Popular Science Monthly/Volume 45/June 1894/Literary Notices
Edward Livingston Youmans, Interpreter of Science for the People: A Sketch of his Life, with Selections from his Published Writings and Extracts from his Correspondence with Spencer, Huxley, Tyndall, and Others. By John Fiske. New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1894. Pp. 600. Price, $2.
Few men of this generation in America have better deserved an enduring monument to their memory than the late Prof. Edward L. Youmans. Such a monument, we may trust, is supplied by the ably written biography by Prof. Fiske. The author was intimately acquainted with him for many years, and has produced a most interesting and pleasing sketch of his character and career, one marked, as might have been expected, by ardent and enthusiastic sympathy with his subject, yet equally characterized by moderation and good taste. Let us first glean a few of the biographical details furnished by Mr. Fiske.
Edward Livingston Youmans was born in the town of Coeymans, Albany County, N. Y., on the 3d of June, 1821. His father, Vincent Youmans, is described as "a man of independent character, strong convictions, and perfect moral courage," and his mother, Catherine Scofield, as "notable for balance of judgment, prudence, and tact." Both father and mother belonged to the old Puritan stock of New England, and in Edward Youmans the best and richest qualities of that stock came to the surface—"sagacity and penetration, broad common sense, earnest purpose, veiled but not hidden by a blithe humor, devotion to ends of practical value, and the habit of making in the best sense the most out of life."
A few months after Edward Youmans was born, his father, who pursued the occupation of wagon-maker, removed from Coeymans to Greenfield, in Saratoga County. Here and in the neighboring town of Milton, to which he removed ten years later, five other sons and one daughter were born, and Edward, as the eldest child, took an active and very willing part in looking after the younger ones. Until his sixteenth year he helped his father at work in summer and attended the district school in winter. The most wholesome feature of such schools was an absence of overregulation. It was one that Edward learned early to appreciate, and he always cherished a distrust of excessive organization and a dislike to machine methods.
At the age of thirteen the youth became possessed of a copy of Comstock's Natural Philosophy, and shortly set to work to repeat some of the experiments therein described. He next obtained a copy of Comstock's Manual of Chemistry, which he studied as best he could by himself, for his school-teacher had no knowledge whatever of the subject. From it he gathered the opinion, as Prof. Fiske tells us, that, "when men have once learned how to conduct agriculture upon sound scientific principles, farming will become one of the most wholesome and attractive forms of human industry."
Such was the youth of Edward Youmans, such the stock from which he sprang, such his original habitat and environment. Our narrative up to this point presents no remarkable features, and yet this home-bred youth was destined to do a great work—to be, if we may use the expression, the foster-father of a great system of philosophy on the North American continent, the virtual leader of the intellectual forces that rallied under the banner of evolution. As a man he had these two great qualifications for practical success: he knew a good thing when he saw it, and what his hand found to do he did with his might. But before he entered upon his work as a teacher and champion of evolution and general popularizer of science, he was destined to pass through a very painful period of his life—a period during which he suffered from disease of the eyes, involving weary months and years of sometimes partial, sometimes total, blindness.
Altogether he struggled for fifteen years with this terrible disability, dating from the time when his eyes were first attacked in his fifteenth year. These years, however, were not years of idleness: when he could not see he could listen, and his sister, who was seldom far from his side, would read to him from any book he might indicate. Between being read to and reading for himself, when it could be done with any safety, he vastly increased his stores of knowledge, and particularly became so proficient in chemistry that he was able to produce a text-book which had immediate success, and which, in a revised form, is holding its ground to this day.
No sooner had he recovered a fair measure of sight than he betook himself to the delivery of popular lectures on scientific subjects; and here he seemed to have found his true vocation. The people heard him gladly, and more engagements were offered than he was able to accept. The work, however, was not without its dangers: the lecture season was of course in the winter, and in his journeyings to and fro Mr. Youmans was frequently exposed to chills, and was laid up more than once with severe bronchial and pulmonary attacks. If dangerous to the lecturer, the work was useful to the multitude. "Many a young man," observes his biographer, "in many a town could trace to Youmans and his lectures the first impulse that led him to seek a university education. In quarters innumerable his advice gave direction to family reading in the best treatises on astronomy, physics, chemistry, geology, and physiology."
