Page images

With sun and moon, with earth and sea's rich gems,
With April's first-born flowers, and all things rare
That heaven's air in this huge rondure hems.
O, let me, true in love, but truly write,

And then believe me, my love is as fair

As any mother's child, though not so bright

As those gold candles fix'd in heaven's air.

Let them say more that like of hearsay well; I will not praise that purpose not to sell. The repetition of "heaven's air" in the eighth and twelfth lines is not likely to have been the poet's. The first expression was probably caught from the second. What it superseded, is hard to conjecture. We might get rid of the displeasing iteration without injuring the idea by reading :That heaven's wault in his huge rondure hems. Which calls to mind :

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]


In this case, the error in all probability is due to the compositor, and not to any imperfection in the manuscript.

A very minute mistake in Sonnet xxiii. greatly blemishes the sense:

As an unperfect actor on the stage,

Who with his fear is put beside his part,

Or some fierce thing replete with too much rage,

Whose strength's abundance weakens his own heart;

So I, for fear of trust, forget to say

The perfect ceremony of love's rite,

And in mine own love's strength seem to decay,
O'ercharg'd with burden of mine own love's might.

O, let my books be, then, the eloquence
And dumb presagers of my speaking breast,
Who plead for love, and look for recompence,
More than that tongue that more hath more express'd.
O, learn to read what silent love hath writ:
To hear with eyes belongs to love's fine wit.
The error in question is in the fifth line :-

So I, for fear of trust, forget to say, &c.

-the correctness of the eighth line,

By wilful taste of what thyself refusest,

is open to question; and the depravation of the

Although thou steal thee all my poverty,

is beyond it. I have not sufficient confidence in
my proposed emendations here, however, to give
them publicity.

Sonnet lxvi. appears to have two misprints,
which, though slight, detract from its otherwise
perfect beauty

Tir'd with all these, for restful death I cry,-
As, to behold desert a beggar born,
And needy nothing trimm'd in jollity,
And purest faith unhappily forsworn,
And gilded honour shamefully misplac'd,
And maiden virtue rudely strumpeted,
And right perfection wrongfully disgrac'd,
And strength by limping sway disabled,
And art made tongue tied by authority,
And folly, doctor-like, controlling skill,
And simple truth miscall'd simplicity,
And captive good attending captain ill.

Tir'd with all these, from these would I begone,
Save that to die, I leave my love alone.

the spirit: not, I am anxious to add, because any masterpiece has been born among us, but because there is something to read, and we are not reduced to the diet of M. Villemain, that laudator temporis acti who used to say, in a pedantic extreme of misanthropy, "Je ne lis plus, je relis.”

The "passage" of gift-books has been favourable. It is truly a passage like that of the quails, the woodcock, and the waterfowl, and those little events watched by the sportsman which form a good or bad augury. People say, for example, "Wild ducks have been passing over Paris since the middle of October: the winter will be a severe one." In the same fashion, on seeing that the gift-books are not books of mere amusement or profitless splendour, but that they all tend to instruct children, young and old, I conclude, not without probability, that our disasters have done us good, and that we are becoming a reasonable people. Yesterday, in the drawing-room of a lady of fashion, whilst waiting for the mistress of the house, I amused myself by making out a list of the novelties of the season

The second line must, I think, have originally heaped at random on a table. Will you believe


[blocks in formation]

And heavy nothing

where “fear of trust" strikes me as quite irrele--comparing Sonnet lxxviii. vant. Read :—

So I, for fear or trust, &c. meaning, "so I from timidity, or too much confidence, have omitted to give due expression to my love."

The involved and antithetical style, which was so much admired in this species of poetry, may excuse a subsequent line which reads dubiously :More than that tongue that more hath more express'd; but it may be worth considering whether Shakespeare did not write

More than that tongue that love hath more express'd. Sonnet xxv. presents a difficulty which I do not remember to have seen noticed :

Let those who are in favour with their stars,
Of public honour and proud titles boast,
Whilst I, whom fortune of such triumph ba
Unlook'd for joy in that I honour most.

Great princes' favourites their fair leaves sprea
But as the marigold at the sun's eye,
And in themselves their pride lies buried,
For at a frown they in their glory die.
The painful warrior famoused for fight,
After a thousand victories once foil'd,
Is from the book of honour razed quite
And all the rest forgot for which he toil'd.
Then happy I that love and am belov'd
Where I may not remove nor be remov'd.
What are we to understand by the expression

Unlook'd for joy in that I honour most.

in the fourth line? I suspect it to be no other
than a desperate shot of the editor or typographer
to supply a word or words defective in the
"Unlook'd on" would give a mean-
ing, though a poor one, but I have a strong pre-
sumption the line ought to read—

Unhonour'd joy in that I honour most."

And heavy ignorance.

The next Sonnet, lxvii., abounds in errors, but some have been noticed, and the rest are to me, for the present, incorrigible.

The first and last lines of Sonnet lxxxi. read to
me suspiciously:-

Or I shall live your epitaph to make,
Or you survive when I in earth am rotten,
From hence your memory death cannot take,
Although in me each part will be forgotten.
Your name, from hence, immortal life shall have,
Though I, once gone, to all the world must die:
The earth can yield me but a common grave,
When you entombed in men's eyes shall lie.
Your monument shall be my gentle verse,
Which eyes not yet created shall o'er-read,
And tongues to be your being shall rehearse
When all the breathers of this world are dead :
You still shall live,-such virtue hath my pen,-
Where breath most breathes,-even in the mouths of men.
In the first line, I fancy,

Or I shall live,

is a mistake for,

Whe'r I shall live,—

whe'r being the familiar contraction of whether in
Shakespeare's days. See Sonnet lix., where we
have the word in both forms :-

Whether we're mended or whe'r better they,
Or whether revolution be the same.

The construction seems to be, "Whether I shall
live to write your epitaph, Or you survive me,
death cannot render you forgotten."

