Open main menu

Popular Science Monthly/Volume 15/June 1879/Literary Notices

< Popular Science Monthly‎ | Volume 15‎ | June 1879

LITERARY NOTICES.

The International Scientific Series, No. XXVI.—Modern Chromatics, with Applications to Art and Industry. By Ogden N. Rood, Professor of Physics in Columbia College. With 130 Original Illustrations. D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 329. Price, $1.15.

In his contribution to the "International Scientific Series" of a volume on modern chromatics, Professor Rood has filled a gap in the scientific literature not only of this, but also of European countries. There was wanted a well-executed popular treatise on the science of color for general readers, in which they will find a familiar and satisfactory explanation of chromatic phenomena as they are now interpreted, and as illustrated in the aspects of nature and in the applications of art.

Professor Rood was asked to prepare such a volume for this series because he possesses in an eminent degree the qualifications necessary to do justice to the subject. In the first place, he was specially prepared to undertake it by his education and training as an experimental physicist. At home in this general field of research, with an aptitude for subtile and refined investigations, he has always been particularly interested in this line of inquiry, and has attained a European reputation as an authority upon the subject. From this point of view, probably, no man was so well equipped to make an instructive volume on chromatics that should be fully up to the times as Professor Rood.

But he possesses another qualification which is no less important for the work. He is himself an artist, with both enthusiasm and a true genius for the profession, and who has devoted much time to drawing and painting. His sketches are prized by many who are so fortunate as to possess them, and it is well understood that, if he had chosen to devote himself to it, he would have attained preeminent distinction as an artist. This combination of scientific knowledge with practical experience in the art of managing colors could not fail to be of great advantage. Numerous questions and problems relating to chromatics which are interesting and important to artists came before him, and were elucidated with such skill and useful results that he was called upon to give lectures, explaining his views, before the art classes at the New York Academy of Design.

When solicited to prepare the present volume, Professor Rood replied that he was not a book-maker, and had no inclination merely to compile or to write a volume upon the science of color. He said that to make such a book valuable in the present state of the subject would involve a very considerable amount of scientific investigation in clearing up numerous points to get the work in anything like satisfactory shape. For these researches time would be necessary, which would inevitably delay the publication. The volume was prepared under these conditions, so that, in a very important sense, it is a new work. Every chapter of it bears witness to the patient and painstaking solicitude of the author to make his statements clear, valid, and complete. A consultation of his index will show to how large a degree the volume is original. Only results and explanation are given in the text, and those who care to go over the experimental demonstrations by which they have been reached will consult the scientific periodicals in which the descriptive papers are to appear.

Professor Rood, as we have intimated, declines to classify himself as a book-maker, and does not seem to have ever been troubled in the slightest degree with the ambition of authorship. He has written many technical papers for scientific journals, which may be thought rather a poor apprenticeship for getting up a popular book. But he has attained a degree of excellence in the literary art of his book which is not a little surprising; it has the rare merit of being written in a style suited to its object. It is clear, simple, direct, and puts the matter before the reader in a straightforward, common-sense way, so as thoroughly to interest him in the subject.

The work is full of fresh illustrations, drawn by the author, and exhibiting new points and relations of the subject, and a chromatic plate is prefixed to the volume, which has something the character of a key, and will be specially useful to those who may desire to color the diagrams in the book. One of the most interesting features of the volume is the large number of instructive and attractive experiments in colors which it describes or indicates.

The work is strictly systematic, and treats the subject of chromatics comprehensively, as will be seen by glancing at the titles of the chapters.[1] We can give no idea of the real scope of the work by any analysis of its contents, or even a conspectus of the new ideas and suggestions contributed by the author; but some of his observations in Chapter XVIII., on "Color in Painting and Decoration," are so suggestive in relation to a subject occupying a good deal of public attention at present, that we quote them:

