Popular Science Monthly/Volume 28/February 1886/Literary Notices


Louis Agassiz: Hrs Life and Correspondence. Edited by Elizabeth Cary Agassiz. In two volumes, pp. 794. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Co. Price, $4.

Mrs. Agassiz began the preparation of this extremely interesting biography with the simple purpose of preserving the facts, letters, and journals bearing upon it from dispersion and final loss. But, as the work grew in her hands, she says she began to feel that an intellectual life, marked by such unusual coherence and unity of aim, might serve as a stimulus and an encouragement to others. And, for this reason, she at length decided to place it before the general public. The first volume contains a portrait of Agassiz at the age of nine-teen, and several other interesting illustrations connected with his birthplace and early life. The narrative in this volume covers the European portion of Agassiz's life, about which little is known in this country. It is woven together from family papers, and the contributions of fellow-students and others who knew Agassiz intimately at one period or another of his early career. A brother of Professor Agassiz, who survived him several years, took the greatest interest in preserving whatever concerned his scientific career, and this brother furnished Mrs. Agassiz with many papers and documents concerning his earlier life. After the brother's death the work was continued by a cousin, Mr. Auguste Mayor, who also selected from the glacier of the Aar, "at the request of Mr. Alexander Agassiz, the bowlder which now marks his father's grave."

Louis Agassiz had no other teacher than his parents for the first ten years of his life. "Having lost her first four children in infancy, his mother watched with trembling solicitude over his early years." She understood that his love of nature was an intellectual tendency, and throughout her whole life, as well in the work of his manhood as in the sports of his childhood, she remained his most intimate friend. He survived her but six years. When a very little fellow he had his collection of fishes, and the vignette represents the stone basin behind the parsonage, into which water from a spring was always flowing, and which was Agassiz's first aquarium. He had various pets, whose families he reared with the greatest care. "His pet animals," we are told, "suggested questions to answer, which was the task of his life." The story of his school-life, from the age of ten to seventeen, is briefly told, but leaves the distinct impression of a boy with a settled purpose. After spending two years at the medical school in Zürich, Agassiz went to the University of Heidelberg in the year 1826, at the age of nineteen. It is not easy to make citations from a book of such uniform interest; but his student-life at Heidelberg, and afterward at Munich, as gathered from various passages in this history, has a peculiar fascination. In one of the first acquaintances made by him at this time, Agassiz found a life-long friend—

and in after-years a brother. Professor Tiedemann, by whom he had been so kindly received, recommended him to seek the acquaintance of young Alexander Braun, an ardent student and especial lover of botany. At Tiedemann's lecture, the next day, Agassiz's attention was attracted by a young man who sat next him. and who was taking very careful notes, and illustrating them. There was something very winning In his calm, gentle face, full of benevolence and intelligence. Convinced, by his manner of listening to the lecture, that this was the student of whom Tiedemann had spoken, Agassiz turned to his neighbor, as they both rose at the close of the hour, and said, "Are you Alexander Braun?" "Yes. Are you Louis Agassiz?". . . The two young men left the lecture-room together, and from that time their studies, their excursions, their amusements, were undertaken and pursued together. . . . Braun learned zoölogy from Agassiz, and he in turn learned botany from Braun.

In a letter of young Braun to his parents, written at this time, he says:

In my leisure hours I go to the dissecting-room, where, in company with another young naturalist, who has appeared like a rare comet on the Heidelberg horizon, I dissect all manner of beasts, such as dogs, cats, birds, fishes, and even smaller fry, as snails, butterflies, caterpillars, worms, and the like. . . . I sometimes go with this naturalist on a hunt for animals and plants. Not only do we collect and learn to observe all manner of things, but we exchange views on scientific matters In general.

And he adds, concerning Agassiz's attainments at this time:

I learn a great deal from him, for he is much more at home in zoölogy than I am. He is familiar with almost all the known mammalia, recognizes the birds from far off by their song, and can give a name to every fish in the water. In the morning we often stroll together through the fish market, where he explains to me all the different species. He is going to teach me how to stuff fishes; and then we intend so make a collection of all the native kinds. Many other useful things he knows; speaks German and French equally well, English and Italian fairly. Is well acquainted with ancient languages. and studies medicine besides. . . . To utilize the interval spent in the time-consuming and mechanical work of preparing specimens, pinning insects, and the like, we have agreed that, while one is employed, the other shall read aloud. In this way we shall go through various works on physiology, anatomy, and zoölogy.

