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THE FRENCH AND ITALIAN REVIEWS.
THE REVUE DES DEUX MONDES. E have dealt elsewhere with M. Barine's article
FRENCH VIEW OF ENGLISH RULERS AND WRITERS. The rest of M. Deherain's article consists almost en. tirely of an able summary of Slatin Pasha's recent book on his experiences as a captive of the Khalifa in the Soudan, though M. Deherain has all the Frenchman's suspi. cion of one who is so friendly to the English power in Egypt. Perhaps suspicion is too weak a word, for at the end of his article M. Deherain denounces England in the usual fervid style for her vaulting colonial ambition concealed by a specious hypocritical philanthrophy, her real determination to stay in Egypt and her crowning act of duplicity in sending out the Dongola expedition.
M. Lafenestre deals with the sculpture exhibited at the Salons of 1896, M. Valbert reviews a recent work of Paulhan's on “Intellectual Types," and M. de Wyzewa notices “ Weir of Hermiston” in an article which is a curious proof of the extent to which the Stevenson culte has spread among Frenchmen of literary tastes.
M. Texte also contributes an interesting study of the Wordsworth culte as seen through French glasses. He is fully persuaded that Wordsworth, though one of the great poets of the century, nevertheless remains prac. tically unread in France, in spite of the efforts of some distinguished French critics.
A SWEDISH ZOLA. M. de Heidenstam continues his papers on the Swedish novel with a study of Augustus Strindberg. Strindberg introduced what is called “Naturalism" into Sweden ; but he is only half a realist, in that he is diverted from the naturalistic formula by his taste for abstract ideas in preference to physical phenomena. His characters speak and act in his name, when they are not Strindberg himself. He is an iconoclast, a reformer of the universe, yet pessimistic and skeptical, and in the last resort an aristocrat according to the ideas of Neitzsche. His literary output is enormous, consisting of stories, novels, poems, plays, literary criticisms, various essays, actually including an essay on agriculture in France. In his novel, “Son of the Servant,” Strindberg gives us his autobiography. All his stories reveal a profound contempt and even hatred for women whose influence he considers deplorable, and opposed alike to natural laws and the interests of society. M. de Heidenstam evidently thinks Strindberg is mad.
M. Movieau's article on “ The Economic Movement" is a study of that return of economic prosperity in France which he prophesied last summer.
M. Houston S. Chamberlain contributes a paper on Richard Wagner, who has lately become rather the fashion in France, which is a pleasant proof that international animosities are not always carried into the serener sphere of art.
THE REVUE DE PARIS. LTHOUGH no article in the July reviews can be
on M. Cruppi's analysis of press trials. The place of honor in the first number is given to an article by the Duc de Broglie, entitled “Twenty-five Years After (1870-1896).” In this article the Duc examines the trend of French foreign policy during those eventful twenty-five years which have elapsed since the Franco-German war, more particularly in regard to the Egyptian question and the understanding with Russia. He evidently thinks that France is overtaxing her strength with her gigantic military preparations at home and her vigorous colonial policy abroad, and that the understanding with Russia is not sufficiently defi. nite to serve as a complete counterpoise to the Triple Alliance.
M. Gueroult contributes an interesting study of the life and work of Hermann von Helmholtz, the great German savant. He was a man of curiously mixed blood, being pure German on his father's side, while his mother was an English woman and his maternal grandmother was French. It is interesting to note that as a child Von Helmholtz had a bad memory, especially for isolated words, irregular grammatical forms, and idioms of language. But he got on better with poetry, and best of all with the best poets, a circumstance which he him. self attributed to the unconscious logical harmony which is an essential condition of the beautiful. He even in his youth wrote poetry, which was, of course, bad enough, but was an excellent discipline in forming his style and giving him the power of expression.
