Books of the Month

Art. Eugène Delacroix, par Lui-même (J. Rouam, Librairie de L’Art, Paris), is not, in spite of the “par lui-meme,” an autobiography. From Delacroix’s own letters, the memoranda of his contemporaries, and various other sources, M. Dargenty has compiled a charming account of the life, impressions, trials, and triumphs of the great French painter, — the strongest and most original painter of his epoch. In order to be a fine artist a man must be something more than that, and Delacroix was a great deal more. The editor was wise in drawing the chief portion of his material from M. Burty’s collection of the painter’s correspondence, all of which is stamped with the magnetic personality of the man. To those familiar with these letters the volume will bring little that is new; but the story of Delacroix’s life is well worth retelling, and here it is very spiritedly and picturesquely told.— We have received from the same publisher: La Tapisserie dans l’Antiquité, par Louis de Konchaud; L’Encaustique et ies autres procédés de Peinture chez les Anciens, par MM. Cros et Henry; and the Dictionnaire des Émailleurs depuis le Moyen Age jusqu’a le fin du XVIIIe Siécle, par Émil Molinier. These admirable works are rather too technical for the general reader; indeed, they are especially addressed, both in text and in illustration, to collectors and amateurs. The Dictionnaire des Émailleurs, however, would be a valuable hand-book for anybody in the slightest degree interested in one of the most delicate and fascinating of the arts. — From Messrs. Macmillan & Co. we have the latest numbers of The Portfolio and L’Art, containing the usual variety of excellent letter-press and choice engravings.

Literature and Criticism. Malthus and his Work, by James Bonar, M. A. (Macmillan & Co.), is, so far as we are aware, the clearest and most satisfactory exposition that we have had of Malthus’s economic theories and speculations. The writer’s attitude is that of the historian rather than the critic: he gives an impartial statement of the problems which Malthus endeavored to solve, and presents the various arguments that have been brought to bear against the Essay on Population and the author’s other works. The chapters devoted to the critics of Malthus are not so exhaustive as they might have been, yet perhaps sufficiently full for Mr. Bonar’s plan. An excellent brief biographical sketch closes the volume, which is written in a sprightly and engaging style not usual in books dealing with so dry a subject as political economy.

Fiction. Uncle Tom’s Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe, appears in a new, cheap edition (Houghton), and in this form will be a new book to thousands of readers. We shall watch with interest for the effect which the book produces upon persons who read it now as a historical romance. — Madame de Presnel, by E. Frances Poynter (Holt), is one of the Leisure Hour Series. The author has taken great pains with her characters, individualizing them carefully and avoiding mere caricature. The variety, both in persons and in incidents, is marked; and if the work seems a little labored, the reader at any rate perceives that he is in the hands of an intelligent story-teller. — The Tinted Venus, a farcical romance, by F. Anstey. (Appleton.) We wish this clever writer would hold his forces more in reserve, and not waste them on such tawdry material as this book offers. Burlesque in literature should be used lightly, and not slapped on as it is here. — Luck of a Wandering Dane, by Hans Lykkejaeger. (For sale by all newsdealers.) This fortune-hunter offers in text and illustration a sketch of his early years, which he tells us, in italics, is the record of actual experiences. There is no unlikelihood in this, and occasionally the tale is told with snap and cleverness, but on the whole its humor is rather of the swaggering sort, and hardly worth smiling over.

