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The bulk of the articles in this number of Fraser are as distinctively Scotch as if the magazine were published in Edinburgh or Glasgow. There are articles on "An Early Celtic College;" a story of Scottish clerical life; a poem in the pure Doric of the North, by Mr. R. L. Stevenson, detailing a wandering Scotchman's experiences on his return from abroad; and an article on creed subscription having distinct reference to recent proceedings in the Synods of the Established and Free Churches in Scotland. Of the contributors six at least bear Scotch names; for that the article on the creeds is from the pen of the editor, Principal Tulloch, no reader can doubt. These facts are to be noted, because they give a strongly provincial character to the magazine. It is not to be assumed that Australian readers, for example, are all as a rule Scotch, either by birth or by direct descent, and therefore intensely Scotch in their sympathies.
The opening article is political, and gives a critical estimate of Mr. Gladstone and his colleagues, with a forward glance into the political future. The writer is thoroughly, and even enthusiastically, Gladstonian in sentiment, and therefore his anticipations are of the most hopeful kind. All is safe for England, he believes, whilst Liberalism and Gladstone are in the ascendant.
The Rev. Hugh Macmillan gives an account of an early Celtic college, established on one of the western isles by St. Columba thirteen centuries ago, whence a succession of missionaries went forth to civilise and Christianise the inhabitants of the mainland of Scotland, and also of Ireland.
“Mr. Sempill's Settlement" is one of those scenes from Scotch clerical life that John Galt might have written. But its interest is too local to be general-if the platitude may be allowed. It is not a pleasant story, even for Scotch readers. The hard, cold, worldly spirit of the church-going people presented makes them absolutely repulsive as types of human character. Kindliness, politeness, mutual charity, generosity, are qualities apparently as unknown to them as they are amongst a tribe of Australian savages.
To Mr. R. L. Stevenson's verses on the wandering Scotchman's return from abroad a glossary is appended, and is certainly needed. There is a vulgarity of feeling, and a worldliness of tone, in this wanderer's moralisings, which plainly demonstrate that travelling has had neither a refining nor an elevating influence on his character. Burns presented his countrymen in a different aspect to the world.
“Three Phases of Lyric Poetry," by Mr. Thomas Bayne, is a critical estimate of the poetry of Edmund Gosse, Andrew Lang, and Thomas Gordon Hake, three of the living minor minstrels. They are credited with the possession of fine sentiment, grace, freshness of melody, philosophic reach, and imaginative strength-qualities that would certainly render any poet equal to Tennyson at least. The citations made in support of this verdict are extremely pleasing.
There is a connection between education and boots of a very direct kind, and it is explained by a contributor, who shows that the excuse of their wanting boots is very frequently urged, by the parents of the poorer classes in London, for the non-attendance of their children at the Stateschools. The plea is made for the establishment of a society to distribute boots to destitute children.
Mr. R. L. Stevenson contributes a very graphic account of Monterey, the old Pacific city, once the capital of California. It is a strange oldfashioned place, haunted by memories of ancient Mexican life, Spanish
monks, and Dennis Kearney. It is now, however-save the mark!—a fashionable American seaside resort. The penniless native gentlemen of Monterey have been completely driven out before the “millionaire vulgarians of the Big Bonanza.”
Professor Gibb gives an account of the Heliand, a religious poem of the ninth century, and a fine specimen of the earliest German literature. It was said to be written by a peasant, and possibly was so. 6 Woman as a Sanitary "Reformer"
is the title of a lecture by Dr. B. W. Richardson, the apostle of health and founder of the city of Hygeia. It is eloquently and earnestly written, and the burden of it is that the education of women in these days ought to embrace “ the first principles of animal physics and life, the house and its perfect management, the training of the young, the simpler problems relating to the fatal diseases, the elements of the psycho-physical problems—the human temperament, the moral contagions with their preventions, and the heredities of disease with their preventions.” Having this knowledge, and being besides a "perfect woman nobly planned," any lady is fitted to take charge of a household in Hygeia.
“ The Bugle” is a short poem translated from the French, and in the style of Robert Browning.
