Open main menu

Popular Science Monthly/Volume 22/November 1882/Literary Notices

< Popular Science Monthly‎ | Volume 22‎ | November 1882

LITERARY NOTICES.

Ideological Etymology; or, a New Method in the Study of Words. By Stephen Pearl Andrews.

Elements of Universology: An Introduction to the Study of Philosophy and the Sciences. With Special Reference to the Science of Music. By Stephen Pearl Andrews. New York: S. P. Lathrop & Co.

The first of these little works was noticed by us when it first came out as a paper read before the American Philological Association at its Newport meeting. It purports to be a demonstration that there is a new and heretofore untried method in glottological study, and that the meanings of all the several hundred root-words of the Indo-European family of languages are reducible to no more than three mother ideas. These views are a part of that extensive system of thought which Mr. Andrews has been engaged for many years in elaborating. He claims to have originated and developed a universal science—a science of the sciences—to which, as is generally known, he gives the name of "Universology." Having taken up this point of view, and arrived, as he maintains, at that which is both universal and fundamental in science, Mr. Andrews then proceeded to make this the basis of a new language, equally scientific and universal, which he names "Alwato." The claim is put forth by the adherents of Mr. Andrews—Universologists and Alwatoists, as they avow themselves—that there is a wonderful originality and an immeasurable importance in this new system; and they hold that its immensity alone has repelled investigation and hindered the progress of the new ideas and discoveries. But they insist that, in the claims which have been made, no exaggeration has occurred, and that we have really in these works of Mr. Andrews nothing less than "the culmination of philosophy in its intimate and precise alliance with all the special sciences, and with every phase and form of human life, individual and collective.

No doubt the reason thus given why this philosophy has made its way so slowly has truth in it, as large and extensively ramified and complex conceptions can not be grasped and mastered except through corresponding effort. But there is probably another reason which has also been operative in hindering the study of "Universology." Mr. Andrews is an erudite philologist and a man of great mental independence. As a consequence he uses his vast lingual resources with a freedom that borders upon license. Rules are lightly regarded—he makes his own rules; and, being an irrepressible inventor, he coins new words as easily as he breathes. These qualities are of course necessary to the constructor of a new and universal language; but the practical effect has been that even his English expositions of universological doctrine have been so inlaid and overlaid with new, technical, and, according to accepted standards, outlandish terms, that they have frightened off readers and been a powerful hindrance to the students of his system. A universal science and a universal language, coming all at once and from the same party, have favored both discouragement in their acquisition and a grave suspicion as to the genuine quality of so vast an undertaking. And this doubt has been unquestionably much re-enforeed by the general acceptance in recent years of evolutionary ideas, which imply slow growth through long periods, by small increments of change, in the mental as well as in the material world. These considerations, even if indecisive and illegitimate, may help to explain the reluctance, if not the prejudice, with which Mr. Andrews's system has been received.

But, aside from the enormous friction of the lingual medium employed, a system of universal science is at best hard to reproduce in a newspaper article. Mr. Andrews's radical idea is that of similarity or parallelism of method or of analogy among the sciences. He maintains that this is their most fundamental relation, and that it forms itself a distinctive and all-comprehensive science. The analogy of individual life to the collective life of society, propounded by Plato, expounded by Hobbes, and worked up into the modern doctrine of "the social organism," may be taken as an example of analogy among the sciences. But in this case all the phenomena are of a common kind, and fall within the single category of biological science. An example of remoter analogy is furnished where we compare organic with inorganic sciences. In his celebrated discourse on geological reform, given in his "Lay Sermons," Professor Huxley develops this idea very clearly in tracing out the analogy between our knowledge of the living creature, biological knowledge, and our knowledge of the constitution of the globe, or earth-knowledge, as he terms it. He brings both these phenomenal spheres under the large conception of "Evolutionism," and points out the structural, functional, and developmental similarities that are traceable between them. Assuming the validity of this idea, Mr. Andrews proceeds to carry it out systematically, and to bring all departments of knowledge into unity on the analogical basis. His work is done with great learning and great ingenuity. He has served a long apprenticeship at finding analogies, and he sees them everywhere. Not only are the sciences as now advanced correlated by innumerable traces of cousinship, but all the past stages of science are filiated by the same ties—his net brings in everything. Not only physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, astronomy, geology, but metaphysics, ontology, philology, archæology, history, and all the stages of inquiry are enmeshed in a grand analogical unity. The old doctrine of fire, air, earth, and water, though now to the scientific mind only representing a crude stage of thought, altogether erroneous but useful in an age of ignorance, is installed in Mr. Andrews's exposition, as may also be the total product of the mind of man in all the stages of its growing intelligence.

