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FLEET STREET, LONDON
THURSDAY, JUNE 7, 1906.
the source of fat in the animal body, the economic feeding of live-stock, ensilage and sewage farming.
The experiments upon field crops at Rothamsted THE ROTHAMSTED EXPERIMENTS.
were chiefly of one type. The land was divided up
into plots, usually of from one-eighth to one-half of The Bouk of the Rothamsted Experiments. By A. D.
the plots received different Hall Pp. x]+294. (London: John Murray, 1905.)
such farmyard manure, superphosPrict ios, 6d. net.
phate, nitrate of soda, and the sulphates of am
monia, potash, soda, and magnesia. The artificial formed the subject of over 200 papers and re
were employed in various combinations. ports, no book describing them has hitherto been With few exceptions, plots received the same manures published in this country. The present volume, by year after year, and the field was occupied by the Dr. Gilbert's successor, is therefore a welcome ad- same crop either permanently, as in the case of the dition to agricultural literature. We do not forget wheat and barley experiments, or so long as the crop that two works entitled “The Rothamsted Experi- could be got to grow, as in the case of clover and ments were published respectively in 1888 and in potatoes. The primary object of these experiments 1897, but the former was an account of a few ex- was to ascertain how crops grow, and more especiprriments only, and the latter discussed the practical ally to discover what capacity the important farm ftsulis rather than the experiments themselves. crops have of obtaining nourishment from unmanured Mr. Hall's book has been written chiefly for the
soil, and what class of manure is most necessary general reader who may be interested in agricultural for the healthy development of each. As the work experiments. but it is also intended for the student progressed, other points were brought to light and the teacher. It opens with biographical notices -thus, for example, in connection with the wheat of the two remarkable men who have made the name experiments it was shown (1) that the fertility of of Rothamsted familiar. Then follow three intro- ordinary soils was of two types--one quickly exductory chapters-the first mainly historical, the hausted (condition), the other of a very enduring second dealing with meteorological observations, and character inherent fertility); (2) that high farming the third describing the soils of the experimental is not a remedy for low prices in the case of wheat; fields. At the end of the book there are three ap- (3) that superphosphate and the sulphates of potash pendices, the most important being a list of Rotham- and ammonia do not occur in appreciable quantities sted publications. These sections of the work, with in the drainage waters from corn-fields, but that the index, occupy some go out of a total of 334 nitrates readily pass through the soil and are lost. pages. The remainder of the book consists of ten In the experiments on meadow herbage, as with chapters, each dealing with one experiment, or with wheat, it was soon shown what classes of manure groups of similar experiments. The text is illus- were required, but after a time it became apparent trated by fourteen full-page plates, and by a large that different species in the meadow were differently number of diagrams, while figures obtained in the affected by the treatment the piots received, and for experiments occupy ninety-two tables.
many years the interest has centred in the varying Those who conduct field experiments will read with fortunes of the combatants in this “battle of the some surprise the account given of the soil of meadow." There is an excellent account of these Rothamsted. The estate was recently surveyed by changes, and the diagrams in this section of the book Mr. H. B. Woodward, of the Geological Survey, and are particularly striking--not so striking, however, he described the experimental fields as resting on a as the plots themselves now are. There are no field very mixed deposit of clay-with-flints overlying chalk. experiments so full of interest to the naturalist as the The chalk is extensively piped, and appears occa- plots in the park at Rothamsted. sionally in irregular pinnacles near the surface. The Mr. Hall gives a very good summary of the suil is a grey, flinty, or pebbly loam, ten inches or Rothamsted work, and his book forms a complete more in thickness, and varying in character accord guide to the experiments. It contains just the informing to the number of stones in it. From this descrip-ation which the visitor wants, and it is also well tion the soil would appear to be anything but an adapted for the agricultural student. But in the inideal one for agricultural experiments, but we know terests of the visitor and the student we hope that a that on the whole it has been satisfactory. It would new edition of smaller size may be published before seem, therefore, that where the soil is of moderate long. A royal octavo page, “English " type, and depth, variations in the subsoil may not interfere thick paper make the book in its present form an seriously with field plots.
