Books of the Month

Art. The initial volume of L’Art for the present year (J. W. Bouton, New York) is unusually rich in the department of etching. If the letterpress of L’Art were not so carefully prepared and so valuable in material, one would be tempted to remove some of these elegant planches from the context and frame them. For this purpose we should certainly select Teyssonnière’s Piazza of St. Mark, the Pont des Saintes-Pères of Lucien Gautier, Leon Gancherel’s La Lande de Kerrenic, the San Giorgio Maggiore, by Boulard fils, and tin Début à l’Atelier of Edward Ramus, after the original by Maurice Bompard. The volume contains twenty-six full-page plates, fifteen of which are etchings. The latter prove what we have long suspected, that the French artists of to-day are more skillful with the steel-point than with the graver. That precision and rapidity of touch which are necessary to the etching belong by nature to a Frenchman. Though there are many finished wood-cuts in the present volume, they by no means represent its highest excellence. The literature of L’ Art is always unexceptionable; the collected numbers of a few months constitute a library of admirable critical, historical, and archæological papers. Among the more important articles in the issue under consideration are the conclusion of M. Hédou’s notice of Noel le Mire, M. August Weber’s Souvenirs de Quelques Galeries Romaines, and M. Monceau’s studies on Les Tapisseries de l’Ancien Chapitre d’ Auxerre. — Mr. Bouton sends also a copy of the Catalogue Illustré du Salon for 1882 (L. Baschet, Paris), a full catalogue of titles, with a liberal collection of rude memoranda of the paintings and statues in the form of photolithographic plates. It is a pity that these have no index.

Biblical Criticism. Onesimus, Memoirs of a Disciple of St. Paul, by the author of Philochristus (Roberts), is one of the reproductions of early Christianity in literary form, which appear to have come again into favor, after nearly a generation of silence. It is difficult in such works to avoid the labor of educating the readers who are to enjoy the book. — Porter & Coates have improved the Comparative New Testament, which they were one of the first to issue after the appearance of the Revision, by incorporating in the text the readings preferred by the American Committee, by furnishing a history of the Revision, and in minor ways rendering their edition more complete.— The Gospel according to Matthew is the first volume in the series of The International Revision Commentary on the New Testament, edited by Dr. Philip Schaff. (Scribners.) It is simply the Illustrated Popular Commentary reproduced with the Revision text. Such works may serve to fasten the Revision, but the excuse fora new commentary does not seem to us very important. We are repeatedly told that the Revision disturbs no truth in the New Testament. Why, then, should it require a commentary of its own?

Political Economy. Pleas for Protection Examined, by Augustus Mongredien (Cassell), is one of the pamphlets of the Cobden Club. Mr. Mongredien gives notice that these are chapters taken in advance from a larger work upon which he is engaged. He considers the question purely as a commercial one, apparently. — The Social Law of Labor (Roberts) is the title which Mr. W. B. Weeden gives to his book, in which he endeavors to present the questions of capital and labor with direct reference to the society in which the questions are asked. He has, he thinks, discovered in society an order which transcends the church, the state, the family, and the individual. Whatever may be the worth of his discovery, he is right in this, that no solution of the problem of capital and labor can possibly be reached which regards them, as so many writers appear to regard them, as distinct individualities. It is only as an order, as relations, are apprehended that such questions can even be asked fairly. We think, however, that he does not sufficiently regard the distinction between the state and the nation.— Capital and Population, by Frederick B. Hawley (Appleton?), is a study of the economic effects of their relations to each other. The book is substantially a critique of Mill’s Principles, carrying forward those principles, as the author conceives, into their logical consequences. — Currency, or The Fundamental Principles of Monetary Science, postulated, explained, and applied, by Hugh Bowlby Willson (Putnams), aims to demonstrate the possibility of a purely automatic method of supplying both coined and paper money through a universal monetary system. His book will receive the attention of students. — The seventh of the Economic Tracts, published by the Society for Political Education in New York, is Money and its Substitute, by Horace White, an essay prepared originally for Mr. Lalor’s Cyclopædia. Mr. White’s training as a journalist gives him an advantage in presenting his subject, and within brief limits he furnishes a clear outline.

