Imagens das páginas

restraints on human conduct, in the recognition of a substantial equality between all human creatures, and in fraternity or general love. These doctrines are in very many cases held as a religious faith. They are regarded not merely as truths, but as truths for which those who believe in them are ready to do battle, and for the establishment of which they are prepared to sacrifice all merely personal ends." These doctrines are what is usually meant by the famous motto, "Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity." Mr. Stephens does not believe in this motto nor any part of it, and the present volume is devoted to giving the reasons why he does not believe in it, and why he holds it to be incompatible with the very principles on which it professes to be founded, and by means of which it has commanded the adhesion in our day of such a large proportion of civilized peoples.

The conclusions at which he arrives will probably frighten many of those who can not but concede the validity and adequacy of his arguments, but this alarm will come, we think, more from the frank downrightness with which they are stated than from the substance of the conclusions themselves, since, as Mr. Stephens clearly demonstrates, the whole consitution of modern society and government takes them for granted, and acts upon the assumption of their truth.

No one, however, whether he agrees with Mr. Stephens or not, can fail to be struck with his great ability as a reasoner, and with the remarkable vigor and lucidity of his style. Whatever he believes, he believes "with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his strength," as the catechism puts it, and what he believes, too, he can state with consummate cogency and force. His assault on Mr. Mill's position is by far the most effective that that eminent thinker has had to face of late years; and until it is answered, and answered authoritatively, there will be more than a suspicion that the doctrines of the essays "On Liberty" and “The Subjection of Women" must be modified on many essential points.

In the mean time, no one who would appreciate the latest phase of the great philosophical conflict of our century, and in fact of all centuries, can afford to leave Mr. Stephens's essay unread.

JOHANNES OLAF. A Novel. By Elizabeth De Wille. Translated by F. E. Burnett. Boston: Roberts Bros.

"Johannes Olaf" is an excellent illustration of nearly all those features which a recent article in the ECLECTIC pointed out as the distinguishing characteristics of German novels. Its comprehensiveness, its overflowing abundance of material, its steady substitution of psychological study for dramatic incident, its noble if somewhat saddening philosophy, which seems to embrace all the complexities, perplexities, and possibilities of human life, and the wonderful ease and copious

ness of its narrative, all combine to lift the reader into a very different atmosphere from that to which he has been accustomed by the sketchy, intense, and feverish productions of the modern English school. It is a book which shows in every chapter that it was written not under the money-getting impulse or the vulgar desire for literary reputation, but to relieve a mind filled with the slow accumulations of long thought and meditation. It is cosmopolitan in its scope and in its dimensions; and one feels on laying it down that it is in itself achievement enough for one literary life.

At the same time, "Johannes Olaf" illustrates one of Heine's shrewd remarks: "The poor German locks himself up in his attic, fashions a world for himself, and, in a wonderfully evolved language, writes romances whose characters are grand, divine, and highly poetical-but exist nowhere." However fascinated the reader may be by the vast drama which is unrolled before him, and however profoundly impressed by the insight which it displays and the philosophy which it inculcates, he yet never feels that the characters are genuine flesh and blood whom he must judge and with whom he must sympathize as men and women. They are abstractions so wonderfully lifelike that he never realizes their unreality until he comes to think them over and finds that, like the lay-figures of a studio, they are only part of the instruments which the artist uses in working out her processes.

These, however, are limitations which apply to all the more recent German novels, and "Johannes Olaf" is both in design and in literary execution equal to the best of them. We confess that we took it up with something like terror at its voluminousness; but it impressed us greatly, and we can assure such of our readers as read novels at all that they will not grudge the time given to its persual.

[blocks in formation]

Personal reminiscences of eminent men and women are among the most entertaining forms of literature, and not without critical value when they come from so acute and cultured an observer as Lord Houghton. Few men now living have had such advantages of intimate personal association with the great personages of this and the generation just past as he; and however familiar we may be with the subject of his sketches, he always adds from the stores of his own knowledge something which was not before known. Discoursing on Sydney Smith, for example, he brings to light several new and highly characteristic anecdotes of that singular genius, and while explaining the theological or clerical side of his character, gives a really instructive picture of what we may call the worldly view taken of reli

gion in the days when Smith aspired to a Bishopric.

