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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

plants much in the same manner as it does upon the nervous system in animals, is a statement which needs to be reconciled with the undoubted fact that the power of bending to the light is beneficial to plants, and may in all probability have been specially acquired under the action of natural selection. Experiments have abundantly shown that growth is exceptionally promoted by light continuously kept up, as in the polar summer, or when the absence of sunlight is compensated by the electric ray. Herein is, of course, involved the intricate problem of the sleep of plants, which is carried on through two chapters of the highest interest.—Saturday Review.

Guide to the Study of Political Economy. By Dr. Luigi Cossa. Translated from the second Italian edition. With a Preface by W. Stanley Jevons, F. R. S. London: Macmillan & Co. 1880. Pp. 237. Price, $1.25.

This is a work which no English student of economics can fail to find of the greatest value, in helping him to a knowledge of the extent and worth of the economic writings of foreign authors. Dr. Cossa is peculiarly fitted, by his wide acquaintance with economic literature and by his breadth of view, to make a competent and trustworthy guide, and the translation of his work into the chief European languages sufficiently attests its merit. The work comprehends a brief exposition of the scope, character, and method of the. science, with an historical review of its position and doctrines in ancient and modern times, and a long list of the writings of economists of all countries, with indications of their worth. In the first chapter the science is defined and its demarkation from allied branches of knowledge pointed out. The division of the science and its relation to other sciences occupy the author in the next two chapters, the views of a number of leading economists being given. The chapter upon method contains a brief but excellent discussion of the questions involved in the controversy between what are known as the historical and philosophic schools, Dr. Cossa pointing out the error of main position of the former school, while admitting the value of much of the work accomplished by its members. A consideration of the importance of the science and an examination of some of the objections to it complete the more general part of the work, the remainder being devoted to the historical review. This includes a notice of the political economy of the ancients, of the middle ages, and of modern times, treating briefly in the latter period of that of the physiocrats, of Adam Smith and his successors, of the economists of the present century, and closing with a consideration of contemporary Italian economists. An index of the authors quoted in the text is placed at the close of the volume, the list containing over seven hundred names.

The Young Folks' Cyclopædia of Persons and Places. By John D. Champlin, Jr., late Associate Editor of the "American Cyclopædia." With numerous Illustrations. New York: Henry Holt & Co. 1881. Pp. 936. Price, $3.50.

This work, including both real and fabulous persons and places, is intended, in connection with the "Young Folks' Cyclopædia of Common Things" by the same author, to cover the usual range of cyclopedic knowledge. The language is simple; technical terms where admitted are explained; the illustrations are selected to exclude those common in school-books, and preference is given to those showing restorations of classic scenes and famous buildings. The pronunciations are indicated approximately by plain English letters; and the size of countries and cities is made more plain by comparing them with States and towns at home. Most of the facts are brought down to 1880.

James Smithson and his Bequest, by William J. Rhees; and The Scientific Writings of James Smithson, edited by William J. Rhees. Washington: Published by the Smithsonian Institution. 1879. Pp. 227.

The preparation of a biography of the founder of the Smithsonian Institution has been delayed on account of the scantiness of the materials. Unusual exertions were made last year to collect the facts and incidents of the life of Mr. Smithson, but nothing new was elicited. The few facts which are known have been collected by Mr. Rhees as all the information likely to be obtained, and are presented for the first time as an authentic account of the man