Comment on New Books

Fiction. The Front Yard, and Other Italian Stories, by Constance Fenimore Woolson. (Harpers.) Miss Woolson was so much at home in Italy that she could write stories with the scenes laid there and not give one the sense that she was using Italian properties. As in other cases, her interest was in her characters, and a fine perception of delicate shades was kept warm and human by a generous humor. The art of these stories is so good, the breeding so high, that one would fain believe they have a greater enduring power than many more in the fashion of the hour. The same comment may be made on Miss Woolson’s companion volume, Dorothy, and Other Italian Stories. (Harpers.) — An Imaginative Man, by Robert S. Hichens. (Appletons.) Henry Denison, pessimist, cynic, and egotist, is a selfconstituted detective to discover the true character of the men and women he meets. Viewing them as enigmas, he is chronically bored by finding them all too easily solved, and the pretty, affectionate wife, whom he married because she baffled him for a time, proves so commonplace that a child could understand her. The pair go to Egypt, where Denison falls in love with the Sphinx, who alone remains a mystery, and finally, we infer, dashes Ids brains out against her, his morbid mental condition having developed into downright madness. Another study of an abnormal nature, and a peculiarly repellent one, is that of a boy of twenty, dying of consumption, and possessed by a feverish desire to see “life ; ” and, by accompanying him in this noble quest, the writer is enabled to give a vivid and audacious picture of night-life, in every sense, in the vilest quarter of Cairo. The growth of Denison’s mania, with its diseased self-consciousness, is forcibly drawn, and everywhere the book shows cleverness, but we do not think that Mr. Hichens has as yet found his real position as a novelist. At all events, we prefer to regard this tale as an experiment, and to believe the author capable of truer and more wholesome work. — A Modern Man, by Ella Macmahon, Iris Series. (Dent, Loudon; Macmillan, New York.) Why the unheroic hero of this tale should be called a modern man, except for the sake of a telling title, it is difficult to discover, as men capable of loving two (or more) women simultaneously are certainly not peculiar to the passing day. However, the question is of no great moment, as the gentleman’s history, though easily readable, is of very ordinary quality, the measure of cleverness which the writer possesses having a tendency to degenerate into smartness or flippancy. Her women are better done than the man ; the heroine, though a mere sketch, having a distinct and not unpleasing individuality. — Two late additions to the Keynotes Series (John Lane, London; Roberts, Boston) are, The Mountain Lovers, by Fiona Macleod, and A Woman Who Did Not, by Victoria Crosse, Miss Macleod’s highly imaginative romance bears little or no kinship to the popular Scottish novels of the day. It is a purely Celtic idyl, tragic enough in some of its aspects, not lacking in genuine poetic sentiment, and showing throughout the feeling of the true Naturelover. A Woman Who Did Not belongs to the ordinary class of what may be called Yellow-Book fiction. It is, of course, the history of a woman, who, having an unsatisfactory husband, nobly refuses to accept the love of a man for whom she has conceived an ardent attachment; why, it is difficult to say, for the hero is always an unmitigated cad, and at times a brute. We find the atmosphere of the tale none the less malodorous because it is that to which numerous writers of the hour, mostly women, are strenuously endeavoring to accustom us. — The Golden Age, by Kenneth Grahame. (Stone & Kimball.) It is seldom that we have the happy fortune to find sketches of child-life at once so delightful and so true as those which make up this most readable book. It is a fragmentary chronicle of the lives of live parentless children, clever, healthy, and natural, who are physically well cared for by commonplace, uncomprehending relatives, the proper amount of mental pabulum being dispensed by an equally conventional governess. Thus the little folk exist for the most part in a world of their own, themselves their only confidants, — a world full of excitements and marvels of which their elders never dream. The author, we can hardly help saying the autobingrapher, faithfully reproduces the child attitude of mind, and his work throughout shows the kindliest insight and the keenest humorous perception. We can recommend the volume as a pleasant and efficacious alterative after a course of “modern” fiction.