Popular Science Monthly/Volume 44/November 1893/Literary Notices
Seventh Annual Report of the Commissioner of Labor, 1891. Carroll D. Wright, Commissioner. Washington: Government Printing Office. Pp. 841.
It is the duty of the Department of Labor to provide for reports, at intervals of not less than two years, on the general condition, so far as production is concerned, of the leading industries of the country. A shorter period is prescribed than that fixed for the taking of the census, in the belief that a fairer average would be shown in the run of consecutive reports of short terms than could be obtained from reports made every ten years, any two or more of which might be, relatively to the intervening years, exceptional ones. Two years from the organization of the department, however, brought it to the census year 1890, when its report would be merged in or superseded by the census returns; so that it was not deemed expedient to establish the system of reports contemplated till 1892. A method has accordingly been under organization for securing proper information relative to the leading industries of the country which will enable the public to make comparison with the census reports of 1890 as to the movements of production. The department was represented at the Congress on Accidents to Labor held in Berne, and at the Congress of the International Statistical Institute, held at Vienna, in 1891; and it is believed that the experience of American statisticians with reference to labor statistics and the influence of the American representatives prompted the introduction and unanimous adoption of the resolutions of the institute recommending the adoption of similar measures in other countries. The present report, the seventh, continues the investigation of the cost of production in leading countries of articles dutiable in the United States, which was begun in the sixth report and applied in it to iron, steel, bituminous coal, coke, iron ore, and limestone, extending it to the textiles and glass. The facts inquired into include the different elements of cost or approximate cost, the wages paid in the industries involved, the comparative cost of living, the kind of living, etc. All feasible means are used to secure complete information, and, in order that no establishment may be embarrassed by having its inner concerns exposed to the public, the names of all companies and persons who have contributed to the value of the investigation are carefully kept out of sight. The department has aimed to make a judicious selection both as to representative concerns and representative facts; but it does not presume to flatter itself that it has given everything that everybody will want. Two hundred and seventy-eight establishments are represented in the tables, of which forty-nine are in Europe. The articles reported upon are cotton textiles, cotton yarns, woolen and worsted textiles, woolen and worsted yarns, linen textiles, silk textiles, window glass, green-glass bottles, flint-glass bottles, and lamp chimneys.
The Shrubs of Northeastern America. By Charles S. Newhall. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. Pp. 249. Price. $2.50.
The author has already published The Trees of Northeastern America and The Leaf-collector's Handbook, and is preparing The Vines of Northeastern America—the four constituting a series of work which the botanist, the admirer of native plants, and the possessor of a home to be adorned, can not fail to find useful and acceptable in every way. The purpose is to furnish means by which one strolling in the woods can easily recognize the woody plants he meets, and information concerning their adaptability to planting in the houseg-rounds; or to introduce the many who have no technical botanical knowledge to the author's "friends, the shrubs." The shrubs described are those which are found native in Canada and the United States east of the Mississippi River and north of the latitude of southern Pennsylvania; and with them, the more important of the introduced and naturalized species. Besides the botanical descriptions—which are clear, easy, and satisfactory—and one hundred and sixteen illustrative plates, there are given a list of families and of genera, directions and a key to the signs used, guides to the shrubs by flower, by leaf, and by fruit, an explanation of terms, a glossary, a list of shrubs worthy of cultivation, and an index to the shrubs.
Homes in City and Country. By Russell Sturgis, John W. Root, Bruce Prick, Donald G. Mitchell, Samuel Parsons, Jr., and W. A. Linn. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. With One Hundred Illustrations. Pp. 214. Price, $2.
