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1.-The FRANKS AND THE GAULS . .

The Franks, from their first Appearance in History to the Death

of King Pepin. By Walter C. Perry. London, 1857.

The History of France. By Eyre Evans Crowe. Vols. I. and II.

London, 1858-60.

The History of France. By Parke Godwin. Vol. I. ; Ancient

Gaul. London and New York, 1860.

II.—THE ENGLISH TRANSLATORS OP HOMER . . . 283

The Iliad of Homer, faithfully translated into unrhymed English

metre. By F. W. Newman. London: Walton and Maberly,

1856.

The Iliad of Homer, translated into blank verse. By Ichabod

Charles Wright, M.A., translator of Dante, late Fellow of Mag-

dalen College, Oxford. Books I.-VI. Cambridge: Macmillan

and Co. 1859.

III.-BUILDERS' COMBINATIONS IN LONDON AND PARIS . 314

Report on the Builders' Strike. By T. R. Bennett and G. S. Le-

fevre, Esqrs. Printed for the Trade Societies' Committee of

the Association for the promotion of Social Science. 1860.

Association d'Ouvriers pour l'Entreprise en général du Bâtiment,

rue St. Victor, 155 (Maison Bouyer et Cie.). Documents divers.

IV.-RUSSIAN LITERATURE: MICHAEL LERMONTOFF. . 330

Otcherk Istorii russkoi Poesii. A. Milukoff. (Outline of the

History of Russian Poetry. By A. Milukoff.) St. Petersburg,

1858.

Michael Lermontoff's Poetischer Nachlass, übersetzt von Fr. Bo-

denstedt. (M. Lermontoff's Poetical Remains. Translated by

Herr Bodenstedt.) Berlin, 1852.

V.-Tae MIDDLE AGES IN ENGLAND . . . 348

Monumenta Gildhalla Londoniensis. Liber Albus. Edited for

the Record Commission by H. T. Riley, M.A.

Monumenta Franciscana. Ř. Baconi Opera Minora. Edited for

the Record Commission by the Rev. Professor Brewer.

Memoirs of Libraries. By Edward Edwards. London : Trübner

and Co.

VI.-The NATURAL HISTORY OF CEYLON . . . . 374

Ceylon : an account of the Island, physical, historical, and topo-

graphical, with Notices of its Natural History, Antiquities, and

Productions. By Sir James Emerson Tennent, K.C.S., LL.D.,

&c. In 2 vols. London: Longmans.

ABT.

VII.-FRENCH FICTION: THE LOWEST DEEP . . . 400

Les Mystères de Paris; Atar-Gul. Par Eugène Sue.

La Dame aux Camélias; Le Demi-Monde, un drame ; Le Roman

d'une Femme. Par Alex. Dumas, fils.

Monte-Christo. Par Alex. Dumas, père.

Fanny, une étude. Par Ernest Feydeau.

Confessions d'un Enfant du siècle. Par Alfred de Musset.

Elle et Lui, par George Sand. Lui et Elle, par Paul de Musset.

Lui, par Mme. Louise Collet.

VIII.-BARON RICASOLI AND HIS POLITICAL CAREER . . 427

Atti e Documenti editi e inediti del Governo della Toscana dal 27

Aprile in poi. Firenze, 1860. 3 vols. fcap. 8vo.

I Contemporanei Italiani. Bettino Ricasoli. Per F. Dall'Ongaro.

Torino, 1860. Pp. 74.

IX.-NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE . . . . . . 453

Mosses from an old Manse. By Nathaniel Hawthorne. 2 vols.

Wiley and Putnam, 1846.

Twice-told Tales. By Nathaniel Hawthorne. A new edition.

Routledge, 1852.

The Scarlet Letter. A Romance. By Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Routledge, 1851.

The House of the Seven Gables. A Romance. By Nathaniel

Hawthorne. New Edition. Routledge, 1860.

The Blithedale Romance. By Nathaniel Hawthorne. 2 vols.

Chapman and Hall, 1852.

Transformation; or, the Romance of Monte Beni. By Nathaniel

Hawthorne. 3 vols. Smith, Elder, and Co., 1860.

Life of Franklin Pierce. By Nathaniel Hawthorne. Boston:

Ticknor, Reed, and Fields, 1852.

X.-NATURE AND GOD . .

. . . . . . 482

The present Relations of Science to Religion : a Sermon preached

on Act Sunday, July 1, 1860, before the University of Oxford,

during the Meeting of the British Association. By Rev. Fred-

erick Temple, D.D., Head-Master of Rugby School. Oxford

and London, 1860.

