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Popular Science Monthly/Volume 17/May 1880/Literary Notices

< Popular Science Monthly‎ | Volume 17‎ | May 1880

LITERARY NOTICES.

England: Her People, Polity, and Pursuits. By T. H. S. Escott. New York: Henry Holt & Co. 1880. Pp. 593. Price, $4.

In these pages Mr. Escott has endeavored to make a survey of modern England, presenting all the salient features of English social, political, literary, and industrial life in such a way as to give a correct picture. Of course, so large a subject can only be given in outline in this compass, but by a judicious use of materials a very large mass of information has been introduced and the subjects treated in approximately their relative proportions. The life and characteristics of the English village; the position and duties of the great landholders; rural administration and municipal government; the law-courts, the legislature, the crown, as well as the official system, all receive more or less attention. Hotel and traveling facilities and popular amusements receive such notice as their importance warrants. Considerable space is given to the condition and prospects of the working-classes, the relations they hold to the other classes of English society and to the state, and the conditions and some of the causes of poverty among them, and the means employed to alleviate it. Educational systems and measures, the structure of society, the relations of society to politics, commercial and financial features, are treated more or less fully, while a large place is given to the intellectual life, religious, scientific and literary. One of the most noticeable chapters in the book is that devoted to British philosophic thought. It is contributed by Mr. W. L. Courtney, of Oxford, and is an able and appreciative review of the subject. He recognizes fully the importance of the work that has been done by Mr. Herbert Spencer, and gives him the foremost place as a systematic thinker, not only among his contemporaries, but among all English thinkers of the century. Of the other two workers in psychology who have claims to a position somewhere near the level of Mr. Spencer, George Henry Lewes and Alexander Bain, Mr. Courtney gives to Mr. Lewes the higher place. The book is a very readable one, and, from the extent and variety of its information, will prove attractive to a large class of persons.

The Interoceanic Canal and the Monroe Doctrine. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. 1880. Pp. 118. Price, $1.

In the pages of this little volume will be found compiled a considerable amount of information concerning the commercial importance of the interoceanic canal, the history of the various schemes for constructing it, and its relation to the interests of the United States. It is a timely summary of the leading general facts regarding the enterprise, but does not go fully into the discussion of the merits of any particular project. The book was evidently prepared for an emergency—the arrival of De Lesseps in this country—with the design of heading him off in his project. Unless there was an unavowed and sinister purpose in its publication, we can not see why it should have been issued anonymously. If its author was interested in a rival scheme, and a man of mark, he would very naturally withhold his name from the title page; but, in treating a great public interest like this in an open and candid way, there can be no occasion for the concealment of authorship. That the book is aimed at De Lesseps is shown by the prominent use the writer makes of the Monroe doctrine, as a means of defeating a foreign project. We showed last month the humbug of this Monroe-doctrine pretext, and there are plenty of indications that the public is beginning to understand how utterly it is perverted when applied to the cutting of a ship-waterway across the American Isthmus. The book is narrow in spirit, and advocates a bigoted and illiberal national policy, which, if carried out, would become a scandal to American history.

Free Ships. By Captain John Codman.

Labor-making Machinery. By Frederick Perry Powers. Price, 25 cents each.

The Action of the United States Tariff. By Alfred Tylor, F. G. S. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. 1880. Price, 10 cents.

In issuing the series of "Economic Monographs," of which the first two pamphlets above are numbers, the Putnams are rendering a valuable service to popular education, in a direction in which enlightenment is greatly needed.