admirable library edition, but the student wants someLawes and Gilbert had wide interests, and at one thing more compact and less expensive. time or another they touched upon almost every im- We venture to make a further suggestion. It is portant subject dealt with by the agriculturist. Their that in subsequent editions the “ Practical Conclumain work was on what may be described as the sions " which are appended to most of the chapters balance-sheet of the soil, and most of the crop and should be omitted. They do not harmonise with the feeding experiments were planned to throw light rest of the work-in a good many cases, indeed, they upon the soil's losses and gains; but they found time seem to be based on general agricultural principles for investigations on many other subjects, such as rather than on results obtained in the Rothamsted
experiments—and in their present form they are Lawes and Gilbert were then engrossed." This babit, more likely to cause readers to underestimate than possibly undesirable in a scientific report, was most to appreciate the great value of the work of valuable to the readers of their general papers. To the Lawes and Gilbert. Take, for example, the agriculturist, Lawes and Gilbert were known as “ Practical Conclusions " which follow Chapter IV.- teachers rather than as experimenters, and while the “Experiments upon Wheat." The chapter extends accuracy and extent of their experiments brought to thirty-eight pages, and deals with some of the most them scientific fame, it was as interpreters of science, important work done at Rothamsted. The conclu- as men who thoroughly appreciated both the scientific sions are three in number, and in effect are and the practical aspects of their subject, that they follow :--(1) Wheat is in less need of direct manur- became leaders in the agricultural world, and for close ing than most other crops of the farm, and can on two generations continued to be the trusted adusually be grown with the residues in the soil, especi- visers of the British farmer. ally if it follows a clover crop.” (2) Manures for
T. H. MIDDLETOX. wheat should be mainly nitrogenous, and nitrate of soda is generally better than sulphate of ammonia.
EVOLUTION AND PHILOSOPHY. (3) “When wheat is grown two or three times in succession, about 1 cwt. per acre of some slow-acting
Evolution the Master-key. By Dr. C. W. Saleeby. nitrogenous manure and 2 cwt. of superphosphate Pp. viii + 364. (London: Harper and Brothers, should be ploughed before seeding, and a top-dress
1906.) Price 75. 6d. ing of 1 to 2 cwt. per acre of nitrate of soda should
R. SALEEBY has written a very interesting book. be applied in February. Only on the lightest sandy The grand range and sweep of his reasoning and gravelly soils will any return be obtained for the is remarkable. He deals, and generally very ably use of kainit and other potash salts with wheat.” "
though very briefly, with most of the profoundest These conclusions do not represent the “practical problems of science and philosophy. As the title of teaching of Lawes and Gilbert, and although it is his book proclaims, his object is to apply the doctrine admitted that they are conclusions which may be fairly of evolution to all problems and to show that, though drawn from the Rothamsted experiments on wheat, some entirely baffle human thought and reasoning, we think the book would be improved by their | yet to most there is a key, and one key only. They absence.