It was not in the lecture field, however, that he was destined to do his most important work. In the year 1856 he saw in a periodical an article on Spencer's then recently published Principles of Psychology. He sent for the book, and saw, to use Prof. Fiske's words, that "the theory expounded in it was a long stride in the direction of a general theory of evolution." He then read Spencer's Social Statics, which had appeared a few years earlier, and, as we are told, "began to recognize Spencer's hand in the anonymous articles in the quarterlies in which he was then announcing and illustrating various portions or segments of his newly discovered law." Finally, in the year 1860, he was shown a copy of the circular in which Spencer was announcing his philosophical series. That such a man should be appealing for support, to enable him to bring out works of so transcendent importance, suggested at once to Mr. Youmans that here was a chance for him to render service which might be of much moment. He took what he felt at the time to be the bold step of writing to Spencer, and offering to interest himself in getting American subscribers to the series. Mr. Spencer replied, thanking him very warmly for the offer and for the sympathy which his letter had expressed; and thus was begun a friendship of the most sincere and enduring character between these two eminent men. Nothing in the volume before us is more interesting or produces a pleasanter impression that the extracts given from the correspondence which passed between them from this date onward to the death of Mr. Youmans.
The result of the acquaintance thus formed was that Spencer obtained a gratifying number of subscribers to his series in this country, and that the republication of his works was begun by Messrs. D. Appleton & Co., who were the publishers of Youmans'a Chemistry and of another work which he had produced under the title of Handbook of Household Science. This was really the turning point in Spencer's fortunes. In one of his letters to Youmans we find the following passage: "The energy and self-sacrifice you continue to show in the advancement of my scheme quite astonishes me; and while, in one respect, it is very gratifying to me, yet in another it gives me a certain uncomfortable sense of obligation, more weighty than I like to be under." This shows the relations that had been established between the two men, and makes the action which Youmans so vigorously, we might say heroically, took at a later date to help his friend through a financial crisis entirely natural. Such he was to Spencer all through—the one untiring upholder of his name, defender of his views, and good providence of his fortunes on this continent. Spencer and the evolution philosophy were inseparable in his thoughts, and for so great a cause represented by so great a name no sacrifice was too great.
We are nearly at the end of our space, without, unfortunately, being nearly at the end of our subject. The travels of Mr. Youmans in England and on the continent of Europe, sometimes in the company of Spencer; his correspondence with members of his family in this country; his labors in arranging for the publication of the International Scientific Series, in connection with which he visited Paris, Berlin, and Leipsic, and came into personal relations with the leading savants of France and Germany; finally, his establishment of The Popular Science Monthly, chiefly on the strength of a series of original articles by Spencer, on The Study of Sociology, would admit of extensive and interesting treatment; but for all this we must refer our readers to the book itself. The aim of this notice has been to indicate to the many who knew Prof. Youmans only by name what manner of man he was, and what services he rendered in the cause of intellectual progress. Prof. Fiske, with the skill of an accomplished writer and the sympathy of an intimate friend and most sincere admirer, has given the finer as well as the broader lineaments of his character in a manner that leaves little to be desired. That so energetic a worker, with so capable a brain and so large a heart, should have died at the comparatively early age of sixty-five is a matter for profound regret, particularly as we are compelled to attribute it to the same want of care for his general health and over-devotion to work which brought on, and then aggravated, his early trouble with his eyes. As a writer Prof. Youmans had a style of his own, full of nervous force and grace—a style ample and rich, and yet admirably precise. Some of his essays are published as an appendix to the biography, and form most interesting and instructive reading. From these his dominant ideas and purposes may be gathered; and no one can read many pages without seeing and feeling that here was no intellectual dilettante, but a man with a mission, and that the lofty one of dissipating ignorance and prejudice, spreading the light of science, and preparing the way for those "nobler modes of life" of which seers have prophesied and poets sung.
The Genus Salpa. A Monograph, with Fifty-seven Plates. By William K. Brooks, Ph. D., LL. D. With a supplementary Paper by Maynard M. Metcalf. Memoirs from the Biological Laboratory of the Johns Hopkins University. Vol. II. Baltimore, 1893. Price, $7.50.
This bulky quarto, with its companion volume of fifty-seven plates, is a monumental work. It is the result of years of concentrated effort, and is a credit to American science.
