Popular Science Monthly/Volume 5/October 1874/Literary Notices


The Science of Law. By Sheldon Amos, M.A., Professor of Jurisprudence in University College, London. International Scientific Series, No. X. 417 pp. Price $1.50.

Prof. Amos has written a book which will prove peculiarly acceptable at the present time; for, although discussions in respect to the application of the scientific method to social affairs are becoming commonplace, there is, nevertheless, a profound interest in the general question, and there is certainly a strong desire to know what can be done by that method in a field which is at once so practical and so unpromising as that of law. Whatever may be said about it, it is an undeniable fact that science has effected a foothold and begun to make itself at home in social inquiries, and it is certain not to go backward in the future. Moreover, in no region of thought have greater changes already occurred in the modes of inquiry than in the study of society. The old conceptions of history as the exponent of social life and progress are declining, and in their place we see steadily growing the conception of society as a sphere of phenomena in definite relations, to be analyzed, described, and classified, in the same way as any other department of Nature. Facts are to be observed and generalized, uniformities traced, and inductions established, not exact, of course, as in the exact sciences, but with the utmost degree of accuracy that the case admits, until our knowledge of the subject shall be reduced to scientific order. The group of social phenomena that are termed legal affords no exception to this tendency. Jurisprudence, indeed, has not formerly been wanting in its scientific form; in fact, it could not be systematically dealt with at all without involving the rudiments of a scientific method; but later investigations have tended increasingly to show how arbitrary and insufficient these methods were. The work of Prof. Amos is at the same time a landmark of progress and a reëxposition of legal facts and principles in the direction which is certain to be pursued in the future.

The two English writers, leaving out Bentham, whose labors have done most in developing the science of law, are Austin and Maine. Though both expositors of the same subject, they worked in entirely different ways. Austin, after describing the nature and province of law, examined and analyzed the fundamental conceptions which are common to all legal systems, and deduced from such analysis the principles of logical classification. In accepted language Austin occupied himself with the philosophy of law. On the other hand, Maine takes legal institutions as they are and have been, and traces them back to their earliest forms. He brings into full view the order of evolution and the influences which determined the course and progress of legal ideas. These two methods, the historical and analytical, are not opposed to each other as competitors, one of which must prevail. They really complement each other; the fruits of both are needed; they run into each other at every point. In our opinion, there is still another line of inquiry which must be taken up to complete the explanation of legal phenomena. Laws are made to effect definite purposes; they are the means by which certain actions and relations of mankind are regulated. Law-making is surrounded with the most difficult problems, and has for its only guide considerations educed from experience and the constitution of human nature and society. These purposes and, to a certain extent, these problems, the student of law must investigate; to stand outside, refusing to touch them, invites fatal criticism. We should say, then, that the scientific treatment of law includes the analysis and classification of legal conceptions; inquiry into the origin and evolution of legal institutions; and the theory of legislation. Prof. Amos adopts this view, and it colors every chapter of his work. He has dared to be comprehensive, and so has given us a treatise which will have a permanent value. Every department of law is explored in the directions indicated, and with all the fullness that can be expected in a popular book. The author travels over a wide field; and he is a guide that turns the attention of his readers to every part, pointing out the most important features with unusual skill and exactness.

Such being the general plan of the work, the author commences the treatment of the subject by devoting the first three chapters to certain preliminary matters relating to the recent history and present condition of the subject, the province and limits of the science of law, and an analysis of the relations of law and morality. In the following chapters we have an account of the growth of law, and this statement is exceedingly interesting. The steps in the evolution are distinctly marked, the manner in which the changes were effected are clearly traced, and the sources whence materials were drawn for the constant process of improvement are pointed out. The latest and best-credited speculations on the origin of law, customs, equity, and methods of legislation, are also carefully presented. The sixth chapter is an analysis of primary legal terms, such as "person," "thing," "right," "duty," "act," "event," "intention," etc., all of which have complex meanings in jurisprudence. Separate chapters are given to such subjects as contracts, ownership, crimes, procedure, international law, and codification; and these are all treated with admirable clearness.

This little book deserves to be widely welcomed by the reading public. The names are few, in the list of great writers belonging either to this country or England, who have made contributions of any weight to legal sicence; Prof. Amos comes forward to do what he may toward supplying this deficiency, and he has proved himself equal to the task. He has produced a work on the science of law which will not only have its interest for the legal profession, but will have a greater interest beyond that profession. It has not been written for the specialist, but for general readers, and conveys in a popular form a kind of knowledge which has never before been reduced to convenient shape for general acquisition. And in this country especially, where everybody is or ought to be more or less concerned in the work of law-making, and where principles are required for guidance in the discharge of this duty, a work which strips the subject of its arbitrary and local features, and develops its universal and scientific aspect, should be widely welcomed and carefully studied.

