Books of the Month

Religion and Philosophy. Scotch Sermons, 1880 (Appletons), is the brief title of a volume collected from the pulpit labors of a dozen Scotch divines, who may perhaps all look to Erskine as their spiritual leader. There is a singular interest attaching to the development in Scotland of a school of preachers who are impatient of systems, and eager for the freedom of mind which apprehends religious truth as a subordinate part of Christianity. — No. 17 of the Humboldt Library (J. Fitzgerald & Co., New York) is entitled Progress, by Herbert Spencer, and contains six disquisitions of that writer. The Humboldt Library is one of the cheap reprints which play the part of privateers in current literary commerce. —Dr. Bevan, in his Sermons to Students and Thoughtful Persons (Scribners), properly disclaims any purpose to speak to such as a class needing a distinct kind of preaching; rather his sermons deal with speculations most familiar to students, and he passes science, medicine, and philosophy before the review of the pulpit with a generous and courageous spirit. The book is one sign of an honorable self-respect in the clergy. —A new volume of Robertson’s sermons, under the title of The Human Race and other Sermons (Harpers), has appeared, after a long interval; but, Robertson no longer occupies so solitary a position as when the first were issued. His possible audience has widened, but so, too, lias the number of acceptable preachers possessed of his spirit. — Perhaps in this division may be named a lecture by Robert Collyer, entitled The New German Crusade (Putnams), in which he enters his protest vigorously against the German hostility to the Jew. —Natural Theology, by John Bascom (Putnams), is a restatement compelled by the shifting of the scientific argument. — A second edition of Leslie Stephen’s History of English Thought, in two volumes, has been issued by G. P. Putnam’s Sons. There is no mention of its variation from the first edition of four or five years ago.

History and Antiquity. Major J. W. Powell, the director of the Bureau of Ethnology in the Smithsonian Institution, has issued a second edition of an Introduction to the Study of Indian Languages, with words, phrases, and sentences to be collected, the first edition of which appeared in 1877. The book is a practical one, a body of directions for collectors, and offers the latest and fullest help that can be given in the work of a study of tribes through their language. — An Anecdotal History of the British Parliament from the Earliest Periods to the Present Time, with notices of eminent parliamentary men, and examples of their oratory compiled from authentic sources, by George Henry Jennings (Appletons), is a curious illustration of the social as well as political force exercised by the British Parliament. All lines of English life converge toward Westminster Hall in a degree unknown in any other country, and the reader of this entertaining book will find himself continually in the company of the men who make England.—In the New Plutarch series will be found a historical sketch of Haroun Alraschid, that supposed imaginary friend of our childhood, by E. H. Palmer. (Putnams.) The sketch necessarily includes a survey of Saracen civilization. — Dr. S. A. Green’s The Early Records of Groton, Moss., 1(562-1707 (Williams), should be mentioned as the careful work of a thoroughly equipped antiquarian.— S. S. Rider, of Providence, publishes William Miller’s Notes concerning Wampanoag Tribe of Indians, with account of a rock picture on the shore of Mt. Hope Bay. —Ebenezer W. Peirce is the editor of Civil, Military, and Professional Lists of Plymouth and Rhode Island Colonies, comprising colonial, county, and town officers, clergymen, physicians, and lawyers; with extracts from colonial laws defining their duties, 1621-1700 (Williams).

Science. The twenty-ninth volume of the International Scientific Series is The Atomic Theory, by Ad. Wurtz. (Appletons.) It is at once a history and a confirmation. — The Cause of Color among Races, by Dr. W. Sharpe (Putnams), is a discursive and occasionally, as in the last pages, screaming essay. — Island Life, by Alfred R. Wallace (Harpers), is further described on the titlepage as the phenomena and causes of insular faunas and floras, including a revision and attempted solution of the problem of geological climates. It is furnished with maps and illustrations.

Poetry and the Drama. Commander William Gibson, of the U. S. Navy, has collected a volume of Poems of Many Years and Many Places (Lee and Shepard), which will recall to the diligent reader verses which he met long ago in the early literary magazines, and some which have since appeared in The Atlantic and elsewhere. —Father Ryan’s Poems (Baltimore: Piet) had already shown themselves in a plainer edition ; they now appear in semi-holiday guise, prefaced, however, by the same hastily-inspired portrait.—The eleventh volume of Mr. Hudson’s Harvard Shakespeare (Ginn and Heath) contains King Henry IV., both parts; the twelfth, Henry V. and Henry VIII. — Mr, Richard Gerner (Hoboken, N. J.) sends what he calls an Advance Edition of the Infernal Comedy, with request to reviewers to read the entire work, and then give their candid opinion; ours can be had easily, — that the book had best go in the list of errata on the second page of the cover. It is all a mistake. — The poems of the Author of John Halifax, Gentleman, as Mrs. Craik prefers to be called in her books, have been collected, with additions, into a single volume under the title of Thirty Years: Poems New and Old. (Houghton, Mifflin & Co.) She is always a humane poet, and her poems rarely travel very far from the golden mile-stone. — The Pilgrimage of Light is a poem in three cantos, by Alfred A. Stelle, printed at Meadville, Pa. — The Actor and his Art, by C. Coquelin, of the Comédie Française, is a little treatise upon the pregnant theme that the actor is an artist, and must treat his material as a painter his, or a poet his. It is translated by Miss Alger. (Roberts.) — A second series of Quiet Hours (Roberts) has been prepared by the same competent hand that collected the first series of poems. A wide range of poetry is drawn from to obtain calm and noble verse upon the religious and meditative aspects of life. — The Conqueror’s Dream and Other Poems is a volume by W. Sharpe, M. D., whose experiences as a surgeon in the British army in remote countries have furnished him with a good deal of Oriental bricabrac. (Putnams.)

