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only those" which they believe likely to have the greatest interest for English readers." The double recension is not encouraging. But when we come to the letters themselves, we find to our dismay that Madame de Rémusat has pursued a system of reserve in the mention of prickly topics which strikes at the foundation of interest in these letters as pieces useful in judging of the history of her times. When she goes still farther, and colors the letters to her husband with statements and compliments meant for the eye of the Emperor, should they, in consequence of the prevalent habit of opening correspondence, reach him through that system of espionage which he developed to such an extreme, then we are just as much in the dark as ever. We only receive another jar to our confidence in her veracity. Indeed, M. Paul de Rémusat has a large stock of confidence, if he supposes that either Memoirs or Letters are going to be received on his bare statements. Without going so far as to accuse him of willing deception, it is not hard to show that the records he has inherited repose on documentary evidence of the flimsiest variety. But as to his qualifications as editor, it looks, to say the least, singular that he should allow himself so gross an error concerning the Yankee school-teacher and Tory partisan of the Revolution, Benjamin Thompson, as is involved in this note (page 85): "Count Rumford, a German, born in America, was paying his addresses to Madame Lavoisier, whom he afterward married." Any good cyclopedia ought to have shown him that he is as wrong about the nationality of the inventor and humanitarian as his grandmother was about his real merits. A special bitterness against Thompson, Count Rumford, appears to have been nourished by Madame de Rémusat and her mother. Perhaps it was merely because he was supposed to be a German, having had his title from the Archduke of Bavaria, and having introduced improvements in hygiene and the preparation of food for the German masses, besides publishing his political, economical, and philosophical essays in German as well as French. They seem to have been unaware that he was an Englishman by conviction and adoption, and one of the founders of the Royal Society for the Advancement of Science. Under date of January 10, 1806, the lady in waiting to the Empress Josephine writes to her husband then at Vienna, in attendance on Napoleon:

"I am requested to ask you to make inquiries at Munich about Count Rumford. I heard such an extraordinary account of him that I am curious to know the truth. It would seem, if I may believe my informant, that this man of science' is a mere philosophic charlatan, without fortune or position, and mixed up with several unpleasant stories.


My mother wants you to get full particulars, and desires me to tell you that since the wedding a recipe for economical marriages has been discovered. They are called Rumford marriages."


To this scurrilous and malignant passage Paul de Rémusat adds a note which contains two important misstatements, namely, that Rumford was obliged to leave Paris, and that he lived on an allowance from

his wife. "The allusion here," he explains, "is to cheap soups and Rumford stoves. The rumors then prevalent regarding that learned man may have been exaggerated. The marriage, however, ended in a separation, as may be seen in the Memoirs, and Count Rumford was obliged to leave Paris and reside in Germany, on an allowance made by his wife." A minor matter, truly, but perhaps not unimportant as a hint of what credence is to be put in other statements of the Rémusats. The letters themselves show plainly one source of this direful gossip about Rumford. Madame de Rémusat does not spare the philosophers and writers who found warm corners at the fireside of the Widow Lavoisier until dispossessed by the elderly lover. She seems to be bearing malice against that worthy lady for having so attractive a salon. When Rumford appears in the character of a successful suitor, Madame Rémusat actually inherits many of the habitués of the widow and one or two of her more ardent admirers; moreover, she shows herself far from indifferent to the honor they conferred on her own little salon by their desertion.

So many are the drawbacks to the series of letters that their historical worth is reduced to a minimum. But, on another and minor side, which, after all, is also history, they present excellent material. The descriptions of various circles of Paris, of the theaters and the streets, during the alternations of ill-will toward the Emperor and frantic joy at his various victories in 1805 and 1806, are fine bits of contemporary history, and corroborate many writers on the Empire, if they do not offer a new view of the inner situation. The position of the actors of the Comédie Française, as regards the court, receives a fresh light upon it, owing to the fact that Rémusat had charge of the amusements, spectacles, etc., etc., and during his prolonged absence from Paris was kept posted concerning those "kittle cattle" by his wife, who seems to have done her best to keep the peace among them. She seems to have been reasonably free from officiousness and intermeddling, considering the temptation and her own strong leaning toward being a bas bleu.

