« PreviousContinue »
THURSDAY, JULY 26, 1906.
with it a capacity for affairs which enabled her to preside over the early education of her son with
singular judgment and success. SIR HENRI ROSCOE'S
Most of those who have read Lord Roberts's
Forty-one Years in India," must have been struck,
as they perused its pages, by his singular good fortune self. Pp. xii + 420. (London: Macmillan and Co., in meeting interesting people and making delightful
, Ltd., 1906.) Price 125. net.
friends at every turn-a feature of his life which was
due, no doubt, to his possessing the happy gift of SIR IR HENRY ROSCOE, who is known to us all
a quick eye for what is best and brightest in those as one of the most genial figures among the band
with whom he is thrown in contact. As one reads of great discoverers who gave a peculiar distinction
Sir Henry Roscoe's experiences, one cannot but to the reign of Queen Victoria, has been persuaded
born under by his friends to give to the world a charming book
happy star; for not only does he appear to have of memories, which were written originally, as he
met “good fellows”
at every stage of his life, tells us, for the use of his family. Now Sir Henry
a fact which we may venture to ascribe to his own Roscoe is, it appears,
genial temperament, but some good fairy seems to Roscoes in his taste for science, and the result is
have presided over his affairs, with the express that we get from him, on this occasion, not a mere
object of making him a chemist, and to have history of chemistry, nor even a mere record of scien
every stage he should be tific affairs in his own times, but something which Aung against real chemists, makers of diswill appeal, and appeal strongly, to a far wider coveries, and enthusiastic teachers, just the men, audience than that provided by his scientific friends
in short, who were best calculated to keep alive in and admirers, numerous, indeed, though these
him that capacity for asking
“ foolish " questions, must be.
which often worried his maternal grandfather, and to We suppose many of our readers are aware that
excite in him the secret desire—which we suspect whether Sir Henry Roscoe is or is not a Sport,
every discoverer of Sir Henry's rank has hugged to as he puts it, in his taste for science, he comes of a
his heart at an early age--to make, some day, just one family which for a century and a half has been dis- discovery, at least, in his favourite science. But, howtinguished for the literary power
and for the
ever that may be, it is clear that from Balmain, the Capacity for affairs exhibited by many of its members, discoverer of boron nitride, Roscoe “ picked up his and that in spite of his joke upon the subject, even love of chemistry " in the laboratory of the High School scientific power has not been altogether unknown of the Liverpool Institute, and that his scientific tastes among them, his grandfather, William Roscoe the
could not have been fostered by better guides than 1,1 historian, being still so
well remembered among Thomas Graham and W. C. Williamson, whom he bistanists that Sir Henry had the odd experience, only found at University College a few years later, and a frw years ago, when on a visit to Egypt, of being Bunsen, his life-long friend, with whom he worked and mistaken for the former, by a professor, who thought did great things at Heidelberg, when he betook himhe recognised in the great chemist the author of a self in due course to that beautiful home of science to monograph on the Monandrean plants published so be soaked in research in the splendid German manner. long ago as the year 1826.
