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scopes by which we are able to comtemplate periods and races far beyond the ken of ordinary historical knowledge-to be of a common origin with the Greek and Hindooic mythologies and epics. Du Chaillu devotes one of his most interesting chapters to the runes, the early form of writing among the Scandinavians. | Phonetic writing, the art of marking down the unseen thought with written characters, is man's greatest and noblest invention, and is, as Carlyle says, "a kind of second speech almost as miraculous as the first." When it has once been completely demonstrated that a race is in possession of a simple and few-lettered alphabet, it is absurd to speak of the people as barbarians.
Those who have denied the civilization of the ancient Northmen have based their arguments largely upon an evident lack of the moral sense which would have restrained their propensity to robbery and violence. They remember with horror those incessant waves of Norse invasion that dashed with relentless fury on the coasts of England and the continent. They no doubt have in mind those lines of Milton, where the poet speaks of those vast hordes. which the populous north poured from her frozen loins, and which fell like locusts on the south and west, shaking the foundations of the Roman Empire, and confounding all Europe. Surely such a people could have been little better than warlike, bloody, cruel, heathen pirates. But if these doubters would read the history of Norway recently written by Professor Ernst Sars, they would soon find that the facts are against them. An examination of this able work would soon show that contemporary historians in subjugated lands cannot be relied on as impartial. When the Anglo-Saxon and French chroniclers, as Sars says, depict the old Norsemen as devils and wild barbarians, without faith, without laws, and without a spark of human sensibility -when they picture them as wasps covered with stings, and as ravenous wolves driven by an insatiable thirst for blood and reveling in murder and destruction, then we simply are not obliged to take their word for it. The fact is that these very chroniclers frequently are forced to contradict themselves, and praise those ravenous wolves and stingful wasps not only for their courage and fine exterior, but also for their strict adherence to their words and promises. We must bear in mind that those chroniclers were monks and priests, whose biogtry would not permit them to recognize any excellence among heathen. When they have
pointed out that the vikings neither fasted nor paid any respect to the crumbling bone of some departed saint or similar relics, they think they have demonstrated that they were savages. Professor Sars shows from the sagas that it was not merely a low greed of booty that drove the vikings to foreign lands, but also nobler motives. They went not only to gather wealth, but also in quest of honor. Viking expeditions were regarded as a school for young men of noble birth, in which they might win fame by heroic achievements, and in which they might become educated and polished by intercourse with the people of foreign lands. The viking was also frequently a merchant, and when he returned home, having won fee and fame, he lived on his farm, a peaceful and law-abiding citizen, differing from his neighbors only in the fact that he possessed more culture and enjoyed more luxuries; but there is no evidence that his sense of right and justice had become demoralized. Compared with their contemporaries, the vikings make a favorable impression. Compared with those in whose countries they committed their so-called depredations, they frequently show a decided moral superiority. Look only for a moment at the cruelties and tortures of the inquisition, which were inflicted in the very name of Christianity! Even the chroniclers of England and the continent admit that the Norse viking very unwillingly pledged his word, but that he also very unwillingly broke it when once it was pledged. To each other the vikings were always true to the core. To each other they showed unflinching fidelity, and they sacrificed even their lives for their comrades. In their whole conduct they showed a discipline, a unity, a fidelity which were the secret of their success. When Rolf Ganger came to Normandy one of his men was asked who was their master. He replied, "We have no master; we are all equals." They consisted of warriors who had chosen their leader, and the leader could depend on their obedience. In time of need they would present an unbroken front. Such a discipline voluntarily submitted to and united with liberty is evidence of a moral strength which no barbarous people could present. May we not say then that such germs of equality and liberty were scattered in the soil of Normandy where the Normans developed a French literature? Did not these principles afterwards bud in the Magna Charta of England and develop full-blown blossoms in the American Declaration of Independence?
We are indebted to Du Chaillu for placing
within reach of the reading public so many facts concerning the hardy viking. He deserves great credit for the countless quotations from the grand old sagas and eddas, and his publishers are to be congratulated for the elegant appearance of the work. The illustrations alone are well worth the price of the two volumes. Du Chaillu's many old friends and admirers will cheerfully forgive him any shortcomings in his work. RASMUS B. ANDERSON.
