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Grand Canal. Hawthorne's American notice we imagine that he would have felt characters in "Transformation” are too its weak points more strongly than its apt to forfeit their nationality, to pay toll charms, and in handling it he would from it, as it were, to the power of Rome. scarcely have refrained from satirizing it. Mr. Howells himself, in his two books of Mr. Howells, indeed, draws his heroine Italian sketches, and the dramatis per with uncompromising truth. He shows sone of his Venetian novel, pass through you how her Yankee idioms, her ignoItaly without any such loss, without, in rance, her unconventionality, shock the other words, parting with a shred of any fine breeding of the Bostonians, and the fundamental or characteristic American candid reader feels that in their place be quality. This of itself shows a strength would probably have disliked them equal. of literary and artistic fibre from which ly. But through it all there is not an ungreat things might be expected.
kindly or unsympathetic touch. The fine, His persistent Americanisın, however, natural temper, the beauty, the innocent is but the setting to more positive literary naïveté of the young girl, the readiness merits. “A Wedding Journey” (Boston: with which she catches up the outer polHoughton and Co.), his first real novel, ish of her new friends, having inwardly published in 1871, when, after bis return nothing to learn from them in refinement, from Italy, he was acting as editor of the her slowly yielding reserve on board ship, Atlantic Monthly, struck those readers the return upon her of all her old New who were able to judge as a piece of work England stiffness when she is brought wholly different in aim and treatment from face to face with what seems to her the anything which had yet appeared in Amer- wickedness of Venetian life, and there is ican fiction. It describes nothing more no lover by to soften or inform her judg. than the wanderings of a young American ment, the delicacy and dignity of her pascouple in search of scenery on their wed. sion, the sweetness of her final surrender ding tour. The scenery is wholly Amer- all these are drawn with a humorous ican, and its climax is the vulgarized and tenderness beyond praise. Here is the much-bewritten Niagara; there is no plot, situation board the “ Aroostook.” no tragedy, and, if we remember right, Lydia Blood, a young school-teacher from only one quarrel. The incident is of the an up-country Massachusetts village, bas slightest, the events just such as might been shipped off to Europe by her aunt happen to any young and prosperous and grandfather, on a visit to another couple under siinilar circumstances. And aunt living at Venice. The old grandindeed, we are not prepared to say that father, utterly ignorant of the ways of the the general result is particularly interest- world, comes to Boston to arrange about ing. Mr. Howells has done very much the journey. Referred to Captain Jenbetter work since. Still, the bright, cour-ness, of the sailing ship “Aroostook,' ageous, light-touched realism of the whole, bound from Boston straight to Trieste, the gay charm of the principal characters, the old man asks the good-natured capthe refined humor of some of the inci- tain to take charge of his "little girl.” dent, the sentiment and style in which The captain thinks the child may be “a the pretty, sparkling story lies, as it were, bother on the voyage;'
” but reflecting imbedded, were such as showed a new that he is used to children, consents, and artistic force at work and announced a the grandfather goes back to fetch Lydia. great and original talent. Since then, in The captain's dismay when “the little “ The Lady of the Aroostook" and "A girl” turns out to be a slim, beautiful, Foregone Conclusion,” Mr. Howells has and well-dressed damsel, whom her conmore than justified the promise of “A fiding grandfather leaves solely in his Wedding Journey.'
