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most subject to disturbances from earthquakes. It was thought that this could best be done by the selection and appointment of local directors, each having general charge of the work in a limited area, and through whom persons at once qualified and willing to undertake the care of an instrumental equipment could be best reached. In addition it was thought desirable to organize a large corps of observers, working through the same local directors, who would report observations made without the aid of any special instruments, the system resembling somewhat that for the collection of information regarding thunder-storms, tornadoes, etc., now in use in the signal office and in the New England meteorological society. The questions addressed to such correspondents by the Swiss earthquake commission were discussed, as were also those used by Professor Rockwood in his studies of American seismology during the past fifteen years. The subject of the charting of earthquakes and the graphical representation of results of observation was considered, and a good deal of time was given to the examination of instruments, including one of the seismoscopes of the form recently described in Science, and some parts of a seismograph or seismometer now being constructed. Professor Davis reported upon the progress of the work of bibliography which he had undertaken a year ago, showing that much work had been done, and that the result might be ready for publication in the near future. Much confidence was expressed by members of the conference in the success of efforts being made by the geological survey to organize a systematic study of seismology.

The status of the coast survey remains unchanged up to date, although the air is by no means devoid of rumors as to the probable disposition of this, one of the oldest and one of the most efficient of the government scientific bureaus. One of these is that, to some extent at least, its work is to be divided up and transferred to other government services, and it need hardly be said that some anxiety for its future is felt by those who understand and appreciate its past.

The announcement of the resignation of General Eaton as commissioner of education was heard with regret by his many friends here. It is understood that he is to become the president of Marietta college, at Marietta, O. Washington, D.C., Nov. 30.



ON Nov. 8 the St. Petersburg society of naturalists held its first general meeting of the present winter season. A. N. Krasnow made a communication on the flora of the Kalmuck steppe (on

the left bank of the Volga), which he had visited this summer with the well-known geologist, Professor Muschketow. In vol. xvi. of the Proceedings of the society the most lengthy and important paper is that on dunes by Sokolow, a young geologist, who first studied them near Sestroretzk, on the Gulf of Finland, and became then so interested in the matter that he visited dunes of the interior in the governments of Kiev and Astrakhan. He made interesting observations of the force of the wind, as indicated by an anemometer placed but twelve centimetres above the ground, and compared these with the size, shape, etc., of the sand particles moved by the wind. Observations of that kind, if systematically conducted, may be very useful to travellers in permitting them to estimate the strength of the wind by the size of the objects moved. There is also in this volume a paper on the birds of the White Sea coast, by Nikolskij. The poverty of the tundra (treeless region) of the continent is contrasted with the rich bird-life of the seacoasts and islands. Here two regions are distinguished,- that of the colder waters of the White Sea, and of the ocean east of the Swiatoi Noss, rich in individuals, but not in species; and that on the west to the frontier of Norway, in waters warmed by the Gulf Stream, where the species also are more numerous.

The geographical society has had one interesting meeting of its section of mathematical and physical geography, in which Abich lectured on his explorations of the Caucasus, his life-work. The celebrated geologist has already, for more than five years, retired from active work in the field, and lives in Vienna, occupied by the working-out and publishing of the immense material collected in the Caucasus.

No. 4 of the Isvestia of the society, issued a few days ago, is nearly entirely occupied by the preliminary report of N. D. Jurgens on the Lena polar station, and the publication of the detailed results of the meteorological observations of the first year, Sept. 1, 1882, to August, 1883. The daily means of the principal meteorological elements are given, as also the hourly means for every month. The mean monthly temperatures have already been noticed in Science. As to the extremes, their relative steadiness is to be mentioned. The greatest difference between them is 29°.8 C. (in December). It is below 24° in January, March, and April, below 20° in November, and below 15° in July and August. If the limited range in summer is common to all polar stations, the same is not true in winter, when it is larger, both in North America and in the interior of Russia, but especially farther to the east, on the coast of East Siberia (Nischnekolymsk, Pitlekaj). The freezing-point

was not reached from October to April inclusive. The daily range is small, as was to be expected, on account of high latitude, position on the seacoast, and great cloudiness of the warmer weather. The greatest difference of the warmest and coldest hour is 6°.4, in April. The small amount of cloud in winter, and the large amount in the warmer weather, are to be noted. The latter is in great measure due to fog or low clouds. The mean temperature at a depth of 0.4 metre in the ground was much higher in the yearly mean than the mean temperature of the air (-11°.6 against -17.4). It is interesting to see, thus, how even the small covering of snow mentioned by the observers acts in protecting the ground from the frosts. The relative humidity is great in all months, as was to be expected.