“An English Rural Walk” is a delightful paper, descriptive of a country ramble in the still secluded parts of old England. This kind of article is always charming reading. “ A Broad Churchman,” who is
, no doubt, Principal Tulloch, pleads in the customary strain for a relaxation of the church law of subscription to the creeds and confessions.
THE CORNHILL MAGAZINE.
The literary articles in this number, although of slight texture, are of very fair quality. The Spanish humourist, Quevedo, respecting whose writings the existing generation of Englishmen know nothing at all, is critically estimated by a thoroughly competent Spanish scholar. The paper is founded on the original works of Quevedo; but it is only due to George Ticknor to say, that it adds but little to the exhaustive account given of this author's life and works in the History of Spanish Literature, which is by far the most valuable work of its class in the English language. Ticknor's name ought to be ranked high amongst the intellectual lights of America.
Another literary article vindicates Mrs. Doctor Johnson from the rather grotesque account of her given in Macaulay's famous essay. After perusing a very agreeable essay of the gossiping order, the reader, however, feels inclined to ask himself the question which the French proverb about the game and the candle suggests. It was needful that Macaulay, in order to finish off his highly-wrought full-length portrait of the Doctor, should paint in his wife as a companion portrait, and the addition would not have been in keeping if it had not been grotesquely limned. When Mrs. Johnson died she was in her 64th year, and by that time a lady has passed the limit of all reasonable criticism on her personal appearance.
The social life of the ancient Greeks is depicted in the form of an autobiographical sketch, by a writer who is evidently well acquainted with the
Abbé Barthélémy's once popular classical romance, entitled “The Travels of the Young Anacharsis," and Bekker's "Charikles." Still, the paper is informing and readable.
The Burmese people are vindicated from the misconceptions respecting them prevalent amongst Englishmen, by one of their own countrymen. It is an honestly written defence, by a very intelligent Burman; but, in order to make good his thesis, Shway Yoe is obliged to stigmatise King Theebau as a lunatic, with a murderous mania. He tells of an English member of Parliament whom he met at dinner, and who on hearing the name Burma said, “Yes? I have a nephew who was in Burma, only he always used to call it Bermuda.” Is this credible? Can such elementary ignorance still prevail in the upper circles at home- ignorance such as a charityschoolboy would blush at, and which a glance at a map, or the perusal of any single number of the Times newspaper, would dissipate ? The anecdote must be a pure invention, or else the M.P. was “chaffing” his neighbour.
A contributor chats pleasantly on the “Natural History of Dress," a topic which, like table-talk, never comes amiss in the pages of a miscellaneous magazine. A somewhat similar article, but of more distinctly aesthetic tone, treats of household ornamentation under the title of “ Decorative Decorations.”
Mr. Henry James's American story. “Washington-square” draws to a conclusion; and there is given the first instalment of a new tale of London life, founded on the popular song of “My Faithful Johnny.”
THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY.
The law of libel is very defective in the United States, and Mr. E. L. Godkin, a journalist, discusses the best means of improving it. At the same time he vindicates the American editors, as a class, from the charge of unduly stretching their privilege of dealing with individual character. The evil to be rectified is the excessive publicity given to all people, whether they like it or not, and courted by many who do like it.
The later writings of Mr. Mallock are critically estimated by a writer who is no admirer either of that gentleman's sarcasm, his views on science, or his Roman Catholicism.
A lady, Miss E. E. Brown, enters an earnest protest against the employment of children in the Massachusetts factories, where it seems to be the usual practice to set all the laws against child-labour at defiance. In 100 factories examined, only two per cent. of the children employed were found to be within the laws. That is to say, the law was broken in fortynine cases out of every fifty. Is this credible, as alleged against the New Englanders? There are 13,000 children employed in factories in the state; and, if the foregoing statement be accurate, there is a very large amount of cruelty to children tolerated in Massachusetts.
“ The Romance of Sunrise Rock” is a striking American story. Sunrise Rock is a bold cliff, 400 feet high and sheer as a wall, which bears on its face the most vivid pictured representation of the rising sun. How did the picture come there? is a question which the story does not answer. Still, it is an excellent tale.
