Open main menu

Page:Notes and Queries - Series 9 - Volume 11.djvu/188

This page needs to be proofread.


180


NOTES AND QUERIES. [9* s. XL FEB. 28, ma


more as to the relative motions of many of the " other suns " than the old astronomers did of those of the planets of our own system. Perhaps no more forcible example can be given than the foregoing of the extreme rashness of the persons who make up their minds to reject those things of which they are ignorant, and determine that no key can be found to unlock the secret chambers to which they have nob access by men who are wiser or more fortunately situated than themselves. Double and even quadruple star systems are now demonstrated to exist in great numbers. It is not improbable, indeed, that a solitary sun, such as our own, may be a rarer object than those which form members of complex systems. It has been shown, too, that there are dark suns, circulating in com- panionship with their luminous brethren. Have these cooled down, or may we assume that they are in preparation for a time when they shall flash forth into radiant splendour? It has often been assumed that because our central luminary is attended by a family of planets, therefore the other bright bodies we see on a starlight night have a like companionship. What light, we would fain know, does modern astronomy throw on this specu- lation ? If the same law of gravitation pervades all space, as we have very strong reasons for believing that it does, would not the attendants on the several members of the grouped stars be deflected and distorted in a manner of which we have no example in our own portion of the universe ? ' The Progress of Medicine since 1803' is a remarkable paper, which can only have been produced by a specialist who has made the history of his own branch of science a subject of long study. We are quite unable to criticize it effectively, but are bound to say that it leaves on our mind the impression of great knowledge excellently expounded. Hardly one of the discoveries which have so greatly im- proved the art of healing has been passed over in silence. We would especially direct attention to what is said of anaesthetics and vivisection. In years gone by, as we well remember, a certain class of people found constant entertainment in jeering at those of their acquaintance who studied the lower forms of life. Entomologists were the most favourite victims. The utter uselessness of their pursuit was an especial object of sarcasm. If any auch obscurantists are still with us, they might possibly be benefited by what we are told here of the connexion between the mosquito and malaria. The paper on ' The Novels of Mr. Henry James ' is a critical estimate of a series of tales much admired in America, and, to a somewhat less extent, in this country. Great care has been taken, and no pre- judice is manifest; but we feel that the mass of literature Mr. James has produced somewhere near a hundred volumes is far too great to be dealt with satisfactorily in the pages the Edinburgh had at the disposal of the writer. ' Emile Zola : " Les irois Villes, is a study of works which, whatever we may think of them, undoubtedly show great power. We need not discuss the oft-debated ques- tion as to whether novels with a purpose are or are not good as works of art. The arguments on both sides have been exhausted. It is but fair how- ever, to point out that those who are as far away LS possible from each other in their social and religious convictions write and encourage literature this kind. It is of the reviewer, not of the author, we are speaking when we say that, ad- mitting Zola's deadly earnestness to be all he


feels it to have been, he fails to see how the author imagined that by observations made for a very limited time he could have fitted himself for probing some of the deepest mysteries of human life. The gossiping paper on Madame de Lieven is pleasant reading. Those who survive who knew her will be glad to have old memories refreshed, but we doubt whether moderns, to whom she is but a tradition, will value the description of her social charms, picturesque as was her career. Her name, how- ever, can never fade entirely, for did she not intro- duce into this country the waltz in the year after the battle of Waterloo?

' THE LIFE AND WORKS or JOHN HOPPNER, R. A.,' are to form the subject of an exhaustive monograph by Mr. William McKay and Mr. W. Roberts. This work will be the first attempt to represent Hoppner and his work adequately, will contain a great deal of new material, will be illustrated with about sixty large photogravure plates, and will be published jointly by Messrs. P. & D. Colnaghi & Co. and Messrs. George Bell & Sons.

MESSRS. BELL & SONS announce the forthcoming appearance of 'Art- Prices Current,' a companion series to ' Book-Prices Current,' edited, like that useful work, by Mr. J. H. Slater.

AMONG the announcements of the Clarendon Press we note 'The Mediaeval Stage,' by E. K. Chambers ; a third series of ' Studies in Dante,' by Edward Moore, D.D. ; 'Elizabethan Critical Essays,' by G. Gregory Smith, M.A. ; and ' Asser's Life of King Alfred, with the Annals of St. Neots,' edited by W. H. Stevenson, M.A.


t0 C0rr.es jrcmtottia.

We must call special attention to the following notices :

WE cannot undertake to answer queries privately.

To secure insertion of communications corre- spondents must observe the following rules. Let each note, query, or reply be written on a separate slip of paper, with the signature of the writer and such address as he wishes to appear. When answer- ing queries, or making notes with regard to previous entries in the paper, contributors are requested to put in parentheses, immediately after the exact heading, the series, volume, and page or pages to which they refer. Correspondents who repeat queries are requested to head the second com- munication " Duplicate."

MR. STRONACH writes : " In my statement, ante, p. 150, that Francis Bacon 'for his education was mainly indebted to the watchful eyes of his father, Elizabeth's Lord Keeper, Edward VI. 's tutor, and " eminent in the whole circle of arts and learning," the phrase 'and his grandfather' should have been inserted between 'Keeper' and 'Edward.' Sir Anthony Cooke, to whom the words refer, was not the father, but the grandfather, of Francis Bacon."

ERRATUM. Ante, p. 146, col. 1, 1. 2 from foot, for " wheelad " read wheelas.

XOTICE.

Editorial communications should be addressed to " The Editor of 'Notes and Queries '"Adver- tisements and Business Letters to "The Pub- lisher" at the Office, Bream's Buildings, Chancery Lane, E.C.