At Heidelberg Sir Henry
Roscoe's progress The William Roscoe alluded to above, Sir Henry's rapid; after six months' work he passed the examinagrandfather and the founder of the reputation of the tion for the doctorate summa cum laude,” this being family, is, however, far more widely remembered as the first time this highest degree was granted to an a historian than as a botanist. In the former capacity | Englishman, and it was here, partly in 1855 and h. achieved a European reputation by laying the partly later years during vacations, that he carried
era in the history of the out his well-known work on the chemical action of Renaissance, and will long be remembered for his light. In 1857 he became professor of chemistry at “Lives of Lorenzo de' Medici and Leo X." He was the Owens College, and thereafter, as everyone knows, the first man of real mark in literature produced by he played a leading part, for well-nigh half a century, the city of Liverpool, and his unique position in in English science, and in not a few departments of that city led Washington Irving to describe him public life connected therewith, helping on pure Sketch-book
the literary land science by his researches and by his books, promoting the place, where, “ like Pompey's the usefulness of chemistry in education by his “ Little Column at Alexandria," he towered “ alone in Roscoe, as it used to be called, which has been the classic dignity.” Sir Henry Roscoe's father was also guide, philosopher and friend of thousands upon a man of great powers; he became Judge of the Court thousands of English students, and advancing generof Passage at Liverpool, but died young, leaving his ally national efficiency in a dozen different directions son at the age of three to the sole care of his mother. by his public labours both in and out of Parliament. This lady, like her son's father and grandfather, But considerations of space forbid us from pursuing possessed not a little literary ability, as is the attractive theme provided by. Sir Henry Roscoe's
Life of Vittoria Colonna,” which was manifold activities, and compel us to return to the published in 1868 by Messrs. Macmillan and Co., and subject of his latest book. Briefly, we may say that NO. 1917, VOL. 74]
Foundations of a
in the mark of
all who read it will find it delightful. It is full unstinted labours. We should like to quote a few of information about men and matters, an epitome passages from this part of the book, but want of space in non-technical language of that part of the history makes this impossible. But there is one side of the of our own times in which Sir Henry has played a matter to which attention may well be directed at this distinguished part. It is enlivened with many good moment, when the question of national defence, or stories, especially of his great master and lifelong some part of it, goes daily into the pot, and daily friend Baron Bunsen, and adorned with many excel- comes out of it again.
It has often been said that the success of the lent portraits of the scientific giants of the nineteenth century. Though written, as we have said, for the Germans in the Franco-German War depended on use of his family in the first instance, this book
the German schoolmaster. After the war this opinion of memories is essentially a public document, a
found voice also in France, and Sir Henry illustrates record of many matters, not commonly known, during this by telling us that at Rouen he saw, te his sur
Prussian soldier's an important period. For details of these the book prise, in the school museum itself must be consulted, since a mere enumeration of helmet. On asking why this was there, he was
told by the director that when
the the names of those with whom its author has worked
did not attend to their work it was his custom in public affairs, or a list of the debates, scientific, educational, industrial and political, in which he has
to bring this helmet down, put it on the desk, taken part would overcrowd the space available for and say, “Now, if you do not make progress this notice. In its pages will be found records of and learn properly this will happen to you again.
The surest way to bring it upon you
is to student life in Germany in the distant days when it was scarcely possible, or at any rate very diffi- neglect your studies and grow up in ignorance, and cult, to become a chemist in any other country;
become inferior in intellectual training." " The disstories about University College in the hey- play of this helmet,” said the director, “ never fails day of its youth, when De Morgan, Sharpey, to bring the blush of shame to the cheeks of my Graham, Liston, and others of equal eminence students, and to rouse their patriotism and their real
among the professors, and Lister, Farrer for their studies." May we recommend this story to Herschell, Bagehot, Jessel, Hutton, Henry Thomp- the attention of Mr. Haldane, and still more to that son, and Edward Fry were, or recently had been, of the Minister for Education, and to politicians in among its students; much about the early history general, and suggest that it has for us in England of Owens College, which, when Roscoe joined the
a moral also? Only here, alas! the men need to staff, could boast only of thirty-five students, of whom learn the lesson it conveys as well as, and, indeed, but fifteen were at work in the laboratory, and
even more than, the boys. of the gradual growth of the college in size and We cannot conclude without expressing our admiradignity until it became the first of the new English tion of Lady Roscoe's contribution to this charmuniversities; a rich mine of information about the ing volume, viz. the excellent reproduction of her progress of technical education from the year 1883, photograph “ The Fisherman,” which was recently when a Royal Commission consisting of “Mr. Bern- pronounced, by a very competent authority, to be hard Samuelson, Mr. John Slagg, Mr. (now Sir) Swire the best photograph by an English amateur that Smith, Mr. (now Sir) Philip Magnus, Mr. William they could suggest for insertion in an American Woodall, and Sir Henry Roscoe was appointed to journal, and our hearty wish that Sir Henry and study and report on the then state of technical educa- Lady Roscoe may long remain among us to enjoy tion at home and abroad, and, again, about the recent their retreat in sunny Woodcote, where the great history of the University of London, of which Sir chemist has crowned his scientific career by the almost Henry was for some time Vice-Chancellor, and many unique achievement of making both ends meet as an other important matters. The book closes, as such amateur farmer.