Whatever may be the impression gained from the Memoirs in respect to the slanderous bent of Madame de Rémusat, the letters prove her a wise and affectionate wife, as well as a most devoted mother. To English readers, and perhaps to the Frenchman of the present generation, her endearments may sound forced and her style sensational. The grandson is careful, however, to point out that the epistolary style of the day among the persons and writers whom his grandmother considered models was far more gushing. The explanation Less acceptable, however, is fair and credible. is the explanation of the absence from the letters of those formidable accusations against the Bonapartes which give the keenest edge to the Memoirs. Madame de Rémusat could not always have been in such deadly terror of the spies of her sovereign but that some of the letters should repeat or hint at the accusations. At most there are one or two passages shadowing out some court scandal, in

which a foolish woman has been talking as if she had some special hold on the Emperor. This fact deepens the suspicion already expressed in this magazine that the Memoirs are unsound testimony, having been colored either by Madame de Rémusat when old age and ill-health had soured her, or by Paul de Rémusat, who is a bitter Republican, or rather anti-Bonapartist, or, possibly, by both together, working in succession toward the same end.

The tendency toward monarchism shown by Madame de Rémusat in her attitude in relation to the Beauharnais family and the émigrés of the old line comes out much clearer in her letters. In 1805 she had been reading French history, and came to this conclusion, expressed in a letter to her husband at Strasburg: "Judging from the excesses into which she has plunged, France is less adapted than other nations for liberal self-government." On airing this opinion to an old friend, the Abbé Morellet, she writes: "You should have heard him lecture me on my hankering after despotism! He was not surprised, however-all women have a leaning that way.' And her son, the father of the present Senator, has left a note speaking of his mother's liberalism, but qualified by the phrase, “although full of the prejudices natural to the daughter of one of the victims of 1793."

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In spite of the injustice that the Memoirs do the Bonapartes, one cannot fail to recognize a character of strength and superiority in Madame de Rémusat, which, added to the virtues that made her so efficient a wife and mother, give the best reasons for the admiration with which she is regarded by her grandson. While still very young, she holds with tact and success a most difficult position, although surrounded by the malcontents of both the Faubourgs Saint Germain and Saint Honoré. Her criticisms of men and books are keen and decisive. She has her prejudices, and shares in the torrent of scandal far less than might be expected. It is interesting to watch the gradual transference of her heroworship, qualified though it was, from Bonaparte to Talleyrand. Her later letters speak of Talleyrand affectionately or playfully as their ami, their curé. It is only fair to suppose that Napoleon's treatment of Josephine finally disgusted Madame de Rémusat with him. At any rate, it will always stand to her honor that she accompanied her Empress into exile, though offered a place at the court of the new Empress, and though her failing health counseled rest rather than a voyage. Save for the love-passages, there is not a dull paragraph in the whole series, so far as translated.

Grimm's "Life and Times of Goethe."*

WHEN SO great an authority as Mr. Matthew Arnold pronounces a book like the present worthless, we suppose he does not insist upon being interpreted with absolute literalness. He qualifies his statement, however, by adding that it was written for the

lated by Sarah Holland Adams. Co.

*Life and Times of Goethe. By Herman Grimm. TransBoston: Little, Brown &


purpose of proving that the Germans have a literature equal to the greatest. It is therefore only secondarily a life of Goethe, and as such necessarily defective. The national consciousness of the Germans has grown so tremendously aggressive since the war with France that it has become positively dangerous to dispute, in a company of Teutons, the superlative greatness of anything Deutsch. Mr. Arnold, while heartily recognizing Goethe's genius, is of opinion that Mr. Grimm has pandered to the vanity of his countrymen, and, with a considerable expenditure of talent, has produced only a mediocre book.