[ocr errors]

Of Cardinal Wiseman "the first Roman Cardinal that had stood on British soil since Pole had died amid the fires of Smithfield "-he gives a very suggestive and temperate sketch; Lady Ashburton and "The Berrys" he practically reveals to us for the first time; and in the chapter on Walter Savage Landor, much the longest in the book, it is not too much to say that he conveys a truer, clearer, and more consistent conception of that complex and baffling character than can be obtained from Mr. Forster's elaborate biography. The paper on the Last Days of Heine, however, is the best. It is singularly fine, subtle, and appreciative-much the best tribute which Heine has received at English hands. Besides the personal and biographical details, this paper contains several admirable translations from Heine's poems, one of which, taken from that melancholy series entitled "Lazarus" and written on his painful and lingering death-bed, we copy here. It is the third of a series of eleven poems, some of which are of a less hopeless strain.

[blocks in formation]

idea which it illustrated, was doubtless in Mr. Howells' mind when he wrote "A Chance Acquaintance.” It is only a detailed account of a trip from Quebec down the St. Lawrence and up the Saguenay and thence back to Quebec, ending with a stay of three weeks in the latter city occasioned by an opportune accident which befell one of the lady members of the party. There are no "events," so called, included in the account, and none of the episodes with which such a trip would teem in the pages of the ordinary novel-writer; the whole interest centres on a chance acquaintance between "Kitty" aforesaid and a Boston man who happened to be tolerating American scenery on the same boat, and the development thence of a most delightful love story. Delightful only in its progress, however, for we suppose there is not a single reader but will be disappointed at the unexpected manner of its ending. Though recognizing its truth to nature—its inevitableness, so to speak—we ourself could not help feeling that we are deliberately cheated out of a marriage festival and that pleasurable emotion which one feels at sight of a bride.

The literary method and merits of the book are very like those of "Their Wedding Journey," of which it is in some sort a continuation. No writer has ever surpassed Mr. Howells in the subtle and delicate indication of character, and he possesses in perfection the art of clothing the dryest and prosiest of subjects with vivid and poetic interest. His little story is not only instructive as a study of human nature, but in its descriptions of the St. Lawrence," the River of the Awful North," the Saguenay, and Quebec, it carries the reader over some extremely striking points of American scenery and history, and in the company of the most cultured, observant, and appreciative of travelers.

Reverting to the disappointing conclusion of the story, we may add that it offers one consolation; it leaves room for another narrative of the same sort, and we shall still hope to meet "Kitty" in Boston.


We have always been of opinion that the ques tion of general scientific education was a purely practical one, depending much more upon its demonstrated adaptation to the wants of the student than upon any number of finely-spun arguments as to its advantages over the ordinary educational course. No one, we suppose, would maintain that if equally sound and efficient mental training can be gotten from the study of things which bear a direct relation to the prac tical needs of life, the scholar's time should be spent in studies which do not stand in such rela tion. For this reason we think "Putnam's Elementary Scientific Series" not only valuable in themselves as text-books, but as a most powerful

argument in favor of the methodical study of science in all our schools and colleges. They demonstrate that subjects, apparently the most complex and difficult, can be brought down to the apprehension of almost any student; and that the study of them can be made more fascinating than any other now to be found in the ordinray curriculum. The series, when completed, will cover every important branch of Science. The volumes now ready are "Introduction to Astronomy," by John Isaac Plummer; "Physical Geography," by John Macturk, F.R.G.S; "Practical Plane and Solid Geometry," by Henry Angel; and "A First book of Mineralogy," by J. H. Collins, F.G.S. All the books are handsomely illustrated and printed, and are prepared by authors of eminence in their respective fields.

THE BATH: Its History and Uses in Health and Disease. By R. T. Trall, M.D. New-York: S. R. Wells.

