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duced by treating the vine from five to eight days after the first appearance of the spots.-On the rational construction of mills with metallic rollers, by M. J. Schweitzer.-On the analysis of silicates, by M. A. Leclère. The conditions are prescribed under which silicates may be safely opened up in a platinum crucible by means of lead oxide, the chief points being the purity of the oxide, and the complete exclusion of reducing gases by the use of a muffle.-On some peculiar circumstances which appear to have accompanied the fall of a meteorite on April 9, 1891, at Indarck in Transcaucasia, by M. Stanislas Meunier. —On the contamination of the springs of Sauve (Gard), by M. E. A. Martel. The contamination of the water supply of Sauve by sewage was proved directly by means of fluorescin. The frequent epidemics which have decimated this town are thus explained.— On two radiographs of the thorax, by M. F. Garrigou.

DIARY OF SOCIETIES.

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 9.

ROYAL SOCIETY, at 4.30.-On the Densities of Carbonic Oxide, Car-
bonic Anhydride, and Nitrous Oxide: Lord Rayleigh, F.R.S.-
On the Application of Harmonic Analysis to the Dynamical Theory
of the Tides. Part II. On the General Integration of Laplace's
Dynamical Equations: S. S. Hough.-A Note on some Further
Determinations of the Dielectric Constants of Organic Bodies and
Electrolytes at Very Low Temperatures: Prof. Dewar, F.R S., and
Prof. Fleming, F.R.S.-On Methods of making Magnets independent
of Changes of Temperature, and some Experiments upon Negative
Temperature Co-efficients in Magnets: J. R. Ashworth.-The Electric
Conductivity of Nitric Acid: V. H. Veley, F.R.S., and J. J. Manley.
-On the Calculation of the Co-efficient of Mutual Induction of a
Circle and a Coaxial Helix, and of the Electromagnetic Force between a
Helix and a Coaxial Circular Cylindrical Sheet: Prof. J. V. Jones,
F.R.S.-On the Refractivities of Air, Nitrogen, Argon, Hydrogen, and
Helium Prof. W. Ramsay, F.R.S., and M. W. Travers.
MATHEMATICAL SOCIETY, at 8.-The Construction of the Straight Line
joining Two Given Points: Prof. W. Burnside, F.R.S.-A Theorem con-
cerning the Special Systems of Point Groups on a Particular Type of Base
Curve: Miss F. Hardcastle.-A General Type of Vortex Motion; R.
Hargreaves.-Note on a Property of Pfaffians: H. F. Baker.
INSTITUTION OF ELECTRICAL ENGINEERS, at 8.-Annual General Meeting
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 10.
PHYSICAL SOCIETY, at 5.-An Exhibition of an Apparatus for Self-
acting Temperature Compensation of a Standard Cell: Albert Campbell.
-On Lord Kelvin's Absolute Method of Graduating Thermometers:
Rose Innes.

on

ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, at 8.-Occultation of Ceres by the Moon 1897 November 13, observed at the Hamburg Observatory: G. Rümker. A Determination of the Latitude Variation and of the Constant of Aberration from Observations made at the Royal Observatory, Cape of Good Hope, 1892-94: W. H. Finlay.-The Binary Star h 5014: R. T. A. Innes.-Mean Areas and Heliographic Latitudes of Sun-spots in the Year 1895. deduced from Photographs taken at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, at Dehra Dûn (India) and in Mauritius. MALACOLOGICAL SOCIETY, at 8.-A Description of a Supposed New Species of Monodonta (Austrocochlea) from Tablas Island: G. B. Sowerby.-On a New Species of Amphidromus from the Malay Archipelago (Alor Island): Hugh Fulton.-On a New Species and Probable New Sub-Genus of Endodonta from Ceylon, collected by O. Collett: Lieut.-Colonel H. H. Godwin-Austen, F.R.S.-Notes on a Second Collection of Marine Shells from the Andaman Islands, with Descriptions of New Forms J. Cosmo Melvill and E. R. Sykes.-On a Small Collection of Marine Shells from New Zealand and Macquarie Island, with Descriptions of New Species: E. A. Smith.