RECENT BOOKS OF TRAVEL.*
Any reader of books of travel must be struck with the way to use an expression of the turf -Alaska is forging to the front. Here are nine new books of travel, and two of them are descriptions of what the wits used to term "our national refrigerator." Mr. Maturin M. Ballou, author of the first of the two, "The New Eldorado," is an industrious tourist. He is in no sense an explorer, not even in the humble fashion of the cyclist or the footman who strays through the byways of the bestknown countries. And the wildest flattery would hardly term him a literary artist. But But he is a sufficiently painstaking and moderate observer, with a pleasant style, and "not" (like Mr. Snagsby) "to put too fine a "to put too fine a point on it," the buyer of "The New Eldorado" will get his money's worth. Mr. Ballou waxes enthusiastic over the natural resources of Alaska. "The available timber now standing in the territory might alone meet the ordinary demand of this continent for half a century." The seas and rivers teem with fish, from whales to cod and salmon. The forests are full of fur-bearing
*THE NEW ELDORADO. A Summer Journey to Alaska. By Maturin M. Ballou. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Co. PICTURESQUE ALASKA. By Abby Johnson Woodman. With Maps. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Co.
TRAVELS IN THE ATLAS AND SOUTH MOROCCO. A Narrative of Exploration. By Joseph Thompson, F.R.G.S., author of "Through Masai-Land." Illustrated. New York: Longmans, Green, & Co.
NOTES OF MY JOURNEY AROUND THE WORLD. By Evelyn Cecil, B.A. Illustrated. New York: Longmans, Green, & Co.
INCIDENTS OF A COLLECTOR'S RAMBLE in Australia, New Zealand, and New Guinea. By Sherman F. Denton, artist to the U. S. Fish Commission, Washington, D. C. Illustrated. Boston: Lee & Shepard.
SUMMER HOLIDAYS. Travelling Notes in Europe. By Theodore Child. New York: Harper & Brothers.
IN AND AROUND BERLIN. By Minerva B. Norton. Chicago: A. C. McClurg & Co.
OUR JOURNEY TO THE HEBRIDES. By Joseph Pennell and Elizabeth Robins Pennell. Illustrated. New York: Harper & Brothers.
STUDIES IN THE SOUTH AND WEST. With Comments on Canada. By Charles Dudley Warner, author of "Their Pilgrimage." New York: Harper & Brothers.
animals; on the other hand, no reptiles are known. There are mines of exhaustless riches along the Youkon. Cereals and vegetables can be raised in the southern part of Alaska. And some persons doubtless yet remain to be surprised by the discovery that "the average winter is milder at Sitka than at Boston." There is a very interesting account of the seal fisheries; in short, the general condition of Alaska has seldom been more clearly presented. The point of view is that of a newspaper correspondent perhaps; but for that very reason the book will be more valuable to the average reader.
Picturesque Alaska," by Abby Johnson Woodman, has a preface by John G. Whittier, one sentence of which characterizes the book better than a long review.
"This little volume, written, with no thought of publicity, at car windows and from the decks of steamboats, in sight of the objects described, has something of the freshness and vividness of reality, like a chain of photographic impressions from Mount Shasta to Mount Elias."
Naturally Mrs. Woodman's point of view is as distinctly feminine as Mr. Ballou's is journalistic. She dilates with amiable zest on the accomplishments of the Aleuts, in sweet grass baskets and embroidered blankets, and on the ingenious jewelry which they make out of silver dollars. Probably the most interesting chapter, to many people, will be her account of Dr. Duncan's romantic experiment. It is all kindly and gracefully written and leaves one at the last page sorry to part with the sweetnatured gentlewoman who has written it.
A book of quite another sort is Mr. Thompson's narrative of his adventures in Morocco, entitled "Travels in the Atlas and South Morocco." Here we have the explorer, the man of action, the unconquerable and sometimes intolerant Englishman. And there is enough of bloodshed and peril and marvels at first hand, to enchain the attention from first to last. It is not the fault of Mr. Thompson that the dominant image etched on the mind is that of the reckless Briton himself, "hunting crop" in hand, lashing his traitorous Arabs into danger, or bullying surly Kaids into civility; nevertheless so it is: he is always having to quell mutinies, to baffle conspiracies, and to brag and bluster his way through Musselman hostility. All this he does, and sees a pretty bit of Moorish customs, into the bargain, including the inside of a harem and a bath-house, the brilliant spectacle of the powder-play, and the ghastly feast of Sidi Hamadsha. His studies of the Moors and the Jews are painfully interesting.