The papers in this volume relating to city homes are partly historical, and treat of the evolution of the plans from the first attempts to adapt room space to narrow lots, to the modern styles. The first one, by Mr. Sturgis, on the City Homes in the East and South, relates to houses in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Richmond, Va., etc. The views and plans show how the New York house, and still more the Boston house, were cramped by the small size of the lot and the high price of land; while the houses in the more southern cities, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Richmond, with greater freedom of space, were expanded, and much more convenient and comfortable; and an almost endless variety prevails in the cities farther south. Mr. John W. Root begins his account of the city house in the West by showing how the device of the "balloon frame" has assisted in the spread of settlement and civilization; for almost any one can put up that kind of a house, with the simplest implements, in a short time and at comparatively little cost; and it resists the high winds very well too. The younger Western cities are more than half built of such houses; and they are beneficial to the city's future and to its architecture, for because of them "every old Western city must be almost entirely rebuilt, and this under modern and enlightened auspices, as if it had been devastated by a great fire or cyclone. . . . It certainly presents possibilities to the architects of the West such as have never been given to any other groups of men." On the other hand, the balloon-framed house can never become a landmark, or a link in the architectural development of the country. Western city houses are marked by the absence of blocks like those of the Eastern cities, by the tendency toward greater enlargement and importance of the living and dining rooms at the expense of the parlor and living rooms, and by their openness. The outlook for Western city houses seems to be promising. The architecture is free from the bondage of architectural tradition, and among the various rival cities dominant fads are likely to become less common, and problems will be more generally determined by the nature of the case. In the subject of The Suburban Home, Mr. Bruce Price has a theme on which, regarding the colonial houses, the old country houses, the transitory styles of the later past, the present styles, and their tendencies, he might write well for an almost indefinite length. He satisfies himself with considering chiefly the more meritorious styles of the present. The old colonial houses are considered as in all "the best examples built upon classic lines, with a classic base for all their details and classic feeling in all their outlines," but the author concludes that "in the planning, designing, and building of the moderate-cost suburban villa of to-day the American architect has no equal. His work (that is, his best work) is well above and beyond any period of the school anywhere." A chapter by Donald G. Mitchell on Country Houses follows—a theme which was congenial to the author's taste, and is treated by him as if it were, and is not in disaccord with Mr. Price's Suburban Houses; for while Mr. Mitchell insists the more emphatically that bis country house shall be a real home, Mr. Price evidently regards his suburban house in the same light; but Mr. Mitchell's houses are all, or nearly all, old-fashioned and also old. The best treatment of Small Country Places is described by Samuel Parsons, Jr., and the Advantages and Operations of Building and Loan Associations are explained by W. A. Linn.
A Handbook of Invalid Cooking. By Mary A. Boland, Instructor in Cooking in the Johns Hopkins Hospital Training School for Nurses. New York: The Century Company. Pp. 323.
This volume has an attractive aspect, more than a soupçon of science, and a flavor of good sense. It is intended to fill a need in the training of nurses for more exact direction in cookery, for some knowledge of the chemistry involved, and for a better comprehension of the precautions necessary to secure healthful food. The first part is devoted to preliminary lessons. These deal with chemical and physical changes, the composition of the body, the general constituents of food, and the important topics air, water, milk, digestion, and nutrition.
In the dissertation on milk, directions are given for testing its acidity, finding its specific gravity, per cent of fat, and methods of sterilization are carefully explained.
In the article on nutrition it is stated that the noblest thoughts and most original ideas do not come from an underfed or dyspeptic individual. This certainly ought to be the case, but the shades of Carlyle, Heine, and a host of their ilk would confront us if we affirmed this to be a matter of fact. If, as the author claims, material substances produced as exact results in the chemical physiology of the body as they do in the laboratory, we should understand many metabolic processes that are now inexplicable. Starch and albumin sometimes remain starch and albumin in spite of all digestive juices to the contrary. When the nerves cry "Halt!" the solvents and acids obey. We recognize this inhibitory action if we follow the suggestion to "serve chocolate in dull red." By pleasing the nerves of sight, we strive to put the body in good nervous condition. It is, however, acknowledged that "it can not be said that any particular kind of food will ultimately produce a poem!"
The second part of the book offers a collection of recipes and menus suited to invalids, with special consideration of serving, feeding of children, and district nursing. The recipes are well chosen and, for the most part, clearly given. In the introduction the author complains that the majority of cook-books do not furnish intelligible aid, and it is sad to see that she does not improve upon their example. Three recipes for cake are given, and two of these direct the use of an ingredient whose quantity is not mentioned in the formula. In addition to this, it is doubtful whether unfledged cooks will handle successfully unmixed soda and cream of tartar; a good baking powder is much safer and simpler.