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 11. ESSEX FIELD CLUB (at Chingford), at 6.30.-Notes on the Conference of Delegates of Corresponding Societies of the British Association at Toronto: Prof. Meldola, F.R.S.-Two Essex Minerals: T. S. Dymond and F. W. Maryon.

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 12.
SUNDAY LECTURE SOCIETY, at 4.-Colour: Dr. C. W. Kimmins.
MONDAY, DECEMBER 13.

SOCIETY OF ARTS, at 8.-Gutta-Percha: Dr. Eugene F. A. Obach.
IMPERIAL INSTITUTE, at 8.30.-Canada's Metals: Prof. W. C. Roberts-
Austen, C. B., F.R.S.

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 14. ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY, at 8.30.-On the Lepidosiren paradoxa from the Amazon Dr. E. A. Goeldi.-On a Small Collection of Lepidoptera made by Mr. F. Gillett in Somaliland: Dr. A. G. Butler.-On the Mammals obtained by Mr. A. Whyte in N. Nyasaland, and presented to the British Museum by Sir H. H. Johnston, K.C.B.; being a Fifth Contribution to the Mammalogy of Nyasaland: Oldfield Thomas-On a New Genus and Species of Acaridea: Rev. O. Pickard Cambridge, F.R.S. INSTITUTION OF CIVIL ENGINEERS, at 8.-The Great Land-Slides on the Canadian Pacific Railway in British Columbia: Robt. B. Stanton. ROYAL STATISTICAL SOCIETY, at 5.30

ROYAL PHOTOGRAPHIC SOCIETY (Society of Arts, John Street, Adelphi), at 8.-Colour Photography: Prof. Gabriel Lippmann.

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 15. SOCIETY OF ARTS, at 8.-The Purification of Sewage by Bacteria: Dr. Samuel Rideal.

GEOLOGICAL SOCIETY, at 8.-On the Pyromerides of Boulay Bay, Jersey: John Parkinson.-The Exploration of the Ty Newydd Cave, Ffynnon Beuno, North Wales: Rev. G C. H. Pollen.

CHEMICAL SOCIETY (Extra Meeting), at 8.30.-Kekulé Memorial Lecture : Prof. F. R. Japp, F.R.S.

ROYAL MICROSCOPICAL SOCIETY, at 8.-A New Form of Photomicrographic Camera and Condensing System: E. B. Stringer.

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 16.

ROYAL METEOROLOGICAL SOCIETY, at 7.30.-Daily Values of Non-Instrumental Meteorological Phenomena in London, 1763-1896: R. C. Mossman.-The Rainfall of Seathwaite, Borrowdale, Cumberland: William Marriott.

ROYAL SOCIETY, at 4.30.
LINNEAN SOCIETY. at 8.-On the Affinities of the Madreporarian Genus
Alveopora H. M Bernard.-On West Indian Characeæ collected by T.
B. Blow: H. and J. Groves.
CHEMICAL SOCIETY, at 8.-Stereo-Chemistry of Unsaturated Compounds.
Part I. Esterification of Substituted Acrylic Acids: Dr. J. J. Sudborough
and Lorenzo Lloyd.-Formation and Hydrolysis of Esters: Dr. J. J.
Sudborough and M. E. Feilmann.-A New Method of Determining
Freezing Points of very Dilute Solutions: Dr. M. Wilderman.

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 17.

INSTITUTION OF ELECTRICAL ENGINEERS (Chemical Society's Rooms), at 8.-Accumulator Traction on Rails and Ordinary Roads: L. Epstein. INSTITUTION OF CIVIL ENGINEERS, at 8.-The Elastic Properties of Steel Wire Archer D. Keigwin.-The Elasticity of Portland Cement: W. L.