Travel and Adventure. The Gypsies, by Charles G. Leland (Houghton,. Mifflin & Co.), will be received with interest by all who know Mr. Leland’s long familiarity with the subject; and so much entertaining and curious information about this people cannot elsewhere be found, — Osgood’s Pocket Guide to Europe (Osgood) condenses travel advice almost to a memorandum. It reads as if compiled by various persons, or by an editor who has his strong preferences. Warwick, for instance, has more notice than Amsterdam. As a rule, one who goes to a small town is likely to see everything without any other than local advice ; it is in the large cities where he will waste his energies in finding the most important sights. The book, however, seems business-like. — Among the Azores, by Lyman H. Weeks (Osgood), has the advantage of a fresh subject; and though Mr. Weeks is not a specially graceful writer, he is a faithful one, and his little book will carry a substantial knowledge of the islands and the life on them. — Orient Sunbeams, or From the Porte to the Pyramids, by Way of Palestine (Putnams), continues the journey taken last summer by S. S. Cox. Mr. Cox is an irrepressibly good-natured traveler. — The Index Guide to Travel and Art-Study in Europe, by Lafayette C. Loomis (Scribners), is a compendium of geographical, historical, and artistic information for the use of Americans. It deals with art, scenery, history, legend, and myths; it has plans and catalogues of galleries, arid it draws up routes of travel. The alphabetical arrangement of the greater part of the contents is a feature which is gradually being accepted as the most convenient in such hooks. The compactness of this work and its comprehensiveness are likely to make it useful and popular.

History and Biography. Mr. Jebb’s Richard Bentley, in the series English Men of Letters (Harpers), will do something toward affording the general reader some notion of the racy material which gathers about the life of Bentley, and will give a little more definiteness to a figure which scholars have cherished as their humorist. — Last Days of Knickerbocker Life in New York, by Abram C. Dayton (Harlan), is the reminiscences of an old gentleman whose memory was sound for all events up to 1837, which he makes the date of the end of the Knickerbocker dynasty. The pictures which he draws of life in New York are full of interesting material, and the reader will amuse himself with them even though he find the narrator sometimes a little garrulous and prosy. — The Naval War of 1812, or The History of the United States Navy during the last War with Great Britain, by Theodore Roosevelt (Putnams), is an interesting and needed contribution to our history, written by a man who is cool enough to be an impartial narrator, and patriotic enough to recognize the true import of the struggle. — Victor Hugo and his Time, by Alfred Barbou, translated from the French by Ellen E. Frewer (Harpers), is scarcely an anticipation of the poet’s biography. Call no man happy until he is dead, when he can no longer, it is to be hoped, read the gushing praise of his too ardent followers, and see the text interspersed with dismal engravings of, by, and about him. Still this volume will furnish the reader with a variety of details respecting Victor Hugo and contemporary comment, although the spirit in which it is conceived renders one skeptical of its accuracy of statement. — Some Experiences of a Barrister’s Life, by Mr. Serjeant Ballantine (Holt), is a somewhat disappointing book. It is apparently an index to a lost memory. The writer names one man after another whom he knew, and tells what a fine fellow he was, but just as the reader settles himself to enjoy this comrade he sees him walk off, leaving nothing but his name and an air of excellence behind him; or Mr, Serjeant Ballantine tells us that he has a good story to tell, and begins to laugh over it, but the story does not get told, and our laugh is postponed.— Montesquieu’s Consideration on the Causes of the Grandeur and Decadence of the Romans is a new translation, together with an introduction, critical and illustrative notes, and an analytical index, by John Baker. (Appletons.) The work, while containing Montesquieu’s treatise unimpaired, has also a large embroidery of notes by the translator, who makes it the occasion for a philosophical study of considerable acuteness. — The second volume of Mr. James Schouler’s History of the United States of America under the Constitution (William H. Morrison, Washington) carries the work forward from 1801 to 1817, and is, like the previous volume, furnished with many curious details, which the author’s diligence has accumulated from a variety of material. This and a singularly rococo style for a historian are the first characteristics to impress the reader.— The Russian Empire, its Origin and Development, by S. B. Boulton (Cassell), is a small hand-book of combined history and description; it is well written and interesting, more than could be expected of so concise a work. — Giovanni Ruffim is a biographical and literary study, by Professor Arturo Linaker. A lithographic portrait of Ruffini’s fine head fronts the title-page. (Fratelli Bocca, Florence, Turin, and Rome.)—John C. Calhoun, by Dr, H. von Holst, is the latest issue in the series of American Statesmen. (Houghton, Mifflin & Co.)— Henry W. Longfellow, Biography, Anecdotes, Letters, Criticism, by W. Sloane Kennedy (Moses King, Cambridge), is a compilation drawn from the multitudinous sources which have been opened, especially since the poet’s death. The editor has taken pains, and though the labor of reading so many newspaper extracts is somewhat fatiguing, there is some interest attaching to the survey thus permitted. The biography at the close is a valuable feature, for which the editor is mainly indebted to that published in the Literary World. — Mr. F. H. Underwood’s sketch of Longfellow (Osgood) is a more deliberate and orderly production, although by the author’s confession its final form is a concession to the supposed need of the public for early intelligence. There is more criticism in this work, but it is nearly all Mr. Underwood’s. The preface also contains an interesting piece of autobiography, and since the work includes comment upon the poet’s contemporaries, it is a pity that this bit of personal history could not have been expanded as a contribution to literary history. — Mr. E. A. Freeman brings nearly to a conclusion his history of the Norman Conquest of England in the Reign of William Rufus and the accession of Henry the First, in two volumes. (At the Clarendon Press, Oxford.) With maps.—The ninth volume of Campaigns of the Civil War (Scribners) is Atlanta, by Jacob D. Cox, LL. D.

