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is it inevitable also that the 'many' should not be too much of one school and of one way of thinking? Would not Dr. A. B. Grosart, for instance, have pleaded hard with Mr. T. Ward for a little more space for certain poets? Would not Professor Veitch or Principal Shairp have pleaded for somewhat more of catholic research in the matter of ballads, which is an idea Mr. A. Lang has treated in an almost shamelessly perfunctory way? Have not good critics and good editors-Chambers, Motherwell, and Aytoun, for example-declared that old-world dogmatic and unqualified assertions like his about Sir Patrick Spens are simply untenable? Let the general editor, with the critical impartiality which he claims, carefully look to this.

So much for details and portions. We come back now to the beginning of the book to urge some serious pleas for freedom in certain matters. It may be that poetry is in the future to be the only availing religion of the human race, now that all dogmas are undergoing decomposition; but this is not yet matter of general belief by any means, and why should we, if we desire to put into the hands of our families the supply of a felt want, a poetic anthology, be compelled to raise in their unprepared minds the question of poetry versus religion? It may be all quite true; but there is a time and a place for everything, and we cannot but humbly think that the very beatification of bad taste, of egotistic selfassertion and impertinence (in the good old sense of out-of-placeness), may be charged against Mr. Matthew Arnold, when he took a text from himself and preached a Straussian sermon in his own manner in the forefront of a collection of English poems meant for the family and not for the study or the closet, if it fulfil the function that is claimed for it of supplying a great want. And if poetry is a criticism of life, it is very difficult to see how it can be a religion, if religion is not wholly to cease to be what it has heretofore been defined by common consent, and as Mr. Arnold himself defined it in his Essays in Criticism.'

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Philip II. By JOHN ELFORD. Simpkin, Marshall, and Co.

There is something graceful and fine in the conception of this poem, which really contains more of the real restorative faculty than most poems of the kind. It is full of fine lines. We have been particularly struck with the quaint and occasionally elevated language used. It is a matter of surprise to us that this field is not more effectively cultivated; and Mr. Elford has in some sort shown the way.


Tuscan Fairy Tales. Taken down from the Mouths of the People. With Illustrations. (W. Satchell and Co.) This is an interesting contribution to folk-lore. The stories have a distinctive character; their sole bond of connexion with other stories, already well known, being the common fairy a tors and their powers. They are slight, but have a

delicate and aboriginal flavour. They will delight the little ones, as well as interest the student. The book is charmingly got up and illustrated. --Martha and Mary. Two Vols. (Smith, Elder, and Co.) This is a clever story, but somewhat crude in its cleverness. In her determination to avoid the fatal sin of dulness, the authoress is often wild and exuberant, and this both in dialogue and incident: the humour passes into farce, the satire into irreverence. We have not the slightest objection to the satirizing of follies in church ministers, but it requires a delicate and reverent hand to remove excrescences, and avoid injury to the corpus of sound things; this the authoress does not yet at least, possess. It is not that her father, who does not escape her lash, and the church whose members she ridicules, are Baptists. Let all whose follies need satirical castigation receive it; theirs will be the benefit. Only, such writers have special pleasure in girding at the vulgarities of Ebenezer, while they feel no vocation to satirize the effeminate absurdities of St. Chad's. Whether the writer really knows what Baptist churches are or not, she is conspicuously unfair in her caricature. It lacks artistic, not to say moral restraint. The incidents of the story are not pleasant. Such things may occur in life; they are not therefore fit subjects for ideal portraiture in fiction. Necessarily an inexperienced writer who relies mainly on dash and small sensations falls into incongruities. Martha, being what she is, could not possibly so have accepted Alfred Burnaby. Equally impossible is it that she could so have left Dr. Charteris-left her husband and child at night-to go into the streets with Burnaby at his bidding: it violates all possibilities. Equally incongruous are many minor incidents. We point out these things because the writer is capable of doing better. Let her recognize the difference between freedom and lawlessness, vivacity and melodrama; let her acquire artistic tone, and control her dialogue and positions by common sense and moral congruity; and she will write well.