An estimate of this book is very easily made. It is entirely useless for any purpose the reader could have in consulting it, and was written with no intention of conveying information on one of the most important branches of Hygiene, as its title would seem to indicate, but simply to express the author's contempt for all kinds of bathing which are not adopted by the hydropathists. It is full of ignorance, and those prejudices which come of ignorance; and besides Dr. Trall's own dogmas contains only choice excerpts from such writers as happen to agree with him. There is nothing about Hydropathy which rises to the dignity of exposition, and nothing about the kinds of bath advocated by other schools which it would not be absurd to call criticism.


MR. MOTLEY has in press a historical biography, "The Life and Death of John of Barneveld, including the History of the Primary Causes of the Thirty Years' War."

THE speeches of M. Jules Favre have been published, under the title of 'Conférences et Discours Littéraires.'

THE anonymous novel, 'Les Dépravés,' now being published in the Rappel, is from the pen of M. Henri Rochefort.

THE "Home-spun Songs," by "Sam Slick, junior," which appear in the current number of Blackwood's Magazine and in this number of EcLECTIC, are by a son of Judge Haliburton, the author of "Sam Slick."

MR. CHARLES G. LELAND has in the press The Egyptian Sketch-Book,' the result of a recent visit to the Nile Land. In this work the author proposes to deal with native and EgyptoEuropean life, and also with art matters.

MR. W. F. MAYERS, Chinese Secretary to the British Legation at Peking, has finished, in manuscript, a Dictionary of Biographical, Historical, and Mythological References, embracing the whole of Chinese literature, from the earliest period to the present century.

MESSRS. ROUTLEDGE & SONS have purchased the copyright of all the works, published and unpublished, of the late Lord Lytton. Amongst the unpublished works is a novel, entitled 'Pausanias,' and a play, the title of which is 'The Captive.'

DR. R. LEPSIUS, the celebrated Egyptian scholar, has published a memoir, entitled 'The Metals named in the Egyptian Inscriptions,' in the last volume of the Abhandlungen of the Royal Prussian Academy. This is a most valuable contribution to our knowledge of ancient metallurgy.

THE Russian papers mention the death, at St. Petersburg, on April 26th, of the poet Vladimir Grigorievich Benediktof. He was born in 1807, served for some time in the army, and then obtained a post in the Ministry of Finance. His first poems appeared in 1835; in 1856 he published an edition of his collected works in three volumes, and in 1857 another volume of "New Poems."

THE new number of the Academy states that the publication of Feuerbach's literary remains has been intrusted to Dr. Karl Grün; the greater part will be new to the public, containing the lectures he gave as Privat docent at Erlangen, biographical notes sketching the course of his mental development, and a number of letters from distinguished contemporaries.

THE International Congress of Orientalists has announced a special meeting, or rather series of meetings, to be held in Paris, in July, of persons interested in the study of Japanese language and literature. The circular calling attention to this, and specifying the objects of inquiry and the regulations to be observed, is signed by Professor Léon de Rosny, the well-known Japanese scholar, by Professor Jules Oppert, and others.

THE deaths of two eminent men are reported from Denmark-William Marstrand, regarded as the foremost painter of the North; and Christopher Hansteen, the Norwegian professor of astronomy. Marstrand was a little short of sixty; some of his works, historical, etc., were exhibited at the International Exhibition in London in 1862. Professor Hansteen, who was in his eighty-ninth year, was famous in the scientific world for his researches upon terrestrial magnetism, and his Liberian travels.

THE Allgemeine Zeitung announces the early publication of works of Goethe, hitherto unpublished; among them, his scientific correspondence from 1812 to 1832, which he collected himself, and his correspondence with the two brothers, Alexander and Wilhelm von Humboldt. It

is said the most interesting part of it consists of the letters between Goethe and Wilhelm von Humboldt from 1795 to 1832.

MR. G. EBERS, a distinguished Egyptologist, has purchased, at Thebes, a remarkable medical hieratic papyrus. It consists of one hundred and fifty-five pages, and treats of most maladies the flesh is heir to, from an Egyptian point of view. More reliance seems to have been placed on exorcisms than medicines, and no scale of fees is attached. An account of it has appeared in the supplement of the Allgemeine Zeitung.

