Popular Science Monthly/Volume 45/July 1894/Literary Notices
The Mummy. Chapters on Egyptian Funeral Archæology. By E. A. Wallis Budge. With Eighty-eight Illustrations. New York: Macmillan & Co. Pp. 404. Price, $3.25.
The author of this work is acting assistant keeper in the Department of Egyptian and Assyrian Antiquities in the British Museum. The matter of it was originally written to form the introduction to the catalogue of the Egyptian collection in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, and was intended to supply the information necessary for understanding the object and use of the antiquities described therein. It is hoped that it may likewise be of service to all persons interested in the antiquities of Egypt. It embodies the information which the experience gained from several years of service in the British Museum has shown to be the most needed by those who, though possessing no special knowledge of Egyptian antiquities, are yet greatly interested in them, or who have formed, or are about to form, Egyptian collections. Following up the idea that the mummy was the most important of all objects to the Egyptian, accounts are given of the various methods of embalming; of the amulets and other objects which formed the mummy's dress; of the various kinds of coffins and sarcophagi in which he was laid; and also of the most important classes of tombs hewn or built in different dynasties. These accounts are preceded by a satisfactory sketch of Egyptian history, with a list of the dynasties and of the cartouches of the principal kings, a list of the names, a chapter on Egyptian methods of writing, the Rosetta stone, etc., and are followed by descriptions of mummies, of animals, reptiles, birds, and fishes, and information concerning Egyptian months, Egyptian and Coptic numbers, and lists of common hieroglyphic characters and common determinatives. In a short space the book tells much about Egypt in a wholly acceptable way, and it may be regarded as one of the very best of the popular works on the subject.
The Journal of Physiology. Edited in Cooperation with Professors W. Rutherford, J. Burdon Sanderson, and E. A. Schafer, in England; H. P. Bowditch, H. Newell Martin, H. C. Wood, and H. H. Chittenden, in America; and T. F. A. Stuart, in Australia, by Michael Foster, M. D. Vols. XIV and XV. 1893. Cambridge Engraving Company, England. Price, $6 a volume.
This is the leading journal of original physiological research in the English language, and is devoted to the recording and illustration of the investigations of the most eminent experimental physiologists of English-speaking countries. The two volumes contain more than thirty articles, with full details and graphical records of experiments continued in series and their results, relating to the nerves and nervous action, the heart, circulation, muscular work, digestion, the kidneys, animal temperatures, the secretions, mechanical action of the organs, chemical changes in the body and in its secretions, etc., and the chemical effects of various agents, action of drugs, salts, and other substances on various organs and their work, the senses and sensation, and other bodily functions and processes. The journal is a work of immense value to students and all interested in investigations in this field of research, and in the application of their results to the promotion of the health and vigor of the body and the lengthening of life.
The Alchemical Essence and the Chemical Element: An Episode in the Quest of the Unchanging. By M. M. Pattison Muir. London and New York; Longmans, Green & Co. Pp. 94. Price, $1.60.
The essence in old-time alchemistry, when contrasted with the element of the modern cult, can scarcely fail to excite an interest bordering on romance while retaining bounds strictly scientific in their nature.
The terse and entirely explicit volume before us presents the acceptable feature of uniting more closely some turning points between our acquaintance with modern chemistry and the visionary ground occupied by our forefathers, who long sought the unity of Nature in the—as yet—unfound philosopher's stone. When Thomas Vaughan, under the nom de plume of Eugenius Philalethes, wrote in the seventeenth century that Nature did not move "by the theorie of men, but by their practice," he pointedly foreshadowed and it mayhap unconsciously prophesied the achievements of modern chemical science. In this, as in numerous other phenomena, an inexorable though unseen law seems to wait upon all sincere effort to unbosom the secrets of Nature. When the anxious alchemist of a bygone age immersed his bar of iron in a solution of bluestone and, obtaining a deposit of copper upon the iron surface, announced that he had transformed the latter into the former metal, he mistook a seeming for an absolute truth; or, when in boiling water he discovered a residue of earth, and declared that he had changed water into mud, he simply lacked the instrumental—means the balance—to verify a whole instead of pronouncing a half truth. By such an experimenter, strange occurrences were not patiently dealt with, and a discovery was labeled prior to its meaning being known. A lack of delicate philosophical instruments retarded the advances of the alchemist at every step, and that he made any progress at all was mainly due to his incessant day and midnight vigils. While the author of this entertaining volume records with care material facts governing ancient as well as modern chemistry, he admits the indefiniteness of the conception of unity in material phenomena, and intimates that, to at all come within reach of a definition of Nature's underlying essence, would be to know every detail of natural science, and indite a history of Nature itself. His essay is penned "in the hope" that such as exert their "wit and reason" regarding life's problems may help to solve Nature's questions and "those of her students who follow the quest of the unchanging."