It is proper to remark in this place that Prof. Amos has undertaken a formidable task in first attempting so great a novelty as to educe the general principles of the science of law, and then to present them in a compendious form adapted to all classes of intelligent readers. It was impossible that a pioneer work of this sort, dealing with subjects which have been habitually regarded from other points of view, should not be very tempting to critics who are ever on the lookout for something to slash; and we note that some of the English periodicals are very free in their strictures upon the professor's book. But, although finding fault with some of its minor points, its main characteristics have not been assailed, and the practical value of the treatise is conceded in all quarters. It supplies an urgent and an undoubted want, and will be a valuable addition to the "International Series" for which it was prepared.J. G. M.

The Relations of Christian Educators to the Modern Phases of Science. By Daniel S. Martin, A. M., Professor of Geology and Natural History in Rutgers Female College. From the Proceedings of the University Convocation, held at Albany, 1873.

We have read this address with much interest, as it comes from a thinker who views the subject from both its sides—that of a thorough mastery of the modern problems of science, and that of the most stringent orthodoxy. He therefore not only recognizes "the fact of a long and lamentable controversy between Christian and scientific modes of thought," but he sees that both parties are at fault in provoking and maintaining it. On the scientific side, the causes of alienation are assumed to be—1. A "disposition to exclude the idea of God, which has appeared so strangely in the writings of scientific and philosophical students," and which he is unable to explain except on the hypothesis "that the whole race is in some way morally perverted and alienated from God and all true excellence;" 2. "Apart from an absolute and intentional advocacy of atheistical ideas, there is, on the part of many scientific men, a carelessness, or even a hostility of expression toward religious truth which awakens deep distrust;" 3. The perversions and misrepresentations of pretenders to science who assume its name to assail religion.

On the religious side, the causes of conflict pointed out are: "1. The absorbing claims and responsibilities of the ministerial calling, and the overshadowing weight of great moral themes; 2. A lingering half-doubt as to the legitimacy of the spirit of universal investigation; and, 3. A want of sympathy and intercourse with men of scientific pursuits." To these is added the want of a proper scientific education on the part of religious students, and to this the writer adds: "One of the last and most important points worthy of especial mention, as a cause of difficulty and alienation, is the harsh and captious mode of speech employed by many religious and other critics toward the views of men of science. How freely are such terms as 'infidel,' 'materialist,' 'unbeliever,' etc., applied to men who have really neither made nor intended any unkind allusion to religious men or religious truth, but whose discoveries have led them to the presentation of views which, marking an advance in scientific conceptions, involve, perhaps, some changes in the outward form of conceiving certain scriptural statements! Instead of calm and fearless inquiry, they are met with stern and positive denunciation. Instead of looking to see what new and valuable expansion of even our scriptural conceptions maybe found, many religious men at once raise the cry of infidelity, and force the unhappy investigator of Nature into a position of hostility which he never designed to assume. I myself was never more surprised than on finding the magnificent generalization of the unity and convertibility of material forces assailed on charges of this kind."

The Philosophy of Spiritualism, and the Treatment of Mediomania. Two Lectures. By Frederic R. Marvin, M. D. New York: Asa K. Butts & Co. 12mo, 63 pp. Price, $1.00.

The well-known doctrine of the correlation and equivalence of forces is here called in to account for the phenomena of spiritualism. Assuming that thought is the utilization by the brain of a force correlative and interchangeable with the other forces of the universe, it follows that the force thus utilized may be converted into other forms of force, and thereby made to move a table, insensibly communicate the thoughts of one person to another, and do many other seemingly inexplicable things. In this light a table, dancing over the floor by itself, and spelling out marvelous communications, is a very natural performance. It is the result of a train of forces set in motion by the brain of the medium, consciously or unconsciously, usually the latter. Thoughts long forgotten by a spectator, but still unconsciously present in his mind, may be unconsciously communicated to the medium, and by him revealed.

Mediomania is regarded as a species of insanity allied to hysteria, chorea, etc. It is produced generally by derangement of the sexual organs. Like other disorders, it is susceptible of treatment and cure. The book is interesting, and its conclusions are in accordance with the existing tendencies of scientific thought.

Manual of Geology: Treating of the Principles of the Science, with Special Reference to American Geological History. By James D. Dana. Second edition, with over 1,100 Figures, and a Chart of the World. 828 pages. Price, $5.00. New York: Ivison, Blakeman, Taylor & Co. 1874.

