Popular Science Monthly/Volume 47/June 1895/Literary Notices
Degeneration. By Max Nordau. D. Appleton & Co. 1895. Price, $3.50.
Severe diseases require severe remedies, and the rapidly increasing tolerance of literary, artistic, dramatic, and musical works that have a tendency to apotheosize various vices and defects of the higher mental faculties, demands the trenchant criticism that this volume affords. Years ago, in the comic opera of Patience, Mr. Gilbert satirized the impression created by the aesthetic vagaries of certain contemporaries in the lines—
"If this young man understands these things that
are certainly too deep for me,
Why, what an exceedingly deep young man this
deep young man must be!"
And too often the self-proclaimed prophet of some new dispensation in art or letters is taken seriously by a number of persons; and worse, in consequence of causes familiar to those experienced in the treatment of nervous diseases, finds a number of imitators.
Dr. Nordau, who is a pupil of Lombroso, has in this volume applied to certain writers and artists the same rigid rules of psychical investigation that were used by the Italian savant in his investigations into the factors and features of the degeneration of the criminal classes. Pronounced as the antithesis may be in a comparison of two such groups, there are yet fundamental points of resemblance that are depicted in this volume.
With tremendous diligence the author has perused the works of Rosetti, Swinburne, Verlaine, Maeterlinck, Tolstoi, Wagner, Peladan, Rollinet, Baudelaire, Friedrich Nietzsche, Walt Whitman, Oscar Wilde, Ibsen, Zola, and many other more or less known authors and artists, and he furnishes numerous quotations from their works to support his estimate of their mental condition. The characteristics of degeneration and hysteria manifest themselves "in mysticism, which is an expression of the inaptitude for attention, for clear thought and control of the emotions, and has for its cause the weakness of the higher cerebral centers; in egomania, which is an effect of the faulty transmission by the sensory nerves, of obtuseness in the centers of perception, of aberration of instincts from a craving for sufficiently strong impressions, and of the great predominance of organic sensations over representative consciousness; and in false realism, which proceeds from confused aesthetic theories, and characterizes itself by pessimism and the irresistible tendency to licentious ideas, and the most vulgar and unclean modes of expression."
In the last analysis there is in the degenerate a brain incapable of normal working, and its aberrant functions are manifested in feebleness of will, inattention, a predominance of emotion, a lack of knowledge, an absence of sympathy or interest in the world and humanity, and decay of the notion of duty and morality.
The author is not a pessimist; he does not believe that the degenerates will have more than an ephemeral existence and a limited following; that, like the dancing mania of the middle ages, a number of persons may be participants, but the majority of the people will be unaffected; and that true art and literature will still live and have their being when the whim and caprice of the moment have, like the iridescent soap bubble, broken, leaving nothing but some soapy moisture.
The volume is very interesting, and, while the author often writes with a vehemence that seems too prejudiced to be the expression of sober judgment, his arraignment of the accused and his evidences of their culpability justify his stern indictment.
The book is a strong one, and it is likely to prove suggestive and helpful to many who may think that the so-called art and literature of the future, as expressed by certain mentally defective individuals of to-day, are worthy of their careful study and imitation.
The Making of the Body. By Mrs. S. A. Barnett. London and New York: Longmans, Green & Co. Pp. 288.
The method of this manual is entirely novel. It is the outcome of practical experience in an endeavor to interest untutored minds in physiology. The effort was so successful in an English school among the poor that children and adults became eager to learn about the mechanism of the body.
The circulation of the blood, breathing, digestion, and sensation are described as journeys made by the blood, air, food, sound, and light; all technical names are translated into everyday English: the peritoneum is the over-all coat; the thyroid, the shield-ring. The terms employed are very ingenious and readily remembered; the stories apt and generally well founded. One, however, betrays a hasty generalization an American girl burns her hands on a grate in England because in America they only use closed stoves!
Nevertheless, the book is an excellent one, and may be heartily recommended for home reading, as well as to teachers of elementary classes.
Mr. Herbert Spencer on the Land Question. A Correction of Current Misrepresentations of his Views. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 30. Price, 25 cents.