must be studied from the evolutionary standpoint. Rothamsted has exercised a great influence on prac- Each train of thought is pursued till its logical contical agriculture, but in perusing Mr. Hall's book we clusion is reached. There is no stopping half-way. have been impressed by the fact that the experiments, When great principles are expounded, Dr. Saleeby does important as they are, do not in themselves account not leave them in barren solitude, but boldly faces the for the estimation in which Rothamsted has been inferences that inevitably follow. He is, in fact, very held by agriculturists. If, however, the reader turns
thoroughgoing. Dr. Saleeby's science and philosophy to the list of papers in appendix i. he will there find
are always alive and human, for he always traces the explanation of much of Lawes and Gilbert's in
new thoughts and new discoveries to their originators. fluence. They began their experiments as students of In his admirations he is very hearty and genuine. nature, and with the one object of adding to the ex- His heroes are the men who have advanced human isting knowledge of agriculturists. As their work knowledge and helped to emancipate the human inprogressed they not only came to possess tellect. Occasionally he rises to eloquence. unrivalled acquaintance with the general facts After part i., which is preliminary and general, our of agricultural science, but they gained a very author proceeds to inorganic evolution. The evolution close knowledge of the business of the practical of sun and planets from a nebula, the gradual dissipafarmer. They were thus able to find in their experi- tion of the sun's heat, and the possible return to the ments much that explained the farmer's difficulties,
nebula state through collision with another celestial and, as they were always careful to place their results body—all this is excellently described. After this, radium before farmers, their papers in the agricultural and the architecture of the atom come up for investiga. journals soon attracted the notice of practical men. tion. Part ii. deals with organic evolution, beginning As long ago as 1856 a writer on Rothamsted says :
with a discussion of the origin of life, and not omitThese lessons the English farmers have learnt from ting the practical question of eugenics. The subject Mr. Lawes. They have accepted them with becom- of part iv. is superorganic evolution—the evolution of ing gratitude. They are practising them with in- mind, the human will, the origin of ideas, the evolucreasing confidence day by day to their great and tion of religion, evolution and marriage, evolution and proved advantage.
education, and so forth. In part v. we have evolution It was not the habit of Lawes and Gilbert to con
and optimisın. In part vi. Dr. Saleeby tackles the fine themselves to Rothamsted data ; they drew freely difficult subject of dissolution. Though energy never on other sources of information in compiling their disappears, yet it is dissipated, and so becomes unpapers; and they wrote upon subjects rather than
available. Is the death of the whole universe in upon experiments; to quote Mr. Hall, “ The papers on prospect? Are there alternate periods of evolution specific investigations often tend to be less accounts of and dissolution? Part vii. is occupied with evolution the experiment as a whole than discussion of such of and the religion of the future. its results as bear upon the dominant idea with which In a book covering so wide a field it is inevitable
“ The progeny
that there should be a good deal to criticise. Part i., the fullest use of their discretion. President Gilman which deals with preliminary questions, is too long. himself had a roving commission to pick the brains The chapter on the philosophic temper is quite un- of the older Universities in England, France, and necessary. Dr. Saleeby's overpowering admiration Germany. The main problem was to disengage the for Herbert Spencer occasionally leads him astray. University from the college idea, and to give to the Herbert Spencer attributed organic, evolution mainly University point of view all the distinctness of which to the inheritance of acquired characters, tracing even it was capable. The selection of the original faculty the stag's antlers to this principle. Though a large was sufficient to secure this result. It included such majority of biologists think otherwise, our author as Sylvester, Martin, Rowland, Morris (from maintains that time has vindicated Spencer. The Oriel College), Gildersleeve, and Remsen, who sucevidence he himself produces is worth little or nothing. ceeded Dr. Gilman as president in 1902. Pathogenic bacteria, he says, quoting Haeckel, when given interesting glimpses of these and other notethey " are passed through the body of a highly sus- worthy teachers, as also of other famous English ceptible animal become possessed of a much greater and American savants who were at different times and degree of virulence than formerly."
in different degrees associated with the Johns Hopof such bacteria, often after tens and hundreds of
kins University such as Freeman and Huxley, Cayley generations, are possessed of a character which was and Kelvin-and of such celebrities as Dean Stanley, acquired by their ancestors during their passage Lowell, Child, and Lanier, the poet. The interest of through the body of the susceptible animal." Grant these chapters is, in fact, largely personal and local, that this is so, still the unicellular organisms are in interspersed with general reflections on the advancequite a different category from the higher animals. ment of science, the conflict of studies, and the idea
Dr. Saleeby's optimism sometimes affects his judg- of research. Brief notices are also given of what are ment.
