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421
LITERARY NOTICES.

oirs to scientific societies. He once believed in the canal, but the illusion, he says, "has fled, never to return, leaving behind a feeling of 'bitter deception.'" He expresses the firm conviction that the construction of the canal on a level, on M. de Lesseps's line, is a chimerical attempt, if not absolutely impossible. Some of bis reasons for believing thus are given in this pamphlet.

Synopsis of the Flora of the Laramie Group. By Lester F. Ward. Washington: Government Printing-Office. Pp. 160, with Thirty-four Plates.

Besides the object suggested in the title of this volume, the author has sought to give a few illustrations of the flora from new material, or from material more ample and abundant than has heretofore existed. The Laramie group, as described by Mr. Ward, is an extensive brackish-water deposit, situated on both sides of the Rocky Mountains, and extending from Mexico far into the British North American territory, having a breadth of hundreds of miles, and representing some four thousand feet in thickness of strata. The immense inland sea of which it is the record, and which occupied the territory now covered by the Rocky Mountains, was partially cut off from the ocean by intervening land-areas, but had one or more outlets through them communicating with the open sea which at that time occupied the territory of the lower Mississippi and lower Rio Grande Valleys. This Laramie sea existed during an immense period of time, and was finally, but very gradually, drained by the elevation of its bed, through the middle of which longitudinally the Rocky Mountains and Black Hills now run. The exact geological age in which it existed is still under discussion.

Journal of the College of Science, Imperial University, Japan. Vol. I, Part in. Published by the University, Tokyō, Japan. Pp. 124, with Nine Plates.

The publication of such a journal as this, with communications of the character of those which it contains, largely by native Japanese scholars, is a strong testimony to the progress which European studies are making in Japan. The present part of the "Journal" contains papers on the formation of the germinal layers in Chelonia, by Professors Mitsukuri and Ishikarra; "The Caudal and Anal Fins of Goldfishes," by S. Watase; "The Giant Salamander of Japan," by Professor C. Sasaki; "A Pocket Galvanometer" and "The Constants of a Lens," by Professor A. Tanakadate; "Some Occurrences of Piedmontite in Japan," by Professor B. Koto; "The Severe Japan Earthquake of the 15th of January, 1887," by Professor Sekiya; and "Notes on the Electric Properties of Nickel and Platinum," by Professor C. G. Knott.

A Questao dos Vinhos-Os Vinhos Falsificados (The Question of Wines—Falsified Wines.) By Dr. Campos da Paz. Rio de Janeiro. Pp. 373.

The author was formerly an effective member of the Central Junta of Public Hygiene, and is adjunct to the Chair of Organic and Biological Chemistry in the Faculty of Medicine at Rio Janeiro. In the present volume, he subjects the whole question of the adulteration of wines to a careful examination, with many results of analyses and experiments.

The Microbes of Nitrification. By Manly Miles. Pp. 4.

Accepting the agency of an organized ferment in the nitrification of plant-food, the author, forecasting the future advantages to arise from the methodical study of it, recommends that provisions be made for such study at agricultural colleges, and experiment stations, and suggests outlines of directions and methods for the studies. Further, as the roots, particularly of leguminous plants, appear to exert influence over the microbes, investigation may also be profitably pursued in that direction.

Proceedings of the Seventh Annual Meeting of the Society for the Promotion OF Agricultural Science. 1886. William R. Lazenby, Columbus, Ohio, Secretary. Pp. 88.

The meeting was held in Buffalo in August, 1886. The society has so far got along without a constitution, expecting to develop one out of its experiences. In the mean time, so long as it works truly to its name, a constitution will be quite dispensable. Among the papers read at the meeting were two on the subject of dew and its