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tory through the scattered and complex masses of facts and references gathered for its composition.
"The Female Poets of America."*
THE task which Mr. Stoddard has admirably performed, in adding about a fourth to the number of pages already collected by Dr. Griswold as a monument of the genius of American female poets, presents difficulties far greater than those of the orginal work. The compiler, a quarter of a century ago, did little else than to take what came to his hand. The new editor conscientiously chooses the more severe and delicate labor of careful selection from the copious material furnished by the effusions of a generation in every sense new. From the original volume, extending over a period of more than two centuries, we might infer that very little verse was written in the earlier days by the very few women who wrote at all. would be ungenerous and only partly true, yet still true in part, to say that the sex was once more sure of its place, and more true to its duties, than it has since become. Whatever the reasons may be, the discussion of which would lead us very far, whether they are to be found in the increase of general intelligence, or in that of special restlessness, whether it is the genius of women, hitherto repressed, that insists on being heard, or only their part of modern discontent that wreaks itself in numbers, it is certain that the mob of gentlewomen who rhyme with ease now-a-days, holds a startling proportion to the ranks of silent sisters. The American Pegasus has of late been thoroughly broken to the side-saddle, and usually ambles under it tamely enough.
The mere revision of the former volume demanded watchful exercise of that diligence and that accuracy, always so marked in the work of its present editor. What the labor has been of sifting the immense mass of chaff out of which those few pure grains have been garnered, no one but an editor can understand. To no one else is vouchsafed the fearful vision of pyramids of portfolios asking monthly inspection, and reams of waste paper attesting the censor's wrath and justice. By the side of this garland of the accepted and approved, an anthology of the rejected-may no one be indiscreet enough to cull it!-would complete a curious commentary on the position and wants of women in our republic of letters.
'We frankly affirm what the reviser is too modest to intimate, that the few new pages of the book are worth all the rest. In the qualities of force and of finish, he justly says, the living female poets of America surpass all their predecessors, from Mistress Anne Bradstreet down. Even more trying comparisons than this may safely be challenged by
The Female Poets of America. By Rufus Wilmot Griswold. With additions by R. H. Stoddard. New York: James Miller.
the score of singers who have gained the approval of his severe and correct taste. The selections from their poems here presented, are known and admired in other lands, and they deserve the finer praise of having become dear to their countrymen as household words.
BETWEEN the France, Social and Literary, of Sir Henry Bulwer, a generation ago, and his more famous brother's Parisians of to-day, the difference seems as wide as if the separate subjects concerned two different nations. Yet the one is really a sequel to the other. The causes and tendencies noted in the earlier book have developed into the conditions portrayed in the later. It is not that the characteristics of the nation have changed, but that sudden and grand events have attended its entrance upon the newest days of modern times. The country is overrun and conquered at the moment when science questions everything, when religion is everywhere in contest, and political power, spreading downward, sinks in dignity as it widens its range. The Parisians is designed to illustrate the influence, at such a time, of such modern ideas upon such a community. This can be done only effectively, for the scale of the sketch forbids it being done completely. It is a succession of magic-lantern pictures, highly colored and boldly grouped, without much detail or finish.
The impression produced is vivid, and so truthful that we recognize it, with something of sadness, as an impression of decadence and effeteness. It is the contrast of decline with the springing, soaring, German spirit. It is the spectacle of a civilization without heart or religion, without power, a courage without aim, opposed to the concentrated energy of Teutonic materialism. Each figure in it is a symbol. The young provincial noble, finding his obsolete loyalty useless in the capital, forgets it, but not his better nature, in gay extravagance. The roud of a former generation comes back as a conspirator, to use for tools in his pitiless plots the lives and hopes of dreamers turned Communists, who destroy him in their own ruin. The sexagenarian wit and cynic turns with disgust from the caricature of his own mental traits, as the time vulgarises them in the spasmodic, absinthe-sodden genius, who is the latest birth of letters in revolutionary days. Among them all the financier alone stands steady, far-sighted and consistent, representing the dominant force in modern society-wealth ruled by intelligence. The life of the Englishman, who seems doubtful whether to act the spectator or the hero, gives occasion for comparison and judgment among these social elements; and the Italian girl, whom he loves, brings
The Parisians. Py Edward Bulwer, Lord Lytton. New York: Harper Brothers. 1874.
into their turmoil the relief of womanly purity and æsthetic calm.
