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Mrs. Davis has rather strained the strength of
Joaquin Miller's City Beautiful." The Building of the City Beautiful is in its third edition. Those who are familiar with the charming imagery and delightful word-painting of this marvelous word-picture will rejoice that in this day of the railroad novel, a classic is meeting the success it deserves. Mr. Miller's ideal city is the old, old dream of Utopia in a new and beautiful dress from the hand of a master. The part that deals with his own struggles in the upbuilding of his own “City Beautiful ” on the “ Heights" above Oakland, will be found particularly interesting to his California admirers. No review of this book,- and it has been reviewed over and over again when it was in its first edition, - can adequately describe its peculiar beauty. It proves that a great poet may be a great writer of prose if he choose.
Out of the East. LAFCADIO HEARN has added greatly to his reputation by his last book. It does not pretend to take up as complete a description of Japanese life as his well known “Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan,” but is rather what it pretends to be: “Reviews and Studies in New Japan.' It is a collection of bits of life, stories, romances, and studies of the inner life of the people, – their higher and nobler life. He does not discuss the giesha girl or the haunts of the ordinary globe-trotter. As a student and a teacher in the Japanese schools he has come closer and nearer to the main spring and life of these remarkable people. One understands after reading him why Japan won in her struggles with China. The very same spirit that made Greece invincible pervaded Japan. The love of the aged, and patriotism, are the first and holiest sentiments of the Japanese. There is nothing tiresome or shopworn about the book, and Mr. Hearn's ease and grace make the descriptions and homilies delightful reading. It is by far the best book of its kind on Japan that has appeared.
The Mound Builders." EVER since our people first came to America, their interest and curiosity have been excited by
3Out of the East. By Lafcadio Hearn. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Co.: 1875,
Report on the Mound Explorations of the Bureau of Ethnology. By Cyrus Thomas. Washington : 1891.
Under the Man-Fig.2 In Under the Man-Fig Mrs. M. E. M. Davis has painted, in some respects, a delightful picture of Southern life. It has its shadows, however, which the author brings out with startling vividness. The somewhat peculiar title of the book is derived from the old, barren fig tree in the center of the old Texan town under which the male gossips congregated from day to day to hatch scandal and exaggerate the daily happenings of the little city. It was under this tree that the theft of the Vanborough diamonds was fastened on the hero of the story, Vanborough Herring, – out of which the plot is evolved. While the tale is well told, the portrayals of the poor whites, and free "niggers” well done, and the plot interesting, one cannot but think that
i The Building of the City Beautiful. By Joaquin Miller. Chicago: Stone and Kimball: 1864.
2 Under the Man-Fig. By M. E. M. Davis. Houghton, Mifflin & Co.: 1805. $1.25.
the Mounds, scattered throughout the Mississippi Valley, and conjectures as to their origin and purpose grew into a regular mythology of the Mound-Builders, people of some great mysterious race, compared to whom the Indian was a degenerate savage. The Animal Mounds of Wisconsin and other States roused special wonder, and the old farmers who contemplated them in their busy days, discussed them in their idle evenings until they seemed to themselves to get glimpses of that prehistoric world of which Genesis relates, “And there were giants in those days.”
Since 1881, the Bureau of Ethnology at Washington has taken up the la of exploring these mysterious structures, of mapping them, and of excavating more than two thousand of them. The results of this long labor, of which Mr. Thomas has been the director, is embodied in a report of 730 pages, recently published by the Bureau. The report is richly illustrated with plans, engravings of skulls and objects, and is accompanied by an Ethnological map showing the location and distribution of these interesting monuments. The district which Mr. Thomas names the “Mound Builders' Section” comprises all the territory of the United States east of the Rockies, and probably extends northward into Canada. The works are found mostly near the Great Lakes and along the chief rivers. Roughly speaking, the Mississippi Valley from Lake Pepin to the Red River was the range of the Mound-Builders, although in the South they pressed nearer the Atlantic than in the North.
The variations in the Mounds, in shape, contents, and arrangement, are such as to leave no doubt that they were constructed not by one homogeneous people, but by various tribes, about alike in stage of culture, but varying in detail, as to manners, customs, arts, and ideas. Thus in Wisconsin Effigy Mounds appear; in Dakota, figures are traced out by lines of bowlders; in New York, defensive earthworks are frequent; in Ohio, "geometrical works,” built in circles, squares, and octagons, are characteristic; while through the South occur various forms of terraced and pyramidal Mounds.
