Books of the Month

Sociology and Economics. Crime, its Nature, Causes, Treatment,and Prevention, by Sanford M. Green. (Lippincott.) Judge Green is, as it were, a legal physician diagnosing a disease. He considers such causes as heredity, intemperance, ignorance, idleness, avarice, cupidity, personal ambition, and the conflict between Capital and Labor; he gives a historical sketch of the methods of treatment and outlines the proper discipline, and then proceeds to a discussion of education as a preventive, of the prevention further of intemperance and economical quarrels as lying nearest to the source of crime. He writes as a humane man, whose long experience on the bench in Michigan and careful study of penology give him a right to an opinion.

Poetry and the Drama. The New Pandora, by Harriet H. Robinson. (Putnams.) An ingenious performance in which, by the addition of a group of primitive men to the original characters of Pandora, Epimetheus, Vulcan, and Hope, the author has developed a drama in which woman’s place in the world is worked out in miniature. The scheme is quite original, and the restraint of the form chosen helps the scenes, and saves them from a too liberal importation of modern sentiment. — Mrs. Moulton’s new volume, In the Garden of Dreams (Roberts), is altogether the most charming collection of verse she has given us. The writer’s wider range in theme and her advance in technical skill, not previously lacking, are notable. Nearly, if not wholly, one half of the book is occupied by the sonnet, —a most difficult form of verse ; and it is no slight praise to say that it is here that Mrs. Moulton is at her best. The sonnet on page 182, for illustration, is in a very noble manner. The volume is exquisitely printed. — Cosmopolitania, a poem by J. G. Spencer. (The Tuttle Co., Rutland, Vt.) A whimsical performance, in which the writer, using the easiest form of verse, sets out to tell an extravagant romance. “ By George,” he says, when in the midst of his third canto,

“ By George, I wish I ’d never tried
To write a canto number three, —
The first two cantos were enough,
To suit a vast majority.”

Plainly he does not wish to be taken too seriously, and the reader, if he has time to spare, can extract some slight entertainment. — The Bugle Call and Others, by Augusta Clinton Winthrop. (W. B. Clarke & Co., Boston.) Poems, chiefly personal or suggested by the religious life. They are fervid, impulsive, and not weakened by their sentiment. — Banquet of Palacios, a comedy, by Charles Leonard Moore. (C. L. Moore, Philadelphia.) A headlong sort of drama, with a rush about it which drags the reader along, but he finds himself with scumbled wits when he is through. It appears to be a bit of bravado upon which a clever genius has wasted itself. — Divine Philosophy, by John Waddie. (Kegan Paul, Trench & Co., London.) A most business-like philosophic study, set forth in smooth lines. We start with the general principles of evolution by natural and sexual selection and the law of battle, and end with modern thought on immortality. An air of elegance pervades the work which is preserved to the last. The author appears to make his final bow in an immaculate shirt-front.

“ We glory in our race, and in the hope
That our descendants may at length aspire
To see the light for which we only grope ;
And, sated with life’s banquet, we retire.”

