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the brain flushed with excitement, and the judgment unsettled by intense expectancy.
Spiritualism, theosophic lore, occult science, and all the mysteries that follow in their train, are simply the expression which this atavistic tendency of human thought has taken in our scientific century. When introspection, meditation, revelation, or dogma were the current modes of discovering truth, the occultists, mystics, and the rest claimed them as the foundations of their creed. To-day we experiment, observe with the senses, photograph, and so on; accordingly the 'vital influence' and 'telepathic impact' has been forced to leave its record in childish scribblings; our ghosts have been weighed and smelled and photographed; yes, even the methods of scientific psychology (reaction-times) have been employed to discover the most beneficial kind of 'smell-pills' and the clothing in which our soul can most conveniently disport itself. The Hipp chronoscope is pictured on the frontispiece of Jäger's 'Entdeckung der seele.' Every insaneasylum is a microcosmus of the world without. Formerly our paranoics heard voices in the air : now they hear them through the telephone. So, too, this morbid pseudo-scientific spirit apes the manners of the true goddess, and by such disguises sues the favor of the world.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 17, 1886.
THE PSYCHOLOGY OF SPIRITUALISM. THE history of thought, says Dr. Bastian, has a double aspect. Its main object is to record the advance steps in the progress of civilization, to trace the normal, psychological growth of racial culture, and set forth the evolution of rationality. But it is hardly less instructive to regard the shadowy side of the picture, and study the mental movements of that ever-present and vast portion of mankind who by occult and mystic proceedings attempt to shortcircuit the roads to knowledge and immortality. Weird notions and strange theories find a ready home in the disordered brains of such semi-morbid fanatics; and, when once they gain hold on the popular imagination and belief, such inhuman pages of history as those that record the horrors of witchcraft, the follies of alchemists and searchers for the philosopher's stone or the fountain of eternal youth, the wide-spread misery of mental epidemics or the bestial self-tortures of crazed ascetics, must be written. These deviations from the normal lines of progress back-slidings, as the Hebrew prophets termed them - present close analogies in the mind of the evolutionist to atavistic reversions in some ways, and to useless rudimentary organs in others. They appear as reversions to more primitive modes of thought in the light of what anthropology has told us of the psychic life of savage tribes.
Hardly a page in the story of the vagaries that have turned aside the minds of our ancestors from the straight path of knowledge but can find its parallel in the fancies built up by untutored savages to satisfy their dearest longings and quiet their most constant fears. In brief, it is in the statistics of thought that our author finds the material for the complete study of intellectual evolution, and quite as much of those modes of thought that are reversions or survivals as of those that are in the direct line of advance. Modern science has decided to accept as its logic that system of principles most conveniently described as Baconian; but this process seems slow and insipid to those who have the final goal of all revealed to their ecstatic insight, and the logic on which they stake their faith is such as can only be fully appreciated when the eyes are calmed in dimly lit chambers,
In sachen des spiritismus und einer naturwissenschaftlichen psychologie. Von A. BASTIAN. Berlin, Stricker, 1886. 12°.
It is in some such strain as this that Dr. Bastian as an anthropologist not alone familiar with the culture-history in which we form a link, but thoroughly at home in the mind-habits of 'natural' savage tribes not uncivilized but with a peculiar civilization of their own, calls up the procession of modern spiritualists, theosophists, and their like, and sits in judgment upon them. He shows them how they are simply repeating, with new costumes and improved scenic effects, the tragic comedy of former times, and falling back upon the play-tricks of the childish savages whom they profess to despise.
It would be a vain attempt to fill out, however roughly, this sketch of Dr. Bastian's point of view. For that, the reader must (though not without misgivings on the part of the reviewer) be referred to the original. The author is no stylist. There is no attempt at any classification or subdivision; no index; a preface that reads like part of the text; no chapters, simply 216 pages of tersely written paragraphs. Add to this, constant quotations from seven or eight languages (in one passage five languages occur in four lines) and a
most puzzling and frequent use (one parenthesis to every two and a half lines) of the parenthesis, and some slight notion of the extreme Teutonic character of this valuable pamphlet will be obtained. JOSEPH JASTROW.
