Some Books of Travel

AT the somewhat remote period of the writer’s childhood, when books for the young were mostly of a didactic and serious character, and the gay flowers of the kindergarten had not yet begun to blossom in every wilding hedgerow, — one used to see occasionally, in the homes of well-instructed families, a small volume which began as follows (I quote from memory): “Come, my dear Felix, and come, my dear Felicia, and we will start for a tour round the world.Nay, turn not pale, — for we shall not quit our own fireside.”

Was the condescending little book by Mrs. Barbauld ? I think not; although that enterprising lady, si respectable, did certainly prepare a volume of Fireside Travels for the young. It is the humor of the opening paragraph above quoted, as applied to the young person of to-day, which appeals, perennially, to myself. Where is now the Felix, or even the Felicia, whose round cheeks would blanch at any proposal of adventure, however distant and untried ? ’T is the staying monotonously at home, with books and work and healthful play, that renders them anæmic. The little cosmopolitans can promptly direct you to the best toy shop in Nuremberg, the best pâtisserie on the Place de l’Opéra, and the cakeshop in Regent Street where one can always procure American doughnuts. The chances are that Felix and Felicia have already crossed the Atlantic several times, if haply they have never approached San Francisco by the S. P. R. or the Golden Gate, and Vladivostock by the Siberian Railway. All people of all ages — that is to say, all felicitous people — go everywhere at present, and most of them take notes by the way and write books on their return. It might seem, at first sight, as though the demand for such records would decline, with the vastly increased facilities for travel, and the constantly swelling numbers of those who trot the globe. Exactly the reverse is true. And, as a matter of fact, when is it that even an authorized guide-book first becomes deeply interesting as well as truly intelligible and illuminating ? Is it not when we turn its pages at our leisure, after we have traversed the routes and visited in person the places and the objects which it describes ?

The Tarry-at-Home Travels1 of Rev. Edward Everett Hale are the same which that vigorous veteran has been prosecuting, by easy monthly stages, in the Outlook during the past year. Mr. Hale has been a famous talker in his day; and he retains in his eighties the faculty, rare enough at any age, and almost unknown to youth, of writing exactly as he would talk. The most loyal and optimistic of surviving New Englanders, his leisurely progress is through the ideal New England of his own youth and early manhood toward that “New England brightly building far away,” which constitutes the celestial goal of every properly born or early naturalized Bostonian. His reminiscences are poured out of a full heart, freely, familiarly, picturesquely. He has known the best men of a more ingenuous era than ours, and he names them, one by one, with a tremor of honorable emotion in his tones. If we weary a little of his perpetual “dear" and “dear old,” as applied indiscriminately to persons, towns, and institutions of learning, both orthodox and heterodox, we realize also that the fond epithet is used without a trace of affectation, and we respect the sign of impartial good-will, and a singular breadth, of human sympathy. Occasionally Mr. Hale recalls, and retouches in a positively artistic manner, some of the fading legends and more nearly romantic incidents of our primitive period: like the story of the endowment of Dartmouth College, or that of the slave-ship Armistead; or the curious tale of the foundation of the Rothschild fortune on the money paid by George III to the Elector of Hesse for the services of his hireling troops.

Elsewhere the genial annalist propounds with courage, and supports with spirit, some etymological or historicoliterary theory of his own. “According to me,” to use his undaunted formula, — supported in this case, however, by the authority of Roger Williams,—Rhode Island was not named after Rhodes in the Ægean,—as, indeed, why should it have been ?—but from the rhododendrons that Admiral Block, the discoverer of Narragansett Bay found blushing, in their early summer loveliness, all along its shores; and personally I am more than willing to believe — paratum est cor meum — that Prospero’s isle was that of Cuttyhunk, and that Shakespeare got from the Earl of Southampton, who had it from his own hired explorer, Captain Gosnold, his notion of sassafras-bogs and sea-mews, and the mussels in running brooks, which no one certainly can ever have beheld in the vexed Bermoothes.