Brown.

BOOKS, PAMPHLETS, and SERIALS RECEIVED.

BOOKS.-By Roadside and River: H. M. Briggs (Stock).—Catalogue of the Books in the Library of the Indian Museum, Supplement 2 (Calcutta). Memoirs of the Geological Survey, Scotland: The Geology of Cowal: W. Gunn, C. T. Clough, and J. B. Hill (Edinburgh, Neill).-Stirpiculture: Dr. M. L. Holbrook (Fowler).-Studies in Psychical Research: F. Podmore (Paul).-Student's Guide to Submarine Cable Testing: H. K. C. Fisher and J. C. H. Darby (Electrician Company).-The Book of the Dead: Dr. E. A. W. Budge, 3 Vols. (Paul).-The Rod in India: H. S. Thomas, 3rd edition (Thacker).—Wild Life in Southern Seas: L. Becke (Unwin).-Famous Problems of Elementary Geometry: Profs. Beman and Smith (Boston, Ginn).-A Text-Book of Special Pathological Anatomy; Prof. E. Ziegler, translated and edited by Drs. D. MacAlister and H. W. Cattell, Sections ix.-xv. (Macmillan).-The Lepidoptera of the British Islands: C. G. Barrett, Vol. 4 (Reeve).-Philip's Revolving Planisphere and Perpetual Calendar (Philip).-Le Végétaux et les Milieux Cosmiques. J. Costantin (Paris, Alcan).

PAMPHLETS.-Radiography in Marine Zoology: Dr. R. N. Wolfenden (Rebman).-Untersuchung über die Bahn des Cometen 1822 IV.: Dr. A. Stichtenoth (Leipzig, Engelmann).

SERIALS.-Contemporary Review, December (Isbister).-Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society, November (New York, Macmillan).Knowledge, December (Holborn).-Nationai Review, December (Arnold). — Proceedings of the Liverpool Geological Society, Session Thirty-eight (Liverpool).-Geological Magazine, December (Dulau).-Fortnightly Review, December (Chapman).-An Illustrated Manual of British Birds: H. Saunders, 2nd edition, Part 2 (Gurney). - Physical Review, October (Macmillan).-Archives of the Roentgen Ray, November (Rebman).--Zeitschrift für Physikalische Chemie, xxiv. Band, 3 Heft (Leipzig, Engelmann). L'Anthropologie, Tome viii. No. 5 (Paris, Masson).-Gazzetta Chimica Italiana, 1897, fasc. v. (Roma).-Revue de l'Université de Bruxelles December (Bruxelles).

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THURSDAY, DECEMBER 16, 1897.

CHEMISTRY.

MENDELÉEFF'S PRINCIPLES OF
The Principles of Chemistry. By D. Mendeléeff. Trans-
lated from the Russian (sixth edition) by George
Kamensky, A.R.S.M. Edited by T. A. Lawson, B.Sc.,
Ph.D. Two vols. Pp. xviii + 621 and 518. (London:
Longmans, Green, and Co., 1897.)

Α

N English translation of the earlier (fifth) edition of this remarkable book was prepared by Mr. Kamensky, and edited by Mr. A. J. Greenaway, in 1891. It is therefore familiar to the English chemical world; and that a second edition of the English version should be called for in a comparatively short time, is a proof that the views of the author have a fascination which secures for the book a wide circle of readers. The author speaks of it modestly "as an elementary textbook of chemistry"; but it is probable that the previous edition has been exhausted less by a demand on the part of beginners in the subject, for whom, to say truly it is little adapted, than as a consequence of the interest which has been excited among advanced students and professed chemists by the exposition of the doctrine embodied in the so-called "Periodic Law," which is the principal feature of the work. Enough has already been said in the pages of NATURE (see vol. xlv. p. 529) concerning the characteristics of the book itself—the extraordinary development of the foot-notes, which often expand to such dimensions as almost to drive the text out of the page, and which in many cases contain far more interesting matter; the strange inequality in the materials collected, many processes, especially those connected with manufactures, being quite antiquated; and others which need not be recalled. The confusion of proper names, owing to errors of spelling, is not so conspicuous as in the former editions, though one ludicrous substitution occurs in the chapter on spectrum analysis, where Huggins is three times over transformed into Huyghens! Such defects, however, do very little to impair the real value of the book, or obscure the genius of the author. Turning from the attitude of the literary critic to that of the scientific inquirer, it is much more profitable to see what such a chemist as Mendeléeff has to say about special questions of fundamental or primary Importance.