THE VENOMS OF POISONOUS SERPENTS. THE experimental work which forms the basis for this valuable contribution to science was carried on in the physiological laboratory of the University of Pennsylvania. The reputation of its authors is such as to make it a standard work of reference. It brings our knowledge of the composition and effects of the venoms of serpents up to the present time, and we surmise that many years will elapse before the results recorded will be modified to any great degree. The subject is one, which, while it is full of interest to the reader, must nevertheless have been one involving no inconsiderable danger to the experimenters. To have handled two hundred living venomous serpents, one of them eight and a half feet long, weighing nineteen pounds, and furnishing one and a half drams of venom, cannot have been a very delightful task; and those who were willing to undertake it must have been enthusiastic investigators, as indeed we know they were. The serpents upon which the experiments were performed included rattlesnakes (Crotalus adamantus and C. durissus), moccasons (Ancistrodon piscivorus), ground rattlesnakes, copperheads, and coral-snakes. The venom of the cobra was obtained from India, while all efforts to obtain the poison of the Indian viper (Dabsia Russellii) were unsuccessful. The authors started with the theory, long held by Dr. Mitchell, that snake-venoms are not simple in composition, but are composed of two or more poisonous substances, and that in the qualities and quantities of these agents would be found an explanation of the differences between serpent-venoms as to power to kill and mode of causing death. All fresh serpent-venoms are more or less alike in appearance, being fluids varying from the palest amber tint to a deep yellow. When a drop of the fresh venom of the C. adamanteus was examined under the microscope with a Zeiss. homog. immersion lens (amplification, 800 diameters), in addition to oval nucleated red blood-corpuscles, leucocytes, and club-shaped epithelial cells, certain colorless particles are seen, some larger and of an albuminous character, others smaller. Some of these particles resemble bacteria, but are not they do not multiply in cultures nor stain with the aniline dyes. In adResearches upon the venoms of poisonous serpents. By S. WEIR MITCHELL and E. T. REICHERT. Washington, Smithsonian inst., 1886.
dition to these, there are, however, bacteria in fresh venom of a micrococcus form. Although careful search was made for ptomaines, none were found. An insoluble precipitate was obtained, which does not seem to have been recognized, and, when injected into pigeons, produced no toxic effect. Certain globulins were also obtained from the venom, to which the writers have affixed the names of water-venom-globulin, copper-venomglobulin, and dialysis-venom-globulin, from the method by which they were obtained. In addition to the globulins, peptones were also obtained. The differences in the proportions of the various globulins and peptones in different venoms are of immense importance in affording an explanation of the physiological peculiarities exhibited in poisoning by different species of snakes. The proportion of globulins in Crotalus is over three times the quantity in the Ancistrodon, and nearly fifteen times that in the cobra. The investigation, which has continued over a period of several years, included a study of the effects of various agents on venom, the effects of venom when applied to mucous and serous surfaces, their effects on the nervous system, and a comparison of globulins and peptones as regards their local poisonous activity. The action of vencms and their isolated globulins and peptones upon the pulse-rate, upon arterial pressure, and upon respiration, was thoroughly examined. Elaborate experiments were made with filtered venom, and with cultures for the study of the morphology of the bacteria contained in the venom. The anatomical changes produced in the animals experimented upon were carefully studied and recorded. The conclusions to which the authors arrive, as the result of their patient and laborious investigation, are, 1°, that venoms bear in some respects a strong resemblance to the saliva of other vertebrates; 2°, that the active principles of venom are contained in its liquid parts only; 3°, that venoms may be dried and preserved indefinitely with but little impairment of their toxicity; 4°, that there probably exist in all venoms representatives of two classes of proteids, globulins and peptones, which constitute their toxic elements; 5°, that potassic permanganate, ferric chloride in the form of the liquor or tincture, and tincture of iodine, seem to be the most active and promising of the generally available local antidotes. The fact that the active principles of venoms are proteids, and closely related chemically to elements normally existing in the blood, renders almost hopeless the search for a chemical antidote which can prove available after the poison has reached the circulation, since it is obvious that we cannot expect to discover any substance, which, when placed in the blood,
will destroy the deadly principles of venom without inducing a similar destruction of vital components in the circulating fluid. The outlook, then, for an antidote for venom which may be available after the absorption of the poison, lies clearly in the direction of a physiological antagonist, or, in other words, of a substance which will oppose the actions of venom upon the most vulnerable parts of the system. The activities of venoms are, however, manifested in such diverse ways, and so profoundly and rapidly, that it does not seem probable that we shall ever discover an agent which will be capable at the same time of acting efficiently in counter-acting all the terrible energies of these poisons. The monograph closes with a complete bibliography of the subject, and a number of colored lithographs, which serve to illustrate in a most perfect manner the lesions caused by the venoms.
