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single insect. We say this because it forms, as it were, a sort of companion, and a very essential one, to any work on the general natural history of insects. But on everything that relates to all the peculiar habits and manners of the insect world there is no better book than that of Mr. Wood which we have thus briefly noticed.
MARVELS OF POND LIFE.* THERE are very few men whose position better qualifies them for a task
I like the present one than the eminent and active Secretary to the Royal Microscopical Society. But apart from this, Mr. Slack possesses a style as a writer which is at once clear, comprehensive, and to the point; whilst his numerous researches upon the Protozoa and Rotifera constitute him an excellent authority on the subject he has taken up in this excellent little handbook, which we are glad to see is now in its second edition. The reader may be sure he will not find in Mr. Slack's work anything that is erroneous; while, on the other hand, he will be treated with the latest intelligence on the subject that is treated upon; and, moreover, he will find that the writer states his opinions in clear and forcible language, about which it is impossible to have any doubt as to his meaning. In the pages of this little work, which is amply illustrated by the author's wife-a lady who takes a more than common interest in the scientific teaching of the microscope—there is given a very full and fair account of the inhabitants of our ponds. But the reader must not imagine that he will not find the creatures described here in ponds of his own neighbourhood, for Mr. Slack has been careful to describe almost solely those forms which are universally abundant in all kinds of ponds. It is remarkable, too, that the author, besides describing and figuring minutely the several species of animals which he deals with, gives minute details as to the readiest method of capturing them and holding them in a living state during examination. The chapters are thirteen in number; and, with one exception, each deals with a separate month's investigation, so that the young naturalist can pursue his researches all through the year. The woodcuts are numerous—especially those of the Hydra, which is generally depicted from the imagination—and very good; and the plates, which are coloured, are seven in number, and to those who know what is seen under the microscope they are admirable and truth-like representations. Tout entier, the book is everything we could desire, so far as it extends, and we can only hope that Mr. Slack will add to it, and make it a much larger and more comprehensive volume.
• "Marvels of Pond Life; or a Year's Microscopic Recreations among the Polyps, Infusoria, Rotifers, Water-bears, and Polyzoa.” By Henry J. Slack, F.G.S., Secretary to the Royal Microscopical Society. 2nd edition. London: Groombridge & Sons, 1871.
THE ROYAL INSTITUTION."
MHE Royal Institution is so well and so favourably known as it exists at
I present to the majority of Londoners who are in the least degree interested in scientific research, that we think an endeavour to publish its history, so that it might be known to every enlightened Englishman, was one in the right direction. We are glad that it has been undertaken, and we know of no one who could do it better, from a longer experience, or with a more loving hand than Dr. Bence Jones, the author of the volume now before us. We wonder that it has not been attempted before, and we cannot but congratulate the author upon his very successful task, and upon the general plan he has adopted in his volume. We say this especially from the outspoken manner in which he speaks of Davy as compared with Faraday, and from his opinion, in which we heartily concur, that Davy was “in originality and in eloquence" far superior to Faraday, while he was not inferior to him in his love of research. The book which Dr. Jones has given us is not unlike the account of Faraday's life which was published some two or three years ago, but it is very much smaller in extent. It tells us of the life of Count Rumford before the Institution was founded, of his subsequent life, of the early history of the Institution; of the lives of Professors Garnett, Young, Faraday, Sir Humphry Davy; of original papers relating to the American war; of original letters from Dr. Thomas Young; and, finally, of the income and expenditure of the Royal Institution to 1814. In general plan it is by no means unlike the Life of Faraday; for example, when possible, the author has allowed each life to tell its own tale by the multitude of documents which he has by most laborious endeavours congregated together. Thus there is hardly a third page of the book which does not contain some one or other important letter bearing upon the subject and printed in full. Of course we cannot say how fully these letters tell of the life of the Royal Institution. No one who is not connected with the place can say whether the book is or is not a full record ; and indeed we imagine that very few of those who are there could offer any opinion on the subject. But so far as we have been able to judge, Dr. Bence Jones has played the historian's part with admirable skill, just laying out the principal parts of the story before the reader, and keeping other parts of no interest and of no importance in reserre. And he has done so with an openness and a display of candid criticism which to our minds is greatly to be praised. Although the history is one which of course we cannot dwell further on in these pages, it will nevertheless prove of great interest to a large number of intelligent scientific readers, and with such we wish it every success.
