Popular Science Monthly/Volume 44/January 1894/Literary Notices
The Psychic Factors of Civilization. By Lester F. Ward. Boston: Ginn & Co. Pp. 369. Price, $2.
In this book Dr. Ward elaborates and reenforces the main plea of his Dynamic Sociology, published ten years ago. His central thought is that civilization owes its chief impulse to man's conscious effort to better his lot—an effort in which, so far from imitating the operations of Nature, man has modified or even reversed them. In this view, civilization for its further advance must look more and more to a control in the highest sense artificial, which shall aim solely at the public good, restraining all self-regarding activities in conflict therewith. The chapters before us embody the observations of an accomplished naturalist, and add original and brilliant illustrations to an argument somewhat familiar. Every skillfully drawn picture such as this, which limns the felicity awaiting mankind when self-love and social shall be the same, kindles the moral imagination, and in so far has distinct value. But whether the practical orchestration of human wills and motives, which Dr. Ward holds to be eminently feasible, is feasible, or even possible, may well be questioned. As time goes on, and the problems of life, political and social, grow in complexity, the task of bringing self-interest and the public weal into accord does not become easier, as multiplied failures abundantly attest. One of the reasons is that the democratic spirit which justly maintains the equality of rights is apt unjustly to ignore or resent the inequalities of talent and character which difference man from man. And only a hearty acknowledgment of these inequalities can yield the assured leadership and the loyal adhesion upon which social progress largely depends. Dr. Ward holds that with better social conditions character would be reformed. True. But how can there be that in the mass which is not in the atom? Our author is of the school which would have reform begin at the outermost circle of human life, the political, and thence pass to the core and center, the individual heart. In this kind of project there is an oblique and subtle flattery in that blame for individual woes and privations is laid solely at the door of "society," of institutions, of somebody or something outside the sufferer himself. Never by any chance do the painters of social Utopias show how wide is the home acre for improvement, how much neglected it is, albeit that its plow awaits no sanction from the lawmaker, and how the despised field for tilth which surrounds every man's door is just the place for him to gain the skill, the discipline, needful in planning and carrying out the large transformations which gild the dreams of socialistic prophecy. Dr. Ward enlarges, and without exaggeration, on the wastes and burdens of industrial competition. Experience in Great Britain amply proves that many of these wastes and burdens disappear on the simple organization of the co-operative store—an establishment in this country as rare as an observatory. Cooperation requires forbearance, steadfastedness, strict probity; shall men be expected to manifest these first of all with regard to a few things or to many things? Our author has a passing word for "natural monopolies," and deems it desirable that they be nationalized. In the current discussion of these monopolies land always figures as the chief, and the one way of escape from the evei'-increasing exactions of the landlord is declared to lie in his being superseded by the Government. Of a different stamp from the people who harbor this doctrine are the two million families in this country who have slipped from beneath the landlord's yoke, through the undramatic agency of the building association. Homely and humdrum enough is the virtue of thrift, but thrift and its fellow virtues of industry and sobriety mean trustworthiness. With its birth, and only with its birth, can the attack upon the obstacles to social reconstruction take heart of hope. In its hands self-help holds opportunities which, were they exhausted, would not simply contract the area for centralized sway, but incidentally prepare men to establish that sway in so far as it may be gainfully done.
Dr. Ward is too careful an observer to miss as a trait of the American public its distrust of governmental interference with individual activity. That distrust has not been unaffected by recent events. The Silver Purchase Act was an attempt to overrule the individual impulses of the people in a way which was to create for them new and gratuitous blessings as a community. At the date of its repeal the act had involved the nation in a loss of at least $400,000,000. This sum, vast as it is, forms after all but a solitary item in the cost of that more ambitious overruling of all for a few which masquerades as protection. In socialistic or, to adopt Dr. Ward's term, sociocratic legislation there ever lurks the danger that the interest of a band of manufacturers, mineowners, soldiers, or office-holders can be made to appear identical with that of all. Experience proves that legislators are apt to form a class apart, separated from the public in a fool's paradise of echo and subserviency, and with interests often opposed to those of the people whom they ostensibly represent. At Albany and Washington a minority of them cemented together by the pursuit of plunder have repeatedly defied a majority whenever that majority has lacked close regimentation.