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A preliminary map, based on the surveys of the expedition, accompanies the report, and gives new and important data, including the northern limit of forest. Generally it reaches to 71° north, but on both banks of the Lena to nearly 72°. The protection afforded by the high ground on the banks of the river is evidently the reason of this; the cold winds of summer, and small amount of sunshine, being the principal enemies of vegetation here, not the winter frosts, which are much more severe in the valleys of the interior, where foresttrees grow well.

At the Moscow university there was, a short time ago, a celebration of the thirty-five years' professorship of N. J. Davydow, one of the most distinguished mathematicians of Russia, his principal works being in theoretical mechanics and the theory of probabilities. Among scientific work going on there, we may mention that published recently by Professor Joukowsky, on the

movements of a solid with compartments filled by incompressible liquids.

The Russian universities give their degrees of 'magister' and 'doctor' after a public disputation sustained by the recipient. The latter was recently conferred on I. S. Nasimow, for his dissertation 'On the application of the theory of elliptic functions to the theory of numbers,' a distinguished work, say the specialists.

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At St. Petersburg there was in October a brilliant disputation,' after which the doctor degree of chemistry was conferred on Professor Koisowalow, for his work on Contact phenomena.' The hero of the day was Professor Mendelejef, one of the official opponents, who made a brilliant speech of more than an hour. On Nov. 15 the degree of magister of astronomy was conferred on Prince Dolgorowsky for his work on ⚫ The secular irregularities in the movement of the moon,' of which our astronomers have a high opinion.

St. Petersburg, Nov. 15.


O. E.

A DEPLORABLE accident has put an end to the career of one of the most active and useful scientific workers of our day, and has made a gap in scientific circles which will not readily be filled. On the night between Nov. 9 and 10, Dr. W. B. Carpenter, F.R.S., the eminent physiologist, was taking a hot-air bath to relieve rheumatic pains (from which he had more or less constantly suffered since his visit to America in 1882), when by some means the spirit-lamp was upset, and he was so fearfully burned that he died in four hours, in presence of his wife and his two eldest sons. There is good reason to hope that, after the first few minutes of agony, he did not suffer; his last words being, "I have had a good night, I should like to be left alone." The surgeon stated at the inquest that he "had never known so severe a case of burning, it was literally from head to foot." The funeral took place at Highgate, a hill in a northern suburb of London, on Nov. 13. Among those who assembled at the cemetery, notwithstanding the unfavorable weather, were Professor Huxley, the president, and Dr. Michael Foster, the secretary, of the Royal society; Mr. Percy Sladen, secretary of the Linnean society; Professor Judd, representing the Geological society; Professor Stewart, the president of the Microscopic society; Prof. H. N. Moseley of Oxford, representing the officers of the Challenger expedition ; Prof. W. H. Flower, of the British museum; Mr. Lecky; Rev. Page Roberts, a well-known representative of the Broad church;' Sir Joseph Hooker

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of Kew; the Rev. Dr. James Martineau; Dr. Drummond; Professor Upton; Mr. R. Potter; Mr. Talford Ely, secretary of University college; and others well known in scientific circles. In the mortuary chapel, as well as at the grave, the service was read by the Rev. Dr. Sadler, whose ministrations at the Hampstead Unitarian chapel Dr. Carpenter had attended more than forty years. A large number of strangers were present.

During the week frequent notices of Dr. Carpenter's life and work have appeared in the English journals. Born at Exeter in October, 1813, he was the son of Lant Carpenter, a Unitarian minister, and brother of Philip Carpenter, who died at Montreal in 1877, and of Mary Carpenter, the philanthropist, who died at Bristol in the same year. Though probably best known to the world as a biologist, by his books on physiology and on the microscope, his mind was preeminently many-sided. As much a man of letters as a man of science, there are proofs enough that, if he were the deftest of compilers, he was also the keenest of researchers.' The philosophical character of his mind led him to bestow much thought on higher speculations which might appear insufficiently supported for scientific use; but on these subjects he cherished especially the maxims of Schiller, that the scientific man loves truth better than his system. His services to the cause of scientific education were of the greatest value. For many years one of the first of living teachers, he applied his great knowledge and power of organization to the elaboration of the scheme of degrees in science in the University of London, of which he was registrar for twenty-two years. To the last he remained a member of its senate, and exercised a powerful and most beneficial influence on its deliberations. He leaves to his five sons the heritage of a stainless life, and of a name which, in every land where science is cultivated, will never be mentioned otherwise than with respect.

