Popular Science Monthly/Volume 35/October 1889/Literary Notices
The Philosophy of Necessity; or, Law in Mind as in Matter. By Charles Bray. Third edition. Longmans, Green & Co. 1 vol. 12mo. Pp. 407. Price, $1.75.
The readers of George Eliot's "Life," as related in her letters and journals, will recall her intimacy with the Bray family. In Chapter II of that work Mr. Cross speaks of her acquaintance with and admiration for Charles Bray, mentions the book whose title is given above (which was first published in 1841), and adds that her association with the author and his family "no doubt hastened the change in her attitude toward the dogmas of the old religion." With Mr. and Mrs. Bray, and the latter's sister, there existed on the part of Miss Evans "a beautiful and consistent friendship, running like a thread through the woof of . . . thirty-eight years."
It would be an excellent thing if the reading public could be induced more often to turn back to the works of those who have carefully thought out the problems of existence, rather than to demand new expressions which are apt to be more crude and superficial. Did they but know it, they would not seldom find a greater degree of novelty in the old than in the recent. And the republication of books which have commanded attention, but which, though excellent, are in danger of being forgotten in the multitude of novelties, is a highly commendable enterprise.
Among such works of a past generation is "The Philosophy of Necessity," by Charles Bray. It aims to justify the doctrine of the uniformity of nature as construed by the necessitarians and utilitarians, of whom the Mills and Bentham are the type. The author treats the subject first on the side of moral and then of mental science. The best part is the first division, wherein there is a very able and valuable discussion of the origin, objects, and advantages of evil, pain being considered "as the necessary and most effectual guardian of that system of organization upon which happiness depends." Mr. Bray is no pessimist. On the contrary, he believes fully in the beneficial quality of pain, that evil is only a means to good, or good in the making. The limitations of human knowledge prevent us from seeing this clearly, but an hypothesis to that effect furnishes the only rational explanation of the existence of suffering in the world. The moral universe is governed by law, and its laws "are as stable as those of the physical world"; and, while "the causes of many evils must still remain unexplained," enough is known to warrant the faith that "further knowledge will make manifest the benevolent, tendency of all creation, and bring home to every heart the all-cheering conviction that 'whatever is, is right.'"
The Garden's Story; or Pleasures and Trials of an Amateur Gardener. By George H. Ellwanger. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 345. Price, $1.25.
The author of this work is an "amateur" in the sense that he has a genuine love for the gardener's occupation; his knowledge of the subject and familiarity with plants and their relations with soil, situation, weather, climate, and purpose, are professional. His essay is practical in the sense that one may learn from it well how to manage a garden with the greatest success, what plants to put in it, where to put them, how to arrange them, and how to treat them. It is to an equal extent æsthetical, for it is permeated with the sense of the beautiful and of whatever is pleasing to a refined taste, and draws freely for illustration on the world's stores of poetry. Hence, whatever be the purpose of the reader who takes it up, he will find something respondent in it. The particular design of the volume is to direct attention to the importance of hardy flower-gardening as a means of outward adornment and a source of recreation; to present a simple outline of the art rather than a formal treatise or text book of plants—"to stimulate a love for amateur gardening that may be carried out by all who are willing to bestow upon it that need of attention it so bountifully repays." Having dwelt upon the plans for the garden as revolved in anticipation during the storms of March, the author gives "An Outline of the Garden," or a discussion of its general arrangement, the selection of plants, and the provision of stock. Among the first objects to be looked after are "the spring wild flowers," which have been too much neglected heretofore, but are beautiful, easily got, and (a great many of them) easily cultivated. From the attention given to the daffodil, we judge it to be a decided favorite with the author. In successive chapters are discussed "The Rock Garden," the "Summer Flowers," "Two Garden Favorites" (the lily and the rose), "Insect Visitors," "Hardy Shrubs and Climbers," flowers "In and Out of the Garden," "The Hardy Fernery," "Midsummer Flowers and Midsummer Voices," "Flowers and Fruits of Autumn," and the "Last Monk's-hood Spire," the variegated colors and the poetry of the closing season. Nearly all the plants referred to are such as may be successfully grown in the lower lake region, and have for the most part come under notice in the author's garden.
