THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.
deceased, among which a conspicuous position is given to that of Dr. Crawford W. Long, for whom is claimed absolute priority in the discovery of anæsthesia by ether, and who died in 1878, "at the bedside of a patient, in the discharge of his duty."
The Universe; or, The Infinitely Great and the Infinitely Little. By F. A. Pouchet. M. D. Sixth edition. Illustrated by 270 Engravings on Wood. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. Pp. 564. Price, $3.75.
To present the leading facts of nature to the non-scientific public in such a style that it will read of them with the interest with which it follows the development of a romance, without detracting from the dignity and accuracy of scientific statement, to compose such a vivid word-picture as shall enable the reader to form an adequate conception of the marvelousness of the wonders that science has discovered, without falling into exaggeration and sensationalism, are tasks which the most learned investigator in science and the best-trained writer would be justified in shrinking from attempting. Only a man of strong imagination, combined with an unusually even mental poise, could undertake to carry a series of description of this character through the whole field of nature. M. Pouchet has undertaken this, and has accomplished it successfully. He leads us in his most entertaining work, which the child or the student of science may read with equal pleasure, by successive steps, truly from the infinitely little to the infinitely great. Beginning with the invisible world of the microscope, which includes the animalcules that still live in our fluids, the fossil infusoria of the edible earths, and the nummularia of the lime-stones of which cities and the pyramids are built, and the "architects of the sea," the corals, the boring mollusks, and the "mountain-building" foraminifera, he goes on to make us acquainted with the insects, the abundance of their life, and the magnitude of their works and their depredations, the birds and the artful structures of which they are the architects, and with the wonderful migrations of animals of every class. Then, passing to the vegetable kingdom, he illustrates the anatomy and physiology of plants, the functions of the seed and the process of germination, the "extremes in the vegetable kingdom," from the lichen of the rock to the baobabs and sequoias of the primeval forest, and discourses of the longevity and density of plants, and their migrations, even more wonderful than those of animals. Next the department of geology is brought under review, with an account of the formation of the globe by gradual development and change as recorded on the tablets of the rocks, descriptions of fossils, embracing here again the extremes, though not infinite, of the little and the great—"the mountains, cataclysms, and upheavals of the globe, volcanoes and earthquakes, glaciers and eternal snows, caverns and grottoes, steppes and deserts, and the air and its corpuscles. The "Infinitely Great" is represented in the sidereal universe, under which head are considered "The Stars and Immensity" and the solar world. The final chapter gives a brief account of the monsters and superstitions, belief in which was cultivated in the middle ages. The author declares—and his work bears him out—that his object in composing it has been to inspire and extend to the utmost of his power a taste for natural science: hence, he has given, "not a learned treatise, but a simple elementary study, conceived with the idea of inducing the reader to seek in other works for more extensive and more profound knowledge." We can only refer to the richness of details that characterizes the work and the excellence of the illustrations.
The Gospel in the Stars; or, Primeval Astronomy. By Joseph A. Seiss. D. D. Philadelphia: E. Claxton & Co. New York: E. P. Dutton & Co. Pp. 452. Price, $1.50.
The author of this work, a prominent Lutheran clergyman, has already acquired considerable distinction from the zeal with which he has propagated Piazzi Smyth's theory that the great pyramid of Egypt was constructed in pursuance of a divine revelation, for a divine purpose. He here propounds a similar theory for the formation and delineation of the forty-eight original constellations of the sky, which he believes were primarily composed under inspiration, to typify man's redemption by Christ. Whatever skeptics, readers, and scholars may think of the matter, he has no doubt about it.