M. Deherain's article on the Khalifa Abdullah is an excellent piece of work, full of interest at this time when all eyes are turned toward the Soudan. M. Deherain begins at the beginning. He shows us the great Mahdi Mohammed Ahmed, the conqueror of the Soudan, appearing every day at the hour of prayer in the midst of his faithful followers. It would be difficult to exaggerate the influence which this practice, continued perseveringly throughout his career, had upon the consolidation of his strange theocracy. At length, one day in June, 1885, the people of Omdurman are alarmed by a report that the Mahdi has not appeared in public as usual, and that he is dangerously ill. It is true. Lying in one of the slightly raised beds, which in the Soudan are called angrebs, the dying Mahdi, that pretended envoy of God, whose design had been to conquer not only the Soudan, but Egypt and the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, shook off for a moment the fell typhus which had him in its grip that he might nominate a successor to carry out his schemes. This he did in the memorable words : “ The Khalifa Abdullah is marked out by Providence to be my successor. You have fol. lowed me and obeyed my orders; do the same with him. May God have pity on me!” The authority thus strangely conferred on him has been firmly defended by Abdullah, and for the past eleven years the territory, which extends from Dongola to Lake Nô on the Upper Nile, and from Darfour to the River Atbara, has remained under his dominion, whatever the Dongola expedition may have in store for him in the way of a diminution of his power.
said to be worthy of separate notice, F. Schrader's curious and thoughtful analysis of the Chinese or Yellow Race problem, and M. Lavisse's powerful analysis of the political parties which go to make the present and probably the future Italy, are both notable additions to periodical French literature.
DANGER FROM THE YELLOW RACES. M. Schrader evidently believes, as did the late Barthelemy Saint-Hilaire, that the Yellow Races-for he
declines to see any substantial difference between the Japanese and Chinese-will soon become a very serious danger to the Old World. He deplores the ignorance with which Europe discusses the problems of the Far East, and points out that the average European has qnite as many foolish notions about China and the Chinese as has John Chinaman about Europe and the Europeans. The strength of China, he declares, lies in her immutability; and quoting the well-known authority, Richthosen, he adds : “ It would be easier to bind the ocean with chains than to act on the Chinese nation." Further, he says that China will never be touched by any European missionary system, for the Chinaman is thoroughly satisfied with everything in his country, and, above all, with his curious rarefied form of religion ; and he is not even swayed by curiosity as to what goes on outside his own yellow world. On the contrary, he has a profound contempt for everything “foreign."
ARISTOCRATIC AT HEART. In the same number are published some curious letters written by the famous revolutionist, Barbès, to George Sand, addressed by him from first one and then another of his many prisons. In a long epistle written in 1866 he foretells the supremacy of the Anglo-Saxon race. “In twenty-five years they will number a hun. dred millions, and in a hundred years three hundred milions. Amid such an agglomeration what will become of our poor little France ? .: The Anglo-Saxon in America is like the Anglo-Saxon in England, an aristocrat at heart. He may call himself a Republican, and I know that he has just abolished slavery; but Abolitionist or not, the Yankee resembles his father the Englishman inasmuch that he is a being whose whole traditions oblige him to think first for himself and of himself."
Those to whom Petrarch is more than a mere name will find much to charm them in the account, written by the well-known historian and archæologist, M. Jusserand, of the poet's old age and stately tomb at Padua.
affairs during the present century. The writer asserts: that it was at one time easily within the power of either Canning or Monroe to make the island a British or American possession ; but the two great statesmen, in consort with those then at the head of public affairs in France, decided to leave to Spain “the pearl of the Antilles.” Some time later, in 1846, a number of American financiers decided to buy the island, but the plan fell through ; and during the several insurrections which took place in the following forty-six years the government of the United States took no part in the Cuban affairs, not even in 1873, during the course of the Virginius affair.
M. Desjardins attributes the present insurrection greatly to a group of Cuban revolutionaries living in New York. There were, he says, in the February of 1895 four political parties in Cuba : the Conservatives: devoted to the Spanish government, the Reformers who did not substantially differ from the latter, the Independents or Separatists, and the Autonomists or Home Rulers, who only asked for a local Parliament and a certain measure of self-government, scarcely the elements. to keep going a revolution; and the French writer firmly believes that had it not been for the indirect assistance given by the United States, the Cuban insurrection would have come to an end long ago.