He pronounces the Jew really in a better position than the Moors themselves, whose intense misery must excite pity. Under the avarice of their rulers, the ancient arts have utterly decayed. The better a workman, the more likely he is to be compelled to toil at the risk of his life for his masters. The Sultan wrings the purses of the Kaids or governors, who in turn strip their subjects to the bone. "A man's sole safety in Morocco lies in absolute poverty." The Jews meanwhile control all the business of the country, and lend money at fifty per cent. "Between the government and the Jews, the Moors are between the devil and the deep sea." Yet they do not turn to Western Europe for succor in their extremity, esteeming it preferable to be oppressed by their own race rather than by the stranger, since "no Moor believes for a moment that his condition would be improved under a European government." Too often he has reasons for his cynicisms; "for in Morocco the honor of more than one European country is being continually dragged in the mud by its representatives, who in many cases buy their places, not as a means of watching over their national interests, but in order to traffic in the sale of 'protections which put the Moor or the Jew outside the pale of Moorish law, permitting him to indulge in legalized plunder." I fear that we cannot make a good defense against Mr. Thompson's assertion that "in this respect deep red, the meadows deep green, the sky gray blue,
"You must travel through miles and miles of terrestial platitude, where the horizon has no accidents except a windmill or a clump of trees; where the cottages are
America is the most shameless sinner."
and these dark green meadows are intersected by numerous canals filled with black water, and over the canals are black bridges and black gates, and in the meadows are black cattle; in the distance the inevitable but welcome windmill has black sails. And over this country the sun shines blazingly, in high summer time, and especially in the late afternoon; it sets off vast spaces of golden light against other spaces of that black, intense, bituminous shadow that you see in the paintings of the Dutch school."
"With no trade, no genuine subjects, no real or imaginary interests to look after, there is not only an American minister at Tangiers, but vice-consuls, mostly Jews, in the chief coast towns, some of whom are no honor to their country. Nay, more; America does not hesitate to make a naval demonstration to compel the payment of bills run up in the Jewish fashion-a few paltry hundred dollars becoming, in a year or two, thousands upon thousands."
The reader can judge, from these extracts, regarding Mr. Thompson's style, which is lucid, nervous, and often vivid. He sometimes is careless, but never dull.
Another Englishman has written a book of travels this year, Evelyn Cecil, B.A., who gives us, in a thin volume, his impressions of the world. What a well-bred, cultivated Englishman thinks of us is always a matter of mild interest. Mr. Cecil is good-tempered; he finds much to praise, and praises generously; where he must needs criticize, he condemns with manly frankness. He does not like our travelling manners; except to women, our "conductors are boorish; and throughout the country
there is a wholesale system of bribery and corruption, especially prominent in politics, which is not even to be compared with the worst days under George III."
I fear Mr. Cecil would regard the artless narrative of Mr. Sherman F. Denton's feats as a collector in Australia, New Zealand, and New Guinea as a fresh proof of our ill-manners. Certainly, Mr. Denton confides in the reader more frankly as to his physical sensations at sea, and his general opinions about the intimate trifles of the table and the toilet and his family's appearance, than has been the custom since Montaigne; and he boasts garrulously of those very national possessions which the cosmopolitan Mr. Cecil derides, "our polite conductors" and "our magnificent depots." Nevertheless Mr. Denton is a good fellow, as ready with his gun as Mr. Thompson with his whip; and there is much of real interest and value in his book.
Mr. Child's book carries us back to Europe. It is in every respect a delightful book. The temper is admirable, the style bright and graceful, with a striking felicity of epithet and sharpness of outline. The "Summer Holidays touch lightly on Constantinople, Holland, Italy, and France. This is how Holland seems to the vivacious narrator:
Another charming book is the dainty little volume, "In and Around Berlin," by Mrs. Minerva B. Norton. Quite unpretentiously, it reveals an unusual knowledge of the details of German family life, and in a fresh, animated, feminine style, gossips about the court and “all the royal family." There is plenty of guidebook lore as well, but the more attractive part of the book is the other. No traveller with Berlin in his (and, pointedly, in her) mind, should go without this modest, competent, and good-natured guide.
