Page images
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

volume, while the value of accurate photographs of make themselves familiar with the chief constellations animals as a means of instruction in natural history or star groupings. Many, if not the majority. of is noticed in the concluding paragraphs of the intro- star atlases printed for beginners are so belaboured duction.

with lines indicating right ascensions and declinaPossibly, and if so pardonably, the author is in- tions, names of constellations, Greek letters clined to over-rate the importance of photographic numbers against each star, different notations for illustrations in zoological work. In many respects,

variable stars, &c., that when the beginner turns his such as representing birds in their natural surround- eyes from the starry heavens towards a chart in ings, its importance cannot, indeed, be over-estimated. order to find out the particular grouping in question But when the author goes on to deride the work of he is unable to recognise it among the innumerable the pencil of the artist as a means of illustrating markings. For this reason many who have made books on natural history, and to declare that the

valiant attempts to learn the stars have given up wood-cut and the “ process-block” are things of the

trying, and it is the atlases that are to blame and past in this connection, we take leave to differ from not the seekers after knowledge. such a sweeping assertion. Nor are we alone in so The ideal set of charts for a beginner should in the doing, for Mr. W. T. Hornaday, in his recently first place represent the appearance of the starry issued American Natural History," takes occasion

heavens as near as possible, and consist of maps show. to point out that photography has its limitations in

ing small white discs or stars on a dark background, the portrayal of animals, and that some illustrations

the discs or stars varying in size according to the demand the artist's pencil in order to become satis

magnitude of the star; secondly, a fairly large region factory zoological portraits. It is quite true, as Mr.

should be included in each map; thirdly, only stars to Brownell urges, that the sketch, as compared with

the third or fourth magnitude should be inserted; and the photograph, may be crude and unfaithful to

lastly, each map should have accompanying nature, yet it will nevertheless often accentuate or

duplicate chart or key-map on the same scale, but with

dark discs or stars on a white background, on which display essential features which are scarcely perceptible or absolutely hidden in the sun-portrait.

as much information as may be useful should be given. With this reservation, we are absolutely at one

In this way the beginner can at once find his par

ticular stars on the first map, and learn their names, with the author in regard to the extreme importance

&c., on the accompanying key-map. This seems 10 and value of photography in natural history work,

be the logical method of aiding those who are not and, like him, we look forward to the time when

accustomed to deal with star charts, and it is a real colour-photography will have been discovered

pleasure to find that such a series of maps is nou and made available for everyday use. After de

available for those who wish to take advantage of scribing in full detail the general technique of the

them. photographic art and the kinds of camera and other

The charts is question, ten in number, and each apparatus best suited to the outdoor photographer accompanied by a key-map, have been prepared by of animal life, the author proceeds to discuss the Comte de Miremont, who is thoroughly mode of procedure in the case of different subjects, acquainted with the stars from the navigating point devoting one chapter to the larger mammals, another

of view, and is familiar with the desire of sailors and to the small mammals, a third to birds, and so on. others for a simple star atlas. Stars to the fourth So far as we can judge, all his advice is to the point, magnitude only are inserted, and these are repreand the illustrations given as samples are in most sented, on charts 10 inches square, as white stars cases admirable animal portraits. Not that attention a dark blue background; the accompanying is confined to animated nature, for we have a chapter but separate key-maps, of the same size, the stars art on plant-photography, and another on the use of the

black on a white background. Great care has been camera in depicting sporting scenes and incidents, taken to ensure accuracy in the star positions. each as charmingly illustrated as their predecessors. The method of projection, namely, the gnomonic, Above all, the book is by no means dry reading, the is also one which lends itself well to this type of technical details being enlivened with numerous and atlas, for the whole of the celestial sphere can be appropriate anecdotes. Mr. Brownell has, in fact, projected on six plates, each plate thus representing succeeded in producing a treatise on practical field- one side of a cube enveloping the sphere. The upper photography which it will be very hard to beat. and lower sides of the cube enclose the north and

R. L. south polar regions respectively, and the other four

sides the equatorial regions. To render more A POPULAR STAR ATLAS.