The essay on "Free Ships" is an able discussion of the reasons for the decline of the American carrying-trade, in which the folly and stupidity of our legislation on the subject are clearly shown. Captain Codman points out that this legislation has been continually in the interests of a handful of ship-builders, while the vastly larger interests of the ship-owners have been systematically ignored. At the time when the carrying-trade of the world was done in wooden ships, Americans were able to build the best and cheapest ships; and England, recognizing the interests of the ship-owners as rightly predominant over those of her ship-builders, allowed her merchants to freely purchase ships wherever they pleased. Under this policy, her carrying-trade thrived, and has continued to thrive. And when American merchants were placed under the same conditions—as they were when our ships were the best that could be had—our carrying-trade also thrived. When iron supplanted wood in ship-construction, and we could, in consequence, no longer build as cheaply as England, our legislators had not the wisdom to follow the policy that had proved so successful in England. Instead of allowing our merchants to purchase vessels where they could get them cheapest, they began fostering the ship-building interest—not by putting a heavy duty on foreign ships, but by prohibiting the purchase of such ships at all. Those engaged in other protected industries have been content with the imposition of onerous duties on competing foreign products, but, if one prefers these, he is at liberty to buy them and pay the duty. This sort of protection is not enough, however, for the ship-builders; nothing short of absolute prohibition has been able to satisfy them. The interests of hundreds of merchants have been ruthlessly sacrificed to serve those of two or three men!

To his essay proper, Captain Codman adds a review of the plans for reviving our carrying-trade put forth by Senator Blaine and Secretary Sherman. The pith of the Captain's argument comes out in the following paragraph in the review of Senator Blaine: "He tells us how Germany has prospered. She has increased her tonnage from 166,000 to 950,000 tons in twenty years, while ours has decreased in that time until it has nearly gone out of sight. Her increase has chiefly been in iron screw steamships. Where did Germany get those steamships with which she has taken away from us our carrying-trade? She bought them. Why did she buy them? Because she could buy them cheaper than she could build them. Why did she not wait, as we are doing, until they could be built cheaper than they could be bought? Because, in the mean time, England, or some other nation who could buy them, would have the carrying-trade. Who has prevented us from imitating Germany; in fact, from maintaining our carrying-trade, which she has taken from us? Who, but Mr. Blaine and his school of protectionists, who have reversed the fable of the dog in the manger; for the horse has forced the dog to eat his hay?"

Though Captain Codman strongly urges the adoption by Congress of the twenty-first section of Mr. Wood's late tariff bill, he insists that very much more than this is necessary to place our carrying-trade in a healthy position. We not only need the freedom to buy ships where we can get them best and cheapest, but we also need maritime laws that will place us on an equality with our most favored rivals.

In his essay on "Labor-making Machinery," Mr. Powers combats the frequently advanced notion that machinery displaces the workman and renders employment scarce. He insists, on the contrary, that it has been in all cases a great benefit to the laborer, and has multiplied his opportunities of labor, and made his employment steadier. The results of his study of the question he sums up as follows: 1. Machinery has reduced the cost of food, or at least prevented its rising with the increase of population, and has also reduced the cost of clothing and other manufactured goods, conferring two benefits upon the laboring classes. 2. The introduction of machinery has increased the demand for labor. The result has been the increase of the number of persons employed in excess of the increase of population, and an increase in the rates of wages beyond the increase in the cost of living. 3. Machinery has effected 'a marked reduction in the length of the working-day, and has reduced the amount of muscular exertion requisite in many branches of industry. 4. In so far as machinery has conferred less benefit on American laborers than might have been anticipated, it is attributable chiefly to the fact that European laborers have poured into this country in a flood, especially since 1845, since which time the greatest advances in the introduction of machinery have been made.

