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Brooks. Ill. Boston: D. Lothrop Co. Price $2.50. Although several volumes have been written descriptive of the rise and development of the American navy, this is the first and only work of which we have knowledge that takes wide ground, and deals with the American sailor. In its preparation Mr. Brooks has not been actuated by a desire to merely make a readable book for boys; he has given it the attention which the subject demands as a part of the history of the country.
It would be a difficult matter to get at the first American sailor, or to even guess when he existed, but that our continent was once well populated, and that its prehistoric inhabitants sailed the lakes and seas as well as trod the land, is a matter of certainty. Later, when America became known to Europeans, the new comers found Indians well provided with excellent canoes, built of bark or fashioned from logs, but they were
near shore” sailors. The author quotes one instance where a deep sea voyage was undertaken by them in the early days of the English settlers. Certain Carolina Indians, he says, wearied of the white man's sinful ways in trade, thought themselves able to deal direct with the consumers across the “ Big Sea Water.” So they built several large canoes and loading these with furs and tobacco paddled straight out to sea bound for England But their ignorance of navigation speedily got the best of their valor. They were never heard of more.
The early white navigators of our waters can hardly be considered American sailors. The new found continent was to them of value only for what could be brought away from them in treasure or in merchantable produce, and it was only when an actual and permanent colonization began that a race of native-born sailors was developed on the Atlantic coasts.
The SECRETS AT ROSELADIES. By Mary Hartwell Catherwood. Boston: D. Lothrop Company. Price $1.00. This charming story of the life on the Wabash, which originally appeared as a serial in WIDE AWAKE, will be read by boys and girls with equal pleasure, for the action of the story is pretty well divided between the two. The boys will be immensely entertained with the adventures of the four young treasure-seekers, particularly with that which ends in their capture by the crazy half-breed Shawnee, who proposes to cut off their thumbs to bury in the excavation they have made in the burial mound. The girls' secret, which is of a very different character, is just as amusing in its way. Mrs. Catherwood has a wonderful fund of humor, and a talent for description which many a better-known author might envy. The character of old Mr. Roscladies is capitally drawn, and the account of his journey to the depot after Aunt Jane's trunk is really mirth-provoking. Cousin Sarah and “ Sister” and little Nonie are all charming, and the reader will close the book with regret that there is not more of it.
BROWNIES AND BOGLES. By Louise Imogen Guiney. Ill. Boston: D. Lothrop Co. Price $1.00. This little volume might be fitly styled a fairy handbook, as in it the author describes every kind of the little people" that is found in traditions or literature in all the countries of the world. There are the brownies and waterkelpies of Scotland, the troll and necken of Sweden, the German kobalds, the English fairies, pixies and elves, the Norwegian and Danish dwarfs and bjergfalls, the Irish leprechauns, and a score of others, some of whom are mischievous, some malicious, some house-helpers, and some who are always waiting to do a good turn to those they like. The author mingles her descriptions with anecdotes illustrative of the different qualities and dispositions of the various fairy folk described.
Boston: D. Lothrop Co. Price $1.25. This is a story, instructively told, of a young boy who made a visit to Jerusalem, and other places in the Holy Land, and saw many of the places made interesting in the Biblical narrative. The author's personal knowledge of the localities visited enables her to give vivid and accurate descriptions of them. The book is very handsomely bound ir colored cover from original designs.
LONGFELLOW REMEMBRANCE BOOK. By Samuel Longfellow. Introduction by E. S. Brooks. Ill. Boston: D. Lothrop Co. Price $1.25. It needs no special memorial to perpetuate the memory of Longfellow, and yet this little volume has an interest and a mission which are sufficient reasons for its existence. Its narrative testifies to the love and admiration which the whole Englishspeaking people felt for that sweetest of poets and most admirable of men, and it touches upon those qualities which, apart from his song, encleared him to every one that knew him. and young,” says Mr. Brooks in his brief introduction, “rich and poor, found in him inspiration, counsel, sympathy and help, and his words touched more closely the great, beating human heart than did those of even greater and diviner poets.” With the exception of the introduction, Whittier's poem called out by the death of Longfellow, “ The Poet and the Children” — “An International Episode,” and Miss Guiney's ' Longfellow in Westminster Abbey" — the contents of the book are from the pen of the Rev. Samuel Longfellow. In loving detail he writes of the childhood and boyhood of his brother, his later years, his love for children, and of his life at his charming home at Cambridge. A closing chapter, from another hand, «lescribes the unveiling of the poet's bust in Westminster Abbey, March 1, 1884. The volume is beautifully illustrated.
OLD CONCORD: HER HIGHWAYS AND BYWAYS. Ill. By Margaret Sidney. Boston: D. Lothrop Co. Price $3.00. Of all the books of the year there is not one which carries within it such an aroma of peculiar delight as this series of sketches and descriptions of the highways and byways of that most picturesque of towns, Old Concord. Concord is like no other place in New England. There may be other places as beautiful in their way; there are others, perhaps, of more importance in the Commonwealth, and we know there are hundreds of places where there is more active life to the square foot, but with all these admissions Concord still remains a place of special charm, the result and consequence of more causes than we care to analyze. Its picturesqueness and a certain quaintness of the village has always been noticed by visitors, no matter from what part of the globe they may have come. Added to this is the flavor of Revolutionary history, and the atmosphere created by the daily lives and presence for years of three or four of the giants in American literature. Here lived Hawthorne, and Emerson, and Thoreau, and the Alcotts, father and daughter, and the work that they did here has made it a literary Mecca for all time.
These sketches have all the accuracy of photographs, together with that charm of color and life which a photograph never possesses. The author is a resident of Concord, and a dweller in one of its historic mansions, and is thoroughly acquainted with every nook and corner of the town as well as with every legend which belongs to them. The task which she assumes of guiding readers to the places made famous by pen and sword, is a labor of love, She tells us how the pilgrimage should be undertaken, and what should be seen. We visit with her the ancient landmarks which belong to past generations, and the more modern ones which have even more interest to the multitude. A YOUNG PRINCE OF COMMERCE. By Selden R. Hopkins. Boston. D. Lothrop Company. Price $1.25. We do not know of a better book to put into the hands of boys for the purpose of teaching them the fundamental principles of business than this little volume, which Mr. Hopkins has so in. geniously prepared. Most boys grow into young men without the slightest knowledge of business matters excepting mere buying and selling. The very things that should have been taught them in school at the same time with grammar and geography they know nothing about, and while their heads may be stocked with the rules of syntax and the names and boundaries of all the countries in the world, they may be helpless as babies in the transaction of any business that requires the use of forms or legal methods. It is one of the senseless peculiarities of our school system that it excludes certain subjects of study that are absolutely necessary and gives place to others that are practically useless. It is on that account that we strongly commend this little work as a supplementary reader in schools. In its pages Mr. Hopkins tells an interesting story and sandwiches in between its incidents just the information to which we have reference. The boy who reads it has obtained, when he has finished it, a clear understanding of the principles of trade. He knows the character of mortgages, notes, drafts, stocks and bonds; the theory of banking, discount, exchange and collateral; he learns all about the mysteries of Wall Street and how the brokerage business is conducted; in fine, he gets an excellent understanding of the way business is carried on in general. All this knowledge comes in incidentally, and in connection with the story. The book is very handsomely printed and bound.