may actually be accomplished. Mendeléeff seems to believe in the permanence of the terrestrial elements, for not only in the two foot-notes on p. 20, vol. i., but in a long digression upon the subject of Prout's hypothesis (p. 439-441, vol. ii.), he emphatically rejects the idea that the atomic weights of other elements have any definite numerical relation to that of hydrogen, and he points out that attempts at transmutation of one element into another have been hitherto fruitless. "All such ideas and hopes," he says, must now, thanks more especially to Stas, be placed in a region void of any experimental support whatever, and therefore not subject to the discipline of the positive data of science." Now and again, even at the present day, there is a recrudescence of alchemistic pretensions, but it may be noticed that the discovery for which a claim is put forward always relates to the transmutation of a base metal into silver or silver into gold. If any one suggested that he had succeeded, for example, in extracting lead from thallium, he would be laughed at for his pains, but if he boldly asserts that by a long and secret process he has succeeded in making gold out of silver, he generally finds a few people at least ready to take him seriously.

Chemical affinity is another expression still freely used, though with widely different meanings by different chemists; and here again a definite expression of the author's views is fortunately to be found in the pages of his book. He says (p. 27):

66

"For a long time, and especially during the first half of this century, chemical attraction and chemical forces were identified with electrical forces. There is certainly an intimate relation between them, for electricity is evolved in chemical reactions, and has also a powerful influence on chemical processes-for instance, compounds are decomposed by the action of an electric between chemical phenomena and the phenomena of current. And the exactly similar relation which exists heat (heat being developed by chemical phenomena, and heat being able to decompose compounds) only proves the unity of the forces of nature, the capability of one force to produce and to be transformed into others. For this reason the identification of chemical force with electricity will not bear experimental proof.”

He then goes on in a characteristic foot-note to refer to the facts of substitution or "metalepsy," in which hydrogen, a "positive" element, may be exchanged for chlorine, a "negative" element, without altering the chief chemical characters of the compounds in which the exchange occurs. On a later page, also in a foot-note In chemistry the word element is in constant use in the author gives an account of the electro-chemical the sense originally taught by Boyle, that is, signifying theories of Davy and Berzelius, and their relation to something which has up to the present remained un- successive hypotheses of the constitution of salts; and decompounded. At the present day the majority of here again he seems to reject all modifications of Berchemists have probably settled down to the belief that zelius' polar doctrine. It must be admitted, however, our seventy or eighty "elements" represent limiting that the book is not strong in this direction. After much material, and that, so far as terrestrial affairs are con- research we have not succeeded in finding a definite cerned, so they will always remain. Others-probably statement of such important facts as are embodied in however, a minority-conceive that relations among their Faraday's laws of electrolysis, the nearest approach to it atomic weights hint that they may be compounded of being found on p. 581, but followed by an apologetic finer matter united in various ways, and though they foot-note in which it is stated that the plan and dimenmay not expect to rupture the bond which unites the sions of the book prevent the author from "entering subatomic constituents together by any laboratory upon this province of knowledge." This is to be reprocess, yet they see the spectral phenomena of the gretted, considering the importance to the chemical stars evidence that under other conditions this rupture | student of a good acquaintance with the facts, methods

and hypotheses of the now largely-developed province As such a statement now stands, it merely implies that of electro-chemistry.

in most cases the induction is at present incomplete. The question now comes, whether the periodic law itself is a "law of nature"? This is a question which must be troubling very much the discoverer of the law at the present time, now that the individuality of argon and, though less certainly, that of helium have been established. The subject is dealt with in Appendix iii. at the end of the second volume, written by Prof. Mendeléeff in February 1895, and here he clings to the idea that argon is a polymeride of nitrogen, or N3.

