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dew and the heat of the summer sun. smaller landscape which he knows best. The skeleton has disappeared, nothing It may be the mosaic of an orchard but the bony casing of the head remains, with its many-tinted fruits; or the with its dim suggestiveness of life, pol- simpler chromatic scale of a ripenished and smooth from the friction of ing meadow: “All the summer through the elements. Holding it in the hand, fresh beauties, indeed, wait upon the the shadow falls into and darkens the owner's footsteps. In the spring the cavities once filled by the wistful eyes mowing-grass rises thick, strong, and which whilom glanced down from the richly green, or hidden by the clothsummit here upon the sweet clover- of-gold thrown over it by the butterfields beneath. Beasts of prey and cups.
He knows when it is ready for wandering dogs have carried away the the scythe without reference to the bones of the skeleton, dropping them almanac, because of the brown tint far apart; the crows and the ants doubt which spreads over it from the ripening less had their share of the carcass. seeds, sometimes tinged with a dull Alas, poor Yorick! Just here the red, when the stems of the sorrel are mourning note is obvious; elsewhere it plentiful. At first the aftermath has is a mere over-tone, as in this impres a trace of yellow, as if it were fading; sion of a moment in an old village bel- but a shower falls, and fresh green fry: "Against the wall up here are blades shoot up.” iron clamps to strengthen the ancient It is impossible, in short, to read fabric, settling somewhat in its latter this book without being conscious of days; and, opening the worm-eaten impact with a nature singularly suscepdoor of the clock-case - the key stands tible to impression and rich in expresin it -you may study the works of the
sion. It is to be hoped that many old clock for a full hour, if so it please American readers who may have reyou; for the clerk is away laboring in mained ignorant of Jefferies will make the field, and his aged wife, who pro
use of this volume to scrape acquainduced the key of the church and pointed tance with him. the way across the nearest meadow, has gone to the spring. The ancient building, standing lonely on the hill, is ut. terly deserted; the creak of the boards Within recent years several books under foot or the grate of the rusty have been produced in America which hinge sounds hollow and gloomy. But have done for one or another country. a streak of sunlight enters from the ar side much what Jefferies did for Wiltrow-slit, a bee comes in through the shire and Thoreau for Walden. Mr. larger open windows with a low inquir. Burroughs's A Year in the Fields, ing buzz; there is a chattering of spar- often reprinted, has been given another rows, the peculiar shrill screech of the form. It is a record of what the sea. swifts, and a' jack-daw-jack-daw '-ing sons bring to an acute and genial oboutside. The sweet scent of clover and server on the Hudson. The book has of mown grass comes upon the light the qualities of wholesomeness and simbreeze mayhap the laughter of hay- plicity which are so common in provinmakers passing through the churchyard cial writing, and which are not a little underneath to their work, and idling diverting to cosmopolitan critics. The by the way as haymakers can idle.” reader, if he gives himself a chance,
Another characteristic of Jefferies is carries away a grateful sense of conhis strongly developed sense of color,
1 A Year in the Fields. By JOHN BURwhich leads him to dwell often upon
Boston and New York: Houghton, the purely pictorial quality of the Mifflin & Co. 1903.
tact with air and soil, of having given This would be dull enough the slip, for the moment at least, to would have the right to be resentful everything silly and morbid and insin- if it were a text for some socialistic
propaganda. But as a purely spontaMr. Torrey's ' natural laboratory lies neous speculation it has its effective farther east, and his field is suburban value. The suggestion is made and rather than rural. The present note- dropped; it is a thought, not a theory. book is frankly and agreeably Bostonian Mr. Torrey, in short, has several of the in flavor. Dr. Holmes would have rarer qualifications of that rare person, delighted in it, not only for its neigh- the essayist. borhood lore, but for its suave and un Next to the Ground 2 is another book obtrusive humor, its irrepressible un which should have a fair chance of surdercurrent of (shall we say) Waltonian vival among books of this order. It moralizing. The present commentator gives a remarkably minute description has had some acquaintance with Mr. of life, both natural and human, upon Torrey's work for a long time, but he a large country place in Tennessee. has never been so much impressed with It deals in an orderly but not meits mellowness and individuality as in chanical way with methods of farming, reading this volume. He confesses to with the habits of wild and domestic having proceeded from cover to cover animals, with hunting, with trees and at one sitting, — not a fair way to treat flowers, insects, local sounds and odors, a book, but not a bad tribute to it. with types of negro, poor white, and This series of papers is a record not country gentleman. The author seems, only of natural things seen, but of a indeed, the complete chronicler of the natural flow of thought and feeling. conditions of country life upon a large The author's habit of ruminative dis Tennessee estate. Her book, like all cursus accounts largely for his cbarm; faithful studies of this sort which are and the New England reader, at least, fortunate enough to possess that rightwill find nothing to balk at even in ness of expression which is called literserious passages like this:
ary, is likely to appeal not less to out“A strange thing it is, an astonish- siders than to Tennesseeans. Of natural ing impertinence, that a man should history proper the chronicle contains assuine to own a piece of the earth; not a little. It is all presented in himself no better than a wayfarer upon a vigorous idiomatic style, – a style it; alighting for a moment only; com full of local flavor, and embellished ing he knows not whence, going he here and there with delightful provinknows not whither. Yet convention cialisms, or rather (for most of them allows the claim. Men have agreed are as old as Shakespeare) archaisms. to foster one another's illusions in this Here is an interesting bit of wood-lore; regard, as in so many others. They
They the passage may serve as a fair examknew, blindly, before any one had the ple of the author's matter and manwit to say it in so many words, that • life is the art of being well deceived.' “Trees felled as the new wood is And so they have made you owner of hardening give the very best timber, this acre or two of woodland. All the provided the trunks are at once lopped power of the State would be at your of boughs and branches. service, if necessary, in maintaining lie as they fall, with all their leaves the title.'