Dr. Ward adduces examples of species which with swift pace have stridden ahead on the artificial withdrawal of competition; he fails to refer to cases more numerous still where the absence of competition has ended in the degeneracy which overtakes the parasite. In the author's own city of Washington attention last year was drawn, on the floor of Congress, to the waste of public money in the counting and recounting, the polishing and labeling the pebbles of science by officials in the borrowed garb of the geologist; and last spring Secretary Morton, in taking charge of the Department of Agriculture, found one of his first duties to lie in setting adrift the barnacles which in four short years had fastened themselves upon a single, and not particularly inviting, ship of state.
Modern Meteorology. By Frank Waldo. Contemporary Science Series. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. Pp. 460. Price, $1.25.
The chief aim of this treatise is, in the words of the author, "to bring the reader into closer contact with the work which has been and is actually engaging the attention of working meteorologists rather than to present finished results." More than a third of the volume is devoted to descriptions of meteorological instruments and the methods of using them, with some account of certain meteorological laboratories. The details of equipment and routine of the observatory at Pawlowsk, Russia, are given with much fullness, and the author states that he knows of no similar account of the regular work of an observatory. A number of views of observatory buildings and their surroundings are presented, including several mountain observatories in the United States and Europe. The work of German meteorologists is given large space in this treatise. Thus the chapter on Thermodynamics of the Atmosphere is mainly a presentation of the ideas of Prof. von Bezold, as set forth in his several memoirs recently communicated to the Berlin Academy of Sciences. There is also a history of the various theories of general and secondary atmospheric circulation. This is followed by an account of the principal results of meteorological observations up to the present time, and the work closes with a section on the application of meteorology to agriculture. Besides the views already mentioned the volume is illustrated with a large number of diagrams, charts, and cuts of instruments.
Zoölogy of the Invertebrata. By Arthur E. Shipley. New York: Macmillan & Co. Pp. 458. Price, $6.25.
This is a text-book for college students who have some knowledge of biology, but is not intended as an advanced treatise. The author has undertaken to describe one example of each of the larger groups, with specified exceptions, and then to give a short account of the most interesting modifications presented by other members of the group. A great extension of our knowledge of the invertebrata has been made in the last few years, leading to a rearrangement of material and a revised classification. These facts have led the author to treat the subject largely from the morphological standpoint. More space has been devoted to animals intermediate between the larger groups than to the more specialized members of the groups. The text is illustrated with 263 cuts.
The Genesis of Art Form. By George Lansing Raymond. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. Pp. 311. Price, $2.25.
Gothic Architecture. By Edouard Corroyer. Edited by Walter Armstrong. New York: Macmillan & Co. Pp. 388. Price, $2.
The former of these two very suggestive and interesting works on subjects of art is described in the subtitle as "an essay in comparative æsthetics, showing the identity of the sources, methods, and effects of composition in music, poetry, painting, sculpture, and architecture." It is the result of an endeavor to trace to their sources in mind or matter the methods employed in the composition of the art forms; and as an incidental though seemingly necessary step to the accomplishment of this object the action of the mind in these methods has been identified with its action in scientific classification; and, having arranged them according to their logical order and development and added to them those methods hitherto recognized only indirectly or not at all, their character and effects are shown to be exemplified in all the arts, including music and poetry, etc., as well as in painting, sculpture, and architecture. It takes many centuries, the author says, "for such methods to develop into arts like those which have been named. But, after a while, these all appear. It is important to notice, too, that the way in which they differ from ordinary and merely natural modes of expression is the fact that they are not used, or, if so used at first, have ceased to be used for expression's sake alone. . . . While, therefore, the art-product is traceable to an expression of mental thoughts and feelings, the elements of which it is constructed are forms borrowed from Nature, and the method of construction, or composition as it is ordinarily called, is a process of elaboration." The theoretical has been so connected in the essay with the practical, as the author hopes, to adapt the work to the wants of readers who, while interested in one or other of these phases of the subject, are not interested in both; and the effort has been made to distinguish between well-grounded tastes and mere fashions or whims.
