Books of the Month

Fine Arts and Illustrated Books. In Putnam’s series of Art Hand-Books, edited by Susan N. Carter, are two volumes : one, Drawing in Black and White, by the editor; the other, Hints for Sketching in Water-Color from Nature, by Thomas Hatton. The former supposes the beginner to be remote from teachers and other helps, and simply aims to prevent a false start ; the latter is intended for those who already know something of the water-color methods, and also of sketching from nature in black and white. — A second series of William Hunt’s Talks on Art, compiled by Helen M. Knowlton (Houghton, Mifflin & Co.), strikes us as showing Mr. Hunt even better than the first series. The style of printing and binding, which may be described as Orientalized American, agrees with that of the first series.—Art and the Formation of Taste is the title of a volume of six lectures by Lucy Crane. (Macmillan.) It is preceded by a memoir all too short, yet attractive by its very modesty, and it has illustrations by her brothers, Thomas and Walter Crane. The spirit of the book and the personal characteristics suggested by it would alone preserve it, but the matter itself is worthy of the charming dress which has been given to it. — The thirty-first volume of L’Art (Bouton, agent) continues the high character of the periodical which it represents. We justly applaud ourselves for the refinement to which we have carried the execution of engravings on wood, but when one opens such a work as this he confesses at once the wealth of resources which lie back of art in an old country. L’Art performs a most important function in making this wealth accessible in many ways to American students. Considerable space is given to majolica and to the salon of 1882, while contemporary English art is illustrated in the case of Ford Madox Brown, the interesting but somewhat disappointing painter of historical cartoons, and now engaged upon the decoration of the Manchester Town Hall. It is a pity that the articles contain no examples of his work.

History. The Story of the Volunteer Fire Department of the City of New York, by George W. Sheldon (Harpers), is a substantial and wellillustrated work by an enthusiast, who has preserved in his chapters an interesting phase of our social history. The volunteer department gave place in 1865 to a paid department, and this volume closes at that date. It is largely personal and anecdotical.—Orderly Book of Sir John Johnson during the Oriskany Campaign, 1776-1777, annotated by William L. Stone (Joel Munsell’s Sons, Albany), contains also an historical introduction by J. Watts de Peyster, illustrating Johnson’s life, and an appendix by T. B. Myers Upon the Loyalists in America. The Johnson episode has already received much historical illustration, and as it is one of the most romantic of our colonial affairs any new light thrown upon it is desirable.— Mr. Bancroft has begun the reissue of his History of the United States of America, of which the first volume has now been published. (Appleton.) The title-page bears the words “the author’s last revision,” and the work, when completed, will be a monument not only to the author’s industry and lifelong application, but to his respect for the undertaking, and his determination to leave the best, and not the easiest, results of his labor. The external dress of the book is admirable.— The Jesuits, a Complete History of their Open and Secret Proceedings, from the Foundation of the Order to the Present Time, by Theodor Greisinger (Putnams),is a two-volume work, which is boldly partisan. That is to say, the author, who speaks of it on the title-page, as told to the German people, makes no secret of his bitter hatred of the Jesuits ; and though it is not necessary for an impartial historian to part with his conscience, it is necessary that, if he selects his enemy for his subject, His readers should boar the fact in mind as they read.

Biography. Traits of Representative Men, by George W. Bungay (Fowler & Wells, New York), is a volume of sketches of American men of the times, furnished with atrocious wood-cut portraits for the most part. The sketches differ from the portraits. These have a wooden savagery of expression; those are charged with an excess of laudation and fine writing. —Pioneers of the Western Reserve, by Harvey Rice (Lee & Shepard), is the title of a book by a Cleveland gentleman, which will be found very attractive by those who would catch at some of the marks of the great Western migration. Mr. Rice has treated his subject as an elderly gentleman might who should tell the story of the early days to a group of listeners, and the book is much more entertaining than many novels. — Memoir of Annie Keary, by her sister (Macmillan), is one of the books forced from a family by the urgency of friends, who valued the life, and were earnest that the bushel should be removed from the candle.

Fiction. Cupid M. D., by Augustus M. Swift (Scribners), is a light piece of fiction in the form of correspondence and journals, a mode which requires more delicacy of touch than Mr. Swift possesses. — Uncle Gabe Tucker, or Reflection, Song, and Sentiment in the Quarters, by J. A. Macon (Lippincott), is a mild imitation of Uncle Remus in a more diversified but less entertaining form. — The Colonel’s Daughter, or Winning his Spurs, by Colonel Charles King, U. S. A. (Lippincott), is a story of frontier life. The author, in a somewhat disdainful preface, professes to leave conversation to other authors, and confine himself to incident ; and incident in plenty there is, but we do not see that the author has invented any new style of novel.—Portia, or By Passions Rocked (Lippincott), is by the author of Molly Bawn, which is a recommendation; but then it is also by the author of Beauty’s Daughters. — Barrington’s Fate is the latest in the No Name series. (Roberts.) The story is one of English life, but presumably by an American.

