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should be reserved for esoteric dis- the literary interest is hardly less. ciples, not poured forth in primers. The political coup d'état of DecemNevertheless, the obligation to Mr. ber receives from these records. Gladstone's ingenuity is very great.
additional light, and while they To use a phrase of his own this dis- clear up some misapprehensions, sertation upon Homer is “incorpo- and correct some mistakes, they rated thought;" the Homer of our show it to be unmistakeably a schooldays sublimated and ethe- foul unmitigated atrocity. Hardly rialised; the apotheosis is something less curious as a literary matter is too brilliant and too charming not the story of the coup d'état aimed to be cordially accepted; we would at the Institute in May, 1855, only return once and again to the related by so well informed a narsturdy critical Wolf and his rator as M. Ampère, himself an prolegomena
corrective ; Imperialist with intimate social again correcting Wolf by Müller relations at the Elysée (pp. 17, 19, or Nitsch ; not as an antidote, for vol. 2). The story of the attentat, we are well assured no poison lurks and the hitherto unexplained relucamidst the flowers of this many- tance to execute Orsini, with the hued garland, but only as a more reason for it, is another of the sober and a more truthful estimate Second Empire episodes which is of Homer, i.e., both of the Homeric here unravelled. There is, indeed, poems, and of the Homeric age. hardly a circumstance of recent Meanwhile this little volume has French history that does not in served to levy tribute from history, some way or other find, if not its cosmology, ethnology, and mytho- solution, at least elucidation and logy, polity and ethics, art and discussion in these Conversations. religion, for the illustration and the The record of those held with M. adornment of Homer; whilst Thiers are themselves history ; and “Homer" in return has added to those with M. Guizot are history each a gorgeous contribution, from with la haute politique of statesthe bounteous wealth of his com- manship superadded. Topics of mentator. Still, Quo me rapis Tui all kinds, indeed, come across the plenum, might be the exclamation speakers; the effect of the six of the traditional blind old Bard of years' enforced celibacy imposed by the heroic age!
the law of conscription on the This crowning of the Primers population of France, the condemnreminds us that Professor Huxley's ing to it annually 40,000 of the “Introduction” is still, as from the best picked men; Madame Ristori's. first, "preparing." It is almost reason for dying her own black tantalising to have so inordinately hair yellow to play Cassandra ; long an announcement; the partu- the piquant causeries with Madame rition is formidable, what will be Mohl, and her revelations of mysthe evolution ?"
teries in the life of Madame
Recamier ; all this, and much more, Conversations with M. Thiers, M. the very cream of the salons, is. Guizot, and other distinguished
detailed with sparkling vivacity; Persons during the Second Empire. while disquisitions follow, giving By the late Nassau William Senior, M. Thiers' views on Free Trade, M. &c., &c. Edited by his daughter, Guizot's on the prospects of Italy, M. C. M. Simpson. London : on indifference to religion, on the Hurst and Blackett. 1878.
difficulties of a good literary style, The political interest of these two and the like. It would be almost volumes is of the utmost value; sufficient to name Montalembert,
Mérimée, Duc de Broglie, Chevalier, of importance,
of importance, while the vast Rémusat, Manin, Lamartine, empire, with the warlike people of Beaumont, as the minor dramatis Ethiopia, will be one factor in solving persone of the book, for our readers the problem. These two volumes to be quite sure that in the hands are an account of a journey which of Mr. Senior, with the editing of expanded from a mere shooting Mrs. Simpson, the record of these excursion among the highlands of Conversations cannot fail to be of Abyssinia into a formal visit to permanent value as well as of King Yohannes, and that again interest. They are just the conver- afterwards took an almost official sations which photograph the men character. Capt. de Cosson, who and the subjects that occupied writes this book, with his brother them ; just the books which, if we Baron de Cosson, not only penecould have had them for the age of trated into the interior of the Queen Elizabeth, or even of Queen country, reaching both Gondar, the Anne, could not be enough prized, capital of Ethiopia, and the Lake and which posterity will prize as Tzana, the great reservoir of the the best contemporary comment on Blue Nile, returning through the period they cover of the Second Sennar, and seeing Berber, the Empire in France, and concur- plains of the Soudan, or country rently and incidentally of Europe of the blacks and the junction generally, and in particular of there of the Atbara with the Nile; England. The record forms a but they were so received by the most readable, charming book, as remarkable man who now fills the well as a work indispensable for throne of King Theodorus that historical reference.