The contents of the Mounds also vary from area to area, and their character taken in connection with our historical and archæological knowledge of the North American Indian at the date of his first discovery, leads Mr. Thomas to the very decided conclusion that the Mound-Builders were the ancestors of our vanishing Indian tribes of today; the same ornamental patterns, the same forms of pottery, the same styles of wea
pons, the same shell-ornaments, the same stone pipes, all point this way; and from the first explorers of our country plenty of evidence may be brought similar to the following from one of the historians of De Soto's expedition:“ The chief
came out with five hundred men to meet him and took him to the village, in which were three hundred houses, and lodged him in his own. This house stood on a high mound similar to others we have already mentioned."
Other chroniclers of this expedition also make reference to “Mounts made by art.”
Again many traditions of the Indians refer these Mounds to their own ancestors; and the burial customs indicated by the remains in the Mounds are similar to those practiced by tribes living in their vicinity when first visited by the whites. Still more interesting and conclusive is the fact that articles of European manufacture are often found in such relations as to prove the Mounds in which they occur to have been in active use after the period of Indian trade with Europeans had begun; instances of this are three copper sleigh-bells taken out of a Tennessee Mound in connection with the skeleton of a child, a small piece of glazed Spanish pottery found at the bottom of a Georgia Mound, two iron hatchets from a Mound in Minnesota.
The results of Mr. Thomas's work are considered almost final by archæologists. They sum up as follows:
The Mound-Builders were Indians. 2. They ranged from the Mississippi eastward, along lakes and streams.
3. They lived in permanent settlements.
4. They built earth-works:— a, as graves; b, as defenses; c, as foundations for houses or villages.
5. The mound-building Indians are totally distinct from the Indians of Mexico and the Pacific Slope.
Meditations in Motley.' WALTER BLACKBURN HARTE has brought out in book form six essays which he alleges on the title page are “A bundle of papers imbued with the sobriety of midnight.” The best of them is without doubt-“About Critics and Criticism." It is at least the easiest to understand and the most human. There is meat enough, however, in all the essays, but they need boiling down. Ideas are repeated over and over in such a variety of ways that the reader begins to suspect that the writer did not enter
Meditations in Motley. By Walter Blackburn Harte. The Arena Publishing Co.: Boston. 1894.
Modern English Poets.3
The religious aspect of modern English poetry is treated by Vida D. Scudder in a series of papers that very many people will enjoy. She is clear in her statements, convincing, often, in her logic, and the reader is fairly at one with her most of the time; on the vexed question of faith even the apostolic fathers cannot command universal acceptance. Nor is she free altogether from faults of style, – there are many repetitions in the book and many passages where the effort at fine writing is painfully apparent, a self-consciousness that interferes with the impression that she is quite sincere in all that
Beginning with the great effect that science has had on modern poetry she shows how the ideas of evolution and of modern democracy have profoundly modified the poetic world, as well as the world in every other province of thought. These are among her most interesting chapters. Then she discourses on Wordsworth as an exponent of democracy. A very strong chapter is that on “Ideals of Redemption, Medieval and Modern," in which she chooses the Divine Comedy, the Fairie Queen, and Shelley's Prometheus Unbound, as the best exponents of Medieval, Renaissance, and Revolutionary poetry. Here her fondness for antithesis and epigram is at its best.
The new Renaissance with the recent neopaganism occupies her next, but she hastens on to “Browning as a humorist, for she crowns him as the world's greatest humorist in addition to all his other greatnesses. “The Poetry of Search " calls up Matthew Arnold, Arthur Hugh Clough, and the pre-Raphaelite school, and culminates in Tennyson, principally in In Memoriam. In this poem she finds the first great sign of the triumph of faith in all the conflicts waged on it with these strange modern weapons. In Browning and Tennyson with their strong, militant, faith-conquering spirit she sees the culmination of modern poetry and the promise that the spirit of belief is not a waning force but the potent inspiration of the song that is to be.
tain a very high opinion of his intelligence. Then again Mr. Harte does not scruple to separate the subject and predicate of a sentence by an entire page. The average mind objects to a thirty line phrase. There are plenty of good hits in the book,- notably at newspaper proprietors and publishers, but as a whole the work will not rank very high as an essay or collection of essay's.
An Unprejudiced Life of Napoleon. Miss Ida M. Tarbell, author of the “Short Life of Napoleon,'” published by McClure, began the work in Paris, spending three years in the study of French Revolutionary history. The work is one that will be markedly popular as the author has not written it with a view to sustain any prejudice for or against Napoleon, but simply to draw a true and human picture of the man as he was. Josephine is stripped of much of the hysterical virtue morbid people have clothed her with and the state reasons for the divorce are given greater significance when it is remembered what a vain, flirting spendthrift the “Man of Destiny" was coupled with. Strange as it may seem, there are men today, who like Barras, are not possessed of sufficient brains to rise above the reputation of brilliant rakishness, that presume to criticise Napoleon's actions, especially when his star was on the wane. If the reader will turn to Miss Tarbell's “Short life of Napoleon” with a desire to form an opinion unbiased by memoirs of mediocre men, it will be found the most impartial of all the accounts of the great man's life.