Good-nature, by the way, is a shining quality, and wins the gratitude of the reader or reviewer. (I mention them separately for a reason which any author will understand.)
Gratitude is not the only coin paid for the pleasure given by this amiable trait: it receives a certain promissory note of credence. We are always inclined to believe in the criticisms of the good-natured man. We consider that he is likely to be a critic by force of circumstances, not from carping prejudice.
I am sorry to say that no one can take this favorable attitude towards Mr. and Mrs. Pennell's Journey through the Hebrides." Outwardly it is an alluring little book, with the prettiest of bindings, the softest and creamiest of paper and exquisite illustrations. Within, the style is sprightly; and the subject one of the most beautiful of countries and one of the most romantically-famous of peoples. Yet the book is painful. This, too, not so much because of the suffering described as because of the spirit of the description. The book appeared originally as a series of articles in Harper's Magazine." The reader may regret the previous appearance, since the writers have had time to read all the indignant remonstrances of people whom they have abused; and in consequence, the pages bristle with sharp foot-notes of retort. There is a peppery preface of which one specimen will show the
"We have no hesitation in saying that our trip to Scotland was the most miserable. That the weather in the Western Highlands is vile is a fact which cannot be denied, though to mention it is held to be a crime. But for the benefit of those, who, because we speak of the rain and the fatigue of walking, think we shut our eyes to everything else on our journey, let us say here, once and for all, that we found the whole country beautiful and full of the most wonderful effects; but we must also add that it is the most abominable to travel through and its people are the most down-trodden on God's earth!"
in almost every chapter. Mr. William Black gets frequent raps over the knuckles; and even Mrs. Stowe has to take her share of the hard words, because she did not realize how much more horrible is the condition of the Scotch crofters than was that of negro slaves. As for the Highland lairds, apparently our friends would have them swept off the face of the earth. Even Macleod of Macleod, who ruined himself for his people, is dismissed with a sneer. Standing in the graveyard of the Macleods, this is their comment:
To the lay observer, Mr. and Mrs. Pennell appear to have gone to Scotland under protest, to have made the grievous blunder of walking with heavy knapsacks, to have been mistaken continually for people of a lower social grade, and, therefore, treated with slight consideration; and in this condition of irritable misery and suspicion, to have investigated one of the saddest and most puzzling of social questions. They rush to the aid of the Scotch crofters with a passionate sympathy. They are the blindest and most unmitigated partisans, accepting the crofter's answer as the last word. For everything else Scotch, they have only railing, sometimes witty, sometimes eloquent, and sometimes flippant. They talk of the "stupid romance of Scott" and "the sickly sentiment of Landseer"; the Duke of Argyle is castigated
"It may be that Macleod of Macleod has bankrupted himself to save his tenants from starvation. This is most praiseworthy on his part. But we cannot help thinking that if he and all the other Macleods, from one end of Great Britain to the other, are so anxious to be buried here, they might among them find money enough to free the enclosure of their dead from the whisky bottles and sandwich tins left by the tourists."
The same peevish spirit shows on every page. It is unfortunate that a subject of such gravity should be thus treated; for hot-headed and intolerant sympathy tends to divert compassion from its objects. Without discussing the question, also, one may suggest that, before the great emigration, the crofters of the west of Scotland suffered as ghastly a famine as that raging then in Ireland, to which their present misery is not to be compared. Neither are the crofters, taking Mr. and Mrs. Pennell's own word for it, by any means the most oppressed people on the earth. To cite only one claimant's case, Mr. Thompson makes a better showing for his clients, the Moors. But it is the pet vice of amateur philanthropists to cheapen all misery except that which they are exploiting. Indeed, I cannot resist the impression that the bad weather, hard roads, and poor fare of the Highlands, the fatigue of walking, and the lack of consideration shown our travellers (who, sad to say, "often passed for peddlers ") have had almost as large a share as the oppression of the crofters, in accumulating their wrathful judgments.