They spent their vacations together; "drew, studied, dissected, arranged specimens, discussed theories with their young brains teeming about the growth, structure, and relations of animals and plants." Another young botanist, Karl Schimper, was taken into this Heidelberg intimacy, and the three were inseparable in their studies. At one time Agassiz was kept at home in Switzerland by sickness, but the letters passing between these fellow-inquirers were remarkable. Here is a set of questions propounded by Agassiz to Braun and Schimper at Heidelberg. He was studying the fishes of the Swiss lakes and trying to catalogue them, and he says:

As I am on the chapter of fishes, I will ask you 1. What are the gill-arches? 2. What the gill-blades' 3. What is the bladder in fishes? 4. What is the cloaca in the egg-laying animals? 5. What signify the many fins of fishes? 6. What is the sac which surrounds the eggs in bombinator obstetricians? [a creature about which there had been former correspondence].

Braun, on his part, writes to Agassiz: "On my last sheet I send some nuts for you to pick, some wholly, some half, others not at all cracked." The following are some of the mooted questions:

1. Where is the first diverging point of the stems and roots in plants, that is to say, the first genicalum?

2. How do yon explain the origin of those leaves on the stem which, not arising from distinct geniculi, are placed spirally, or scattered round the stem?

3. Why do some plants, especially trees (contrary to the ordinary course of development in plants), blossom before they have put forth leaves (elm-trees, willow-trees, and fruit-trees)?

4. In what succession does the development of the organs of a flower take place—and their formation in the bud? (compare campanula, papaver).

5. What are the leaves of the spergula?

6. What are the tufted leaves of pine-trees?

7. What is individuality in plants?

It matters not that most of these problems were solved long ago; they no less illustrate the action of these young minds in carrying forward their fruitful studies. It is to these two botanists, Braun and Schimper, that botany owes the discovery of the law of Phyllotaxis which is hinted at in the first of the above questions. We next find the three friends established at Munich, attending the lectures of Döllinger, Martins, Schelling, Oken, the latter of whom was extremely friendly with them, inviting them once a week to his house, where they listened to scientific papers or discussed scientific matters. They took tea once a week with Professor von Martins, while with Döllinger they were still more intimate. "Not only did they go to him daily, but he often came to see them, bringing botanical specimens to Braun, or looking in upon Agassiz's breeding experiments, in which he took the liveliest interest, being always ready with advice and practical aid. The fact that Agassiz and Braun had their room in his house made intercourse with him especially easy. This room became the rendezvous of all the aspiring, active spirits among the young naturalists at Munich, and was known by the name of 'The Little Academy.'. . . The friends gave lectures in turn on various subjects, especially on modes of development in plants and animals. These lectures were attended not only by students, but often by the professors." In a letter to his father, Agassiz describes his life at this period as exceedingly pleasant. He says:

When our lectures are over, we meet In the evening at Braun's room or mine, with three or four intimate acquaintances, and talk of scientific matters, each one in his turn presenting a subject which is first developed by him and then discussed by all. These exercises are very instructive. As my share, I have begun to give a course of natural history, or rather of pure zoology. Braun talks to us of botany, and another of our company, Mahir, who is an excellent fellow, teaches us mathematics and physics in his turn. In two months Schimper will join us and become our professor of philosophy. Thus we instruct each other, learning what we teach more thoroughly because obliged to demonstrate it. Each session lasts two or three hours, during which the professor in charge retails his merchandise without aid of notes or book. You can imagine how useful this must be in preparing us to speak in public and with coherence; the experience is the more important, since we all desire nothing so much as sooner or later to become professors in very truth.