—Joan Haste, by H. Rider Haggard. (Longmans.) Mr. Haggard’s limitations become very apparent when he attempts to depict more or less every-day English folk dwelling in their own land. His remarkable inventive power — more truly inventive than imaginative — does not flag, but it is sadly hampered by working ill civilized and familiar ways. It need not be said that the tale is always readable, but it is essentially melodramatic, and its unreality will probably be felt by even the least critical reader, who will be much more concerned with the involutions of Joan’s sad history than with the hapless young woman herself. — The Wish, by Hermann Sudermann. Translated by Lily Henkel. (Appletons.) The Wish, one of Sudermann’s shorter and earlier tales, is an undoubtedly powerful and also pitiless psychological study of a hidden sin, — an involuntary wish in a moment of strong excitement, bitterly repented of on the instant, having no least result in deed, and finally expiated by the suicide of the criminal or victim. The interesting introduction by Elizabeth Lee is partly biographical, partly critical; the former element being drawn from information furnished by the author himself.—The Village Watch-Tower, by Kate Douglas Wiggin. (Houghton.) Though there are half a dozen stories in this volume, the author is justified in making the first give a title to the collection, for there is a unity of scene and character about the group which makes the rest read almost like continuations of the first. They are, in truth, scenes from Our Village, presented with a delicacy of characterization, a playfulness, a humane feeling, and a dramatic instinct which set the book apart from the ordinary group of short stories.— Neighbors of Ours, Slum Stories of London, by Henry W. Nevinson. (Holt.) The narrator of these tales is an East End lad, with the excessive sharpness and severe limitations of his class. The sketches are very well done. The writer has insight and humor, and convinces us at once that he has much more than a superficial knowledge of the life he describes, while he seldom makes the mistake of confounding his own point of view with that of his hero. — Kafir Stories, by William Charles Scully. (Holt.) Mr. Scully has the true story-teller’s gift; his faults are mainly those of inexperience. His sketches have vitality and force, and sometimes evince a good deal of descriptive power; perhaps the most striking of them being The Quest of the Copper, a tale of savage tyranny and warfare, and also of savage heroism and loyalty. Of course, things horrible and revolting must have a part in such narratives, but, the author does not generally dwell on them unduly, though such a sketch as Ghamba makes us fear that a possible danger to him may lie in that direction. — A Ringby Lass, and Other Stories, by Mary Beaumont. Iris Series. (Macmillan.) The title-story, which fills half the book, is conventional enough in its love-interest, but displays cleverness in some Yorkshire character sketches. All the tales have the effect of immature work, and, so considered, show promise. — The Honor of the Flag, by W. Clark Russell. The Autonym Library. (Putnams.) The eight brief sea-stories in this little volume are all rather conventional, both in their tragedy and comedy, and, comparing the author with himself, seem to be for the most part merely perfunctory bits of work. — Mr. William F. Apthorp has translated a half dozen of Zola’nuances which are true to life and delicately perceived. The construction of the book is not of the best. The reader has the odd sensation of attacking what may be called a fiction essay ; the writer has her story and characters well in her mind, and writes about them as if she were making a study of somebody’s else novel, and reproducing the effects along with an explanation of the causes. It is a thoughtful book, if not very dramatic, and contains many shrewd reflections, but it is above all a very nice study in the character of a not easily understood girl. — Some of the Tenement Tales of New York, by Mr. J. W. Sullivan (Holt), make very vivid pictures of tenement life, told with an effort, not quite successful, at proper reserve. Mr. Sullivan seems to have tried to refrain from making a morbidly violent appeal to the reader’s sympathies, but perhaps it is too much to expect any writer just now wholly to escape the professional povertystudying tone that fills the air. His aim, however, has been artistic, and not philanthropic, and some of the adventures of his tenement heroes are narrated with considerable skill. — Mrs. Austin’s Standish of Standish has been reissued in two volumes, with photogravures from admirable designs by Frank T. Merrill. It is a pleasure to see a story written after minute study of Old Colony history illustrated by an artist who has steeped himself in the same atmosphere. (Houghton.)—A Chosen Few, by Frank R. Stockton. (Scribners.) A delightful group of the author’s characteristic stories, though doubtless each reader will miss one of his favorites. As an introduction to a fuller acquaintance with Stockton this pretty volume serves an excellent purpose. — Two other volumes now brought out in the charming Cameo Edition are Robert Grant’s The Reflections of a Married Man, and The Opinions of a Philosopher, each with an etched frontispiece by W . H. Hyde. (Scribners.) —Aone-volume edition of Crawford’s Katharine Lauderdale has been published, uniform in style with the author’s earlier works. (Macmillan.) — The Delectable Duchy, by “ Q,” and Crockett’s The Stickit Minister, form the seventh and eighth volumes of Macmillan’s Novelists’ Library. — No Proof, by Lawrence L. Lynch. (Rand, McNally & Co.)