clearly the relations to each other of star groups near

the edges of each of these equatorial sides in contact. Popular Star Maps. A Rapid and Easy Method of

four additional overlapping maps are added. Thus Finding the Principal Stars. By Comte de Miremont,

there are ten charts in all, and there is this advantage, F.R.A.S. (London : George Philip and Son, Ltd., that each one with its corresponding key-map can be 1904.) Price 1os. 6d. net.

taken out of the portfolio and used in the observatory, T is 11

by no means an easy task to construct a in the field, or on board ship by itself. On each chart series of charts of the principal stars in the sky and its key is a scale of right ascensions with the that will at once be of service to those wishing to seasons of the year when each of the constellations is



E orderea

visible in these longitudes; the declinations are omitted The first volume of the history of the collections from the maps, but this information, and the right preserved in the four natural history departments of ascensions of every star marked, are given in the table the British Museum deals with the botanical, geoshowing the mean places (and annual change) for logical, and mineralogical material, and also with the January, 1904.

Other lists include the names of libraries. It has been produced at the suggestion of the constellations and the principal stars in each, the director, Prof. E. Ray Lankester, by the officers and a complete alphabetical list of stars in the in charge of the collections. Mr. B. B. Woodward maps.

has written the history of the libraries; Mr. George With regard to the general get-up of the maps, Murray, assisted by Mr. Britten, that of the departletterpress, and portfolio which encloses them, more ment of botany; Dr. Arthur Smith Woodward, with could not be desired, and great credit is due to both valuable help from the late keeper, Dr. Henry Woodcompiler and publisher for producing such a service- ward, and from Dr. Bather, assistant keeper, that of able and handsome set of star charts for the use of the department of geology; and Mr. Fletcher that of beginners, and at such a low price. W. J. S. L. | the department of minerals. The second volume will

deal with the department of zoology.

It need hardly be said that the various histories of A CONTRIBUTION TO MUSEUM History. I the collections are scholarly productions; they tell of

the foundation-stones and of the additions made from The History of the Collections contained in the year to year, and they give an annotated alphabetical Natural History Departments of the British

list of the numerous benefactors and vendors. The Museum. Vol. i. Pp. xvii +442.

(London :

result is not adapted for fireside perusal, but it is very Printed by Order of the Trustees of the British impressive, giving us a correct idea of the variety, Museum, 1904.)

extent, and importance of the immense series of VERY museum of the first rank has two histories, collected specimens which are carefully guarded and

not only (according to the terms of Sir lished-the history of the gradual accumulation of the Hans Sloane's will) “ for the inspection and entertainmuseum material, by purchase, exchange, or donation, ment of the learned and curious, but for the general and another, which can hardly ever be written—the use and benefit of the public to all posterity.” And history of the internal metabolism, the arrangement it is also interesting to turn over the leaves and observe and re-arrangement, the differentiation and integra- | how many famous names occur on the honourable tion, the “ Kampf der Theile im Organismus." It

lists. Many of the short biographical notes in the may not be difficult to indicate how various museums geological and mineralogical sections supply valuable have adapted themselves to the advance of science historical material. A useful addendum, we think, and to their growing constituency under the influence

would have been a series of references to the cataof effective directors, how nature has crept in between logues and memoirs in which the collected material has the teeth of the abstractive scientific fork, how been described. evolutionary series have replaced static taxonomic dis

The book will be of great value to investigators who plays, how problems of practical human interest have

wish to trace collections and specimens, or who wish been recognised, how a mere chamber of horrors has

to know beforehand what to expect in the British become an introduction to a rational study of patho- Museum; and everyone will agree that it furnishes logical variation, and so on; but who can ever tell

abundant documentary proof of the carefulness and the detailed physiological story of the metamorphoses? business-like methods of the great museum, which is For the great museum is an organism of many parts,

one of the national assets that we have most reason pach with its spiritus rector, each developing inde

to be proud of. pendently, and yet in cooperation with the rest. It may not be difficult to show how a museum has changed or is changing as the various objectives-

SCIENCE AND METAPHYSICS. for instruction, for investigation, for inspiration - Scientific Fact and Metaphysical Reality. By Robert have become more clear to the organisers; when, for