A profound misconception respecting the difference between Mr. Spencer's original view concerning landownership and that he now holds having been widely diffused, he has thought it desirable to dissipate this misconception by a simple statement of what the original view was and what the present view is. For this purpose, besides a brief general statement in a preface of what his original doctrine was and what his views are now, and of the extent to which they have been modified, he reprints in parallel columns, Chapter IX of Social Statics, published in 1851, embodying the first published expression of his views, and pertinent extracts from Justice, published in 1891, embodying his latest published expression of them. He originally contended, he says, that the land could not become individual property, but was the property of the community, and that this is in fact the current legal doctrine, as illustrated in the theory of eminent domain. This doctrine he continues to hold, and has emphasized it in Justice, and strengthened it by numerous illustrative facts. With this assertion of the claim of the community to the land is coupled that of the private owner for compensation for the additional value he has given it when the state asserts its right. He contemplated, however, that the exercise of its claim by the community, under the condition stated, would leave a balance of benefit to it. If this were not the case, although he held the doctrine still good in absolute equity, he would in practice forbear the exercise of the right. Of late years he has become satisfied that the burden of compensation would outweigh the benefit of possession, if the compensation were anything like equitable in amount; and has therefore come to the conclusion that the change from private tenure to public would be impolitic. Furthermore, it has become clear to him that the prevailing assumption that the existing landowners hold from those who first seized the land and misappropriated it is untrue, and he has pointed out that among the people who are supposed to be robbed exist in large measure those who are descendants of the robbers. Hence the anger fostered against landholders is largely misdirected. These original views, as well as the modifications of them, are not at variance with the opinions held by the landed classes in England, but are views which they have themselves publicly enunciated through certain representative members of their class. The selections in parallel columns of the present pamphlet—which were first published for the use of the English Land Restoration League—are followed by a postscript, in which Mr. Spencer shows from authentic statistics that land in England is not all held by "dukes, earls, and baronets," but that an immensely larger proportion of owners possess but moderate quantities, and that those who possess small quantities are a hundred times in number those who possess great quantities. If equity requires that the large holders shall be expropriated, the same rule must apply to the small ones—in the majority of cases wage-earners who have acquired their estates by hard work and self-denial in poverty. Does any one in his senses advocate this? Having made this demonstration, Mr. Spencer adds that the beliefs expressed in the essay—1, that a reversion to public landownership could not justly be effected without compensation to private owners; 2, that the making of compensation would bring more loss than gain to the community; 3, that the equitable adjustment of compensation would be extremely difficult; and, 4, that the administration of the land as public property by state officials would entail all the vices of officialism—by no means involve the belief that private landownership should continue without change. Immense estates should not be allowed to be held in permanency; but a fundamental change in land tenure is not required for remedying this evil. In England, abolition of primogeniture will do it. Recognizing the right of the state to restrain the use of land in ways at variance with public welfare, we may at the same time hold that there are cases in which it is both politic and practicable to exercise that right. The publication frees Mr. Spencer beyond all doubt from any possible charge of inconsistency between the views formerly published by him and those which he has more recently expressed.
Memoir of Sir Andrew Crombie Ramsay. By Sir Archibald Geikie, with Portraits. New York: Macmillan & Co. Pp. 397. Price, $4.
Sir Andrew Ramsay was one of the leaders in the geology of his time, and, by virtue of his pleasant and strong qualities, exercised a wide influence over his contemporaries. He joined the Geological Survey of the United Kingdom when it was still in its infancy, and remained on its staff during the whole of his active scientific career—a period of forty years. "So entirely," says Sir Archibald Geikie, "did he identify himself with the aims and work of the survey and so largely was he instrumental in their development, that the chronicle of his life is in a great measure the record also of the progress of that branch of the service. Recognizing this intimate relation, I have woven into my narrative such additional details as might perhaps serve to make the volume not only a personal biography, but an outline of the history of the Geological Survey of the United Kingdom." From the summary of Ramsay's work given by the author, it appears that his earliest and his latest labors—beginning with a pamphlet on the geology of Arrau, and ending with the second edition of a monograph on North Wales—were in structural geology. "Between these two limits he accomplished a large amount of investigation directed toward the elucidation of the geological structure of Britain." His two presidential addresses to the Geological Society mark a distinct epoch in stratigraphical work, in that in them he indicated the historical meaning of the imperfection of the geological record which had been pointed out by Darwin. His physiographical work was abundant, remarkably original, and important, and bore on denudation in general, the history of river valleys, and the results of the operations of ice. Connecting his stratigraphical with his physiographical researches was a series of papers discussing the former existence of continents or of terrestrial conditions, during-the deposition of the geological record. His principal contributions to the literature of the history of geology were two inaugural lectures at University College, and his address as President of Section C of the British Association of 1881, which embodied historical reviews. He was a thorough uniformitarian in his theories to the end. His literary work included criticisms and lively articles in the Saturday Review. A still wider view of the extent of his influence is afforded when it is recollected that for nearly thirty years he was a teacher of geology, that he was an able debater in the Geological Society and a brilliant lecturer, and that he had the practical training of men on his staff in the Geological Survey who have since become conspicuous in educational life.
