The System of the Stars


THERE is much excellent sense in the French proverb, “Prends le premier conseil d'une femme, et non le second,” which expresses the view that the intuitive instinct of a woman is a safer guide to follow than her reasoning faculties; and although in these days it is considered ungracious to make this suggestion, evidence of its truth is not difficult to discover in most literary products of the feminine mind. It is no disparagement to Miss Clerke to say that even she shares this characteristic of her sex, so that sometimes she lets her sympathies limit her range of vision in the field of stellar research. No doubt this disposition is exercised unconsciously, but what is an attractive instinct when applied to ordinary affairs of life is derogatory when it influences the historiographic consideration of contributions to natural knowledge.

The System of the Stars.

By Agnes M. Clerke. Second edition. Pp. xvi + 403. (London: A. and C. Black, 1905.) Price 20s. net.

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