The corruption in the last line is more obvious, and much more injurious :

Where breath most breathes,-even in the mouths of men.

How, physically or poetically, can breath be said to breathe more in the mouth of a man than in the mouth of a whale, or a walrus. The true

See the context. Assuredly the received text is reading indubitably is :


In Sonnet xl. :—

Take all my loves, my love, yea, take them all;
What hast thou then more than thou hadst before?
No love, my love, that thou mayst true love call;
All mine was thine before thou hadst this more.
Then if for my love thou my love receivest,
I cannot blame thee for my love thou usest:
Bt yet be blam'd if thou thyself deceivest
By wilful taste of what thyself refusest.

I do forgive thy robbery, gentle thief,
Although thou steal thee all my poverty;
And yet, love knows, it is a greater grief
To bear love's wrong than hate's known injury.
Lascivious grace, in whom all ill well shows,
Kill me with spites; yet we must not be foes.

You still shall live,-such virtue hath my pen,-
Where breath most kills,-even in the mouths of men,

-the sarcasm being altogether lost by breathes,
which crept in through the similar words in the


December 29.

THE December publications have, to a certain extent, atoned for the literary barrenness of a singularly dull year. We feel a slight revival-we, I mean, whose principal support are the things of

[ocr errors]

me when I assure you that there was not a novel
among them, except the 'Voyage au Pays des
Fourrures,' which, after all, is but a lesson in
ethnography pleasantly disguised? Two books,
translated from the English, The Land of Desola-
tion,' by Dr. Hayes, and Mr. Henry Stanley's
'How I Found Livingstone,' a true book of a true
man, accompanied the volume of M. Verne, who
is probably an Englishman himself, to judge by his
subjects, the use he makes of his materials, the
seriousness at bottom, and the humour which
plays on the surface. The mistress of the house
caught me just as I was opening with astonish-
ment a large illustrated octavo on the 'Application
de la Physique.' "What," said I to her, "you are
reading this book?"—"Yes, and I have also read the
two former works of the same author, 'Le Ciel,' a
Physique' of Amédée Guillemin."-
treatise on astronomy, and 'Les Phénomènes de la
"Do the
laurels of the Marquise du Châtelet trouble your
slumbers?" I inquired.
66 Do you wish to become a
savante?"-"Heaven preserve me from that! But
I feel the need of being a little less ignorant than
I am, and I am grateful to respectable publishers
like the Hachettes and Hetzels, who wrap up in a
gilded pill the little dose of science that my poor,
weak constitution can assimilate."
"Ah! you
are talking like a doctor."-"That's because I am
only a learner. The real doctors express them-
selves more simply they have banished from
their vocabulary the long words which appalled the
laity."-"Are your friends inspired with a like
zeal?" I asked." Not all; but many are. What
would you have us do at a time like this? The
salons are shut, the Opera-house burnt, nobody
writes a novel worth reading: to kill the time let
us educate ourselves; that will enable us to watch
more closely the education of our sons."-" So
much the better-so much the better," I replied.

'L'Espagne' of Baron Ch. Davillier is the worthy pendant of the 'Rome' of M. Francis Wey. Within two years of one another, two observers, clearsighted and cultivated men, have had the rare good fortune to immortalize upon paper two civilizations which were on the point of disappearing. After the Rome of the Pope-kings, monarchical superstitions, sceptical Spain! I know the two authors personally, and I can assure you that neither the one nor the other foresaw the events which were destined to add a hundredfold to the interest of their books. They commenced them ten years ago at least, when the two most backward civilizations in Europe seemed to have still a tolerably long future before them. These magnificent quartos will have for posterity the sad and irresistible charm of two portraits executed in articulo mortis.

The book of M. Davillier is enriched by three hundred engravings, after designs by Gustave Doré. You know Doré. He is at least as popular in London as in Paris. To me, who have never lost sight of him since he was scrawling his first sketches on exercise-books at the College Charlemagne, these illustrations of Spain seem among

his best productions, among those in which he is absolutely himself. It has been at once the good and the evil fortune of this strange genius to have succeeded too soon. He was still en rhétorique when Philipon, the publisher, brought out his first work, an album of caricatures of the labours of Hercules. The public found in it such cleverness, such good-humour, and such astonishing facility with the pencil, that they adopted the child,-and one saw, incredible prodigy, an artist of seventeen earning his bread! From the moment of his début, Doré had nothing but success, and success of more than one sort, for nature has been bountiful to him. He played the violin like a laureate of the Conservatoire; he sang with a beautiful tenorino voice, in such a way as to deserve the applause of Rossini; he was as great an athlete as the most muscular undergraduate of Oxford or Cambridge. His genial and loyal character disarmed envy; while his private life under his mother's roof wins universal esteem. In one word, ever since his five-andtwentieth year, his life, unique in its character, has been one long triumph, cheered by an incessant toil, happy, easy, and coulant de source. We Frenchmen are styled capricious, yet we have never tired of his works; we have never even shown ourselves satiated; we have never found that the author produces enough. Publishers of prints, of journals, of books, have not for one moment ceased plaguing him. I have seen him over and over again finish a design on wood while the publisher's messenger was waiting at the door. The misfortune is, that this rapid production under pressure ever since he began his career has not left him time to complete the studies which make great masters. The public expected other things of him than marvellous sketches. They laid him under an injunction, so to say, to undertake vaster and more finished works, but have not left him the time necessary. That is why I prefer his living and sparkling studies of Spain to the large designs in the Dante and Bible, where we don't find Michel-Angelo or Doré either.

