Natural Law: An Essay in Ethics. By Edith Simcox. Boston: Osgood & Co. Pp. 361. Price, $3.50.
This is a profound disquisition on the deep things of metaphysical and moral philosophy. The treatment is very didactic, and not altogether inviting; but the author is a radical thinker, and tries hard to get down to first principles. The subject is dealt with under the heads of: I., Natural Law; II., Customary and Positive Law; III., Morality; IV., Religion; V., The Natural History of Altruism; VI., The Natural Sanctions of Morality; VII., Social and Individual Perfection. The best thing in the book is an extract from Jeremy Taylor, stating the difficulties that people have in getting along in this world. The passage will bear reproducing:
A Dictionary of Music and Musicians. a. d. 1450-1878. By Eminent Writers, English and Foreign. With Illustrations and Woodcuts. Edited by George Grove, D. C. L. In Two Volumes. Number of pages in Part I., 128. A to Ballad. New York: Macmillan & Co. Price, $1.25.
Musical dictionaries have hitherto been chiefly occupied in explaining the numerous terms and technicalities which have become so prominent in the art. The present work promises to be of a much more comprehensive character, indeed to be a kind of cyclopædia of music, giving "full and accurate information in regard to the lives of eminent composers, the history of musical instruments, the origin and gradual development of musical forms (such as the symphony and the sonata), the career of great singers, and so on." Such is the object of the work of which the first installment is before us, and which is to contain twelve quarterly parts. It is an enterprise of great labor, but the execution thus far shows that it will be thoroughly done. Its main articles are contributed by eminent authorities on musical subjects, and its minor parts have evidently been prepared with assiduous care, under the editorship of Mr. Grove. The work will of course be best appreciated by those most interested in music, but it will be of value to general readers, both for reference and for study, as furnishing the materials of the history of a great and growing popular art. We might object that the type is rather too small to give most attractiveness to the page, but from the copiousness of the information to be presented this became a necessity, in order to keep the volumes within a reasonable magnitude. The work is, however, printed with great clearness; and the musical passages that are freely interspersed in the text, to illustrate the various topics, come out with admirable distinctness. When the enterprise is completed, we shall have another important reference-book in this age of cyclopedic specialties.
Proteus, or Unity in Nature. By Charles Bland Radcliff, M. D. New York: Macmillan & Co. Pp. 214. Price, $2.50.
The object of this work is to illustrate, in a somewhat full and methodical way, the great principle of oneness in Nature—the law