and intelligently discussed. The utter destruction of our great northern pine regions, approaching so swiftly and surely (if nothing is done to prevent), the denudation of the Adirondacks threatening the water supply of the Hudson, and similar dangers are significant threats that fix the public interest. Books that throw light on the subject of arboriculture, not merely as a means of gratification to the rich in growing parks and pleasuregrounds, but as a matter of public interest and safety, must be considered, then, as vital to our present public needs. Mr. Egleston has written a compact and well-considered hand-book on this theme, and appears to speak ex cathedra. Aside from the claims justified in his little book, his position under government should assure us of the fact, though unfortunately office-holding is not always a guarantee of fitness. The author has evidently had a wide practical experience in the culture of trees and studied the science underlying it with zeal and thoroughness. Not the least interesting part of the book to the general reader will be the very intelligent and comprehensive study of the needs of preserving and augmenting our forest areas, found in the first sections, as these are so germane to the discussion now going on.


[ocr errors]

MR. ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON, the author of "Travels on a Donkey," Treasure Island," etc., has been seriously sick at Nice. The loss of this author would be seriously felt in literature.

THE note-books of the late Abraham Hayward, a sketch of whose life and character is given in the present number of THE ECLECTIC, will be edited by Mr. Kinglake.

AMONG foreign literary men of note, who have just died, are Blanchard Jerrold, son of Douglass Jerrold, and a versatile journalist, novelist, and essayist; the great French historian, Miguet, and Richard Hengist Horne. The latter poet is not much known to the present generation, but literary men agree in looking on him as one of the remarkable poets of his century. A complete edition of his works is about to be published in London. He will probably become widely famous now that he is dead, a fate which has befallen the fame of more than one great man. His greatest poem Orion," an epic.


HOLLAND, it is said, has only one poet who is a woman. This is Miss Stratenus, who is now visiting London, and who is described as charming both as poet and as woman.

M. AUGUST LAHURE, the manager of a great Paris printing office, has written a letter to the Alliance Français on the diminution of the French book trade. He says it is owing to the lessening number of persons who speak French, and shows that English is gaining ground in the French West Indies, in New Caledonia, and Tahiti. The loss of Alsace and Lorraine was a severe blow to French books. M. Lahure's remedy is compulsory colonial education in Algiers and elsewhere.


THE Athenæum declares that Mr. Speed's edition of Keats recently published by Dodd, Mead & Co. contains little that is new. The edition," it alleges, “is practically the same as Lord Houghton's, even to its misprints. The greater number of Lord Houghton's notes are given without signature, though some are signed E. D. Mr. Speed should have taken care to warn the reader against crediting him with these notes."

THE Pall Mall Gazette indicates the tenor of General Gordon's unpublished theological work. Instead of opening new views, the writer reminds us of the time of the Puritans, when the love of parallelisms between the Old and New Testaments was at its height; when the soldiers of Cromwell prayed aloud to be delivered from the old Adam. For every incident connected with the fall of man, General Gordon traces the New Testament, not only a counter-balancing remedy to enable the fallen to retrieve the lost ground, but an identity of the means of recovery, with the cause of the original transgression. This he recognizes in the act of partaking of the sacramental elements, the meet and fitting remedy against sin introduced into the world by the act of eating the fruit of the tree of life.

THE Pall Mall Gazette asserts that Matthew Arnold made £1200 by his lecturing tour in America.

DR. EVEURS, the American dentist of Paris, has bought the American copyright of the English translation of Heine's Memoirs, and will publish it in May.

THE English edition of the memoirs of Princess Alice will be ready in April. The correspondence of the Princess with the Queen; from English originals in the possession of the


Queen and other members of the royal family, extends from 1862 to 1880.

WE may expect from Matthew Arnold, by and by, a book on America, which will probably be pungent and suggestive. It is reported that he has made a huge collections of memoranda on the queer social facts he observed in America.


