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to this topic are very instructive on the nutritive passion; for instance, there are anecdotes of polyphages, of immense eaters, whose passion for food could never be satisfied. The grenadier Tarare could eat a quarter of beef in twenty-four hours, and could tear live cats to pieces and eat them. Devise L'Hermina, a French schoolmistress, could eat thirty pounds of bread in a day, and browse on grass like Nebuchadnezzar, without at all troubling her digestion. When she was dying, and could no longer eat, she would have her sister eat, that she might see at any rate what had been her highest pleasure.
The fourth book treats of the progress and changes of passion, how it dies, how it becomes insanity, how it becomes ecstasy. In this book, Letourneau has borrowed largely from the experiences of the Saints, Augustine, Francis, Loyola, and Theresa. The physical conditions of rapture, as he states them, quite rob this heavenly state of its spirituality. St. Theresa is shown as no better than an insane dervish, and her visions and exaltations are the natural product of a brain crazed by fastings and penance.
The fifth book treats of Passional Physiognomy, of temperaments and their influences. In this part there is nothing new. The old division of lymphatic, sanguine, nervous, and bilious, is retained, making the apathetic, the active, the sensitive, and the passionate men. Morality depends almost wholly on temperament and circumstance. The ideas of Letourneau on this question of morality are well expressed in the closing sentences of his remarkable book.
"Notions of goodness and justice are not innate and bright in the human brain. They come only from education acting upon the individual and the series of his ancestors. They are not divine or necessary ideas if they were, what use in your prisons and your hangmen ? Have we need of such stimulants to excite desires which are really innate and natural? The penal code loudly protests against the philosophic fiction.
"Does it follow that we must not repress and punish where we are not able to hinder, that we must leave free field to all instincts which are hurtful to the individual and to society. Certainly not: we must punish, not in the name of a justice calling itself invariable, by reason of its divine origin, or of a conviction purely intuitive, and consequently infinitely variable; but in the name of the much more modest idea of the common interest, of utility scientifically determined; and we mean by utility all that can favor the simultaneous development of the individual and society, all that can raise the individual and the
race as high as possible from the nutritive plane, as near as possible to the intellectual and moral summit.
"To do this will require an immense revolution in ideas, and consequently in facts.
"The judge will be less hard and unyielding, when he bears no longer a divine sword; from a cruel priest, he will become a pitying healer. May this little volume hasten in some degree the coming of that happy era!"
C. H. B.
"SAUL," by the acknowledgment of all its critics, is a "remarkable" poem. It is remarkable for its choice of subject; for the hard, literal fidelity with which it follows the Scripture narrative; for the immense expansion it gives to the details of it; for the boldness (rather than success) of its attempt to introduce supernatural machinery and dramatis persona; for its vigorous and unconventional handling of poetic raw material, with the most severe and conventional rendering of its main topic; for its great felicity, often, in the use of Scripture language and imagery; for its energy and daring in the use of the dramatic form, and its apparent sympathy with the tone of the Hebrew story, along with a lack of dramatic or historic imagination which makes it valueless as an interpretation of the higher meaning. It is greatly hurt by its excessive length. Its poetic expression, which is often forcible, and its poetic thought, which is often fresh, need the pruning of a skilful and unsparing hand, to relieve it of much that makes its form rude and cumbrous. And, though in dramatic keeping, we do not admire such efforts of wit as this (p. 167):
"Here's monkey's-cap. - Egad! 'twould cap a monkey
cap" being, as we are informed, Yorkshire for "puzzle" or surprise." There is an obvious and painfully scrupulous study to keep the line of story marked out in the Hebrew record, marred by imagery that speaks of Canadian woods, and not of the hills of Judah, and of pastoral pipes turned to the very modern service of smoking! These things show a mind capable and courageous enough to take its own view and say its own thought independently. But it was
* Saul: a Drama. By CHARLES HEAVYSEGE. Boston: Fields, Osgood, & Co.
an error of judgment to attempt the treatment of a topic, which required kindred powers, developed in a larger way, to meet the hard task of interpreting a remote time and people, poetically, to the mind of our own time. It is no disparagement to the author to say, that his training is not equal to his natural vigor, and that his work is an attempt rather than a success.