The third of these pamphlets is a reprint of a letter by Mr. Tylor to the London "Economist," in which he points out a curious and unsuspected effect of the American tariff. He maintains that, besides the result which a high protective tariff has in increasing the prices of those things protected, it has also the effect of lowering the prices of those things that do not come within its scope. By comparison of the prices of wheat, cotton, and oil through a number of years, he shows that, in consequence of our tariff, Englishmen have been able to procure these indispensable articles from us for considerably less than they could have done in a condition of free exchange. "Wheat," he says, "which had averaged fifty-two shillings per quarter for eighteen years in the several markets of Great Britain, in consequence of the American supply has only averaged forty-eight shillings from 1874 to 1879, and yet these have been years of European scarcity. . . . Merchants were surprised, for no one reckoned upon the effect of the American import duties (when limiting import from Europe) in depressing the price of their exports. They had calculated, in the usual way, that, with an increased food-demand of eighty per cent, from Europe, there should certainly be a great advance in price, instead of which a fall of ten per cent, from the previous average price occurred after 1874." Of cotton, he says: "In 1860 and 1861 the average consumption of cotton in Great Britain was 1,040 million pounds, against 1,229 million pounds in 1878. The price is slightly lower now than it was even in 1860-'61. When we consider the enormous competition for cotton, and the British plant provided for working up nearly 200 million pounds per annum, nothing but the want of the American market for finished goods can have kept the price of cotton down to such a very low figure as that prevailing, almost lower than it ever touched before. . . . One consequence" of this is that "the American cotton-grower has latterly got the minimum instead of the maximum price for his article." Mr. Tylor finds that this fall in price also applies to petroleum, and he humorously observes that the British Government "ought to make a strong remonstrance on this subject. We are at the same time indebted to the United States for their cheap grain, cotton, and petroleum, sold at the cost of production to us, in consequence of this unjust tariff." The view of the subject advanced by Mr. Tylor is well worth the attention of our legislators and economists, and, if borne out by fuller inquiry, will constitute another of those facts which increasing experience is adding to our knowledge, showing the folly of tariff restrictions.

Report of the Department of Public Works of the City of New York. For the Quarter ending June 30, 1879. With a Special Report on the Subject of Water Supply.

The feature of this report that gives it an interest to the general public of New York is the very full and elaborate statement of the condition of the water-supply of the city. The Commissioner, Mr. Campbell, points out in it that the present means of furnishing water are and have been for some years inadequate, and that there is danger, in case of any unusual demand, or a continued drought such as occurred in 1877, of the city suffering from an insufficient supply. The present supply is obtained, as is well known, from the Croton River, through the aqueduct of that name. This was constructed to deliver sixty million gallons daily, but for the past eight or nine years it has been called upon to do a much larger service. The present demand for water is between ninety and one hundred million gallons per day, with an increasing demand of two millions per day for each year. The present system is able to supply this demand only by working much closer to the limit than is advisable. When the new reservoir at the middle branch of the Croton and the dams and flumes to draw upon all the available lakes and ponds in the Croton basin are completed, there will be a storage capacity of nine billion gallons, which will be sufficient to fill the present aqueduct to the extent of its capacity; and, to increase the supply, other conduits, either from the Croton basin or elsewhere, will have to be constructed. With a view of determining what sources of supply were available, surveys have been made of the watershed of the Bronx and Byram Rivers, and of that of the Housatonic River, the results of which are given in the present report. The surveys of the Bronx and Byram Rivers district show that tapping the Bronx a few miles above White Plains, the area drained, including the Rye ponds, is 13·33 square miles, and that the like area for the Byram is 8·66 square miles, giving a total of twenty-two square miles. The waters of the Byram can be diverted into the Bronx by means of a tunnel about twenty-six hundred feet in length, and some open cutting. By constructing proper reservoirs and dams, Mr. G. W. Birdsall, the engineer reporting on the proposed work, estimated that thirty-five hundred million gallons can be stored, and that an average daily supply of twenty million gallons can be obtained from this source. The estimated cost of the work is something over twenty-six hundred thousand dollars. This source of supply will only suffice for a few years, after which a further supply will become necessary. With a view of determining its value as a source for such further supply, the survey of the Housatonic district was made. The work was in charge of Mr. Horace Loomis, who has submitted an excellent report upon the results of his investigations. He found that the waters of this river could be brought to the head of the Croton by three different routes, one of a little less than fifteen miles, another nearly twenty-seven miles, and the third forty-one miles. The shorter route is regarded as impracticable, as the water would have to be raised one hundred and six feet to the conduit. The third route, though the longest, is considered the best for a permanent work of this character. It would consist of thirty miles of open canal, two and one half miles of tunnel, and eight miles of natural watercourses. The area drained by the Housatonic above the point where this conduit would join it is six hundred and thirty-one square miles, and the water that could be delivered into the Croton is estimated at one hundred million gallons daily. The cost of this work to the head of the Croton River is estimated at a little over two million dollars. It is considered that, with the auxiliary supply which this river would furnish, the water-supply of New York would be assured for a number of years. Mr. Campbell urges the necessity of early action, that a work which will necessarily consume a considerable time may be commenced in season to meet the continually augmenting demand for water.

