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that Ten Brink was primarily devoted, though of those books without end few foreign scholars could more justly estimate the relative worth or worthlessness. Though the lecturer can treat the various aspects of his subject but in outline, he writes with such rare knowledge, insight, and, we may add, sanity, that his book is eminently suggestive, and so has a value quite out of proportion to its size, in happy contrast to the effect produced by many ponderous Shakespearean tomes. The translation is usually excellent, but it is difficult to understand why the editor's introduction should have been omitted in the English version, as, under the circumstances, it might almost be called an essential part of the volume. Two volumes - Due Preparations for the Plague, and The King of Pirates, with Lives of Other Pirates and Robbers complete the new sixteen-volume edition of Defoe's Romances and Narratives, edited by George A. Aitken, and illustrated by J. B. Yeats. (J. M. Dent & Co., London; Macmillan, New York.) The former of the two volumes contains also The Apparition of Mrs. Veal. If our modern realistic writers would give to Defoe the attention they seem to give to newspapers, they might discover something of the secret of his power to impress his narratives on the belief. It is somewhat melancholy, however, to observe the down grade on which Defoe traveled, till at last his imagination was overcrowded with thieves, strumpets, pirates, and ruffians. The edition now completed is edited with great skill and good judgment. - Natural History of Selborne and Observations on Nature, by Gilbert White, with the Text and New Letters of the Buckland Edition. Introduction by John Burroughs; illustrations by Clifton Johnson. In two volumes. (Appletons.) There is a special fitness in an introduction from Mr. Burroughs to this new edition of one of his favorite books. He has told us before, in Indoor Studies, why he likes Gilbert White's book, and has there pointed out some of the sources of its "perennial charm," but the present essay brings out characteristics of the Selborne parson which had not been touched upon before. The illustrations are almost all from photographs taken by Mr. Johnson, though the title-page would lead one to expect drawings. They show us the streets, houses, people, gardens, fields, and
woods of the Hampshire parish, with an occasional glimpse at its feathered inhabitants, apparently taken from "mounted groups." The subjects are attractive, and the photographs are well taken, and so numerous that we are sure the sun must have reproduced for us, under Mr. Johnson's direction, almost everything of interest that he shines upon in that neighborhood.
Poetry and the Drama. The Father of the Forest, and Other Poems, by William Watson. (Stone & Kimball.) Three or four longish poems, two lyrics, and three sonnets, all marked by Mr. Watson's seriousness of mind and literary attitude toward poetry. The Tomb of Burns is the best, because it most directly reflects Mr. Watson's distinctive excellence in the treatment of human subjects connected with the high realms of imaginative production. It is man in connection with nature that offers a theme to this poet, and thus such exalted images as Wordsworth and Burns afford inspire him most deeply. - Macaire, a Melodramatic Farce, by Robert Louis Stevenson and William Ernest Henley. (Stone & Kimball.) A three-act farce ending in a tragedy, but so nonsensical throughout that Macaire's death itself seems like a light jest. It ought to be acted like lightning, and it reads as if it were written between two pipes. -To-Day and Yesterday, by Edward Willard Watson. (Henry T. Coates & Co., Philadelphia.) — Shadows of Yesterday, by Charles Gifford Orwen. (Rochester, N. Y.) - Dies Ira, Nine Original English Versions, by W. W. Nevin. (Putnams.) Undergrowth, by George C. Bragdon. (R. J. Oliphant, Oswego, N. Y.)
Pauline, and Other Poems, by Arthur J. Stringer. (T. H. Warren, Printer, London, Ont.) Nicodemus, by Grace Shaw Duff. Illustrated by Frederick C. Gordon. (Arena Publishing Co.)- Acrisius, King of Argos, and Other Poems, by Horace Eaton Walker. (George I. Putnam Co., Claremont, N. H.)
Biography. Margaret Winthrop, by Alice Morse Earle. In series Women of Colonial and Revolutionary Times. (Scribners.) The letters between Winthrop and his wife have been drawn upon often, for they are among the most tender memorials of early Puritan life; but this is the first attempt, we think, to use them for setting forth the character of the wife toward
whom the great founder of New England with exceeding vividness and picturesque
showed such a lover's regard. After all, the book is quite as much a picture of New England and of John Winthrop. We suspect the subject of the sketch would have been somewhat dismayed at the notion of being treated as the occasion for a biography. Mrs. Earle's well-trained antiquarian mind leads her to lay too much stress upon the reproduction of documents in the ancient spelling. A little of this flavor goes a good way. Mrs. Earle has really gathered and used with skill pretty much all one could expect to find of the feminine aspect of early New England. — The Gillmans of Highgate, with Letters from Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Illustrated with Views and Portraits. Being a Chapter from the History of the Gillman family. By Alexander W. Gillman. (Elliot Stock, London.) The author appears to be engaged on an extensive family history, of which this volume is a fragment, but of more than genealogical interest, since inwoven with an account of this special branch are interesting memorabilia of Coleridge, hitherto unprinted notes, letters, and memoranda. The illustrations help to reconstruct Coleridge's outer life at James Gillman's house.
