Books of the Month

Religion and Philosophy. Footprints of Christ, by REV. Wm. M. Campbell. (Funk & Wagnalls.) A series of familiar talks, suggested by salient features in the life and ministry of Christ. We cannot greatly praise the offhand manner of the writer, and the matter is not so new nor so impressive as to make one indifferent to the tiresome short sentences which succeed each other in disregard of all effort at continuity.—The Unanswered Prayer, or Why do so many Children of the Church go to Ruin? by Mrs. S. M. T. Henry. (Woman’s Temperance Publication Society, Chicago.) A small volume, reciting the experience of a writer who is engaged in the work of the W. C. T. U., but it relates rather to the perils of impurity than of intemperance. — The Continuous Creation, an Application of the Evolutionary Philosophy to the Christian Religion, by Myron Adams. (Houghton.) A fresh, wellconsidered, and reasonable study in religious philosophy. The writer possibly does not appreciate fully the inhuman aspect of evolution as held by some of its interpreters, but he gives generous reception to the scientific basis, and reads Christianity in its light. —The Evolution of Man and Christianity, by the Rev. Howard Macqueary. (Appleton.) This author treats his subject in a different manner from Mr. Adams, his attempt being to apply the evolution theory to the facts as recorded in the Bible, and to see what is left after the physiologists and psychologists and biologists have had the last word. He strikes us as honest, but as rather blindly obedient to his new masters, and more disposed to accept as final the conclusions of scientists than some of his class are to accept the deductions of metaphysicians and theologians. — The Religious Aspect of Evolution, by James McCosh (Scribners), is issued in an enlarged and revised edition, including a chapter on Final Cause in Evolution. Dr. McCosh’s position is well known, and he is not a recent convert to the theory. He does not profess to be a naturalist, but neither are some of the unreligious evolutionary philosophers. — Whither ? O Whither ? Tell me

Where, is the somewhat startling title of a pamphlet by Dr. McCosh (Scribners), in which he plunges into the arena where Dr. Briggs has been riding about with his lance. He does not so much seek to unhorse Dr. Briggs as to gird at some of the ghosts which Dr. Briggs has raised.

History. Alexander: a History of the Origin and Growth of the Art of War from the Earliest Times to the Battle of Ipsus, B. c. 301, with a Detailed Account of the Campaigns of the Great Macedonian; with 237 Charts, Maps, Plans of Battles and Tactical Manœuvres, Cuts of Armor, Uniforms, Siege Devices, and Portraits. By Theodore Ayrault Dodge. (Houghton.) We have copied in full the descriptive title of this important book because it tells so much of the scope of the work. Colonel Dodge has already issued a comprehensive volume of lectures on Great Captains, and now, under the same title, proposes to expand the several subjects. “It is believed,” he says, “that when the series of volumes, of which this is the first, shall have reached our own times the entire body of the art of war will have been well covered. This is not a political history. If any errors in the description of the intricate political conditions of Alexander’s age have crept in, the author begs that they may be pardoned, as not properly within the scope of the work. Time has been devoted to manœuvres and battles; politics has been treated as a side issue.” Colonel Dodge writes as an experienced soldier and military critic for a non-professional audience, and he writes out of so fresh an interest in his subject that he is sure to find interested readers. — In the Story of the Nations Series (Putnams), a recent volume is The Hansa Towns, by Helen Zimmern; a book which is not only readable in itself, but valuable as a commentary upon the insufficiency of a merely commercial league as a basis for nationality. The part which the Hanseatic league played was an important one, and much light is thrown upon the conditions of intercourse in the thirteenth to the fifteenth century ; but there is something of a misnomer in calling the book the story of a nation.

Poetry. A Few More Verses, by Susan Coolidge. (Roberts.) The characteristics of this writer’s poetry which have attracted readers heretofore reappear in this modest volume: the earnestness, not to say eagerness, of spirit, the friendliness, the perception of beauty in things common, the wholesomeness of tone in things religious, set forth in lines which are often effective, sometimes quaint, and sometimes, also, — shall we say it ? — a little hobbly. — The Beautiful City in Song, and Other Poems, by the Rev. Dwight Williams. (Phillips & Hunt, New York.) A volume of sentimental religious verse. — Songs of Help and Inspiration, by Brewer Mattocks. (American News Co.) A species of rude grace, if we may say so, attracts one in these unmelodious verses, a touch of genuineness removes them from the merely commonplace, and one is disposed to think that though there is not much poetry in the verse, there is some in the man who writes the verse. — A London Plane-Tree, and Other Verse, by Amy Levy. (T. Fisher Unwin, London.) The strain of weariness and of expectation of death which runs through these slight poems impresses one as largely physical in its origin. There is an undercurrent of pleasure and delight in beauty which might very likely have become more dominant if this young writer had lived. Her musical power is undoubted. — Annals of the Earth, by C. L. Phifer. (American Publishers’ Association, Chicago.) A supplement to Milton’s Paradise Lost, but with a protest on the part of the author against some of Milton’s positions. The work is annotated with footnotes, and the author draws upon Biblical, classic, and Oriental sources. He rides his poetic horse with a good deal of zeal, and keeps up a steady trot down the centuries.