The Theosophist. A Monthly Journal devoted to Oriental Philosophy, Art, Literature, and Occultism: embracing Mesmerism, Spiritualism, and other Secret Sciences. Conducted by H. P. Blavatsky. Subscription price, 10 rupees. Published, 108 Girgaum Back Road, Bombay, India.

This periodical, which was started last October, seems to be the organ of the Theosophical Society that has existence both in New York and Bombay. Colonel Henry S. Olcott is its president and Madame Blavatsky its corresponding secretary. Bombay, we suppose, is now headquarters, as the parties mentioned have recently left New York and established themselves in Bombay, where their organ is now printed. "The Theosophist" is printed in English, but claims to have a universal patronage, being subscribed for in every part of India, in Ceylon, Burmah, on the Persian Gulf, in Egypt, Australia, North and South America, and the chief European countries. Of its contents it is somewhat difficult to speak. A large proportion of its contributions are from writers whose names betray an English origin, but there are many from learned natives of India. We should say that the journal is devoted to mysticism, and is perhaps the purest and most perfect antiscientific periodical that has ever been started.

Its ideal virtue is evidently to believe. We can gather no intimation that there is any check to this process, nor anything too wild, absurd, or extravagant to be credited. One would think that Colonel Olcott and Madame Blavatsky could have found exercise enough for credulity in New York. But they have sought an Oriental sphere where they can revel in a far richer and wider field of superstition.

It seems there is a Hindoo spiritualism akin to American spiritualism, but still arrogating superiority over it. Mr. Rao Bahadur Janardhan Sakharam Gadgil, LL. B., F. T. S., in a communication to the December "Theosophist," thus contrasts the two systems:

The spiritualists of America and Europe have this truth (the survival and return of spirits) phenomenally demonstrated to them, and so far Eastern philosophy welcomes the movement. But beyond this it can not go; for it finds little reason to congratulate the spiritualists upon the new ideas and aspirations they put forth. That death is the mere separation of the corporeal from the Jiva, or soul, that animates it, is a truth admitted in all schools of Oriental philosophy. The Bhagwatgita says that the Jiva, which is a part and parcel of myself, that is, Brahm, leaves the corporeal body at the time of death, and it draws in and takes with it the mind and the senses, just as the breeze of air that touches and leaves a flower bears off its perfume. So far Oriental philosophy and Western spiritualism are at one. But it appears that Western spiritualists are drifting into the belief that every human soul, after its severance from the corporeal body which it animated on this earth, remains for ever without another corporeal body; that all human souls can and some do make themselves manifest to living human beings either through the bodies of mediums or by assuming, temporarily, objective forms themselves; that this state of existence is better than the earthly one; and that in their corporeal existence they will develop and attain to the degree of final perfection. Now, Hindoo philosophy and religion teach differently on every one of these points. Though they admit that some human souls may continue for a long time without another corporeal body, still this is the lot of comparatively a few of those only who, during their existence on this earth, led a life of sensual appetites and who died prematurely with the intensity of those carnal desires unabated, and surviving separation from their gross bodies.

It is such souls only that are considered to stick to the earth and become what are called Pishachas, or what the Western spiritualists miscall "spirits"! But even these are not considered to continue in this state of existence for ever, nor is this state of existence considered in any way desirable. With regard to the majority of human souls, it is held that, according to their holy or unholy deeds and desires in this life, they go either to higher and better worlds, ending with Brahma loka by the archirádi márga, or to the nether worlds by the yama márga. The former are considered to be temporary elevations to better existences, the latter to worse existences than in this world in human shape.

