Popular Science Monthly/Volume 38/April 1891/Literary Notices
Socialism, New and Old. By William Graham, M. A., Professor of Jurisprudence and Political Economy, Queen's College, Belfast. International Scientific Series. Vol. LXVIII. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. lv + 416. Price, $1.75.
The latest addition to the International Scientific Series is a very timely one. The subject of socialism or social reconstruction is in the air; and a competent thinker, who has any well-matured views on the question, is sure of an attentive hearing. Prof. Graham, in the work before us, deals with the subject of socialism, first historically, then critically, and lastly constructively. From first to last he holds the attention of the reader by the vigor of his style and his own manifest interest in the important questions at issue. The thorough impartiality of his attitude also compels admiration. The object he has set before himself is to discover in what points the present constitution of society is faulty, and what promise of better things the different socialist programmes now before the world contain. Considering that he is an exponent of what is so often spoken of as "the dismal science," the energy with which he arraigns the vices of the existing social order and the sympathy he expresses for the unhappy victims of an excessive competition may appear surprising; but the fact is, that political economy to-day is not content with recording facts and indicating the laws of which these facts seem to be the expression and proof, but aims at showing what ought to be as well as what is. It no longer confines itself to the question, How is the maximum of wealth to be produced? or, What motives sway men in the pursuit of wealth? It inquires into the general conditions of social well-being; it wants to know how far it may be possible to check that reign of universal cupidity on which the older economists seemed to count as an unalterable attitude of the human mind; and it asks searching questions as to the nature and requirements of justice between man and man. The one thing to dread in connection with this new departure of political economy is a possible lapsing into sentimentalism The wider the scope it allows itself the more rigorously should it adhere to strict scientific method. There is nothing weakly sentimental in the tone of Mr. Graham's book, and yet it hardly appears to us that he has given due recognition to some of the severer aspects of the problem with which he is grappling. "Man's inhumanity to man," as we all know, has been a dark feature in past history; but is it not the case that Nature itself, in the production of imperfect individuals—imperfect from the social point of view, and taking into account the present development of civilization—is primarily responsible for a large, if not the larger, part of the troubles with which we are contending to-day? Every one in the least familiar with the doctrine of natural selection knows that if different species are kept up to a certain standard of efficiency, it is due to the disappearance in the struggle for life of the more poorly endowed individuals that come into existence. Among mankind, if even the most poorly endowed perishes from want, our whole civilization is considered to be disgraced. This is a point which certainly requires very careful consideration, not only in connection with the criticism of existing institutions, but also in connection with any plans which may be formed for the improvement of our social organization. There is no use in trying to fight against Nature; the only thing to do, when we clearly recognize the incidence of a natural law, is to see how we can best convert it to our uses or turn aside any injury it may threaten to our interests. Thus, having recognized the fact that, by the operation of the simple law of variation. Nature will produce imperfect individuals, ill-adapted to their environment and destined in all probability to be a drag on the society in which they have a place, the question arises how to deal with them; and that question ought to be very fairly and fully met.
But, supposing even that all individuals produced were of average quality, how does the law of population bear upon the social question? How far are our social troubles the result of an undue rate of increase in population? It is true that there are large tracts of the earth yet unoccupied, but the vis inertiæ of mankind counts for something; and it does not follow because there is still room for settlement that any given rate of increase might not be in excess of the available means for spreading population over the face of the earth. In early ages tribes used to swarm very much like bees; but in those days men were not particular where they found their new abodes, or whom they dispossessed, or otherwise disposed of, in doing so.
Looked at from certain points of view, competition seems a terrible thing; but is there any certainty that the world could do without it? The successful and the less successful cr unsuccessful alike are impelled by it to exertion; it keeps the world at work, and so far helps to make the world happy. What would come from any marked relaxation of the law that forces us all to keep our faculties in exercise it would be difficult to say; but, taking into account what we know of average human nature, we can hardly predict that the effect would be good. It is easy to find fault with Nature, but not so easy to put her aside and do the work that she is doing. There are few intelligent men who do not recognize what an advantage it is to them to be, in many things, under the law of necessity; and probably also there are few who have much reason to pride themselves on what they have done wholly apart from any such pressure. When a man may either do a thing requiring effort or leave it undone, the chances that he will do it are not overwhelmingly great.