The real question, of course, is as to the value of this immense work, and to what extent it has been pushed into the sphere of mere fancy. To what degree is it legitimate science? It is not to be denied that the history of scientific ideas is full of the examples of futile effort in tracing out fanciful relations in nature and holding them to be truths of nature. The growth of true science has been little else than an historic fight of the human mind against its tendency to substitute its own cheap and frivolous imaginations for verifiable facts and demonstrative truths. Theology for thousands of years interpreted nature by such superficial conceptions of the relations of its parts as could be arrived at without serious investigation or any real knowledge. For thousands of years the explanations of nature were deduced from the properties of words, and modern science only arose through a protracted struggle with this tendency. It is but recently that the connection between succeeding forms of life, which paleontology reveals as a great fact in the history of the earth, was held to be but an ideal relation as taught by theology; while the recent progress of biological science has consisted in substituting for it a genetic relation, or an actual dynamic causation. Science, therefore, must be regarded as most strictly occupied with its proper work in establishing the actual causal and determining relations among phenomena. So far as analogy can be made a help in arriving at such positive and substantial results, its function is legitimate for scientific purposes; but, pressed further, it will probably continue to be regarded as an impediment to fruitful investigation.

But Mr. Andrews is a courageous and independent thinker, who wants no instruction from us as to the value or importance of the work he is doing. He claims to be already the center and master of a group of disciples which form a normal school of preparation for larger operations in the way of propagating his ideas. We are, moreover, informed that "a university for the elaboration and diffusion of the new science (Universology) has for several years been chartered under the general act of Congress for the District of Columbia, and is only waiting more ample endowment to take on large and imposing proportions." Certainly plenty of work is cut out for such a university. A part of its programme is "one language for the whole world," the "future vernacular of the planet." This might seem to be a vast gain (assuming incidentally its practicability), as we should hope that such a language would supersede the multitudinous tongues that are now such a burden in education. But the hope is vain; Mr. Andrews says that "Alwato so facilitates the acquisition of all other languages that the prior existing languages will be kept living, and the valuable literatures of the world retained and their acquisition made easy. . . . English, French, German, etc., will survive for their special literatures and localities. . . . So greatly is the scientific method superior to the crude natural spontaneity which merely lets matters drift 'at their own sweet will.' "Nevertheless, this spontaneous drift of things in which Mr. Andrews has so little confidence, inasmuch as it has given us all the sciences and arts, and created civilization, and brought the primitive man through the route of development up to his present status of intelligence and cultivation, ought not, we think, to be too lightly discarded in behalf of a university at Washington, although chartered and even endowed by the American Congress.

Vice Versa; or, a Lesson to Fathers. By F. Anstet. D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 349. Price, $1.

We have here a most humorous novel with a very original plot. It is vigorously and vividly written, and has a great deal of naturalness in its descriptive and narrative parts, while it is pervaded throughout by a most fantastic and egregious absurdity. After the first shock, however, the reader accepts the ridiculous situation, and enjoys the wit and fun with no little curiosity to know what the author will make of his whimsical fancy. The odd conceit upon which the story hinges is the exchange of personalities between a father and son; that is, they are mutually transformed in bodily aspect, the father into the son and the son into the father, while their minds are not affected. The lad becomes outwardly the dignified London merchant, though still retaining all his boyish ideas; while the old merchant is shrunk into the school-boy and with the thoughts and feelings of an old man is packed off to the hated school, where his son had been before. The old gentleman's misadventures in his new and extraordinary situation in the school, and the boy's tantrums in charge of the old merchant's residence and business, are related with much ingenuity and irrepressible humor. The father at school and finding out how he likes it is, however, the main figure, and the book at once takes rank as a first-class satire on English boarding-school life.

The Coming Democracy. By G. Harwood, Author of "Disestablishment." Macmillan & Co. Pp. 390. Price,

We have not been able to get interested in this volume. It seems to be written from the high Tory and the High Church point of view, and professes to consider the growing tendency of modern democracy in relation to English institutions. The author first takes up democracy in relation to foreign politics, and then in relation to home politics, in which he considers its relation to the crown, the House of Lords, the House of Commons, the upper classes, the middle classes, and the lower classes. Perhaps the English may find some utility in the discussion, but we can not share their discernment.

The Change of Life, in Health and Disease. A Clinical Treatise on the Diseases of the Ganglionic Nervous System incidental to Women at the Change of Life. By Edward John Tilt, M. D., Past President of the Obstetrical Society of London. Philadelphia: P. Blakiston, Son & Co. Pp. 184.

An important work on a subject that is too little understood and is not treated with anything like adequate thoroughness in ordinary medical works. It treats the subject intelligently and intelligibly in its various aspects, beginning with the physiology and general pathology of the change of life, and discussing afterward the special pathology under the several heads of "diseases of the ganglionic nervous system," "diseases of the brain," "neuralgic affections," "diseases of the reproductive organs," "diseases of the gastro-intestinal organs," "diseases of the skin," and "other diseases."

The Cornell University Register, 1881-'82. Ithaca, New York. Pp. 120.

