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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

ideal reading-book on the subject in hand. The present work is an attempt to apply these principles to geographical topics. The order of the topics is the same as is found in any well-arranged text-book on the subject; and the articles are from writers of acknowledged excellence. We have in twenty chapters selections on the several varieties of natural features and scenery, on the surface of the earth, volcanic and meteorological phenomena, natural curiosities, wild animals, national characteristics, peculiar customs, regions, and people, cities, ancient works and ruins, and modern works, etc., given in the form of essays, popular descriptions, narratives of travel, scientific accounts, and poems, by a list of writers embracing the names of European and American authors who have become distinguished in various fields of literature and science.

The Science of Ethics. By Leslie Stephen. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. Pp. 462. Price, $4.

The author of this book has his own views of morality, and, although he does not profess to have made any great revolution in the science, he has still made a book which is worthy of careful consideration. It is an unusually spirited and attractive volume on what is commonly regarded as the dullest of subjects.

Mr. Stephen began as an orthodox utilitarian in morals, and avows that the Gamaliel at whose feet he sat was John Stuart Mill. This, however, he regards as an immature proceeding, in which he merely joined other thoughtful lads in deferring to one whose authority was decisive. At a later period his mind was much stirred by the appearance of Darwin's "Origin of Species." He acknowledges great indebtedness to Darwin's writings, but so far as ethical problems are concerned he came at length to think that the Darwinian resources were unsatisfactory, and that a deeper view was necessary—this conviction being due to the influence of Herbert Spencer's writings. After an historical examination of the English moralists of the eighteenth century, Mr. Stephen read the "Methods of Ethics," by Henry Sedgwick, and, although admiring the work, he found himself differing from it at so many points that he resolved to publish systematically upon the subject himself. Mr. Stephen regards the relation of evolution to ethics as its critical point, while Mr. Sedgwick belittled it, and thus left a great deal to be done in clearing up the inquiry.

Of his attempt Mr. Stephen says: "At times I have been startled at my own impudence when virtually sitting in judgment upon all the deepest and acutest thinkers since the days of Plato. But I easily comfort myself by remembering that the evolution of thought is furthered by the efforts of the weak as well as of the strongest; and that, if giants have laid the foundations, even dwarfs may add something to the superstructure of the great edifice of science. So far as my reading has gone, I have found only two kinds of speculation which are absolutely useless—that of the hopelessly stupid and that of the hopelessly insincere. The fool who does not know his own folly may be doing nothing, and the philosopher who is trying to darken knowledge may be doing worse than nothing, but every sincere attempt to grapple. with real difficulties made by a man not utterly incompetent has its value. I claim to come within that description, though I claim nothing more. And I have the satisfaction—not a very edifying one, it may be said, for a professed moralist—to reflect that if my book does no good to anybody else, it has provided me with an innocent occupation for a longer time than I quite like to remember; while I hope that there is nothing in it—if I may apply to myself what a discerning critic has said of Dr. Watts's sermons—"calculated to call a blush to the cheek of modesty."

Modern Applications of Electricity. By E. Hospitalier. Translated and enlarged by Julius Maier. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 1882. Pp. 456. Price, $4.50.

In the present state of public interest in the applications of electricity, any author who succeeds in presenting the subject in a popular manner may expect a favorable reception, and we doubt not such will be accorded to this latest addition to works of this character. M. Hospitalier's exposition is clear and concise, and popular enough in form to be interesting and intelligible to a wide circle of readers. The work consists