The aims of painting and decorative art are quite divergent, and as a logical consequence it results that the use made by them of color is essentially different. The object of painting is the production, by the use of color, of more or less perfect representations of natural objects. These attempts are always made in a serious spirit; that is, they are always accompanied by some earnest effort at realization. If the work is done directly from nature, and is at the same time elaborate, it will consist of an attempt to represent, not all the facts presented by the scene, but only certain classes of facts, namely, such as are considered by the artist most important or most pictorial, or to harmonize best with each other. If it is a mere sketch, it will include not nearly so many facts; and finally, if it is merely a rough color-note, it will contain perhaps only a few suggestions belonging to a single class. But in all this apparently careless and rough work the painter really deals with form, light and shade, and color, in a serious spirit, the conventionalisms that are introduced being necessitated by lack of time or by choice of certain classes of facts to the exclusion of others. The same is true of imaginative painting: the form, light and shade, and color are such as might exist or might be imagined to exist; our fundamental notions about these matters are not flatly contradicted. From this it follows that the painter is to a considerable extent restricted in the choice of his tints; he must mainly use the pale unsaturated colors of nature, and must often employ color-combinations that would be rejected by the decorator. Unlike the latter, he makes enormous use of gradation in light and shade and in color; labors to express distance, and strives to carry the eye beneath the surface of his pigments; is delighted to hide as it were his very color, and to leave the observer in doubt as to its nature.
 

In decorative art, on the other hand, the main object is to beautify a surface by the use of color rather than to give a representation of the facts of nature. Rich and intense colors are often selected, and their effect is heightened by the free use of gold and silver or white and black; combinations are chosen for their beauty and effectiveness, and no serious effort is made to lead the eye under the surface. Accurate representations of natural objects are avoided; conventional substitutes are used; they serve to give variety and furnish an excuse for the introduction of color, which should be beautiful in itself apart from any reference to the object represented. Accurate, realistic representations of natural objects mark the decline and decay of decorative art. A painting is a representation of something which is not present; an ornamented surface is essentially not a representation of a beautiful absent object, but is the beautiful object itself; and we dislike to see it forsaking its childlike independence and attempting at the name time both to be and to represent something beautiful. Again, ornamental color is used for the production of a result which is delightful, while in painting the aim of the artist may be to represent sorrow, or even a tragic effect. From all this it follows that the ornamenter enjoys an amount of freedom in the original construction of his chromatic composition which is denied to the painter, who is compelled by profession to treat nature with at least a fair degree of seeming respect. The general structure of the color-composition, however, being once determined, the fancy and poetic feeling even of the decorator are compelled to play within limits more narrow than would be supposed by the casual observer. It is not artistic or scientific rules that hedge up the path, but his own taste and feeling for color, and the desire to obtain the best result possible under the given conditions. In point of fact, color can only be used successfully by those who love it for its own sake apart from form, and who have a distinctly developed color-talent or -faculty; training, or the observance of rules, will not supply or conceal the absence of this capacity in any individual case, however much they may do for the gradual color-education of the race.

From the foregoing it is evident that the positions occupied by color in decoration and in painting are essentially different, color being used in the latter primarily as the means of accomplishing an end, while in decoration it constitutes to a much greater degree the end itself. The links which connect decoration with painting are very numerous, and the mode of employing color varies considerably according as we deal with pure decoration, or with one of the stages where it begins to merge into painting.

The simplest form of color-decoration is found in those cases where surfaces are enlivened with a uniform layer of color for the purpose of rendering their appearance more attractive: thus woven stuffs are dyed with uniform hues, more or less bright.; buildings are painted with various sober tints; articles of furniture and their coverings are treated in a similar manner.

The use of several colors upon the same surface gives rise to a more complicated species of ornamentation. In its very simplest form we have merely bands of color, or geometrical patterns made of squares, triangles, or hexagons. Here the artist has the maximum amount of freedom in the choice of color, the surfaces over which it is spread being of the same form and size, and hence of the same degree of importance. In such cases the chromatic composition depends entirely on the taste and fancy of the decorator, who is much less restricted in his selection than with surfaces which from the start are unequal in size, and hence vary in importance. After these simplest of all patterns follow those that are more complicated, such as arabesques, fanciful arrangements of straight and curved lines, or mere suggestions taken from leaves, flowers, feathers, and other objects. Even in these, the choice of the colors is not necessarily influenced by the actual colors of the objects represented, but is regulated by artistic motives, so that the true colors of objects are often replaced even by silver or gold. Advancing a step, we have natural objects, leaves, flowers, figures of men or animals, used as ornaments, but treated in a conventional manner, some attention, however, being paid to their natural or local colors, as well as to their actual forms. In such compositions the use of gold or silver as backgrounds or as tracery, also the constant employment of contours more or less decided, the absence of shadows, and the frank disregard of local color where it does not suit the artist, all emphasize the fact that nothing beyond decoration is intended. Up to this point the artist is still guided in his choice of hues by the wish of making a chromatic composition that shall be beautiful in its soft, subdued tints, or brilliant and gorgeous with its rich display of colors; hence intense and saturated hues are often arranged in such a way as to appear by contrast still more brilliant; gold and silver, black and white, add to the effect; but no attempt is made to imitate nature in a realistic sense. When, however, we go some steps further, and undertake to reproduce natural objects in a serious spirit, the whole matter is entirely changed; when we see groups of flowers accurately drawn in their natural colors, correct representations of animals or of the human form, complete landscapes or views of cities, we can be certain that we have left the region of true ornamentation and entered another which is quite different. A great part of our modern European decoration is really painting—misapplied.

