Recent Literature

THE title - pages and back - lettering of Dr. Anderson’s five volumes 1 upon the missions of the American Board seem to us to need reconstruction in the interest of system and uniformity. The first of the five, as enumerated below, is really a collection of lectures upon what may be called the science of missions, delivered some years since to the students of normal theological seminaries in different parts of the country. This discussion has, of course, though essentially philosophical in its character, an historic cast, and an appendix contains much valuable statistical matter relating to the general missionary work of all branches of the Christian church. The historical series proper begins with the second of the volumes named, to wit, that upon the missions of India; but there is nothing upon either its title-page or cover to indicate the fact. The remaining three volumes are numbered consecutively, upon their backs, II., III., IV., and these numerals are repeated on the title-pages; but the further arrangement of the latter is such as to give occasion for some confusion in the mind of the unfamiliar reader respecting the exact number of volumes upon the missions to the Oriental churches, and to lead him to suppose that upon the Hawaiian Islands there may be two volumes, whereas there is only one. The proper and logical ordering of the historical series would be this : History of the Missions of the American Board. Vol. I., India; Vol. II., Hawaiian Islands; Vols. III., and IV., Oriental Churches. The work certainly is one which deserves the clearest and most appreciative introduction to the public.

Few men have lived to be so connected with such a service to their race, and to write such a history of it, as Dr. Anderson. The American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions is the oldest foreign missionary organization in the United States, and Dr. Anderson, though not now in active service, may be said to be its oldest living secretary. The board was organized in 1810, and Dr. Anderson’s official connection with its administration extends over a period of forty years. In addition to the close knowledge of its affairs acquired through the ordinary duties of his secretaryship, he has had the advantage of a personal study of the missionary field by extended travel in it; and this, together with his acquaintance with almost all of the hundreds of missionaries who have been sent forth, and his long-continued correspondence with them, has fitted him above every other man living for the compilation of such a history. The theory upon which the missionary work of the American Board proceeds is probably well understood. That theory is that the whole world “ lieth in wickedness ” and under “ condemnation,” relief from which is to come only through knowledge of the doctrines of the Bible, as interpreted by the socalled “ evangelical churches,” and conformity of life thereto. However men may differ as to the soundness of this theory, and whatever hope we may have for such of the unfortunate heathen as fail to be reached by its benefits, there can be but one feeling of respect, and even of admiration, for the faith and courage, the energy and zeal of those who accept it and whose service thereof is here recorded. It has often seemed to us that the book of the Acts of the Apostles is the most entertaining and suggestive portion of the Scriptures. Such a history of modern missions as the one before us partakes largely of the same character. It is full of that truth which is much stranger than fiction. Its biographies present many striking portraits ; its personal reminiscences abound in pleasing anecdote. The color of romance lights up many of its pages, and its contribution to our useful knowledge of the human race is solid and valuable. Laying all religious opinions aside, one may read either of these volumes with a degree of instruction and interest which few works can equally supply. In the early years of the century there were at Williams College a circle of young men who found themselves fired with the purpose of carrying the gospel to the heathen in foreign lands. Their names, ever memorable, were Adoniram Judson, Samuel Knott, Samuel J. Mills, and Samuel Newell. It was this undertaking which so appealed to the Trinitarian Congregational churches of Massachusetts as to call into being the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, to be the agent of the support and direction of these young men. India was chosen as the first field of their operations. The period 1810-1815 was exceedingly unpropitious for a beginning, the East India Company being then in the midst of a desperate struggle to keep its broad and lucrative domain closed to education and the gospel, and the war between Great Britain and the United States giving occasion for still more serious obstacles. The entrance of the missionaries upon their work under these circumstances was attended by many remarkable and trying incidents. The volume upon the India missions is cast in twenty chapters, and traces one important line of religious effort in British India for half a century. The mission to the Oriental churches seems next to have engaged the attention of the board. It is a curious and suggestive fact that the map of the territory covered by this mission is almost precisely the same as that with which we are made familiar by the travels and labors of the apostle Paul. Thus, after the lapse of almost eighteen centuries, during which the ideas of Christianity have extended around the world, we find them returning and attempting to renew themselves upon the very spot where they were first proclaimed. Syria, Mesopotamia, Armenia, Asia Minor, Greece, these are parts of the identical field of earliest apostolic effort. Indeed, the traces of those efforts still remain, and in a degree the object of the modern missionary is but to retouch, as it were, the worn plate upon which the older workman expended his most careful skill. The two volumes upon the Oriental missions will be found to throw not a little light upon that border land between Europe and Asia which is just now the centre of so much interest. The modern history of the Turk and of his relation to Christianity and civilization cannot be fully understood except by the perusal of that chapter of it which is here recorded.