M. Corroyer's Gothic Architecture, translated from the French by Miss Florence Simmons under the editor's direction, is intended to give such an account of the birth and evolution of that form of the art as may be considered sufficient for a handbook. The author, writing from a thoroughly French point of view, is apt to believe that everything admirable in Gothic architecture had a Gallic origin. He dismisses vexed questions of priority with a phrase, and finds French influence in the examples which he cites traceable to suggestion from a French master or a French example. In this disposition he is very like nearly all other Frenchmen, in whatever field we take them—with a few shining exceptions like M. Taine, or, in the author's own field, M. Viollet-le-Duc, whom he sometimes contradicts. This characteristic weakness may, however, be discounted, and, when the allowance is made, does not greatly affect the value of the author's observations as a picture of Gothic development. Taking an evolutional view of the growth of Gothic architecture, he points out how material conditions and discoveries and their consequent social changes brought about one development after another in the forms and methods of the architect. Both of these books are liberally illustrated with engravings of the world's best works in the departments considered, or—when mistakes are presented as warnings—of some that are not so good.
Personal Recollections of Werner von Siemens. Translated by W. C. Coupland. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 406. Price, $5.
We have already given the readers of the Monthly a foretaste of this delightful book in the sketch of Dr. Siemens, published in the October number, the data for which were derived from it. The book affords abundant instances of racy incident and adventure, keen character sketches, and historical reminiscences. The author came to the task of composing his recollections with a hesitation he need not have felt, for all the care they called for to give them the living interest they possess was the simple telling of them just as they presented themselves. But he was desirous of being his own chronicler, in order to preclude the possibility of future misunderstanding and misrepresentation of his endeavors and actions, "and I have an idea also," he adds, "that it will be instructive and stimulating to the coming generation to be shown precisely how a young man, without inherited resources and influential supporters—nay, even without proper preliminary culture—may, solely through his own industry, rise and do something useful in the world. . . . I shall, however, at the same time try to indicate those inner and outer forces which have borne me through weal and woe to the desired goals, and which have made the evening of my life an easy and sunny one." All this we find in the book duly presented, with the result, probably, of making the work a more interesting one than if the author had been bound by restraints and conventionalities. As we read, we are shown the surroundings and conditions of his childhood and youth, the salient traits of his various instructors, his joys and mishaps at school, his first experiments, and the adventures to which they led him; his military and political experiences, his introduction to commercial and public life, the gradual development of his inventions and enterprises, and the impression they made upon the arts and industries of the world. The last is, of course, the important feature of the work, around which the other and minor incidents entwine themselves as the vine around the tree trunk. The more we regard his inventions the more we are struck with the importance of the part they fill, and the extent to which they cover the industrial development of the world during the last half century. They include experiments with electricity when that force was still new as a worker; electroplating, in which Siemens was a pioneer; some of the earliest efforts at electric-telegraph signaling; the building of the first telegraph lines in Germany; the carrying of the telegraph through the countries of northern Europe and into Asia; in connection with these, trials of the relative advantages of underground and overhead wires and experiments in insulation, all of which were then new; journeys, full of adventure, full of amusing and exciting if not often thrilling incident, in connection with his enterprises; the laying and working of the first electrical submarine batteries; tentative experiments in cable laying under water; the laying of the first submarine cables, and the laying of cables thousands of miles in length under all the oceans—in all of which Siemens had a great part; the beginnings of electric railroading; and numerous other inventions of greater or less importance. Then the men with whom Siemens had to do during his busy life are introduced to us; persons in royal station, statesmen, ambassadors, financiers, philosophers, and men of science—the latter classes including, at least in Germany, some of the brightest lights of the half century. Besides the references to them as they come up in the course of the narrative, a separate chapter or appendix is given to the account of the author's scientific writings, in which the particular points he wished to bring out in them are more fully indicated. This enables us to mention one which, though only a theory that no one has yet ventured to accept—while no one has successfully contradicted i—t must ever be associated with Siemens's deepest scientific studies: his theory of the maintenance of the sun's heat and light.
