Popular Science Monthly/Volume 7/July 1875/Literary Notices
The Life and Growth of Language: An Outline of Linguistic Science. By William Dwight Whitney. Pp. 326. New York: Appletons (International Scientific Series, Volume XVI.). Price, 1.50.
Ever since the fifteenth century the study of languages, particularly of Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, has formed the basis of a "liberal education;" and yet it was not till our own day that such a thing as a science of language was thought possible. Generation after generation trod the beaten path of grammar, loading the memory with formulas of accidence and syntax, learning by heart whole books of the "Iliad" and the "Æneid;" a few, and only a few, getting an insight into the habits of thought of the great poets, philosophers, orators, and historians of antiquity. For the few the study of the classics was an inestimable benefit, it undoubtedly did serve to broaden and liberalize their minds; but the many derived from their toilsome labors absolutely no fruit. On the contrary, this mill-horse toiling up and down, and round and round, ever treading the same old tracks of declension and conjugation, ever "parsing" and translating without being able to see whither it all tended, could serve only to dull and deaden all the faculties of the mind, and to stamp out all originality.
The old school in language had a theory of the origin of the various tongues of mankind: they all sprang from one—the Hebrew. Whether true or false, this theory was unproductive of results which could, by any possibility, inform or instruct the mind, for it was at the same time affirmed that the descendants of the Hebrew language were purposely so distorted that human ingenuity would ever fail to show a connection between the children and the parent, or between the children themselves. But, by the researches of modern scholars, even the arbitrary (for so they, till recently, seemed to be) modifications of words, as found in declension, conjugation, and the like, have been traced to their sources, and good reasons ascertained why they are thus and not otherwise. In this way caprice is eliminated from language, and law set up in its place; language is made amenable to scientific treatment.
Prof. Whitney's book outlines with wonderful clearness the science of language; and in the deservedly popular series to which it belongs there is not one volume which surpasses this as a simple and lucid exposition of a scientific theme. His method is to start from obvious, familiar truths, to exemplify by facts that are well known, and hence he is always, in his speculations, within easy reach of the reader. This commonsense mode of treating his subject is seen in Prof. Whitney's discussion of the question, How is language obtained by us? "There are few," he says, "who would not at once reply that we learn our language; it is taught us by those among whom our lot is cast in childhood." And this reply the author accepts as the true one, rejecting two other answers: that language is a race-characteristic, and as such inherited from one's parents, like the physical constitution; and that it is independently produced by each individual, in the natural course of his bodily and mental growth. The author then proceeds to show that language is not inherited, and that it is not evolved by the mind of the individual, but simply learned, acquired by hearing and practice.
As an illustration of the influence upon language of conservative and alterative forces. Prof Whitney very happily selects a verse (Matthew xii. 1) from the Anglo-Saxon Gospels and compares it with the same verse in our modern English: "Se Hælend fôr on reste-dæg ofer æceras; sôthlîce his leorning cnihtas hyngrede, and hî ongunnon pluccian thâ ear and etan." Modern version: "Jesus went on the Sabbath-day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred and began to pluck the ears of corn and to eat." In the Anglo-Saxon version it is not easy for the ordinary English reader to recognize the words as familiar, and yet, by translating it as literally as we can, we find that almost every element in it is still good English. Thus: The Healing (one) fared on rest-day over (the) acres; soothly, his learning-knights (it) hungered, and they began (to) pluck the ears and eat. By means of this one passage Prof. Whitney indicates all the change-influences to which language is subject. These are: "I. Alterations of the old material of language; change in the words which are still retained as the substance of expression; and this of two kinds or sub-classes: 1. Change in altered form; 2. Change in content or signification. II. Losses of the old material of language, disappearance of what has been in use; and this also of two kinds: 1. Loss of complete words; 2. Loss of grammatical forms and distinctions. III. Production of new material; additions to the old stock of a language, in the way of new words or new forms; external expansion of the resources of expression." Five chapters of the work are devoted to an exposition of the influence of these various causes upon language.
We have not space for more than mere mention of the titles of the remaining chapters of the work, viz.. Dialects; Indo-European Language; Linguistic Structure; Material and Form in Language; Other Families of Language: their Locality, Age, and Structure; Language and Ethnology; Nature and Origin of Language.