they obtained access to every source
of information, and had unusual The Cradle of the Blue Nile: a opportunities of doing so. The Visit to the Court of King John of result is an account of life at the Ethiopia. By E. A. de Cosson, Ethiopian court, and a record of F.R.G.S. Murray: London. conversations with the king, ex
Abyssinia, ten years ago, had for tremely curious in themselves, and Englishmen great interest, and which may prove to be of conlater events have recalled it. siderable value hereafter. It is Abyssinia then added the name of not to be forgotten that the Magdala to the British peerage, British Government has formally and the Roman death of King recognised the Emperor of Theodore left his heir a charge for Ethiopia, and has also approved guardianship to this country; but the appointment in London of an Abyssinia in the near future, and Abyssinian Consul. That office is in regard to Egypt, may become of at this time held by Mr. Henry S. still higher political interest, King, of Cornhill, a name familiar though it is to be hoped that no in literature. The complaints of second Abyssinian war may mark encroachment on Ethiopian terriEngland's share in its fortunes. tory by the Khedive, and of aggresThe encroachment of Egypt on the sions by his troops, were carefully Abyssinian frontier is not alone as stated by King Yohannes, who an element of disturbance; the seems to have well considered his slave trade of Upper Nubia is a frontiers. Pp. 35 to 48, vol. ii. ought matter of even greater moment; to be read for their political while, beyond everything else, bearing upon Egypt. And, still civilisation in Africa is on every more, the question of slavery account becoming more and more should be considered with the
papers forming the appendix, Mr. Pretyman is as severe upon
the actual picture the molluscous state to which of the slave market itself at Gala- inalienable right to poor relief rebat, forming chapter XXV. Of duces what should be the sturdy course this book deals much with backbone of responsibility and sport, and sport in the Abyssinian independence, as
independence, as Mr. Hornsby highlands is of an exciting nature; Wright is upon the evils due to but the geology, as well as the unorganised charity. geographical character of the “What is the use of saving? The country, is most competently parish must keep us,” says Mr. described. On both heads the Pretyman, is no uncommon laninformation given is both new and guage, but indeed the sentiment apparently carefully verified. As of a class. The problem of how a book of travels in a remote to relieve the really destitute, and country of rising interest these those temporarily unable to earn a volumes will be found
interest- maintenance, without discouraging ing, and they open up
also thrift, is truly difficult one to many matters that have a wider solve. The only certain way would bearing beyond the immediate sub- be to make contribution to a benefit ject. It is well written and lively society compulsory ; but what without being flippant. We had difficulties would stand in the way marked for extract “a camel ride of carrying out so gigantic an across the plains,” but we can do ordinance! And questions which no more than refer our readers to are but stilled might arise as to that heading and to the journey what is the equitable remuneration down the Blue Nile, as well as the of labour, and upon what pittance description of Gondar. We expect, it is possible to support life in a however, that the most attractive country where the territory is too part will be the royal camp at small in relation to the population Ambachara. Banquets of for nature to help the poor by her meat, with a master of the cere- wild harvests. monies robed in purple velvet and In principle those are no doubt carrying his white wand, seem an right who oppose the doctrine that incongruity; but they are fully the poor rate is to be regarded as matched by more incongruous the inalienable right of the ableblendings of barbarism and civili
But before carrysation. If it may be regarded as in ing out that principle, they ought any measure a state of transition, first to make sure that social conthis visit to the court of King ditions have not been made to John will at some future time form press unfairly upon the worker, a curious picture of the Ethiopia by the want of knowledge or conof to-day. We are glad it has sideration of those who really fallen to one so competent as the have power. It is quite open to writer of these volumes to describe a capitalist to enter upon a trade it, and that he has so well used the which shall gather together a opportunities he had of doing so. village of labourers, and then to
lose his money in speculation and Dispauperisation : Popular leave the helpless creatures with. Treatise on Poor Law Evils and out succour.
Is it fair to blame their Remedies. By J. R. Prety- the labourer that he cannot comman, M.A. Second edition, revised mand the great forces that set and enlarged. London :
: Long- industries in motion, or to refuse 1878.
to make any provision for the con
tributor who has done his best to fashion of election time, when produce wealth, if by no fault of money and drink are extravagantly his own, by no lack of such fore- squandered because the wealthy sight as he is capable of, he is left have a temporary interest in the resourceless ?
