Travel and Sport. Glimpses of Three Coasts, by Helen Jackson (Roberts), is a posthumous collection of sketches of travel on the Pacific coast, in Scotland and England, and in Scandinavia andGermany, published originally in periodicals. Mrs. Jackson was an admirable traveler, never jaded, always capable of new and worthy enthusiasm, and with an insight which often enabled her to see a tree where others only saw trees. There was, besides, so quick a sympathy with humanity that the world in which she was living at any time was very close to her, and she succeeded in making her readers feel its presence. — India Revisited, by Edwin Arnold. (Roberts.) Mr. Arnold illustrates the adage that he who would bring away the wealth of the Indies must carry that wealth to it. He has something more than a knowledge of India; he has a love for the country and its people. But his knowledge tempers his zeal, and his book is an honest, temperate record of travel; the kind of book which an English gen-
tleman may write who knows his audience as well as his subject, and desires to instruct them while they think they are entertained. The references to himself and his famous poem are modest and in good taste.—Southern California: its valleys, hills, and streams; its animals, birds, and fishes; its gardens, farms, and climate, by Theodore S. Van Dyke (Fords, Howard & Bulbert), is the work of a man who has a healthy love of out-door life, who is a hunter as well as a traveler, and who is capable of measuring the country with the eye of a prospective farmer and grazier. He is an enthusiast, but not blind, and his hearty, well-written book reads like the work of a man whose testimony one may trust. — Canoeing in Kanuckia (Putnams) has the additional title of Haps and Mishaps, Afloat and Ashore, of the Statesman, the Editor, the Artist, and the Scribbler, recorded by the commodore and the cook, Charles Ledyard Norton and John Habberton, by which one may see that the book is a contribution to the already large class of comic adventures in vacation. It has the liveliness which comes from much literary jumping, and it has also some plain walking in the way of narrative and comment on canoes, their construction and management. Cast away in a canoe on Red Lake, at equal distances from a mosquito and a companion, one might find the book readable. — The American Salmon Fisherman, by Henry P. Wells (Harpers), is a practical, interesting guide to the sport of salmon fishing. The tyro will read it through profitably; the old hand will not be offended by it as too elementary. The author is not anxious to be funny, bless him, but he is alert and companionable.
Literature and Literary Criticism. Dr. Frederic Henry Hedge has brought together into a substantial volume, with the title Hours with German Classics (Roberts), the substance of his work through many years as professor of German literature. But the reader might easily form a wrong impression of the scope and character of this book by reading such a statement, for the professor stands to most as the boxer of literature, not the opener. Dr. Hedge, with his vigorous thought, his sturdy morality, and his penetration, is an admirable interpreter of great books and great writers. He is just and catholic; he gives every man a fair show, and does not substitute his reading for his author’s work. Yet he never fails to leave upon the reader’s mind a clear, well-defined impression of the place and bearing of each great name reviewed.—The Iliad of Homer, done into English verse, by Arthur S. Way, Vol. I., Books I.-XII. (Sampson Low & Co., London.) Mr. Way has already translated the Odyssey into Spenserian verse. Here he has used a rhymed hexameter, with occasional triplets. The work is well worth attention, if for nothing else for the spirit with which the translator has kept his pace. He swings along as if he enjoyed it, and carries the reader by the force of his swift movement. We think he has missed it in not using the repetitions as Homer used them, for he varies the form, and so loses the rest which comes from the familiar term. There is a loss also of simplicity, but who indeed gets all of Homer into his English rendering ? Mr. Way gets more than most. Is it because he has sailed the seas and is helping to make the new England of Australia ? — Representative Poems of Living Poets, American and English, selected by the poets themselves. (Cassell.) Miss Gilder was the projector of this volume, and Mr. G. P. Lathrop has written an interesting introduction. The scheme, we think, is not entirely novel,—did not Miss Brock execute a similar volume ? — but whether novel or not, it is a scheme which cannot fail to attract lovers of poetry. We are not sure that these poets do not sometimes betray their weaknesses ; we wonder if they did not sometimes choose what they thought they ought to choose. Indeed, to make the volume the basis for comparative criticism, one ought to know ever so much of the interior history of it, and to have a private view of each poet’s mind. But it is a capital collection of current poetry, whoever chose it.