Again, in writing to his father, Braun says of these private lectures:

Sometimes Agassiz tries to beat French rules and constructions into our brains, or we have a lesson in anatomy, or I read general natural history aloud to William Schimper. By-and-by I shall review the natural history of grasses and ferns, two families of which I made a special study last summer. Twice a week Karl Schimper lectures to us on the morphology-of plants. He has twelve listeners. Agassiz is also to give us lectures occasionally on Sundays upon the natural history of fishes.

An artist who was already in the employ of Agassiz, and who afterward made the illustrations of his works upon fossil fishes, describes Agassiz's life and surroundings at this time as follows;

He never lost his temper, though often under great trial. . . . His studio was a perfect German student's room. It was large, with several wide windows; the furniture consisted of a couch and about half a dozen chairs, besides some tables, fur the use of his artists and himself. Alexander Braun and Dr. Schimper lodged in the same house and seemed to me to share bis studio. Being botanists, they too brought homo what they collected in their excursions, and all this found a place in the atelier, on the couch, on the seats, on the floors. Books filled the chairs, one alone being left for the other artists, while I occupied a standing desk with my drawing. No visitor could sit down, and sometimes there was little room to stand or move about. The walls were white, and diagrams were drawn upon them, to which by-and-by we artists added skeletons and caricatures. In short, it was quite original.

The second volume is devoted to Agassiz's life in America. The frontispiece is a portrait taken at the age of fifty-five, and bringing at once to mind the features so well known to multitudes of people in all parts of the country. Besides the vignette, showing us the laboratory at Nahant, there is a view of the cottage at Nahant, of the Museum of Comparative Zoölogy, a portrait bust by Powers, and a view of Penikese.

Scientific Theism. By Francis Ellingwood Abbot, Ph. D. Boston: Little, Brown & Co. Pp. 219. Price, $2

This work is an attempt at developing theism from science and the scientific method. Dr. Abbot criticises nominalism and conceptualism, and argues for a noumenism in which every phenomenon is, as far as it goes, a real revelation of the noumenon. He holds that the mind perceives true relations in nature, and that therefore to the extent to which human knowledge has gone it forms a part, however small, of that contained in the Divine Mind. The theory of the unknowable the author rejects, holding that absolute knowledge of a thing would consist in knowing the sum of its relations to all other things in the universe.

Dr. Abbot argues from the intelligibility of the universe to its intelligence; and hence, since it is all-inclusive, to its self-consciousness. His is no external deity related to the universe, as machinist to machine, but the immanent mind, whose organic life and growth, manifested to us in nature, is none other than evolution, which has dawned upon the investigators and thinkers of to-day.

On Polysynthesis and Incorporation as Characteristics or American Languages. by Daniel G. Brinton, M. D. Philadelphia. Pp. 41.

Dr. Brinton appears to have struck upon an undeveloped mine of linguistic research. Philologists have told us of monosyllabic, agglutinative, and inflectional languages, and of analytic and synthetic languages, and we have means in the libraries of books they have written upon them of learning all about them. The American languages, according to the present author, present entirely different types—those named in the title above—which have so far been only vaguely described, probably because they were only vaguely understood. Polysynthesis, according to Dr. Brinton, is a method of word-building which employs juxtaposition of words with the modifications they usually undergo when brought together, and also words, forms of words, and significant phonetic elements which have no existence apart from the compounds into which they enter. By incorporation, the nominal and pronomial elements of the proposition are subordinated to the verbal elements, and either have no independent existence in the form required by the verb, or are included within the specific verbal signs of tense and mood. By the use of these methods, of which various illustrative examples are given from several languages, the whole sentence is woven into a single word. These peculiarities constitute the American languages a distinct and independent class.

Consanguineous Marriages: their Effect upon Offspring. By Charles F. Withington, M. D. Roxbury, Massachusetts. Pp. 32.

Dr. Withington inquires into the validity of the belief that consanguinity of parents is in and of itself detrimental to offspring. He finds the evidence usually presented in favor of that opinion insufficient to demonstrate it. He presents evidence collected by himself, which, while he is far from regarding it as decisive, seems to go a great way toward justifying a negative view of the case.