There are many hints for gratifying æsthetic tastes in the article on serving. In the feeding of children the naïve question is asked why a child should thrive best upon mother's milk, and it is answered that it is, no doubt, because micro-organisms are found in cow's milk. Sterilized milk may reduce the chances of disease a hundredfold, yet it can not be adapted to a human child as well as the fluid provided by the cunning chemistry of Nature. As well introduce artificial sap into a flower and query why the tints are not true. This leads us to what we deem an important omission in the book—there is no chapter on the nourishment of mothers. If mothers were adequately and properly fed, the preparation of artificial food for infants would need little attention.
A number of useful lists are appended to the book, including the bibliography, apparatus needed by a cooking school, charts on the composition of foods, and an index.
A Clinical Study or Diseases of the Kidney. By Clifford Mitchell, A. M., M. D. Chicago: W.J. Keener, 1891. Pp. 432. Price, $3.
This is a volume intended for a professional audience solely. It has been written? the author states, with particular reference to the bearing of upon the diagnosis and treatment of renal diseases and associated disorders.
The recent literature of the subject, particularly that referring to the toxines contained in the urine of persons either in good or bad health and their influence on the organism, is but cursorily referred to; and the pathology in general seems too meager for a work of this character. The author has not been an original experimenter in the field treated of by his work, rather contenting himself in clinically determining the efficacy and truth of the observations reported by others. He has quoted from many of the more recent writers on this subject, and that portion of his work devoted to dietetics and hygienic treatment is very satisfactory. His therapeusis is that of what is called the homœopathic school, and we do not believe that the text-books of homœopathy could more carefully or efficiently discuss the subject.
An Introduction to Practical Bacteriology for Physicians, Chemists, and Students. By Dr. W. Migula. Translated by M. Campbell. New York: Macmillan & Co., 1893. Pp. 247. Price, $1.60.
It is intended that this little volume should serve as a practical guide for a short laboratory course in bacteriology. The apparatus necessary for bacteriological research is described, and instructions are given for examining living bacteria, for preparing nutrient media, for making plate or tube cultivations of micro-organisms, for cultivating these organisms at high temperatures and also without the access of air, for staining the organisms and their spores, and for mounting. Certain of the more important microphytes are described in order that the student may familiarize himself with them. It is not intended that the volume should supplant the larger and well-known text-books on this subject, and it seems that its practical character fits it for a guide for students desiring a knowledge of the elementary principles of this interesting and important topic.
The Soil in Relation to Health. By H. A. Miers, M. A., F. G. S., and R. Crosskey, M. A., D. P. H. New York: Macmillan & Co., 1893. Pp. xvi-135. Price, $1.10.
The object of the authors has been to prepare a work that will give information on the principles of geology in so far as they concern sanitary science. There is a brief review of the origin of rocks, of their decomposition, and of the formation and distribution of soils. The relation of humus and micro-organisms is then discussed, attention being called to the soil being a habitat for pathogenic micro-organisms and to the necessity for preventing soil infection thereby.
The distribution of water in the soil is described, the subject of subsoil water affording an opportunity of presenting Pettenkofer's theory that, as the authors truly state, has not been confirmed. Sufficient reference is made to the relation between the dampness of the soil and the prevalence of phthisis, though the authors seem unaware of Bowditch's pioneer work in this matter.
There is a chapter on the constituents of water derived from the soil, and the influence that certain of these constituents exercise upon the prevalence of certain diseases.
The chapter on the relation of the soil to the air considers not only the movement of ground air, but also the influence of specific heat, radiation and absorption, conductibility, and color of the soil upon the climate.
The final chapter, on the geographical distribution of disease, very properly calls attention to the fact that while disease maps are of great value in indicating the geographical distribution of disease, they can not be used as maps illustrating the geological distribution of disease until statistics are grouped by similar geological areas where the other conditions are absolutely uniform.