As may be readily perceived, the Recollections cover a considerable variety of subjects, the presentation of which might have been made very dry and uninteresting. Siemens, in his artless way of telling of them, makes them all as interesting as the story of his first heroic act—his discomfiture of the gander that threatened and frightened his sister. The facts are among the most important landmarks of the scientific advance of the times; the presentation of them gains immeasurably in value by being made attractive.
The Gilded Man (El Dorado), and Other Pictures of the Spanish Occupancy of America. By A. F. Bandelier. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 302. Price, $1.50.
Mr. Bandelier, one of the most painstaking and accurate of American archæologists, has in this volume presented the result of his researches in the history and dramatic incidents of the early gold-hunting expeditions of the Spaniards in Venezuela and Colombia and along the banks of the Amazon, and of the first invasions and early settlements of New Mexico. The book concerns two distinct scenes of adventure—the northern part of South America, and the Southwestern part of North America. On the stories of both Mr. Bandelier casts new and clear light. We do not know that the story of El Dorado has ever before been fully set forth and traced to its exact origin and foundation in fact in a book intended for popular use. It is so set forth in the first part of this book. With it is related the story of the expeditions of which this semi-mythical personage and his gold were the object; the foundation of the military and trading posts by hardly responsible adventurers on the coasts of Venezuela; the lease of Venezuela to the house of Welser & Co., of Augsburg; the condition and relations of the Indians of Bogotá, where El Dorado resided; the expedition of Dalfinger and the conquest of Bogota by Ximenes de Quesada; his meeting on the plateau of Cundinamarca with his rival adventurers Benalcazar and Federmann, approaching the spot with the same object from different directions; the adventures of Georg von Speyer on the Meta, and of Philip von Hütten in search of Omagua; the tragic journey of Pedro de Ursua and Lope de Aguirre from Peru down the Amazon; and other expeditions of more or less significance, all marked by dangerous adventure and generally by disaster; and all prompted, in one way or another, by the vision of the Dorado, which the author likens to a mirage, "enticing, deceiving, and leading men to destruction." In the second part of the book, Mr. Bandelier does a like service for the myth of the seven cities of Cibola, which were the object of expeditions into New Mexico leading to the first settlements of that territory. To the determination of the location of Cibola he brings a considerable fund of linguistic knowledge and the fruits of industrious geographical and archæological exploration, and decides upon Zuñi as the chief of those cities. The story of the search for Cibola includes the relation of the marvelous adventure of Cabeza de Vaca, the missionary journey of Fray Marcos de Nizza, and the expedition of Coronado to Cibola, and thence, in search of Quivira, to the plains of central Kansas. Three additional chapters include an inquiry into the facts of the massacre of Cholula, inflicted by Cortes in 1519; the determination of the age of the city of Santa Fé, New Mexico; and the story of the later life of Jean l'Archévêque, the youthful accessory to the murder of La Salle, and of the fortunes of his family in New Mexico. These histories afford no end of exciting incidents and of themes on which romances and sensational stories might be founded; but Mr. Bandelier's object has not been romance or sensation, but the elucidation of the facts, the discovery of the real history. To this history his essays are a valuble contribution.
The Points of the Horse. A Familiar Treatise on Equine Conformation. By M. Horace Hayes. New York: Macmillan & Co. Pp. 379, with Plates. Price, $10.50.
