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charmed him most. A savoury reading; but, cave, lector-^
it does not mean fried fish, but fish dried in some way by the

amplication of heat, and so prepared by the addition of con'-
ments as to preserve them for future use or a foreign mar-
ket.' Mr. Leverett tells us, that Lemaire in his edition of
Juvenal, Paris, 1823, adopts Ruperti's reading, but is very
ready to admit fracta de merce: — that is, he sold the
iUuriy the box and merchandise or mass of fish being bro-
ken or divided into parts (Gallice en dhtait^, or, as we say,
by retail. Ruperti notices this reading, which is found both
in some manuscript and published codices, and quotes some
of tbe scholiasts who defend and interpret it ; but he treats
it with a sneer, as a silly reading. So it is that doctors dis-
agree. (Sat. iv. verse 32.)

We begin to feel some misgivings concerning this subject,
lest we should become tedious to many of our readers ; and
therefore, though we had singled out other examples for
remark, we promptly desist. It is due to Mr. Leverett, how-
ever, to say, that very few of his Notes have any thing to do
with criticisms on various readings. This is as it should be.
The Notes of Mr. Leverett are very neat and concise, and
suited to the purpose of his book. Juvenal and Persius
abound in allusions to mythology, manners, customs, and
persons, that leave so much to be supplied, in order to per-
ceive how they are apposite, or how to come at a meaning
beyond what meets the ear, in the way of analogy or infer-
ence, that a very firequent occurrence of notes is necessary



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}8^] Levereifi Ju9enal and Persius. 809

to one yrho reads those authors for the first time. Mr. Ler*
erett has afforded such helps in his Notes ; and they are
composed, compiled, altered, or abridged from other editors
with good judgment and taste.

In reading through Mr. Leverett's edition of Juvenal and
Persius with tolerable care we have discovered no literal
errors in the text of either of the authors, which we consider
ascribable to the editor. In the Notes we have met only
with two ; but we are not prepared to vouch for the accu-
racy of the Notes in this respect, with the same degree of
confidence as for that of the text ; because we have not read
them all.

A short biographical accoum of each author precedes the
Notes, and a brief description of the purpose and general
contents of each Satire precedes the notes to the several
Satires respectively.

The Editor has performed his labors with the fidelity and
learning to be looked for in an accomplished scholar ; and
we regret exceedingly that the mechanical execution of ibe
book does not correspond to its literary merits. The general
appearance of the page does not please the eye ; sometimes
the impression is faint and the letters are not well defined ; the
tittles of the i and^ are often wanting, and there is, in many
instances, a defective impression at the ends of lines. We
notice here the same faults which we pointed out in the edi«>
tjon of Sallust, which was reviewed in our last number. In
nearly twenty instances we have found a period or some
other sign for a pause wanting at the end of a line, and in
two instances we have marked the absence of letters in the
f^ame situation ; as Juv. Sat. xiii. v. 64, we find bimembr for
bimembri, and in the same Satire, v. 232, sacel for sacello^
We have said that no literal errors have been found by us in
the text which are chargeable to the editor. Those which
we have mentioned pertain, we suppose, to the mechanical
execution, after the correction of the proof-sheets. Whether
the copy before us is better or worse than the average of the
impression we cannot say. But to speak in general terms, we
regret that the impression is not more clear and exact, and
that it does not present to the eye a more attractive page.
We cannot help comparing this book with Mr. Leverett's
edition of Juvenal, published in 1828, a very neat and accu*
rata little volume. One cannot look over its pages without

VOL. I. NO. IV. 40



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810 Scientific Tracts. [April,

being prejudiced in its favor. Our school-books should be
reasonably cheap ; but we ought not to regard the addition of
a few cents to a volume as a matter of great import, when com-
pared with what is of so much more consequence, namely,
winning the favor and smiles of ingenuous youth.



Art. VII. — Scientific Tracts, designed for Instruction and
Entertainment, and adapted to Schools, Lyceums, and
Families. Conducted by Josiah Holbrook and oth-
ers. Boston. Carter & Hendee. 1832. Vol. i. pp.
580. Vol. II. Nos. 1 and 2, pp. 48.



