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vast storehouse of literary facts, with a “ taste and felicity of diction seem to minimum of casual comment ; in intent desert him when he is writing verse,” scientific rather than popular, designed the reader who thinks differently can for reference, not for continuous perusal, make his own mental note. Both Eng– hence addressed to the head chiefly. land and America are free countries, The reader may draw his moral senti- and those who find their favorite authors ments himself, and find edification in unjustly used here, or some topics scrapabundance elsewhere. If these traits be pily and incompetently handled, may redisappointing to some, they will gratify tain their prior opinions without blame. others, and are a part of the Dictionary In short, the encyclopædist cannot alplan. If the arrangement (as already ways be also a stylist and an acute hinted) be somewhat confused, irregular, thinker. No human judgment is infaland inconvenient, with its appendices and lible, no work of man can attain perfecmultiplied indices, one must remember tion at all points ; certainly this one has that the work grew upon its builders' not done it. Defective as it may be on hands. If the style be sometimes slov- its intellectual and literary side, it is enly and awkward, the editor had too such a treasury of information about the much to do to polish all his sentences, hymns of all lands and ages as we have or those for which he leaves the credit not had before, and a monument of lato his contributors : the labor of revision borious zeal in collecting and tabulating was heavy, his was the directing mind, minute facts in a field hitherto imperand many hundreds of articles had to fectly tilled, and which we venture to be done over again. If the criticism consider in some sense a field at least sometimes misses the mark, as when a appertaining to the huge farm of literarival dignitary says that Dean Stanley's ture.
COMMENT ON NEW BOOKS.
Travel and Outdoor Life. Travels amongst for his journey, and the reader gets a livethe Great Andes of the Equator, by Edward ly account of Mr. Whymper's experience, Whymper. (Scribners.) Mr. Whymper is with admirable pictures and a running dea veteran mountaineer, and, like men who scription of such fauna and flora as came have a passion for high altitudes, he cast in his way. The book will have fascinaabout for a special reason for making his tion for climbers. — Equatorial America, next trip. Nothing so whets the appetite Descriptive of a Visit to St. Thomas, Marfor climbing as the search for some bug, or tinique, Barbadoes, and the Principal Capplant, or glacial phenomenon, or what not. itals of South America, by Maturin M. Mr. Whymper had debated the question Ballou. (Houghton.) Mr. Ballou lingers whether or no there was such a thing as among the West Indies, and then circummountain sickness, and what its actual con- navigates South America, touching at the ditions were.
He was prevented from go- principal places, but not going very far ing to the Himalayas or the highest Andes, inland. He records personal impressions, so he went to Ecuador, and spent several and occasionally gives brief statistics or months on Chimborazo and other poetical comments upon the political, commercial, peaks. He accomplished his errand, but and social life with which he comes in conit must not be supposed that he perpetual- tact. — The Spanish-American Republies, ly discusses the subject of mountain sick- by Theodore Child. (Harpers.) The first ness. Not at all. That was a mere excuse impression produced by this book is of its pictorial value, since its great variety of an Old Place, by Mary Caroline Robbins. illustrations gives to the eye a quick notion (Houghton.) A score or more of chapters of the external features of the countries relating the experience of the buyer of a and inhabitants. The letterpress gives at neglected spot on the shores of Massachufirst the same impression, and is marked setts Bay. The place was a small one ; by animated observation and agreeable nar- everything was on a minute scale except rative ; but the reader discovers that the the zeal and ingenuity of the restorer. The author sees below the surface, and is intent charm of the book is in the graceful manon bringing to light some of the underlying ner in which the little place is gradually elements of this strange compound of bar- built up before the imagination ; and the barism and civilization. Mr. Child is an very modesty of the experiment attracts acute observer, and writes as a man of the the reader, who sees that the materials world who does not mistake appearances
from which all this beauty grows were of for realities. — The Mediterranean Shores common, and not exceptional sort. The of America, or The Climatic, Physical, and style is winning, and the pretty book ought Meteorological Conditions of Southern Cal- to awaken a desire in many to go and do ifornia, by P. C. Remondino, M. D. (The likewise. -- Little Brothers of the Air, by F. A. Davis Co., Philadelphia.) The range Olive Thorne Miller. (Houghton.) Readof climate in Southern California is indi- ers of The Atlantic need only to be recated by six well-marked divisions ; hence minded of Mrs. Miller's characteristics as the necessity of a clear understanding of a narrator of bird life. She is after the the needs of the patient, and an intelli- individual bird, and an opera-glass is her gent perception of the different phases of deadliest weapon. No one has written more climate, in order to make the punishment precisely and more affectionately of this fit the crime. This work is an abridged and that winged creature, and the studies handbook; designed chiefly for the invalid, which lie at the basis of her description but containing also a variety of