Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 27.djvu/872

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



interesting chapter on the "Early History of Windmills." On the practical and economical side it has chapters on "Wind, its Velocity and Pressure"; "The Impulse of Wind on Windmill-Blades"; "Experiments on Windmills"; "The Capacity and Economy of the Windmill"; and "Useful Data in Connection with Windmill Practice"; with full accounts of the various European and American machines.

Proceedings of the United States National Museum. 1884. Washington: Government Printing-Office. Pp. 661, with Two Plates.

This is the seventh volume of the series of papers established in 1878, which the Institution publishes regularly in "signatures," as sixteen pages are accumulated from time to time, in order to present the matter as early as possible to the public. At the end of the "year the sheets are gathered up and embodied in a volume. The articles in this series consist, first, of papers published by the scientific corps of the National Museum; and, second, of interesting facts and memoranda from the correspondence of the Smithsonian Institution.

Local Institutions of Maryland. By Lewis W. Wilhelm, Ph. D. Baltimore: N. Murray. Pp. 129. Price, $1.

This work is a triple number of the series of "Johns Hopkins University Studies in Historical and Political Science." It presents a careful review of the course of growth of the institutions of the Commonwealth in question, including the organization of the land system: the constitution and functions of the hundred; the formation of the county; with the history of the beginnings of each, and the more tardy growth of the towns. In the last section we meet the interesting and suggestive observation, which we quote, that "no student of society can have watched the operations of the vital processes of the social organism and failed to notice the complex growth of certain institutions, and the corresponding decay in authority of officers associated with their development. The brooding, in society, of the spirit of democracy has tended to develop the institution, to multiply its organs, to strengthen its members, and foster its general growth, but at the same time there has been a corresponding contraction of the jurisdiction of its representative officer, and a diffusion of his powers among many associates. When we recall the full meaning of patria potestas, we are led to exclaim, 'The fathers, where are they? ' and the patriarchs, do they live forever? Quite often the serfs have become the sovereigns, and the sovereign has been reduced to a subject. Could great Augustus have seen the base uses to which the title 'emperor' had been put by barbarians, his heart would have died within him[1] And who would recognize in the common hangman, or in the distrainer of house-rents, the sheriff or the constable of the proud Norman court? Could the voice of prophecy have told Charles Martel, who ruled the ruler of the Franks, that his title of major or mayor would descend to administrators of petty villages, he would have had additional reasons for moralizing upon the deceits of human greatness."

Report of the Operations of the United States Life-saving Service, for the Year ending June SO, 1884. Washington: Government Printing-Office. Pp. 476.

Five stations were added during the year, and the number of stations at its close was 201. Of these, 56 were on the Atlantic, 37 on the lakes, seven on the Pacific, and one at the Falls of the Ohio. The whole number of disasters reported was 430, endangering $10,607,940 of property, and the lives of 4,432 persons. Of the persons, all but twenty were saved, and only $1,446,586 of the property was lost. The number of vessels totally lost was 64. The Service has co-operated in scientific movements by assisting investigations in marine zoölogy, and by collecting "singing-sands" for examination by Professor II. C. Bolton. The concluding statement in the summarized report, regarding the character of the Service's men, is very suggestive. It is: "It is felt that seldom in the history of organizations has a body of men been assembled

  1. Not only did the "sole power of constituting and appoynting the Emperor of Pascattoway reside with a subject of the English kins, the proprietary of Maryland, but the "King of Choptico" was presented for pig-stealing at a court-leet of a Maryland manor.