The Sexes throughout Nature. By Antoinette Brown Blackwell, Author of "Studies in General Science." Pp. 240. G. P. Putnam's Sons. Price $1.25.
The line of argument upon the woman-question which was opened by Mrs. Blackwell in an article in The Popular Science Monthly on the alleged antagonism between growth and reproduction, and which was subsequently still further pursued in these pages by Dr. Frances Emily White in papers on "Woman's Place in Nature," is carried out in the present volume with considerable elaboration. It is a monograph, written to establish, on scientific grounds, the equality of the sexes throughout Nature. Both Mrs. Blackwell and Miss White are students of science, and recognize that in its later progress, especially in biology and psychology, it has direct and important bearings upon the issues raised in the women's movement. They recognize Darwin and Spencer as representing the most advanced scientific results, but object to the conclusions at which these gentlemen have arrived, on the subject of the relations of the sexes. Mrs. Blackwell's work is therefore not an attempt merely to expound the present state of science, but it aims to controvert conclusions deemed erroneous, and which have weight because emanating from high authorities. Of her book we may say that it is written in a clear and excellent style, contains much interesting information which will be fresh to many readers, and abounds in acute suggestions and ingenious views, while the publishers have got it up in an attractive form.
But, considered as an original scientific argument, we fail to see that Mrs. Blackwell has advanced or altered the position of the question she has taken up. She undertakes to prove that throughout all Nature the sexes are equal. We will not say that this is an impossible task; but if it be attempted in a truly scientific spirit we have no hesitation in saying that even the proximate solution of her problem belongs to the very distant future. For what she proposes to do is nothing less than to reduce the whole organic world, with all its vital and psychical characters, into exact and demonstrable quantitative expression. She puts the problem sharply, saying: "This is a subject for direct scientific investigation. It is a question of pure quantity; of comparing unlike but strictly measurable terms. In time it can be experimentally decided and sol tied by rigid mathematical tests." Accordingly, she reduces the elements of her subject to the form of equations, and, making an analysis of the characters and functions of the sexes in insects, fishes, cetacea, birds, herbivora, carnivora, and man, she aims to establish the equivalence of their relations. Special attributes she admits to be variable, but, taking the totality of attributes and bringing them together as balancing quantities, she maintains that throughout Nature the sexes are strict mathematical equivalents of each other.
Mrs. Blackwell seems to us to be quite oblivious of the difficulties of the task here undertaken. We know how long and painfully even the lower and simpler sciences toiled through their qualitative stages, before they reached the possibility of entering upon their quantitative relations. And we know, too, how the difficulties have thickened in prosecuting these sciences to their higher stages, even where all the effects are capable of being dealt with by direct experiment. But when we pass to the organic sciences these difficulties are immensely heightened. That organic phenomena are governed by quantitative laws is no doubt true, and it is the duty of science to work them out as fast and as far as it can; but, considering the vastness of the work, we can hardly regard it as yet fairly begun. Certain important physiological constants have been determined with some accuracy of general expression. The weight of the parts—skeleton, muscles, and brain—the proportions of chemical constituents, the rates of respiratory change, the statistics of circulation, the balance of assimilation and waste, and the relation of the expenditure of mechanical force to the food consumed, have been arrived at in a general and proximate way, after centuries of labor by the physiologists of all nations. Even to these results it would be wholly inadmissible to apply the term exact. But, when we rise to more complex organic manifestations, to the functions of the nervous system, to feeling and thought, and those proportions and combinations of characters which distinguish classes and individuals, nothing whatever has been done toward their quantitative elucidation, und we can only say that the phenomena are vaguely comparable as more or less.