The coloring deepens, and the grouping grows more scenic, with the progress of the siege of Paris. And the occasion is not lost to bring out in strong light the best qualities of the French people, their charity and philosophic gayety, the fervent piety of women and the reckless courage of men, that rule the supreme moments of life for them. The story ends before the days of the Commune, without any hint of the forms or purposes destined
NATURE AND SCIENCE.
Echoes in the Air.
IN the series of experiments made to determine the distance to which air would convey the sounds produced by trumpets, whistles and guns, Professor Tyndall found that the power of conveyance of the air varied greatly with its condition. On a clear day, for example, the sounds could only be heard to about one third the distance they readily penetrated on a foggy day. In discussing the cause of this phenomenon the Professor says: Humboldt, in his observations at the Falls of Orinoco, is known to have applied the following principles. He found the noise of the Falls three times louder by night than by day, though in that region the night, through beasts and insects, is far noisier than the day. The plain between him and the Falls consisted of spaces of grass and rock intermingled. In the heat of the day the temperature of the rock was 30° higher than that of the grass. Over every heated rock a column of air rarefied by the heat arose, and he ascribed the deadening of the sound to the reflections which it endured at the limiting surfaces of the rarer and denser air.
But what, asks Professor Tyndall, could on July 3d, over a calm sea, where neither rocks nor grass existed, so destroy the homogeneity of the atmosphere as to enable it to quench in so short a distance the vast body of sound with which we were experimenting? As I stood upon the deck of the Irene, pondering this question, I became conscious of the exceeding power of the sun beating against my back and heating the objects near me. Beams of equal power were falling on the sea, and must have produced copious evaporation. That the vapor generated should so rise and mingle with the air as to form an absolutely homogeneous mixture, I considered in the highest degree improbable. It would be sure I thought, to streak and mottle the atmosphere with spaces, in which the air would be in different degrees saturated, or it might be displaced by the vapor. At the limiting surfaces of
to emerge out of that welter of ruin, into which everything in France was then sinking. Nor, with the exception of a slight sketch of a suggested constitution, and, perhaps, the intimation that Prince Jerome is the coming man who may establish it, is there any attempt made to forecast a nation's future, as to which one of the most inspired seers among romance writers could only say, with his readers, that nothing seems impossible, after the wonderful improbabilities that have passed into its history.
these spaces or invisible clouds we should have the conditions necessary for the production of partial echoes, and the consequent waste of sound. But granting this, it is incredible that so great a body of sound could utterly disappear in so short a distance without rendering an account of itself. Suppose, then, instead of placing ourselves behind such an acoustic cloud, we were to place ourselves in front of it, might we not in accordance with the law of conservation, expect to receive by reflection the sound which had failed to reach us by transmission? The case would be strictly analogous to the reflection of light from an ordinary cloud to an observer placed between it and the sun.
Putting this idea to the test of experiment, we took a position in which the body of air which had already shown such an extraordinary power to intercept sound was placed in front of us. On it the sonorous waves impinged, and from it they were sent back to us with astonishing intensity. The instruments hidden from view, were on the summit of a cliff 235 feet above us; the sea was smooth and clear of ships; the atmosphere was without a cloud, and there was no object which could possibly produce the observed effect. From the perfectly transparent air the echoes came, at first with a strength apparently but little less than that of the direct sound, and then dying gradually and continuously away. The remark of my companion, Mr. Edwards, was: 'Beyond saying that the echoes seemed to come from the expanse of ocean, it did not appear possible to indicate any more definite point of reflection." Indeed, no such point was discoverable; the echoes reached us as if by magic, from absolutely invisible walls. Arago's notion that clouds are necessary to produce atmospheric echoes, is therefore, untenable.
Magnetization of Metals.