The university was attended during the year by 384 students. In the science departments, the collection of apparatus for physics has been increased by the expenditure of about $15,000; a new, spacious, and thoroughly equipped building for the departments of chemistry and physics has been begun, and will be ready for occupation about January, 1883; large and important additions have been made to the lithological collections; and the organization of a party of students for geological and paleontological exploration during the summer vacation was contemplated. Special attention is invited to the conditions on which the State scholarships, 128 in number, are granted, and the construction, generally favorable to the candidate, which the authorities of the university put upon them. The right, especially, of every person who is qualified, to enter the examination for the scholarships, and to have it held, is insisted upon.

Light: A Course of Experimental Optics chiefly with the Lantern. By Lewis Wright. Macmillan & Co. Pp. 367. Price, $2.

The purpose of this volume, as declared by the author, is to make a very full and vivid presentation of the body of experimental facts upon which the principles of the science of optics are based. Avowedly following Professor Tyndall, the author adopts the experimental method of teaching, and maintains that projection upon a screen, with the use of a common lantern, is far superior in general effect to any other method of demonstration, besides having the advantage of exhibiting the phenomena to a whole class or to a large audience at the same time. But while the magnificent apparatus of the Royal Institution, by which Professor Tyndall has carried lantern demonstration to an extent and perfection never before attained, is far too costly for general use, the author maintains that the greater number of experiments can be shown satisfactorily to at least a science class with only a good gas-burner, while a satisfactory lantern can be made at small expense, and is a very efficient piece of apparatus. Though the work is based throughout upon experiment, which implies that the student should become familiar with actual optical effects, yet it is very profusely and elegantly illustrated, and the numerous colored plates will be held to go far in the way of replacing the actual luminous effects. The writer offers the following prefatory observations in regard to some points of his work:

In regard to the experiments described, there are two things to be said. It would have been desirable, if possible, to have stated the originator of every experiment; but it was not possible. Attempt has been made to indicate, as far as known, the first to employ any striking very recent experiment; but many of great beauty seem now such common property that it is difficult to ascertain who first made them, or first adapted them for projection. I strongly suspect that we owe to Professor Tyndall many more than it has been possible categorically to ascribe to him; and am the more anxious to state this, because his just claims in higher matters appear to me almost studiously ignored by certain Continental physicists. Some arrangements are, to the best of my belief, original; but none are put forth as such except one or two expressly stated, and it should be perfectly understood that no personal claim is implied regarding any other experiments because no credit is given to some one else; the absence of such credit is simply due to sheer ignorance and the difficulty of acquiring knowledge concerning such matters. The other remark is, that the order of the experiments differs considerably in some cases from that usually adopted. All that can be said upon that point is, that such is the result of considerable reflection, and in the belief that the order chosen is, upon the whole, best adapted to the primary end of assisting vivid conception of the physical realities considered and the relation of the phenomena to one another. Also, while no attempt is made to arrange the experiments in set "lectures," the order followed is believed to lend itself best to such a connected course of experimental lectures as a teacher would desire to give to his class, extended or abridged as the case may require. I am not without hope that, in such an extended course of experiments as are here collected for his choice, some hard-worked teacher may find real help in this respect. The same may be said as to the brief references made to the connection between the phenomena of light and the problems of molecular physics. Brief as they are, it is hoped they may in some minds excite a real interest in those problems, and deepen that sense of the reality of the phenomena which is so desirable.

Memoir of Daniel Macmillan. By Thomas Hughes, Q. C. Macmillan & Co. Pp. 308. Price, $1.50.

Mr. Daniel Macmillan, founder and head of the distinguished publishing house of Macmillan & Co., was a man of mark, of strong character, rare business talents, a man of ideas, a deeply religious man, who yet got free of the trammels of theology, and a life-long victim of pulmonary disease, which ended his life at the age of forty-four. There is much that is interesting in his biography, which is largely made up of his correspondence, and which has been admirably edited by the accomplished author of "Tom Brown's School-days." The book is interesting chiefly as a personal delineation with no ambitious effort to point a moral, and for this reason it will be chiefly prized by the numerous friends and acquaintances of the publisher, many of whom were much attached to him. There are, however, many reminiscences of books and authors in the volume, that will be appreciated by the lovers of literature.

Progressive Religious and Social Poems. By Rev. George Vaughan, of Virginia. Pp. 143. Price, cloth, $1; leather, $2. To be had from the author at Rutherford Park, New Jersey.

The author of this book, who had devoted himself with might and main to the great unselfish work of human progress in Virginia, was burned out there, and, as he alleges, much persecuted by the bigotry of that benighted community. So he has produced this volume of poems, and gets such living as he can by the sale of it. Regarding the book, Mr. Whittier wrote to the author (1877): "I have to thank thee for thy note with the inclosed poems. Their humanitarian tone is excellent." Mr. Longfellow (1880) said: "I have read the poems with interest, and coincide with Mr. Whittier in his opinion of their merits." In the presence of such authorities it would be equally presuming and superfluous for us to express an opinion; but, as far as we are competent to judge, we agree with the illustrious New England poets in their estimate of this performance.