Of all the missions of the American Board, none perhaps has been so successful within the limits of possibility, or to a greater degree has excited the popular sympathy, than that to the Hawaiian Islands. This is now substantially a finished work. It was in 1809, or thereabouts, that a young Sandwich Islander, named Obookiah, landed in New Haven from an American ship. Wandering about the town, his attention was soon attracted by the college buildings, and having learned their object, he was found one day weeping upon the threshold of one of them. To a compassionate gentleman who questioned him as to the source of his grief he replied that it was because there was no one to instruct him. Could there be anything more pathetic than this picture from real life ? Obookiah was taken in hand, others like him were joined with him, and a school was started for their benefit at Cornwall, Connecticut, with the intention of fitting them to become useful missionaries to their own people. Out of this school grew the mission to the Sandwich Islands, which was commenced in the year 1820. This was more than forty years after the discovery of the islands by Captain Cook, and twenty-three years after the missionaries of the London Missionary Society had made a first landing at the Society Islands, in the South Pacific. Obookiah, however, had died in 1818. His death may be said to have been the life of the Hawaiian church. Two young ministers from the Andover Theological Seminary, Hiram Bingham and Asa Thurston, three native Hawaiian youths from the school at Cornwall, a physician, two school-masters, a printer, and a farmer formed the first missionary company. They were “ married men, and the farmer took with him his five children.” This little colony of souls was organized into a mission church at Park Street Church, Boston, and sailed from that city in the brig Thaddeus, October 23, 1819. An unexpected train of events at the islands prepared for the missionaries a very friendly reception, although in quality it was not exactly in keeping with the conventionalities of “ good society.” When his majesty the king came on board the brig, at Kailua, “to dine with the only company of white women he had ever seen, his clothing, in accordance with the taste and fashion of the time, was a narrow girdle around his waist, a green silk scarf over his shoulders, a string of large beads on his otherwise bare neck, and a wreath of feathers on his head ; without coat, vest, pants, or shirt, without hat, gloves, shoes, or stockings.” The missionaries soon introduced a better style of dress. “ At the reception of the first reinforcement at Honolulu, three years later, the dress of the king and of his chiefs of both sexes was after the civilized fashion.”The Sandwich Islanders are probably now past salvation, from a human point of view, for their long-continued and hereditary habits of vice have fatally undermined the national constitution ; but undeniable it is that the fifty years’ work of the American missionaries has completely transformed the national character, and displaced a degraded savagery with the order and much of the culture, of the Christian state. To the fact of this great civic and moral revolution an abundance of unimpeachable witnesses testify. Said the Hon. H. A. Pierce, the American minister resident, at the Jubilee in June, 1870 : “ Forty-five years' knowledge of this archipelago enables me to draw a truthful contrast between their former state and present condition. In 1825, Hawaiians were ignorant and debased, though amiable and hospitable, possessing greater intelligence than Polynesian races. In 1870, we see them advanced to a high degree of Christian knowledge, general education, civilization, and material prosperity. The happy result is due, for the most part, under God, to the labors of the American missionaries. On an occasion like this I am permitted to bear personal testimony to their Christian virtues, zeal, devotion, industry, ability, and faithfulness, as illustrated by fifty years of missionary labor, and I am firmly of opinion that without their teachings and assistance this nation would have long since ceased to exist.”So, too, the late Rev. Franklin Mising, an Episcopal clergyman, and one of the secretaries of the American Church Missionary Society, who spent four months at the Islands during 1867, writes: “I visited thoroughly the chief islands, nearly every mission station on the whole group, and, so far as facilities were given me, all the religious, educational, and social institutions. I attended Sunday and week-day services ; made the personal acquaintance of the major part of the missionaries of all creeds; conversed with persons of many professions and social grades. . . . To me it seems marvelous that in comparatively so few years the social, political, and religious life of the nation should have undergone so radical and blessed a change as it has.”It is a good cause for thanksgiving to a large and influential portion of the community that Dr. Anderson’s life has been spared to prepare these volumes. It could be wished, in the interest of that historical fullness and accuracy which we are all interested in securing, that he could find time and strength for the completion of a work of which we have here only a part. But whatever the limits of his earthly life may prove to be, he may certainly look back with satisfaction upon his long and faithful service to Christian missions, of which this literary labor of love is by no means the least part.

— Baker’s Turkey2 is issued by the American publishers in a very attractive form, as a companion volume to Wallace’s Russia; but the two books are alike only in typographical execution and in the style of binding. The scope and purpose of the work on Russia is very different from that on Turkey. It rests on a much broader foundation, possesses greater originality, and shows greater care in preparation. Colonel Baker’s work, while it contains much that is valuable and interesting, presented in an easy, off-hand style, bears the marks of having been somewhat hastily put together to meet the demand for information on the Eastern Question. The author visited European Turkey in 1874, and after traveling over a considerable portion of it on horseback, noting the manners and customs of the people, and the resources of the country, he took advantage of the imperial rescript granting to foreigners the right to hold real property in the Ottoman Empire, and has since occupied the greater portion of his time in carrying on a farm in that part of Southern Rumilia known as Macedonia. It may be presumed, therefore, from the fact of his having taken a pecuniary interest in the industry of the country, that his experiences with the government and the people during his travels did not make an unfavorable impression upon his mind. An Englishman, especially one who travels under the auspices of official favor, is likely to see the best both of public and private life among the Turks. That Colonel Baker has presented what he believes to be a true picture of the people and their rulers we may well believe ; but that he has been misled as to the character of the Mussulman population, and that he has formed too high an estimate of their capacity for future advancement in civilization, is evident to any one at all familiar with the history of that country during the past hundred years. He does not pretend, he says, that Turkish administration is all that can be desired, but it is not in any degree ns bad as it is usually painted. He found that the Turkish rank and file, “the real pith of the nation,” were distinguished for patience, discipline, sobriety, bravery, honesty, modesty, and humanity. This last descriptive epithet he knows “ will excite an indignant exclamation from many at the present moment. But look at the Turkish soldier in private life, and you find him gentle and kind to children and women, and exceedingly fond of animals. His first thought after a long and tiring day’s march is his horse. As soon as he has made the animal comfortable, then he thinks of the man. When he is exasperated by what he thinks are insults to his creed, he kills and slays as his teaching tells him, and he appears a fanatical madman.” Now it is very little consolation to the Christians subject to Turkish rule that the Turk is kind to his horse and gentle to the women and children of his family, if, on the slightest provocation, he takes a holy pleasure in mutilating and slaying those who do not profess the Mohammedan faith; and Colonel Baker’s statement simply goes to sustain the Russian position, that this fanatical madman must be put into a strait-jacket when he undertakes to mutilate and slay his Christian subjects simply because they are Christians and not Mohammedans.

The theory which this book endeavors to establish is that all, or most, of the evils which have come upon the Turks in these latter days are due to the interference of Russian agents and to the corrupt reign of Sultan Abdul-Aziz. The mass of Mussulmans are represented as living in harmony with their Christian neighbors except where the religious passions of both are stirred into activity by outsiders. Colonel Baker says that in traveling through Bulgaria, in 1874, he “ never saw a country which looked less like the seat of rebellion : the people were prosperous, peaceful, and contented. The foreign agents who were sent to manufacture rebellion in 1867-68 were ordered to compel the peaceable Christian peasantry to join their ranks and rise against their oppressors. The orders were the same in 1876; and in abject terror some few unfortunate Bulgarians did join the ranks of the many ruffians that gathered in the hope of plunder, and we know the sad result.”