LA NOUVELLE REVUE HE Nouvelle Revue is becoming more and more ex
jects. Still poetry and fiction are fairly represented, for the editress has an excellent literary taste, and those: who wish to know something of the great Provençal poet Mistral cannot do better than read his “Poem of the Rhone,” which, divided into a number of “ chants," appear in both numbers of the July Revue. Very different in character, but of equal interest to those concerned with Continental literature, is M. Mauclair's. attack on the literary personality of Emile Zola. To the author of “Germinal” and “Rome" this critic would fain deny all talent, and he is specially incensed at the freedom with which M. Zola receives interviewers. and takes part in public movements.
HOW LAVIGERIE REACHED LEO XIII.
Under the significant title “Quirinal, Vatican, Republic," the editor of the Revue de Paris gives his views on the Lalian situation. As is natural, M. Lavisse is a det rmined opponent of the Triple Alliance, and he would fain persuade his Italian friends that nothing but evil can result from it. With this object in view he points out that the party represented by King Humbert and Signor Crispi only composes one-third of the Italian nation; the two others—that is, the Radical or Republican party and the Catholic or Vatican party-being each in their own way extremely powerful, and up to the present time neither having shown the slightest sympathy with Italy's present foreign policy. Although the French writer scarcely touches on the financial side of Italian affairs, he notes significantly the changes which excessive taxation and general monetary depression have wrought among the people. Last year 291,000 inen, women and children emigrated ; and though the King is respected he is no longer loved, as he once was. M. Lavisee evidently believes that slowly but surely many Italians are beginning to see in a Republican régime the only way of securing a measure of financial prosperity at home and peace abroad.
A nephew of Cardinal Lavigerie gives a striking picture of the famous Churchman, and tells of his career a number of curious anecdotes. On one occasion, according to M. Louis Lavigerie, the Cardinal asked an audience of the Pope in order to throw his personal influence on the side of the French as opposed to a German Chinese mission. While he was passing through the long galleries of the Vatican, first one and then another of the Italian prelates who form the Papal court attempted to: impede his progress. One told him that the Holy Father was ill ; another that the Pope had closed his door and would receive no one ; a third, throwing himself on his knees, implored the Cardinal's benediction. At last, surrounded by a crowd of chamberlains, papal guards and other obstructionists, he came within measurable distance of the Pope's private apartments ; then throwing back his head he suddenly exclaimed in the trumpetlike voice familiar to many generations of North Africans, “ Holy Father ! Holy Father ! you are being deceived. I am not allowed to approach you !” There followed an indescribable tumult; then suddenly a silence which.
DESJARDINS ON CUBA.
M. Desjardins discusses at great length the Cuban insurrection, and the part played by America in Cuban
made itself felt, a door opened, and the shadow-like white figure of Leo XIII. appeared, while a soft voice said calmly, “Come in, my dear son.” An hour later the French Cardinal, having obtained all he wanted, passed out again, and as he held up his hand in benediction over the bent heads of the youthful Italian monsignori, he smiled in his beard. The tale if not true is certainly ben trovato.
THE VENICE OF THE EAST.
of late events on the Cyprus convention, and the gifted “0. K.” also goes out of her way to answer the oft-repeated accusation that the Russian press cannot be considered seriously given the power of the Censor. According to Madame de Novikoff, the lead pencil or blacking is only used when home politics are in question. All that concerns foreign affairs are discussed as openly in the Russian press as in Russian salons. But she admits that there are not a few articles in the code that might be altered with advantage, and cites her own case, for by some extraordinary mistake a work written by her was for a whole year placed on the Index.
Other articles discuss the telegraphic communications of France and her colonies (all transmitted by British cables), Unity in Military Action, the reorganization of the Louvre Galleries, the Budget of 1897 and the late Marquis de Morès.