There can be no doubt that these strictures are in the main just, and reveal the real weakness of a work which, whether as a biography of Goethe it be worthless or not, is nevertheless exceedingly entertaining. Mr. Grimm (who, by the way, is a son of Wilhelm Grimm, and the son-in-law of Bettina von Arnim) writes in a style which is at once refined and vigorous, and he is endowed with the most sensitive æsthetic antennæ, from which not even the subtlest and most fleeting qualities of a literary work can escape. In fact, he is very apt to carry his subtlety to a point where the common reader loses his patience and begins to sigh for more tangible verdicts. But it is well to bear in mind that Mr. Grimma is primarily an art critic, and that the extreme development of his æsthetic sense is due to its continual cultivation in passing judgment on works of art. “The Life of Michael Angelo," upon which he has hitherto based his scholarly reputation, displays approx. imately the same faults and exactly the same excellences as the present work, although, to be sure, amid the scenes of the Italian renaissance, *Mr. Grimm finds no occasion for giving vent to his patriotic ardor. So much the more does he improve his opportunity in his novel, "Invincible Powers," in which a beautiful American heroine cuts many wonderful capers in her relations with a young German hero, with whom she has the misfortune to be irrationally captivated. A little novelette, entitled "The Child," shows Mr. Grimm at his best, and is altogether a rare and delicate piece of work.

It is vain to expect that any man, however variedly endowed, should be able to do full justice to Goethe in the many capacities in which he claimed the attention of the world. Haeckel, in Jena, and a number of other scientific specialists, have proved how greatly he was in advance of his age in his views on geology, anatomy, and botany, and have explained what a largeness of vision his apparently unimportant discoveries involved; Tyndall, while elucidating the fundamental error, has yet a good word to say in praise of the much-abused "Doctrine of Color." An army of critics and biographers have emphasized now this, now that, side of his work or character to the comparative exclusion of all the others, and yet the majority of Goethe students feel, at the present day, that the last word has not yet been said,-that, in fact, the subject is unexhausted and inexhaustible. What Mr. Grimm has accomplished better than any of his predecessors is to show the exact nature of the change which the Italian journey wrought in Goethe's

development; to account, as it were, for his artistic regeneration in the presence of the great monuments of ancient art. It has for a long time been the fashion in Germany, as it is yet among the half-cultivated in England and the United States, to decry those of Goethe's works which were written after the effects of the classical renaissance had matured in him; and no amount of sagacious demonstration will ever convince these people that "Iphigenia" and the "Roman Elegies" possess a merit at all comparable to that of "Werther" and the first part of "Faust." After all, each man must be permitted to enjoy that which corresponds most nearly to the state of his own culture; and there is undeniably among Goethe's writings much which will always remain a book with seven seals to all except the special student who studies him as he would Homer, and investigates all the collateral testimony which tends to throw light upon his age and his personal character. Whether this circumstance is an evidence of strength or of weakness, we shall not undertake to decide. It distinctly removes Goethe from the class of poets to which Homer and Shakspere belong,-poets who, even though they may yield a higher enjoyment to the initiated few, have yet an easily comprehended surface meaning which appeals alike to lay and learned. This distinction Mr. Grimm has in no wise appreciated, and he loses no opportunity to place Goethe, Shakspere, and Homer in friendly juxtaposition, as if they were members of the same guild. It is, in fact, highly characteristic of the clique of German scholars to which Mr. Grimm belongs (most of whom are ardent admirers of Bismarck's high-handed methods of government) to ignore the very existence of the vulgar populace who have no university education and are unable to conjugate a Greek verb. Even though the first impulse toward the union of Germany into one nation or confederacy may have emanated from the "educated,”—as Mr. Grimm insists that it did,-there certainly is some credit due to the thousands who fought and bled in the war of independence in 1814, and in the invasion into France in 1870. And, as every one knows, it was chiefly these two wars which accomplished the political resuscitation of the German empire. Mr. Grimm, with the intellectual arrogance peculiar to a German professor, refuses to give the people who did the actual fighting their due share of credit:

"Out of this unity of the language arose among us the true fellowship in higher intellectual enjoyment to which we are solely indebted for our political unity, a unity which could never have been achieved without the unceasing activity of those whom we, in the highest sense, call the educated,' and to whom Goethe gave the first common direction."



It is also in perfect keeping with Mr. Grimm's ‘imperial” creed, which finds incidental expression in every chapter of his book, that he should make the following startling assertion: Republics have always been based upon the sovereignty of a few powerful families." The Italian republics of the Middle Ages, of which the author has made a profound and exhaustive study, were undoubtedly oligarchies, nor were the republics of antiquity pure democracies.