Travel. In and Around Berlin, by Minerva Brace Norton. (McClurg.) A simple, unpretentious, but readable account of life as seen by an American lady of refined tastes who spent a winter in Berlin in the American colony. She notes family and social life, education, churches, museums, philanthropic work, streets, parks, the Parliament, prominent personages, and other cognate subjects. We must compliment the publishers on the neatness of style in which this and other of their publications received this season are presented. It is a pleasure to read books so fair to the eye and agreeable to the touch. — An Eastern Tour at Home, by Joel Cook. (McKay.) A volume reprinted from the Public Ledger of Philadelphia. It would be quite possible for an American of one city to make a tour in his own country away from home and interest his readers by giving a new setting to familiar scenes, but Mr. Cook does not appear to write for any one but Philadelphians who never have been farther away than Camden. — The New Eldorado, a Summer Journey to Alaska, by Maturin M. Ballou. (Houghton.) Mr. Ballou applies his industrious method to a newer field than he has entered hitherto, and the result is a book which will strike his readers as fresh and inviting. The author is in agreement with others in anticipating a great future for Alaska, but he bases his expectation of prosperity on the development of the fisheries and mineral resources, having little confidence in agricultural enterprise. — A Race with the Sun ; or a Sixteen Months’ Tour from Chicago around the World through Manitoba and British Columbia by the Canadian Pacific; Oregon and Washington; Japan; China; Siam; Straits Settlements ; Burmah ; India ; Ceylon ; Egypt ; Greece ; Turkey; Roumania; Hungary ; Austria ; Poland ; Transcaucasia; the Caspian Sea and the Volga River; Russia; Finland ; Sweden ; Norway ; Denmark ; Prussia; Paris ; London and home. By Carter H. Harrison. (Putnams.) We have copied the full title-page as an indication of the scope of this big book. It consists of letters written to a Chicago journal, revised, and furnished with a number of views reproduced from photographs. Mr. Harrison was a quick observer and a rapid narrator, and though his observations are confined mainly to the external aspects of the world as he saw it, he sometimes makes a shrewd reflection, and he shows a good sense of proportion in not fatiguing the reader with too many details of those trivialities of personal experience which are common to all travelers. — Five Years at Panama, by Wolfred Nelson. (Belford.) The writer was a newspaper correspondent as well as practicing physician at Panama for 1880 to 1885, and took a lively interest in the canal project. Most of the book is occupied with a rambling account of life on the isthmus, and the last moiety is a detailed criticism of De Lesseps’s “ impossible canal.” There are several clear process cuts from photographs, and a map.

Science. The Cosmic Law of Thermal Repulsion, an essay suggested by the projection of a comet’s tail. (Wiley.) The layman is likely to turn first to the conclusion of this little book, and to rest his uneasy mind — laymen are always uneasy when comets’ tails are projected — by the assurance “that all matter in nature is held suspended between these two forces of attraction and repulsion. . . . Thermal Repulsion and Gravitational Attraction hold in position the very ground beneath our feet.” But ah ! the last sentence, which follows this : “ The end of the world, as we know it, would come by an explosion or contraction, if either of these forces was suspended for an instant.” How well the Crack of Doom is named ! — The Story of the Bacteria, and their Relations to Health and Disease, by T. Mitchell Prudden. (Putnams.) A popular presentation of the scientific facts regarding bacteria, though we are surprised to see that the author makes no statements regarding the precaution taken by sterilization. — Aspects of the Earth, a popular account of some familiar geological phenomena, by N. S. Shaler. (Scribners.) Readers of The Atlantic do not need to be told how versatile and suggestive a writer is Professor Shaler, but in this book they will see him at his best, treating of a subject which permits him scope for large generalizing from phenomena in geology, for free illustration of familiar aspects, and for constant association of man with the earth on which he lives. To this writer the globe is not a dead mass, obeying certain fixed laws, but an intelligent, throbbing organism, disclosing laws by its regular and by its irregular action. How interesting are the topics may be seen by an enumeration of the chapter headings : The Stability of the Earth; Volcanoes ; Caverns and Cavern Life ; Rivers and Valleys; The Instability of the Atmosphere ; Forests of North America; The Origin and Nature of Soils. It is a pleasure to see engravings in such a book which are reproduced from photographs by the graver, and not by chemical process.— Scientific Papers of Asa Gray, selected by Charles Sprague Sargent, in two volumes. (Houghton.) Mr. Sargent has collected into the first volume Dr. Gray’s reviews of botany and related subjects from 1834 to 1887, and into the second his essays and biographical sketches written between 1841 and 1846. The subjects discussed by Dr. Gray are those upon which he spoke with authority; but though the papers are scientific, they are such in no narrow sense. Dr. Gray was a specialist in one of the great sciences before the day when men aimed to be great specialists in minor subdivisions of science. Moreover, lie was a man of generous, humane sympathy, with a love of nature which was not lessened by his great learning. Thus his writings reflect his character as well as his attainments, and the layman, though he cannot read intelligently all of Dr. Gray’s work in these volumes, will find abundance to attract him, just as it was impossible for one to know this wise, delightful man in his lifetime, and think of him merely as a great botanist.