The first edition of this valuable work and standard text-book of American geology was published in 1862. It is now revised, much extended, and brought down to the present date, by incorporating the results arrived at by the most eminent investigators in various departments, among whom acknowledgments are made to Meek, Marsh, Worthen, Lesquereux, Hall, Newberry, Winchell, Gilbert, Wheeler, Collett, Knapp, Broadhead, Dawson, Billings, Johnson, Verrill, Hayden, Holmes, Gardner, Hawes, and Bradley. From such a wide range of contributions to so progressive a science as geology, the task of revision was most laborious, but it has been very thoroughly performed by the author, so that his work stands alone as an exposition of the present state, both of the general science of geology and its American applications. Nor is it merely a résumé of the latest facts; they have all been incorporated into the structure of the work, and, by contributing to the further advancement of the science, they give to the present volume greater unity and completeness than were possible in the first edition; for with the increase of knowledge the science has been perfected. Professor Dana recognizes the advances that have been made in elucidating the progress of life upon the globe, and gives in his adherence to the great doctrine of evolution, although entertaining speculations of his own in regard to the mode of its working. He admits that "the evolution of the system of life went forward through the derivation of species from species according to natural methods not yet clearly understood, and with few occasions for supernatural intervention." The modifications in the new edition which have reference to the doctrine of evolution are very significant.

The Ship of Fools. Translated by Alexander Barclay. 2 vols. Edinburgh: William Patterson. New York: Appletons. 1874. Price, $25.00.

This curious old book was written by Sebastian Brandt, a German ecclesiastic, two years after the discovery of America. It is a popular poetical satire, directed against the vices and follies of the times just before the Protestant Reformation; but the sorts of people that provoked Brandt to ply his satirical lash are not without representatives in our own day; and hence, as a book of instruction, the "Ship of Fools" is by no means out of date. Soon after its publication it was translated into Latin, Dutch, Low German, and French; and in 1509 it was rendered into English by Alexander Barclay. The work now possesses mainly a philological and bibliographical interest, and has been expensively reproduced in exact facsimile, in type, text, and illustrations, of the original edition. The English version is rather an adaptation of the original to English modes of life than a mere translation. It is well observed in the introduction: "Barclay's 'Ship of Fools' is not only important as a picture of the English life and popular feeling of his time; it is, both in style and vocabulary, a most valuable and remarkable monument of the English language. Written midway between Chaucer and Spenser, it is infinitely more easy to read than either." The language is strongly Saxon. Of the original work it is said that, "for upward of a century it was, in Germany, a book of the people in the noblest and widest sense of the word; and it was assumed to be so familiar to all classes that, even during Brandt's lifetime, the German preacher, Gailer von Kaiserberg, went so far as to deliver public lectures from the pulpit on his friend's poem, as if it had been a scriptural text."

The Psychological and Medico-Legal Journal. New Series, No. 1. July, 1874. Conducted by William A. Hammond, M. D., assisted by T. M. B. Cross, M. D. $5.00 per annum. New York: F. W. Christern.

This is a continuation, in a new form, of Dr. Hammond's Quarterly Journal of Psychological Medicine, and it will probably take a more popular shape in its new phase of development. The leading article of this number is a complete report of the chief editor's address before the Neurological Society, on the "Effects of Alcohol on the Nervous System." It details the results of many experiments made by Dr. Hammond upon himself, to test the physiological influence of various forms of alcohol, and is an interesting and instructive contribution to the literature of the subject. The discussion which followed the address, by various physicians, is given; and there are several important notices and reviews of works upon psychological and medico-legal questions. The periodical is at present a monthly, but this is, perhaps, provisional. It is well printed, and has a neat and attractive aspect.

United States Commission of Fish and Fisheries. Part I. Report on the Condition of the Sea-Fisheries of the South Coast of New England in 1871 and 1872. By Spencer F. Baird, Commissioner. With Supplementary Papers. Washington: Government Printing-Office, 1873.

