Popular Science Monthly/Volume 44/April 1894/Literary Notices


Genetic Philosophy. By David Jayne Hill. New York: Macmillan & Co. Price, $1.75.

The author of this work undertakes to treat the principal problems of philosophy by a method which, though he does not assert it to be entirely new, he does not believe has been systematically carried out by any previous writer. He applies to his method the term "genetic," and he explains that it "consists in referring every fact to its place in the series to which it belongs." Such a method, of course, is essentially the method of science, and what we recognize in the work before us is not so much any originality of method as a skillful and interesting application of a well known method to a number of interesting and important philosophical questions. There is nothing, for example, very original in the following declaration of principles, but it is well expressed: "Being, as apprehended by our intelligence, is found to possess continuity, and all facts are the aspects of a process. When, therefore, facts are translated into thought, they must not be sundered and isolated, floated off from their attachments and treated as independent entities. The continuity which connects them as real must also connect them as ideal. In other words, they must be genetically regarded, or considered as aspects of a continuous process to which they must be referred."

Among existing philosophical schools that to which President Hill most inclines is evidently the evolutionist as represented by Herbert Spencer. He criticises the latter, however, for placing the Unknowable in the forefront of his system, and then afterward hustling it out of court as "deserving of no consideration from the minds of adults." We can hardly admit this to be a correct account of Mr. Spencer's procedure, but the point is not one that admits of discussion in this place. He says, again, that to Mr. Spencer "the universe is like a great music-box which can play but one tune." How many tunes, one might ask, does a strictly "genetic" philosophy provide for? Any limitation in this respect must come from the recognition of necessary sequence, and such recognition is as much a feature of our author's mode of thought as of Herbert Spencer's.

On the subject of the Genesis of Matter, which constitutes the first chapter (following the Introduction) of Mr. Hill's book, we are not told anything new, or rather we are not told anything at all; what we are told relates entirely to the supposed constitution of matter, a somewhat different thing. What the author has to say, however, he says well, and the whole chapter constitutes an interesting exposition of modern views in regard to the material universe. It is a mistake to say, as he does on page 48, that "it was Bode's law which led Leverrier and Adams to assign a position to an unknown planet from the anomalous movements of Uranus." Bode's law simply assigns approximately the distance from the sun and from one another of the planets of our system, but says nothing as to the position in its orbit which a given planet shall occupy at a given time; and in searching for the undiscovered planet its position in its orbit and not its distance from the sun was the point to be determined. The chapter is concluded with a verse from Omar Khayam:

"Shall any gazer see with mortal eyes,
Or any searcher know by mortal mind?
Veil after veil will lift but there must be
Veil after veil behind."

So far, therefore, as the genesis of matter is concerned, the Persian poet of nearly a thousand years ago expresses the thought of the "genetic" philosopher of to-day.

In Chapter II, on The Genesis of Life, the author frankly and fully accepts the doctrine of evolution. "At present," he says, page 63, "there is probably no biologist of importance who does not accept organic evolution as a real process of Nature, although there are various degrees of conviction as to the sufficiency of the explanation of the causes which have been operative in the natural history of descent." As between the conflicting views of Weisman and Spencer, Mr. Hill rather inclines to the side of Spencer, but we do not judge that he speaks as a biologist, or that he has mastered all the arguments on either side of the question; at the same time the discussion, considering the limits within which it is confined, is ably done and will be useful to the general reader. Under the head of The Genesis of Consciousness, again, we have an interesting review of modern speculation respecting the conditions of consciousness, but no really distinctive view as to its origin. The author states his conclusion to be that "while psychic elements are manifested to us directly only through consciousness, they exist as its preconditions; and, therefore, are not to be denied existence beyond the sphere of consciousness." Goethe had said as much in his celebrated aphorism that Nature "sleeps in the stone, dreams in the animal, and wakes in man." Schopenhauer too, makes Will, which is decidedly a psychic element, pervade the whole universe. "Unless every analogy of Nature is violated," observes the author, "what we call the 'soul' had its being long before it came to consciousness"; and holding this view it is not to be wondered at that he looks with decided favor on the doctrine of metempsychosis.

