10 s. XIL DEC. is, 1909.] NOTES AND QUERIES.
NOTES ON BOOKS, &c. A Literary History of the English People.
Vol. IV. From the Renaissance to the Civil War.
II. By J. J. Jusserand. (Fisher Unwin.) M. JUSSERAND or his publisher might have provided readers with some indication of the French original which this volume represents. There is no hint of the sort, or of the translator's name. Perhaps this is to be explained by the fact that the distinguished author is his own translator. Certainly many of the sentences are couched in'a style which is more French than English, or, at any rate, not natural English. Thus we have frequently what grammarians used to call the nominativus pendens, hanging without a verb to help it ; and we find such phrases as " the sans-gene little Doctor." As for the French original, it is^a portion of the second volume of the ' Histoire Litteraire du Peuple Anglais ' of 1904. We are presented with a number of fresh notes at the bottom of the pages ; various additions to the text made advisable by new books and discoveries, such as reference to the recently edited ' Shakespeare Apocrypha ' ; and an Index (to Vols. II. and III.) which is of real assistance to the careful student. A " part reproduction " of Visscher's large plate of London of 1616, showing the Southwark entrance to the City, forms the frontispiece.
In the volume Shakespeare is the central figure ; we begin with ' The English Drama at the Renaissance,' and ' Theatres and Perform- ances under Elizabeth ' ; then the immediate predecessors of Shakespeare, especially Marlowe, lead to the life and work of the master himself. Further chapters consider his contemporaries and successors ; and ' Aftermath ' ends the book with a discussion of various forms of literary activity, the work of poets, travellers, moralists and observers, archaeologists and historians, and especially the influence of Bacon.
The whole shows the admirable erudition and good sense which we have learnt to expect from M. Jusserand. Though he deals largely in inference, he never indulges in wild theory, and he introduces skilfully just that amount of quota- tion from writers of the Elizabethan period which is needed to make his narrative alive and interesting. Freshness is lent to the volume by numerous allusions to French poets and sources. Thus we learn that though there was no English translation of the Odes of Horace in Shakespeare's day, there were at least two French renderings with the Latin text on the opposite page, pub- lished in 1584 and 1588. On the vexed question of the Sonnets the author shows, we think, excellent judgment. Some of his points were taken up by Samuel Butler, whose edition of the Sonnets (Longmans, 1899) might have been mentioned.
On one point our late editor was always strong that no foreigner, however accomplished, can reach a full understanding of the humour of another nation. This fact for such we believe it to be explains that portentous work ' Tolstoy on Shakespeare.' M. Jusserand has, we need hardly say, a far juster appreciation of Shake- speare, but we demur strongly to his view that Falstaff in ' The Merry Wives ' is at his very best.
On the contrary, he seems to us in this play unworthy of his great self, and we like to think that Shakespeare in this case was no more success- ful than other people who are ordered to do a job in a hurry.
There are numerous other points which have struck us in the careful perusal of the volume ; but we think it sufficient to say that its pages, printed in an excellent type, have throughout given us abundant pleasure. We mean to return to them in the rare moments of our leisure.
The Burlington Magazine opens with editorial articles on 'The Wax Bust attributed to Leonardo,' which has established the skill of Richard Cockle Lucas, and Mr. William Laffan of New York, an indefatigable Trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of New York. Mr. Lionel Gust continues his interesting l Notes on Paintings in the Royal Col- lections,' chiefly devoted to Pesellino, on whose altarpiece Mr. Roger Fry adds a learned note. Mr. Robert Steele has a noteworthy article on 'Some Modern Printing,' which has reference to various efforts to design fine type which have followed the lead of William Morris. Mr. Steele points out that " more than a few of our better trade printers, have produced books notable from every point of view, while, on the other hand, artists of outstanding reputation have been called on by pub- lishers to design new type for special editions."' Though none of these editions, published doubtless in limited issues, have come our way, we are glad to know of a revival which is creditable to the artistic taste of the community. An article on ' Damien Forment,' by M. Paul Lafond, shows in its illustrations the delicacy which he attained in his sculpture. Mr. Charles ffqulkes treats an interesting and disputed subject in ' The Armour of Jeanne d'Arc.' Mr. T. G. Jackson, R.A., has a notice of Mr. and Mrs. Pennell's elaborate and delightfully illustrated work on 'French Cathe- drals, Monasteries and Abbeys, and Sacred Sites of France.' Portraits of the Wyat Family by Sir Martin Conway and Mr. Lionel Gust are discussed with illustrations. The section of 'Art in America' includes a delightful illustration of ' The Finding of Moses ' by Rembrandt, one of his earlier master- pieces.
It is probably an accident that this number of The Turlington seems concerned rather with the artistic past of foreign countries than with art of to-day in England. We hope that the magazine will continue to give us expert guidance on painters and etchers now living amongst us, many of whom, we believe, deserve serious consideration.
The National Review is, as might be expected, full of politics, and continues to give vigorous and outspoken expression of its views, which ought to be a valuable asset to the Conservative party. Mr. Joseph H. Longford's Reminiscences of Prince Ito form a highly interesting tribute to that far-seeing statesman. Mr. Austin Dobson has one of his neat and pleasantly informative articles, and deals this tune with ' Madame Vig6e Le Brun.' Mr. A. C. Bartholomew describes the results of ' An Experiment in growing Alpines,' which has evidently met with considerable success. Prof. A. V. Dicey makes out of ' Blackstone's Commentaries ' an article which the layman can read with pleasure. In ' National Holidays : an American Hint in Patriotic Expression,' Miss Bowden Smith has a laudatory account of a Fourth of July celebration.