It is a relief to turn to Mr. Warner's wise and kindly studies. In the South, Mr. Warner walks over the thin crust of the volcano. Nothing would be easier than to break through into the crater of partisan strife. Mr. Warner continues the dispassionate observer to the end. His view of the question will commend itself to every Northerner who has spent any length of time in the South. With equal moderation and kindly penetration, the West is discussed. Most of the papers are reprinted from "Harper's Magazine.' They are worthy of their
beautiful permanent shape. Mr. Warner's Gallic perfection of form, the charm of his delicate humor, his dramatic instinct of narration, his mastery of color, and his restraint,-is it not enough to say regarding all these, that in these sketches he is at his best, since that implies the rest. OCTAVE THANET.
THE POETRY OF JOB.*
Professor Gilbert's volume on "The Poetry of Job" is an excellent example of a direction of modern scholarship in the study of the Bible. The human element of the Sacred Scriptures is being made more prominent, and they are being investigated in respect to their literary features. Some regard this kind of study with fear, thinking that the divine quality of the Bible may be overlooked, and that it is in danger of being brought down to the same level with other writings. We do not share in this apprehension. We believe that the Bible should be subjected to the most thorough literary and historical criticism, that all the light that can be shed upon it by a comparison with
other literature should be welcomed, and that such comparative study will assist in maintaining its claims to special divine inspiration. The position taken by Dr. Gilbert is the right one. In calling attention to the aim of his work, to present the surprising beauty of the human elements of the Book of Job, he says:
"There is little danger that by so doing the Divine teaching would receive less honor and become less dear; on the contrary, such attention would in the main lead to a more appreciative estimate of the heavenly message. It does not detract from the beauty of the rainbow to know that it did not come down out of the skies perfect and complete, but that only the wonderful light came down, and found in our earthly atmosphere the lenses which could make its hidden riches visible to our mortal eyes. It is still God's bow, and though it should be arched through human tears."
Our author has first presented "The Poetry of the Book of Job" by giving a new translation of the poem. This most difficult task has been well executed. The rendering is of real poetic merit, chaste and forcible in diction, smooth and rhythmical. It exhibits also exact and painstaking Hebrew scholarship. Dr. Gilbert has not only with great fidelity reproduced the meaning of the original, but he has also preserved to a certain extent its form. Hebrew 'poetry is characterized by a parallelism of num
*THE POETRY OF JOB. By George H. Gilbert, Ph.D., Professor of New Testament Literature and Interpretation in the Chicago Theological Seminary. Chicago: A. C. McClurg & Co.
bers or lines, and also by a correspondence of accents or tones in each line. These features are exhibited in this translation. Three-toned Hebrew lines have been rendered into threetoned English lines, and the rhythm of the twotoned and four-toned lines also has been preserved. In this respect our author's translation is an improvement upon that of the Revised Version. This version, for example, has incorrectly given the following as verses of two lines:
For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again,
And that the tender branch thereof will not cease. [xiv.-7.] His troops come on together, and cast up their way against me. And encamp round about my tent. [rix.-12.)
Dr. Gilbert finds here, correctly, verses of three lines each.
"For there is hope for the tree;
If felled, it still can sprout forth,
And its tender shoot doth not fail." [xir.-7.]
"Together his troops come on,
And cast up against me their way,
And encamp round about my tent." [xix.-12.]
We regret that Dr. Gilbert did not sufficiently rely upon his own good taste and judg ment to divide the poem into its strophes. While it is true that the original gives no indication of these divisions, still they are needed to bring out the full force and meaning of the poem, and would have been especially helpful in a translation not accompanied with notes.
In the second portion of this work, "The Interpretation of the Poem," the author has very skilfully, and very properly also, avoided discussing disputed questions. He makes no attempt to fix the age of the poem, but says that it belongs to the golden age of Hebrew literature. The golden age! When was it? That indeed is the very question in dispute among the critics. Was it the time of Moses? or of Solomon? or of Hezekiah? or of the Exile? On this subject Dr. Gilbert is silent. He also enters into no discussion about the historical character of the poem; how much is fiction, how much literal history. He takes here the true middle ground that not all is fiction, not all is literal history. How much there is of each cannot be decided, and the question, like that of the authorship and date of the poem, is unimportant.
The course of the poem, the struggle through which Job passed, is very clearly indicated. This was a struggle to preserve the assertion of his conscience respecting his own integrity when his friends directly charged him with heinous wrong, and God's dealings seemed to ratify