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LITERARY NOTICES.

who crowned a well-earned reputation for scientific attainments with his remarkable bequest for the increase and diffusion of knowledge among men. Three portraits of Mr. Smithson and a view of his tomb at Genoa lend attractions to the work.

The volume contains, of Smithson's scientific writings, twenty-seven papers, mostly on chemical subjects, which were published in the "Transactions of the Royal Society of London," and Thomson's "Annals of Philosophy," between 1791 and 1825, with reviews of the scientific character of the papers by Professor Walter R. Johnson and J. R. McD. Irby. Mr. Smithson left, in addition to these papers, several hundred manuscripts, scraps, and notes on many subjects, which were destroyed in the fire at the Smithsonian Building in 1865.

Report on the Culture of the Sugar-Beet and the Manufacture of Sugar therefrom in France and the United States. By William McMurtrie, E. M., Ph. D., Superintendent of Agriculture in the United States Section, and Agent and Representative of the United States Department of Agriculture, at the Paris Exposition of 1878. Washington: Government Printing-Office. 1880. Pp. 294.

Mr. McMurtrie took advantage of his visit to the Paris Exposition to secure full information concerning the methods of culture of the beet and manufacture of sugar followed in France, and the same is given here, with additional information from other countries in Europe. The conditions most favorable to the success of the beet-sugar enterprise appear to be a mean temperature of not more than 70° and a minimum average rainfall of above two inches during the summer months. Tables, with illustrative charts, are given, showing in what parts of the United States these conditions exist. Full detailed reports are added of the progress and present condition of the sugar-beet culture in the New England States, particularly in Maine. The machinery used in making the sugar is illustrated by descriptive cuts.

Sanskrit and its Kindred Literatures. Studies in Comparative Mythology. By Laura Elizabeth Poor. Boston: Roberts Brothers. 1880. Pp. 468. Price, $2.

The object of the author has been to interest people in the study of all literature on the new basis which has been laid by the sciences of comparative philology and comparative mythology; to show that literature is one and continuous; that the same leading ideas have arisen at epochs apparently far separated from each other; and that each nation, however isolated it may seem, is, in reality, a link in the great chain of development of the human mind. The most prominence is given to Sanskrit as the oldest and nearest to the foundation of the Aryan literatures, which is viewed in its Vedic and Buddhist aspects, and in the light of the greatest works in either branch. A notice of the ancient Persian literature and the Zendavesta follows, after which are chapters on Greek mythology, poetry, drama, philosophy, and history, Latin and Keltic, Scandinavian, Anglo-Saxon, and German literatures, mediæval hymns and ballads, the mythology of Slavonic literature, and the modern poetry of Europe.

High Schools. By B. G. Northrop, Secretary of the Connecticut Board of Education. Syracuse, N. Y.: Davis, Bardeen & Co. Paper. Pp. 26. Price, 25 cents.

Mr. Northrop in this pamphlet essays to answer the objections that have been urged during a few years past against the continuance of the public high schools. To the objection that they are an excrescence on our school system, aside from the design of its founders, he replies that they have been maintained in Massachusetts for a longer time and on a broader scale than in any other state of the world, the first law establishing them having been passed in 1647. He urges that the high school lifts up all the schools of lower grades by giving increased efficiency to them through its standard of admission, which presents a strong stimulus to studiousness and fidelity. It is true that only a small proportion of college students have received their preliminary training in the high schools, but it is claimed on the other side that the interest of a large proportion of the students in higher education was first excited in the high schools, and that they have gone out from them to the academies where they have received their special preparation. That the high schools have not a communistic tendency, as some assert, is proved by the fact that communism prevails

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