information are so patiently and steadily conducted that about the several sections of the country, one comes to have as much confidence in and a number of pictures, among them one Mrs. Miller's accuracy as he has unflagof a man a hundred and ten years old, ging interest in her charming narratives. whose figure and countenance are a warn- Wood Notes Wild, Notations of Bird Music, ing to those who give up the pleasure of by Simeon Pease Cheney. (Lee & Shepard.) dying in their prime by living in Southern Mr. Cheney was a singing-master, who spent California. — Across the Plains, with Other the spare moments in the last few years of Memories and Essays, by Robert Louis a long life in collecting and noting down Stevenson. (Scribners.) The title essay re- the bird songs of New England. His encounts Mr. Stevenson's experience in trar thusiasm is delightful, and the text, which eling from New York to San Francisco in is a running comment on the birds and 1879 by an emigrant train, and afterward their music, is fresh, unconventional, and he describes his sojourn at Monterey. Fon- hearty. The book is edited by Mr. Chetainebleau : Village Communities of Paint- ney's son, John Vance Cheney. ers follows, and nine other papers of a mis- Fiction. A Fellowe and his Wife, by cellaneous character fill out the dozen num- Blanche Willis Howard and William Sharp. bers. The only thread on which they are (Houghton.) A very skillfully constructed strung is the shining thread of Stevenson's story. The theme is simple. A man and genius, which is at play here in its light, his wife are separated by the passion of idle fashion. — Glimpses of Nature, by An- the wife for art, which leads her to study drew Wilson. (Harpers.) A collection of in Italy, while he remains on his estate in science jottings, originally contributed to north Germany. A correspondence ensues the Illustrated London News by a scientist which supposes entire confidence between of standing, who brings his large knowledge the two; so much so that the wife unconto bear upon a great variety of topics capa- sciously betrays her peril through a net of ble of brief notice, such as lobsters, oysters, intrigue woven about her. Her art blinds starfishes, dandelion down, the mistletoe her to the danger she is in, and at the bough, flies, the tongue and speech, a cor- same time makes the danger real. The ner of Kent, and the like. - The Rescue of whole narrative is conducted by the corre
spondence, and though in the most dra- that his confidence in this author will not matic portions this vehicle is strained to be misplaced. — Roger Hunt, by Celia Par. carry the action, there is no outrageous ker Woolley. (Houghton.) A story in which departure from probability, and the device a man, unhappily married, leaves his wife permits the story to avoid mere incident in in an inebriate asylum, and seeks redress the culminating passages, and centre upon by taking to himself another woman. The the relations of these two persons to each moral of the tale is the misery which folother. The scheme excites one's admira- lows upon a selfish consideration of happition the more that Mr. Sharp writes all
The writer has written with careful the letters of the wife, and Miss Howard attention to details, but always with an all those of the husband. - In the new and eye upon the issue of the whole matter. revised edition of William Black's novels Cecilia de Noël, by Lanoe Falconer. (Mac(Harpers) a recent number is A Princess of millan.) This story, not too long to read Thule. The freshness which made Black’s at one sitting, has some really admirable early novels so attractive to novel-readers character-drawing, and the treatment of does not vanish when one returns to them. the supernatural shows both originality and It is perhaps most noticeable after one has force. There is undoubtedly a monotony been reading the more jaded novels which in the regularly expected and regularly rehave done service under his name of late. curring appearances of the ghost ; but as Another volume in the same series is his the mission of the lost spirit is to show lively and provocative Strange Adventures the true quality of the mortals visited, this
of a Phaeton. Grania, the Story of an does not matter greatly. “Lanoe Falcon· Island, by Hon. Emily Lawless. (Macmil- er's” style is so bright and graphic, and lan.) One of the islands of Arran - Inish- generally so good, that we the more regret
- is the scene of this story. It is a certain small faults, notably her persistent faithful, if rather sombre, picture of Irish use of the word like for as. In this, and fisher-life, well written, and with a real love in nothing else, she continually reminds as and appreciation for the wilder aspects of of the late Mrs. Henry Wood. nature and of human nature. The exi- Biography. Recollections of a Happy gencies of the final situation demanded per- Life ; Being the Autobiography of Marihaps the sacrifice of the heroine, although it anne North. Edited by her Sister, Mrs. would have been well if the dull and some- John Addington Symonds. In two volwhat monotonous picture could have been umes. (Macmillan.) Miss North, an Eng. lightened rather than deepened at the close. lish lady of high connection, dapghter of But the book is worth reading, and vast- a member of Parliament, when her father ly better than the average novel. — The died, in 1870, began a series of wanderings Chevalier of Pensieri - Vani, by Henry B. which took in a large part of the world, and Fuller. (The Century Co.) A reissue of a continued for a score of years, until her little book which is well worth its prettier death carried her off to another world, dress. The charm of the style is somewhat where her cheerful, investigating spirit may elusive, and doubtless to some readers the haply be engaged on