lower classes. It is hard to expect Before rejecting the makeshift an unbroken decorous regularity system of parish poor relief, re- and thrift from the public's serformers ought also to have settled vants, and yet so to overwork them what is to be done with the help- during Society's seasons or times less. It might fairly be urged that of fashionable festivity, that they a labourer in work shall be left to cannot take their meals from a support a bed-ridden mother or a table, and, if they are not Hercusickly child. But what if he has lean, end in finding liquor the only an invalid mother-in-law or aunt thing they can stomach. It is on his hands as well, or three hard to preach the beneficent reign weakly children instead of one? of law, and yet practically to force The clear-brained theorist cannot struggling masses into damp and be allowed to settle social problems ill-built houses (where a whole by a rigid intellectual rule; the family has been known to sicken motherly mind is required which without knowing why); to turn igwill take account of small excep- norant folk, held to particular tions and bend its sympathetic quarters by the necessities of their attention to the homeliest details of peculiar kind of bread-winning, life. We want the woman's mind into alleys where the air is unwholeto enter upon these questions; some and depraving, and where their the trained woman's mind, that children, who rarely see sunlight is to say, which has acquired or Nature's face, grow up into apt method without loss of womanly pauper material like their parents. characteristics, and quick insight Such matters as these are common into detail. Practical, kindly enough, and are by no means to be Florence Nightingale’s “Note of reckoned as hardships; but it is no Interrogation ” has never yet been wonder that the position of the answered by words that deserve to labouring class should come to be conclude by a full stop. We feel regarded by kindly folk with some that a great question is opened little sentiment, rather than with when she refers to "the prevailing scientific absolutism. fallacy that, if we do not give to There is perhaps a danger in vagrants, they will find work for
discussing pauperism, of confusthemselves. While helping the ing two widely-different classes. industrious to help themselves One is that of the associated there is a greater thing still to do artisans, who are the aristocracy yet—to help the helpless to help of the classes who live by handthemselves.
labour, and are at present someTheorists have to discover whether what powerful; the other is the what is given to the weak or igno. class consisting of members of the rant with one hand is not taken smaller and un - self - protecting away with the other, or whether trades, and the miscellaneous ruck something of greater value than of humanity that has been appren. the gift is not abstracted.
ticed to no craft, and lives by odd It seems idle, for instance, to work of descriptions almost impreach virtue from the pulpit, and possible to classify. There is a then to introduce politics into the danger, in confusing such different village after the demoralising kingdoms, of feeling strictly commercial with regard to the poor, poor, there is a danger of omitting when we are only irritated by the to preach to, or allow for, that assumptions of the powerful orga- prevalent capitalist whose only nisations which can fight for them- idea of the reality or position of selves, though they are perhaps his capital, whether the form it scarcely strong enough, even had take be houses that hold living they the will, to bear the burden beings, or a trade that decimates of the problem of the great
great its apprentices, is as representing “residuum.”
a sum of money earning seven per To return to Mr. Pretyman's cent. at least. work, we cannot but say that it possesses a high value: the literary classes at least can be said to A Handful of Honeysuckle. By do their duty in the way of such
A. Mary F. Robinson. C. Kegan work as they can do for social
Paul and Co. 1878. amelioration. But while a city of
This little volume of poems is as the wealth of London can be left interesting as it is modest. Occato decay by the corrosion of its sionally its verses are feeble, and own smoke, which defiles the air nowhere is there deep passion ; yet breathed by aristocratic as well as every page contains true poetry. plebeian; and, while the middle Although Miss Robinson should classes are content to dwell with feel complimented by the compari. sewer-gas modestly admitted by a son, we might liken some of her pipe or two into each house, we can pieces to the work of Christina scarcely expect that any very great
Rossetti. ardour will be felt for the improvement of the condition of The Passion of Dido; or the the poor. Dispauperisation would Fourth Book of the Æneid of Virgil, at least be approached if those freely rendered in English blank who have power were alive to the verse; with notes. By William importance of better conditions Johnson Thornhill, ex-scholar of both for the mind and the body of Trinity College, Dublin, Canon of St. the nation. What is spent in un
Patrick's Cathedral, &c. London: necessary luxuries would amply G. Bell and Sons. 1878. cleanse and replace all the foul and Canon Thornhill has a better depraving conditions of physical notion of blank verse than some existence in our country. The popular poets that might be named. money lent to Turkey might have His rhythm is strong, and without reduced the percentage of disease either monotony or mannerism. by a rate at least larger than will We hope that we have before us an ever be paid on the loans.
earnest that a version of the whole might surely as comfortably have of the Æneid, by the same hand, built wholesome houses in England may one
may one day be presented to us. with the money as extravagant
If understand the author palaces in Turkey.
aright, he has already completed Mr. Pretyman is a believer in one-half of the task. industrial schools, in the teaching We ought not to pass by this of domestic economy to working work without reference to the girls, and in many other excellent notes, which are made especially plans which we may trust are interesting by their very full quotagradually being brought into the tion of parallelisms between the region of the practical. But in text and the work of Englishpreaching to, and arranging for the writing poets.