But we modestly suggest that the United States and Switzerland also be entitled to some consideration; and we think it would be hazardous to maintain that

their governments are "based upon the sovereignty of a few powerful families."

Inaccuracies like these would hardly interfere seriously with the value of the work, as a biography, if they did not betray a tendency to make out a case, at all hazards. The spirit of national complacency and self-congratulation, which crops out on every occasion, places the foreign reader on the defensive, and makes him distrustful of the author's conclusions, even when they are beyond dispute. Instead of giving him a vital impression of Goethe's greatness, Mr. Grimm, by his indiscriminate panegyrics, accomplishes the very opposite of what he intended. In exciting a very natural antagonism to his hyperbolical claims in favor of his nation, he also rouses a spirit of incredulity and detraction toward his claims in favor of Goethe. Mr. Lewes's "Life of Goethe" was an elaborate and ingenious apology, addressed to what he conceived to be the prejudices and narrow morality of English Philistines, and, as the Philistines are no less numerous in Germany than in England, the book was translated into German and found a larger audience there than any previous biography of the poet. But the intellectual oligarchy of the Father-land have always felt an irrepressible irritation against the book, because, in spite of its exalted view of Goethe, it still conceived of him as a man whose greatness was dimmed by many glaring faults, and who, accordingly, was a subject for mingled praise and apology. The Vulpius affair, which, in the eyes of all sensible men, will always remain a deplorable episode, is now sufficiently remote to have lost the character of a scandal; but it was reserved for Mr. Grimm to prove that Goethe's marriage to an uncultivated woman, who, in her later years, was habitually intoxicated, was, on the whole, a wise step, and entirely consistent with his greatness. The results, however, do not vindicate this view of the matter. The vice, inherited, in Christiane Vulpius's case, from a series of dissolute ancestors, re-appeared in Goethe's son, who came to a sudden and premature death, and the family of Goethe is now represented by two old bachelors, who are, to be sure, estimable men, but are destined to carry the great name with them into the grave.

Of Miss Adams's translation it is difficult to speak with respect, and when Mr. Grimm pronounces it excellent, we can only say that his knowledge of English must be even more imperfect than is his translator's acquaintance with German. What, for instance, can be more awkward and inelegant than the following (p. 13):

"The oversight of a university devolved upon him, which, in those days, was of far greater importance than it is now, where he called into existence or promoted institutions for scientific purposes, organized public criticism, and prescribed its direction."

She translates the German advocat with "advocate," instead of lawyer or barrister; the German

so she sometimes renders with the same word in English when it should be rendered "then," and selbst she once mistakes for the pronoun where it is an adverb, and should be translated "even." She sometimes translates German titles and sometimes prints them in the original, being guided, apparently, by her own caprice. Thus, we can see no reason why she should retain the German words in the case of Herder's "Die Kritischen Wälder," when she has just before (p. 44) translated the title of "Fragmente über die Neuere Deutsche Literatur." The most monumental blunder in the book, from a grammatical point of view, is on page 21, where Miss Adams boldly prints "the Jungen Goethe," which, for her sake, we hope is a typographical error. We have not the space to detail further the twenty or more blunders which we had marked for quotation.

Griffis's "Japanese Fairy World."*

THE popular stories that circulate in a nation, and especially those that are told chiefly to children, are an infallible index of the character of the people. Mr. Griffis has, it is true, selected those which are not "bloody, revengeful, or licentious," and himself bears testimony to the fact that much of Japanese popular literature is not suited to Western ideas. But these thirty-four stories are nevertheless truly typical of one side of the Japanese character, and that the most prominent, and the one with which the foreigner is surest to come in contact. Strangers are accustomed to regard the Japanese more as a pack of grown children than responsible adults; while their love of laughter, bonhomie, and kindly disposition give them the air of good children, too. Now this little collection makes one think of good children possessed of extraordinary powers of imagination joined to great simplicity, who are making fables of all sorts of things round about them. From the creation of heaven and earth, the rising of the sun, the movement of stars across the Milky Way, to the fable of frogs, crabs, and talking kettles-all is fish to the imaginative net of the Japanese. And just as behind the stories of Mother Goose events of the highest importance are concealed, so, but far more clearly, there lurk behind these genial tales the greatest acts of the world of natural phenomena, and doubtless often, also, events in the history of Japan. Mr. Griffis will be remembered as the author of a delightful book called "The Mikado's Empire." His selection is excellent and most charmingly expressed. It is a pity that the publisher did not bestow greater pains upon the little volume, for its unpretending cover and very ordinary typography may keep many readers from discovering the treasure it contains. A feature of unusual interest is the series of illustrations by an artist of Tokio.