But the state of existence known as Pishacha yoni is regarded in the Hindoo system of philosophy and religion as the most horrible and pitiful that the human soul can enter. The reason of it is that it is the state that comes over the human soul as the result of the baser desires having preponderance at the time of separation from the corporeal body; it is the state in which the capacities for the enjoyment of sensual pleasurer are in a developed state, but the soul lacks the means of physical enjoyment, viz., a corporeal body; it is the state in which the soul can never make progress and develop into better existence. It is considered that in this state the soul, being deprived of the means of enjoyment through its own physical body, is perpetually tormented by hunger, appetite, and other bodily desires, and can. have only vicarious enjoyment by entering into the living physical bodies of others, or by absorbing the subtilest essences of libations and oblations offered for their own sake. Not all Pishachas can enter the living human body of another, and none can enter the body of a holy man—that is, an ascetic or adept in occultism.

Annual Report of Harvard College Observatory.

The Director of the Astronomical Observatory of Harvard College announces in his annual report for 1879 that a subscription of five thousand dollars a year for carrying on the work of the observatory for five years has been completed. The astronomical work of the year at the observatory includes photometric measurements of Japetus, Saturn's outer satellite, photometric observations of the eclipses of Jupiter's satellites, the photometric observation of faint stars as aids to the formation of standards of magnitude, measurements of the planetary nebulæ, and the completion of the observation of the zone of eight thousand stars between 50° and 55° north, which has been going on for eight years. A work of some magnitude has been undertaken in the determination of the light of all the stars visible to the naked eye in the latitude of Cambridge. The report is printed at the University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

History of the English Language. By T. R. Lounsbury, Professor of English in the Sheffield Scientific School of Yale College. New York: Henry Holt & Co. 16mo, pp. 371. Price, $1.

The languages allied to the English are sketched in an introductory chapter. The main subject is treated under the two heads of "General History" and the "History of Inflections." The former part is of more general literary interest. In it we notice a carefully weighed estimate of the effect which the introduction of the mass of French words in the fourteenth century has had on the character and capacity of the language. The second part has been prepared more particularly for special students.

The Mound-Builders: Being an Account of a Remarkable People that once inhabited the Valleys of the Ohio and Mississippi, together with an Investigation into the Archæology of Butler County, Ohio. By J. P. McLean. Illustrated with over One Hundred Figures. Cincinnati: Robert Clarke & Co. 1879. 12mo, pp. 233. Price, $1.50.

As to the general subject, this work attempts to present all the essential facts that have been gathered, without burdening the reader with elaborate speculations. The chapter on Butler County, Ohio, gives the fruits of the original researches and surveys of the author, which he made as thorough and exact as possible, in a county which was once an important seat of the mound builders. Most of the engravings were made especially for the work, and to them is added a sectional archæological map of Butler County.

Insect Lives, or, Born in Prison. By Julia P. Ballard. Cincinnati: Robert Clarke & Co. Small 4to, pp. 97. Illustrated. Price, $1.

This little work is intended to present the facts of the life-history of moths and butterflies in such a manner as to interest children, and lead them to study and observe for themselves. The author has relied upon and described her own observations.

Eyesight, Good and Bad. By Robert B. Carter, F. R. C. S. London: Macmillan & Co. 1880. Pp. 262. Price, $1.50.

It has been the object of Dr. Carter, in preparing this work, to furnish such information on the structure and function of the eye and to give such hints on the care of the eyesight as everybody should know and take heed of. Experience as an ophthalmologist has shown him the need of such a work, as a large portion of the time of such a practitioner is, he says, "occupied, day after day, in repeating to successive patients precepts and injunctions which ought to be universally known and understood." The work considers the structure of the eye, the action of lenses in forming images, the like action of the eye, and the various ways in which these images are distorted, imperfectly formed, etc., according as the eye is defective. The care of the eyes, the effect on them of natural and artificial illumination, and some practical hints on spectacles, are among the subjects treated. The volume will be found valuable in every household, both as a means of obtaining such knowledge in regard to the eyes as it is important to know and as a convenient reference-book.

