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the son Carlos Laffitte, who carries off his character. Whether the writer is or is natural sister in order to secure for him not a Roman Catholic, we can hardly self her fortune; her half-idiot daughter, gather from the book. If not, he treats kept in shameful servitude by Madame the Roman Catholic religion with a symChalenton; the husband who assassinates pathy and respect which are rare in a his wife because his name has appeared Protestant writer, and which show that in the newspapers. In a society which he identifies it with what there is that is produces so many mad and half-mad peo noblest in France. In this we entirely ple as ours, it is a terrible thing that the concur. There is, no doubt, a limited lunacy laws so easily allow arbitrary se. amount of French Protestantisin, – that questration. Two dishonest doctors are for instance represented by M. de Pres. enough to endanger any one's liberty: sensé, — which is doing noble service in 'The " Memoirs of Madame Hersile France, But, speaking generally, the Rouy,” who was in this way long the vic- best elements of French genius are still i.im of an arbitrary sequestration, have identified with devout Catholicism, and recalled attention to this question ; whilst the ignoblest with the French scepticism the Parisian scandals of this winter make and materialism. Mr. Sherburne Hardy, one eagerly desire a speedy solution of whatever his own convictions may be, the question of divorce, and the passing perceives this, and has given us a most of a law for dealing with questions of pa- beautiful sketch of two or three genuine ternity:
Catholics, and a very skilful though bitter I have not mentioned the long Memoir sketch of one Romanizing journalist, who, published by M. Bazaine, in justification himself belonging by birth to the Legiti. of his conduct at Metz in 1870. They mist party, is supposed to have done for refute nothing of what was asserted and that party all the good or all the evil serproved before the council of war. It is vice whichever you may call it — that clear that he was influenced in the con. the late editor of the Univers did for the duct of military operations by political Ultramontane party in the Church. The considerations. That is enough to justify mordant sketch of M. de Marzac is a setthe condemnation. It is but one more off, as it were, against the admirable instance of a man crazy with ambition sketch of the good priest, Father Le Blanc, the worst névrose of all. G. MONOD. which is the best in the book. Take the
following as an illustration of the skill with which the priest's character is drawn. We should premise that he is not by any
means a priest only, hardly, perhaps, From The Spectator.
principally a priest, though he is a genuine
priest, and full of the faith which he This is a very taking book. The au. preaches, and loves to preach. Still, the thor, of whom we have only heard that he artist and critic in him are usually more is a young American mathematician, has predominant than the priest. In the fol. at least produced a story which tests his lowing conversation the priest sketches imaginative insight into the genius of a and criticises the character of Mr. Sher. country very different from his own, and burne Hardy's heroine, Madame Milevski. satisfies us that that insight is genuine. He is in a railway-carriage with a young Several of the French characters are doctor, and they are on their way together sketched in with a firm and delicate hand, to spend a week with M. Michel (Madame and though the plot is hardly on a level Milevski's brother), at Beauvais: with the dialogue, and seems to be rather “Ah! there is a lake? Yes, we shall enjoy mechanically pinned on to the group of ourselves,” said Father Le Blanc, with evident characters sketched, than developed out satisfaction. “We have a charming party.” of their relations to each other, the book
.“ You are an old friend of M. Michel's." is one which seems to promise a future to “Yes, since he first came to Paris. That is the man who has written it. It is, too, saying much and little; much, because he is animated by a thoroughly pure taste, and the most agreeable of friends ; little, because
he makes friends of every one.
“That is an shows a wide knowledge of that higher
art few possess.”.
“ True. side of French character which has re-Michel it is not an art at all. That art by
Only with M. cently been too little represented in the which one never disputes the qualities which literature concerned with French life and those about us pretend to possess, and, on the
other hand, never asserts any for one's self, * But Yet a Woman: a Novel. By Arthur Sher- like other arts, requires calculation; and M. bure Hardy. London: Macmillan and Co.