Against this statement we may put the testimony of a correspondent of the London Times, who was with the Russian advance when it entered Tirnova. “ The poor people,” he says, “literally wept, prayed, and hung upon the necks of their deliverers, who were almost smothered in flowers. One saw rough cuirassiers of the guard and dirty dragoons grinning with delight as they carried armfuls of flowers, as much as they could possibly manage, and had their hands seized and kissed by pretty girls, Everything that was done came evidently and directly from the heart,—the heart relieved from an unendurable yoke and a great and immediate danger.” The correspondent has a good deal more to say about what he saw and heard concerning the sickening brutality of the “humane and gentle” Turkish soldier; and the Times, remarking editorially on this letter and the letters of other correspondents at the seat of war, says, It is a terrible commentary on Turkish rule that wherever the invader comes he is received by the Christians with enthusiasm.”

Colonel Baker’s idea that the mass of the Mussulman population is well disposed towards the Christians, and that the disturbing element, apart from Russian interference, is caused by the exactions of a corrupt administration, is altogether at variance with the representations usually made on behalf of the Turks. The notorious failure of the Turkish government to carry out the reforms which were promised in connection with the treaty of Paris, as well as the failure to carry out measures promised and promulgated since then for ameliorating the condition of its Christian subjects, has been excused on the ground that the Mussulman population in the country were violently opposed to the liberal policy proposed by the government, and that they were determined to resist, as contrary to the teachings of the Koran, the granting any privileges to the Christians. The plea of those who uphold Turkish rule is that we shall have patience yet a little while to enable the government to educate its Mussulman subjects up to its own high standard of tolerance and liberality. If Colonel Baker is right, the representations of the English government have been quite at fault in the excuses which they have hitherto made for the short-comings of the porte.

The author’s feeling against Russia is so strong that he gives credence to a story that the Russians stirred up a rebellion in Bulgaria in 1867-68, with the intention, if it rose to formidable proportions, to furnish Russian troops for the purpose of quelling it! That there is a strong feeling among the Russian people in favor of driving the Turks out of Europe, that individuals, both in private life and in subordinate positions connected with the government, have been concerned in disreputable schemes to propagate rebellion among the Christian subjects of the Ottoman power, is well known ; but that these men have been backed by the Russian government, that that government has been engaged in petty intrigues with the Bulgarian peasantry to promote a revolt with the intention of afterwards getting a hold upon the Turkish government by assisting it to put down the revolt, will not be generally believed until more trustworthy evidence is furnished than we find in the statements of the ingenious storytellers who stand fast by the ancient of Islam.

It should not be understood from the space here given to the subject that the book is wholly, or in great part, devoted to a discussion of the Eastern Question. That question forms but a small portion, and, when properly estimated, the least valuable portion, of the contents. There is much interesting matter in relation to the early history of the Bulgarians, the Turks, the Ottoman slaves, the Albanians, and the Crimean Tartars, and some original and valuable observations upon agriculture and Turkey as a field for emigration. By means of machinery and good farming, Colonel Baker thinks Turkey can compete successfully with America in the great European markets. But the great difficulty heretofore has been in getting the machinery set up, and in obtaining laborers who could operate it.

— During the year since Messrs. J. R. Osgood & Co. projected their pretty series of miniature reprints, the Vest-Pocket Series 3 (a name to which some of us who do not like to call a waistcoat a vest must always object), the numbers have increased to nearly a hundred, with an ever-increasing public favor, and with an equally increasing claim to it. The little volumes are not in any sense to he reviewed, but they fulfill so well a literary purpose that criticism cannot quite ignore them. Their range is wide, and they offer in their extremely portable and convenient shape an extraordinarily judicious selection of the best English and American literature. Some thirty-two of the series are devoted to American authors: six are given to Emerson’s essays, the detachable character of which singularly suits them to this form of publication ; Longfellow has three; Lowell, four ; Aldrich, three ; Whittier, two ; Hawthorne, four; and the rest are distributed among the best authors published by Messrs. Osgood & Co. Among English writers are Tennyson, Dickens, Mrs. Browning, Goldsmith, Dr. John Brown, Coleridge, Keats, Gray, Browning, Carlyle, Pope, Macaulay, Milton, Cowper, Burns, Kingsley, Shakespeare, Shelley, Moore, Southey, Scott, Collins, Herrick, Byron, Campbell, and Bloomfield ; and many of these names, which so fairly strike the liking of the vast average of readers, are represented by selections of “favorite poems,” which are again surprisingly fortunate guesses at the general taste. There are twenty-five volumes of favorite poems, and on the whole we do not see how they could have been better chosen or indeed how the whole series could be improved. The form is one in which all who love literature will be glad to read again the things that have often pleased them ; and we cannot help believing that it will render a signal service to letters by lightly bringing to many vacant minds the intellectual occupation they would never seek. It is in compact and available shape a sort of introductory library to the best English literature, — a collection to be kept on work-tables and window-seats, where all the household may readily find and use it at any odd half hour.

