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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 25.djvu/143

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LITERARY NOTICES.

partments, the papers in French have a grace and beauty of style which show that the language of France has lost nothing by its study having been transferred to America for more than two centuries. The sketches of the first settlers of Canada are sufficiently well given to deserve introduction to the readers of the continent.

Dr. Daniel Wilson's paper, on the pre-Aryan American man, is a valuable contribution to the study of the Indian tribes, upon whose history discovery and research are every year throwing more light. Dr. Alpheus Todd, the constitutional historian, whose death occurred last January, has given us a paper on the establishment of free public libraries, with valuable hints derived from his long experience as parliamentary librarian.

The scientific contributions to the Transactions are noteworthy. With an area for the scope of the naturalist as extensive as our own, the range of research and exploration in the Dominion affords splendid opportunities to her men of science. In developing knowledge concerning the vast territory of Canada, the Geological Survey has done noble work. That survey, mainly established by the exertions of the late Sir William E. Logan, with the co-operation of Dr. Hunt and Mr. Billings, has given scope to the acumen and research of men such as the Dawsons, father and son, Bell, and Harrington, whose labors in the fields of systematic geology and paleontology are known and valued by the students of both Europe and America. The volume before us gives a paper by Principal Dawson on the cretaceous and tertiary floras of British Columbia and the Northwest Territories, eight fine quarto illustrations accompanying his paper. His son, Dr. George M. Dawson, describes a general section of the geology from the Laurentian axis to the Rocky Mountains. Dr. T. Sterry Hunt contributes a paper on the geological history of serpentines, wherein he defends by new arguments their aqueous origin, a thesis which he has long maintained. Incidentally to this, he condenses into a few pages the history of the pre-Cambrian rocks of Southern Europe with their included serpentines, and shows in this connection that the great groups of these rocks previously pointed out by him in America are equally developed in the Old World. In his memoir on the Taconic question in geology. Dr. Hunt begins by a tribute to the labors of Amos Eaton, the founder of American stratigraphical geology. He then gives in detail an account of the so-called Taconian or Taconic rocks, the true age of which has been the subject of so much dispute; by a wide induction of facts gleaned from all Eastern North America, he proceeds to show that these rocks are of pre-Cambrian age, and probably paralleled with the youngest pre-Cambrian group of the Alps described by him in his preceding memoir. These rocks, it may be said, in their wide range of distribution, include the white statuary marbles of both Vermont and Italy. This paper, of some fifty pages, is the first half of Dr. Hunt's elaborate memoir, and terminates in a comprehensive review of the early geological history of Eastern North America.

Although geology is much the best represented science in these Transactions, the other departments of the sections give us original papers of value. Dr. E. Haanel contributes an account of experiments in using hydriodic acid as a blow-pipe reagent, and four remarkably well-executed plates in colors serve to illustrate his paper. A series of reports of the transit of Venus, December 6, 1882, show the wide interest taken in that event in the chain of Canadian cities stretching from Montreal to Winnipeg. The observations, as a whole, were satisfactory.

Dr. Robert Bell's explanation of the causes of the fertility of the Northwest shows the immense variety of natural forces which decide whether a region shall or shall not furnish a nation with food and fuel. Mr. W. Saunders's papers on Canadian forestry and on the noxious insects of the country are suggestive and timely.

The publishing committee of these Transactions remark with pardonable pride that the paper, type, and illustrations are all of home production.

A System of Rhetoric. By C. W. Bardeen. New York: A. S. Barnes & Co. Pp. 814. Price, $1.50.

Part I of this book is entitled "Sentence-Making," and contains a large amount of such matter as is usually found in the "false-syntax" section of grammars. Part