MCLENNAN'S STUDIES IN ANCIENT HISTORY.
THE first edition of McLennan's Primitive marriage' was published in 1866. The novelty and striking character of the theories propounded in it, the accumulation of interesting facts, and the clear and attractive style, aroused attention, and led to much discussion. Many writers of note Sir Henry Maine, Sir John Lubbock, Mr. L. H. Morgan, Professor Bachofen - took part in the controversy. Darwin himself entered the arena. Ten years later, to meet a pressing demand, the work was reprinted by the author, with additions, under the title of Studies in ancient history.' That the interest awakened in the subject has remained unabated is evident from the fact, that, since the author's lamented death, his brother has found it necessary to issue a new edition of this volume, with some notes of his own, designed to clear up doubtful points, and to indicate certain changes of view which the author had announced. The publication will be welcome to all who take an interest in the study of the primitive history of our race, and who have not had an opportunity of procuring the earlier editions. Few works on the subject can be read with greater satisfaction, even by those who do not yield assent to the author's views. The grace of diction, the profound scholarship, and the stimulating originality of thought, displayed in the work, combine to make it one of the classics of modern science.
Twenty years, however, have not sufficed to establish the views put forth with so much confi
Studies in ancient history, comprising a reprint of Primitive marriage. New ed. By the late JOHN FERGUSON MCLENNAN. London and New York, Macmillan, 1826. 8°.
dence, and maintained with so much ingenious reasoning. On the contrary, antagonistic theories have sprung up on every side. To some extent, indeed, the author, as his brother intimates, had changed his views; and it is not easy to determine what were the precise conclusions at which he had arrived on some important points. The view, for example, which represents the earliest tribes of men as living in a state of communal marriage,' or, in other words, of promiscuous intercourse, is maintained throughout his first publication. This view was subsequently adopted by Lubbock in his 'Origin of civilization,' and by Morgan in his 'Ancient society.' But it was contested with overwhelming power of argument by Darwin, in his Descent of man.' He showed that the nearest congeners of man, the anthropoid apes, are all pairing animals, and, like other pairing animals, fiercely jealous. That human beings, on their first appearance, should at once have sunk in the social scale below the apes, and even below the sparrows, and should only have emerged from this condition of more than brutal debasement by a long succession of struggles and experiences, is of all suppositions the most improbable.
This consideration seems to have impressed Mr. McLennan, and to have produced a remarkable change of opinion. One of his essays, added in this volume to the original treatise, comprises a severe and destructive criticism of Sir John Lubbock's scheme, which makes communal marriage' the starting-point of human society. With equal force of logic, the author disposes of Morgan's classificatory system' and Bachofen's 'mother-right,' both of which are founded on the same fanciful basis, thus demolished by him. Yet, strangely enough, he fails to see that his own theory of marriage by capture' rests on the same unsafe foundation, and must fall with the others. His view, as presented in his earliest publication, and not subsequently retracted, is that in the first stage of tribal society utter promiscuity' prevailed; that with this was connected the practice of female infanticide, the male children being preserved to add to the strength of the tribe, while females were regarded as a source of weakness; that the scarcity of females in a tribe led to the custom of capturing them from other tribes, and this custom finally became the law of the tribe. Thus marriage arose, at first exogamous (that is, restricted to women of other tribes or kindreds), and afterwards, as society advanced, either endogamous (that is, restricted to the clan) or general, as in civilized nations. As the author himself, in his later essays, has taken away the main substructure on which his ingenious theory was built, it is not necessary to refer at any length
to the facts and arguments which have been brought forward in opposition to it. That among the greater number of tribes which have been found in the lowest stage of savagery, no trace of marriage by capture has been discovered; that among such tribes female infanticide is by no means a common practice; and that, on the contrary, female children are regarded by their parents as a source of wealth, through the price which they bring for wives, — these and similar facts seem to prove that the custom, of which the author has pointed out so many widely scattered traces, did not originate in any general law of social organization, but was, like polygamy, polyandry, the North American clan-system, the Australian class-system, the Hindoo caste-system, the Roman paternal autocracy, and the many other social arrangements which have been pressed into the argument, merely a casual and local cus. tom, one of those numberless diversities of tribal organization, which, like the diversities of language, indicate at once the variety of the human faculties and the unity of the species. The conclusion announced by Darwin, that all the races of men are descended from a common ancestry, and that all inherit the ordinary pairing instinct, which, however perverted in sional instances, manifests itself distinctly in the vast majority of communities, savage and civilized alike, is one which will doubtless be generally accepted in the end. The theories which oppose this conclusion destroy one another; and the results of the profoundest science bring us back to the common belief which prevailed before the theorizers began their work. H. HALE.