Theology and Religion. Signs of Promise is the title of a volume of sermons, by Lyman Abbott, preached in the pulpit formerly occupied by Henry Ward Beecher. (Fords, Howard & Hulbert.) The attentive reader will discover much the same temper in the two preachers, but if he be dispassionate he will be likely to credit Mr. Beecher with genius or something very like it, and Mr. Abbott with a power in the construction of a working philosophy of religion far more indestructible than Mr. Beecher’s phantasmal forms. Certainly this book, lighted from Mr. Beecher’s torch, burns with a flame which both warms and lights. It is not often that a preacher combines so well the emotional and the logical mind. — A Short Cut to the True Church, or the Fact and the Word, by the Rev. Father Edmund Hill. (Office of the Ave Maria, Notre Dame, Indiana.) The author of this little book was brought up outside of the Church of Rome, but found his way into it, and his little book is a guide to show the way to others who may be at the same starting-point; that is, of obedience to the scriptures of the Old and New Testament. There is a directness and frankness of manner which are very engaging, but to our minds this writer is silent about the one fact of the Roman Catholic Church which probably keeps more out of it than anything else, and that is the history of the Church itself, the fact which led to the great Protestant revolution. — Supernatural Revelation, an essay concerning the basis of the Christian faith, by C. M. Mead. (Randolph.) Mr. Mead’s essay, which is a substantial book, aims at meeting current forms of skepticism, and accordingly his specific citation and criticism relate to authors who are now listened to; not to names, however important, who represent an earlier phase of thought. But his book is not merely polemic ; he seeks for positive ground on which to rest an expressed belief, and there is a healthy tone to his mind which leads him to value common sense above subtlety. " Christians, ” he says in one place, “cannot be forever reexamining the foundations of their faith;” and he writes as one who sets a proper estimate on the worth of experience as massed in large facts, but is ready to meet a thoughtful inquiry in a thoughtful and painstaking manner. — Church Song for the Uses of the House of God, prepared by M. W. Stryker. (Biglow & Main.) The reliance in music is largely upon the modern English school, but there is considerable variety both in hymns and tunes. The general effect is one of dignity and freedom from cheap sentiment. — The Struggle for Immortality, by Elizabeth Stuart Phelps. (Houghton.) A collection of seven essays upon profound and elemental topics of faith and conduct. There is an ungloved grasp of some of the subjects, which is needed, perhaps, to make the hand felt in some quarters, but the violence done to a sensitive nature in some of the phraseology is a pretty high price to pay for the result gained. — Indications of the Book of Job ; also, a Preliminary to the Indications. By Edward B. Latch. (Lippincott.) Mr. Latch has elaborated a scheme of humanity which reaches from B. C. 31,863 to A. D. 3963, which is the end of time. Some of the separate points in the progress may be noted. The first white race of men was created B. C. 29,789. There was an earthquake and volcanic eruption which swept away the first race of men B. C. 21,414. The third or black race was created B. C. 13,465. The second or red race was destroyed by drought and famine B. C. 12,098. The fourth or pale race was created B. C. 3897. Deluge came off B. C. 2241. Melchizedek appeared B. C. 1827. Future events are more interesting. Transgression comes to the full A. D. 2133. The King of the Thousand Years Era appears A. D. 2803. The Era of Destruction begins A. D. 3803. Job, it should be now said, belonged to the second or Heddekelic age, somewhere about B. C. 21,414. The Behemoth was the locomotive engine which was then running. But of all the wonders of this book, Mr. Edward B. Latch must be pronounced the most wonderful, —The Church in Modern Society, by Julius H. Ward. (Honghton.) Mr. Ward stands off a little way, and looks at modern life in order to see what part the historic organism The Church plays in it. The difficulty in any such survey is, of course, both in the man and the subject. It is hard to rid one’s self of personal sentiments, and it is hard for any one to generalize to advantage from the vast sum of individual facts which go to make up the Church as an existing organization, and not as an image of the mind. Mr. Ward’s sympathy is with the Church, and a habit of considering contemporary conditions has given him a certain facility of selection, so that his general statements strike one as reasonable. The thought of the book is interesting, and if it is not precipitated into much practical recommendation, the limitations of space must be held accountable. If the lines of his thought were extended, they might touch many practical matters. — The Lily Among Thorns, by William Elliot Griffis. (Houghton.) The sub-title of this book explains its scope, — a study of the Biblical drama entitled The Song of Songs. Dr. Griffis approaches his subject with freedom, yet without that spirit of destructive criticism which so frequently is allied with freedom. On the contrary, he builds for the reverent reader of the Scriptures a far more reasonable and intelligible foundation of respect for this enigmatic book than is possible where one is driven into a mystical mode of interpretation. Out of a generous study of the original, in its setting, is drawn a view of its actual meaning and place which adds greatly to the reader’s pleasure. — Jesus Brought Back, meditations on the problem of problems, by Joseph Henry Crooker. (McClurg.) An attempt to restate the result of modern criticism in popular language, and to rid Christianity of what the author believes to be the incrustations of speculation and superstition. May it not be that the accumulation of the centuries in the building up of the knowledge of One who is the greatest of known powers may be worth something, and that truth may be rich as well as simple ?