Mr. Hale’s book is illustrated, most appropriately, by scores of portraits reproduced from painted miniatures or early daguerreotypes, and by those delicate but mendacious copper and steel-plate engravings of sixty years since, which reduced all scenes and places to a pale monotony of symmetrical prettiness. These insipid and much flattered pictures have, however, a genuine historic significance; and to them the writer can point with well-feigned assurance, when he whimsically calls upon our muchtraveled youth to concede that the shadiest and fairest for situation of New England’s wooden towns, like Burlington on Lake Champlain, or Portland on Casco Bay, are exactly as well worth his attention and admiration as the imposing secular capitals of Europe and Asia.

It would be difficult to imagine anything more unlike the patriarchal poise and all-embracing charity of the tarry-athome traveler, than the boyish, not to say rakish, flippancy displayed in their printed notes by two recent rovers in Britain: the authors, namely, of Cornish Saints and Sinners and In London Town. There is a true bank-holiday abandonment about the tripper in Cornwall, Mr. J. Henry Harris,2 who has no sooner alighted at Penzance than he pays his respects to Sir Humphry Davy in the following jaunty fashion: “Penzance has one lion, Sir Humphry Davy. Sir Humphry and his little lamp is a story with immortal youth, like that of Washington and his little hatchet. Sir Humphry meets you at unexpected times and places; there was something àla Sir Humphry on the breakfast menu. We heard about him, soon after our arrival, from an American tourist of independent views. He said that Sir Humphry would not be a boss man now, because he did n’t know a good thing when he had it, and gave away his invention in a spirit of benevolence which was destructive of all sound commercial principles. Then he figured out how many millions in dollars Sir Humphry might have made, if only he had patented his little lamp and run the show himself.”

As between the saints and the sinners to whom his book is formally ascribed, Mr. Harris is at superfluous pains to reiterate his own private preference for the sinners (chiefly smugglers); but be burlesques with equal zest the legends of the one and the local dialect of the other. Once or twice only, in all his three hundred and twelve pages, does he subside into anything like serious writing. Assuredly Mr. Harris is not witty, but his animal spirits are inexhaustible, and buoyant spirits, they tell us, are too rare in this downcast age. And this, no doubt, is the reason why we find ourselves mildly amused, malgré nous, at what is rather colt-play than horse-play; even as we laugh at the rodomontade of the undergraduate in vacation, who exploits the slang of his college, and exaggerates, darkly, the scappati of his chum, for the benefit of his maiden aunt.

The book, it should be said, rather gains in dignity from the drawings of Mr. Raven-Hill. Bits of rough coast and shapeless ruin and the vistas of crooked old village streets are sketched in vigorous outlines. Human types peculiar to the region, such as ancient fishermen and grizzled wharf-loungers, old women on whose half-palsied tongues tremble the last vocables of the dying language of the West, and the little girl wading who forms so delightful a tail-piece to Chapter I, — all these, and more, are both simply and admirably rendered; while there is positive poetry of conception, as well as great beauty of line, in the figure of the angel who comes bearing in her slender arms, to balance upon its mushroom-like pedestal, the huge top-stone of that mysterious pagan monument, the celebrated Cheese-Wring.

Mr. F. Berkeley Smith’s impressions of London Town3 are not so much those of a light-hearted holiday-maker as of an alert, keen-eyed, and precociously sophisticated journalist. He approaches London from Paris, where he is thoroughly at home; having, in fact, already published a vivacious book or two concerning the less decorous and conventional aspects of life in that diverting capital. Naturally he has his misgivings about London, all of which he finds dismally fulfilled on his first November Sunday in the British metropolis; and he rails against the customs and constraints of the day of ennui, in the good set terms which have been familiar for generations on the lips of the exile from Gaul. Mr. Smith’s rather brilliant chapter entitled the House of Savoy is an unabashed puff of the pompous establishment now bearing that historic name; while he discusses at great length, and with uncommon frankness, that sorry matter of night-life in the London streets, which is usually avoided by all but the professional sociologist. Whatever may be thought of his taste in this regard, he ends — to his credit be it said — by treating the subject gravely. An arresting glimpse appears to have visited the flaneur of the abyss of tragedy underlying the tawdry show; and he writes of what he sees, and even delineates it, — for he is usually his own artist, — with a sobriety all the more impressive from its contrast with his habitual mood. The London of the dark season, with its flying lights and engulfing shadows, — so strangely unlike the more popular London of pageants and feasts and all but endless daylight, of Parliament, Mayfair, and Rotten Row, — does indeed come to life in a remarkable manner under the pen and pencil of Mr. Berkeley Smith; and we presently perceive in him the power to write nobly no less than smartly if he would, — in short, the capacity for literature. Nothing, for example, could be much better as a bit of landscape description than the following:

“Once clear of Folkestone, the air was impregnated with a hazy blue mist. For brief moments the sun struggled through, and flooded the wet fields of snug farms, tipping with its saffron light the edges of the clipped hedges of box. A golden pheasant, startled by the train, skimmed along, in a fluttering flight, to the protection of a neighboring wood. Rows upon rows of hop-poles covered acres bordering the railway so precisely that one could look through them, diagonally, to their limits. We went past sturdy oaks and woodlands, the home of the preserved rabbit and the hare. Now and then there flashed by a glimpse of some solid-looking mansion half smothered in ivy, with its kennels and outlying stables. But the sun can assert itself no longer, for we were nearing the edge of the great city. In its place there settled over all — the saffroncolored fog.” Mr. Smith’s fellow-artists are not named, and it is hardly needful, for the illustrations might easily be all by the same hand. All are clever, having the facility and chic best learned in the schools of Paris, but their subjects are mainly unpleasant.

One is half disposed to quarrel a little with the title of Literary Bypaths in Old England,4 What is a literary bypath ? The proper joy of a bypath, it would seem, is anything but literary. On the other hand, if the phrase be figurative, intended merely of the realm of letters, how is it that Spenser, Gray, and Goldsmith, Burns, and Keats, are found lurking in the by-ways of English literature, and who then are they that hold the grand route ? But this is caviling, while Mr. Henry Shelley’s book is really charming. He conducts us to the Penshurst of Philip and Algernon Sidney, and the ever beautiful Selborne of Gilbert White; to Stoke Poges (as he pleases to spell it) and the Eton of Gray, and those dimmest purlieus of old London town, that filled the place of landscape in the childish imaginations of John Keats and Thomas Hood. He explores Ayrshire and bleak Annandale for the sake of Burns and Carlyle, and leafy Buckinghamshire in the track of William Penn; saluting, in a final and very interesting chapter, all about the venerable city of Winchester, a long procession of shades, beginning with Alfred the Great and ending with Jane Austen. Mr. Shelley is in many respects quite the ideal guide, unassuming, sympathetic, and exceedingly well informed. He refreshes vague memories and supplies fresh clues at almost every turn, and his is exactly the book one would like to take along on a pilgrimage to poetic shrines, but — and it is a serious but — for the clumsy proportions and gross material weight of the volume. The plates are beautiful, and there are exactly one hundred and twenty-five of them, mostly reproduced from photographs of the author’s own; but so reproduced, and accompanied by so magnificently printed a text that the book is positively not portable. Why should there not be a plain, working edition of so excellent a vade-mecum, printed on light paper, bound in soft covers, and with no illustrations at all ? since he certainly does not need them who is to have the veritable scenes before his eyes. Let the luxuries of type and adornment be reserved for our friend, the inveterate —more often, alas! involuntary — stay-at-home traveler. But even he will find a book-rest convenient.

An entirely admirable book, of similar character to the last, but much more exhaustive within its narrower lines, is The Stones of Paris,5 by Benjamin and Charlotte Martin; and here the problem seems to have been fairly solved of producing a manual for the inquiring tourist, at once learned, pictorial, and handy to carry about. The delicate drawings of John Fulleylove are clearly printed upon the same fine, thin paper as the text; and so are the numerous portraits of renowned Parisians, reduced from the carbon photographs of Messrs. Braun and Clément. The plan of the book is well indicated in the first sentences of its modest introductory chapter. “This book has been written for those who seek in Paris something more than a city of shows or a huge bazaar. . . . There are many lovers of this beautiful capital of a great people, who, knowing well her unconcealed attractions, would search out her records and traditions in stone, hidden and hard to find. This legitimate curiosity grows more eager with the increasing difficulties of gratifying it in that ancient Paris that is vanishing day by day. . . . In telling the story of those monuments of past ages that are visible and tangible, reference is made only to so much of their perished approaches and neighbors as shall suffice for full realization of the significance of all we are to see. This significance is given mainly by the former dwellers within these walls. We shall concern ourselves with the human document illustrated by its surroundings.”