Mr. Heavysege is an Englishman, from Yorkshire, who has lived in America some fifteen years; a resident of Montreal, who forsook the occupation of wood-carving for that of reporter to the daily press; and was drawn to literature by strong natural bent, rather than special cultivation. Besides this poem, he has published a small volume of Sonnets, a drama called "Count Filippo," and "Jephthah's Daughter," a poetic narrative, which last, in our judgment, is greatly superior to either of his larger works, the simplicity of outline keeping him closer to the really strong points of his story. A few lines from this poem will illustrate the blending of real vigor and freshness of fancy, with lack of true imagination or dramatic insight:
"For it befell upon high holiday
In Gilead, whose quaint-built capital,
Old Mizpeh, filled her streets with all her throng,
From the wild, welcoming multitude, that stood
O'er balcony and beam, o'er tower and tree,
Every word of this description is vigorous; but every image of it (except the last) is purely modern and conventional. Compare it for instance, with Matthew Arnold's "Sohrab and Rustum," — in which there is not a picture that suggests a different landscape than the scene of the tragic tale, or a phrase that reminds one of a later date; or with the absolutely pure paganism of "Atalanta in Calydon." Mr. Heavysege has all the qualities that are needed to
make an admirable Canadian poet. Let him take counsel of Mr. Whittier give us an American poem of "Ottawa," fragrant only of pine woods; or reproduce for us such scenes of life among the Hurons as Mr. Parkman has told us of; and he will find a more cordial welcome and a heartier appreciation from his critics than these more ambitious efforts have received.
THE large number of readers with whom "Friends in Council" has been a favorite book will be glad to see it in a new, handsome, and permanent shape.* Without quite force enough for dramatic characterization, Mr. Helps has sufficient versatility, fancy, and cultivated observation to give very agreeable outlines of the persons of his dialogue; and the views he offers, in his graceful and thoughtful way, come with a sort of dramatic fitness from their lips. The shrewd, sarcastic, kind-hearted, but keen-tongued lawyer; the thoughtful, cultivated, humane man of letters; the man of the world, pessimistic and self-indulgent; the modest and somewhat bashful scholar; the amiable group of ladies, do not, perhaps, interest us much as individuals; but they give the necessary relief, in a series of views which would be a little too quietly serious without them. There is some slight approach to humor; but the essays are much more strongly marked by good sense, right feeling, a conscientious thoughtfulness, practised observation, and a style which puts them very high among the better writings of the day. The points of view are those of refined and intellectual English society; but Mr. Helps's own special studies of the Spanish history, character, and people, stand out at intervals in very agreeable relief, and give a more marked value and interest to many of these pages. There is a certain tenderness, too, in his style of thought, which makes his essays singularly wholesome and attractive. Among writings of their class, there are very few which have a superior or equal claim on the attention of the public.
WE are acquainted with Mr. Osborn's dramatic series, of which five volumes are announced, and two already published, only through the two comedies whose titles we give below. * The first volume,
* Friends in Council; a Series of Readings, and Discourse thereon. New York: James Miller. Second Series.
†The Montanini: a Comedy; also, The School for Critics: a Comedy, Being in continuation of the Fourth Volume of the Dramatic Series. By LAUGHTON OSBORN. New York: James Miller.
consisting of the tragedies Calvary, Virginia, and Bianco Capello, has been noticed, and (we should think) unduly disparaged by the newspaper press, to judge from a few specimens which the author cites in his own vindication. "The Montanini" is a pleasant romance, pleasantly and dramatically told, of the reconciliation of two patrician houses of Siena long at feud, by the generosity and noble love of one of the rival heads, who interposes to rescue the other from a malicious imprisonment, leading in due course to the betrothal of each to the sister of his foe. "The story is founded on the forty-ninth novel of Bandello," and seems, with good skill in dramatic dialogue, to be faithfully drawn and colored after the manner of the time, the fourteenth century. Of the tragedies, "Calvary" is especially daring, and inevitably offensive in its plot, handling with free hand the characters of scripture story; the plot turning, as we judge from the extracts given, on the love and companionship between Judas Iscariot and Mary Magdalene, for whom, in the straits of poverty, Judas sells his Master to purchase bread, vainly ⚫ hoping that he may be forced into a proclamation and establishing of his kingdom! The critics seem to have shown our author little mercy, and to have provoked the reply which the author has made, with bad temper and worse taste, in "The School for Critics," - a travesty quite too coarse to be any thing but disagreeable to the reader, and a damage to the writer. Yet there is vigor in his style of treatment, and abundant courage, and a burst of wholesome honesty now and then. He cites at great length in his notes which are the entertaining part of this comedy - the unflattering judgments of his natural enemies, the critics; and gives the passages in full which they have mutilated and disparaged. Instead of these, we copy the author's frank testimonial respecting his own works (p. 511):
"I venture the assertion, without any hesitancy (because I speak after due comparison), that, whatever the defects of my pieces, there are not, in the whole range of dramatic writing, from Eschylus down, any series of characters that are better discriminated, more life-like, and more true to nature, than my own.”
THE "Great Dean"-the poet, historian, preacher-has well given his last words to the sanctuary in whose service most of his days have been spent.* Admiring the structure beyond measure; laboring
Annals of St. Paul's Cathedral. By HENRY H. MILMAN, late Dean. London: Murray, 1868.
VOL. LXXXVII. -NEW SERIES, VOL. VIII. NO. I.