Water-Power of the Southern Atlantic Water-Shed of the United States. By George F. Swain, S. B. Washington: Government Printing-Office. Pp. 164.

This is a part of a series of reports made in connection with the work of the Census Bureau, concerning the water-powers of the whole United States, and relates to the rivers entering the Atlantic Ocean south of James River. Reviewing the observations he has made and described, the author concludes, at the end of his work, that leaving out of consideration the Eastern, or navigable, district, the topography of the region is very favorable for power. The rivers have steep declivities, and often cataracts or rapids of considerable magnitude. The superior wooded condition of the country and the deep, pervious soil tend to make the flow of the streams constant, though it is, perhaps, more variable than that of the streams of New England and the northern part of the Middle States. The Southern streams, however, enjoy a greater rain-fall than the Northern ones. The beds of the streams are everywhere favorable for the foundation of dams, and the banks are generally suitable for the construction of canals and buildings at the points where the water-powers occur. The chief advantage in the water-powers in the South lies in their freedom from ice. On the whole, the author believes that he is justified in asserting, from a purely technical point of view, that the advantages for the utilization of waterpower in the Southern Atlantic States "are, in many respects, as good as could be desired."

Studies in Science and Religion. By G. Frederick Wright, author of the "Logic of Christian Evidences." Andover: Warren F. Draper. Pp. 390.

Though written from an orthodox point of view, and strictly "A Companion to the Logic of Christian Evidences," this is a very fair book, liberal in its views, agreeable in its tone, and instructive in its treatment. It is dedicated to Professor Asa Gray, with a pleasant reference to his "Discussions of Natural Theology," which are well known to be "Darwinian" in character, and the volume might perhaps have been more appropriately entitled "Studies in Darwinism." At any rate, it is throughout mainly a discussion of the group of topics that are at present prominently associated with Darwin's name. The author does not avow himself to be a Darwinian, and hardly goes further than to demand that the new theories of development shall be treated in future with more candor and consideration than they have hitherto received, he aims to state the Darwinian arguments with justice, and he draws upon a wide and critical reading of its adverse literature for the most effective arguments upon the other side. We regard his book as chiefly valuable for the fullness and variety of its quotations bearing upon the general subject.

But it seems to us that the antagonist arguments brought forward acquire a factitious force from the author's mode of representing them, although we do not accuse him in this of intentional unfairness. But he nevertheless commits the grave error of identifying "Darwinism" with evolution, and, by bringing forward all that has been objected to the principle of "natural selection," the accumulated illustrations of difficulties, and Mr. Darwin's own retreat from the claims he made at first, a case is seemingly made out against evolution, which appears, to say the least, very embarrassing. But it can not be too often reiterated in these times that Darwinism is not evolution, and that to assume them as the same thing can only lead to confusion and mischievous error. There can be no greater mistake than to suppose that the proofs of evolution are in any large sense dependent upon the proofs of natural selection, or that any restriction of the range and operation of this principle involves the validity of the evolutionary theory. Mr. Darwin has never attempted either the broad investigation or the comprehensive discussion of the law of evolution; and, by confining himself mainly to the consideration of "Darwinism," Mr. Wright virtually evades the larger problem, and to that degree his book is an inadequate representation of the present relations of science and religion.

Theologian as he is, he refers with disparagement to the a priori method by admonishing the reader to "note carefully the character of Mr. Darwin's reasoning as distinguished from the multitude of a priori evolutionists who have espoused his cause." Perhaps the author would object to the a priori use of mathematics in its application to physics or of any principles inductively established to the interpretation of phenomena; but, however that may be, he offers a very lame pretext for not dealing with the subject of evolution as an elaborated system of facts and principles of various orders and multifarious proofs as it now stands before the scientific mind of the age. But we cordially commend Mr. Wright's book as a well-intentioned and helpful contribution, in good temper, to some of the most interesting problems of the time.

Physiognomy: A Practical and Scientific Treatise. By Mary Olmstead Stanton, San Francisco. Printed for the Author: San Francisco News Company. Pp. 351. Price, $3.00.

The author counts herself among the disciples of Spencer and Haeckel. Many scientific men have already accepted the idea that the brain is not the sole and exclusive mental organ; but that the nervous ganglia and plexuses of human and animal organisms may also exhibit or assist in the production of mental manifestations. The author goes beyond this, and expresses the belief that "it has been reserved for a woman, however, to carry their observations and research to a finality," and that she has been able to extend and make still more comprehensive the location of mental faculties, and to prove "that the viscera also are instrumental in exhibiting mental phenomena." The signs of character in the face are reviewed in their various aspects, and the treatment of the subject is continued in chapters on the "Origin and Evolution of the Organs," "Signs of Health and Disease in the Physiognomy," "Hygiene," and "Heredity."