History of Higher Education in South Carolina, with a Sketch of the Free School System. By Ogden Meriwether Pp. 247.—Education in Georgia. By Charles Edgeworth Jones. Pp. 154.—History of Education in Florida. By George Gary Bush. Pp. 54.—Higher Education in Wisconsin. By William F. Allen and David E. Spencer. Pp. 68. Washington: Government Printing-Office.
These monographs constitute numbers 4, 5, 6, and 7 of the series of "Contributions to American Educational History," which the United States Bureau of Education is publishing, under the editorial supervision of Prof. Herbert B. Adams, in its "Circulars of Information." In the first paper of the group, South Carolina is shown to have been active at a very early period in promoting the mental development of its youth. Schools were founded and maintained by the State government and by private and charitable aid; and youth were sent to England to school, who on their return gave new impetus to the movement. The tardiness of the growth of colleges gave occasion for the development of a good system of academies, and training schools were brought within the reach of all. The first college was founded in 1785. At present, every religious denomination of any strength in the State is represented by its college, and attendance at most of the institutions is gradually increasing. In the main, they "follow the average college course, but, owing to want of funds, they can not offer many electives." The strongest and most famous institution is South Carolina College, which had as its president for fourteen years Thomas Cooper—a rash predecessor of Huxley and the evolutionists in the scientifico-religious discussion—and Francis Lieber as a professor for twenty years. Both of these eminent men were strong in political science, and under their influence the college gained a high reputation as a center for the study of that and correlated branches. The instruction of the negro population was well attended to during the earlier part of the history, and until, in 1834, an act was passed forbidding them to be taught. An entire change has come over the educational aspect since the war, of which due notice is taken in the history. Mr, Jones begins his sketch of "Education in Georgia" with notices of the schools that existed during the colonial epoch; then tells of the formation and conduct of academies after the Revolutionary War; and continues with a review of the elementary education afforded in the rural schools, an account of the "poor-school system," its rise, development, and decay; and a history of the beginnings of the general system of schools for whites, the application of which was interrupted by the war. The thread of the history is resumed after the war, and the present condition of the schools and colleges is described. Technological education has been made prominent, with results that are declared very satisfactory, at Emory College; the industrial department at Clark University is highly organized; and special emphasis is laid on the industrial education afforded at Atlanta University. Morris-Brown College, with two hundred and eleven pupils, is wholly under the charge of colored people. Mr. Bush's essay does not treat of the higher education alone in Florida, but sets forth in addition the growth and development of the school system of the State. It particularly emphasizes the rapid advance made in all educational matters during the last decade. Since 1880, "each year has chronicled a steady advance, and the aggregate results will bear favorable comparison with the educational statistics of any other State. The superintendent has been able to report a gratifying progress in nearly every particular: in the growth of the schools in public favor; in the increased number of schools and school children; in improved buildings and enlarged funds; in a more intelligent and better instructed body of teachers; in a lengthened school year; and in a ratio of attendance which, if correctly reported, probably can not be surpassed in any of the older States." Messrs. Allen and Spencer's "Higher Education in Wisconsin" is the first of a series of monographs on the group of Northwestern States in the angle between the Ohio and the Mississippi Rivers. It gives only a general outline of the career of each of the colleges, mostly compiled from the sketches in their alumni records and similar publications. The larger share of space is given to the State University. The five private colleges are described as to the leading features and character of each and the scope and tendency of their work; and brief notices of three others are given. The execution of all these histories might be improved upon. Mr. Meriwether's on South Carolina shows the most painstaking, but it is considerably short of what such a work ought to be.
Commercial Organic Analysis. By Alfred H. Allen. Second edition, revised and enlarged. Vol. III, Part I. Acid Derivatives of Phenols, Aromatic Acids, Tannins, Dyes, and Coloring Matters. Philadelphia: P. Blakiston, Son & Co. Pp. 431. Price, $4.50.
