Books of the Month
Art. The Portfolio (Macmillan) for June has a noble portrait, of Cardinal Manning, etched by G. W. Rhead from Mr. Watts’s painting. Mr. Hamerton concludes a brief note on the picture with the words, " Although he lives in a Protestant country, his position is at the same time influential and agreeable, which is good evidence of the extremely tolerant spirit now prevalent in England, — a spirit that certainly never prevailed in Rome so long as it remained under Papal domination. The hand as well as the face indicates the casuist. There is an illustrated article on t he Wight and the Solent Sea; another on Charing Cross to St. Paul’s, illustrated by Mr. Pennell; a paper on Alfred Stevens, with an interesting portrait; and the customary notes.— L’Art for May 15 and June 1 (Macmillan) is devoted mainly to the Salon of 1890. Among the larger illustrations are a striking copy of a study by E. Detaille for his picture En Batterie, Millet’s Le Greffour, and a Pastorale by the American Hennessy, who has too long exiled himself. There are smaller wood-engravings, one of which, Sous les Noyers, by Adolphe Guillon, is especially charming, and portraits of Tadema and Du Maurier. The numbers for June 15 and July 1 have for etchings Le Moulin, by Gaucherel, after Jules Dupré ; Retour an Bercail, by Karl Bodmer; La Vache Échappée, by H. Martin after Julien Dupré; Rain and Wind, by J. C. Robinson; other full-page engravings on wood or by process are given, and the concluding paper, by A. Hustin, on Jules Dupré, contains a number of charming sketches and studies by the painter. A first paper on Ulysse Butin, by Abel Patoux, is accompanied by a serious and pathetic picture of street singers, and by a number of lively, grotesque sketches. One attraction of this serial, in addition to its abundant illustration of current art, lies in the concentration of interest in each number upon some one important subject, instead of a dissipation amonga variety of fragmentary sketches.
Education and Text-Books. The third volume of The Century Dictionary (Century Co.), is excellent reading. One may travel from G to Lyverey, which is plainly the very latest word that can be made with any combination of letters beginning with L, except in the Polish language, where a z can come in anywhere. We know few pleasures greater than running one’s proboscis into a dictionary at any point; and when, as here, a single volume has 1134 triple-column pages, it is clear that the liveliest bee requires no other flower garden from which to draw his honey. Here is the word go, with all its meanings and all its combinations, occupying seven columns. The curious reader finds the two exactly contrary significations of go for lying side by side, so impartial are the word-gatherers ; only +he secondary meaning of “ to proceed to attack ” is stigmatized as slang, U. S. Was it, never slang to say “ I go for Jackson” ? Some of the natural history cuts are remarkably good, as that of the common European crane and those of hummingbirds. The architectural drawings are also sharp and descriptive. In treating the word infare we do not think it is made quite clear that in some parts of the United States — in Virginia, for example— it was the feast given after all the ceremonies of the wedding, when the party proceeded to the home of the newly married couple. It is pleasant to see really spirited Americanisms recognized and given a seat above the salt in such phrases as “ to make things hum.” The derivation of heaven is made right. The sky was not hove up. The references to contemporaneous literature are liberal, and should make writers cautious. We have ourselves, in Books of the Month, begun to mend our manners with the hope of being cited as authority. If we have taken words out of dictionaries, may we not, be called on to pay the debt by putting some in
Fiction. The Stories of the Three Burglars, by Frank R. Stockton. (Dodd, Mead & Co.) The conceit by which the burglar-trap is set is clever, but it seems to us that Mr. Stockton’s humor in the book is so dry as to rattle. Perhaps we are unnecessarily fastidious, and have forgotten the moral of the wife’s deceased sister. There really is only one picture in the book, that of the three men on the bench after they are tied and before they awake; it is only hinted at, but Stockton’s hints are often better than his direct discourse. — 1791, a Tale of San Domingo, by E. W. Gilliam, M. D. (John Murphy it Co., Baltimore.) A dignified historical tale, in which the author has used a familiarity with the history of San Domingo to make a background for a group of figures who act out their own little drama. The book is well written, though not with any unusual grace. — Edward Burton, by Henry Wood. (Lee & Shepard.) A novel in which the author, through his characters. delivers himself of his views of life and faith. The reader interests himself in the reflections, and occasionally comes across the story again.