Mr. Graham criticises very effectively the wilder suggestions of socialistic writers, but he does not hesitate to express his opinion that a certain infusion into legislation and government of the socialistic spirit and of socialistic methods is a present necessity. "The state," he says, "has great power: through its laws and institutions it can affect the relations of classes. It can temper great inequality. It can mitigate poverty. It can check the strong oppressor. It can protect the poor, their health, their lives, their property. Many of these things it has already done to some extent, and it has shown an increasing tendency, within the past forty years, to interfere in order to protect the feeble workers and to restrain unscrupulous employers. . . . Its duty is more than the protection of life and property. It has to make just and beneficial laws respecting property. It is its duty to enforce contracts; but it may also be its duty to narrow the sphere of contracts in certain cases where the contracts can not really be free." He draws a fearful picture of what would have happened in England had it not been for the interference of the state in the passing of factory laws and other similar acts. "We should have had a proletariat of servile workers, degraded in physique, in mind, in morals; mothers working in mines and factories, their sickly children dying without a mother's care, or surviving with enfeebled frames; other children ignorant and lawless, worked to death or growing up savages; the whole laboring population turned into mere human plant and instruments to make the fortunes of masters, constantly becoming more insolent and inhuman from impunity. We should have had the slave gangs of the Roman Republic repeated, only that the slaves would have been the countrymen of their masters, neither conquered in battle nor born in slavery." This is strong language, and to some the conclusion may appear somewhat too dogmatically stated. Some such idea, we think, must have occurred to the writer himself, for he hastens to add, "That is a deducible consequence, had the system continued in its strictness and the hands submitted." It is worth recalling that so judicious and philanthropic a man as the late John Bright was of opinion that the factory laws had done more harm than good. Prof. Graham's book is one that ought to be widely read, as we are persuaded that, whether the writer's own conclusions are accepted or not, his candid and able discussion of the various questions comprised under the general head of "Socialism" can not fail to be helpful and beneficial.
The Draper Catalogue of Stellar Spectra. Photographed with the Eight-inch Eache Telescope as a Part of the Henry Draper Memorial. Astronomical Observatory of Harvard College, Edward C. Pickering, Director. Pp. 388.
This volume contains a catalogue of the photographic spectra of 10,351 stars, nearly all of them north of 25° south declination. Six hundred and thirty-three photographic plates are discussed and 28,266 spectra measured. Exposures of about five minutes were generally used for equatorial stars, and somewhat longer exposures for northern stars. Photographic plates eight inches by ten were employed; and at each exposure the spectra were obtained of all the stars of sufficient brightness in a region of 10° square. All stars brighter than the seventh magnitude would generally give images of sufficient intensity to be measured, unless they were of a reddish color. Many stars of the eighth magnitude or fainter appeared on the plates with sufficient distinctness to be included. The total number of spectra on a single plate sometimes exceeded two hundred. The plan of work was such that the entire sky north of 25° S. was covered twice in the first cycle of photographs. The plates overlapped, so that a spectrum which appeared near the corner of one plate would appear near the center of another. The work was then repeated by a second similar cycle of plates. Each star should, in general, appear on four plates. Owing to the overlapping of the regions and the repetition of plates which were not satisfactory, this number is greatly increased for many of the stars. The faintest stars appear on only one plate. In this case a second independent measure was always made. Eight type photographs of as many stars are given in the frontispiece to the volume. But the general appearance of a copy of a photograph varies so much with changes in exposure and development that it is difficult to convey an idea of the original negative by a paper print.
Guides for Science Teaching. No. VIII, Insecta. By Alpheus Hyatt and J. M. Arms. Boston: D. C. Heath & Co., Publishers. 1890.
The teachers are again under obligations to Prof. Hyatt and also to his coadjutor Miss Arms for the admirable Guide which is now before us. One follows a path laid out by this distinguished naturalist sure that he will have no pitfall in the way. He does not start on a road that is just six weeks long, but finds a broad avenue, with here and there places where he can use his own powers of observation and perhaps find a shorter cut. As stated in the preface, the Guide is a series of replies to questions which have arisen in the minds of its authors while teaching. "Teacher and scholars should recognize that science is infinite, and demands from all its votaries a modest acknowledgment of this fact. They should work more as companions learning from each other's observations, and less as teacher and pupils, than in those studies which can be taught from written treatises." The Guide is illustrated by 223 figures, derived from the highest sources or drawn from originals, and presents the latest knowledge concerning the structure and classification of insects. To an old-time entomologist it will seem odd to find other groups raised to the dignity of the seven well-known orders, for now we have to face sixteen orders. This, after all, simplifies the work of analysis. A unique diagrammatical plate, showing the probable origin of the different orders and their relation to each other; a synopsis of the contents; a list of letters and signs which are uniform throughout the book; and an exhaustive index at the end combine to make the work an indispensable guide to the study of insects.