The Perception of Space and Matter. By Rev. Johnston Estep Walter. Boston: Estes & Lauriat. 1879. Pp. 451.

In this volume Mr. Walter has propounded a theory of perception differing widely from any of previous writers. He reviews and criticises the theories of Reid, Hamilton, Bain, and Spencer, none of which are to his mind satisfactory explanations of the mode in which we perceive the external world. He denies that the existence of such a world is immediately given in consciousness; or that from our experience of force an idea of an extended external cause can arise; or that the postulating of laws of thought, constraining us to invest the external world with space relations, offers a satisfactory solution of the problem of perception. That which the mind knows immediately is only the way in which it is affected and the relations between those various affections. These relations are, however, only relations of sequence, and there are no elements given in these time relations by which the mind can arrive at space-relations. In order, therefore, that the mind should be able to clothe external things with space-attributes, it must have immediate knowledge of spatial relations among its own sensations—that is, mind must be extended. "There must be," he says, "something really capable of prompting the mind to look outward. But this condition is not supplied in any mysterious innate laws of cause and effect or of association. It is supplied in the immediate perception of spatial exteriority within the sphere of the mind itself or of its phenomena. . . . We come to think of a cause, or causes, external to and independent of the mind, for the reason only that we previously have had the immediate experience of the mind acting as an external cause, so to speak, on mind." This doctrine of mind being an entity occupying space he regards as satisfactorily resolving the difficulties that have hitherto remained irresolvable. The work is original in its results, lucid in its exposition, and direct in its arguments, and will be found a valuable and interesting discussion of the subject.

The Metaphysics of the School. Vol. I. By Thomas Harper, S. J. London: Macmillan & Co. 1879. Pp. 592. Price, $5.

In the reaction of modern thought against the discussions and teachings of the schoolmen, Mr. Harper thinks there has been little or no discrimination between the good and the bad, and that with some that was frivolous there has been cast aside much that was of value. He avows himself a disciple of the scholastic doctors, and, in the preface to the present volume, undertakes to show that their metaphysics does not deserve the unstinted reproach cast upon it, either on account of its terminology, or of the subjects discussed, or of the manner in which the discussions were carried on. He has, therefore, undertaken to present the essential parts of the writings of the scholastics, especially those of St. Thomas and Saurez, in a form acceptable to modern readers. The exposition will run through four large volumes, of which this is the first.

Vocal Physiology and Hygiene. By Gordon Holmes, L. R. C. P., Edinburgh. Philadelphia: Presley W. Blakiston. 1880. Pp. 266. Price, $2.

The object of this work, the author states in his preface, "is to furnish persons who make an artistic or professional use of the vocal organs with a concise but complete account of those scientific relations of the voice, physical and medical, which are generally only alluded to cursorily, or passed over altogether, in works on elocution and singing." The author gives an historical review of the origin and progress of vocal culture, and considers the relation of sound to the voice, the physical construction of the vocal organs, their physical action, the physiological principles involved, and the hygiene of the voice. Under this latter head he considers the effect on the voice of the use of stimulants and narcotics, the diet, the habits of life, of exercise, etc., and gives some directions for its care and treatment when not in good condition.

Electric Induction. By J. E. H. Gordon, B. A. London: Sampson Low & Co. 1879. Pp. 141.