[ocr errors]

THE authenticity of the recently discovered manuscript of Kant, which is to be reproduced photographically, is unquestionable. It was first mentioned in J. G. Hasse's Remarkable Sayings of Kant, by one of his Table Companions," published in 1804, the year in which Kant died. Hasse therein refers to the work, which the author had several times shown him, and to which he (Kant) had not only given the title " 'System of Pure Philosophy," but of which he spoke as being "his principal work, his chef d'œuvre," an absolute whole, completing his system, and only needing to be properly arranged-an arrangement which Kant hoped to have time left him to accomplish.

[ocr errors]

THE distinguised preacher, Père Didon, is about to publish a book on the Germans, which is said to be remarkable for its generous impartiality. He warmly praises the patriotism displayed by the Germans : Kings and Emperor, Chancellor and Ministers, soldiers and literary men, students and workmen, only dream of laboring for their country. They have but one watchword-the Fatherland. before everything! Their partiotism is beyond dispute." He adds: "I shall never forget my indignation and anguish while reading the French newspapers in Germany. I often found in the columns of a certain Parisian journal more insults against my country than in all the voluminous gazettes of Berlin together."

THE late Charles Stewart Calverley, the author of "Fly Leaves," was an accomplished scholar; and he left at Oxford, it is said, an extraordinary and durable reputation as a wit. The good things of " Blades," as he was then called, are still retailed to the freshmen of the

University. An accident on the ice crippled Mr. Calverley's powers much in the later years

of his life.

MAX O'RELL, the author of " John Bull et Son Isle," has complained in the English newspapers that the American publishers of his book have not sent him an honorarium. To this a correspondent of the St. James

Gazette replies: "If the ingenuous M. Max O'Rell would take a walk down, not Fleet Street, but Booksellers' Row, he might see another side of the copyright question. He might notice a popular American work called 'Democracy,' published by three British publishers at the exceedingly low price of 6d. or 44d. cash. Compared with the 40 cents (Is. 8d.), or even 20 cents (10d.), the American publishers charge for their work, this will show him the gratifying fact that he is more appre

ciated in America than the author of ' Democracy' in this country; for, reduced to a least common multiple, he is worth nearly 6d. more, or 100 per cent, than his similarly placed anonymous American. A yard or so further on he might see the 'Bad Boy's Diary,' published by the same three eager enthusiasts for the diffusion of American literature; and of 'Don't' and Never and Always' he may see at least four copyright editions piratedI beg pardon, ' re-issued '-in this country. And then, if he desired further enlightenment on the subject, he might find out how many English checks were in the scrap-books of the American authors of these works."

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

PRINCE LEOPOLD, of England, who died on the 28th ult., at Cannes, France, very suddenly, was the youngest son of Queen Victoria. He inherited the literary, scholarly, and artistic tastes of his father in large measure. Educated at Cambridge University, he took a high degree, and specially distinguished himself in literature, philosophy, and the languages. His literary ability was very marked, and he was the author of two books. He was accustomed to remark jocosely that if the Royal Family went out of business in virtue of England becoming a republic, that he could himself make an honest living by teaching music or the classics, or by writing for the periodicals.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

THE MIGRATIONS OF THE SPRINGBOK. Many travellers in South Africa have mentioned the " trek-bokken," as the Boers call the pilgrimages of the springbok, but none have painted them more vividly than the late Captain Gordon Cumming. One morning, as he had been lying awake in his wagon for some two hours before daybreak, he had heard the continual grunting of male springboks, but took no particular notice of the sound. "On my rising, when it was clear, and looking