*" The Royal Institution ; ite Founders and its first Professors." By Dr. Bence Jones, F.R.S., Honorary Secretary. London: Longmans and Co., 1871.
GEOLOGY, HISTORICAL AND PHYSICAL.* TOWEVER much may be said about the importance of a student I pursuing his study of Geology in large treatises, such as Lyell's and Murchison's, there can be no doubt that the expense attendant on the purchase of these works which are generally dear, is sufficient to prevent a good many students from purchasing them. This cannot be said of volumes such as those now before us, which are issued at such a price that they are within the hands of everyone. Weale's series are too well known to need any general explanation at our hands. But they are not at all equal in value, some of them being the merest trash, while others, by far the majority, are the very best works we can put into a beginner's hands. Unquestionably the two works now before us belong to this category, and we should not be sorry to see them in any beginner's hands. Furthermore, Mr. Ralph Tate, whom we are glad to see directing himself to geological science, has spared no pains in bringing out new editions of the two geological manuals to make them as fully representative of the progress geological science has lately made as possible. He has introduced new passages into the books which prove beyond question that he has been at pains to bring the volumes up to the present state of science; and in cases where a doubt existed he has been open enough to state both sides of the question. This is clearly the case in his chapter on the coal-measures, in which he has introduced us to the more recent facts, those especially connected with the Kilkenny coal formation and its remarkable fossil fauna. It is further shown in his few remarks about Eozoon, where he candidly owns the difference which is known to be between the general opinion and the view of Messrs. Rowney and King. In the work devoted to purely Physical Geology, the author is even happier in his construction of the book. It seems quite marvellous what a mass of the opinions of those who have written upon the subject he has introduced. Invariably, too, we find him, when a question is known to have two sides, giving both fully and fairly. Indeed, in all respects, we are much pleased with the manner in which Mr. Ralph Tate has discharged his task, and it is very pleasant for us to be able to avow it.
LONGMANS' TEXT-BOOKS: THE THEORY OF HIEAT.
ASSUREDLY few could have been better selected for the authorship of a A manual of “ Heat” than Dr. Clerk Maxwell, and, in choosing him, the editor of the Text-books is especially to be congratulated. Yet it is to be regretted, in our opinion, that the author should have so fully developed one part of the work to the exclusion of other points of quite as much importance to the student who goes in for examination, though possibly not of
*“Historical Geology,” and “Physical Geology.” By Ralph Tate, F.G.S.
† “The Theory of Heat.” By Dr. Clerk Maxwell. London: Longmans & Co., 1871.
such special interest. The author's aim has been clear throughout, and, although he explains it in the preface, it is perfectly clear to those who understand anything of the science. His object has, as he says, been “to exbibit the scientific connection of the various steps by which our knowledge of the phenomena of heat has been extended." Thus, for instance, first of all, the thermometer, or the measurement of heat; then the calorimeter; then “the investigation of those relations between the thermal and the mechanical properties of substances which form the subject of thermodynamics." Then follow chapters on the Dissipation of Energy, and on the hypothesis that the motion of the molecule constitutes the heat of bodies. There is certainly a good deal to be discussed, as Dr. Maxwell treats them, in the space of a small manual. We can therefore understand why the author has been obliged to omit many other questions in the science of heat. But we do not think that he was quite right in doing so in a book intended especially for the working class, and we cannot quite congratulate him on the result, excellent though we admit it to be.