The author of this book assumes that exact ideas on the subject of conformation are not current either in the traditions of people familiar with horses or in English literature. Both English authors and French have erred in trying to make general rules suitable to all kinds of horses, instead of pointing out that the standard of shape should to a great extent vary according to the work demanded. Illustrations, moreover, of horses, or of special points of them, drawn without the aid of photography, are liable to be affected by the bias of the artist. In this book, photography, as far as practicable, is relied on for illustration. For further light on the respective points of speed and strength in the horse, the conformation of other animals that are distinguished by the possession of one or other of these gifts in a high state of perfection is examined. A more exhaustive inquiry is also made into the nature of the paces and of the leap of the horse than has previously been attempted; the object being to obtain from it exact deductions as to the best kind of conformation for various forms of work. The first principles of conformation having been laid down, descriptions are given of the structure of the body, the anatomy, the mechanism of breathing, the distribution of weight, the levers, the mechanism of locomotion and of draft, the attitudes and paces, the comparative shape, the trunk, the limbs, action, hardiness, and cleverness, condition and good looks, weight-carrying and staying power; blood, symmetry, and compensations, special points of various classes and various breeds of horses, wild horses, asses, the evolution of the horse, photographing horses, and proportions of the horse; concluding with criticisms of painters' horses. The book is furnished with a bibliography and an index, and is illustrated with seventy-seven plates, reproductions of photographs, and two hundred and five drawings.
In reading over the Rev. A. J. Church's book of Stories from the Cheek Comedians, we are reminded again of the intense human likeness that pervades all the Greek writings, which has given them their long life and makes them as fresh and readable as the day they were written. We should hardly anticipate finding in the little pieces of Aristophanes, written in the days of the Peleoponnesian war to make the Athenian populace laugh over the petty vices and follies of their fellow-citizens—and reflect, if they would, over their own course—character sketches that would fit as well to-day in New York or any other American city: exposures of tricks and devices to gain influence, wealth, and power, from which those now familiar among our own politicians and speculators might have been copied; views of similar "rings" and similar demagogues currying favor with the people in the same ways, and a similar populace binding itself in consideration of little bits of patronage and flattery to them; the "labor element" with its demands and threats and the leaders bowing to them. But these are all to be found in one or another of the nine comedies of Aristophanes; and he might as well have lived and written in New York or Chicago at the end of the nineteenth century as in Athens 2,300 years ago. His manner of presentation might be changed to suit modern fashions, but the substance and the essential features of the characters and situations would be the same. Besides Aristophanes, Philemon, Diphilus, Menander, and Apollodorus are represented in the book, having passed through the Latin versions of Plautus and Terence. Mr. Church does not give us the plays as such, but the kernel of them, in the form of stories, with parts of the dialogue. (Price, $1.)
The bulletin on The Salt and Gypsum Industries of New York, contributed to the New York State Museum by F. J. H. Merrill, Assistant State Geologist, is published in accordance with the law of 1892 relating to the appropriation for the geological map. Its purpose being not merely to publish such new information as can be gathered, but to give in concise form what has previously been made public, besides the author's own surveys, other authentic sources of information have been drawn upon. The account proper of the New York salt beds is preceded by general observations on the distribution and origin of salt, the composition of sea water, and the deposition of salt beds. Then are given the story of the development of the Onondaga salt field, the discovery of rock salt, the geology of the salt and gypsum, the altitude of the salt beds, well boring and tubing, the mining of rock salt, analyses; descriptions of the manufacture of salt in the State of New York by solar evaporation, direct fire evaporation, steam evaporation, and vacuum evaporation; with comparison of brines and processes, and statistics and facts. The account of the gypsum industry in New York, following the articles on salt, includes the descriptions of gypsum quarries, statistics the annual production of gypsum, and an account of the uses of gypsum.