The remaining chapters of the book deal with the Genesis of Feeling, of Thought, of Will, of Art, of Morality, of Religion, and of Science. All are characterized by liberality of thought and are interesting in a high degree. There is excellent matter in all these chapters, particularly in those on Will, Morality, and Religion. The author denies that pleasure is Nature's end, asserting that it is merely Nature's means toward higher ends, a view which we think has much to commend it. On the subject of the connection or relation between (physical) energy and will he takes up much the same position as Schopenhauer. "By what right," he asks, "is the objective series elevated to the dignity of a causative order and the subjective series regarded as inconsequential?" As regards the development of morality, he seems to accept Herbert Spencer's analysis as far as it goes, but finds it too abstract, too merely schematic, if we may use the expression. His own. statement of the matter is that "the evolution of morality is the gradual formation of a moral consciousness through the perception of what is due in the relations of social life." Sin he defines as "the persistence upon the human plane of tendencies which belong to the animal plane, and which should therefore have been subjected to the law of reason. From the moral point of view," he adds, "to be carnally-minded is death." In the chapter on the Genesis of Religion the author holds that, while Mr. Spencer's theory which assigns the origin of all religion to ancestor worship will explain much in the way of religious ceremonial the world over, it will not explain everything, and particularly will not explain the origin of the religious sentiment.

"The order and progress of the world," President Hill maintains, "the ideals which press upon us for realization—these are the secure foundations of religious faith. The unity of the world, the immanent rationality of its processes, the beneficence of law, the imperative authority of duty—these are the corner stones of religious life and hope." His own definition of religion, however, is "belief in a superhuman being or beings regarded as objects of worship"; and the question is how, without some such hypothesis as Mr. Spencer's, or without a primitive supernatural revelation—a conception which the author puts aside as totally insufficient and having only a verbal meaning—to explain the origin of such belief. That question we do not consider he has solved. In concluding this notice we leave many interesting points untouched; but we wish to say that the book as a whole has great merits; it is perspicuous and scholarly in style, vigorous in thought, candid in tone, excellent in matter, and altogether a very creditable addition to American philosophical literature.

A Theory of Development and Heredity. By Henry B. Orr, Ph. D., Professor at the Tulane University of Louisiana. New York and London: Macmillan & Co., 1893. Pp. ix+255. Price, $1.50.

The author states in his preface that he believes that by a critical review of the facts of biology in the light of the great conclusions derived from the allied sciences of physics and psychology we may obtain a view of the great phenomena of life that shall bring into harmony a more extensive range of facts, and explain intelligibly relations that have hitherto been hidden.

He sums up a scheme of the course of development by premising a primitive mass of protoplasm which acquires nervous coordinations that influence its activity and growth: as it divides and redivides, it adds continually new co-ordinations to those already acquired, and by repetition the process of growth and development has the character of reflex action. As the same forces act on each generation, and form a series of stimuli that are similar for each generation, so each generation repeats in its life the course of development followed by all its ancestors. These different phases of one process constitute his explanation of growth, development, and inheritance. According to this, in our own development we must recognize ourselves and our actions as the result of a definite, accurate activity of creative force.

The author sees what is the last analysis of such a theory of development and life, that our ideas of free will and moral responsibility are paradoxical: but we do not see on what grounds he believes such a paradox is capable of satisfactory solution, even though we are all convinced that we have a certain degree of freedom of will. Would it not be better to abandon the idea of free will and hold that will is the expression of hereditary tendencies modified by environment—a theory that, at present, the author strongly inclines to?

Prof. Orr's book is interesting, and is a satisfactory explanation of the evolutionary theory of development and heredity.

Lectures and Essays on Fevers and Diphtheria, 1849 to 1879. By Sir William Jenner, Bart., G. C. B., M. D. Lond., and F. R. C. P., D. C. L. Oxon., LL. D. Cantab, and Edin., F. R. S., etc. New York: Macmillan & Co., 1893. Pp. xii-f 3 to 581. Price, $4.

This volume is a collection of papers that the author published between 1849 and 1879 in various medical journals of Great Britain.

The first essay, on the identity or non-identity of typhoid and typhus fevers, is dated 1849-'50, and is founded on a statistical analysis of a series of cases observed during two years at the London Fever Hospital.

The second essay is devoted to proving that the causes of typhus, of typhoid, and of relapsing fever are separate and distinct, a fact by no means currently accepted in 1849. This topic is further elucidated in the third essay.

The fourth essay, on the acute specific diseases, formed the Gulstonian Lectures of 1853.

The second section of the volume consists of three clinical lectures, two on diphtheria and one on croup and diseases that resemble it.