Sports. New Games for Parlor and Lawn, by George B. Bartlett (Harpers), is a capital handbook, by an old stager, who pays his readers the compliment of supposing them as clever as himself.— Footlight Frolics is the title of a little hand-book devoted to entertainments for home and school, by Mrs. Charles F. Fernald (Lee & Shepard), and containing school operas, charades, plays, and the like. Mrs. Fernald claims that she has given material which is free from the objectionable features of plays, vulgar expressions, double entendres, or profane words ; but she has managed, nevertheless, to retain forms and phrases and situations which one does not need to be overfastidious to object to, as, for example, when the familiar Irish girl calls upon the “blissid Vargin ” and the “howly saints.” There still remain some who believe the Virgin was blessed and who honor the saints. — Whist, or Bumblepuppy? by Pembridge (Roberts), is somewhat humorously described further, on the title-page, as ten lectures addressed to children. The drollery which runs through the book seems to represent the author’s temper, and not to interfere with the subject of his discourses on whist.

Public Affairs. Spoiling the Egyptians, a Tale of Shame Told from the British Blue-Books, is the vigorous protest of Mr. J. Seymour Keay (Putnams) against the policy of the English in dealing with Egypt. The little work appeared during the short war, but no circumstances of the war appear to affect its logic. — The Irish Question, by David Bennett King (Scribners), is the work of an American professor, who trained himself for his task by repeated visits to Ireland, study, and free converse with men of affairs and of public life. The resuit is a carefully prepared work, with no panacea, but with sensible conclusions drawn in an unpartisan spirit.

Travel and Chorography. Tunis, the Land and the People, by the Chevalier de Hesse-Wartegg (Dodd, Mead &, Co.), is not a simple traveler’s story, but a report upon its present condition by one who has resided there long enough to be a careful judge. The author discountenances the project for converting the Sahara into an inland sea. — Corea, the Hermit Nation (Scribners), is the work of W. E. Griffis, who has written at length upon Japan. Mr. Griffis has used such authorities as exist, and has been helped in his researches by his linguistic attainments. He does not appear to have himself seen more than the outskirts of the country, but, short of that personal acquaintance, his training for his task has been exceptional.

Philosophy and Theology. Fundamental Questions is the title of a work by Edson L. Clark (Putnams), which deals with subjects suggested chiefly by the book of Genesis and the Hebrew Scripture. The answers to the questions are found in the contributions made by historical, archæological, and scientific investigation. The endeavor is also in the direction of the new theology, which centres about the Christ as the meeting of God and man.—Love for Souls, by the Rev. William Scribner (Scribners), is a small volume, by an evangelical minister, of exhortation to earnestness in laboring for the conversion of men.

Humor. Théophile Gautier’s My Household of Pets, translated by Susan Coolidge (Roberts), is a delightful volume, — the persiflage about dogs, cats, and horses which only a man of genius can write. —The Lambs, a Tragedy, by Robert Grant (Osgood), is a satirical work, which takes advantage of the one topic of our contemporary life which is pretty sure to attract both literary and unliterary people. The treatment is clever, and the simplicity of the theme is amusingly fitted to the severity of the style.

Science. Guesses at Purpose in Nature, with especial reference to plants, by W. P. James, is a volume of the S. P. C. K. (E. & J. B. Young & Co., New York), in which a mild party, headed by a vicar, voyages to the Barbadoes in May, returns to England in September, and discourses on botany and the Darwinian theory afloat and ashore. The machinery of the little book is harmless, and the men of straw are knocked down with great success.—Cause of Variation is the somewhat enigmatical title of a small work by M. M. Curtis, who publishes it from Marshall, Minnesota. Mr. Curtis appears to believe in some creed of labor, as developed from the physical conditions of life, but we do not quite understand what the labor is to result in, except a further continuance of a life which he does not appear to regard very highly.

Social Science and Political Economy. The Factors of Civilization, real and assumed, considered in their relation to vice, misery, happiness, unhappiness, and progress, is the comprehensive title of a work of which the second volume has reached us. (James P. Harrison & Co., Atlanta, Ga.) This volume, however, precedes the first in order of publication; it is a thoughtful discussion, by a Southerner, of the institutions of society and the effect of their imperfections upon progress. He is somewhat of a reactionist, but he writes soberly and earnestly. — The Taxation of the Elevated Railroads in the City of New York, by Roger Foster (Putnams), is a pamphlet which owes its origin in part to the vigorous associated effort in New York to bring reason and law to bear upon the problems of municipal and civil government.— Political Economy, by Francis A. Walker (Holt), is the fifth in what is known as the American Science Series, works especially adapted to use in high schools and colleges. This manual is illustrated by pertinent facts in American life.

Economics. In Putnam’s Handy Book series of things worth knowing, a recent volume is headed How to Succeed, and is composed of recipes for success given by Senators Bayard and Edmunds, who represent public life, Dr. John Hall, who speaks for the ministry, Mr. E. P. Roe, who is a successful littérateur, and so forth. The merchant, the farmer, the inventor, the doctor, the artist, the civil engineer, and the musician, all contribute their notes on success in their several vocations, and if the real secret, in each case could be communicated something might be learned, After all, the contributions suggest the previous question, — What is success ?