Analysts will welcome the third installment of this comprehensive and carefully prepared work, which details the properties, methods of proximate analytical examination, and assaying of the various organic chemical substances employed in the arts, manufactures, and medicine. The material has so increased during revision that it will occupy at least double the space of the original two-volume edition. The part now issued consists of a chapter on aromatic acids, with an appendix descriptive of the tannins, and a chapter on dyes and coloring matters. The material relating to the latter subject is almost all new, coloring matters having been represented in the first edition only by sections on picric acid and basic anilin derivatives. In the present edition these substances are treated under the following ten divisions; nitro and nitroso coloring matters, aurin and its allies, phthaleins, azo coloring matters, rosanilin and its allies, safranines and indophenols, coloring matters from anthracene, sulphureted and unclassified coal-tar dyes, and coloring matters of natural origin. There remain to be treated in the second part of Vol. III, which will complete the work, organic bases, cyanogen compounds, albuminoids, etc.
Stellar Evolution and its Relations to Geological Time. By James Croll. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 118. Price, $1.
Mr. Croll in this book presents what he calls the "Impact Theory" of stellar evolution—a theory which, as applied to our sun, supposes that it was formed from a hot gaseous nebula, produced by the colliding of two dark stellar masses. The stars, being suns like our own, in all likelihood had a similar origin. He believes that this theory, which was proposed as a hypothesis some twenty years ago, has been strengthened by the astronomical and physical facts that have accumulated since that time. The hypothesis does not exclude the nebular theory, but rather includes it, and enlarges it by supposing what was in the world previous to the nebulæ. It assumes that previous to their formation there were stellar masses in motion; that the motion was in straight lines, and, as to each mass, without reference to the existence of any other; that two or more of these masses would casually collide; and that the collision would result in the breaking of them up, with the production of heat, and the rebounding of the fragments upon one another would end with the resolution of the whole into a nebula of inconceivably high temperature, whence the universe has been evolved, as supposed by Laplace's hypothesis. Here is an unlimited source for the energy possessed by the sun and solar system, to which the only conceivable alternative is gravitation. The latter is held to be inadequate to account for the amount and intensity of the energy. There are cited as supporting the impact theory, or as illustrating it, the meteorites, which may be residual portions of some of the original solid bodies; comets, for which a similar origin may be supposed; the motions of the stars, which are of greater velocity than can result from gravitation; the facility with which the theory will explain nearly every feature of the nebulæ; and binary stars, sudden outbursts of stars, and star clusters. An argument is based on the insufficiency of the gravitation theory to account for the heating of the primary nebula, while the "impact theory" furnishes at once a sufficient origin for it; and another, which is styled "a crucial test," on the requisitions of geological time as dependent on the antiquity of the sun's heat. It is mathematically demonstrable that, if gravitation be the only source from which the sun derived its heat, life on the globe can not date further back than twenty million years; and attempts have been made to measure the geological ages by this rule. Mr. Croll argues, from the evidences afforded by the amount of denudation that has occurred, and its calculated rate, and by biological development, that the processes which have taken place can not be subjected to such limitations. Further light is cast upon the theory by citations from the views, or consideration of questions suggested by them, of Prof. A. Winchell, Mr. Charles Morris, Sir William R. Grove, Sir Benjamin Brodie, Dr. T. Sterry Hunt, Mr. William Crookes, Prof. F. W. Clarke, and Dr. G. Johnstone Stoney, on the prenebular condition of matter.
Darwinism: An Explanation of the Theory OF Natural Selection, with some of its Applications. By Alfred Russel Wallace. London and New York: Macmillan & Co. Pp. 494. Price, $1.75.