All these essays demonstrate the careful and critical observation displayed by the author in his clinical work, and the volume forms a useful contribution to the history of medical progress in the nineteenth century.

A Text-book of Physiology. By M. Foster, M. A., M. D., LL. D., F. R. S., etc. Sixth edition. Part I, comprising Book I. Blood; The Tissues of Movement; The Vascular Mechanism. New York and London: Macmillan & Co., 1893. Pp. 387. Price, $2.60.

The popularity of this text-book is evidenced by the fact that a few months after the final part of the fifth edition was published the author presents the first part of the sixth edition. We find but few changes in the present volume except in the chapter on the vascular mechanism, in which descriptions have been introduced of the membrane manometer of Hürthle, of Stolnikow's method for determining the quantity of blood ejected by the ventricle, and of the cardiometer of Roy and Adami. In a number of sections the text has been rearranged, but with no additions that are of signal importance.

Essays by Thomas H. Huxley. Vol. I. Method and Results. Pp. 430. 1893. Vol. II. Darwiniana. Pp. 475. 1893. Vol. III. Science and Education. Pp. 451. 1894. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Price, $1.25 each.

These are the first volumes of a series intended to include the collected essays of Mr. Huxley. The first contains a brief but characteristic autobiography, and nine essays that were published between 1866 and 1890. The author states that while they are neither free from repetitions nor, perhaps, deficiencies, yet as far as their substance goes he finds nothing to alter in them. This, we opine, is rather an evidence of the soundness of his opinions than of failure to make progress in wisdom during the last quarter of a century.

The essays include that on the advisableness of improving natural knowledge, that on the progress of science, on the physical basis of life, on Descartes's discourse touching the method of using one's reason rightly and of seeking scientific truth, on the hypothesis that animals are automata, on administrative nihilism, on the natural inequality of men, on natural and political rights, and on government.

The second volume contains essays on the ancient doctrine of evolution, rehabilitated and placed upon a sound scientific foundation, since and in consequence of the publication of the Origin of Species. These essays meet the criticisms imposed upon Mr. Darwin's great work, and sum it up and indicate its enduring influence on the course of scientific thought. The volume includes three essays—on Charles Darwin, on the Darwin memorial, and an obituary of Darwin—that record the impressions left by that scientist on his friend for thirty years, the author of this volume.

The third volume contains seventeen essays that were published between 1854 and 1887, all of which refer to the value of science in education.

Some of these essays have appeared in pages of the Monthly, but the many admirers of Prof. Huxley will be glad to welcome this permanent collection of his writings that have done so much to advance the scientific spirit of our age.

Jesus and Modern Life. By M. J. Savage. With an Introduction by Prof. Crawford H. Toy. Boston: George H. Ellis. Pp. 229.

In this work the author has sought to find out, so far as is to-day possible, the actual beliefs and teachings of Jesus. Then, having, as he has supposed, had this teaching, he has considered it as relating to the preceding thought of the world, and specially of his own people. After that he has tried to find out how much of this teaching is vital to-day, and how it bears on the problems, religious and other, with which we must deal. "Only in some such way as this," he assumes, "can we really find out to what extent and in what sense Jesus is a present leader and inspiration."

The New Bible and its New Uses. By Joseph Henry Crooke. Boston: George H. Ellis. Pp. 286.

In this book the Bible is considered in the light of the modern or "higher" criticism, by which, the author holds, the theories of our fathers respecting its origin, growth, and character have been swept aside. As a result, "we see with greater clearness the impulse and purpose which produced these writings. We understand the human conditions which gave them birth, the limitations as well as the nobility of the authors who penned them. We appreciate the greatness of their varying messages, but we also trace the burning lines of error and passion which mar these pages. There is truth enough to make them grandly human; there is superstition enough to prove them no more than human."

A History and Description of the Modern Dogs (Sporting Division) of Great Britain and Ireland. By Rawdon B. Lee. London: Horace Cox. Pp. 584, with Twenty-six Plates.

The author has attempted in this book to summarize the progress and describe the varieties of the sporting dogs as they are at present known and appreciated in the British Isles. Without losing any of the early history, his wish has been to introduce matter bringing the subject up to date; both so far as the work of dogs in the field is concerned, and in viewing them as companions, and when winning, or attempting to win, prizes in the show ring. After this method full accounts are given of twenty-nine varieties or "sports" of dogs, with historical information, anecdotes, gossip of the market and the kennels, discussion of values, the points by which the kinds are distinguished, and qualities; constituting the book of great value to all who are interested in breeding, using, or admiring dogs. Of the illustrations, only two—those of the greyhound and of the Kerry beagles—are actually portraits. The others, though originally drawn from living examples, are rather typical specimens of the various breeds they represent.