— That Lass o’ Lowrie’s 4 is perhaps not a book to arrest all readers at the first glance; the Lancashire dialect so freely used and a certain air of artificial impressiveness will possibly strike some persons unfavorably. But whatever disadvantage there may be in these things is only superficial. The conventional contrasts, if we may call them so, between the brutish miners and the intelligent, excellent engineer too obviously named Derrick; between the timid and sincere curate Grace and the selfconfident rector ; and again between Anice, the rector’s daughter, and Joan Lowrie, are almost inevitable. An author of more experience, or with a taste for more subtile distinctions and more intricate relations, might have mitigated the sharpness of these oppositions, which tend to diminish rather than heighten the color of the characters ; but it is evidently a part of Mrs. Burnett’s remarkable gift to fix everything firmly in black and white, and simplify her outlines; and it must be admitted that she produces by her method a vigorous, most powerful effect. Derrick, Grace, and Mr. Barholm are, we think, a little too simply conveyed ; the three women are drawn with a much more intimate knowledge and sympathy, — especially poor “Liz,” whose wavering, errant, querulous yet appealing nature, combined with her hapless beauty, is put before us with touches more delicate than the other portraits receive. But whatever differences there may be among the several representations, there is nothing to be denied in the whole work : all is true in its degree. The dialect, too, which we are sure will have prejudiced some readers at the start, is admirably managed. It never runs to excess, as George Macdonald’s Scotch patois does; and as the ear becomes used to it, there arises a new zest from the uncouth talk. The range of peculiar words is extremely small, yet Mrs. Burnett draws from it various effects, from the broadly comic to the pathetic. But the story is hardly one to be discussed on the level of mere literary technics. It contains art enough, for it contains the substance of all art in its deep insight into human suffering and aspiration ; and though the narrative is not carried on from chapter to chapter as closely as one would wish, there is not a superfluous sentence in the book the characters, at least, evolve themselves in a purely dramatic way. We shall not be surprised to find Mrs. Burnett, in the future, taking a place—not on just the same grounds, but by virtue of merits of her own— with Charlotte Brontë and Mrs. Gaskell among the few eminent women novelists whom we distinguish from good masculine novelists only that we may pay them an added reverence.

— Canolles 5 is an old-fashioned story of the Revolutionary period. To veteran novelreaders, accustomed to elaborate plots and subtle delineations of character, Mr, Cooke’s art will not be entirely satisfying. They will smell the dénoûment afar off; and they will smile, perhaps, instead of tremble when, after the failure of all imaginable efforts to relieve him, the hero is led out to be shot. They know that there is to be a rescue or a reprieve just as the weeping lieutenant is about to give the last and fatal order; and they know that, although there are insuperable obstacles in the way of a union between the brave partisan and his lovely sweetheart, the union will take place, and the last page will give assurances that the heroic stock is in a fair way of being perpetuated. But even to such knowing readers the story will not be without interest. It will remind them of their schooldays, when the favorite novelist’s heroes were all gallant and handsome, and could jump further, ride faster, and shoot straighter than any of their fellows ; and the heroines were always “jolly,” and performed marvelous feats in the way of dancing and of riding horseback. With all its shortcomings the story is thoroughly healthy and hearty ; and it will be quite sure to interest the boys who are fond of Cooper, Kennedy, and Gilmore Simms.

Captain Canolles is the leader of a company of rough-riders operating in Virginia during the presence of the British troops in that State in the last years of the war. The captain is a man of mystery, with a bad reputation. He holds no commission in the American army, and is supposed to fight for plunder alone, and to take from the invader and the invaded alike. His coolness and courage under the most trying circumstances are beyond those of Cooper’s braves. He has a sense of honor as high as that of the Chevalier Bayard. Why does he pursue a course which brands him as a freebooter and a desperado ? After the reader has puzzled over this for a sufficient length of time, and has been properly tantalized by having the explanation almost within his grasp, he is told that Canolles is the son of an F. F. V. His father supported Patrick Henry in opposing taxation without representation, and was afterwards a delegate from Virginia to the Continental Congress at Philadelphia. He was nevertheless opposed to a separation from Great Britain, and when independence was declared he mortgaged his estate, took the proceeds, and went to England, leaving his two sons, who were indisposed to desert their native State in such a crisis. The elder son, Canolles, espoused his father’s quarrel so far as to refuse to accept a commission from the Continental Congress; and during the early part of the war he sat sulking at home, like Achilles in his tent. His brother, who possesses a more ardent temperament, does not hesitate to lead a company of cavalry into the continental service. When the British invade Virginia, Canolles sees his duty. He changes his name, raises a company of men in his neighborhood, establishes his headquarters in the great morass known as White Oak Swamp, and sallies forth to harass the invader and help drive him from the State. His refusal to accept a commission, coupled with repeated captures of the money chests accompanying the British forces, and his failure to account for the treasure taken, subjects him to the imputation of being a mere marauder. It afterwards appears that the money is used to pay off the mortgage raised on the family estate by the father when he fled to Europe. That being accomplished, and the foe being on the retreat to Yorktown, where they finally surrendered, Captain Hartley Canolles Cartaret — for that is his true name — disbands his rough-riders, and is about to retire to Europe to hide a broken, or at least a fractured heart, when he learns that Miss Fanny Talbot, the object of his affection, has discard ed her former lover and is languishing for him. The conclusion is obvious. Mr. Cooke would perhaps claim that his novel has a purpose, namely, the cultivation of a States rights spirit. But no federalist and no believer in Mr. Boutwell’s theory of subordinating the State to the United States authorities need fear its influence in a political way.

— St. Thomas of Canterbury impressed the imaginations of men in his own and in succeeding days as few men have ever done. Before the century in which he lived was gone out, the poets had written the story of his romantic career, and many times since he has been forced to sit to versifiers of every degree of merit for an heroic portrait. We confess with some reluctance that the earlier are more to our taste than the more modern versions of his life. In Garnier de Pont Saintc Maxcnce, for instance, notwith-standing his prosiness, the dreariness of his theology, his long-windedness, and like faults, there is a sense of reality, the vigor of strenuous and abundant life, the Middle Age flesh and blood, the pulse of things real in their day, which we miss in later authors.

The book before us6 is throughout more or less an anachronism ; the sentiment has caught the modern pallor; the finger of a new time has touched the story, the breath of a new spirit blows through it. It is not merely that here and there a single verse is out of tune, as when the world-worn Empress Matilda is made to say, —

“ Life, my child,
In times barbaric is a wilderness ;

In cultured times a street or wrangling mart: We bear it, for we must,”a sentiment which smacks of the London gentleman too much. Our author does not present to us the man Thomas à Becket, full of energy and passion, whose youthful lance had sent

“ That French knight, Engelramme de Trie,
Upon the red field rolling.”