charge on the day of sailing, is considerThere are few more perfect stories than able, especially as he has already prom“ The Lady of the Aroostook” (Boston : ised berths to three young men, two of Houghton and Co., 1881). Lydia Blood, them of excellent character and antece. its heroine, the young, pretty, unsophisti dents, the third a youth of dissipated cated schoolmar'm from South Bradfield, habits, whom out of compassion he had Massachusetts, who finds herself crossing consented to take to Europe, in order to the Atlantic alone and unchaperoned in try the reforming effects upon him of a the company of three young men, two of sea voyage. Lydia has a few pangs of them well-born and cultivated Bostonians, lonely disappointment when she finds out would have been in Mr. James's hands, that there is neither stewardess nor womwe cannot help thinking, a little ridiculous. an of any kind on board, and the sight of If such a character iad come under his the young men is an uncomfortable sur
prise; but on the whole she is too igno: | High Church, and engaged, befriends her rant and too guileless to feel the awkward from a purely disinterested standpoint, ness of the situation as she should. And the captain watches over her as he would out of pure good feeling the young men, over one of his own girls, the sailors after the first shock, determine that, as show her little attentions, the cabin boy far as in them lies, she shall never feel it. fetches and carries for her, and even
The tivo friends Staniford and Dunham Hicks, now compulsorily sober and well discuss the situation after the first com- behaved, shows himself pleasant and remon meal of the oddly assorted little com- spectful. Only Staniford holds aloof. pany:
He has a turn for character-reading, and
for As Dunham lit his cigar at Staniford's on distance to making friends with her. Of
time prefers dissecting Lydia at a deck, the former said significantly, “What a very American thing."
" What a bore," an. how Staniford's indifference gives way
course the aim of the story is to show swered the other. Dunham had never been abroad, as one might imagine from his calling first of all to the natural interest of a Lydia's presence a very American thing ; but young man in a young girl; then to jealhe had always consorted with people who had ousy, and, lastly, to the mingled power of lived in Europe, he read the Revue des Deux the young girl's beauty, helplessness, and Nondes habitually, and the London weekly genuine refinement of nature. newspapers, and this gave him the foreign The only incident, properly so called, standpoint from which he was fond of view. in the voyage is afforded by Hicks's outing his native world. “It's incredible,” he break of drunkenness at Gibraltar, and added “Who in the world can she be?” I don't know," returned Staniford, with a cold by Staniford's meeting with some fashdisgust; “I should object to the society of ionable friends of his at Messina. But such a young person for a month or six weeks, every page is interesting, and Lydia's under the most favorable circumstances and tête-à-têtes, now with Dunham, now with with frequent respites; but to be imprisoned Staniford, her musical relations with on the same ship with her and to have her on Hicks and the jealousy they rouse in one's mind and in one's way the whole time is Staniford, and through it all her innomore than I bargained for. Captain Jennesscence, her naiviete, her unconsciousness should have told us ; though, suppose, he in the midst of a situation which would thought that if she could stand it we might have proved intolerably embarrassing to There's that point of view. But it takes all ease and comfort out of the prospect.”
any one less ignorant and unworldly,
make up a charming picture. The plot At this point, however, the questionable begins to thicken towards the climax with youth, Mr. Hicks, comes up to report all the appearance of the Alessina friends. the gossip about Lydia that he can glean Their astonishment recalls Staniford to from the cabin-boy, and immediately the the oddity of Lydia's position, and at the sympathies of the two friends set strongly same time makes him feel by contrast the in her favor. Hicks finds himself severely peculiar rarity and simplicity of her charsnubbed, and Staviford concludes that acter. His love takes rapid and fiery Lydia's unprotected presence among them shape, and only his chivalrous scruples is “plainly due to a supernatural inno prevent his proposing to her before they cence on the part of herself and her part at Trieste. He resolves, however, friends, which wouldn't occur among any to take no advantage of her loneliness, other people in the world but ours. and to wait till she is under her aunt's They agree, so far as they are able, to roof at Venice. The complications to "make her feel that there is nothing ir. which this leads, and the cruel way in regular or uncommon in her being here which Lydia's eyes are opened at Venice as she is.” At the same time Staniford, to the social solecism she has committed the elder and cleverer of the two friends, in crossing the Atlantic without a cha. does not allow his gentlemanly instincts perone, bring a vein of pathos into the to blind him to the comedy of Lydia's story and supply the necessary relief to Yankeeisms and curious bringing up. the pretty little Utopia on board the He philosophically declares her beauty is " Aroostook.” Her aunt gets the terrible only “part of the general tiresomeness of truth out of her: the situation,” and finds perpetual entertainment in speculating with Dunham as
“Had you many passengers ?” said Mrs.