The balloting list of the officers and council of the Royal society has just been issued, and contains the following nominations: president, Prof. G. G. Stokes; treasurer, John Evans; secretaries, Prof. Michael Foster and the Lord Rayleigh; foreign secretary, Prof. A. W. Williamson; other members of council, R. B. Clifton, J. Dewar, W. H. Flower, A. Geikie, Sir J. D. Hooker, T. H. Huxley, Admiral Sir A. C. Key, J. N. Lockyer, H. N. Moseley, B. Price, C. Pritchard, W. J. Russell, J. S. B. Sanderson, A. Schuster, Lieut.-Gen. R. Strachey, and Gen. J. T. Walker. It will be seen, therefore, that it is proposed to elect as president Professor Stokes, who for many years has been one of the secretaries, and to put in the post

thus vacated Lord Rayleigh, who has recently resigned his chair of physics at Cambridge. According to the statutes, of the twenty-one names proposed on the balloting list, eleven must be those of members of the existing council, and ten must be those of fellows not members of that council. The annual meeting is always held on Nov. 30.

November is usually the month of greatest fog in London, and the present year has seen no exception. Of the density of a London fog, few Americans have any idea, except, perhaps, such as live in Pittsburgh, the only place where the present writer, who has travelled much in the United States and Canada, has seen any thing approaching to the smoke-cloud which hangs over our English towns. An entire absence of wind, an atmosphere almost super-saturated with moisture, and the smoke from innumerable household chimneys where bituminous coal is burnt, are the three concurrent causes of town-fog. It was calculated a year or two ago, by Professor Percy and Prof. Chandler Roberts (chemist to the metallurgist of the mint), that the amount of solid unburnt fuel which hung in a pall over London (the popu lation of which is, roughly, 4,000,000) amounted to no less than fifty tons. As the late Sir William Siemens pointed out, the true remedy for this state of things is the increased use of gas for fuel. The various societies are now on the point of commencing their winter meetings. The programme for the next or 132d session of the Society of arts has just been issued. The chairman of its council, Sir F. Abel, will deliver the opening address on Nov. 18, and the following titles of papers to be read give a fair idea of the scope of the society's operations: Apparatus for the automatic extinction of fires; Load-lines of ships; Technical art teaching; Treatment of sewage; Calculating machines; Domestic electric lighting. There are three sections: 1°. Foreign and colonial; 2°. Applied chemistry and physics; 3°. Indian, each of which holds a monthly meeting. Six courses of lectures under the Cantor bequest will also be given.

The Institute of chemistry held its anniversary meeting on Nov. 6, the eighth since its incorporation, but the first since it has obtained a royal charter. The aim of the institute is to raise the standard of knowledge possessed by professional chemists by the examination of candidates for the associateship (as a preliminary to fellowship) of the institute, and also to raise the dignity of the profession in the public estimation. The president is Professor Odling, F.R.S., of the University of Oxford. W. London, Nov. 14.

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IN reviewing my 'Political economy' in the last number of Science, Prof. E. J. James makes some pertinent remarks about workers in one field trespassing in another. But his method of dealing with such a trespasser is one to be condemned by all lovers of good morals in criticism. It consists, in brief, in misrepresenting his teachings, and putting into his mouth language which he never used, and doctrines and opinions which he never sustained His misrepresentations are so flagrant, that I feel it necessary to expose them immediately in the journal in which they appeared.

He represents me as undertaking "to bring order into the reigning confusion," and "to give the subject a recognized place among the sciences by being the first to treat and develop it as a science ; " putting this pretentious language in quotation marks in such a way as to make his readers believe that I used it. I used no such language, and made no such pretensions. The first-quoted phrase is, so far as I can determine, entirely of Professor James's fabrication. In the second quotation he has taken a sentence about the possible future development of economics, and altered it so as to change it into a ridiculous claim made by me for my work. What I wrote was, "The author takes a more hopeful view of the future development of economics than that commonly found in current discussion. He holds that nothing is needed to give the subject a recognized place among the sciences, except to treat and develop it as a science."

It will be seen that Professor James takes the sentence from its connection, and interpolates several words in such a way as wholly to change its meaning and application. I shall not trust myself to characterize this proceeding.