Pain: Its Neuro-pathological, Diagnostic, Medico-legal, and Neuro-therapeutic Relations. Illustrated. By J. Leonard Corning, A. M., M. D. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Company. Pp. 328. Price, $1.75.
To advance in some degree "the cause" of medical science is the sincere desire of the author in placing in the hands of students and physicians the above work, which to all intents and purposes bears upon its face the insignia of much thought and labor. In no special branch of medical treatment is the practicing physician more frequently called upon to exercise his wits than where pain is concerned, and for its alleviation the accurate diagnosis needed.
The book is divided into two parts; the first embracing pain in its physiological, pathological, and clinical relations. These are again subdivided into a definition, conduction, and physiology of pain. In treating of the pathology of pain no effort is spared to render lucid neuritis, or inflammation of the nerves, multiple neuritis, chronic alcoholic neuritis, that of consecutive influenza, of beriberi, and the neuritis of leprosy. Under definite nerve areas, neuralgia is dealt with exhaustively and at length; also, rheumatic and gouty diatheses and the pains engendered thereby. Under Chapter VI, the diagnostic value of pain, as it deserves, receives that effective treatment so characteristic throughout the book of the author's predominant bent of mind.
Part II of the work takes up the special therapeutics of pain, and points to the importance of rest in the treatment of nervous symptoms engendered by prolonged and severe pain. Apart from the internal remedies directly or indirectly applicable in treating pain, the author proceeds to unfold his own methods in increasing the certainty and duration of several remedies and their action on the peripheral nerves, and goes on to expatiate upon the various surgical expedients not infrequently employed. The uses of compressed air in conjunction with remedies which tend to diminish the acuity of perception, including author's pain, come in for their quota of recorded observation, while prevention of relapse is noted fully and with precision. The closing pages supply some supplementary observations on torture and the infliction of pain as a judicial punishment during the middle ages in Europe.
Though cases that more properly belong to the domain of general surgery and medicine are not discussed by the author, the intricacy of the whole subject of pain is never lost sight of, and the vast array of pathological conditions treated assumes a character unquestionably of interest and high utility to the medical world.
A Student's Text-Book of Botany. By Sydney H. Vines. (First half.) New York: Macmillan & Co. Pp. 430. Price, $2.
This text-book has grown out of the author's labors in revising Prof. Prantl's Lehrbuch der Botanik, when the thought of extending the scope of that work was suggested. The extension went on till what is essentially a new and distinct work was produced. It deserves commendation for its thoroughness and the symmetry of its structure. The first part, now before us, is devoted to the exposition of morphology, a brief chapter on classification, and a description of the cryptogams. The province of morphology is defined to be "the study of the form of the body of plants, including the development of the body, the segmentation of the body into members, and the form and mutual relations of the members, as also the intimate structure (anatomy and histology of the body and its members in so far as structure throws light upon the morphology of any part of the body). It is an essentially comparative study." The two systems of classification—natural and artificial—having been distinguished, the natural system is defined as having for its object the classification of plants according to their fundamental relationships; and these being established once for all by Nature herself, it is not based on any arbitrary principle, but depends upon the state of our knowledge of these fundamental relationships. "These find their chief expression in the structure and other characteristics of the reproductive organs, as well as in the peculiarities of polymorphism presented by the life-history. This is more definitely true with regard to the definition of the larger groups of the vegetable kingdom; within these groups relationships may be exhibited sometimes in one way and sometimes in another, so that it is not possible to lay down any universal rules for determining close affinities. As the investigation of this subject is far from being complete, the natural system can not be regarded as being perfectly evolved; the various general sketches which have hitherto been given are therefore no more than approximations to the truth."
Man an Organic Community. By John H, King. London: Williams & Norgate. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. Two vols. Pp. 327328. Price, $4.50.
We have here an effective work involving issues of prime import, as "an exposition of the law that the human personality in all its phases of evolution, both co-ordinate and discordinate, is the multiple of many subpersonalities." In each successive chapter the reader will discover clear conceptions fairly elaborated, and designed to prove the initial allegation which the author superadds to a law already recognized in the domain of science treated. By progressive steps we are led to the pivotal idea through a radius of reasonings, from the simpler to the more complex forms constituting the human personality. Through this process the attempt is apparent to keep in a measure abreast of modern scientific research, and supply a truer interpretation of the meaning of human life. This, in turn, necessarily involves an ethical significance, not so much aimed at by the author as connoted by the reader in his perusal. Throughout the whole field of view selected, suggestions occur which mark a decided modification in, if not an entire elimination of, the popularly accepted idea of man's individual existence in duo. Withal, facts and ideas are so grouped as not to identify polemics with the object to be attained.