Nature and Travel. Vacation Rambles, by Thomas Hughes. (Macmillan.) Readers of The Spectator will recall the letters which for thirty years and more have appeared occasionally in that journal signed "Vacuus Viator." It was an open secret that they were by the author of Tom Brown's School Days at Rugby, and Mr. Hughes has now collected them into a plump volume, which may be read with genuine pleasure, since the author writes with a boyish freshness which is indifferent to the parade of knowledge and full of hearty enthusiasm. The rambles recorded were in Europe and America, and amongst other places visited was the settlement in Rugby, Tennessee, in which Mr. Hughes was personally interested. A slight veil secludes most American proper names from all but those who know or know something about the persons frankly and agreeably noted.
- Constantinople, by F. Marion Crawford. Illustrated by Edwin L. Weeks. (Scribners.) Readers of Paul Patoff will not need to be told that Mr. Crawford can write of Constantinople and its inhabitants
ness. Such a description, for instance, as that of a service at Agia Sophia during the last week of Ramazán is not easily forgotten, and may be matched in this book by the word-picture of the ever-changing throng on Galata Bridge. These sketches, admirably supplemented by the illustrations of Mr. Weeks, give wonderfully lifelike glimpses of places and people in this meeting-ground of Europe and Asia. It is interesting at present to note Mr. Crawford's well-defined opinions regarding the Turk, whom he is inclined to believe in, when he can be found, and is not a Greek, Armenian, Persian, or African calling himself by that name. "He is sober, he is clean, he is honest,” qualities not especially characteristic of the so-called Christian population of his city. In a few graphic touches the writer so well indicates the mixture of races and creeds in this swarm of humanity that it seems a natural sequence that it should be the most ill gov erned of municipalities. The publishers have united with author and artist in making this little volume attractive. - The Gold Diggings of Cape Horn, a Study of Life in Tierra del Fuego and Patagonia, by John R. Spears. Illustrated. (Putnams.) This is a collection of miscellaneous information - with perhaps some misinformation?-picked up by a newspaper man on a journey to the end of the continent. The interest which this book possesses is that which naturally attaches to the novelty of the places and peoples visited, for Mr. Spears lays no claims to literary excellence, and we must confess to finding him for the most part exceedingly dull reading. The occasional coarse newspaper witticisms do not serve to enliven the narrative to any appreciable extent. The author gives us an account not so much of what he saw as of what he heard, and, in spite of the authoritative fashion in which he delivers himself, we may be pardoned for assigning it the value of all hearsay evidence. The chapters on the several tribes of Indians are the most interesting, but — we wish we could be sure it was all true. - Window and Parlor Gardening, a Guide for the Selection, Propagation, and Care of House Plants, by N. Jönsson Rose. With illustrations by the author. (Scribners.)
THE CONTRIBUTORS' CLUB.
Elicited In- IT happened once that schoolteaching was thrust upon me for a short season; and I find, in looking over some of the examination papers belonging to the pupils, that my labors were not quite without results, some of which, if unexpected or unusual, are at least suggestive.
For instance, should we understand that soap was formerly used more freely among the Italians than in these days we might be led to suppose, because a student of Roman history writes, "Herculaneum and Pompeii were destroyed by a stream of lather"? And is there more than meets the eye in this statement, "When the Greeks and Romans became Christians, then they had more to quarrel about "? Is this further announcement to be disputed, "Alexandria was one of the chief cities of iniquity" (antiquity)?
In these days of hygienic feeding and much teaching thereof, the following résumé of our requirements is gratifying for its simplicity and comprehensiveness: "The three necessary sorts of food are carbonaceous, nitrogenous, and nutritious." It is reassuring to be told by the same student that "a tooth is so set in the jaw that they are not apt to come out ;" and according to one's physical condition is the impression produced by reading that "the organs and tissues of the body are continually changing; those which are present one moment are gone the next " !
To persons who have forgotten the "words of the book" it may be a little bewildering to read that "a hair under the microscope looks like the roof of a house." Perhaps the simile would have suggested itself only in a town of shingled roofs. We find among other beneficent provisions of nature that "the oil-glands are of great use to us: they oil the skin and hair, and keep water out." So the phrase "wet to the skin" acquires new meaning, while "wet through" is destined to become obsolete, since science shows it to be an impossible condition. I am sure that only in a reposeful New England town could be written, "The arm is sometimes used in carrying things and to hit with;" and as an afterthought, or with a sort
of Western "keep-the-change" prodigality, is added, "There are two arms, and the leg is something like it."