There are several errors in the chapter on humus and micro-organisms. It was Laveran, not Marchiafava and Celli, that discovered the Hæmatozoon malariæ; and no bacteriologist or pathologist attaches any importance to Tommasi-Crudeli's alleged Bacillus malariæ. The typhoid bacillus was discovered by Eberth, not Gaffky, who simply confirmed in 1884 Eberth's discovery and announcement made in 1880. Nor did Dr. Klein discover the Bacillus pneumoniæ in 1888, as Friedländer had made pure cultures of these organisms in 1883. In fact, the bacteriology of the volume has been written by a person having a very limited acquaintance with the subject. No reference is made to Miquel's, Adametz's, Beumer's, Maggiora's, Fränkel's, Giaxa's, Proskauer's, Manfredi's, and Fülles's investigations of the relation of micro-organisms to the soil.
While the book might have been more complete, it is still sufficiently extensive to be of great use to any student of sanitary science.
The Disease of Inebriety from Alcohol, Opium, and other Narcotic Drugs. Arranged and compiled by the American Association for the Study and Cure of Inebriety. New York: E. B. Treat. Pp. 400. Price, $2.75.
The association named above was organized in 1870, and has a membership composed of physicians connected with asylums for inebriates, and other persons interested in the study of the drink problem. Its cardinal doctrine is that inebriety is a disease, and is curable as other diseases are. It further postulates that all methods hitherto employed for the treatment of inebriety that have not recognized the disordered physical condition caused by alcohol, opium, or other narcotics have proved inadequate in its cure; hence the establishment of hospitals for the special treatment of inebriety, in which such conditions are recognized, becomes a positive need of the age. The association has been in the habit of holding annual and semiannual meetings, in which a large number of papers have been presented, read, and discussed. Six volumes of Transactions were issued, and the (Quarterly Journal of Inebriety was established. Its special work has been to gather and group the scientific literature of the subject and make it available for future study. In addition to this literature many members of the association have published volumes on the subject; valuable papers have appeared in this country and Europe. Many of these works having passed out of print, the secretary of the society. Dr. T. D. Crothers, was authorized to prepare a volume to contain the most reliable conclusions and studies of eminent authorities on all phases of the disease up to the present time. In this volume are discussed the etiology, pathology, treatment, and medico-legal relations of inebriety. The selections have been gathered from more than five thousand pages of printed matter published in the Journal and Transactions, and are from papers which have not appeared elsewhere, and hence will be new to most physicians. But it is acknowledged that, while the facts are very numerous and startling and fully sustain the principles of the association, they are not yet sufficiently studied and generalized to be accepted as absolute truths.
Missouri Botanical Garden, Fourth Annual Report. St. Louis: Published by the Board of Trustees. Pp. 226, with 23 Plates. Price, $1.
While no extensive improvements have been undertaken at the garden during the year, the liberal appropriations made for its support have been judiciously expended, and the accounts show a handsome surplus of funds. The library contains now 11,455 books and pamphlets, and the herbarium 203,000 sheets of specimens. The number of visitors to the grounds has considerably increased as compared with previous years; and so far as could be gathered from their remarks, they have shown an appreciation of the improvements that have been made, especially of the more natural grouping of the plants, and of the addition of large specimens of cacti, yuccas, etc., from the arid regions. The last include a number of representatives of characteristic species from the dry districts of Texas, Arizona, and California. The additions to the herbarium have consisted of the current American collections, about three thousand duplicates from the herbarium of the late John Ball, a set of the valuable Exsiccatæ of the Austrian flora, given by the Vienna Museum, and many smaller collections and single specimens presented by correspondents. A card index to the species of plants described and figured in works at the garden has been begun; and the large collection of pamphlets has been put in shape for permanent preservation. Dr. E. Lewis Sturtevant has presented to the garden his extensive and valuable collection of specimens, manuscripts, and illustrations, largely in color, of the genus Capsicum, on condition that the genus should be studied with reference to an ultimate monograph of the wild and cultivated forms; and preparations have been made to supply living material for this study. He has further presented his entire botanical library, including the scrapbooks of his own writings and his manuscript notes on edible plants, on condition that he enjoy the use of the books during his life or so long as he wishes them. This library is said to be the most complete and valuable American collection of pre-Linnæan botanical books. The course of study for garden pupils has been shortened to four years, without omitting any of the manual work or any of the studies originally included. Undergraduate engineering students have been secured in the School of Botany for a study of the histological and other means of distinguishing timbers. The volume of the report contains the three regular anniversary publications—the Flower Sermon, which was preached by the Rev. Cameron Mann; the proceedings of the Banquets to the Trustees of the Garden and to Gardeners, Florists, and Nurserymen; a list of Plants collected in the Bahamas, Jamaica, and Grand Cayman; and Additional Notes on Yuccas and their Pollination, by Prof. Trelease, to which most of the twenty-three photogravure plates are illustrations.
