Popular Science Monthly/Volume 35/September 1889/Literary Notices
Education in the United States: Its History from the Earliest Settlements. By Richard G. Boone. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 402. Price, $1.50.
This is the eleventh volume of the "International Education Series," and is characterized by the general editor of that series as the first noteworthy attempt to present the subject, and as forming "a tolerably complete inventory of what exists, as well as an account of its origin and development." We find it a systematic and comprehensive treatise, presenting the important facts in their bearing upon one another and their relations to contemporary conditions. The history is divided into the Colonial and the Revolutionary periods and the period of Reorganization, to which is added a review of "Current Educational Interests." The discussion of "The Colonial Period" comprises the history of the earliest American schools, of colonial colleges, and of colonial school systems. Under "The Revolutionary Period" are sketched the conditions of elementary, secondary, and collegiate education during the time included. The third part, "The Period of Reorganization," includes accounts of the transition from the old to the new, with its centralizing tendencies, the agencies and methods for the preparation of teachers, the development of the course of instruction in the more recent colleges, the aspects of professional, technological, and special education, the growth of supplemental institutions, learned societies and libraries, and the relations of Government and education. "Current Educational Interests" embrace "Compulsory School Attendance," "The Gradation of Schools," "Education in the South," and "The Higher Education of Women." To each chapter is appended a bibliography. The author's aim has been "to suggest lines of thought for the teacher and sources of information, and, avoiding mere description on the one side and personal criticism on the other, to exhibit faithfully the development of contemporary institutions and educational forces, with something of their national setting." The editor, Dr. Harris, sees in the trend of the educational movement, as disclosed in this history, a tendency from private, endowed, and parochial schools, toward the assumption of education by the state, away from isolated efforts and toward system and supervision, and in methods toward the adaptation of the matter of instruction to the mind of the child and toward improved discipline. The entire educational idea of the people, too, "has progressed in the direction of divine charity," as is exemplified in the greater attention paid to the education of women and to institutions for unfortunates. The author finds our educational system still very imperfect, and notices as problems yet unsolved or not provided for the means of securing a supply of qualified teachers; a way, while shaping the understanding mind, of bringing up youth with sound bodies and a love for truth; the relation which the public schools should sustain to industrial training; questions concerning infant and primary and free public higher and professional education; extra-school training; and the constitution of a citizenship education. A hopeful outlook is discerned in the fact that common-school questions are being studied by college presidents and professors as related to their own labors, and by economists and historians.
Indoor Studies. By John Burroughs. Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin & Co. Pp. 256. Price, $1.25.
Mr. Burroughs is best known as a writer about Nature, or outdoor subjects. In that department he has gained a position among the select representative authors of our country. Completely at home amid rural surroundings, communing with Nature, and then drawing from the hidden stores of his mind what he has absorbed from her, independent in thought and thoroughly American, and pithy and vigorous in expression, he found an audience as soon as he took the platform from which he was best fitted to speak; and that audience has been growing ever since. In the "Egotistical Chapter," which forms one of the "studies," he relates how, like many other authors who have afterward achieved success, he groped in unlucky experiments before he found his proper place. He began by reading books of essays and trying to catch their style; and wrote essayish papers on subjects whose interest was so universal that it was spread out very thin, to have them sent back by the journals to which he offered them; and finally took to outdoor themes "to break the spell of Emerson's influence, and get upon ground of his own." His style, which is of the most forcible, and in which strong thoughts are condensed into few words of most direct meaning, is the result of much study and discipline, in which, he says, "I have taught myself always to get down to the quick of my mind at once, and not fumble about amid the husks at the surface." Of late years he has been giving more attention to literary topics and subjects of scientific discussion, although in these also the nature-side appears most prominent to his view. The present volume is largely made up of articles of this character. In them he displays the same independence that characterized his earlier work—a determination to say what he thinks, without giving himself worry concerning what others may have said or thought. In two of the longer essays—"Matthew Arnold's Criticism" and "Arnold's View of Emerson and Carlyle"—the literary side is alone conspicuous; in two others, "Henry D. Thoreau" and "Gilbert White's Book," we have the student of nature appreciating and criticising his two most illustrious co-workers in the same line. "Science and Literature" is an attempt to measure the value of science in culture, in which the author indicates that "the final value of physical science is its capability to foster in us noble ideals, and to lead us to new and larger views of moral and spiritual truths. The extent to which it is able to do this measures its value to the spirit—measures its value to the educator. That the great sciences can do this, that they are capable of becoming instruments of pure culture, instruments to refine and spiritualize the whole moral nature, is no doubt true; but that they can ever usurp the place of the humanities or general literature in this respect is one of those mistaken notions which seem to be gaining ground so fast in our time." In "Science and the Poets" Emerson is held up as the poet whose work has been most influenced by science. "A Malformed Giant" is a brave criticism of Victor Hugo's excesses of style and manner. Of the eight "Brief Essays," "The Biologist's Tree of Life" touches a scientific subject, and "An Open Door" relates to the question of a superintending Providence.