Higher Education of Women in Europe. By Helene Lange, of Berlin. Translated and accompanied by Comparative Statistics by L. R. Klemm, Ph. D. International Education Series. Edited by W. T. Harris, LL. D. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 36 + 186. Price, $1.
In this work, those interested in the higher education of women (and who out of Germany are not?) will find a most rational treatment of the subject.
In the editor's preface attention is called to the changed condition of women by the advent of labor-saving machinery, which has taken the old hand-labor from thousands. Multitudes who were formerly occupied are stranded for want of something to do. The incompetent become paupers. This condition presses harder upon the women, and avenues of rough industry which are closed against them drive them to immoral lives. It is believed, and with good reason, that, if every avenue of work was opened equally to women, different results would follow.
The figures given by Dr. Klemm show that the question of the higher education of women is no longer a problem in this country, and England is fast following our example. In other European countries, notably in Prussia, the case is far different, and in the one occupation for which women are eminently fitted, that of teachers, not more than ten per cent are found in this field, as compared with the United States, where sixty-three per cent of the entire number of teachers are women; taking the cities of the United States alone, over ninety per cent are women. Now, either one of two things is to be noted from these figures—either we are committing a colossal blunder or the Germans are.
Miss Lange says: "The English teacher and principal enjoys unquestioned authority, externally and internally. In German public girls' schools the older students know, or instinctively feel, that the education of the female teacher, obtained in a normal school, is despised by the male teachers who obtained theirs in the university. It is too obvious that the women are found only in subordinate positions (exceptions not counted) of the school organism. No wonder that the pupils sometimes refuse them the respect which is offered as a matter of course in England, where the female teachers are provided with the highest professional education." Quoting again, she says: "In France there were no preparatory schools for the university. Only after the downfall of the second empire, after the humiliating experiences in 1870-'71, steps were taken favorable to women. The Government became convinced of the fact that an elevation of the whole people is only possible by means of an elevation of its women. The motion of Camille Sée to found and maintain lyceums for women was adopted without delay. ' Our law is a moral as well as a social and political law'—thus he pleaded for it, in 1880, before the Chamber of Deputies—'it concerns the future and security of Trance, for upon the women depends the greatness or decay of the nations.'"
In Portugal "the question of establishing special girls' lyceums is being agitated; a violent controversy has been going on concerning this, and the desire of many Portuguese is that 'their ladies may remain in future as charmingly amiable and foolish children as they have been since Adam's time.'" "Clemens Nohl speaks in his Pedagogy for Higher Schools of the absolute necessity to grant the female sex a thorough education, and says the mother needs it for the sake of her family, the unmarried woman for her own sake."
One forcible argument which is not urged by Miss Lange comes to one when he realizes how much work is done by women in the post-office, telegraph, and other public departments in England, or, if he chances to pass the Treasury and other departments in Washington at the noon hour, and sees the thronging thousands of women pour out from these buildings, he feels that, in case of war, hardly a man would be needed at home to carry on the minute details of office work. The Landwehr and the Landsturm could march out to a man, and not a wheel of government machinery would be checked in its movement. Germany, in this respect, is still in the Oriental stage, and it behooves her public men to look into this matter from the standpoint of military strength. Certainly such an argument might reach her, despite the uniform brutality which marks a German's attitude toward women as contrasted with their treatment by other nations.
A Washington Bible-Class. By Gail Hamilton. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 303. Price, $1.50.