Household News. Monthly. Edited by Mrs. S. T. Rorer. Philadelphia: Household News Company, Limited. Price, $1 a year.
The first number of this new household magazine was issued in July. Its editor is the head of the Philadelphia Cooking School and author of a successful cook-book, besides smaller special manuals on Hot Weather Dishes and Canning and Preserving. Cookery, Mrs. Rorer's specialty, occupies most space in, the magazine. Under this head in the first number is a series of seventeen bills of fare, with explanations of their novel features, an account of the corn kitchen at the World's Fair presided over by Mrs. Rorer, answers to inquirers, and miscellaneous recipes. The Department of Diet and Hygiene, in charge of Dr. Charles M. Seltzer, contains a leading article and answers to inquirers. Dr. Henry Leffmann, widely known as the author of books on chemical and sanitary subjects, has a department of Household Chemistry, to which he contributes an article on Water in the Household. The Nursery Department is under the guidance of Dr. D. J. Milton Miller, physician to the Children's Hospital and to the Episcopal Hospital in Philadelphia. Other departments are the Kindergarten, conducted by Mrs. M. L. Van Kirk and Miss M. G. Clark; Decoration, by Mrs. Hester M. Poole; Architecture, by Isaac Pursell; and Literature, by Miss Elizabeth Carpenter. A department on the Nurse is to be added. The field of dress is left to magazines devoted exclusively to that subject. There seems to be no room in this periodical for the trash that is too common in so-called "ladies' journals." Its tone is eminently practical, and as there are plenty of housewives who prefer sense to nonsense it has good prospects for generous support.
Soap Manufacture. A Practical Treatise on the Fabrication of Hard and Soft Soaps, etc. By W. Lawrence Gadd, F. I. C, F. C. S. New York: George Bell & Sons (Macmillan & Co.). Pp.218. Price, $1.50.
There is probably no manufactured article that is used more generally and is of more importance in the household than soap, and yet there is perhaps no substance about which the ordinary consumer knows so little, either as regards composition, methods of manufacture, or adaptation to its various uses. The prevalence of the minor forms of skin diseases, for example, is very general, and there is little doubt that many cases are due, in part at any rate, to the use of improperly prepared soaps, while others are rendered more serious by applications of some of the various medicated soaps, which are so numerous, and often of no medicinal value.
The first chapter of the book introduces the reader to the chemical reactions in soap-making, a knowledge of which is necessary for understanding the subsequent processes, and also gives a few words on the antiquity of the manufacture of soap and its growth as an industry.
The next chapter, entitled Fatty Acids, contains an account of these as they occur in the various essential oils used in soap-making. Chapter III, headed Materials, is devoted to a consideration of the various raw materials employed in the manufacture, the methods of preparing them for use (refining processes), and accounts and cuts of the necessary machinery. Chapter IV deals with the water used in soap manufacture, detailing the undesirable impurities and giving methods for removing them.
The next chapter, on The Manufacture of Soap, gives an account of the essentials of the art as it is practiced to-day. This is followed by a chapter on Packing and Stamping. Chapter VII considers special soaps; Chapter VIII, toilet soaps, and Chapter IX the perfumes commonly used. The next chapter is an account of the methods used for recovering the glycerin set free in the process of saponification. The last chapter consists of a systematic scheme of soap analysis.
The book, although not intended as a popular treatise, contains much that is suited to the untechnical reader, and for one with a little chemical knowledge, who desires to know something of the manufacture of this important article, it is a good text-book. The cuts and detailed descriptions also make it valuable to the manufacturer.
The Pursuit of Happiness. By Daniel G. Brinton, LL. D. Philadelphia: David McKay. Pp. 292. Price, $1.