"American Chemical Journal." Edited, with the Aid of Chemists at Home and Abroad, by Ira Remsen, Professor of Chemistry in the Johns Hopkins University. Vol. I., No. 1. Fifty cents per number. Baltimore: Innes & Co.

As we gather from the announcement, the first object of this new Journal will be to collect the good original papers written by American chemists. It will aim to be a medium of communication between the chemists of this country by recording their researches. But at the same time it will reprint articles and abstracts of articles from other chemical periodicals, and will also print reports of progress in recent investigations and reviews of chemical publications. The first number opens with an article contributed by Dr. Wolcott Gibbs, on the complex inorganic acids, and closes with a report on applied chemistry, by Professor J. W. Mallet. The numbers of the Journal will contain from sixty-four to eighty pages. Six will form a volume of from four to five hundred pages, which will probably appear within a year. Subscription, three dollars per volume in advance. All success to the new enterprise!

Journal of the American Chemical Society, Vol. I., Nos. 1-3. Committee on Papers and Publications: H. Endemann, Ph. D., Editor; Arno Behr, Ph. D.; Gideon H. Moore, Ph. D. New York: Lehmaier & Brother, 162 William Street.

"The American Chemical Society," though young, is vigorous, and is going on from strength to strength. It has already a strong membership, and is doing a good deal of valuable work. The Society has permanent rooms at No. 11 East Fourteenth Street, which are open every evening from eight to ten o'clock. The "Journal of the American Chemical Society," like the "American Chemical Journal," is designed not for the outside world, but for those initiated into the mysterious technicalities of the science.

Treatise relative to the Testing of Water-Wheels and Machinery. With Various other Matters pertaining to Hydraulics. By James Emerson. Second edition. Springfield, Mass.: Weaver, Shipman & Co. Pp. 216.

This book has an interest for manufacturers using water-power. It seems that not long ago the testing of water wheels, with a view to determining their efficiency, was so difficult and expensive an operation, that the proprietors of new patent wheels of all kinds were tempted to make gross exaggerations of their effectiveness, because there were no ready means of getting at the actual facts. The author of this work accordingly addressed himself to the task of finding out some cheaper and more available means of making trustworthy measurements. This volume is chiefly devoted to that technical subject, and abounds in pictures of water wheels, and formidable tables. It also gives much information regarding other forms of mechanism.

An Outline of General Geology. With Copious References designed for the Use of both General and Special Students. By Theodore B. Comstock, B. Ag., B. S., of the Cornell University. Ithaca: University Press. Pp. 82.

This is a vade mecum for the use of geological students that has grown out of the author's syllabus of elementary lectures, to a mixed class of students, on economic geology and paleontology. It does not profess to be a text-book, but a help to study in connection with such works as Dana's "Manual of Geology" and Le Conte's "Elements of Geology." It gives summaries of important information and many useful references, blank leaves being freely inserted for convenience in making notes. Such a volume can not fail to facilitate the student's work in various ways.

Sewer-Gases, their Nature and Origin, and how to protect our Dwellings. By Adolfo de Varona, A. M., LL. B., M. D., etc. Brooklyn: "Eagle" Book Printing Department. 1879. Pp. 166. Price, 75 cents.