This work treats of the origin of species on the same general lines as were adopted by Darwin, but in the light of the discussions, objections, theories, and new discoveries that have been brought forth in the nearly thirty years which have elapsed since Darwin promulgated his great principle. The objections made to Darwin's theory in its earlier days were fundamental, and were directed against the principle itself. But Darwin "did his work so well that 'descent with modifications' is now universally accepted as the order of Nature in the organic world; and the rising generation of naturalists can hardly realize the novelty of this idea, or that their fathers considered it a scientific heresy to be condemned rather than seriously discussed." The objections now made to the theory apply solely to the particular means by which the change of species has been brought about. The objectors seek to minimize the agency of natural selection, and to subordinate it to laws of variation, of use and disuse, of intelligence and heredity. Mr. Wallace maintains the overwhelming importance of natural selection over all other agencies in the production of new species. He begins with illustrating the struggle for existence, which he considers one of the most important and universal, and yet least understood, forces of Nature. Next, variability is shown to be constant, universal, incessant, and frequent. It was a weakness in Mr. Darwin's argument that he based it so largely on the evidence of domesticated animals and plants. Mr. Wallace goes to Nature, and finds variation just as much the rule with species in the wild state, illustrating the fact with numerous citations and diagrams; and the objection that the preponderance of chances is immensely against the right variation or combination of variations occurring just when required, is blown away by showing that all forms of variation are all the time occurring. The argument is continued as to the relations of crosses, color, mimicry, heredity, and the geographical distribution of organisms. The objection based upon the failure to find evidences of the existence or former existence of a great number of the connecting links, which the theory of evolution supposes must have been developed, is answered by showing that the geological record of former forms is, and always will be, very imperfect, particularly with reference to animals and plants of the upland; and good reasons are given to show why it must be so. The views of Mr. Spencer, as set forth in his "Factors of Organic Evolution," and of Prof. Cope, Dr. Karl Semper, Prof. Geddes, and Prof. Weismann, are taken up, and claimed not materially to diminish the importance of natural selection, or to show that any of the laws or forces to which they appeal can act otherwise than in strict subordination to it. In application to man, Mr. Wallace finds natural selection ample to the development of his physical structure, but failing to account for his moral and intellectual faculties.
The English Sparrow in North America, especially in its Relations to Agriculture. Prepared under the Direction of Dr. C. Hart Merriman, Ornithologist, by Walter B. Barrows, Assistant Ornithologist. Washington: Government Printing-office. Pp. 405.
This monograph is published as "Bulletin No. 1" of the "Division of Economic Ornithology and Mammalogy" of the Department of Agriculture, and is designed to communicate the evidence from first hands respecting the character of the English sparrow, and its desirability or otherwise as a denizen of our own country. We have persecuted the hawk and the owl and the crow with guns and bounties and poison. Farmers' boys have lain in wait to shoot the robins and cat-birds that came to their cherry-trees. The ladies of the civilized world have thousands of agents in all countries, the United States included, hunting birds to obtain the wherewithal they may decorate their hats. One of our choicest amusements is to hunt for the mere sake of killing; and an amateur sportsman boasted the other day in a newspaper of having killed a thousand birds in a week, which, having no use for them, he gave to the farmers on whose land he poached. The first impulse on seeing a strange bird is to kill it. At last, after the birds had been exterminated in our large cities and made rare in the country at large, sparrows were introduced as a partial but certainly inadequate and unsatisfactory remedy for the mischief that had been done by rashly disturbing the balance of nature. As soon as they became numerous they were accused of driving useful birds away. There are unquestionably too many of them, and they multiply too fast; they are quarrelsome and tyrannical; and they are inefficient insect-destroyers as compared with the species we have allowed to be nearly exterminated. Whether or not they assist man in driving other birds away is a question of fact. The present report contains answers from thirty-three hundred persons in the country at large respecting the character and habits of the sparrow. The answers, mostly dated in 1886, represent all sorts of views, and are often contradictory. There is no means of estimating the relative value of the testimonies. The witnesses against the sparrow preponderate in numbers; but among those in its favor many are known to be accurate and intelligent observers. Mr. Nicholas Pike, who introduced them, an accomplished naturalist, is sure that they exterminated the measuring-worm from the trees of Brooklyn; and his testimony will be corroborated by all persons whose recollections run back far enough to compare the summer appearance of that city, with its trees bare as if a fire had swept through them, before the sparrows came, with the luxuriant foliage they obtained after the birds had worked a year or two upon them. There are many other testimonies to the destruction of insects by sparrows; but other birds are better at the business. Many equally intelligent and trustworthy witnesses, while admitting their quarrelsomeness, deny that the sparrows drive other birds away. Some of the States have recently passed laws to prevent the further destruction of song and plumage birds. Where these laws are enforced, the desirable birds are coming back, and the sparrows are not keeping them away. Man, not sparrows, is the enemy they have the most reason to dread.