Riverside Library for Young People. No. 3. Birds through an Opera-Glass. By Florence A. Merriam. Pp. 223. Up annd Down the Brooks. By Mary E. Bamford. Pp. 222. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Co. Price, 75 cents each.
The "Riverside Library" series is designed especially for boys and girls who are laying the foundation of private libraries, and is intended to consist not of ephemeral publications, but of "books that will last." It will comprise principally books of history, biography, mechanics, travel, natural history, adventure, and kindred themes, with fiction not excluded, presenting the various subjects in an attractive manner, but not in the "Childese dialect." The author of "Birds through an Opera-Glass," recognizing the perplexities of young observers, has tried to supply their wants, the chief of which in studying birds is the means of distinguishing and identifying them without having to become ornithologists or to grapple with the technical terms in the text-books. The opera-glass supplies a means of looking at the creatures as if from a shorter distance than it is possible to approach them, and will or should supply the points by which they are to be recognized. To these points are added such facts as lie within reach of the young observer's opportunities respecting the song, nesting, and general behavior of the bird. The robin supplies the standard by which all the other birds are compared. Some simple and easily followed rules for observation are given. With these, the opera-glass, and his own good sense, the young observer is introduced by the aid of the pleasing descriptions to some seventy species. To these are added a table, which the author calls "pigeon-holes," for the classification of the birds, synopses of general family characteristics and of arbitrary classifications, and a list of books for reference.
"Up and Down the Brooks" is the story told in a similar spirit of the insect life in and upon the water. The specimens serving as types were collected in the brooks of one of the counties of California; but the author judges rightly that members of the same familles may be found by almost any brook East or West, and that her accounts will serve for all. These insects are such as every one sees dancing upon the water, swimming in it, or flying above it; but few have any real acquaintance with their nature, mode of growth, habits of life, or affiliations. To those who wish to know about them, this little series of sketches will be convenient and instructive as well as entertaining.
Days out of Doors. By Charles C. Abbott. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 323. Price, $1.50.
A book about Nature by Dr. Abbott by this time needs no special introduction to the readers of the "Monthly." They have all had a taste of the author's quality as an observer and describer of outdoor life, and know that he is capable of transmitting to any others who will listen to him or read him the variety and enjoyment that he finds there. As the
Has thousand faces in a thousand hours,"
Dr. Abbott finds the same to be "true of the tamest pasture, where not even the clover and buttercups of one side are the twins of the buttercups and clover of the other"; and where through the succeeding changes of the year objects of interest "never repeat themselves, or else I am daily a new creature. Nor sight nor sound but has the freshness of novelty, and one rambler, at least, in his maturer years is still a boy at heart." These changes by the month and season enter into the plan of the present book, which presents a kind of naturalist's calendar or diary of the months. The birds figure as the principal characters, though other objects of life are not unregarded, and the story of their coming and going, or sometimes staying, their working, sporting, cooing, nest-breeding, and initiation into the experiences of life, is recorded consecutively from January through the winter, spring, summer, and autumn months, till December closes the cycle and ends at the time when a new series is to begin. Other people find novelties and things of ever refreshing interest abroad. Dr. Abbott does not deny them the-pleasure, for he can do and has done the same; but he can find, too, all that is needed to make life worth living on the banks of his unpretending creek and modest river to which it is ever his pleasure to return. Therefore he holds "that one need not mope because he has to stay at home. Trees grow here as suggestively as in California, and the water of our river is very wet. Remember, too, if trees are not tall enough to suit your whim, to lie down beneath the branches of every one of them, and, as you look up, the topmost twig pierces the sky. There is not an oak but will become a gigantic Sequoia in this way. One need learn no magic to bring the antipodes home to him." This is, perhaps, the principal lesson taught in the book, and it is made extremely palatable by the spice of familiar illustration, incident, adventure, personal delineations, old lore of history and tradition, and pictures of the brook and fields and their incessantly changing life.