To illustrate the difficulties of attaining exact, ideas in relation to quantity, we may refer to the history of chemistry, a science in which all the phenomena are at absolute experimental command. A century ago the law of exact proportions in chemical combination was arrived at, and, from the equality of affinity and neutralization among different bodies, they were held to be equivalents of each other, and the term "equivalence" came to be settled and fundamental in expressing chemical relations. But, after a hundred years of the closest thinking and the most exact experiment, we now find that the "old chemistry" is swept away, and the idea of "equivalence," which was its corner-stone, has gone with it. With the new facts, and finer discriminations, and broader views that have arisen, a whole crop of new terms has sprung up, and, instead of the equivalence of combining bodies, we now speak of their "univalence" and "multivaience," their "bivalence," "trivalence," "penti valence," etc.; and, finally, the whole set of relations has to be expressed by the general term "quantivalence." But if the conception of equivalence is thus discredited in one of its oldest and simplest scientific applications, what meaning can it have when applied to phenomena that have not yet even taken on the quantitative form? We can write down the contrasted characters of the sexes, as Mrs. Blackwell has done, and carry them out to no end of detail, and prefix the terms plus and minus to the elements that are brought into comparison, and thus give a general idea of Nature's compensations; but to undertake to add up or to reduce to any strict equational form these most indefinite things seems like trifling. With man the scheme of comparison is carried out to nineteen particulars, of which the following five are examples:
We looked over this enumeration with special interest, to see what value would be assigned to maternity, the grand function of the female sex, to which every thing else is subordinated. But it is either left out of the estimate, or must be included under products. Maternity is thus so generalized as to be described in terms applicable to both sexes. Now, we do not like this depreciation of the feminine side. Denying, as we do, the equality of the sexes, and holding to the superiority of the female sex, we protest against the degradation of woman implied in losing the supreme and distinctive purpose of her nature among the plus and minus products common to the sexes.
The Text-Book of Botany, Morphological and Physiological. By Julius Sachs, Professor of Botany in the University of Würzburg. Translated and annotated by Alfred W. Bennett, F. L. S., assisted by W. T. Thiselton Dyer, F. L. S. Macmillan & Co. Pp. 848. 461 Illustrations. Price $12.50.
This admirable translation of the work of Prof. Sachs supplies a want long felt in our literature. Students who have been cut off from the German work, by their inability to read that language, may congratulate themselves that, for once at least, the translation offers advantages not found in the original. The Germans, it is well known, are doing a very large proportion of the world's thinking, and it has been hinted that the German consciousness of this fact is perhaps somewhat exaggerated, and may sometimes betray its men of learning into an unprofitable ignoring of the labors of other nations. But no criticism of this kind will hold against the present volume. Its translators, being themselves eminent botanists, have enriched the work with comments and contributions embodying English thought and discovery in this important division of science. We may also add that the German work reached its fourth edition while the translation was passing through the press, so that the new views adopted by the author, and the new matter added, are indicated in the English volume.
This text-book of Prof. Sachs is at once comprehensive in scope, and minute and accurate in detail. It is the aim of the author to introduce the student to the present state of knowledge in botanical science. He not only explains the phenomena of plant-life already accurately known, but also indicates those theories and problems in which botanical research is at present engaged. References are given throughout the volume, which direct the student to those writings that contain fuller discussions of the points in question, that he may be enabled to form for himself an enlightened judgment. The illustrations are mostly original, and many of them the result of laborious investigation.
The work consists of three divisions: General Morphology, Special Morphology, and Physiology. Under General Morphology, there are three chapters treating: 1. Of the morphology of the cell; 2. Morphology of the tissues; and 3. Morphology of the external conformation of plants. Special morphology deals with the groups of plants as at present arranged in classes. Physiology is treated in seven chapters: 1. On the molecular forces in the plant; 2. Chemical processes in the plant; 3. General conditions of plant-life; 4. Mechanical laws of growth; 5. Periodic movements of the mature parts of plants, and movements dependent on irritation; 6. The phenomenon of sexual reproduction; 7. The origin of species.
The general reader, who is interested in modern scientific discussion, will find this an entertaining volume, because of its vital relation to questions uppermost in modern thought. For instance, the world-wide interest in "protoplasm" aroused by Prof. Huxley's address at Edinburgh, finds ample satisfaction in the explanations of cell-structure and cell-function. As bearing upon this subject we quote the following, which will be new to many readers:
"Under this head" (Myxomycetes) "is included a numerous group of organisms which, in many respects, differ widely from all other vegetable structures, but, in the mode of formation of their spores, stand nearest to fungi, on which account we may treat them as a supplement to that class. The Myxomycetes are remarkable in no ordinary degree from the fact that, during the period of their vegetation and assimilation of food, they do not form cells or tissues. The protoplasm, which in all other plants is also the general motive power of the phenomena of life, remains in them during the whole of this period perfectly free, collects into considerable masses, and assumes various shapes from the internal force residing in it without becoming divided into small portions, which surround themselves with cell-walls (or become cells). It is only when the protoplasm passes into a state of rest in consequence of being surrounded by unfavorable conditions, or when it concludes its period of vegetation by the formation of the reproductive organs—its internal and external movements ceasing at the same time—that it breaks up into small portions which surround themselves with cell-walls, and which even then never form a tissue in the proper sense of the term."