about me, I beheld the ground to the northward of my camp actually covered with a dense living mass of springboks, marching steadily and slowly along, extending from an opening in a long range of hills on the west, through which they continued pouring like the flood of some great river, to a ridge about half a mile to the east, over which they disappeared. The breadth of the ground which they covered might have been somewhere about half a mile. stood upon the fore-chest of my wagon for nearly two hours, lost in wonder at the novel and beautiful scene which was passing before me, and had some difficulty in convincing myself that it was a reality which I beheld, and not the wild and exaggerated picture of a hunter's dream. During this time their vast legions continued streaming through the neck in the hills, in one unbroken, compact phalanx." It has sometimes happened that a flock of sheep has strayed into the line of march. In such cases the flock has been overlapped, enveloped in the springbok army, and forced to join in the march. A most astonishing example of the united power of the springbok was witnessed by a well-known hunter. During the passage of one of these armies a lion was seen in the midst of the antelopes, forced to take unwilling part in the march. He had evidently miscalculated his leap and sprung too far, alighting upon the main body. Those upon whom he alighted must have recoiled sufficiently to allow him to reach the ground, and then the pressure from both flanks and the rear prevented him from escaping from his strange captivity. As only the front ranks of these armies can put their heads to the ground, we very naturally wonder how those in the middle and rear can feed. The mode which is adopted is equally simple and efficacious. When the herd arrives at pasturage, those animals which occupy the front feed greedily until they can eat no more. Then, being ruminants, they need rest in order to enable them to chew the cud. So they fall out of the ranks and quietly chew the cud until the column has almost passed them, when they fall in at the rear and gradually work their way to the front again. As to water, they do not require it, many of these South African antelopes possessing the singular property of being able to exist for months together without drinking.-Sunday Magazine.

"CHILDREN'S PARTIES IN WINTER."- Dr. Cullimore, of the North-West London Hospital, has written to the Evening Standard what

[ocr errors]

we conceive to be a very sensible letter, pointing out the perils which beset children's parties in winter. The subject is one which may well receive the thoughtful attention of parents and all who are solicitous for the welfare of the young. Dr. Cullimore's principal objections, which are based on physical grounds chiefly, are urged for the benefit of children under seven years of age. We would extend the pròhibition to twelve, or even a little later. It is impossible not to recognize that the so-called 'pleasure" of a children's party involves a very large measure of excitement, both before and after the event; so that, apart from the exposure to the chances of "chill" and improper food and drink on the occasion, there is an amount of wear and tear and waste attending these parties which ought to be estimated, and the estimate can scarcely be a low one. It may seem ungracious to strive to put a limit on the pleasures of the young, but it must not be forgotten that early youth is the period of growth and development, and that anything and everything that causes special waste of organized material without a compensatory stimulus to nutrition ought to be avoided. Dr. Cullimore has dealt with the general effects on health, and he has not exaggerated the evils that sometimes ensue, and are always likely to be entailed by this form of juvenile amusement. We turn from these to the mental and nerve injuries inflicted on the growing organism. They are certainly not to be disregarded. A perfect storm of excitement rages in the little brain from the moment the invitation has been received, and the affair is talked about in the nursery until after the evening. Sleep is disturbed by dreams, or, in some cases, prevented by thinking of the occasion, and afterward the excitement does not subside until days have elapsed, perhaps not before another invitation is received. Not only in winter, but at all seasons, we think the amusements of young children ought to be simple, unexciting, and as free as possible from the characteristics of the 'pleasures" of later years. As a matter of fact, "children's parties are in no way necessary to the happiness of child life.—Lancet.


[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

ness of her little lawn, "Yes," she said, "but you have no idea of the trouble it took me to get the turf. You would think, perhaps, with these green mountains so near that it was a common commodity, but the fact is where once it is taken away it never grows again; the place is left bare. I could get no turf, in fact, for love or money, and was at my wit's end for it, when a very curious circumstance happened. One morning I found a cartload of turf lying on the gravel yonder where it had been pitchforked over the wall. A bit of paper was pinned to a slab of it, with these words written on it in a vile scrawl: "To Harriet Martineau, from a lover of her Forest and Game Law tales -A poacher." I dare say it was stolen, but that dishonest tribute to my merits always gave me great pleasure."-Cornhill.

