societies, or to cities; and, finally, 80 pages are concerned with the observatories of private gentlemen.
It will be seen that this is a very full account, and we may say that, besides being a book of great interest to the astronomer, it will be highly interesting to the general reader who is anxious to be informed about this important subject.
We notice very few omissions: the most striking one, however, is the absence of any account of the Bedford Observatory, of Admiral Smyth, which should be notable if only as the birthplace of the "Bedford Catalogue," one of the most curious of astronomical publications.
Perhaps the omission of the celebrated catalogue of "Double Stars" from among the works of Mr. Dawes, the noted observer of double stars, might also be mentioned.
But these are minor points, and do not prevent the book from being a perfect success, creditable to its authors, and a valuable contribution to the literature of astronomy.
We look forward with eagerness to the appearance of the remaining two volumes.
It is to be hoped that the book, or at least that part of it which refers to the observatories in the United States, may be translated into English, for the use and information of many Americans who will not see the original French edition.
Since Loomis's "Recent Progress of Astronomy in the United States," nothing of importance has been published here, on this subject, if we except two papers on observatories in the United States, which have recently appeared in Harper s Magazine.
There undoubtedly exists among Americans a very strong interest in astronomy generally and in the doings of observatories, and a greater knowledge of the many institutions of this kind in the United States would undoubtedly lead to more intelligent and concerted action on the part of the private gentlemen who own them.
For example, if a person who has a fine meridian instrument knows that the Harvard-College Observatory is observing a certain zone of stars, he will not commit the folly of wasting his time and his labor by doing the same work, but will rather turn his attention to something which is yet undone. To know what is yet undone is often the question, and this book supplies in a measure the want, for it tells us what is doing.
Perhaps this is as good a place as any to call the attention of amateur astronomers to the important work which they may do, if they will only choose some special subject, make themselves familiar with what has been done in it, and then devote even a small portion of time to its regular and systematic pursuit.
Numerous examples of such valuable work done by amateurs are to be found in the book before us: and in many cases this work was done by gentlemen who were not able to devote their whole time, or any thing like it, to astronomy.
Dawes, the great double-star observer; Carrington, the assiduous observer of circumpolar stars, and of solar spots; Lassell, the great physical astronomer; with De La Rue, Huggins, Lockyer, and others, have done permanent good to science, and have acquired great reputation, while most of them followed other pursuits.
And we may hope that such knowledge as is attainable from this book will induce American amateurs to limit themselves to some useful but special inquiry in which they may gain credit, and render useful service to astronomy.E. A. H.
The Journal of Speculative Philosophy, July, 1874. Quarterly, whole number 31. Price 50 cts. a number, or $2 a year. Edited and published by William T. Harris, St. Louis, Mo.
This periodical, which has come to be recognized as the organ of speculative thought in this country, has now reached its eighth volume, and the series forms a philosophical library of great value to metaphysical students who keep up their interest in abstract and abstruse inquiries. It is the policy of the editor to make his periodical not so much a vehicle of contemporary speculation as a summary of the doctrines and expositions of the greatest philosophical thinkers of past times. Accordingly, the published volumes will be found largely occupied by essays and discussions from the writings of such men as Leibnitz, Descartes, Kant, Fichte, Schelling, Hegel, Goethe, Rosenkrantz, Schopenhauer, Hartmann, Herder, Trendelenburg, and others. From such