Brandon Arnold. Pp. xxiii + 360. (London: Macinstance, the simple step is taken of discriminating

millan and Co., Ltd., 1904.) Price 1os. net. between what can be usefully exhibited and what should be as usefully concealed; but who can ever tell IF

F this book does not conform to the adage how much even this simple step costs? Is the price

Nonum prematur in annum "_for Mr. less connecting link to be shown with blinds up or Arnold's undergraduate career is no distant memory with blinds down, or not at all? But we must not

--that is no ground for complaint. The work is not intrude further into the real history of a great museum; only one of great promise, but a notable performance. it is an intricate story of thrust and parry between In originality of conception, vigour and clearness of keppers and their environment, both animate and in- statement, width of outlook and fairness to all the animate. The history before us is a history, not of aspects of experience, it would be with difficulty surthe British Museum (Natural History Departments) passed. At the same time it is quite unpretentious; as a growing organism; it is the history of the collec- there is no parade of learning; there is not a single tions--a story of accretion.

foot-note. The one digression of any length--on

[ocr errors]




modern militarism—is as interesting as it is pardon


Index of Spectra. (Appendix O.) By W. Marshall The following are some of the main characteristics Watts, D.Sc. (Lond). Pp. 40. (Manchester : Abel of the author's point of view :-(1) While defending This is the latest addition to the very useful series of

Heywood and Son, 1904.) Price 35. metaphysics from the charge of being “ built upon appendices which Dr. Marshall Watts has given to air or quicksands," he readily admits that it has not

his well-known “ Index of Spectra." In it he has always taken full advantage of the science which it brought together the arc spectrum of molybdenum by knows, and that greater accuracy of scientific detail | Hasselberg, the spark spectra of calcium, scandium, ought to be displayed if it is to appeal to the "plain indium, beryllium, lithium, thallium, antimony, and man” with some knowledge of physics, chemistry, thallium, and antimony, by Eder and Valenta ; of

arsenic, by Exner and Haschek; of calcium, lithium, and biology. In the same spirit the chapters on God

radium, by Runge and Precht; and the oxy-hydrogen and the Absolute and Human Immortality attempt name spectra of lithium, potassium, rubidium, and to do something like justice to the religious aspira- cæsium, by Ramage. Hasselberg's comprehensive tions of the “plain man, which are

so severely record of the arc lines of molybdenum takes up about neglected in such work Appearance and half the pages of the appendix. In the cases of

metals investigated both by Exner and Haschek, and Reality." (2) Mr. Arnold prefers activity to existence

Eder and Valenta, the records are compared in as a basis for investigation. The lower animals, in parallel columns. The oscillation frequencies corhis view, display only “ teleological activities "'; the responding to the wave-lengths of all the lines given

, entity“ mind” (self-conscious and introspective) have been reduced by the compiler. belongs only to men. And perhaps not even to all La Matière, l'Éther et les Forces physiques. By men : “ a human being might theoretically pass Lucien Mottez. Pp. 236. (Paris : Gauthier Villar, through life and never be actual mind; possibly with 1904.) Price 4 francs. some savages this is almost the truth.” (3) Again, will play the most important part in determining a

The time is fast coming when the qualification which Mr. Arnold is fond of the contrast between the in

man's reputation as a physicist will be that he shall dividuation (real and objective in every sense) by abstain from writing books on the philosophy of means of the atom or the electron—“ the true physical ether, matter, and the universe. The present book entities ”—and the individuation by means of colour, discourses pleasantly about gravitation, heat, electrisound, and the like which depends on our particular

city and magnetism, polarisation of light, chemical

action, and such like matters. It is hardly the sensuous evolution.” The latter form of individu- | kind of book to which a beginner would turn to ation, which finds expression particularly in the get his first lessons on physics, as the style is too “ material totalised image, seems therefore to show discursive, and it contains little but what an that in mind (including “ teleological activity ") there average physicist either knows has probably is something new in principle. “But by asking thought of already; and yet we can only say about

books of this kind,“ still they come." Whó reads whether it is a new entity we merely confuse matters.