The Watch Fires of '76.2
Colonel Drake has collected in most readable shape the stories of a little colony of old veterans of the Revolution. Each in turn relates in conversational style on a winter's evening some experience during the great battle for freedom. Stories that embrace all the battles of the war and contain the soldier's estimate of the battle and the general who commanded.
Every boy and even the girls cannot but be moved by the stirring record and feel their hearts beating faster as they read of the privations, hardships and glories of their forefathers. Thi Watch Fires of '76 should be in every home where there are growing children. It is a lesson in partiotism. The book is handsomely bound and well illustrated.
l'Short Life of Napoleon," published by McClure. N. Y. 1895.
2 The Watch Fires of '76. By S. A. Drake. Boston: Lee & Shepard: 1895: $1.25. For sale by Wm. Doxey
crowded panorama of sea-life as it was between (apparently) the years 1820 and 1830, in the vicinity of the West Indies and Barbadoes. As such, the book may still be considered worthy of the fame it achieved when appearing as a serial in Blackwood's Magazine somewhere, we believe, in the thirties. Pictures of sea-battles, and experiences with pirates, slavers, and “Johnny Crapauds,” are placed before us vividly, giving the impression that the author was not only truthful in his representation of such life but a participant in it.
Few of the old favorites show more forcibly the change of thought - change for the better – that has come over the spirit of our books since Tom Cringle was written. With the exception of a few descriptions and allusions, the book might have been written by a very coarseminded and ordinary English sailor. The author wrote down, and produced a book no woman will care to read through. After the first chapter it is blurred on nearly every page with oaths, and vulgar allusions and stories.
Macmillan & Company's very attractive edition has a flattering introduction by Mowbray Morris, and is illustrated by J. Aylton Symington.
There are at least a few of Captain Marryat's twenty-four novels which should not go out of favor for a long time to come. Clean and wholesome, yet full of life is Japbet in Search of a Father,' also just issued by the Macmillans.
For the younger generation some idea of the story may not come amiss. Japhet is a foundling, left in London (and a basket, as Marryat would say) at the door of a couple who take him to a foundling home. As he grows up the desire to know who his father is grows too, until it becomes his one object in life. He becomes morbid and his fancy, led by the slightest clews, draws him into ludicrous and strange situations. Thrown into the company of gypsies he lives with them for a time, chiefly to make money, and when he leaves them, a little girl stolen from her parents is put in his charge. He now has an additional object, – to find the girl's parents. Circumstances, aided by plausible sophistry put him into the position of a beau-abouttown, a life he enjoys to the full. Gambling, and the exposure of a certain amount of deception he has practiced, ruin him, when he devotes himself still more strictly to his search and has stranger adventures than ever. In the end he of course finds his father, as well as the mother of the little girl.
There are spirited pen illustrations by Henry M. Brock, and an introduction by David Hannay.
A Little Sister to the Wilderness.? ONE really hates to speak adversely of Miss Bell's last book. The writer's intent is evidently so sincere and the tone of the story is so pure and clean, – then again, the book is printed and bound so daintily. But the story as a story and not as a study of human motives is as absurd as its title. There is no way of reconciling one's common sense to its characters, or at least to its heroine.
May Manley in few short months develops from the daughter of the poorest of the “pore whites ” in the bottomlands of Tennessee to a queenly lady, the superior of the "first families.” On the first page of the little story she is driving mules and talking hogs to her rustic admirer, - on the last page she is in the home and hearts of the aristocratic Chisholms and teaching the famous preacher, Camden, the way of life in language that the author may well be proud of. The unreality of the entire affair ruins the story. Nevertheless, the bits of description of the poor whites and their life are well done, and the chapter on the “Protracted Meeting” is capital. The story is hardly worth spending much time over although it is harmless.
An English View of Harvard.3 AS A graduate of the greatest of Old-World universities, Dr. Hill, of Pembroke College, Oxford, -where Dr. Johnson was a student, - is a very fit and proper person to write a history of the foundation and growth, and an account of the present condition, of the most venerable of New-World colleges. For was not John Harvard a graduate of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and did not Henry Vane, President of the General Court of the Colony which passed the first vote of money “towards a school or college,” study at Magdalen College, Oxford ? Dr. Hill is highly appreciative of Harvard, her president, professors, and under-graduates; yet he does not hesitate to make frank, though kindly criticisms; as when he suggests that “college yells ”hardly become the students of a university. Dr. Hill thinks that Oxford and Cambridge, in compelling students of jurisprudence, modern history, natural science, and other branches of
1 Japhet in Search of a Father. By Captain Marryat. Macmillan & Co.: New York and London: 1895.
2A Little Sister to the Wilderness. By Lilian Bell. Chicago' Stone & Kimball: 1895. $1.25.