Fiction. Family Fortunes, a domestic story, by Edward Garrett (Dodd, Mead & Co.), is a refined story of sentiment, with the customary Scotch figures. It would seem as if Scotland had invented no new characters since story books began to be written, but perhaps what we vaguely want is a new Scotch language. —Edmond de Goncourt’s La Faustin has been translated by John Stirling. (Petersons.) The English version, with all its erasures and coverings, seems to make the story even more gross than the original, for the bouquet of the French has disappeared, and so long as that lasted one might feel an illusion of the supersense,— Plain-Speaking, by the author of John Halifax, Esq. (Harpers), is a collection of studies, stories, sketches, and essays, which are apparently the chips of Mrs. Craik’s workshop, or, more accurately, the snippings of her piece-bag. What an extraordinary difference between the moral tone of this and the last book, and between the technical excellence of the two!—Nicholas Minturn and Miss Gilbert’s Career have been added to the new and neat series of Dr. Holland’s complete writings. (Scribners.) — The Revolt of Man (Holt) is Number 136 of the Leisure Hour Series ; a satirical novel, in which the author performs the mental gymnastic of landing in the next century at a point when men, who have been excluded from their present position, regain the ascendency in affairs. The story moves in shackles, and can scarcely be recommended as more than a somewhat trying piece of ingenuity. — The Villa Bohemia, by Marie Le Baron (Kochendoerfer & Urie, New York), is the light and trifling story of how several girls who set up a declaration of independence in the country were captured by their natural enemy. It is written in school-girl English. — A Reverend Idol (Osgood) represents a somewhat higher grade of the same order. It is a diffuse feminine novel. — Dick’s Wandering, by Julian Sturgis (Houghton, Mifflin & Co.) will be agreeably welcomed by those who have read this young author’s former story of John-a-Dreams. Guerndale, an Old Story, by J. S. of Dale (Scribners), is likely to give a fillip to the palate of the satiated novel-reader.— Recent numbers of the Franklin Square Library (Harpers) are Mary Cecil Hay’s Dorothy’s Venture, Beggar my Neighbor, by E. D. Gerard, Mount Royal, by M. E. Braddon, and Trollope’s latest two, Marion Fay and Why Frau Frohmann Raised her Prices, and other stories.— South-Mountain Magic, a narrative by Madeleine Vinton Dahlgren (Osgood), is a collection of sketches of life and superstitions, drawn by the writer from her residence among the dwellers about South Mountain of the Blue Ridge.— Barriers Burned Away, by E. P. Roe (Dodd, Mead & Co.), is issued anew in a revised edition, which bids for a large public, since it is published in a three-columned paper style, and, like other large paper books, is strictly limited in number, a hundred thousand copies only being printed.—There is no English word quite vile enough to characterize the vileness of Zola’s last novel — in the original. In the translation, by John Stirling (T. B. Peterson & Bros.), the vileness is veiled in a manner that will be disappointing to the class of readers to which Pot-Bouille is addressed; for the translator, evidently having the fear of the police in his eves, has stopped short of actual obscenity. He has managed, however, to add to the book a vulgarity which it does not possess in the original French, — a vulgar prose style. “ A crowd of carriages stopped the fiacre, on which were three trunks, and in which was Octave on his way from the Lyons station.” Octave in three trunks ! It is a dull story at best; in Mr. Stirling’s hands its dullness is phenomenal. — The fourth volume of Bret Harte’s collected writings (Houghton, Mifflin & Co.) contains the author’s single essay in the field of the novelist, Gabriel Conroy. This novel is now for the first time placed in book-form in the hands of the trade, it having previously been issued only by subscription.