To seek for happiness and to be happy is not only a legitimate aim in life, but, according to Dr. Brinton, there is no higher object; it alone makes life worth living. The altruist may label this pure selfishness and proclaim that our duty is to live for others; the ascetic may extol self-abnegation as the greatest of virtues; yet if we are to diffuse happiness, we must first be charged with it ourselves—"he wastes his life who devotes his time to anything else than the pursuit of happiness or the search for truth." These quests may be identical, for the first step in learning how to be happy is to get knowledge. Even through "the yearning for joy" evolution has come to us; in groping for pleasurable sensation the amœba has developed into man. The human individual attains happiness when his self-consciousness is brought into harmony with his faculties and surroundings. This involves growth and action. Happiness is not momentary pleasure, it is even compatible with physical pain and mental suffering if these enhance the realization of self. To be happy, one must work and fight as for the promised land. It follows that there is an art of felicity whose laws we may study.
The author considers m detail what are the conditions of happiness; how far it depends on Nature and fate, how far it may be controlled by ourselves and by others, and, finally, what are the consolations of affliction.
On the whole he is a cheerful philosopher, although his view of old age is somber—"a malady that is absolutely fatal," whose pleasures are tolerable. To women he accords justice rather than flattery, for which rare tribute they should be grateful. There is excellent advice to be found in the book, and, unlike many treatises that offer it, this is entertaining and free from pretense or cant of any sort. The range of topics, however, is wide and we meet strange maxims: less than your best will often answer the purpose, and good enough is good. We query whether the author would be satisfied to have these taken as the gauge of his work.
The Diseases of the Stomach. By Prof. C. A. Ewald, M. D. Translated by Morris Manges, M. D. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 497. Price, $5.
This is a translation of a work that has gone through three editions in Germany, a statement that implies intrinsic merit in a work on a medical subject. This translation has had the further advantage of the author's revision, and thus includes his most recent studies on this subject.
The work is arranged in a series of twelve lectures as they were delivered in the author's course at the University of Berlin; the subjects include the methods of diagnosis and the various diseases of the stomach. The chapter on the neuroses of the stomach is by Prof. R. Ewald.
The author is a clear and logical writer, presenting all the facts that will assist the clinician in making his diagnosis. But he calls attention to the fact that not even the most careful chemical examination of the functions of the stomach will put within our grasp the divining-rod that will, as it were, "magically call forth the fountain of knowledge from the adamantine rocks of obscure symptoms."
The reputation that the American people have of being a nation of dyspeptics is not altogether without foundation; and where gastric disorders are even moderately prevalent, such a work as this must be of value in enabling all physicians to be well informed regarding the latest methods of diagnosis and treatment of gastric diseases.
The third and concluding volume of Prof. A. B. Hart's Epochs of American History—Division and Reunion—brings down the narrative from the accession of Jackson to the end of President Cleveland's first administration. In the construction of the series each author has kept his own point of view, and no pains have been taken to harmonize divergencies of judgment; but it is believed that all these substantially agree as to the underlying causes of the growth of our country. The present volume is by Woodrow Wilson, and is the work of a master. Only a sketch in broad outline has been attempted—not so much a compact narrative as a synopsis, as rapid as possible, of the larger features of public affairs in the sixty years it covers. The story is told in four parts: the period of critical change, when the spoils system was introduced and sectional divergence began to be disclosed; the period of the prominence of the slavery question; the period of secession and civil war; and the period of the rehabilitation of the Union.
A paper on The Financial History of Virginia from 1609 to 1776, published by William Zebrina Ripley in the Columbia College Studies in History, Economics, and Public Law, is a contribution to the effort to trace the gradual development of systems and theories in financial management. One does not look, the author says, "to primitive society and its institutions for well-rounded principles and technical details; for to construct a science of finance where there was none in fact, would be to pervert the course of history. Theories do not arise until experience has taught man the abuses attendant upon social life. Consequently the financial history of this oldest American Commonwealth for many years is merely the story of the simple methods adopted by a people too fully occupied in conquering a wilderness to spin fiscal theories, who wanted to support the incipient Government in the easiest possible way." The institution of slavery had a marked influence on the course of development in Virginia, and was the ultimate factor that distinguished this colony from those of New England. The fiscal systems of the two regions became radically different, because the outward conditions of climate, soil, and situation were totally unlike; and the history attests the truth of the law that the direct environment is, after all, the most powerful factor in shaping early social institutions.