The book is penetrated throughout with modern views in biology, and also illustrates the truth of the remark that, while other nations are disputing about the doctrines of Darwin, the Germans accept them, and are working on the new basis afforded by them. In the chapter on the "Origin of Species," full of the fruitage of this new line of study, we find the following:
"The scientific basis for the theory of descent rests in the fact that it alone is able to explain in a simple manner all the mutual relationships of plants to one another, to the animal kingdom, and to the facts of geology and paleontology, their distribution at different times over the surface of the earth, etc.; since it requires no other hypothesis than descent with variation, and the continued struggle for existence which permits those forms only to persist that are endowed with sufficiently useful properties, the others perishing sooner or later. But both these hypotheses are supported by an infinite number of facts. The theory of descent involves only one hypothesis that is not directly demonstrated by facts, namely, that the amount of variation may increase to any given extent in a sufficiently long time. But, since the theory which involves this hypothesis is sufficient to explain the facts of morphology and adaptation, and since these are explained by no other scientific theory, we are justified in making this assumption."
Sixth Annual Report of the State Board OF Health of Massachusetts. 379 pages. January, 1875.
This report opens with a feeling tribute of respect, from the pen of Dr. Henry I. Bowditch, Chairman of the Massachusetts State Board of Health, to the memory of Dr. George Derby, its former able Secretary, who died June 20, 1874; and to whose excellent judgment and untiring exertions the usefulness of the Board in past years, and its present high position as an authority in 'sanitary matters, are largely due.
The subjects of the papers contained in this report are the following:
"Inebriate Asylums or Hospitals," by Henry I. Bowditch, M. D. In this paper the line has been drawn between vicious and morbid drunkenness: yet the former may finally become the latter. The writer suggests a means of dealing, through inebriate asylums, with one of the most troublesome questions of the day. The Board, feeling the importance of the subject, has passed a resolution recommending to the Legislature, as a sanitary measure of the highest importance, the establishment or endowment of one or more inebriate asylums or hospitals.
"The Value of Health to the State," by W. E. Boardman, M. D., of Boston. Whether all disease, or any class of diseases, can be prevented or "stamped out" or not, the experience of all countries has shown that the death-rate may be very sensibly diminished by attention to sanitary laws; and the writer has shown in this article that the State can afford to spend some millions of dollars in saving to itself the immense losses now occasioned by disease and consequent poverty in its citizens.
"On the Transportation of Live-Stock," by J. C. Hoadly, Esq., of Lawrence, member of the Board. This essay will commend itself to all persons interested in cattle-transportation, whether financially or from a desire that the transportation and slaughtering of animals may be attended with the least amount of suffering possible, and be conducted in a way to secure to the community the best meat.
"Our Meat Supply and Public Health," by C. F. Folsom, M. D., Secretary of the Board. In this paper are considered the various diseases, parasitic and others, which affect the quality of butcher's meat considered as an article of food for man. The opinions of experts in reference to other conditions in which animal food is sometimes found, and some facts bearing upon the question of its suitableness for our markets, are also shown. The writer divides meat into three classes: 1. That which is unquestionably of first-rate quality, and from animals perfectly sound and healthy; 2. That which is innutritive or lacking in the qualities which the best meat should possess, and inspection is urged for this on economic grounds; 3. That which is positively harmful or dangerous, and in this case inspection is recommended as being necessary on sanitary grounds; finally, the only safe way with regard to pork is shown to consist in never eating it unless thoroughly cooked.
"Cremation and Burial, an Examination of their Relative Advantages," by J. F. Adams, M. D., of Pittsfield. The writer concludes that there exists no necessity, on sanitary or economic grounds, for any change at present, in our manner of disposing of the dead. He shows that cemeteries, if managed with proper care, may be made to conduce to the welfare of the public by affording parks abounding in luxuriant vegetation. At the same time, there is no real objection to cremation, excepting that which arises from religious feeling or association, and which should be respected, so that individuals should be allowed to choose in what way their own remains are to be disposed of.