Michel has none. He fulfils its conditions
BUT YET A WOMAN.*
It will iepay
without suspecting it.”—“Perhaps it is a not averse to giving M. Le Blanc the reins of fanily trait. I should think M. Michel's sister the conversation; partly because he was interpossessed the art also.”. ." Madame Stépha- ested, and partly because he was curious. nie? Oh, she is quite another person. “She is certainly very beautiful.” — “Ah!” “Yet she appears to make friends easily.' said the priest, holding up his hands, “and “Yes, but in a different way. And, against what beauty! I am a bit of an artist, M. what odds !” said Father Le Blanc, lifting up Lande; indeed, I was an artist before I was a his eyes with an expressive gesture of his priest. I will tell you why she is beautiful. hands. "For woman the art of pleasing is a Do you know?”—“I have not studied her,” kingdom for which all her sex are pretenders; said Roger. “Well, do so. and as for ours, with such a woman as Sté- you." Her beauty is not faultless; that is, it is phanie Milevski, one is not content with friendnot absolutely regular, not the style magniship.” — “You have arraigned the whole world fique, as the Greeks have it. They knew what against her,” said Roger, laughing. -“Yet I they were about, those Greeks, and gave such take the world only as I find it. Women make to the gods alone, and to certain of them only. friends like princes, by gaining thrones and Such beauty pleases the judgment; it is too dispensing favors. Only, more generous than correct for the heart. But of Madame Milevprinces, finally they surrender their thrones ski, my friend, the judgment must beware. also.”.
- "And M. Milevski? I do not hear of She does not please it; she destroys it,” he him.” “M. Milevski is dead. M. Michel's said, with a little shrug, “for in her beauty is father married, late in life, a second time, in that factor of weakness and incompleteness Russia. Of this marriage Stéphanie was the which touches the heart.”—“She does not only child, and to M. Michel she has been appear to know all this. At least, no one much like a daughter. She was educated here would suspect her of it.”. “Nonsense,” exin Paris under his supervision, after which she claimed Father Le Blanc. “ There is a spirit returned to Russia, to live with her mother on which whispers in the ear of every beautiful her estates near Kief" -“And her mother is woman as she leaves Paradise.
But, as you dead?" -“Also. But, before dying, she say, she does not appear to. Now, I will married Stéphanie to a Russian nobleman of prove the contrary. Have you noticed her the new school, who, shortly after, became dress?” – Hardly; except, possibly, that it compromised with the Emperor, and was ex- was simple.” - • Exactly, but designedly so. iled to Siberia."" Then madame has a It fulfils the condition of a perfect dress, which title?". -“She had one, but it was forfeited is only an accessory, having little value in itself, on her husband's exile. It is said that the covering what it does not conceal, and calling estates were also confiscated, and that madame attention to that which it embellishes. But, was forbidden to reside in Russia. On receiv- without beauty, such a style would be frighting the Czar's orders, she drove alone, in the ful! What are all the eccentricities of fashion dead of winter, from Kief to St. Petersburg, but the devices to conceal and supplement na. with a single servant. Notwithstanding this ture? Madame Stéphanie flies in the face of defiance, she obtained an audience, and kept all these follies; first, because she knows she her estates. There is a story that the Czar can dare to; and second, because, like a king gave her a cross set with diamonds, as a token who has the air of one, she has the good taste of his good-will, and that she asked permis. to dispense with her decorations." At this sion to have the cross changed to a dagger, instant the train emerged from the forest, dislest your Majesty's clemency make me forget closing the valley of the Seine. “Ah! la belle my husband,' she said. The Count Milevski France ! ” cried Father Le Blanc. was already dead; he died on the journey to Siberia. But then, we cannot believe all that That is a skilful passage, as it manages is said. Still,” added M. Le Blanc reflectively, to give us a pretty clear glimpse of four “I would believe many things of her. She of the principal characters of the story, puzzles me; and, for an old man, that is saying a good deal. The young look into women's Milevski, and Father Le Blanc, - and a
- M. Michel, his niece Rénée, Madame eyes to see their own reflections; the old, to bint or two as to a fifth, the young doctor, see the wonian. “ You make a very agreeable definition of age,” said Roger.
