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To the preposterous character of Lord George Germaine's famous plan, and to his failure to keep the Howes informed in time of the necessity of supporting the Northern Army, Trevelyan chiefly ascribes the catastrophe of Saratoga; though he does not stint his praise of Arnold and Morgan. The importance which he assigns, throughout the whole struggle, but especially at Still water, Bemis's Heights, and Bennington, to the work of the American rifles, indicates that, together with most Englishmen since the Boer War, Sir George considers good marksmanship a much more valuable military asset than ripe proficiency in parade drill.
Naturally, in his relation of the American side of the struggle, and for his judgments on the leaders here, he depends chiefly upon his American predecessors. But when he turns to London, and to Europe in general, his familiarity with his ground inspires him with more independence. The last chapter in the book, therefore, which describes the course of opinion among European courts and statesmen is of a more original quality than any other portion of this volume.
Franklin's personal influence he considers to have been of incalculable weight at this point of the struggle. In the first years, he says, “ the prospects of the young Republic were seri. ously and irretrievably damnified by the mismanagement of Congress; but the position was saved by the ability, the discretion, and the force of character of one single man—Benjamin Franklin."
“He was," Sir George says elsewhere," a great ambassador, of a type which the world had never seen before, and will never see again, until it contains another Benjamin Franklin. Tried by the searching test of practical performance, he takes high rank among the diplomatists of history. His claims to that position have been vindicated—” and Sir George proceeds to repeat Wharton's eloquent summing up of Franklin's claims to fame.
This chapter contains also a brief but striking portrait of Beaumarchais, and a keen estimate of the attitude taken by Frederick of Prussia towards the belligerents. The only affair about which Sir George's resolute fidelity to the "hands-acrossthe-water" sentiment relaxes, so far as to permit him to indulge in severe strictures of American behavior, is the action of Congress with regard to the prisoners of Saratoga. Though
by no means an admirer of Gates, he acknowledges that the American general throughout the transactions of the surrender behaved like a man of honor. He admits, too, that he accorded Burgoyne terms far more lenient than he might and ought to have imposed. But the refusal of Congress to ratify and carry out these terms he condemns without qualification, though, it must be said, rather in sorrow than in anger. The approbation of the "Resolutions of Congress concerning the Embarcation” by the Count de Vergennes, who pronounced them "fortes bonnes,” is, he says, the only approval that they have ever received.
With that solitary approval from a quarter which was neither unprejudiced nor disinterested, Americans, then and thereafter, had to be contented. Their true friends and sincere well-wishers, in all countries and in every generation, would give much if these uuseemly pages could be expunged from their history. The ablest among the contemporary English chroniclers, and the most favorable to their cause (Annual Register of 1778), recorded his profound regret that they had so widely departed from the system of fairness, equity, and good faith which had hitherto guided their actions, and was particularly essential to the reputation of a new State ; and his opinion has been shared by all careful and responsible writers from his day to ours. The young republic had adopted a line of conduct which ranked it below
the moral level of civilized and self-respecting nations. Then, after recalling how the British public sustained the Convention of Cintra, though at a critical moment it restored twenty thousand splendid troops to Napoleon; and, on the contrary, the Spanish Junta set aside the Convention of Baylen; and the Neapolitan Bourbons refused, in 1799, to respect the terms granted to the Neapolitan garrisons, Sir George concludes:
The odious cruelty which accompanied and aggravated these infringements of public faith had no parallel in the treatment of Burgoyne and his army; but none the less, when every allowance has been made, and all excuses have been impartially considered, the violation of the Saratoga Treaty remains a blot on the lustre of the American Revolution.
Two large maps, one of Saratoga and Bemis's Heights,
the other of the country between Morristown in New Jersey and the Head of Elk in Maryland, accompany the volume. With their help, and thanks to the remarkable clearness of the narrative, the reader may easily follow even the more complicated details of the military operations. It may be predicted with safety that this History of the Revolution will take rank as a classic.
As its sub-title indicates, this volMEDITATIONS. ume. consists of short medita
tions on the Holy Ghost for every day in the year. They are drawn from a wide range of sources: The Holy Scripture, the Fathers, papal documents, lives of the saints, theologians, ascetical writers, pulpit orators, ancient and modern, have been laid under contribution. The selections, which are, in about equal proportion, instructive and devotional, are intended chiefly for the use of teachers and instructors, to assist them to instill into the minds of their pupils a knowledge of the part played by the Holy Spirit in the sanctification of the soul, and to create in their hearts a strong devotion to him. If there is any dogmatic and moral truth of the first order on which our Catholic people, speaking generally, might be much more thoroughly instructed than they are, it certainly is that which relates to the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity. Every effort made to supply this deficiency is an emphatically good work, and deserves to be warmly commended. Father Lambing's book belongs to the kind of devotional literature of which there cannot be too much, and of which, in fact, there is too little, notwithstanding the fecundity of our own religious press.
