Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

keen insight into the characters of men, finally

SIFTED GOLD. selected the German naturalist to be Governor

ROBERT BROWNING'S PRINCIPAL SHORTER POEMS. of the Equatorial Provinces, which included all the region claimed by Egypt between the

(Appleton's Town and Country Library.)

New York : D. Appleton & Company. Albert and Victoria Nyanzas, and south of the former lake. Here Emin, far away from the The death of Browning has added a fresh fierce religious war waged by the Mabdi in interest to the magnificent contribution to the Upper Soudan, busied himself in cultivat- English poetry, in which his life among recent ing the arts of peace and administering jus. bards has only been equalled by that made by tice in the large domain of which he was the still living Poet Laureate, who cannot be practically absolute ruler, so far as he could expected long to snrvive his friend and rival. enforce his rule in a region of barbarians with Rivals they certainly were in the affection and the two Egyptian regiments which constituted admiration of lovers of poetry. Tennyson, his military force. When Gordon was killed perhaps with a larger clientage, has not that and the Soudan was lost to Egypt, the interest intensely devoted following which, in its attiin this part of Africa died out, and it was only tude to Browning, has sometimes appeared alwithin the last three years the civilized most amusing to the saner public. The nuworld began to be conscious of the extraor- merous Browning societies organized in Eug. dinary stand made by Emin in the cause of land and America for a study of the more obcivilization in the very heart of Equatorial scure utterings of the bard, and the discovery of Africa, and of the pressing danger which the esoteric meanings supposed to be concealed threatened him as the Mahdist forces grad- under the harsh jangle and involved construcually pressed closer to his position from the tion of much of his more recent work, have north.

almost presented themselves as monuments At last England, feeling her responsibility of misguided enthusiasm. Admiration for as the remote cause of Emin's peril, through Browning's rare and splendid genius, indeed, the Royal Geographical Society organized a can readily be understood even by the Philis, relief expedition, of which Stanley was selected tine-minded, but that the special mark of symto be the chief. But of all this the ECLECTIC pathy with the Browning cult should be ado. bad something to say in its last issue, which ration of the mysteries of " Red Cotton Nightreviewed “Stanley's Letters,” and it is not cap Country," et id genus omine, seems a strange necessary to pursue it further. The author piece of human eccentricity, akin to that Teuincidentally in his book presents a bird's-eye tonio craze which has sougbt to find in Shakes. view of all the recent attempts at African ex- peare a complete cyclus of everything worth ploration within a few years, specially in knowing in history, religion, science, metaEastern Equatorial Africa, and gives us an in- physics, and politio3. The Browning craze is teresting synopsis of the history and present all the stranger in view of the fact that among condition of the Congo Free State. Indeed his voluminous productions may be found a the preliminary narrative, which prepares the great body of poetry which, for subtile music, way for the history of the Stanley expedition, dramatic fire, and splendor of imaginative is a highly succinct and graphic picture of power are almost unequalled in our literature. the present status of civilization in Africa and These need no labored dissection, no ponderthe causes which have led to it, and is per. ous labor with the dictionary, no search after haps of even more value to the general reader remote meanings; they strike mind and soul than the story of Stanley's last work. At any with the vividness of the electric flash, and rate, it is indispensable to a perfectly clear un- take possession as a conqueror storins a city. derstanding of the conditions which attached To select these highest fruits of the poet's such profound interest to the enterprise. Tho creative genius and present them to the world adventures of the great explorer himself are in a compact volume has been the purpose of well told, and it is much that the author's the editor of the volume before us, and it has geographical knowledge enables him to pre- been competently executed. Of course, all sent the subject so simply and intelligibly. lovers of Browning have their favorite poems, As a compact and brilliant digest of recent ex- and it is possible that some one might be ploration and adventure in Africa, as well as omitted from the present selection ; but we of Stanley's own remarkable exploit, we do fancy that a general consensus of opinion not see how this entertaining book could well would approve the present choice. Certainly be bettered.

about such poems as

His Lost Duchess,"