This hypothesis, however, cannot be maintained. All that is known of argon shows that it is a gas having a density lower than 20 (H = 1), and hence that its molecular weight is less than 40, while that of N3 would be 42. Argon and helium can at present be regarded only as a kind of chemical monsters brought unexpected and unwelcome, like the cuckoo, into the previously happy family of the elements where no place is provided for them. What, then, becomes of the "law of nature" if these two substances are admitted to be exceptions to the law as it now stands? and yet that they are exceptions is the conclusion which seems inevitable. W. A. T.

The preface of the new edition contains a special reference to the author's views concerning solutions a subject for which he expresses great personal predilection, and to the experimental investigation of which he has devoted some time and labour. A paper by Mendeléeff relating to solutions of alcohol in water was communicated to the Chemical Society of London in 1887. He now states that we have not yet "the right to consider even the most elementary questions respecting solutions as solved." "My own view is that a solution is a homogeneous liquid system of unstable dissociating compounds of the solvent with the substance dissolved." In a foot-note, beginning p. 64, he explains the gas theory as applied to dilute solutions, and expresses the view that the physical and chemical aspects of the question, referring respectively to dilute and strong solutions, must be reconciled. The passage is too long for quotation; but supporters of the so-called hydrate theory may still count the great Russian chemist as on their side, at any rate so far as strong solutions are concerned.

There are, of course, many other subjects which the reader of the book will pursue with much interest, in view of the eminence of the author and the originality with which they are treated; but none of these will equal in attractiveness the subject of the grouping of the elements and the development of the periodic law. It is interesting to remember that, as the author tells us in the preface (p. xii), it was while engaged in writing the first edition of the book in 1869 that he first perceived the scheme and the application of the periodic law in its entirety. But it is only at the opening of the second volume that we come to the exposition of the principles which guided him in the grouping of the elements. This is accompanied by a foot-note which contains a historical résumé of the course of events which led ultimately to the recognition of these important principles by all chemists. And here we find a 13. P. which sets forth clearly the depth and solidity of Mendeléeff's conception of the periodic "law," and the superiority of his claim to be regarded as the discoverer of the relation of properties to atomic weight among the elements. Having become convinced that the atomic weights and properties of the elements were mutually related in a certain manner, the Russian chemist did not hesitate to alter accepted atomic weights when required to fall in with the scheme, and to predict the properties of then undiscovered elements; while "neither De Chancourtois, to whom the French ascribe the discovery of the periodic law, nor Newlands, who is put forward by the English, nor L. Meyer, who is now cited by many as its founder, ventured to" do anything of the sort.

As such fortunate and valuable consequences have happily followed the study of the atomic weights by Mendeléeff, it is perhaps hypercritical to complain of his use of the term " law" in the vulgar ambiguous sense.

What after all is a "law of nature"? Is it not a compendium or summary of a series of observed agreements? and the statement so often used by Mendeléeff, that "the laws of nature admit of no exception," by means proves that exceptions to any and every recognised law of nature may not hereafter be discovered.

no

THE NATURAL HISTORY OF THE ANCIENT
WORLD.
Les Choses Naturelles dans Homère. Par le Dr. A. Kums.
Pp. 194. (Antwerp: Buschmann. Paris: Alcan, 1897.)
Gleanings from the Natural History of the Ancients.
By the Rev. M. G. Watkins, M.A. Pp. xiii + 258.
(London: Elliot Stock, 1896.).

The Works of Xenophon. Translated by H. G. Dakyns, M.A. Vol. iii. part ii. Pp. lxx + 130. (London: Macmillan and Co., Ltd., 1897.)