For many years, in this country and Great Britain, both popular and scientific opinions have been much vexed by the question whether the great harvest of the sea was not in danger of very serious diminution. It seemed to be generally thought, those only objecting who were engaged in such matters, that nets, wears, pounds, etc., were fast exterminating our food-fisheries. It was even argued by many fishermen that, when the hook and line only were used, they fared much better, in the long-run, than they have done since the pursuit has enlisted capital, and brought into requisition, like other departments of industry, the most effective methods. It was certainly true that, of some species, the diminution had become so serious, that what was once a cheap food had become an expensive luxury; and, in respect to others, the supply was so precarious, that the prices were always good, and sometimes oppressively high. In this state of things the fishermen made their appeal to legislation, and the legislators in turn referred the whole matter to the men of science. We remember an old Professor of Hermeneutics, who said in his manual that Science had its apostles as well as the Gospel. The sentiment gave offense to many of his co-religionists, and his publishers asked to be allowed to take out the objectionable sentence. The professor firmly refused: "For," as he said to us afterward, "my regard for truth would not permit it." The United States ordered a commission to attend to this matter. No salary is provided, and no perquisites are possible. Can the men be found who will speak with the force of authority, and without the inducement of hire? With Spencer F. Baird to lead, a noble band of workers take up the cause—Baird and Gill, the ichthyologists; Dr. Farlow, the algologist; Profs. Verrill and Smith, of Yale College, the one so famous on the polyps, and the other on the crustacea; Mr. Emerton and Prof. Morse, noted specialists in the invertebrata—and there were chemists and meteorologists also. And all without fee or hope of reward, beyond the consciousness of the great good that must ensue from the accumulation and distribution of trustworthy knowledge on the great question of conserving the food-fishes. It became necessary to search old, musty records of the Puritan days, in order to know what its supply was in times gone—the migrations of fish, their food, the actual climate of the waters they frequent, and where they are scarce, and their food. Hence came deep-sea dredgings, and thermometric soundings, and explorations of sea-bottoms, and the chemical condition of the waters in different places and at different depths, etc., etc. The results appear in part in this thick volume. Besides a large amount of work in their best vein, Profs. Baird and Gill have given catalogues of the fishes, and Verrill and Smith of the invertebrates. The work of the former gentlemen is yet incomplete, and another year must continue the publication. That of Verrill and Smith has a sort of completeness, and it is well that this part is republished; and, as it is accompanied by many illustrations, it is to the student of these forms invaluable.

Essays and Addresses, by Professors and Lecturers of Owens College. Manchester. London: Macmillan & Co. 560 pages. 8vo. Price, $5.00.

This volume is intended to commemorate the opening of the new buildings of the Owens College, which occurred on October 7, 1873. This college was founded in 1851, by a bequest of John Owens, a merchant of Manchester. In 1871 it was reconstituted and incorporated by act of Parliament. A sketch of its origin and progress is given in the "Opening Address" by the Duke of Devonshire, its president.

In the address "On Some Relations of Culture to Practical Life," Prof. J. G. Greenwood, the principal of the college, enters the controversy between the classical and scientific methods of education, and endeavors to stand upon middle ground. Instead of a principally classical curriculum, or the reverse, he would have one which embraces letters to cultivate the taste, mathematics to discipline the reason, "and some branch of physical study" to develop the powers of observation and inductive reasoning.

The lecture on "Solar Physics" is an interesting summary of our knowledge regarding the appearance of the sun, his atmospheric changes, his meteorological connection with the planets, and the connection between his magnetic changes and auroral displays.

"Primeval Vegetation in Relation to Natural Selection and Evolution" is a criticism, by Prof. W. C. Williamson, of those doctrines in the light of apparently contradictory facts furnished by the vegetation of the Cretaceous and Tertiary epochs. These facts are, that a great variety of forms appear to spring suddenly into existence, during those epochs, without the existence, in preceding epochs, of other forms from which they could have descended; and the presence of more highly-organized forms than we are led to look for on the grounds of either doctrine. The issue is made in a special, not a general sense. The general fact of evolution is taken for granted, while the special fact, that the implied variations of species are endless, is called in question. The position assumed is that such variations are limited.

In "Some Historical Results of the Science of Language," Prof. A. S. Wilkins draws a very entertaining picture of the condition, customs, and manners, of the prehistoric Aryan people, from glimpses afforded by the implications of the words they had in use; his object being to show what light has been thrown upon the distant past by the study of philology.

Among the remaining essays, "Original Research as a Means of Education," "The Distance of the Sun from the Earth," "The Limits of our Knowledge of the Earth," "The Use of Steam," "Science and Medicine," "Provençal Poetry in Ancient and Modern Times," "The Judicature Act of 1873, in its Relation to the History of the Judicial System of England," and "The Peace of Europe," will prove of interest to the general reader.

Report on the Geological Survey of the State of Iowa to the Thirteenth General Assembly, January, 1870; containing Results of Examinations and Observations made within the Years 1866 to 1869. By Charles A. White, M. D. 2 vols, imperial octavo, pages 391 and 435. Price $10.00. Des Moines, Iowa: Mills & Co.