" The

“ In a Gondola,'
""A Lover's Quarrel,

A half a dozen more personages might be singled Woman's Last Word,” “ A Toccata of Galup- out as strikingly well-drawn people. The pi's," "Fra Lippo Lippi,"

,"“How they Brought story, though with just a taste of unpleasantthe Good News,” etc., Pictor Ignotus," ness in some of its features, is not likely to let Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister,'

the reader go till he has finished it. Some. Glove,' “ Hervé Riel," “ Two in the Cam. how one thinks of it as not distinctively a pagna, “A Grammarian's Funeral," “ The novel for women, though there is plenty of Last Ride Together," “ The Statue and the love-making in it. Bust," and twenty others which strike the eye

“ Rothermel' seems to be a book by a in the table of contents, there can be no doubt these are the purest gold of English song. Such prentice-band, but it has power in spite of its a volume as this is eminently seasonable, and its scenes and the utter improbability, in.

crudity. The wild extravagance of many of it would be a boon to many a reader if this

deed, of the initial incident on which the most serviceable collection were offered in a

possibility of the story is based do not pre. handsome library binding for a permanent place on the book-shelves. Books with paper taking a strong hold on the reader.

vent the strength of the story evolved from

One's vers or even bound in cloth do not quite taste is often offended, but with so much go match the dignity of such noble material.

and power of narrative the reader takes it and

enjoys the rest. Two sisters, scions of a RECENT NOVELS.

French family, are confused with each other. A MARCH IN THE RANKS. (Leisure Moment One of them has married an American, from

Series ) By Jessie Fothergill. New York : whom she has been separated by the machinaHenry Holt & Co.

tions of her mother. The sisters are supposed

to have been at a French château, near one of ROTHERMEL. A Story of Lost Identity. By

the battle-fields of the Franco-German War. Louis Reeves Harrison, New York : Americ

A shell falling in the house kills one daughter can Neus Company.

and the mother, and causes a dreadful shock COUNTESS IRENE. A Novel. (Town and

to the brain of the other. When the survivor Country Series.) By J. Fogerty. New

recovers from a long illness she has forgotten York : D. Appleton & Co.

so much of her past as to be uncertain of her THE DOMINANT SEVENTH. A Musical Story.

own identity ; and when the American husBy Kate Elizabeth Clark. New York: D. band, who has tracked the whereabouts of the Appleton & Co.

family, claims her as his wife, there is confu

sion double confounded. Other lovers con. Miss Fothergill's bright and readable novel

tend that she is the unmarried sister, which will not disappoint those who have had an ex.

in the end she turns out to be, but in the perience of her work in the past. She has a

mean while there is a reign of cross-purposes very neat trick of characterization, and knows

and riot of fierce passions involving manifold how to take hold of the sympathies of her read. violence, which will delight all those who love ers by something more sterling and subtile highly-flavored fiction. Some of the charac. than the telling of an animated story. Yet in

ters are very well depicted, but, on the whole, the latter respect there are not many of her con

it is a story of incident rather than of subtle temporaries who possess more skill. The

motive or of people true to human nature. charm of her plots is that they are not manu.

The reader can easily fancy several tests factured, but grow out of the characteristics of

which would have settled the question of her people. In the present case the power of identity, but the author's story, of course, the story, though gathered mainly about the compels him to ignore such searching facts as love which grows up between two people, Dr.

applied to the unfolding of his story. Godfrey Noble and Alizon Blundell, gathers into its absorbing web many minor threads Mr. Fogerty's “ Countess Irene'' is a clever which add largely to its fascination. The and interesting, though by no means great heroine, Alizon, is an original and vigorous piece of work. Life in Austria is admirably portraiture, entirely different from most young painted, and the charmingly unconscious women of fiction in type, and with a quality coquetries of the brilliant Countess Irene in of genuineness quite unusual. Her brother, her dealings with her cousin's love are as well the pleasure-loving invalid, Hilda Noble, conceived and described as possible. This Mrs. Van Bibber, the American widow, and heroine is not only spirited and haughty, but obtained through its political agents and spies concerning American affairs, and especially with reference to the negotiations at Paris in