The Journal of Morphology. Edited by C. O. Whitman, with the Co-operation of Edward Phelps Allis, Jr. Vol. II, No. 3, April, 1889. Boston: Ginn & Co. Pp. 250, with many Plates.
The "Journal" has fixed a high mark, both in the quality of its articles and in the style of setting them forth, and adheres to it. The present number contains a study of the "Uterus and Embryo of the Rabbit and of Man," by Charles Sedgwick Minot; "The Anatomy and Development of the Lateral Line System in Amia Calva," by Mr. Allis; "The Organization of Atoms and Molecules," by Prof. A. E. Dolbear; "Some New Facts about the Hirudinea," by Mr. Whitman; and "Segmental Sense-Organs of Arthropods," by William Patten.
What Moses saw and heard; or, the Idea of God in the Old Testament. By A. O. Butler. Chicago: R. R. Donnelley & Sons. Pp. 434.
In this book a study is made of the character of the material surroundings in which the authors of the Old Testament were placed, and the nature of the impressions upon them which the Church regards as revelations from Deity, and which they describe as the voice of God speaking to them, or as appearances in a vision or a dream. It involves also an inquiry into their psychological condition. In the chapters on "The Bible as it is" and "The Publication of the Pentateuch," the author's conclusions respecting the origin and dates of the books agree in the main with those of the school of criticism represented by Kuenen. The inquiry is continued in chapters on "The Idea of God in Creation," "What Moses saw and heard," and "The Spirit of Inspiration." It is held that Moses saw the presence of God in the lightning or the fire, and heard his voice in the clouds; and the agency of God in the work of creation was the divine spiritual fire which the author of Genesis saw flashing in the clouds. Those who reject this construction may still find the interpretation of his expressions in the motion which God by his word, or by some power in himself, in the first instance communicated to matter. This suggests to the author the inquiry whether the writer of the first chapter of Genesis and the twentieth chapter of Exodus did not know that light was only a mode of motion.
An Introduction to the Local Constitutional History of the United States By George E. Howard. Vol. I. Development of the Township, Hundred, and Shire. Baltimore: Publication Agency of the Johns Hopkins University. Pp. 626.
This work forms an extra volume of the "Johns Hopkins University Studies in Historical and Political Science." In it a subject is treated which, although it has been a very important feature in the development of the American colonies and the organization of our States, has received but little systematic attention. It is only recently, in fact, that the matter of local governmental organizations has been formally considered by historians and political students. But, since Freeman began publishing his historical studies, the theory of an English local constitution, coeval in origin with that of the race, has become familiar; and, as the investigation has been extended, such a constitution has been found to have been a characteristic feature of Aryan civilization. Nowhere has local self-government played a more important part than in the development of our own American institutions, and it has become common with publicists to assign to it the origin of some of the most precious features of our system of government. As the author of this work remarks, in describing the New England town-meeting, "it is difficult to see, without the township, how the Englishman could have triumphed over the Frenchman in the struggle for the control of the continent; it is no less difficult to understand how, without it, the English race in America could have grown into an independent nation." The development of the various forms which local government has assumed in the United States is traced back to its beginning, and the modifications they have undergone are followed. Their origin lies far back in the history of the race. In this light are described the evolution of the township, hundred, and shire or county, with their various aspects, their divisions, and their combinations. The book is intended simply as a general introduction to the study of the subject, and leaves room for special treatment in different localities. But it points out "a rich field in which many laborers may find profitable employment," and which it would be well to have carefully cultivated.