“ Most who is Father Le Blanc's companion. men, in that classification, die young.". Fa. Nor do any of them, — except, perhaps, ther Le Blanc laughed, which he did with his the heroine, — fail to satisfy the reader shoulders and trunk. As a laugh it was not as their characters are more fully devel. infectious, but conveyed a sense of satisfac-oped by events. In the sketch of M. tion. As Rénée said, “ When Father Le Blanc Michel, the kindly and absent-minded laughs, I feel happy myself.”—“Yes, she student and scholar, who is so amiable to puzzles me,” he resumed. “Now, with Made. moiselle Rénée it is different. She is like the everybody that he has no room left for brook at its source ; one sees the bottom. But any special or personal attachment to any. Stéphanie!” and he shook his head, —" it is body, Mr. Sherburne Hardy has painted the river; one sees the reflection of everything, a very pleasant picture of a somewhat but of what is beneath the surface, nothing - pallid, though genial character. Father except that there is something." Roger was | Le Blanc, the humorous old priest, who
has so much of the artist left in him still, this age has produced, and moreover, not and who betrays, nevertheless, the kindly one after the manner of this age. And coarseness of a confessor to whom the wherever we meet with M. de Marzac, evil and the good of the world have be- we meet with some little additional touch come so familiar that he has lost a good which increases the effect of this sketch. deal of the delicacy of his naturally fine On the other hand, the story of which insight, is a more powerful study still. M. de Marzac is the hero is so entirely The picture of the simpler heroine, Rénée, supplementary to the chief interest of with her eager desire for something of the this tale, and it is so difficult to make infinite in her life, and her subdued impa- out the reason why Madame Milevski, tience of the calm affection of her uncle, who never felt the smallest regard for is a very engaging one, and, on the whole, him, should have asked him to wait a more successful, we think, though it aims year before she finally refused his suit, at less, than the picture of the heroine for ihat we can hardly help smiling at the whom the title of the book is meant, very inartificial connecting link between Madame Milevski, who, interesting as she the little bit of melodrama with which is made, is not made very clear to us, Mr. Sherburne Hardy embellishes his tale, and has, indeed, too much of complexity, and the characters with whom chiefly we restlessness, and ambition in her for the are concerned. small space of canvas which Mr. Sher- What we have in this book is a series of burne Hardy has devoted to her. To the delicate vignettes, clumsily bound together hero, again, the young doctor, Mr. Sher in a single novel, of which the chief plot burne Hardy has given hardly any care. passes outside the sphere of most of these We rather agree with M. Michel, when he characters, though it touches one or two passes judgment at the close, that Rénée of them here and there. What we really was much too good for him. In truth, care about is the love of Roger and however, we hardly learn enough of him Rénée, the self-devotion of Stéphanie, to find out whether she was too good for and the intellectual malignity of M. de him, or not.
Marzac, the mild benignity of M. Michel, The remaining interest in the book is and the moral humor of Father Le Blanc. in the very severe but very profound Yet the story turns on the early life of M. analysis the character of the self-seek. de Marzac, when was nearly as selfing Legitimist journalist, M. de Marzac. confessed a villain as he is throughout the We have not read a keener analysis of the story a reputable villain. His assassinaself-deceptions of a thoroughly selfish tion at the close cuts no knot, and forcharacter for many years back. How wards no interest. It is simply the retri. subtle, for instance, is the following ! bution of a secret sin of his youth, and
The ceremonies terminated with a ball, at makes no difference to the fate of any one which M. de Marzac was, of course, present. of the persons of the story except his As he drives away from the fête in his car.
Mr. Sherburne Hardy, however, is riage, a conscience long since subdued, the a writer of much promise, and we shall very clank of whose fetters has become ap- hope that his next story will be one as plause, sets his mind at peace with all the good in its plot as this is in its dialogue, world. Once thoroughly mastered, there is no and also not less excellent than this in better slave ; for none knows better the rough dialogue. places that need smoothing and the sore spots that need balm. It was a pleasure in which he often indulged, to go on the witness-stand before this conscience, to play the criminal in order to be acquitted ; and, on his way home, he amused himself with this game of solitaire.