Theology and Philosophy. The Book of Enoch, translated from the Ethiopia, with introduction and notes, by Rev. George H. Schodde, Ph. D., professor in Capital University, Columbus, Ohio (Draper, Andover), will be welcomed not only by Scholars, but by all who would use the small store of genuine literary monuments of the earliest ages of Christianity.—The Present Religious Crisis, hy Augustus Blauvelt (Putnams), is the first of three volumes, in which the author, who appeared a few years since in one of the magazines as an alarmist, intends to arouse religious-minded men from their blindness to the perils of the hour, to reëxamine the foundations of religious belief, and, let us hope, to discover a common ground upon which the believer in Christianity may stand with all past believers; otherwise his work will fall to the ground. — Westminster Sermons is the title of a collection of sermons preached on special occasions in Westminster Abbey by the late Dean Stanley (Scribners), and the reason for the collection on this basis may readily be found in Stanley’s felicitous use of occasions to illustrate his favorite theme of historic Christianity. — The Creation and the Scripture, the Revelation of God, by Gilbert Chichester Morrell, M. D (Putnams), is a posthumous work, which records the author’s labor in securing a foothold for himself in Christianity when Christian writers seemed determined to undermine the structure by their denials of science. It is the work of a serious and conscientious man, but throws no singular light on the controversy implied.— The Stars and the Earth, or Thoughts upon Space, Time, and Eternity (Lee & Shepard), is a little work which years ago was introduced to the American public, by Dr. Thomas Hill, who now furnishes a new introduction. He makes some slight emendations called for by the new state of knowledge on the subject, but the ingenious application of science to philosophy remains unaltered. We say ingenious, for the whole argument is likely to impress some minds as a bit of fancy.

Books for Young People. The Young Nmirods around the World, by Thomas W. Knox (Harpers), is a profusely illustrated book of travel, chieflyin the Pacific, — a literary menagerie without the objectionable features of the circus.

Criticism. Human Life in Shakespeare, by Henry Giles (Lee & Shepard), is a reissue of a book which ought not to Want readers. The lecture form is a little destructive of compactness of statement, and one is apt to be irritated at diffuse comments on Shakespeare, but the insight of Mr. Giles is valuable, and a favor has been done the public in the reissue, which has an introduction by Mr. O’Reilly. — Essays from the Critic (Osgood) is a collection of seventeen papers upon topics of immediate interest, from the files of the Critic journal. The authors are Messrs. Burroughs, Sanborn, Stoddard, Whitman, Stedman, Bellows, Eggleston, Miss Thomas, Mrs. Howe, and others.

Poetry and the Drama. Summer Gleanings, compiled and arranged by Rose Porter (White and Stokes), may be placed under the head either of Poetry and the Drama, or of Blank Books. It opens like a reporter’s note-book, is furnished with a little verse under each day’s date, with a neatly marked off blank space for one’s own poetry or prose, and two other blank spaces on the page for a pencil sketch and pressed flowers. One may thus render his or her summer unerringly sentimental, and as the book is furnished with guards between the leaves the pressed flowers ought not to prevent it from staying shut at the end of the summer. The method of this sentiment is curdling. — Californian Verses, by Charles H. Phelps (San Francisco Publishing Company), is a thin volume of verse, some of it not unmusical, but none of it apparently necessary.— The Defence of the Bride and other Poems, by Anna Katharine Green (Putnams), will be a surprise to those who know Miss Green only as a novelist; but the surprise will give way in part when it is seen that the poetry is largely a novelist’s poetry, that it rests for its interest upon the same general love of narrative and sensation which makes Miss Green choose such subjects as The Leavenworth Secret. One may call the poems spirited; they have an energy about them at times which suggests violent exercise. — The Story of a Hunchback and other Poems is so modestly made known that we are unable to tell readers where they can get a copy, or who is the author. J. L. stands on the title-page to represent the poet, but there is no publisher’s name, and even the printer’s imprint has cautiously been suppressed. The book is, in Coleridge’s words, as good as manuscript. The verse, though never rising to unusual height, is melodious, and the sentiment pure and tender. The shyness of this singer gives a value to the song, which we might have cared for less if it had seemed intended to disclose the singer.— One passes into different company when taking up The Vision of Esther, by Charles De Kay (Appletons), which the author explains to be a companion, and in some degree a continuation of, The Vision of Nimrod. Mr. De Kay’s poetry has a cosmic intention, and the reader is warned at the outset that he must pack his mind for a bolder and severer journey than he is accustomed to take in contemporary verse. The book is one of three continents, apparently; the third is to emerge from the waters, if the other two prove strong enough to hold the public. — A Red-Letter Day and other Poems, by Lucius Harwood Foote (A. Williams & Co., Boston), contains the verses of a man who has traveled and known the world, and read poetry, and transmutes his experience and reading into thirty poems, which are sometimes spirited, but do not seem to forget themselves in inspiration.— Poems, by Mary E. Blake (Houghton, Mifflin & Co.), is the title of a volume in which a warm and religious nature gives varied expression to sentiment in forms of verse which are familiar and unstrained.