Statistics of the Population of the United States by States, Counties, and Minor Civil Divisions. Compiled, from the Returns of the Tenth Census, by Francis A. Walker. Washington: Government Printing-Office. Pp. lxxxix 375. With numerous Plates.

This is one of the most interesting of the many volumes of the census reports. It presents in intelligible groupings, made more plain by graphic aids, all the diversified classes of facts which are brought to light in the final summing up of the reports of the census. First, the progress of the nation, from 1790 to 1880, is reviewed by decades; then are given the facts bearing upon the settled area in 1880; statistics of cities, and urban population; the determination and position of the center of population; the elements of the population, as classified by sex, race, and native or foreign birth; and the influence of physical features (topography, temperature, rain-fall, latitude, and longitude) on population. Under these heads are presented the conclusions arrived at, with minute explanations of the reasoning and processes by which the conclusions have been reached; and the statements are supplemented by tables giving the detailed figures of statistics on which the processes and conclusions are based.

The Wave-Lengths of some of the Principal Fraunhofer Lines of the Solar Spectrum. By T. C. Mendenhall, Ph. D., Professor of Experimental Physics in Tokio Daigaku. Tokio, Japan: Published by the University. Pp. 27.

The University of Tokio having received from the makers, early in 1880, an excellent and powerful spectrometer and some superior diffraction gratings, measurements of the wave-lengths were made during the unusually clear weather of November and December. The results, which show a fairly close agreement with those of Angstrom's measurements, do not require a particular notice, except in so far as the work illustrates the extent to which the most remote lines of Western scientific investigation are observed and followed up in the distant empire of Japan.

Report upon Experiments and Investigations to develop a System of Submarine Mines for defending the Harbors of the United States. By Lieutenant Colonel Henry L. Abbott, Corps of Engineers. Washington: Government Printing-Office. Pp. 444, with Twenty-seven Plates.

The author of this report was associated with the Board of Engineers for Fortifications, in May, 1869, for the purpose of investigating and experimenting on the subject to which the report relates. The results of the experiments were embodied in a manual for the use of the Engineer troops in their practical duties as submarine miners, which was completed in 1877, and forms the basis of instruction at the School of Submarine Mining at Willet's Point. The present report embodies a full account of the general researches undertaken in the investigations, including the unsuccessful experiments, which naturally did not fall within the scope of the text-book. Among the principles on which the researches bear, are the laws governing the transmission of the shock of an explosion through the fluid; the relative merits of different explosives; and the resistance to be expected from the best class of wooden hulls. Results are given in reference to sub-aqueous explosions, electrical fuses, and modes of ignition. These facts determined, "the problem how to blow up a ship-of-war," says the author, "would then admit of the definite discussion usually applied to works of practical engineering."

Chronological List of Auroras observed from 1870 to 1879. Compiled by First Lieutenant A. W. Greeley, U. S. A., Acting Signal-Officer and Assistant. Washington: Government Printing-Office. Pp. 76.

The list has been compiled, with a few exceptions, from the meteorological reports made to the chief signal-officer of the army. The arrangement is by States and Territories, the names of which appear in special type, as well as by dates, so that the general geographical limits of auroras at any date can be readily ascertained, while the names of particular stations are likewise easily found under their respective State heads. The descriptions by Sir George Nares of displays witnessed by the English Arctic Expedition of 1875-'76 at Floeberg Beach are also included.

Statistics of Public Indebtedness. Embracing the Funded and Unfunded Debts of the United States and the Several States, and of Counties, Cities, Towns, Townships, and School Districts. Compiled under the Direction of Robert P. Porter. Washington: Government Printing-Office. Pp. 667.

This report, a part of the series of census reports, comprises: 1. An introduction, in which is given a brief history of the growth of the national debts of the principal nations of the world, and tables are presented showing the growth and distribution of State and local indebtedness in the United States. 2. An historical and statistical account of the national debt. 3. A statement of the ownership and distribution, by States and geographical sections, of the registered and coupon United States bonds, and of the amounts of each species held abroad. 4. A history of the debts of the several States from 1790 to the present time. 5. A consideration of the power of the State Legislatures, and of county and city authorities, to contract debts binding on the State, county, or municipality. 6. An exhibit and an analysis of the bonded and floating debts and sinking funds of all cities and towns of the United States having a population of 7,500 and upward. 7. An exhibit, by States and minor civil divisions, all of which are separately presented, of the State and local indebtedness of the United States. 8. An analysis, by geographical sections and States, of the entire bonded State and local indebtedness of the country.

Appalachia, June, 1882. Boston: Appalachian Mountain Club. Pp. 97. Price, 50 cents.

