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LITERARY NOTICES.

Jahres-Bericht des Naturhistorischen Vereins von Wisconsin. 1876-'77. Milwaukee: C. Dörflinger, printer.

This Annual Report of the Natural History Association of Wisconsin shows a gratifying increase in the number of members, and in the specimens contained in the various cabinets of natural history. The association embraces a section for zoölogy, one each for botany, mineralogy, geology, and ethnology, and the cabinets of each of these sections received during the year a large number of additional specimens. The list of active members embraces over 200 names.

Relative Ages of the Sun and Certain of the Fixed Stars. By Prof. D. Kirkwood. Pp. 4.

From the facts considered in this essay by Prof. Kirkwood, it appears to follow that—1. The solar system has not existed over twenty or thirty million years; 2. That our solar system is more advanced in its physical history than the larger component of the double star Alpha Centauri; 3. That 61 Cygni has reached a greater degree of condensation than the sun; and, 4. The companion of Sirius has reached a greater state of maturity than the sun, while the contrary seems to be true in regard to the principal star.

The Locust-Plague in the United States. By C. V. Riley, M. A., Ph. D. Pp. 236. With numerous Illustrations and Colored Maps. Chicago: Rand, McNally & Co. Price, $1.25.

We have here the fruit of the author's long-continued studies of the haunts and habits of the Rocky Mountain locust, as published from time to time in the "Entomological Reports of Missouri" and in sundry periodicals. The subject of the book is one that possesses a lively interest for farmers over a wide area of our Western States and Territories. Prof. Riley's object in publishing in a separate volume all the information he has been able to acquire with regard to the Rocky Mountain locust is a practical one—namely, to acquaint the farmer with the means of counteracting this plague—hence he, as far as possible, avoids technicalities, and writes in a style easily intelligible to the popular mind.

Compendium of Facts and Events. Compiled by E. Emery. Pp. 496. Peoria, III.: Transcript print. Price, $3.

This very convenient volume represents an enormous expenditure of labor in collecting statistical information in regard to "almost everything of interest to man." The matter is gathered in every instance from the most authentic sources, and is presented to the reader in the smallest possible compass. The work is one of permanent value. It is full of useful information for men in every walk of life, as the farmer, the mechanic, the merchant, the publicist, the schoolmaster, the man of letters, etc.

Peters's General History of Connecticut. Edited by Samuel Jarvis McCormick. Pp. 285. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Price, $1.50.

It was in this volume that publication was first made to the outside world of the so-called "Blue-Laws" of Connecticut. Of these laws the author says that they were "never suffered to be printed." He does not profess to do more than to give "a sketch" of some of them, so as to exhibit the spirit which pervades the whole. What that spirit was can be seen from a few of the prohibitions of the code, for instance: "No one shall run on the Sabbath-day, or walk in his garden or elsewhere, except reverently to and from meeting. No woman shall kiss her child on the Sabbath or fasting-day. No one shall read common-prayer, keep Christmas or Saints-days, make minced pies, dance, play cards, or play on any instrument of music, except the drum, trumpet, and Jew's-harp. No food or lodging shall be afforded to a Quaker, Adamite, or other heretic." The authenticity of these laws has been called in question, and recently Mr. J. H. Trumbull published a work designed to show that the "False Blue-Laws" were invented by Dr. Peters. The object of the editor in republishing the work is to make the public acquainted with the side of the question opposed to that of Mr. Trumbull, and to confirm, as far as possible, by contemporary testimony, the truthfulness of Dr. Peters's summary of the Puritanic legislation of Connecticut and New Haven. But, quite apart from this question, the work is one of real value, and well worthy the honor of republication.