Erwin. “ But of course not. That was what to the countrified views and feelings, hid- made it so delightful when I came over that den under the girl's quiet manner. Mean. way. I was newly married then, and with while the whole ship devotes itself to spirits — oh, dear ine, for anything. It was taking care of Lydia. Dunham, who is one adventure the whole way, and we got so
well acquainted it was like one family. I sup- you mean, Aunt Josephine ; but two days ago pose your grandfather put you in charge of I couldn't have dreamt it. From the time the some family. I know artists sometimes come ship sailed till I reached this wicked place out that way, and people for their health.” there wasn't a word said nor a look looked to
“There was no family on our ship," said make me think I wasn't just as right and safe Lydia. My state room had been fixed up there as if I had been in my own room at for the captain's wife.”
home. They were never anything but kind “Our captain's wife was along, too,” inter- and good to me. They never let me think posed Mrs. Erwin. “She was such a joke that they could be my enemies, or that I must with us.
She had been out to Venice on a suspect them and be on the watch against voyage before, and used to be always talking them. They were Americans ! I had to wait about the Du-cal Palace. And did they really for one of your Europeans to teach me that, turn out of their state room for you?”
for that officer who was here yesterday “She was not along,” said Lydia.
“Oh!” she moaned. “ He has been in Eu. “Not along?”repeated Mrs. Erwin feebly. rope, too, and I suppose he's like the rest of “ Who — who were the other passengers ?” you; and he thought because I was alone and
“ There were three gentlemen,” answered helpless he had the right to Oh, I see Lydia.
it. . I see now that he never meant anything, “ Three gentlemen ? Three men ? Three and — Oh, oh, oh.”
- and” – Mrs. Erwin fell back upon her pillow, and remained gazing at Lydia,
Of course no novelist with a heart could with a sort of remote, bewildered pity, as at leave such a heroine uncomforted. But perdition, not indeed beyond compassion, but Staniford has an awkward quarter of an far beyond help. Lydia's color had been com- hour to go through before the vessel of ing and going, but now it settled to a clear love glides finally into port, and his anwhite. Mrs. Erwin commanded herself suffi- swers to Lydia's cross-questionings are ciently to resume:
not all that could be wished in point of “And there were – there were – no other frankness. If only Lydia could have ladies?”
overheard one of the early conversations 'No."
between Staniford and Dunham! But “ And you were
"I was the only woman on board,” replied the reader reflects with satisfaction that Lydia. She rose abruptly, striking the edge the two are safely wedded, and that Lydia of the table in her movement, and setting its will never know. china and silver jarring. “Oh, I know what
- and you
GIGANTIC AUSTRALIAN TREES. — The Min- | be two hundred and forty feet high, but in the neapolis Lumberman in a recent issue gave a deep gorges of this grand forest the writer has lengthy article on Australian big trees. The seen higher trees than this, though not of quite writer remarks that the marvellous dimensions equal circumference. But Victoria now claims of the forest trees of this continent are little the glory of owning the biggest of all the living known by the majority of readers. The fol-“ big trees ” in the world, so far as height is lowing paragraph may perhaps be fresh news concerned. In the Dandenong district at to some of our readers : The trackless forests Fernshaw has recently been discovered a speci. in the west of Tasmania also contain huge tim- men of Eucalyptus amygdalia, or almond-leaf ber, and bushmen report that they have met gum, which has been accurately measured as with specimens of eucalyptus measuring two reaching the enormous height of three hundred hundred feet from tlie ground to the first and eighty feet before throwing out a single branch, and fully three hundred and fifty feet branch, and four hundred and thirty feet to the in all.' Until 1873 there was standing on the top, and having a girth of sixty feet at some eastern slope of Mount Wellington, within four distance above the ground. Some idea of miles of Hobart Town, a eucalyptus measuring what a height of four hundred and thirty feet eighty-six feet in girth and more than three represents may be gained from the fact that hundred feet in height, and its ruined boll still this gum-tree, if growing by the side of the forms a grim chamber in which many a merry Houses of Parliament at Westminster, would party have enjoyed a picnic. The famous tree overtop the clock-tower by exactly one hundred of the Huon forest measures seventy feet in feet. girth six feet from the ground, and is stated to
CONTENTS. I. Miss EDGEWORTH,.