The object on which his eye is fixed is not the fierce struggle between the unyielding archbishop and King Henry, so much as the spiritual transformation of Becket from the impatient chancellor of the world into the meek martyr; and thus it happens that fervent piety rather than dramatic power characterizes his poem. It is the steadfast, majestic, eternal church which claims his highest poetic feeling. When the hour of the great martyrdom approaches, and John of Salisbury, whose heart is with the fate of Becket, feels the “ earth shiver as ship in storm,” and “ the ground earth-quakeshaken ” and “ shadows vast far flung, and whence we know not, o’er it sweep,” the author’s heart is with the monk Herbert, who sees meantime “ the church ” which “ Nor hastes, nor halts, nor frets, nor is amazed, " but,

“ A smile upon her lips,
She stands with eyes close fixed upon her Lord,
Nay, on his sacred vestments' lowest hem,
To see where next he moves.”

It is when he shows the power of the church for support and healing, as in the nun Idonea, or for the peace which comes of exalted mysticism, as in the monk Herbert, or when he is setting forth the claim of the church to a place of large, if not controlling, influence in the state, as in the meeting of Becket and Henry, that he is most in earnest and most moved.

It is in harmony with this treatment that while he has taken most of his incidents and motives from the old chroniclers, he has excluded much of the fierce passions and free speech of the Middle Ages which make the old story so vivid and so real. At the council of Northampton, when the primate, deserted by the bishops and his knights, worn with sickness, and racked by the conflict of his duty to the church and his fealty and love to the king, in danger of imprisonment and death, bears in his own hand for protection the archiepiscopal cross, the chroniclers tell us of bishops who stood weeping, and how Thomas himself could hardly maintain the dignity of his office, so strong and violent was his grief; and amid this his great enemy, the bishop of London, urged him to lay down the cross, and when he refused actually laid hold of it and tried to wrench it from his hands.

“ Des meins la li voleit par vive force oster

says Garnier. Such scenes as this are robbed of their violent incidents, we suppose, as being inconsistent with the dignity of the poem; so in the scene of the martyrdom, the hurry and terror of the accompanying incidents are left out. It is not because this is a sin against exact realism — which we would not cry out at — that we are sorry for the omission, but because these things convey the spirit of the real drama. We think, too, that the author has not caught the workings of the great passions which made the heart of the struggle. The sincere and simple devotion of Becket to the church and of Henry to the state, while through all his anger Henry loved Becket and through all his injuries Becket loved Henry; the counter-currents of the two great ideas of government which each served and of which they were only the momentary and transitory champions and defenders, by the compelling fate of which nevertheless their human affections and lives were riven,— this it is which was the core of the real drama then enacted, and this our author has inadequately presented.

If we do not look for more than our author has to give us, however, — a descriptive poem in dialogue inspired by deep piety toward the church of Rome,—>we shall find much pleasure and many excellences. The story of St. Thomas has a charm wherever and whenever told, whether by friends or enemies ; and here we have a noble figure in the saint and many interesting figures in his friends. Across the scene of monastic treachery and intrigue flash the sunshine and civilization of Queen Eleanor’s fair Guienne, where are

“ Swift southern springs, that with a flame of flowers
In one day light the earth ;”

and men who say the church’s cap is

“ A fool’s cap on a palsy-stricken head.”

Very impressive is the dying Empress Matilda with her ill-spent life and horrid dreams, and the courtier bishop of Liseux is interesting, although, like others in the poem, drawn in too few lines to be much individualized. The love of the young prince for Becket, the scene of Becket’s life at Pontigny, the joy of the people in his return to England, heighten and calm the interest of the reader; and he lays down the book, feeling that it is good, if not the best work, and very welcome in these days of heated, unripe, confused, or gentlemanly commonplace poetry.

— Among the many American humorists, as they are generically called, Josh Billings has always held a high place, not only on account of his humor, which he shares with many, but also on account of his wisdom, which is an even rarer quality. In this slender volume,7 printed on bluish paper, are to be found several brief sayings, with their truth and eternal aptness half hidden beneath bad spelling. There are also longer paragraphs, never running over a page, on various subjects, the subjects being of but slight importance, for the book is not an encyclopædia but a collection of witty sayings. The chapters on Grand Pa and The Skool Boy are characteristic examples of his style. Short as they are, they are too long to quote, especially since the apothegms are so good examples of American humor, which in unprofessional mouths, at least, is generally the quiet, almost arid expression of some unexpected truth. For instance: —

“ When i hear a man bragging what he dun last year, and what he iz a going to do next year, I kan tell pretty near what he iz to work at now.”

“Enny man who kan swop horses, or ketch fish, and not he about it, is just about as pious az men ever git to be in this world.”

“ It iz very eazy to manage our nabors’ fuzziness, but our own sometimes bothers us.”

“We all of us beleave that we are the espeshall favorites ov fortune, but fortune don’t beleave any sutch thing.”

I notiss that when a man runs hiz hed aginst a post, he cusses the post fust, all kreashun next, and sumthing else last, and never thinks ov cussing himself.”

Here is a remark which is probably the result of a good deal of experience : —

“ Thare is grate risk in being a comik philosopher: nine tenths ov the world will keep both eyes on the monkey, and lose sight entirely ov the philosophy.”