Other papers are: "The Brighton Abattoir," in which the daily average amount of meat used by each individual of the six hundred thousand supplied by Boston markets is estimated to be about eleven ounces. The paper gives the regulations of the Butch ers' Slaughtering and Melting Association, the Revised Sanitary Regulations of the State Board of Health, an Analysis of But ter made from Suet, and the Acts in regard to establishing Abattoirs; "On the Composition of the Air of the Ground Atmosphere," by Prof. Wm. Ripley Nichols, of Boston; "The Ventilation of Railroad-Cars," by T. W. Fisher, M. D., of Boston, with "Chemical Analyses of the Air in Cars," by Prof. Nichols; "Health of Towns;" and a "Report on the Sanitary Condition of the State Prison at Charlestown," close the volume.
The Law of Inheritance, or the Philosophy of Breeding. By E. Lewis Sturtevant M. D.
The two great efforts of the agriculturist should be how to raise the best crops, and how to beget and perpetuate the best stock. Any thing that incites thought and action in this direction must advance agriculture and lay more deeply and broadly some of the foundations of national wealth. As Dr. Sturtevant's treatise is of this nature, and is eminently philosophical and scientific, it deserves well of all interested in this class of subjects. Its teachings, if generally understood, will lead to intelligent action in a line in which at present too much is left to lucky accidents.
Memoirs of the Royal Astronomical Society. Vol. xl. A Catalogue of 10,300 Multiple and Double Stars, arranged in the Order of Right Ascension by the late Sir J. F. W. Herschel, Bart., and edited by the Rev. R. Main, M. A., F. R. S., Radcliffe Observer, and the Rev. C. Pritchard, M. A., R. S., Savilian Professor of Astronomy in the University of Oxford. London, 1874.
In 1863 Sir John Herschel completed a descriptive catalogue of all the nebulæ and clusters known up to that time, the greater portion of which had been discovered by his illustrious father. Sir William Herschel, and by himself. This was a most valuable and complete compilation, and, although containing a list of no less than 5,079 nebulæ and clusters, it is singularly free from errors. This, no doubt, was in great part due to the careful and repeated revisions of the work by Sir John himself, and also to the fact that many lists of nebulæ existed with which Sir John's catalogue was constantly compared. No adequate idea of the amount of labor expended upon the preparation of this list can be given here, but a reference to the Introduction of that Catalogue must be made, where a concise account of the various revisions, collations, and comparisons, with the reductions executed (always in duplicate), extends over five quarto pages.
As the complete results of the observations of nebulæ were now accessible to astronomers in a convenient form, Sir John Herschel turned his attention to the formation of an equally complete catalogue of double stars. He proceeded assiduously with this work, and at the time of his death he had gathered data relating to over 10,000 stars, and had arranged these stars in order of right ascension, and had formed a synoptical history of all the known observations of about 4,000 of these.
This "Catalogue," in its imperfect state, was bequeathed to the Royal Astronomical Society, and volume xl. of their "Memoirs" contains the work completed in the form they have decided to give it, and for which the Society, jointly with the editors (who were but their agents), is responsible. So far we have given a sketch of the history of these two "Catalogues," gathered mainly from the respective Introductions. We propose briefly to indicate the shortcomings of the double-star catalogue, and we can do this best by comparing it with its predecessor in which Sir John Herschel's own plans were fully carried out by himself, and which naturally should have served as a model for the execution of the later catalogue. We will extract an entry from each of the two catalogues, and will explain these, so that an idea may be formed of the amount of information which can be had about any object contained in the two lists. The following extracts are made quite at random; the first from the "Catalogue of Nebulæ," the second from the "Catalogue of Double Stars:"
No. 2052; 688; I, 168; .... ; 10h 9m 498.9; 38.623; 1; 47° 53' 1".9; 17".83; 1; p B; v L; R; v g b M; 4.
No. 2052; h 698; .... ; 5h> 13m 488; 89° 6'; 38.09; 4".02.