STEPHENS'S HISTORY OF THE FRENCH
THE literature of the French revolution would in itself compose a library, and Mr. Morse Stephens naturally begins his preface with an excuse for adding another history to a list which includes such names as Thiers, Taine, and Carlyle. masterly survey of his authorities he shows, that, since Carlyle wrote, our sources of information have been materially increased; that a number of local records and personal memoirs have come to light; and he lays particular stress on a collection of pamphlets in the British museum which Carlyle found to be inaccessible. Briefly, Mr. Stephens has spent untiring labor on the subject for years past, to the exclusion of every thing else,' and he aims at embodying in this volume the results of specialist researches. He notes in this connection the influence of the German school of
A history of the French revolution. By H. MORSE STEPHENS. Vol. i. New York, Scribner, 1886. 12°.
historians, - an influence, by the way, which is discernible in the increasing study of parochial and diocesan history in England, and in the rise of historical magazines and reviews such as the monthly Révolution Française and Revue de la révolution, which are entirely devoted to the history of the revolution.
Mr. Stephens introduces his work to the American public in a separate preface, in the course of which he remarks that the example of American independence was a more powerful ideal with the earlier revolutionists, the admirers of Lafayette and Franklin, while the later leaders sought inspiration from the republics of Greece and Rome. The Declaration of the rights of man he somewhat unfairly describes as a 'ridiculous fancy of the admirers of the American constitution,' foisted on the assembly by Lafayette. Surely the declaration breathes the spirit of Rousseau, and, farfetched and extravagant as it may seem to us, it was the gospel of the French revolution.
While the conflict of king and subject was passing into the tyranny of the state, the questions raised were so varied and suggestive that the epoch forms a kaleidoscope which can always be viewed in a new aspect. Theorists had full sway, and many of those great modern movements directed against the constitution of society movements which have lately received a new impetus - were inaugurated. Now that it is hinted that democracy does not imply liberty, and that a new school of physiocrats' is growing up in the stronghold of modern democracy, it will be useful to study the experiments made by land and labor reformers a century back.
The plan of Mr. Stephens's work is simple and effective. In the present volume he carries the narrative from the assembly of the notables to the dissolution of the constituent assembly, aptly introducing sketches of important departments of the subject, such as the court, the army, and the church. There is no 'Carlylese' or lurid color in his description; but if he does not write at high pressure, flamefully,' he tells his story in clear and straightforward English. Here and there occurs a slovenly phrase, such as, "the influence of the parlement and the affection has been noticed when discussing" — but the style generally is attractive by its simplicity and correctness. The fall of the Bastile is told unobtrusively. We notice that the celebrated speech, Paris has conquered her king,' is attributed to Lally Tollendal instead of to Bailly, presumably on the authority of the museum pamphlets. Bailly makes no mention of it in his Memoirs.'