Fortnightly Review, VI. SHAKESPEARE ON DEATH,
Spectator, VII. AMERICAN NOVELS.
London Times, VIII. PATRIOTIC POETRY,
Macmillan's Magazine, IX. OVID, AN APOLOGIA,
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Oh, ask me not for songs! I cannot sing; ERE the lovely dream is broken, ere the glamor
My ill-tuned notes would do sweet music
wrong ; Ere the tender mists of morning melt beneath I have no smile to greet the laughing spring, the perfect day;
No voice to join in summer's tide of song. While yet around the shrine we kneel at, lin. gers the sweet rosy glow,
More from October's dying glory takes And the music keeps true measure; darling, My heart its hymn; and fuller sympathy let me go!
Finds with the autumn hurricane that makes
The forest one convulsive agony. Though my foot shrinks back in terror, from
the path that I must tread, Where dim ghosts each step are haunting, and Or, when the last brown leaves in winter fall, the cloud frowns overhead;
While all the world in grim frost-fetters lies, Though my hand clings wildly to'it; the fond I envy them the snowflake's gentle pall, clasp whose strength I know,
That hides their sorrows from the frowning Though my heart half breaks to say it; darling,
skies. let me go!
Methinks it would be sweet like them to rest, Aye, the true eyes look undaunted, down the
O'er life's mad scene to pull the curtain future's devious way,
down; And the soul of faith is thrilling in each ear- Rest, where no weary dream will pierce the nest word you say ;
breast, But the sad eye of experience sees beneath Of perished love or unfulfilled renown :
youth's radiant glow, Slow and sure Time works bis mission ; darling, let me go!
No weariness of patient work uncrowned
By its reward; no early hopes destroyed ; Worse than all, ay, worse than parting, tho" No vain desires, nor thing desired and found
Void of enjoyment when at last enjoyed. the word knells like despair, To watch the flower closely, fondly, and find the sign of canker there;
Perchance when mist of intervening years To read the first faint touch of languor ; the Softens the past - as oft at close of day first impatient chafe to know !
The far grim range all beautiful appears, Ere you feel the chain you cherish; darling, Kissed into brightness by the sunset ray — let me go !
When the sharp pang of bitter memories born, Dearest, truest, loved só fondly, loved with Has lost its sting, and this my present pain passion never told,
Shows like some ill dream in the lightjof morn, Better death itself than feeling touch grow I'll sing thee o'er the olden songs again. careless, tone ring cold,
R. W. BOND. While the light is fullest, freest, of the bliss I
treasure so, While my idol is mine only; darling, let me
go! Let me go, yet not forget me, all too weak to lose it quite,
SONNET. It, the glory and the gladness, flooding every as some vast rock just parted from the shore
sense in light; Love itself, in youth's sweet potence, scarce By little space of dimly shadowed wave, could firmer faith bestow,
Seemeth to mock the angry storms that lave Yet, just because I love so dearly; darling, let Its strong dark breast that doth not heed the me go!
Nor care for all the fearful seas that pour
Their waters o'er it, as if ocean strave
Stand by unmoved a little from the land; Sweet little maid, whose golden-rippled head Safe in mine own heart's peace, my heart Between me and my grief its beauty rears,
should be, With quick demand for song — all singing's And that wild sea that rages round should
bear My heart is sad; mine eyes are dimmed with My burden for me; if my home but stand.
All The Year Round