The review tends to strengthen the modest hope, expressed in the preface, that the principles laid down would be accepted as forming a well-ascertained, even if limited, body of doctrine. He does not join issue on a single principle of those referred to, but reverses, perverts, or misapplies my views on nearly every principle which he discusses.

I never asserted that "the individual, in following out his own interest, as he views it, will, at the same time, always promote in the most efficient manner the public interest." On the contrary, Book v., § 5, is devoted to showing the error of such a proposition. I have italicized the words in which the misrepresentation consists. Strike out the italicized words, and substitute as a general rule for always, and we shall have a different proposition, which I sustain.

"But he is trying to get formulas for a general political economy which shall hold good of present, past, and future societies alike," is an atrocious misrepresentation. The proposition in question is one which my book distinctly combats. Section 25 is wholly devoted to showing its error; and, lest the student should forget, he is again warned against it in the summary at the end of the book (p. 539).

He takes a sentence in which I show one of the compensations for the apparent evils of private ownership of land, and comments on it as if it were my main proposition in dealing with the subject. The

statement that I confuse the labor party with the socialists is perhaps pardonable as being an impression which a hasty and superficial reader might readily receive, from the fact that, owing to want of space, only certain general ideas common to both could be considered. In fine, there is one, and only one. point in which he correctly reproduces the spirit of my teaching, and joins issue with it; and that is, my conclusion about the practicability of socialistic ideas in the present state of society. This subject, however, is not included in that portion of the book which I hoped would meet with universal acceptance.

I wish it clearly understood that I take no exception to the terms in which Professor James characterizes my work. That my ideas are those of a past generation, and my expressions like a voice from the dead; that I am unacquainted with the recent literature of the subject, and ignorant of actual facts in the social organism. - are views which I not only recognize his right to hold and express, but in the expression of which I admire his frankness. At the same time I do not disguise the fact that it would be very interesting to me to know whether Professor James and his school dissent from any of the principles which I lay down as forming the basis of economic science. S. NEWCOMB.

Whatever may be thought of the general tenor of Professor James's review of Newcomb's Political economy,' there are one or two points in it which simply demand correction. In particular, there is a passage in the first paragraph of the review, the injustice of which can only be set right by citing it in full, and along with it the passage in Professor Newcomb's preface of which it professes to be a quotation. Professor James says,

"Certain it is, at any rate, that if a man who had given the best years of his life to the study of political economy should wander over into the field of astronomy and physics, and undertake to bring order into the reigning confusion,' and 'to give the subject a recognized place among the sciences by being the first to treat and develop it as a science,' Professor Newcomb would be just the man to administer a severe and deserved castigation."

The paragraph in Professor Newcomb's preface upon which this charge of outrageous pretension is based is the following:

"The author takes a more hopeful view of the future development of economics than that commonly found in current discussion. He holds that nothing is needed to give the subject a recognized place among the sciences, except to treat and develop it as a science. Of course, this can be done only by men trained in the work of scientific research, and at the same time conscious of the psychological basis on which economic doctrine must rest. To such investigators a most interesting and hopeful field of research is opened in the study of the laws growing out of the societary circulation. If the same amount and kind of research which have been applied to the development of the laws of electricity were applied to this subject, there is every reason to suppose that it would either settle many questions now in dispute, or would at least show how they were to be settled." Of course, no one would charge Professor James with purposely inserting the words we have italicized, and thus completely altering the meaning of his quotation; but no one can read the paragraph in

Newcomb's preface without seeing the gross and unpardonable carelessness of a reviewer who would interpret it as Professor James did, not to speak of the additional carelessness in writing which led him to so misquote Newcomb's words as to make them explicitly convey the meaning he had falsely assigned to them.

Somewhat more pardonable if due to ignorance on Professor James's part-is his speaking of Professor Newcomb as wandering over into the economic field' at an advanced period in his life. Most people in this country who are interested in economics know that Professor Newcomb has been a student and writer upon economics for the last twenty-five years or more. If Professor James knew this, however low might be his opinion of the result of Professor Newcomb's studies, his speaking of Newcomb's wandering over into the economic field' is simply inexcusable misrepresentation.