The authors ask indulgence for the fact that the topographical scheme of study which they have adopted tends to confuse a little the historic order of their human portraits. And yet that order is fairly well preserved. The “ Three Timeworn Staircases ” which we are invited to climb in the first chapter are those of three independent towers, widely separated in position and date of erection, crowded now and almost concealed by insignificant modern buildings, from which we may survey the boundaries and identify the few remaining traces, both of Roman Lutetia, dear to Julian surnamed the Apostate, and of the early mediæval city which was virtually confined to the Seine Islands and the south shore. They are the tower, so-called, of Ring Dagobert, which is probably some centuries later than his day; the Tower of the White Queen, the widowed Blanche of Castille, supposed to have formed part of her country-house in what were, in the year 1200, the open fields beyond the hill of Sainte Geneviève; and that much later and better authenticated last fragment of the famous Hôtel de Bourgogne, at present approached from Rue Etienne Marcel, and still popularly called, after the second Duke of Burgundy, the tower of Jean Sans Peur.

Following these bird’s-eye glimpses of the remote past, and its half-legendary personalities, we have a series of more detailed views of the turbulent town of Corneille and Molière and the beginnings of the modern French drama; of the pregnant period from Voltaire to Beaumarchais, and the Paris of the great Revolution. Then comes a chapter of unusual interest on the Southern Bank in the nineteenth century, reviving associations not yet quite cold in the hearts of a few living men, with the celebrated names of the two Bourbon Restorations, with Chateaubriand, Mme. Recamier, and Guizot; with Lamartine, de Tocqueville, George Sand, and the brothers de Musset, and with Sainte-Beuve, the prince of critics and the prophet of them all. Separate studies are accorded to the Paris of Balzac, the Paris of Alexandre Dumas, and the Paris of Victor Hugo; after which our authors revert to the “Making of the Marais” and to the long line of illustrious folk — especially women — who had their domicile there during the two or three centuries when that reclaimed swamp was the fashionable quarter of Paris. Here were the Hôtel Rambouillet, and that town-house of Mme. de Sévigné, where is now the Musée Carnavalet, as well as the splendid Hôtels de Sens, de Béthune, de Mayenne, de Chaulnes, and many more. And here literally, until yesterday, — until since The Stones of Paris went to press, in fact, — has remained unaltered and unspoiled a very considerable fragment of the elder Paris which not one visitor in a thousand ever saw. The spacious open square in the region between the Palais Royal and Rue St. Antoine, ineptly re-named by Lucien Bonaparte Place des Vosges, — with its encircling arcade, its elaborate façades, and the triple rows of dormers in its precipitous roofs, had the unity of a complete picture; and more of the general aspect of antiquity than any other tract of equal size to be discovered in a long day’s ramble. But Place des Vosges, according to the very latest news from Paris, has finally been doomed to destruction.

The authors of the Stones of Paris give good reason for dropping the article invariably inserted in French before the words rue and place ; but the hybrid “Square Monge” has an odd look and sound.

In the Cathedrals and Cloisters of the South of France,6 and the Chateaux of Touraine7 we have what may be called professional gift-books, clad in sumptuous apparel, — the legitimate, but highly superior and infinitely more knowing successors of the early Victorian annual. The former contains innumerable pictures, taken from well-chosen points of view, of the splendid, but comparatively little known, ecclesiastical monuments of southern Gaul; the latter has been expressly prepared as a companion volume to Mrs. Edith Wharton’s Italian Villas and Gardens. The faintly tinted, and often highly poetic sketches of Jules Guérin are already familiar to readers of the Century Magazine ; as is also the graceful text of Miss Lansdale, based, to a considerable extent, upon the Old Touraine of Theodore Andrea Cook.