Natural selection, he maintains, is still perhaps the two most distinguished features of the making for the improvement of the human breed. Johns Hopkins University-its publications and its Is this really so among civilised races? And, if so, medical school. what need of Mr. Galton's eugenics, which he highly The “ addresses on various occasions, historical commends? Again, Dr. Saleeby denies the freedom
and educational," are of somewhat unequal interest. of the will. Like nearly all modern psychologists, For the most part they are too occasional, as well he is a determinist. Like a true optimist, he finds a as too topical in character, to be of very general satisfaction in the fact that we cannot act without
interest. Some of them are fitly characterised as “a motive-in other words, that we are automata. He
sheaf of remembrances”; some touch, without going tells us that we have will, but this turns out only to
very deeply into, University problems; while others, mean that the brain can inhibit the working of the
again, are of the nature of social and ethical homilies. lower nerve-ganglia. If a slave is allowed to keep
Here, as elsewhere, the author dwells on the progress a slave, he does not thereby cease to be a slave himself.
which has been made towards the recognition of “ the After all, what we want is a working belief in free
true significance of University work, as distinguished will, and this is the inalienable property of every
from collegiate discipline," and at the same time inhealthy man. When it comes to action a healthy dicates that the development of graduate study has determinist throws aside his theories and his philo
not been without its influence upon the organisation sophic temper, and has as strong a sense of freedom
of collegiate work. “Two gains are doubtless peras any barbarian. In conclusion, we must congratu
an option between late Dr. Saleeby on having produced so readable and
groups” of undergraduate studies, and the so able a book.
F. W. H.
“ rapidly increasing" recognition of the value of
“ liberal education "_not only as the preliminary anTHE UNIVERSITY IDEA.
tecedent to higher and special studies, but also as a The Launching of a University, and Other Papers. preparation for business and politics. We are
A Shear of Remembrances. By Dr. J. D. C. sure, however, how far Dr. Gilman's estimate of the Gilman. Pp. 386. (New York : Dodd, Mead and
value of the “ elective " system is representative of Co., 1906.) Price 2.50 dollars net.
opinion among home or foreign observers. In another 'HE launching of the Johns Hopkins l'niversity place he describes the system as “a triumph of the
could not be more fitly or more intimately de- last thirty years.” With regard to liberal culture, Dr. scribed than by one who has “ the advantage of
Gilman observes that “ a liberal education is not now knowing more than anyone else of an unwritten complete unless it includes a knowledge of French chapter of history.” Such a record could hardly fail and German." Both these points deserve the conto throw interesting sidelights on the growth of the sideration of University reformers in other places. idea of the University in its modern conception. It is Perhaps the most striking note of Dr. Gilman's interesting to notice that the launchers of the Johns addresses on University subjects is his strenuous plea Hopkins C'niversity were largely influenced, not only for “research.” To the term itself he takes not by the pridence of University Commissions in Great unreasonable exception; for the thing he has nothing Britain, but also by the writings of Newman and but enthusiasm; and in this connection what he has Matthew Arnold, of Pattison and Appleton. The to say about the magnificent promise of the Carnegie actual founder was as liberal in his ideas as he was Institution, with which he has been prominently asso in his gifts, and the administrators of his gift made / ciated, will be read with interest. Among the wa
velopments of University activity in America which of interest, the same desire to set out and see for Dr. Gilman selects for commendation are the growth ourselves. of scientific laboratories (including observatories and If we have any complaint to make it is that the surveys), the expansion of libraries, the adjustment author has not told us more about the natural features of the claims of science and letters, the “ clarifica- of the district. To the fauna and flora we find only tion” of the idea of the University, the admission of scattered allusions, e.g., to the Arion and the Acis women to the advantages of higher education, and on the hills near Barton, or the Salvia Pratensis in the advancement of professional schools, especially the Forest of Wychwood. Of the geology and hydroschools of medicine and law. Dr. Gilman also notes graphy he writes as little as possible. Like most other with satisfaction the mutual growth of “sweet nations, the British are surprisingly ill acquainted with reasonableness” among the leaders of religious and the land in which they live, but it does not follow of scientific thought. The remaining addresses on that they are past educating. such miscellaneous subjects as “ Hand-craft and Rede- For our own part we should have liked more than craft,” “Greek Art in a Manufacturing Town,' a mention of the botany of Tadmarton Heath, we “Civil Service Reform and Education in Philan- should have been glad to have a general idea of the thropy,” do not seem to call for special notice. They course of the Upper Thames, or the formation and lie are all, however, animated by the same lofty en- of the Cotswolds, the more westerly portion of the thusiasm and the same large outlook that character- great oolite sheet, which starts from the borders of ise the author's “idea of the University," and of the Dorset and runs north-east across England to find its future which it has before it in the general life of termination in the Yorkshire moors. On the other the nation.
