Books of the Month

Books for the Young. Testa, a book for boys, by Paolo Mantegazza; translated from the Italian of the tenth edition by the Italian class in Bangor, Maine, under the supervision of Luigi D. Ventura. (Heath.) This book was suggested by De Amici’s Cuore, and like that is a singular compound of simplesse and shrewdness. The form of the book is very different from what would grow out of an English or American boy’s life. No such serious little diarists, it is safe to say, are now at work ; but there is a good deal of strong sense and some amusing sentimentalism. Why should we be amused ? Probably we should not be if we were Italians; but it is our crass Anglo-Saxon nature that makes it hard for us to see a small boy roll up his eyes without being amused.—A Quaker Girl of Nantucket, by Mary Catherine Lee. (Houghton.) A delightful story, with agreeable humor and a sunny temper. The author has used the venerable situation of an exchange of persons in an entertaining and suggestive fashion, for she manages to transfer the square peg in the round hole to the square hole, while she puts the round peg in its proper place. The background of Nantucket life is skillfully drawn, and the Quaker figures give genuine amusement without being caricatured.

Domestic Economy. Quick Cooking, a book of culinary heresies for the busy wives and mothers of the land, by one of the heretics. (Putnams.) Here are some six hundred recipes, requiring for execution from five to thirty minutes. The audacious author has the husband on her side at once when she declares, as the fundamental doctrine, that “there is no waste in the kitchen so much to be deplored as wasted time.”She winds up with thirty-nine recipes of appetizing dishes, which take time, but in the author’s judgment are too nice to be sacrificed. There is a candor in this “ black list ” which increases one’s confidence in the heretic. — Progressive Housekeeping; Keeping House Without Knowing How, and Knowing How to Keep House Well. By Catherine Owen. (Houghton.) A sensible book by an experienced housekeeper, who treats housekeeping not as something to be learned in a series of rules, but as capable of being systematically studied by an intelligent woman, she seeks to bring order out of chaos, and to teach economy by disclosing rational methods. The practical hints are abundant, and the book is admirably calculated to make the head of a house respect her own position, and to see the real dignity of her calling. — What to do in Cases of Accidents and Emergencies, Describing the Symptoms in each Case, and How to treat them on the Moment, with a list of the Principal Poisons, which if taken, require prompt treatment. Their Remedies and Antidotes. Designed for Family and General Use. By Joseph B. Lawrence, Medical and Surgical Nurse. (J. H. Vail & Co.) We give the title in full, as it is written and punctuated. The book is arranged alphabetically, and, as the author remarks in conclusion, “ought not to be listlessly read merely as a novel or as any other piece of fiction.”The range of Subjects includes a number which do not seem to come under the head of accidents and emergencies, but the directions are in the main simple and intelligible. It is well to remember that in the case of poisoning by chloroform you must " suspend the patient for a few moments by his legs.”

Sociology and Political Economy. The Australian Ballot System, as embodied in the legislation of various countries, with an historical introduction, by John H. Wigmore. (C. C. Soule, Boston.) The spread of the movement to reform our voting methods has been very rapid, and is one of the most interesting political signs of the times; but the ordinary voter, who has not yet tried the system, may well be somewhat appalled at finding a volume of a hundred and fifty pages devoted to a codification of the laws of different countries and states based upon the new system. However, if he will turn to the specimen ballot at the end of the volume, he will perceive how simple is the practical exercise of voting, and he will be interested to see how all the contingencies which may arise under the system have been met in legislation. — The Plantation Negro as a Freeman, by Philip A. Bruce. (Putnams.) The observations upon which this study is based have boon made through a series of years in Southside, Virginia, and every student of the Negro Problem will wish to read carefully a book which reflects the mind of a cautious and apparently unprejudiced Virginian. Unprejudiced, that is, consciously; but it is impossible to read many pages without feeling that here is a writer whose mind has been trained to regard the old relation of master and slave as on the whole freer from cvil than the present relation of equal interdependence. The book is a discouraging one, but it appears to proceed from a mind constitutionally discouraged, and this temper, we think, has unconsciously colored all the observations made. — Marriage and Divorce, by Ap Richard D. Swing and others. (Rand, McNally & Co., Chicago. ) An inquiry into the moral, the practical, the political, and the religions aspects of the question. This is in the main an Euglish book, and deals in a critical fashion mainly with English law.—Outlines of a New Science, by E. J. Donnell. (Putnams.) One of the Questions of the Day series, and in form a lecture delivered before the Reform Club. As nearly as we can make out, Mr. Donnell claims the term “ new ” for social science as an expression of the constitution of the human mind, and the application in economies is to the freedom of commercial exchanges. The book is interesting as showing how an eager mind fumbles with his key for the key-hole, so impatient is he to throw open the door.—International Law, by Henry Sumner Maine. (Holt.) A publication of the late author’s lectures delivered before the University of Cambridge in 1887. The historical method of the writer renders the work attractive to other than legally trained minds, and it especially appeals to readers because the basis is sought in ethical relations, not in mere legislative enactments.

Poetry and the Drama. Virgil’s Æneid, the first six books, translated into English rhyme by-Henry Hamilton. (Putnams.) The rhyme is better than the measure, which is often unrhythmical. The book reads a little too much like an exercise in translation, and lacks the fine poetic element,—Mother Carey’s Chickens, by Wilbur Larremore. (Cassell.) Poems of sentiment of an honest sort, but not charged with much poetic fire. — Idyls of the Golden Shore, by Hu Maxwell. (Putnams.) The golden shore is California, and the poems are the fragments of a busy man’s hours. The poetry is such as a tolerably well read man might write, if he had a good ear and fluent tongue. —Master, by John Ruse Lanes. ( Putnams.) A drama in form, in which the characters and incidents are typical of humanity, good, evil, and so forth. Pretty heavy-footed sort of verse. — The tenth volume of Macmillan’s uniform edition of Browning contains the concluding portions of The Ring and the Book, the poet’s masterpiece.

Fiction. Steadfast, the Story of a Saint and a Sinner, by Rose Terry Cooke. (Ticknor.) Mrs. Cooke has chosen for the scene of her story a Connecticut Valley spot in the early part of the last century, and for her incident the trials of a young minister. Her reading of the New England character is always just and sympathetic, and she has not attempted to make her book antiquated, but has used certain underlying elements of character which were not only possible a hundred and seventy years ago, but were brought into prominence by the social conditions of the time. This book has strength wherever it touches on what is peculiar to New England. Her scapegrace is a cosmopolitan wretch.