THE DUKEDOM OF BRONTE.-This is that estate of Bronte which, together with the title of Duca di Bronte, was given by Ferdinand IV. to Lord Nelson in 1799. It is now held, with the title, by Viscount Bridport, the collateral descendant on the spindle side of this the most popular hero in our history. It is of great importance and of immense extent; and in the old maps takes in the very summit of Mount Etna, crater, lava, snows, and all. Nelson never saw his Sicilian holding-the lands which made him a duke and gave him a duchy but he sent for the" campieri "-literally field-guards-to go down to him at Paler


where he feasted them royally on board his ship. The name of Maniace comes from the small town which was built, not far from the Castello-built by and named after George Maniaces, "first sword-bearer and Master of the Palace of Michael, Emperor of Constantinople, and Prefect of Sicily "-to perpetuate the memory of a victory that he gained over the Saracens about the year A.D. 1032. In proof of which victory is there not, about two miles up the river, a huge rock called the Saracen's Rock to this day, showing where the fight came off and the sword-bearer was the conqueror? After the town was built a Benedictine monastery was founded in 1173 by Queen Margaret, then the widow of William the Bad. It was dedicated by her to 'Santa Maria." After the worship of the Virgin was ordained, it was said to be dedicated to 'La Madre di Dio." When Margaret's son, William the Good, built the splendid glory of Monreale above Palermo, he gave to this latter sculptured dream and inlaid jewel supreme jurisdiction over the less stately establishment

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

of Maniace. But the greater seems to have had some consideration for the less, for we are told that "Theobald, the first Abbot and Bishop of Monreale, granted parochial rights to the Church of Maniace; and Nicholas, the Archbishop of Messina, again made it exempt with a new diploma, and declared all the churches which belonged to it throughout his diocese free." They say that Queen Margaret's jewels are buried within an arrow's flight from Maniace. Why they should have been buried, and on what occasion of disturbance, history does not explain. In our own times, however, during the Sicilian revolution, the deeds and old important documents pertaining to the estate were buried for safety in the garden; and there is a tradition of certain jewels hidden under the flooring tiles, also at. the same time for the same purpose of safe concealment ; which jewels, by the way, have never come to light. The first Abbot of Maniace was William Blesense, brother to the famous Pierre du Blois. But he resigned his office in two years; and his brother Pierre, who, as tutor to the king, was used to the softnesses of life, and probably had no taste for the rough missionary work necessary to an abbot living in the wilds of Sicily, wrote to congratulate him on his decision, and to advise his immediate return to France. There were two other abbots of note among the long list of spiritual rulers lording it over the half-savage souls under the shadow of Mount Etna. One was the Blessed William, who had to do with the Saracens, and who, unarmed and incomplete, went out to meet a band of these black-browed marauders, whom he hoped to convert by godly speech. Finding that his exhortations had no effect, he seized the luckless donkey of a passer-by, took off the beast's hind-leg, and with this sole weapon, like another Samson--substituting a living leg for a dead jaw-boneovercame the foe and put them to the rout. When he stuck the donkey's leg on again, he put it on the wrong way; wnich, inconvenient for the animal, was a standing attestation of the miracle. In spite of this miracle, how. ever, William is only Blessed. His friends were to poor to pay for his Sanctification. His body yet lies beneath the altar in the church within the castle walls. It is almost entire, wanting the arms; is clothed in the Benedictine habit, and is venerated exceedingly by the poor people who come there to the weekly Mass. The second abbot of, note, and the last, was Roger Borgin, he who was afterward the infamous Pope Alexander VI., and whose