Object Lessons and How to Give Them. By George Ricks. First Series. For Primary Schools. Pp. 202. Second Series. For Intermediate and Grammar Schools. Pp. 214. Boston: D. C. Heath & Co. Price, 90 cents each.

The primary purpose of lessons in common objects and natural phenomena, the author believes, is to cultivate the senses, to train the habits of attention, intelligent observation, and accurate comparison, and so lead up to the higher processes of the mind—reason and judgment. The natural course of the teacher would seem to be to gather up into something like order and to perfect what has so far been imperfectly accomplished by the child, and to evolve from this as a basis a systematic course of training; and the teacher who would best succeed should take childhood's method of imbibing knowledge and adapt it to her own use. The child, as Spencer says, should not be told or shown, but taught how to observe. The lessons in the first series are intended to be short, simple, pleasing, and attractive, and relate to objects of sense, common articles, and the simpler qualities. Those of the second series relate to the common properties of solids, liquids, and gases, in that order, and to those matters which demand closer observation and exercise of the reasoning faculties. They are suggestive rather than exhaustive.

Suicide and Insanity: A Physiological and Sociological Study. By S. A. K. Strahan, M. D., Barrister-at-Law, etc. London: Swan, Sonnenschein & Co., 1893. Price, $1.75.

The author states that he has endeavored to trace modern suicide to its source, to show how large a percentage of what is really avoidable is deliberately propagated, and how closely it is related to those other abnormal conditions met with in all civilized communities. The cause of suicide is cultivation, and it is propagated by the intermarriage of the insane, the epileptic, and the criminal.

Suicides are divided into two major classes—rational or quasi suicide and irrational or true suicide. The former class is further subdivided into, first, those who destroy their life for gain, consisting of religious devotees, of those who die to follow friends, of those who die to gain notoriety, and of those who die that others may gain. Second, those who commit the suicidal act that they may escape some real and impending evil that is considered more terrible than death.

Irrational suicides are divided into three groups: First, that in which there is mental aberration; second, that in which the act depends upon an irresistible impulse and in which there is no mental aberration; third, that in which a certain predisposition makes it possible for a slight shock, trial, or irritation to awaken the unnatural impulse.

As statistics show that suicide is on the increase among all civilized peoples, whether their racial predisposition be great or small, and as racial proclivity remains fixed, the author concludes that all, or nearly all, the increase must be the outcome of the acquired or pathological character.

The influences of race, of climate and season, of religion, and of sex and age are considered as factors in causing suicide.

In regard to the stand taken by the law in reference to suicide, the author says that he does not believe that pronouncing suicide a crime has ever stayed the hand of a single individual bent on self-destruction, and the law has never been able to punish the criminal in a single instance, nor can it hope to. There are only two logical courses open to those who would reform this legislative absurdity. One is to sweep away all legislation upon the subject so far as it relates to the individual himself, no longer consider suicide a crime, and ignore attempts thereat. The other is to enact that all attempts at suicide, whether successful or not, be in themselves conclusive evidence of dangerous insanity. The author, agreeing with the Sophists, Stoics, Epicureans, and Platonists, believes that the first of these two is the more just and sensible course.

The author considers the theological, naturalistic, sociological, and moral objections to suicide, and concludes with old Dr. Donne that "self-homicide is not so naturally sin that it may never be otherwise."

The author has presented a very interesting and unbiased study of a topic that is engaging more and more attention, for it is not one of the least of the charges against modern society that its organization is such that men and women are unwilling to continue as associates thereof.

The Technique of Post-mortem Examination. By Ludvig Hektoen, M. D., Pathologist to the Cook County Hospital, Chicago. Chicago: The W. T. Keener Company, 1894. Price, $1.76.

The author is to be congratulated on this little work that is a concise exposition of the various matters connected with the performance of post-mortem examinations. He has not endeavored to enter into a systematic and minute consideration of the pathological changes in the organs, but rather he has made it his aim to give such general and comprehensive information as is needed by the examiner.