In The Cosmic Ether and its Problems that mysterious substance or agent is presented by Mr. B. B. Lewis as the invisible actuator of the world of matter and life. Accepting the current theories of the ether the author elaborates them and applies them to the accounting for various cosmic and terrestrial phenomena more positively, perhaps, in some instances, than sober science is yet ready to assert, though we have not noticed that he transcends the bounds of some scientific speculations. The field of knowledge outlined in the essay seems to find a definite limit, the author says, only on the one hand in the direction of inquiry as to the nature and origin of the material molecule, and, on the other hand, "as to the separate entity and perpetuity of that ether inspiration constituting the sentient, intelligent personality actuating the physical life organism"—which will doubtless remain "permanently unanswerable to scientific methods of investigation." (Published by the author at Bridgeport, Conn.)
The same subject is treated in a very different manner by Terence Duffy author and publisher, of San Francisco, in a book entitled From Darkness to Light, further defined as Duffy's Compendiums of Nature's Laws, Forces, and Mind combined in one; conformable to this, his great discovery that the sun and earth are the poles of the magnet. "Explains the motion of the earth, how maintained, what space is, what force is," etc. The author has intended, he says, to write as he understands, and to be as concise as possible, in plain words without any elaboration. We can not tell whether he keeps within science or flies away beyond it. His statements, as they read, have an air of absurdity; yet when we take a passage, analyze it, and translate it into language, it appears that the author may mean well, after all. The book's only value is as a curiosity.
A study of The Deadly and Minor Poisons of Toadstools is published by Charles McIlvaine, of Haddonfield, N. J. By toadstools the author means visible fungi as distinguished from microscopic. To the alkaloid, or poisonous principle, he gives the name of amanitine, preferring it, as derived from the name of a family of plants, to muscarine, the usual name, which relates to a species. Its most certain and powerful antidote he finds to be atropine.
The Eleventh Annual Report of the United States Geological Survey contains the usual account by the director of the operations of the year, in which the value and efficiency of the several divisions are carefully pointed out, followed by' administrative reports of the heads of divisions. Two papers are appended to the report of operations: the first is on The Pleistocene History of Northeastern Iowa, by W J M'Gee; and the second on the Natural Gas Field of Indiana, by Arthur John Phinney. Mr. M'Gee's paper is illustrated with forty plates and one hundred and twenty cuts and Mr. Phinney's with five plates. A second volume contains the second annual report of the director upon the Irrigation Survey. This embraces the results of the work of the divisions of hydrography, topography, and engineering for the year ending June 30, 1890, together with a detailed statement made by the director before a committee of the House of Representatives, discussing the problems of irrigation in the arid lands of the United States. It appears from the report that a great deal of work has been done in locating agricultural lands that are accessible to water, in gauging rivers and rainfall, and in surveying reservoir sites. The text is accompanied by sixty maps and views and four cuts of apparatus.
In A Select Bibliography of Chemistry, an attempt is made by H. Carrington Bolton to collect the titles of the principal books on chemistry published in Europe and America from the rise of the literature (1492) to the close of the year 1892. The term chemistry is taken in its fullest significance, and the bibliography contains books in every department of chemical literature, pure and applied. It is confined, however, to independent works and their translations, and does not include academic dissertations nor "reprints" and "separates," and no attempt has been made to index the voluminous chemical literature, except in the section of Biography. Full bibliographical details have been given where possible. A considerable number of the books have been personally examined, and are distinguished by a mark signifying the fact; "and for these alone can the compiler be wholly responsible." To facilitate reference the work is divided into the several sections of Bibliography, Dictionaries, History, Biography, Chemistry, pure and applied, Alchemy, and Periodicals—the last section having been taken from Prof. Bolton's Catalogue of Technical and Scientific Periodicals. Notes and comments, bibliographical and explanatory, have been occasionally introduced to aid students in conceiving the character of a book or the status of its author. The Bibliography forms volume xxxvi of the Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections.