Although M. Gustave Masson has made mention, in the Athenæum of the 27th of December, of the 'Lettres à une Inconnue,' I hope you will allow me to return to the subject. Two volumes of letters written by Mérimée, a whole romance, the heroine of which has chosen to hide her name, that is enough to furnish plenty of occupation to lovers of good French and investigators of mysteries. First let me say that the form of this singular work is as chaste, as delicate, as correct, as that of the best productions of the author; that in it he shows a wonderfully free and vivacious judgment, carried to the point of rudeness, a singular contempt for men in general, and the official world in which he lived in particular. This characteristic is so striking, that one is tempted to ask what possible reason took him into such society; and why, looking on the Senate as a parcel of incapables, he became a senator? Was it for the pleasure of leaving 30,000 francs a year to two elderly ladies who soothed by their attentions the sorrows of his old age? He had no need of money, as his patrimony, 12,000 francs a year, sufficed for his simple wants. I can understand that he enjoyed, at first, the spectacle of human life in its most dazzling holiday dress; but I should have supposed that he would have had enough of it at the end of a few years, and I am really astonished that, weary and ill as he was, he endured till the last the uncouth pleasures, the folly of which he laughed at. The only plausible explanation of this anomaly lies, I believe, in a sincere and profound affection, which he concealed, like all his good feelings, from a sceptical shyness. I met him sometimes at his own house, or at the houses of common friends, but I cannot say that I knew him. He was extremely pleasant, but even more impenetrable than pleasant. A whole side of his life remained unknown even to his best friends; and if one day

we learn the real truth about his nature, it will be from some woman's indiscretion. He was very handsome, very impressionable, and, without doubt, passionately loved; and he must have carried on

a certain number of liaisons, more or less Platonic. for some time engaged, and which will contain His executor was charged to send four rings, and new expositions of some of the leading princihe received four answers, one of which was written ples of Political Economy. Amongst other subin the hand which re-copied for the publisher thejects treated of in the volume will be the doc'Lettres à une Inconnue.' But the executor is a cautious man, and he will tell nothing more than trine of Value, the relations of Labour and this. The Parisian world is racking its brains to Capital, with an investigation into the power find out the name of the heroine. Madame de M. of Strikes to influence Wages, the functions of was first mentioned; then Madame de B.; after her, Trades Unions, &c. The volume will also conMdlle. d'A.; and, finally, one of your country-tain an examination of the principles of Interwomen, called R. S.; but the first two theories cannot bear examination, and there are serious objections to the two others. Taine, who wrote a very nice essay as an introduction to the first volume, is no wiser than I on this delicate point; and Dumas fils, who has little liking for insoluble problems, remarked to me at dinner the other evening, that Mérimée was great at mysteries, and capable of writing two volumes of letters to posterity, under cover to a person who had no existence. I greatly doubt if he pushed his malice so far; had he written for the world, he would have concealed his foibles better and talked less about his health.

Since I have written close together the names of Taine and Dumas, one word in conclusion about the Academy. Three elections are promised for the 29th of January. The candidates are numberless. The old house is besieged by an army of professors, and even by some writers. Were my advice asked, I should say, "Take Dumas, Taine, and Weiss, and send the rest back to the College de France." But the Academy has nothing to ask of me, nor I of the Academy. Taine was certain of his election a fortnight ago, in spite of the hatred of the clerical party, who will never forgive him; but lately the Republican liberals have learned that he is engaged on a book, in which he shows little sympathy with the French Revolution, and this work, still unpublished, is likely to cost him dear. As for Dumas, he remembers the injustice with which the Academy treated his father; and after having kept long in the background, he will not declare himself a candidate, unless in real earnest. One of his friends, M. Legouvé, is to reconnoitre the ground to-day or to-morrow, and see if there is a majority ready. However matters may turn out, the Academy will do wisely not to trifle with the authors who knock at its door, for neither Dumas nor Taine is of the stuff of which perpetual candidates are made, and were they to fail once, they are capable of leaving the place wholly to the pedants.


Literary Gossip.

OUR readers will remember that in 1856

appeared the Memorials of Henry Cockburn, one of the Judges of the Court of Session in Scotland, containing many graphic and piquant sketches of the men and women of his day. The volume ended with the year 1830, and, although nothing more was promised, it was known by Lord Cockburn's friends that he had continued his diary until 1854, the year in which he died. This continuation is now in the press, and will be published by Messrs. Edmonston & Douglas before Easter.

We believe that the real meaning of the fuss at Eton is, that Dr. Hornby thinks that the little boys who need to be managed would fare best under the control of masters of experience, while the big boys, who wish to compete for scholarships, would be best taught by young men fresh from the Universities, whose Latin and Greek have not had time to grow rusty. Dr. Hornby has as yet, however, taken no decisive step towards the attainment of this apparently reasonable object.

WE understand that Prof. Cairnes will shortly pablish a work on which he has been

national Trade, and, in connexion with this, a criticism of protectionist theories as advanced by American writers.

[ocr errors]

THE first issue of books to members of the

[ocr errors]

Hunterian Club, for the second year, is almost ready, and the delivery will be made early in 1874. It will comprise the following:Alexander Craig's Poeticall Essayes,' 1604; Poeticall Recreations,' 1623; 'Pilgrime and Heremite,' 1631; 'Miscellaneous Poems,' and Introduction by Mr. David Laing; Samuel Rowlands's 'Diogenes Lanthorne,' 1607, and 'A Fooles Bolt is soone Shott,' 1614; and 'The Bannatyne MS.,' 1568, Part I. In addition to these, there will be sent out, Richard Niccoll's 'Sir Thomas Overburie's Vision,' 1616, with Introductory Notice by Mr. Maidment, of Edinburgh, which is presented to the members by one of the Council of the Club. There will be a second issue for the same subscription, but to what extent will of course depend on the money in hand. The undernoted works are all in progress :-'The Bannatyne MS.,' Part II.; Samuel Rowlands's Letting of Humors Blood in the Head Vaine,' 1600; A Terrible Battell' [1602?]; 'Martin Markall,' 1610; 'The Miracles of our Lord The and Saluiour Jesus Christ,' 1618. Council has announced to the members that one of its number has offered to defray the entire cost of the reproduction of "The Nightingale. Sheretine and Mariana. A Happy Husband. Elegies on the Death of Queene Anne. Songs and Sonnets, by Patrick Hannay, gent. London, printed for Nathaniel Butter, 1622." The original is of very great rarity; Archdeacon Wrangham's copy brought 407. With the exception of the Songs and Sonnets,' sixteen copies of which were thrown off by Mr. Utterson, at the Beldornie Press, Hannay's works have never been reprinted. The volume consists of 132 leaves, and will be issued with the books for the

[ocr errors]

third year.