A contributor discusses the curious subject of the aesthetic value of the sense of smell. The nose is a feature of the face rather discredited by both poets and painters, but it plays a very large part in the psychology and
physiology of the individual for all that. Justice has never yet been done to the organ of what Rousseau names the “sense of imagination,” and Schopenhauer “the sense of memory.” It is a fact that smells linger longer in the mind than either pictured representations or verbal narratives. John Fearn, the mathematician, noticed this peculiarity, and worked it into his system.
The “transitional American woman,” it must be allowed, is not an attractive type of the female character—if, that is to say, the picture of her drawn by an American woman (Mrs. Kate Gannett
Wells) be a true one. The very type of face is changing, it seems. “ The face of to-day is stamped with restlessness, wandering purpose, and self-consciousness, all distinctly unfeminine qualities. No countenance bearing such traces could be truly called handsome. Why, the very first quality in female loveliness is repose, the second is calm thoughts, and the third is unconsciousness. All these, according to this authority, the typical American woman has utterly lost. She knows much more than her grandmother did, takes larger views of life, believes much less, and rutes marrying very much lower, as a sphere for the exercise of the feminine powers and capacity.
Oliver Wendell Holmes contributes a fine poem, in the form of a monody on the death of Benjamin Pearce, astronomer and mathematician (1809-1880). The verses are very beautiful, and the thought is finely pursued throughout.
Mary Wolstonecraft's (afterwards Mary Godwin's) character and writings are sympathetically reviewed by Mr. G. E. Woodberry. It was a strange life, and Godwin's biography of his wife is a still stranger book.
The chatty.“ Reminiscences of Washington” city are pursued into the reign of President Polk. Henry James' story,“ The Portrait of a Lady," is continued. And there are short poems by Rose Terry Cook and E. C. Stedman; and critical articles on the poetry of Gray, Beattie, and Collins, and also on recent novels, English and American.
THE SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN.
The manufacture of standard scales is carried on upon a very large scale at St. Johnsbury, Vermont, by Messrs. Fairbanks and Co. A full description of the works, with the usual illustrative drawings, is given in the number for 6th November.
A new recording galvanometer, and a new levelling attachment for earth cars, are described and figured in the following number.
A ship railway is something of a novelty, even in the United States, the chosen home of novel inventions. But Mr. Eads, an American engineer, is equal to even this wondrous feat. He proposes to build a railway from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean, along which ships of the largest size shall be conveyed with ease, speed, and safety. He means to outdo Baron Lesseps, as the proposed railway can be built (according to its projector) in a fourth of the time that the canal will require, and at a fourth of the cost. Mr. Eads, it may be added, has already established his reputation as a first-class engincer by many great achievements in his profession. Certainly, the scheme, as stated, appears quite feasible, and there is a strong probability of its being carried into execution by some enterprising Americans. Every detail, with full illustrations, is given in the number for 20th November.
At Bushwick, on Long Island, and at Buffalo, New York, Messrs. Kalbfleisch and Son have extensive chemical works, which are figured and described in the number for 27th November. There is also given a figured description of Ericsson's Caloric Pumping Engine, together with an immense variety of information on minor topics of interest to the scientific and industrial.
Amongst the minor inventions described in these numbers are a new magnetic separator, a new instrument for cleaning boilers, a protective suit
for firemen, and various others, displaying great ingenuity, and that resolute search after improvement in every detail of industrial life which is so characteristic of the American genius.
The sketches of natural history are of unusual interest, from the rarity of the objects figured and described.
THE SATURDAY REVIEW.
In addition to its usual political articles, the Saturday for the last three weeks of October contains excellent papers on "The Book Stealer,” and a review of a work on “Book Plates”—both worthy of permanent preservation by the booklover. This Review has a specialty for bibliographical articles, which are always pleasantly and genially written.
Its travel sketches are also very charming, and in these numbers carry the reader into the most out-of-the-way nooks of France and Switzerland.
The English Social Science Congress is smartly ridiculed, and one or two minor novelists are laid on the anatomical table, and painfully (for themselves) dissected.