The present number of "Appalachia" contains the President's annual address and the annual reports of the club. The work of the association is still directed chiefly to the White Mountains, but not to the exclusion of other ranges, and is almost sure to become more catholic in its character as the membership of the society increases and becomes diffused over other mountainous regions. Explorations have been made about Moosehead and the Rangeley Lakes; the valley of the East Branch and the New Zealand Notch, in the White Mountains, have been traversed; Bear Mountain and Passaconaway, two comparatively unknown summits, have been examined; and the Great Gulf in Mount Washington has been traversed and made accessible by the completion of a path through it. The route from the snow-field of Tuekerman's Ravine to the summit of Mount Washington has been distinctly marked, and several other interesting works have been accomplished or improved. Paths over the Twin Mountains, and a bracing up of the rocks forming the "Old Man of the Mountain," so as to prevent the destruction of the profile by their disintegration, are in view. A monograph, with sectional maps, of "the Little Mountains east of the Catskills," and a contour map of the Presidential range, are published in the present number of this journal.

Atlantis: The Antediluvian World. By Ignatius Donnelly. Illustrated. New York: Harper & Brothers. Pp. 490.

Mr. Donnelly, who writes with an enthusiasm which only an unquestioning faith in his theory can beget, undertakes to establish in this book—

That there once existed in the Atlantic Ocean, opposite the mouth of the Mediterranean Sea, a large island, which was the remnant of an Atlantic Continent, and known to the ancients as Atlantis; that Plato's description of such an island was not fable, but veritable history; that it was the region where man first rose to civilization, and became a populous and mighty nation, whence settlements were made, all around the Mediterranean, and in Western Europe and Africa, in the regions of the Baltic, Black, and Caspian Seas, and in parts of America; that it was the true Antediluvian world, the seat of the gods, and the happy lands, under whatever name the ancients of different nations called them; that the gods and goddesses of the ancient Greek and other nations were the kings, queens, and heroes of ancient Atlantis, and that the acts attributed to them in mythology are confused recollections of historical events; that the Peruvian and ancient Egyptian mythologies represented an original Atlantean sun worship; that Egypt and Egyptian civilization were derived directly from Atlantis; that the implements of the "Bronze age" were also derived thence, and iron was first used there; that the Phœnician alphabet, the parent of all the European alphabets, and the Maya alphabet of Mexico, were derived from there; that this island was the original seat of the Aryan and Semitic families of nations, and possibly also of the Turanians; and that the nation perished in a convulsion by which the whole island was sunk into the ocean with most of its inhabitants, but that a few escaped in ships or on rafts, and spread the news through the world, whence the flood legends of the various nations.

A semi-historical support is claimed for the principal feature of this theory in Plato's record of what the Egyptian priests are said to have told Solon of Atlantis and its destruction, and in corroborative incidents in other ancient literature. The possibility of such a catastrophe as the destruction of the island is affirmed upon geological evidence. The deep-sea surveys have furnished evidence of the existence of an immense elevation in the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, the contour and profile of which are in harmony with the descriptions of the ancient Atlantis. Some peculiarities of the flora and fauna of the two continents which have puzzled naturalists could be easily accounted for if the existence of an intermediate continent as an original center of distribution could be predicated. The flood legends of all nations are quoted and examined by Mr. Donnelly, and shown to be reconcilable with this theory, and through it with each other. Numerous remarkable features of community in the civilizations of the Old World and the New—seeming evidences of former intercourse between the two continents, which seem to be constantly increasing—and many now hard problems in anthropology would no longer be difficult to account for, but would appear quite natural if we were allowed to suppose that men have radiated in all directions from a primary home in Atlantis. Numerous legends in the mythologies of Eastern and Western nations, curiously like each other in some features, seem to point to such a place. The Book of Genesis is found by Mr. Donnelly to be a fairly good history of Atlantis. The origin of bronze has been an impenetrable mystery. In the nature of things, copper, and perhaps tin, must have been first used separately; yet no evidence of the use of either has ever been found, except of copper in the neighborhood of Lake Superior, where implements of that metal and the marks of ancient workings of the mines have been found. Mr. Donnelly postulates as a solution of the mystery, that the Atlanteans invented bronze and introduced it into other parts of the world, and that they may have been acquainted with Lake Superior copper. Hundreds of coincidences are traced between features of the monuments, traditions, and customs of the ancient Eastern nations and of the ancient Americans, and are referred to Atlantis for explanation. Mr. Donnelly gives especial attention to lingual and alphabetic analogies, and devotes a whole chapter to tracing resemblances between the Maya alphabet, as recorded by Bishop Landa, and the Phœnician alphabet; and he suggests analogies between American and Old-World word roots. No branch of speculation is more seductive than this, and none more easily misleading. The authenticity of the Landa alphabet has been questioned by Dr. Valentini; but Dr. Le Plongeon is represented as claiming that he has demonstrated it, and has discovered affinities between the Maya and the ancient Egyptian and the Aryan languages. His testimony thus comes in aid of Mr. Donnelly's conclusions. It is in place to remark here, also, that at least four papers read at the late meeting of the American Association—those of Dr. Phené on "Affinities between America and other Continents," of Dr. Haliburton on "Atlas and the Atlantis," of Mr. Hale on the "Origin of the Indians," and of Professor De Hass on "Geological Testimony to the Antiquity of Man in America"—embody views parallel with some of the arguments in this book. Mr. Donnelly is sometimes carried away by his enthusiasm, and leaves his readers in danger of being carried away with him. No thought of looking at the other side, or of critical examination, is apparent. The work is a kind of lawyer's brief, on which the reader may ask to be excused from making up his mind till the other side has been heard and the court has delivered its charge. It brings forward a strong array of circumstantial evidence of the possible former existence of the Atlantean Continent, and of the origin of mankind and civilization from it, against which, so far as we know, no positive evidence is offered by history or science. The theory would explain a thousand things which are not explained and seem otherwise inexplicable, and would not make a single problem more difficult. But its verification, we fear, must await the realization of Jules Verne's vision, which enabled the travelers in the fancied submarine ship to reach and make a complete exploration of the sunken city, (he capital of the antediluvian empire. Mr. Donnelly even foreshadows such a realization, and suggests that it is not impossible that "the nations of the earth may yet employ their idle navies in bringing to the light of day some of the relics of this buried people," and that as a hundred years ago we knew nothing of Pompeii or Herculaneum, or of the Indo-European bond of languages, or of the monumental history of Egypt and the Mesopotamian empires, or of the ancient civilizations of Yucatan, Mexico, and Peru—"who shall say that one hundred years from now the museums of the world may not be adorned with gems, statues, arms, and implements from Atlantis, while the libraries of the world shall contain translations of its inscriptions, throwing new light upon all the past history of the human race, and all the great problems which now perplex the thinkers of our day?"