On an American history paper I find that "Molly Pitcher's husband was wounded, and she went to get some water in a pitcher, and that is how you can remember her name." Among the admirable and impressive facts in the life of Benjamin Franklin it is recorded that "when he went to bed at night he used to take a book with him and deprive himself of rest." "At length, finding himself in America without a penny, he became a great writer;" whether because or in spite of the geographical and financial situation is not stated. It is interesting to hear that "when Andrew Jackson found time he fed the adopted baby." It is to be hoped that in the intervals some one else "found time."
It hardly seems consistent with our notions of Washington's dignity that he should "mount a pine log on wheels and parade round with it," nor should we advocate such an excess of politeness as that shown by Mrs. Motte when "she chose to have her house burned down, since the enemy could not be disobliged" (dislodged). On the other hand, the Americans were surely rather exacting when "they ordered the British to lower their collars."
It is not clear as to whether it was accident, design, or the writer's arrangement that led one of the patriots "to store the powder in a house with his wife and his mother-in-law."
Recent events have justified the laconic answer of "Riots" to the inquiry “What is the practical result of strikes?" And perhaps in the last few years the force of the following definition may have been felt: "A draft is an order that you send to a man, instead of money, but it has to pass through several hands before the right person gets it."
The last extract from these papers, containing so many fresh points of view, is one which shows the value to us all of some knowledge of grammar and rhetoric, since "grammatical form may be shown by speaking and spelling correctly," and " apostrophe is that figure of speech in which
absent things are addressed as though present, and the ignorant as though intelligent."
Thanks to its being still ten Birthplace. or twelve miles from a railway, Tréguier is not in the least modernized or beset by curiosity-hunters. The drive, moreover, from Lannion gives an idea of the peaceful scenery amid which Renan was reared. It is an undulating country of pastures and orchards, with little wayside or moorland oratories dedicated to saints unknown outside Brittany, and with peasants' cottages, not nestling together as in most parts of France, but standing isolated in the fields. The sea is not visible even from a high table-land, and we must not imagine Renan familiar with the melancholy ocean. Tréguier is on a river, or creek, five miles from the open sea, and the boy's long rambles with his mother can seldom have brought him within hearing or sight of the waves breaking on the granite coast. Nor does Tréguier, at the first view, give the impression of an ecclesiastical atmosphere. It is sleepy and old-fashioned rather than religious. There are, indeed, three convents, besides the hospital, or poorhouse, which is in charge of nuns; but these are not visible from the street, being concealed by high granite walls. Little, too, is to be seen externally of the college, or seminary, which Renan in his later days vainly sought permission to revisit. The cathedral, though the only religious edifice for the twenty-seven hundred inhabitants, is the smallest in Brittany, and its graceful spire, granite like the rest of the structure, was not erected till just before the Revolution. Then unbishoped by being annexed to St. Brieuc, Tréguier has not even a subprefect to represent civil authority. Not a single house in the town looks less than a century old, and the half dozen streets are almost lifeless. It is strange to find such a Sleepy Hollow lit up by electricity, but these incongruities are not infrequent in France. A natural oyster-bed is an element if not of prosperity, of well-being; for the small but delicate mollusk is in high repute, and cod and mackerel fisheries give employment to the people.
My driver, though so ardent an antiquary that he volunteered to walk through the town with me, pointing out with admiration all the picturesque houses, had evidently
never heard of Renan. Visitors must not expect, indeed, to find the great writer honored in his own country. In so Catholic a town no statue of him is likely to be toler ated in our time, even were strangers to subscribe for it; nor is the Grande Rue, a winding and usually narrow street of dingy granite houses, with very few shops, and those decidedly third-rate, likely to be renamed Rue Renan. Nor do his works or his photograph appear at any shop window. The landlady of the Lion d'Or directed me, however, to his house, a plain granite building one hundred and fifty years old, looking as if it might have seen better days. A baker's shop now occupies the frontage, while the back, the first floor, and the attics are let as tenements. The shop was where Renan's mother sold groceries and marine stores till the death of her husband, on whose coasting voyages she depended for supplies. On the first floor his sister Henriette must have afterwards carried on the school by which she bravely tried not only to maintain her mother and young brother, but to pay off the debts left by an enterprising but unbusinesslike father. On her departure for Paris in 1835, mother and son contented themselves with two or three rooms, letting all the rest. One of these is on the ground floor, and is shown to visitors as Renan's bedroom, now adorned, by the irony of events, with Catholic pictures. It looks out on a small yard and garden. The back attic, which was Renan's study, commands a view of the country. The garden, though stocked with vegetables and fruit trees, contains a few flowers, and the elderly woman who is now the tenant of it and of part of the house-she remembers Renan's mother well, describing her as a model woman, but apparently she knew little of the son until late in life, when, passing the summer at a neighboring village on the coast, he occasionally visited the spot
- offers flowers to strangers, more numer ous since his death, as mementos. What a tale that study could tell of mental conflicts while Renan was hesitating whether to risk breaking his mother's heart by renouncing the priesthood of a church in which he no longer believed! But for Henriette's counsels and purse, as is evident from their recently published corre spondence, he might perhaps have silenced his scruples, and become at least a Catholic
professor, possibly a Catholic bishop, in lieu of three years' drudgery as usher in an insignificant boarding-school, and, as late as 1852, of earning fifty cents a night in cataloguing manuscripts at the Paris Library, after a literary mission to Italy for the Academy of Inscriptions. But Wisdom is
justified of her children.