Criticism. Somebody who entirely hides himself behind the name of E. Junius has written and printed a little pamphlet called Critical Dialogues between Aboo and Caboo on a new book, or a Grandissime Ascension, which is fictitiously published in a fictitious city, so that we cannot advise our readers where to obtain a sputter of spite against Mr. Cable’s novel. No one would thank us, however, if we were to persuade them to hunt for it. — Sanskrit and its Kindred Literatures, by Laura Elizabeth Poor (Roberts), is an essay toward the development of literature; it makes slight professions of original research, but gives the reader a somewhat uncritical survey of the work done by masters in this field. — An address was delivered last July before the Ladies Memorial Association of Montgomery County, Virginia, by J. B. Wardlaw, Jr., upon Southern Literature, its Status and Outlook (Macon, Ga.: J. W. Burke & Co.), in which the orator states some excellent truths regarding the vital connection of literature and nationality, but constantly assumes the South to be an imperium in imperio. —The latest volume of English Men of Letters is Wordsworth, by F. W. H. Myers. (Harpers.) It seems a pity that more should not be made of the interesting subject of Wordsworth’s prose. — The series of English Philosophers, suggested apparently by the English Men of Letters, opens with a monograph on Adam Smith, by J. A. Farrer. (Putnams.)

Fiction. Ilka on the Hill-Top gives the title to a volume of stories in which it stands first, by H. H. Boyesen (Scribners), a volume having a flavor distinctly Mr. Boyesen’s own, unless we say, indeed, that he has introduced a drop or two of Scandinavian essence into the realism of American life. — Revelations of a Boston Physician (Boston : A. Williams & Co.), who is C. W. Stevens, is the amplified note-book of a doctor whose practice has taken him into some by-ways of life. The stories, he tells us, are true, or substantially true, a saving clause, which, for his own sake, when he revisits his patients, we will hope to be expansive. — Under Slieve-Ban, by R. E. Francillon, is the latest issue of the Leisure-Hour Series. (Holt.) — All Alone, by Theuriet, has been added to Appletons’ New Handy Volume Series. — There is a new novel by George Macdonald, Mary Marston. (Appletons.) — The latest issues of the Franklin Square Library (Harpers) are Love and Life, an old story in Eighteenth Century costume, by Charlotte M. Yonge; The Rebel of the Family, by E. Lynn Linton; Dr. Wortle’s School, by Anthony Trollope ; Little Pansy, by Mrs. Randolph; and The Dean’s Wife, by Mrs. C. J. Eiloart.

Medicine and Hygiene. Dr. George M. Beard reprints from the Boston Medical and Surgical Journal his recent paper on The Asvlums of Europe, written in sympathy with the National Association for the Protection of the Insane.—The eighth number of Appletons’ Health Primers is occupied with The Heart and its Functions. — American Sanitary Engineering, by Edward S. Philbrick (New York: The Sanitary Engineer), is a volume of lectures having practical reference to conditions of American life and climate.

Geography and Travel. It is with a little hesitation that we place under this heading Mr. Archibald Forbes’s Glimpses through the Cannon Smoke (Osgood), but it would be more unjust to refer the book to fiction. The sketches are animated souvenirs of adventure in widely remote places, the bright recollections of a war correspondent, who was by no means a lover of the sanguinary. The sketches and stories show that Mr. Forbes will not lose his hold of the public when wars have ceased. — New Guinea; What I Did, and What I Saw, by. M. d’Albertis (Houghton, Mifflin & Co.), is a traveler’s diary of careful observation and summary of results reached during several journeys in New Guinea, from 1871 to 1877. The successive explorations give opportunity for both lirst impressions and maturer convictions. The work is in two octavo volumes well illustrated. The portrait of the author gives him the air of an Assyrian.