and twigs, the wood becomes brash and 1 The Clerk of the Woods. By BRADFORD 2 Next to the Ground. By MARTHA MoTORREY. Boston and Now York: Houghton, CULLOCH WILLIAMS. New York: McClure, Mifflin & Co. 1903.
Phillips & Co. 1902.
lifeless. . . . Whether wind - felled, help feeling in Mrs. Austin's work. or ax-felled, the timber lasts twice as Several of these intimate interpretalong as that cut in May or June. Big tions (of which more than one origitrees do not sprout after August cut- nally appeared in the pages of the Atting, and even tenacious shrubs like lantic) have to do with human life on sassafras often die of it. Indeed, the desert frontier. There is no atthere is a short period in the month tempt to make' mannerly, or even to when woody things die almost at a make picturesque, the rude conditions touch. The stroke of an ax, a wheel which the writer has to portray; but jolting roughly over an exposed root, she does not find the life unintelligible: the wrenching of a branch, or a slight “It is pure Greek in that it represents wound to the bark may be fatal then the courage to shear off what is not to the tallest, sturdiest oak. Greenly worth while. . . Here
have the alive to-day, to-morrow it may be with repose of the perfectly accepted inered to the tip, and next week dry and stinct which includes passion and death dead.”
in its perquisites. I suppose that the The American desert has had more end of all our hammering and yawping than one chronicler of late. Mrs. Aus will be something like the point of view tin does more than any one else has of Jimville. The only difference will done to make us feel the personality be in the decorations.' of this Land of Little Rain, this Country of Lost Borders. Fiction has told us enough and more than enough of the mere horrors of desert experience. On Footprints of Former Men in Fa the other hand, Professor John Van Cornwall” is a book of pure description Dyke not long ago constituted himself and anecdote, and one of the most dea sort of champion of the desert. He lightful among masterpieces of parowished to make us understand, more chial literature. It was first published than anything else, the physical beauty some thirty years ago.
Its author, of these waste places. He spoke, how R. S. Hawker, was for a long time ever, rather as an enthusiastic visitor vicar of Morwenstow in Cornwall, a than as one who knew his subject from zealous local antiquary, who had, belong and intimate experience. He had fore turning his hand to prose, gained an æsthetic appreciation of desert land some repute as a ballad-writer. The scape, and an intellectual appreciation combination of functions is significant, of the grandeur of the wilderness as for in the present papers it is hard to a symbol. Mrs. Austin unmistakably say whether piety or fancy plays the loves it for its own sake; it is part greater part. By the confession of his of her life. It has, no doubt, colored editor, indeed, the Hawkerian fancy her way of thought and feeling; there does not scruple now and then to assume is a touch of grimness in both, not the garb of fact. However, the point coming quite to pessimism, not quite of fact is not the important one. The to stoicism, but suggesting them. A sketches are no doubt faithful enough morbid impulse well under control, yet to the detail of local color to which we not without its reactions upon a style moderns attach so much importance. almost too fine, almost too tense: some For the rest, they possess a style so thing like this, whether or not her forcible, so quaint, so engaging, as to theme is responsible for it, one cannot make one content to waive all possible 1 The Land of Little Rain. By Mary Aus 2 Footprints of Former Men in Far Cornwall.
Boston and New York: Houghton, Mif By R. S. HAWKER. London and New York: flin & Co. 1903.
John Lane. 1903.
questions of authenticity. The Rev as well as of ancient men. The author erend Mr. Hawker's professed purpose has produced similar volumes on North was to arrange and set down the le Wales and the Lake District, which gends about certain ancient Cornish have been extremely popular in Engworthies, which he found still current land. The writer comes to his present in his neighborhood. Many of them task, therefore, not as an amateur obhave to do with wrecks or castaways server, but as a trained and tested prohurled upon the wild Cornish coast. fessional guide. We might expect the There, for example, is the story of result to be equally edifying and tireCruel Coppinger, skipper of a Danish some, a heavy drag of text brightened vessel driven ashore during a famous here and there by a facetious anecdote, tempest. Never was
or a sally of guidebook sprightliness. dramatic entrance for a villain: “A But Mr. Bradley has an unusual encrowd of people had gathered from the dowment of virtues, the greatest of land, on horseback and on foot, women which is an unaffected love for his as well as men, drawn together by theme. He has not gotten it up in a the tidings of a probable wreck. Into few months because there happened to their midst, and to their astonished dis be a market for the get-up.
