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enough for a play in five acts; but they pass on so tamely, that the reader as much fails to be interested as do the characters who are supposed to take part in them. There is one fine character in the person of the son of the villain, a mixture of man and woman's nature which deserved that he should have had a happier lot. We will not, however, quarrel with Miss Sewell for having treated him with a probable fate rather than with poetic justice. The simple heavenly-minded little Rachel is one of the prettiest things in the book. A novel-writer would have let us think that she and Ronald met again; but whether or not we are intended to think so, we do suppose that so much of heaven's teaching was not a preparation for living but for dying. Altogether, Cleve Hall should have been a good story; but as it is, from the interminable conversations, the coolness of all the parties in the most exciting emergencies, and the clumsy manner in which the plot is worked out, characters and story alike fall flat. We advise the clever authoress to wait awhile, and give her faculties rest before she even thinks of a fresh story.
We would add a suggestion, that she should write some companion-book to her useful histories of Greece and Rome; but that when we come to Christian times it is impossible to write history without introducing some religious opinions, and in history we can only tolerate those which are true.
The Parlour Library: Mrs. Margaret Maitland of Sunnyside. (Hodgson.). The best of all the reprints which have for some time appeared in the Parlour Library, and the best of the novels by the same author. Mrs. Margaret Maitland of Sunnyside is a story of Scottish domestic Presbyterian life, quite perfect in its way, and producing the same soothing effect on the mind that we feel in looking at a rich sunlit landscape, or in listening to a floating melody on a summer's day.
The Poems of William Shakspeare. Edited by Robert Bell. (J. W. Parker.) We are so tired of seeing the great poet's name spelt Shakspere, and of sham biographies and artificial raptures about all he did, night, could, would, and should have done, that it is consolatory to see the old name spelt once more in the old way, and to have an unaffected life of Shakspeare, telling all that is known in two-and-twenty pages. The present volume contains his sonnets and non-dramatic poems. Of Mr. Bell's merits as an editor we have spoken on more than one previous occasion.
Aspen Court: a Story of our Own Time. By Shirley Brooks. 3 vols. (London, Bentley.) We do not deny the literary ability of Mr. Brooks; but his characters are exaggerated and unnatural, and his attempts to imitate the caustic satire of Mr. Thackeray remind us of the frog and the bull. The story is intended to be a hit at us unlucky Papists, and narrates the way in which priests weave their cobwebs round young ladies, to decoy them into nunneries; and how the meshes are broken by the eyes of the lover, and by two little words of his, “ Trust me."
While the public appetite demands this sort of satisfaction, there will be a continual stream of panders like Shirley Brooks to supply it.
Land, Labour, and Gold, or Two Years in Victoria. By William Howitt. 2 vols. (London, Longmans.) Mr. Howitt describes what he sees very graphically and amusingly, and we can highly recommend his volumes on this ground. Whether he is right in tracing so many of the evils of colonial life to the mismanagement and nonchalance of government, we cannot affirm; for, from what we have seen of his other writings, we have learned to distrust his judgment as a philosopher, though we can admire his powers of narration and description.
A Vacation Tour in the United States and Canadu. By C. R. Weld. (London, Longman and Co.) Mr. Weld is not a Catholic-quite the contrary. He is an old man, who perambulates America, in a state of high disgust with the floods of expectorated tobacco-juice; but peeps with senile gusto under ladies' bonnets, and enjoys the good dinners at the gigantic hotels. He is too old and case-hardened to enter into the spirit of any thing new, but he is a good observer of the outsides of things. It seems that American gentlemen of his persuasion are rather independent in their mode of worship. Here is his description of an episcopal service: “It was performed with great reverence; but the male portion of the congregation, who bore, as usual, a very small proportion to the female, conducted themselves in a manner ill according with the ceremony. I may have been unfortunate; but this remark applies to all the male congregations I saw in the States. It appeared to ine there was a positive impossibility to remain quiet. Legs and arms were thrown violently about, and frequently I expected to see feet surmounting pews. The almost universal use of fans, with which every pew is provided, and which are passed from hand to hand and freely used, has a very disturbing effect."
Tales and. Sketches of New-England Life. By Harriet Beecher Stowe. (London, Sampson Low.) This is a reprint of some early writings of the authoress of “Uncle Tom's Cabin,” much fresher and less affeeted than the “Sunny Memories,” which the success of her former work led her to publish. There are glimpses of real power in some of the present sketches, such as we have looked for in vain in her recollections of her European tour; but there are also the germs of the forced melodramatic action and exaggerated and artificial sentiment which appear so strongly in “ Uncle Tom's Cabin.” One of the little poems at the end, “ Mary at the foot of the Cross,” though not particularly harmonious, is pretty, and might almost have been written by a Catholic.
