction from electric lighting and railway circuits, properties of metallic circuits and of cables. The work is written for the practical telephone constructor and for students, and will doubtless prove a valuable work of reference.
How to manage the Dynamo. By S. R. Bottone. New York and London: Macmillan & Co., 1893. Pp. 63. Price, 60 cents.
This little manual is addressed to those who have the care of dynamos, and is clearly and directly written and free from all technicalities. Instructions are given as to properly setting the machine so as to avoid vibration, and the different parts—the field magnets, armature, and commutator—are briefly described, and instruction given for their proper care. Simple methods of determining and locating leaks are also given. The book closes with a list of the chief electrical terms, and is provided with an index.
The Transmitted Word. By W. J. Keenan and James Riley. Boston: Dorchester Printing Co., 1893. Pp. 113. Price, 75 cents.
The authors of this essay state its purpose in the preface as follows:
"To know somewhat of the application of this great force, which man has discovered and called electricity, these pages are written. They are free of all technical terms. Simplicity has been the constant aim. The student's text-book on electricity has been written. The public's book has not been written. And, as we are taught to know ourselves, so should we know the forces that surround us. Especially so if we use these forces. Every subscriber of the telephone should know the rudiments of its action. This is why this book is put forward. It is intended as a primer in telephonic and other kindred instruction. . . ."
This purpose of the authors is laudable enough, and, if it had been adhered to, they might possibly have produced a useful book. Their real aim seems, however, to have been to give an exhibition of what they probably regard as fine writing, using the telephone as an excuse for their literary effort. The book is written throughout in the most approved V style of sophomoric composition, and contains very little real information about the telephone. The reader who had no previous knowledge of the subject would have a hard time indeed in trying to get any clear ideas of the Blake transmitter or induction from the description of the authors. The book has, however, one great merit. It is short.
Man and the State. Lectures and Discussions before the Brooklyn Ethical Association. New York: D. Appletou & Co. 1892. Pp. 558. Price, $2.
This volume of lectures and addresses before the Brooklyn Ethical Society is devoted especially to subjects of current political discussion, such as the tariff, the monetary question, the negro problem, the government of cities, and kindred subjects. To those who are familiar with the discussions before the society, or who have become acquainted with the character of the work from its previous publications, no word of commendation of the quality of these papers is necessary. The addresses are thoughtful and serious discussions of current political and economic questions, and can not fail to be welcomed by all who take an intelligent interest in public affairs. It would be impracticable to attempt to give here either a résumé or criticism of the dozen and a half addresses which compose the volume, though some features of interest may be briefly indicated. The volume was published last year, previous to the presidential election, and the addresses were selected chiefly with reference to the questions before the country during the campaign. We have therefore a discussion of the tariff from the side of both protection and free trade, a plea for sound money, and a defense of each of the great political parties. The free-trade side of the tariff question is presented by Mr. Thomas G. Shearman, and calls for no special comment, as he presents only the well-known considerations in favor of industrial freedom. His opponent, Prof. Gunton, however, attempts to defend protection on philosophic grounds and erect it into a permanent system instead of leaving it in the position of a temporary expedient, applicable only to the infancy of industries. He regards protection a means of maintaining the wage level of a country, by forcing a competing country to pay in duties an amount which will put it on the same basis as the country of higher wages. The tariff can in justice therefore be only sufficient to cover the difference in wages of the competing countries—a condition, it need hardly be said, that would not suit our tariff beneficiaries at all. Dr. Lewis G. Janes contributes a thoughtful paper upon the problem of city government, which is concerned mainly with pointing out the difficulties of the problem rather than with suggestions as to the solution. He insists, however, that the proper form of city government must be a matter of growth, shaped and determined by our political life, and that the example of foreign cities can be of but little use in helping us to solve the problem of American city government. Other essays of interest are Mr. John A. Taylor's defense of the independent in politics, Prof. Le Conte's discussion of the race problem in the South, the monetary problem by William Potts, and representative government by Edwin D. Mead.