A Prince of Darkness and A Vagrant Wife, by Florence W arden (Appleton), are two more of the unwholesome books which this writer is tumbling into the world. They remind one of the photographs of comediennes liberally displayed in shop windows, proper enough so far as externals go, but dreadfully suggestive of a world in which there is no reserve. — The Old Doctor, a romance of Oueer Village, by John Vance Cheney. (Appleton.) We think Mr. Cheney is a victim of his own wit, and that in his eagerness to be sprightly he has overshot the mark. —As it was Written, A Jewish Musician’s Story, by Sidney Luska. (Cassell.) W hatever faults this book has, they are not those of most current fiction; whatever promise it gives, it does not suggest a variation on popular novels. — Under the Snow and A Picture Story, by Katharine Macquoid (S. P. C. K., London; Young, New York), are a couple of short stories of Swiss and French life, bound in one volume. — In Healey, Jessie Fothergill takes up again the story of mill life in Lancashire, which has heretofore drawn her attention, and to which she gives an artist’s eye and a woman’s sympathetic thought. The volume is uniform with her previous novels in the Leisure Hour Series. (Holt.) —A Social Experiment, by A. E. P. Searing. (Putnams.) The basis of the experiment is so improbable that one regards the trial itself as altogether too merely — suppose a case. — Philip Osborn, a romance of the Revolution, by E. J. Edwards. (Greenwich Graphic, Greenwich, Conn.) We do not know if this unpretentious little paper-covered book he founded on fact, but the writer has thrown himself into the storv with real story-telling vim, and has used the historical material without too much conscious antiquarianism. — Mr. Arlo Bates, who has already made one or two ventures in fiction, now comes Forward with what may be regarded as a more positive challenge of the public attention in A Wheel of Fire. (Scribners.)—Recent numbers of Harper’s Handy Series are: Cut by the County, by M. E Braddon; Paul Crew’s Story, by Alice Coinyns Carr: No Medium, by Annie Thomas: and In Peril and Privation, by Janies Payn.— Recent numbers of Harper’s Franklin Square Library are: Entangled, by E. Fairfax Byrrne; Lady Lovelace, by E. Pirkis; A Coquette’s Conquest, by Basil; The Waters of Hercules, by E. D. Gerard; The Royal Highlanders, by Janies Grant; Love’s Harvest, by B, L. Farjeon; and George Eliot’s Adam Bede, — Le Père Goriot forms the initial volume of Roberts Brothers’ series of translations from Balzac. The novel is, on the whole, very carefully translated. The publishers are to be praised for the fresh and charming style in which they have issued the book.

History and Biography. The Life and Letters of John Brown, liberator of Kansas and martyr of Virginia, edited by F. B. Sanborn. (Roberts.) If one did not go beyond the title-page he would still find something to criticise. Liberator of Kansas is a title which no man can carry, not even Governor Robinson, who deserves the title better. But one will not stop at the title-page, and he will be rewarded by a large and important collection of material with which to begin his estimate of John Brown’s character and place. — New York and the Conscription of 1863, a chapter in the history of the civil war, by James B. Fry. (Putnams.) As Provost Marshal-General at the time, the author of this vigorous little work has a right to be heard, and his claim that Governor Seymour was at heart opposed to the law is deserving of careful consideration. — History of the Town of Cheshire, Berkshire County, Mass., by Mrs. Ellen M. Ravnor and Mrs. Emma L. Petitclerc, (Clark W. Bryan & Co., Holyoke, Mass.), is a delightful variation from ordinary town histories, since it attempts to reproduce the local life without too much anxiety to secure dignified attributes. By following a chronological method, and sweeping in everything they can find as they go along, small and great, the authors have set an example which might well be followed, say, by the graduates of our girls’ colleges, who go back to their country homes and wonder what they shall do next. — Champions of the Right, by E. Gilliat (S. P. C. K., London;

Young, New York): a series of biographical sketches of the didactic sort, treating of Alfred the Great, St. Hugh of Lincoln, Jeanne d’Are, Wiclif, More, Raleigh, and others. — Michigan, by T. M. Cooley, is the fifth number of the American Commonwealths Series (Houghton), and will be read with interest outside of the limits of the commonwealth of which it treats. The study of wild-cat banking, given in one of the chapters, is singularly clear, forcible, and suggestive; and the whole examination of the growth of a typical commonwealth will be of great service to all students who regard American history as something more than a matter of narrative ; the relation of the State to the Union may be studied here in facts as well as in philosophy. — The Story of Greece, by James A. Harrison (Putnams), is the first of a series entitled The Story of the Nations. It may savor of hypercriticism, but we would ask if the word story is not likely to be overworked. The first suggestion which the title of this volume and series presents is that the publishers or editors are uneasy lest they should happen to be offering something dull. History is history, and this book aims at giving the history of Greece in a compact form, but not a desiccated form. In his anxiety, however, not to be dry, Mr. Harrison has rushed to the other extreme, and irritates the reasonable reader by his jocularity and forced vivacity. The young reader is aimed at, but the young reader, we hope, does not need to be treated as if he were a poor blasé creature, who has had a surfeit of fiction, and now must be cajoled back into honest history. — Some Noted Princes, Authors, and Statesmen of our time, by Farrar, Fields, Forbes, Whipple, Parton, Mrs. Moulton, and others, edited by James Parton (Crowell): a collection of short sketches, not formal biographies, of noted men and women. The authors are for the most part those who could bring a personal acquaintance to the task. The book is a readable one, though of very varying literary merit. — The First Three English Books on America [ ? 1511]-1555, being chiefly translations, compilations, etc., by Richard Eden, front the writings, maps, etc., of Pietro Martire, Sebastian Minister, and Sebastian Cabot, edited by Edward Arber. (Scribner & Welford.) We have not given in full the title-page of this important reprint, which is a quarto volume, and due to the energy of that extraordinary literary missionary, Mr. Arber. The work is of great value to historical students, both of the Elizabethan era and of early America, and to the student of literature as well. — Mr. Lodge’s edition of the Works of Alexander Hamilton (Putnam’s Sons) has reached its fourth volume. We shall speak in detail of the work on the appearance of the unpublished writings promised by the editor. — Memoirs of Karoline Bauer, translated from the German (Roberts Bros.), is a gossipy and not slightly malicious volume of reminiscences, dealing with certain Continental folk in the early part of this century. The original is greatly condensed in the translation, and rather improved morally.