Professor James goes on to say that there is no evidence in the style of reasoning in this work that the author is at all acquainted with the recent literature of the science either in England or on the continent. One great advance in economic science in the last twenty five years lies in a change of its prevailing method." I, for my part, do not know to what extent Professor Newcomb may be acquainted with the writings of the recent German economists or their English-speaking followers; but, so far as the absence of any effect of their work upon his method of discussion is relied upon as evidence on this head, it is very pertinent to ask Professor James how much of the influence of these writers is discernible in Professor Sidgwick's recent work on political economy. Professor Sidgwick, being unfortunately professor in moral and political philosophy,' may be regarded by Professor James as not quite enough a specialist to be cited; but we have his own word for it (in his preface) that," among foreign writers," he had "derived most assistance from the works of Professors A. Held and Wagner;" and in spite of his having seen the new light, his book professes to be in the main a guarded restatement of the principles of the old masters.

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This is not the place to enter into a general discussion of the merits of the new economists who think they have 'exploded' every principle of political economy from which they can show that an erroneous practical conclusion has been drawn, and who freely distribute such adjectives as 'crude,'' dogmatic,' and 'mazy,' in speaking of any theory which they find has not taken note of every disturbing influence. But it is presumptuous in a member of this school to regard a general adherence to the methods of Mill and Cairnes as evidence of ignorance or incompetence.

It would take too long to show how unfair is Professor James's presentation of Newcomb's treatment of laissez-faire. I trust that the correction I made at the beginning of this letter may be enough to render the reader somewhat suspicious of Professor James's fairness and accuracy in representing his author. It may, however, be worth while to re-enforce this suspicion by observing that the last sentence in Professor James's article is entirely and absurdly gratuitous, as Professor Newcomb, in speaking (p. 153) of the government's assuming (an unfortunately chosen expression, I admit) that "the values of equal weights of the two metals have a certain fixed ratio to each other," is simply engaged in describing what governments do when they establish an unlimited bimetallic

system; his discussion of the 'views' both of monometallists and of bimetallists being reserved for a subsequent portion of the book (which Professor James would seem not to have read) in which be criticises the arguments on both sides without deciding in favor of either. FABIAN FRANKLIN.

Baltimore, Nov. 27.

The Biela meteors.

The Bielid meteors were observed here in considerable numbers last evening. I am sorry to say, that. having been very busily occupied all day, I had quite forgotten that they were expected, and so was not on the lookout for them at the beginning of the darkness. I suppose that in consequence I probably missed the maximum of the shower, which seems to have occurred very early in the evening.

On going out of my house at 7.15, my attention was immediately attracted by seeing two meteors in the sky together, followed almost instantly by others. While walking the first hundred yards, I saw twelve; and during the whole ten minutes' walk to the Halsted observatory, I counted thirty-six ; though the eye was much disturbed by the street lights, and though for a considerable part of the way the view of the sky was more or less obstructed by trees and buildings. The shower was apparently on the wane, however, and the number per minute diminished pretty regularly. Up to 7.45, about one hundred had been recorded in all; between that time and 8 o'clock, only three or four more were seen, and observation was discontinued.

About half a dozen of the hundred were as bright as stars of the first magnitude; about fifty were of the second and third magnitudes; and of the remainder a considerable proportion were between the fifth and sixth magnitudes, just fairly visible to the naked eye, and only seen when one happened to be looking at the exact place where they appeared. Of course, it is likely that the real number of these faint meteors was much larger in proportion to the brighter ones than the actual observations would indicate. Several of the larger ones left trains which lasted for two or three seconds, never more, and were always red. In no case was the meteor, or its train, of the greenish or bluish tinge which characterizes the Leonids. The tracks were very few of them more than 10° or 15° long, and the motion was rather slow for a shooting star, the duration of flight being usually more than a second, even when the path was not more than 5° long. In a few cases the tracks were decidedly curved or crooked.

The radiant' was very well marked, -an oval region about 4 long, north and south, and about 2 wide. Its centre, according to the best estimate I could form, was about 2 north-west from Gamma Andromedae, A.R. 1h 50m, & 432.5. The determination rests largely upon three nearly stationary meteors, with tracks not exceeding 15' in length, which appeared within the limits of the radiant; but it agrees satisfactorily with the result obtained by plotting fifteen or twenty other tracks in the same part of the sky.

It would seem from this that the radiant is now a little farther east than it was in 1872, when, according to A. S. Herschel (Monthly notices, vol. xxxiii. p. 78), its position was A.R. 1h 41m.6 (25.4) and 8 43°.7. In 1872 some of the best observers found evidences of two or more distinct radiants. Nothing of the

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