another series of adbook teases rather than charms; but the ventures. In the last years of her life, half-serious, half-mocking tone is too con- Miss North, drawing apparently from her sistent and persistent to be regarded as an journals, wrote out the recollections of her affectation. How well it will wear it is life, and the reader may travel comfortimpossible to tell, but here is an individual ably, with a most enjoyable companion, note struck firmly and delicately. The mat- to India, South Africa, Australasia, Brazil, ter of the book is partially concealed by the Japan, the Pacific coast, and Boston and its style, but the writer has not traveled, ob- neighborhood. Miss North's passion was served, and reflected in vain. - The Three for flowers and plants. She was an indeFates,' by F. Marion Crawford. (Macmil- fatigable botanist, and drew and painted lan.) The three seem in turn to be the what she saw. There is something delightarbiters of George Wood's destiny, and Mr. ful in the picture of this sturdy English Crawford has set bis pieces and played dame going up and down the world with them against each other with a cool, dis- her box of water colors, her sketchbook, passionate skill which assures the reader and her plant-press ; meeting interesting
people, keeping her eyes open for all the Statesmen Series. (Macmillan.) Though beauties of nature, and scrambling over the this memoir is hardly such masterpiece difficulties of travel with a buoyant spirit, as the author's enthusiastic admirers would careless of petty annoyances. We hope have us believe, it is full of cleverness, is Mrs. Symonds has had the help of judicious steadily readable, and, viewed as the work friends in other parts of her work; the of a non-professional writer, exceedingly pages relating to America have a number well written. The candor and justness of of petty errors, which do not detract from its tone are strikingly shown in the comments the solid worth of the book, yet are need- on Pitt's career as a war minister, and the less. — The Life of Father Hecker, by Rev. treatment of the still vexed question of his Walter Elliott. (The Columbus Press, Irish policy. It is a noteworthy and inNew York.) An interesting addition to deed an impressive fact, when one rememour knowledge of the movement known as bers the persistent and virulent abuse with Transcendentalism in New England. Fa- which the great Tory statesman was asther Hecker was a member of the Brook sailed by his political adversaries, even for Farm community and of Fruitlands, but a full generation after his death, that toentered the Roman Catholic Church about day his Liberal biographer has, in his elothe same time as Brownson. This volume
quent summing up, only unstinted praise for is very full as to the period, the material the leader, than whom he finds in all hisbeing drawn from Father Hecker's diaries tory “no more patriotic spirit, none more and letters. Of his later life as the founder intrepid, and none more pure.” — Queen of the Paulist society the details are some- Elizabeth, by Edward Spencer Beesley. what less than we could ask. Some space Twelve English Statesmen Series. (Macis taken up with the internal conflict which millan.) Considering that the life of Elizaaccompanied the formation of the society, beth not only abounds in personal interest, and the reader has many opportunities of but also necessarily comprises the annals becoming acquainted with Father Hecker's of forty-five of the richest, fullest years in brusque, energetic spirit ; but there is a English history, we find this little book a lack of proportion and coherence in the marvel of well-proportioned condensation. latter part of the volume which makes the Professor Beesley writes with admirable imbook somewhat troublesome reading. It is partiality, showing neither temper nor preinteresting to note the effect of a religious judice even when discussing the religious brotherhood in cultivating hero-worship. questions of the time and the tragedy of the A second and enlarged edition of Helen rival queens. The characteristics of each Keller has been issued by the Volta Bureau of these most remarkable women are drawn of Washington. The additions consist of with a few vigorous, incisive touches, and the extremely interesting account of the nowhere does the author more conspicuoussupposed plagiarism by the child in one of ly show his intelligent and easy mastery of her stories. The investigation brought to his subject than in the lines of these porlight a far more fundamental fact, which traits which differ from the ordinary historic is clear as day when once recognized, name- conventions. Sir Philip Sidney, by H. R. ly, that Helen has an extraordinary faculty Fox Bourne. Heroes of the Nations Series. for receiving and appropriating language, (Putnams.) Mr. Fox Bourne has recast and that in making use of it afterward she and largely rewritten his excellent memoir, employs it as she would any instrument published twenty years ago, to fit it for its placed in her hands, entirely regardless of place in this series. For this reason, too, its origin ; her memory is for phrases and we suppose, he shows Sidney more as the sentiments
, and, deprived as she is of sight, courtier, man of affairs, and soldier than hearing, and natural speech, she does not as the author of Arcadia and of some of associate this language with the place, time, the sweetest love-sonnets in the language, or circumstances of its delivery to her. The though this side of his character is by no whole narrative is most affecting and inspir- means neglected. We feel anew the uning, and in nothing more than in the trans- dying charm of the man who surely deformation of the child after a true vent serves to be considered, in the highest sense had been found for her pent-up nature.
