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their verdict. It was also a struggle to preserve his attachment to God, to whom he passionately clung and turned for vindication even when he had felt himself most cruelly and outrageously wronged by God. Such, indeed, is the drama of Job, the most splendid and profound creation of Hebrew poetry, if not of all poetry. As Dr. Gilbert well says:

"Its theme is a part of every true man's life. Every servant of God is engaged on His side in the great conflict with the forces of darkness. Satan challenges the piety of every servant of God, and endeavors to break it down. Everyone is called to suffer and be strong, everyone meets with mysteries on the right hand and on the left, confusing and bewildering, whose solution must be left to the future. The struggle of Job is repeated over and over again in the experience of earnest souls, though the form and condition of it are ever changing. His experience touches our deepest life at many a point. His story therefore will have a living interest as long as there is a conscience in man, and as long as the human spirit cries out of the darkness and mystery of earth, Oh that I knew where to find Him.""

There is no attempt, however, in this volume to present the theological teachings or problems suggested by the Book of Job. That is foreign to Dr. Gilbert's purpose. He confines himself to its literary beauties, showing how the sacred poet treated nature, both animate and inanimate, and also human life, and how finally his conception of God bears comparison with those of Homer and Milton. These subjects are handled with grace and much critical insight and true æsthetic feeling. No lover of literature can fail to be interested in the observations here made. The powerful poetic genius of the Hebrew writer is finely exhibited. We are given his treatment of Day and Night; his use of the natural world, of the storm-wind, of the clouds, of the sea. He is brought by apt quotation into comparison with Homer, Dante, Shakespeare, and Milton. His striking intensity of feeling and his view of Nature,

as an ever-fresh manifestation of God's wisdom and power," are strongly brought out. The key-note, indeed, of the treatment of Nature in the entire Bible is given by Dr. Gilbert when he says:

"The sphere of this Hebrew poem is in an eminent sense the soul of man. It deals with the invisible rather than the visible. It comes out of a heart that is too intent on the mystery of human suffering to allow it to dwell calmly on external forms and phenomena.” This is a feature of the entire treatment of Nature in the Bible. Natural phenomena are never touched upon for their own sake. Hebrew or Biblical poetry is entirely subjective.

While, as we have said, theological teachings are not at all treated in this volume, there is

something suggestive in this direction in the last chapter, in the comparison presented between Milton's conception of God and that of the Hebrew poet. Jehovah, speaking of the defection of the first man, is represented by Milton as saying:

"Whose fault [is it]?

Whose but his own? Ingrate, he had of me All he could have." [Paradise Lost, III. 96-98.] Of this, our author says:

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But this is not God the Lord, of infinite majesty and glory: the speaker is an irritable and angry man. This passage breathes the bitter spirit of some sectarian, and not of Him who is long-suffering, abundant in goodness and truth."

We fear that in some minds this Miltonic conception of God is assumed to be that of the Old Testament; but it is not. And we especially thank Dr. Gilbert for calling attention, in this work of a purely literary aim, to the true and sublime Old Testament conception of God, such as is given by the unknown Hebrew writer, when for example he says:

"Canst thou find out the depth of Elóah?
Or fathom th' Almighty's perfection?
Heights of heaven! what canst thou do?
Than Sheól it is deeper! what know?
Its measure is longer than earth,

And broader is it than the sea." [xi. 7-9.]

We trust this little volume will be widely circulated, and that many, learning therefrom the outward beauties of the Word of God, may receive also its spiritual teachings of infinite

wisdom and infinite love.

EDWARD LEWIS CURTIS.