M. Mury, who holds an important post in the French Colonial Office, contributes two valuable articles on Siam and the Siamese. Bangkok he aptly styles the Venice of the East, and, as is natural, he recalls with a certain melancholy the fact that the town once belonged to the French ; indeed, a fortress built by engineers sent out by Louis XIV. remains one of the most striking features of the city. Bangkok is one of the most wealthy and important commercial centres in the East. The Siamese trades are divided into corporations and each guild keeps to its quarter. Indeed, the Siamese seem to compare very favorably with the other yellow races by whom they are surrounded. Their only vice, according to their French critic, is gambling. After their money has all disappeared they will gamble away not only their personal liberty, but that of their wives and children. The gambling houses at Bangkok and elsewhere in Siam are nearly always held by prosperous Chinamen, who finally return home with much illacquired wealth.
A CITY OF GOLD.
THE ITALIAN REVIEWS.
'HE Nuova Antologia contains some excellent read
ing this month. Madame Jessee White Mario commences an exceedingly interesting account of the Italian prison system. Of the fortress prisons in which men condemned to penal servitude for life are confined, she speaks in terms of the highest praise, both from the moral and the hygienic point of view; but of the penal settlements, “ domicilio coatto," established on various islands around the coast for minor offenders, she gives the most deplorable account. The criminals are herded together in ill-ventilated dormitories by night, and by day are turned loose to roam about the island, an allow. ance being made them for food of five pence a day, most of which is expended on drink and gambling. No work is provided for them, and their enforced idleness is not only the greatest curse to themselves, but sets the worst example to the non-criminal portion of the island inhabitants with whom they freely mix. Even the En. glish treadmill system would, in Mrs. Mario's opinion, be preferable.
A CRITIC OF ZOLA.
Vast treasures and rare opportunities of loot await the future conqueror of Siam. The royal city, in which is to be found the palace of the King of Siam, reminds the European visitor of conventional fairyland, or the world of the “ Arabian Nights." Everything that in Europe is made of glass or china is there made of solid gold. The very pagoda in which the royal family worship, and which is situated in the gardens of the palace, is made of marble studded with gems and the precious metals. A statuette of Buddha cut out of an emerald of fantastic size, said to have once belonged to the Laotians, is in the temple, and is surrounded by bushes of gold and silver, inclosing gold statues six feet high, each statue being clothed in silk garments studded with gems. No stranger has ever penetrated into the king's own private apartments ; but, according to the natives, they are decorated in an even more splendid fashion than are the pagoda and the public or state rooms. The present king of Siam, Chula-Long-Korn, is an exceptionally en. lightened humanitarian—that is to say, he has practically abolished torture, and the ordinary criminal is beheaded instead of being slowly tortured to death as was once customary. The Siamese are a lively people, and greatly enjoy playing games and taking part in popular fêtes. On certain great occasions a sort of re. gatta takes place, in which the whole population, headed by the king and his children, take part. M. Mury declares that at the present time Great Britain may be said to absorb all the commerce between Siam and the outer world, and for the hundredth time in the Nouvelle Revue the reader is urged to take up his staff and help to make France a great colonial nation.
Signor E. Mari writes of Zola's “Rome” with sufficient severity. He protests against the exaggerated importance that has been conferred upon Zola's views by an undiscriminating public, and declares that the picture given of Rome is the old romantic picture which for centuries past has been in favor with French authors. The mystery, the treachery, the poison, the Jesuit, are all there! Yet he credits Zola with a "marvelously deep and rapid power of observation, and a most vivid sense of reality," and confesses that, in spite of certain exag. gerations, the picture of the “ Casa Boccanera” is full of characteristic truth. Signor Boglietti concludes his thoughtful series of articles on Socialism in England with a lucid account of English trade unions.
The Civiltà Cattolica describes the origin of various of the best known of the Masonic lodges with a view to showing how closely connected are English and Conti. nental Freemasonary, the connection having been of late frequently denied.
The Revista per la Signorine, published fornightly, continues to offer a selection of cheerful and chatty articles in easy Italian, eminently suitable for the young person for whom it is intended.
