Popular Science Monthly/Volume 39/October 1891/Literary Notices


Justice: Being Part IV of the Principles of Ethics. By Herbert Spencer. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 1891. Pp. 291.

The appearance of a new volume of the Synthetic Philosophy after a long enforced interval of rest on the part of its author is an event which merits the hearty congratulation, not only of the avowed disciples of Mr. Spencer in America—a goodly and growing number of our most intelligent thinkers—but also of all friends of scientific and liberal thought.

It is now twelve years since the publication of the Data of Ethics. As was then announced, this volume was issued in advance of the regular order of publication, under the pressure of premonitions of failing health. Similar considerations have impelled Mr. Spencer to leave unfinished the concluding sections of The Principles of Sociology and intervening parts of The Principles of Morality, in order to apply himself to the exposition of the law of Justice, which we have his explicit warrant for regarding as the consummate fruit of his patient study and discriminating thought. The noble volumes which have preceded it are all subsidiary to the practical application of the principles of Justice to the pressing problems of our societary life.

Viewed from the standpoint of the philosophical evolutionist, nothing surely could be more timely than the appearance of this work. The past decade has been an era of crude and rash speculation upon social and political problems. In America, no less than in England, we have need to listen to the voice of one who looks neither to the inventions of a closet-philosophy nor to the chance-suggestions of the political empiricist, but to the eternal laws of Nature for wise counsel and enlightenment upon these vast issues. We have recently listened to enthusiasts who expect to abolish poverty and reform society by the simple panacea of the single tax; we have seen a political party spring into an ephemeral existence based upon the success of a visionary novel—the effort of a professional story-writer to imagine a society constructed on principles as foreign as possible to those illustrated in the existing social order. Another political organization promises to abolish crime and regenerate human nature by the simple expedient of prohibiting the manufacture and sale of alcoholic drinks; and anarchistic agitators would abolish the evils of society by the short and easy method of abolishing society itself. It is refreshing to turn from this array of absurdly inadequate panaceas to the wise and conservative counsels of Mr. Spencer, whose more than seventy years, with whatsoever burdens of physical infirmity they may have afflicted him, have detracted nothing from his logical acumen, his clarity of thought, or lucidity of diction. The first six chapters of the present volume were published in The Nineteenth Century and The Popular Science Monthly in the spring of last year, and their tenor will readily be recalled by the readers of these periodicals. Defining the highest conduct as "that which conduces to the greatest length, breadth, and completeness of life," Mr. Spencer shows that we must seek for the germs of morality in the animal world. He goes further, and shows that human morality is based upon laws which are as universal as life itself, and are active and potent in the development of all living things. The reference to these underlying biological principles runs all through the present volume, and differentiates the treatment of its topics from that of his earlier work, Social Statics, which aimed to cover much of the same ground. Social Statics, however, was not the product of Mr. Spencer's mature thought. He has long been conscious of its imperfections. In the successive volumes of his Synthetic Philosophy he has substituted an exclusively natural or evolutionary treatment for the partially supernatural explanations implied in Social Statics, has made a freer use of the inductive method in support of his deduced principles of ethical and social growth, and has given the law of relativity greater prominence as influencing his practical conclusions, some of which, as expressed tentatively in Social Statics, have been modified or rejected in the present volume.

Defining the objective law of subhuman justice as that social condition wherein "each individual shall receive the benefits and evils of its own nature and its consequent conduct," Mr. Spencer also points out that among gregarious creatures this objective law is modified by the necessity for self-subordination and occasional self-sacrifice in the interest of the species. Human justice is simply a natural development of subhuman justice. The growing necessity for cooperation imposes an increasing obligation for individual restraint; and the social sentiments, of which the sentiment of justice is chief in importance, are correspondingly evolved.