thoroughly lovable, and the piece of Quixot- ures which were quoted in the Academy of ism which ultimately furnishes the motive January 4th, from the Publishers' Circular. The for the complications of the story is wrought English total diminished from 6591 to 6057, into the warp of the narrative in the most while the American total diminished in a some. simple and natural way. Mr. Fogerty has not what larger proportion--from 4631 to 4014. gone out of his way to hunt for the unusual In both cases novels show a large increase ; and fantastic, and even the inotive for the while in both cases, too, there is a marked de. duel at the end of the book does not seem an crease in theology, educational, and poetry. exaggeration, when fitted with its conditions. Unfortunately, the classification adopted vaA quasi madman is capable of anything. The ries so greatly that it would be misleading to people are all interesting, and the narrative push the comparison further. But we cannot moves to its conclusion by a series of well- forbear pointing out that the Americans proplanned incidents, which carry the reader duced 410 law books in the year, against only satisfactorily forward with no shock to his 66 in England. A more profitable question sense of internal coherence. Here and there would be to inquire why, in a period of conthe writer rises to something genuinely like siderable prosperity, the production of books pathos. The scene where Countess Irene re. should actually diminish. We can only sugcalls her father, supposed to be dying, back gest in answer that the wants of the reading to life by her wonderful singing of an old public are becoming more and more satisfied song, tenderly associated with his own lover. with newspapers, reviews, and magazines ; days, is very powerfully and touchingly told. and that authors consequently find their own Though we are only vaguely familiar with Mr. best market in the same field.” Fogerty's name, this novel shows practised

MR. GLADSTONE has now all but finished his skill in story-telling and cultivated literary articles on the Old Testament for Good Words. quality.

The first, on The Impregnable Rock of Holy The Dominant Seventh” is a musical Scripture,” will appear in the April number, story, in which the author seems to have cared and this will be followed by others on The legs to tell a story than to display her knowl. Creation Story,'' “ The Mosaic Legislation, edge of the art and history of music, and to The Psalms,' "" The Method of the Old Tesglorify Wagner and enjoy him forever. The tament,” etc. story is entirely lacking in interest of incident

THE Manuscript Department of the British or character, as it moves by puppets and Museum has recently acquired a large collecstrings which do not even dance to a lively tion of the correspondence and papers of tane. The talk about music is occasionally Jeremy Bentham and of other members of bright, generally pedantic, and always a little

the family, including his brother Sir Samuel, artificial, and the excuse for talk seems to who, after attaining the rank of a brigadierhave been the sole artistic impulse for the general in the Russian service, became civil novel. Tragedy is pumped in at the close by architect and engineer of the navy of his own the Nihilistic Pole with his dynamite wed country. The collection is contained in about ding gift, but even this does not save the

twenty-eight volumes. story from being as dull as ditch-water. It is

THE third volume of Stevens's “ Fac-similes a good novel for any one but an enthusiastic devotee of Wagner, who has sympathy with

of Manuscripts in European Archives Relating a fellow-worshipper, to drowse over. Miss

to America, 1773-83,” which will be issued Clark must learn to conceive a higher purpose presently, continues the subject of the secret than the dribble of musical chatter, if she intelligence which the British Government would write good fiction,

1777 and 1778. Directions are given as to one FOREIGN LITERARY NOTES.

method of carrying on correspondence, by

putting a bottle in a hole at the root of a tree The Academy makes the following significant in the Tnileries Garden. The volume contains comments : “The statistics of books published also accounts of the doings of the American during 1889, as given in the Publishers' Weelcly Commissioners, of the employment by the of New York, show the same decrease when British of the American Captain Joseph Hyncompared with 1888 as the corresponding fig- son, and of the capture of des bes to Con: written by a contemporary poet, the public tory of the first German Empire to the end of

gress of the American Commissioners. King phy, but is best known as the editor of the George had, it seems, a “settled opinion' that collected editions of the works of Kant and the spies were encouraged by Deane and Herbart. The famous Brunswick publisher Franklin, and gave intelligence only to de. H. Vieweg is also dead at the age of sixtyceive.