Among the more familiar doctrines treated of is that the real relations of things are not necessarily elucidated by, nor do they at all times express, their apparent conditions, more particularly so in the domain of natural phenomena. The belief in the homogeneity of man's personality received its primal shock and break when the differentiation of body and soul became an authorized concept in the past. Then, for the first, we discover a distinct personality expressed as attaching to the two entities. Organism and spirit had their distinguishing features and their separate functions, whether in union or disjoined. As with the mental attributes and moral affinities, any one of which might undergo change or be absolutely lost—as in numerous cases of insanity—so, though not in so marked a degree, a process distinct in character, supervenes the necessary changes which accompany growth outputs in the human organism, either markingto senility, or the progressive steps to maturity. The human system, therefore, is no longer the self-contained individual, but each group of living activities within it has its special range of duties and relations, even down to the germ with its individualized potencies, which we discover only narrowly removed from the plasma. Hence we find in the human organic co-ordination, "not only the ruling and working subpersonalities of an individual character," but "the associate actions of combined and representative personalities the same as in a state; and, as in a state one personality may be attached to another as a check, so diverse organic attributes check other organic attributes and regulate the general equipoise by their varied interactions. As with the organic, so with the mental attributes."
Starting with the assumption that coordination, or growth combination, constitutes the governing principle of the human personality differentiated under distinct subpersonalities, the author proceeds to show that these latter in their content are but aggregates of a still lower class of differentiations. From the nomad to the man, this principle characterizes all growths. Further, while life exists these organic co-ordinations may separate or blend, and tissues are found to degenerate or advance, to be repellent or to severally work in unison. In each and every occurring and recurring complexity, however, the earlier differentiations which marked individual changes are never wholly forfeited; in brief, the evolutionary principle remains intact.
In Book I of the first volume we have inclusive the nature and origin of the human personality, the phylogenic stages of growth, the phylogenic sexual forms, and the co-ordination of faculties and functions. The forms of mental and organic co-ordination are covered by the second book under three classes and several chapters, all of which are written with a succinctness that sensibly diminishes the reader's labor, and include under "normal forms of co-ordination" the active wakeful state, quiescent repose, the state of reverie, somnambulism, and the induced mental and physical states. We gather from the "forms of co-ordinate variation" the law of variability in human personality, variations resulting from transference and variations through growth. From a review of the abnormal discordinate states, including physical abnormals and discordinatious mental and organic, we are introduced to the second volume. This deals mainly with reversions to the lower civilized states, the semicivilized and barbaric states, the state of savages, and finally animal consciousness. Here the third and last book induces reflection on the internal and external relations of man, the modes of self-government in the co-ordinate personality, which betimes becomes alternate and multiple, and the power of self and external suggestion. In a lucid appendix, wherein the unsolved problems of life are dealt with, we are led to a clearer apprehension of what we do not, rather than what we do know concerning the insoluble. This, in the light of certain—to compound a term—scio-dogmatic allegations extant, is at least refreshing, if not entirely novel.
Legends of the Micmacs. By the Rev. Silas Tertius Rand. Wellesley Philological Publications. New York: Longmans, Green & Co. Pp. 452.
These legends, which are published under the direction of the Department of Comparative Philology of Wellesley College, were collected by Dr. Rand during the forty years of his service as a missionary among the Nova Scotia Indians from whom they are derived. The stories were related to him in Micmac, by the native Indians, and were then translated and written down by him in English. The original manuscript is a volume of nine hundred quarto pages. A few of the legends have already been published—in the Dominion Monthly and the American Antiquarian; and some have been used and cited from in Mr. Leland's Algonkin Legends and in Mr. William Elder's article in the North American Review on the Aborigines of Nova Scotia. Dr. Rand is quoted as saying, concerning the origin of these stories and their relationship to European tales and myths: "I have never found more than five or six Indians who could relate these queer stories; and most if not all of these are now gone. Who their original author was, or how old they are, we have no means of knowing. Some of them are evidently of modern date, because they refer to events that have taken place since the advent of the whites. Some of them are so similar to some of the old European 'fairy tales' and 'wizard stories' in our English story books as to lead to the impression that they are really one and the same." Mr. Leland has noticed some curious coincidences between the Norse myths and those of the Wabanaki or northeastern Algonkins, to which branch the Micmacs belong, and inclines toward an explanation of the resemblances by the theory of direct transmission. Dr. Rand's biographer gives him the credit of being the discoverer of Glooscap, a mythological character which Mr. Leland calls "the most Aryan-like of any ever evolved from a savage mind," and with having saved from oblivion the mythological lore of a people that are losing with every generation their hold on customs and manners. Prof. Horsford, of Wellesley College, took a great interest in the publication of this work; and the editing of it for publication has been done by Helen L. Webster.
