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case is as nothing in comparison with the raciness, the vigorous life, and the picturesque truthfulness of the scenes described. Whosoever the writer may be, he takes first rank amongst the sketchers of Australian country life, and he evidently works from real originals. He has written, by excellence, the Queensland novel. Nothing approaching to these papers has ever been produced in that department. Did space allow it, the chapter entitled " The Bower Bird's Nest” might be copied here entire. It is as true to nature as life itself. That John West marries Ruth Bouverie does not signify a single straw! Young men and maidens get married every day. But the pen that thus depicts bush life in Queensland is not found in the hand of more than one literary workman in a thousand.
The original home of the human race, according to the ethnologist, was a little-known region in Asia, situated midway between Central Asia (or Turkestan) and China. It is named, by the indigenous population around, the Bam-i-duniah, or “Roof of the World.” Here, if anywhere, was the true Garden of Eden,—the home of Adam and Eve. It is a wonderful spot, and the source of the Oxus, that ancient river, which witnessed the encampment of the hosts of Alexander of Macedon on his march to India. Indian officers name it the Great Pamir steppe. Whosoever wishes to read a full account of this primeval region will find it here, compressed into sixteen well-packed pages.
“Lois : A Sketch," is one of those charming Blackwood stories, the secret of writing which is only known to the staff of writers kept in pay by Christopher North. It is an exquisite love-story, of that kind which everybody likes.
Dr. J. F. Waller, once editor of the Dublin University Magazine, contributes three sonnets, entitled “ Life and Death,” which Mrs. Barrett Browning might have written; and no higher praise can be given to them.
A vivid and brilliant picture in words is drawn of the “Society and Salons of France before the Great Revolution.” Louis Blanc might have written this
paper, and the topic is one that never palls on the reader's The truth is, the facts that illustrate French fas hionable life during the reign of Louis the Fifteenth have never yet been presented in English, and probably never will be. But the paper before us reveals a good deal of the truth.
FRASER'S MAGAZINE. Under the editorship of Principal Tulloch, Fraser is rapidly regaining its long-lost popularity. Its contents are varied, ably written, and full of interest. To the October number, Mr. Cliffe Leslie contributes an article entitled “Easy Methods," in which he marks for condemnation many habits of slipshod writing, bad reasoning, and false philosophising, which have become very general in these days. He especially condemns the easy, but ineffectual, methods of dealing with the Irish Land and Tenant Question adopted by the Gladstone Government.
Mr. Julian Hawthorne's quaint allegorical tale of “ Rumpty-Dudget' is worthy of his father's pen. It is a romance of Fairy-land, for little children to read, and children of a larger growth to "mark, learn, and inwardly digest."
Mr. A. E. Ewald narrates the story of the love-match between Mary Tudor, sister of Henry VIII., “the most beautiful young woman in the world,” who was betrothed to Charles the Fifth when a young prince, but
married Louis XII. of France, a man old enough to be her father, who died eighty days afterwards. But her first love was Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, and him she secretly married, although kings and emperors sought her hand. Henry, her brother, was at first mad against the lovers, but he relented, and the marriage was solemnised a second time, publicly, with the King's full consent. They lived happily for eighteen years, when the Queen-Duchess died, in 1533, and was buried in the abbey church of St. Edmondsbury.
A touching memoir of Miss F. R. Havergal, author of some of the most beautiful hymns in modern church collections, follows, from the pen of Mr. P. Anton. This lady was a true poetess of the minor school, of deeply pious and singularly pure character. She died in 1879, aged 42.
Mr. William Pollard is a member of the Peace Society, and he writes a very able vindication of its aims and motives. His conclusions and his reasoning are both beyond cavil. If, now, universal peace by mutual consent of mankind were only practicable!
A romantic tale of Highland vengeance is narrated by the Dean of Westminster, under the title of “Inverawe and Ticonderoga." It is a genuine story, every incident being verified by personal and historical evidence, collected by Dean Stanley himself. There is a weird mixture of the natural and supernatural in it. The story begins in the Highlands of Scotland, and closes at the great battle of T'iconderoga, in the American Revolution.
The classical story of “ Lycophron, the Greek Hamlet,” is powerfully retold by an anonymous writer. Lycophron was the son of Periander, tyrant of Corinth; and when grown to manhood, came to the knowledge of the awful fact that his father had murdered his mother. His brooding over this crime for many years was the Hamlet-like element in his character.
“ English Pauperisin: Its Wrong and Remedy," is discussed by the Rev. W. L. Blackley, a genuine philanthropist, who has a real and effectual remedy for the great curse of England, if only the powers that govern the country could be brought to adopt the same.