MR. EMANUEL DEUTSCH died on May 13th, at Alexandria, whither he had gone in the hope of being restored to health. In early life he became connected with the British Museum, where he has ever since been employed. He had an excellent faculty, cultivated by practice, of deciphering inscriptions, and took great interest in any thing new that appeared within the limits of his own

studies. To the general public he is principally known by his article on the Talmud, which appeared in the Quarterly Review some five years


MR. BROWNING's new and heavy poem, the Red Cotton Nightcap Country," is based upon a recent tragic incident in Brittany. Its language is less crabbed and hazy perhaps than that of some of the author's previous works. A young Frenchman becomes passionately in love with one of those syrens whose home is Paris, by name Clara de Millefleurs. His life has before been quiet, respectable, and even marked by devotion to religion. He had a mother whom he revered and who had trained him with the utmost care. She tries to win him back to her, but the spell is too strong. His mother dies with grief. Then follows a struggle between remorse and the influence of the consuming passion. At last the man becomes a narrow, gloomy dévot, and throws himself from the tower in a fit of fanaticism and despair.

WE understand that a request made by the officers and assistants in the British Museum, for an increase of salary, which was strongly recommended by the trustees, has been refused by the Treasury. This is exceedingly discouraging to the applicants, many of whom are gentlemen of the highest attainments, both literary and scientific, but who are not paid on a scale corresponding with that of the salaries of government clerks. The officers in particular complain that while their duties have become more onerous, in consequence of the vast increase of the collections under their charge, their salaries remain the same as when fixed by the trustees in 1835, when the conditions of living were altogether different from what they are at present.-Athenæum.

THE Athenæum, reviewing Mr. Joaquin Miller's last volume, says: "Mr. Miller's muse in this, its second flight, has taken the same direction as

in its first essay, but, upon the whole, we think with a stronger wing. The new work gives evidence that the author has not, as was feared, intensified his former mannerism, but has profited, by the advice of friends and critics. Beauty and ugliness, however, are still found here side by side, as in the Songs of the Sierras,' and the poetry of the page, closely examined, will be found to be somewhat vague; and, here and there, a fine passage is destroyed by some incongruous addition, and a metaphor by the use of words which do not convey the same idea to the reader as they did to the author."

THE National Library of Paris has bought the bulk of the interesting collection of books, MSS., engravings, etc., relating to Montaigne, which the late Dr. Payen had laboriously formed, with the works of the celebrated author of the 'Essais.' intention of writing a history of the life and The collection includes all the known editions of 1580 (a copy fetched 827. 85. at the Radzivill sale). the latter book, and two copies of the first edition, J. Ch. Brunet, in the second edition of his ‘Manuel' (1814, p. 377), says this very edition was then only worth five to seven francs. No won der for European collectors were at that time too busy with the great wars to set any value on the first edition of a book. Now the second edition of the Essais,' 1588, is almost as scarce as the first, and is more complete. A copy of it in the Public Library of Bordeaux is full of autograph notes, corrections, suppressions, and additions, which until now have never been properly investigated.


PHILADELPHIA ACADEMY OF SCIENCES.When the new building is complete, the fine collection will be displayed to the general public. We understand that it has now in its possession, though of course not under public view, more than 6,000 minerals, 700 rocks, 65,000 fossils, 70,000 species of plants, 1,000 species of zoophytes, 2,000 species of crustaceans, 500 species of myriapods and arachnidians, 25,000 species of insects, 20,000 species of shell-bearing molluscs, 2,000 species of fishes, 800 species of reptiles, 21,000 birds, with the nests of 200 and the eggs 1,500 species, 1,000 mammals, and nearly 900 skeletons and pieces of osteology. Most of the species are presented by four or five specimens, so that, including the archæological and ethnological cabinets, space is required now for the arrangement of not less than 400,000 objects, as well as for the accommodation of a library of more than 22,500 volumes. A new building to cost half a million dollars is now in process of erection.