The subject of the investigation is a pelagic or free-swimming Ascidian, confined to the high seas, and exceptional even in a group whose larvæ are plainly allied to vertebrates, while the adults have lost nearly every resemblance to their vertebrate allies by the degeneration and loss of their vertebrate features. Salpa is aptly described by Prof. Brooks as a transparent swimming Tunicate, which in effect is "an enormous pharynx which swims through the water, gulping in great mouthfuls at each contraction of its muscles." Happily the supply of radiolarian and diatom food is unlimited, and hence Salpæ multiply in immense profusion and with astonishing rapidity.
Salpæ under favoring conditions of food, and perhaps other physical causes not discussed by the author, reproduce both sexually and asexually. Each species has two generations in its life-cycle, known as the solitary generation and the aggregated generation. Chamisso, the poet, novelist, and biologist, first discovered this. The solitary salpa is born from an egg which is carried within the body of the aggregated salpa, whose blood nourishes the embryo during its development by means of a nutritive placenta. On the other hand, the aggregated or chain salpa are produced asexually by budding from the body of the solitary salpa.
This placenta, as Brooks shows, contrary to the views of some writers, has only a superficial resemblance to the fœtal organ of the mammals; it is an independent structure, being in the salpa only of use in conveying food to the embryo. This food has been discovered by the author to be great placenta cells which migrate from the body of the chain salpa into the body cavity of the embryo. Hence the embryo salpa stands in a much more direct relation to the external world than the mammalian embryo.
Space will not permit us to further notice the special points elaborated by the author, the table of contents alone occupying two crowded pages. The work is divided into four parts: I. A general account of the life-history of salpa. II. The systematic affinity of salpa in its relation to the conditions of primitive pelagic life; the phylogeny of the Tunicata; and the ancestry of the Chordata. III. A critical discussion of my own observations and those of other writers, on the sexual and asexual development of salpa. IV. On the eyes and subneural gland of salpa, is by M. M. Metcalf, who, among other points claims, contrary to Buetschli, that the eye of salpa is not homologous with the eye of any other chordate animal.
The general reader and biologist will be especially interested in the views presented in Part II. Brooks speaks of the wonderful scarcity of pelagic life in the lagoons and landlocked waters of the Bahamas, and explains it by the theory that the surface life is eaten up by the animals at the bottom, every organism swept in by the tides and every larva born in the sounds being eaten up by the polyps, etc., at the bottom, the competition for food being so fierce. He maintains that early in the Cambrian period, or when life first began, it was pelagic, or confined to the surface. Gradually some of the pelagic forms, at first minute and simple, settled at the bottom, and such a primitive bottom fauna was similar to the lower Cambrian fauna. This bottom fauna at first entirely depended for food upon the pelagic life at or near the surface, there being no plant life yet in existence. This primitive bottom fauna was established around elevated areas in water deep enough to be beyond the influence of the shore. He claims that the great groups of Metazoa, or all animals above protozoans, were rapidly established from pelagic ancestors. This, it may be said in passing, is in direct opposition to the view generally entertained that the pelagic fauna is derived from the shoalwater or shore life.
After the establishment of the first bottom fauna competition swiftly arose, became very rigorous, and led to rapid evolution, and "life on the bottom introduced many new opportunities for divergent modification and for the perfecting of animals." The increase in size of the animals also increased the possibilities of variation, and led to the natural selection of those peculiarities which increased the efficiency of different organs, and thus proved an important factor in the evolution of complicated organisms; the new modes of life—what they were, the author does not state, but they must have been in great part the results of fixation at the bottom, together with the operation of currents, etc.—permitting the acquisition of protective shells, or hard, supporting skeletons. Life at the bottom also introduced the factor of competition between blood relations, the fiercest competitors of each kind of animal being its closest allies, "which having the same habits, living upon the same food, and avoiding enemies in the same way, are constantly striving to hold exclusive possession of all the essentials to their life." Thus the tendency of such bottom forms was to divergent evolution of the great types of animal life. Since then, the author claims, "evolution has resulted in the elaboration and divergent specialization of the types of structure which were already established, rather than in the production of new types." This is all very likely, and, to continue the train of reasoning, the next great step was the origin of land animals, terrestrial and fresh-water arthropods, and the third great step was the evolution of animals, arthropod and vertebrate, adapted for life in the air. We may suggest that it was the Lamarckian factors of profound and widespread changes in the environment, such as a transfer of the habitat of animals from the surface to the ocean bottom which tended to increase and diversify life forms, together with the use and disuse of organs resulting from enforced adaptation to the new conditions. After all this had begun there comes in the more passive factor of natural selection, subordinate, though constantly at work, which further promoted the elaboration and specialization of organic forms.
