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LITERARY NOTICES.

reasoning for and against it, and its results, taking up the steps which led to its institution and showing the phases attending its beginning and the experience under it after it was established. The report shows that the system aims at securing all that has been aimed at under various systems of charity, and that its ethical side was most potent in securing its establishment. It also appears that the compulsory insurance laws were not, as has been supposed, the result of a sudden conviction of an emergency to be met, but came directly through evolutionary processes covering long periods of time.

Besides the regular accounts of proceedings and progress, and the Report of the Secretary, the Annual Reports of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution for 1891 and 1892 contain in the general appendixes brief accounts of scientific discoveries in particular directions; occasional reports of the investigations made by collaborators of the institution; memoirs of a general character or on special topics, both original and selected; and other papers, as space permitted, supposed to be of use or value to the correspondence of the institution. The attention of the Board of Regents was largely given, during the two years covered by these reports, to the establishment of an Astrophysical Observatory. An accession of $200,000 to the endowment of the institution has been obtained through the bequest of Mr. Thomas G. Hodgkins, of Setauket, Long Island.

A map and tables of the Average Elevation of the United States, published by Henry Gannett in connection with the United States Geological Survey, give, in the map, by gradations of color, the elevations, at intervals rising from five hundred to three thousand feet, of the country and mountains, from the few spots below sea level up to "above ten thousand feet"; and, in the tables, the number of square miles, in each State and in the whole Union, at each grade of level, and the mean elevations of the several States.

The report of Barton W. Evermann and William C. Kendall on The Fishes of Texas and the Rio Grande Basin (United States Fish Commission) is designed to complete the studies published in a report made in 1892 preliminary to establishing a fish-cultural station in Texas. It is intended to include all the species, both salt and fresh water, which have been reported from the region named, so far as the authors have been able to learn. Geographically the paper is made to include, besides the State of Texas, all those parts of Colorado, New Mexico, and Mexico that belong to the hydrographic basin of the Rio Grande. The geographical distribution of the fishes is prominently considered. The report is illustrated by forty plates.

The Living Method for Learning how to Think in German proceeds on the assumption that if one tries to speak German while thinking in English, his conversation will consist largely of pauses, in efforts to recall the German expressions and to arrange them idiomatically; and that the only way to speak German is remembering what Germans say under the same or similar circumstances; not that one should live in Germany, but that he should live in German. The process is to associate the foreign phrases we have learned so perfectly with our actions that they will mentally suggest each other. The book furnishes the phrases for usual acts; then, whenever we do any of the acts, we should say, or think—in German—what we are doing. From this we go on, expanding our knowledge and practice, and making and learning new combinations. (Charles F. Kroeh, author and publisher, Hoboken, N. J.)

The Mechanics of Hoisting Machinery (Macmillan & Co., $3.75) is a translation made by Karl P. Dahlstrom from Prof. Herrmann's revised edition of Weisbach's great work on Engineering Mechanics—a work of which several volumes, treating of special subjects, are already familiar through translations. The present volume, however, has never heretofore appeared in English, although its value is generally recognized. The edition is intended as a text-book for technical schools and a guide for practical engineers. Within its purview are included levers and jacks; tackle and differential blocks; windlasses, winches, and lifts; hydraulic hoists, accumulators, and pneumatic hoists; hoisting machinery for mines; cranes and shears; excavators and dredges; and pile drivers.

The Peerless Cook Book, embracing more than one thousand recipes and practical suggestions to housekeepers, by Mrs. T. J.