The study of Bankruptcy in the light of comparative legislation, contributed by S. Whitney Dunscomb, Jr., to the Columbia College Series of Studies in History, Economics, and Public Law, comprises a review of the laws and processes of the European nations and the United States relative to insolvency. In the first chapter the conditions are stated which constitute bankruptcy or insolvency under the laws of the several States, and terms are defined. Then the effects are described as to the person and juristic status of the bankrupt, as to his property, and as to the acts performed by him; the operations of bankruptcy; the closing of it, by composition relinquishment of assets, and other methods; the rehabilitation of the bankrupt; and preventive compositions or compositions before bankruptcy. The second part of the essay relates to Bankruptcy in the United States under the National Bankrupt Law and the insolvent laws of the several States.
A book fitting the prominent feature of the immediately present time is A Brief History of Panics, "Englished" from the French of Clement Juglar, and edited by De Courcy W. Thom, who has also furnished an introductory essay setting forth the indications of approaching panic. The book was written before the present disturbances in the money market set in, the premonition of which is spoken of as "a somewhat uneasy feeling about silver," and when some of Mr. Thorn's symptoms were already apparent; yet it conveys the pleasant though now contradicted message that the signs in general justify the prediction "of the steady development of a prosperous period."
In transmitting his Twentieth Annual Report of the Geological and Natural History Survey of Minnesota, the State Geologist, N. H. Winchell, characterizes the survey, as a State enterprise, as unique in its plan, its supervisory auspices, its slow but uninterrupted progress, and the duration of its personal directorship. Ten years ago, in submitting his tenth annual report, the author ventured to congratulate the university and the State on the success that had accompanied the survey at that date; but the second ten years have been more prosperous than the first ten. The present report contains a paper on the structures and origin of the crystalline rocks, by Mr. Winchell; field observations on certain granite areas, by U. S. Grant; the Mesabic iron range, by N. V. Winchell; the abandoned strands of Lake Superior, by A. C. Lawson; and Diatomaceæ of the Interglacial Drift, by B. W. Thorns and H. L. Smith.
The papers in No. 2 of Volume V of the Studies in the Biological Laboratory of Johns Hopkins University are on The Effect of Hæmorrhage and of Fasting on the Proteids of the Blood of Cats, by G. P. Dreyer; The Respiratory Function of some Muscles of the Higher Mammlia, by Theodore Hough; The Latent Time of the Knee-Jerk, by E. C. Applegarth; and The Physiological Effects of Differential Respiration, by Prof. H. Newell Martin and G. P. Dreyer.
A collection of translations of papers on The Mechanics of the Earth's Atmosphere, published by Cleveland Abbe in the Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections, includes essays of great technical interest and value by Professors Hagen, Helmholtz, Kirchhoff, Oberbeck, Hertz, and Bezold, Lord Rayleigh, and Professors Margules and Ferrel. Prof. Abbe expresses the opinion that there is a crying need for more profound researches into the mechanics of the atmosphere, and believing that meteorology can be advanced beyond its present stage only by the devotion to it of the highest talent in mathematical and experimental physics, he earnestly commends these memoirs to such students in our universities as are seeking new fields of applied science.
The Introductory Manual for Sugar Growers of Mr. Francis Watts is the outcome of several years' experience in the West Indies, by which he was shown the necessity for a handbook containing an outline of the principles of agriculture based on modern scientific discoveries, and of the principles underlying the manufacture of sugar. The author hopes that his book may be useful as a starting point for young men beginning their training, and that it may help guide older men to other works. Special attention is given to tropical conditions. (Longmans, Green & Co., $1.50.)