Aristotle on Youth and Old Age, Life and Death and Respiration. Translated, with Introduction and Notes, by W. Ogle, M.A., M.D. Pp. 135. (London: Longmans and Co., 1897.)

TH

HE consideration of the animal world is usually approached from one or other of three points of view. We may be interested in the structure-the morphology and physiology-of animals, and in their place in nature: this is the biological interest. Or we may be especially interested in their habits and doings, and every one has at least observed something of the characters and ways of more than one species of animal. Or we may regard animals as objects of the chase or material for human food. The first of these interests is purely scientific; it must exclude hearsay and fancy; it must be based on the most careful observation and examination with the aid of all the appliances that contemporary art and manufacture can furnish; and it must admit nothing that is unverifiable or supported by doubtful authority. On the other hand, the study of the habits and characters of animals can seldom confine itself to lines so rigidly laid down as these; not only is it extremely difficult for the most scientific investigators to interpret or even to record the actions of the lower creatures without a certain, often unconscious, anthropomorphism or reading-in of motives into them; but we are also confronted by a mass of current beliefs and superstitions, and imperfectly authenticated tales which, in view of their frequent repetition and the widespread evidence accorded

to them, it is impossible to dismiss unconsidered, improbable though they may seem at first. Such legends can never be wholly banished from view until we have accounted for their coming into being at all; and the naturalist is thus frequently led into the domain of folklore and the study of primitive religious ideas, which from totemistic stages onwards have always in some way or other touched upon the connection of the human and animal worlds. The attitude of the huntsman is different from both those just considered: he makes a very minute study of some of the habits of a few animals, mainly with a view to making himself master of them in a manner gratifying to the sporting instinct.

In the volumes before us all these interests are represented. They all deal with the attitude of the Greeksin part also of the Romans-to animal nature. Until the time of Aristotle scientific study can hardly be said to have existed, though in him, so far at least as method is concerned, it appears suddenly in almost as systematic a form as any science can boast of at the present day. But hunting and the observation of the ways of animals seem to have been habitual to the Greeks. No one can have failed to notice the unerring accuracy with which Homer, in a few graphic strokes, brings before his readers some familiar scene from nature -the lion and his prey, the jackals surrounding the stag, the tettix, "which in the thickets, sitting on a tree, sendeth forth its thin clear voice," and very many others. Again, the hunting of the boar and of the stag, with all their accompaniments, Homer knew well, and in the works of Dr. Kums and Mr. Watkins all these and kindred topics are treated in some detail. Dr. Kums confines himself to Homer, and it is to students of Homer that his book will be especially interesting. It is an enumeration under classified headings of all that Homer says in different passages about the various departments of nature and human nature, and is a very accurate, complete and well arranged compilation. But it is no disparagement of the book to say that, for the most part, it is not of great general scientific importance. External nature only enters into the poems of Homer as it were by accident, in similes which illustrate human action, or in descriptions of events affecting human agents; and the interest which he arouses is artistic rather than scientific: we are chiefly struck with the perfect description of what the poet saw, with the clearness and truth to life of his pictures. Mr. Watkins, in his "Gleanings," allows himself to range over the whole field of classical literature, and under the title of the "Ancients" he includes not only the Greeks and Romans, but the early Teutonic and Celtic races, and especially our own forefathers; indeed, he deals with much literature that cannot be called "ancient" in the ordinary sense of the word at all, even English literature down to about the sixteenth century. His work is a collection of points which have interested him in the course of his unusually wide reading, in regard to the observation and appreciation of the animal world in periods when science had not become scientific; and we find, not of course a serious or systematic contribution to science or to the history of science, but a delightful mosaic of quotations, anecdotes and folk-lore, very artistically put together, and compared with modern views as expressed in passages from Darwin and other