As no State in the Union has prescribed regulations to guide and direct the practitioner in the method of making necropsies in medico legal cases, it is believed that the systematic procedure detailed in this book will make it useful to all practitioners of medicine likely to be called upon to perform such duty.

The work is admirably printed and illustrated, and is one of the best books on this topic with which we are acquainted.

Myths of Greece and Rome. By H. A. Guerber. New York: American Book Company. Pp. 428. Price, $1.50.

Students of literature and art will find a most attractive handbook in this volume.

While it does not take the place of a dictionary of reference, where every dryad may be traced to her favored tree by the classical scholar, it includes all the more important myths celebrated in song, sculpture, or painting.

The illustrations alone comprise seventyone reproductions of famous works of art. The text is bright and interesting, and in conclusion an analysis of myths is given, the philological interpretation receiving the preference. The work is also generously furnished with aids to the reader, containing a classical map and genealogical chart as well as glossary and index.

William Kitchen Parker, F. R. S. A. Biographical Sketch. By his Son, T. Jeffrey Parker. London and New York: Macmillan & Co. Pp. 145. Price, $1.50.

Although naturalists generally are impelled to their life work by an ardent love of Nature, it is rare to find among them in early youth such glowing enthusiasm as that exhibited by William Kitchen Parker.

The son of an English farmer, only a scanty education had been afforded him when he began, as a lad, his loving study of bird and flower in his father's field. Apprenticed at the age of fifteen to a druggist, he read physiology while compounding sheep ointment, and rose at four o'clock in the morning to have three hours' botanizing in the woods. In two summers he had collected and preserved five hundred species of plants, and laid the foundation for a thorough acquaintance with botany. He was next placed with a country surgeon, and here undertook by himself the study of comparative anatomy, dissecting animals and birds, and executing drawings of marvelous exactness and beauty. It may well be credited that at fifty years of age he had produced more original work than any other English anatomist. His zest for knowledge and keen enjoyment of Nature never waned. At sixty-five he writes: "The sight of the wild flowers, the settling of a speckled, metallic feathered starling close to me, and the song of the lark made weariness a trifle; . . . the joy of research has been the wine of my life." A characteristic portrait is the frontispiece to the memoir, and a list of published works is given at the close, these being mainly upon the foraminif era, the vertebrate skeleton, and skull.

Handbook of Public Health and Demography. By E. F. Willoughby, M. D. London and New York: Macmillan & Co. Pp. 495. Price, $1.50.

This volume constitutes the third edition, enlarged and revised, of a former work, the Principles of Hygiene, by the same author.

The subject is treated in four main divisions—health of the man, health of the house, health of the city, and health of the people. In addition to these there are chapters on demography, meteorology, and sanitary law.

Much space is given to the section on dietetics, where somewhat of the changes involved in nutrition are explained according to the experiments of Pettenkofer and Voigt. The prevalent error is noted of confounding oxidation with metabolic processes in the body. The value of a food depends upon the ease with which it digests, splits up, and combines in the organism, not upon the constituents per se.

Common snares are also pointed out in the food that does not nourish, the filter that is worse than useless, the barometer which measures nothing, the disinfection that does not disinfect, and the statistics that prove a trap for the unwary. But the effort of the book is mostly constructive, and there is much in it that is valuable for the student of statistics and the householder. The unfortunate schoolgirl may, if it falls into her hands, drop it with righteous scorn. The chapter on school hygiene is disfigured by a thrust at feminine ability and the threadbare plea that woman's health suffers in the educative process. The author, illogical enough, gives the best possible reply to this in his dissertation on exercise, where he informs us that most of the ailments of women would be prevented if girls strengthened their muscles as their brothers do!

The Child, Physically and Mentally, is considered by Bertha Meyer in a small pamphlet translated from the German by Friederike Salomon and published by the M. L. Holbrook Co. A similar work was written by the author thirteen years ago, and this is intended as a supplement, embodying the more recent teaching of hygienic science. It is curious to note that it contains only two pages of suggestion for the mother who desires to rear her child in the natural way. This is certainly not all that should be said on the subject in a country where infant mortality is exceptionally high. An appendix is needed to justify the aim and title of the brochure.

The Arithmetic of Magnetism and Electricity, by John T. Morrow and Thorhurn Reid, a little handbook of 145 pages, consists of the statement and explanation of those facts and laws of electricity and magnetism which are especially connected with their practical and commercial aspects. It contains among other matters chapters on General Laws of Electric Circuits; Batteries, Primary and Secondary; Direct-current Dynamos and Motors; Alternating current Dynamos, Motors, and Transformers; Lighting and Power, and The Application of Electrical Laws to Electrical Railways; with some useful tables. (It is published by the Bubier Publishing Company, of Lynn., Mass., at $1.)