W. 1 S. a book should, with a few pages which give us a glimpse of the life of Sir Henry and Lady Roscoe
WITH WIRES AND WITHOUT. at Woodcote Lodge, their Surrey home.
Telegraphy. By T. E. Herbert. Pp. 1x +912. Apart from his scientific work, and the part he took (London : Whittaker and Co., 1906.) Price 6s, 6d. in founding Owens College, Sir Henry Roscoe's share net. in the labours of the Royal Commission on Technical The Principles of Electric Wave Telegraphy. By Instruction and his subsequent labours on behalf of Dr. J. A. Fleming. Pp. xix + 671. (London: technical and secondary education represent the great Longmans, Green and Co., 1906.) Price 245, net, feature in his public life. Sir Henry and his col
By Dr. Gustav Eichorn. leagues not only spent many months travelling in Pp. X+116. (London : Charles Griffin and Co., this country and all over Europe for the public good, Ltd., 1906.) Price 8s. 6d. net. but they did this at their own expense; and, after Wireless Telegraphy. By W. J. White. Pp. x+ 17.3. their report was published, many of them spared (London : T. C. and E. C. Jack, 1906.) Price is. neither time nor trouble in spreading abroad the knowledge they had acquired of what was being done of the numerous achievements of which the elecby our competitors in other countries. One trembles trical engineer can boast, telegraphy is the one to think what might still be the state of technical of which he has the greatest reason to be proud. 11 education in this country but for them and their we combine with telegraphy the sister subject of
telephony there can be little doubt but that by the In the art of telegraphy we see a science which application of these two sciences he has effected a reached, long ago,
the last stage.
If anyone greater revolution in human affairs than by all his wishes for a general idea of the extent of telegraphy successes in the way of heavy engineering. He may at the present day let him read Mr. Herbert's book. “ electrify” our railways, especially the suburban Unless he is an expert, or studying to become one, he lines, to the great advantage of both the travelling will probably realise more from the style in which public and the shareholder, but he is still only doing the book is written than from the study of it in for us in another way what the mechanical engineer detail. He will see that here he is dealing with has already accomplished. He may harness the great something which is firmly established, in which waterfalls and transmit their power over hundreds methods and apparatus have become almost stereoof miles to localities at which it can be more easily typed, and in which progress can only be exceedingly utilised, but he is only saving Mahomet the trouble | slow because everything is already so highly developed of going to the mountain. He may provide for us and because the interests which are vested in the in the arc lamp and the glow lamp the most efficient methods now in use are so gigantic that only a means of producing artificial light, but he is only revolution can warrant their overthrow. Mr. Herbert's supplying us with an alternative to the cheaper pro- book is full and concise, and a vast amount of inductions of the gas engineers. But with telegraphy formation is condensed into its pages. At the same he has given us something entirely new-an time it is simple, as befits a book intended for young a hich, whilst actually annihilating distance, virtually students and dealing with a subject in which simannihilates time. So familiar have we become with plicity has been reached through complexity. the operations of the telegraphist that few probably In the three books on wireless telegraphy before ever realise how closely dependent upon them is every us we see good illustrations of what has been said detail of modern civilised life. We speak of the above of the stage of growth of an applied science. twentieth century as being, or as promising to be, the Mr. White's book is a somewhat belated arrival, beelectrical age, and we think of the railways, the longing properly to a few years back. It is purely lighting, and the development of power, whereas in descriptive, almost purely popular, and should have reality it is the electrical age because of the telegraph been written when the general public had a keen and and the telephone. If the vast network of thin wires living interest in the subject. Inasmuch as it dewhich stretch over the civilised world like the threads scribes the latest systems it has a certain claim to of a spider's web were suddenly wiped out to-morrow, existence. But wireless telegraphy has almost reached we should as suddenly realise with the non-appear- the third stage, and before long we shall cease 10 ance of the morning paper what it meant to be hear anything more about it, and, taking it for thrown back into the age before electricity.