Mr. Griffis tells how his own curiosity was roused to understand the meaning of the figures and scenes that appear on the Japanese books, bronzes, fans,

* Japanese Fairy World. Stories from the Wonder-Lore of Japan. By William Elliot Griffis. Illustrated by Ozawa, of Tokio. Schenectady, N. Y.: James H. Barhyte. 1880.

lacquered boxes, and knickknacks, and how the pursuit led him to "behold the wondrous fertility of invention, the wealth of literary, historic and classic allusion, of fun, myth, and riddle, of heroic wonder and legendary lore, in Japanese art. Some of these stories I first read on the tattooed limbs and bodies of the native foot-runners; others I first saw in the flower-tableaux at the street floral shows of Tokio." We can think of no national collection of fairy-stories which surpasses the Japanese in originality and freshness. Those presented here almost always end pleasantly, as if the story-teller were too good-humored to afflict his hearers. They are full of odd and pleasing turns of thought. Many are plainly satires; others are instructive fables with a hidden moral; "Little Silver's Dream of the Shoji" is a temperance story that might appropriately be dedicated to Mrs. Hayes.

Twelve designs by Ozawa have the clever drawing and peculiar perspective of Japanese artists, without the agreeable background upon which they make their pictures. The paper is "natural tint" merely, and the wood-cutting not particularly good. The best are of "Yorimasa and the Night-beast," and "The Star-lovers' Meeting on the Bridge of Birds." The stories are of the greatest interest to savants occupied with the comparison of myths, and the pictures to artists who have come to acknowledge that to them also Japan has a good deal to say.

Coquelin's "The Actor and his Art."*

THIS is an admirable translation of an admirable little book. Mrs. Alger has rendered into smooth and idiomatic English the graceful periods which M. Coquelin wrote for his own delivery-for his essay was a lecture before it got itself into print. At this late day it is not necessary to define M. Coquelin's position as one of the greatest comedians of the day, or to dwell on his exceptional qualifications for the discussion of his art. He is not the first of the comedians of the Théatre-Français who has chosen to turn author also: indeed, the list is long, from Molière to M. Coquelin, who plays Molière's parts in the house of Molière. In our own day it includes Samson, the tutor of Rachel, who wrote a didactic poem called "L'Art Theatrale"; and M. Regnier, the teacher of M. Coquelin, who has written, for one thing, the history of histrionic art in France. M. Coquelin begins by asserting that his art is an art; and then he considers its conditions. This preliminary defense of the actor and the glorification-if one may call it so, although the word is perhaps too strong-of his art were, no doubt, the occasion of the essay. In France, the decoration of the Legion of Honor, although given to obscure artists, authors, journalists, and even to men who have merely made money, has not been awarded to an actor, however high his rank. M. Regnier only received it after he had

*The Actor and his Art. By C. Coquelin, of the ComédieFrançaise. Translated from the French by Abby Langdon Alger. Boston: Roberts Bros. 1881.

left the stage; it has not yet been given to M. Coquelin, M. Got, or M. Delaunay. It is an honor denied to the artists who embody the Alceste of Molière, the M. Poirier of Augier, and the Gringoire of Théodore de Banville; while it is freely given to the writer of an obscure farce like "Pink Dominos." After a plea-as clever as it is courteous-for the honor of his craft, M. Coquelin considers the foundations of the art of acting. His remarks should be read by every one who is fond of good acting. Like Lewes's acute essays on "Actors and the Art of Acting," it will help to clarify the understanding. It is safe to affirm, for one thing, that most readers will be greatly surprised at M. Coquelin's assertion that a great actor is not carried away by the whirlwind of his passion; that he remains absolute master of himself; and, indeed, that he moves others less in proportion as he is more moved himself. This is Diderot's "Paradox on the Comedian," and the great critic of the last century was right in this, as he was in most of his judgments.