An important difference is pointed out between family ethics and the ethics of the state. In the former the obligations of parents are conditioned upon the children's needs, while in the latter obligations are proportioned to the nature and actions rather than the needs of the individual. A clear distinction is drawn between the sentiment of justice and the idea of justice. The former may be strong, while the latter is relatively weak. Men may understand clearly that they ought to deal justly by their neighbors, but have a very imperfect comprehension of the course of action which justice requires. The primary characteristic of the idea of justice, contrary to the popular understanding, is that of inequality. The natures and consequent activities of individuals are greatly unequal. Justice, therefore, requires that they shall receive correspondingly unequal rewards. The spheres or opportunities of all, however, should be mutually bounded, and hence approximately equal. The formula of justice may accordingly be expressed by saying, "Every man is free to do that which he wills, provided he infringes not the equal freedom of any other man."

Mr. Spencer incidentally defends with great ability the approximate validity of fixed intuitions or deductions against the positivistic disciples of an exclusively inductive method of reasoning. Such intuitions, he shows, "must have been established by that intercourse with things, which, through an enormous past, has, directly or indirectly, determined the organization of the nervous system and certain resulting necessities of thought." Ethical intuitions, however, require the correction of methodic criticism and the application of inductive tests. Both methods work together for the discovery of truth.

In the subsequent chapters the rights and duties of individuals and governments are deduced from the foregoing principles. Man's fundamental right is declared to be that of physical integrity. Under the law of relative ethics this right can only be perfectly maintained in a state of permanent peace. The rights of man to free motion and locomotion are next asserted—rights which conflict, of course, with all forms of serfdom or slavery. The recognition of these rights is said to have been of very recent origin. In early times "the conception of freedom as an inalienable right had little or no place either in ethics or law. . . . Neither Christ nor his apostles denounced slavery." It may, however, be maintained by Christian apologists that certain seed principles contained in the Gospels are in logical conflict with slavery, and exerted a powerful though indirect influence toward its overthrow.

In the important chapter on The Right to the Uses of Natural Media, after noticing some of the habitual infringements on the admitted right of all to free light and air—as by smokers in public places, injurious fumes from chemical works, bad street music, etc.—Mr. Spencer attacks the much agitated land question. He reaffirms the principle laid down in Social Statics, that all men have a natural right to the use of the soil—a right which, he strongly asserts, has everywhere been alienated by force and fraud. Its fundamental character is now tacitly admitted, however, he claims, in the universally recognized principle of eminent domain, in defense of which he quotes Sir Frederick Pollock. His final conclusions on this subject, however, will not be acceptable to the followers of Henry George. After calling attention to the great difference between the value of the land in its primitive state and its present value, and to many practical difficulties in the way of the resumption of state-ownership, Mr. Spencer says:

. . ."The landless have not an equitable claim to the land in its present state—cleared, drained, fenced, fertilized, and furnished with farm buildings, etc.—but only to the land in its primitive state; . . . this only it is which belongs to the community."

Referring to his argument for communal ownership in Social Statics, he declares, "A fuller consideration of the matter has led me to the conclusion that individual ownership, subject to state-suzerainty, should be maintained.

"Even were it possible. . . to make a rearrangement equitable in the abstract, the resulting state of things would be a less desirable one than the present. . . . It suffices to remember the inferiority of public administration to private administration, to see that ownership by the state would work ill. Under the existing system of ownership those who manage the land experience a direct connection between effort and benefit, while, were it under state-ownership, those who managed it would experience no such direct connection. The vices of officialism would inevitably entail immense evils."

In affirming the right of the individual to property in general as against the communistic idea, Mr. Spencer is particularly clear and cogent, showing that the fundamental law of justice can only thus be fulfilled.

The right of incorporeal property, as in copyrights and inventions, is clearly and logically asserted. The right to sue and obtain damages for unjust assaults on personal reputation is also defended. Mr. Spencer maintains, however, in opposition to prevalent legal custom, that there is no ethical warrant for the punishment of a person who injures the reputation of another by stating unpalatable truths in regard to him. The exposure of a false reputation, he says, may often prove a public benefit. The rights of gift and bequest follow as legitimate deductions from the foregoing principles applying to property and land.