The Evolution of the Massachusetts Public-School System. By George H. Martin. International Education Series. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 284. Price, $1.50.
Two very significant statements are made by the editor in his preface to this book. The inhabitant of Massachusetts receives, on an average, nearly seven years of schooling, while the citizen of the nation at large enjoys only four years and three tenths of such training. In the same State the average earnings apportioned to each man, woman, and child would be seventy-three cents per day; elsewhere in the United States this amount is represented by forty cents.
"There would seem to be some connection between these facts," warily observes Dr. Harris. Although the wealth-producing power may not represent the intellectual status of the individual, that it is proportional to the intelligence of a large community admits of scarcely a doubt, and for this the amount of schooling may stand as an exponent. Mr. Martin depicts the schools as passing through three stages of evolution. The earliest era, when the only object was to make a storehouse of the mind; the three Rs were deemed sufficient to fill it at an elementary dame-school; later the classics were added, and more recently grammar, geography, and the sciences. During this period the "child was to be held down and operated upon, or headed off when he obeyed an impulse of Nature." Secondly came the graded system, when the aim was to supply a measurable quantity of knowledge, to get per cents, and pass examinations. Thirdly emerged the modern school, which inquires into the child's nature and seeks to develop it. "Instead of viewing the new pupil as one more to be registered, put through geographies, arithmetics, and marked done, it recognizes an incipient man, and asks what the future may demand of him."
The new school is described as differing from the older in purpose and in spirit, studies, and methods of instruction. The work is so changed as to seem a revolution.
American Spiders and their Spinning Work. By Henry C. McCook, D. D. Vol. III. The Author, Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia. The set, $50.
Dr. McCook and all araneologists are to be congratulated on the completion of this able and conscientious work. And when we consider that this task has been accomplished in such odd hours and vacation times as a busy professional life affords, the fact that it has been completed seems little short of a marvel. The present volume contains six chapters similar to the contents of the two preceding volumes—i. e., dealing with various habits and activities of spiders. Among the topics treated in these chapters are the toilet making of the orb-weavers, the manner in which some of them burrow, their social habits, evidences of memory, feats of mimicry, the parasites that infest them or their cocoons, and a number of minor topics grouped under the head Biological Miscellany. Much of this material is supplementary to chapters in the two preceding volumes. Molting habits and the renewal of lost organs are considered at some length. Dr. McCook denies that the actions of spiders can be taken as indications of approaching weather changes, showing from his notes that the little weavers construct webs even that are destined to be destroyed within a few hours. He also puts on record some interesting superstitions regarding spiders, which need no refutation. Certain attempts to utilize spiders' silk commercially are recorded, but none of these have been economically successful. A second division of the volume consists of technical descriptions of genera and species of the orb-weavers, one hundred and twenty-three species being described. Following the index to the volume are twenty-eight colored plates, filled with figures of orb-weavers and of some of their organs, besides two plates of figures representing species of other aranead groups. There are also ninety-eight cuts in the text of the first portion of the volume. The present ascendency of that biology which occupies itself with examining microscopic portions of the dead bodies of animals seems to be decreasing the number of field naturalists who observe the phenomena and habits of living creatures. Let us hope that the latter side of zoölogy will not be too far neglected, and this handsome record of research seems to promise that it will not.