These tracts are professedly designed as instruments for
operating in the great and common cause of Popular Educa-
tion. The aim of the conductors is ^' to avoid theoretical
speculations and technicalities, to simplify language and facts,
and to give the whole work a moral cast." These are truly
indispensable requisites in disseminating instruction for the
mass of the people ; and it becomes us to inquire how the
work thus far justifies these pretensions.

In the first tract, page 15, there is a theory concerning
shooting-stars, which, even if plausible in itself, should have
been avoided, as contradictory to the spirit of the Conduct-
ors' promises. The theory is much too futile to meet the
approbation of any scientific man, and when offered to the
people, can serve only to mislead them.

On page 17 of the same tract, the author identifies oxy-
gen with heat. He gives us to understand, that the match
m the air-syringe is ignited by the oxygen, which is separate
ed from the air by compression. Now, although the oxygen
is' essential to the ignition of the match, still it is not the
cause. It is produced by the expression of the latent heat
of the air.

In tract No. iii, page 67, the same experiment is correctly
explained.

The first paragraph of the same tract (No. iii.^ pretends
to account for the blue color of the atmosphere, by reasons
entirely at variance with the true theory of color. " The
blue rays are most readily absorbed by the atmosphere,
hence its blue appearance above and around us." The sen-
sation of color is excited in us by reflected rays ; and not



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1883.] Scientific Tracts. 311

absorbed rays. The color of blue is produced by the reflec-
tion of the blue rays, while the rest are absorbed.

The treatises on Electricity are inadequate to teach the
untaught, and to those who are versed in the subject they are
valueless. On page 478, the allegation, that the theory of
two electricities is now almost universally admitted, is untrue.
Franklin's theory has not yielded a step to that of Du Faye,
and something more than a sweeping assertion will be requir-
ed, to make us relinquish the theory of a single fluid.

On the strength of the above assertion, the author says in
the same paragraph, that he shall adopt the theory of two
fluids in his treatise ; that is, he shall use the terms vitreom
and resinous, in his explanations, instead ofpositive and neg'
ative. On page 482, we find a phenomenon explained on
the supposition of a single fluid, ' and the terms positive and
negative made use of. Now, although this may be the more
plausible and easier mode of explanation, still it should not
be made use of here, as it is not in accordance with the
" almost universally received theory J*^ This is only one of
the many cases of inconsistency. The terms are confounded
throughout the whole treatise, and it could hardly be expect-
ed to be otherwise, in a collection of quotations.

On page 498, the explanation of the decomposition and
recomposition of the natural electricity is extremely involved.
After this, it is further said, '' that the same is evidently true,
if we consider the theory of Franklin, already alluded to, as
the more probable theory.'' This has the appearance of
clashing a little with a previous assertion.

On page 507, is mentioned a ** remarkable fact," which
the author does not '^ recollect to have seen noticed in any
treatise ; that very many of the experiments with the elec-
tric light succeed better with the conductor than with the
jar." We do not recollect to have seen many treatises where
It is not mentioned. It is noticed in ^' Pinnock's Catechism
on Electricity," in " The Library of Useful Knowledge," and
in << Rees's Cyclopaedia," whence a great part of the trea-
tise is quoted. This being the fact, we cannot grant the au-
thor the honor of a discovery in this case.

Hoping that the people will not be injured by these few
anomalies, we can recommend to them the greater part of the
remaining tracts as interesting and instructive. The tract on
Forest Trees is very well worth perusal ; not so much



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919 Wright $ Natural BUtary rf the Globe. [Affil,

from any intrinsic merit, as from the importance of the sub«
ject. It would be out of place here to set forth the value
of a good treatise on this hitherto neglected subject, so highly
important to men of taste, and so appropriate to this country.
Although many of these tracts are truly commendable, there
are some which have so much the appearance of belonging
to the class referrible to persons called book-makers, that one
might be inclined to think they really had such an origin, if
there' were not, in general, reason to think better of the
work and its conductors. But we do consider the electrical
farragOy to which we have adverted, and some of the other
to^eatises on philosophical subjects, as unworthy the name of
" Scientific Tracts."