writers. The occasional antiqueness of the author's language, and even the use of the long s in the type, which unsympathetic critics would no doubt condemn as affectation, are in keeping with a certain naïveté and gracefulness of manner, which add greatly to the pleasure given by the large amount of entertaining information which the book contains. We should not expect in such a book, and we do not find, a complete exposition of the Aristotelian " Systema Naturae "-the only great contribution of the ancient world to natural history and biology; but the author appreciates very fairly indeed the merits of Aristotle and other ancient writers from the naturalist's point of view. Aristotle he recognises as having "sifted much of the popular knowledge, as is his wont "; though even Aristotle is gently censured as uncritical in comparison with modern writers. (To this we shall return.) Pliny, on the other hand,

"though he lived so much later, was an eager listener to all old women's tales. . . . The vastness of his own compilations, and his perpetual industry in noting any circumstances of interest connected with Natural History, smothered his judgment. He had neither time to sift facts nor to weigh the authority to be attached to the statements of other authors; and these defects leave his great Natural History' a rudis indigestaque moles which compares unfavourably with the more exact and painstaking work of Aristotle."

It is a pity that Virgil is usually quoted in Dryden's translation (of whose defects Mr. Watkins is himself not unaware); for this rendering hopelessly obscures the quite unique power possessed by Virgil of calling up-often by a single word or line-inimitable pictures of external nature, whether scenery or animal life.

The book contains chapters on dogs, cats, owls, pygmies, elephants, horses, gardens, roses, wolves, fish, oysters and pearls. In a chapter on mythical animals there is a neat discrimination of the causes and characteristics of the animal folk-lore of several early peoples. Homeric and Virgilian natural history receive separate treatment; and a specially interesting portion of the work deals with

the Romans as introducers into Britain and acclimatisers of a number of well-known animals and plants. We should like to see a fuller account of the influence on our fauna and flora of the periods marked respectively by the Roman occupation, the influx of monks from the continent, and the return of the Crusaders from the East, to all of which our author believes we can trace the introduction of many species. With the mention of a chapter on Hunting among the Ancients," we may pass to Mr. Dakyns' translation of the Cynegeticus of Xenophon. This is hardly the place for a long notice of this work. Suffice it to say that it contains the same kind of matter as we should expect to find in a volume of the Badminton Library dealing with the same subjects

(6

the hunting and tracking of hares with dogs and nets, and the chase and trapping of deer. The habits of the hare, the training, breeding points and management of dogs, and the functions of the keeper, are very fully treated; incidentally, too, precepts of sporting etiquette are introduced, e.g. the following:

"Here it should be added that the sportsman, who finds himself on cultivated lands should rigidly keep his hands off the fruits of the season, and leave springs and rivers alone. To meddle with them is ugly and base"

66

(Mr. Dakyns is responsible for this rather odd translation), not to speak of the bad example of carelessness to the beholder."

The work is a marvellous display of close and intelligent observation by an enthusiastic sportsman, and will be full of interest to persons of similar taste in the present day. Of course it contains a good deal of "keepers' superstition," very similar to the fancies of the modern keeper, but this, perhaps, adds to the interest; and many more or less brilliant suggestions are made in explanation of facts which seemed to be in need of it. Mr. Dakyns' translation is spirited and, on the whole (to judge from passages chosen at random), accurate; and any sportsman into whose hand the book falls will feel grateful to him for rendering accessible the work of, perhaps, the acutest observer of outdoor life in antiquity.