Alternating Currents: An Analytical and Graphical Treatment for Students and Engineers. By Frederick Bedell, Ph. D., and Albert Cushing Crehore, Ph. D. New York: The W. J. Johnson Company (Limited), 41 Park Row. Pp. 325.
As precluding the necessity for further search after a certain class of handbooks on alternating currents the present work, designed to answer any query from the simplest to the most complex, will amply repay a careful perusal. A thousand and one interesting comparisons recur within its pages, and it abounds with easy solutions to technical problems. It is a consistent application of the modern method of solving things easily, and many of our educational series are wisely adopting a similar course. As the authors suggest, the principles underlying the subject need clear elucidation, more particularly as incessant advances in the utilization of alternating currents and the apparatus employed are, and with pronounced effect, hourly coming to the front. The comparative newness of the theory regarding these currents has attracted the attention of electrical engineers from all quarters, so that any problem one might select has already been fully treated by known writers. Still, nearly the whole bulk of solutions extant, apply in most instances to special cases. From this fact has arisen the desire to have the subject treated generally.
The work is divided into two parts. The first is entirely analytical in its nature, and the second is mainly graphical. Circuits involving resistance and self-induction are minutely considered, and the elementary principles establishing the equation of energy are dealt with as founded upon the experiments of Faraday, Coulomb, Ohm, and Joule. From this it is manifest that no previous knowledge of electricity or magnetism is necessary in order to grasp the solutions given. Throughout the second part the same order prevails as obtains in the first, and the treatment of problems concerning simple circuits embracing self-induction and resistance is extended to the like, as involve combination circuits and their phenomena. Then such problems are treated as include simple and combination circuits having capacity and resistance, but void of self-induction. Also, such circuits as contain capacity, resistance, and self-induction, together with combined and parallel circuits.
The present is a second edition of the work, on which much care has been bestowed with the view of eliminating errors that unavoidably crept into the first issue. Toward the close of the first part some intensely interesting and instructive paragraphs occur on wave propagation in closed circuits, showing the vanishing attitude of positive and negative waves and the resulting effect, the potential zero at middle point in the cable, and proving that the expression for potential may be simplified if the cable's length should happen to be a multiple of wave lengths. The structure of the volume is admirably suited to students, as any problem needed may be readily found.
Art in Theory: An Introduction to the Study of Comparative Æsthetics. By George Lansing Raymond, L. H. D. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. Pp. 266, Price, $1.75.
The essential idea, if not the sole aim of this volume, is the application of the term representative to all art forms, whether of word or deed; the representativeness to include more than the limitations hitherto placed upon it by certain English art critics, and such as make a further distinction between what they term presentative and representative art. Indeed, the author's effort is entirely legitimate, and scores an advance upon the many imitative if not conventional so-called art criticisms extant. It is invariably refreshing to encounter any original subtlety of sense attaching to a new or augmenting an old idea, and in Prof. Raymond's book the true art of judging "Art in Theory" is not lacking. As the author intimates, works of art are the products which reveal the methods of the artist, whether he desires to represent a thought or a thing—to produce effects of any kind whatsoever. A courageous and justifiable departure on the part of Prof. Raymond is, where he breaks away from the historico-critical method of regarding art and its influence as an æsthetic factor. Duly crediting historic criticism, however, for its inestimable services in all other departments, he goes on to show that as the arts are affected by laws of development, more especially the higher arts, these latter are very often distinctly noc expressive of the spirit of the age. Precisely, and for the unfortunate reason that conventionalism controls them. The historian claims what is not true when he alleges that all art is deserving of study. To the artist as an artist it is not. That art which has attained a high level of excellence is of interest to him, and very often to him alone. Hence, the great artists' methods are not infrequently misinterpreted in their day. The æsthetic power that distinguished the work of an Aristotle, a Confucius, an Angelo, or Shakespeare had not its immediate influence for the now manifest reason that they were moved as much, at least, by the spirit Interpreting within them as by the conventionalities that made demands from without.
Whether we contemplate one or more of the twenty brilliant chapters within this volume, involving either the significance of form in art, classicism and romanticism, the art-impulse, taste, theories concerning beauty, or any one of the many features so pregnant with suggestion we feel assured that readers will acknowledge their introduction to an author not bound by mental servitude.