Art. VIII. — A Natural llistory of the Globe, of Marty of
Beasts, Birds, Fishes, Reptiles, Insects, and Plants.
From the Writings of Buffon, Cuvier, LACEPiiDE, and
other eminent Naturalists. Edited by John Wright,
Member of the Zo51ogical Society of London. A new
Edition, with Improvements from Geoffrey, Griffith,
Richardson, Lewis and Clark, Long, Wilson, and others.
With Five Hundred Engravings. [Edited by Samuel G.
Goodrich.] Boston, firay & Bowen. 1831. 5 vols.
12mo.

Thb addition of about three hundred pages of matter and
many wood-cuts, with the comparative cheapness of tke
American edition, renders it an improvement of that by Mr.
Wright ; but in point of typographical execution and pictorial
embellishment, it is manifestly inferior to the English work.
In both, systematic arrangement and terms of science have
been disregarded, from the idea that they are not important
in a popular work, or that they are adverse to one in whiefa
^^ variety, the desire of keeping attention alive by facts cal**
culated to excite, astonishment and perhaps a higher feeling,
and to yield innocent entertainment or valuable information,"
are the principal objects. We believe this to be a mistaken
idea. Scientific names and a natural classification of animals
are valuable aids to the memory. Upon the organization of
animals, which furnishes the principles of their systematic
arrangement, their habits so necessarily depend, that a knowl-
edge of the one carries with it that of the other. It enables



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I



18Ba.] Wrighfi Nohtrtd Hist&rif of the Gloht. 818

us more correctly to appreciate the resemblances and diver-
sities of animals, to associate them in groups according to
their natural affinities, and to understand the relative rank of
each one in the scale of created beings. In the very tertM
of science are stored up numerous valuable zoological facts ;
and, to use the words of Linnaeus, '< Si nomina nescis, perit et
cognitio reruni."

The want of a natural arrangement is most sensibly felt in
that part of the work including the invertebrated animals, or
those destitute of an internal bony skeleton. This great
division of the animal kingdom contains an immense number
of objects, interesting not only for their multifarious forms,
and singular habits, but for their wonderful internal structure,
the exact adaptation of their organs to the medium in which
they are designed to live, and to the wants these organs
are intended to supply. The minuteness of the object and
the brevity of its existence do not lessen our curiosity ; it in
reality serves still more to excite our admiration and aston-
ishment at the symmetry of form, the delicacy of organs, and
the concentration of power and of vitality in such minute
entities. To use the eloquent language of the author of the
<^ British Naturalist," as quoted in this " Natural History,''
" We are apt, because we cannot move from one part to an-
other without labor, to associate interest with magnitude, -*
measure power with a line, and reckon wisdom by tables of
chronology ; but when the woi-k is His, ' with whom a thou-
sand years are as one day, and one day as a thousand years/
we find also that space is not an element of the wonderful
in His works, or time of the wisdom with which they have
been made." It is impossible to render the natural history
of these numerous objects intelligible or instructiye without
airangement; and hence we find in this work the utmost
ccxifusion, and total inattention to the natural relations of these
animals. Thus the lobster and crab are associated with the
amphibious reptiles, coming immediately after the tortoise,
to which they have not the remotest affinity. Shell-fish,
audi as oysters, muscles, and clams, succeed these, and are
followed by frocs, lizards, and serpents. The confusion in-
creases in the last volume. Here the flea, a true insect,
which undergoes a remarkable transformation in passing from
its young to its adult state, which lives wholly by suction, is
fornished with only six legs, and is covered with a polished



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814 Wright's Natural Bittary of the Globe. [April,

laminated coat, is placed immediately after spiders, animals
that preserve throughout their lives the forms in which they
appear at birth, which are predaceous in habit, are furnished
with venomous fangs, move upon eight legs, and have a sys-
tem of respiratory and nutritive organs upon an entirely dif-
ferent model from those of insects. The description of
aphides, or plant-lice, is appended to that of the irritating
vermin which inhabit some of the vertebrated animals, and
which invade and occupy even the high places of the lords
of creation. We are entirely at a loss to conceive what re-
semblance Bufibn, Wright, or Goodrich could find between
the common louse and an aphis ^ either in form, structure, or
economy. It is evident that the popular name has misled
the author of these chapters in this and ether instances, such
as bringing together the common bed-bug and the millepede,
or, as it is sometimes called, the soto-btig. The latter is
allied to the centipede, but is separated from it by the scor-
pion and the Daphnia (Monoculus), an animal nearly relat-
ed to the horse-shoe. But it is unnecessary to point out
other examples of the absolute disregard of order and affinity
which prevails in the last volume ; suffice it only to mention,
that the leech, or blood-sucker, is associated with centipedes
and insects, and the other red-blooded worms with zoophytes,
among which also is included the cuttle-fish, an animal
closely related to the nautilus and argonaut.

The limits of this article will not permit us to point out
many of the errors of this work ; we shall confine ourselves,
therefore, principally to those minor faults which ought not
to have escaped the correction of a careful editor, and one
acquainted with the subject, which is a matter of no small
consequence. In the first volume, page 51, of the American
edition (to the pages of which we shall refer), it is stated
that " the mountains of Europe form four systems," for
which read six systems. Page 119, '^ America is said to be
one continued morass ; a proof of the modem date of the
country, of the small number of inhabitants, and still more of
their want of industry ; " which on dit of the French natur-
alist deserved at least a refutation by the Editor. On the
same page we find Palus Meotidis for Palus Mteotis, Page
233, " The Latins, after the Greeks, have called the wild
ass angra : " this misnomer is repeated below, and it appears
IQ still another form in Vol. ii., page 294, where, instead of



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1833.] IVrighfi Natural msi^ry of the Globe. 315

onager^ we read onagra. Page 248, '^ In the Journal des Sa-
vans there is a description of worms found in the livers of sheep
and oxen, as also in the German Ephemerides.'' (We pre-
sume that the only worms found in the latter must be book-
worms.) '^ It has also been said that butterflies have been
found in the livers of sheep " ! In the excellent description
of the hare (page 325), transferred without acknowledgment
from Dr. Godman's work, for '' a species of oestrus which
lays with egss," read, as in*the original, <^ a species of oestrus
which lays tts eggs." Of the badger it is said (page 355),
that ^^ dogs easily overtake it when it is at any distance from
its hole, and then, using all its strength and all its powers of
resistance, it throws itself upon its back, and defends itself
with desperate resolution. It has one single advantage over
its assailants. The skin is so thick, and especially so loose,
that the teeth of the dogs can make little impression on it,
and the badger can turn himself round in it, so as to bite
them in their tenderest parts." This wonderful feat of the
badger very possibly suggested the phrase of turning a cat*
skin.

On page 275 of the second volume, we have Reuminiants
for RuminantSy or rather ruminating quadrupeds.

In the third volume, page 43, Mr. Goodrich informs us
that the figure of the bird of Washington '^ is copied from
the engraving in Mr. Audubon's splendid work on American
Ornithology. We are suspicious that the eagle in question
is copied from the wood-cut in " Loudon's Magazine of Nat-
ural History."

In the commencement of the fifth volume it is stated, that
^' many insects are furnished with lungs and a heart like no-
bler animals ; yet the caterpillar continues to live, though its
heart and lungs, which is often the case, are entirely eaten
away." Neither of these assertions is true : an insect has not
lungs and a heart, like the vertebrated animals, reputed nobler
by Bufibn ; nor can a caterpillar live when the vital organs,
performing the vicarious ofiice of lungs and heart, are consutn-
ed. The figure on the 63d page is not a locust, it is a mantis^
of which no description is given in the text. The account
of the venomous powers of the '^ great West Indian locust "
is fabulous. Pollen, or the yellow dust of flowers, does not
(as is related on page 128) furnish the material for bees- wax.
it is now a well established fact that this substance is elabo-



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316 Wright's Natwral History of the Globe. [Afnil,

rated by the digestive apparatus of bees from the nectar>
honey, and other sweet vegetable productions which they
swallow ; and that, after undergoing the necessary changes,
it transpires from the interior of the body, and is collected in
flakes beneath the rings of the belly, in what are called the
wax-pockets. Pollen is gathered and stored up by bees as
food for their young ; after being masticated and mixed with
their saliva it forms the bee-bread, with which their grubs are
nourished. In the first volume, ^age 117, '^ women are said
to have fewer teeth than men ! " It has also been said that
men have fewer ribs than women ; and " thereby hangs a
tale." Some persons have had wit enough to ascertain by
inspection and enumeration that this saying is not true, and
hence has arisen a difficulty in regard to the deficient rib^
which is effectually cleared up by a statement deserving a
place in this veracious '^ Natural History." In the learned
account of the creation of woman, as given by the Jewish
Rabbins,* we are told that Adam was originally furnished with
a tail, and that from this inferior appendage of his vertebral
column woman was formed, thus being really " bone of his
bone and flesh of his flesh."