granted, will concern ourselves only with grumbling In spite of the enormous influence which telegraphy at its cost. That it has not fully reached the final Exercises in our daily life, we hear a great deal less stages is sufficiently shown by Dr. Fleming's and about it than we do of a number of unimportant | Dr. Eichorn's books. Of Dr. Eichorn's book we can things. Few people write papers upon it. The only say that we should have greatly welcomed its Journal of the Institution of Electrical Engineers, appearance had it not been for the almost simultaneous originally the Society of Telegraph Engineers, will publication of Dr. Fleming's work. Dr. Eichorn was be found almost free from such papers during the manager of the large experimental stations for Prof. past ten years. Fewer people write books. The Braun, and writes specially about the systems which reason is not far to seek. Every applied science have been developed by Slaby, Arco and Braun into passes through three stages—the stages of incubation, the Telefunken " system, which shares, we suppose, of growth, and of maturity. In the first stage the with the Marconi system the honour of being the outsider hears little about it; some few who are speci- most important and most practical systems yet deally interested in scientific research may be aware veloped. The book is well written, and combines that some observations of the natural philosopher are with a good deal of description a careful investigabring developed along lines that promise results of tion of the fundamental theoretical phenomena. great practical utility. At length a point is reached But in Dr. Fleming's book we have undoubtedly when the practical value of the work becomes so
to be recommended to students specially self-evident that even the halfpenny paper realises it, interested in wireless telegraphy, and the practical and the world is provided with a new nine-days' development already attained warrants the existence of u onder. From now begins the period of growth a certain number of such students. If technical educaduring which publicity is excessive. Everyone talks tion were organised in an ideal manner there would about the new discovery. Everyone who can makes exist a professorial board the duties of which would experiments in connection with it, and publishes his be to prescribe exactly the literature which a student sults in papers, and those who cannot afford the should and should not read. Such a body would time to experiment write books on the subject. After allow anyone to write and publish books, and would od period more or less protracted public interest wanes, not prohibit reading them until the tentative efforts and is diverted, we will say, to a scandal of tinned of various authors resulted in the production of one meat, and, what is more important, the science, frona or more books containing all the information on the being experimental and much talked of, becomes subject which could be regarded as necessary and poractical and much used.
sufficient. Then they would say to the student : You may read this and that book, but on no account in the history of the germ-cells, and have neglected are you to waste any time on any others; you may to inquire into the fundamental cause which unifie. consult such and such original researches, but the the whole. They have reached partial interpretations, remainder are useless. We have no doubt that this usually “ artificial and teleological,'' of details, but body would notify in the present instance that the a connected general theory is lacking. They have student of wireless telegraphy must confine his at- been like geologists interpreting the course of a river, tention to the books by Hertz and Dr. Fleming. We and ignoring gravitation, The unifying secret is are not speaking of the student of electromagnetic "biomolecular addition,” which seems to mean the waves. In Dr. Fleming's book is to be found a power that the living molecule (whatever that may be) treatment of the subject which is exhaustive and has of adding to itself another molecule " so that the thorough both on the theoretical and practical sides. biomolecule resulting from the addition has double It is a book which has been long wanted, and will the number of atoms, and may, in consequence, divide be warmly welcomed.
into two biomolecules similar to one or the other of One may notice, however, by a careful study of the added biomolecules." Thus a male biomolecule the book that wireless telegraphy practice is still and a female biomolecule (identified with paternal and to a certain extent tentative. The best methods are maternal biomolecules) may add together and then not yet decided upon, and methods differ because divide into two biomolecules which are either male there is still much ignorance. But there are signs or female. We do not profess to understand this, that the approach to more exact results is being though the author assures us that biomolecular addimade with the advent of apparatus based on wider tion is “nothing but a chemical reaction of the knowledge and capable of allowing accurate measure- greatest simplicity between the biomolecules constiments. Just as telegraphy needed the development tuting the genetic cells," and we regret that we do of very special apparatus before full advantage could not understand it, for we are told that "it suffices be taken of its powers, so wireless telegraphy calls to explain even in their minor details all the interest. for its own special apparatus. The process of de- ing manifestations accompanying the function of velopment is necessarily slow, but in our present state sexual reproduction." These are brave words, but the of technical attainments it is sure.