The ever-faithful Sulpicians can always be relied upon to do honest, thorough, excellent work towards facilitating the practice of meditation among priests. This most recent volume,t written for that purpose, is particularly well arranged and neatly edited. Each meditation, given in the well-known method taught in the Sulpician seminaries, includes a preparation "for the night before," and then about eight pages of careful, reasonable, sensible reflection upon the subject in hand. The present volume treats of the “Great Truths." We presume that other volumes are to follow.
* The Fountain of Living Water ; or, Thoughts on the Holy Ghost for Every Day in the Year, By Rev. A. A. Lambing, D.D. New York: Fr. Pustet & Co.
Meditations for the Use of Seminarians and Priests. By Very Rev. L. Branchereau, S.S. Translated and Adapted. Vol. I. The Fundamental Truths. New York: Benziger Brothers. * Letters on Christian Doctrine. (Second Series.) The Seven Sacraments. By F. M. de Zuluetta, S.J. New York: Benziger Brothers.
Like its predecessor, the present THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS. series of Letters * is a full, clear,
and detailed exposition of doctrine and discipline for the use of the laity. The present volume takes up the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, Penance, and the Holy Eucharist, including the Sacrifice of the Mass. Father de Zuluetta, in pleasing, familiar style, explains every point of doctrine and practice so fully as to anticipate all the questions that frequently occur to Catholics on various points where the catechism requires further elucidation. The scale of his exposition may be indicated by the fact that six pages are given to explaining just what is needed to break the fast, with regard to the reception of the Holy Eucharist. Though Father de Zuluetta addresses himself to the faithful, he has an eye to the inquiring non-Catholic; and the book is a suitable one to place in the hands of Protestants who desire information on Catholic life.
The appearance of a new volume THE TENTS OF WICKED- by Miriam Coles Harris should be NESS.
an event of great interest in literBy Mrs. Harris.
No living American
novelist can claim her years of service-fifty in all-to the cause of literature. Her first novel, Rutledge, which appeared in the early sixties, received a most popular welcome. Since then she has written some half-dozen others; and now comes her latest volume, The Tents of Wickedness.t
Leonora, the heroine of the tale, is a young girl who has received her education in a French convent. The girl returns to America, and is introduced by her father, a millionaire, to so. ciety; or, rather, those who are in her father's set. Religiously trained, she is shocked when asked to subscribe to the customs and codes of this social class. Without being a prude, she remains steadfast to her principles.
The Tents of Wickedness. By Miriam Coles Harris. New York: D. Appleton & Co.
Mrs. Harris description of the Catholic's method of making his confession is admirably done, and for those outside the Church will be highly instructive.
The shortcomings and the sins of that class of society of which the author treats are well pictured. Sin has its power and its charm, but the wages of sin is death.
The great theme of the work is a contrast between those who recognize religious guidance and those who in their lives know no law. Against the picture of unworthiness and selfishness, of the power of money, and of marital infidelity, stands the striking description of life at the Cumberford Rectory. Edward Warren struggles manfully through doubt and temptation, against prejudices within and without, against sister and mother, towards the spiritual light and in faithfulness to the guidance of God. The keen appreciation, the deep sympathy shown in the telling of that story, bespeak a personal notesomething perhaps of what the author herself has experienced in her way to the Catholic Church.
The book treats in an able way a theme of the utmost practical importance to-day, and we bespeak for it an encouraging and hearty welcome.
Mr. McSpadden's book does not FAMOUS PAINTERS OF purport to be a detailed or even a AMERICA.
popular criticism of American art. By McSpadden.
It is, instead, a series of chatty,
readable anecdotes dealing with the lives and personalities of noted American artists. In the author's own words, it is " directed to the reader rather than the critic -to the man who avoids technical definition as he would the plague, but who would be interested to know that once upon a time Benjamin West was a little Quaker boy in Pennsylvania, pulling fur out of the cat's tail to make his first brushes.” Some eleven representative painters, from Copley and Stuart to Whistler, Sargent, and Sir Edwin Abbey, have been chosen for discussion-a list which might well be augmented, but cannot in itself be disparaged. The book is freely illustrated with portraits of the artists and reproductions of their works; and it ought to appeal to the holiday buyer who is interested in art from the outside.
* Famous Painters of America. By J. Walker McSpadden. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell & Co.