60. K." AND RUSSIAN PRESS LAWS.
Madame de Novikoff in a few eloquent pages discusses the Armenian question. She lays all the blame
ET me lead off at ouce by telling you the names of
the books that have been selling best. Here is the list :
March Hares. By George Forth.
The Color of Life, and Other Essays on Things Seen and Heard. By Alice Meynell.
Flotsam : the Study of a Life. By Henry Seton Merriman.
Cameos : Short Stories. By Marie Carelli.
Studies Subsidiary to the Works of Bishop Butler. By the Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone.
“ Made in Germany." By Ernest Edwin Williams.
I take some credit to myself for having mentioned “ March Hares" with no uncertain note of commendation long before it became the novel of the season. More delightful writing of its kind-whimsical, and yet true and tender—than that of its first forty pages has not, I think, appeared in England since Stevenson wrote. So good are those few chapters that one can hardly grumble at the falling off that follows-comedy, with a touch of potential tragedy, gives way to boisterous farce, and with the appearance of Drumpipes the book misses its full merit and beauty. People are asking what well-known name the pseudonym-one knew it was a pseudonym-conceals. Mr. Harold Frederic is the general assertion. But“ The Yellow Book " (which proceeds from the Bodley head) suggests the collaboration of two or three of Mr. Henley's “ young men,” and even points at Mr. George Steevens, once of the Pall Mall Gazette. For my own part I would pin my faith on its being Mr. Frederic's. It appeared at much the same time as “ Illumination," which was much more seriously intentioned ; and it would be natural enough for its author to wish not to confuse the public with work so dissimilar, to desire not to risk the chances of the larger book by the rivalry of the smaller. It is as surprising as it is gratifying to find Mrs. Muynell's new volume so near the head of this list-Mrs. Meynell, the one woman whose work one would say was caviare to the general, meat too studied, too concentrated, for that large body of readers whose patronage alone can make a book really " sell well.” One had taken it rather for granted that, exquisite writer though she was, her audience was few though fit. I suppose that it is the continual praisewe know how justified in all essentials-of Mr. Coven. try Patmore (and now of Mr. George Meredith) that has worked this marvel. How distinguished, fine and true her writing is her previous volume of prose, “ The Rhythm of Life,” showed you ; “ The Color of Life" will but deepen an impression already too strong to fear oblivion's poppy. Read here-to name but three of the papers--the title essay, “ Eleonora Duse,” and “Symmetry and Incident”-and you will see at once that the hand that made “ Renouncement" has yielded no whit of its cunning. Ah! if the “ general reader” can but be brought to appreciate rightly the value, the depth of these intelligent pages! Is it possible? Will he ever care to devote to a paragraph the attention he has been wont to give a chapter ? If not, Mrs. Meynell's work is not for him.
The next book is fiction—the work of a man whose novels I have always praised in my letters to you. In
Flotsam : the Study of a Life" (Longmans), Mr. Seton
Merriman would at first appear to essay a task more difficult, less dependent on mere incident for its interest than hitherto. But I am sorry to say that the suggested psychology of the title is but conventional. The story is a good story, but what psychology there is is of the old well worn sort, and the book owes, and will owe, its success to the scenes of the Indian Mutiny it depicts so well, the fighting in the lines before Delhi, the well arranged " intrigue in Calcutta. But as a novelist, Mr. Merriman is always, on every page, readable ; that he puts all his goods in his shop window is undeniable, but he dresses them with skill, and the result is excellent-and it not slipshod, as is too often the novel of its class. “ Cameos : Short Stories" is another of the books with which Miss Corelli constantly breaks the record of huge sales. It has all the stuff of extreme popularity between its covers.
Mr. Gladstone's “ Studies Subsidiary to the Works of Bishop Butler" (Clarendon Press) is a natural and wel. come supplement to his edition of the Bishop's writings. It is divided into two parts, the first dealing entirely with Butler and his teaching, the second with the vast, difficult subject of the state of man in the future life, and is, of course, made up of the articles he has been contributing to one of the American reviews.
