By G. W. Carleton & Co.. With Comic Illustrations by FRANK BEET.EW. New York :
THE publishers have conferred upon CisRocky-Mountain readers a real favor by collecting Mr. Harte’s charming parodies, so well known in California, and have done the clever and ingenious author a great wrong by printing them with Mr. Frank Bellew’s comic illustrations, which are in every way vulgar and inappropriate.
Of the novelists condensed, Mr. Dickens, who must have been one of the most difficult to do, seems to us the best done. The parody of Captain Marryat is very good ; but that of Charlotte Bronte is not so happy as the imitation in the “Orpheus C. Kerr Papers.” Mr. Harte has an admirable burlesque of Michelet, and has condensed a good deal of Victor Hugo’s manner and social philosophy in this bit of moralization : “ Fantine loved Thomolyes. Why? My God! what are you to do? It was the fault of her parents, and she had n’t any. How shall you teach her ? You must teach the parent if you wish to educate the child. How would you become virtuous ? Educate your grandmother ! ”
Mr. Harte’s miscellaneous essays given in this volume are imbued with so much original humor, that we have all the more to regret a tendency in them to imitation of the author whom he has best parodied in his acknowledged burlesques. We find no other fault with essays inspired by the multiform and interesting life of California, and depicting San Francisco with all the advantages of local color.