Physical Realism. By Thomas Case, M. A. London and New York: Longmans, Green & Co. One vol. 8vo. Pp. 387. Price, $5.
This is an able and scholarly work, well worthy the attention of those familiar with the course of philosophical thought and fond of philosophical discussion. The argument of the author is that we sensibly perceive an internal but physical world—physical objects of sense in the internal nervous system—from which we infer an external and physical world. This is "physical realism." It is opposed to intuitive or natural realism, which declares that we directly perceive an external physical world; and to cosmothetic idealism, which concludes that we are sensible of a psychical, but infer a physical world. It also controverts all the strictly idealistic hypotheses. The treatise is divided into two parts, the first containing the "General Proof of Physical Realism," and the second dealing with "Psychological Idealism." This last embraces in successive chapters criticisms of the philosophies of Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant, from the author's point of view. These discussions are very acute and interesting. In general, it may be said that the negative part of the work, or the refutation of idealistic doctrines, is more successful and more valuable than the constructive portion which involves the substantiation of the author's theory.
Psychology as a Natural Science, applied to the Solution of Occult Psychic Phenomena. By G. C. Raue, M. D. Philadelphia: Porter & Coates. 8vo. Pp. 541, 1 vol.
This is a disappointing book. Its psychology is crude, and as "applied to the solution of occult psychic phenomena," it does not appear to solve anything. The occult phenomena, indeed, are not reached till page 380, and the part relating to them is largely taken up with extracts from well-known authors (like those belonging to the Society for Psychical Research, Mesmer, Braid, Fahnestock, and others), upon which Dr. Raue makes, it must be said, some interesting comments; but he adds nothing, so far as we are able to make out, to the store of human knowledge upon the subject. What explanation he does give is an application of his psychology, which is based upon or rather an exposition of that of Dr. Friedrich Eduard Beneke, who, the author thinks, has been undeservedly neglected by succeeding thinkers. In this notion we can not agree with Dr. Raue, because there is nothing sufficiently significant in Beneke's work to make it worth while for students of the present time to recur to his writings. A sample of this applied psychology is found in the explanation of "thought-transference." The latter may be understood, according to the author, if we suppose that the soul actually consists of different systems of substantial primitive forces, having "mobile elements," and producing different mental modifications which are spaceless, "and consequently not restricted by any corporeal distance or interference, so that they can reach a similar psychic modification in another mind as well as in their own, and impart to it their own state of excitement and make it conscious." But how, pray, are we able to conceive of motion without space or "room" for motion? And if thought is thus excited in one person by the attraction of similar excitation in another, there being motion from the one to the other, what more is this than a statement that there is some subtle power of thought-transfer which we do not understand? To make such an averment we hardly need Dr. Raue's book.
Thus, while the scholar will always find much to interest him, and much to approve in any work of this character, prepared with serious purpose, we can not recommend it to those who are only able to give a limited amount of attention to the topics of which it treats, being persuaded that they can more profitably spend their time upon something else.
It is a little singular that no mention is made in this book (written by a Philadelphian) of the very interesting and valuable report by the Seybert Commission of the University of Pennsylvania upon some of the most curious of these "occult psychic phenomena."