Dax is a bathing place on the Adour, in the Pyrenees, not far from Bayonne, which was known to the Romans in the age of Augustus. The Rev. Dr. Story writes enthusiastically of its advantages as a resort for invalids. It is a delightful resort, cheap to live at, and health-giving beyond most thermal stations in Europe.
“ Economical Reform in Europe" is a topic destitute of interest for Australian readers.
THE SATURDAY REVIEW. “Giants and Dwarfs ” is the title of a inost amusing essay in the num. ber for 18th September, apropos of a show of such abnormal human beings now to be seen in London. The art of humorously sarcastic writing is carried to perfection in this article. Equally good in its way is an article on“ Bachelor Householders,” wherein the woes of the wifeless who have houses of their own are skilfully set forth. A fine disquisition on the “ Portraits of Cervantes” is evidently from the pen of one who loves, and has deeply studied, the works of the prince of Spanish writers,—“whom Spain starved, and who has made her immortal.”* The travel-sketches in this number (always well-written in the Saturday) are descriptive of Hyères, a fine watering station for invalids on the south coast of France; and of travelling in South America, the main features of the latter being
splendid scenery, unbounded hospitality, and dull society. The novelist who is laid on the critical table for anatomising, is Mr. Edward Jenkins, whose Lisa Lena is pronounced to be probably the actual experiences of a music-ball Dica.” Of Mr. William Black's new novel, White Wings, a rather modified degree of praise is given. The novel is not by any means the author's best.
The number for 25th September contains caustically writt en articles on Exaggeration," on “ Christian Pilgrim Note-Paper," and on “ One's House in the Market.” Our old Governor, Mr. Latrobe, comes to the front once more, as the author of an early work on “ Alpine climbing,” in an article devoted to the literature of that subject. The writer says of him, that he “ deserves remembrance as an early traveller who thoroughly enjoyed Alpine scenery, and would take some trouble to seek unhackneyed routes.” The travel-sketches describe the first battle-field of the first Napoleon, and the rural churches of Sussex. There is a curious account of Bampfylde Moore Carew, King of the Beggars; and Miss Edwards’ novel, Lord Brackenbury, is sharply criticised.
THE NORTH AMERICAN REVIEW.
Dr. W. B. Lawrence discusses “ The Monarchical Principle” in the American Constitution. The President, in reality, is much more of a sovereign, and an absolute sovereign, than is usually thought; and the writer holds that his power ought to be controlled by the decisions of Congress. He would have a constitutional president, like M. Grévy, or the President of the Swiss Confederation.
Bishop Doane pleads, and pleads ably, for the advantages of free religious discussion. Only such discussion must be earnest, thorough, devout, unbiassed. Such discussion “clears the view, strips off disguises, blows away the distorting fogs of human inventions, and brings man eye to eye and face to face with facts and truths, with each other, and with God"
Mr. Montgomery Blair vindicates the Democratic party in the States as being now thoroughly constitutional in their aims and ends. The article is designed as an election“ feeler," but it comes too late.
The third part of Mr. D. Charnay's account of his explorations of the ruins of Central America brings many novel and curious facts to light touching the manners and customs of the inhabitants of the buried cities. Two photographs illustrate the paper; the one representing a caricature in terra-cotta of a friar, wonderfully like a humorous gargoyle from an old Gothic cathedral in Spain or Portugal; and the other types of vases and jugs, of much the same shape as the ancient Egyptian vessels. M. Charnay mentions incidentally that the miners on the mountains in Central America, working at an elevation of 24,000 feet above the level of the sea, are healthy and long-lived; but they take three strong doses of mezcal or habanero (otherwise grog) daily:
Rear-Admiral Ammen, of the U.S. Navy, gives an account of the Nicaragua route to the Pacific, àpropos of the ship-canal scheme now progressing under the superintendence of M. de Lesseps. He is strongly in favour of the scheme.
-" The advantage of a canal to the world's commerce must be measured in gross by the economy it effects. If it effects a safe investment, and liberal return in interest, all other profit in the general economy will be diffused as a common benefit. It
will, in many respects, be to us (the American people) a national advantage, for which the nation pays nothing."
The Rev. Dr. Crosby contributes a scholarly article on “Revisions of the English Bible,” past and to come. Of the existing version he finally says: -"The fascination of antiquity rests on every page, and we instinctively draw back from altering anything, as from touching our brush to a work of Raffaele." Still, a perfect translation of the Hebrew and Greek originals is an imperative want of the age we live in. The labours of the American Congress for Revision of the New Testament are familiarly described in a very pleasant vein. It was a rare assembly of divines, scholars, and gentlemen, who spent eight years in their work of love.
A review of some recent European works, and an appeal to the people of New York on the political situation of the country, viewed from the financial stand-point, conclude the number. It is signed by twenty-two leading members of the Republican party, and is intended as an election manifesto.
THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY. There is an immense variety of purely original American literature in the October number of this excellent periodical. Henry James begins another of his popular stories, under the title of “ The Portrait of a Lady," which promises well. Mr. T. B. Aldrich follows with a noble set of verses, embodying a story entitled “The Jew's Gift: A.D. 1200.” There is the ring of true poetry here, as there is, indeed, in all that Mr. Aldrich writes in rhyme.
The silk industry is rapidly attaining large proportions in America. Including about twenty-five importers and dealers in raw silk, there are now no less than 279 firms engaged in the silk manufacture; these employ 18,000 operatives, pay 6,000,000 dollars annually in wages, have invested about 18,000,000 dollars of capital, and produce yearly 27,000,000 dollars worth of the finished silk web. One firm, "the Messrs. Cheney, of South Manchester, Connecticut, own the largest silk mill on the Continent, and their establishment is a sort of social paradise, where all is busy industry, health, comfort, and happiness. There are eight brothers of them, or more, and they began in a small way in 1838; and now, the family are captains of industry, and, let it be added, princes in spirit and conduct.
“ His Best,” is the title of a finely-told pathetic story, anonymous, but worthy of the first amongst American writers of fiction. The picture of the inner domestic life of a noble German family, is continued, and is very interesting
Mr. T. W. Higginson describes a summer ramble in the White Mountains very picturesquely; and Mr. R. Grant White continues his “Letters and Notes from England,” wherein he gives a cultured American's views of the old country and its people.
The gem of the number, however, is a paper by Miss E. S. Phelps, author of “The Gates Ajar," who pleads eloquently and passionately for the spiritual in life and in philosophy, against the intolerant and degrading materialism of the day. It is one of the most powerfully written essays on this theme that has appeared for many a day-truly, “ logic on fire,” and well worth reading.
A batch of reviews of recent works, both American and European, and an amusing “ Contributors' Club” paper, wind up a capital number of the Atlantic Monthly.
HARPER'S MONTHLY MAGAZINE. In point of quantity of matter, variety of reading, and abundant and excellent illustrations, Harper's stands at the head of all the monthly magazines published in the English language. To summarise the contents of a number of it is a blank impossibility, so vast a mass of reading is enclosed between the two covers. There must be sound intellectual culture in any household where this magazine is regularly taken in and read. Ignorance is banished, bad taste is exiled, and rude manners are shamed out of existence, before the presence of such supplies of choice literature. The woodcuts are not only profusely scattered over the pages, but they are specimens of the very highest style of that ever-delightful art.
In the two numbers for October and November, there are no less than twenty original articles in prose and verse, all illustrated in most graphic style. Two serial novels by writers of such celebrity as William Black and Henry James, are continued, and the amount of miscellaneous reading is quite amazing. Besides, every line in Harper is readable; a dull or dry paper its bright and pleasant pages never contain.
“A Demon Hunt with St. Hubert in Touraine," by Mr. Moneure D. Conway, tells the whole story of the saintly hunter and the miraculous stag once more, with agreeably picturesque sketches of the scenery of the legend. Every mention of St. Hubert, which is the name of one of our most famous Victorian vineyards, has a charm for the ears of Australians. Curiosity as to the associations connected with the name is here fully satisfied.
A corresponding paper in the October number, from the same pen, takes the reader into the country of François Rabelais, prince of satirical humorists. It is like taking a ramble round the country where the jolly monk was born, and lived, and laughed, and wrote, to accompany Mr. Conway through these pages, and the illustrations complete the illusion. Nothing so good on this theme has ever been put before the English reader.
A similarly descriptive and anecdotic paper, tells us all that there is to be told about St. Cecilia, and her shrine at Rome. There are, moreover, illustrated travel sketches of scenes in Japan, Western Massachusetts, along the coast of New England in out-of-the-way spots, in lonely rural nooks of the Great Western Republic, and a full description of Chicago, the “metropolis of the prairies.” Short stories there are by the half-dozen; and the editor's summaries of current politics, literature, history and humour, are full to overflowing, of good knowledge and biting epigram. Mention must be made of the story of Flora Macdonald, the heroine of "Waverley,” which is told once more, in a setting of geographical and picturesque detail
. To crown the charm of this admirable miscellany, it is printed in bold, clear type, on smooth paper, not too white to tire the eye. In fine, it may fairly be asserted that Harper's is the model monthly magazine.
THE SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN.
In the first numbers for October, of this world-famous periodical, there is a description, with full illustrations, of the process of book-making at the American Book Exchange in New York. The company bearing this title commenced business in January, 1879, with the purpose of reducing the cost of really good books to “million prices.” Its success has been