MR. O'SHAUGHNESSY will have ready in the spring a new volume of Songs and Poems, under the title of 'Music and Moonlight.'

[ocr errors]

PROF. A. W. WARD'S forthcoming book on long by Messrs. Macmillan, is, we hear, to be the English Drama,' to be published before a full account of the Origines of our Drama; and a section is devoted to each of the more

important names among our dramatic writers. Perhaps we may mention that Prof. Ward's studies have lain for years among German subjects of all kinds, and not least among German criticisms of the Drama; but we are told that his chapters on the Origines are the working out of a quite independent view.

THE pleasant story called 'Ladybank Junction,' which appeared a month or two back in Blackwood's Magazine, is from the pen of Mrs. Oliphant.

PROF. M. BURROWS, Chichele Professor of Modern History at Oxford, is about to bring

out a work on the 'Worthies of All Souls' College.'

MESSRS. WILLIAMS & NORGATE will publish shortly the Reports to the Trustees of the British Museum on the Utrecht Psalter, by Mr. Bond and Mr. Thompson, of the MS. department, and also by Canon Swainson, the Rev. H. J. Coxe, of the Bodleian, Mr. Digby Wyatt, Prof. Westwood, and others. Several fac-similes of the Psalter, taken by the autotype process, will accompany the work.

MR. FURNIVALL has found, in the City Hustings Rolls of Deeds and Wills, enrolments of three deeds in 1372 and 1373, by a Henry Chaucer, vintner, and Juliana his wife, daughter and heiress of John le Botyner, but has not yet been able to trace the connexion between this Henry Chaucer and Geoffrey the poet, though, as the latter would have been forty-two or forty-three in 1372-3, Henry may well have been Geoffrey's brother or cousin. With regard to Thomas Chaucer, the City Rolls have as yet furnished no evidence of his relationship to the poet; indeed, a deed of entail of certain property on him, by his "consanguineus," | "Willelmus Chaumbre, clericus," dated 12th of March, 1406, tends to disconnect Thomas from Geoffrey Chaucer. On the other hand, the purchase of a reversion in certain lands in 1413 by Thomas Chaucer (esquire), Henry Somer, John Cornwaleys, John Tyrell, and Lewis John, makes Mr. Furnivall believe that all these men were trustees for some Corporation in the City. Another conveyance to Thomas Chaucer and twelve other men, all of them described in one place as citizens and vintners, though in another place Thomas Chaucer and another of the twelve are called esquires, leaves no doubt that the whole thirteen were trustees for the Vintners' Com

Thomas Chaucer is thus connected with Geoffrey's father's and uncle's company, though not as Geoffrey's son, Mr. Furnivall thinks.

Prof. Karl Elze, the author of a Life of Lord Byron, is going to publish a translation into English of some essays on Shakspeare. Writing the name reminds us that Herr Elze's last essay is another discussion of the often discussed orthography of Shakspeare's name. Another is on 'Shakespeare's Supposed Travels,'

and one on Hamlet in France.' The aim of

the volume is to unite the wide scope and

ardour of the so-called Transcendental school

of criticism with more modern methods, historic and comparative; and it consists of complete accounts in this sense of some of the

main dramas, and of elucidations of more incidental departments of the story of the poet and his period. The publishers are to be

Messrs. Macmillan.

We recommend this note to the attention of the Editor of The Day of Rest :—

"The Day of Rest, for December 6th, opens with a poem by Dora Greenwell, entitled 'A Story of Canada.' The same poem appears in the volume of Good Words, for 1861, under the heading, "The Emigrant's Daughter.' I promised that I would bring the complaint before your notice.

PATERFAMILIAS." THE new edition of Dr. Whitaker's History of Whalley,' which was under the editorship of the late Mr. John Gough Nichols, will be completed by the Rev. Ponsonby A. Lyons. At the time of Mr. Nichols's decease more than 300 pages of the second and concluding volume were in type.

A WORK of considerable local interest will shortly be published, entitled 'Memorials of the Streets of Manchester.' It will contain a number of illustrations, consisting of views of streets and buildings which possess historic interest. Mr. Thomas Sutcliffe, of Manchester, interest. Mr. Thomas Sutcliffe, of Manchester, is the publisher of the volume.

WITH the gay and brilliant crowd of Christmas books appear the grave blue covers that indicate "Reports and Papers." The November flight of these winged words is not, indeed, numerous; but a larger and more important flock darkens the more distant sky. In plain English, the Parliamentary Reports and Papers for November are seventeen in number; amongst which the Report of the Commissioners as to Patents for Inventions for the year 1872, with plan, and the 51st Report of the Commissioners of Woods, Forests, and Land Revenues for the year ending 31st of March 1873, are the most noteworthy. The Papers by Command are six, including the First Report by the Director General on the Education of Officers in the Army. Lists are appended of the Commercial Reports from H.M. Consuls, from H.M. Secretaries of Embassy, and Reports from H.M. Consuls on British Trade Abroad, amounting in all to 113, and containing a vast mass of most useful information.

M. J. PH. BERJEAU is preparing for the press a fac-simile reprint, with introduction, French and English translations of a Dutch narrative of the second voyage of Vasco de Gama to the East Indies. The book, unknown to bibliographers, was printed in Antwerp, circa 1504, 4to., and is now in the British


THE death is just announced of Mr. Edward Hyde Clarke, who was fifty years ago a prominent writer on West Indian questions.