This little book contains much valuable information that every householder in our cities and towns should be familiar with. Many of the worst diseases are now believed to owe their origin to sewer or kindred emanations which find their way into houses, through defective planning and workmanship, both of which could be avoided if those most interested would take the trouble to inform themselves on the subject. In the present work the composition of sewer-gas, as determined by various competent analysts, is first considered; the relation of these gases to disease is next treated; then comes a description of the conditions under which sewer-gases are generated, the size, form, and construction of sewers, and the manner in which the sewer is connected with the house: this completes the first part, of the book. The second part is devoted to the subject of the protection of dwellings against the entrance of sewer-poison. The author confines himself to facts and their common-sense applications; and, although the information which he gives may probably be obtained elsewhere, it is here brought together in a brief and convenient form, and unencumbered with the trash that characterizes so many works on hygienic subjects. The style of binding and display on the cover are hardly in keeping with the contents of the book, but this maybe remedied in a future edition.

Reading as a Fine Art. By Ernest Legouvé, of the Academie Française. Translated from the Ninth Edition by Abby Langdon Alger. Boston: Roberts Brothers. Pp. 1)7. Price, 60 cents.

A very suggestive and useful little monograph on the subject of reading aloud. The writer believes in an art of reading, which is capable of being generally acquired, and he certainly makes out a very good case. He gives the rules for reading, and deals with the philosophy of declamation in a very lively and pleasant manner, which has been well rendered in an excellent translation.

Ocean Wonders: A Companion for the Seaside. freely illustrated from Living Objects. By William E. Damon. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 229. Price, $1.50.

This is an elegant little volume, profusely and beautifully illustrated, and abounding in descriptions of those curious creatures of the sea, most of which can be actually observed by the dwellers upon the shore. It is hence very properly designated as a companion for the seaside. But that which is unique in the volume, and gives it its peculiar value, is the author's first-hand familiarity with his subject, and the large amount of trustworthy, practical information it contains, that will be of use to those who wish to make collections for themselves. In this respect the author's testimony is emphatic and decisive. He says: "It is not so easy as it appears at the first glance to assure success in establishing a private aquarium. Whatever value this volume possesses is due to the fact that I give no second-hand directions, but the results and deductions of my own dearly bought personal experience, attained at a considerable outlay, not only of time and trouble, but also of money, in obtaining many rare and scarce specimens of marine life, and in experiments to ascertain the kind of animals which would survive captivity. In the latter, I hope my directions or hints will materially diminish the amount of expenditure for such amateurs as may peruse this book."

The volume is admirably written, but of this our readers may judge for themselves, as some of Mr. Damon's contributions to natural history have already appeared in "The Popular Science Monthly."

The Life and Letters of Frances Baroness Bunsen. By Augustus J. C. Hare. Two volumes in one. New York: Routledge & Sons. Pp. 1,002. Price, $5.

Frances Waddington was the daughter of an English baronet, who lived in Wales. When she was at the age of eighteen, the family visited Rome, and she there met, captivated, and married young Charles Bunsen, a German, and afterward distinguished as a diplomatist and historian. They lived some twenty years in Rome, during which Bunsen represented the Prussian Government in an official capacity; and he was then sent to London to represent Prussia at the Court of St. James. He retained this position, residing in London, about a dozen years, when the family returned to Germany. The Baroness was a woman of remarkable character, who had a long career in the most favored circles of English and Continental society. She left the record of her observations and experience in a great number of letters, which her biographer, Mr. Hare, has made free use of in editing the work. She had a large family, to which she was greatly devoted, and the history of her life is an eminently wholesome and instructive piece of biographical work.

The American Plant-Book, for the Convenient Preservation and Analysis of Pressed Flowers, Ferns, Leaves, and Grasses. By Harlan H. Ballard and Proctor Thayer. Slote & Co., 1879.

This book, which is neatly bound, provides for the fastening of about one hundred flowers upon its pages. Opposite the page which holds the plant there is printed a guide to the careful description of it, with blanks for the insertion of all particulars, and also for its classification. The frontispiece is an accurate engraving of poison ivy and poison sumach, the only plants in the northern United States which are seriously poisonous to the hand. Being brilliant and attractive, it is important that the collector should be warned beforehand, that he may avoid the danger. The book has also an introduction, with directions how to gather and press flowers. It is certainly a more desirable arrangement for its purpose than the home-made herbariums in common use.

