Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 25.djvu/142

This page has been validated.

taken up, and the outlines of the processes are given in each case. In the second chapter some thirty formulæ for dyeing cotton are given, and twenty for dyeing wool and silk. Several modes of calico-printing are sketched, and the formulæ for a large number of styles are given. There is a fourth chapter in which a short account is given of each of the important dye-stuffs. The aim of the editor has been to compile "a ready and serviceable manual for practical workers," which may be referred to with the expenditure of less time and trouble than is necessary with such larger and more elaborate works as Crookes's "Practical Hand-Book of Dyeing and Calico-Printing," Ure's "Dictionary," Wagner's "Chemical Technology," and others, which have been consulted in the preparation of the volume.

Proceedings and Transactions of the Royal Society of Canada, 1882 and 1883. Montreal: Dawson Brothers.

The Dominion to the north of us is constantly evidencing more and more of national life. Since 1867, when the British provinces became a confederation, Canada has shown an energy and enterprise which would have been impossible to a series of separate colonies having no bond of political unity. Within the last few years, the development of railways and manufactures in Canada has quite paralleled that of the United States, and, in the higher matters of public and university education, the Dominion exhibits an advance which is full of promise for her future. Among the proofs that our northern neighbors are progressing in matters of broad, national culture, none can be more satisfactory than the establishment, by the Marquis of Lorne, of the Royal Society of Canada two years ago. The society, founded on the lines of its great English prototype, is intended to promote literature and science; and, in bringing together the most eminent scholars and scientists of the country, will undoubtedly attain the good results of mutual help, criticism, and emulation which attend such assemblages the world over. The society consists of four sections: French literature, history, and allied subjects; English literature, history, and allied subjects; mathematical, physical, and chemical sciences; geological and biological sciences. The presidents of these sections, who were appointed by the Marquis of Lorne for the purpose of organizing the society, were Messrs. J. M. Lemoine, Daniel Wilson, T. Sterry Hunt, and A. R. C. Selwyn. The first president of the society was Principal Dawson, of McGill University, who was succeeded last year by Dr. P. J. O. Chauveau, of Montreal, and in 1884 that city will again give the society its president in the person of Dr. T. Sterry Hunt.

The Proceedings and Transactions before us are not only valuable in themselves, but they give us incidentally some interesting insight into the peculiarities of Canadian national life. That the papers by the French-Canadian members should be published in their language is enough to show that the element they represent in the population is very far from genuine assimilation with their compatriots of British descent. Indeed, competent observers of the situation declare that the adhesion of the French Canadians to their language, religion, laws, and institutions was never firmer than now. Is America to behold the development of a race French in speech, customs, and sentiment? Is the province of old Quebec to be thus reconquered by France after all? Surely no better topic than this curious phase of Canadian sociology could be treated in the next volume of Transactions which the Royal Society of Canada will publish to the world. Perhaps the causes lie in the wonderful fecundity of the race, the contentment with narrow fortunes which keeps so many of them at home, and the indulgent policy toward them by Great Britain—that empire which, having lost its best group of colonies by harsh treatment, seems determined in Canada to retain the allegiance of a conquered race by a noble magnanimity.

The volume before us manifests the influence which the classical and literary education of French Canadians has had on their scientific culture. Although numbering one fourth of the nation, their representatives in the Royal Society are but one eighth the membership of the two scientific sections; and, while the scientific contributions of the French-speaking members are scarcely up to the standard of those from their British confrères, in the literary de-