PORTRAITS OF FAMOUS PAINTERS.*

The friends of cultivated people are usually pleasant associates, and when introduced to the world in such charming fashion as Mrs. Van Rensselaer adopts in her recently published "Six Portraits," they become valuable to many others than their original bien aimés. Della Robbia, Correggio, Blake, Corot, George Fuller, Winslow Homer, form an attractive coterie ; and Mrs. Van Rensselaer disarms criticism, in regard to her attitude toward them, by acknowledging frankly, in her preface, that the sympathetic critic must be swayed by individual preferences and prejudices. Confessedly, therefore, the critic in this case is a friend, and has chosen a circle of artists among whom she can move with that free enjoyment which will not tolerate for a moment the spirit of fault-finding

* SIX PORTRAITS: Della Robbia, Correggio, Blake, Corot, George Fuller, Winslow Homer. By Mrs. Schuyler Van Rensselaer. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Co.

and detraction. The reader may feel sometimes that so partial a friend hardly does justice to the warm power of Donatello's genius, under the gentler sway of Della Robbia's refined and delicate inspiration; and it would seem as if such perfect sympathy with Corot would leave no room for comprehension of the more robust canvases of Rousseau and Millet. But it is well to remember that the writer in this case is the most catholic of lovers, and is full of that spirit of truly wholesome criticism which finds admirable qualities in widely divergent schools and individuals.

It seems almost a bit of carelessness in Mrs. Van Rensselaer to speak of the isolation of Correggio as a fact rarely mentioned or noticed. Surely no one can have become interested in the work or history of that great artist without being immediately struck by the melancholy pathos of the obscurity in which he lived, and few art students can have failed to ask themselves the question, how was it possible that a genius so strong and original could have lived and died unknown even in the Italian renaissance?—or, perhaps, one should say, especially in the Italian renaissance.

after his retirement that he produced "Nydia," "Winifred Dysant," and "The Romany Girl," his most suggestive canvases. The quiet and absorption of his country life seemed to provide just the atmosphere he needed for the full development of his powers, and his genius probably could not have ripened without it. Décamps, an artist also of great sensitiveness, was driven from the world in mature life by the same exasperating sense of incompleteness in his work; but his retirement did not result so happily as did Fuller's. He sent no great canvases back to the Parisian circles which had delighted in him; and perhaps the explanation lies in the fact that he waited too long to find out his own need. He painted dreamy original canvases, which he produced without the study of which he was capable; and at last a consciousness of the really surface work he was doing drove him from it. It was very different with Fuller. He was a hard student always; and therefore when he turned and sought Nature exclusively, he was equipped not only to understand her but to translate her appropriately. It is this union of sincerity and sensitiveness which makes Fuller so interesting to students of American art. He is a fit product of his own country, and therefore typical, in many respects, of the coming national art.

Mrs. Van Rensselaer deserves especial thanks for her essay on Blake. This mystic, artist, and poet is but too little known to the general

Two names in Mrs. Van Rensselaer's coterie, George Fuller and Blake, will be less familiar to the general public than the other four, but they are connected with them by decided lines of consanguinity. Both are idealists of that delicately individual type which Mrs. Van Rensselaer loves to study, and both fitly illus-public, and the appreciative notice of so popular trate the title of "Six Portraits," for the essays collected in this little volume are of that charming sort which, by tracing the intimate connection of the artist's character and work, place his personality before one in a vivid light, very different from the cool and critical conception one gains from the careful balancing of the values of an artistic career. Mrs. Van Rensselaer shows deep sympathy with Fuller's temperament and methods, and she comprehends well the feeling which prompted him to leave the world of artists and salons, and retire to the solitude of the country. It was after Fuller had painted many successful canvases that he left the world in such fashion, driven by that inner prompting which so often warns both artist and author that the work which sells and brings a fair remuneration and fame, is frequently not the best of which the originator is capable. The haunting sense of failure in accomplishment is the torment of sensitive temperaments. With Fuller it was the incentive to constantly nobler work; and it was

a critic may bring his work to the attention of many sympathetic minds heretofore ignorant of him. Blake's erratic endowment, his visions and mystical prophecies, make him a subject of peculiar interest to the psychologist; and whether he was altogether sane or not, the streak of suspected madness in him adds a most fascinating element to his artistic work. Seldom has any artist been gifted with the subjective insight which Blake shows in his illustrations; and as his artistic treatment is always the objective and symbolic double of his own poetic thought, so when he comes to interpret the work of others he shows the same marvellous susceptibility to impression. There are many illustrators capable of original and striking work which fits well enough the text it accompanies, but interpretations like the drawings made by Blake to accompany Young's "Night Thoughts" and the "Book of Job" are unequalled in their way by anything except Vedder's illustrations to "Omar Khayyám.' W. M. Rossetti's edition of Blake's poems,

and Alexander Gilchrist's life of the artist, will bring the poetic and active side of the man more fully to the comprehension of art lovers; but one must see at least his own illustrations to his "Songs of Innocence" and "Songs of Experience," to get any idea of the broad, open nature of the artist, open, that is, in the sense of susceptibility to all impressions, and especially to that vast field of subjective and spiritual ones from which painters like Gérome and Meissonier are entirely shut off.