Bad Times. An Essay on the Present Depression of Trade, tracing it to its Sources in Enormous Foreign Loans, Excessive War Expenditure, the Increase of Speculation and of Millionaires, and the Depopulation of the Rural Districts. With Suggested Remedies. By Alfred Russel Wallace, LL. D. New York: Macmillan & Co. Pp. 118. Price, 75 cents.

A premium was offered in England, known as the "Pears Prize," of one hundred guineas for the best essay on the depression of trade. Mr. Alfred Russel Wallace, the celebrated naturalist and philosophic thinker, who anticipated the chief work of Durwin, competed for it. It was, of course, thought singular that a traveling naturalist, a collector of butterflies, and an investigator on the origin of species, should have the assurance to strike into the great field of finance and international trade relations with a view of determining the causes of the present extensive hard times. But Mr. Wallace was not unprepared for the task. In his early life he had spent twelve years as a land surveyor and valuer, when he had much observation of agricultural life, and became familiar with a wide range of facts which had a bearing upon the land question now 80 prominent, and all of which gave a turn to his thought that well prepared him to take up the present discussion. But Mr. Wallace did not get the prize. His independent handling of the general subject, the deviation of many of his views from orthodox lines, and the introduction of new and more comprehensive causes of the prevailing bad times, probably explained the failure of his essay before the committee of award.

But the book is none the less valuable because uncrowned with a golden prize, and he did well to have it printed. In reviewing his previous works we have had repeated occasion to speak of his power as a clear thinker and lucid writer, and the present volume illustrates these traits as signally as anything he has previously done. He first states the general problem, and then considers the popular explanations for the extensive business depression, which is followed by the criteria indispensable to a true explanation. In successive chapters he takes up the baneful influence of extensive foreign loans, both upon England and the numerous countries which have received her capital. Prominent among the causes of business calamity he discusses the recent increase of war expenditures, rural depopulation, pauperism in England and Ireland, bad agricultural policy, millionaires as a cause of depression, speculation and finance, adulteration and dishonesty. In Part II several brief chapters are devoted to the suggestion of remedies.

The view taken by Mr. Wallace is broad and very instructive, His facts arc copious and pertinent, and the reasoning cogent and forcible. His ideas are far more elevated and philosophical than we arc accustomed to in treating this class of questions. This well appears in his closing paragraphs. He says: "In conclusion, I wish to direct my readers' attention to a very suggestive fact elicited by our present inquiry, and which appears to me to express the moral teaching of the whole subject. In every case in which we have traced out the efficient causes of the present depression, we have found it to originate in customs, laws, or modes of action which are ethically unsound, if not positively immoral. Wars and excessive war armaments, loans to despots, or for war purposes, the accumulation of vast wealth by individuals, excessive speculation, adulteration of manufactured goods, and lastly, our bad land system, with its insecurity of tenure, excessive rents, confiscation of tenants' property, its common-inclosures, evictions, and depopulation of the rural districts—all come under this category; while the one apparent exception, the bad seasons, would have been comparatively harmless (as instances here quoted have shown) under a thoroughly good system of land-tenure.

We thus see that the evils under which we have suffered, and arc still suffering, are due to no recondite causes, to no laws of inevitable fluctuation of trade, but wholly to our own acts, and to those of other civilized nations. Whenever we depart from the great principles of truth and honesty, of equal freedom and justice to all men, whether in our relations with other states, or in our dealings with our fellow-men, the evil that we do surely comes back to us, and the suffering and poverty and crime of which we are the direct or indirect causes, help to impoverish ourselves. It is, then, by applying the teachings of a higher morality to our commerce and manufactures, to our laws and customs, and to our dealings with all other nationalities, that we shall find the only effective and permanent remedy for depression of trade."

Overpressure in Schools in Schools, pp. 11; Sanitary Science and Public Hygiene. pp. 9. By W. S. Robertson, M. D. Muscatine, Iowa.

The author of these papers is President of the Iowa State Board of Health, and in the essays discusses two very important points in public hygiene. The former paper relates to the effects of overpressure upon the health and progress of school-children, and the signs by which its evil workings may be discovered. The second paper relates to the importance of diffusing sound information among the people, in order that they may recognize the value of sanitary science, and may learn how to participate in its benefits,

American Constitutions. By Horace Davis. Baltimore: N. Murray. Pp. 70. Price, 50 cents.