Letters of Asa Gray. Edited by Jane Loring Gray. In Two Volumes. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Co. Price, $4.
Dr. Gray was a delightful correspondent. He wrote with the easy manner and hearty tone that give letters then-highest charm. In telling distant friends what he is occupied with he presents no bare outline, but fills up his picture with a wealth of interesting details. And his good-natured fun is continually peeping out from some comer. The first group of letters concern various undertakings between the twenty-first and twenty-eighth years of his life, and are mostly addressed to his father and mother and to Dr. John Torrey. In them he speaks frankly of his plans and aspirations, saying in one place, "I am determined to persevere for a little while yet before I give up all hopes from science as a pursuit for life." His journeys by stage-coach and steamboat to various places in the State of New York and one to Detroit are graphically described. His account of his first journey in Europe, given in letters home which took the form of a journal, is also very graphic. We find in the early pages of this chapter enthusiastic references to twenty days of study among Sir William Hooker's botanical collections, closely followed by a description of Edinburgh and references to lectures by the famous men in its university. Here he does not neglect to note that Dr. Hope, who lectured on chemistry, "did not wear his gown or ruffles at the wrist," also that the class in anatomy "behaved shockingly, even for medical students." In London, through his letters of introduction and the good offices of Hooker and his son "Joe," who were there at the same time. Gray made many pleasant and useful acquaintances. Busy days those spent in the "modern Babylon" must have been, for a bewildering number of persons and places were visited. Proceeding to France, Dr. Gray made the acquaintance of Jussieu, Decaisne, Seringe, Delile, and other botanists. He then crossed Italy and visited parts of Austria, turned back through Switzerland and Germany, and finally sailed from Hamburg for London. His journal describes his meeting with the celebrated botanists of all the places visited, and contains the traveler's impressions of the usual "sights," besides notes of miscellaneous incidents of travel. The year in Europe is followed by a decade of work at home, in the early part of which Dr. Gray was appointed to the Fisher professorship in Harvard College, which he retained for the rest of his life. The letters of this period speak of work on Torrey and Gray's Flora of North America, the arrangements for the new labors at Harvard, and work on various publications. One of his first discoveries in Cambridge was that "there's nothing like Down East for learned women," and he gives instances. A second trip to Europe was made in 1850-'51; old friendships were revived and new ones made. One of the new friends was Charles Darwin, and a large part of the letters in the next division of this collection were addressed to him. The letters in the remaining divisions tell of new publications and revisions of old ones, the examination of collections and single specimens from all quarters of the globe, further journeys to Europe and elsewhere, and miscellaneous matters. One of the most valuable features of these two volumes are the opinions and bits of information about prominent botanists that are scattered through them. Prof. Gray was not oblivious to affairs of moment outside the field of botany; thus his letters during the time of the civil war contain many vigorous comments upon passing events, and we are informed in a foot-note that he enlisted and drilled with a company raised for service in Massachusetts. He was then over fifty years of age. The playful turns of thought already referred to are frequent. Now the subject is the German feather-stuffed bedcovering, again it is the simian ancestry implied in Darwin's books, but nothing is more delightful than the burlesque botanical description of the piece of wedding cake that he sends to the Torreys. The two volumes contain three portraits of Dr. Gray, a picture of him in his study, and a view of the range of buildings in the Harvard Botanic Garden. A brief autobiography prefixed to the first volume gives an account of Gray's ancestry and his early years.
A Class in Geometry: Lessons in Observation and Experiment. By George Iles. New York and Chicago: E. L. Kellogg & Co. Pp. 46. Illustrated. Price, 25 cents.