three. He was the last of his race, and he is The four volumes of original State papers of said to have bequeathed his villa and grounds Sir Ralph Sadleir, Ambassador to Scotland in

and various other things (for he lived in splenthe time of Elizabeth, which formed part of dor, as becomes a pnblisher) to his dative city. the Burton Constable Library sold last year,

The death is also announced, near Windisch: have been acquired by the British Museum. grätz, of the chief of Slavonic poets, Davorin As is well known, these valuable historical Trstenjak, a country clergyman who had held documents were examined by Sir Walter Scott, severnl preferments in Lower Styria. Besides and he prefaced the selection that was pub. writing poetry he was an authority on Croatian lished from them in 1809 with a biographical history. As a member of the Diet he was a memoir of Sadleir,

stout opponent of the Illyrian movement. TAE American branch of the publishing A CORRESPONDENT of the Academy sends the business of Cassell & Co., Limited, has been following to that paper : I subjoin the fol. acquired by a syndicate of American citizens, lowing extract from a letter of Mr. Hallam trading from and after January 1st, 1890, un. Tennyson's on a book called “ In Tennyson der the designation of “The Cassell Publish. Land :" ing Company.” The new company will be The pooms wbich he quotes—' The Owl,' carried on under the management of Mr. O. 'Dying Swan,' Oriana,' 'Supposed CopfesDunham, who has been associated for many sions, ''The Miller's Daughter,'' Lady Clara years with the business, and the American Vero de Vere,' 'The May Queen,' 'The Lotos company will continue to act as the specially Eaters,' 'The Gardener's Daughter,' the proauthorized agents throughout the United logue and conclusion of The Princess,' the States and Canada for the sale of the publica- sketch of Sir Henry Vivian, ‘Maud,' and 'The tions and works of the English company, Brook '-have nothing of Lincolnshire about which, on its part, will act similarly in Great them, and are purely imaginative creations. Britain, the colonies, and on the continent of “ The dramatis persone of the two ‘Locksley Europe for the American publications of the Halls,' of 'The Northern Farmer,' of 'The Cassell Pablishing Company.

Northern Cobbler,' and of' The Village Wife' The Austro-German adnirers of Scheffel,

are not portraits drawn from particular indi. the poet of the “ Trompeter von Säckingen,'

viduals, but, have formed a society under the name of

"• As imagination bodies forth “ Scheffel-Bund." In order to commemorate

The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen

Turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing this event they will shortly issue, under the

A local habitation and a name.' editorship of Herr A. Breitner, a Scheffel-Gedenkbuch, which is to contain contributions

Lord Tennyson informed a recent visitor to from quite a host-the number of one hundred Tarringford that Locksley Hall is no particular is mentioned -of writers, artists, and com

hall, and the Moated Grange is no particular

grange. But the localizing craze is already posers.

busy upon them. So profoundly undramatic AMONG the papers left by the lately deceased

is the temper of our time that a poet is not Professor Giesebrecht, of Munich, the last part considered capable of imagining any dramatic of the fifth volume of his Geschichte der

action, or even a scene of any dramatic action, Deutschen Kaiserzeit” has been found. This

Had A Midsummer Night's Dream" been posthumous instalment brings down the his.

66

would have demanded, and the literary and the reign of Barbarossa.

artistic "providers" would have promptly SHARES in the Revue des Deux Mondes, which provided, a'photograph from life" of Titania in 1848 bronght in 5 per cent, have been stead.

accurate water-color drawing" of the ily increasing in value, and now return 150 bank whereon the wild thyme blows. per cent on the original outlay.