Lecture Notes on Chemical Physiology and Pathology. By Victor C. Vaughan, M. D., Ph. D., of the University of Michigan. Second edition, revised and enlarged. Ann Arbor Publishing Company. Pp. 315.

The prompt sale of the first edition of these notes has led the author to enlarge it. Its character is expressed in its title, and it claims to be, not a complete treatise, but merely a practical guide to the working student. This book seems to be executed with care and judgment, and medical students especially who desire a thorough preparation in the physiological applications of modern chemistry will find it valuable.

The Color-Sense: Its Origin and Development. An Essay on Comparative Psychology. By Grant Allen, B. A. Boston: Houghton, Osgood & Co. Pp. 282. Price, $3.50.

This is an interesting volume, on a topic that has come lately into prominence as one of the consequences of the theory of evolution. All pictorial art is of course based upon the color-sense in man, and it is an inquiry that can not fail to affect the theory of art whether this color-sense is an underived and always perfected faculty, or has grown through gradual stages to its present condition. That there has been a progress of taste capacity and art, founded upon the color-sense, is of course well known, but has the foundation itself been also developed? If it be admitted that it has, then there arises a new interest in the subject of color-sense as it exists among the inferior grades of animals. If color-sense and the color-perception are not to be taken as things unchangeable—if belonging to life they are a part of life, and are subject to the laws of life—then the question of the genesis of the color-faculty is legitimate, and it is proper to inquire what may have been the conditions of its origin. Professor Allen has entered upon this engaging study not merely with the enthusiasm inspired by its novelty and freshness, but in the genuine philosophic spirit, and well equipped with the scientific data for the investigation. The author's problem is, by what agencies, and under what reactions and conditions, the color-sense has originated in the grades of animal life. He finds it to be a faculty continuous throughout, but gradually unfolded and perfected, and he concludes that "the highest aesthetic products of humanity form only the last link in a chain whose first link began with the insect's selection of bright-hued blossoms."

Professor Allen combats the notion of Dr. Magnus, endorsed and popularized by Mr. Gladstone, that the color-perception of civilized man is a faculty of quite recent development, and that so lately as some three thousand years ago mankind was utterly incapable of distinguishing between violet, green, blue, and yellow. Rejecting this crude and ill-digested theory, the author remarks: "The few centuries which have rolled past during that interval form but a single pulse of the pendulum whose seconds make up the epochs of geological evolution. To me it appears rather that the color-sense of man is derived through his mammalian ancestry from a long line of anterior generations, and that its origin must be sought for in ages before a solitary quadrumanous animal had appeared upon the face of the earth." This book is an outgrowth of those studies which led the author to prepare his little volume on "Physiological Æsthetics"; but while that work was based upon human psychology, the last one relates rather to comparative psychology, or to the phenomena of mind throughout the whole animal world.

Relation of Physical Exercise to Consumption, 16 pages; and Foul-Air-Consumption, 13 pages. By R. B. Davy, M. D. Reprinted from the "Cincinnati Lancet and Observer."

In the first of these pamphlets the author discusses the influence of muscular exercise on the more important organs of the body, and on the system in general, as affecting predispositions to pulmonary complaints, and as a means for the relief of such complaints when they have once obtained a foothold in the organism. Whether employed as a preventive or a remedy, he regards properly regulated exercise as an agent of the highest value; and among the several varieties described considers rowing as probably the best, and the health-lift as perhaps the worst, that can be adopted.

The second pamphlet is devoted to the subject of foul air as a cause of consumption, and explains how man by his habits of life and the conditions with which he surrounds himself becomes the source as well as the victim of the poison.

F. H.

The Native Flowers and Ferns of the United States. By Thomas Meehan. Illustrated by Chromolithographs. Numbers from 12 to 24. Boston: L. Prang & Co. 50 cts. per No.

Volume II. of this elegant work is now complete, containing forty-eight neatly executed chromolithographs of our most interesting plants and flowers. The character of the work, text and illustrations alike, has been not only sustained but improved.

Coal, its History and Uses. By Professors Green, Miall, Thorpe, Rucker, and Marshall, of the Yorkshire College. Edited by Professor Thorpe. New York: Macmillan & Co. Pp. 362. Price, $4.