-El Dorado. A Novel. Two Vols. By ALFRED LEIGH. (Remington and Co.) El Dorado is overdone both in incident and fervours. Among its characters the genius of music, of painting, and of poetry has each a supreme representative. The heroes and heroines are so numerous, and the incidents so startling, that we get into a tangle; while the sentiment is so gushing that we are kept throughout in a state of artificial excitement. The end is tragic-the hero finishes his immortal epic, finds his ideal love realized in Constance, and dies in the finding. We quite endorse the writer's theories of the place of sentiment, but he might, in mercy for prosaic people, inculcate them in a cooler atmosphere and with less of sensational incident. He writes with considerable power, but weakened by the faults we have mentioned, which are not incidental, but pervade the whole story; every sentence is written in superlatives.—Civil War in Home and Land. By the Author of A Ride from the Rhineland.' (The Civil Service Publishing Company.) The lines of this picture of English and Hungarian life are somewhat hard-a reflection of the blended elements in the character of Constance Beverley, its heroine. Her father had married a second time; his harsh, ungovernable dis

position had been in perpetual conflict with her strong will, but affectionate nature. They never spake but in quarrel and defiance. She leaves her home with Count Carrolyi, a Hungarian noble. His love is genuine, but not contented with the influence of affection, he alienates her by his imperiousness. That he should so relentlessly deliver her up to the Austrians, as a rebel during his absence, is surely incredible. The story, however, is well told, although from beginning to end painfully militant.——The White Month. By the Author of The Rose Garden.' (Smith and Elder.) Nothing can be more delicate than the charm of this author's style-the half-tints and artistic touches of her backgrounds, the subtle beauty of her dialogue, and the subdued harmony of her incidents. This is a Breton story, culminating in the siege of Paris, and in one of the thousand domestic tragedies which the great national tragedy enclosed. The heroine is the daughter of M de Keragnac, an absorbed naturalist, who has buried his love in the grave of his young wife. He marries again when his daughter is eighteen, and his second wife is a woman full of morbid and selfish craving for affection, which she demands but does not understand how to win. Her character is subtly conceived and artistically developed. Meanwhile Marguerite's love story begins. M. de Keragnac dies, and a time of trial for his widow comes, augmented by her lover's fortunes during the siege of Paris. All ends happily. The story is very charming from beginning to end a miniature but exquisitely painted.--A Sylvan Queen. By the Author of 'Rachel's Secret.' Three Vols. (Hurst and Blackett.) There is a great charm in this author's little bits of descriptions, and in her etchings in of traits of character. Her Sylvan Queen is the daughter of a gamekeeper, who finds a pendant in the niece of the vicar-an heiress in her own right. The two heroes are Pelham, the squire's only son and heir to his estates, and Hugh Beverley, an artist, who comes to the village to paint on commission a picture for a patron. How the villany of Pelham developes itself, to poor Madge's ruin, and the nobleness of Beverley; and how the tangle gets more complicated through misunderstandings, until the tragic end of Pelham, through the righteous retribution of Giles Brown, sets all right, the reader must discover for himself. There is a good deal of close observation and subtle study of character, as, for example, in the development of poor Madge's vain imaginations, luring her to her destruction, and in the drawing of Pelham's mixed character. The Canon and Squire Elphinston are delineated in admirable contrast. Altogether the story is full of careful work, skilful description, and wholesome moralizings. The author deserves the considerable success which she has achieved as a novel writer, by her very conscientious labour as well as by her literary gifts. There are few among lady novel writers whose stories we read with more pleasure. They are as full of good feeling as they are interesting. The present novel deserves in every way high praise.Miss Bouverie. By Mrs. MOLESWORTH. Three Vols. (Hurst and Blackett.) Mrs. Molesworth's story turns upon cross purposes and misunderstandings which keep Hugh and Laura from coming together. It