PROFESSOR BARRETT arrives at the following conclusions regarding the changes that occur in iron
and other metals where they are converted into magnets:
Ist. The act of magnetization causes a slight increase in the length and a corresponding diminution of the breadth of an iron bar-a fact discovered by Mr. Joule, in 1842, confirming the previous observations of Gay Lussac and Wertheim, that there was no alteration in the total volume of the iron. This elongation, however, does not occur when the iron is submitted to a definite longitudinal strain; and when the strain is still greater the iron invariably shortens when magnetized.
2d. A sound is emitted by the iron on magnetization and again on demagnetization. This was revealed by Mr. Page, in 1837, and studied by many physicists subsequently. On iron wires the sound or clink seems to be composed of two distinct noises, one of which intensifies by a moderate strain, but is destroyed, and the whole sound enfeebled by a still higher strain.
3d. Mr. Wildemann has proved that an iron wire hung in the center of a helix and twisted, is more or less untwisted when a current traverses the helix and magnetizes the wire. M. Matteucci has shown that twisting a magnet lessens its force, but stretching a magnet slightly adds to its power, and according to M. Guillemin, a strip of iron bent by its own weight is partly straightened by magnetization.
4th. The conduction of heat in magnetized iron is greater across than along the magnetic axis, a fact discovered by Dr. Maggi, and enlarged by Sir William Thomson, who has shown that its precise analogue is to be found in the conduction of electricity in magnetized iron and nickel.
5th. A bar of wrought iron is more easily magnetized in the direction of its fiber; and steel once magnetized in a given direction and then demagnetized, is more readily magnetized in its first direction than in any other, a fact first pointed out by M. Marianni, and recently again observed by M. Jamin.
Lastly. It is well known that mechanical blows aid the assumption of magnetic power in steel, but tend to lessen and even destroy it when assumed ; and the same is also true of heat, which no doubt acts in a similar way, viz., by lessening the cohesion of the particles of steel.
Selection of Grape Vines.
IN an article in the Horticulturist Mr. G. W. Campbell says: I wish to make public a discovery, which I believe to be entirely new, and I think of great value to all experimenters in growing hybrid and seedling grapes. It is a method by which the future character of the fruit of a grape-seedling can be determined in the first year of its growth. Repeated tests have so far convinced me of its entire correctness that I do not hesitate to announce that
in the taste, or flavor of the green tendrils of the vine may be found a true index of the character of the future fruit. Although this is something that cannot be exactly defined, or accurately described; it may be acquired by any one with a nice discriminating taste. Go into a green-house where foreign grapes are growing, and taste the tendrils of the Muscat flavored varieties, and of the Black Hamburgh and Chassellas, and you will soon learn to distinguish the difference, which is as distinct as the flavor of the grapes themselves. Again, taste and compare the flavor of the tendrils of Concord and Hartford Prolific, with those of Delaware, Allen's Hybrid and Iowa. You will find in each, distinctive differences, suggestive of the character of the grapes; then test and compare the native wild grapes, the Fox and Frost grapes of the woods, with the tendrils of our cultivated varieties, and you will soon learn easily to distinguish the wild from the cultivated.
A Minister of Science.
IN support of the proposition to appoint a government minister who shall have charge of the interests of science in England, Col. Strange writes as follows: I, and many who think with me, maintain that scientific research must be made a national business; that the point at which science in most of its leading branches has now arrived, and the problems presented for solution, are such as to need for their adequate treatment, permanent, wellequipped establishments with competent staffs, worked continuously and systematically. Lord Derby truly describes it as a case in which what is "everybody's business is nobody's business." We must make it somebody's business. We must make it the State's business. We have tried individual enterprise, which so many hold to be all sufficient. There is more individual enterprise in England than in any country in the world, and yet we are being rapidly outstripped by nations who, though they encourage private exertion, are wise enough not to rely on it, but to establish a system free from caprice. The first essential to any system is a head. No domestic household, no manufactory, no ship, no army or navy, no public or private establishment of any kind,—and these are all systems,-can hold its own for a day without a head. But at the present hour there is no head to the science of England. The proposed remedy for this deficiency is the appointment of a minister of State, who shall be responsible to the nation through Parliament for everything connected with the scientific business of the country.