The story of the Bible-class is told in an introductory chapter. A mother in Washington, embarrassed by the refusal of her sons to accept certain doctrines as they are held by the theologians, and finding it equally embarrassing to teach them what her reason could not approve, consulted with other mothers about the religious instruction of their children. The end of the consultation was the formation of a class to study the Bible, not with reference to speculation, but to find the truth in it; not what there might be of Calvinism, or Lutheranism, or agnosticism, or Catholicism, or Universalism, but what is Scripture; not what men say Scripture says and means, but what Scripture itself means and says. "The class, as it grew, embraced members of the families of the Cabinet, of Congressmen, diplomats, scientific and literary men, etc., and persons of a great variety of shades of belief. The class was at first intended to be conversational, and its idea one of common study, comparison of results, and general conference"; but the woman who was chosen leader soon found herself doing most of the talking, and the proceedings, as they are presented in the book, took the form of lectures. The tenor of these lectures is what we might describe, without presuming to express an opinion or to approve or disapprove, as embodying a common-sense view of the questions that arose. The narrative is composed, as to its most remarkable passages, in an anthropomorphic state of mind, which sees God in everything, regards all phenomena as his direct act, and personifies him as the actor. It is assumed that the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah was by an eruption of natural gas in that asphaltic region; that Lot was warned by a messenger who foresaw the eruption, and his wife lingered and was caught in a shower of saltpeter and sulphur. A parallel to the sun standing still in Joshua may be found in the red sunsets of 1883 and 1831, and other phenomena recorded in history. If the literal accuracy of the accounts is not established by this kind of reasoning, neither science nor piety need lash itself to fury over the explanations of literature. They are questions of literature. They are not questions of faith. It is science itself which forbids us to pronounce too confidently against even the literal truthfulness of the Bible. Many things which might be given up to legend without impairing the moral value of the Holy Scriptures, because God can be illustrated by a legend or a myth as well as by a fact, science and research seem to be basing upon a true historical foundation. "The rationalist must be wary with his myths, for the Egyptian explorers are at his heels." The natural possibility of the passage of the Red Sea is illustrated by citing the bar at Mount Desert, over which a retreating army might pass at low tide over to Bar Island, while the returning high tide should keep the pursuing army on Mount Desert; only it was the wind that played the part of the ebb tide at the Red Sea. In like spirit with these explanations the leader of the Washington Bible-class discoursed of the story of the Garden of Eden, of the Mystery of Melchisedek, of the Call of Abraham, of the Institutes of Moses, the Origin of Sacrifice, the attitude of Christ and the Apostles toward the Mosaic Institutes, Inspiration, the Atonement, Miracles, and various other knotty questions of doctrine.
Anales de la Oficina Meteorologica Argentina (Annals of the Argentine Meteorological Office). Under the Direction of Walter G. Davis. Vol. VIII, 1886. Buenos Ayres. Pp. 596.
The general course of the office corresponded with that of previous years. Numerous valuable observations were received from points well distributed throughout the republic, the results of which have been found useful in advancing the knowledge of climatological laws, for both practical and scientific purposes. New instruments have been added to the apparatus, or old ones replaced. Observations have been begun or renewed at six new stations, and reports were registered from twenty-three stations or separate observers. The system of observations at the central office has been greatly improved. The temperature of the soil has been taken at different depths down to twelve feet. The monthly means are given in the beginning of the report from twelve stations, of temperature, atmospheric pressure, humidity, pressure of atmospheric vapor, rainfall; and hourly means from the naval school and Cordoba, as well as temperature of the soil, wind direction and velocity, ozone, solar heat, and rainfall at Cordoba. The principal meteorological phenomenon of the year was the great snowfall and frost of the 19th, 20th, and 21st of September, which caused much injury to agriculture and cattle through the whole of the republic. Its history and course are traced from its origin in the Cordilleras, on the 16th, to the Atlantic. The director hopes that, with the advancing settlement of the country and the extension of means of communication and telegraphs, improvement may be gained in the knowledge of the laws of the meteorology of the country and the means of predicting changes of weather commensurate with that which has been realized in local observations. The volume is mainly occupied with the record of the detailed observations made at Villa Formosa (capital of the Northern Gran Chaco, two observers), the colony of Chubut, and the city of San Juan.
The Theory of Music. By Louis C. Elson. Boston: New England Conservatory of Music. Pp. 208.
This book is designed to furnish an outline for instruction in the fundamental principles of music. There is danger that the musician may become a specialist ignorant of the basis and framework of his art. The author has prepared this text-book as a help toward broader study. The general subjects treated are: Acoustics; The Orchestra; Rhythm and Notation; Musical Embellishments; Instrumental and Vocal Form.