There is not space enough left to speak of Mrs. Van Rensselaer's essay on Winslow Homer; but sufficient indication has been given of the delicately appreciative criticism of the volume to assure all lovers of that artist as to its quality. MARY H. FORD.

RECENT FICTION.*

"Wild Darrie" is the product of the collaboration of Mr. Christie Murray and Mr. Henry

Herman. It is a better book than "One Traveller Returns," because it has a hold upon real life, although we must say that the incidents upon which the story is based are of anything but an everyday sort. Wild Darrie is a circus

* WILD DARRIE. By Christie Murray and Henry Herman. New York: Longmans, Green, & Co.

THE MASTER OF BALLANTRAE. By Robert Louis StevenNew York: Charles Scribner's Sons.

son.

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MEMOIRS OF A MILLIONAIRE. By Lucia True Ames. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Co.

THE ROMANCE OF DOLLARD. By Mary Hartwell Catherwood. New York: The Century Co.

CHATA AND CHINITA. A Novel. By Louise Palmer Heaven. Boston: Roberts Brothers.

Two CORONETS. By Mary Agnes Tincker. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Co.

ALEXIA. By Mary Abbott. Chicago: A. C. McClurg & Co. MITO YASHIKI. A Tale of Old Japan. By Arthur Collins Maclay, A.M., LL.B. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons.

OPENING THE OYSTER. A Story of Adventure. By Charles L. Marsh. Chicago: A. C. McClurg & Co.

NERO. A Romance. By Ernst Eckstein. Translated from the German by Clara Bell and Mary J. Safford. 2 vols. New York: W. S. Gottsberger & Co.

GERALD FFRENCH'S FRIENDS. By George H. Jessop. New York: Longmans, Green, & Co.

Two RUNAWAYS, AND OTHER STORIES. By Harry Stillwell Edwards. New York: The Century Co.

THE HERITAGE OF DEDLOW MARSH, AND OTHER TALES. By Bret Harte. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Co.

A FAMILY TREE, AND OTHER STORIES. By Brander Matthews. New York: Longmans, Green, & Co.

THE ODD NUMBER. Thirteen Tales by Guy de Maupassant. The Translation by Jonathan Sturges. An Introduction by Henry James. New York: Harper & Brothers.

rider who marries an English yeoman. She soon deserts him for the more congenial companionship of a ruffian known as Tricky Bill; the two become implicated in a robbery, and undergo penal servitude for a term of years. After her release her husband discovers her by accident, takes her to his home, but removes that home to the wilds of the New World to hide the disgrace. There she saves his life and their daughter's by an act of heroism, and is supposed to have lost her own. She, in the meanwhile, again takes to circus-riding, and the family, having become enriched through a discovery of gold upon their land, return to England. The husband now really mourns her loss, and records her death upon a tombstone in the village graveyard. In course of time, the circus finds its way to this very spot, Wild Darrie comes across her own monument, is discovered weeping over it, and taken to her home to die of consumption. The story is really better than this outline of a somewhat

extravagant plot would indicate. Besides rapid action and abundance of incident, it has a pleasing style, is enlivened by a grave sort of humor, and has touches of quite irresistible pathos. As for the duality of its authorship, that would hardly be suspected from any internal evidence. We are inclined to think that the actual composition is almost, if not entirely, the work of one of the authors.