In the four lectures before the Royal Institution contained in this little volume, Mr. Gordon has undertaken to present such facts in electric induction as go to show what it is, and how it is propagated from the excited to any other body. The question, he says, which for fifty years physicists have been trying to answer, is now, through the experimental and mathematical researches of recent years, in a fair way of being answered, and the object of these lectures has been to present some of the data and reasoning upon which this answer rests. According to him, the present position of science on the subject is, that induction is propagated through space by means of undulations in an ether in a manner similar to light, and all that is at present known points to the ether being the same for both excitations, and the difference of the phenomena being due to differences of vibration. An induced body is in a state of strain which in a good conductor is being constantly relieved, and which in a poor conductor is not so relieved. The lectures, when delivered, were illustrated with a number of delicate experiments, descriptions of which and cuts of the apparatus employed are given in the present volume. The lectures are an excellent example of that clearness and directness of statement by which a naturally abstruse subject is made intelligible and interesting to the lay reader.

Therapeutics and Materia Medica. By C. E. Armand Semple, M. R. C. P. London. Pp. 60.

Forensic Medicine and Toxicology. By W. Douglas Hemming, M. R. S. C. Pp. 72.

Aids to Anatomy. By George Brown, M. R. C. S., L. S. A. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. Pp. 64. Price, 50 cts. each.

These are volumes in the "Students' Aids Series," on subjects of technical interest only. In the preface to his volume Dr. Semple states that it is intended to be a companion to his "Aids to Chemistry." A long list of remedies is considered, the doses given following closely those in the "British Pharmacopœia."

In the second of the above volumes, Dr. Hemming considers the questions with which medical men have to be familiar in appearing to testify as experts in cases in law courts, and gives a large amount of information in a compact and concise form.

In "Aids to Anatomy" Dr. Brown has aimed to present the main facts of anatomy in such a way as to be most readily grasped and retained by the student, and to be of value to him in the work of dissection.

Annual Report of the New York Meteorological Observatory for 1878. By Daniel Draper, Director. New York: John F. Hahn, Printer. 1879. Pp. 69.

The year covered by this report completes the tenth of the existence of the observatory, and Mr. Draper gives a summary of its establishment and an account of what has been accomplished in this time. The report states the conditions under which the observatory was begun, gives short abstracts from the reports of each year, describes the different self-recording instruments made and used at the observatory, insists on the desirability of a new observatory, and closes with annual and monthly tables. The report is interesting throughout, but that part of it descriptive of the apparatus is especially so. The instruments, all of which have been invented or improved by Mr. Draper, are fully illustrated and clearly described. An excellent idea of how meteorological inquiries are carried on may be obtained from the report by those interested.

Water-Color Painting. By Aaron Penley. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. 1879. Pp. 68. Price, 50 cents.

This little manual of water-color painting seems to have met with a very favorable reception from the public, as this is the thirty-seventh American edition, which is taken from the thirty-eighth English one. The Putnams issue the book as one of their "Popular Art Hand-Book Series," edited by Susan N. Carter, in excellent style. The book aims to instruct the student in the principles of the art, and to give such information regarding practice as to make it a valuable aid to proficiency in such work.

Protection of Forests a Necessity, by S. V. Dorien, touches a subject of most important interest to the people of the United States. It reviews the condition of the several countries in Europe, past and present, as to forests, rainfall, and fertility, with the purpose of showing what is the actual effect of forests upon the humidity of the air and on the power of the soil to absorb and retain moisture. New York: B. Westermann & Co.

Professor Levi Stockbridge, of Amherst, Massachusetts, has published a pamphlet containing an account of investigations which have been conducted at the Agricultural College Experiment Station at Amherst, on the rainfall, the percolation, and evaporation of water from the soil, the temperature of the soil and air, and the deposition of the dew on the soil and the plant. The experiments were conducted with apparatus of various designs devised with reference to the special objects sought in each and under a variety of conditions, and were made to bear on the question whether the moisture that is found in the morning on the surface of the soil and on plants is mostly derived from the air directly or from the soil.

Improved Dwellings for the Laboring Classes, the Need, and the Way to meet it on Strict Commercial Principles in New York and other Cities (G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York), relates one of the most important social questions with which American cities, particularly New York, are concerned. It sketches the need of New York and the extent of it in this matter, and describes much good work that has been done in London, New York, and Brooklyn, in more than one way, for the improvement of tenement-houses and of the life of their occupants.