A new novel by Cherbuliez by no means arouses so much interest now as it did only a few years ago, and for this the author is more justly to be held to account than is the wavering taste of the public. There is this to he said : that every successful novelist is his own worst rival; his readers will be making invidious comparisons between what he does now and what he did formerly, without making proper allowance for the sense of agreeable surprise which novelty alone can give, and can of course give but once. Then, too, we have the feeling about every living author that he is capable of change, and that if he would but listen to wiser counsels— our own, for instance — he would straightway win the fame he sighs after. Moreover, we demand rigidly a steady advance, and faults once venial appear incorrigible on frequent repetition. In the present case9 Cherbuliez is as brilliant a writer as ever. He uses epigrams as freely as other writers use points of punctuation, and for about the same purpose: he has invented a mystifying plot, and he tells the story in such a way that the reader never knows what new thing is coming; but yet, after it is read, one finds that no very satisfactory impression is made upon him by all the intellectual fire-works that have been set off for his benefit. Cherbuliez can be amusing, but there is something depressing in the sight of a man of such undeniable ability who devotes all his energy to the flimsiest entertainment of an idle generation of novel-readers. The entertainment may be called flimsy, because it is nothing more than what one gets from hearing an anecdote well told. There is nothing else in the book, not an atom of seriousness, so that the novel seems trivial, especially when we remember bow Cherbuliez, when younger, gave promise of better things. This is the real cause of regret: that a man who began with the brilliancy and refinement of Le Prince Vitale and Un Cheval de Phidias should thus turn into a sort of professional mountebank before the public, and regard every human emotion and passion merely as moves in the game which his characters play with as much real feeling in their souls as there is of ecclesiastical fervor in a bishop on the chess-board, — that a man who once did so well and promised so much better should sink to this is indeed disappointing. The amusement of the public is of course the first duty of a writer of novels, and it may be as fair as the epigrammatic form of expression allows fairness to say that instruction should be the last; but there are varieties of amusement, and Cherbuliez puts before his readers, with so much cleverness, such an imitation of real feeling that the reader, although interested, is filled with regret. In this story, for instance, a German Jew named Brohl has assumed the name and personality of a Polish count whom he has known, who has died in great poverty, and under this disguise the Jew has won the love of a very charming French girl. All of our author’s heroines are attractive and life-like ; this one is no exception, but there is something odious in the way in which Cherbuliez, of late years, at least, persistently maltreats them. In this story the young woman gives her heart to this fascinating reptile, and the novel describes the net-work of intrigue spun by him and by those who suspect him of being the adventurer he really is. It is enough to say that Cherbuliez has written this to make it perfectly plain that the book holds the reader’s attention fast, and that he is a bold man who can say at any given chapter that he knows what is coming next; all he can be sure of is that it will he something very clever. But all the cleverness in the world will not make up for the tone of the book, which is undeniably depressing. The hero is a most odious villain, the girl’s feelings are dangled before the public in a painful way, and one cannot help a sort of shame at reading a story which, if true, ought to be kept from the public out of respect for the victims. But yet it is entertaining.

— Mr. Hillebrand has a good subject before him in his contribution to the series of histories of European States,10 a collection which is appearing at Gotha under the supervision of A. H. L. Heeren, Ukert, and U. von Giesebrecht. It contains already seventy-seven volumes, which have gone over the ground very thoroughly, and there is not much left for future writers to do in order to bring the work down to the present date. Mr. Hillebrand’s share is writing the history of France for the forty years between the accession of Louis Philippe and the fall of the empire of Napoleon III. This is a period of which the early part is comparatively unknown, because it has hardly found its way into histories as yet, while only the later years are written in the memories of men. There is this advantage, however, that the records are numerous, and obscure points can have light thrown upon them by some of the men who were the actors in the events described in the books. Mr. Hillebrand has evidently made thorough studies for his book, and certainly, in view of the abundance of material, choice must have been a difficult task. Moreover, there were so many different kinds of thought agitating men’s minds — especially many in France and in this century — that much space is needed for bringing all the actors, with their different rôles, upon the stage. In this volume we find the unadorned record of the first seven or eight years of the reign of Louis Philippe, and in succeeding volumes we are promised full details of the influeuce of socialism and St. Simonism upon events, the history of their rise, etc. This cannot fail to be very interesting : Mr. Hillebrand doubtless knows his subject well, and he has seen enough of the practical working of fine theories to make this part of his history entertaining and instructive reading, A full account of the performances of Napoleon III. will be of service to the public, especially one written by a man who has seen so much of modern French life with his own eyes as this writer has done. The present volume is the fruit of much patient labor. We are so accustomed of late years to picturesque histories that this one will seem to have rather the character of a blue-book than that of an artistic and delightful arrangement of the facts that shall deeply impress and charm the reader. Then, too, the fact that most histories have been written by human beings with decided feelings about the things they have described causes the impartiality of this one to appear strange and unattractive. The author takes no side in the matters he has to record; he seems to feel a sort of contemptuous dislike for Louis Philippe, but it is nowhere precisely expressed, although the book certainly leaves on the reader no favorable impression of that king.

What is the merit of this book is the simple, readable, and apparently trustworthy way in which is told the story of what happened in France forty years ago. It is not an attractive period, and there is something monotonous in the way that French discontent showed itself at that time, in a sullen opposition varied by disgraceful attempts at assassination. The whole matter is to be found narrated in these pages, with references to the authorities for most of the statements, and with such further illustration as serves to make obscure points clear. We look forward with eagerness to the succeeding volumes, especially because this opening volume concerns itself mainly with the politics and the diplomatic relations of France at the time it covers. The history of the current of French thought and of the doings of Napoleon III. will be of greater interest.

