Books of the Month

Lexicography. The new edition of Worcester’s Quarto Dictionary (Lippincott) differs from former ones by the addition of an important supplement and a vocabulary of synonyms. The supplement, containing about twelve thousand five hundred words, was prepared by James Hunter, with assistants, and had also the benefit of the experience and learning of Dr. Thomas and the late Dr. Haldeman. The great source of accretions has necessarily been science, but creative literature has not been overlooked, and the pages of our own writers have evidently been gleaned with care. The dictionary had the advantage of following Webster’s latest, and could use the criticisms passed upon that. We have been interested to see that our own suggestions in noticing Webster have been largely availed of in this work. The public may be congratulated on getting two good dictionaries instead of one, for each acts as a stimulus and check to the other. The cause of sound learning is helped by this scholarly rivalry. — A novelty which is more than a novelty is Kwong’s Dictionary of English Phrases (Barnes), a stout octavo contribution to the anatomy of English idioms by an educated Chinaman. Mr. Kwong set out to make a book for his countrymen, and by the way has produced a most interesting book for English-speaking people. He has taken the picturesque phrases which we use, often without a thought of their unintelligibility upon the lower plane of the understanding, and has translated them into matter-offact language. The book becomes thus a most curious commentary upon the character of our vernacular, and only lacks the historical genesis of the phrases to be a singularly important contribution to linguistics. It is interesting to see how, occasionally, the author has unconsciously translated one picturesque phrase by another which was more familiar to him, and how hard it has been to get away from the figurative even in definition.

Social Science. Mr. Henry George, whose Progress and Poverty was lately reviewed by us, has published through Appletons a pamphlet on The Irish Land Question, what it involves, and how alone it can be settled. Mr. George’s position that private property in land blocks the way of all civilization is maintained in this explosive little book.

History and Antiquities. The late Mr. George Smith’s The Chaldæan Account of Genesis has been revised and corrected by Prof. A. H. Sayce. (Scribners.) The period of five years which has elapsed since the first edition has been one fruitful in investigation and criticism. — The Past in the Present: What is Civilization ? is the title of a volume of lectures by Dr. Arthur Mitchell, a Scottish antiquary (Harpers), in which he undertakes to illustrate primitive life from familiar implements still in use, and to inquire into the philosophy of civilization. The mistake of the school of sociology to which Dr. Mitchell appears to belong is in the ignorance of all but conventional forces; spirit ual facts are counted out as if they did not exist. — Two more volumes have been published of Memoirs of Prince Metternich. (Scribners.) They embrace the years 1815-1829, and deal principally with the internal affairs of the Austrian empire in the years 1816 and 1817; the period of the congresses, 1818 to 1822; and the complications arising from the Russian advance upon Turkey, ending in 1829, If novel-readers only knew how vastly more interesting were political and literary memoirs than any but the very best and infrequent novels! —Mr. Frederick Martin’s useful The Statesman’s Year-Book has been issued for 1881. (Macmillan.) It is the eighteenth annual publication of this statistical and historical annual of the states of the civilized world. It is so recent as to have such details of the United States census as were given in January, 1881. — In Epochs of Ancient History (Scribners), the latest issue is Rome and Carthage: The Punic Wars, by R. Bosworth Smith, an abridgment of the author’s larger work on Carthage and the Carthaginians, in which the generous instinct to support the under dog in a light is not disregarded.—In the Epochs of Modern History (Scribners), the latest volume is F. W. Longman’s Frederick the Great and the Seven Years War. It is furnished with maps.

Poetry and the Drama. The third and fourth volumes of Mr. Ward’s The English Poets have been published (Macmillan), completing the work. The first poet included in the third volume is Addison, the last in the fourth is Dobell. Each writer, according to the plan, is represented by judicious selection and introduced by special criticism. The survey thus obtained has the double advantage that the poet does not depend solely on himself nor solely on his friend. — Under the Mistletoe, and Other Poems, by Edward L. Fales, is a pamphlet collection which comes to us from the author in Minneapolis. — Broken Thoughts is the longest poem of a little volume to which it gives a name. It is by G. L. B., and dedicated to J. A. O. and J. S. M. W. Only publishers require to have their names given in full. (Putnams.) — Miss H. W. Preston in her metrical translation of The Georgics of Vergil (Osgood) has made a positive addition to our stock of poetry. Her conception of the translator’s aim is always clear, and her faithfulness is a loving as well as conscientious one. — J. S. Ogilvie & Co., of New York, come to the rescue of persons solicited to write in albums by offering a compilation of more than three hundred selections, many of which, we are told, are original. These probably are to answer the demand, “ Please write something original.”