The first four chapters of this work are devoted to the physical geography of the State, which is admirably presented. In the first of these the author considers the surface features of Iowa, and gives in a chart five profiles across the State, showing elevations above low water in the Mississippi at Keokuk. From these it appears that the highest point in the State is but a little over 1,200 feet above the lowest, and that these two points are nearly 300 miles apart. The drainage of the State consists of two systems of rivers, an eastern and a western system, emptying, the former into the Mississippi, and the latter into the Missouri. As there are no mountains, the rivers constitute the most conspicuous feature in the physical geography of the State, and all its irregularities of surface are due almost solely to erosion by streams. The inconsiderable lakes of Iowa the author divides into two classes, viz., Drift Lakes, those whose beds consist of depressions in the drift, dating from the glacial epoch, and Alluvial Lakes, formed by the action of rivers. In the second chapter we have a discussion of the origin of the drift, in which the evidences of its glacial origin are set forth with a degree of clearness which is truly admirable. The two remaining chapters of this first part are devoted to the consideration of soils and climate. The author offers no opinion as to the origin of the prairies, but he holds "without the least hesitation that the real cause of their present existence in Iowa is the prevalence of the annual fires. If these had been prevented fifty years ago, Iowa would now be a timbered instead of a prairie State."

In Part II., General Geology, the author considers, among other points, the question of practical coal-deposits, and is confident that coal may be sought for over the whole of Southwestern Iowa, with reasonable hope of finding plentiful supplies at available depths. The present known coal-area of the State is about 7,000 square miles. The existence of large quantities of good peat has also been fully demonstrated. Explorations for mineral oil or the precious metals in any part of the State are almost certain to end in failure.

In Part III. of the first volume, and Part I. of the second, those portions of the State which have been examined in this survey are, as far as practicable, subdivided into regions that have common geographical characters, for the purpose of facilitating their description. A general account of each region is followed by separate and more detailed descriptions of every county within it, so far as they have been examined. Finally, Part II. has four chapters on mineralogy, lithology, and chemistry. But space would fail us to signalize all the excellences of this work, which has the rare merit of being truly readable for the unprofessional and unscientific man. As regards the mechanical style of the work, it is in all respects admirable. The paper is of the best quality, the type large and clear, the proof-reader's duty faithfully done, and the woodcuts, charts, and plates, equal to the best. We would call special attention to the "Geological Map-Model" of the whole State. This consists of a map of Iowa in six sheets, whereof the lowest represents the Lower Silurian formation, underlying the entire State; over this the Upper Silurian, which covers all the foregoing except the extreme northeast corner; then the Devonian, which retires still farther back from the northeast corner; then in succession the sub-Carboniferous, the Lower and Middle Coal-Measures, the Upper Coal-Measures, and the Cretaceous.

A Plain Exposition of the Theory and Practice of Life Assurance, with a Brief Sketch of its History. By J. H. Van Amringe, Professor of Mathematics, Columbia College, New York City. New York: Charles A. Kittle, 765 Sixth Avenue. 1874. 8vo, pp. 61.

Life insurance is "a subject of which, though some of the details may be complicated, the first principles are singularly plain." So wrote De Morgan, thirty-six years ago; a period within which there have been created in America seventy life-insurance companies now existing, the details of whose business are before us; of whose policies about 917,000 are now in force, insuring about $2,331,000,000, with a yearly income exceeding $125,000,000, and holding assets amounting to $375,000,000. These enormous sums are the insurances, and yearly and accumulated payments, in behalf of beneficiaries, who doubtless exceed 3,000,000 in number; and of fully nineteen-twentieths of these interested persons it is safe to say that they know nothing of the "first principles," so "singularly plain," of which De Morgan spoke, but of which he said, "nothing but indifference can prevent the public from becoming well acquainted with."

Of publications professing to popularize ideas about life insurance there are enough and a surfeit; but, the greater part of them being openly written in advocacy of some particular company, they are regarded by most people as advertisements, to be hastily read and carelessly cast aside. It seems, therefore, that, for an authoritative exposition of the principles and practices of the business, the public will regard the more such a presentation of the subject as has now been made of it by Prof. Van Amringe, who, from his position, will not be suspected of writing in the interest of any company or class of companies.