Domestic Economy and Health. The Chemistry of Cooking and Cleaning, by Ellen H. Richards, Instructor in Chemistry in the Woman’s Laboratory of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Estes & Lauriat), is a manual for housekeepers, which will interest them by giving not detailed directions, but scientific reasons.—A less adorned manual is Good Things made, said, and done, for every home and household, sent by Goodall, Backhouse & Co., of Leeds. No author’s name is given; perhaps the publishers prepared it. — Bible Hygiene, or Health-Hints (Blakiston, Philadelphia), is the work of a physician who not only has an honest, belief in the Bible, but reads it, especially the Mosaic books, with a sense of its practical character. Probably the greater number of people who have read Leviticus faithfully, a chapter at a time, have been entirely oblivious to the fact that the sanitary laws laid down in it are not a matter merely of ritual. The theme is a good one, and we do not think this author has exhausted its capacity.

Sport and Humor. Twenty Questions, a short treatise on the game, to which are added a code of rules and specimen games for the use of beginners, by Hotspur (Holt), is a witty and really serviceable book on the important subject which it discusses. Veteran players, after they have recounted their triumphs, may spend the rest of the day profitably in reading this treatise. — A Comic History of the United States, by Livingston Hopkins (Cassell), has so much of wit as consists in brevity. The pictures by the author are occasionally funny, but there is a misplacement of wit in most cases.

Lexicography. An Etymological Dictionary of the English Language, by the Rev. Walter W. Skeat, M. A, (Macmillans), is modestly announced by the learned compiler as “ undertaken with the intention of furnishing students with materials for a more scientific study of English etymology than is commonly to be found in previous works upon the subject.” To secure compactness a very small type has been used, and either plates, ink, presswork, or paper are at fault, for the general effect is muddy. This is of less importance in a book of reference, but it is simply inexcusable. The greater the mechanical difficulties assumed in such a case, the more imperative is success. — Harper & Brothers issue Skeat’s Concise Etymological Dictionary of the English Language, which the compiler claims is not an abridgment of his larger work, but, so far as we can see, a briefer work, designed for the general rather than the scientific student.

Education and Text-Books. On Horseback, in the school and on the road, by E. L. Anderson (Holt), is better than the usual handbooks on the subject, for it is written by a gentleman, and has reference to a gentleman’s use of the horse. —An Etymology of Latin and Greek, by Charles S. Halsey (Ginn, Heath & Co.), is intended for a school hand-book, to accompany the customary work in the classics, and to systematize a study which has usually been treated in too desultory and fragmentary a fashion. It is made up of principles, of tables of substitution of sounds and of the application of the principles of the IndoEuropean method.— Primary Helps, being No. 1 of a new series of Kindergarten manuals, by W. N. Hailmann (C. W. Bardeen, Syracuse), has the customary grasp of the science; it begins with the philosophy of a Kosmus, and comes down to sticks and peas. — In Rolfe’s English classics (Harpers), Shakespeare’s Two Gentlemen of Verona and Timon of Athens have been reached.— Elements of Plane and Spherical Trigonometry, with Logarithmic and other Mathematical Tables, and Examples of their Use and Hints on the Art of Computation, by Simon Newcomb (Holt), is a volume in the author’s mathematical course, and its scope is limited to the Subjects and treatment necessary in the fullest course of mathematics usually taught in our colleges and technological schools.