Bibliography. Putnam’s Library Companion, edited by F. B. Perkins, is a quarterly summary of books, authors, and prices, but without publishers’ names, and the bound volume for 1880 is a tidy book of seventy-four pages. It is frankly in the interest of the publishers, both as such and as booksellers, but is made with judgment. — The American View of the Copyright Question is a reprint, by Richard Grant White, of an article which he contributed to the Broadway magazine in 1868, with notes and additions intended to make it of special service in the present discussion of the question. Mr. White’s position is that which has been growing in favor since his earlier advocacy, —the repeal of copyright statutes, with a view to leaving author’s property to the protection of the common law. His brochure is interesting for another point, since it shows the Englishman clearly that the American indifference or hostility to international copyright is incidental to a protective policy: the protection, however, is to manufacture, not to thought, and though publishers and manufacturers are the partners of authors, and their natural allies, the interests of authors have not always been put in the front by their partners. (Routledge.)

Science. The latest volume of the International Scientific Series (Appleton) is Dr. Joseph Le Conte’s Sight: An Exposition of the Principles of Monocular and Binocular Vision, in which he has aimed to meet the wants both of the intelligent reader and of the specialist. — Problems of Creation, by J. Stanley Grimes (Chicago: H. A. Sumner), has to do with the origin of matter and force, of the solar system, oceans, continents, and similar small fry, which are disposed of in fifty-eight pages ; and then follows a final problem, which is headed Phreno-Geology, which has two hundred pages given to it, and wild horses shall not drag from us what phreno-geology is. — The Causes which produce the Great Prevailing Winds and Ocean Currents, and their Effects on Climate, is a thoughtful pamphlet, by C. A. M. Taber. (Boston : David Clapp & Son.)

Biography. Sister Augustine, an Old Catholic (Holt), is a translation from the German memorials of Amalie von Lasaulx, who was superior of the Sisters of Charity in the St. Johannis Hospital at Bonn. The book belongs in the order of books which includes Sister Dora, Baroness Bunsen, Memorials of a Quiet Life, records of a noble Christianity which fuses creeds and philosophies into a high personal faith. — Carlyle’s Reminiscences, edited by J. A. Froude (Scribners), comes with astonishing celerity after the author’s death. It was not necessary to have Carlyle hot, but it is none the less agreeable, when so immense a friend has died, to hear at once that voice, so long heard, pouring out again free speech upon the most personal of topics. The book belongs to the order of high gossip. The same work is issued by the Harpers in cloth and in the Franklin Square Library.— The New England Historical Genealogical Society, has begun the publication of a series of Memorial Biographies, to include the names of its deceased members. The first volume, a comedy octavo, contains short sketches of twoscore gentlemen who died in the first eight years of the society’s existence, that is 1845-1852. The value of the work depends not so much on the brief lives of eminent men, like J. Q. Adams, Albert Gallatin, Henry Clay, and Daniel Webster, excellently as these are done by competent hands, for one may find the material elsewhere, as on the sympathetic and interesting sketches of village Hampdens, which would otherwise be lost, and are too good to be lost. The book is readable now, and will be a storehouse for future students in New England society.

Text-Books and Education. A Manual of Suggestions for Teaching Fractions, by W. W. Davis, (Syracuse, N. Y., C, W. Bardeen), is intended especially to accompany a fractional apparatus invented by the author, which he conceives to have a use in developing the idea of fractions by an appeal to the senses. To break a stick in halves makes two sticks, and not two halves of one stick ; hence the invention of an apparatus to obviate this difficulty. — By the same publisher is issued a pamphlet under the title of The New York Examination Questions, containing about three thousand questions in the range of school work, which have been given at all the examinations for state certificates up to date. — The Spirit of Education, by the Abbé Amable Béesau, translated by Mrs. E. M. McCarthy (same publisher), is a somewhat emotional treatise on education, written in a temper which renders it especially acceptable to the Roman Catholic church.—The Schoolmaster’s Trial, by A. Perry (Scribners), might go under Fiction, for it is a story; but if put there, it would be necessary to apologize for removing it from Education, since the purpose of the story is not only to picture certain phases of school life, but to contribute to better views of education.—Two new numbers have been issued in Rolfe’s School Shakespeare (Harpers), The Timing of the Shrew and All’s Well that Ends Well. Mr. Rolfe keeps to his well-considered plan of giving the reader a condensation of the best Shakespearean criticism. — Romeo and Juliet and King Henry VIII. have been added to Mr. Hudson’s School Shakespeare. (Ginn & Heath.)

Fiction. Mr. J. W. Forney, with the somewhat mysterious assistance of W. M. Baker has produced a novel entitled The New Nobility, a story of Europe and America; the old and exploded caste is also mentioned in the work. (Appletons.)