One is moved rather pensively to inquire where all these expensive and exquisite volumes now go when they die. Their precursors — albums, Books of Beauty, and the like — were wont to take their last rest upon the “centre-table,” what time that monumental meuble occupied a focal position in the best parlor; but these, in all their pathetic finery, are hurried to haunts unknown as ruthlessly as last year’s débutantes are hustled off the social stage by the bursting buds of the new season.

Of books about Italy, there is the usual affluence, with something more, perhaps, than the usual distinction. Miss Anna Benneson MacMahan’s With Byron in Italy8 is a pleasant, if not quite equal, companion to the admirable With Shelley in Italy which appeared last year. The new book has a little the air of having been made as an afterthought, or to order, because of the merited success of the earlier; but it is arranged on the same simple and effective plan. The fancy — can it have had a symbolic purpose ?— of printing in italics Miss MacMahan’s general Introduction, as well as the prefatory notes to her several chapters, is an unfortunate one, to my mind, for the reason that it renders tiresome to read, and liable to be skipped, both an excellent summing-up of Byron’s cometary career in Italy, and some very delicate and discerning criticism of what he wrote there. The main interest of the new book lies in the vivid light reflected by the reckless letters from Italy, to Murray the publisher and a few bosom friends, on the perverse, but ever dazzling and disarming personality of the poet-peer. These mad yet merry epistles, along with the rare late portrait painted by the Italian artist Camuccini, which Miss MacMahan rightly prefers to all others, remind the reader very forcibly how young Byron was, after all, when a gaping world lost sight of him; and how much of mere animal ebullition and boyish bravado there was, to the very last, in the freaks over which the British grandmother shook her laced cap so solemnly. It was with genuine feeling that Byron doffed his beaver to Rome as the “City of the Soul,” and yet, for all his honest wrath at the political wrongs and woes of Italy, and the almost ecstatic sense of exhilaration and relief afforded him by the easy code of her patrician manners, the ideal country meant less to him than it did to Shelley, or than it has to many a lesser spirit. When Miss MacMahan says in her haste, that it was “ through Byron that Englishmen first became interested in Italy,” she makes an extraordinary statement, which she proceeds to qualify, it is true, but far too feebly. Italy as a religion, Italy as a “change of heart,” had been “experienced” by the soul of England, had colored the imagination of the northern islander, and entered into the vital circulation of his every-day language, three hundred years, at least, before the time of Byron and Shelley. We of New England are constantly reminded of the fact, by the persistence in our more näif provincial speech, which keeps alive so many sixteenth-century expressions that have long gone out elsewhere, of purely Italian words and locutions. When a rural housewife tells us that she has baked her “jumbles” (ciamballi), or burned her rubbish (robaccio), or when she admits, with modest pride, that her annual brew of astringent elderberry-wine is “proper good” (proprio buono) this fall, she unconsciously employs words and phrases which were introduced into English court-circles by the ruffling gallants of the early Renaissance, but had filtered down into a lower and stiffer social stratum before Pilgrim or Puritan disembarked in Massachusetts Bay.

Of the call and election of Ernest Peixotto to the mystical cult of Italy, and of his initiation into the arcana of her beauty, there can be no question to one who looks through the charming volume, By Italian Seas.9 The Californian artist with the Spanish name showed, even in his crude first work on the Pacific Coast, a keen susceptibility to the more classic features of the Californian landscape; where the Mediterranean touch imparted by ilex, olive, and vine, as well as by the remains of Spanish Mission architecture, and the spirited mountain outlines of a volcanic tract, has been wistfully recognized by many an unwilling exile from the older civilization to what the late Clarence King used so aptly to call “the back-water of the world.”