This is a thoroughly popular book, but at the same time a fresh and instructive one. It originated in a course of lectures that were prepared for delivery in different places, by several professional gentlemen, each taking the topic with which he was most familiar. The volume has therefore something about it of authority and completeness, which give it merit. The subjects treated are "The Geology of Coal," "Coal Plants," "Animals of the Coal Measures," "The Chemistry of Coal," "Coal as a Source of Warmth," "Coal as a Source of Power," and "The Coal Question" (that is, the English question of the supply of coal), and the rates of its production and consumption. The volume is moderately illustrated, and is got up in good style.

Elements of Comparative Anatomy. By Carl Gegenbaur, Professor of Anatomy and Director of the Anatomical Institute at Heidelberg. New York: Macmillan & Co. Pp. 645. Price, $7.

We congratulate the publishers, Macmillan & Co., for their enterprise in bringing this sterling and standard Continental work to the service of English and American students. It has been demanded for a good while, and various publishers in London and New York have at divers times talked of cooperating with each other to reproduce it, but were all at last afraid of the venture. Mr. Macmillan has undertaken it alone, and we have no doubt that he will find "money in it." At all events, it is now the book upon the subject of comparative anatomy, for the relations of animal structures, that must be consulted by all students. Biological science has recently changed its course, by which the older treatises have become antiquated, and to meet the new requirements there must be new text-books. Lyell, when an old man, revolutionized his geology to bring it into harmony with advancing knowledge, and Gegenbaur has done the same thing with his great work on zoölogy. Dr. Lancaster, the editor, thus refers to this peculiarity of Gegenbauer's treatise: "We do not possess any modern work on comparative anatomy, properly so called; that is to say, a work in which the comparative method is put prominently forward as the guiding principle in the treatment of the results of anatomical investigation. The present work, therefore, appears to me to form a most important supplement to our existing treatises on the structure and classification of animals. It has, over and above this, a distinctive and weighty recommendation in that, throughout and without reserve, the doctrine of evolution appears as the living, moving investment of the dry bones of anatomical fact. Not only is the student thus taught to retain and accumulate his facts in relation to definite problems which are actually exercising the ingenuity of investigators, but he is encouraged and to a certain extent trained in the healthy use of his speculative faculties; in fact, the one great method by which new knowledge is attained, whether of little things or of big things—the method of observation (or experiment), directed by speculation—becomes the conscious and distinctive characteristic of his mental activity. Thus we may claim for the study of comparative anatomy, as set forth in the present work, the power of developing what is called ‘common sense’ into the more precisely fixed 'scientific habit' of mind."

Lectures on Materia Medica. By Carroll Dunham, M. D. 2 vols. New York: Francis Hart & Co., 63 Murray Street. Pp. 828.

This is an elaborate text-book on the action of medical remedies, according to the theory of Hahnemann, and it is a treatise that will undoubtedly have weight with the professional school which it represents. Its author was Professor of Materia Medica in the New York Homoœpathic Medical College, and author of "Homœopathy the Science of Therapeutics," and he is evidently recognized as a safe authority in this important branch of homœopathic medicine. The volumes are made up from his notes, observations, and memoranda, based upon close study and the experience of a wide practice. Dr. Dunham seems to have been an accomplished physician, loving his work and apt for it, and much liked by all who knew him. Of the merits of the medical system to which he adhered, our readers no doubt have their own opinions this way and that, with which we have not the slightest inclination to meddle; but the volumes before us give evidence that their author was a learned, critical, and painstaking student in his chosen branch of professional inquiry.

Fasting Girls: Their Physiology and Pathology. By William A. Hammond, M. D. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. Pp. 74. Price, 75 cents.

Dr. Hammond has done excellent service in contributing this little monograph to expose a class of the grossest frauds that grow rank in the soil of popular ignorance. He has not a very high opinion of our boasted enlightenment, as we gather from the following observations: "It seems that no proposition that can be made is so absurd or impossible but that many people, ordinarily regarded as intelligent, will be found to accept it and to aid in its propagation. And hence, when it is asserted that a young lady has lived for fourteen years without food of any kind, hundreds and thousands of persons throughout the length and breadth of a civilized land at once yield their belief to the monstrous declaration." Dr. Hammond gives accounts of several cases of alleged fasting girls and ingenious deceptions, the collusions and credulities of surrounding parties, and the manner of ultimate exposure. The final chapter, on the physiology and pathology of inanition, is very instructive.

