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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 44.djvu/143

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LITERARY NOTICES.

ual by Benjamin G. Conklin, the lessons in which are intended to cover the last two years of the primary course, and are graded to suit the capacity of pupils as they advance. A picture is given, or a passage to be read; followed by a heading. Things to Notice, under which are included development questions, which the pupil is to answer in his own language, and the deductions from his answers; and Things to Do—a title which covers varied exercises, all intended to be of a nature to interest the pupil. The aim throughout the book is to lead the pupil to see and think for himself, and when he has mastered it he will have undergone a course of training in observation and original, spontaneous, literary composition. (American Book Company. Price, 35 cents.)

The Presentation of the Life and Educational Works of John Amos Comenius, Moravian bishop, the famous educator, by S. S. Laurie, is believed by the author to be the most complete and, so far as he knows, the only complete account of Comenius and his works that exists in any language. In preparing it, the author has gone through all of Comenius's didactic writings, and has written the whole from original sources. The volume contains the life and a synopsis of the principal features of the works of Comenius. The publisher, C. W. Bardeen, Syracuse, N. Y., has furnished the present edition with headlines, five portraits, and a bibliography, with photographic reproductions from early editions of the works of the bishop.

The idea of presenting the handbook Three Roads to a Commission in the United States Army (D. Appleton & Co.) was suggested to the author. Lieutenant W. P. Burnham, when, shortly after assuming the duties of Professor of Military Science and Tactics at St. John's Military School, Manlius, N. Y., he was surprised to find so much interest manifested in the army, and more so to find how little was known of its real workings. The most remarkable impressions were entertained regarding the character, hardships, and privations of the rank and file of the army. The fact that a commission could easily be obtained from the ranks was not comprehended, many not knowing that such a thing was possible in time of peace. The author has endeavored to throw sufficient light on these points. The character and extent of the examinations for obtaining a commission from the ranks of the army were considerably changed in 1891 and 1892. The rules governing the examinations are taken from the official records of the War Department, which are based on acts of Congress. The three roads to a commission defined and explained in the book are those from the Military Academy, from the army by the appointment of meritorious soldiers, and from civil life—the least frequented of the number.

Science Stories (J. R. Osgood, McIlvaine & Co., London) is a collection of descriptive essays relating principally to the habits and various features of the existence of different animals and plants, originally contributed by the author, Daniel Wilson, to the Glasgow (Scotland) Herald. They are reproduced with the view of encouraging "that popular interest in science which is, happily, a feature of our modern life."

The American Mental Arithmetic has been prepared by Mr. M. A. Bailey for a drill book in which the principles of written arithmetic, except as applied to large numbers, shall be concisely stated and illustrated. Among its features are the placing of principles and illustrations in parallel columns; the beginning of each subject at the top of a page; the systematic placing of explanations and directions under exercises; the prominence of the combination method; the indication of the number of seconds that should be required for the solution of each example; the introduction, in factoring, of the conception of numbers severally prime to each other; the method of presentation of the metric system; the teaching of percentage without rules or formulas; and practical exercises at various places of business. (American Book Company. Price, 35 cents.)

In the Commercial Arithmetic of Headmaster S. Jackson (Macmillan & Co.) it is assumed that the i-eader has a competent knowledge of elementary arithmetic, and therefore the theoretical portions of the work are limited to the methods which are best adapted for commercial calculations. An endeavor has been made to give full and accurate information on all commercial subjects of first-rate importance. Certain methods of readily saving labor are suggested. Emphasis is laid on the immense superiority