PEAT FOR FUEL.-There are in the United Kingdom some millions of acres of peat-bog, and

the question as to the best way of converting those broad deposits of peat into fuel has often been raised; but it has become more than usually interesting since the falling off in the 'output' of coal. Peat in its ordinary condition is too bulky and too wet to be offered as marketable fuel, and no thoroughly satisfactory method for 'converting' it has been put forward until lately. Now, at the Atlas Works in the Harrow Road, machinery has been set up which, by an ingenious contrivance, expels the water from the crude peat, chops and converts it into pulp, and squeezes it forth in continuous strips or belts, as wide and thick as an ordinary brick. These strips may be any number of yards in length, but they are cut by wires into five-inch sections; and these peatbricks, as they may be called, are then placed in racks to dry. They shrink so much in the drying, as to be finally reduced to three inches long, two inches wide, and one inch thick; but in this condition they are of the same density and specific gravity as coal, and can be used for all the purposes to which coal is applied. Whether the price will be lower than the price of coal, is not stated; but as the cost of production is not more than five shillings a ton, it may be inferred that peat-bricks will not be dear. To convert all our peat-bog into good fuel would be a doubly praiseworthy development of industry, since the land now covered by the bogs would become available for cultivation.-Chambers's Journal.

CARBOLIC ACID FOR PRESERVING BODIES.It is stated that Prof. Guillery has demonstrated anew the powerful antiseptic properties of carbolic acid in some additional experiments lately made. He enveloped a fresh corpse in a cloth saturated with a solution containing two per cent of the acid, and after an interval of four or five days poured more of the solution over the body. By this treatment putrefaction was entirely prevented, the body after six months exhibiting no signs of decomposition, and being but slightly altered in appearance. At the Morgue, in Paris, a solution containing one-twentieth of one per cent of carbolic acid sprinkled over the bodies arrested putrefaction even during the heat of summer. Chlorine had previously proved ineffectual to disinfect the atmosphere of the dead house.

BARON LIEBIG ON BEEF-TEA.-The question as to the nutritive value of extract of meat has again been discussed by Baron Liebig, before his death, in a paper in which he carefully reviews the leading objections which have been urged against it. The veteran chemist's vindication of his opinions is of considerable interest, as he there sets forth his views on this subject shortly and precisely, and endeavors to correct the misrepresentations of the doctrine which he really teaches, and which he asserts that he taught from the beginning. He wishes it to be well understood that "he never asserted that beef-tea

and extract of meat contained substances necessary for the formation of albumen in the blood or muscular tissue;" and "that by the addition of extract of meat to our food, we neither economize carbon for the maintenance of the temperature, nor nitrogen for the sustenance of the organs of our body; and that therefore it cannot be called food in the ordinary sense,' but we thereby increase the working capabilities of the body and its capacity to resist exterior injurious influences, i.e., to maintain health under unfavorable circumstances." Those constituents of the meat which are soluble in boiling water take no part in the forma tion and renovation of the muscular tissues, but by their effect on the nerves they exercise a most decided influence on the muscular work, wherein meat differs from all other animal and vegetable food. He therefore places extract of meat, and with it tea and coffee, under the head of "nervous food,' in contradistinction to articles of "common food," which serve for the preservation of the temperature and restoration of the machine. Beef-tea and extract of meat are of themselves incapable of supporting nutrition or maintaining life. Liebig, however, with justice, condemns the conclusions of those who, from comparative experiments on the nutritive value of fresh meat and meat-extract taken per se, argue that the latter is not only useless for purposes of nutrition, but positively injurious. It should be clearly understood, says the London Medical Record, that beef-tea and extract of meat are only to be regarded in the light of auxiliaries to food, rather than independent articles of nutriment.


THE PROCESS OF EMBALMING.-The Brunetti process for the preservation of the dead has recently been published; it consists of several processes-1. The circulatory system is cleared thoroughly out by washing with cold water till it issues quite clear from the body. This may occupy two to five hours. 2. Alcohol is injected so as to abstract as much water as possible. This occupies about a quarter of an hour. 3. Ether is then injected to abstract the fatty matters. occupies two to ten hours. 4. A strong solution of tannin is then injected. This occupies for imbibition two to ten hours. 5. The body is then dried in a current of warm air passed over heated chloride of calcium. This may may occupy two to five hours. The body is then perfectly preserved and resists decay. The Italians exhibit specimens which are as hard as stone and retain the shape perfectly, and equal to the best wax models. A more simple form of injection suited for anatomical purposes consists of

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
« AnteriorContinuar »