The Life and Writings of Rafinesque. By Richard E. Call. Louisville: John P. Morton & Co. Pp. 22*7. Price, $2.50.
In this sumptuous publication a much ridiculed and little understood naturalist is presented in the light afforded by a careful research. Besides an account of his life the volume contains a chapter on his personal appearance, with some discussion on the genuineness of the two portraits which are given in it. The part dealing with his scientific work tells of what he did in Sicily, in Lexington, Ky., and also takes up his investigations by subjects—conchology, ichthyology, botany, archæology, etc. A list of the medals, diplomas, and other honors conferred upon him, and of the genera and species of plants and animals named after him, is given. There are also a bibliography of writings by or about Rafinesque, numbering over four hundred titles, and a copy of his eccentric will. Pages from two of his works are given in facsimile.
Scientific French Reader. Edited by Alexander W. Herdler, of Princeton University. Boston: Ginn & Co. 1894.
For twenty years past the necessity of a good reading knowledge of French and German by students of technical branches, as well as of pure science, has been recognized in our colleges. Very little progress has been made, however, in the matter of providing proper introductory language lessons for such studies. The present book must now be added to the still too short a list of books available for this purpose.
There are many difficulties in the preparation of such a book; for not only is linguistic knowledge necessary, but also technical knowledge covering all subjects treated, otherwise a correct vocabulary can not be appended to the book. Mr. Herdler has had the assistance of several well-known teachers of science in the proper rendering of these technical French terms into English, which insures their correctness in the connection in which they are used in the text.
The matter in the book consists of well-selected short articles, increasing in difficulty with progress through the volume. It will be found of greatest use to engineering students, chemists, and electricians, as the application to practical life of scientifically constructed devices is mainly treated. It will probably be a long time before special students in the departments of astronomy, meteorology, geology, zoölogy, etc., will have prepared for them books of this class which will enable them to acquire in a few months a technical vocabulary which now requires years of reading in special science literature.
Common Sense applied to Woman Suffrage. By Mary Putnam-Jacobi, M. D. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. Pp. 236. Price, $1.
In this strong argument on the natural rights of women, Mrs. Dr. Jacobi has embodied the substance of what has been urged by past advocates of the "emancipation of woman," and by the leaders of the present movement, and has supplemented it with some forcible considerations of her own suggesting, which are commended to those who are interested in the subject. Of the author's ability to make the strongest presentation of the "woman" question, and of the worthiness of whatever she may have to say to be carefully and respectfully considered by candid men, there can be no question. A lady of high scientific attainments and of wide general culture, she has thought long and well on this subject and the others kindred to and connected with it. The address she made in favor of woman suffrage before the recent New York Constitutional Convention fell before an unsympathetic, timid audience largely governed by political exigencies; now she appeals to a different audience, which, though it may be unwilling, will not be afraid, if it sees fit, to move in the direction she wishes.
Missouri Geological Survey. Vols. IV and V. Paleontology of Missouri. By Charles Rollin Keyes, State Geologist. Jefferson City: Tribune Printing Company. Pp. 271 and 266, with 56 Plates.
This report includes the notes prepared by the former State Geologist for publication, embracing the results of the observations of himself and his assistants and correspondence, and the additional information that has been acquired under the present administration of the survey—the whole being carefully rewritten or revised. The material on-which it is based has been gathered by members of the survey or found in local cabinets, private collections, and the cabinets of colleges and public museums. The author aims to present, briefly, an index to the fossils of the State by means of which the forms can be recognized easily, with a bibliography of Missouri palæontology, a summary of what has so far been done in it, and an introduction to more comprehensive faunal studies, tending toward a solution of stratigraphical problems more or less obscure. As a rule, all the species described have passed under personal observation. The disposition to fabricate or imagine "new species" has been resolutely checked, and attention has been turned in preference to the discussion of the morphological relations and stratigraphical significance of the fossils. Brief nominal histories have been appended to the descriptions of many of the most important species, together with some of the most salient points brought out in the present investigation concerning the structural features of the various types. In illustration, the leading Missouri species of each genus have been figured, and also some of those forms heretofore described from the State, but never illustrated. Besides the consideration of the fossils, the stratigraphy of the State is described in an introductory chapter, and a geological map is furnished. In the present volumes animal remains are represented. The fossil plants are to be described hereafter. The work is thoroughly well done.