In turning to Dr. Ogle's translation of some of the minor treatises of Aristotle, we enter the domain of science proper. The translator's name is sufficient guarantee of the excellence alike of introduction, translation, and notes: the work is quite up to the standard of the "Parts of Animals" by the same editor. Shortly, the doctrine contained in the treatises translated rests

on the belief that life depends upon heat the source of this heat was the heart, in which heat was continually being generated by the concoction of food received from the stomach and passed into the heart; and the heat thus generated supplied the place of that which was continually being given off by the body. But life might be destroyed by excess no less than by defect of heat; this excess was provided against by respiration, which cooled the violence of the "fire" in the heart, which always tended to become excessive: in the case of pulmonate animals, the air in the lungs was the means of refrigeration; in the case of branchiates, the water playing upon the gills. Natural death (as distinct from death by disease or violence) was due to the gradual exhaustion of vital heat-an idea at least as clearly defined as the "vital force" of many modern physiologists. The causes of longevity (in these and other treatises) are somewhat vaguely stated, but the correlation of longevity with such characters as large size, high organisation and length of the period of gestation, was observed by Aristotle. These points are, of course, worked out in much greater detail, and the exposition of them by Aristotle cannot here be reproduced at length. The first impression of an ordinary reader will probably be that views so absurd and obsolete are not worth consideration. But on further attention, we find that obsolete though these views may be, yet they were the first step towards a really scientific physiology. The physiology of Plato and Democritus was pure guesswork, or at least only guided by preconceived theories not falling within the range of physiology. It was Aristotle who first saw

And, to quote a later passage of Dr. Ogle's introduction:

"that the study of function must be preceded by the study of structure, or in other words, that physiology must be based upon anatomy. . . . By insisting on the absolute necessity of anatomical observation, he carried biology at one step from the world of dreams into the world of realities; he set the science on a substantial basis, and may indeed be said to have been its founder, for the same imaginings of his predecessors can hardly be dignified with the name of science."

"If we perform the difficult task of excluding from our minds all ideas and facts since acquired, we shall find ourselves constrained to admit that in Aristotle's days no better hypothesis could have been devised with which to colligate the facts or supposed facts then available."

And when we consider that such ideas and facts

include among others those of chemical combination, the circulation of the blood and the existence of nerves, we shall be surprised to find the difference between the Aristotelian and the modern theories so slight as it is. In fact, as Dr. Ogle shows both in the introduction and notes, a very slight alteration of terminology is often all that is required to convert Aristotle's statements into propositions which would still be accepted as true; and even in their crude form, many of his doctrines (or something very like them) were held by the most advanced scientific men of recent centuries, Harvey himself among others. It is further remarkable that Aristotle should, with the extremely inadequate instruments and appliances at his command, have produced results so accurate in the region of anatomy and embryology: his account, eg. of the lung, is a model of careful description so far as it goes, and the work before us will provide many other instances. Aristotle, of course, had his defects, and his editor points these out frankly: he occasionally (though far less than any other ancient author) took mere hearsay for fact; and he was scarcely alive to the importance of experiment. But he had a definite method of investigation; his conclusions were always based on recorded observations of himself and others; the advance

he made was almost incredibly great for one man ; and the lines he laid down have been (though unconsciously) followed and developed by all great physiologists ever since. To quote Dr. Ogle once more :

"There are minds to which the mistakes and shortcomings of great men apparently present greater attrac

tion than their achievements. To them Bacon is but a man who believed in the spontaneous generation of mistletoe; Cuvier, an upholder of the fixity of species; Kepler, one who thought that the huge volcanoes in the moon were artificial structures built by its inhabitants; Descartes, an asserter of the immediate transmission of light; and Newton himself an advocate of the emission theory. To such persons Aristotle's anatomical statements will doubtless supply much desirable pabulum. But those more genial critics who prefer to dwell upon what a man has done well rather than what he has left undone or done amiss . . . will admit that never has a science been started on its career by its originator with so large an equipment of facts and ideas as that with which Comparative Anatomy left the hands of Aristotle."

THE MEASUREMENT OF RAPIDLY

VARYING ELECTRIC PRESSURE.

The Capillary Electrometer: its Theory and Practice. Part i. By G. J. Burch, M.A. Pp. 54. Reprinted from the Electrician. (London: G. Tucker.)

of the present knowledge concerning the

capillary electrometer is due to the author of this little book. The instrument was invented in 1875 by Prof. Lippmann, but for twenty years it was hardly used

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