THE Early English Text Society will issue to its members in January, in its Original Series, No. 56, The Gest Historiale of the Destruction of Troy,' translated from Guido de Colonna, in alliterative verse, and edited from the unique MS. in the Hunterian Museum, Glasgow, by Mr. D. Donaldson and the late Rev. G. A. Panton, Part II.; No. 57, 'The Early English Version of the Cursor Mundi,' in four texts, from MS. Cotton, Vesp. A. iii. in the British Museum, Fairfax MS. 14 in the Bodleian, the Göttingen MS. Theol. 107, MS. R. 3, 8 in Trinity College, Cambridge, edited by the Rev. R. Morris, Part I., with two photo-lithographic fac-similes by Cooke & Fotheringham. In its Extra Series, No. 20, Henry Lonelich's 'History of the Holy Grail' (translated from the French prose of Sires Robiers de Borron), re-edited from the unique MS. in Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, by F. J. Furnivall, Esq., Part I. The Society has the following books in the press for its Original Series :-The Lay Folk's Mass-Book,' four texts, edited from the MSS., by the Rev. T. F. Simmons; 'Palladius on Husbondrie,' englisht (ab. 1420 A.D.), edited from the unique MS. in Colchester Castle, by the Rev. B. Lodge, Part II.; 'The Blickling Homilies,' edited from the Marquis of Lothian's Anglo-Saxon MS. of the tenth century, by the Rev. Richard Morris, with a photo-lithograph; Merlin,' Part IV., containing preface, index, and glossary, edited by H. B. Wheatley, Esq.; Generydes,' a romance, edited from the

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

unique MS. (ab. 1440 A.D.) in Trinity College, Cambridge, by W. Aldis Wright, Esq., Part II. And these for its Extra Series:-" Barbour's Bruce,' Part II., edited from the MSS. and early printed editions by the Rev. W. W. Skeat; Early English Pronunciation,' with especial reference to Shakspere and Chaucer, by A. J. Ellis, Esq., Part IV.

In his Annual Report the Librarian of the United States Congress mentions, the American papers tell us, that 12,407 volumes have been added to the collection during the year closing December 1st. The aggregate number of books now in the library is 258,752 volumes, besides about 50,000 pamphlets. In the copyright department there have been 15,352 entries made during the year, and the Librarian has paid into the Treasury the sum of 13,404 dollars as the receipts from copyright fees. This exceeds the entries of the year preceding by about ten per cent. The rapid growth of the library and of the copyright business of the country renders a new building to accommodate the overflowing collections an imperative necessity. While retaining in the Capitol a sufficiently large library for legislative and judicial use, Congress has already authorized the preparation of plans for a separate building, and the Commission appointed to select a plan will shortly make the award of premiums. The site of the building, however, is not yet selected.

UNDER the title of the Verein für Deutsche Literatur, has been started at Berlin an association, which will issue new works by authors of repute to its members, on the payment of a small annual subscription. Among the writers who have promised their aid, are several well-known names: MM. Gutzkow, Bodenstedt, Bluntschli, Büchner, Von Sybel, P. Heyse, P. Lindau, M. Lehmann, Vambéry, and others. The Directors are Prof. Gneist, Count Usedom, &c.

THE Revue de Belgique has changed hands, and is now under the management of a Comité de Rédaction, composed of Messrs. Émile de Laveleye, Count Goblet d'Alviella, Baron Eugene van Bemmel and Ch. Potvin.

M. ABOUT, as our readers will learn from

his letter in another column, declares that the

name of the inconnue of Mérimée's letters is a

mystery not yet solved; still we may, perhaps, mention that current Paris gossip asserts, probably quite wrongly, that Miss Jenny probably quite wrongly, that Miss Jenny Dakin is the lady to whom the deceased author addressed this long correspondence.


The Naturalist in Nicaragua, with Observations on Animals and Plants. By Thomas Belt. (Murray.)

MR. BELT is a mining engineer who superintended the operations of the Chontales GoldMining Company, in Nicaragua, from 1868 to 1872, a most irksome and anxious duty, with much attendant worry and responsibility, in consequence of the yield of the mines being just at that tantalizing point which lies between profit and loss.

The author is more of a geologist than a naturalist, and seems besides to have studied entomology to some purpose; but although an assiduous collector, he can hardly claim to be a naturalist in the more extended meaning of

the term, and is certainly no sportsman, being more familiar with the butterfly-net than with the rifle. It is not improbable that his professional duties at the mines prevented, to some extent, the pursuit of large game which abounds in the neighbourhood; but whilst great at hunting Coleoptera, Elateridæ, and Lamellicorns, our author appears never to have seen either tapir or deer; the word "puma" does not occur once in his pages, whilst the wild hog also escaped his shot; a passing glimpse of a jaguar is styled an adventure, and affords an excuse for the frontispiece.

A Darwinian and a follower in the footsteps of Messrs. Wallace and Bates, Mr. Belt takes the latter author as his model and guide; he certainly adds a considerable amount of new information to the general storehouse of facts, besides which he is prolific in new theories, geological, meteorological and hydrographical. And first as to his facts. With regard to the distribution of the bird Fauna; the depression of the Central American isthmus occupied by the Great Nicaraguan lakes and their outlet, the San Juan river, was formerly supposed to form the boundary between the Mexican and Costa Rican sub-provinces, but from Mr. Belt's collections of bird-skins, Mr. Salvin finds that there is a larger proportion of southern than northern species, and it now appears that the great break occurs in Honduras; the valleys of Humuya and Goascoran, with the plain of Comayagua, constituting a decided interruption, cutting completely through the chain of Cordil


[blocks in formation]

"Hundreds of ants are to be seen running about, especially over the young leaves. If one of these be touched, or a branch shaken, the little ants swarm out from the hollow thorns and attack the aggressor with jaws and sting. These ants form a most efficient standing army for the plant, which prevents not only the mammalia from browsing on the leaves, but delivers it from the attacks of a much more dangerous enemy, the leaf-cutting ants.