He is a may, rushed the dripping stranger: he student of Welsh topography, history, snatched from a terrified old dame her legends, literature, manners, and fish, red Welsh cloak, cast it loosely around of many years' standing; and he draws him, and bounded suddenly upon the upon his various stores of learning with crupper of a young damsel, who had well-bred ease, never in the least emridden her father's horse down to the phasizing a point of erudition for the beach to see the sight. He grasped sake of display. .
» he her bridle, and, shouting aloud in some says, “are intended for the armchair foreign language, urged on the double as well as for the traveler,” a concesladen animal into full speed, and the sion to the sedentary person which may horse naturally took his homeward relieve him of unnecessary shame in way.” Cruel Coppinger appropriately never having beheld South Wales or marries the damsel, maltreats her and wished to behold it. He will get from everybody else, his name becomes a by this book all that other men's eyes can word throughout the countryside, and give him; for to the vivid descriptions he finally disappears to a satisfactory of the text are added some illustrations accompaniment of thunder and light- by Mr. F. L. Griggs, which, for their ning. The book is not all in this vein, suggestion of mass and color-value, and be it understood. There are passages
for their expression of light, are very of measured description, records of remarkable. personal experience, the varied annals Mr. Bradley's style is urbane, idioof an ancient and in the main a quiet matic, leisurely, now and then falling neighborhood.
into a pleasant garrulousness. He Highways and Byways in South never seems to have exhausted his subWales 1 is a book of a different kind, ject; yet he knows when it is time to but of equal interest and charm. It leave off. One has no sense of his is founded on local observation upon a being busy over his itinerary; it is easy larger scale; it covers a considerable traveling with him from first to last. sweep of country, and studies the per It does not matter that the pages brissonalities of ancient villages and streams tle with Welsh proper names which 1 Highways and Byways in South Wales. By
offer some obstruction to the Western W. C. BRADLEY. New York: The Macmillan eye. Bare feet can make a tolerable Co. 1903.
episode of a stubble field if they do not
go too gingerly. Llwynderw, Gwrth- that, dim as the beacon of literature reynion, nay, Portrhydfendigaiad, — if may now burn upon the high places, one marches boldly with his head up there are yet a hundred torches, tipped and thinks of clover, it is soon by. with the true fire, glowing steadily here We are, at all events, in excellent and there among the byways of a busy company, and shall have, in the main, world. excellent "going : “Here, too
H. W. Boynton. the Welsh border seems marked by a sudden growth in stature and boldness The history of State and Church, of the hills and a louder note in the Home Lito in Letters and Philosophy, durmusic of the streams. For the Black
teenth cen ing the first half of the sev. Mountains on the further or Southern tury. enteenth century, in a counside of the valley begin here to loom try which was Shakespeare's England up into the imposing shapes and alti- when those years began, and Milton's tudes their name and reputation seem to England when they ended, has contindemand. We on our sides are again uously employed the pens of innumerin Radnorshire, skirting its southern able ready writers, some of whom are bound, and indeed a road hereabouts known of all men.
Unknown of many, comes plunging down to our smooth even of those from whom better things highway, which has struggled painfully might be hoped, are the private chronfrom Kington, but eight miles distant, icles of a time peculiarly rich in such over the rugged semi-civilized ridges memorials. From these, autobioof Brilley Mountain.” So goes the way- graphies, memoirs, and intimate family side talk; the passage is taken quite correspondence, - Elizabeth Godfrey at random. Here are a few sentences has most skillfully and happily comwhich perhaps illustrate better the piled a delightful volume, giving a quaint fluency of Mr. Bradley's speech: graphic description of the home life of "It is a trite saying that a mountain- English people of condition (for they bred pony will keep himself and his alone left these records) in those morider out of trouble in a bog. But a mentous years which witnessed the
passdry summer will sometimes make both ing of the old order and the stormy bethe mountaineer and his pony a little ginning of the new. It need hardly be over-confident on doubtful ground; and said that to most of the American readagain the horseman on a strange moun- ers likely to be attracted by the book, tain may get himself into a labyrinth of that England is the one nearest to them morass, and in casting about for an out- by kindred ties, the England which nurlet, lose touch with the route he came in tured the adventurers for Virginia, and by and spend a grievous time, only trust- the men and women who made New ing that the sun may not go down on England. his endeavors, if the day should by any The author naturally begins her surchance be far spent.”
vey with the nursery, not so easy a The present reviewer does not know matter to treat as may be supposed, how it may have been with others, but for the child (not yet The Child) was for him four hundred pages of this kind far from being a centre of interest, of discourse, on a subject of which he and even in the letters of affectionate knew nothing and in which he had no mothers was
taken very much for especial interest, have not been too granted. Still, we are given interestmany. It has been one of those ex- ing glimpses of baby life and of early periences which feelingly assure him education, which began betimes with
1 Home Life under the Stuarts, 1603–1649. Dutton & Co., London: Grant Richards. By ELIZABETH GODFREY. New York: E. P. 1903.