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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

great mass of those which are now filled by appointment—and which, under Mr. Stickney's system, would be increased—are as much sought after by party workers as those that are elective; and there is no greater security under the proposed system than under the present, that they will be kept out of their hands. The security is even less, because the Executive has greater power. Suppose the chief Executive and the required majority of the Legislature to be of the same party, with the same intense partisan feeling existing that now exists, what, under Mr. Stickney's system, is to prevent the offices from the top to the bottom being filled with political workers, and kept there without any more regard for their fitness than at present. A majority gained by the other side would simply have the effect of putting in a new Executive, who might make a clean sweep of the departments in the interest of his party. The only restraining force upon him then, as now, would be the pressure of public opinion, but that would necessarily be less than at present, because it could not make itself so effectively felt. The same party majority that would be able to keep the Executive in power for party reasons would also be able to keep members of the Legislature of their own party in their seats. Practically a member would be secure in his tenure unless guilty of the grossest misconduct. And party standards of conduct are not of the highest. If this Assembly were composed, as Mr. Stickney supposes, of the best and wisest men of the nation, and the chief Executive were a man of great administrative ability and honesty of purpose, doubtless his plan would work admirably. But a system must be judged by its ability to meet the worst cases. If the Assembly were filled with strong partisans, and the Executive were the willing tool of his party, the result would be anything but satisfactory, and there would be, under the law, no means of effecting a change. While the discussion of Mr. Stickney is in many ways suggestive, and throughout bears the evidence of careful thought, his system can not, to our thinking, be accepted as a solution of the problem. Without a destruction of the party spirit, it affords no better security for efficient and faithful service than the present one, and, with the destruction of this spirit, its purpose can be accomplished with the system we have.

An Elementary Text-Book of Botany. Translated from the German by Dr. K. Prantl, Professor of Botany in the Royal Academy of Forestry, Aschaffenburg, Bavaria. The Translation revised by S. H. Vines, Fellow and Lecturer of Christ's College, Cambridge. With 275 Illustrations. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott & Co. 1880. Price, $2.25.

In his preface to the English translation of Professor Prantl's text-book, Professor Vines tells us that the work appeared in Germany in response to a demand for an introduction to Professor Sachs's well-known and voluminous "Lehrbuch der Botanik," that should resemble it in its mode of treating the subject. Professor Prantl's success in this undertaking is attested by the rapidity with which his book has passed to a third edition in his own country, and by its prompt translation into English. The large work of Professor Sachs was translated by Bennet and Dyer, and published at Oxford in 1875. To readers unacquainted with this important volume, we may say that it introduces the student to the present state of knowledge concerning botanical science. It not only describes the phenomena of plant-life that are already accurately known, but it indicates those theories and problems in which botanical research is at present engaged. It is a quarto volume of 860 pages, of which some 200 are given to the consideration of "General Morphology," nearly 400 to "Special Morphology and Classification," about 200 to "Physiology," and the remaining 60 or 70 pages to chapters on "Plant Movements," "Sexual Reproduction," and "The Origin of Species." Professor Prantl's introduction to Sachs's "Botany" is an octavo volume of 332 pages. In treating a subject of such great extent in this brief space, the author has adopted a somewhat different order from that of the large work, and omitted many of the recondite subjects which are there so ably presented. The introductory chapter is devoted to external morphology. The anatomy of plants is treated in two chapters, the first upon cell-structure, contents, and development; and the second