Numbers Universalized, by David M. Sensenig (Appletons' Mathematical Series: D. Appleton & Co.), is intended as an advanced elementary algebra, which will be made part first of a higher algebra soon to be completed. It is thus bound separately in order to meet the wants of such schools as have arranged a higher course in algebra than is outlined and treated in the author's first book, "Numbers Symbolized," and yet have not time enough devoted to this branch to complete a full course in higher algebra. It is especially adapted to schools preparing students for college, and to advanced classes in high and normal schools. While too great simplicity in treatment has been avoided, care has been taken to preserve the logical sequence of thought and to prevent the discussions from becoming unnecessarily abstruse and difficult. Examples have been selected with special reference to variety in combination and methods of reduction.
In his Graduated Course of Natural Science (Macmillan) Mr. Benjamin Loewy endeavors to place the fundamental facts of physics and chemistry upon a purely experimental basis. The principal subjects usually embraced by a school course in these branches are arranged in a progressive manner, "so that the pupil may be able to proceed gradually from that which is known, simple, and easy, to that which is unknown, complex, and difficult; from that which is near and within a young learner's perception, to what is more recondite." It is also a part of the plan to give no instruction but that which is conveyed through experiments and the immediate consequences of the phenomena observed, as deduced by a chain of simple reasoning. The present volume (Part I) of one hundred and fifty-one pages comprises the first year's course for elementary schools and the junior classes of technical schools and colleges.
The First Report of Mr. John C. Smock (Charles Van Benthuysen & Sons, Albany), On the Iron Mines and Iron-Ore Districts in the State of New York, is based in part on the answers by managers of mines to letters of inquiry addressed to them, and partly on a personal survey of the mining district. Nearly all the mines were visited, and notes of their geographical situation and geological relations were obtained. The answers to letters of inquiry furnished valuable data, especially in the relations of the mines to the iron-mining and iron-manufacturing industries of the country. Short notices of the older mines and of some of the abandoned mine localities have been incorporated in the report. The paper is published as "Bulletin" No. 1 of the New York State Museum of Natural History.
The Report, by Dr. George M. Dawson, on an Exploration in the Yukon District, Northwestern Territory, and adjacent Northern Portion of British Columbia, gives the results of an expedition made in 1887, in the vast and hitherto almost unknown region in the extreme Northwest of British America. The tract in question is bounded on the south by the sixtieth parallel, forming the northern line of British Columbia, on the west by Alaska, on the east by the Rocky Mountains and the one hundred and thirty-sixth meridian, and on the north by the Arctic Ocean. It derives its name from its lying within the drainage-basin of the Yukon River. It has an area of about one hundred and ninety-two thousand square miles, or nearly equal to that of France, greater than that of the United Kingdom by seventy-one thousand square miles, ten times that of Nova Scotia, and nearly three times that of the New England States. The report is accompanied by a map of the district and northern British Columbia, in three sheets.
Geonomy and Cosmonomia (J. B. Lippincott Company) presents theories on the origin of ocean currents and the growth of worlds and cause of gravitation, by J. Stanley Grimes, who is also the author of theories in mental physiology that have been favorably mentioned by such authorities as Dr. McCosh, the Rev. Joseph Cook, and the late Dr. G. M. Beard, and of a new view of the nebular system. In Geonomy he sets forth that the continents originated in the sinking of the ocean basins beneath weights of sediment, accompanied by compensatory upheavals, and were shaped by six pairs of elliptical oceanic currents, the sedimentary deposits of which caused the sinkings. In Cosmonomia the condensation of ether is presented as the cause of the growth of worlds and of gravitation.