This is one of the Johns Hopkins University studies in historical and political science. Its purpose is to follow the changes in the relations of the three departments of government—legislative, executive, and judicial—which have been silently going on in the United States for the past century. In the State governments, under numerous alterations in their Constitutions, the powers of the Executive have been steadily enlarged, and the functions of the Legislature have been cramped and limited; in the Federal Government, Congress has encroached upon the field of Executive power; and everywhere, in both national and State governments, the judiciary has gained vastly in power and importance. The author believes that there have been three distinct strata of government in the old thirteen colonies. In the first or colonial period, the Executive was too strong; in the second, the Legislature; in the third, the balance was restored, and our State Constitutions are to-day, he believes, "as a whole, the most perfect framework of government for men living in a democracy, that human skill has ever devised."

New York Agricultural Experiment Station. Third Annual Report of the Board of Control, for 1884. Albany: Weed, Parsons & Co. Pp. 421, with Plates.

The station is reported as now better equipped for its work than at any previous period. Not only have the apparatus for scientific and practical work been provided, but information has been and is being acquired reading the condition of our soil and climate. The work at such a station is necessarily cumulative in its character, and each year must mark improvement in conditions whereby previous work may become more available. Considerable space in the report is devoted to the examination of "duplicates," under the conviction that where true duplicates can not be obtained, "it is unwise to expend our energy in attempting work over which we can have no check. . . . Indeed, until agricultural science, so called, can be subjected to the tests that are recognized as essential to correctness in other sciences, we can not hope for that progress which we desire." The most important feature of the present report is the description and classification of the varieties of corn which are graphically illustrated in the plates. The attempt at classification has been extended to the varieties of vegetables, of which some twelve hundred have been grown, "but the work is a difficult one, and requires much careful study." Other subjects embraced in the report arc the trial of germinations, the rooting habits of plants, nitrogen-supply, feeding-experiments, and experiments with milk.

Italian Popular Tales. By Thomas Frederick Crane, Professor of the Romance Languages in Cornell University. Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin, & Co. Pp. 389. Price, $2.50.

The growing interest in the popular talcs of Europe, and in the new branch of anthropological research, folklore, is the justification for the appearance of this handsome volume. By popular tales, the translator means the stories that are handed down by word of mouth from one generation to another of illiterate people, serving almost exclusively to amuse but seldom to instruct. They may be roughly divided into three classes: nursery tales, fairy stories, and jests. They were regarded with contempt by the learned till the brothers Grimm some sixty years ago collected those of Germany and introduced them to the public. Now they are industriously sought for and collected from all parts of the world. The stories in the present volume arc, for the most part, presented for the first time to the English reader, and have been translated from recent Italian collections, which give them exactly as they were taken down from the mouths of the people. The stories are annotated for comment and illustration, and the subject is further elucidated by a history, in the introduction, of the principal Italian collections, and a bibliography.

Two Years in the Jungle. By William T. Hornaday. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. Pp. 512, with Map and Plates. Price, $4.

Mr. Hornaday is chief taxidermist in the United States National Museum, and was for several years collector for the natural science establishment of Professor Henry A. Ward, of Rochester, New York. The observations and adventures related in this book are such as happened to him while on a collecting tour for that gentleman, in the course of which he spent two years in India, Ceylon, the Malay Peninsula, and Borneo. That which he describes in it is offered as a faithful pen-picture "of what may be seen and done by almost any healthy young man in two years of ups and downs in the East Indies." The author says that he has labored in preparing his pages "to avoid all forms of exaggeration, and to represent everything with photographic accuracy as to facts and figures. It is easy to overestimate and color too highly, and I have fought hard to keep out of my story every elephant and monkey who had no right to a place in it. I consider it the highest duty of a traveler to avoid carelessness in the statement of facts. A narrative of a journey is not a novel, in which the writer may put down as seen anything that might have been seen."

Journal or the American Akadêmê. Alexander Wilder, Editor. Newark, New Jersey. Pp. 24.