The character of a vibration is first considered. The French define this as motion to one side only, but in England and America it includes the oscillation from side to side and back to the point of rest. Regular and continuous vibrations produce music; irregular vibrations result in noise. There are four laws or canons of the stretched string, depending upon its length, thickness, tension, and density. Vibrations become audible when they reach the rate of sixteen per second and vanish at the point of 38,000 per second. Overtones are likened to the wavelet3 which form part of a larger ocean wave. The sound-waves, however, divide with mathematical regularity, and the laws concerning them were first formulated by Helmholtz in 1863. The number and strength of overtones, or harmonics, cause us to recognize the difference between two instruments, as flute and violin, when sounding the same tone. The musical scale now in use arose to fit the needs of keyed instruments. The voice and stringed instruments can give the natural scale with many more intervals. Pitch has mathematical niceties, and its standard is a variable quantity. Philosophical pitch is determined by subdividing a wire that vibrates once a second. The variety of musical instruments has resulted from employing different vibrating substances, and from exciting vibration in these by several methods. Six classes of vibrations are noted: first, the vibrations of strings; second, of reeds; third and fourth, of elastic membranes; fifth, of solid elastic substances; and, sixth, "the vibrations of air upon itself in a confined space."
A consideration of orchestral instruments naturally follows. These are grouped as the string band, the "wood-wind," and the brass band. In each of these divisions are found four or more instruments that correspond to the soprano, alto, tenor, and bass in a vocal quartet. The modern orchestra dates from 1600; for, although the ancients used many instruments, they performed only unison-music, "while our idea of orchestral music is essentially part-music."
Rhythm, notation, marks of expression, and musical embellishments are fully illustrated. Musical form is next analyzed and traced to an origin in the old dances. The suite was "at first a set of dance-movements." In a study of figures and phrasing, the author points out that the leit-motif so characteristic of Wagner was first used by Mozart in Don Giovanni. Among the musical forms afflicted with changeable definitions is the symphony, now understood as a sonata for orchestra, but in the early part of the last century known as a prelude, interlude, or postlude. The development of the sonata, its various movements and dependent forms, follows, the more important of these being the concerto and classical overture.
The Catholic mass is named as the earliest vocal form. Some vocal forms are the offspring of instrumentation, such as the aria and rondo. Vocal music of any character may be written either in the strophe form, which repeats the music of one verse, or as an art-song, in which the music interprets the poem from beginning to end. The canon, the fugue, and, finally, modern dance forms are subjects of special study.
In conclusion, the author recommends to those wishing to become earnest musicians, ensemble-playing and score-reading. The German language should be acquired for the philosophy and literature of music, but Italian is most important to the vocalist. "Bach should be faithfully studied by every musician," since in him "the intellectual and emotional are so well balanced."
War and the Weather. By Edward Powers, C. E. Revised edition. Delavan, Wis.: Published by the author. Pp. 202. Price, $1.
A belief exists that heavy cannonading and great fires bring on rain. In some places it has been noticed often that a clear morning on the 4th of July has been followed by rain, and this has been attributed to the explosive celebration of the day. Mr. Powers has written his book to furnish definite evidence in support of the belief that rain can be produced by means of artillery, and to advocate the making of experiments by the Government in order to obtain certain proof in regard to it. His evidence consists of a record of those battles in our Mexican and civil wars in which artillery was largely used and which were followed by rain, giving the chief circumstances in each case. An appendix contains letters from army officers, transcripts from diaries, etc., supporting this record. In regard to the fact that artillery-firing does not always bring rain, the author says that the chief reason is that enough guns are not always brought into action and fired simultaneously, but there may be also minor reasons. He inserts an estimate of the cost of two experiments in which two hundred siege-guns should be used, making the amount $160,000 for the two. After this mode of causing precipitation had become systematized, he estimates that "a good rain-storm" would cost less than $21,000.
The Septonate and the Centralization of the Tonal System. By Julius Klauser. Milwaukee: William Rohlfing & Sons. Price, $3.