—Bolingbroke and Voltaire in England, by John Churton Collins. (Harpers.) These essays are not so much comprehensive judgments as special literary investigations and contributions toward fuller statements. — The second volume of John Morley’s Critical Miscellanies (Macmillan) in the neat edition now appearing is occupied with papers on Vauvenargues, Turgot, Joseph de Maistre, and Condorcet. —George Eliot and her Heroines, by Abba Goold Woolson (Harpers), is the estimate made by an American woman, who is, perhaps, helped by her American gift of hope and courage to a more optimistic faith than George Eliot possessed. Her criticism is often sagacious and sensible, and if she does not show singular insight, neither does she strain a point, but writes like a clear-minded, healthy woman who speaks to it, as they say in the country.— Not quite so much can be said for W. F. Dana’s The Optimism of Ralph Waldo Emerson (Cupples, Upham & Co), a little book which is cheerful and hearty, but rather thin as a philosophical survey of the spirit of the times. —Hood’s Up the Rhine (Putnams) is even more entertaining now than when it was first published, for it has grown quaint with age, and the sketches of life are sufficiently remote to gain by the prospective. — Anster’s translation of Goethe’s Faust, first part, has been published in Harper’s Handy Series. It has an introduction by H. R. Haweis, so short as to make one wonder what it accomplishes.—In the same series is printed The Choice of Books, by Frederic Harrison, already referred to in these notes. — Recent issues in Cassell’s National Library are Life and Adventures of Baron Trenck; The Lady of the Lake; Selections from the Table Talk of Martin Luther; Macaulay’s essay on Bacon; Burke’s Thoughts on the Present Discontents and Speeches; Crabbe’s Poems; Swift’s The Battle of the Books and other short pieces, and Voyagers’ Tales from the Hakluyt collection.
Fiction. John Bodewin’s Testimony, by Mary Hallock Foote (Ticknor), is a story of Western life in scene and circumstance, but it derives its value not from any mere record of local life, but from its appeal to human sentiment and faith. — The Mayor of Casterbridge, by Thomas Hardy (Holt), will be welcomed by this author’s readers because of its introduction to a fresh company of those English rustics who, if not real, are as good as real, in Mr. Hardy’s stories. It is, besides, a strong, vivid story, which makes one ask if there is any English novelist who combines in better measure the qualities of a great story-teller than Mr. Hardy. It is more even than Blackmore, more inventive than Black, and more virile and humorous than the mob of lesser novelists who write with alarming ease.—Face to Face (Scribners) is an amusing story, in which the surface characteristics of English and American life are played with; but does not the author Americanize his young woman a little too deeply, after all, at the outset ? We suspect that be has read his American notions into an English family after a fashion which would be easily detected by an English-bred reader. — Justina (Roberts) is one of those sternly romantic tales in which the heroine suppresses herself, the hero comes and goes in a half-mysterious fashion, a little too noble for ordinary purposes, and after a bookful of experience, in which the two characters are separated by a dreadful wife who exists in order to ruin their happiness, there is a crash, the wife dies, the man thinks he is going to, the heroine rushes across the Atlantic to him, —and the curtain falls on the newly married pair standing with upturned eyes. — The Wreckers, a Social Study, by George T. Dowling (Lippincott), will not be found so drearily close to a treatise on economics as the title might suggest. The author has a story to tell, and if the story is not very new or very important, he tells it with a good deal of interest in it. His interest is sometimes contagious, yet the book can hardly be called a very skillful one.