Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 23.djvu/433

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

ary enthusiasm, and perhaps through a divergency of views which became settled in the later period of life. Both men went through important transitional stages in their mental experience, Emerson escaping from the transcendentalism of which he was the early apostle, and is said to have been the inventor, in New England; and Carlyle escaping from the intense radicalism of his opening career into the pessimistic conservatism of his maturer years. The work, therefore, has abundant interest as a study of character through the free disclosures of a copious and varied private correspondence. In the first place they were both men of unrivaled powers of expression, and the highest capacity of analyzing their own mental conditions, and presenting them with vividness and original force. It is, perhaps, not to be supposed that they were unconscious that what they said would ultimately be given to the world; but this consideration operated as but a partial restraint-upon the freedom of their communications. They were both men of opinions—thinkers, doctrinaires, students of men and society—and therefore had much to say pertaining to contemporary events, especially in the field of current speculation, and in relation to the literary phenomena of their period. They spoke with a liberty about contemporary men in the world of authorship which gives a pungent interest to the letters, and which was sometimes carried so far that the editor is constrained to disguise the names of parties implicated. But the strictures made were generally within such proper limits that no such editorial intervention was necessary. The two men are here pictured by themselves in their full individualities. These, of course, are shown in their respective writings, and it can hardly be said that there are any new disclosures in the correspondence that can much revise or affect the judgment of those who are already familiar with their books; but the result of a perusal of their letters is like turning on the gas which brings everything out into greater distinctness. It is unnecessary, of course, to commend these volumes to the attention of readers. All those who are familiar with the thought and the history of these men as authors, displayed in their successive publications, are certain to procure and peruse this correspondence. But Carlyle and Emerson now belong to the past, and the new generation of readers can be but partially familiar with those stages of mental development through which they passed many years since, and which were eagerly observed by their contemporaries as they went forward with the issue of their books. For those younger readers, therefore, to whom these authors are historic, the volumes before us may be recommended as full of special instructiveness in interpreting the character and position of these men whose eminent position will be permanent in the literature of the future.

The Examination of Medicinal Chemicals: A Guide for the Determination of their Identity and Quality. Illustrated; third edition, revised and enlarged. By Frederick Hoffmann, A. M., Ph. D., Public Analyst to the State of New York, etc., and Frederick B. Power, Ph. D., Professor of Analytical Chemistry in the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy. Philadelphia: Henry C. Lea's Son & Co. Pp. 624. Price, $4.25.

The present edition of this valuable work contains a large amount of new matter, and has been adapted to the recent editions of the United States and German Pharmacopœias. Part I describes the operations and reagents necessary for analytical work, gives a system of qualitative analysis, directions for volumetric analysis, and for detecting the most important alkaloids. Part II describes the various substances that are used medicinally, giving their physical and chemical properties, the impurities that are to be looked for in each, and the way to detect them, and, whenever desirable, a method of assay. Under their appropriate heads are given directions for testing for the important poisons in forensic investigations, processes for the determination of glycerine in wine and beer, of the alkaloids in cinchona barks, etc., and rules for the dilution of the important acids, etc., together with tables of the strength of solutions.

The authors have aimed to make each article complete in itself, preferring to repeat text and illustrations rather than send the reader to several cross-references. The volume is well supplied with illustrations of apparatus and forms of crystals, and contains unusually detailed tables of equivalent