of that much-abused word, the typical gen-
notwithstanding all his accomplishments, Art. L'Art (Macmillan) for February all his share in the many-sided life of his 15 and March 1 has illustrated papers on time, was the greatness of character rather the Chicago exhibition, and critical studthan of achievement. The illustrations are ies of Delaunay and Henriquel. — Amerinumerous and very well selected, though can Architecture, Studies by Montgomery they vary in merit, after the manner of pro- Schuyler. (Harpers.) This handsome book cess plates.
is made up of papers on the so-called Literature and Criticism. Two recent num- Queen Anne style of building, on the bers of the Knickerbocker Nuggets Series Vanderbilt houses, the Brooklyn bridge as (Putnams) are Johnson's Rasselas and Mrs. a monument, Mr. Richardson's plans for Gaskell’s Cranford. Could two more de- Albany Cathedral, and a survey of archilightfully opposite specimens of fiction be tecture in the West. The volume is prefaced found ? Contrast and comparison are con- by the reprint of an address given before stantly suggested by a consideration of the the Association of Builders, called (with two isolations of happiness. — Three vol- the flattery of imitation) “ The Point of umes of the Dilettante Library (Macmillan) View.” In spite of its somewhat pretenare, Goethe by Oscar Browning, Dante by tious form, the book has an air of being the same author, and Ibsen by Philip Wick- made up of spoken or hastily written adsteed. The two former are expansions of dresses. The papers are a little over-tech. articles in the Encyclopædia Britannica. nical in matter for the popular reader, and The third is in the form of four lectures, too popular in the manner of presentation and is an honest, thoughtful effort to reach for the serious student, — Mr. Schuyler's a solution of Ibsen's philosophy rather than style being profuse and overloaded, and obto philosophize upon his art. — Tales and scure in proportion. But the short paper Legends of National Origin, or Widely on the Brooklyn Bridge as a Monument Current in England from Early Times, seems to us valuable, and Glimpses of with Critical Introductions by W. C. Haz- Western Architecture is worth reading. litt. (Macmillan.) Under the head, suc- A word should be said of the profusion of cessively, of Supernatural, Feudal and For- admirable illustrations which elucidate the est, Romantic, Descriptive, and Humorous essays, although the abomination of highLegends, Mr. Hazlitt tells such stories as ly glazed paper prevents the reader from Friar Bacon, Robin Hood, Whittington, looking at the pictures or reading the text and The Miller and the Tailor. Sometimes with comfort. — Jules Bastien-Lepage and he has recourse to an original form, some- his Art. (Macmillan.) This volume, which times he modernizes, and sometimes he seems needlessly clumsy, contains first a Meturns verse, particularly ballad verse, into moir, by André Theuriet; then a criticism, prose.
His introductions are designed to Jules Bastien-Lepage as Artist, by George account for the spirit of the stories, and he Clausen ; a paper on Modern Realism in rarely troubles the reader with specific in- Painting, by Walter Sickert ; and A Study formation as to the sources of his material. of Marie Bashkirtseff, by Mathilde Blind. The book is of little value to the scientific The matter first to attract the eye, and over student of folk lore, and would be more in- which one is likely to linger longest, is the teresting to the general reader if Mr. Haz- group of illustrations from the works of litt were at once more scholarly and more Bastien-Lepage, together with a copy of graceful as a raconteur. It is a convenient St. Gaudens's bas-relief and two or three medley, however. The Quintessence of pictures by Marie Bashkirtseff. M. ThenIbsenism, by G. Bernard Shaw. (B. R. riet's sketch is full of color, and contains Tucker, Boston.) Mr. Shaw gives analyses in addition some interesting bits from the of the several plays, and prefaces the whole artist's talk and letters. The book is not with some fifty pages, in which he under all eulogy, for Mr. Sickert, in his paper, takes to clear the way by a general discus- undertakes to set forth the limitations of sion of the grounds of conduct, especially Bastien-Lepage, which he does in a someas exemplified by modern criticism. It is what dogmatic fashion. – Dawn of Art not quite clear what his own conviction is in the Ancient World, an Archæological as to the basis of conduct, but it appears Sketch, by W. M. Conway. (Macmillan.) to be “ ag'in' the government."
An interesting group of essays treating in