The first entry relates to No. 2052 of the catalogued nebulæ, and we learn from it (taking the numbers in their order from left to right) that this nebula is No. 688 of Sir John Herschel's previous catalogue; is No. 168 of Sir William Herschel's Class I.; that no other persons have published any observations of this up to 1863; that its Right Ascension for 1860.0 is 10h 9m 498.9; that the annual precession in Right Ascension for 1880 is 38.623; that the number of observations upon which this place depends is 1; that its North Polar Distance for 1860.0 is 47° 53' 1".9; that the precession in North Polar Distance for 1880 is 17".83; that 1 observation was used to determine its position in North Polar Distance; and that this Nebula is "pretty Bright; very Large; Round; very gradually brighter in the Middle; and finally, that it has been observed 4 times by the Herschels." In short, we know something about this Nebula. Interpreting the entry from the "Double Star Catalogue," we find about No. 2052 that it is No. 698 of Sir John's previously published list; that it has been observed by no one else; that its Right Ascension for 1830 is 5h 13m 488; its North Polar Distance is for the same epoch 89° 6'; and that the precessions in Right Ascension and North Polar Distance are for the same epoch + 38.09 and - 4".02 respectively.
There is not a word about the relative magnitudes of the component stars of the double star referred to, not a word to show whether it is double, triple, quadruple, or multiple, not a word about the position, angle, and distance of the component stars of the double (if it is a double), and finally, not a word about the colors of the components. In short, we know next to nothing about this star. The little we do know is this: 1. Its position in 1830, and we have the means of determining the position with tolerable accuracy at present; and, 2. We know where to look in Sir John's partial "Catalogues," which are scattered through many volumes of the Royal Astronomical Society's "Memoirs," the observations at the Cape of Good Hope, etc., for the information regarding position, distance, color, and magnitude, which is precisely what we require, and which is precisely what is omitted from this new "Catalogue." Thus we may estimate its value to be that of an extended index to various double-star observations, with the approximate positions of these stars. After what we have said, it is unnecessary to go further. Any one can see that to the astronomer this "Catalogue" is of but slight value, while to the average double-star observer (who often has not the means of determining accurately star-positions) it is tantalizing and almost useless. When he finds a double star, how is he to know whether it is new or not, except by going over much of the same work that has been done once by the computer of this "Catalogue?" In fine, this book can only be considered to be truly useful when it is accompanied by the "Memoirs" from which the materials were originally drawn. The publication is not creditable to the Royal Astronomical Society, to the memory of its distinguished projector, nor to its able editors. These gentlemen might well have consulted the work of Dr. Anwers on a similar subject, "William Herschel's Verzeichnissen von Nebelflecken und Sternhanfen, bearbeitet von Arthur Anwers, 1862," for a model as to the way in which the memory of a great astronomer should be honored, and as to the manner in which alone it is worth while to do astronomical work.
Seventh Annual Report on the Noxious, Beneficial, and other Insects of Missouri. By C. V. Riley, State Entomologist.
In this volume (published April 1st) Prof. Riley specially considers six insect-pests, viz., the Colorado potato-beetle, chinch-bug, apple-tree borer, canker-worm. Phylloxera, and the Rocky Mountain locust, improperly called grasshopper. Mr. Riley gives the results of his observations and inquiries during the past year on each of these different insects, and, as in all his previous reports, keeps steadily in view the great practical object of his research, namely, the discovery of the best and most effectual means of annihilating these enemies of agriculture. In Missouri the farmers now accept the presence of the Colorado beetle as the necessary concomitant of the culture of the potato; but they do not fear it as once they did, being provided with the means of keeping the pest in check. Prof. Riley has, for years, recommended the use of Paris green in the war of extermination against this beetle, and the farmers of Missouri now very generally employ this substance, and with the best results: in short, it is by far the cheapest and most effectual means of destroying the beetle. "But, then, Paris green is a deadly poison, and therefore its use causes more mischief by far than could ever be done by the Colorado potato-bug." Prof. Riley, however, speaks from experience, and he asserts that there is no danger to be apprehended from the use of Paris green, "except through carelessness and exposure to its direct influence." Millions of bushels of potatoes were last year grown in Missouri, and great quantities of Paris green used in sprinkling the leaves of the growing plants, and yet the author has not heard of a single case of poisoning, save where people had been careless. After discussing the subject very fully, the author concludes with these words: "I would say to those agriculturists of the East who are in any way alarmed by what has been written on this subject, and who hesitate to use the Paris-green mixture—profit by the experience of your more Western brethren, and do not allow the voracious Doryphora to destroy your potatoes, when so simple and cheap a remedy is at hand."