It is no exaggeration of the condition of an average musical student that Mr. Klauser describes in the introduction to this work. After pursuing the study of music for ten, fifteen, or twenty years, he may still be unable "to tell you what the intervals, chords, rhythms, and meters are that you dictate for oral discrimination." He has learned to use his voice or some instrument. His eye, hand, or vocal organs may be trained, but the cultivation of his ear has been left to chance. "Students are not taught, nor do they learn, to hear." A system of teaching which turns out pupils ignorant of the elements of their art, and liable to be embarrassed by simple questions, must be faulty. The author of this volume holds that there are two fundamental errors in musical training: one, the inverse method of instruction, in which a pupil is taught to perform before he can listen intelligently; the other, the usual presentation of the tonal system. As a remedy for the first, the beginner should be taught to hear exactly and discriminate from the start. A corrective for the second demands a reconstruction of our tonal conceptions. "The scale is too complex a unit; . . . . its combinations are too multiple for any beginner to grasp as a whole." After much investigation of tonal relations and analysis of the mental process of musical reproduction, Mr. Klauser has fixed upon the scale-half or tetrachord, and the union of two scale-halves with a common central tonic, as simpler elements for tone-study. To the latter group of tones he gives the name of septonate, "seven principal tones in their natural positions," three preceding and three following a tonic. Other divisions of tones, which are the framework of the system, are the key-group and the tone-stratum. The key-group contains seventeen tones, consisting of the septonate and ten other tones; five sharps, called up-mediates, and five flats, the down-mediates. Ten more tones, named secondary intermediates, added to the key-group, complete the tone-stratum. A new theory for tone discrimination is introduced in the Principle of Progression. In hearing a series of tones, "we are disposed to progress on certain tones and to stop on others." The tones from which we feel a desire to move are called by-tones; those which create a feeling of rest are harmonics. The author explains these phenomena as the result of the antagonism or agreement which certain tones have with the melodic phrase already in mind, and which he calls "the governing voice."
The author argues the need of a new notation, and may hereafter attempt that Sisyphean task. Prefixed to this volume is an interesting and suggestive essay on a higher education in music. Some experiences in training children deficient in tonesense deserve attention. The relation of music and mind is exhibited in the fact that music must be executed in a prescribed tempo—"the moments of cognition are limited." So "a concentrative power without parallel" is cultivated. In concluding the volume, various views of the origin of music are given, the author believing that music antedates speech, as the chromatic intervals of the wind and the melodious phrases of birds preceded the existence of man.
Elements of Crystallography. By George H. Williams, Associate Professor in the Johns Hopkins University. New York: Henry Holt & Co. Pp. 250. Price, $1.25 net.
This text-book, which is offered to students of chemistry, physics, geology, and mineralogy, contains as much of the subject as any one who does not intend to make mineralogy his life-work will need to know. It describes the several crystallographic systems, taking up a considerable number of the combinations possible under each, and giving diagrams and symbols. There are also chapters on Crystal Aggregates and Imperfections of Crystals, and an Appendix on Zones, Projection, and the Construction of Crystal Figures. To the student of mineralogy this will, of course, be an elementary volume; accordingly, a list of books is given, mostly German, in which fuller information can be found. There are 383 cuts in the volume.
Reader's Guide to Economic, Social, and Political Science. Edited by R. R. Bowker and George Iles. New York: Society for Political Education. Pp. 160. Price, cloth, $1.00; paper, 50 cents.
Within the past decade a very noteworthy increase of interest has taken place in economic, social, and political science. Its literature to-day flows in a stream many times as wide as that of 1881, and, passing the limits of the monographs and reviews specially devoted to it, now finds its way into popular magazines and leading journals. The quickening of interest which this denotes is not without a reason. Every year brings its enlargement of the functions of the state and some fresh appeal for yet wider extension of its scope. Interstate commerce is one of the more significant of its accessions of sway in recent years. It would seem that the guardianship of forests and the supervision of irrigation are to be among its duties in the near future. With authority in international trade to speak the word of good or ill fortune, Government is constantly being asked to step into the arena of domestic industry. Why may not the power which claims to bring prosperity by a tariff be invoked to regulate immigration, fix the hours of labor, or otherwise become as a Providence to the nation? With a literature teeming from the press treating these and allied questions—questions of the creation of wealth and its distribution; Government, and its relations to the commonwealth—such a guide as that provided by the Society for Political Education is clearly invaluable. Its editors present a classified list of the leading books, articles, Government and other reports, in the various fields covered by the manual. Each department has been revised by a competent specialist; and where, as in the case of free trade and protection, there are opposed camps, a representative of each has co-operated with the editors. The book is not a mere list, but a trustworthy guide, every work of importance receiving a brief descriptive or critical note. Prefixed to the several sections, wherever desirable, are a few lines advising the reader or student which books are best, and in what order they may most profitably be taken up. The titles have been selected not only from American and English, but from German, French, and Italian works. That foreign literature is very much richer than our own in economic and social science is a fact which this little book brings out very clearly. In emphasizing it, something will be done to broaden the outlook of American students, too often content with home authors not of the first rank. Lists for reading, elementary, intermediate, and advanced, are prescribed. The courses in politics and economics in leading American colleges for men and women are epitomized; and a very full index doubles the value of the book.