The American Akadêmê is an association having for its purpose to promote the knowledge of philosophic truth, and to work for the elevation of the mind from the sphere of the sensuous life into that of virtue and justice, etc. Its members, it will be discerned, are to a large extent students of the Platonic philosophy. The most important paper in the present number is by J. B. Turner, and is on "Differentiation of Energy as the Basis of Philosophy and Religion." Mr. D. A. Wasson discusses the possibility of teaching virtue by verbal precept, with a decided inclination to the negative view.

A Political Crime. By A. M. Gibson. New York: William S. Gottsberger. Pp. 402.

This book is further entitled "The History of the Great Fraud," by which is meant the "counting in" of Hayes and Wheeler as President and Vice-President of the United States in 1870, when half of the American people believed that the candidates on the opposing ticket had been fairly elected. Its fundamental proposition, embodied in its opening sentence, is that Tilden and Hendricks were elected, and "were deprived of their choice by illegal methods, bolstered by frauds, perjuries, and forgeries." The author adds, "The surprising thing is that within less than a decade an almost complete revulsion in the opinions of the minority [the Republicans] should have taken place." Mr. Tilden's case is presented in full. The proceedings of the Returning Boards are narrated in detail, and conspiracy is freely charged against many of the men who figured prominently in the transactions relative to the election. As no election is now pending, the book can not be regarded as a campaign document; and the author is entitled to the presumption that his purpose in preparing it is to preserve what he regards as important facts and materials for history.

Something about Natural Gas: Its Advantages, Use, Supply, and Economies. By George H. Thurston. Pp. 32.

A pamphlet which applies more particularly to the natural gas of Tarentum, near Pittsburg, and which also sets forth the advantage of that place as a manufacturing center.

A Mortal Antipathy: First Opening of the New Portfolio. By Oliver Wendell Holmes. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Co. Pp. 307. Price, $1.50.

A new book by Dr. Holmes, redolent of his versatile genius and worthy of his fame. Happy are they who survive to enjoy this ripest product of the author's exquisite thought, for verily, this world has produced but one Dr. Holmes, and verily, verily, there will never be another, no matter how long it takes the solar system to run down! Great genius is never duplicated in the present economy of things, and the individuality of Dr. Holmes will forever stand alone in the history of creative literature. So let us all thank God for our good fortune in getting another of his charming and peerless books.

The contents of the new volume appeared as a serial in the "Atlantic Monthly" last year, under the title of "The New Portfolio." The scientific element which has been so striking and peculiar a characteristic of the former writings of Dr. Holmes here appears in the delineation of the career of a young man who, in infancy, had suffered a nervous disturbance so "sudden, overwhelming, unconquerable, appalling," from the carelessness of a pretty girl, that its effect remained in the system, so that afterward the sight of any young lady caused a repetition of the organic shock and deadly collapse. He was sent to a boys' school, and grew up to manhood the victim of this "mortal antipathy." The development of the story brings the young man, himself a physician of exquisite traits of mind and character, into such relations as, in the first place, to throw into a clear light all the physiological and medical aspects of the case, and then, with the most perfect art, the author relates the history of his restoration. The book is of absorbing interest, as well from its curious instructiveness as from the fascination of the story.

Milk Analysis and Infant Feeding. By Arthur W. Meigs, M. D. Philadelphia: P. Blakiston, Son & Co. Pp. 102. Price, $1.

Dr. Meigs publishes this little volume in the hope of contributing something toward the solution of the question of the composition of human milk, believing that, if some uniformity of opinion could be arrived at on the subject, it would be a great step in advance toward the attainment of some positive conclusion in regard to the artificial feeding of infants. After a long and careful study of the matter, he is convinced that human milk contains much less casein than is commonly attributed to it; and he here puts forth his reasons, and a detail of the methods by which his conclusions have been attained.

A Text-Book of Medical Chemistry. For Medical and Pharmaceutical Students and Practitioners. By Elias H. Bartley, M. D. Philadelphia: P. Blakiston, Son & Co. Pp. 376, Price, $2.50.