BOTANICAL TRANSGRESSORS. . : . In the subjugation of conscience, M. de Marzac wore gloves and avoided brutality. IMPERSONIFICATION is a comparatively His was the instinct of perversion, not of mur- innocuous offence. Graver charges may der. Instead of slaying that inward monitor be brought against the seemingly peace. outright, he confronted it with expediency, and ful denizens of our fields and hedgerows. taught it to doubt its own dictates. He thus It is often noticed that special varieties managed to preserve the fountain of fine emo: of plants grow in special districts, and tions and noble sentiments, although the waters the guide-books which tind their way into were soon contaminated and polluted.
the hands of autumn wanderers generally “A conscience long since subdued, the contain some account of such local varie. very clank of whose fetters has become ties. These variations are often ascribed applause,” is as fine an epigram as any to differences of soil and climate, and
From The Month.
certainly both have a good deal to do with have been overpowered and crushed out the well-being and the perpetuation of of existence by their floral rivals. Warspecially varied forms. But many facts fare among plants is carried on in various show that the potency of soil and climate ways. In park lands it is often noticed is by no means so great as it is popularly that no flowers bloom under the shade of supposed to be. Cultivated plants, for the trees, although outside the shaded instance, plants which are under the care circle the grass is studded with gaily of man, grow equally well and produce colored dots and patches. The ground equally abundant fruit in very varying beneath a fir-tree or a yew is not only soils and climates. Wheat ripens in Si devoid of Aowers, but as a rule the toughberia and in Egypt, in southern Russia est grasses, tenacious of life as they are, as well as in north-west Canada. The have been choked and throttled out of soil and the climate of Europe is suffi. existence by the layers of fallen leaves ciently like to that of temperate North which cover the ground and shut out light America to lead us to suppose that the and air. It is not the soil, but the ab. flora of both would be the same, but in sence of sunlight which is fatal. The fact it is not. We might suppose that leaves of the tree, by intercepting the plants would flourish best in their native light, deprive the germinating seeds of soil and in their native climate, and here one of the main sources of their well. ag facts falsify many of our supposi. eing. Many large-leaved plants war in tions. English watercress (Nasturtinin this way upon their less favored fellows; officinale) was unknown in New Zealand, but to equalize the conditions of the combut when introduced there it took so bat a little, many plants are especially kindly to its new home that it is not unfre- equipped to fight with large-leaved foes. quently found with stems twelve feet in Some, like the convolvulus, are enabled length. This prodigality of growth was to obtain a sufficient quantity of air and not only found inconveniently large for light by climbing; others, like the Potenthe breakfast-table, but it made watercress tilla reptans, which have not learned how a formidable impediment to river naviga- to climb and are in danger of being left tion, it blocks up river courses, and costs too inuch in the shade, send out long, the New Zealand government some hun. trailing stems which throw out roots at dreds of pounds yearly to keep it from every node or joint, and find compensa. altogether choking up the water - way. tion in this way. Annuals, plants which Similarly the American water.weed or die down each autumn and are grown ditch - moss (Anacharis canadensis), al. from seed, fight at a great disadvantage though harmless enough in America, has when they have to contend with perenni. spread with such rapidity in this country als. Perennials, when once they have since its introduction about 1840, that their roots embedded in the soil, are prethere are few rowing men whose sweet pared at each successive approach of serenity of temper has not been occasion- spring to push up their fresh shoots ally ruffled by it. The fact seems to be through the moistened ground, and they that plants depend not only on the soil supply their nurslings with nourishment and climate, but also, to an extent hardly from already existing stores.