The

Mr. Stevenson's story of "The Master of Ballantrae" seems to show pretty plainly that the author has got to care so much for nicety of speech that he has lost the virility of conception so indispensable to serious romance. force of the story is of the hysterical sort, and even the degree of sustained strength attained to in "Kidnapped" seems to be wanting here. As for the characters, they are but ghostly outlines, which is especially unfortunate for a book that cannot fail to be suggestive of Scott, and the action is as inconsequent and as full of strange surprises as any Arabian Night's story, old or new. Mr. William Hole's illustrations are more interesting than the text which they adorn.

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and occasionally heightens the significance of some scene described or situation delineated therein. It is disconnected, and devoid of striking interest of any kind; it shows facility rather than force of conception, and weariness rather than vigor of execution.

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Metzerott, Shoemaker" is a book breathing an earnest purpose, presenting an ideal similar to that presented in "Looking Backward," and, indeed, inspired by that piece of Utopian fancy to no inconsiderable extent. The main difference between the two works is that Mr. Bellamy represents his ideal as already realized, while the anonymous writer of the present story represents it in its inception. This gives to " Metzerott, Shoemaker" a more definite hold upon actual life than any book like "Looking Backward" can possibly have, for the socialistic leaven is undoubtedly working in the minds of the laboring classes of the present day, and such characters and situations as are here described may be met with in most of our large cities. The socialism of the writer's ideal is of the Christian type, and is embodied in the practise and teachings of Ernest Clare, the carpenter-clergyman, a man of lovely character and simple manliness of life. Metzerott, on the other hand, represents the hard, uncompromising, brutal type of socialist, capable enough of heroic conduct, but devoid of the religious sentiment, and incapable of sympathy with the broad humanity of Clare. There is There is much that is fine in a book like this, but to our mind the socialistic ideal, in either shape, lies hopelessly away from the main current of human progress.

The ideal which has directed

progress in civilization up to the present time has been the far different one of individual liberty protected and guaranteed by law. Outside of this great principle, and the correlated principle of equal justice to all, we cannot see that mankind has any hope of salvation. We believe that the true mission of the reformer is to work for the complete realization of these old ideals of liberty and justice, and not to substitute for them the new and untested ideals of the socialist. Incompetency must reap its own reward, and vice must work out its own destruction. To the extent to which the evils of modern civilization are the result of restrictive and unequal laws and of cunning perversions of just laws, reformers should strain every nerve to modify the law or to make impossible its abuse. But to the extent to which these evils are the consequence of incompetency and vice, to that extent should they be left to fester

It seems

until corruption works it own cure. a stern and heartless principle of action, but it is the law of nature that in all things the fittest only shall survive, and this law is thwarted by all efforts which seek to prolong the existence of the unfit without removing the cause of their unfitness. And the cause of unfitness is not to be removed by the vote of the majority or by the multiplication of statutes. It is possible only to earnest personal endeavor; it is in this field that religious ardor finds its proper work.

The didacticism of the "Memoirs of a Millionaire" is of the frankest description. The book not only outlines social reforms but provides a detailed method of carrying them out, even going to the extent of publishing architectural plans for the model tenement houses in which Miss Ames finds one solution of the problem of poverty. Other suggested solutions are free circulating libraries in small communities, and industrial schools for boys and girls. These are all eminently practical suggestions; and any one of them, as here presented in detail, is worth more than many volumes of Christian socialism, however sincere may be the underlying motive. Miss Ames introduces us to a young lady who comes into possession of a very large fortune, and, strange to say, is dazzled only by the opportunities which it affords her of doing good to her fellow men and women; for this modern New England Monte Cristo holds to the gospel of altruism, and seeks for a far higher than any directly personal enjoyment of her wealth. We may add that the book is not without interest merely considered as a story, and that as a sociological document it has high practical value.

Mrs. Catherwood makes her debut as a writer in the field of historical fiction with "The Romance of Dollard." Her subject is an episode of Canadian history in the seventeenth century, and her story tells how the devotion of a young French officer, and of the small band of his heroic followers, stemmed the tide of Iroquois invasion and saved Montreal for civilization. The story is fresh and attractive in style, rapid in action, and historically correct in its main features. It opens an outlook upon a little-known period of North American history, and suggests new possibilities in romantic fiction.