Books for the Young. The Nimble Dollar; with Other Stories, by C. M. Thompson. (Houghton.) These stories are frankly for boys to read, but they are so capitally told, and have so strong a constructive power, that we cannot think of a mature reader who would not read straight through the one he began. It is refreshing to find stories which are so devoid of subtlety on the one hand, and of commonplace on the other. — The Horse Fair, by James Baldwin. (Century Co.) In the usual convenient dream, the youthful hero of this tale is, under convoy of Cheiron, carried to the park of Morgan le Fay, where are.exhibited the famous horses of myth and story, together with a few historic steeds. This of course gives an opportunity for the introduction of much entertaining lore regarding these renowned chargers, which is generally set forth in a spirited and readable fashion. — Cricket, by Elizabeth Westyn Timlow. (Estes & Lauriat.) A very brisk book recording the antics of a headlong, winning little girl. The two or three pages with which the book opens are a trifle, misleading ; they suggest a somewhat conventional juvenile ; but the moment. Miss Timlow falls upoii the sketch of her child Cricket, she forgets the conventions of book-making, and writes with an abandon which is truly delightful. The naturalness of the scenes and of the speech used by the children, though now and then narrowly escaping the charge of slang, is healthy and free ; an air of genuine domestic refinement pervades the book, and what little moral there is does not obtrude itself. We feel sure that when her boys and girls grow up they will be manly and well-mannered. — The Young Pretenders, by Edith Henrietta Fowler. (Longmans.) A tale that has nothing to do with Prince Charlie, but is only the history of a small boy and girl whose parents are in India, The children, thus left to servants and kinsfolk not always sympathetic, live mostly in an atmosphere of make-believe, which sometimes, to their bewilderment, mysteriously results in what the higher powers call naughtiness. The children are a lifelike little pair, and their haps and mishaps will interest many grownup readers ; for, though the volume is evidently intended to be a child’s book, it is distinctly a story of children rather than for them. Viewed in this light, it lacks neither insight nor humor, and is commendably free from sentimentality. — The Kan ter Girls, by Mary L. B. Branch. With Pictures by Helen Maitland Armstrong. (Scribners.) A tolerably entertaining fairy tale of the old-fashioned sort, which continues a fairy tale to the very end, the more effective because its heroines are quite natural little girls, who meet with coolness and confidence the startling adventures which diversify their every-day life ; the most pleasing, perhaps, being their acquaintance with a dryad of their own age and their vain attempt to domesticate her. — The Adventures of Two Dutch Dolls, by Florence K. Upton. Words by Bertha Upton. (Longmans.) As the title indicates, this oblong juvenile is a picture-book with accompaniment of verses. The verses are somewhat machine-made ; the pictures are in colors, and are amusing copies of wooden-jointed dolls. The jest is a merry one to grown folk, but we are not quite so sure that there is not a bit of carelessness in thus turning the poor objects of children’s imagination into ridicule.— The Child’s Garden of Song, selected and arranged by William L. Tomlins. With Designs by Ella Ricketts. (McClurg.) A really admirable work of its kind. The music, good in quality and never beyond a child’s range, will assuredly interest little singers, be readily learned, and not easily forgotten. The songs themselves are usually pleasing and childlike, and sometimes prettily fanciful as well, while the illuminated pictorial borders will prove very attractive to young eyes. It does not need the sensible views expressed by the compiler in his preface to prove that he knows thoroughly what children can and should sing.