Politics and Law. Principles of Procedure in Deliberative Bodies, by George Glover Crocker. (Putnams.) Mr. Crocker, who has had more than a theoretical knowledge of his subject, here comes to the aid of the intelligent presiding officer, not with a set of rules to cover all possible cases, but with a clear presentation of the principles involved, with illustrative application. The person using it will be less likely to err, we think, than one who blindly follows a set of rules without comprehending the principle underlying them. — Later Speeches on Political Questions, with Select Controversial Papers, by George W. Julian; edited by his daughter, Grace Julian Clarke. (Carlon & Hollenbeck, Indianapolis.) Mr. Julian’s career is well known, and his deliberate secession from the Republican party, which led practically to his political hara-kiri, makes his later utterances interesting, since they may be taken as given without fear or favor. —.Justice and Jurisprudence, an Inquiry concerning the Constitutional Limitations of the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments. (Lippincott.) The preface to this octavo volume is signed by The Brotherhood of Liberty, and under this title appears to lie a body of men devoted to the interests of the African race on this continent. The most important section of the work is the digest of legislative and judicial proceedings, national and state, embracing the organic laws of the United States of America since March 6, 1862, in relation to the civil rights of all citizens of the United States. The body of the work is taken up with discussion of various cases which have come before the courts, each chapter introduced by a great variety of quotations. The love of color and sound attributed to the African race is illustrated by the general tone of this book, for scarlet and trumpet-flowers of rhetoric remain in the reader’s mind after he has laid himself open to the resounding sentences.

Literature and Criticism. Half-Hours with the Best Humorous Authors, selected and arranged by Charles Morris. (Lippincott.) Four crown octavo volumes are devoted to this lightest form of literature, two being given to American and two to English, Irish, and Scottish humor, with a slight infusion from Continental authors. This is an equitable division. Mr. Morris has taken a good deal of pains to search far and wide for his material, and has by no means filled his books with what every one knows or knows about. He has in some cases discreetly abridged the matter, supplying connections where a break would be disastrous, and has provided convenient head-notes and indexes. The work affords the student an opportunity also to make some interesting comparative studies, though the arrangement is not wholly chronological. — Musical Moments, short selections in prose and verse for music-lovers. (A. C. McClurg & Co., Chicago.) A pretty little volume which shows a good range of reading and refined taste. It is interesting to see how very recent much of the writing is. If music be the latest born of the arts, talk about music is still later. — The Poetry of Tennyson, by Henry Van Dyke (Scribner’s Sons), is a comprehensive and appreciative review of the laureate’s work. In his chapter on Milton and Tennyson we do not think that Mr. Van Dyke makes out his case. The book, however, as a whole, is an admirable one, and we are especially indebted to the author for the essay on The Bible in Tennyson and the carefully prepared chronology. In the latter, Longfellow’s sonnet to Tennyson (1877) should have been included. — American War Ballads and Lyrics, edited by George Cary Eggleston (Putnam’s Sons), is the title given to a selection from the vast body of verse called forth by our three notable wars. The compilation does not claim to be exhaustive, but no distinguished writer in this kind has been omitted. The really fine war-poems that have been written could be put into one very small volume. — Three Dramas of Euripides, by William Cranston Lawton. (Houghton.) Readers of The Atlantic do not need to be told of the quality of Mr. Lawton’s work. He had already treated in its pages of the Alkestis, the Medea, and the Hippolytos, and these constitute the theme of the present volume: but he gave only a taste in the magazine ; here he gives a full and substantial repast. We do not know any modern rendering which sets before the reader so clear a view of the Euripidean drama, and is so free both of archaism and of the equally objectionable modernization. Mr. Lawton performs the true office of the interpreter, for he knows both languages, that of Greek art and that of modern thought, and he does not confuse the idioms.