The Correlation of Physical Forces. By W. R. Grove, M.A.,

F.R.S. Second Edition. London, 1850.

The Mutual Relations of the Vital and Physical Forces. By Dr.

Carpenter (Philosophical Transactions, 1850).

Principles of Human Physiology. By Dr. Carpenter. Fifth Edi-

tion, 1855.

The Order of Nature, considered in reference to the Claims of

Revelation. By Rev. Baden Powell, M.A., F.R.S., &c. Lon-

don, 1859.

The Intellectual Development of Europe, considered with refer-

ence to the Views of Mr. Darwin and others, that the Progres-

sion of Organisms is determined by Law. By Prof. Draper,

M.D., of New York. Communicated to the Zoological Section

of the British Association (Athenæum, July 14, 1860).

Glimpses of the Heaven that lies about us. By T. E. Poynting.

London, 1860.

BOOKS OF THE QUARTER SUITABLE FOR READING-SOCIETIES 512

THE NATIONAL REVIEW.

JULY 1860.

Art. I.-EDMOND ABOUT.

Ouvrages de M. About. Paris : Hachette, 1860.

La Nouvelle Carte d' Europe. Paris : Dentu, 1860. ' M. ABOUT is one of the cleverest of living Frenchmen. Perhaps, in his own way, he has no rival. No one in this generation has come so near the sprightliness, the worldly shrewdness, and the drollery of Voltaire. There are many passages in his tales which, without giving any painful sense of direct imitation, are almost to be ranked with Candide and LIngénu. Like Voltaire, M. About charms us not by direct sallies of witty writing so much as by happy turns of language and a certain well-bred impertinence of style. Like Voltaire, he has the art of treating impossible and fantastic incidents as if they were probable, and of carrying us along with a narrative that we laugh at ourselves for admitting as credible. He has the genius of dramatic construction, which enables Frenchmen alone of all people in the world to make any number of good acting plays out of the most miserable materials. Like Voltaire, too, he is fond of applying his sense and his wit to the questions of the day, and of treating political problems with that suggestive lightness which sometimes seems to open veins of rich and available thought, and sometimes invests the most serious affairs of life with an atmosphere of mockery. Unlike Voltaire, however, he never trades on the public appetite for polished licentiousness, and his books are unsoiled with any thing like coarseness. The day is also past in France when Scripture characters were considered to have principally existed that they might provide food for a neat

No. XXI. JULY 1860.

About

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persiflage. : Qf..course Frenchmen will be French, and M. About is not' a devout Catholic; but his works contain little that need shock the legitimate susceptibility of a Protestant family. They are therefore well worth reading; for the language is excellent. They are very amusing, they are flavoured with too strong a common sense to be merely funny, and they illustrate a considerable section of the thoughts and feelings of modern France.

M. About's books, which are now growing tolerably numerous, may be divided into three classes. There are his lighter novels, which are pure romances of society, and which are telling because they are so well constructed and so admirably written ; there are his more serious stories, and the books in which he has described his views on pictures and on the scenes through which he has travelled; and lastly, there are the two studies of current political topics, which he has published in the last year. We propose to say a few words on each of these classes of his works, to notice briefly their contents, and in some measure indicate what we think to be their value. But our object is to remind our readers what M. About has written, rather than to give any account of his works that could be thought to supersede a perusal of them. Where so much of the excellence of the composition depends on how the things are said, and not on what is said, the only way is to go to the books themselves. An abridgment of Candide would be a very dull and unsatisfactory substitute for the Candide of Voltaire.

The Roi des Montagnes is, we think, indisputably the best of M. About's lighter novels. It exhibits much more strikingly than any other his power of making the impossible probable, and of surprising us with the audacity and felicity of the language in which the fun and gaiety of the story are clothed. Many of our readers will remember that this king of the mountains is a brigand-chief named Hadji-Stavros, who is supposed to haunt the neighbourhood of Athens; that a young German and an English lady and her daughter fall into his clutches, whence the ladies are rescued by giving an order for their ransom on a banking-house in which the mamma is a partner, and where the brigand has fortunately an equal sum lodged; and that the German is rescued by an American, who first seizes on the brigand's daughter as a hostage, and then appears on the mountains with a revolver. The scenes that grow out of these incidents are in the highest degree comical. All is farce, and often the farce is sufficiently broad; but the language has a sustained counterfeit of gravity that gives the fun that quiet air which is necessary to make fun really enjoyable. The relations of Hadji-Stavros to the Greek government are the

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