This book is designed especially as a text-book for medical students during their attendance upon lectures, and as a book of ready reference for physicians. The author, who finds the ordinary chemical textbooks too voluminous and largely occupied with matter irrelevant to the wants of the medical student, has prepared in this one such a one as his experience of twelve years in the Long Island College Hospital, in which he is a professor, has taught him that his students need. In the first of the four parts into which the work is divided, are presented fundamental facts in chemical physics; in the second part, the elementary theories of chemistry; in the third part, the natural history of the elements and principal compounds, with their physiological and toxicological bearings; in the fourth part, those organic compounds only which the physician will be likely to meet. Tables and analyses are added for those who make the work a reference-book. The chemistry of the tissues and secretions is omitted, because it is considered to belong rather to physiological chemistry.

Saxe Holme Stories. First and Second Series. Pp. about 760. Paper. Price, 50 cents each series.

A Wheel of Fire. By Arlo Bates. Pp. 382. Price, $1. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons.

The "Saxe Holme Stories" attracted much interest when they were first published in "Scribner's Monthly," on account of their intrinsic merit, which was regarded as of the best, and of the mystery which was attached to their authorship. This was never revealed till a long time afterward.

This interest has been renewed by the recent death of Mrs. "H. H." Jackson, and the avowal in connection with it that she was the author of the stories. They hold the first place among works of the class to which they belong. "A Wheel of Fire" is a tragic story of a young woman whose life was tormented by the apprehension of hereditary insanity, and all of whose plans and movements were controlled or modified by it,

Bird-Ways. By Olive Thorne Miller. Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin & Co. Pp. 227. Price, $1.25.

A collection of sketches of the ways of certain birds which the author met in the fields or had as pets in her house, and of their moods and methods of expressing them. With the exception of a few incidents which are properly credited, everything recorded in the volume came, she says, under her own observation, and is literally and entirely true so far as the fact is concerned, although she may have sometimes misconstrued the motives of the little actors in the drama.

The Heart, and now to take Care of it. By Edwin M. Hale, M. D. New York: A. L. Chatterton Publishing Company. Pp. 94.

The author has been moved to present a popular treatise on this subject by his conviction of the importance of the heart in the economy of the human organism, and by a belief that the public should know more about its functions, and the means of preventing or at least modifying the dangers to which it is exposed. His exposition is clear, practical, and unsensational.


Report of the Committee on Disinfectants of the American Public Health Association. Baltimore. 1885. Pp. 187.

Fifth Annual Report of the State Mineralogist of California for the Year ending May 15, 1885. By Henry G. Hanks. Sacramento. 1885. Pp. 285.

Memorials of Henry Brace Norton. Pp. 110.

Revision of the Palæocrinoidea. By Charles Wachsmuth and Frank Springer. First Section. Philadelphia. 1885. Pp. 188 with Plates.

Hand-Book to the National Museum of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington. New York: Brentano Brothers. 1886. Pp. 110. Illustrated.

Photography of the Infra-red Region of the Solar Spectrum. 4 pages; and Methods of determining the Speeds of Photographic Exposures, etc., etc., 14 pages, Illustrated. By William H. Pickering. From Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

A Plan for Ocean-Signals, Lightships, and Lifesaving Stations adapted for Coast and Deep-sea Service. By F. A. Cloudman. Rondout, N. Y. Pp. 15. Illustrated.

Digest of Laws governing the Issue of Municipal Bonds. Compiled by C. G. Neely. Chicago, Ill.: Published by S. A. Kean & Co., Bankers. Pp. 91.

Telescope Search for the Trans-Neptunian Planet By David P. Todd, M. A. Lawrence Observatory, Amherst, Mass. Pp. 16.

The Inertia of the Eye and Brain. By James M. Cattell. London: William Clowes & Sons, Printers. 1885. Pp. 20.

Marshill's Almanac of Meteorology, for 1886. Rock Island, Ill. 1885. Pp. 44.

Joint Diseases: Treatment by Rest and Fixation, 15 pages; and Surgical Treatment of Infants, 12 pages. By Dr. De Forest Willard, of the University of Pennsylvania.