Mr. B. Douglas Howard, in a book entitled Life with Trans-Siberian Savages, describes his visit to the Ainus of Sakhalin, whom he characterizes as "the most ancient, distant, and least known savages surviving in Asia." There has been very little communication between this island and the rest of the world, and there will hereafter be less, as the Russians have made it a penal colony and secluded it. Mr. Howard's relations of his observations sound more like those of a globe trotter than of a profound student, and his accounts differ in several respects from those given by other writers of the Ainus of Tezo. He represents them as plunged in the lowest savagery. He also visited the Ainus in Yezo, and found them little better. Yet he thinks that through the Ainus of Yezo, with whom an intercourse exists, we may learn to understand their more primitive brethren in Sakhalin. He further attempts to elucidate the Ainu religion. (Longmans, Green & Co., New York. Price, $1.15.)
Mr. W. J. Johnston has aimed, in the preparation of his Elementary Treatise on Analytical Geometry, at an easy and gradual development of the subject. The requirements of two classes of students have been kept in view: First, students in the university colleges, by whom a limited course of the subject is read, and for whom such a course is marked out; and, secondly, candidates for mathematical honors, for whom the chapters on Trilinears, Reciprocal Polars, and Projection are included. These chapters will also serve as an introduction to the writings of Dr. Salmon. Many other features are introduced, the usefulness of which will be perceived by the student. (Macmillan & Co.)
A work on Heat, prepared by Mark R. Wright, is intended for those who have had some elementary reading on the subject, or who are able at once to attack a more advanced work, and is intended to place before such the leading facts and principles. Among its features are the incorporation of numerical examples to be worked out by the student, and descriptions of experiments to be repeated. While the author rejoices at the disappearance of the method of studying a science from a text-book alone, he suggests that too much as well as too little time may be spent over experimental science; "mental inertia is as possible in the laboratory as in the lecture room." An elementary chapter in thermo-dynamics is given, with an attempt to explain and illustrate by examples the first two laws and the meaning of Joule's and Thomson's experiments. (Longmans, Green & Co., New York. Price, $1.50.)
In connection with the system of meteorological observations established by the Smithsonian Institution, a collection of meteorological tables was compiled by Dr. Arnold Guyot, and published in 1852 as a volume of the Miscellaneous Collections. Second and third editions were published in 1857 and 1859, and a fourth in 1884—all the successive issues being revised and added to. The editions having been exhausted, the work has been recast; and the tables are divided into three parts—Meteorological Tables, Geographical Tables, and Physical Tables—each representative of the latest knowledge in its field, and independent of the others; but the three forming a homogeneous series. The first of these parts—Smithsonian Meteorological Tables—now published, is, therefore, essentially a new publication. It is conformed, as far as practicable, with the International Meteorological Tables. A large number of tables have been newly computed.
Cortlandt F. Bishop contributes to the Columbia College Series in History, Economics, and Public Law a study in the History of Elections in the United States. General and local elections are considered separately. The history is given for each of the several colonies. The qualifications required of electors are classified as ethnic, political, moral, religious, those of age, sexual, residential, those of property, and miscellaneous; and the conditions regulating the admission of freemen are described. The account of the management of elections includes many particulars of routine, with provisions against fraud, proceedings in contested elections, the privileges of voters, compulsory voting, bribery and other means of influencing voters, and the sanction of the election laws. Local elections are classed as town elections, parish elections, and municipal elections. Additional documental and tabular information is given in the appendices.
Mr. Arthur J. Maginnis's volume on The Atlantic Ferry; its Ships, Men, and Working, was the first work in which the transatlantic steam trade was fully described in all its parts and all its relations. It was, however, a large volume and expensive. A popular edition of the work is now published in which, by the omission of a few chapters not of great interest to the general public, and of illustrations whose value is mainly technical, the public demand and the average purse are more directly catered to. It embodies a careful and complete record of the doings of the great transatlantic steamship companies from early days to the present time. (Macmillan & Co., New York.)