Physiological Action of Ozone.
THE general results of an investigation of this matter by Dr. McKendrick, of Edinburgh, are as follows:
1. The inhalation of an atmosphere highly
charged with ozone diminishes the number of respirations per minute.
2. The cardiac pulsations are reduced in strength and this organ is found beating feebly after systemic death.
3. The blood is found, after death, to be in a venous condition, both in those cases of death in an atmosphere of ozonized air, and of ozonized oxygen.
4. The inhalation of an ozonized atmosphere is followed by a lowering of the temperature of the body to the extent of at least 3° to 5° C.
5. The inhalation of ozone does not exercise any appreciable action on the capillary circulation, as seen in the web of the frog's foot, under the microscope.
6. In the bodies of frogs killed in an ozonized atmosphere, the reflex activity of the spinal cord is not appreciably affected.
7. The contractility and work power of the muscles is unaffected.
8. The action on the blood discs is similar to that of air.
9. Ciliary action is not affected, provided there is an abundant supply of fluid.
A MACHINE passing under this name has been devised for the purpose of raising water from mines It is described as a steam pump, operating without cylinder, piston, piston-rod, stuffing-boxes, glands, cams, eccentrics, side-valves, cranks or flywheels; but, on the contrary, is a construction in which steam and water are brought directly in contact, in certain chambers, where the alternating vacuum and pressure exerted by the steam is simply utilized to lift and force the water by a species of pulsating action." It is claimed that by placing these machines at proper distances above one another, and connecting the discharge pipe with the suction pipe of that above, water may be raised to almost any height by steam of low pressure.
thus prepared with sheets of lead half a meter square, and charged by a couple of Bunsen cells, will heat a platinum wire, half a millimeter in diameter, red hot for twenty minutes, without any communication with the primary source, and even forty-eight hours after it has been charged.
Secondary Electric Battery.
SUCH an instrument may be formed by taking two strips of lead, separated by thick cloth, and having rolled them in the form of a helix, placing them in a vessel of dilute sulphuric acid. On connecting these helices with the polar wires of a Bunsen battery of a couple of cells, and allowing the current to pass, decomposition takes place, attended by the formation of oxide of lead. If after a time the Bunsen battery is discontinued, and the wires of the secondary battery are brought into communication, a powerful current passes for some minutes; the apparatus acting as a sort of condenser to store up the electricity produced by the primary battery. M. Gaston Plante states that a secondary battery
Physiological Effect of Poisons.
DR. HERMANN KOHLER concludes, from what is known of the physiological effects of alkaloids, that it is impossible to identify an alkaloid farther than to say it belongs to a class which, in general, produces similar effects. He divides them into four classes, viz.:
Ist. Those that enlarge the pupil of the eye when applied to it, as, for instance, atropine, and hyoscyamine.
2d. Those that produce tetanus, like strychnine, picrotoxine.
3d. Those that paralyze the heart, as antiarine, aconitine, digitaline.
4th. Those that produce local anesthesia, as the group of glucosides called saporin. (American Chemist.)
M. BERT states that compressed oxygen is not only destructive to animal life, but that it also hinders the germination of seeds, the putrefaction of fragments of muscle, the change of starch into sugar by saliva, and the development of mycoderma aceti.
If castor-oil is mixed with glycerine and a few drops of oil of cinnamon added, the taste of the castor-oil can scarcely be recognized.
Dr. Woods relates the following circumstance, which appears to show that sometimes, at least, malarial poison is to be found in water, and not in the air: Two ships were dispatched simultaneously with troops from Algeria to France, both under similar circumstances, excepting that the supply of water had been drawn, in one case, from the low, marshy lands where ague was prevalent, whilst the other ship had taken water from a locality situated at a greater elevation, and where the disease was unknown. The passengers on the first transport were generally seized with remittent fever, whereas no
case of illness occurred on the other vessel.
In a report on the enamels employed to coat the interior of cast-iron cooking utensils, M. Poggiale states that many of these enamels contain lead, and dilute acids at the boiling point of water extract the lead in a majority of cases.