Those who have a taste for speculations on abstruse scientific questions will be interested in Cosmical Evolution, by Evan McLennan (Donohue, Chicago). It is a new theory of the physical universe, which substitutes for gravitation a system of bonds connecting the stars and planets as chemical atoms and molecules are assumed to be connected. The author's handling of the subject gives evidence of much ability.
Under the title Manual of Archæology Mr. Talfourd Ely publishes a sketch of ancient art (Putnam, $2). It is divided into two books, the first relating to Prehistoric, Egyptian, and Oriental Art, and the second to Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Art. The art of these countries is described as displayed in architecture, sculpture, engraving, painting, enameling, mosaic, and in the industrial arts. At the head of each of the eighteen chapters is a list of books recommended by the author for further reading. The work has an index, and contains one hundred and fourteen illustrations.
The Third Annual Report of the Agricultural Experiment Station, at Cornell University, covering the year 1890, comprises the separate reports of the several officers of the station, together with the collected bulletins that were issued during the year. These reports are largely devoted to descriptions of the buildings and laboratories that have been provided for the use of the station, illustrated with views and plans. The bulletins, most of which have been noticed in this magazine, deal with corn-growing, the examination and care of milk and cream, spraying plants, fruit-growing, tomatoes, insects injurious to plants, the clover rust, and a variety of minor investigations.
An Examination of Fingal's Cave, by J. P. MacLean (Clarke, 75 cents), is an account of this famous cavern enlarged from a report made by Prof. MacLean to the Smithsonian Institution in 1887. The island of Staffa contains several caverns besides the one of chief prominence, and these receive brief mention. The author's description of Fingal's Cave consists mostly of Sir Joseph Banks's account of his visit in 1772, which is inserted in full, and quotations from other sources. The origin of the cave is discussed, and reasons are given for not believing it to be the work of man. The volume is illustrated from drawings by the author and from other sources.
Harper's Sixth Reader (American Book Company, 90 cents) is devoted to British authors, and completes the series to which it belongs. Attention is called by the publishers to the gradation in the several classes of selections as they are herein arranged: those pertaining to modern history occur in chronological order, so also do the articles on Roman life and customs. Among the lessons are views of American institutions from English standpoints, examples of the best of British fiction and humor, and essays on questions of morals and personal duty. While many of the selections are new to school readers, a large number of acknowledged classics are also included. Both the living and the earlier writers are represented. Notes on the author and on the unusual words of each piece are appended.
The paper of Mr. George M. Dawson, of the Geological Survey of Canada, On the Later Physiographical Geography of the Rocky Mountain Region in Canada, is a monograph of a like order of those of which members of our own Geological Survey have produced a large number. Relating to what is virtually an extension into the British Provinces of the identical regions with which our own geologists are concerned, it may be grouped with their special memoirs as constituting one of a mass of materials by the aid of which American geology is being shaped into a more extensive, systematic, and harmonious scheme than has been applied to any other region. The western border region of the continent is defined by Mr. Dawson as being formed by a series of more or less nearly parallel mountain systems, with an average breadth in British Columbia of about four hundred miles, and tending in a direction similar to that of the Pacific shore line, the position of which in fact depends upon that of these orographic features. In traversing this generally mountainous zone—which the author calls the Cordillera belt—from east to west, we cross the Rocky Mountains; what may be classed together as the Gold Ranges (including the Selkirk, Purcell, Cariboo, and other ranges); the Coast Ranges; and an irregular mountain system—the Vancouver system—of which Vancouver Island and the Queen Charlotte Islands are unsubmerged parts. A region between the mountain and the Coast Ranges, without important mountain ranges, is referred to as the Interior Plateau of British Columbia. The paper has special reference to changes in elevation and the history of the Glacial period, and is divided into two parts: I. Mesozoic and Tertiary History; and II. Glacial History.
The Fruits of Culture is a comedy in four acts by Count Leo Tolstoi (Tucker, Boston). It deals with spiritualism, the principal scene being a bogus séance. The characters are Russian nobility, learned persons, servants, and peasants.