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ON SALE Second-band Astronomical Telescopes, 4" for £21, 3}" for £12, flyr £9, 3" for £3 10s., all complete, stand and eyepieces. - Prismatic Binocular Field Glass (best make) for £5, magnification 9, sold elsewhere LA - Microscopes : POWELL & LEALAND complete with mechanical asel alety stage, Polariscope and following objectives, all by P. and L., 2", "!".1.1.1". 1e", offered £14, cost over four times this amount. Swift's Best Presentation Binocular, mechanical stage, graduated
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OPTICAL WORKS, 20, 1904.
142 ST. JOHN ST., W. H. PENDLEBURY, M.A., Shirehall, Shrewsbury, Secretary for Higher Education.
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to acquire a full knowledge of the grey seal alone, and that the best part of five years has been spent on the
task in general. THE MILLAIS BRITISH MAMMALS.
The present volume contains the preface and intro
duction to the entire work, together with the text and The Vammals of Great Britain and Ireland. By J. G.
illustrations relating to the orders Chiroptera, InsectMillais. Vol. i. Pp. xx+ 363 ; illustrated. (Lon
ivora, and Carnivora exclusive of the Mustelidæ. The don: Longmans, Green and Co., 1904.) Price relegation of the latter to the second volume is rather 6 guineas net.
a pity, as it involves the intercalation of the seals and IN Sino important features this magnificent work,
walruses between the bears and the weasels, which of which the first volume is now before us, may somewhat mars the systematic arrangement. The las claim to special preeminence. First, the illus-author states, however, that he found it impossible to trations, alike in number, size, truthfulness to nature, complete his account of the Mustelidæ in time for it and artistic excellence, are unrivalled; and secondly, as to come in its proper place. regards the main and most important part of the sub- In his introduction the author takes a cursory survey jeri, namely, the habits and local distribution of the of the history of the British Islands during the prevarious species, the work is in no sense a compilation, historic and later Tertiary periods, and as he is not but the result of long and patient personal observation a professed palæontologist he may perhaps be allowed on the part of the author. Indeed, the only matter a little license here, especially as it does not affect the for regret connected with the work is that its price general subject of the work. The statement as to the puts it out of the reach of a large percentage of field occurrence of ungulates in the Cretaceous (perhaps due naturalists; bearing in mind, however, the style in to the author having been misled by a certain South which it is got up and the wealth of illustration, it is American writer) is, however, open to exception, while difficult to see how it could have been offered to the the alleged first appearance of marsupials and Insectpublic at an appreciably lower figure.
ivora at the same time is perhaps an
error in the As an author of a work like the present, Mr. Millais opposite direction. The assertion that many types of has one incomparable advantage over the great majority mammals have been but little altered since the (Lower) -if not, indeed, over all-of his fellow-naturalists in Eocene might also be modified. this country, namely, that he is a great painter. In While on the subject of errors, it may be mentioned this double capacity of artist and naturalist he is con- that the author (and quite justifiably) is very much sequently able to present the public not only with “ down” on other writers on British mammals for *squisite artistic pictures of the animals he describes, their various sins of omission and commissionbut also with portraits which emphasise and bring into whether trivial or otherwise. He must therefore prominence their special generic and specific character- take it in good part if similar slips of his own istics, It is, indeed, this judicious blending of the are brought to notice. For example, we fancy Sir artistic with the zoological aspect that confers on the Archibald Geikie will feel somewhat surprised to find coloured illustrations in this work such peculiar value. himself described as a distinguished palæontologist Too often in paintings of this description we find either and zoologist. Again, the initials of Dr. Smith Woodzoological details more or less completely sacrificed to ward are not A, B., neither is Dr. R. Ball (p. 238) the artistic effect or the former brought into undue designation of the late director of the Dublin Museum, prominence to the destruction of all that really while Hermann, and not Herman, is the proper desigartistic and pleasing. In hitting off the happy medium
In hitting off the happy medium nation of the author of the name Sorex vulgaris (p. between these extremes, Mr. Millais and the other two 141). Lack of classical knowledge seems to be implied artists who have assisted in the work have been re- in the translation of Chiroptera as hand-bearers" markably successful. In addition the coloured (p. 12). More serious is the discrepancy between the pictures, there are a number of sketches, and in some number of teeth in Rhinolophus as given in the text cases photographs, showing the various animals in (p. 23) and in the formula (p. 24), while another error characteristic attitudes, in pursuit of their prey, &c., of the same nature occurs on p. 143, where the number which illustrate their natural history almost without of premolars in the shrew is given as 2/4 instead the necessity for letter-press. Nor is this all, for there of 4/2. Exception may also be taken to the statement are several sketches illustrative of the mammalian life (p. 230) that bears, as a whole, are a more primitive of our island in prehistoric times; and although some type than dogs, and the fact that the plate of the walrus of the details of form and colour assigned to certain is lettered Trichechus rosmarus while the creature is of the extinct forms may be open to criticism, these described in the text as Odobaemus rosmarus is another certainly convey a good idea of the richness of this instance of want of care. launa as compared with that of the present day. No Reverting to the merits of the volume before us, illustrations are given in the text of either skulls or attention may be directed to the value of the work Ireth, which is perhaps somewhat to be regretted, as accomplished by Mr. Millais in regard to the bats. the latter receive mention in the text.
Although the distinctive features of the various British As regards the amount of time and labour the author representatives of the group can be gleaned by a has devoted to the work, it may be mentioned that, careful study of technical treatises, the nature of the according to a statement in the preface, he made four illustrations given in previous works British successive expeditions, during as many years, in order mammals rendered it very hard for the amateur (to say