— Those who care for lighter works in German literature will welcome Wilhelm Jeusen’s new novel, Fluth und Ebbe.11 The author is an admired novelist, whose writings, so far as we know, have not been translated into English. This is by no means a trustworthy verdict about their merits, for poorer stories than his have been introduced in their own language to English readers. The present one cannot be very warmly commended to the attention of translators. It is intolerably long-winded, and, what is even worse, the mystery which blinds the eyes of so many of the characters is transparent to those who are familiar with novels; so that he who has any doubt whether the shipwrecked sailor is to return before the end of the second and last volume has the capacity of receiving a good deal of enjoyment from dull stories. The slowness with which the plot is unraveled is somewhat wearying. But apart from these local peculiarities there is a good deal of merit in the story. The scene is laid in a sea-port town in Northern Germany, and throughout the book there are to be found rhapsodical descriptions of the sea which are of real beauty. What is of even more importance to a novel, the development and management of the characters is marked by a certain crudity aitd simplicity, as if the writing of fiction was still in its infancy. The wicked person, the Consul Assmann, had sent to sea an unsound ship containing a worthless cargo, which had been enormously insured, that he might get profit from its disappearance. It went down as he had arranged, but of course there were survivors who appeared at an unwelcome moment before their would-be murderer. There are other characters, too, more or less intimately connected with these personages, and they are, on the whole, well described, although the way they are brought before the reader is not the most artistic. One man, for instance, is the editor of a daily paper, who is designed for a pompous bore, and he is indeed just that, but with such intensity that he becomes a real infliction upon the reader. Moreover, the way in which the alleged English lord watches the conduct of the Assmann family through a telescope in a neighboring house is more ingenious than life-like or imaginative. But apart from this tendency to show life in a succession of pictures rather than in a gliding panorama, the book may be read with satisfaction by those who are anxious to lay their hands on a new German novel. It is a novel, so to speak, with good instincts, with fine characters in it; like Hattenbach, the old scholar, betrothed all the best years of his life to the woman he was too poor to marry, and like the sailor’s wife with her starving children. There is feeling enough in the book, and it is evidently the work of a man who is sensitive to emotions, so that he escapes the deadly fault of being commonplace; but the action is so slow and casts such long shadows beforehand that the jaded reader who is anxious only to be thrilled will not care for it. It should be said in its praise that the book is well printed, and that the leaves have the advantage, rare in a German book, of being stitched and not merely placed in order, to the confusion of the first person opening the book, who will find the leaves flying over space.


D. Appleton & Co., New York: Sévard’s Marriage. By Andre Thenriet.

Cassell, Petter, and Galpin, New York : The Life of Christ. Parts 9,10, 11, and 12. By F. W. Farrar, D. D.

Geo. De Colagne & Co., New York: The Preservation of Beauty. By Dr. Lo.

Congregational Publishing Society, Boston : Woman and her Savior in Persia. By a Returned Missionary.— Glimpses of Christ. By Thomas Laurie, D. D.

Dodd, Mead, & Co., New York: The Cooking Manual of Practical Directons for Economical, EveryDay Cookery. By Juliet Corson, Superintendent of the New York Cooking School.

Geo. H. Ellis: History of the Town of Peterborough, N. H. By Alfred Smith, M. D., LL. D.

Estes and Lauriat, Boston : What think ye of Christ? — My Bonnie Lass. By Mrs. Hamilton.— Jack. By Mary Neal Sherwood.

Alex. Gardner, Paisley (Scotland): The Poems and Literary Prose of Alexander Wilson, the American Ornithologist. By the Rev. Alexander B. Grosart. Vols I. and II.—The Poems of Allan Ramsay. With Glossary, Life of the Author, and Remarks on his Poems. Vols. I. and IT. — A History of the Witches of Renfrewshire. A New Edition with an Introduction.—A Rollicking Irish Tour, by Rag, Tag, and Bobtail. With Free and Easy Sketches. By A. R. A.

Ginn and Heath, Boston : A Latin Grammar, founded on Comparative Grammar. By J. H. Allen and J. B. Greenough. — A Course in Scientific German, Prepared by Harry Blake llodges.

Hardwicke and Bogue, London : Poems, Lyrics, Songs, and Sonnets. By Francis Bennoch, F. S. A.

Sam'l Harris & Co., London : Poems. By Jane Budge.

Henry S. King & Co., London : Russian Romance. Translated by Mrs. Telfer. — Crimea and Transcaucasia. By Commander J. B. Telfer. — The Fall of Rora, and Other Poems. By Aubrey de Vere.—A Discourse on Truth. By Richard Shute, M. A.

Lee and Shepard, Boston: Reminiscences of Friedrich Froebel. By B. von Marcnholy Bulow.

J. B. Lippincott & Co., Philadelphia : Memoirs of John Quincy Adams, By Charles Francis Adams. — Olivia Raleigh. By W. W. Follett Lynge.— Dante. By Mrs. Oliphant. — Aristotle. By Sir Alex Grant.

Loring, Boston: Two Kisses. By Hawley Smart. — Beautiful Edith, the Child Woman. — Four Irrepressibles, or the Tribe of Benjamin. — The New Schoolma’am ; or, A Summer in North Sparta.

Macmillan & Co., London : A Handbook to the Public Picture Galleries of Europe. With a brief Sketch of the History of the Various Schools of Painting from the Thirteenth Century to the Eighteenth inclusive. By Kate Thompson. — Epistle of St. Barnabas. By Rev. William Cunningham.

My Summer in Porkopolis, and Other Papers. By Esel Dorf.

Oliver and Boyd, Edinburgh : The Schools of Forestry in Europe. By John Crombie Brown, LL. D.