The Philosophy of Kant; as contained in Extracts from his own Writings. Selected and translated by John Watson, LL. D., Professor in Queen's College, Kingston, Canada. One vol. Pp. 356. Macmillan & Co. Price, $1.75.
Kant's Kritik of the Pure Reason Explained and defended. Being Vol. I of Kant's "Critical Philosophy for English Readers." By John P. Mahaffy, D. D., and John H. Bernard, B. D. Pp. 389. Macmillan & Co. Price, $1.75.
The demand for a return to Kant, which has been evident in the philosophical world for a few years past, has issued in a good deal of new and valuable Kantian literature, and there is likely to be more; for it can not be denied that this return to the study of Kant has produced an increase of his authoritative influence. Whatever our views may be of the wisdom of pursuing philosophy under the chief guidance of the Konigsberg sage, and whatever may be our opinion of the value of his principles and method, there is no doubt that a thorough study of his works is indispensable, not only for scholarship's sake but also to secure a proper mental equilibrium in forming a theory of knowledge, on the part of those especially who have been educated to rely on a posteriori methods. For the reason just given the scientific student can least of all afford to neglect Kant, and if he has a contempt for this philosopher he may be assured that there is still opportunity for creditable achievement in the way of refuting the author of the "Kritik" on many important points still left for the ambitious controversialist.
The two works above mentioned are excellent, each in its own way, for the purpose of making the student acquainted with Kantian philosophy. Prof. Watson's idea is to present to a class of more advanced students a series of carefully selected extracts from the chief treatises of Kant, "The Critique of Pure Reason," "The Metaphysic of Morality," "The Critique of Practical Reason," and "The Critique of Judgment"; then to aid these students by the discussions of the class-room, using the extracts as a text-book. It must be borne in mind that, except possibly where a student is devoting himself exclusively to philosophy, never could he hope to go over the whole of the four works just named under the teacher's class instruction. The advantage, then, of a work like Prof. Watson's is very apparent, if the selections have been so judiciously made as to present connectedly the most important parts of the treatises. In accomplishing this the editor has been very successful. He has made good his claim that the volume "contains all the main ideas of Kant in their systematic connection," and he has produced a very useful book for those who have not the time to devote to Kant's works in full, and also an excellent preparatory course for those who intend to go further in studying that philosopher.
Prof. Mahaffy's book is a good one for the student to read in connection with a text-book like Prof. Watson's. It is expository and critical; we regret to say it is also polemical, the latter quality constituting its chief weakness. In a somewhat extravagant preface Prof. Mahaffy expresses his conviction that Kant is "certainly the greatest" of all metaphysicians, "and perhaps the most imperfectly understood." We do not think the writers of this volume have added anything to Kant's greatness, whatever it may be, but we do consider that they have contributed something to a better understanding of him. For the most part they have correctly apprehended their master's meaning, and have clearly interpreted him in a style of diction which is very agreeable and well calculated to hold the student's attention. This volume is to be followed by a second, containing the "Prolegomena" of Kant.
State of New York. Twenty-second Annual Report of the State Board of Charities, 1888. Charles S. Hoyt, Secretary. Pp. 608.
The visitorial powers of this board extend to all charitable, correctional, and eleemosynary institutions, excepting State prisons, supported wholly or in part by the State, or by cities, counties, incorporated benevolent associations, or otherwise. Its executive duties are the supervision of the support, care, and removal of State paupers; the examination and removal of alien paupers to their homes in different countries of Europe; watch of the care of the insane; the approval and certification of incorporations for the custody and care of dependent children; and the oversight and control of insane Indians on the several reservations of the State. It has also authority to require reports from the various institutions subject to its visitation. The institutions included within this jurisdiction have in all $54,310,658 of property; return as the year's receipts, $14,591,817, and $13,315,698 expended; and care for 64,322 persons. The report gives a picture of their general condition and operations.