Principles of Political Economy. By William Roscher, Professor of Political Economy at the University of Leipsic, Corresponding Member of the Institute of France, Privy Councilor to his Majesty the King of Saxony. From the thirteenth (1877) German edition, with additional chapters furnished by the author, for this first English and American edition, on Paper Money, International Trade, and the Protective System; and a Preliminary Essay on the Historical Method in Political Economy (from the French), by L. Wolowski. The whole translated by John J. Lalor, A. M. 2 vols. New York: Henry Holt & Co. Pp. 929. Price, $7.

The students of economic literature owe hearty thanks to Mr. Lalor for rendering into English the learned work of Professor Roscher on political economy. It is a book of inexhaustible erudition, such as a plodding and untiring German Professor alone could produce. It abounds in curious information on a wide range of collateral topics, and runs freely into social philosophy as well as into strict economics. The note's are copious, varied, and invaluable.

Index Medicus. Monthly Classified Record of the Current Medical Literature of the World. Edited by Dr. J. S. Billings, Surgeon U. S. Army, and Dr. R. Fletcher, M. R. C. S., Eng. Monthly. New York: Leypoldt. $3 per annum.

The "Index Medicus" is a publication which can hardly fail to be heartily welcomed by the medical profession. It records the titles of all new books on medicine, surgery, and the collateral branches. These are classed under subject-headings, and are followed by the titles of valuable original articles in the medical journals, and the transactions of medical societies. The periodicals thus indexed comprise pretty nearly all the current medical journals and transactions of value. At the close of each yearly volume a double index of authors and subjects will be added, forming a complete bibliography of medicine during the preceding year. The "Index Medicus" contains about fifty pages of large quarto size, clearly printed on good paper. The valuable character of the work and its remarkably low price must commend it to the patronage of physicians.

The Teacher. Hints on School Management. By J. R. Blakiston, M. A., one of Her Majesty's Inspectors of Schools. New York: Macmillan & Co. Pp. 91. Price, $1.

We take it that this will prove a very helpful little work, on general schoolroom tactics, to that small circle of teachers who feel that they have any need of it, it being the business of teachers to know—and their standing, and salary, and influence in school and out of it depending upon their reputation for knowing, they can not generally afford to let it be suspected that they do not understand all about it—whatever it is. This book, by an old English school inspector, who says that his views "are the result of a personal experience of twenty-five years spent in educational work by one who feels more every year how much he has yet to learn," proceeds upon the opposite principle. Indeed, the author goes so far as to say that when teachers are ignorant they should not have any false pride or pretension about it, but should honestly and openly admit their ignorance. His language is, "When children ask their teacher for information on subjects with which he has little or no acquaintance, he should not be ashamed of frankly owning his ignorance." This is sensible talk, and those who like it will find much more of the same sort in the volume, which will furnish many hints worth the attention of practical teachers.

Mixed Essays. By Matthew Arnold. New York: Macmillan & Co. Pp. 347. Price, $2.

The name of this author is so well and favorably known as to make any commendation of his work on our part superfluous. He deals with modern questions in the spirit of liberal, often of radical criticism, and his opening discussions on "Democracy" and on "Equality," from the point of view of an independent English thinker, will have interest for intelligent American readers. The London "Athenæum" remarks of the volume: "One feels that these essays are Mr. Arnold, and that the lesson they convey as a whole is more precious than any single principle expressed throughout them. It is the lesson of courtesy, gentleness, and toleration. The stern practical nature of life in the nineteenth century and the controversial fierceness which is at once the strength and the misfortune of Englishmen could have no better foil than this high-souled preacher, who has continually reminded us, by his own example, of the supreme value of noble conduct and high demeanor."

 

 
PUBLICATIONS RECEIVED.

Notes of a Naturalist on the Challenger. By H. N. Moseley. London and New York: Macmillan. 1879. Pp. 36. $7.50.

The Wyandotte Cave. By J. P. Stelle. Cincinnati: Moore, Wilstach & Baldwin. 1864. Pp. 85.

Etymological Dictionary of the English Language. By W. W. Skeat. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Parti., A—Dor. 1879. Pp. 176. 10s. 6d.