The addition of a minute quantity of auilin violet will prevent the putrefaction of animal substances, when washed and cooked meats preserved by this
process have no unpleasant odor or taste. (M. Lanjorrois.)
John Parry states that anhydrous sesquioxide of iron is reduced by carbon at low temperatures. Solid carbon effected the reduction below the fusing point of cast-iron.
The influence of “wrkes” in dispensing infectious disease is illustrated by the following instance taken from the report of the Registrar-General of Ireland: "An old woman died suddenly of what was sup
Professor Bettger has succeeded in igniting a jet of coal gas as it escaped from a glass tube by causing it to come in contact with the ozone, evolved by treating permanganate of potassa with strong sul-posed to be paralysis. A wake, of course, followed, phuric acid. and within the ensuing three weeks fifteen persons, who had either been in contract with or attended the wake of this old woman, were striken down by typhus fever, of which she had in reality died."
The Garden relates that cuttings have been taken from England to Victoria, and worked with success nine months after they were separated from the parent plant.
The best labels for plants and trees may be made by writing with a lead pencil on slips of zinc, and attaching these to the plants by copper wire. (Horticulturist.)
Vogel finds that tincture of iodine made with alcohol, containing more than 67 per cent. of absolute alcohol, will not turn starch paper blue.
Pelonze and Andoin state that particles may be removed from gas by forcing it through small apertures against a flat surface, by this means ammonia, tar and other liquids are condensed into a separable liquid.
Asphalt paper is employed for wrapping silks and other articles to be protected from moisture. Tubes made of this paper are about one-fifth the weight of iron, and may be used for the conveyance of
Silks are by some manufacturers treated with a solution of acetate of lead to increase their weight, poisonous properties are thus at times imparted to the tissue in question.
Brontotherium ingens is the name given by Professor Marsh to a new group of fossil animals found in the Miocene beds of the region embracing the States of Wyoming, Colorado, Dakota, and Nebraska.
Solutions of ferric chloride may be deprived of the excess of acid by dialysis. (Reimann).
In the extraction of sugar from molasses, Mr. Boudard recommends the use of both barium sulphide and carbonate.
When beets are preserved for the mannfacture of sugar they give off carbonic acid and absorb oxygen. This result is owing to the oxydation of the sugar, and in the course of thirty days a very considerable portion of the sugar is lost. (Arnold Heintz.)
According to Dr. William Rutherford the preparation of thin sections of soft tissues for microscopic purposes is greatly facilitated by hardening through the agency of freezing. The substance to be cut is placed in a suitable table, and surrounded by a mixture of paraffine and lard, which is soft at ordinary temperatures. This, when the temperature is reduced becomes hard, and gives a firm support to the frozen tissue to be subjected to the action
of the knife
The will of a Frenchman contains the following clause: "I request that my body be delivered to the Paris Gas Company for the purpose of being placed in a gas retort. I always used my mental powers for the enlightenment of the population at large, and I desire that my body be used to enlighten the people after my death."
this question with a flat "No!" and the last half with a plain "Yes!" but instead of doing either, he prefers to answer it in his own way.
MR. GOLDWIN SMITH took pains to tell his | story? The Etcher might answer the first half of countrymen, on a recent visit to England, that Americans hated England. The Etcher has forgotten, if he ever knew, the exact language he used, but that was the substance of it. Mr. Goldwin Smith is a Professor of History. "Don't read History!" said Sir Robert Walpole, when some member of his family offered to read to him, during a fit of illness, probably ministerial gout, "Don't read History to me, for I know it is not true!" If that was the opinion of one who had assisted in making History, what are we to think of the opinion of one who has merely written it? Is Mr. Goldwin Smith's remark true? Is it History, or only his
A few years ago,-it seems an age now that it is past,-a few years ago, when the North and the South were engaged in contesting, let us say considerately, The Lost Cause, the proprietor of the London Telegraph sent to this country the cleverest member of its staff to write up, or write down, our life and death struggle. The Etcher saw him on the first night of his arrival, and many nights and days afterward, and, of course, told him how Americans hated England. So did many others, to whose