— A Moonlight Boy, by E. W. Howe. (Tieknor.) Mr. Howe is still forming, and it is hard to say what will come of his work. He has an intangible something, which cannot be concealed by Dickens or Mark Twain, or any other novelist whom he may put between himself and the light, and we hope that his individuality will yet assert itself in a novel genuinely true. All his work is alive, but all is not equally genuine, and this unequal book, as we intimated, leaves the reader still in doubt what is to be the outcome of E. W. Howe. — Barbara’s Vagaries, by Mary Langdon Tidball. (Harpers.) A short novel, in which the interest moves languidly in a circle about a North Carolina girl of ingenuous flirtatiousness, set in the midst of conventional people at a watering-place. — Haschisch, by Thorold King. (A. C. M’Clurg & Co., Chicago.) A sensational story, in which the drug plays a marvelous part. The author is not without a certain power, but he has managed to conceal a natural gift by too free use of the extraordinary and unreal. — Not in the Prospectus, by Parke Dan forth. (Houghton.) A bright, somewhat unskillful, but well-bred story, in which the humors of a personally conducted tour provide the incidents which the author seems hardly capable of inventing. The humor and gayety of the book are its sufficient excuse for being. — The Midnight Cry, by Janet Marsh Parker. (Dodd, Mead & Co.) A story of the Millerite delusion, written with a good deal of spirit, and with evident desire to be truthful to the general theme of the book. A little more of a rest in the music would have improved the air. There is a certain feverishness in the style, as if the author feared to be dull, whereas the reader is often relieved by patches of sober narrative in the record of such excitements. — Won by Waiting, by Edna Lyall (Appleton), is a well-written novel the scene of which is laid in the Franco-Prussian War and after, with a transfer of the heroine from France to England. The writer is evidently a conscientious artist, and, though giving no promise of singular power, is likely to produce novels more acceptable to the well-bred girls of the day than Miss Yonge, for example.—Taras Bulba, the first of a series of translations from Gogol, by Isabel F. Hapgood (Crowell), is likely to open the way to a Gogol cult. That author’s fame has been like a cloud in the horizon, but, with the advantage of translation direct from the Russian, we do not see why he should not find a place which even Turgenef failed to secure, — a place that is among those who want their stories told, and are impatient at having so many things " understood,” as the grammarians say. Moreover, the poetic passion of Gogol will justly attract many who were repelled by the more sardonic humor of Turgenef. We are likely to return to Gogol. — Children of the Earth, by Annie Robertson Macfarlane, is one of the Leisure Hour Series. (Holt.) It has dash and vigor, and a great deal of the sort of writing which women indulge in when they wish to make men more manly than they are; but with all its braveries it is a distinctly feminine book, and not a very pleasant one.—The Man who was Guilty, by Flora Haines Loughead (Houghton), has for its theme the hard lines of a man once overtaken in a fault, who suffered voluntarily for it, but could not expiate his crime to society, until a woman, who with a woman’s pertinacity in taking the blame upon herself held herself responsible for his fall, took his affairs in her hands. Together they worked out a sort of triumph. The theme in itself is not an untrue one, and there is much in this book which is genuine; all of it is in earnest, but a little more naturalness, a little more equitable and reasonable adjustment of the relations of the people in the book, would not have lessened its worth. The scene is laid on the California coast, and intentionally bears hard on certain local defects in San Francisco justice. — Recent numbers of Harper’s Handy Series are Doom! by Justin H. McCarthy; If Love be Love, by D. Cecil Gibbs; Pluck, and Army Society Life in a Garrison Town, by John Strange Winter; and A Daughter of the Gods, by Jane Stanley. — Recent numbers of Harper’s Franklin Square Library are A Stern Chase, by Mrs. Cashel Hoey; The Heir of the Ages, by James Payn; A Faire Damzel, by Esine Stuart; and Pomegranate Seed, by the author of The Two Miss Flemings.