But annuas yet sufficiently appreciated, upon the als have to begin at the beginning. Supgood-will and forbearance of other plants. posing the seed to have fallen by good Plants grow, it has been epigrammatically chance on suitable soil, it has still many observed, not where they like so much as dangers to run when it begins to push its where other plants will let them. No rootlet downwards and to expand its first idea seems more fittingly associated with pair of little leaves to sun and air. Taller the quiet beauty of foliage and of flower plants may overshadow it, shutting out than that of tranquillity and peace, and light and warmth; quick-growing grasses yet this seeming peacefulness only veils may draw away from its immediate neighto the passer-by an internecine war which borhood the moisture which it needs, and is ever going on. It almost seems a mere its story is soon told. It dies in early rhetorical flourish to assert that war, bit-infancy, and by a death which may be ter and unsparing and to the very death, termed violent. Although the plants is carried on by the silent beauties of our which are falling into the sere and yellow fields and meadows. But war there is. leaf cannot be said exactly to watch over Many species have faded away and have the rising generation, there are many spebecome quite extinct in certain localities, cies wbich show some kind of parental not because the soil was unsuitable or forethought for the welfare of the seeds the climate too rigorous, but because they they bring to maturity. They are not
content with allowing the seeds when ripe | leaves over six feet high. The vegetable to fall down and grow up beside them, but Goliath had to succumb to the floral Dathey send them away to seek their for. vid, and the little clover is actually drivtunes in far-off fields and lanes and roading the big flax out of existence. This sides. Some seeds are provided with an struggle for life among plants shows that apparatus not unlike an open umbrella, the farmer's antipathy to "weeds” is exan umbrella with many ribs and no cover. tremely well founded. Especially in the iny. The round, feathered heads of the case of varieties cultivated by man; when dandelion are examples of this, and chil. his protecting hand is withdrawn it is dren who blow them to pieces to see the found that they are in great danger of individual seeds sail away steadily on the being swept away by their many competi. still summer air have no idea of the start tors for a livelihood. One result to which they are giving these seeds in their strug. this botanical warfare largely contributes gle for life. All seeds do not start life so is that the fora of a district changes. quietly. There is a little bitter-cress Some species die out, and “colonists (Cardamine impatiens) which grows in come to take their place. Any one look. north Wales, whose erect, linear-shaped ing through an English fora will find that seed pods as they dry up contract une the number of plants marked “a colo. qually, and by this unequal contraction nist," "an alien,” or “native?” is not incause the shells to burst and curl up considerable. And this is true not only gracefully above the summit of the pod. of shrubs and small plants, but also of This violent bursting of the pod causes forest trees. The remains of the Hyrcinthe seeds to fly out to a distance of three ian forest, which in the time of Cæsar or four feet. An American species was composed of trees which annually of witch-hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) shed their leaves, is now mainly made up shoots out its seeds to a distance of ten of pines and firs. But with respect to feet and more but when anything done forests, there seems to be a rotation of here is also done in America, it is natu. various kinds of trees, the kind of tree rally done on a larger scale. The yellow which grows up to take the place of those balsam (Impatiens noli-me-tangere), now decaying, depending upon the light and rather rare as a wild plant in England, air and other conditions which are afford. gets its botanical name from its propen-ed to the young saplings by the kind of sity to fire off its seeds when touched or tree already existing. shaken by the wind. This scattering of the seeds gives them a fairer chance of finding unoccupied soil than they would otherwise bave, and it is not so usual to
From The Spectator. find these species growing so close to
THE DESTRUCTION OF NIAGARA. gether as we find daisies, for instance. in spite of its mild and placid appear- DURING the past few months, occaance the daisy is a great warrior, its close, sional allusions bave been made in the low-lying leaves shut out light and air English newspapers to an agitation which from any unhappy seeds that chance to is going on at present in America con be underneath them, and field botanists cerning the condition and prospects of soon get to know that there is little chance the Falls of Niagara; if the minds of our of finding many varieties where daisies readers had not been thus prepared for grow plentifully: Grass and mosses hold the idea suggested by the above title, it their own against most antagonists, but would doubtiess strike them as ridiculous. grass is not so very successful in its bat. That Niagara, probably the most gigantic iles with the daisy, as those who try to natural phenomenon in the world, apparpreserve the unbroken green of a favorite ently so immutable that it has become the lawn often experience. Curiously enough favorite symbol of eternity, whose very it is not always the seemingly strongest name is said to have passed unchanged plants, plants with the toughest fibre and into every language spoken by civilized hardest texture of leaf, which win these mankind, — that Niagara, of all things floral contests. The small white or Dutch under the sun, can be in any danger of de. clover (Trifolium repens), with a weakly, struction at the hands of man, seeins sim. creeping stem, usually not much more ply incredible. It is true, however, and althan a foot in length, when introduced though the allusions mentioned above are into New Zealand attacked and defeated like so many English statements about an indigenous species of flax, an exceed- America – inaccurate in inany respects, ingly tough, robust plant with strong | they are most unfortunately so in convey: