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HUXLEY's ORIGIN OF SPECIES; AND MAN'S PLACE IN NATURE.*Professor Huxley's small and very lively volumes, on the origin of species, and man's place in nature, are occupied chiefly with an exposition and special application of Dr. Darwin's views, in a style suited to the tastes and capacities of working men. The first is devoted to the exposition of the principles, the second, to the illustration of their use and application with reference to the origination of man. So far as the great doctrines of these books are concerned, they are defended with no special acuteness or ability. We do not observe that there is a single point in advance of what Dr. Darwin has written, nor is there the slightest improvement in the way of relief from objections and difficulties. Other matters are discussed with great skill in development and illustration. The author shows extraordinary skill in bringing profound and abstract subjects within the reach of common understanding. Much valuable information is clearly exhibited and vividly illustrated. But the intellectual narrowness, the moral degradation and the shallow science of the theory which causes all species to be developed from some formless monad,-at once as starveling in its nothingness and as rich in its undeveloped possibillities as the abstract Being of Hegel—and which demonstrates that man is developed from the ape, are not even suspected by the author. If such speculations be science or its legitimate deductions, then, indeed “'tis folly to be wise.”
ANNUAL OF SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERY.—The volume for 1863 of this well known “Year-Book of facts in Science and Art," edited by Dr. David A. WELLS, is now ready for distribution. The publishers are Messrs. Gould & Lincoln of Boston. A fine engraving of ERICSSON embellishes the book.
* On the Origin of Species ; or, the Causes of the Phenomena of Organic Nature. A course of six lectures to working men. By Thomas H. HUXLEY, F. R. S., F. L. S., Professor of Natural History in the Jermyn street School of Mines. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 1863. 12mo. pp. 150. [New Haven: Peck, White, & Peck.] Price, $1.
Evidence as to Man's Place in Nature. By Thomas II. HUXLEY, &c., &c. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 12mo. pp. 184. [New Haven: Peck, White, & Peck.] $1.25.
THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF STEFFENS.* _The subject and author of this biography, the friend of Schleiermacher and Schelling, in his old age wrote the record of his life, but at so great length as to render the translation, if not the reading, of it impracticable. Mr. Gage has marked off portions of the original work which are of most interest and rendered them-successfully, as we judge—into English. Steffens was himself a man of genius and of deep and peculiar sensibility, who was early attracted by Schelling's new philosophy of nature; was the close associate, however, and sympathetic friend of Schleirmacher, and played no unimportant part in the literary history of Germany, his adopted country. As an exhibition of personal character, as giving recollections of personal intercourse with Goethe, Fichte, Schlegel, and many other great men, and for various other reasons, the work is quite attractive. It is always pleasant to be admitted to the confidence of a man of so remarkable qualities—especially of one who brings us into a circle of men, some of whom are even more eminent than himself.
POLITICAL FALLACIES.-Political Fallacies, by Dr. Junkin, will be sought for with greater avidity by many persons from the circumstance that the author was the father of the first wife of Stonewall Jackson. Others will read it with still greater curiosity, if they look through the spirited introduction embodying the exciting narrative of the raising of the Confederate Flag upon one of the buildings of Washington College in Virginia, on the 17th of April, 1861--of the prompt refusal of President Junkin to lecture to the students under this flag—of the decided action of the other members of the Faculty, that the flag should remain-of the quickly following resignation of the Presidency, of the long
* The Story of my career as student at Freiberg and Jena, and as Professor at Halle, Breslau, and Berlin. With personal reminiscences of Goethe, Schiller, &c. By HEINRICII STEFFENS. Translated by WILLIAM LEONHARD GAGE.
Boston : Gould and Lincoln. 1863. [New Haven: Judd & Clark.] 16mo. pp. 281. Price, $1.
† Political Fallacies. An examination of the false assumptions, and refuta tion of the sophistical reasonings, which have brought on civil war. By George JUNKIN, D. D., LL., D. New York: Charles Scribner. 1863. [New Haven: Judd & Clark.] 12mo. pp. 332. Price, $1.25.
journey in a private carriage for three hundred and fifty miles to Oxford in Pennsylvania, which was ended just one month after.
Words written under circumstances like these are literally half-battles, and the many chapters which make up the contents of these spirited and earnest volumes are each of them a well-aimed shot at some actual mark or living antagonist. The style is cogent, clear, and telling. The logic is forcibly expressed and the illustrations are lively and perfectly level to the plainest understanding. Among the multitudes of tracts and treatises which have been written, very few surpass this volume in adaptation to popular effect.
MYSTERIES OF LIFE, DEATH, AND Fútunity.*_This title, to our eye, wore at first a somewhat quackish look; and we opened it to see what the “latest and best authorities” would have to say upon the solemn and mysterious provinces which were to be opened to our inspection. We were happily disappointed, however, at finding a collection of extracts from many excellent writers on a great variety of themes, most of them pertaining, however, to the phenomena of the soul, the nature of life, and of our future being. They indicate on the part of the writer a wide familarity with instructive books in physical and intellectual science, and furnish several hundred pages of not unprofitable reading. His own observations, as far as we have opened, which are interspersed, are apposite and Christian.
Hugu MILLER'S TALES AND SKETCHES. - This little volume is introduced by a preface from the pen of the widow of Hugh Miller, whose career and writings, whose untimely and tragical death also, have engaged the sympathy of the whole English-speaking public. It is made up of so-called recollections of the two poets, Ferguson and Burns; i. e., the records of an imaginary acquaintance and interviews with them, in which Miller is himself the
* Mysteries of Life, Death, and Futurity. Illustrated from the latest and best authorities. By Horace Welby. New York: James G. Gregory. 1863. [New Haven : Judd & Clark.] Price, $1.50.
+ Tales and Sketches. By Hugh MILLER, Author of the Old Red Sandstone, &c., &c. Edited, with a Preface, by Mrs. Miller, Boston: Gould & Lincoln. 1863. [New Haven: Judd & Clark.] 12mo. Pp. 369. Price $1.25.
second interlocutor-to which are added several stories, some of them, the preface informs us, being true and others fictitious. The introduction is attractive as coming from the wife of the lamented author, and as giving interesting particulars concerning him, together with remarks upon the contents of the book.
THE STUDENT'S FRANCE.* _ The series of “Student's Histories,” which have been for some time before the public, and have been received in England and in this country with constantly increasing favor,—both as text-books and books of reference ;-has been still further enriched with this volume on the History of France, prepared on a similar plan. It is a model book. The author has been successful in avoiding the dryness of an epitome, and still bas presented, in a very condensed form, an account of the events in French history, from the commencement of the nation to the present time, which is as readable as it is perspicuous. The portraiture of every important historical character is drawn; the chief transactions, political, military, and ecclesiastical, are narrated; and many of the most interesting questions connected with the history, government, and institutions of the country, are discussed at considerable length. The volume has been prepared by an English scholar, long a resident in France; but, after a somewhat careful examination, we find no traces of English prejudice; and, it may be safely said, that he has succeeded in preparing what will be everywhere accepted as an impartial, genial, and sympathetic account of French history. The volume is fully illustrated with engravings of places of historical interest, and with copies of ancient coins and medallions, and is provided with genealogical tables, and an extended Index. As a text-book for schools, or as a book of reference for the more advanced student, we cordially recommend it.
THE AMERICAN PUBLISHERS CIRCULAR, within a short time past, has been transferred to the hands of Geo. W. Childs of Philadelphia, and has been transformed from a thin quarto to quite a stout octavo. The internal changes have been as great as the outward. For some time past the Circular has been dry and behind hand.
The Students France. A History of France from the earliest times to the establishment of the second empire in 1852. Illustrated by engravings on wood. New York: Harper & Brothers. 1862. 12mo. pp. 730.
Now it is fresh, spirited, full of life and vigor. The most prominent feature in the new series, is a list of recent publications, prepared by Mr. S. H. Grant, Librarian of the Mercantile Library Association in New York, with a comprehensiveness and thoroughness which leave little to desire. IIe includes among new books, not only bound volumes, such as are issued by the trade, but transactions of publication-societies, important pamphlets, serials, &c., so that the whole progress of literature is recorded. Beside the list of new books, the Circular contains a great variety of fresh library intelligence, European as well as American, notices of books, and copious literary advertisements. The new rigor which the Circular displays is sure, we think, to be recognized and rewarded by men of letters as well as by the book trade. Every buyer of books should be a subscriber.
THE FREEDMEN OF South Carolina.-- Mr. Frank Moore, the editor of the Rebellion Record, proposes to supplement that very valuable publication, by a series of " Papers of the Day." No. I, now before us, gives much important information on that subject, --second to none in interest just now,—the condition, character, appearance, and peculiar customs of the “Freedmen of South Carolina.” It is contained in Letters by Mr. Charles Nordhoff.
WOMAN AND HER SAVIOUR IN PERSIA.—Messrs. Gould & Lin. coln of Boston, have published an exceedingly interesting book, (12mo., pp. 308), prepared by a returned missionary, which bears the above title. It will be found valuable for its information with regard to the condition of woman among the Nestorians, and for its details of what has been and what can be done for her regeneration. It is enriched with a map and abundant wood cuts.
Notices may be expected in the October No. of the following valuable and important recent publications :
The Races of the Old World: a Manual of Ethnology. By CILAELES L BRACE. C. Scribner, New York.
Substance and Shadow: or Morality and Religion in their relation to Life; an essay upon the Physics of Creation. By HENRY JAMES. Ticknor & Fields, Buston.
D’Aubignė's History of the Reformation in the time of Calvin. Two volumes. R. Carter & Brothers, New York.
A Critical History of Free Thought. By A. S. Farrar. D. Appleton & Co., New York.
Paris in America. By EDOUARD LABOULAYE. C. Scribner, New York.