The Report on Magnetic Determinations in Missouri, made during the Summer of 1879, by Francis E. Nipher, Professor of Physics in Washington University, is accompanied with a map showing the declination lines so far as they have been determined, to which is added a map of the independent preliminary surveys of Professor Hinrichs in Iowa. The isogonic lines show considerable flexures which seem to bear a relation to the drainage systems of the regions.

 

 
PUBLICATIONS RECEIVED.

Hampton Tracts. Cleanliness and Disinfection, by Elisha Harris, M, D., pp. 19; and Our Jewels, by Mrs. M. F. Armstrong, pp. 27. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. 1879. Price, 5 cents each.

The Native. Flowers and Ferns of the United States. By Thomas Meehan. Vol. II. Second Series. Parts 19 and 20. Philadelphia: The American Natural History Publishing Co.

A Dictionary of Music and Musicians. Edited by George Grove, D. C. L. Part 9. Vol. II. London and New York: Macmillan & Co. 1880. Price, $1.25 per part.

Report of the Chamber of Commerce of the State of New York on Railroad Transportation. New York. 1880. Pp. 24.

The Food of Birds. By S. A. Forbes. From "Transactions of Illinois State Horticultural Society." Vol. XIII. 1879. Pp. 57.

Historical Sketch of Henry's Contribution to the Electro-Magnetic Telegraph. By William B. Taylor. Washington. 1879. Pp. 108.

Money and a Measure of Value. By John F. Smith Oak Lawn (Rhode Island) Home Publishing Co. 1880. Pp.23. Price, 10 cents.

Three Approximate Solutions of Kepler's Problem. By H. A. Howe, A. M. Cincinnati Society of Natural History. Pp. 6.

A Plea for Cold Climates in the Treatment of Consumption. By Talbot Jones, M. D. Reprint from the "New York Medical Journal." Pp. 32.

"The Oriental and Biblical Journal" Edited by Rev. Stephen D. Peer. Quarterly. Vol. 1. No. 1. January, 1880. Chicago: Jameson & Morse. Pp. 48. Price, $2 a year.

Annual Report of the Wisconsin Geological Survey for 1879. By T. C. Chamberlain. Madison. 1880. Pp. 72.

The Cotton-Worm. By Charles V. Riley. Illustrated. Washington: Government Printing-office. 1880. Pp. 144.

The Chinch-Bug. By Cyrus Thomas. With Map and Illustrations. Washington: Government Printing-Office. 1879. Pp. 44.

Therapeutic Action of Mercury. By S. V. Clevenger, M.D. Chicago: Knight & Leonard. 1880. Pp. 27.

Extra Meridian Determination of Time. By Ormond Stone, A.M. Cincinnati; Society of Natural History. Pp. 6.

Adulteration of Food. By Albert R. Leeds, Ph. D. From "Third Report of New Jersey State Board of Health." Pp. 18.

A Subject-Index to the Publications of the United States Naval Observatory, 1845-1875. By Edward S. Holden. Washington: Government Printing-Office. 1879. Pp. 74. 4to.

Health and Health-Resorts. By John Wilson, M. D. Philadelphia: Porter & Coates. 1880. Pp. 288.

Our Homes. By Henry Hartshorne, M.D. Philadelphia: Presley Blakiston. 1880. Pp. 149. 50 cents.

Brain and Mind. By Henry S. Drayton and James McNeill. New York: S. R. Wells & Co. 1880. Pp. 334. $1.50.

The Taxidermists Manual. By Captain Thomas Brown, F.L.S. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. 1879. Pp. 204. $1.25.

A Guide to Modern English History. By William Cory. Part I. New York: Henry Holt & Co. 1880. Pp. 276. $2.

Pay Hospitals. By Henry C. Burdett. Philadelphia: Presley Blakiston. 1880. Pp. 176. $2.25.

Chemistry, Inorganic and Organic, with Experiments. By Charles Loudon Bloxam. Philadelphia: Presley Blakiston. 1880. Pp. 688. $4.