Report on the Meteorology of Tokio, for the Year 2540 (1880). By T. O. Mendenhall, Ph. D., Professor of Experimental Physics in Tokio Daigaku. Tokio, Japan: Published by the University. Pp. 81, with numerous Charts.

The present report covers the second year during which meteorological observations have been systematically taken at the University of Tokio. The tabulation of results is so arranged as to correspond in order with the tables of the previous year, and to facilitate comparison as much as possible. Hourly observations were maintained during March, June, September, and December, months which afford a good representation of the varying meteorological conditions of the year. In addition to these constant observations, an expedition was made to the summit of Fooseeyama to determine the force of gravity there; thermoelectric measurements of earth-temperature were undertaken, but abandoned on account of the difficulty of getting suitable insulating material; experiments were made with success for the determination of the velocity of the sound-wave under widely varying meteorological conditions; and co-operation in seismological observations is contemplated. It having long been known that the disastrous fires with which the Japanese capital is often afflicted are most frequent in certain months, and that their occurrence is intimately related to the direction and velocity of the wind, Professor Yamagawa, of the university, has devoted much time to an investigation of the origin and course of these fires, and to their classification in reference to atmospheric movement.

The Chemistry of Saké-Brewing. By R. W. Atkinson, B. Sc. (Lond.), Professor of Analytical and Applied Chemistry in Tokio Daigaku. Tokio, Japan: Published by the University. Pp. 73.

Saké is the beer of Japan, and is made from rice by processes similar in principle to those by which our beer is made from our grains, and which are described in their details in the course of this work. The Japanese brewers, it appears, discovered, three hundred years ago, a process for preserving their beer by heating it, thus anticipating a part of Pasteur's great discovery, but did not have the art of putting the heated liquor in perfectly pure germ-proof vessels, so that they omitted, after all, the most essential feature of Pasteur's process. It is only by repeated heatings, whereby its quality is injured, that they are able to keep their beer for a very considerable length of time. We learn, from the introduction to this work, that the annual consumption of saké in Japan is equivalent to about six gallons per head of the population. If the saké were diluted twice, so as to be of about the same strength as English beer, the consumption, twelve gallons a head, would be but little more than one third the consumption of beer in England, thirty-four gallons a head. "The brewing of saké is, therefore, of relatively less importance than that of beer in England, and this is doubtless to be ascribed to the enormous consumption of tea, which serves at all times, in summer and in winter, as the national beverage."

Information relative to the Construction and Maintenance of Time-Balls. Prepared under the Direction of General W. B. Hazen, Chief Signal-Officer of the Army. Washington: Government Printing-Office. Pp. 31, with Three Plates.

Frequent inquiry having been made at the Signal-Service office for information relative to the erection of time-balls, or other accurate time-signals, the general officer of the service addressed a letter of inquiry to the observers connected with the bureau who employed the balls, concerning the method of their construction and their operative machinery. The present circular of information is compiled from the replies to his inquiries.