The wood-cuts in the American, as before said, are infe-
rior to those of the English edition. The dogs are miserably
executed, as are also many other animals. The grisly bear,
an animal which has been under our notice in the living state
for many months, could not be identified by the figure here
given. A spirited and striking resemblance of it is executed
in the work of Mr. Richardson.

Mr. Goodrich's figure of the rattle-snake is far less correct
than that in the English work ; it is represented as smooth,
whereas every one who has seen this serpent, must have
remarked the peculiar roughness of its imbricated scales.
Mr. Wright's beautiful vignette of the child gazing with
pleased wonder at a rattle-snake twined around the stump of
a tree, with its head erect, and its tongue protruded in the act
of emitting its menacing hiss, reminds us of a fact that occurred
last summer in the vicinity of the Blue-Hills, the metropolis
of the rattle-snakes of Massachusetts. A young child, at
play near a wood-pile, espied a full grown rattle-snake ;
pleased with its circumvolutions and its rattle, it attempted to

* Alexa&der'B History of Women. VoL l p. 2a



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1832.] fVnghfs Natural History of the Globe. 817

secure the reptile, which, while endeavouring to enter the
wood-pile, was grasped hy the eager child, and, notwithstand-
hig its struggles, was held firmly by its tail. The shouts of
the child soon brought to the door its mother, who, though
alarmed at the dangerous sport, possessed sufficient courage
to seize a stick and despatch the snake.

The English figures of the drone, queen, and working
bees, though larger than life, are excellent; those of the
American edition have no resemblance to bees nor to any
other insect.

The American Editor has drawn freely from the works of
Dr. Richardson, Mr. Wilson, and the Prince of Musignano.
He has also added some interesting matter and figures from
those works in which are described the animals in the Lon-
don Zoological Gardens and Tower Menagerie. A few of
the cuts are from original drawings made from living animals
in Boston. All these are acknowledged in the Advertise-
ment ; but there is another source whence many important
details have been extracted. It is the " American Natural
History " of the late Dr. John D. Godman, a work truly
American, of the highest authority, and replete with inter-
esting and useful information. From the title of Dr. God-
man's work it appears that he intended to publish a his-
tory of all the North-American animals ; but disease and
death prevented him from accomplishing a task for which he
was preeminently fitted. The three volumes that were com-
pleted, will remain an honorable monument of his industry,
zeal, and originality. These volumes embrace the natural his-
tory of the Indian race, of the quadrupeds, seals, sharks, and
whales, or of those animals which, from nursing their young,
are denominated mammalia. Dr. Godman was distinguished
for his skill as an anatomist, and his eloquence as a lecturer ;
his natural history acquires much of its celebrity from these
sources, as well as from his faithful and amiable delineations
of the characters and habits of animals living under his own
observation. That it contains nothing offensive to the mod-
esty and delicacy of ingenuous youth, is a recommendation
which will increase its value in the estimation of parents.
While we hope that the copy-right may long remain inviolate,
we trust that a new edition, in a more convenient and cheap-
er form may, ere long, be offered to the public. This gen-
tleman's name does not appear in the list of authorities

VOL. I. NO. IV. 41



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?18 WHght'i Natural Hutary oftht Globe. [A|MnI,

on the title-page and in the Advertisement ; and though it
often occurs in the first and second volumes, yet occasionally
it is omitted where his language has been employed. These
instances, it is true, are rare ; but, justice to the memory of
a deceased naturalist, and patriotic respect to American tal-
ent, should have prevented any such omission. Besides his
descriptions, many of Dr. Godman's plates also are trans-
ferred to these volumes.

The additions to American ornithology are selected by
Mr. Goodrich almost entirely from Wilson's deservedly cel-
ebrated work. Of water-fowl, however, but few American
species are described, and scarcely one figured, although to



Online LibraryJoseph Lyon MillerAmerican monthly review → online text (page 33 of 54)