An Examination of Weismannism. By G. J. Romanes, M. A., LL. D., F. R. S. Chicago: The Open Court Publishing Co. Pp. 221. Price, $1.
The object of this volume is tersely stated in the author's words—to separate the grain of good science from the chaff of bad speculation. This winnowing process, when closely followed, proves to be highly interesting. Dr. Romanes gauges his separator to meet Weismann's great doctrines of the perpetual continuity and unalterable stability of germ-plasm, and when at last, with relentless logic, he has sifted out every extraneous speculation, and holds these theories in his grasp to demolish them, the wise and wary Weismann announces that upon further investigation he believes that germ-plasm is universally unstable!
When this recantation occurred, Dr. Romanes considered for a while whether he should cancel the first two chapters of this book already prepared for publication. He concluded, however, to let them stand, justly observing: "It is open to question whether an author of any kind should suffer an elaborate system of theories to be published and translated at the very time when he is himself engaged in producing another work showing the untenable character of their basal premises. . . . At the least he should have added notes to his Polar Bodies and Amphimixis to let the reader know his change of doctrine."
It might be supposed when these leading features were stricken out from Prof. Weismann's theories of descent and evolution, the remainder would be characterless. But the fanciful mechanism of heredity was retained, the difference in mortality between the Metazoa and Protozoa was emphasized, and the instability of germ-plasm was confined to the least possible degree, still making amphimixis the main cause of variation. This disturbed Dr. Romanes more than all else. He chafed at "a germ-plasm that is both stable and unstable at the same time," and writes, "It is this half-turn to which I object, as unwarranted in logic and opposed to fact."
The subject of the inheritance of acquired characters, associated with the name of Weismann, is not taken up by the author of this dissertation, except incidentally, but is reserved for a future volume, when it will be discussed as a matter of fact. The major part of the book is devoted to a consideration of Weismann's theories in comparison with the hypotheses of Darwin and Galton.
According to Darwin the substance of heredity, gemmules, may be formed anew in each generation; is discontinuous, and proceeds from the somatic to the germ cells, i. e., centripetally, whence the inheritance of acquired characters is habitual.
With Galton the substance of heredity, stirp, is mainly continuous; proceeds from germ cells outward to somatic cells, or centrifugally. Acquired characters are rarely inherited.
Weismann taught that the substance of heredity, germ plasm, was perpetually continuous; proceeded from germ cells to somatic cells, centrifugally. Acquired characters can not be inherited.
With the modifications recently made, this theory substantially coincides with Galton's. Originally, Weismann held that the sphere of germ-plasm was entirely restricted and localized; that there was no reciprocal action between it and body substance; but afterward, upon being confronted with the botanic phenomena involved in cutting, budding, and graft-hybridization, he allowed that germplasm might be found in the nuclei of somatic cells, diffused in the cellular tissue of plants.
Wrapped up also in the tenet of unalterable stability was the origin of hereditary individual variation, which was thus referred to the Protozoa, amphimixis being the only possible cause of congenital variation among multicellular organisms.
In the germ-plasm these dogmas were molted as follows: "The cause of hereditary variation must lie deeper than this. It must be due to the direct effects of external influence on the biophores and determinants; . . . the origin of a variation is equally independent of selection and amphimixis, and is due to the constant occurrence of slight inequalities of nutrition in the germ-plasm."
These sentences, which undo so much of Weismann's distinctive theories, were, according to Dr. Romanes, unnoticed by most of his critics. It maybe added that the differentiation of doctrine is thus reduced to centripetal heredity, Galton and Weismann; centrifugal heredity, Darwin and Spencer.
Weismann's mechanism is extremely elaborate, including nine circles of germ-plasm: molecules, biophores, determinants, ids, idants, idioplasm, somatic idioplasm, morphoplasm, and apical plasm. Of these hypothetical divisions Dr. Romanes would adopt the ids and determinants, since it is a group of cells rather than a single cell that varies in descent.
Two appendices are added to the book. The first contains an argument as to whether a centrifugal theory, germ-plasm, is more conceivable than a centripetal one, pangenesis. Dr. Romanes concludes that one is no more imaginable than the other; "that, whatever the mechanism of heredity may be, it is at once so minute and complex that its action is inconceivable." Appendix II is devoted to a discussion of telegony, much of which has appeared in this magazine. Dr. Romanes believes in centripetal heredity, and therefore cannot agree with Mr. Spencer, whose theory is of the centrifugal order.