The advocates of a "protective" tariff will hardly derive much comfort from Mr. Spencer's discussion of The Rights of Free Exchange and Free Contract. The only legitimate qualification of these rights which Mr. Spencer admits is "where there is good evidence that freedom of exchange would endanger national defense." "Those who have been allowed to call themselves 'protectionists' should be called aggressionists; since forbidding A to buy of B, and forcing him to buy of C (usually on worse terms), is clearly a trespass on that right of free exchange which we have seen to be a corollary from the law of equal freedom."

Mr. Spencer asserts the rights to free belief and free worship in a clear though brief statement, deeming any lengthy argument in their support unnecessary. The rights of free speech and publication are likewise lucidly and forcefully maintained; free speech being "still the agency by which error is to be dissipated." On the delicate question of the discussion of the matters of sexual morality, Mr. Spencer argues from historical data that it is not reasonable to take for granted that our own customs are abeve criticism, and holds that the evils incident upon a free discussion of such topics "must be tolerated in consideration of the possible benefits." Public opinion, he thinks, may be trusted to hold these evils in check.

In a retrospective chapter, Mr. Spencer adduces several lines of deductive and inductive verification of these principles, holding that the convergence of all these lines of inquiry justifies us in regarding the law of equal freedom as of supreme ethical value, leading us to conclusions involving "as great a certainty as can be imagined."

The important chapter on the Rights of Women gives evidence of the careful consideration of a difficult problem by a just, conservative, and well-balanced mind. Mr. Spencer holds that women, as the weaker sex, should not be artificially disadvantaged in the struggle for life. lie asserts that "no restraints can equitably be placed upon women in respect to the occupations, professions, or other careers which they may wish to adopt." In the final adjustment of property rights he thinks that "the discharge of domestic and maternal duties by the wife may ordinarily be held a fair equivalent for the earning of an income by the husband."

As to political rights or privileges, he holds that those of women are not to be regarded as identical with those of men. With men, the possession of the suffrage involves the obligation to become military defenders of the nation. Women have not the same liabilities; hence, if they are granted identical privileges, their position is not one of equality but of superiority to men. The question of equal political rights for women can not be entertained, he argues, until we reach a state of permanent peace. In criticism of this view, it may be maintained, we think, in accordance with a logic which Mr. Spencer has himself recognized in treating of the property rights of women, that the question is not so much one of identity of function and obligation as of just equivalence. Even in case of war, it may not unjustly be held that the services of women, in the hospital and in the home, as tax-payers and wage-earners, as mothers and educators of the country's defenders, constitute a fair equivalent to the services of men in the field, and entitle women to equal political consideration, all other conditions being identical. Moreover, large classes of men are legally exempt from military service, by age, occupation, or physical disqualification, but such persons are not therefore disfranchised. Evidently, therefore, suffrage is not conditioned, de facto, upon military service or ability therefor. Nor, happily, are the problems of government mainly those growing out of physical conflicts between nations. The arguments against enfranchising women in the later chapter on The Constitution of the State, based on their constitutional differences from men—their comparative impulsiveness, emotional susceptibility, and relative inability to recognize the force of abstract and remote considerations, bearing upon the public welfare—appear to us to have much greater weight than the by no means novel argument based on the incapacity of women for military service. They will doubtless seem to many minds at present conclusive. Mr. Spencer, it should be said, expressly disclaims the application of this argument as an objection to local or municipal suffrage for women.

In discussing the rights of children, the reciprocal duties of parent and child are clearly outlined, and the necessity of giving the child a gradually increasing freedom of action to fit him for the independent or selfdirected activities of his adult life is strongly affirmed.