Literature. Anima Poetæ, Selections from the Unpublished Note-Books of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Edited by Ernest Hartley Coleridge. (Houghton.) This volume will superficially connect itself with the renowned Table-Talk. Chronologically it precedes that collection, but in essence the two are quite distinct. Anima Poetæ presents Coleridge in his conversation with himself rather than with the world, so that one is admitted to more intimate companionship. The detached thoughts remind one of Joubert’s Pensées, only the thought is richer and deeper, and of Amiel’s Journal, without the morbidness and sadness of that book. It has also a literary value as giving one of the hidden links of transition between the old England of Locke and Addison, of Johnson and Pope, and the modern England of Tennyson and Carlyle and Browning. It is a book which needs rereading and browsing over if one would get its full meaning. — The Temple Shakespeare (Dent, London ; Macmillan, New York) now includes King Lear and Othello, clearly printed from the Cambridge text, with concise introduction, glossary, and notes ; the former having an etched frontispiece of Shakespeare’s cliff, the latter the Felton portrait. — Not unlike the Temple Shakespeare in form is a new Tennyson (Macmillan), of which two little volumes have reached us, Juvenilia, and The Lady of Shalott and Other Poems, There is no critical apparatus and no frontispiece ; the volumes have fewer pages, but the text is clear and agreeable. — The Lyrical Poems of Sir Philip Sidney, edited by Ernest Rhys, is one of the pretty series of Lyrie Poets. There is an appreciative introduction, and the sonnets, poems from the Arcadia, and other verses are set forth in a tempting form. The conceits are not far away from pure fancy, and it is a pleasure to think that some will be found to read this gallant gentleman’s lyrics for the first time. (Dent, London; Macmillan, New York.)—The Fortunate Mistress, or, A History of the Life of Mademoiselle de Belean, known by the Name of the Lady Roxana, by Daniel Defoe. Two more volumes of the uniform edition of Defoe’s Romances and Narratives. (Dent, London ; Macmillan, New York.) It requires a great deal of adjustment of one’s focus to the eighteenth century to see in the narrative anything more than a scandalous tale. It looks as if Defoe, by too close a love of realism, came to the same end as other realists, and could not distinguish dirt from matter out of place. — Sir Andrew Wylie of that Ilk forms the third and fourth volumes of the attractive new edition of Galt’s novels. (Roberts.) In this tale the author is sometimes at his best, and occasionally if not at his worst, exceedingly near it. W hen he is depicting the Scottish life of his younger days, he is, as always, one of the most admirably natural of artists, and we hardly need Mr. Crockett’s assurances to convince us of the absolute veracity of his work ; but romantic incidents, complexities of plot, and sketches of London society are not at all in his way ; in these things he, with small success, endeavored to conform to passing fashions of his time. — A new edition of Holmes’s Over the Teacups has been produced, uniform with the choice Birthday Edition of the Breakfast-Table Series. One may now take his literary meals morning and night off a very delicate service. (Houghton.)—Two more volumes have been issued in Messrs. Roberts’ edition of Balzac in Miss Wonnoley’s always admirable translations, the seven tales contained in them forming part of the Scenes from Private Life, and for the most part ranking among the author’s minor works. One volume gives us A Start in Life, Vendetta, Study of a Woman, and The Message; the other, The Marriage Contract, A Double Life, and The Peace of a Home. — The latest and handsomest reprint of Marryat’s Mr. Midshipman Easy, a tale which after more than sixty years of life still possesses an almost youthful vitality, is Messrs. Putnams’ Malta Edition in one large volume, liberally illustrated by R. F. Zogbaum. — A Descriptiv List of Books for the Young, compiled by W. M. Griswold. (The Compiler, Cambridge, Mass.) Mr. Griswold again makes one of his convenient lists ; and as he generally excludes insignificant and commonplace books, his selective — we really cannot write “ seleetiv”—principle enables him to keep bis list within bounds and to make it genuinely useful, especially as he classifies the books under history, geography, exploration, fiction, and the like. The unreformed reader must permit Mr. Griswold, however, to bite his letters off in a very consistent, very irritating fashion. Fortunately, the books he records are not printed in the spelling of what we hope is the invisible future. — Mr. Frederic Harrison’s The Choice of Books is reissued in Macmillan’s Miniature (paper) Series.