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The larger portion of the book is devoted to the birds, there being separate chapters on winter birds, bank-swallows, and the song-sparrow. In noting the habits and traits of the birds, as well as other animals, Mr. Ingersoll is usually close and accurate. He makes a nice distinction in speaking of the migratory habits which, to some extent, belong to all species: The true home of a bird is where it rears its young, even though it be not there more than a third of the year, and everywhere else it is merely a traveler, or migrant." It must be by accident that he drops the statement that the robin is one of the birds which "truly and gracefully walk!" Certainly, if any bird moves upon the ground exclusively by hopping, in distinction from walking as the quail and partridge do, it is the robin.


A Midsummer Prince" is the happy title by which our charming Baltimore oriole is designated in an essay devoted to him. No other of our birds, we think, combines so many attractions-plumage, structure of nest, variety and melody of song, and graceful flight. Mr. Ingersoll discusses these traits at length, and offers an original and plausible explanation of the fact that the nest of the oriole is so different from that of its fellows. The theory is founded on the fact that the oriole is the only species we have of which the female is rendered conspicuous by bright plumage; were its home of the ordinary type, the mother bird would be exposed when sitting and would, consequently, be in danger from its

Friends Worth Knowing: Glimpses of American Natural History. By Ernest Ingersoll. New York: Harper &


enemies-hence the unique protection of a pensile


The chapter on "Civilizing Influences" considers one of the most interesting subjects of natural history, namely, the effect of man, and of the changes he brings upon the face of the country, on the habits and instincts of animals.

Leroy and Renouard's "Pensionnaires du Louvre."'*

THE text of this handsome quarto of one hundred pages, collected after serial publication in "L'Art," vies with the designs for lightness of wit and piquancy of caricature. It is the woman copyists of famous pictures in the Louvre which employed the facile pen of M. Leroy, and he has brought to the task all the audacity and some of the unscrupulousness of the superior reporters for the journals of the Boulevards. The frequent use of names of real people may strike the reader as very bold, but, for Paris, the book is, in truth, by no means audacious. Almost all the copyists, or pensionnaires, at the Louvre are women. Some are old, some are young; many are Frenchwomen, but a good proportion of foreigners is also present. The chance for antithesis and contrast is wide; the opportunity for a bit of gossip here and a touch of naughtiness there does not go unused. Criticism of various schools of art can also be cleverly introduced. The Impressionists are the usual butts. Treading in the footsteps of Diderot, when he makes "Le Neveu de Rameau" his mouth-piece for a variety of heresies and sharp say. ings, M. Leroy strolls through the Louvre under the guidance of a painter of the most virulently Impressionistic stripe, named Potet. The latter knows well all the regular copyists, and adroitly enters into conversation with all the new. The two come to a common-looking woman in spectacles, working away for dear life at a copy of one of Chardin's pieces of still life. She is Madame Zénaide Chaumonot; but her attitude, dress, and talk tell plainly enough that she likes plenty of cabbage in her soup. Potet delivers himself of some of the heresies in art of which once Courbet was, and now Manet is, supposed to be the artistic chief. The old lady is disgusted at such ideas.

"Do be done with your impressions; I have impressions, too, but that does not stop me from drawing.'

"You really think you have them?' "Don't I tell you so?'

"Very well; I am too polite to answer you with a coarse denial; I merely allow myself the affirmation that your impressions are to mine what the heavy duck is to the light and brilliant humming-bird.'

"(That's what he calls polite!)

"They dry up as they come from your brainpetrify themselves on your canvas. Your outlines are hard, abrupt; they hurt the eye. My dear Madame Chaumonot, you'll hurt yourself against them some day. Your unlucky coloring lacks

"Les Pensionnaires du Louvre." Par Louis Leroy. Dessins de Paul Renouard. Paris: Librairie de "L'Art." New York: J. W. Bouton.

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