and the applications thereof of any system of law have, to the general student, the forbidding quantities ascribed to them, he maintains that that which is valuable as wheat or gold is to be got out of it. "While the decision of special law cases, petty or otherwise, that arise in daily life may embrace complicated deductions to be made from technical rules, and end in inductions of interest only to the professional man, and which to the unlearned mind appear to have no reason for their existence, yet other special cases may require in their decision the assertion and application of most important general principles—principles of interest to every one, and whose assertion either way reacts upon the future well-being of all." He tries, therefore, to write an introduction to law which shall enlighten the intelligent lay reader as to the beauty and interest of its problems; to reduce the discussion of the code question to a practical, concrete form; to elaborate the idea of the fundamental and intrinsic difference between the two forms of statute and "case" law; and to draw the proper conclusions and apply those principles to actual legislation, judicial or legislative, and to determine by a practical test the province of each and the best way to conserve them.
The late Professor Jowett is credited with having pronounced Italian literature the greatest in the world after Greek, Latin, and English. It is more intimately affiliated to antiquity, Mr. Garnett says in the preface to his History of it, than any other European literature, and may indeed be regarded as a continuation or revival of the Latin. Yet it was long in appearing. This fact is perhaps partly due to the earlier Italian writers of mark having continued to express themselves in Latin, and the vernacular writings having had to fight their way slowly up. This fact, further, worked greatly to the disadvantage of the appreciation of Italian literature, for much that should have belonged to it and which might have helped us estimate the capacity of the Italian mind was in another language. Dante and Petrarch and others, masters and classics in Italian, wrote also much in Latin, and their native language is robbed thereby of much that would otherwise have been its best work. It is another disadvantage to the reputation of the Italian mind that many of its greatest geniuses did not express themselves at all, or at most comparatively little, in writing, but in other fields, especially art and music. So it was with Michelangelo—greatest of all—Leonardo da Vinci, and half a dozen others whom Mr. Garnett names, including Galileo, Columbus, and Napoleon; while Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and Benvenuto Cellini have written enough to show that they might have been among the greatest masters of literature if they had not had other things to do. Italian literature has been continuous, abundantly productive in every century, of unequal merit perhaps, but always affording enough of mark to give it standing, and presenting one name at least the peer of the greatest, and it is of this continuous succession of writings that the present history furnishes a view.
Brown Men and Women is the title given by Mr. Edward Reeves to a lively, picturesque account of his voyages through the South Sea Islands and of life as he found it there in 1895 and 1896. Mr. Reeves is a New-Zealander, and living, according to distant American perspective, almost among the South Sea Islands, he goes into them in his book without preliminary ceremony, landing the reader, almost at the first leap, among the cannibals of old, whose customs are contrasted with those which prevail in the same regions now. The spirit with which he passes through his adventures and describes them is revealed in his opening sentence: "The South Sea Islands! To us New-Zealanders, when we were young in the sixties, what a charm they were of mystery, barratry, piracy, kidnapping; of tales of innocent, gentle southern natives torn from the paradises and sold into slavery by English-speaking devils; of more northern fierce cannibals, Fijians, New Hebrideans, and Solomon Islanders, down whose throats disappeared, in most satisfactory retribution, some of our compatriots." In a series of running
- A History of Italian Literature. By Richard Garnett. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 431. Price, $1.50.
- Brown Men and Women; or, The South Sea Islands in 1895 and 1896. By Edward Peeves. London: Swan Sonnenschein & Co. New York: The Macmillan Company. Pp. 294. Price, $3.50.