Travel. A Midsummer Drive through the Pyrenees, by Edwin Asa Dix. (Putnams.) Mr. Dix’s title as ex-fellow in history intimates the nature of his interest in travel. His book is both a picturesque tour and a sketch of the historic points covered in the tour. The writing is pleasing, and if one could have the book in a smaller form, printed on uncalendered paper and without pictures, bound so as to open agreeably, and with a good map, he might read it with great satisfaction. — A Handbook of Florida, by Charles Ledyard Norton. (Longmans.) This is a section of the entire work, and is devoted to the Atlantic coast. Mr. Norton divides his subject by countries, and afterwards takes up special points. He has accumulated a great deal of information, historical, geographical, and industrial, and he has made liberal use of maps. We have no doubt he shares our regret that the maps are so inelegant in style. — Two Years in the French West Indies, by Lafcadio Hearn (Harpers), is the result of a summer trip to the tropics and a prolonged sojourn on the island of Martinique. Mr. Hearn often writes with force and picturesqueness, but he dips his pen in too many brilliant colors, and his gorgeous pages become a trifle fatiguing at last. The compositor must have had on hand a phenomenal supply of one-em dashes in order so successfully to meet the exigencies of Mr. Hearn’s peculiar prose style. — Stanley’s Emin Pasha Expedition, by A. J. Wauters. (Lippincott.) This book may be taken as a convenient forerunner of Stanley’s own narrative. It makes no profession of being a substitute for it, but details with some care the events which led to the formation of the expedition, the incidents preliminary to Stanley’s departure from his base, and then, very briefly, the facts which have since come to light regarding Stanley’s movements until he rescued Emin Pasha. A good map and a number of process cuts, of varying degrees of goodness, accompany the book.

Science. The sixty-sixth number of the International Scientific Series (Appleton) is Physiology of Bodily Exercise, by Fernand Lagrange. The study is minute and somewhat day, but the results reached are of value, for the author determines with much justness the conflicting claims of difficult and easy exercise. His final sentence sums the matter as a practical application : “ Prescribe fencing, gymnastics with apparatus, and lessons in a riding-school to all those idle persons whose brain languishes for want of work. The effort of will and the work of coördination which these exercises demand will give a salutary stimulus to the torpid cerebral cells. But for a child overworked at school, for a person whose nervecentres are congested, owing to persistent mental effort in preparing for an examination, for such we must prescribe long walks, the easily learned exercise of rowing, and, failing better, the old game of leap-frog and prisoner’s base, running-games, — anything, in fact, rather than difficult exercises and acrobatic gymnastics.” The same reasoning would favor light gymnastics for this second class. — The Science of Metrology, or Natural Weights and Measures, by the Hon. E. Noel. (Edward Stanford, London.) The author calls his little treatise a challenge to the metric system. His purpose, however, is not merely critical, for he aims at constructing a system which shall harmonize the English and the metric system.

Sociology and Economics. Emigration and Immigration, a Study in Social Science, by Richard Mayo Smith. (Scribners.) Mr. Smith’s book, if not in strictness a pioneer book, is so full and so thorough a treatment of a subject which has been attacked from various sides that it is a positive addition to our social and economic literature, It is a pleasure to find a writer who takes at once a humane and broad view of his subject, and handles his statistics in a scientific way. He treats of the history of migrations, of the relation of immigration to population, the political effects of immigration, the economic gain by immigration, competition with American labor, social effects of immigration, assisted emigration and immigration, and similar topics. We notice that Mr. Smith does not refer at all to the recent discussion on negro emigration. — The Geography of Marriage, or Legal Perplexities of Wedlock in the United States, by William L. Snyder. (Putnams.) A rapid sketch of the complexity of the regulations of the marriage contract, closing with a few pages of suggestion as to the remedy, which is in effect greater uniformity in the laws governing both marriage and divorce. The last third of the book is a digest of the law of marriage in its most important particulars, arranged according to States. — Mr. J. Madison Cutts (Washington) has edited a pamphlet containing the views of the late Stephen A. Douglas on an American Continental Commercial Union or alliance. Its arguments, drawn up a quarter of a century ago, and regarding Canada, Mexico, the West Indies, and Central America, are just as applicable to-day, and may be extended to include South America without impairing their value. — Involuntary Idleness, an exposition of the cause of the discrepancy existing between the supply of and the demand for labor and its products, by Hugh Bilgram. (Lippincott.) A small book, with the conclusion “that an expansion of the volume of money, by extending the issue of credit-money, will prevent business stagnation and involuntary idleness.”

Bibliography and Books of Reference. A Bibliography of the Writings in Prose and Verse of John Ruskin, LL. D., edited by Thomas J. Wise. (Wiley.) This work is to be issued in eight parts, of which two have appeared. It is prepared in the same minute, painstaking manner as Arrows of the Chace, the Index to Fors Clavigera, and other helps to an exact account of Mr. Raskin’s literary work. This author is a boon to the bibliographer, for he has started so many enterprises, made so many sharp turns, recrossed his own steps so frequently, and taken so many vestigia retrorsa that to follow him is as exhilarating to the book collector and indexer as a foxhunt to a fox-hunter. Moreover, Mr. Ruskin himself seems to think the game is worth the candle, and takes a delightful interest in his own footprints. — Handy Lists of Technical Literature. Part I. Useful Arts in General, Products and Processes used in Manufacture, Technology, and Trades. Compiled by H. E. Haferkorn and Paul Heise. (National Publishing and Printing Co., Milwaukee.)