A History of the United States. By Allen C. Thomas, A. M., Professor of History in Haverford College, Pennsylvania. Boston: D. C. Heath & Co. Pp. 410 + 72. Price, $1.25.
This is a convenient and useful handbook of American history. The volume is profusely illustrated, including some excellent portraits of our distinguished men. Prof. Thomas has condensed within very narrow limits nearly all the essentials of our nation's story. His aim has been to muster the main facts, and impartially deal with events, the causes of which are briefly but clearly brought before the reader's mind. Though the details of great battles are omitted, the causes that led from time to time to hostilities are disclosed, and the best authorities are often cited.
A recent publication of the United States Department of Agriculture is a Monographic Revision of the Pocket Gophers, exclusive of the species of Thomomys, by Dr. C. Hart Merriam. It is a pamphlet of 258 octavo pages, illustrated with nineteen plates, four maps, and seventy-one figures in the text. Excepting part of the first chapter, less than twenty pages, it is composed of the most technical sort of biological material, absolutely unintelligible to ninety-nine per cent of the farmers for whose information it is ostensibly published. The author, who is Chief of the Division of Ornithology and Mammalogy in the department, explains its appearance in these words: "In preparing a bulletin on the economic relations of the pocket gophers it became necessary to determine the status and geographic distribution of the various forms. This study developed the fact that the group was sorely in need of technical revision. The present paper is the outgrowth of an attempt at such a revision. It has grown so far beyond the limits originally intended that a large genus (Thomomys) has been of necessity omitted and will form the subject of a subsequent paper." So it seems that another volume like this is threatened, and meanwhile the farmers must wait for what may be of some use to them—the economic account, which, the author tells us, "will appear as a separate bulletin prepared by my assistant." The biological information in the bulletin before us has its value for science, but it is an imposition to pay for its collection and publication with money that the people have devoted to the advancement of agriculture.
The first issue in the political series of the Bulletin of the University of Wisconsin is an examination of The Geographical Distribution of the Vote of the Thirteen States on the Federal Constitution, by Orin G. Libby. While State lines are used for convenience in pointing out the distribution of Federal and anti-Federal sentiment, attention is directed especially to those social and economic areas which have been the true units in political history. The monograph is accompanied by General Walker's map showing the distribution of the population of the United States in 1790, and a map showing the distribution of the vote on the Federal Constitution.
Parts II and III of Vol. XXVI, Proceedings of the Boston Society of Natural History, contain papers on Faceted Pebbles on Cape Cod, by Prof. W. M. Davis; Small Mammals from the New Hampshire Mountains, by Gerrit S. Miller, Jr.; Some Typical Eskers of Southern New England, by J. B. Woodworth; Spharagemon, a Study of the New England Species, by Albert P. Morse; Theories of Evolution, by Prof. Edward B. Poulton, of Oxford; and briefer communications from Profs. Harrison Allen, N. S. Shaler, F. W. Putnam, W. G. Farlow, and others. In the year 1893-'94 the society received by gift a large number of stuffed animals from the Boston Museum collection. Some of these had been formerly in the famous Peale Museum in Philadelphia. The work of a guide in explaining the society's collections to visitors was continued through the year by the liberality of a Boston lady. An arrangement was made with the Boston Normal School whereby the resources of the society were employed to aid in the training of teachers of science. Other evidences of activity are reported.
The numbers of the Journal of the College of Science, Imperial University, Japan, as they come to us, bear continuous evidence of the original work that is done in scientific investigation by Japanese students. The latest three are Vol. VII, Part II, On the After Shocks of Earthquakes, by F. Omori, a careful study, with elaborate tables and sixteen plates and charts; Vol. VIT, Part III, Mesozoic Plants from Kōzuke, Kii, Awa, and Tosa, by Matajiro Yokoyama, Professor of Paleontology, with ten plates; and Vol. VIII, Part I, Studies on the Ectoparasitic Trematodes of Japan, by Seitaro Goto, of the Science College, with twenty-nine plates. The last two papers include full and definite descriptions of species.