With a notable series of chapters on the nature, constitution and duties of the State, Mr. Spencer concludes the present volume. In many respects these chapters constitute the most suggestive and valuable part of this discussion. Nowhere else have the nature and duties of citizenship, and the proper limitations of state-control over the individual, been so clearly and tersely set forth. With admirable brevity and lucidity, Mr. Spencer first shows the fallacy of the eighteenth-century doctrine of political rights, a doctrine which still finds intelligent supporters, especially in democratic and republican communities like our own. The only rights, truly so called, which man possesses, he affirms, are the personal rights to life, freedom, security, etc. Political privileges are instrumental, in greater or less measure, depending on the state of culture and civilization, in maintaining these rights; and they can only be claimed in virtue of their efficiency in securing this end. "The giving of a vote," e. g, "considered in itself, in no way furthers the voter's life, as does the exercise of those various liberties we properly call rights. All we can say is that the possession of the franchise by each citizen gives the citizens in general the power of checking trespasses upon their rights; powers which they may or may not use to good purpose"(page 111).

Attention is called to the fact that in France the bureaucratic despotism is as great under the republic as it was under the empire; and that in America universal suffrage does not prevent corruptions of municipal government, the surrender of power to wire-pullers and bosses, the coercion of the citizens by laws dictating what they shall not drink, and the taxation of the many for the benefit of the few by a "protective" tariff. "The so-called political rights may be used for the maintenance of liberties, they may fail to be so used, and may even be used for the establishment of tyrannies." In considering The Nature of the State, it is pointed out that "the end to be achieved by the society in its corporate capacity, that is, by the state, is the welfare of its units; for the society having as an aggregate no sentiency, its preservation is a desideratum only as subserving individual sentiencies." This is a most important principle, which should always modify the modern evolutionary conception of society as an organism, and prevent that subordination of the individual which must result from the application of socialistic principles to governmental affairs. The modern state, Mr. Spencer shows, is in process of evolution from the militant type, in which successful aggressive activities demand and develop the principle of centralization, toward the industrial type, based upon contract. In its final development the constitution of the state "appropriate to that industrial type of society in which equity is fully realized, must be one in which there is not a representation of individuals but a representation of interests. For the health of the social organism and the welfare of its members, a balance of functions is requisite; and this balance can not be maintained by giving to each function a power proportionate to the number of functionaries." This principle, which constitutes, perhaps, the most suggestive and original part of Mr. Spencer's discussion of governmental methods, will doubtless meet with much opposition and criticism in our own and similarly constituted communities. It is evidently, however, the product of a most careful study of existing societies, and a judicial consideration of their obvious merits and defects. It is worthy of the thoughtful attention of all students of society and government.

In discussing the duties of the state, Mr. Spencer argues that as societies advance from the militant toward the industrial type, state functions will be less and less adapted to repelling external aggressors and more and more to the maintenance of the conditions of justice against the assaults of internal enemies—the ignorant, vicious, and depraved, who constitute abnormal elements in all large societies. For the better fulfillment of this obligation, he believes it to be the duty of the state to administer justice without cost—to arbitrate between citizens gratuitously. His arguments in this behalf, and replies to anticipated objections, are forceful and worthy of the serious attention of our statesmen and philosophers. A further duty of the state is to act as trustee for the supervision of the inhabited territory, with reference to the building of roadways, canals, and railroads; the establishment and repair of water, gas, telegraph, and kindred appliances, etc. The actual introduction and maintenance of public works should, however, usually be left to private enterprise. The paternal theory of government contradicts the fundamental principles of justice by introducing into the state the contrary ethics of the family. "The only justification for the analogy between parent and child and government and people," he says, "is the childishness of the people who entertain the analogy" (page 217).

No candid and thoughtful man, unbiased by socialistic preconceptions, can read the concluding chapters of this book without being convinced that the true progress of governmental institutions must lie along the lines which Mr. Spencer has indicated. The philosophical evolutionist can but agree with him that "all-embracing state-functions characterize a low social type; and progress to a higher social type is marked by a relinquishment of functions" (page 230). The vices and inefficiencies of the civil service, so lucidly described in these chapters, are defects of our American institutions no less than of those of the mother-country. Wherever they exist they are largely due to the failure to comprehend and apply the fundamental principles of equity and justice, so well defined by Mr. Spencer. So far as these false methods are defensible at all, they are habitually defended by arguments avowedly based on considerations of custom and immediate utility. It should be evident, however, none the less to us than to Mr. Spencer, that "this empirical utilitarianism, which makes happiness the immediate end, stands in contrast with the rational utilitarianism, which aims at the fulfillment of the conditions of happiness." The excellence and sufficiency of Mr. Spencer's ethical theory nowhere appeal so conclusively to the enlightened understanding as under the crucial test of its practical applications. The thoughtful moralist who is thoroughly acquainted with the facts of our existing societary conditions can hardly avoid the conclusion thus tersely expressed in the final chapter of this work:

"The end which the statesman should keep in view as higher than all other ends is the formation of character. And if there is entertained a right conception of the character which should be formed, and of the means by which it may be formed, the exclusion of multiplied state agencies is necessarily implied."

As we ponder upon the wise counsels of this noble exposition and defense of the principles of justice, we may well congratulate ourselves, as Americans, that we were early to discover the genius and ability of him whom Mr. Darwin well named "our great philosopher." We may likewise congratulate Mr. Spencer on the renewal of health which has enabled him to make this most important contribution to the literature of ethics and philosophy. May we not hail it as a harbinger of hope that his strength will be husbanded and his life prolonged for the complete accomplishment of that self-imposed task which, even in its present unfinished state, constitutes unquestionably the greatest literary achievement of the present century?

Studies of the Gods in Greece at Certain Sanctuaries recently excavated. By Louis Dyer. London and New York; Macmillan & Co. Pp. 457. Price, $2.50.

These studies were originally given in eight lectures delivered in 1890 at the Lowell Institute. They were repeated before various universities, colleges, and societies in the United States, and are now published with corrections and notes, the fruit of a year's deliberation. The author seems to be inspired by an enthusiasm for the Greek religion similar to that which Schliemann had for its Homeric associations. To him it was the beautiful and ennobling religion, first of Greece, and then—through Greece and Rome—of all the ancient world; and the sanctuaries where it had its growth were places "where that old-time worship of ideals, by some miscalled idolatry, grew pure and yet more pure, broad and broader still, until its inner significance and truth were no longer to be confined within old forms, could be fettered no longer by old deeds; and lo! Christianity was there to gather in a heritage of high-born thoughts from Greece." To the religion of Greece and Rome, the author says in another place, "to the Eleusinian mysteries, to the worship of Æsculapius and Apollo, to the adoration of Aphrodite, is due more of the fullness and comforting power of the Church to-day than many of her leaders have been willing to allow." In the spirit revealed by these words, of judging Greek religion not by all its moods, but by all its highest and most characteristic ones, are discussed the worship of Demeter and Persephone, and of Dionysus at Eleusis, of Æsculapius at Athens and Epidaurus, of Aphrodite at Old Paphoe, and of Apollo at Delos, on all of which light has been cast by recent excavations at their particular shrines. Various corollaries of the main subject are considered in appendixes; and plans are given of three of the temples.

Electricity: The Science of the Nineteenth Century. By E. M. Caillard. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 310. Price, $1.25.

This volume appeals to the large class of educated readers without scientific training who may wish for some comprehension of electrical principles. No mathematical computations or technical processes are given, but the resultant laws are clearly stated, illustrated by interesting experiments and explanations of recent inventions. The author has made four divisions of her work: Static Electricity; Magnetism; Current Electricity; and Appliances of Electricity. Under the first head a brief outline of electrical development and elementary facts is followed by a description of frictional machines and the "electrophorus." A "charge" is produced because "all bodies are not equally good conductors," and the storing of electricity is compared to the accumulation of water, the insulator acting similarly to a dam. As the existence of air is shown by the wind-storm, so the presence of electricity is exhibited in discharge. "Potential" is defined as the comparative electrical condition of a body. If the same amount of electricity be conveyed to two different bodies, the smaller one may be at high potential and the larger at low potential, "potential" bearing the same relation to electricity that level bears to water. The Leyden jar is an example of two conductors separated by an insulating medium and may be used to exhibit some of the recent discoveries as well as simpler phenomena. An analogy is found for the charged Leyden jar in the atmospheric condition preceding a thunderstorm when the air between the earth and clouds is under the same strain as the glass.