History and Biography. The publication of a new edition of Grant’s Personal Memoirs is a distinct cause for congratulation, since the two volumes are not only presented in a readable and handy form, but Colonel Grant has annotated his father’s work with marginal notes, which serve sometimes as indices, sometimes as compact biographical and historical references. The book has been read widely ; it will now be studied more conveniently, and it is not likely that any change of fashion will diminish the interest attaching to so simple and vigorous a piece of narrative writing. Portraits, maps, and a full index complete the furnishing of this classic work. (Century Co.) —Oxford and her Colleges, a View from the Radcliffe Library, by Gold win Smith, D. C. L. (Macmillan.) A history in outline of the University of Oxford and her colleges, an example of admirable and effective condensation, much being clearly and readably told in a brief space ; for the narrative is compressed, not desiccated. It need not be said that the little book is written from abundant knowledge, and the author’s hope that it may interest American visitors will probably be amply justified. The illustrations, reproduced from photographs, are usually very good, considering the small size to which they are necessarily reduced. — Life in the Tuileries under the Second Empire, by Anna L. Bicknell. (Century Co.) Some of the best known accounts of court life during the Second Empire have been collections of gossip, more or less idle, revamped and embellished newspaper cuttings, and the like, put together by writers without personal knowledge of the men and events described ; in short, they have been notable specimens of a debased kind of journalism. Miss Bicknell’s volume, as the work of an intelligent and clear-sighted gentlewoman recalling her own experiences, is of quite another class, and the fact that the writer is English makes her conclusions more impartial than would be likely to be the case with a French looker-on, either friendly or the reverse. She writes in an easy, unpretentious style, and always with good taste, and her book is interesting throughout, though in the closing chapters it suffers somewhat from the loss of the personal element. Especially is the sketch of the Empress, her strength and weakness, her virtues and foibles, graphic and lifelike. The impatience of this impulsive and willful lady under the restraints and exactions of her position would give new force, if it were needed, to the truism repeated by the author, that royalty is a profession that must be learned like any other. The volume is well illustrated, and pictorially, in one respect at least, vividly brings back its epoch,— in its many reproductions of the crude and generally unlovely carte-devisite photograph of the sixties. —The provision for first-hand study of history among young people continues. Here, for example, is a series of American History Leaflets, Colonial and Constitutional, edited by Professors Hart and Channing, of Harvard. (A. Lovell & Co., New York.) A recent number contains The Stamp Act of 1765. The series of Old South Leaflets, also, published by the Directors of the Old South work at the Old South Meeting-House in Boston, besides a group of papers relating to English Puritanism and the Commonwealth, seven in all, gives President Monroe’s message which is the text of the Monroe Doctrine. There can be no question of the stimulus which such publications afford teachers and intelligent pupils ; yet one may not overlook the need of explicit, careful instruction of a dogmatic kind. It will not do to make young people arrogate to themselves the right to independent views.

Nature and Travel. Landscape Gardening in Japan, by Josiah Conder. With numerous illustrations. Supplement to Landscape Gardening in Japan, by Josiah Condor. With collotypes by K. Ogawa. (Imported by Scribners.) These beautiful volumes will attract and repay the attention not only of persons especially interested in landscape gardening, but of all who take delight in things Japanese, —and who does not ? The art of designing a garden is just as solemn and mysterious as that of arranging a vase of flowers, and is even more complicated. These gardens, while not at all formal (regularity in this as in other things being abhorred by the Japanese), are often extremely artificial, and a study of the art is necessary to a full appreciation of their beauty and meaning. No garden of any pretensions is complete without a lake containing islands, a river, Hills, cascades, rocks, and trees, besides a well, stone lanterns, bridges, arbors, and stepping-stones ; and as few of these things, and often none of them, are found on the spot, they are perforce made to order according to certain rules of art. The arrangement is in a style appropriate to the size and to the natural advantages, if any exist. Views famous for their beauty or of historic interest are often reproduced in full size or in miniature, and sometimes a purely abstract sentiment is suggested. Where water is unavailable, lakes and streams are made without it, cracked stones representing-running water, and sand forming the surface of the lakes. The canons of the art are all based on æsthetic principles, but they are so enveloped in mystery and sanctity that, in the minds of the common people at least, their ethical importance is uppermost. The volumes are printed in Japan, and are excellent specimens of typography. The collotypes are sixty well-executed reproductions from photographs of the most famous and beautiful Japanese gardens.—North American Shore Birds, a History of the Snipes, Sandpipers, Plovers, and their Allies, by Daniel Giraud Elliot. (Francis P. Harper, New York.) Ornithologists, sportsmen, and observers will all rejoice that Mr. Elliot has turned aside from the preparation of his magnificent monographs long enough to write and publish these interesting biographies. Mr. Elliot is an ex-president of the American Ornithologists’ Union, and though one of the older naturalists of this country he retains a very lively and practical interest in his chosen science, as is well shown by the present volume. Seventy-five species and subspecies are treated, and (with two unimportant exceptions) each is accompanied by an excellent portrait from the pencil of Mr. Edwin Sheppard. The book was written chiefly for sportsmen and bird-lovers, and the technicalities of the subject are reduced as far as practicable. A critical reading will bring few errors to light, but an occasional slip may be noticed, as when the author, apparently forgetful of the several species which spend the summer in the United States, says that the sanderling “ can almost always be found along the margin of the water during the season when any of the waders are present within our limits.” Again, a straight bill can hardly be a good generic character in Tringa, as given on page 232, since on the nest page two2 subdivisions of this genus are very properly said to have the bill considerably curved. We regret, too, that Mr. Elliot accepts July woodcock-shooting as a fact without a word against that unsportsmanlike sport, — Frail Children of the Air, Excursions into the World of Butterflies, by Samuel Hubbard Seudder. (Houghton.) These essays, selected from Dr. Seudder’s monumental work, The Butterflies of the Eastern United States and Canada, are reprinted for the purpose of reaching a larger audience, and have been revised by the author when necessary. Every one interested in the popularization of natural science is glad to see books of this kind printed, —books written by specialists, who can speak with authority, and written in a manner to be “ understanded of the people.” The essays bear such titles as Butterflies in Disguise, Butterflies as Botanists, The White Mountains of New Hampshire as a Home for Butterflies, Butterfly Sounds, Nests and Other Structures made by Caterpillars, Psychological Peculiarities among our Butterflies, The Ways of Butterflies. There are nine good plates. — Notes in Japan, by Alfred Parsons. With Illustrations by the Author. (Harpers.) Mr. Parsons was only an observer in Japan, and he pretends to nothing more. He made no extended study of its people or its art, and the modest title of his book prepares us for the modest and pleasantly told narrative of what he did and what he saw there. His eye for the quiet and peaceful aspects of nature’s beauty enables him to show us in the illustrations a phase of Japan’s pictnresqueness which has hitherto been unfamiliar. His descriptions are those of the artist, too, and we are not surprised to note the interest he takes in the wild flowers of the country. What he says of the colors to be seen in Japanese landscape makes us wish for a sight of the original paintings from which the book is illustrated. — Quaint Korea, by Louise Jordan Miln (Imported by Scribners), is not as entertaining as the author’s When We Were Strolling Players in the East; but though the style is often too “ scrappy,” the reader will find parts of this book very interesting. The best chapters are those on Korean Women and Korean Art. Mrs. Miln handles the social question fearlessly and sensibly, though, if certain other writers are to be trusted, she wrongs the geisha girl in associating her with the yoshiwara. Like Mr. Landor, she finds the women of Korea not only comely, but beautiful. The national art, as in great measure the source of Japanese art, and the national religion, or rather irreligion, are treated of at some length. The last two chapters, on the late war, are written in a flippant and decidedly newspapery style, and are entirely out of place. As a traveler Mrs. Miln has the good sense to take things as she finds them. — Cruising among the Caribbees, Summer Days in Winter Months, by Charles Augustus Stoddard. (Scribners.) Dr. Stoddard is an experienced traveler, and he goes at his pleasure in a thoroughly systematic fashion. Unlike Mrs. Miln, he believes in studying beforehand rather than “going it blind” in a spirit of adventure. He thinks that adventures enough are bound to come in any long journey, especially if it be off the beaten track. The fact that the present journey was on a not entirely untraveled road will probably account for its lack of exciting incident ; but though the reader is not thrilled with the account of any very startling haps or mishaps, we think he will agree with the author that a great deal of pleasure and profit may be obtained from a tour planned in Dr. Stoddard’s way. After all, the question must, of course, be settled by every traveler according to his own tastes and temperament. Dr. Stoddard naturally makes the most of the historical associations along his route, and he gives us a deal of information about the scenery and the people to be met with from St. Thomas to Trinidad and back again. The book is illustrated from photographs.

Religion. The University Hymn Book, for Use in the Chapel of Harvard University. (Published by the University, Cambridge.) This collection is based upon the common needs of young men worshiping together, and agreeing to ignore points of difference in doctrinal belief. The result is the choice of many strong, noble hymns, and the absence of those fervid expressions of devotion which made some of Charles Wesley’s hymns almost passionate love-songs. We cannot help a mild regret that young men should miss this emotional outlet, yet the general effect is certainly one of dignity and of freedom from much subjective sentiment. There is, naturally enough, a tolerably strong representation of those halfstately, half-distant hymns which expressed the decorum and the measured reasonable praise of the local hymn-writers of the early part of the century ; and indeed, the literary quality of the book is a noticeable element; there are several good religious poems. The editors have shown scrupulous care in respecting the rights of authors to their own form of words, and the music is in many instances a restoration of the original form. Altogether the book is one which serves well the purpose for which it was designed, and it ought to commend itself to many colleges. — We have before spoken of the admirable series of handbooks for guilds and Bible classes prepared by various eminent clergymen of the Church of Scotland, under the editorship of the Very Rev. Professor Charteris, D. D., of Edinburgh, and the Rev. J. A. M’Clymont, D. D., of Aberdeen. A late addition to these manuals is Our Lord’s Teaching, by the Rev. James Robertson, D. D. (Black, London ; A. D. F. Randolph & Co., New York.)

Politics. Adoption and Amendment of Constitutions, by Charles Borgeaud. Translated by C. D. Hagen, with an Introduction by J. M. Vincent. (Macmillan.) In three hundred and fifty-three pages Dr. Borgeaud undertakes to enumerate, classify, and analyze different methods of constitution making and altering, besides devoting some space to historical explanation and discussion of recent German theories in regard to the nature of constitutional law. The result of this is a compactness which, entirely proper in a prize essay, renders the book rather meagre for a reference work, and too dry for general reading. The most valuable parts are the author’s analyses of French and especially Swiss constitutional development in the present century. The translation, not always elegant or even smooth, is generally clear.

Psychology. Apparitions and ThoughtTransference, an Examination of the Evidence for Telepathy, by Frank Podmore. (Imported by Scribners.) However skeptical Horatio may be, he can hardly read this book without being impressed anew with the inadequacy of bis philosophy even in coping with purely earthly things. Heaven and hell are not in question here, and Mr. Podmore is no believer in ghosts. “ Phantasms of the living ” are another matter, however, and it must be confessed that the evidence presented in favor of these phenomena is very strong, though the author admits in his preface that it is “as yet hardly adequate to establish telepathy as a fact in nature, and leaves much to be desired for the elucidation of the laws under winch it operates.” This statement goes to show the careful conservatism with which students are approaching this subject, and the treatment throughout the volume is such as to give the reader confidence in the author’s scientific spirit and methods.

Ethnology. The Government Printing Office has only recently issued the two valuable reports of the Bureau of Ethnology for 1890 and 1891, the first containing an exhaustive study of the cosmogony, the songs and myths of the Sia, pueblo Indians in the Rio Grande country, by Colonel James Stevenson, whose work was finished by his widow ; the ethnology of the Ungava District in the Hudson Bay Territory, by Mr. Lueien M. Turner ; and a study of the Siouan cults, by the Rev. J. O. Dorsey. The second report contains the voluminous record of the Bureau of its Mound Explorations. The explorers made excavations in more than two thousand mounds, extending over the territory from Florida to North Dakota. This report is, and doubtless will remain, the great storehouse of first-hand information on the subject. — A subsequent volume from the Government Printing Office contains the Dakota grammar, text (of myths and the like) and ethnography, by the late Stephen R. Riggs, edited by James O. Dorsey. — Dr. Walter James Hoffman, one of the investigators in the service of the Bureau, has put into popular form the results of his investigations into the pictography of the North American Indians, together with the results, briefly explained, of similar studies in other lands, thus making an elementary volume of the Anthropological Series, on The Beginnings of Writing. (Appleton.) — Similar in aim, but done with somewhat greater detail, is Dr. Daniel G. Brinton’s Primer of Mayan Hieroglyphics for the series of the University of Pennsylvania in Philology, Literature, and Archæology. (Ginn.) These books bear witness to the very rapidly increasing popular interest in a science about which a few years ago there was no public curiosity, and they give evidence of the good influence of the ethnological museums and of the Chicago Fair. — The Origin of Inventions, a Study of Industry among Primitive Peoples, by Otis T. Mason, with Illustrations (imported by Scribners), is an interesting summary of the observations of travelers and ethnologists on primitive industries of all kinds, including the making and using of tools and weapons, the production of fire, stone-working, pottery, hunting, fishing, the domestication of animals, house-building,the cultivation and use of plants, the textile industry, methods of transportation, etc. Dr. Mason, as curator of the Department of Ethnology in the United States National Museum, has had the very best opportunities for prosecuting his studies, and his book must be to a certain extent an authoritative one. He gives the word “ invention ” a comprehensive definition, and he holds that inventors — men of genius or “knack” — have always existed in all races and tribes, pointing out the fallacy of a common belief that all savages are merely imitators, and have borrowed their ideas from their natural surroundings. Evolution is the keynote of the book, and the author shows that the primitive inventions now used by savage and barbaric peoples are practically identical with those possessed by prehistoric man, so that by studying the habits of Eskimos and Polynesians we may learn something of the manner of life of our own progenitors.

Science. A Theory of Development and Heredity, by Henry B. Orr. (Macmillan.) In this latest contribution to the discussion of the origin of variations and the transmission of acquired characters, the author attempts to show that evolution is to a great extent effected directly through the influence of environment, though he takes pains to deny any wish to discredit natural selection as an important auxiliary agent. Besides discussing the more familiar theory as to the direct action of environment on the tissues themselves — as in the case of light in the formation of pigments — he offers a good deal of evidence to prove that the nervous system is often the medium for a more indirect action. The fact that some acquired characters are transmitted while others are not is explained by the statement that only those changes which produce a marked impression or a severe shock on that system are sufficient to affect the germ-cells to such an extent as to influence the development of the offspring. — A Hand-Book on Tuberculosis among Cattle, with Considerations of the Relation of the Disease to the Life and Health of the Human Family and of the Facts concerning the Use of Tuberculin as a Diagnostic Test, compiled by Henry L. Shumway. (Roberts.) This book was prepared for the information of the public rather than the medical profession, and it presents in readable shape a startling array of testimony as to the danger of infection from the milk and flesh of tuberculous cattle, and shows the importance of vigorous measures in dealing with the disease. Incidentally it also shows how success in one direction may grow out of failure in another, Koch’s Lymph, or, as it is now called, tuberculin, proving of inestimable value in accelerating and therefore revealing the disease which it was originally intended to cure. — The Elements of Navigation. A short and complete explanation of the standard methods of finding the position of a ship at sea and the course to be steered, designed for the Instruction of Beginners, by W. J. Henderson (Harpers), seems to be all its title implies, and is of a size suited to the pocket.