Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 22.djvu/874

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Its subject is really an examination of the dynamic and kinematic theories of force, and its tendency is to disprove the sufficiency of the kinematic theory to explain the phenomena for which it endeavors to account. The conclusion, which is expressed with several variations of phrase, is reached, after a course of very close reasoning, that, "do what we will, we can not escape. . . the certainty of conviction that the ultimate must in the nature of things be forever the unintelligible, the inexplicable, the inscrutable; that (paradoxical as it may sound) no explanation can be accounted final until it has been pursued backward to the unexplainable."

Barometric Hypsometry and Reduction of the Barometer to Sea-level. Washington: Government Printing Office. Pp. 47.

This publication is part third under the head of "Methods and Results" of the Meteorological Researches of the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey. The first part explains the theory of barometric hypsometry employed in the survey, which is based on the improvement and correction of Laplace's formula for the determination of altitudes, with the inclusion of minute terms which had never been taken into account in former investigations; and the second chapter describes the practical applications of the theory. The whole is followed by a series of hypsometrical tables.

The Eleventh Commandment: A Romance. By Anton Giulio Barrili. From the Italian by Clara Bell. Revised and corrected in the United States. New York: William S. Gottsberger.

The Convent of San Bruno, in the Apennines, is the scene of the chief events related in this romance. It was occupied by fourteen bachelors, who had become brethren through sorrow. They were mostly men of science, in the prime of life. There was a physician, an archaeologist, a librarian, an historian, an astronomer, a chemist, and so on. The prior, an attractive gentleman, of about five-and-thirty, was something of a philosopher. He is described as "not more than half a solemn personage, and he wore his long, snuff-colored frock with a jaunty air and an easy grace." This new order of friars, without the religious purpose and devoted to study, formed a little world of its own, free from the worries of the great world that come to it through the affections and ambitions. To learn for what reasons, and in what way, a lovely young woman disguised herself and gained admittance to the brotherhood, and for an account of all the consequences that followed, the reader is referred to the translation, which was made expressly for the publisher.

Signal-Service Tables of Rain-fall and Temperature compared with CropProduction. By H. H. C. Dunwoody, Acting Signal Officer. Washington: Office of the Chief Signal Officer. Pp. 15.

Tables are given by months and by seasons for the years 1875 to 1882, inclusive, for ten distinct divisions of the United States, showing the excess or deficiency of rain-fall and in temperature; by years of the average yield per acre of the principal crops; and statements of the year of the largest yield of each of the crops, for the several divisions. The student is left to draw his own conclusions as to the connection between rain-fall and temperature and the yield of the crop. Only one conclusion is given. It is by Professor Davidson, of the Coast Survey in California, that each inch of rain-fall in San Francisco promised a yield of one million bushels of wheat in the State.

A Study, with Critical and Explanatory Notes, of Alfred Tennyson's Poem of "The Princess." By S. E. Dawson. Montreal: Dawson Brothers. Pp. 120.

The substance of this essay was originally prepared as a paper to be read in a small social-literary society; and it is now published, with notes, as a sort of provocative, to induce the production of other monographs on Tennyson's works. A note on the lines—

"When the man wants weight. the woman takes it up,
And topples down the scales"—

furnishes a little information respecting the way that the females of certain species of birds are said to have of taking up masculine traits when their males lay them down.