A System of Analysis of Milk and MUk Products, containing results of the latest researches, is given us by Leffmann and Beam. Most of the earlier processes have been superseded or at least greatly modified in the past few years by the large amount of original work done, more especially under the supervision of the Society of Public Analysts. The book is intended not only for professional chemists, but also for practical dairymen, and to such it ought to prove a great aid. It contains an appendix consisting of useful tables for calculating total solids, etc. (It is published by P. Blakiston, Son & Co., Philadelphia. Pp. 89. Price, $1.)

A collection of Bulls and Blunders, compiled by Marshall Brown (Griggs, $1), has recently been issued. It is a large and amusing collection, and besides being amusing it is instructive, for where the blunder consists in a faulty arrangement of words, the way to correct it is pointed out.

Under the title. The Monism of Man, David Allyn Gorton, M. D., has put forth a mingled mass of scientific facts and supernatural speculations (Putnam, $2). The book is a hard one to describe. It is not a descriptive treatise on the subject indicated by its title, for it does not even tell anywhere what the "monism of man" is. It can not be called a disputation, for it does not attempt to prove anything in particular. It is rather a pleasant, extended essay, in which a man versed in a scientific profession and well read in classic literature and religious lore has set down some things that he knows and others that he believes, together with many quotations from favorite authors, and his own reflections upon the material thus brought together.

From the University of far-away Tasmania comes, by way of an English printing office, an essay on Utility of Quaternions in Physics, written by A. McAulay, in competition for a prize offered by the University of Cambridge (Macmillan, $1.60). In a long and free-spoken preface the author states that the physical applications of quaternions are sadly neglected at Cambridge, in spite of Prof. Tait's powerful advocacy. He ranks himself as a disciple of Prof. Tait in promoting the study of this branch of mathematics, but feels compelled to differ from his master on certain points, some of which he sets forth in his preface. The divisions of physics to which he applies quaternions in this essay are elastic solids, electricity and magnetism, hydrodynamics, and the vortex atom theory. At the risk of being deemed a misdirected enthusiast he hopes for a "time when quaternions will appear in every physical text-book that assumes the knowledge of (say) elementary plane trigonometry."

In the Elements of Life Insurance, the author, Miles M. Dawson, has sought to give the reader a comprehensive and accurate conception of life insurance, without burdening his mind with needless technical terms; to write what will be most useful to beginners and so as to be intelligible to the general public mind. Besides the analysis of rates and reserves, the scope of the book covers the subject of contracts; their construction, application, nature, and legal effect. Insurance is defined as the equalization of fortune. By its provisions, a large number of men arrange to lose small sums in order that none of them may lose a great sum in a specified way. Thus it is the alliance of prudent men against misfortune. The book is published by the Independent Printing and Publishing Company, Chicago, at the price of two dollars.

The Outlines of Embryology of the Eye—the Cartwright Prize Essay for 1893—by Dr. Ward A. Holden, is the product of a study carried on at the New York Ophthalmic and Auric Institute, and is based upon the examination of a great number of specimens of eyes of chicks and pigs. Endeavoring to give a clear and comprehensive description of the development of the organ, the author has deemed it best to present first a brief and purely schematic sketch of the processes which take place, explaining them with diagrams, and next to give an accurate histological description of the various parts of the eye in their successive phases of development, illustrating these descriptions with careful drawings from actual preparations. (Published by G. P. Putnam's Sons. Price, 75 cents.)

Under the title Manual of Linguistics a great amount of material on the phonology of English and other languages has been brought together by John Clark, a master in the High School of Dundee (Putnam, $2). After an introductory chapter on the culture and original home of the Aryans, the sound relations in the Indo-European languages are considered at some length. From this subject the author passes to various modifications of vowels and consonants, such as assimilation, shortening, lengthening, prothesis, epenthesis, contraction, labialism, dentalism, rhotacism, reduplication, etc. The nearly related topics ablaut and accent are next considered. The operation of Grimm's law is then set forth, and the volume ends with two chapters on sound relations in Anglo-Saxon and in middle and modern English. The several laws and processes set forth in the volume are abundantly exemplified by illustrative words.