"Can dry bones live?" is apt to be one's thought in taking up a book on lines, surfaces, and angles. That the dry bones of geometry can live Mr. lies proved to the readers of The Popular Science Monthly in November, 1890. He then told in part a story which here is told in full. Taking an informal class of three boys, lie led them to observe their common surroundings—fields and farms, buildings and machinery, plants and insects—bringing out their embodiment of laws of form and size of the widest sweep. Breaking a live coal into fragments on a hearthstone, his pupils saw that the smaller a lump the sooner it cooled and turned black; step by step they discovered that the moon, the earth, Jupiter, and the sun, from their relative magnitudes, are in the same case—are but cinders, or cinders in the making. Simple models, easy to reproduce, served in other lessons—an inverted wedge gradually withdrawn from immersion in a jar half full of water became an extractor of square root; an inverted cone, similarly treated, was employed as an extractor of cube root. A diagram, which has only to be seen to be understood, enabled bis class to perceive that the surface of a sphere is equal to the curved surface of the cylinder which incloses it, and hence is equal to the rectangle which the cylinder describes in being rolled round once on a plane. Mr. lies abundantly exemplifies the inventiveness which he recommends as an element in making a lesson stick to a pupil's mind. On the very threshold of Euclid he has come upon novel and important implications of the elementary laws of space; he has thence opened new paths of approach to the study of mechanics and physics. A distinctly refreshing note is struck in illustrating that not the immediate but the total indications of geometry point the way to the constructor; that if calculation is to be just, it must be directed with judgment. This little book can be as helpful to the teacher as that other unconventional aid, William George Spencer's Inventional Geometry.
White's New Course in Art Instruction. Manual for the Fifth-year Grade. New York, etc.: American Book Company. Pp. 112. Price, 50 cents.
White's New Course in Art Instruction embodies the ideas of many teachers, who, starting at different points and working along different lines, arrived at the same conclusions. Its aims are, first, to acquaint pupils with the rudiments of all kinds of drawing included under the two departments, mechanical and free hand; secondly, to lead pupils to feel that, while art and love for the beautiful may be fostered by an artistic and beautiful environment, skill and power and quick original perception of beauty come only through faithful and persistent practice in drawing; and, thirdly, to develop a love for the beautiful in Nature and art. The fifth year or grammar course includes the study of measurement, geometry, writing, drawing, development, color, historic ornament, botanical drawing, design, paper-cutting, and model and object drawing. Each subject is logically pursued throughout the grade, and each subject supplements others in the grade. The book abounds in each department in practical directions, concisely and perspicuously given, to which the , clearly and accurately drawn, are a real help.
Symbolic Education. A Commentary on Froebel's Mother Play. By Susan E. Blow. New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1894. International Education Series. Pp. 251. Price, $1.50.
The advent of the kindergarten in the educational system of this country has great significance, and statistics show a steady increase in kindergartens, teachers, and pupils.
Symbolic Education, by Susan E. Blow (Appletons' International Education Series), discusses practically the foundation of Froebel's philosophy in Mother's Play and Nursery Songs.
The editor. Dr. Harris, says the kindergarten inspires its teachers with the true missionary spirit, to devote themselves to the work of unfolding the self-activity of humanity in its feeblest and most rudimentary stage of growth. The teacher of advanced pupils does not need such refinements of method to secure profitable industry—it is the teacher of feeble-minded adults, or of very young children, that must have what the Germans call a "developing method." The good kindergartner continually follows Froebel by directing the pupils' own efforts without stunting them by officious help. Mothers should take heed of the warning that over-cultivation of verbal memory cripples alike the power of original thinking and accurate observation. He says that the first self-revelation of the child is through play. He learns thus what he can do—what he can do easily at first trial, and what by perseverance and contrivance. The child is naturally always outgrowing his playthings, always exhausting the possibilities of a given object to symbolize occupations and deeds of grown-up humanity about him. Were the child to arrest his development and linger contented over a doll or hobbyhorse, the result would be lamentable. Hence unmaking is as important as making, destructive energy is as essential to him as power of construction—a point often missed by kindergartners who have not penetrated Froebel's inner connection. This ideal of play material is realized in his gifts. Play must be purified by rational insight. From insight into the deep meaning that lies hid in childish play, there is but a step to its use in education. The manifold errors of kindergartners can be avoided only by clear insight into Froebel's aim—development of creative activity—and his kindergarten gifts are the practical response to the cravings of childhood. Rousseau's idea of atomism is criticised in contradistinction to Gliedganzes—"member whole"—man as a self-determined individual yet a constituent of a social whole. This, Dr. Harris says, "is undoubtedly the deepest and most fruitful idea in the philosophy of education, and the key to the practical work of Froebel—the source of that symbolism which is his most original contribution to educational science. . . . Rousseau's significance in education lay in opposing established institutions. He failed to see the revelation of human nature in social combination and thus missed education's chief aim. His Émile (Appletons') made educators recognize the sacredness of childhood. Its study is necessary to explain Pestalozzi, Froebel, etc."