Brittany and La Vendée : Tales and Sketches; with a Notice of the Life and Literary Character of Emile Souvestre. (Edinburgh, Constable.) The author of these charming tales died last July, aged forty-eight. He was a Breton, and evidently delighted in collecting and dwelling on the sombre traditions, and glorious though sad history of his race. Though he seems to have been engaged in universitarian education, and though he was one of Carnot's schoolmasters, he does not seem to have been an irreligious man; indeed his sympathies are any where but with the red-republicans and socialists. We can thoroughly and heartily recommend this little volume.
The Formation and Progress of the Tiers Etat, or Third Estate, in France. By A. Thierry. Translated by the Rev. F. B. Wells. 2 vols. (Bosworth.) The Third Estate is the whole French people minus the nobles and the clergy. The author designedly omits all consideration of the action of the Church on the people, and traces how indissolubly the interests of the people were bound up with those of the crown, till the policy of Louis XIV. introduced distrust, and prepared the way for the fatal divorce that was consummated in the death of Louis XVI. The strength of the French monarchy, as that of the empire, has always been in the will and affections of the masses. The volumes are very able and interesting, with the exception of the episodical account of the rise and progress of the corporation of Amiens.
May Flowers : Notes and Notions of a few Created Things. By Acheta. (London, Lovell Reeve.) We noticed this author's ® March
Winds and April Showers;" we ought to speak as favourably of the present volume, but we are tired of this sort of thing. We admire as much as any one the marvels of nature, and we take the deepest interest in them; but we will not, while we retain our reason, worship nature: we will not descend to fetish-worship, nor teach our children that in leaves, in flowers, in insects, in animals, there is a spirit capable of as great a future development as the soul of man. What is the use of protesting against the theory of Lamark, of the author of “ Vestiges of the Creation, and of Lord Monboddo, if we bring up our little people with the idea that the sparks of light and love which now inform and warm little “birdies” may wax larger and larger, till a consciousness of the Divine hand that made them and of the Divine love that provides for them dawns upon them. Experience shows that the modern philosopher who raises the soul of the brute to a level with that of man, does not exalt the beast, but degrades the man in the process. If we are sick and tired with Mrs. Beecher Stowe's exaggerations about the cruelty of masters to their slaves, how much more should we be disgusted at the teaching which magnifies cruelty to animals into a mortal sin? The principle which such teachers go upon will generally be found to be a mawkish sentimental pantheism.
Autobiography of J. Silk Buckingham. 2 vols. (London, Longmans.) An amusing book of a clever man, who at the same time is not overburdened with wisdom or prudence, and who defends the speculations of his life with greater simplicity than success. We have seen nothing offensive in his book, except a piece of ribald sailors’ scandal in vol. i. p. 85, which a man of his years ought to have known better than to publish.
English, Past and Present: five Lectures, by R. C. Trench, B.D. (London, J. W. Parker.) This is a moderately good philological account of the origin, composition, and changes of the English language, spoken and written, which may be read with advantage by students. This time the author does not appear as a word-warrior, who undertakes to unborse Popery by a derivation; though he has not quite got over the temptation of introducing unpleasant polemical matter, nor does he avoid the tiresome and braggart glorification of all things Anglo-Saxon, which appears to us as cbjectionable in books, as boasting about one's great connections is ungentlemanly in conversation. Be proud of them if you will, we cannot help that; but do not bore us to death with them. Of course, there is nothing like leather; and therefore it is natural that this word-doctor should trace the demoralisation of a people, as well as the ruin of their language, to the loss of the sharp rigidly-defined outline of the meaning of words, and the use of them in a vague instead of a precise application. We also find traces of his German reading in his philosophy, which, though it does not surprise us in an Anglican minister, is yet a melancholy evidence of the tendency of even orthodox Anglicans. For instance, he tells us that the Divine is also the truly human element of humanity. Now though this sentence is very true, in the sense that without Divine assistance human nature becomes brutalised and inhuman, yet in terms, and in the mouth of a follower of German authori. ties, it is much more likely to imply a pantheistic confusion between humanity and Divinity, if not an atheistic merging of the Divine in the human. If Mr. Trench does not mean this, all that we can say is, that a critic of words should be more correct in his use of them.