In his preface the author says: "The object of this pamphlet is to dispel the apparent mystery which envelops assurance—to give the general reader a clear and concise explanation of the principles on which it is founded, and their application in business. Purely technical discussion has been avoided, and the necessary calculations have been made in as plain English as possible. A simple explanation has been given of the several kinds of companies and their management; of the mode of obtaining a policy, and the conditions upon which it is issued; of the manner of securing the amount due under a policy when it shall become a claim; of the various kinds of policies issued; of the construction and use of mortality tables; of net premium, expenses, and loading; of reserve for reinsurance, lapse and surrender of policies; of surplus, its distribution and modes of application; of government protection of policy-holders and supervision of companies. An outline sketch of the history of life assurance, particularly in the United States, has been added."

In the accomplishment of his task, Prof. Van Amringe has been, in our judgment, very successful; a large amount of information has been condensed into moderate space, and at the same time clearly set forth, while there is no attempt at mere display of learning or of research; though the treatise is the result of a good deal of both. The work is, as a whole, so well done that we omit any mention of the two or three minor points we had marked for criticism; excepting this one which the professor can readily amend in his next edition. Life assurance is scarcely known in this country. Life insurance is well known, and is the subject which Prof. Van Amringe has treated. The use of the word insurance is all but universal among American insurance men; and the distinction made in the use of the term, in the foot-note to page five of the pamphlet, is merely one of Babbage's crotchets.

We agree with President Barnard in saying that the general circulation of Prof. Van Amringe's pamphlet will "do much to inspire confidence among the people in the wisdom and safety of this mode" (life insurance) "of providing against the uncertainties of the future."

Statistical Atlas of the United States. Part III. Vital Statistics. By Francis A. Walker.

This is the first published installment of a series of maps and charts to comprise a "Statistical Atlas of the United States," designed to represent to the eye: 1. The physical features of the country; 2. The constituent elements and growth of population; 3. The vital statistics. The first and second parts will be published shortly. The third part, which is before us, comprises six maps and twelve charts. The maps, by variety of coloring, show the distribution of the statistical facts over the United States; while the charts, by a system of projected lines and shading, elaborate the details of the general idea, showing the facts as presented by States, sex, race, and age. For example: the first map shows the predomination of sex. Areas in which females predominate are left uncolored, while the remaining areas are colored deeply in proportion as the excess of males increases. The accompanying charts comprise a series of projections formed on the following principle; A vertical line, one inch long, is divided by horizontal lines into eight parts, representing as many decades. The angle to the left of the vertical line is supposed to represent males, and that to the right, females; and the shading of either angle indicates the predomination of the sex it stands for. Figures attached to the ends of the horizontal lines indicate by thousandths the number of individuals in each decade of life. The lowest horizontal line represents the first decade, and the length of each varies with the number of individuals in the decade it represents. In this way is shown the proportion between males and females in the aggregate population, the white, the colored, the foreign born, etc., in the United States as a whole, and in severalty. The birth-rate, and the death-rate from consumption, malarial diseases, intestinal diseases, and fevers other than malarial, are represented in like manner. The statistics of blindness, deaf-mutism, insanity, and idiocy, are shown in charts only. An explanatory text, to accompany the maps, will soon be issued.

Building, Construction Timber, and Brick. By R. Scott Burn. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. 2 vols. 16mo, 135 pp. each. Price 75 cents per vol.

These little volumes aim at explanation of the technical terms used in building, and description of the parts they designate, entirely avoiding the larger subject of the principles upon which the art of building rests; or, more definitely, they explain what any part of a building is without telling how the building, as a whole, is constructed. The first takes up timber construction "as exemplified in the framing of floors, partitions, and roofs, explains the terms and describes the parts, and proceeds in the same manner with the subject as exemplified in doors, windows and internal fittings of houses," and with the lead and iron work connected therewith. The second similarly deals with the employment of brick, stone, slates, tile, etc., in building.

Each volume is accompanied by another volume of corresponding size, containing plates illustrative of the text.

Inorganic Chemistry. By Dr. W. B. Kemshead, F. R. A. S., F. G. S. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. 187 pp., 16mo. Price, 75 cents.

The aim of this book is the expression of primary principles, so as to be intelligible to beginners, while also serving as a text-book for more advanced students; and it answers this purpose very well. It begins by defining inorganic chemistry, enumerating the elements, stating the laws of affinity and combination and the principles of chemical nomenclature, and concludes with a description of the most important elements, and the combinations into which they enter.

Alcohol; its Combinations, Adulterations, and Physical Effects. By Colonel J. G. Dudley. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. 68 pages. 25 cents.