 

 
PUBLICATIONS RECEIVED.

Programme of the Thirty-first Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, held at Montreal, August 23, 1882. Montreal: Published by the Local Committee. Pp. 215.

Address of Edward Atkinson at the opening of the Second Annual Fair of the New England Manufacturers' and Mechanics' Institute, in Boston, September 6, 1882. Boston: Franklin Press. 1882. Pp. 32.

The Growth of Children. By George W. Peckham. Reprint from Sixth Annual Report of the State Board of Health. Wisconsin. Pp. 46.

The International Time System. By Professor John K. Rees. From "Transactions of the New York Academy of Sciences." Pp. 10.

Annual Report of the Board of Directors of the Chicago Astronomical Society, together with the Report of the Director of the Dearborn Observatory. 1882. Chicago: Knight & Leonard. Pp. 56. Illustrated.

Extracts from an Old History of Louisiana. Translated. Pp. 19. Illustrated. Also, On the Transmission and Transformation of Nervous Diseases through Heredity. By Thomas Layton, M. D. Reprints from New Orleans "Medical and Surgical Journal." 1882. Pp. 22.

"The Modern Stenographic Journal." Vol. I, No. 1. Monthly. Buffalo, New York, September, 1882. Pp. 12. $2 a year.

Stricture of the Rectum. By Robert Newman, M. D. Reprint from New England "Medical Monthly." 1882. Pp. 7.

New Check List of North American Moths. By Professor A. R. Grote. New York. 1882. Pp. 73.

The Alphabet of the Future. By George H. Paul. 1882. Pp. 12.

Sixth Annual Report of the State Board of Health of Wisconsin. 1881. Madison, Wisconsin. 1882. Pp. 230.

The House-Fly considered in Relation to Poison Germ. By Thomas Taylor, M. D. 1862. Pp. 6.

Report of the Board of Commissioners of the Ninth Cincinnati Industrial Exposition. 1881. Pp. 314.

Report on the Character of Six Hundred Tornadoes. By Sergeant J. P. Finley. Washington. 1882. Pp. 19. With Plates.

Explosive and Dangerous Dusts. By Professor T. W. Tobin, Ph. D. Milwaukee. 1882. Pp. 14.

Dime Question Books. No. II. Literature. Pp. 35. No. III. Physiology. Pp. 37. No. IV. Theory and Practice of Teaching. Pp. 37. No. VI. United States History and Civil Government. Pp. 32. 10 cents each. Also, The New Education, by Professor Meiklejohn. Pp. 35; and A Small Tractate of Education, by John Milton. Pp. 26. 15 cents each. Syracuse, New York: C. W. Bardeen & Co.

On the Age of the Tejon Rocks of California and the Occurrence of Ammonitic Remains in Tertiary Deposits. By Angelo Heilprin. From the "Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia," July, 1882. Pp. 20.

Contributions from the Laboratory of the University of Pennsylvania. No. XX. Contributions to Mineralogy. By F. A. Genth. 1882. Pp. 24.

Historical Sketch of Greene Township. Hamilton County, Ohio. By C. Reemelin. Cincinnati: Robert Clark & Co. 1882. Pp. 33.

Nervous Control, or Equilibration. By James T. Searcy. M. D. From "Transactions of the Alabama Medical Association." 1882. Pp. 24.

Proceedings of the Biological Society of Wisconsin. With the Addresses read at the Darwin Memorial Meeting. Vol. I. November 19, 1880, to May 26, 1883. Washington. Pp. 110.

Easy Star Lessons. By Richard A. Proctor. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. 1882. Pp. 219. $2.50. Illustrated.

The Peak of Darien. An Octave of Essays. By Frances Power Cobbe. Boston: George H. Ellis & Co. 1882. Pp. 303. $1.50.

Constitutional History and Political Development of the United States. By Simon Sterne. New York, London, and Paris: Cassell, Petter & Galpin. 1882. Pp. 383. $1.25.

The Solution of the Pyramid Problem. By Robert Ballard. New York: John Wiley & Sons. 1882. Pp. 109.

Manual of Blowpipe Analysis. By H. B. Cornwall. New York: D. Van Nostrand. 1882 Pp. 308.

Essentials of Vaccination. By W. A. Hardaway, M.D. Chicago: Jansen, McClurg & Co. 1882. Pp. 146. $1.

Practical Life and the Study of Man. By J. Wilson, Ph. D. New York: J. Wilson & Sons, Publishers. 1882. Pp. 390. $1.50.

United States Commission of Fish and Fisheries. Report for 1879. A, Inquiry into the Decrease of Food-Fishes. B, The Propagation of Food-Fishes in the Waters of the United States. Washington: Government Printing-Office. 1882. Pp. 846.

Report of the Commissioner of Education for 1880. Washington: Government Printing-Office. 1882. Pp. 914.