The theory of molecular magnetization accounts best for the properties of magnets and the study of terrestrial magnetism confirms the coincidence of magnetic storms and sun-spots. All electrical manifestation results in discharge, but current electricity consists in a continuous flow. The usual way of producing this by galvanic battery, the chemical, physiological, and magnetic effects are next examined. The practical units of measurement, the volt, ohm, ampère, and coulomb, are usually employed with prefixes signifying a million-fold or millionth, thousand-fold or thosuandth. In the last section various magneto-electric, dynamo machines, and electric motors are described and illustrated; also, electric lighting, railways, telpherage, the telephone, and many minor electrical devices; and the application of electricity to metallurgy in electro-plating, electrotyping and welding. The nature of electricity is discussed. Since the detection of electro-magnetic waves that can be reflected, refracted, and polarized like those of light, the "electro-magnetic theory of light" has been accepted and "we may say that electrical science includes the whole of optics, or that optics includes the whole of electrical science, whichever way we like to put it."

The Criminal Jurisprudence of the Ancient Hebrews. Compiled from the Talmud and other Rabbinical Writings, and compared with Roman and English Criminal Jurisprudence. By S. Mendelsohn. Baltimore: M. Curlander. Pp. 270. Price, $2.50.

The author of this book is Rabbi of the Jewish congregation "Temple of Israel," at Wilmington, N. C. He is described as a man of great learning, and the accuracy of his work is testified to by prominent Hebrew clergymen on the side of Talmudic data, and by "lawyers of renown" on that of the civil and common law. His purpose in preparing it has been to acquaint the world with the system of criminal jurisprudence unfolded in the Talmud, and to contribute to the vindication of the Israelitish people's ancient literature from aspersions which have been cast upon it. His language on the latter point leads us to infer that he hardly realizes the attention Talmudic literature has received in later days from students, and underrates the respect in which it is held by theologians and scholars. In the course of his essay he unfolds the thesis that the system of criminal jurisprudence of the ancient Hebrews, as recorded in the Talmud and contemporaneous rabbinic literature, was one which enforced civil order and secured the safety and peace of society by mildness and consideration; and this in an age of savagery and violence, of wars and uncertainty. While in England, one hundred years ago, one hundred and sixty offenses were punishable with death, that penalty was inflicted among the Hebrews for only thirty-six offenses. The lex talionis, an eye for an eye, etc., prescribed by Moses, and not unknown to the old English law, gave way, under the rabbis, to a pecuniary compensation; and it was the custom of the rabbis, sitting in judgment over a human being, to lay every possible legitimate obstacle in the way of conviction. In the body of the work a syllabus is furnished of the principal penal statutes established by the ancient Jews and preserved in the Talmud and contemporaneous rabbinical books, under the headings of Crimes and Punishments, The Synhedrion, The Trial, and The Execution. An account of the Talmud, historical and analytical, is given in an appendix.

An Introduction to the Study of Botany. By Edward Aveling. New York: Macmillan & Co. Pp. 363. Price, $1.10.

This volume is intended as a guide to the practical study of the subject, and assumes no knowledge of it on the part of the reader. The syllabus of the Science and Art Department at South Kensington is taken as a basis for the general plan of the work, but it is intended to help all who enter upon the study, no matter what particular end they may have in view. The lessons are expected to be taken from the plant, and the book to be subsidiary to the practical study. Following the method of working from the known to the unknown, it begins with the examination and description of familiar plants; and, in learning to dissect and describe those objects, the student will also be mastering the general and the special morphology, histology, and physiology of the plant. The first chapter gives the general definitions of botany and its divisions. In the second chapter the buttercup is taken up for dissection and description, and its characteristics and relationships are brought out as typical of the Ranunculaceæ. In a similar way the succeeding chapters deal with typical examples of other orders; after which the student is introduced to "The Vegetable Cell," "Cell Contents," "Tissues and Systems," "The Root," "The Stem," "The Leaf," "Inflorescence, Floral Organs, and Fruits," and "Classification."

