Page:Notes and Queries - Series 9 - Volume 5.djvu/127

This page needs to be proofread.

9* s .v. FEB. 10, i9oo.] NOTES AND QUERIES.


deals appreciatively with the tenderer side of the great novelist. The writer does not let Thackeray's unauthorized biographer, Mr. Melville, go un- punished. ' French Criminal Procedure ' is written by one who understands the Roman law and the growths which have sprung from it. He must also have a wide practical knowledge of the laws of modern France. Our neighbours have often been rebuked by Englishmen for the procedure of their own law courts when more knowledge on our part would have induced silence. Some of us do not seem to realize that we have no right to expect the law proceedings of another state to run in the same grooves as they do at home. In ' Goethe and the Nineteenth Century ' we have a thoughtful paper by one well acquainted with modern German literature. Much of it is admirable, but we are inclined to protest against the rigid marking off of the growth of literature into periods ; it is mis- leading, even to the student, unless many reserva- tions are made. It may be true that every man is to some extent the product of his time ; but it is also certain that every great work owes far more to the nature of the man himself than to the time- spirit of which he partakes. The paper on R. L. Stevenson is pathetic and truthful. Jt shows love for the author's achievement and a kindly appre- ciation of the man himself which is very touching. Like almost every other man of letters of whose private history we know anything, Stevenson met with little encouragement in his early days from those who had the most favourable opportunities for appreciating him. In 'The Genius of Rome' power and concentration are shown, but a theme so great cannot be adequately treated in a review article.

THE war, as might be expected, continues to figure largely in the reviews. Besides the six mili- tary articles in the Fortnightly, there is an interest- ing review of the recent ' Life of Wellington,' by Sir Herbert Maxwell, from the pen of Judge O'Connor Morris. He appreciates the brilliant qualities of the book, but thinks it, with regard to the campaign of 1815, pervaded by "the Wellingtonian legend, a false and mischievous gloss on history, long ago exploded by competent students of war." The idea that Wellington never lost, which is popular, is, of course, a delusion. Indeed, sufficient stress has hardly been laid upon the circumstance that in India his first essays in the field were failures. If he had not been well backed, he might never have had another chance of commanding. There seems a growing conviction that " strategy was not Wellington's strong point." We own to a curiosity whether Tennyson, when he wrote so decisively in his famous ' Ode ' of the Duke's record, knew of the usual weaknesses which Mars has for Venus. There is a brief article on French feeling about England, and an account of Ibsen's ' Love's Comedy,' an early work, which has not yet appeared in English. It is concerned with love and the disillusionment which follows, a poignant but not original theme. The decay of love is a subject for " corrosive criticism." as Prof. Herford points out ; but granted that love is a deceit, is it for that reason undesirable while it Lasts? Men losing it may cry " demptus per vim mentis gratissimus error " like Horace's old man. Richard Cumberland, who was, according to Gold- smith, " the English Terence," forms the subject of an entertaining article. Mr. Mallock writes cleverly on ' The Logic of Non- Dogmatic Christianity,' and

Mr. George Moore explains why he, Mr. Yeats, and others prefer to produce their plays in Dublin. Condon is " too large, too old, and too wealthy

o permit of any new artistic movement " ! ' Ruskin

Sail, Oxford,' with the opposition to the scheme, is also considered. The promoters should be less militant towards present institutions. In the Nineteenth Century Father Clarke, S.J., lectures Dr. Mivart on the ' Continuity of Catholicism.' It s admitted that "nearly all his statements con- tain a distinct element of truth." The presence of converts who are really not converts in the Catholic fold is indicated, though not explained, and the case of Galileo turns up again. The two ' Reports of the Licensing Commission' form the subject of an important article by Sir Algernon West. The question of the liquor traffic is most pressing, yet it may be practically laid aside for years as far as legislation goes. That members of the Commission should have differed so much in their final con- clusions is regrettable. Some ninety lines of the second book of Virgil's ' Georgics ' are given in a blank-verse rendering which is pleasing by Lord Burghelere, a former President of the Board of Agriculture. Such notes at the bottom of the page as " Acheron, one of the rivers of Hades," are surely otiose. They remind us of the description of Catiline in Bohn's 'Virgil' as "a noble Roman of depraved habits." Mr. Henry Wallis writes attractively and learnedly on 'Ancient Egyptian Ceramic Art.' Mr. R. B. Townshend 'On Some Stray Shots ' is interesting ; he is a thorough sports- man who can write effectively. 'In the Alps of Dauphine' ' is too slight to be of much value. ' The New Mysticism in Scandinavia,' by Miss Hermione Ramsden, is an account of Jacobsen, Jorgensen, the two Krags, and Selma Lagerlof. There is a good deal of the somewhat impalpable " inner percep- tion " which is the latest protest against materialism. The blue of the ideal is much dwelt on in oppo- sition to green; we hear of "blue liberty" and " blue hope," but the symbolists do not seem to be at one, for Maeterlinck's pale green bird means happiness too. The stress laid on the Ego is not an attractive feature of these providers of the new life. Temple Bar contains some bright articles as usual. ' Parodies ' is a good subject, and Mr. H. M. Sanders has quoted some interesting specimens of the art. Rather disquieting is it, however, to find such a mistaken identification as "Maginn ('Father Prout')." Are the Fraserians already forgotten; and does the brilliant doctor live only in the pages of Thackeray, or as a conflate personage owing half his fame to Mahony ? The Hon. W. Spencer's name is said to "evoke no poetical recollections." We recommend a study of Locker's charming and little- kno\vn ' Lyra Elegantiarum ' to remedy this defect. We find no mention of some famous single lines of parody: Johnson's on the driving of fat oxen, and that which Tennyson and FitzGerald both claimed, A Mr. Wilkinson, a clergyman,

which was the worst Wordsworthian line they could conceive. The rupture between Coleridge and Lloyd was caused by other matters than an unlucky sonnet ; in fact, the latter was what the French call an " impossible " person in his humoyms. 'George Gascoigne, Soldier and Poet,' is capitally treated by Mr. Serrell. ' Round my Smoking- Room ' is a chatty record by a traveller and sportsman of his gathered treasures. He has obviously seen so much of life in different quarters, and is so cheery about