"War with Crime," Being a Selection of Reprinted Papers on Crime, Reformatories, etc. By the late T. Barwick LI. Barker, Esq. Edited by Herbert Philips and Edmund Verney. London and New York: Longmans, Green & Co. Pp. 299. Price, 84.
Mr. Barker, who died in December, 1886, is described as having been a man of diligent thought, who sought out the principles that underlie the practical side of every question. "A country squire of moderate wealth, he studied the duties incumbent on him in that station of life; a country magistrate, he felt bound to inquire into the causes of crime, and to use for the benefit of the community the experience gained on the bench; a poor law guardian, he was drawn into personal sympathy with the poor, the outcast, and the destitute." The papers he left behind him, from which the selection of those in the present volume was made, embody his well digested thought on a variety of subjects, and many of them deal with problems still unsolved. Of those here presented, three deal with the prevention of crime generally; others present as a practical measure for that object the apportionment of sentences to crimes on a scientific principle which should be made clearly understood, of "cumulative punishment." This means gradation according to the antecedents of the offender and the number of repetitions of the offense, with a term of police supervision added, under which the man might be encouraged to try to regain his character in honest employment. Other papers deal with adult reformatories; the imprisonment of children, which is advocated under certain conditions; jail labor; reformatories; measures for just dealing with vagrants; ecclesiastical questions; education; labor and wages; and the prisons bill (Mr. Cross's of 1876).
Exploration of the Chest in Health and Disease. By Stephen Smith Burt, M. D. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 206. Price, $1.50.
This manual, which embodies the methods pursued by the author with his classes, is intended to aid the student in learning the significance of physical signs and their mode of development. Dr. Burt states that he has made no attempt to establish distinctive signs of disease, because he is convinced that "precision in diagnosis is more surely attained by treating each sign as subordinate to the various combinations of signs which are found in the different maladies." The text is illustrated with cuts showing the position of the heart and lungs with reference to each other and to the chest-walls, the forms of instruments, etc. In describing the different forms of stethoscopes, the author expresses a preference for one which engages both ears. He has discovered, by means of the double stethoscope, what he deems a demonstration of the dual function of the ears, viz., for perceiving the direction of sounds. When listening to the ticking of a watch with a binaural stethoscope having arms of soft rubber tubing, if one arm is closed by pinching it, the watch seems to have been removed to the ear which still hears its ticking. If the tube is released and the other one is closed, the watch appears to be transferred, not to its actual place, but to the other ear.
Annual Report of the Chief Signal-Officer of the Army to the Secretary of War for the Year 1888. By A. W. Greely. Washington: Government Printing-Office. Pp. 418.
On the military side of his functions, the Chief Signal-Officer records the steps he has taken to secure a suitable heliograph apparatus, the selection of field-glasses for army use, and experiments with homing pigeons. The inadequacy of the present methods to insure instruction in military signaling is lamented, with the declaration that "there is not an average of two officers to a regiment who are competent to transmit signals—by sun, flag, and torch—day and night, except those who have passed through a regular course of instruction in connection with this office." A valuable report by Lieutenant Thompson on foreign organizations and appliances for signaling forms one of the appendixes of the volume. In the matter of the weather service, credit is accorded to three of the principal newspapers of the country for the assistance given by their meteorological editors in supplementing the general predictions made by the office by their own local predictions, and to other journals for publishing meteorological data of local interest. Of the storm-signals, 77·4 per cent were verified; the system of cold wave observations was continued successfully and satisfactorily. Observations on atmospheric electricity were continued at four stations. Bulletins showing the effect of the weather on the crops were issued weekly. The railway bulletin service has decreased, having been largely superseded by the State services, which are well spoken of. The question of river observations, in relation to dangerous floods and the stages of navigation, engaged attention. A system of rainfall stations was instituted in July, 1887, at suitable points in the great water-sheds, near the sources of the principal tributaries of the largest rivers. Improvements in the organization of the service are shown to be much needed to make it as efficient as it should be.
Fundamental Problems. The Method of Philosophy as a Systematic Arrangement of Knowledge. By Dr. Paul Carus. Chicago: The Open Court Publishing Company. Pp. 267. Price, $1.