In history and biography I have nothing more important to mention than an interesting little illustrated brochure by Mr. Hermann Senn, “ Ye Art of Cookery in Ye Olden Time" (Universal Cookery and Food Association); but there are four books of a political and legal kind which are interesting the public. The new volume of the Questions of the Day Series, “ America and Europe : a Study of International Relations" (Putnam), in which “ The United States and Great Britain," “ The Monroe Doctrine," and “ Arbitration in International Disputes are discussed by writers of the very first authority, is the most important; but it is pressed hard by the little book on “The Political Situation "-in South Africa, of course—the work of “Olive Schreiner” and her husband. Then there is Mr. Joseph Collinson's “ What it Costs to be Vaccinated : the Pains and Penalties of an Unjust Law," and a curious compilation, issued under the auspices of the Economic Club—“Family Budgets : being the Income and Expenses of Twenty-eight British Households, 1891-1894.” This is the result of a serious effort “to study family life in Great Britain through details of family expenditure," and it is rather surprising to see how small a percentage has been spent on alcoholic drink by the families selected. And yet the workers of Great Britain were always supposed “to like their glass !" But then as Mr. Walkley has suggested in the Daily Chronicle-it was Mr. Walkley surely ?-the sort of family whom you could induce to keep so rigid an account of its expenditure is hardly likely to take its “joy of life'' in a manner so loose as beer or spirit drinking !
First in the department of fiction, I think, I ought to mention two tales of the Dutch Indies one,
“ An Outcast of the Islands," is by a writer, Mr. Joseph Conrad, whose last story, “ Almayer's Folly," had so large and so well deserved a suc
Here is a book with the same novel atmosphere, the same sense of remote, untutored savagery, of a
mixture of races beyond the appreciation of the un. traveled European. It has the power of its predecessor, it contains as powerful and as beautiful scenes. The other, “Gold,” by Miss Annie Linden, is the second volume of Lane's Library, and depends for its interest not so much on literary charm as the sensational incidents following on a search for the hidden treasure fields of a forgotten king. “Gold ! gold ! gather it ! pluck it up ! see, it is fat, yellow gold !"-80 runs one sentence out of the old, faded document which first put the hero on the scent and ultimately turned his brain. Miss Linden writes pleasantly, if ingenuously, and she manages as she unfolds her story to impart a good deal of information about native life and customs. But she is merely a teller of stories, while Mr. Conrad is an artist, who, knowing so intimately a field so unworked, may achieve something very considerable. A Dutch'story, but one dealing not with the Indies, but with Amsterdam, is “ A Stumbler in Wide Shoes" by Mr. E. Sutcliffe March, a new writer, I take it. But new to the game or not, Mr. March can tell a story, and his picture of the moral wreck and ultimate redemption of a young Dutch painter is full of interest and power. There is an excellent love interest too_of a conventional kind-in the book, and the world of Amsterdam gives it a novel flavor.
A good English society novel is “ A Lawyer's Wife : a Tale of Two Women and Some Men,” by Sir W. Nevill Geary, Bart., who has painted a disagreeable, essentially modern woman in a manner reminiscent of Mrs. Alfred Dean, who had, I thought, the prior right to use such types. Well written the tale is not, but it shows plenty of knowledge of the world, and is never dull. You will find also “A Humble Enterprise," by Miss Ada Cambridge, a clever little story, modern in its note, but not too modern. I can always read Miss Cambridge's story with interest. A small book by a writer new to me, and new I think to you, is “Sapphira of the Stage : How Sebastian Goss being Dumb, yet Made Love to Her, and what Befell,” by Mr. George Knight, the second volume of the pretty Daffodil Library (which began by issuing Mr. Grant Allen's “The Jaws of Death,” without any intimation that it was a new edition of a story half a dozen years old !). There is a good deal of real strength, and some literary ability of a rather untutored sort, in this story, but what may interest you most about it is its ghost scenes, which are refreshingly original, if not very convincing. The “ what befell” of the title was lurid enough in all conscience—the submergence of hero and heroine, clasped in one another's arms, in a quicksand ! A novel neither you nor those of your friends who care for the better kind of fiction must miss is a new volume in the Pioneer Series,
“ Across an Ulster Bog,” by Miss M. Hamilton, whose “A SelfDenying Ordinance” we both admired so highly. Here this writer has a smaller canvas, but the power of the earlier book is in it-and, more's the pity, that somewhat amateurish way of arranging her sentences which we both noticed before. But the peasantry of Northern Ireland Miss Hamilton certainly knows inside and out. “Mr. Magnus” is a gross travesty, sensational and serious enough in its aim of life at the Kimberly diamond fields. You will see at once that “Mr. Magnus" is meant for Mr. Rhodes-an enemy's portrait--and other characters, like Mr. Barney Barnato, are easy enough to recognize. Mr. Statham, or whoever it is wrote the book, has missed his chance. He might have produced really a powerful novel with a thinly disguised figure of Mr. Rhodes as bero. He could have made the picture
as anti-Rhodes as he liked, but the material would have worked out with a fine picturesqueness and power if it had been properly handled.