them? For we should thus assume that the physical world

The Uses and Ilonders of Plant-hairs. By Kate E. is once and for all limited to atomic activities, whereas

Styan. Pp. iv +65; with plates. (London: Bemrine all observations tend to show that the various entities and Sons, Ltd.) Price is. are continually changing and re-organising them- The nature and purpose of plant-hairs will have selves, and developing new relations and qualities.” occurred to many teachers as a favourable subject for In one sense Mr. Arnold claims that his view of mind

a course of nature-study. The presence or absence of in the non-introspective animal is as materialistic as

hairs in allied plants, even in the same plant when

growing under different conditions, their position and it could be, since mind under such conditions “is form, their mechanism and use, afford plenty of matter totalised in a special manner in relation to an opportunity for consideration and deduction. The external crisis." But he hastens to add that “ pre

book offers a fair résumé of facts, but it is not obvious mental matter was not merely the matter of physics and the appendix of illustrations loses some of its

that the writer is recording personal observations, and chemistry.” And mind in man he certainly re

value as no allusion is made to it in the text. gards as something very different. It is impossible to do justice to this suggestive work

LETTER TO THE EDITOR. in a short notice, and we are well aware that the

[The Editor does not hold himself responsible for opinions above is only a hasty and somewhat arbitrary selec

expressed by his correspondents. Neither can he undertake tion of a few of the topics treated. The views of to return, or to correspond with the writers of, rejected matter and ether, in particular, might well have a manuscripts intended for this or any other part of NATURE. notice of their own; so might the chapter on psycho

No notice is taken of anonymous communications.) physical interaction, which is almost a model of philo

The Planet Fortuna.

ALTHOUGH NATURE is scarcely the proper place for 3 sophical discussion. In this last the theory is stated disquisition on a Latin quotation, perhaps you will admit that the initial impulse required to liberate the energy of a further correction of " W. T.'s" correction (p. 461) of of the muscular system comes ultimately from “ex

the lines quoted by W. E. P." Vumen is, I believe, ternal sources,” e.g. when the sight of some object from nuo, and signifying the nodding approval of th:

never used except in the sense of good luck, being derived moves us to pursue it, from the ethereal vibrations gods; hence Vullum numen habes, si sit prudentia," which we apprehend as light. But for the author's would mean just the opposite to the obvious sense of the defence (in many ways successful) against the obvious passage. The best editions give, in both the satires where

the line occurs, Vullum numen abest," and this makes objections to this view, we must refer to the book

Except for this word, "W. T.'s" version is itself.




to them. Though men of science who have at STATE AID FOR HIGHER EDUCATION, heart the true welfare of their country are at pre

sent rather like “ voices crying in the wilderness, it THE He announcement that the committee, presided is clearly their duty to continue to urge the paramount over by Mr. Haldane, M.P., appointed to con

importance of higher scientific education and of sider the allocation of the Treasury grant to the uni

scientific research, and to petition the Government to versity colleges has finished its inquiry, was made in

act more generously on their behalf. our issue of last week. In the note dealing with the

But it is not enough to provide large and adequate subject on that occasion the part of the grant to be State grants for education in order to secure efficiency received by each college was specified, and the fact in the face of modern needs. It is just as important remains to be recorded that goool. has been allotted to the purchase of books, apparatus, specimens, curricula of schools and colleges that our boys and

so to choose the subjects of study and to arrange the instruments, &c., to form equipment for teaching young men may begin life as well and as suitably of a university character. As will be known already trained as the youths of other countries. The kind of 10 most readers of NATURE, the Treasury this year

education suited to the conditions of the days of the has doubled its contribution to the university col- Renaissance is not in harmony with the needs of the

has services which these institutions are rendering. The ir

twentieth century. The work of men of science in the

last century has revolutionised life, and our system of total Treasury grant to the fourteen university colleges education must be adapted to existing circumstances. is now 54,000l.