"Chata and Chinita" are two Mexican children whose parentage is not revealed until the close of the very long and tedious story of their fortunes. They are surrounded by a great variety of aristocratic and plebeian Mexicans,

guerrilla chieftains, and adventurous Yankees. Such picturesque adjuncts as old haciendas, gloomy convents, and stern mountain defiles are supplied them in abundance. Diabolical

murders, dreadful revenges, and assorted passions, gloomy and otherwise, engage the breathless attention of the reader. We cannot say that they engage the interest as well, for they are too unreal even for the semi-tropical skies beneath which they are displayed. The arrangement of the novel is anything but clear, and ordinary patience will not suffice for keeping hold of the thread of the action. Then there

is so prodigious an amount of small talk and pointless incident that the narrative is made unbearably lengthy, and its main features become hidden nearly out of sight. Mrs. Heaven writes from minute knowledge of the country in which her scene is laid, and gives us much faithful description, but she is evidently unpractised in the art of the novelist.

pen

"Two Coronets" is the title of the latest romance of America and Italy from the of Mary Agnes Tincker. In this novel, even more than in its predecessors, the writer sets all the unities at defiance, rambling through time and space in the most aimless way, and weaving the threads of half a dozen different actions into a pattern which is anything but symmetrical. Her Italian scenes are a trifle better than her American ones, but all are deplorably lacking in finish; and the style of the novel is all the more exasperating in its general crudeness, because of the not infrequent passages which show plainly enough that the writer has it in her power to do better if she chooses. As for the title, we are absolutely in the dark as to its meaning, and cannot even tell whether it is to be taken in a literal or a symbolic sense.

"Alexia" has the volume and the texture of a summer novel, and seems almost out of place among the erudite and didactic works of fiction which it is mainly our function to pass in review upon the present occasion. It certainly affords a pleasant relief to the autumnal and even wintry cast of this too instructive and edifying literature. The plot is of the simplest, but the treatment is fresh and attractive; and the familiar story of the man who becomes engaged to the woman whom he does not love, speedily thereafter to come upon the one whom he does, is still fascinating in Mrs. Abbott's bright pages. That the story is of feminine workmanship would be clear enough without the testimony of the title-page-one would only need to come across the passage which describes

the hero as "cutting off the end of a cheroot to be sure of that. For those who dislike to harrow up their soul in novel-reading, we will hasten to observe that the tale ends happily, albeit a little flippantly, in spite of the tragic complications that for a time seem to presage otherwise.

"Mito Yashiki" is a tale of old Japan, and yet the scene is laid only some thirty years ago. But the Japan that Perry first visited was to all intents and purposes the Japan of earlier ages; and the thirty years that have elapsed since his memorable expedition have probably wrought greater changes in the empire of the Mikado than were witnessed by the thirty centuries preceding. Mr. Maclay's story has for its central feature the revolution which, almost in our own day, made of Japan the Mikado's empire in deed as well as in name, and put an end to the usurped power of the Shogun. It is a faithful study of the physical features of the country and of the characteristics of the inhabitants. The subtlety of the Japanese intellect is distinctly brought out, and the curious feudal life which so lately held possession of the islands. Particularly interesting is the account of the political intrigues between the opposing parties of Mikado and Shogun, the elaborate system of espionage in vogue, and the official courier system. Nor is the story wanting in effective dramatic situations, although its action is at times intolerably slow, and its descriptions often lengthened to a wearisome extent. The modes of speech of the characters are mainly English with but slight local coloring. This was, perhaps, a necessary course to take in a work which should strongly appeal to English readers.

Since the Tour du Monde en Quatre-vingts Jours" is no longer to be considered the tour de force that it was when M. Verne published his fascinating romance, it has been evident for some time that there was an opportunity for some ingenious author to improve upon the work of the imaginative Frenchman. This opportunity has been seized upon by Mr. Charles L. Marsh, and the result appears in the shape of a narrative entitled "Opening the Oyster." The suggestions of this title are obvious. The task which Mr. Marsh has set before his travellers (for there are two of them) is to visit the principal cities of the world (forty in number, including Melbourne, Valparaiso, Pekin, Teheran, and Havana) in the space of five years. This would not be so astonishing a feat were it not for one imposed condition. The travel

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