— The latest volume of the Leisure Hour Series (Holt) is The Leaden Casket, by Mrs. A. W. Hunt. One’s curiosity is piqued by the prefatory note that “the author has availed herself of the collaboration of an American friend in preparing this edition, with reference to American standards.”Standards of what ? — morality, culture, spelling? Or, perhaps, from the title, one may surmise platform scales.—A new edition has been published by Peterson of Frank Forester’s Sporting Scenes and Characters, in two volumes. A new biographical sketch of the author (Henry William Herbert) is prefixed to the edition. — Flirtation Camp; or, The Rifle, Rod, and Gun in California, is a breezy story, by Theodors S. Van Dyke. (Fords, Howard and Hulbert.) — Miss Amanda M. Douglas’s latest novel is Lost in a Great City. (Lee & Shepard.)—Ploughed Under, the Story of an Indian Chief (Fords, Howard and Hulbert), is in the form of fiction, but is occupied, we are assured, with unmistakable facts of Indian life in its conflict with American civilization. The nervous introduction by Inshta Theamba (Bright Eyes) at once induces the reader’s respect and serious attention. — Linda; or, The Young Pilot of the Belle Creole, by Caroline Lee Hentz (Petersons), is a new edition of a novel which has enjoyed popularity.— The latest of Zola’s novels to see the light in English is Thérèse Raquin, translated by John Stirling. (Petersons.) It is a horrible story.— Mrs. Frances Hodgson Burnett’s A Fair Barbarian (Osgood) attacks again the weighty problem of the American girl’s behavior in the presence of Europe. Mrs. Burnett’s patriotism and art may both be trusted.

Philosophy and Religion. The growing literature about China is increased by a work from a competent hand, Dr. James Legge, who has published his lectures on The Religions of China, Confucianism and Tâoism, described and compared with Christianity. (Scribners.) It is not entirely certain, however, that Dr. Legge’s statement of Christianity is complete. He seems to regard it too much in the light of a religion.—Two volumes of sermons by the late Dr. E. H. Chapin, God’s Requirements and other Sermons and The Church of the Living God and other Sermons (Miller), come as a timely memorial of a man who was an intellectual and spiritual force. — The series of English Philosophers belongs under this division rather than under Biography, since the treatment is but briefly biographical; the main work is expended in an exposition of the philosophic creed of the subject. The latest volume is Sir William Hamilton, by Professor W. H. S. Monck. (Putnams. ) The series is edited by Ivan Müller, of New College, Oxford, and is to have an Introduction to the Study of Philosophy by Professor H. Sidgwick. — The indefatigable and virile John Bascom has added to his various philosophical works one on The Science of Mind. (Putnams.) If this author had the mastery of style he would before this have made a more emphatic mark in literature. — A volume of sermons has been published from those preached by the late Dr. Rudder, a leading clergyman of the Episcopal church in Philadelphia. The volume is introduced by the Rev. Henry C. Potter. (Porter & Coates.) — The main subject of G. Stanley Hall’s Aspects of German Culture (Osgood) leads us to place it under Philosophy. The author gives in the volume the results of observation and study in Germany of an American student, whose tastes led him to inquire particularly into the current phases of philosophical science. The book is made up of papers for the most part contributed to The Nation of New York. — Dean Stanley’s Christian Institutions (Scribners) is a collection of essays, in which he applies a historical method and a judicial temper to fundamental institutions of Christianity, with the purpose of discovering the essentials existing both in the earlier and in the present stage.

Medicine and Hygiene. The Human Body, an account of its structure and activities and the condition of its healthy working, by H. Newell Martin, M. D. (Holt), is a volume in the American Science Series, intended for use in high schools and colleges; it is, however, more than a textbook, or rather it belongs to a class of text-books, growing in number and importance, which are also compendiums of the latest results in scientific study, and useful to the student as positive guides in his own investigations.

Economics. Mr. Augustus Mongredien has written a succinct History of the Free-Trade Movement in England (Putnams), which is intended for a defense of the policy. The book is written by an Englishman, and may be read with more satisfaction that it is not offensively a missionary document for circulation in this country; it has the customary assumptions of free-trade doctrinaires. Published also by Cassell.

Fine Arts. Mr. Charles M. Kurtz has begun the preparation of American Academy Notes, a pamphlet intended to do for the exhibitions of the National Academy of Design what Mr. Henry Blackburn’s Academy Notes do in England. The note consists of memoranda both in the form of text and of picture, for the chief paintings in the exhibition are represented in it by miniature copies by some one of the many “processes.” The design is good and well carried out. (Cassell.) — The March number of the American Art Review (Estes & Lauriat) has for its etchings Henry Farrer’s Sunset, Gowanus Bay, Mrs. Moran’s Solitude, and a View of Dordrecht, painted by Jan van Goyen and etched by L. Fischer. The Water Color exhibition in New York and the Art Club exhibition in Boston are described with illustrative memoranda.