THE “ Government Year-Book," the object PROFESSOR HARTENSTEIN, of Leipzig, has died of which was to combine a record of the forms at Jena. He was a copious writer on philoso- and methods of political government through

and an

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

ner

[ocr errors]

out the world with a survey of the constitu- DR. VON DÖLLINGER some time before his tional changes occurring year by year in vari- death entrusted the translation of his last ous countries, will be published henceforth work, Academic Studies," to an English not as an annual, but in successive editions, lady, Miss Warre. Her English version is as may appear desirable from the number and

now completed and in the printer's hands, importance of such changes. The third edi. and will be published in a few weeks by Mr. tion of the work, including an estimate of tho Murray. “ These famous essays," as Mr. Glad. political tendencies of the more important stone has styled them, include " The Jews in States, will make its appearance next Easter. Europe, Dante,” 66 Madame de Mainte

etc. Mr. IVOR JAMES, registrar of the University non," College of South Wales, has published a little THE Delegates of the Clarendon Press have booklet, “ The Source of the Ancient Mari- arranged for the publication of a series of half

(Cardiff : Owen), which may be com- crown volumes to be entitled “Rulers of In. mended to the attention of those who collect dia," to be edited by Sir W. W. Hunter, Coleridgiana. In this he essays to prove that K.C.S.I. Each volume will take a conspicuthe general idea of the poem, and also many ous epoch in the making of India, and under of the details, are derived from a small the name of its principal personuge will sét quarto of some 140 pages, now extremely rare, forth the problems of government which conentitled “The Strange and Dangerous Voyage fronted him, the work which he achieved,

and of Captain Thomas James,' printed in Lon. the influences which he left behind. Thus don by John Legatt, for John Partridge, in the volume on Asoka will endeavor to present, 1633."

for the first time, a comprehensive view of the A copy of this book is now on the shelves political organization of ancient India. The of the Bristol Library, in which Coleridge is rise and culmination of the Mughal empire known to have read largely during the years will be briefly sketched under Akbar ; its de1794–98. It cannot be proved that the book cay under Aurangzeb. The volume on Dupleix was there at that time, though some presump- will sum up the struggle of the European nation to that effect may be drawn from the fact tions for the possession of India. The volume that Southey reprinted two verses out of it. on Dalhousie exhibits the final developments Granting that Coleridge had read it, we may of the East India Company's rule, and so on. admit that certain floating reminiscences of Among the writers will be Professor Seeley, its contents took shape in “The Rime of the Professor Rhys Davids, Captain Trotter, Ancient Mariner ;” but Mr. James seems to Colonel Malleson, Sir Lepel Griffin, Sir Owen go much further than the slight evidence war- Burne, Sir H. Cunningham, Mr. Boulger, and rants when he calls it the “germ' of the poem. the editor. Still, we are grateful to him for his elaborate

The death of Lord Lamjngton has brought treatment of an interesting literary problem.

to a sad and premature conclusion the series A PARAGRAPH which has been going the of articles which has been appearing in Blackround of the papers with regard to the recent wood's Magazine, entitled “In the Days of the discovery of a mass of Balzac letters must bo Dandies.” The proofs of the third instal. taken, we conjecture, " with a grain of salt." ment, which will appear in the March number Readers of the paragraph-unless, indeed, of Maga, and will treat of the political personthey know something of Balzac's history- ages of the period, were in the author's hands would be apt to suppose that his letters to during his fatal illness. They were finally Madame Zulma Carraud are now heard of for corrected for press by his life-long friend and the first time. So far, in reality, is this from relative, the Duke of Rutland. A good deal of being the case that no small part of the long- curiosity has been excited regarding the aupublished “Correspondence” of the great thorship of those very charming papers, and novelist consists of the epistles which he was numerous guesses, more or less happy, were wont, at many periods of his life, to indite to made on the appearance of the first instal. this lady, his friendship with whom is de- ment. The form in which the articles were scribed, in Mr. F. Wedmore's recent book on cast was, we believe, suggested by the circum..

Balzac,” as wholly sane and beneficent.” stances of their origin, which arose from con,, In this respect it was presumably something versations between the editor of Blackwood of a contrast to his attachment to Madame de and the author which occurred during various Berny.

visits to Lord Lamington's beautiful home on

[ocr errors]
« VorigeDoorgaan »