and other pleasing characteristics which all animals exhibit, more or less, one to another, in order to cultivate in his readers a higher regard for all animals, and to lessen the aversion with which some animals are contemplated. The whole is varied and illustrated with numerous anecdotes. The usefulness of animals and the services they render to man are discussed in a more general manner, and the considerations which should induce a kindly treatment of them are presented in the final chapters. The subject-matter of the work, its arrangement, even to the chapter-titles, the method of treatment, the anecdotes, the style, and the author's genial manner, are all adapted to excite and hold interest, and make the book an excellent one to put into the hands of children.
Swift. By Leslie Stephen. Harper & Brothers. 1882.
This is an interesting example of the influence of modern knowledge upon our estimate of character. Swift's life, as presented by his earlier biographers, has left the impression that he was so unlike the rest of the world that he could not be judged by ordinary rules; that the traits of his character were inharmonious and inexplicable. He has been set down as a sort of human monster, as made up of the rarest genius, the most unusual kindness, and the most abominable cruelty. But, when we rise from the perusal of this little volume, we find that our abhorrence has been changed to tender sympathy for the misfortunes of this extraordinary man.
Mr. Stephen does not think that Swift was a blameless man. In considering his conduct toward the women he loved, when he can no further unravel the threads of the story and consistently explain events, he closes with this sensible and kindly remark: "It is one of the cases in which, if the actors be our contemporaries, we hold that outsiders arc incompetent to form a judgment, as none but the principals can really know the facts."
As an example of Stephen's mode of treatment, take the following. After givingaccount of the poverty endured by Swift in his youth, the author remarks: "The misery of dependence was burned into his soul. To secure independence became his most cherished wish; and the first condition of independence was a rigid practice of economy. We shall see hereafter how deeply this principle became rooted in his mind; here I need only notice that it is the lesson which poverty teaches to none but men of strong character." This trait is again referred to in connection with Swift's behavior to Stella and Vanessa. He says: "Swift had very obvious motives for not marrying. In the first place, he became almost a monomaniac upon the question of money. His hatred of wasting a penny unnecessarily, began at Trinity College and is prominent in all his letters and journals. It colored even his politics, for a conviction that the nation was hopelessly ruined is one of his strongest prejudices. He kept accounts down to half-pence and rejoices at every saving of a shilling.
"The passion was not the vulgar desire for wealth of the ordinary miser. It sprang from the conviction stored up in all his aspirations that money meant independence. Like all Swift's prejudices, this became a fixed idea which was always gathering strength. He did not love money for its own sake. He was even magnificent in his generosity. He scorned to receive money for his writings; he abandoned the profit to his printers in compensation for the risks they ran, or gave it to his friends. His charity was splendid, relatively to his means. In later years he lived on a third of his income, gave away a third, and saved the remaining third for his posthumous charity, and posthumous charity, which involves present saving, is charity of the most un. questionable kind. His principle was that, by reducing his expenditure to the lowest possible point, he secured his independence, and could then make a generous use of the remainder. Until he received his deanery, however, he could only make both ends meet. Marriage would, therefore, have meant poverty, probably dependence, and the complete sacrifice of his ambition. If, under these circumstances, Swift had become engaged to Stella, he would have been doing what was regularly done by fellows of colleges under the old system. There is, however, no trace of such an engagement. It would be in keeping with Swift's character if we