The Monumental History of Egypt, as recorded on the Ruins of her Temples, Palaces, and Toms. By William Osburn. 2 vols. Illustrated. (London, Trübner.) We have no wish to undervalue the conscientious Tabours of a man, especially when they are directed towards the establishment of the truth of the records of Scripture from the very sources which have lately been made to furnish so many sceptical arguments against it. Still, without going very deeply into the matter, we have no great confidence in a man who knows too much ; who reads the enigmas of a hieroglyphic inscription with the same insight as Dr. Cumming reads the visions of the Apocalypse, and applies the records of the former to Scriptural personages with the same facility as Dr. Cumming applies the denunciations of the latter to Popes and Catholic sovereigns. Mr. Osburn knows too much; he knows the reason of the seven years of plenty and the seven years of famine. He can tell you exactly who all the Egyptian gods were. Osiris is Mizraim, Nu is Noe, Minerva Noe's wite, Ammon is Cham, and so on. The object of his labours is to bring the Egyptian dynasties of Manetho and the monuments within the limits of the received Scriptural chronology. He has proved his point too well; so that one cannot help imagining that he has picked out from a mass of data just those points which favoured his preconceived theory, omitting all mention of the rest. Any one who has at all studied the question knows well that it is just as easy to prove a preconceived opinion from mythological authorities as it is to support any heresy by texts of Scripture. In a chaos of this kind a clue is wanting; and to be of value, it should arise from within, not be forced on the facts from without.
A Correspondent requests us to insert the following remarks on the account given of F. Malagrida in the article on Pombal in the last Rambler :
“ The Father, in his 80th year, bad long been confined in a kind of under-ground prison scarcely admitting any light, deprived of all writing materials. "At his pretended trial, no Mss. were produced, but extracts, or pretended extracts. The Grand-Inquisitor and his assistants decidedly refused to entertain the question in any way. But Pombal, determined to have his victim, removed the Inquisitor, though the king's brother, appointed his own brother P. Carvalho de Mendonça to the office. This individual was known to be most hostile to the Society, both at Maranhao (Brazil) and at Lisbon. This appointment, however, was informal, not having been pontifically confirmed. It was before such a judge that F. Malagrida was accused ; and, as a matter of course, his conviction followed. He was degraded, delivered over to the secular power, and burnt at the stake. The speech he made there proved him to be neither mad nor a heretic. (See the History of the Society, by F. Chrétineau Joly, vol. v. pp. 158-160.)”
FOREIGN LITERATURE. La Guerre et l'Homme de Guerre. Par Louis Veuillot. (Paris, Louis Vivès. 1855.) An ably written book, in the style of quasi-philosophy which French journals delight in, talking of matters of the feelings and imagination in terms of science, and having for its object to prove that the Christian soldier is really a minister of God; that war is " a divine phenomenon ;" and that, both individually and socially, the position of the military man is exalted above that of all others except the priest; that the priest and the soldier are the two pillars of French VOL. IV.NEW SERIES.
society, and that nothing can be more glorious than their life and their death. There are parts of the book that we think might have been advantageously omitted ; as the first chapter, which is a tedious catalogue of who killed whom since Cain shed the first blood: but having once determined to give a scientific shape to his work, the author pro bably felt himself bound to commence with a quasi-induction.
Euvres de J. L. de Guez, Sieur de Balzac. Edited by L. Moreau. 2 vols. (Paris, Lecoffre.) A republication of the works of a Christian philosopher, the first writer of classical French, who gave the first polish, grace, and power of expression to a language that before his time was reckoned stiff and barbarous. A man who has such a command over the instrument of thought is sure to have some material on which to handle his tools. Balzac is a great writer ; but probably he will be found dull, except to critical students of classical French.
Lettres de St. François-Xavier, S.J. Par M. Léon Pagès. 2 vols. (Paris, Poussielgue-Rusand.) This is a French translation of the Letters from the Latin edition of Bologna, preceded by a life of the saint, and illustrated by notes and extracts from contemporary documents. The compilation appears very carefully done.
The Works of St. Catherine of Genoa ; preceded by her Life. By the Viscount de Bussièrre. (Paris, Société de St. Victor.) This seems an accurate translation of the works; with a well-written life, translated, not from the account drawn up by her confessor Marabotti, but from that prefixed to the Genoa edition of her works in 1737. We recom. mend the study of her life to all those (Protestants as well as Catholics) who wish to study the question of the employment of ladies in hospitals. Here is a young and noble married lady placed by the Genoese government at the head of the hospitals of their city, and ruling them without any of those inconveniences which Mr. Osborne anticipates from the employment of non-professional and unpaid females. Besides this interest of her life, her works have always held a high place in the estimation of students of mystical theology.
Dictionary of Holy Scripture, or Repertory and Concordance of all the Texts of the Old and New Testament in alphabetical and methodical order. By the Abbé A. F. James. (Paris, Paulmier.) The texts in this concordance are not arranged, as in our concordances, in the order of the words that occur in them, but they are referred to the heads which they illustrate, so as to give the book a kind of controversial character. Under the head “dance," we have “danger of keeping company with dancers, an example of the danger of dancing," and "consequences of a sinful dance;" other heads are “equality, fraternity, indifferentism, intolerance, social state, government, liberty, license, &c.," and it is in the adoption of these “ philosophical and social” heads that the author claims some degree of novelty for the work. Sometimes a few passages from the Fathers are inserted, with here and there an original essay of the author.