A curious insight is given into the mythologies and modes of thought of some of our Indian tribes by the study of Mr. J. Walter Fewkes of The Walpi Flute Observance. This primitive drama, as we gather from Mr. Fewkes's concluding paragraphs, is performed on alternate years with the "snake" ceremonials, to celebrate the coming, in the early times, of the Horn or Flute people to Walpi, where the Bear people and the Snake people were living, and their reception by them. The ceremony illustrates the permanence and the significance of the mythologies and the rituals of primitive peoples, which are incomprehensible to our ordinary knowledge. The ritual is not to these peoples, Mr. Fewkes says, a series of meaningless acts, performed haphazard and without unity, varying in successive performances, but is fixed by immutably prescribed laws which allow only limited variations. Throughout the Flute ceremony there is the same rigid adherence to prescribed usages which exists in other rites, and there is the same precision year after year in the sequence of the various episodes. The observance is celebrated by a special fraternity, of which, as well as of the ceremonies, carefully detailed descriptions are given.
In The World's Great Farm (Macmillan & Co., New York) an attempt is made by Selina Gay to set forth and illustrate the economy of Nature. The world and all that is upon it are regarded as a vast farm, its tillers and its crops; and the purpose of the book is to tell what these crops are and how they are grown. First is the tilling, which is done by the pioneer laborers, the gases of air and water breaking up the rocks; the soil-makers—cryptogamic vegetation of lichens and mosses pulverizing the rock fragments and preparing them for the more dainty vegetation; soil-carriers—the winds and the waters; the field laborers—burrowing animals, from the earthworm up; the office of water as a factor in vegetable growth, the roots and the food drawing from the soil; leaves absorbing nourishment from the air; the blossom and seed and the various agencies employed in the fertilization of flowers, and to secure the scattering of the seed; the chances of life of the plant and the way they are guarded; the friends and foes of the Nature farmer and the militia by which the foes are—kept down; and "Man's Work on the Farm" the purpose being kept in view throughout, as Prof. G. S. Boulger says in the preface, to give an account which, while simple enough to be understood by unscientific readers, and so accurate as to teach nothing that will afterward have to be unlearned, shall also be extremely attractive in the selection and marshaling of facts.
A very favorable impression is made upon us by the Popular Scientific Lectures of Prof. Ernst Mach, of the University of Prague, of which a translation authorized, revised, and commended by the author, by Thomas J. McCormack, is published by the Open Court Publishing Company, Chicago. The lectures were delivered between 1864 and 1894, at Prague and Gratz, and were intended to give the public an intelligent comprehension of the nature of scientific work in the lines covered by them, and enlist their sympathy with it. The most of them are very lucid explanations of facts and phenomena concerning which the people are inquiring, while the last four are of a more philosophical character, and deal principally with the nature and methods of scientific inquiry. The subjects are The Forms of Liquids, The Fibers of Corti, The Causes of Harmony, The Velocity of Light, Why has Man Two Eyes? Symmetry, The Fundamental Concepts of Electrostatics, The Principle of the Conservation of Energy, The Economical Nature of Physical Inquiry, Transformation and Adaptation in Scientific Thought, The Principle of Comparison in Physics, and Instruction in the Classics and the Mathematical Physical Sciences.
A discussion of much literary interest—and scientific, too, so far as it relates to the evolution, growth, and variations of popular tales—is given by Prof. Richard Jones, of Swarthmore College, in his book on The Growth of the Idyls of the King (J. B. Lippincott Company, Philadelphia). The effect of the study—especially of the Arthurian legends in their different versions—"is a disregard of the criticism that Lord Tennyson's ideal knight and blameless king is not the Arthur whom we know through Malory." Sir John Malory's Morte d'Arthur is a compilation from numerous legends in various languages. It does not form a consistent whole, and does not always present the most significant stories or the best versions. That Tennyson does not always agree with him means simply that he selected some other version than the one given by him, or exercised the poet's license of modifying the version to make it conform to his purpose. These views are brought out in the preliminary chapters of the book; and after this follows a minute criticism of the structure of Tennyson's group of poems, and a comparison of the editions from the earliest, showing by the successive changes in the text the gradual unfolding of his ideal.
The List of the Publications of the Bureau of Ethnology, compiled by Frederick Webb Hodge, with its index to authors and subjects, will be a valuable aid to students in this department. The Bureau has done most excellent work in a field where it was much needed, and at a time when it could be done more efficiently than ever afterward.
The Index to St. Nicholas, Vols. I to XXI, was composed by Mr. W. M. Griswold, an indexer well known by his other similar works, for the use of his children, aged eight and nine years. Any one who glances at it, the compiler says, "will see that few branches of knowledge suitable for children are umnentioned," while in some cases works are given which are models of what such should be.
In placing the book Central Station Bookkeeping and Suggested Forms before the electrical public, the author, Horatio A. Foster, has endeavored to show a classification of accounts and a system of reports for central light and power stations, such that the management may by their use know the full details of the business of distributing the electric current. It appears that the means of securing these data are very deficient, or neglected, at many of the smaller stations. The book contains diagrams for the organization of the staff of electrical central stations, the classification of accounts and reports, and includes sample forms for every department. It is devoted mainly to accounting departments of central stations, and outlines a scheme for their organization and routine which will enable the management to determine at any moment the condition of business and the unit cost of the generation and distribution of current. The forms were devised after an examination of several hundreds in practical use in many stations, and are intended to embody the best points of all. In an appendix is furnished a classification of accounts of electrical street railways, together with instructions, forms of books, etc., necessary to carry it out. (Published by the W. J. Johnston Company, limited, New York.)
The Ninth Annual Report of the Commissioner of Labor, Carroll D. Wright, relates entirely to Building and Loan Associations in the United States, including under that title all associations having the purpose indicated by it. Such associations have existed in this country since about 1840. Their growth has been very rapid since then, and their accumulated assets have increased to an enormous amount. As private corporations, doing a semi-banking business, conducted by men not trained as bankers, they offer a study in finance not afforded by any other institutions. England, France, and some other countries have kindred institutions, but nowhere have they grown to such vast proportions as in the United States. Five thousand eight hundred and thirty-eight associations are represented, in the reports of which five thousand five hundred and ninety-eight were local and two hundred and forty national. The total dues paid in on installment shares in force, plus the profits on the same, amount to $450,667,594. "A business represented by this great sum, conducted quietly, with little or no advertising, and, as stated, without the experienced banker in charge, shows that the American people, in their own ways, are quite competent to take care of their savings." Only thirty-five of the associations now in existence showed a net loss at the end of their last fiscal year, and this loss amounted to only $23,332. When an association disbands, no loss can occur, because its whole business consists of loans, mostly to their own shareholders. A disbanded association, therefore, simply returns to its members their own property. Full particulars are given of the associations by States and by individual associations.
A History of Higher Education in Iowa has been prepared by Prof. Leonard F. Parker, of Iowa College, as Circular of Information No. 1 7 of the United States Bureau of Education. There is much in the educational history of Iowa, as Commissioner Harris well says, which is instructive to all students and observers of educational progress, since within the limits of that State a noteworthy zeal has prevailed from the time of the earliest settlements in founding institutions of learning and in providing instruction for all classes of people. The narrative tells the story of the first schools in Iowa previous to 1838, Education during the Territorial Period, Early Education in the State, the Free-School System, Provisions for the Education of Teachers, the State Agricultural College, the State University, Private Secondary Schools, Denominational Colleges, Institutions no longer existing, the Higher Education of Women in Iowa, and Educational Auxiliaries.
In the Report on the Crustacea of the Order Stomatopoda (No. XXXII of the Scientific Results of Explorations by the United States Fish Commission Steamer Albatross) Dr. Robert P. Bigelow makes a classification of the Squilla family from a study of the specimens in the National Museum, the Fish Commission, and a private collection made by him in the Bimini Islands (Bahamas). These, he finds, represent thirty-four species distributed through five genera, of which fourteen are new. The collection of larvae was large, but unfortunately contained nothing like a complete series of stages of any one species. The changes of form between two stages are so great that almost no larva in the collection could be referred with certainly to its adult form.