The custodians of English education are still too That the grant has been increased in this substantial

much actuated by mediæval ideals. The entrance manner is certainly a matter for congratulation, and of the student of science to the older universities is men of science will view with satisfaction the evidence still obstructed by an obsolete and ludicrous test this additional State aid for higher education affords in Greek. There is a tendency even yet among that the Government is beginning to realise the those in charge of our Department of Educaimportant part played by higher education in securing

tion to discourage and hamper the instruction in national efficiency-especially by higher education in science in our elementary and secondary schools. science, using that term in its most catholic sense. The Prime Minister is reported once to have said But, even at the risk of appearing to be ungracious, that the only knowledge our boys have of natural it must be pointed out at once that the amount is

phenomena is that obtained on the cricket and footeven now ludicrously small and altogether inadequate

ball fields, and on the river. The man of science when regarded as the contribution of the State to has still much to teach his fellow citizens. The the pressing work of placing our system of higher work to which Huxley gave much of his education upon a satisfactory basis. As has been

energy is not yet done, and it is the duty of his consistently and persistently urged in these columns,

successors to continue his efforts, and to take every there is an enormous amount of leeway to be made up

opportunity of advocating the application of the be'ore the facilities for education of university principles of science to educational administration. standard in Great Britain can be compared with those It must be recognised that there are many ways of in several European countries and with those obtaining culture. The idea of the Middle Ages that in the United States, compared, that is, with any culture was obtainable only by studying Latin and chance of a satisfactory result. The reason is a simple Greek, though true enough then, is to-day hopelessly one. Great Britain alone among the first-class nations narrow and indicative rather of the state of mind of of the world has not learnt that the reign of muscle the Philistine. The scholar steeped in classical lore, is over, that success, whether in commerce or war, yet ignorant of nature's laws and of modern literature, will be always with the most highly trained and is but an uneducated pedant. The scientific specialist scientifically educated people. Other nations have

with a complete knowledge of some restricted subtaken this truth to heart, and believe enthusiastically division of science, yet knowing nothing of the ideas that what is worth having is worth paying for, and of ancient and modern poets and philosophers, is but paying for well. Surely, in view of the object-lesson a narrow technical registrar. Culture is something that events in Manchuria afford, it will not be long broader and higher than anything with which the before our own country will be prepared to make pedant or cataloguer is acquainted. The man of great sacrifices to

as efficient a system of science desirous of producing cultured men and women higher education as that of any other nation on the will strive so to arrange school and college time-tables face of the earth.

that they contain in due measure subjects designed to The total grant to the fourteen university colleges cultivate and develop all the faculties of the healthy is, as has been said, 54,0001., and this is a large sum human mind; and in this work the heritage which compared with what the colleges have received in has been left us by the nineteenth century will not be previous years. But the State endowment of the ignored. The teachings of science, the love of truth C'niversity of Berlin in 1891-2 amounted to very nearly wherever it may lead, will be inculcated consistently, 169,000l.; that is to say, one university in Germany

so that a race may be produced able to deal with receives from the State in a year more than three modern problems in a modern way. times as much as our fourteen university colleges Though the Government moves but slowly, and perreceive together from the Treasury. A single fact ceives so incompletely the unsatisfactoriness of our of this kind is enough to convince the student of supply of higher education, there is cause for satisfaceducational problems that while Germany takes tion in another direction. There growing higher scientific education seriously, and reaps the evidences that the broad-minded policy of wealthy advantages of her sacrifices, Great Britain has still men in the United States, which leads them to give to understand that commercial success and educational of their millions to colleges and universities, is being efficiency stand in the relation of effect and cause. emulated in a measure by our merchant princes. We If at the present day there still exist sceptics as to have on 'several occasions lately been able to record our educational inefficiency and our national parsi-noble instances of private munificence on behalf of mony towards universities and colleges, the presi- higher education, and it may be that before long dential address of Sir Norman Lockver to the British the Government will recognise its imperative Association at Southport in 1903 may be commended duty.