Electric Waves: Being Researches on the Propagation of Electric Action with Finite Velocity through Space. By Dr. Heinrich Hertz. London and New York: Macmillan & Co. Pp. xv 278. Price, $2.50.
The impossibility of reviewing in brief a work of such transcendent importance to electrical science as this volume undoubtedly is, will become apparent to the reader when we declare that the progress—exclusive of the author's own discoveries—so concisely recounted, not only embraces the names and experiments of and from Newton and Bernoulli and their day, down through a line of seventy-five prominent men of genius, but also includes with Faraday and Ampère—of late years—Helmholtz, Lodge, Maxwell, Siemens, and Sir W. Thomson in our own day. The volume before us is the aijthorized English translation from the German work, by Prof. D. E. Jones, B. Sc, and includes an able preface by Lord Kelvin, President of the Royal Society.
Dr. Hertz was primarily induced to carry out the experiments elucidated in this volume through the proffered prize in 1879 of the Berlin Academy of Science, for a solution of the problem to establish by experiments "any relation between electromagnetic forces and the dielectric polarization of insulators," which simply meant that a force electromagnetic in itself might be exerted in non-conductors by polarizations, or that electromagnetic induction is the cause of the polarization of a non-conductor. The attention of the professor was first drawn to the problem by Herr von Helmholtz, who promised the assistance of the Physical Institute in Berlin if Dr. Hertz determined upon making the research and necessary experimentation. After many failures, and his first abandonment of the solution, he finally gives to the world the impressive deductions of the original papers—now in the form of fourteen chapters—contributed to Wiedemann's Annalen. These are, in the present volume, supplemented by an ample introduction and various explanatory notes of vast import. Proceeding from the introduction, which emphasizes the experimental and theoretical phases of the subject, we gather from chapter to chapter the crowning results embodied in such phenomena as rapid electric oscillations, the effect of ultraviolet light upon the electric discharge, the action of rectilinear electric oscillations upon a neighboring circuit, the finite velocity of propagation of electromagnetic actions, electric radiation, the fundamental equations of electromagnetics for bodies at rest, and other all-important subdivisions. The work in the aggregate represents the fervid expression of a scientific explorer, whose heart was indubitably in his work, and who now presents us at minimum cost a wealth of labor and a store of new knowledge.
Romance of the Insect World. By L. N. Badenoch. New York: Macmillan & Co. Pp. 341. Price, $1.25.
This volume contains one of the best efforts that have been made recently to put scientific facts into an attractive form. If one can be interested at all in the wonderful ways of insects, this book will spur to better acquaintance. Valuable data have been culled from every quarter, not neglecting the investigations of our American naturalists. Dr. McCook, Mrs. Treat, and the Peckhams. These are grouped under the four topics of metamorphoses of insects, their food, home-building, and defenses.
The transformations of insects, although seemingly abrupt transitions, are but progressive stages toward maturity, mainly due to the nature of an insect's skin, which does not permit enlargement of form.
The bill of fare relished by insects exceeds in variety that demanded by the larger members of the animal kingdom. Anything from a nettle to a fungus may be acceptable, horn, cork, or grease being the favored diet of some species. There is also a long list of insects that are parasitic, and others who breed their own cattle.
Among those who build hermit homes are described the mining, carpenter, and mason bees; the wasps, making nests of clay; the gall-makers; the lictor moths that carry their curious dwellings about with them, and the ingenious spiders who build trapdoors and turrets. Social homes are those of the mason, carpenter, and leaf-cutting ants; of the wasps manufacturing paper and cardboard, including the Nectarinia that construct globular nests with a spiral flight of stairs.
Thousands of insects possess no other defense than their protective resemblances. Other classes decoy their prey by simulating some alluring object. Under the head of variation of color some account is given of the experiments in regard to larval susceptibility. Brightly colored insects find protection in a nauseous taste or smell, irritating hairs or spines, the power to discharge a noxious fluid or inflict a sting. Insects otherwise defenseless escape their foes by mimicry of the behavior and appearance of distasteful species. This curious phase of insect life is considered at some length in the closing chapter.
The book is well illustrated, and contains both glossary and index.
Darwin and Hegel: with Other Philosophical Studies. By David G. Ritchie, M. A. London: Swan, Sonnenschein & Co. New York: Macmillan & Co. Pp. 285. Price, $1.50.
The results of the reasonings submitted in the nine essays constituting this volume may be regarded as having arisen from a judicious survey of the branches of philosophy treated. That on Darwin and Hegel, as the author explains, has been selected as the title of the work, because it emphasizes more particularly the especial point of view, or basic relations which form a juncture in the criticisms under consideration. This is certainly the pivotal essay as tending to reconcile a measured acceptance of the "general principles" arising out of Kantian criticism which governs that idealist philosophy originating with Plato and Aristotle, with an acceptation in the fullest of the intellectual advances made by, residing in, and betimes overlying the historical method of treating institutions and ideas; as well as the theory of natural selection and its logical outcome.
