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his infallible authority is nowise engaged in the question. The fact, then, is that both the tribunal of the Holy Office and that of the Holy Inquisition, Father Choupin says, were deceived in declaring that the Copernican system is false in philosophy and opposed to the Holy Scripture; it is neither one nor the other. It is true that these congregations derive their powers from the Pope, but even if they did act under orders from the Pope, his infallibility is not therefore compromised, since he confirmed the decisions only in the ordinary form, and not in forma specifica. If this valuable distinction had always been kept in view by zealous apologists, opponents of the Church would not have been so frequently entertained with the spectacle of defenders of truth trying to prove that two and two do not make four.
As Father Choupin observes, in conformity with, and in defense of, his own method against possible criticism, “the best tactics to defend the Church is truth. The difficulty is neither to be disguised nor exaggerated. We must appreciate things at their just value." In dismissing the subject he draws attention to the fact that less than two hundred years after the condemnation, that is in 1822, the Holy See permitted to be printed in Rome books teaching that the earth moves round the sun; and the edition of the Index which appeared in 1835 no longer exhibits in the list of condemned books those which teach the heliocentric theory. It is not to be expected that a Roman Congregation will explicitly admit that it has blundered. To do so would be the ruin of its authority. But when, within the comparatively short period of two hundred years, it reverses its policy in deference to the unanswerable arguments of science, who can reasonably contend that Rome is the enemy of scientific progress?
Father Choupin treats in detail the Syllabus of Pius IX. The history of that document is traced, and each of its propositions explained by reference to the context of the pronouncement in which it first appeared—a method of interpretation which, in many instances, modifies considerably the apparent import of the proposition as it stands detached in the Syllabus. The author's judgment on the doctrinal value of the Syllabus is:
If we cannot say with certainty that the Syllabus is an ex cathedra definition, or that it is guaranteed in all its parts by
the infallibility of the Church, it is at least, without contradiction, an act of the Sovereign Pontiff, a doctrinal decision of the Pope, authoritative in the universal Church, and, therefore, entitled to the obedience and respect of all the faithful.
It is to be regretted that this work is in French; an English translation would, we are sure, be welcomed.
Appreciating the educative value PROVERBS AND PHRASES. of a good collection of proverbs,
" the wheat which remains after a whole world of talk has sifted through innumerable minds," and offended by the vulgarity or indecency of much that is to be found in extant collections, the author of the present compilation* offers a book of proverbs to which no exception can be taken on the ground of impropriety. He has brought together a large number from various languages. But the collection is by no means complete. We miss many of the most sparkling gems of proverbial wisdom, not alone from foreign nations but from the vernacular. In compensation, there is a large number of popular quotations from classic authors, ancient and modern, which can hardly be ranked as proverbs, or even as proverbial sayings.
A successful candidate for the de. LITERARY CRITICISM.
gree of Doctor in Philosophy at
the Catholic University of Washington, has, with happy results, taken as the subject of his obligatóry dissertation a point in the development of the early English drama.t The precise scope of his study is thus defined by himself:
With a view of ascertaining one line of family resemblance (in the early dramatic forms, the liturgical drama, biblical cycles, and moral plays) I propose to indicate in the earliest attempts at dramatic expression in England the playwright's effort to present on the stage the activity of the human faculties-reason, will, and perception-as seen in their moral bearing on the individual's lite in the light of mediæval
Christianity. An academic dissertation that will satisfy an exacting exam. * Proverbs and Proverbial Phrases. By C. F. O'Leary. St. Louis: B. Herder.
+ Character Treatment in the Mediæval Drama. By Timothy J. Crowley, C.S.C. Dame, Indiana : Ave Maria Press.
ining faculty must avoid the picturesque, and devote itself to dry scientific analysis. Mr. Crowley has, however, triumphed over the limitations imposed upon him by the conditions which called forth his study, and has succeeded in presenting his subject attractively, with a wealth of knowledge of the literature of and insight into his problem, so that he may be read not alone for instruction but also for entertainment.
Among a collection of 'papers by Mr. Baldwin, most of which have already appeared in The Atlantic Monthly or elsewhere, are four or five that are good examples of sound literary criticism of that old-fashioned type which, with good taste and a knowledge of life as well as of books, exhibited sound common sense, displaced now-a-days too frequently by crude psycholo. gising, or ambitious attempts at philosophic generalization. In “My Friend Copperfield" the question of whether or not Dickens is to be classed as a realist is ably discussed. The influence of Sterne in French literature Mr. Baldwin traces especially in Xavier de Mæstre's delightful little story Voyage Autour de Ma Chambre. Essaying to determine what is the secret of John Bunyan's undying power, Mr. Baldwin rejects the common opinion that Bunyan formed his syle on the Bible. Bunyan, he holds, did not form his style from books at all.