3Harvard College, by an Oxonian. By George Birkbeck Hill, D. C. I.. New York and London: Macmillan & Co : 1895. Price $2.25.
learning, to pass examinations in Greek and tion concerning the early days of American indeLatin, for which they may be utterly unfitted, do pendence which it would be difficult to find in not act so wisely as Harvard. He is also of another printed volume of its size. He describes opinion that the selection of professors and as- in the beginning the condition of things in Masssistant-professors is more sensibly managed at achusetts just previous to the breaking out of Harvard than is sometimes the case at Oxford the war of the Revolution, and then, starting and Cambridge, where assistant-professors are with the eighteenth of April, 1775, he relates practically non-existent, and a man does not
with great particularity the events of that night reach a professorial chair until he is too old to be and the succeeding day in Boston and at Lexa really effective teacher. He admires greatly ington and at Concord, the ride of Revere and the Harvard Graduate School, a feature which Dawes, the massacre at Lexington, and the might most usefully be imitated by the universi- fight at Concord bridge. Paul Revere's story of ties of the Old Home. Yet he is not blind to his famous ride, the original of which is owned what Professor Goodwin admits, viz.:—that by the Massachusetts Historical Society, is while the average attainment at Harvard may quoted in full. Scarcely less interesting are the be creditable, the best men fall “far behind the narratives of others who either took part in the highest standard” of Oxford and Cambridge. doings of the day, or who received the accounts “There are no scholars of Balliol, or of Trinity, from those who did. An added chapter gives an Cambridge, to be found” at the Massachusetts account of the flags used during the war of the university: Hertford, Ireland, Craven and Derby Revolution, and there are a dozen or more patrischolars are not even dreamt of. The Harvard otic poems. Three excellent maps aid to a more education does not confer that“ infinite dexterity perfect understanding of the text, and there are and readiness ” which are characteristic of the twelve full-page illustrations from recent photobest Oxford and Cambridge men; it is incap- graphs. able of producing such men as Cardinal Newman, W. E. Gladstone, E. A. Freeman, J. A. The Philistine, “A Periodical of Protest,” pubFroude, Matthew Arnold, Herbert Asquith, lished by White and Wagoner at East Aurora, John Ruskin, and W. H. Mallock,—to mention N. Y., is the name of the neatest, best printed, only a few whose names rise instantly into one's and altogether most charming little bibelot that mind. Dr. Hill hopes that graduate schools at has so far graced the newstands.
Its name Oxford and Cambridge may attract many Amer- gives one an idea of its excuse for existence. It ican students in years to come, and that a “perfect devotes itself to a vigorous kick at the New good-will ”may “some day by the help of books, York clique of literary mutual admirers, - Howscholars, and universities, be established
ells, Gilder, Bok, and the rest, - thus:between the great and kindred nations” of
“Mr. Gilder dishes up monthly, beautifully Great Britain and the United States.
printed articles which nobody cares about, but The book is well printed, has a convenient which everybody buys, because The Century index, and is adorned with several fine photo- looks well on the library table.'
Again, “Mr. Howells maunders weekly in a engravings.
column called “Life and Letters,” in Harper's
Journal of civilization.
Ginger used to be in evidence in magazines
and pumpkin pies. Squash is a prominent inSenator Intrigue nnd Inspector Nosebyl is clever- gredient now. ly told. It relates the efforts of two conscientious “Scribner's has a thrilling article on
We Have Published. public servants-an Indian agent and an assist
“The Bok Bills of Narcissus. ant--to reclaim a tribe from barbarism and place
PHILADELPHIA, June 1, 1895. it on a footing of self-supporting respectability. W. D. Howells, Through Senator Intrigue and Inspector Noseby
To Euward W. Bok, Dr. all the good work is undone. Two incapables
42 sq. inches in Boiler ate, ‘Literary
Letters,'on What I Know of Howells' are placed in office and then comes dire disaster. It
$ 4 20 is a bright skit, in a satirical vein, on the existing Mentioning Howells' Name 730,000 times evils of the civil service.
in same (up to date).
Cursing Trilby (your suggestion).
Less 2 per cent for cash. i Senator Intrigue and Inspector Noseby. By Sparhawk Red I.etter Publishing Company: Boston:
Please remit.” 2 Patriot's Day. By George J. Varney. Lee and Shep
The entire book is clever from cover to cover.