At all events, when Mr. Peixotto found himself in the old home of his Latin blood, he seems to have known, by unerring instinct, both what to see and how to depict it. The course of his romantic voyage will be found traced in light outline inside the cover of his book, as the wanderings of Æneas, who fished in so many of the same waters, used to be, in the beginning of our school Virgils. He went from Venice to Fiume at the inner angle of the Istrian peninsula, then down the Dalmatian coast to the Bocche di Cattaro, and over the Adriatic to Bari; whence, crossing by land to fair Parthenope, he pursued his happy course to Sicily, Malta, and Tunis. His most interesting sketches—partly, no doubt, because their subjects are slightly less hackneyed than the rest—are those made in Dalmatia. The very lovely frontispiece of the volume represents a view caught between the cacti and cypresses of Ploce, of the matchless mediæval walls and fortifications of Ragusa; and the artist has everywhere succeeded to admiration in suggesting the distinctive note of Dalmatian scenery, — the contrast, namely, between a landscape of prevailing pallor, backed by the ashen tints of a near and bare, though nobly designed, mountain range, and the perfect riot of rich color displayed in the infinite variety of costume, still proudly sported by the restless human throngs on seaside square and quay. But why has Mr. Peixotto left us no souvenir of the most entrancing island on the terraqueous globe, — La Croma in Ragusa harbor, with its haunted pine and olive groves, and stately, silent gardens, and its piercing human associations with Cœur de Lion’s captivity, and mad Carlotta’s fleeting honeymoon, and the frequent retreats of the ill-starred Prince Rudolf, beloved above all the other members of the interloping Austrian house, and still tearfully mourned, a dozen years ago, all along the Illyrian shore ?

Of the text of Mr. Peixotto’s book, for which we are told in the preface that his wife is chiefly responsible, no more need be said than that it is perfectly adapted to the purposes of a running accompaniment. The word-painting is exactly as good, in its way, as the penciling, and so curiously like it in style that the two seem to make upon the reader’s mind a single harmonious impression.

Professor Lanciani’s new volume on The Golden Days of the Renaissance in Rome10 fills a gap in the important series of topographical and antiquarian studies whereby the most readable of archæologists has done so much to render the chaotic Rome of to-day an intelligible spectacle to the passing pilgrim. The author points out, in his first paragraph, that if Rome had not been, from time immemorial, a place of pious pilgrimage, there might be no more left of it now than of Ostia or Veii. Chi lo sa? The eternal continuity of the world’s chief place must needs have been preserved somehow; but much of what we still admire, and would gladly keep intact a little longer, was undoubtedly saved from utter disintegration by the ignorant and spasmodic efforts after sanitation and repair, — the forlorn attempts to render the ways of the desolate city passable, and her crumbling dwellings habitable by thousands of strangers, which were made in preparation for the first great centennial and semi-centennial Jubilees of the Catholic Church.

In the memorable year of Dante’s Jubilee, his Mezzo del Camin’ of 1300, the popes were still reigning at Rome. At the time of Petrarch’s Jubilee, fifty years later, when he himself received upon the waste Capitol his phantasmal crown of laurel, the Supreme Pontiff had long deserted his ancient seat, — his court had been held at Avignon for a full generation, and the general aspect of squalor and decay, — “as of a town lately taken and pillaged by a barbaric foe,”—which pervaded the shrunken settlement inside the Aurelian wall, wrung cries of anguish from the patriotic poet. More than twenty-five years were yet to pass before the “return from Babylon;” and the French Pope Gregory XI, hereditary Count of Beaufort, by whom it was effected, died in the grim desert of Rome only a little more than a year after his arrival, — of sheer homesickness, it was popularly believed, for the ordered splendors and refined society of the palace by the Rhone.

Nevertheless, as Signor Lanciani says, he had saved the Eternal City. The era of the New Birth was inaugurated by his sacrifice, and it is the curious bas-relief tardily put up to his memory in the church of Sta. Francesca Romana, and reproduced in the present volume, which Professor Lanciani takes to mark the end of the mediæval, as the column of Phocas marks the end of the classic, period in Rome. The improvements and embellishments effected there during the twenty-one pontificates of the next hundred and seventy years, from the death of Gregory XI in 1378 to that of our author’s hero, Paul III (Alessandro Farnese), in 1549, form the theme of the new book; and the best because most instructive of its many fine illustrations are taken, often by special permission, from rare old contemporary drawings and engravings, like that of the remains of the great Roman Temple of the Sun, still standing in the Colonna gardens at the commencement of the seventeenth century.

The present work will thus be found peculiarly opportune by those elderly devotees of the perpetual but ever-changing city who are just now becoming fully alive to the fact that it is the special Rome of their own early love which is perishing àvue d’œil in the first years of the new cycle. That Rome was fashioned in its outward appearance by the humanist popes — Colonna, Chigi, Rovere, Borgia, Farnese, Medici. Rejoicing in the free spirit of the pagan revival, passionately prizing, and, fortunately for ourselves, preserving and putting safely away in their galleries and museums many of the most precious of the long neglected or newly discovered masterpieces of pre-Christian art, these magnificent despots did, nevertheless, at the same time destroy, for the construction and adornment of their own family mansions and monuments, much else that can never be replaced. They quarried, as we all know, in the Coliseum, and set up their lime-kilns with impartial vandalism on the sculpture-encumbered hill of Jove, and within the sacred precinct of San Lorenzo without the walls. They appropriated without scruple, spent without stint, leveled without remorse, and rebuilt after their own rococo fashion. But they had the instinct of grandeur; a fine perception of the grace of arcaded courts and cloisters, the measured music of falling water, the salubrity and repose of stately, spacious, and wellshaded gardens. It is easy to criticise their churches and palaces in detail; but the Rome which they elaborated after their own florid taste, and brought to a certain splendid unity of style, had mellowed, in the last days before the Risorgimento of united Italy, into a spectacle of strange and surpassing beauty. The Romans who rule the new era have not cared for that spectacle. It is too painfully associated with recent and still burning memories of political and spiritual servitude. They have preferred to dwell on their older line of descent, and to cherish, rather, such heirlooms as remain to them of the free Roman commonwealth and the all-conquering Empire. It is natural. We cannot choose our ancestors, but we may pardonably have our preferences among them. The demolitions, denudations, and excavations of the present zealous government have added something positive to our knowledge of the res Romae at the period of Rome’s greatest ascendency; and it does not greatly matter, perhaps,—except to a few sentimentalists,—that the area thus reclaimed for exact, history is, for the moment, less fair to see than when the Baths of Caracalla were a rose-garden, and the Forum a grassy field where trees whispered and cows ruminated amid the ruins; while the Flavian amphitheatre had become a house of prayer, as well as a happy hunting-ground for the curious botanist.

Encouraged by dateless prophecy, and the miraculous recoveries of the past, we may venture to look forward to some day in the far future, when even the Rome now evolving shall have acquired a style of its own, and a novel order of beauty; although our compatriot, William Stillman, who knew his Rome so well, used obstinately to insist that this could never be until a sharp earthquake or two had effectually laid low some scores of acres of shabby modern edifices.

Meanwhile Professor Lanciani, for whose indispensable furtherance of their own chosen work the men of to-day have not shown themselves too grateful, cannot conceal, if he would, the fact that he himself is drawn by both taste and affection toward the vanishing rather than the advancing order; and this also is natural.

His topographical studies will be found supplemented in the present volume by a couple of thoughtful character-sketches of the two supreme artists of his Golden period. He discusses the fine intractability of Michael Angelo in dealing with his imperious patrons, and contrasts it with the noble deference of the part he bore in the immortal friendship with Vittoria Colonna. He fairly rehabilitates the Fornarina of Raphael, a little, it must be confessed, at the expense of her illustrious lover, who was faithful to her for so many out of his own few years, but not quite until death. We are at least persuaded by Signor Lanciani’s arguments that the unfortunate, and yet most fortunate, woman in question was neither the brazen creature in the Rospigliosi, nor the soulless beauty of the Pitti Palace in Florence, who buries her white finger in the rich fur of her tippet, and appears quite absorbed in the comfortable sensation of so doing; but rather the gentle Veiled Lady in another room of the same gallery, with her look of native refinement and exquisite modesty of attire, who plainly served Raphael as a model for the glorified Madonna of Dresden.

Lippincott’s Gazetteer, New Edition.

It is a rare book that lives to be fifty; and at that age it is practically without a rival in its field, and has vitality enough to encourage its publishers to make a wholly new edition, it becomes a phenomenon worth considering. Lippincott’s Gazetteer,11 first issued in 1855 and several times revised and enlarged in the following half century, is now presented again, printed entirely from new type, and claiming to be “a picture of the world in its minutest details in the year 1905.” This is a large claim, but use of the volume steadily lessens one’s inclination to cavil at the publishers’ phrase.

Every country is described with a good deal of fullness, and usually with nice discrimination; its geographical features are outlined, its history is epitomized, and there is a clear account of its people and government, its climate, its animals and plants, its mineral resources, its agricultural development, its industries and commerce. Corresponding treatment is given to cities and towns, seas and lakes, mountains and rivers; and even the smallest hamlet that is recorded anywhere is likely to be found briefly mentioned in this volume. The edition of 1880 had “notices of over 125,000 places;” and very many must have been added since. Recent explorations in Central Africa and Central Asia, at the two poles, and elsewhere; the great progress of colonization; the territorial changes wrought by war and by peaceful acquisition or union; the blossoming of deserts and bad lands under the influence of irrigation; the discovery of rich mineral deposits in unfamiliar regions; the opening of new grain-growing areas, — all these have been engaging the world’s attention largely in recent years, and have added a vast amount of material for the new edition of the Gazetteer.

To make room for these very important additions the editors have skillfully condensed long articles and omitted bodily many things that can be found elsewhere. They seem to have retained all that was most important in the preceding edition, and yet, after the great mass of new information has been incorporated, the volume is considerably smaller than its predecessor, and correspondingly better for handling. It contains, however, 2053 double-column pages, of fine print.

There are many incidental references to famous men and women, educational institutions, and other things not exactly geographical. Sometimes, to be sure, there may be two opinions as to these items, — not every one would select Emily Dickinson as the only person to mention in connection with Amherst, Mass., — but on the whole this feature is an excellent one. A single illustration will show how it is used, and will also indicate both the minuteness and the condensation of the work in general. Ten Irvingtons are recorded, and the ten items occupy but thirty-four lines; yet they give the state and county of each town, the river or railroad on which it is situated, its population, and other facts like these: the California town is “the seat of Curtner Seminary,” and the Indiana town “the seat of Butler College;” the New Jersey “post-town” has “smelting works and manufactures of steel, ropes, tools, etc.;” of the New York Irvington it is said, “Here is Sunny Side, the residence of Washington Irving;” and the Virginia “banking postvillage” is connected with Norfolk by steamer. If the owner of a copy of this new Gazetteer adds to it a good atlas, he has an adequate geographical library.

  1. Tarry-at-Home Travels. By EDWAED EVERETT HALE. New York and London: The Macmillan Company. 1906.
  2. Cornish Saints and Sinners. By J. HENRY HARRIS. Drawing’s by J. Raven-Hill. New York and London : John Lane. 1906.
  3. In London Town. By F. BERKELEY SMITH. Illustrated by the author and other artists. New York and London : Funk & Wagnalls Company. 1906.
  4. Literary Bypaths in Old England. By HENRY C. SHELLEY. Illustrations from photographs by the author. Boston: Little, Brown & Company.
  5. The Stones of Paris. By BENJAMIN and CHARLOTTE MARTIN. Drawings by JOHN FULLEYLOVE. New York : Charles Scribner’s Sons.
  6. Cathedrals and Cloisters of the South of France. By ELISE WHITLOCK ROSE. Illustrations from original photographs by VIDA HUNT FRANCIS. New York and London : G. P. Putnam’s Sons. 1906.
  7. The Chateaux of Touraine. Text by MARIA HORNOR LANSDALE. Illustrations in color by JULES GUÉRIN, and from photographs. New York : The Century Company. 1906.
  8. With Byron in Italy. By ANNA BENNESON MACMAHAN. Illustrations from photographs, chiefly by ALINARI of Florence. Chicago: A. C. McClurg & Co. 1906.
  9. By Italian Seas. By ERNEST PEIXOTTO. Illustrations by the author. New York : Charles Scribner’s Sons. 1906.
  10. The Golden Days of the Renaissance in Rome. By RODOLFO LANCIANI. Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin & Co. 1906.
  11. A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer or Geographical Dictionary of the World. Edited by ANGELO HEILPRIN and LOUIS HEILPRIN. Philadelphia and London : J. B. Lippincott Company. 1906.