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appear to have had any wish to excuse it. The decay, gradual as it was, of the old heathenisms, and perhaps still more the mixed populations from which Christianity derived its early converts, are sufficient in a great degree, though not entirely, to account for this state of things. There is not an abnormal growth which we find alluded to in the councils to which the populations of the Europe of to-day do not supply parallels. Persons who gave themselves up to a oelief in soothsayers were, according to the Council of Trullo (A.D. 692), to have inflicted upon them six years' penance; and those who carried about with them she-bears "for the diversion and injury of the simple" were to be subjected to a chastisement of equal severity. This seems at first sight a strange regulation, for we may be sure it was not made out of any ardent sympathy for the unhappy captive animal. We must bear in mind, however, that all along the bear has been highly distinguished in magic and other kinds of folk-lore. Perhaps its faculty for learning to dance, which, when the bear is well trained, makes it look strangely human, may have some connexion with this. It should be borne in mind that several noble races of Europe and India are reputed to have had a bear for an ancestor, as in like manner legends tell how the common ancestress of the Hyltons of the North wedded a raven, which, as Robert Surtees, the Durham historian, suggested, might have been, ki sober prose, a Northern sea- rover. His guess is poetical, but not convincing. Such stories we believe to have come down to us from that far-off time when man only apprehended in the most dim and transitory fashion the radical difference between himself and his surroundings. Dr. Percival points out that the hair of these and some other animals was sold as medicine and for the manufacture of amulets. Impostors such as expellers of clouds, enchanters, amulet-givers, sooth- sayers, and those who recite genealogies come under the same ban. We presume it was not family his- tory of a genuine kind to which the fathers of the Council objected, but fables of descent from the gods, which would to Christian men seem not only false, but profane also. There are some interesting facts concerning fires: how it was the custom to light them before shops and houses. This practice was strongly condemned, and a reference made as to how Manasses caused his sons to pass through the fire. In this instance, as in many others, the discipline of the Church proved too weak to uproot an immemorial custom.

Nos. 2 and 3 of the Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs keep up the high standard of excel- lence in illustrations already attained. The most important article in the latter is that by Mr. W. M. Rossetti on ' Dante Rossetti and Elizabeth Siddal.' This is illustrated by five unpublished drawings by Dante Rossetti. A set of the publica- tion bids fair to be an enviable possession. No serial equally artistic and satisfactory has been issued in this country.

IN the Fortnightly, 'The Sunset of Old Tales,' by Fiona Macleod, offers keen attractions to our readers, giving as it does a very mystical reading and application of folk-lore. Mr. Lilly's 'New Light on the Carlyle Controversy ' developes into a formidable and, we venture to think, polemical and unsatisfactory arraignment of Froude. Mr. Le Gallienne translates three odes of Hafiz. Mr. E. H. Cooper writes on 'The Punishment of

Children,' and Mrs. Frances Campbell describes the "wave dance" in the Pacific islands. 'lolanthe's Wedding,' by Herr Sudermann, furnishes an inter- esting picture of German life. One or two articles in the Nineteenth Century have profound interest for our readers. First we would put that by Her- mann Lea on ' Wessex Witches, Witchery, and Witchcraft.' From this it would appear that the belief in witchcraft still lingers in country districts among rustic folk. Of this we have never doubted. It is curious, however, to trace the survival of ideas as to the manner in which the magic of witchcraft was to be overcome and the witch herself punished for her crimes. Quite thrilling are the stories told. Mr. Hinks, of the Cambridge Observatory, has an excellent paper on ' Stonehenge and the Midsummer Sunrise,' in which he asserts that views we have been accustomed to hold concerning the orientation of Stonehenge are untenable. Not wholly satis- factory, though worth study, is what Lady Currie says concerning ' The Way of Dreams.' Mr. Churton Collins writes on ' Free Libraries/ In the Pall Mall Mr. Maurice Hewlett begins what, with a recollection of a well-known Scottish work, he calls 'The Queen's Quhair.' This is illustrated by a fine portrait of Mary, Queen of Scots, from a drawing by Janet; by a likeness of the Regent Murray, one of the Cardinal de Guise, and views of Leith and Holyrood. ' A Great Landscape Painter' illustrates the work of Jean Charles Cazin. Mr. William Sharp gives ' Through Nelson's Duchy,' illustrated from photographs. Mr. Marriott Watson sends the second part of ' The Squire of Dames.' In two parts of Scribner'x are articles by General John B. Gordon on incidents in the Civil War as seen from the Confederate side, and by Brigadier-General Carter on ' The War De- partmentMilitary Administration.' 'Painter- Lithography in the United States ' describes and illus- trates a new reproductive process. Many of the designs are very beautiful. Mr. Spearman describes 4 The Sorbonne,' and E. C. Peixotto ' Cliff-Dwellers.' The Cornhill opens with a characteristic poem by Mr. Thomas Hardy. Canon Overton describes 'John Wesley in his own Day.' In ' Prospects in the Pro- fessions ' medicine is reached. It is curious to find Stephen Duck the subject of a biography. The shade of the thresher poet must be astonished at the revival of interest. ' Autocarmen Seculare ' is a brilliant parody of Mr. Henley's poem on ' Speed.' No. xi. of ' Provincial Letters ' is dated from Canterbury. A Wilderness of Monkeys' is at least happily named. Mr. Shenstone, F.R.S., discourses of the marvellous properties of ' Radium.' In Longman's Major Rankin begins a description of ' A Night in the Open at 22,000 Feet.' A singularly painful experience seems to have been his, and we own to some difficulty in accepting his enthusiasm as genuine, being rather of the mind of the Argentine gentleman he describes in his opening sentence. Mr. G. A. B. Dewar has a paper on ' Lord Lindsey in the Civil War.' Mr. Lang in ' At the Sign of the Ship' deals with the Press Readers' Associa- tion, and commends warmly a suggestion by Mr. Randall. He has also much to say about a Society For the Prevention of Cruelty to Authors. Dr. Japp writes convincingly in the Gentleman' 1 s on 'Bird Songs, Bird-Mating,' &c. Mr. W. J. Lawrence describes a ' Famous Old Italian Theatre,' and Mr. Alexander Wood gives a good account of * Drinking Customs of the Old Scottish Gentry.' The entire number is of high merit.