Sources of Modern English," in which are given an historical sketch of the French language and a chapter on its etymology, followed by specimens of early French. Though it is subordinate to the main purpose of the book, the execution of this department is equally satisfactory with that which characterizes the part more closely related to the English evolution. The whole book, so far as our cursory examination allows us to judge of its merits, bears the marks of conscientious research, and of a desire to be careful in statement and omit nothing that might contribute to a clear comprehension of the whole story which it tells and of every part of it. So full a presentment of the facts which it comprises, in their bearings upon one another, can not be so conveniently found in any other one book with which we are acquainted.
Weather. A Popular Exposition of the Nature of Weather-Changes from Day to Day. By the Hon. Ralph Abercromby. "International Scientific Series," Vol. lviii. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 472. Price, $1.75.
There is no class of natural phenomena which compels such general and constant interest as that which constitutes weather. The number and importance of human affairs which are affected by rain, snow, and bail, winds, lightning, heat, and cold, make a knowledge of the laws which govern weather-changes extremely desirable. Although the need of this knowledge has been felt from the earliest times, it is only within twenty years that the science of meteorology has advanced so far as to be of much practical benefit. But now that weather-predictions are issued by the governmental bureaus of the United States and other countries, and prove true four times out of five, a wide-spread desire has arisen to know how this baffling problem of the weather has been so far mastered. To satisfy this desire is the object of the present volume. "Many books," says the author, in his preface, "have been written on storms and climate, but none on every-day weather. The whole of this work is devoted to weather, in the tropics as well as in the temperate zone." The more elementary parts of weather-science are treated in the first three chapters, the rest of the book being devoted to explaining the more difficult questions. "This volume is not a mere compilation of existing knowledge, for the results of many of the author's original and unpublished researches are included in its pages—such, for instance, as the explanation of many popular prognostics; the elucidation of the general principles of reading the import of cloud-forms; the classification of those cases in which the motion of the barometer fails to foretell correctly the coming weather; and the character of that kind of rainfall which is not indicated in any way by isobaric maps." In the elementary portion of the book the author tells how weather charts are made and what they teach, and shows why popular weather-signs sometimes prove true and sometimes fail. He also describes here the various forms of clouds, and notes the prognostics to be drawn from them. In the advanced chapters there is a further discussion of lines of equal barometric height, which is followed by a description of the making and use of the records of the barometer, thermometer, and wind-gauge. The nature of squalls, thunder-storms, blizzards, barbers, pamperos, and tornadoes is next explained. Some account is then given of local, diurnal, annual, and secular variations of weather.
In the last three chapters of the book the manner in which the individual weather disturbances follow one another, and the forecasting which depends on knowledge of these sequences, are taken up. The chief types of weather which occur in western Europe and the United States are given in detail, and are copiously illustrated by charts. In the chapter on "Forecasting for Solitary Observers," which can never be superseded for the use of mariners and herdsmen, the author points out "the best that a single observer can do, who has his eyes to look at the appearance of the sky, and any instruments at his disposal." This chapter will interest all who have any taste for amateur work in meteorology. The forecasting by synoptic charts, as done in central bureaus having telegraphic communication with stations for many hundred miles around, is described in the closing chapter. It appears that forecasting is much easier for some countries than for others. In temperate regions, those countries are best situ-