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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 44.djvu/429

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417
LITERARY NOTICES.

lections cover a considerable variety of subjects, the presentation of which might have been made very dry and uninteresting. Siemens, in his artless way of telling of them, makes them all as interesting as the story of his first heroic act—his discomfiture of the gander that threatened and frightened his sister. The facts are among the most important landmarks of the scientific advance of the times; the presentation of them gains immeasurably in value by being made attractive.

The Gilded Man (El Dorado), and Other Pictures of the Spanish Occupancy of America. By A. F. Bandelier. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 302. Price, $1.50.

Mr. Bandelier, one of the most painstaking and accurate of American archæologists, has in this volume presented the result of his researches in the history and dramatic incidents of the early gold-hunting expeditions of the Spaniards in Venezuela and Colombia and along the banks of the Amazon, and of the first invasions and early settlements of New Mexico. The book concerns two distinct scenes of adventure—the northern part of South America, and the Southwestern part of North America. On the stories of both Mr. Bandelier casts new and clear light. We do not know that the story of El Dorado has ever before been fully set forth and traced to its exact origin and foundation in fact in a book intended for popular use. It is so set forth in the first part of this book. With it is related the story of the expeditions of which this semi-mythical personage and his gold were the object; the foundation of the military and trading posts by hardly responsible adventurers on the coasts of Venezuela; the lease of Venezuela to the house of Welser & Co., of Augsburg; the condition and relations of the Indians of Bogotá, where El Dorado resided; the expedition of Dalfinger and the conquest of Bogota by Ximenes de Quesada; his meeting on the plateau of Cundinamarca with his rival adventurers Benalcazar and Federmann, approaching the spot with the same object from different directions; the adventures of Georg von Speyer on the Meta, and of Philip von Hütten in search of Omagua; the tragic journey of Pedro de Ursua and Lope de Aguirre from Peru down the Amazon; and other expeditions of more or less significance, all marked by dangerous adventure and generally by disaster; and all prompted, in one way or another, by the vision of the Dorado, which the author likens to a mirage, "enticing, deceiving, and leading men to destruction." In the second part of the book, Mr. Bandelier does a like service for the myth of the seven cities of Cibola, which were the object of expeditions into New Mexico leading to the first settlements of that territory. To the determination of the location of Cibola he brings a considerable fund of linguistic knowledge and the fruits of industrious geographical and archæological exploration, and decides upon Zuñi as the chief of those cities. The story of the search for Cibola includes the relation of the marvelous adventure of Cabeza de Vaca, the missionary journey of Fray Marcos de Nizza, and the expedition of Coronado to Cibola, and thence, in search of Quivira, to the plains of central Kansas. Three additional chapters include an inquiry into the facts of the massacre of Cholula, inflicted by Cortes in 1519; the determination of the age of the city of Santa Fé, New Mexico; and the story of the later life of Jean l'Archévêque, the youthful accessory to the murder of La Salle, and of the fortunes of his family in New Mexico. These histories afford no end of exciting incidents and of themes on which romances and sensational stories might be founded; but Mr. Bandelier's object has not been romance or sensation, but the elucidation of the facts, the discovery of the real history. To this history his essays are a valuble contribution.

The Points of the Horse. A Familiar Treatise on Equine Conformation. By M. Horace Hayes. New York: Macmillan & Co. Pp. 379, with Plates. Price, $10.50.

The author of this book assumes that exact ideas on the subject of conformation are not current either in the traditions of people familiar with horses or in English literature. Both English authors and French have erred in trying to make general rules suitable to all kinds of horses, instead of pointing out that the standard of shape should to a great extent vary according to