The papers presented in this volume, constituting a constructive series of philosophical essays, first appeared for the most part in the editorial columns of "The Open Court." They were there subjected to criticism and discussion which the author has turned to advantage in revising and rearranging and adding to them. Philosophy is regarded, from a point of view both radical and conservative, as the most practical and important science, whose problems lie at the bottom of all the single sciences, of which religion and ethics are applications. The view is radical, because the issues of philosophic thought are presented in their rigidity without trying to conceal the consequences to which the argument leads, with the old and long-cherished errors faced and critically explained; and conservative, because the historical connection with the work of our ancestors is regarded, and progress is sought through a development from the past, not by a rupture with it. "A philosophy of most radical free thought" is presented, "that is no negativism, no agnosticism, and no metaphysical mysticism, but a systematic arrangement of positive facts." This philosophy is monism, or a conception of all existence as one. This is complemented by meliorism, or the conception of a purified, higher view of life.
Home Gymnastics for the Well and the Sick. Edited by E. Angerstein, M. D., and by G. Eckler. Translated from the Eighth German Edition. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Co. Pp. 94. Price, $1.50.
While setting forth in no uncertain terms the invigorating effects of systematic bodily exercise, the authors of this manual frankly caution the reader against resorting to gymnastics for the cure of serious diseases, certainly not without previous consultation with a physician, and they warn him also not to impatiently expect striking results after a few weeks' practice. The book comprises some general rules and information about home gymnastics, which is followed by detailed descriptions of sixty-nine exercises, most of which need no apparatus, while for the others dumb-bells, a wand, and a chair are the only articles required. Fifty-two cuts illustrate the descriptions. General directions and specific lists of exercises are then given for the use of boys and girls of different ages, for young men, young women, mature men and women, and for old age. Similar directions and groups of exercises are given adapted to certain conditions of ill-health or imperfect development, such as general weakness, weak chest, stagnation in the abdominal organs, corpulence, bent carriage, etc. A large sheet containing all the cuts, and a list of the exercises, accompanies the volume.
State of New York. Thirty-fifth Annual Report of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1889. Andrew S. Draper. Pp. about 1,000.
The year covered by this report is described as having been one of marked educational activity. A new interest in educational work was manifested, and showed itself most intelligently in directions which promise the best results. The rivalries and antagonisms between different classes of educational workers arc disappearing. The criticisms of the public schools have prompted examination of deficiencies and the search for means of remedying them. More study is given to the history and philosophy of education than ever before; and "on every side a new and healthful interest in public school work, on the part of those charged with the carrying on of that work, is apparent." The cost per capita of educating the children of the State is put at various amounts, according to the rule by which it is estimated, but the real cost, for the children actually attending the schools, is ultimately fixed at $15.19. The expense per capita of the whole population was $3.08. The statistics of attendance are claimed to show that, while it is relatively smaller than formerly, the school work of the State has grown somewhat in substantial character during the last thirty years. Since 1865 the average attendance in the cities has advanced about evenly with the advance in total enrollment, and in the towns it has increased twenty per cent, while the total enrollment has fallen off nine per cent. The results of inquiries into the compulsory educational methods of England, France, and Germany are reported. More attention to purely professional work in the examination of teachers is recommended. The superintendent is accustomed, in accordance with the law of the State, to indorse the certificates and diplomas issued by State superintendents and normal schools in other States; and he has had some correspondence with other superintendents with reference to a general understanding on this matter. The responses have not been as general or as satisfactory as was desired. The superintendent believes that the movement in favor of the manual-training system has been retarded by the fact that "the kinds of industrial work which have been pushed forward were such as seemed incongruous with school work and gave small promise of assimilating with it"; and he regards free-hand drawing as offering a simple and practicable means of reaching the same end. Considerable space in the report is occupied with the discussion of questions concerning school libraries. Several valuable documents are included among the "Exhibits" and in the appendix.
