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LITERARY NOTICES.

lishing enterprise seems not to be up to the requirements of home authorship. And then the meanness of the American commercial system comes in to aggravate the difficulty. If a writer produces a work of great value for American circulation, he is driven abroad to have it printed, and then our enlightened Government forbids its entrance into the country until every copy has paid a tax, which heightens the cost and virtually embargoes its circulation.

The dedication of Mr. Thompson's book is especially interesting as a happy tribute to one of the greatest scientific minds which this country has ever produced. It reads as follows: "These volumes are inscribed by a kinsman of a later generation to the illustrious memory of Sir Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford, a philosopher, statesman, and benefactor of mankind, a great prophet, who, while living, was not without honor save in his own country, and upon whom dead that praise justly due to a merit almost unrivaled among American men of science has been but tardily and incompletely bestowed, both by his own family and his countrymen at large."

The Reality of Religion. By Henry J. Van Dyke, Jr., D. D. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. Pp. 146. Price, $1.

The contents of this book are neither so broad as its title, nor are they of the character which would be indicated by it. Religion is a very comprehensive term, of which all systems of religion must be regarded as but partial modifications. "The Reality of Religion," therefore, should involve an inquiry into the element of validity or truthfulness that is common to all religions. But Dr. Van Dyke enters into no such investigation. His book is an ardent pietistic defense of the importance of Christian theology. As a series of vivid and fervid appeals to poor sinners to awake and flee from the wrath to come, it will be appreciated by many, but it will not give much help to those who are grappling with the urgent religious problems of the times. When Dr. Van Dyke says of the dogmas of theology, "They are certainly as important as the dogmas of science," we hesitate, and should be better satisfied if he had indicated in what sense "important"; but, when he says of questions of ritual, "They are at least of equal consequence with the questions of social order," we have no hesitation in saying that he is entirely mistaken.

Thomas Carlyle: A History of his Like in London, 1834-1881. By James A. Froude, M. A. Two volumes in one. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. Pp. 392 and 417. Price, $1.50.

Mr. Froude's method of portraying the Carlyles has become widely known from his previous volumes. To quote from the present work, "In representing Carlyle's thoughts on men and things, I have confined myself as much as possible to his own words in his journals and letters." These characteristic impressions of John Mill, Landor, Dickens, Tennyson, and other celebrated writers and their works, abound in the letters herein presented. The story of the first three years is a record of discouragement and pecuniary anxiety. Better times began with Carlyle's appearance on the lecture platform in 1837. An interesting item for a history of Yankee "book-pirates" is that, within the next two years, Carlyle received a hundred and fifty pounds from the United States as royalty on his "French Revolution," when "not a penny had been realized in England" by the author, although the receipts of the booksellers had been over a thousand pounds. Carlyle often bewailed his own choice of occupation, and his advice, when consulted by young men, was of the following tenor: "Literature, as a profession, is what I would counsel no faithful man to be concerned with, except when absolutely forced into it, under penalty, as it were, of death. The pursuit of culture, too, is in the highest degree recommendable to every human soul, and may be successfully achieved in almost any honest employment that has wages paid for it." Mr. Froude says of his first meeting with Carlyle, when the latter was fifty-four years old: "I did not admire him the less because he treated me—I can not say unkindly, but shortly and sternly. I saw then what I saw ever after—that no one need look for conventional politeness from Carlyle—he would hear the exact truth from him, and nothing else." An occasional letter by Mrs. Carlyle appears in this work; especially interesting is her written report on the domestic finances, headed "Budget of a Femme In-