This useful pamphlet is a popular restatement of the chief facts and arguments derived from science, upon which the opponents of alcoholic beverages rest their case. For his motto, Colonel Dudley quotes the pithy observation of Dr. Willard Parker that "the laws of health are the laws of God, and as binding on man as the Decalogue;" and he then proceeds to show how the laws of health are violated by the use of spirituous drinks. The author does not profess to have made any new contributions to the question, but only to present the opinions of eminent authorities, who have given great attention to the subject. His pages present many startling facts suited to awaken serious reflection on the part of those who are in danger from the use of alcoholic beverages, but the freshest portion of the statement is his exposé of the outrageous system of cheating practised by the dealers in spirits. Of all the frauds of commerce, according to this writer, none will for a moment bear comparison with the adulterations and sophistications of intoxicating liquors. He gives recipes enough for the manufacture of all kinds of choice liquors to start a manufacturer in business, and shows, by the cheapness of the material used, how immensely profitable such a business must be. To the rising generation, who cannot have the benefit of the teachings of the old temperance campaign, such works as this of Colonel Dudley will prove valuable, and its wide circulation among them is to be strongly commended.

Epidemic Delusions. By Frederic R. Marvin, M. D. New York: Asa K. Butts & Co. 28 pp., 12mo.

In a lecture before the Liberal Club of New York City, the author endeavored to point out the causes of popular delusion in general. The lecture ia here produced in book-form. Inherited tendencies to passion and ignorance in the masses, automatic action, sympathy, and the desire to imitate, are assigned as the causes. The cultivation of a healthy public sentiment is regarded as the only cure.

A Record of Experiments showing the Character and Position of Neutral Axes. A Paper read before the American Society of Civil Engineers, by Louis Nickerson, C. E.

This paper records a series of experiments undertaken to ascertain the character and position of neutral axes (unstrained parts) in beams and columns under pressure, and attempts to establish, as the result of such experiments, "that the neutral axis is a flexible line truly parallel to the top and bottom sides of the rectangular beam, and passing through the centres of gravity of its sections only when the load is evenly distributed from end to end; . . . but that, when there is a local pressure, the neutral axis is more or less governed in its direction and form by the strain passing from the point of local pressure to the point of support."

Papers chiefly Anatomical. Read before the American Association for the Advancement of Science, August, 1873, by Burt G. Wilder, M. D.

These are: Discussions of the Outer Cerebral Fissures of Mammalia, especially the Carnivora; Cerebral Variation in Domestic Dogs; Lateral Asymmetry in the Brain of a Double Human Monster, and Papillary Representation of two Arms in the Same; Habits and Parasites of Epeira Riparia; Need of a Uniform Position for Anatomical Figures; Lateral Position of the Vent in Amphioxus and in Certain Batrachian Larvæ; Composition of the Carpus in Dogs; Present Aspect of the Question of Intermembral Homologies; Variation in the Condition of the Sense-Organs in Fœtal Pigs of the Same Litter; Pectoral Muscles of Mammalia, and Variation of the same in Domestic Dogs. The papers are illustrated by numerous plates.

The Mechanical Properties of Materials of Construction. Read before the American Society of Civil Engineers, by Prof. R. H. Thurston.

This is an attempt to formulate methods for determining the homogeneousness, elasticity, and cohesive power, of metallic substances, as well as the effects produced in them by shocks or blows, strains, and variations of temperature.

Bulletin of the Cornell University. Vol. i., Numbers 1 and 2.

Number 1 gives some account of the Morgan Expeditions under Ch. Fred Hartt to the Amazonas country in 1870-'71, and describes the geographical, topographical, and geological features of the Lower Tapajos, while Number 2 describes the Carboniferous Brachiopoda of Itaituba, on the river Tapajos.

Assaying by the Spectroscope.—This is a paper detailing experiments made in the United States Mint at Philadelphia, by Alexander E. Outerbridge, Jr., with a view of ascertaining the possibility of determining the value of metals by the spectroscope. The conclusion arrived at is, that assaying by this means is impracticable.

Transmission of Consumption. Read before the Maine Medical Association, June, 1874, by A. C. Hamlin, M. D.

The view taken is, that, by observance of natural law and judicious selection in marriage, the ravages of this disease may be lessened; and the principal conclusions reached are, that persons of consumptive habits should not intermarry, and that consumptive mothers should not suckle their infants.

Contributions to the Geology and Physical Geography of the Lower Amazonas, by Ch. Fred Hartt; and The Devonian Brachiopoda of Ereré, by Richard Rathbun.