Mr. H. H. Johnston's History of a Slave presents a dark aspect of affairs in Arabo-savage Africa. The author, who has acquired fame as an explorer, and particularly as the leader of an expedition for ascending Mount Kilimanjaro, has attempted in it to give a realistic sketch of life in the western Soudan. The story is the outcome of some of his own experiences, and is especially based on what he has seen and heard when traveling in North Africa, in the Niger Delta, and on the Cross River, It does not describe any particular series of events as they actually occurred, but combines isolated incidents such as are not unknown in the country into a connected, consecutive story—or, to use the words of the author, he has pieced together the accounts given him by negro slaves in the Barbary states and in western equatorial Africa. Some of the incidents have been actually witnessed by him during some one of his journeys. The persons and places named are of real existence, as are also the languages quoted. The story is illustrated by forty-seven full-page pictures, from original drawings by the author—true delineations of African life and scenery, most of which have been done in Africa from actuality. No concoctor of fiction could invent a more tragic story than this one of a real life which is still happening every day.
The eighth issue of the Annual Index to Periodlcals (W. M. Griswold, Bangor, Maine) is brought down to July, 1889. It contains the lists of titles of articles and authors, in the notation peculiar to Mr. Griswold's indexes, for twenty-five American and foreign periodicals.
Under the title of The Two Great Retreats of History, Ginn & Co. publish in a single volume, where they can be read comparatively, Grote's account of the Retreat of the Ten Thousand Greeks, taken from his history of Greece entire, except for a few verbal changes; and an abridgment of Count Segur's narrative of Napoleon's retreat from Russia. The book is designed for school use, and is furnished with maps, an introduction to each section, and explanatory notes by "D. H. M."
The Popular History of California, by Lucia Norman, is published by the Bancroft Company, Ran Francisco, in a revised and enlarged second edition. The first edition, published in 1873, was well received. The "enlargements" bring the story down to the present time. The history of this State presents a considerable variety of incident. It includes periods of discovery and of colonization by the Spaniards; of the prominence of the missions; of the Mexican War and the conquest of the country by the United States; of the discovery of gold and the gold-hunting excitement; of filibustering and vigilance committees; and of agricultural and horticultural development, in which, rather than in gold, California seems destined to find the true source of its wealth.
Three language-studies of different character, each having its peculiar value, are published by Ginn & Co. The Practical Latin Composition of Mr. William C. Collar sets forth a method of teaching which has been satisfactorily tried by the author after breaking with the traditional method, and which rests on the principle that the exercise should be based upon the very words of some Latin author. These words furnish him a living model, in which he must find all his material—order, words, idioms, and constructions—and in which he must observe all the points wherein the structure varies from that of his own tongue. He is expected to familiarize himself first with the Latin passage and the details and peculiarities of its construction, and then to execute his exercise, reproducing the words and constructions, but with many changes of form, and in altered combinations; and to refer to the original only for correction and verification.
Next in the group is the Pages choisis des Mémoires du Duc de Saint-Simon, in preparing which Mr. A. N. Van Daell has been actuated by the belief that the study of a foreign language ought to bring students in contact with the master-minds of foreign nations. Too few of such works are accessible to ordinary students. Among the desirable ones is that of Saint-Simon, which "is one of the landmarks of French literature." The selection of such a book as this for class use presupposes a certain degree of maturity on the part of the student. The editor has taken no other liberties with the text than to omit, "as the occasion required," unsuitable expressions or sentences. Notes—all in French—are furnished, explaining difficult expressions and making various points more clear.
The third of Ginn & Co.'s linguistic publications is the translation of the Anglo-Saxon poems, Elene, Judith, Athelstan, and Byrhtnoth, by James M. Garnett. The translations were made in the course of class work, are critical, and are based on carefully revised editions. "Elene" relates to the search for the true cross by the Empress Helena; "Judith" is a version of the Hebrew legend; and "Athelstan" and "Byrhtnoth" relate to battles in Anglo-Saxon history.
In Oceania; Linguistic and Anthropological (Melbourne and London), the Rev. D. MacDonald, missionary at Havannah Harbor, New Hebrides, presents a study of Polynesian languages and mythology. Though such studies must be for the present chiefly tentative, it is hardly possible to speak too highly of their value as aids in the investigation of the origins and migrations of the human races. The author of this study makes a critical and comparative analysis of a number of Oceanic dialects, and deduces the conclusion, from certain identities among them, that they all sprang from one inflectional mother-tongue, and this was a branch of the Shemitic family.