In his paper on The Systematic Position of the Siphonaptera Prof. Alpheus S. Packard bases his opinions upon the work of Landois, Kraepelin, and Wagner, besides some work of his own. He believes that the fleas should be referred to an independent order, and not classed with the flies. He calls attention to the presence of a temporary larval structure in the dog flea (Pulex canis) that is, so far, unique among insects. This is an egg-shell burster. It is a thin vertical plate like the edge of a knife, situated on the median line, and so placed that the larva, by rubbing its head back and forth, would produce a slight split in the shell and cause it to burst asunder. In the larva just before hatching the plate is no more hard than the rest of the head; later it entirely disappears. While he places them nearer to the Diptera than to any other order, he calls attention to our very imperfect knowledge of their embryology, and states that the present assignment may be temporary.
From Volume XIII of the Transactions of the New York Academy of Sciences it appears that in the year ending in February, 1894, eighty-one papers had been presented before the academy. The departments of science most largely represented in these papers were zoölogy, astronomy, geology, and paleontology, in the order named. This volume contains the report of the committee on the Audubon monument, with the speech of Prof. Thomas Eggleston presenting the monument to the corporation of Trinity Church, that of Dr. Morgan Dix accepting it, and the address of Daniel G. Elliot on the life and services of Audubon. Among the more extended papers of the volume are Observations on the Geology and Botany of Martha's Vineyard, by Arthur Hollick; The Ore Deposits at Franklin Furnace and Ogdensburg, N. J., by J. F. Kemp; The Intrusive Rocks near St. John, N. B., by W. D. Matthew; The Geology of Essex and Willsboro Townships, Essex County, N. Y.; and Microscopic Organisms in the Clays of New York State, by Heinrich Hies. Several are illustrated with plates or cuts. Appended to the volume is a catalogue of the articles shown at the first annual reception and exhibit of recent progress in science held by the academy, March 12, 1894.
The Report of the Smithsonian Institution for 1892-'93 is a record of work of the usual character done in the institution and its several allied bureaus—the United States National Museum, Bureau of Ethnology, National Zoological Park, and Astro-Physical Observatory. In accordance with the custom of several years past, the progress of science during the year of the report is represented by a considerable number of papers, mostly reprinted or translated from scientific journals, but some appearing first here. The subjects thus represented include photography in colors and photography of moving objects, aërial navigation, the ice age, polar exploration, American bows and arrows, descriptions of biological and meteorological stations, and a biographical sketch of Henry Milne-Edwards.
The operations carried on under the direction of the United States Commissioner of Fish and Fisheries in 1891-'92, as set forth in his Report, comprise inquiries into the causes of the decrease of food fishes in the waters of the United States, the collecting of statistics and accounts of methods of the fisheries, culture of fish at twenty-two stations and their distribution to the number of 228,000,000 fry, 75,000,000 eggs, and 2,000,000 adults and yearlings. Preparations for the extensive exhibit at the World's Columbian Exposition of the following year were carried on. Appended to the Report are several papers, the most considerable of which is on the Parasites of Fishes, by R. R. Gurley. Some Notes on the Oyster Industry of New Jersey are furnished by Ansley Hall, and there is a bibliography on oysters, by C. H. Stevenson.
The large and handsomely printed volume numbered two, which has been issued by the Iowa Geological Survey, is a full account of the Coal Deposits of Iowa, by Charles R. Keyes. After a general description of the carboniferous basin of the Mississippi Valley, the geology of the Iowa coal region is described in more detail, and the lithology and stratigraphy of the coal measures in this area are successively set forth. The coal beds now operated throughout the State are then taken up by counties, after which the composition and properties of Iowa coals are stated, and some information on waste in coal mining and the extent of the coal industry in the State is given. The volume is illustrated with many maps, views, and diagrams.
From the Sixty-second Annual Report of the Perkins Institution, of Boston, it appears that the total number of blind persons in the school, kindergarten, and workshop for adults, including sixteen employees, was 237 in September, 1893, an increase of twenty-seven daring the preceding year. Music is so often a source of remunerative employment for the blind that this department receives special attention. There were three blind and deaf children—Edith Thomas, Willie Robin, and Tommy Stringer—in the school, and making more than satisfactory progress. Their portraits and special accounts of their school work are given. Ten or a dozen books were issued from the printing office in the course of the year. A second building for the kindergarten had been completed, and the number of pupils in that department had increased to sixty-four.