Taxidermy and Zoölogical Collecting. By William T. Hornaday. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. Pp. 362. Price, $2.50.

Mr. Hornaday aims, in this volume, to present a complete hand-book for the amateur taxidermist, collector, osteologist, museum-builder, sportsman, and traveler. The author speaks of it as "an affair of the heart," and hopes that "it may be the means of materially increasing the world's store of well-selected and well-preserved examples of the beautiful and interesting animal forms that now inhabit the earth and its waters." He thinks that previous works on the subject are not practical enough, saying, "The average book on taxidermy contains four times too much 'padding,' and not one quarter enough practical information," and would remedy the defect. As a reason for publishing such a book now, he urges: "The rapid and alarming destruction of all forms of wild animal life which is now going on furiously throughout the entire world renders it imperatively necessary for those who would build up great geological collections to be up and doing before any more of the leading species are exterminated"; and "Now is the time to collect. A little later it will cost a great deal more, and the collector will get a great deal less; . . . and it is my firm belief that the time will come when the majority of the vertebrate species now inhabiting the earth in a wild state will be either totally exterminated or exist only under protection. But do not launch out as a collector until you know how to collect. The observance of this principle would have saved the useless slaughter of tens of thousands of living creatures, and prevented the accumulation of tons upon tons of useless rubbish in the zoölogical museums of the world." The caution in these passages is more important than the incitement. There are too many collectors abroad and they are too indiscriminate. It would be well to reduce the number and select from them, and then give the selected ones such a book as Mr. Hornaday's. Some species are in as much danger from collectors as from any other source; and all species, when collected, should be put to the best possible use for instruction. Mr. Hornaday's book excellently fulfills its purpose, and avoids the faults he finds with its predecessors. It gives full information, in six parts, on collecting and preserving mammals, birds, reptiles, fishes, marine invertebrates, and birds' eggs and nests; taxidermy, mounting, and group-making; making casts; osteology, or preparing and mounting skeletons; the collection and preservation of insects; and general information respecting insect pests and poisoning, books of reference, etc. It is handsomely and liberally illustrated by Charles Bradford Hudson and other artists. The chapter on Collecting and preserving Insects is by Dr. J. W. Holland, and the author acknowledges obligations for assistance to other experts.

A Primer of Ethics. Edited by Benjamin B. Comegys. Boston: Ginn & Co. Pp. 127.

There can be no question that Mr. Comegys has prepared a timely text-book. Character training is equally if not more important than mental or manual training, but receives scant attention. Carelessly considered as inseparable from religious instruction, it has been left to the Church, and the Church now concerns itself with creeds rather than conduct. An old maxim holds good in this instance, for between church, home, and state, the most needed education is treated in hap-hazard fashion and falls to the ground, while multitudes grow up to manhood and womanhood without other moral instruction than what they may have inhaled with the air, and possessing such notions of rectitude that they might be put to the blush by a barbarian.

The handy little volume that suggests right and wrong as worthy subjects for study is founded upon the Rollo Code of Morals, by Jacob Abbott. This has been abridged and altered to suit present needs. The contents include a score of lessons upon fundamental duties. A principle is stated in concise form at the beginning of each lesson; stories illustrating it, or any deviation from it, follow; and, in conclusion, questions are given, not only upon the subject-matter furnished, but upon other cases not mentioned in the text, thus stimulating the pupil to think for himself. The arrangement is admirable, the language simple and direct, and the stories such as to interest children. Now that the book is written giving primary ethical truths without religious doctrine, it is to be hoped that it will be put into immediate use. It may possibly be objected by school committees that, although containing no more theology than simple theism, it has a pronounced political bias. It undoubtedly tends to discourage party rings and truckling to power, and may thus be construed to openly aid and abet civil-service reform. Yet, as no code of morality can be drawn up of sufficient latitude for political use, it can be explained to the pupil that electioneering and lobbying form exceptions to ethical rules.