In the last analysis, Bunyan's style is as unliterary as possible, as uninfluenced by literature, as true to the ways of common spoken speech-in a word, as oral as any that was ever put into a book. It is the speech of a genius; but it is still common speech. It is common speech transmuted by an intense originality. As the artistic expressive instinct of other authors uses their literary inheritance in ways so individual as to show their own creative originality, so Bunyan used the popular oral inheritance. There is his originality. He used the common speech ; but he used it as it had never been used before. He talked like Tom, Dick, and Harry; but he talked as they could never dream of talking, in that he
talked like himself. Are you among the aspiring throngs whose ambition it is to enter on the highly remunerative career of writing short stories for that munificent Mæcenas, the popular magazine? If you are, then, in the language of the personal column, you will
*Essays Out of Hours. By Charles Sears Baldwin. New York: Longmans, Green & Co.
find it to your advantage to read Mr. Baldwin's study on that form.
A volume of Shakespearian criticism * which, on its first appearance in 1870, received the high approbation of Edwin Booth, and yet never became as widely known as it deserved, is now republished. It is the Review of Shakespeare's Tragedy of Hamlet, by the late George Henry Miles. A poet and a dramatist hinself, with the gift of eloquence and striking originality, Miles put all his powers, including his faculty for unbounded admiration and idealization, into this essay. For him Shake- . speare is the prince of literature, and Hamlet is the child of Shakespeare's predilection upon whom he lavished all the riches of his genius. Miles repels with scorn the theory that Hamlet was a weakling :
There is never a storm in Hamlet over which the “noble and most sovereign reason" of the young prince is not as “ visibly dominant as the rainbow," the crowning grace and glory of the scene. Richard is the mind nearest Hamlet in scope and power; but it is the jubilant wickedness, the transcendent dash and courage of the last Plantaganet that rivet his hold on the audience; whereas, the most salient phase of Hamlet's character is his superb intellectual superiority to all
comers, even to his most dangerous assailant, madness. With wonderful insight into the technique of the dramatic art, Miles reviews all the chief scenes and speeches of the tragedy, and marshals, in favor of his view, argument after argument, till they assume a cumulative force which is almost irresistible. If sometimes one suspects that he discovers meanings in a situation, a phrase, or an ellipsis in the elaboration of the action-and, in his eyes, Shakespeare is never so elliptical as he is here-which seem to be read into the text, nevertheless, whatever opposite view one may have hitherto adopted, must henceforth justify itself against these arguments urged with so much eloquence. Let us hear him urge his theme on the crucial point of Hamlet's seeming vacillation regarding the killing of the king:
With inimitable skill, the mighty dramatist details precisely the forfeiture of soul from which Hamlet, except in one wild tumult of delirious wrath, steadily recoils. Hamlet's hands
are tied by conscience and faith; Laertes has practically * A Review of Hamlet. By George Henry Miles. New Edition. New York : Longmans, Green & Co.
neither; has a talent tor blasphemy; delights in daring the
Miles sees in Hamlet superb intellectual strength and a strong and tender conscience which guides the whole course of the prince's conduct. And, he argues, the secret of the tragedy's hold on men is that it mirrors forth the struggle between passion and conscience, and the sharp antithesis between fate and providence; and throws across the action of life the deep shadow of the world to come.
It is the only play of Shakespeare's in which our interest in the central figure is compelled to extend itself beyond the grave. When Lear, Macbeth, or Othello dies, our connec: tion with them is dissolved; their mortality is the only thing that concerns us. Whereas, in Hamlet, we find our. selves gazing after him into that undiscovered country from whose bourne no traveller returns.
Hamlet is not directly on trial for the loss of his soul, but the question of eternal loss or gain is constantly suggested. The critical awe and popular love it (the play) never fails to awaken can only be attributed to that rare but sovereign charm with which the highest human genius can sometimes invest a re• ligious mystery. There is a poetic compulsion that after the fatal defeat of so blameless a youth, atter a career of such un. exampled, unprovoked agony, there should be in distinct per
spective, the ineffable amends of a hereafter. There is more education in this book than is to be found in many specimens of what are called, through courtesy or bland presumption, courses of English Literature.