Fiction. Mito Yashiki, a Tale of Old Japan ; being a feudal romance descriptive of the decline of the Shogunate and of the downfall of the Tokugawa family. By Arthur Collins Maclay. (Putnams.) Mr. Maclay is a gentleman who has been resident in Japan, and now avails himself of his observation and his acquaintance with recent Japanese history to construct an historical romance. The material certainly is fresh, and there is much that is unusual in the book, but we think the author leans too heavily on his material, and does not sufficiently ply the novelist’s art in his use of it. He is, besides, too much taken up with philosophical speculations. — Jane Eyre, an autobiography, by Charlotte Bronte, appears in the Camelot Series (Walter Scott, London; W. J. Gage & Co., New York), with an introduction by Clement K. Shorter, which is in effect a brief biography. — Emmanuel, the Story of the Messiah, by William Forbes Cooley. (Dodd, Mead & Co.) The reader naturally compares this book with Ben-Hur, and if he be a reverential person comes to contrast it with that now famous novel. Mr. Cooley has handled his material with a fine sense of the dignity of his subject ; he has his eye always on the principal figure, but studies carefully the composition formed by the relation of others to him, and his book is to be praised for what it does not contain as well as for what it does. It was an admirable conception which led him to make the doubting disciple the second figure in the story, and throughout Mr. Cooley has shown a true insight into character and incident. His connection of the parables with the minds of the hearers is a felicitous touch, and in many instances the writer gives evidence of a careful and most intelligent study of his great subject. One falls to speculating whether, since fiction has so taken the place of art in popular estimation, there is to spring up a religious school of fictitious art, essaying either entire narratives or special episodes from sacred history. Mr. Cooley has gone to work somewhat as Holman Hunt in his modern Scriptural pictures. — Gerald French’s Friends, by George H. Jessop. (Longmans.) A collection of stories by a writer who hits off well one phase of the Irish character, and uses with cleverness material drawn chiefly from experience on the Pacific coast. There is a little timidity of touch, but a commendable absence of extravagance, so that one is at liberty to believe the author capable of doing more important work, and of doing it well.—A Family Tree,and Other Stories, by Blander Matthews. (Longmans.) The reader is at once attracted by the ingenuity of Mr. Matthews’s fancy. lie is sure always to be entertained by cleverness, not so much of plot as of trivial incident. The air of lifelikeness which attaches to the stories gives one the confidence that he is not to be betrayed into any undue sentiment, but is to be treated to a piece of good-fellowship. — Memoirs of a Millionaire, by Lucia True Ames. (Houghton.) What would you do, reader, if you were a young girl, and had just inherited unexpectedly some ten million dollars ? To some it would be enough to be the young girl, but this entertaining book shows a modern Countess of Monte Cristo, with the burden of the world on her shoulders, and the happiness of others instead of her own exercise of power the most momentous consideration. There is a great deal of ingenuity shown, and one with less than ten millions may find capital suggestions in it. — In Three Cities and a State or Two, by George S. Fraser. (Putnams.) A few short stories in a sentimental vein.—Engineer Jim, and Other Stories, by M. A. M. No author’s name, no publisher’s, not even a printer’s. The book is a collection of a score of stories, which read as if the writer were struggling for expression, and had fed upon Norwegian and German tales. There is an evident desire to state the real truths of life, and the form is sometimes a parable. — Life’s Long Battle Won, by Edward Garrett. (Dodd, Mead & Co.) A carefully written story, with conventional incidents, but well-considered characters and a delicacy of touch. There is a gentle religious tone which underlies the story, and is not obtruded. —Gold that did not Glitter, by Virginius Dabney. (Lippincott.) A lively little story, which has something of the vagrancy of Don Miff, but by reason of its limitations is more easily read and more to be enjoyed. Still it is hard not to feel that there is a slight affectation about the whole business. It is as if a story-writer of to-day should equip himself by an alternate reading of Southey’s Doctor and Tristram Shandy.