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LITERARY NOTICES.

the proceedings of winding-up defunct banks have been dilatory and extravagant—conducted with a disregard of the interests of the depositors that differs from common swindling only in having the sanction of the courts. If the State had performed the duties which manifestly belong to it, there would be less clamor now for it to step out of its proper sphere to manage financial corporations.

It is true that the public has been marvelously credulous. Any adventurer who could raise money enough to put up a sign and make large promises would find some trusting fools to leave their money with him, and it almost seems that they should be protected against themselves; but efforts which aim to protect people from the consequences of their own folly, however amiable they may be, are rarely successful; it is best in the end to let people reap the reward of their stupidity.

Unfortunately, the average depositor in savings-banks labors under disadvantages in being without facilities for getting information or training which would help him to form an intelligent judgment on it when obtained; but this is one of the unpleasant concomitants of ignorance from which there is no way of escape except through the acquirement of knowledge. The public does not seem very apt in gaining this sort of knowledge; but only as it is mastered will a better condition of things be reached. The teachings of the last few years have been very thorough, and it is to be hoped that confidence will be more intelligently placed in the future than it has been in the recent past; that new candidates for it will find that more strenuous and legitimate measures are needed.

A good deal is said about the philanthropy of this class of institutions; but analysis would doubtless show that the altruistic element in them is the merest trace. They are formed by men who are selfish enough to desire to make them as large and prosperous as may be; it will not need a great prolongation of the present state of feeling to teach them that the way to success is to offer the highest guarantees of good management and security, and see to it that these guarantees be real.

As to the best methods of convincing the public of their trustworthiness, that may safely be left to the managers themselves; the utmost publicity and fullness in the statements of condition, and the greatest freedom for the inspection of accounts and securities by depositors, or those in their interest, would contribute much to that end.

 


LITERARY NOTICES.

The Question of Rest for Women during Menstruation. By Mary Putnam-Jacobi, M.D. The Boylston Prize Essay of Harvard University for 1816. Pp. 232. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1877. Price, $3.50.

It is fortunate for that group of physiological and social conditions involved in what is termed the "Woman Question" that it has been investigated in one of its most important aspects by an author not only specially prepared by education and training to do it justice, but one, so to speak, "to the manner born." The motive of Dr. Putnam-Jacobi's book seems to be to close the discussion opened by Dr. Clarke in his "Sex in Education," rather than to make a direct answer to his argument That it does not close this discussion, and furnish an authoritative canon to measure the value of the "question of rest for women," is the fault partly of the material gathered, and partly of the method of handling the facts. There is no difficulty in the way of doctors, male or female, collecting facts relating to women sick; but, when facts are needed concerning women well, the innate delicacy of the sex is in arms against the statistician. This is evident when we state that, of 1,000 circulars calling for information regarding the sexual history of women in different occupations, but 268 were answered.