Annual Report of the Secretary of the Treasury for the Year 1885. Washington: Government Printing-Office. 1885. Pp. 114.

Bulletins of the United States National Museum. No. 23. Bibliographies of American Naturalists. II. The Published Writings of Isaac Lea, LL. D. By Newton Pratt Scudder. Pp. 337. No. 28. A Manual of American Land-Shells. By W. G. Binney. Pp. 528. Illustrated. No. 29. Results of Ornithological Explorations in the Commander Islands and Kamchatka. By Leonhard Stejneger. Pp. 381, with Plates. Washington: Government Printing-office. 1885.

On Heating and Ventilation of Dwellings and School-rooms. By Charles O. Curtmon, M.D. Missouri Medical College. Pp. 10.

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The Wherewithal or New Discoveries in Cause and Effect. Philadelphia: Townsend. Wherewithal Publishing Company. 1885.

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Notes on the Opium Habit. By A. P. Meylert. M. D. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. 1885. Pp. 49.

The City of Washington: Its Origin and Administration. By John Addison Porter. Johns Hopkins University Studies. Baltimore. 1885. Pp. 66. 50 cents.

The Genesis of Inventions. By Franklin A. Seely, A. M. Washington. 1885. Pp. 17.

Ericsson's Destroyer and Submarine Gun. By William H. Jaques. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. 1885. Pp. 43. 50 cents.

The Utilization of Culm in Agriculture. By J. A. Price. Scranton, Pa. 1885. Pp. 5.

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National Conference of State Boards of Health. Pp. 63.

Report of a Special Committee of the Franklin Institute, of Pennsylvania, on Competitive Tests of Dynamo-Electric Machines, and on Mechanical and Electrical Tests of Conducting Wires. Philadelphia. 1885. Pp. 65.

Gas-Engines. Report of the Examiner of Section XII, International Electrical Exhibition. Franklin Institute. Philadelphia. 1885. Pp. 11.

The Healing Art. Harveian Oration delivered before the Royal College of Physicians. October 19, 1885. By Richard Quain, M. D., F. R. S. London: Longmans, Green & Co. 1885. Pp. 44.

A Study of the Relative Poisonous Effects of Coal-and Water-Gas. By William T. Sedgwick and William Ripley Nichols. Pp. 41.

Contributions to Mineralogy. By F. A. Genth. University of Pennsylvania. 1885. Pp. 17.

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The Columbia Bicycle Calendar for 1885. Boston, Mass.: Pope Manufacturing Company.

Thermometer Exposure. By Henry A. Hazen. Washington Signal-Office. 1885. Pp. 32.

Bulletins of the United States Geological Survey. No. 7. A Catalogue of Geological Maps relative to North and South America. No. 8. On Secondary Enlargements of Mineral Fragments of Certain Rocks. No. 9. A Report of Work done in the Washington Laboratory during the Fiscal Year 1884-1884. No. 10. On the Cambrian Faunas of North America. No. 11. On the Quaternary and Recent Mollusca of the Great Basin, with Descriptions of New Forms. No. 12. A Crystallographic Study of the Thinolite of Lake Lahontan. No. 13. Boundaries of the United States and of the Several States and Territories. No. 14. On the Physical Characteristics of the Iron Carburets, etc. Washington: Government Printing-Office. 1884 and 1885.

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The Philosophy of Education. By T. Tate, F. R. A. S. . with an Introduction by Edward E. Sheib, Ph. D. New York: E. L. Kellogg & Co. 1885. Pp. 331.

Social Wealth. By J. K. Ingalls. New York: The "Truth Seeker" Company. 1885. Pp. 320. $1.

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Japanese Homes and their Surroundings. By Edward S. Morse. With Illustrations by the Author. Boston: Ticknor & Co. 1886. Pp. 372. $5.

Third Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology. 1881-'82. By J. W. Powell, Director. Washington: Government Printing-Office. 1884. Pp. 606.

The Annals of the Cakchiquels. The Original Text with a Translation, Notes, and Introduction. By Daniel G. Brinton A.M., M.D. Philadelphia, 1885 Pp. 234.