The papers now published in bulk originally appeared in Mind, are recorded in the Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, and other periodicals.
Regard this book in whatever light acknowledged scientific data may shed, evidence is not lacking of Mr. Ritchie's logical acumen, linked with a genuine spirit of inquiry. In the general presentation of the author's position, these essays, if only cursorily read, might seem totally isolated, whereas a careful perusal reveals a well connected thought undercurrent. The true worth of the volume is best attested by the number of considerations posited in the form of queries, not a few of which are solved outright in Mr. Ritchie's own way, while others remain to be determined by the reader or the future philosopher. Besides the main essay, forming the title, we have one on Origin and Validity, which involves a briefer paper on Heredity as a Factor in Knowledge. The others following are. What is Reality? On Plato's Phædo; What are Economic Laws? Locke's Theory of Property; The Social Contract Theory; On the Conception of Sovereignty, and the Rights of Minorities.
In his analysis of the philosophies of Darwin and Hegel, as applied in their social and scientific bearings, the author intimates that while materialism and idealism are ordinarily referred to as philosophically antagonistic, he nevertheless endeavors to prove that a certain "form of idealism" is not at all incompatible with that monism of materialistic teaching which has nowadays become "the working hypothesis of every scientific explorer." To Mr. Ritchie the monism of materialism alone seems false when posited as an absolute philosophy of the universe. From this he is forced to infer that any such doctrine will necessarily put out of sight conditions of knowledge which true philosophy must not ignore, though the special sciences may. In the paper on Origin and Validity as applied to philosophy, the cords that bind a certain class of popular dogmas presumed to determine real worth Mr. Ritchie severs with relentless logic, and then proceeds with marked caution to distinguish between the philosophical problem and that of psychology and history. Dilating upon what he considers most permanent in Kant's Critical Philosophy, he proposes to examine the relation existing between speculative metaphysics and Kant's theory of knowledge, and supplies not a few illustrations of the import attaching to the distinguishment in logic of questions of origin and validity. The difference between reality as understood in ordinary belief, and as the term is applied to science, is very definitely dealt with in the essay on What is Reality? also the query as to whether our feelings are more than our thoughts, and if space is actually occupied by the real. On the Phædo of Plato, the most interesting of the critical examinations apply to the distinction that ought to obtain between Plato's teachings as understood by himself, and as they are subsequently developed and interpreted by Aristotle. Comparing the arguments of the Phædrus with those of the Phædo, some technical points arise in the mind which Mr. Ritchie deems worthy of especial comment. Some striking objections to the position of Economics considered in its relation to the sciences are concisely recounted, and in Locke's Theory—property—the author suggests an interesting study on the theories of Hobbes and Locke in the light of events current in their day.
When the work is considered as a factor in modern research, each page and paragraph may be regarded as a brief historical and critical key to a few of the most striking questions engaging students of evolutionary philosophy.
Dictionary of the Active Principles of Plants; Alkaloids; Bitter Principles; Glucosides: Their Sources, Nature, and Chemical Characteristics, with Tabular Summary, Classification of Reactions, and Full Botanical and General Indexes. By Charles E. Sohn, F. I. C, F. C. S. London: Ballière, Tindall & Cox. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Company, 1894. Pp. vii- 194. Price, $3.
The present work treats of nearly six hundred alkaloids, glucosides, and bitter principles, and it has been prepared in order that the details relating to these substances, now more or less scattered through chemical literature, should be so tabulated that not only a given attribute of any substance shall be readily found, but that there shall be information indicating wherein such a substance differs from, or resembles, another of its class.
The work is arranged in three parts: The first groups together the constituents of one plant or of a number of botanically or chemically allied plants, following as far as possible an alphabetical order. The second part consists of a tabular summary designed for ready reference as well as for contrasting one compound with another for analytical purposes. The third part is a classification of reactions for the special use of analysts.
There is a complete botanical as well as a general index to the volume. It is likely to prove a convenient work for the pharmacologist as well as the chemist.