F the works which have been published on this subject for the last few U years, the present one is at once the most presumptuous and the most ignorant. Since the time of Gall and Spurzheim there have been very few, with the exception of Dr. Combe, who have attempted a scientific argument for phrenology ; and of all the writers who have since touched the subject, we fancy the author of the present treatise is at once the most presumptuous and the most ignorant of all those purely scientific data on which the argument for phrenology should rest. If ever a subject required an intimate acquaintance not only with anatomy and physiology, but with insanity in its every phase, assuredly that subject is phrenology. But these subjects have virtually no place in the present volume. We do not deny phrenology in the abstract. There may, of course, be such a thing as an organ of the brain for special faculties, but assuredly no such organ has as yet been made out. Indeed there has been a search of late for an organ of speech, which is supposed to lie in the anterior part of the cerebral mass; but as yet, though much valuable matter has been written upon the subject, it is not yet clearly shown whether it is in the right or the left half of the brain that it is situate. And assuredly there is no further attempt at a specialisation of the brain's functions. Even that at one time supposed function of the cerebellum is now thrown into very serious doubt. If there was the least shadow of scientific method about the book, we should have attempted a slight notice of it; but there is really nothing in its pages which would satisfy the merest tyro in medical science. It is a miserable attempt to justify a department of scientific thought which, whatever may have been the claims of its first originators, has now dwindled down to the very
* “Phrenology, and How to Use it in Analysing Character." By Nicholas Morgan. London: Longmans & Co., 1871.
lowest depths of an all but defunct philosophic speculation. We are more surprised at Messrs. Longmans issuing such a work than we are at finding the author's portrait forming the frontispiece.
: TABLES OF LOGARITHMS.* HIS is a small work, but calculated to be exceedingly useful to comI puters, and more particularly to nautical men and surveyors. We find in it proportional parts of all numbers up to 100; three-place logarithms of numbers and the trigonometrical functions; logarithms of numbers to four places; Gaussian logarithms; traverse table; correction for midlatitude; meridional parts, &c.; as well as a useful table of constant, with their logarithms. Prof. Peirce mentions an interesting result of experiments conducted at the office of the American Ephemeris. The times occupied in doing the same piece of work by tables of 4, 5, 6, and 7 places, were found to be proportional to the numbers 1, 2, 3, and 4. For many purposes four-place tables ensure a perfectly adequate degree of accuracy. We are much pleased with the way in which the practical questions of size and form of type, arrangement of page, quality of paper, &c., have been attended to. The guiding lines are numerous and well-marked ; in fact, that fruitful source of error in computation—mistakes in following lines or in running down columns-seems practically eliminated. Some of the symbols are not altogether pleasing. The use of the symbol n for factorial n may appear unusual to English readers, though not unknown to continental mathematicians; csc for cosec is obviously an improvement; but why ctn for cot. ?
A MANUAL OF SCIENTIFIC ENQUIRY. HERE is a scientific work which has been some time in existence—seeing U that the present is the fourth edition, which is a most valuable book, and which we should wish to see somewhat enlarged, and far more generally circulated among naval and military medical officers, and other medical men who are travelling abroad. It is a book which is essential to every traveller who wishes to profit by his trip, for we know of no other source whence he can obtain the amount of useful information which is contained in the pages of its several departments. The present edition has been brought out by the Rev. Robert Main, M.A., F.R.S., and in most of its departments it is as full as its space will admit of with facts, and with facts arranged in such a manner as to give the reader the best general idea possible on the subject. But all the chapters are not alike, some being very good and others equally
* "Three and Four-Place Tables of Logarithmic and Trigonometric Functions." By James Mills Peirce. Boston: Ginn Brothers, 1871.
+ “A Manual of Scientific Enquiry, prepared for the use of Officers in Her Majesty's Navy, and Travellers in general.” 4th edition. By the Rev. Robert Main, M.A., F.R.S. London : John Murray, 1871.