The aggregate loss to Missouri farmers, in 1874, from the chinch-bug, is estimated at $19,000,000. The only measure at present known to be effectual against this pest, when it has spread, is irrigation. On the subject of the grape Phylloxera, Prof. Riley is an authority both at home and in Europe. A few facts, of interest to entomologists, in the life-history of this insect, are noted in the present volume. Mr. Riley gives a brief narrative of the researches made in France during the year, with a view to discovering a means of destroying this pest. Dumas's method is as follows: A hole is bored with an auger in the earth, near the foot of the vine, and in it are placed about four ounces of alkaline sulphocarbonate. By decomposition the sulphuret of carbon is formed, which kills the Phylloxera, without injuring the vine. We see, from the report of a recent meeting of the French Academy of Sciences, that this method "has been tried with great success in several of the more important vine-growing districts."
The territory in Missouri ravaged by the Rocky Mountain locust in 1866, and again in 1874, is represented in a map, in which is also indicated the direction in which the insects came during the latter year. Last May the Governor of Missouri proclaimed a day of fasting and humiliation as a stratagem in the anti-locust war. Prof. Riley, last year, "prophesied" that the locusts of 1874 would come too late to do much damage. He then asserted, and now asserts, that beyond the extreme western tier of counties Missouri need not dread these invaders. The event has confirmed the accuracy of Prof Riley's conclusions. The Governor would have done well had he given ear to this truthful prophet, before he uttered his cry of distress.
Determination and Classification of Minerals. By James C. Foye, A. M., Professor of Chemistry and Physics, Lawrence University, Wisconsin. Pp. 38. Price 75 cents. Chicago: Jansen, McClurg & Co., 1875.
The object of this little work, as the author says, is to furnish tables by which the student may, with as few easy tests as possible, determine with precision, and classify, minerals found in the United States, and become familiar with their principal characteristics.
Annual Report of the Board of School Commissioners of the City of Milwaukee, for the Year ending August 31, 1874.
Nothing neater, as respects typography and book-making, can be found in any educational document East. The table of examinations of teachers shows, in the large number of rejections, that honest work is attempted. Superintendent McAllister's scheme for uniform examination of the schools seems to us philosophical.
Systematic Catalogue of Vertebrata of the Eocene of New Mexico; collected in 1874. E. D. Cope, A. M.
This is a morceau of Lieutenant Wheeler's Reports. Of this essay the writer says it completes the determination of the fossil vertebrate species obtained in the Eocene of New Mexico during the field-work of 1874. The total species of mammalia is forty-seven, of which this essay "introduces twenty-four for the first time," besides some reptilia and fishes.
The Keys of the Creeds. Pp. 200. New York: Putnams. Price, $1.25.
The Miracle of To-Day. By Charles B. Warring. Pp. 292. New York: Scheimerhorn & Co. Price, $2.00.
Heat, Light, Electricity, and Magnetism. By Charles Skelton, M. D. Pp. 75. Trenton, N. J.: Naar, Day & Naar.
Curious Anomaly in the History of Larvæ of Acronycta Oblinita. By Thomas G. Gentry. Pp. 30.
Mysteries of Hierarchy. Pp. 14.
Climatology of Florida. By A. S. Baldwin, M.D. Pp. 39. Charleston, S. C.: Walker, Evans & Cogswell.
Secular Sermons, No. 1. By John Mcintosh. Pp. 20. Rochester: C. H. Stump.
Language, its Nature and Functions. By Rev. J. H. Pettingell, M.A. Pp. 26. Washington: Gibson Bros.
Report of the Managers of the State Lunatic Asylum, Utica, for the Year 1874. Albany: Weed, Parsons & Co.
Management of the Insane. By Henry Howard, M.D. Pp. 14. St. Johns, N. B.: News Print.
A Protest against the High-Pressure System of Education. Same Author. Pp. 24.
Philosophy of Dairy Manufactures. By F. X. Willard, M.A., of Herkimer Co., N.Y. Pp. 29.
The Aërial World (Hartwig). Appletons.
Problems of Life and Mind (Lewes). Osgood.
What Young People should know (Wilder). Estes & Lauriat.
Storms: their Nature, Classification, and Laws (Blasius). Philadelphia: Porter & Coates.
Certain Harmonies of the Solar System (Alexander).
Lists of Elevations (Gannett).
Fishes of the East Coast of North America (Gill).
Eighth Annual Report of the Trustees of the Peabody Museum.
Meteorological Observations (Chittenden).