A Treatise on Elementary Hydrostatics has been prepared by John A. Greaves (Macmillan & Co., New York, $1.10) with the purpose of treating the subject as fully as possible without using the calculus; but alternative proofs have been given where the calculus enables us either to obtain the results more easily or to express them more concisely. Having shown that solids may be classified according to their behavior under the action of forces, the author deduces the definition of a fluid from the characteristic behavior of all substances which we recognize as fluids. The special chapter headings are the Properties of Fluids, General Theories relating to Pressure, Center of Pressure, Floating Bodies, The Determination of Specific Gravity, Gases, Hydrostatic Machines, and Capillarity. In the last chapter it is shown from experiments that the energy of a material system depends partly on the extent of the surfaces separating the different substances. On the assumption of the existence of this surface energy, several well-known capillary phenomena are deduced.
For some time past it has seemed to G. A. T. Middleton that a concise work upon land surveying, in which modern instruments and modern methods of working were described, would be welcomed by many. The result has been the production of a small volume on Surveying and Surveying Instruments (Macmillan & Co., New York, $1.25), the substance of which has already appeared in a technical journal. It includes chapters on Surveys with Chain only. Obstructions in Chain-line and Right-angle Instruments, The Uses of the Level, Various Forms of Level and their Adjustments, The Uses of Anglemeasuring Instruments, The Theodolite and other Angle-measuring Instruments, and Instruments for ascertaining Distances.
Twin manuals on Heat and Light have been prepared for the Cambridge Natural Science Series (Macmillan & Co., New York, $1 each), by R. T Glazebrook as elementary text-books, theoretical and practical, for the purpose of serving as aids in teaching by experiments that may be performed by the pupils themselves. Most of the experiments described have been in use for some time as a practical course for students in the Cavendish Laboratory. The rest of the two books contain explanations of the theory of the experiments and accounts of the deductions from them, which have formed the substance of the author's lectures to his class.
The general purpose sought by Henry Wood in preparing the Political Economy of Natural Law (Lee & Shepard, Boston, $1.25) was to outline a political economy which is natural and practical rather than artificial and theoretical. While independent of professional methods, it aims to be usefully suggestive to the popular mind. The present volume, though substantially a new work, may be regarded as a development from a small book entitled Natural Law in the Business World, published in 1887. A portion of the original matter in that book has been retained, somewhat changed in form. No attempt is made to make people content with things as they are, but to turn the search for improvement in a promising direction. We are glad to see that the author sets himself squarely in opposition to the fallacy that the interest of labor is naturally antagonistic to other social elements, which he thinks justly has done much harm.
After the Congress of Mathematics, held in Chicago, in August, 1893, a colloquium on Mathematics was held by Prof. Felix Klein, of the University of Göttingen, with such other members of the congress as chose to participate, at the Northwestern University, Evanston. During these colloquia Prof. Klein delivered daily lectures, the substance of which was taken down and prepared for publication by Alexander Ziwet. These lectures are now published as a single volume of Lectures on Mathematics by Macmillan & Co., New York ($1.50). Three of these lectures relate to the work of the mathematicians Clebsch and Sophus Lie; the others are on The Real Shape of Algebraic Curves and Surfaces, Theory of Functions and Geometry, The Mathematical Character of Space Intuition and the Relation of Pure Mathematics to the Natural Sciences, The Transcendency of the Numbers e and ir, Ideal Numbers, The Solution of Higher Algebraic Equations, Some Recent Advances in Hyperelliptic and Abelian Functions, The Most Recent Researches in Non-Euclidean Geometry, The Study of Mathematics at Göttingen, and The Development of Mathematics at the German Universities.
Mr. Charles H. Clark has prepared his book on Practical Methods in Microscopy (D. C. Heath & Co., Boston, $1.60) in view of his observation that in most of the excellent current books on the microscope too much is assumed to be known by the pupil, or is left to be filled in by an instructor. None of them, he says, gives to the private worker in simple and concise language detailed directions for the many processes that he must learn in order to make practical use of the microscope. The present book is the outgrowth of the author's experience in the use of the instrument in the branches of scientific study pursued in the secondary schools. So much of the mechanical construction of the microscope is given as seems absolutely essential to an intelligent understanding of the instrument. The theory of polarized light has been somewhat fully considered.
The peculiar features of the Practical Business Bookkeeping by Double Entry (D. C. Heath & Co., Boston, $1.55), as set forth by the author, Manson Seavy, are classification of the subjects treated into parts, each forming by itself an independent whole, with subdivisions; full and systematic treatment, with illustrations of recounts; omission of discussion of theory; the acceptance of the forms universally adopted by the best business men and accountants in the treatment of business transactions; full discussion of bills receivable and bills payable; and the original, simple, and intelligible rules given for closing a ledger, which have stood the test of many years with classes of young students. The work is supplemented by another. The Manual of Business Transactions, which contains transactions only, in the describing of which the student must exercise his own judgment, and thus acquire proficiency in the application of principles.