The Modern Science Essayist. Monthly. Boston: The New Ideal Publishing Company. Ten cents a number, one dollar a volume of twelve numbers.
This periodical has been established as a medium for the publication of essays and lectures presenting the modern scientific or evolutionary aspect of various subjects. Each number contains one essay. The six numbers before us contain the first six of the fifteen lectures on different phases of evolution, delivered before the Brooklyn Ethical Association last winter. These lectures followed a logical order. The first two were biographical sketches of the two great men whose names arc most intimately associated with the evolution hypothesis—Herbert Spencer and Charles Robert Darwin, the former by Daniel G. Thompson and the latter by Rev. John AV. Chadwick. The third is on "Solar and Planetary Evolution," by Garrett P. Serviss, and is illustrated. This is followed by "Evolution of the Earth," by Lewis G. Janes; "Evolution of Vegetal Life," by William Potts; and "Evolution of Animal Life," by Rossiter W. Raymond. The plan of the series included lectures on the descent of man, evolution of mind, society, theology, and morals; proofs of evolution, its philosophy, and its relations to religious thought and the coming civilization. In undertaking to present to its members and the public in a popular form the leading ideas of the evolution philosophy, this association has entered upon a work in harmony with the most enlightened spirit of the time, which can not fail to produce beneficial and gratifying results. The lectures of last winter were delivered by men having special fitness for dealing with the subjects assigned to them, and each furnishes an excellent introduction to a course of reading on its special topic. We learn that the association is to conduct a similar series of lectures next season, and that its success has led to the formation of similar organizations in various parts of the country.
Annual Report of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution, for the Year ending June 30, 1886. Part I. Washington: Government Printing-Office. Pp. 878, with Plates.
Besides the operations of the Institution itself and of the National Museum and Bureau of Ethnology, which are regularly under its charge, this report includes sketches of the work of the United States Fish Commission and Geological Survey, which, though independent of the Institution, are related to it in line of work. Not so much as usual is recorded in the way of explorations—partly because the work has been completed in many of the districts, and partly because means have been lacking for beginning new enterprises of any magnitude. The list of publications, besides bibliographies and catalogues, includes several works and monographs of importance and general interest. The development of the National Museum, as measured by the acquisition of fifteen hundred lots of specimens, was unexpectedly great. Besides the central reference library of the museum, sectional libraries have been established in the scientific departments. In the Bureau of Ethnology, the field work includes mound explorations, explorations in ancient and modern stone villages, and general field studies in institutions, linguistics, etc.; the office work has consisted largely in giving literary form to the results of the field work. The operations of the Geological Survey and the Fish Commission are presented in brief summaries. The summaries and "occasional papers" in the appendix include ten papers relating to anthropology; an article on "Certain Parasites, Commensals, and Domiciliaires in the Pearl Oysters," by R. E. C. Stearns; "Time Reckoning in the Twentieth Century," by Sandford Fleming; and a "Report on Astronomical Observations," by George H. Boehmer.
Examination of Water for Sanitary and Technical Purposes. By Henry Leffmann, M. D., Ph. D., and William Beam, A. M. Philadelphia: P. Blakiston, Son & Co. Pp. 106. Price, $1.25.
The aim of this manual is to present processes which are trustworthy and practicable, without any useless matter. Certain processes which have long held prominent places are not admitted to this volume, for instance, the soap test for hardness, which is rejected on the authority of Hehner, who has declared it inaccurate, and has devised the method here presented. The colorimetric tests for nitrates and nitrites are described to the exclusion of the processes heretofore in use. Besides the descriptions of analytical operations, the text includes a chapter on the interpretation of results, dealing with the action of water on lead, living organisms in water, identification of the source of water, and the purification of drinking and boiler waters. Tables of various analytical data are appended, there are several pictures of apparatus, and a number of sheets of labels accompany the volume.
College Botany. By Edson S. Bastin, Professor of Botany, Materia Medica, and Microscopy in the Chicago College of Pharmacy. Chicago: G. P. Engelhard & Co. Pp. 451. Price, $3.