(3) The third, and oldest series of deposits, were

some highly inclined beds at the N.N.W. end of SINCE INCE the memorable researches of Dr. Buckland the cave, which were explored to a considerable

in the early part of last century, the exploration depth in the hope of meeting with Pliocene mammals, of British caves has had a great fascination for many such as were recognised by Prof. W. Boyd Dawkins investigators. This is no matter for surprise, for in the cave at Doveholes in 1903, but unfortunately there are many points of interest which await elucid- without finding any such remains. We wish the ation regarding prehistoric man and the animals by explorers had had more success in this deeper ex. which he was surrounded in very early times, and ploration ; however, it is satisfactory to know that there is a great probability that some of these the search was made, even though the results were problems will be solved by cavern researches. When negative. we remember, also, how much has already been re- The number of bones yielded by this cave could vealed by cave hunting, we are led to hope for more scarcely have been less than 10,000, for the authors in the future, and consequently investigations in this have accounted for 8000, and many were carried direction raise our expectations.

away, before they began work. Nearly half these The current number of the Quarterly Journal of remains belonged to bovine and cervine animals, the Geological Society contains interesting while between six and seven hundred of them are account of a cave discovered about two years ago referable to hyænas. It seems pretty certain that near Brassington, Derbyshire. Shortly after its this cave was a hyæna-den, and although no entrance discovery the cave was visited by a number of was found except the swallow hole, yet it is possible “ ardent collectors,” and many bones and teeth were that this was the means of access. carried away; but very soon permission was given Some twenty-seven species of mammals, birds, and by Major Nicholson, the owner, for the deposits to | amphibia have been identified from Hoe Grange be carefully investigated on behalf of the Derbyshire Archæological and Natural History Society, the work falling almost wholly on the authors of this paper:

The cave is in a quarry situated on the south-eastern edge of the Mountain Limestone plateau, and its floor is about 1090 feet above Ordnance Datum, the top of the quarry being some 30 feet higher. The highest part of the plateau in the neighbourhood is formed by the Harbro Rocks, which at some little distance, and with depression between, rise to a height of 1244 feet, that is, about 120 feet higher than the entrance to the swallow hole which opened into the top of the B cavern.

The cavern itself was a master joint in the limestone, enlarged by the action of water, and when found (it is now entirely destroyed) extended about 120 feet from the S.S.E. to the N.N.W., and in this direction it deepened considerably. Much care Fig. 1.—Hoe Grange Quarry, showing entrance to Cave. From photograph by H. Arnoldseems to have been taken to keep

Bemrose. separate the bones from each layer, and fifteen spots are marked on the section given to cave, but about half of these belong to the smalle indicate distinct layers or places where bones were forms of vertebrates, which as a rule have not been discovered. Eventually, however, these were grouped recorded in cave researches. The rich harvest of into three series :-(1) The upper inclined layers these small creatures which rewarded the patient which had accumulated to the S.S.E. of the swallow labour of Mr. Lewis Abbott some ten years ago in hole, and from which they were evidently derived. the rock fissure at Ightham, Kent, has caused more By far the greater number of the specimens were careful search to be made for them in recent refound in this part of the cave. To the N.N.W. of searches, and with good results, such as those of the swallow hole very few bones were met with, and Mr. R. S. Ussher in his cave hunting in Ireland the deposit was of a more irregular character, seeming during the last two or three years, only a part of to indicate a different mode of origin.

which have yet been published. Search was made for (2) The second division included all that was these smaller animals at Hoe Grange, but with only obtained in a stratum about three feet in depth partial success. Among the larger animals repreexcavated below the level of the quarry floor, and sented in the cave, the lion will perhaps attract most extending throughout the length of the cave. Very attention, and one of the few specimens obtained is few bones were found, but these included remains of part of the lower jaw of a cub with some of the mik hyæna and of a small deer which it was important teeth still in place. The hyæna, wild cat, wolf, fox, to know were present at this early stage of the cave's grisly bear, and badger are the other carnivores which history.

have been identified.

Rhinoceros remains occurred in some abundance. "On an Ossiferous Cave of Pleistocene Age at Hoe Grange Quarry, and the teeth show that they belong to the Rhinoceros Longcliffe

, near Brassington (Derbyshire)." By H. H. Amold Bemrose, leptorhinus, not to the woolly rhinoceros, the form J.P., M.A., and E. T. Newton, F. Ř S. (Quart. Journ. Geol. Soc. vol. Ixi. p. 43, 1904.)

hitherto found in Derbyshire. The elephant is now

[ocr errors][merged small]
« PreviousContinue »