For these services the ants are not only securely housed by the plant, but are provided with a bountiful supply of food."

So also we are told of plant lice, scaleinsects, and leaf-hoppers, which furnish ants with honey, and in return are protected by the latter. Mr. Belt concludes that in many instances "the use of honey-secreting glands in plants is to attract insects that will protect the flower-buds and leaves from being injured by herbivorous insects and mammals."

Perhaps the most interesting pages in this work are those which relate the various mimetic resemblances, not only between insects of different genera and orders, but between insects and flowers, leaves, twigs, and bark of trees, and between insects and inanimate nature. For instance, there is amongst the beetles a curious longicorn, closely resembling a common hairy caterpillar, a special protection against insectivorous birds. Again,

we have the moss insect, the larva stage of a species of phasma; and many species of Orthoptera and Pterochroza, which imitate leaves in every stage of decay. Many Chrysalides also have mirror-like spots that resemble holes through them, and one actually has a real hole through it.

"It is to be remarked that the forms

imitated have always some kind of defence against insectivorous birds or mammals; they are provided with stings or unpleasant odours or flavours, or are exceedingly swift in flight." Thus wasps and stinging-ants have hosts of imitators amongst moths, beetles, and bugs. On the other hand, nearly all the insects that possess special means of protection have conspicuous, strongly contrasted colours; and Mr. Wallace has shown that brightly banded caterpillars are distasteful to birds. Amongst mammals the skunk is conspicuously marked; and amongst reptiles the beautiful coral snake is noxious and avoided.

Mr. Belt dwells at great length on the social instincts of ants, which have been developed to an extraordinary degree of perfection. The leaf-cutting ants are well known, but much doubt has always existed as to the uses to which the leaves are put. "I believe the real use they make of them is a manure, on which grows a minute species of fungus on which they feed; that they are, in reality, mushroom growers and eaters."

A short account is given of the gold-mining in the Chontales district, which is confined almost entirely to auriferous quartz lodes, no alluvial deposits having been found that will pay the working. These lodes or veins run parallel to each other, and are so numerous that across a band more than a mile in width one may be found every fifty yards. The gold does not occur pure, but is alloyed with silver. On the hills near the outcrops of the lodes the ore is often exceedingly rich, which is apt to lead to an exaggerated opinion of their value. When, however, these deposits are followed downwards, they invariably get poorer to a certain depth, below which they do not de

[blocks in formation]

"The cause of these rich deposits near the surface does not appear to me to be that the lodes originally before they were exposed by denudation contained more gold in their upper portions than below, but to be the effect of the decomposition and wearingdown of the higher parts, and the concentration of the gold they contained in the lode below that worn away. This accumulation of loose gold near the surface of auriferous veins, set at liberty from

its matrix by the decomposition of the ore, and concentrated by degradation, is probably the reason of the great richness of many of what are next the existing surface, and has also, perhaps, called the caps of quartz veins,—that is, the parts originated the belief that auriferous lodes deteriorate in value in depth."

A notice of a dust whirlwind gives rise to a short discussion of the cause of all circular movements of the atmosphere, including the cyclone :

"The conclusion I arrived at was, that the particles of air next the surface did not always rise immediately they were heated, but that they often remained and formed a stratum of rarified air next the surface, which was in a state of unstable stratum was able at some point where the ground equilibrium. This continued until the heated favoured a comparatively greater accumulation of heat to break through the overlaying strata of air and force its way upwards. An opening once made, the whole of the heated air moved towards it and was drained off, the heavier layers sinking down and pressing it out. . . . This explanation supplies the force that is necessary to drive the air with the great velocity with which it moves in whirlstorms. There is a gradual passage from the small dust eddies through large whirlstorms to tornadoes and the greatest cyclone."

A disciple of Agassiz, Mr. Belt finds traces of glacier action throughout modern America,

and believes that during this glacial period the sea must have stood at least 1,000 feet lower than it now does, laying bare the fabled Atlantis, the great continent "on which the present West Indian islands were mountains " in the Atlantic, and in the Pacific the Malay continent. It is there he looks for the refuge of those genera which now occupy tropical countries, then covered with ice and snow. A few remarks on the archæology of the district, and a slight notice of the ethnology of the Mexican, Western Central American, and Peruvian races, whom he includes under the title of Nahuatls, in contradistinction to the Caribs, whose original seat he places in his favourite Atlantis, are not uninteresting.

To Mr. Bates, who saw this work through the press, we are probably indebted for a good index; but we are surprised that the sketch-map at the end of the volume is not better thus, Juigalpa, "one of the principal towns of the province of Chontales," is altogether omitted.

Altogether, this unpretending volume cannot fail to interest a large proportion of the reading public, besides those more especially engaged in scientific investigations connected with economic entomology.


1. Light.-2. Heat.-3. Electricity.-4. Magnetism.-5. Chemistry.-6. Pneumatics and Acoustics. By J. H. Pepper. (Warne & Co.) HERE we have six books written to elucidate as many of the great divisions of scientific knowledge by the same author. Surely his must be really a Polytechnic mind. We have examined these books with care, and although, from a cursory glance at their pages, and their popular illustrations, we were, at first, disposed to regard them as mere attempts to make science a plaything, we soon became convinced that some of them rise superior to the ordinary run of text-books; and that although the descriptions of striking phenomena were alluringly written, yet that their philosophy in sport was science in real earnest. There is no doubt but that the experience gained by Mr. Pepper during the many years of his reign at the Polytechnic institution, where he was constantly em

ployed in explaining to the public all that was new in science, has given him wonderful facility in describing, so as to be understood by all, the more abstruse phenomena of Light, Heat, and minds of his readers, as of his listeners, the proElectricity, and of bringing clearly before the cesses of chemical change and the results of analytical and synthetical investigation. The volume on "Light" of the above series is a remarkable example of this. It may be read by the young inquirer with interest, and from every page he will derive much instruction. The laws regulating the reflexion and refraction of light are satisfactorily given, and the resulting phenomena well illustrated by diagrams and other woodcuts. The more abstruse but beautiful effects produced by the polarization of light are popularized, and


the truth is not sacrificed in doing so, while the sufficiently explained, so as to render this system of conditions of spectrum analysis are concisely, yet investigation intelligible to all who read with care. "Electricity" has been for so long a period one of the stock branches of science at the Polytechnic, that the author is perfectly at home in describing the experimental illustrations of the discoveries in this division of science, embracing "Magnetism." "Heat" is not so satisfactorily treated. arises very evidently from the fact that the phenomena of heat do not admit of being so readily, so strikingly, exhibited to an audience, and hence on the part of our author an evident want of familiarity with his subject. "Pneumatics" and "Acoustics," for the very reason we have just