Education and Text-Books. Students’ Songs, compiled and edited by William H. Hills (Moses King, Cambridge), is a collection of threescore songs sung at college. To hear these songs on the campus is one thing, and the hearer leaves his critical ears behind him. To sit down in cold blood and examine them is to tempt one to altogether too much scorn. What a pity that with all this nonsense and silliness college students should not occasionally mingle a simple old English melody or a song of Franz’s! Perhaps if this were done, by and by some college student would produce genuine music. — Scott’s Marmion has been edited with notes by W. J. Rolfe (Ticknor), upon the same general plan as the acceptable Lady of the Lake. Mr. Rolfe again shows himself a most scrupulous textual editor, and the richness with which Scott either directly or indirectly annotated the poem enables bins to give a very interesting body of comment and illustration. We think the book is well calculated to give the young student a real enthusiasm for Scotland.—The Manual of Phonography, by Benn Pitman and Jerome B. Howard (Phonographic Institute, Cincinnati), is a revised edition of the manual which for thirty years has been the standard text-book of phonography in America. —Anatomy, Physiology, and Hygiene is a manual for the use of colleges, schools, and general readers, — that is, readers in general, — by Jerome Walker, M. D. (A. Lovell & Co., New York.) The reader looks with favor upon this manual because it is the outcome of practical teaching in the schools of Brooklyn, and because the book has already passed the criticism of a number of specialists. At first we were inclined to think the book too large, but the division of subjects and the considerable space given to the appendix matter make it possible to use it judiciously without necessarily using the whole.— The Education of Man, by Friedrich Froebel, translated by Josephine Jarvis. (A. Lovell & Co., New York.) This is Froebel’s first work, and precedes his development of the kindergarten. Its value, therefore, is not so much in its practical suggestion, although that forms an important part, as in its philosophical analysis of the growing man. Miss Jarvis’s translation is sometimes apparently faithful to the original at the expense of freedom and clearness. — Outline of Lecture Notes on General Chemistry, by John T. Stoddard (Harris, Rogers & Co., Boston): a compact handbook for use in the laboratory— Text-Book of Newfoundland History, for the use of schools and academies, by the Rev. M. Harvey. (Doyle and Whittle, Boston.) While this little book necessarily appeals first to Newfoundland people, it is so clear and well arranged an account of a history which in its early passages is identified with the English possession of America that it will be found of value to all young students of our history. The writer is singularly well equipped for his task. — Austin Stickney has prepared a text of Cicero’s De Officiis, with an introductory essay and commentary. — The Song Budget, a collection of songs and music for schools and educational gatherings, compiled by E. V. De Graff. (Bardeen, Syracuse.) The bulk of the book is made up of songs which have caught the ear of two or three generations. — Mr. W. H. Rawle’s Phi Beta Kappa address has been published by Porter & Coates, under the title The Case of the Educated Unemployed. — The Study of Political Economy, by J. Laurence Laughlin (Appleton), is a little volume of hints to students and teachers given by an enthusiastic professor, who sees in the study to which he has devoted himself the wide relations borne to law, theology, politics, history, and various departments of practical life, His words are intended to lure other men, especially other young men, to this study. A reading of the book by teachers ought to lead to a more intelligible and a broader treatment of the themes.