Mr. Stephens is, we think, weakest in his estimate of character. Study of Mirabeau's corre
spondence with La Marck seems to have prejudiced him against the moral' characters of the revolution, — Necker, Bailly, and Lafayette, whom he scarcely mentions without a sneer. The removal of the king and assembly to Paris is put down to the extreme vanity of Lafayette, who wanted them there merely to increase his own honor and glory." The starvation "gave Lafayette an opportunity to pose as savior of the monarchy." In the matter of the suspensive veto, Necker "acted vainly and foolishly on the plan which Lafayette had vainly and foolishly invented." What was criminal in Lafayette at the Hotel de Castries, it becomes a virtue in Mirabeau to defend. In short, Mr. Stephens feels something of the rancor which Mirabeau felt when "every attempt of Mirabeau to unite himself to Necker and Lafayette had been spurned by those vain and conceited men." On the other hand, the double dealing of Mirabeau when he was in the pay of the court is put down as masterly statesmanship, and his want of principle is almost made a proof of his greatness. Nothing is said of the difficulties of Lafayette's position, which exposed him to attack from both sides; of his chivalrous loyalty to the court, yet sympathy with the popular cause; or of the high opinion entertained of him by the best contemporary critics.
There is much new and interesting matter in the account of the elections to the states-general, and of the local cahiers of grievances. Mr. Stephens is a lover of exact detail, perhaps at times overloading his history with biographical minutiae. There are also sketches of the economic and financial state of France in connection with the views of the foremost thinkers (to whom the evils of the internal douanes suggested the doctrine of free trade), showing the results of the issue of a paper currency and of the wasteful system of taxation. The theory (p. 176) that the burning of châteaux was due to the desire of the copy hold tenants to get possession of their court-rolls seems a little strained to any one who has read contemporary accounts of the condition of the French peasantry. Points made very clear are the unpractical character of the constituent assembly, with its theory of irregular verbs,' the reasons why it was left behind by the provinces in the march of ideas, and the widening gulf between the bourgeois and lower classes, especially the ouvriers, who suffered from protective trade associations.
Enough has been said to show that Mr. Stephens has produced a work which promises to rank among the standard authorities on the period, and which will be of sterling historical value to the student of modern democracy.
VINES'S LECTURES ON THE PHYSIOLOGY OF PLANTS.
THERE has long been felt the need of a good text-book on vegetable physiology in the English language, and hence we heartily welcome the appearance of this excellent treatise. The investigation of the phenomena of plant-growth, nutrition, respiration, metabolism, reproduction, etc., has of recent years been almost entirely accomplished by the Germans, and the prominent part they have taken in these researches will be at once apparent to the reader of Professor Vines's work. As the title indicates, the volume is an expansion of the author's lectures on the subject, and these are twenty-three in number. Nearly ten years have elapsed since its preparation was begun, ill health and the pressure of official duties having retarded its publication.
Lecture I., as introductory, treats of the general features of the vegetable cell, its cell-wall, and its contents, Protococcus and yeast being used as examples with references to the tissue systems of multicellular plants. Then follow two chapters on the structure and properties of the cell, in which are discussed the growth, thickening, and lignification of the wall; its optical properties; and its incrusting mineral matters, - oxalate and carbonate of lime, and silica; the protoplasmic contents and the nucleus; the vacuole and the cell-sap. The molecular structure of organized bodies is then considered. An account is given of 'imbibition,' or capacity of organized matter for absorbing water. The rival theories of Naegeli and Strasburger are compared; and the latter appears to be favored by the author, though farther on in the book reference is made to Naegeli's micellar hypothesis. In this connection allusion is made to Hale's old experiment of putting peas to soak in an iron pot with a leaden cover on which was placed a weight of 184 pounds: the force generated by imbibition was sufficient to raise the cover and weight. Here we also find an instructive discussion of the osmotic properties of the cell, and it is pointed out that substances may be transferred from cell to cell by means of the connecting threads of protoplasm as well as by osmosis.
Lecture IV. is on the absorption of water by root-hairs and the epidermal cells of rootlets, and is full of important information for the agriculturist. The structure of soils, the action of acid cell-sap, which saturates the absorbing organs and brings salts insoluble in water alone into solution, are described, and numerous analyses of the ash of plants are given. The discussion of the absorp
Lectures on the physiology of plants. By SYDNEY HOWARD VINES. Cambridge, University press, 1886. 8°.