, being susceptible of striking experimenllustration, are satisfactorily treated in the rine devoted to them. With the "Chemistry" are quite disposed to quarrel. The treatise weak and rambling, the illustrations are farFähed, and often entirely out of place. We know f no reason for placing a portrait of Brewster der the head of Carbon, or for giving drawings of jeweller's machinery, and of bracelets, brooches, nd earrings of 18-carat gold, in a chapter on the hemistry of that metal, unless it be to advertise the jeweller, who is allowed to describe his own merchandise. As books which promise to awaken a love for science and scientific inquiry, these vennes may be placed in the hands of the young, and of those in advanced life, who have not preriously given attention to this kind of knowledge. The treatises are not sufficiently exact to be given to the student, and the reader must be on his guard lest some of them lead him into a dilettanteim of an unsatisfactory character. Geology. By Archibald Geikie, LL.D. millan & Co.)


knowledge in the foregoing extracts. But from
these it appears that the travellers, when taking a
S.W. course, saw to their left the road to Mecca,
which, of course, bore S.E., or thereabouts, where
it passed through Akaba-esh-Shami; and from
the white line of this road stretching as far as the
eye could reach and the more distinct description
of the dark volcanic summits, with their lava
field, forming, as it were, an island in the plain,
the legitimate inference is that the former is more
distinct than the latter that is to say, the
volcanic region lies to the west of the hadj road
running along the meridian of Akaba-esh-Shami,
which is in 36° E. long.

"In what parallel of latitude the same are to be
placed depends on the distance the travellers were
able to see, and this again will in part depend on
the height of the volcanic summits and the state of
the atmosphere. But it seems to be quite certain
that they must be situate at some distance to the
south of the parallel of Petra and Máan, which is
about 30° 20 north, and that, therefore, they lie
within the Harra Radjlâ, of which the limits are
pretty accurately determined by the reports of
Burckhardt and Palgrave, the former of whom
appears to have skirted it on the east, and the
latter on the north, as is shown in page 43 of my
pamphlet. It is within the range of possibility
that Mount Sinai itself is one of these three
volcanic summits' of Irby and Mangles; but I
doubt it, being rather of opinion that the moun-
tain which burned with fire unto the midst of
heaven' at the time of the delivery of the Law
unto Moses, is a separate volcano, standing further
to the south, but situate always within the same
volcanic region as the other three, and forming
part of the same chain of mountains of igneous
origin. Under this view, the destruction of Korah,
Dathan, and Abiram may have occurred some-
where on the flank of one of these more northerly
volcanoes (see 'Mount Sinai, a Volcano,' p. 43.)

PROF. GEIKIE, in writing this "Science Primer,"
has clearly endeavoured to become as a little child,
and attempted to describe things which relate to
glory, as if he was about to impart the first
spark of knowledge to the infant `mind. "An
coinary dwelling-house, such as those in which
most of us live, is built of various materials, and
one of these is always stone"; and again, "merely
by looking at houses and streets you may readily
perceive that there are many different kinds of
stone" Surely this is not the kind of knowledge
which is to be imparted to the young students in
any of our science schools. As we advance in the
"Primer," we discover that the author finds it
impossible to continue to write down to this low
level, and Prof. Geikie becomes more satisfactory
because he becomes himself. The middle portion
of the "Primer" is a clear and generally satisfac- "In any case, the Harra Radjlâ, of which Mount
tory, because simple, elucidation of geological phe- Sinai forms a part, appears to be now shut in by
nomena. What we complain of is, that the infan-
the Wady Arabah on the west, Palgrave's route
tile simplicity of the beginning adapts itself but through Máan on the north, and the hadj road
very imperfectly to an ending, which tells the child between that town and Akaba-esh-Shami on the
that "we see that there has been upon the earth east; and as on the south, it must necessarily be
a history of living things as well as of dead limited by the road from the head of the Red Sea
matter. At the beginning of that wonderful his- eastward, that is to say, from Akaba to Akaba-esh-
tory we detect traces merely of lowly forms, like Shami, there can be no serious difficulty in reach-
the foraminifera of the Atlantic ooze. At the ending Mount Sinai from Akaba by the way of Wady
we are brought face to face with man-thinking, Ithem, the Etham of the Exodus, and as I hope
working, restless man, battling steadily with the to have it shortly in my power to do.
powers of nature, and overcoming them one by
one, by learning to obey the laws which direct



DR. BEKE, who has reached Alexandria, writes

to us:

"During my journey from England I have been looking into the 'Travels in Egypt,' &c., of Capts. Irby and Mangles (Murray, 1868), which my companion, Mr. Milne, has happened to bring with him-a work which I may possibly have seen in an earlier edition in years gone by, but of which I have no recollection-and to my surprise and delight I have lighted on the two passages which are here transcribed. The one is in page 115, describing their departure from Gharundel, between Kerek and Petra, on the east side of the Ghor, the prolongation of the valley of the Jordan south of the Dead Sea, where it is said, 'Our road was now S.W. and a white line in the desert, at a distance to the left, as far as the eye could reach, was pointed out as the hadj road to Mecca. noticed three dark volcanic summits, very distinguishable from the sand. The lava that had streamed from them forms a sort of island in the plain. And in the next page, on their arrival at Showbec or Shobek, they say, 'We had a most extensive view from here, comprising the whole skirts of the desert, with the volcanic hills which I have mentioned.'