As indicated by its title, this work is adapted to students of some maturity. The first subject taken up in it is "Organography," the organs being divided into those of vegetation and those of reproduction. In describing the organs something is told of their functions, although a short division of the volume is devoted to "Vegetable Physiology," after "Vegetable Histology," which is the second subject treated. Appended to the chapters on histology are directions for the use of the microscope and accessory apparatus. Suggestions for laboratory work follow each chapter in these three divisions of the book. The fourth and closing part is occupied with "Vegetable Taxonomy," ending with a brief account of the succession of plants in geologic time. The text is illustrated by nearly six hundred cuts, largely from drawings by the author, and a glossary of botanical terms is appended. The volume is somewhat marred by typographical errors.
In the Introduction to Sawyer's Bible, the Rev. Leicester A. Sawyer, of Whitesboro, N. Y., in view of a new translation in course of publication by him, sets forth his views respecting the character, authenticity, date, and purpose of the several books of Scripture. He holds that if the prodigies and miracles of both Testaments are explained in the light of modern science, and if the judgment of the ancients is tested by the laws of evidence ruling in the courts, they will be found "to have been attested only by incompetent witnesses, and by proofs that are entirely sophistical"; and claims that his work will show many of the supposed facts to have been fictions, and of the prophecies to have been written and antedated after the event had occurred. He finds many errors which the late revision has failed to correct, but concerning which he expects to contribute to the formation of right views; and hopes also that his scheme may be adapted to facilitate more successful Bible study than has been generally possible hitherto by readers of English Bibles.
Vol. IX of the Observations of the National Argentine Observatory covers the work done during the year 1876, which was directed by Juan M. Thorne, in the absence of Dr. Benjamin A. Gould. The volume contains 18,021 determinations of the positions of southern stars.
No. V of Vol. XVIII of the Annals of Harvard College Observatory records the observations of the total eclipse of the sun, August 29, 1886, made by Prof. W. H. Pickering, with the aid of volunteer assistants, on the island of Grenada, in the West Indies. The account is accompanied by four plates. No. VII of the same volume is a record of A Photographic Determination of the Brightness of the Stars, all of the measures involved in this work, the identification of the stars, and the numerical computations having been made, with few exceptions, by Mrs. M. Fleming. The paper contains a catalogue of 1,009 close polar stars, one of 420 stars in the Pleiades, and one of 1,131 equatorial stars. Part I of Vol. XX is a record of Observations made at the Blue Hill Meteorological Observatory in the Year 1887, and is introduced by a description of the observatory and its work, by A. Lawrence Rotch, S. B., its proprietor and director. Mr. H. Helm Clayton is the observer. The Observatory of Harvard College now co-operates with the Blue Hill Observatory by publishing the observations of the latter, and a consolidation of the two institutions is contemplated. The present record comprises tables of hourly values of atmospheric pressure, air temperatures, wind azimuths and movements, precipitation, bright sunshine, cloud observations, etc., etc. There are six plates showing tracings by self-registering instruments, and a view of the observatory. The Third Annual Report of the Photographic Study of Stellar Spectra, conducted at the Harvard College Observatory, and constituting the Henry Draper Memorial, sketches briefly the progress of the work during 1888.
The fourth number of the Proceedings of the American Society for Psychical Research (Damrell & Upham, $1) is a pamphlet of about three hundred pages, nearly a third of which is devoted to the report of the committee on phantasms and presentiments, by Prof. J. Royce. The report contains accounts of a large number of cases, with corroborative evidence, and an estimate of their value. A record of experiments in thought transference is contributed by Mr. and Mrs. John F. Brown, and a report upon "the diagram tests," by Prof. C. S. Minot. The theory of telepathy is discussed by Mr. Hodgson and Prof. Minot. The report of the committee on mediumistic phenomena is instructive, in spite of its brevity, for it mentions as an obstacle to this work that mediums which have been recommended to the attention of the committee are constantly being shown up as impostors. Still, the committee has made some investigations, which it is not ready to report, and hopes to make more.