Important considerations are offered in opposition to Rousseau's suggestions concerning exercising the senses and restraining the mind's activity. To develop quick perception, it is necessary not only to exercise the senses but to increase the pupil's stock of general ideas, and thus illuminate the mind that uses the senses. Environment and absorption of ideas from harmonious surroundings follow as important in child-education.
Pestalozzi is quoted as having struck the keynote of educational reform: "Nature develops all the powers of humanity by exercising them; they increase with use." Misuse is not use—not all exercising is developing. "The child that walks too soon deforms its legs." Exercise must be proportioned to strength to increase strength. Remarks upon education dealing with powers only as they become explicit are exceptionally strong. "Notwithstanding all that has been said and written, we still make knowledge our idol, and continue to fill the child's mind with foreign material, under the gratuitous assumption that at a later age he will be able, through some magic transubstantiation, to make it a vital part of his own thought. This is like loading his stomach with food which he can not digest under the delusive hope that he may be able to digest it when he is a man. . . . But glaring as are our sins of commission they pale before our sins of omission, for, while we are forcing upon the child's mind knowledge which has no roots in his experience, or calling on him to exercise still dormant powers, we refuse any aid to his spontaneous struggle to do and learn and be that which his stage of development demands."
This book is emphatically one for mothers, as it presents the subject of early child-training in a thoroughly practical manner.
The Psychological Review. Edited by J. McKeen Cattell and J. Mark Baldwin, with the Co-operation of Alfred Binet, John Dewey, H. H. Donaldson, G. S. Fullerton, William James, G. T. Ladd, Hugo Munsterberg, M. Allen Starr, Carl Stump, and James Sully. Published bimonthly by Macmillan & Co., New York. Pp. 112. Price, 75 cents; $4 a year.
The leading and principal article in the first number of this periodical, January, 1894, is the presidential address of Prof. George T. Ladd before the New York meeting of the American Psychological Association, in which, while the science of psychology is confessed to be embryonic in its present stage, it is claimed that more opportunity is afforded on that account for students and investigators to contribute something important to its more stable and higher evolution. Three classes of inquiries are suggested, embracing the relation in which the statistical and experimental investigations stand to the total science of psychology, the relation in which the science stands to what we call philosophy, and the relation in which it stands to conduct and to the practical welfare of mankind. Following the discussion of these questions is the speaker's expression of the conviction that the more he studies and teaches the science the deeper the impression that it is able and destined to contribute greatly to the welfare of mankind—by contributions toward the improvement of the art and practice of teaching; to the science and practice of medicine, especially in the department of neurology; to the diagnosis and treatment of the insane, the incorrigible, and the idiotic. "In general, why should we not expect to see our science contributing to the improved conduct and character of men in the school, in the courtroom, the prison, and the asylum," to the work of the religious teacher and the mother? This address is followed by a study of the case of John Bunyan, by Josiah Royce; Studies from the Harvard Psychological Laboratory, by Hugo Munsterberg; shorter contributions on Arithmetic by Smell, by Francis Galton; The Psychology of Infant Language, by John Dewey; Work at the Yale Laboratory, by E. W. Scripture; Discussion of Works by Prof. Wundt and Mr. James Ward; and notices of psychological literature.
The Canadian Ice Age: Being Notes on the Pleistocene Geology of Canada, with Special Reference to the Life of the Period and its Climatal Conditions. By Sir J. William Dawson. Montreal: William V. Dawson; New York: Scientific Publishing Company. Pp. 801.
The subjects discussed in this book have occupied the attention of the author to a greater or less extent since 1855, and he has published from time to time several papers and one pamphlet—Notes on the Post-pliocene of Canada—upon it. The present book is an attempt to collect in a convenient form the large mass of information included in the papers bearing on the histpry of the northern half of the continent of North America during the Ice age. Not satisfied with undertaking to explain the widespread and complex glacial formations of Canada by one dominant cause, the author is convinced that we must take into account the agency of both land ice and sea-borne ice in many forms, along with repeated and complex elevations and depressions of large portions of the continent. He is disposed, however, to seek for the causes of changes in climate rather in geological and geographical agencies than in astronomical vicissitudes. He notes the fact that no change, even of varietal value, has taken place in species since the beginning of the Pleistocene period as one of extreme significance with reference to theories of the modification of species in geological times. While not attempting to extend his generalizations south of Canada, he warns geologists in our country who insist upon portentous accumulations of ice within its territory, "that the material can not be supplied to them from Canada. They must establish gathering grounds within their own territory."