These two papers give some of the results of the Morgan Expeditions of 1870-'71 to the region named. The first is apparently a careful and elaborate description of the features of the Ereré-Monte-Alegre District and table-topped hills in Brazil, and of the formation of the strata composing the same. The second describes the fossil remains of molluscous animals discovered in the Devonian strata of that region.

Notes on the Mammals of Portions of Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah. By J. A. Allen.

This is an enumeration of the families and species inhabiting those sections, and a description of their traits and habits.

The Reception of Dr. Gould.—In the year 1870 Dr. Benjamin A. Gould went to Cordoba, in the Argentine Republic, at the request of its Government, for the purpose of establishing a national Astronomical Observatory, and of making observations on the constellations of the southern heavens. His recent return to the United States was celebrated in Boston by a reception given to him on the 22d of June last. On that occasion he delivered an address, narrating the nature of his labors, the difficulties overcome, and the results achieved. The principal results are, the successful establishment of the observatory, the establishment of a national meteorological office and system of observatories throughout the republic, and the compilation of an atlas of the heavens from 10° north of the equator to the south pole, showing every star to the seventh magnitude inclusive.

Geographical Variation in North American Birds, By J. A. Allen.

This is a paper describing the variation produced in birds by differences of longitude and latitude. In differences of latitude variations occur in color, size, and details of structural parts, while in differences of longitude the variation is principally in color. These variations are in some cases so marked, that similar forms have been classed as separate species.

Transformations of the Common House-Fly. By A. S. Packard, Jr., M. D.

An interesting history of the changes incident to the life of this common insect. An individual lays about 120 eggs, usually in fresh horse-dung. The egg hatches in about twenty-four hours; the larva passes through three stages, occupying from five to seven days; the pupa state lasts about the same time; and, finally, the perfect fly appears at the end of ten to fourteen days from the time of hatching.

The Bench and Bar Review.—This is a new quarterly review, devoted to the interests of the legal profession, the publication of which was begun with the present year, in Baltimore. The leading articles in the first number are: "The Bar in England and France:" "The Civil Law: its Nature and Genius;" and "The Responsibility of Life Insurance Companies." It is adorned with a portrait of Caleb Cushing, and also contains a biographical sketch of him.


Archives of Electrology and Neurology. Edited by George M. Beard, M.D. May, 1874. 143 pages. Issued semi-annually. Price, $2.50 a year.

The Germ Theory of Disease. By E. P. Hard, M.D. 1874. 14 pages.

The Pathology of Inebriety. By Joseph Parrish, M.D. Baltimore, 1874. 17 pages.

Agriculture as a Pursuit. Address delivered before the Agricultural Class of the State University of Georgia, by E. M. Pendleton, M.D. 10 pages. Atlanta, 1873.

General Meeting of the American Social Science Association for 1874. 32 pages.

On the Value of High Powers in the Diagnosis of Blood-stains. By Joseph G. Richardson, M.D. 9 pages.

Introduction to General Biology. By Thomas C. McGinley. 12mo, 200 pages. Price, 75 cents. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons.

New Method of treating Malignant Tumors. By George M. Beard, M.D. New York, 1874. 16 pages.

Check-List of Publications of the Smithsonian Institution. July, 1874. 24 pages.

Little Stories for Little People. By James Barron Hope. Price, 10 cents. 1874. 26 pages.

On the Atmosphere as a Vehicle of Sound. By Prof. John Tyndall. 1874. 60 pages.

On the Dissociation of Certain Compounds at Very Low Temperatures. By A. R. Leeds. 3 pages.

Rules of Evidence as applicable to the Credibility of History. By William Forsyth. London, 1874. 22 pages. Price, threepence.

Bulletin of the Minnesota Academy of Natural Sciences. 1874. 150 pages. Price, 50 cents.

The Compound Steam-Engine. By John Turnbull, Jr. New York: D. Van Nostrand & Co. 1874, 44 pages. Price, 50 cents.

Intellectual Culture. By Edward R. Palmer, M.D. Louisville, 1874. 20 pages.

The Protoplasm Theory. By Edward Curtis, M.D. New York, 1873. 23 pages.

Community of Diseases in Horses and other Animals. By W. Lauder Lindsay, M.D. 37 pages.

Review of Darwin on Expression. By Alexander Bain. London, 1873. 16 pages.

The Vermiculites, their Crystallographic and Chemical Relations to the Micas, etc. By Josiah P. Cooke, Jr. 1873. 32 pages.

Resources of Tennessee. By J. B. Killebren. Nashville, 1874. 8vo, 1193 pages.

Evidences of the Antiquity of Man. By James H. Whitmore. Rochester, 1874. 26