Public Affairs, Our Sea-Coast Defenses, by Eugene Griffin, is the first of a series of Military Monographs, published by the Military Service Institution. (Putnams.) The work is not revolutionary in its tone, but critical, examining the several methods now in use. The author naturally expends much of his inquiry upon the condition of New York harbor, and shows clearly how defenseless the place is. — The Annual Report of the operations of the United States Life-Saving Service, for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1884 (Government Printing Office, Washington), contains, besides its official and technical information, uncopyrighted material for the use of novelists who need to wreck their characters. — The Science of Business, a study of the principles controlling the laws of exchange, by Roderick H. Smith (Putnams), will arrest attention by the clearness of its statements, the confidence which the author shows in his positions, and the firm grasp of the laws underlying commercial operations. It is not often that so trenchant a book appears. — The American Caucus System, its origin, purpose, and ability, by George W. Lawton. (Putnams.) Mr. Lawton gives a crisp and apparently well-studied historical account of the caucus. He is disposed to accept it as a necessity, and so suggests measures by which it may be a servant, and not a master. Perhaps it did not come within the scope of his subject, but would it not have been well to outline the methods used in parts of America where the caucus does not hold, to accomplish the same results? — The Writings and Speeches of Samuel J. Tilden, edited by John Bigelow. In two volumes. (Harpers.) We are very glad that so convenient a repertory of Mr. Tilden’s writings has been formed. A public man’s character is tried chiefly by his deeds, and Mr. Tilden suffers the enormous disadvantage of defeat; but these writings so far record his public acts and views that if he ever is to enjoy a rehabilitation at the hands of historians they will have no excuse for examining well his claims to the place which his devoted friends assign to him. Population by Ages, a contribution to the analysis of the social condition of the United States, w ith special reference to the cities of New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore, by William SLandsberg, Baltimore : a pamphlet of thirty pages.

Books for Young People. The Adventures of Jimmy Brown, written by himself and edited by W . L. Alden (Harpers), is hardly to be commended, and reads as if the author were desperately resolved not to be serious. It belongs to the general order of cheap and not over-nice fun. It supposes not merely a mischievous boy, but a witless one.— Lives of Poor Boys who became Famous, by Sarah K. Bolton. (Crowell.) Mrs. Bolton has chosen her twenty-eight subjects from various nationalities and professions. There is no apparent system except that of variety. The one thread which runs through them is suggested by the title; but is not this notion rather overdone? Judging from the literature of the subject, one would say that to be famous one must begin poor. Will not some one encourage the disheartened rich boy ? The truth is that in the churning of modern society the distinction of poor and rich in the matter of fame is pretty well obliterated. At any rate, there is more need of telling the story of truth, honesty, and righteousness with utter subordination of poverty and wealth.—Chapters on Plant Life, by Sophie Bledsoe Herrick (Harpers), is an interesting little volume, which commends itself by the unaffected simplicity of its language and its freedom from that feverish fear lest one’s audience should slip away, which characterizes so much of the literature of knowledge for young people. — The Pine Cone Stories, by Willis Boyd Allen (Lothrop), is a volume of short stories slightly strung on a thread of incident. They are cheerful, brisk stories, by a disciple apparently of Dickens and Mr. Hale. — The Boy’s Book of Battle Lyrics, by Thomas Dunn English (Harpers), is a collection of poems relating to America, but stopping at the war for the Union. These poems are all by Dr. English, and are furnished with historical notes and introductions. The patriotic boy, who looks more to action in verse than to perfect rhythm, will not be so severe a critic of the poetry as his less mercurial sire. — The Adventures of Harry Marline, or Notes from an American Midshipman’s Lucky Bag, by Admiral Porter. (Appleton.) Avast there ! At this point our nautical style breaks down, but we wish we could go on, for ordinary language fails in noticing a book which sets back the clock to the time when Captain Marryat sailed the seas with all the boys behind him. Admiral Porter’s book suggests a voyage round the world for the writing of it, and another for the reading. — Bircliwood, by Jak (Crowell), is a readable book detailing the experiences of some young people, who profited by the hints of sensible elders, and worked out on a small scale the problem of self-education in natural history.

Travel and Nature. By-Ways and Bird Notes, by Maurice Thompson. (John B. Alden, New York.) We are always, unfailingly, glad to meet Mr. Thompson out-of-doors, and we should have no objection if this charming little book were longer, but for heaven’s sake, not longer in the page.— Fish and Men in the Maine Islands, by W. H. Bishop (Harpers), is a pleasant little reprint from Harper’s Monthly, but shockingly ill made up in its form, without title-page, and with the cuts all looking as if they were not at home. —Souvenirs of Some Continents, by Archibald Forbes (Harpers) : the bright, somewhat fragmentary experiences of a clever journalist, who is always listened to attentively because he is both a man of the world and an honest, wholesome reporter of men and things. — Old World Questions and New World Answers, by Daniel Pidgeon. (Harpers.) Mr. Pidgeon, who is a civil engineer, visited this country, and had in his mind those social and industrial problems which are vexing Europe, and especially England. He was a good observer and a thoughtful man, and his studies were made with care and apparently without prejudice. It is not often that an English traveler sends back such useful hints to America. These last three volumes are in Harper’s Handy Series.