Two volumes of short stories deserve a paragraph to themselves. First, Mrs. W. K. Clifford's “Mere Stories" is not only notable for the excellence and uni. form interest of the stories it contains, but also for the novelty of its shape—that of the yellow French novel pure and simple! The innovation deserves encouragement. You do not want, at this time of day, an introduction to Mrs. Clifford's many good qualities. She has become one of those few writers of English fiction no one of whose books one can afford to leave unread. And certainly you cannot afford to leave unread a volume of short stories by a new writer-Mr. W. D. Scull's “ The Garden of the Matchboxes, and Other Stories." I cannot pretend to give efficient reasons for the faith that is in me, but I feel that in Mr. Scull appears a new writer worth following. At present he is overconscious, rather labored, certainly leaving the impression that to him style is at least as important as matter. He writes about the East, about London life, about—well, about most things, as if he knew them. He is eerie and fantastic and obscure, and one finishes most of his stories with a doubt of their meaning, but still he fascinates and compels interest and curiosity.
One or two books have been translated this month from Continental languages. There is Björnstjerne Björnson's “ The Fisher Lass " in that collected edition of his stories for which Mr. Edmund Gosse writes brief prefatory notes ; and there is a new novel by Dr. Max Nordau, “ The Malady of the Century,” full of its author's confused teaching, but worth your looking at; and, in conclusion, a translation from the Danish of Hendrik Pontoppidan's “ The Promised Land,” excel. lently illustrated. Pontoppidan is one of the very fore. most of Danish novelists, and I believe one doesn't know European fiction in anything like its entirety if one remains strange to his work.
Short stories and essays make up Mr. Le Gallienne's “Prose Fancies (Second Series),” a very pleasant volume, but of a quality on the whole rather lower than that which preceded it. It contains, however, with a certain amount of rubble, one or two of its author's most beautiful pieces of writing—“A Seventh Story Heaven,” for instance, shows how admirable an artist in words, sincere and not affected, he can be, how ten. der and near the heart of pathos, and love and joy. “ The Burial of Romeo and Juliet” is a charming fancy : and one or two papers at the close answer certain critics of “The Religion of a Literary Man," and should be read with that book.
“ The Works of Max Beerbohm" is, as you will soon see for yourself, an addition to what Mr. Traill calls the “ literature of impertinence.” It is a small volume containing those half dozen essays, precious, full of affectations, but still admirably written and always justifying themselves by their qualities of amusement, Mr. Beerbohm contributed to the early numbers of “ The Yellow Book.” And we have also Mr. Beerbohm's apology for himself, his swan song. “I shall writè no more,” he says. “ Already I feel myself to be a trifle outmoded. I belong to the Beardsley period." And the humor of the thing lies in the fact that even to-day Mr. Beer. bohm is not twenty-four ! Mr. John Lane's elaborate bibliography of this “outmoded” young gentleman's various productions is excellent fooling, too, and distinctly the little book is one to keep. Here I may mention two new editions-that of Mr. Augustine Birrell's