This intellectual evolution, by which, at twenty-six, Renan, in his then partially printed L'Avenir de Science, had reached all the conclusions developed in his later works, is not easily explained by heredity, albeit Henriette, twelve years his senior, had previously passed through a like crisis. The father, who was drowned, or drowned himself, when Ernest was only five years old, is described by him as melancholy, but this may apply only to his later days of adversity. Another authority depicts him as corpulent, courageous, taciturn, but hottempered and, like so many Breton sailors, addicted to the bottle. What is certain is that he had no aptitude for business, which defect, together with his obesity, he bequeathed to his son. His wife, a Lannion beauty, was lively and sanguine, very pious, but with so much of primitive heathenism blended with her religion as to allow a friendly witch to ascertain Ernest's chances of recovery from a dangerous illness by taking his shirt to a holy well and seeing whether it would float or sink. Both parents, so far as we can judge, were commonplace. So also was the elder son, Alain, who, beginning life as a bank clerk, then failing in business at St. Malo, became bookkeeper in a Paris business house, unable either to assist Henriette in maintaining mother and brother and paying off the father's forbearing creditors, or to advise Ernest in his mental conflicts. It is true that the paternal uncle, Pierre, was a sort of untutored genius, a belated troubadour or bard, averse to work, the life and soul of village taverns, with his fund of stories and jokes, or retold chapters of Don Quixote, Gil Blas, and the Diable Boiteux, books rescued by him from a priestly expurgation of his brother's scanty library. Who had collected these forbidden books does not appear; perhaps the paterfamilias in his voyages. It is not derogatory to Renan to suggest that he resembled this ne'erdo-well uncle, who died by the roadside, more than his parents, which of course
implies inheritance of qualities from a common ancestor; for atavism is the only explanation of the difference between Henriette and Ernest and the rest of the family. Renan's own theory of the influence of his mother's Gascon ancestry would fail to account for uncle Pierre. Grandfather Renan, moreover, must have been an intelligent man, or he would not have migrated from a fishing village to Tréguier, nor have sent his son to Brest to learn English and navigation, which proved useful acquirements to him when captured by a privateer and imprisoned on English pontoons.
As for the milieu, on which Taine lays so much stress, other Breton towns, indeed the very nearest, Lannion, possess much more architectural charm, and other Breton districts have much wilder scenery. Regarding the legend of the submerged town of Is, its spires sometimes visible, its chimes sometimes audible, it was not peculiar to that region, for several localities compete for the site. Tréguier is perhaps exceptionally disinclined to enterprise or money-making, and this would help to account for Renan's indifference to wealth, his dislike to pushing his way, whether in soliciting a post or entering a car; but it does not explain his own or Henriette's mental evolution. Most of his schoolfellows must have become parish priests, devoid alike of his gifts and his doubts. We can no more explain why Tréguier produced Renan than why it produces oysters. It is in both cases an unconscious production, the very reverse of Oxford, which, as a waggish alderman of my acquaintance once told a parliamentary committee, has "two manufactures, parsons and sausages." Brittany has produced but one Renan, for Chateaubriand and Lamennais do not count; they sprang from that part of Brittany which is Norman in speech, and at least semi-Norman in race. But Britain whether the island or the peninsula is uncertain produced also Pelagius; and a curious analogy might be traced between the optimistic rationalism of the earlier and that of the later heretic.
However baffling, too, in other respects, a visit to Tréguier leaves a distinct conviction that Breton was Renau's mother tongue. Breton is still the predominant language, not only in the working class, but among the bourgeois, and seventy years ago French must have been as rare in the towns