author's “ explanation " seems to us far removed from It is quite evident from the perusal of the books the present-day scope of biology, in Britain at least. before us that there is room in our complex civilisa- The author cannot accept Weismann's theory of tion both for ordinary telegraphy and wireless tele- germinal continuity, believing, on the contrary, that graphy. There are very few new discoveries which the ancestors of the germ-cells become histologicalh succeed in displacing old ones. We have room for differentiated, like ordinary somatic cells, along many technical developments, and are capable of using special lines of “ monodic” development. all to their best advantages in the spheres for which certain epochế" the genetic moment”-however, they they are particularly suited. For telegraphy over come under the influence of special substances in land there is little, if any, fear that wires will be dis- the internal milieu, and are shunted back on a sori placed. There is little fear either that for com- of return journey which brings them, or their demunication between continent and continent the cable scendants rather, to or near their starting point of will give way to the overgrown“ antennæ.” Wireless resemblance to the parental ovum from which they telegraphy has found its special sphere in communica- are by cell-lineage derived. If the germ-cells can tion with ships, and soon will succeed in bringing return perfectly to the state of the original fertilised us as close together at sea as we now are on land. ovum, with its dual equipment of male and femalt When we consider that any man in any civilised biomolecules, then parthenogenesis may occur. But country will be able to get into almost instant com- this complete return implies very favourable nutritive munication with any other, either on land or sea, we conditions in the internal milieu, and, as a matter of can realise something of the benefits conferred by fact, what usually occurs after the “ genetic moment telegraphy with wires and without.
is a process of internal biomolecular addition as the MAURICE SOLOMON. result of which the male or the female biomolecules in
the germ-cells disappear, and two kinds of genetic
cells are differentiated (with female or male biomoleTHEORETICAL BIOLOGY.
cules respectively). Thus fertilisation is necessary to Les Problèmes de la l'ie. Part iii. La Fécondation
restore the integral constitution of the original et l'Hérédité. By Prof. Ermanno Giglio-Tos, 1905. parental ovum. The primitive cause of sexuality Pp. vii + 189. Part ii. L'Ontogénèse et ses Pro- and of fertilisation is to be found in the pheromirnon blèmes. 1903. Pp. 368; 36 figures. (Chez l’Auteur of biomolecular addition.” In a laboriously ingenious à l'Université de Cagliari.)
fashion the author uses his key to read the mysterious IN N the third volume of his treatise on the problems ciphers of maturation and fertilisation, and he finds of life, Prof. Giglio-Tos proposes to elucidate that it unifies everything-hermaphroditism and
all the puzzling problems of maturation, fertilisation, parthenogenesis, secondary sex characters, and the and heredity in the light of a fundamental pheno- rejuvenescence of infusorians. But we have not been menon which he calls * biomolecular addition.' able to use his key, and his distinctions between pris. Biologists, he tells us, have been too much pre- genetic and metagenetic parts of the body, neuter and occupied with the interpretation of particular chapters sexual paragenetic cells, external and internal biu
molecular additions, are not readily borne in mind. Among other insects this useful report deals with We have not been more successful with a previous we find notes on the pea and bean thrips, woolly volume dealing with development, which explains that aphis, currant-shoot moth, raspberry moth, cockthere is "one fundamental principle" controlling the chafers, furniture beetles, and book-lice. There are denniled ontogenetic phenomena, namely, “the prin- also short accounts of the lilac Gracilaria and the cipls of monodic development." Though it is “ of larch Coleophora. The abundance of eel-worms extraordinary simplicity, like all the principles of during the past year is also dwelt upon, and a list of natural phenomena," we have failed to detect its woodlice found in the Midlands is given. luminiferous quality.