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is not every man who would feel such repugnance to the redressing of an ancestral wrong; but Hugh is altogether an exceptional and noble fellow. The incidents of the story are not much; but its pictures of both English and French life are very artistic and charming. The style is light and graceful; the characters are skilfully delineated; and the dénoùment very naturally and simply reached. We are not quite sure that the little dislike with which love often begins could in real life have been kept up so long, or that the rapid and dangerous familiarity with Edward would have ended so harmlessly, or that so insignificant a creature as Juliette would, under any circumstances, have been accepted by Madame la Baronne de la Craye; but the story is well written and interesting.Sussex Stories. By Mrs. ROBERT O'REILLY, Author of Phoebe's Fortunes,' &c. (Strahan and Co., Limited.) Our previous experiences of Mrs. O'Reilly as a story-writer were very pleasant. She writes gracefully and with ease, and with no straining after effect. The scope of her present work does not allow much room for elaborate plots, or sustained and prolonged interest. As its title indicates, it is a collection of stories all more or less connected with the county of Sussex. In each case, however, we derive a considerable amount of pleasure and profit from the little narrative; while the moral spirit which pervades the whole is truly excellent. These stories should especially be placed in the hands of all young women, though they may be read with advantage by everybody. They are thoroughly healthy in tone, without being weak either on the sentimental or the religious side. Occasionally we come upon deep bits of philosophy put into the mouths of the homely Sussex people. In the tale headed 'The Little Blue Band-Box' is one Jasper, who has many sententious phrases. On one occasion he complains that, Seemin❜ly 'taint only a different fruit from the one it's your nature to grow, but two sorts of fruit at once they'd like you to bear now.' In 'Darby and Joan,' one of the characters, discussing the Poor Law Board, says, 'The Poor Law Guardians you do be meaning. You called 'em out of their name, you see; it's the law as they guards hereabouts. I never heard of no Guardians for the poor but One.' Again, the carrier in Meg's Mistake' observes, ""Taint only one another as we does right by when we keeps the straight road; it's my belief we meet the Lord there. "Taint for me to talk, not for me as was long learning that 'ere lesson myself, but your father, Meg, it's my belief as he met the Lord daily on the daily road he trod. That was how he did me a good turn, and I told you so one day. He didn't preach nor go out of his way to convert me; he just "walked with God" hisself, and them as does that preaches a louder sermon nor an archbishop could in a gold pulpit.' We have read these stories with much pleasure; there is something very natural about them. We have not found one of them to be tedious, and the volumes have the further advantage of being illustrated.—Hard Hit: a Newfoundland Story. By T. U. A turbulent and sensational story beginning with a shipwreck; having for its main incident a double marriage, and ending in a duel and suicide. We can conceive no reason, literary or moral, why it should 16



have been written.- -Joan Carisbroke. By EMMA JANE WORBOISE. (James Clarke and Co.) Joan Carisbroke is a chronicle rather than a story. It is a narrative of the fortunes of a clergyman and his family, who, with an affluent income, outrun their means, and get involved so hopelessly that the vicarage has first to be sequestrated and then resigned. The characters of the five or six children are well discriminated. Joan, the youngest, except the baby, who is twelve years younger than Joan, is the heroine. She is very admirably developed under the influence of Miss Martin (Meliora), the governess, and a woman of remarkable ability, goodness, and wisdom. Miss Martin is the good genius of the family. We cannot help thinking that a little more of poetical justice might have been done to Joan, without detriment either to the moral of the story or the nobility of her own character. The drawback of the book is a somewhat undue tendency on the part of Miss Worboise to sermonize in her dialogue; in other respects it is an admirable story, well told.- -With a Silken Thread and other Stories. By E. Lynn Lynton. Three Vols. (Chatto and Windus) Mrs.. Lynn Lynton has collected here some twenty short stories contributed to various periodicals. They are full of power. Every touch is masterly; every character drawn with a strong, unerring hand, and every paragraph containing keen, suggestive thought. Their literary finish and dramatic skill, too, are very great. Mrs. Linton's genius inclines to the tragic—almost the terrible. Some of the stories are scenes that might be taken from the work of a great dramatist, they so strongly excite and impress. Some of the longer stories are especially powerful. The first, which gives its name to the collection, depicts the stern skill of a not unkind but resolute mother in disillusioning her son, the heir to the family, who has fallen in love with the daughter of a Cumberland guide, and who is invited to the hall and made herself to discover her fatal mistake. The Countess Mélusine' is a beautiful adventuress, who takes the desolate old hall of a country village, and successfully swindles the county families at cards. The Last Tenants of Hangman's House' is the story of a forger. 'For Love' is a powerful story of a man also guilty of forgery, but the victim of a tempter stronger than he. These -and some of the others-present phases of a type of character which seems to be a favourite with the author; that, namely, of a clever, hard, indomitable woman, who, the victim of overwhelming circumstances, defies when she cannot rule them. But the type is repellant, and of the Lady Macbeth order. Amy Longfear, for example, who is represented as marrying a forger for love, and for love imperiously ruling her weak husband, tyrannizing over her son and daughter, is scarcely natural. A woman so loving her husband could not so have hardened herself against her daughter. The Family at Fenhouse,' again, is a dark, weird, unrelieved story. We 'sup on horrors,' and could desire more relief and sunshine; but the telling is always powerful, and vindicates Mrs. Linton's claim to rank high indeed in the sisterhood of modern novelists.

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-Louisiana. That Lass o' Lowries. By Frances Hodgson Burnett,

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