Jas. R. Osgood & Co., Boston : The Physical Basis of Mind. Being the Second Series of Problems of Life and Mind. With Illustrations, By Geo. Henry Lewes. — Asia Minor and the Caucasus. By Sir Randal Roberts.— Village Improvements. By Geo. E. Waring. — Traps baited with Orphan: or, What is the Matter with Life Insurance? By Elizur Wright. — History of Materialism. By Ernest Chester Thomas. — Tom Bailey’s Adventures. By T. B. Aldrich.—Poems of Places, Switzerland and Austria. Edited by Henry W. Longfellow. — Hillside and Seaside in Poetry. A Companion to Roadside Poems. Edited by Lucy Larcom. —The Tent on the Beach. By John G. Whittier. Illustrated. — Miss Mehetabel’s Son. By Thomas Bailey Aldrich. Illustrated.—A Virtuoso’s Collection, and Other Tales. By Nathaniel Hawthorne.—An Essay on Man. By Alexander Pope.—Spring. By James Thomson. Illustrated.— Thackeray: His Literary Career. By John Brown, M. D. —Cromwell. By Thomas Carlyle. — Lord Byron. By Lord Macaulay.— John Milton. By Lord Macaulay.— A Rivermouth Romance. By Thomas Bailey Aldrich. — Locksley Hall. By Alfred Tennyson. — In Memoriam By Alfred Tennyson. — Songs of Servia. By Owen Meredith. —The Princess. By Alfred Tennyson. My Nightingale’s Diary. By Charles Dickens. —Autumn, By James Thomson. — The Story of Iris. By Oliver Wendell Holmes.—The Lay of the Bell. By Schiller. — Winter. By James Thomson.— Favorite Poems. By Percy Bysshe Shelley. —Favorite Poems. By Thomas Moore. — Favorite Poems. By Samuel Taylor Coleridge.—Favorite Poems. By Lord Byron. — Favorite Poems. By Owen Meredith. — Favorite Poems. By Robert Burns.—Favorite Poems. By Charles Kingsley. — Favorite Poems. By Robert Southey. — Favorite Poems. By Sir Walter Scott. — Favorite Poems. By Geo. Herbert. — Favorite Poems. Translated from the German of Schiller by Sir Edward Lytton Bulwer, Bart.— Health. By Dr. John Brown.— John Leech. By Dr. John Brown. — Maud. By Alfred Tennyson. — The Tale. Translated from the German of Goethe by Thomas Carlyle. — Elizabeth Barrett Browning. By E. C.Stedman. — The Pleasures of Hope. By Thomas Campbell. — Sonnets. By Shakespeare. — Horatius and Virginia. By Lord Macaulay. — Lake Regillus, Ivry, and Other Lays. By Lord Macaulay.—A True Story, and The Recent Carnival of Crime. By Mark Twain. — The Farmer’s Boy. By Robert Bloomfield. — A Midnight Fantasy, and The Little Violinist. By Thomas Bailey Aldrich. — Natural Law. By Edith Simcox. —Household Education. By Harriet Martineau. — Christianity and Humanity : A Series of Sermons by Thomas Starr King. Edited, with a Memoir, by Edwin P. Whipple.— The Poetical Works of Oliver Wendell Holmes. Household Edition. — Pasco, a Cuban Tale, and Other Poems. By R. Rutland Manners.

Porter and Coates, Philadelphia ; Until the Day Breaks. By Mrs. J, M. D. Bartlett.

G. P. Putnam’s Sons, New York: The Way of Life. A Service Book for Sunday Schools. Compiled by Frederick L. Hosmer. — The Question of Labour and Capital. By John B. Jervis. — A New Star Atlas. For the Library, the School, and the Observatory. By Richard A. Proetor. — A Manual of Inorganic Chemistry. Vol. II. The Metals. By T. E. Thorpe, Ph. D. — His Grandmothers. A Summer Salad.—My Three Conversations with Miss Chester. By Fred. Beecher Perkins.— The Jukes. By R. L, Dugdale.— Other People’s Children. By the Author of Helen’s Babies, — Handbook for Hospital Visitors.— The Question of Rest for Women. By Mary Putnam-Jacobi, M. D.

Rand, McNalley, & Co., New York : The Locust Plague. By Charles V. Riley.

Roberts Bros., Boston : Hetty’s Strange History. — The Wonderful Adventures of a Pullman. By E. E. Hale.

Scribner, Armstrong, & Co., New York : Nicholas Minturn. A Study in a Story. By J. G. Holland.

— The Religious Feeling. A Study for Faith. By Newman Smyth. —The Age of Anne. By Edward E. Morris, M, A. With Maps and Plans.

Trübner & Co., London : Shakespeare. The Man and the Book. Being a Collection of Occasional Papers on the Bard and his Writings. Part I. By C. W. Ingleby, M. A , LL. D.

D. Van Nostrand, New York : The Sanitary Condition of City and Country Dwelling Houses. By George E. Waring, Jr.

A. Williams & Co., Boston : Gretchen’s Joys and Sorrows. Translated from the German of Clementine Helm by Helen M. Dunbar Slack. — Disease of the Mind. By Charles Folsom, M. D. — Unwritten Law. By Thomas Francis Bayard.

  1. Foreign Missions : Their Relations and Claims. By RUFUS ANDERSON, D. D, LL. D. Third Edition. Boston : Congregational Publishing Society. 1876.
  2. History of the Missions of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions in India. By RUFUS ANDERSON, D. D., LL. D. Boston: Congregational Publishing Society. 1875.
  3. History, of the Missions of the American Board ofCommissioners for Foreign Missions. Hawaiian Islands. By RUFUS ANDERSON, D. D., LL. D. Boston : Congregational Publishing Society. 1875.
  4. History of the Missions of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. The Oriental Churches. In Two Volumes. By RUFUS ANDERSON, D. D., LL, D. Boston : Congregational Publishing Society. 1875.
  5. Turkey. By JAMES BAKER, M. A. New York: Henry Holt & Co.
  6. Vest-Pocket Series. Boston: J. R. Osgood & Co. 1877.
  7. That Lass o' Lowrie’s. By FRANCES HODGSON BURNETT. Illustrated by ALFRED FREDERICKS. New York: Scribner, Armstrong, & Co. 1877.
  8. Canolles: The Fortunes of a Partisan of '81. By JOHN ESTEN COOKE. Detroit: E. B. Smith & Co.
  9. St. Thomas of Canterbury. A Dramatic Poem. By AUBREY DE VERE. London. Henry S. King & Co. 1876.
  10. Josh Billings' Trump Kards. Blue Glass Philosophy, With Illustrations in Natural History, by F. S. CHURCH. New York : G. W. Carleton & Co. 1877.
  11. All books mentioned under this head are to be had at Schoenhof and Moeller’s, 40 Winter St., Boston, Mass.
  12. Samuel Brohl et Cie. Par VICTOR CHERBULIEZ. Paris : Charpentier. 1877. 3 Geschichte der Eutopäischen Slaaten. Herausgegeben von A. H. L. HEEREN, F. A. UKERT, and U. V. GIESEBRECHT. Geschichte Frankreichs. (1830-1871.) Von KARL HILLEBRAND. Erster Theil. Gotha: Perthes. 1877.
  13. Fluth und Ebbe. Ein Roman. Von WILHELM JENSEN. 2 Bnde. Mitau: Behre. 1877.