First Lessons in Civil Government. By Jesse Macy. Boston: Ginn & Co. Pp. 229. Illustrated. Price, 70 cents.
The expansion in the sphere of government in the United States has far outstripped popular education in the duties of citizenship. This undoubtedly is one of the causes of the current failure in government, deplored in every State and Territory of the Union. Hence the incalculable value of instruction such as Prof. Macy's, which takes boys and girls just as they are and interests them in the affairs of their county and State and the nation. Our author maintains that when a child is drawing a map of its township it readily comprehends that a township elects officers and cares for the highways; so, also, when drawing a map of its county and State it can easily understand that these are not mere pieces of land, but that they represent governments as well. Beginning with the public school which a child is attending, the government of the school district is shown as linked to that of the State; next, the county governments are studied in their various forms. As typical States, Prof. Macy has selected Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia; the government of each is described, and the governments of all four are compared; provision is made for the study of any other State government. Lastly, the Government of the United States is briefly explained. Thus, with the practiced hand of a teacher for many years successful in this branch of education, Prof. Macy begins at the home acre, that he may the better end by inculcating an intelligent patriotism which regards the whole country. In his concluding chapters he passes from exposition to appeal. He shows how much government means in modern life, and insists, none too strongly, on the necessity that government be purified. He declares that millions of citizens stand ready to die for their country who refuse to make the daily sacrifice of time and comfort demanded for the honest and competent discharge of public trusts.
Civic virtue, indeed, is no mere plaint of the moralist, it is the sole condition upon which scientific advance can come to its fruitage—upon which public health and safety can be enjoyed. America, for example, lags far behind Europe in civic engineering, simply because to extend the scope of municipal administration would but widen the field for official incapacity and corruption.
The Wilder Quarter-Century Book: Original Scientific Papers, dedicated to Prof. Burt Green Wilder. By some of his Former Students of Cornell University. Ithaca, N. Y.: Comstock Publishing Company. Pp. 493. Price, $5.
No more graceful tribute could well be conceived nor ample volume designed for the purpose intended than The Wilder Quarter-Century Book—1868-1893. In fact, seventeen of Prof. Wilder's former Cornell pupils, who have since become more or less famous in sundry scientific departments, have Joined hands and pens in dedicating to their worthy professor anything but a perfunctory work. This assumes the form of a collection of papers on physiological subjects, including vertebrate zoölogy and neurology. Their dedication to Prof. Wilder, B. S., M. D., is declared as "a testimonial of their appreciation of his unselfish devotion to the university and in grateful remembrance of the inspiration of his teaching and example." The book itself is well printed and profusely illustrated, several excellent plates being noticeable throughout. A finely executed portrait of Prof. Wilder by John P. Davis, Secretary of the Society of American Wood Engravers, constitutes the frontispiece. The President of the Leland Stanford Junior University, David Starr Jordan, LL. D., contributes the first article—Temperature and Vertebræ: a Study in Evolution—which discusses with clearness the relations of the numbers of vertebræ among fishes to the temperature of water and the character of the struggle for existence. An essay by John Henry Comstock, B. S., Professor of Entomology and General Invertebrate Zoölogy in Cornell University, on the application of the theory of natural selection in the classification of animals and plants, illustrated by a study of the evolution of insects' wings, completes another important paper. The Vital Equation of the Colored Race and its Future in the United States is contributed by Dr. Rollin Corson, B. S., and Theobald Smith, Ph. B., M. D., Professor of Bacteriology and Hygiene in Columbian University, Washington, D. C, treats of the Fermentation Tube, with special reference to anaërobiosis and gas production among bacteria. Muscular Atrophy is considered as a symptom by Dr. William Krauss, B. S.; and Prof. Biggs, M. A., M. D., of Bellevue Hospital Medical College, invites the reader to a bacterial study of acute cerebral and cerebro-spinal lepto-meningitis. An interesting and important essay is that by Veranus A. Moore, B. S., M. D., of the United States Department of Agriculture, on the character of the Flagella on the Bacillus Choleræ Suis; while Grant Sherman Hopkins, D. Sc, of Cornell University, unfolds the nature of the lymphatics and enteric epithelium of Amia calva The instructor of vertebrate zoölogy in Cornell University, Pierre Augustine Fish, B. S., adds a highly thoughtful paper on Brain Preservation, giving a résumé of some old and new methods.
