Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 52.djvu/288

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stands by itself as the recognized guide of conscious effort; when infinity or perfection is no longer conceived in relation to a being or personality, but is still the loftiest motive and the deepest source of spiritual joy—a goal that may be still far away but is ultimately to be reached.

When we stroll along the road we see many things in plant and animal life to awaken curiosity and interest; but as we are generally intent upon other matters and do not usually know precisely what they are and how they are related to one another, we pass them with little notice and straightway forget about them. Mr. F. Schuyler Mathews has undertaken, in his Familiar Features of the Roadside,[1] to awaken a more genuine and lasting interest in these objects and to furnish information that will help us to identify and distinguish them, and to become, as it were, more personally acquainted with them. "It might be possible," he says, "to find a wider field for the study of Nature than the highway, but in many respects certainly not a better one, for if we keep on traveling we will have eventually seen and heard about everything that is worth seeing and hearing in the wide world." This may be strongly expressed, but there is certainly vastly more than we suspect to be found by sharp eyes and keenly tuned ears on the mountain tops and the seashore, and in the bogs, forests, meadows, pastures, glens, hills, lakes, rivers, and brooks by which the road will lead us if we follow it far enough. The author describes such of these things as he has observed and as came to his mind, and arranges and classifies them according to the seasons and their associations. Thus he tells of the flowers we may find early and late and the families to which they belong, the singers of the meadow and woodland and with musical and unmusical voices, not letting the birds monopolize attention at the expense of the frogs and squirrels; and of the colors on mountain, meadow, and woodland, and of the colors of autumn. In the first chapter, telling of a spring walk, all the flowers we are likely to meet are described, and more kinds of singing amphibians are differentiated than one without special information would suppose existed. The illustrations are fitting and excellent, and the bird notes and other intonations are written in music.

The main purpose of this volume[2] is to present the results of recent archæological investigations in Tennessee, and more especially the district in which the so-called mound builders' remains are found. The original volume was published several years ago, and its complete sale, combined with the recent interesting and important discoveries, have led the author to the preparation of this revised and somewhat extended edition. The subject is presented in a series of historical and ethnological studies, the material being found principally in the cists or box-shaped graves built of stone slabs which have been so extensively exhumed of recent years in Tennessee. In accordance with a common custom among savages at a certain stage of development, these prehistoric people placed vessels containing provisions and various utensils in the graves for the use of the deceased on his journey to the spirit land. The remains, thus sealed up and protected from the waste of time, are now exhumed in a very perfect state of preservation. They tell the story of ancient domestic life in the Cumberland and Tennessee Valleys with remarkable exactness, and hence are of great ethnologic interest. Mr. Thruston describes them with much detail. There are about three hundred and sixty fairly good illustrations.

When Mr. Ward's book[3] first appeared in 1883, you might probably have made the rounds of the colleges without ever hearing the word sociology, and if you did it was only some grammarian growling about the liberties which ignorance was forever taking with etymology. But now, on the contrary, the word and its congeners are almost as om-

  1. Familiar Features of the Roadside: The Flowers, Shrub, Birds, and Insects. New York: D. Appleton and Company. Pp. 209. Price, $1.75.
  2. The Antiquities of Tennessee and the Adjacent States. By Gates P. Thruston. Cincinnati: The Robert Clarke Company. Pp. 369. Illustrated. Second edition.
  3. Dynamic Sociology, or Applied Social Science, as Based upon Statical Sociology and the Less Complex Sciences. By Lester F. Ward, A.M. In two volumes; second edition. New York: D. Appleton and Company. Pp. 706 and 690. Price, $5.