Political Economy. The Gold Standard: Its Causes, its Effects, and its Future, from the German of Baron William von Kardorff-Wabnitz, is published by H. C. Baird & Co., Philadelphia. The author is a disciple of Mr. Carey, a high protectionist and strong advocate of a double standard,

Domestic and Social Economy. European Modes of Living (Putnams) is the title of a brochure by Sarah Gilman Young, containing random notes upon the neglect of living in apartments. The writer advocates the more general introduction of flats into American life, and is in this in excellent company. Some of her strictures, however, apply to American life of ten years ago, rather than to that of to-day, and how rapidly change goes on here in modes of living! —Miss Parloa’s New Cook Book (Estes and Lauriat) belongs to the modern class of works which treat living at once as a fine art and an economy. They go back of catching the hare, for they advise concerning utensils and fuel; science lends its hand, but not ostentatiously, and the housekeeper, armed with this book, may go to market courageously.

Books for Young People. The Adventures of a Donkey (Baltimore: Piet) is one of the graceful moral tales of the Countess Ségur. The French can carry such a conceit through a book without faltering. The translation here is careful and fairly sprightly.

Education. Mr. Hudson’s School Shakespeare (Ginn and Heath) includes King Richard III. and the first part of Henry IV. ; the editorial work is characterized as before by honesty and blunfcness. — The superintendent of public instruction in Indiana, James H. Smart, has reprinted from his State Report a collection of interesting and suggestive papers upon Books and Reading for the Young (Indianapolis : Carlon and Hollenbeck), which attack the subject from different sides, but always with practical purpose. —The Forty-Ninth Annual Report of the Trustees of the Perkins Institution and Massachusetts School for the Blind has been issued. (Rand, Avery & Co.) — Ginn and Heath issue March’s A B C book, which begins with writing and reading and ends with the alphabet. Professor F. A. March is a competent apostle of the improved method.

Biography. Goethe’s Mother (Dodd, Mead & Co.) is the title of a volume composed chiefly of the letters which she wrote to her son, to Lavater, Wieland, and others, with their replies. The letters have been excellently illustrated with running comment, chiefly biographical, by the translator, Alfred S. Gibbs, whose fitness for the task is shown not only by the workmanship of the book, but by an affectionate memorial sketch from his friend, Mr. Clarence Cook. The book is an agreeable addition to Goetheana. — An edition of William Stigand’s The Life, Work, and Opinions of Heinrich Heine has been issued here by Mr. Bouton. There is something humorous in an English introduction of Heine, and the timidity of the author in facing his own countrymen, with Heine at his side, is amusingly shown in the preface, — An edition of Fagan’s Life and Correspondence of Sir Anthony Panizzi, the librarian of the British Museum, has been imported by Houghton, Mifflin & Co., and bears their imprint. Panizzi was a man of extraordinary positiveness and indomitable courage, who conquered for himself a place in the citadel of insular England, and held it not without some of the arts of an Italian. The biographer has perhaps too minute a sympathy with his chief’s bibliographic labors to make his book as popular as it might have been, but there is perhaps no reason why there should not be Lives of librarians as well as of chancellors, and Panizzi was a master in his situation. The book is introduced by Mr. Henry Stevens, who promises a third volume of his own personal reminiscences It is to be hoped that he is not responsible for this specimen of London printing. — Messrs. Peterson send out a fresh edition of the autobiography of Vidocq, with an introduction by Dr. R. Shelton Mackenzie, who sketches his own acquaintance with the detective.— Mr. Edward S. Holden, of the United States Naval Observatory, has deserved well of all students by giving a study of Sir William Herschel, his Life and Works (Scribners), based upon printed material, but well digested and useful to many to whom Herschel is only a name.—Life and Correspondence of the Rt. Rev. Samuel Seaburv, by Dr. E. E. Beardsley (Houghton, Mifflin & Co.), will have a strong interest for the historical student as well as the ecclesiastical; the figure of the first bishop of the Episcopal Church in America is a striking one, well rescued by Dr. Beardsley from a merely temporary obscurity. The contribution to our history is very welcome. Judge Shea, in his Hamilton, had given an inkling of the wealth of material gathered in it. — A series of Heroes of Christian History has been begun with a life of Henry Martyn, the missionary, by Chas. D. Bell. (Armstrong.)

Music. Mr. L. W. Mason, late superintendent of music in the public schools of Boston, has prepared a collection of unsectarian hymns for use in high and normal schools, entitled The National Hymn and Tune Book. (Ginn and Heath.) It seems carefully to avoid hymns fervid with religious passion.

Business. Mr. Alex. D. Anderson has prepared a compact statement of the enterprise known as The Tehuantepec Inter-Ocean Railroad (Barnes), showing the advantages of the route and the character of the country traversed.

Bibliography. Mr. Bouton sends out a limited edition of a little book which just misses gracefulness entitled Bibliomania in the Present Day in France and England, translated from the French of Philomneste Junior. It is chiefly occupied with the adventures of celebrated books, and contains also a short biography of the eminent binder, Trautz Bauzonnet, whose portrait, the very ideal of a fine workman, faces the title-page.