Amongst so much of value, such as the account of But as the author emphasises the fact that if his the snow-fly (Aleyrodes vaporarium, p. 22) and the argument is to be appreciated there must not be “the larch and spruce chermes (p. 14), that this report least omission of any part of the book, even if it contains, we are sorry to see some wrong statements seems a superfluous repetition," and as he “has con- being carried forward. For instance, on p. 23, caustic secrated all his intellectual activity and all his scien- alkali wash is still recommended for mussel scale in tifie passion " to working out an interpretation which winter. Recent work has shown that it has no effect seems to him “ to explain the fundamental pheno- at all, even when used at treble the normal strength. mena of life on absolutely scientific principles," we A few pages are devoted to the subject of the preleel bound, in fairness, to recommend the author's servation of wild birds, illustrated by figures from the painstaking work to all biologists who may have the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries leaflets. There is leisure and patience which a study of “ Les Problèmes also a short appendix dealing with the employment of de la Vie" requires. Perhaps another requisite hydrocyanic acid gas and bisulphide of carbon. which we cannot pretend to possess is a clear appre- This report, like its predecessors, is one of much hension of the biomolecule.
J. A. T. interest, but some of the remedial measures for such
things as wire-worm and “ big-bud" must surely not ECONOMIC ZOOLOGY.
be taken too seriously by agriculturists.
Fred. V. THEOBALD. Report on the Injurious Insects and Other Animals
observed in the Midland Counties during 1905. By Walter E. Collinge, M.Sc. Pp. 58+ xxxii figures.
THE FEELING FOR NATURE. (Birmingham: Cornish Brothers, Ltd., 1906.) | The Development of the Feeling for Nature in the
Middle Ages and Modern Times. By Alfred Biese. R. COLLINGE, in his third report on the in- Authorised Translation, Pp. vi + 376. (London :
jurious insects and other animals of the Mid- Routledge and Sons, Ltd., 1905.) Price 6s. land counties, again deals with many varied subjects.
ATURE in her ever-constant, ever-changing The report is well illustrated, except for the figure of a
phases is indispensable to man, his whole exweird bird and its egg supposed to represent a barn
istence depends upon her, and she influences him in owl. Why a valuable page was wasted on such an
manifold ways in mind as well as body.” Such being unnatural production is impossible to understand. the relation of nature to inan, as set forth in the
One of the most interesting parts of the report is introduction, it has been the author's endeavour to that dealing with “big-bud” in black currants, and trace in this volume the development of human the treatment of diseased bushes (pp. 6 and 7). In a thought in regard to the phenomena of nature from summary Mr. Collinge tells us that he “ feels con- the introduction of Christianity downwards, in the vinced that the application of lime and sulphur will
same way that was done in a previous volume for krep this mite in check, and if the dusting or spray- the time of the Greeks and Romans. This has been ing is continued will entirely eradicate it.” Later he done mainly by the study of writings, both in prose tells us that the results have been checked by many and poetry, in which natural phenomena, whether large growers, and that they clearly point to the connected with scenery, weather, birds, or flowers, are fact that “the application of lime and sulphur offers spoken of with admiration. That the task of writing an effective remedy.” He does not tell us how many the book was a difficult one is freely admitted by times we have to dust or spray the bushes. That Prof. Biese, and it is scarcely to be wondered at if ** we know completely the life-history of the mite" at the end the book strikes the reader as somewhat is certainly not the fact; some dozens of points have less attractive than he would naturally expect from yet to be found out.
the title. An interesting account is also given of the plum The book is largely made up of quotations, and Iphides (Hyalopterus pruni and Aphis ni). Some
many of these quotations do not, after all, prove thing is wrong, however, in the account of Aphis very much. Then, again, as we approach recent pruni, for the young coming froin the winter eggs, times the quantity of literature at a writer's disposal which are very few in number, and hatch very tends to become for practical purposes infinite, and early in the year, are not green. In early spring we in such circumstances anything might be proved find this Aphis as a large plum-coloured "mother- by choosing suitable quotations. Again, in quoting
“ queen," and she produces green living young. The poetry as an indication of popular feeling at various treatment recommended, namely, early spraying, is times it must not be forgotten that poetry is, from nevertheless most imperative.
the very nature of things, essentially conservative, so