The Coal Trade. By F. E. Saward. New York: The Author. 1879. Pp. 73.

Practical Treatise on the Combustion of Coal. By W. M. Barr. With Plates. Indianapolis: Yohn Brothers. 1879. Pp. 315. $2.50.

Dictionary of Music and Musicians. London and New York: Macmillan. Part VI. 1879. Pp. 127.

The Art of Singing. By F. Sieber. New York: W. A. Pond & Co. Pp. 175. 1879.

L'Assommoir. By E. Zola. Philadelphia: Petersons. 1879. Pp. 380. 75 cents.

Progressive Japan. By General Le Gendre. San Francisco: A. L. Bancroft & Co. 1879. Pp. 370.

"Baptist Review." Quarterly. Cincinnati: J. R. Baumes. Vol. I. No. I. Pp. 172.

The Art of Figure-Drawing. By C. H. Weigall. New York: Putnam's Sons. 1879. Pp. 53. 50 cents.

Trial of D. M. Bennett. New York: "The Truth-Seeker." 1879. Pp. 189.

Haeckel's "Genesis of Man": a Review. By L. F. Ward. Philadelphia: E. Stern & Co. Pp. 64.

Supplementary Report on Sewer Air. By W. R. Nichols.

Sound Money. By D. A. Hawkins. Pp. 4.

Mothers' Marks. By Dr. Pv. Park. Pp. 13.

Üeber das von glüheudem Platin ausgestrahlte Licht. Von Edward L. Nichols, Ph. D. Göttingen-Die Universitäts-Buchdruckerei von E. A. Huth. 1879. Pp. 58, with Plaies.

On the Complete Series of Superficial Geological Formations in Northeastern Iowa. By W. J. McGee. From "Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science." Pp. 36.

Wall Rocks of the Bodie Auriferous Lodes. By M. Attwood. From "Proceedings of the California Geological Society." Pp. 3.

On an Improved Form of Gold-washer's Prospecting Bowl. From the "Alta California." By the same Author. Pp. 16.

Proposed Legislation on the Adulteration of Food and Medicine. By E. R. Squibb, M. D. New York: Putnam's Sons. 1879. Pp. 57. 25 cents.

All about the Plum Curculio. By J. B. Stelle. Mobile: "Register" print. 1878. Pp. 14.

Double Stars. By S. W. Burnham. From "American Journal of Science and Arts." Pp. 7.

Bigamy and Polygamy. Pp. 33.

The School Garden. By E. Schwab. New York: Holbrook & Co. 1879. Pp. 92. 50 cents.

Word and Work. By P. G. Robert. St. Louis: W. B. Chittenden. 1879. Pp. 29.

Evolution and Human Anatomy. By S. E. Chaille. New York: Trow print. 1879. Pp. 21.

Heroes, Honors, and Horrors. Yellow Fever of 1878. By J. P. Dromgoole. M. D. Louisville, Ky.: Morton print. 1879. Pp. 176. 50 cents.

Catalogue of Plants in the Vicinity of Cincinnati. By J. F. James. Cincinnati: Barclay print. Pp. 27.

Mineral Locality in Fairfield County, Connecticut. By G. J. Brush and E. S. Dana. From "American Journal of Science and Arts." Pp. 10.

House of Representatives. Report of National Academy of Sciences. Pp. 25.

Method of Study in Social Science. By W. T. Harris. St. Louis: Jones print. Pp. 23.

  1. Chapter I., Transmission and Reflection of Light; II., Production of Color by Dispersion; III., Constants of Color; IV., Production of Color by Interference and Polarization; V., Colors of Opalescent Media; VI., Production of Color by Fluorescence and Phosphorescence; VII., Production of Color by Absorption; VIII., Abnormal Perception of Color and Color-Blindness; IX., Young's Theory of Color; X., Mixture of Colors; XI., Complementary Colors; XII., Effects produced on Color by a Change of Luminosity, and by mixing it with White Light; XIII., Duration of the Impression on the Retina; XIV., Modes of arranging Colors in Systems; XV., Contrast; XVI., The Small Interval and Gradation; XVII., Combinations of Colors in Pairs and Triads; XVIII., Painting and Decoration.—Note on Two Recent Theories of Color.—Index.