“As I have not a map here with me to which I might refer, I cannot comment except in general terms on the very important facts brought to my



[ocr errors]

GEOLOGICAL.-Dec. 17.-Prof. Ramsay, V.P., in the chair.-Messrs. W. T. Loveday, N. Griffith, F. D. Godman, E. T. Newton, T. W. Hilton, and the Rev. C. R. Gordon, were elected Fellows.-The following communications were read: Observations on some Features in the Physical Geology of the Outer Himalayan Region of the Upper Punjab, India,' by Mr. A. B. Wynne, -and On the Mode of Occurrence of Diamonds in South Africa,' by Mr. E. J. Dunn.

MON. London Institution, 4.-Holiday Course, Part III., Prof. Arm-
Victoria Institute, 8.- Magnitudes in Creation.' Rev. J. H.


Surveyors, 8.-Lands Clauses Acts, with Suggestions for their
Amendment,' Mr. F. A. Philbrick.

TUES. Royal Institution, 3.-Motion and Sensation of Sound'
(Juvenile Lecture), Prof. Tyndall.




London Anthropological, 8.-"Arthurian" Theory of Rude
Stone Monuments," Mr. A. L. Lewis; Alleged Discovery of
a Phoenician Inscription in Brazil,' Mr. A. F. Jones;
Relation of the Hieroglyphics of Easter Island to those of
Central America,' Mr. A. L. Lewis; Language of the Aino,'
the President.

Zoological, 8-Species of the genus Synallaxis,' Mr. Sclater;
'New Polyzoon (Hippuraria Egertoni), Mr. G.
Myology of the Phrynosoma coronatum,' Mr. A. Sanders;
Psittacula audicola, an apparently new species of Parrot
from Eastern Peru,' Dr. O Finsch.

Biblical Archæology. 8-The Sallier Papyrus, containing the
Wars of Rameses Meriamun with the Khita (Hittites),' Prof.
E. S. Lushington; Illustrations of the Book of Daniel,'
from the Assyrian Inscriptions,' Mr. H. Fox Talbot.
Literature, 44.-Council.

Colonial Institute, 7.- Colonial Aids to British Prosperity,'
Mr. P. L. Simmonds.

Microscopical, 8.- Zoospores of Crustacea, &c.,' Mr. A. Sanders.
Geological, 8.- Origin of some of the Lake-Basins of Cumber-
land, Mr. J. C. Ward; Traces of a great Ice-Sheet in the
Southern Part of the Lake-District, and in North Wales,'

[blocks in formation]

THE information that has appeared in the papers about the Expedition of the Royal Geographical Society, a though not official, comes from a very good authority at Zanzibar. The Expedition had reached Unyanyembe, and had been re-organized for a further advance. The three young British officers with the Expedition have shown great pluck and perseverance, and the public may rely on their pushing forward.

THE Académie des Sciences, on Monday, elected Mr. J. Lockyer and M. Roche Corresponding Members in the Section of Astronomy.

DR. ROHLFS's Libyan Expedition left Cairo three or four weeks ago. Col. Gordon arrived in Egypt a few days ago, and left on the 22nd for England, by the steamer Simla, via Brindisi. He is expected back at Cairo in three weeks.

THE fifth quarterly Report on the Sub-Wealden Exploration has been issued by Mr. H. Willett, of Brighton. The present depth from the surface is 313 feet; some important geological facts have been decided, and valuable beds of gypsum discovered. The more interesting facts are that the Kimmeridge clay is identical in deposit with that in the Boulonnais district of France, and that the Wealden estuary did formerly extend across the Channel in an unbroken continuity. The probability that coal may be found is therefore greatly increased by the discovery of strata in Sussex identical with those in the Boulonnais district. This investigation is to be continued until the depth of 1,000 feet has been reached.

M. M. A. BARTHÉLEMY has been making some very interesting experiments On the Passage of Gases through the Membranaceous Tissues of Plants.' The leaves of certain varieties of the Begoniaceae, which are thin on the living plant, are reduced during winter to the condition of a pellicle indued with elasticity. Those were employed as colloid membranes, and Graham's exfilms of caoutchouc by M. Barthélemy. periments were repeated, and compared with the experiments prove the dialysis of carbonic acid by the living plant through the cuticle of leaves, in a manner precisely similar to the endosmose of membranes, or of porous vessels, in the experiments of Dutrochet and Dehérain. The details will be found in the Comptes Rendus, No. LXXVII.


IN the Repertorium für Experimental Physik recently M. Carl has produced some new views on earthquake and volcanic phenomena. He supposes that at a considerable depth beneath the surface, the heat may be sufficient to cause water to assume the spheroidal state of Boutigney, developing slowly vapour of great tension, which under a slight change of circumstances might become the source of enormous explosive forces.

AN admirable paper, 'On the Jade of the Kuenlun Mountains,' has been communicated to the Academy of Sciences of Munich by Hermann von Schlagintweit, and published in the Sitzungsberichte of the Academy. The author visited the quarries on the Kara-kash river, which formerly supplied the Chinese with much of their jade. It may be remembered that these quarries were popularly described some time ago by Dr. Cayley. Although the title of Schlagintweit's paper refers only to the jade of Khotan, yet the author gives much information respecting the mineral from other localities, and discusses the source of the jade which is found in the pile-dwellings of the Swiss lakes. He also clearly points out the means of distinguishing true jade, or nephrite, from the closely-allied minerals known as jadeite and saussurite.

VON SIEBOLD has communicated to the same

D. Mackintosh; Lamellibranchs of the Budleigh Academy the results of his researches on the

Salterton Pebbles,' Mr. A. W. Edgell.

« PreviousContinue »