While other essays of import go to make up the work, the engravings of moths and some fine plates by Anna Botsford Comstock, B. S., natural-history artist, may, from an art point of view, be regarded as possessing a high order of merit. Preceding a table showing the courses given by Prof. Wilder, we obtain also an intimate acquaintance with Dr. Wilder's numerous and miscellaneous writings from 1861 to 1893. These include published works, essays, papers read, and many important reviews. The volume before us lacks nothing in completeness and the style throughout is clear, very often fascinating, and always of varying importance. Within certain limitation, the work will serve as a valuable adjunct in every student's library.
In continuation of the archæological work of the late Prof. Eben Norton Horsford, his daughter, Miss Cornelia Horsford, has published together a paper by her father entitled Leif's House in Vindand and one by her on Graves of the Northmen (Damrell & Upham, Boston). The former describes excavations made by Prof. Horsford in Cambridge on the site of a dwelling which he identified as one built by the Norse discoverers of America, the latter describes similar excavations made by his daughter on the site of a similar dwelling near by. Among the discoveries on these spots are parts of the foundation walls, fireplaces, charcoal, shells of mollusks, and the teeth and bones of a deer. Miss Horsford has also opened two grave mounds, but has not opened what she thinks may be the grave of Thorbrand the Valiant, preferring to leave this work to an experienced archæologist.
An Iowa Geological Survey, apparently the third one, was organized in 1892, and has issued its First Annual Report. The most extended paper in this volume is a general account of the Geological Formations of Iowa, by Charles R. Keyes, the Assistant State Geologist. There is an account of Cretaceous Deposits of Woodbury and Plymouth Counties, by the State Geologist, Samuel Calvin, a Catalogue of Minerals, and papers on Limestones and Lava Flows. Ten plates and twenty-six cuts illustrate the text. A bibliography of two hundred and fifty pages included in the volume shows that its field is not an untrodden one.
Whenever a public library is started one of the first and most important tasks of its managers is to make up a list of books as the foundation of the collection. Most of the labor of this task could be saved in every case if a carefully made list were obtainable that need only be slightly changed so as to fit it to the requirements of the library in question. At the Columbian Exposition the American Library Association exhibited a popular library of five thousand volumes, in which were illustrated the most approved methods of shelving, cataloguing, and issuing books. A catalogue of this collection has been issued by the Bureau of Education, under the title Catalog of A. L. A. Library, and is designed to serve the purpose of a list the need of which is indicated above. The committee in charge of the work does not claim that the A. L. A. Library is an ideal selection, but that it is a good working library, and that no board of trustees would make a mistake in duplicating it. The Catalog really contains two catalogues of the books selected—one arranged according to the Decimal system, the other according to the Expansive system. The books in the classes of fiction and biography are not given in the classed catalogues, but in separate alphabetical lists. A large proportion of the books exhibited were given by their publishers. The collection was to be, and probably now has been, deposited with the Bureau of Education at Washington, for permanent exhibition. The selection of the A. L. A. Library might be criticised as better adapted to a community of students than to the users of the ordinary popular library. Seventy-five to eighty per cent of the circulation of every popular library is fiction, but only a fraction over fifteen per cent of the books in this collection is fiction. this library tries to cover all fields of knowledge fairly well, and what it shows is not so much what the average reader would want as what he ought to want.
The Report of S. P. Langley, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, for the Year ending June 30, 1893, presents briefly a general account of the Institution, and in the appendixes summaries of the reports of the officers in charge of the National Museum, the Bureau of Ethnology, the Bureau of International Exchanges, the Zoölogical Park, and the Astro-physical Observatory.
Several numbers of Aëronautics, a monthly journal devoted to the subject indicated by its name, have been received since last October, when it was established by M. N. Forney, publisher of the American Engineer and Railroad Journal and various engineering books (47 Cedar Street, New York, $1 a year). It is to contain in twelve numbers the papers presented to the Congress of Aërial Navigation held during the World's Fair, besides other articles, notes, comments, news, etc. Among the papers contained in the first four numbers are On the Problem of Aërial Navigation, by the late C. W. Hastings; The Internal Work of the Wind, by Prof. S. P. Langley; and Exploration of the Upper Atmosphere, by N. de Fonvielle. A large illustration occupies the first page of each number—that in the first number shows an English military balloon, that in the second the Maxim flying machine.