The History of Modern Education, which comprises an account of the course of educational opinion and practice from the revival of learning to the present decade, by Prof. Samuel G. Williams, has grown out of the lectures given by the author in Cornell University during the past six years, and comprises the last half of his course on the history of education. It presents a compact, comprehensive, and intelligible summary of the subject. After an introductory chapter on ancient and mediæval education, the history proper begins with the account of the Renaissance, phases of education, educational opinions, and distinguished teachers of the sixteenth century. This is followed by similar notices of characteristics of education in the seventeenth century, the educational reformers and their principles, Female Education and Fénelon, the Oratory of Jesus and Beginning of American Education; then of the eighteenth century, in the general review of which education in New England and New York are characterized, early textbooks are described, and the foundation of colleges and of the University of the State of New York is recorded. Among the "educational characteristics of the nineteenth century" are great activity in literature, etc., Herbert Spencer's treatise, the general diffusion of popular education, professional training of teachers, supervision of schools, industrial and manual training, improvements in method, the kindergarten, and the discussion of the relative disciplinary value of studies. (C. W. Bardeen, Syracuse, N. Y. Price, $1.50.)
Practical Lessons in Language is a manual by Benjamin G. Conklin, the lessons in which are intended to cover the last two years of the primary course, and are graded to suit the capacity of pupils as they advance. A picture is given, or a passage to be read; followed by a heading. Things to Notice, under which are included development questions, which the pupil is to answer in his own language, and the deductions from his answers; and Things to Do—a title which covers varied exercises, all intended to be of a nature to interest the pupil. The aim throughout the book is to lead the pupil to see and think for himself, and when he has mastered it he will have undergone a course of training in observation and original, spontaneous, literary composition. (American Book Company. Price, 35 cents.)
The Presentation of the Life and Educational Works of John Amos Comenius, Moravian bishop, the famous educator, by S. S. Laurie, is believed by the author to be the most complete and, so far as he knows, the only complete account of Comenius and his works that exists in any language. In preparing it, the author has gone through all of Comenius's didactic writings, and has written the whole from original sources. The volume contains the life and a synopsis of the principal features of the works of Comenius. The publisher, C. W. Bardeen, Syracuse, N. Y., has furnished the present edition with headlines, five portraits, and a bibliography, with photographic reproductions from early editions of the works of the bishop.
The idea of presenting the handbook Three Roads to a Commission in the United States Army (D. Appleton & Co.) was suggested to the author. Lieutenant W. P. Burnham, when, shortly after assuming the duties of Professor of Military Science and Tactics at St. John's Military School, Manlius, N. Y., he was surprised to find so much interest manifested in the army, and more so to find how little was known of its real workings. The most remarkable impressions were entertained regarding the character, hardships, and privations of the rank and file of the army. The fact that a commission could easily be obtained from the ranks was not comprehended, many not knowing that such a thing was possible in time of peace. The author has endeavored to throw sufficient light on these points. The character and extent of the examinations for obtaining a commission from the ranks of the army were considerably changed in 1891 and 1892. The rules governing the examinations are taken from the official records of the War Department, which are based on acts of Congress. The three roads to a commission defined and explained in the book are those from the Military Academy, from the army by the appointment of meritorious soldiers, and from civil life—the least frequented of the number.
Science Stories (J. R. Osgood, McIlvaine & Co., London) is a collection of descriptive essays relating principally to the habits and various features of the existence of different animals and plants, originally contributed by the author, Daniel Wilson, to the Glasgow (Scotland) Herald. They are reproduced with the view of encouraging "that popular interest in science which is, happily, a feature of our modern life."
The American Mental Arithmetic has been prepared by Mr. M. A. Bailey for a drill book in which the principles of written arithmetic, except as applied to large numbers, shall be concisely stated and illustrated. Among its features are the placing of principles and illustrations in parallel columns; the beginning of each subject at the top of a page; the systematic placing of explanations and directions under exercises; the prominence of the combination method; the indication of the number of seconds that should be required for the solution of each example; the introduction, in factoring, of the conception of numbers severally prime to each other; the method of presentation of the metric system; the teaching of percentage without rules or formulas; and practical exercises at various places of business. (American Book Company. Price, 35 cents.)
In the Commercial Arithmetic of Headmaster S. Jackson (Macmillan & Co.) it is assumed that the i-eader has a competent knowledge of elementary arithmetic, and therefore the theoretical portions of the work are limited to the methods which are best adapted for commercial calculations. An endeavor has been made to give full and accurate information on all commercial subjects of first-rate importance. Certain methods of readily saving labor are suggested. Emphasis is laid on the immense superiority