hand the author is generous with historical and antiquarian details. His pages are full of memories
of the Civil War, of which this region was one of A RAMBLE IN THE WEST.
the chief theatres; the battles, Edgehill, Cropredy, &c., Highways and Byways in Oxford and the Cotswolds.
are brought clearly before our minds. He is a good By Herbert A. Evans. Illustrated by Frederick L.
raconteur, and his notes on the old families and local Griggs. Pp. viii +407. (London: Macmillan and worthies are very good reading. The great houses Co., Ltd., 1905.) Price 6s.
(Broughton, Sudeley, Compton Wynyatts, &c.) receive
full justice at his hands, while his descriptions of the world. Early Oxford, Mediæval Oxford, Stuart churches, not only of the great wool-churches of CirenOxford, Modern Oxford, it has been described over cester, Chipping Campden, &c., but of the humbler and over again in all its phases and all its moods. It village types, are instructive, and all things considered has furnished the artist with unfailing inspiration, it wonderfully free from monotony. has been the excuse for endless reminiscences, we have We have no hesitation in recommending the book. seen it approach " the cross-roads,” and recently it has It is not only attractive, but taking it as a whole it is been held to account in the columns of The Westminster accurate and valuable; between its covers is store Gazette.
both of pleasure and of profit. Like others of this The author of this volume may well be pardoned if series it has been illustrated by Mr. Frederick L. he does not write of the city at length. The few pages Griggs. which he spares to it are given up for the most part to the archæology of the less visited portion to the west
OUR BOOK SHELF. of the north and south artery, the quarter which
A Manual of Geometry. By W. D. Eggar. Pp. centred round the castle still in existence, and the
xxiii + 325. (London: Macmillan and Co., Ltd., magnificent foundations of Osney and Rewley long 1906.) Price 3s. 6d. since levelled with the dust. He does not attempt
text-book of elementary geometry by the anything in the nature of a general survey. If Oxford author of the well-known “ Practical Exercises in has a place in his book it is mainly because, situated Geometry ” will be eagerly welcomed. The “Manual as it is, at a point where the hills from east and west
of Geometry” is based on the earlier treatise, but most nearly meet, it is, as it were, the gate into the
the subject has been extended by the introduction of
theorems side by side with the practical work. In country whither he would lead us, the country that
deciding on the ground to be covered the author has is bounded by the fringe of the Cotswold on the west been largely guided by the revised syllabuses of and the Cherwell on the east, in other words the various examining bodies, and the manual will be northern half of the basin of the Upper Thames. He
found specially suited to students preparing for does not claim to have described this exhaustively
the Oxford and Cambridge Locals, London Matricula.
tion, Littlego, Army and Navy Qualifying, and he has merely tried to point out what struck him as
similar examinations. attractive in its history and scenery, in the hope of After a short preliminary course of practical and making it seem åttractive to others. That he has experimental work, practice and theory proceed succeeded in so doing is certain. Whether he takes together. The experimental method is always prous in thought to the Cotswolds proper, to Painswick
minent, being continually used in leading up inducor Winchcombe or Stow on the Wold, whether he
tively to the theorems. As each theorem is reached
a strict deductive proof is informally and partially writes of the escarpment of Edgehill, or the Vale of
outlined, and the student keeps a note-book in which Evesham, of the Forest of Wychwood, or of regions the theorems are entered, accompanied by a complete still nearer the city, he inspires us with the same feeling formal proof written out in his own words. Sets of