name still survives in one of the vineyards, which is called to this day "Vigneto Borgia." He, too, had no special love for the wild life. of a mitred missionary, and, "with the consent of the King, and the good pleasure of the Apostolic See," he sold the whole concern, in 1497, to the hospital at Palermo, for 2000 gold pieces down, reserving to himself, however, a yearly pension of 700 gold pieces in addition. "In the name of the Abbey, then, the Rectors of the above-named hospital pronounce the eleventh vote in the Parliaments, and now style themselves temporal lords of Bronte, a populous town, certainly without armed rights, but with absolute power in the choice of the magistrates." The end of all things ecclesiastical came in 1693, when an earthquake levelled to the dust convent and church; the only portion of this last left stand ing being that eastern part where the body of the Blessed William was lying in peace in his Benedictine robes. Architecturally, the value of what is left consists in the fine old Norman door studded with large-headed iron nails, in the obtusely-pointed Norman arches, and the pillars, of which there are eight, with curious old carving on the capitals."-Temple Bar.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

ALGIERS FROM THE SEA. Of all the towns on the Mediterranean between Tunis and Tangier there is none so calculated to enchant the traveller upon a first view as Algiers, both on account of the beauty of its natural surroundings and the unfamiliar and striking configuration of the city itself. He has taken, let it be supposed, the usual route from the north through France, and in mid-November is flying south with the last of the long-lingering swallows; he has escaped the storms of the Gulf of Lyons; the dreaded Levanter has not necessitated a run into Barcelona, the Balearic Isles are passed just as the sun is rising and playing at bo-peep with the vast swell of the dark blue sea; when within a few hours he becomes aware of his proximity to the land of the sun. The sea calms perceptibly, and through the fresh cool air come warm wafts from the south that do not at first seem to mingle with the common air, but wander freely and treat it as a foreign element; everything on deck becomes by degrees hot to the touch beneath the uprising sun. Suddenly, due south over the bows of the steamer, in the pale purple atmosphere, are seen two distinct rays of light broadening fanlike upward from the steady solid line of the deep blue sea. Those shafts of light that break the continuity

[ocr errors]

of the horizontal ether are thrown off the white houses, domes, and minarets of Algiers; and, even as the moon is fed from the exhaustless sun, so does that city, spread terrace and crescent-wise on the steep sides of its hills, borrow an ineffable splendor of light from that luminary. A little further run of the steamer and a long line of purple mountains is revealed, at first appearing as a veritable coast, so sharp is the contour and so intense the color; and then, in a moment, the city itself is seen rising in dazzling radiance above the sea, white with almost blinding intensity, and forming a picture too brilliant to be scanned with ease, if it were not for the dark blue hills and luxuriant vegetation of its immediate background and its incomparable setting of mountain and sea. As it is, colored lenses are brought into requisition by the passengers; those who were sceptical as to the phenomenal sun of Africa are gladly convinced; the Danish lieutenant forgets to abuse Bismarck, and the Polish lady, who has been relieving the tedium of the voyage by endeavoring to compel the crazy piano in the saloon to express the subtleties of Chopin's nocturnes, dons a veil of diaphanous texture; and every one shares in that nervous excitation which the Algerian air never fails to effect in northern temperaments. It is difficult to conceive anything more alluring, more fantastically beautiful, than the view of Algiers from the Mediterranean under such circumstances; it appears as a triangular mass of white buildings that have apparently been charged by some enemy on the hills behind and have stayed their precipitate flight into the sea with picturesque abruptness.-Magazine of Art.

THE COMPANY OF AUTHORS. A "preliminary prospectus" announces the formation of a society of literary men under the style and title of The Company of Authors. Its aims and objects, as set forth in the prospectus, stripped of all but the essentials, appear to be fourfold. Thus, the question of International Copyright is placed in the front, and the company pledge themselves to take action-but of what kind we learn nothing. The only line of action which seems likely to be effective, after so many abortive attempts, is to awaken the whole American people as a body to a sense of the national iniquity in continuing to permit the piracy and robbery of English writ ers; but in order to effect this object, there will be needed something more effective than the occasional cry of indignation and wrath which from time to time escapes from an in

« VorigeDoorgaan »