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works of the same author, in the merit of the execution and the interest it awakened. The superior effect was due, no doubt, in part to the novelty of her method, and somewhat also to her subject, in the Reformation, and the close adherence to historical incidents and personages.
“Kitty Trevylyan" and the “ Draytons and Davenants,” treating of the times of the Commonwealth, and of the Methodist revival in the last century, were scarcely inferior in the interest of the subject or in literary skill. The same may be said of some of her briefer sketches of the early Saxon Christianity. But the volumes in which the same author treated of the early centuries, and the conquest of Paganism, were too diffuse, with too little of historical interest. In this latest work she returns to the journalizing method of her most successful delineations, still dealing with religious themes, but with questions and conflicts of the present day, ritualism, rationalism, and fervent evangelical sentiment. The delineation is of the Christian family of a clergyman of the English Church, through the note-books of the older members. A thread of pedigree connects them with the Davenants of the earlier story. It comes short of the works before named in not grouping the personages and sentiments around historical incidents, and in being taken up too largely with reflections. The sentiment tends here and there to sentimentalism. There is a mechanical aspect, and something of monotony, in the distribution of the matter among the several note-books, and giving all the characters their parts, and also in conducting religionists of different types through opposite transitions to the writer's standpoint. We must complain too, of the growing habit in this devout and amiable writer, of breaking up the composition into the briefest fragmentary paragraphs, often only of a line or clause, a French literary fashion carried to the extreme. Yet beautiful thoughts and happy illustrations abound in these pages, and the reader will find himself attracted by their delineations of Christian character and fervent expressions of evangelical thought and feeling. In the thirtieth chapter one of the principal persons sets forth her own “experience” of what is
" called the higher life," though mildly dissenting from that phrase, thus bringing into view the recent religious movement in England under the auspices of R. P. Smith from this country.
VICTORIAN POETS.* --We have arrived at a period in which the
. proportions of what will be called hereafter, and is beginning to be called even now, the “ Victorian Era” in English Literature, have taken very definite form. In the past forty years, every department of letters has been impressed by the spirit of the times, and the public taste and the accepted canons of criticism have run through almost a complete cycle. The productions of the English metrical writers, during these years, present a field for the student and critic full of attractiveness. It is upon this field that Mr. Stedman has entered, and we have the results in the book whose title we give above. The arrangement which has been followed is that of criticism of the foremost poets, in such a way as not only to present an historical review of the whole course of British poetry since the accession of Queen Victoria, but to include a discussion of all the different phases of poetic art and life. The book is not one which is to be hurried through of an evening, but one which will repay careful study. Some of the questions which are discussed are such as these. The effects of culture upon spontaneity; the influence which science has exerted upon poetry; the possibilities of harmony between them; the relation of the prevalent scepticism to creative art; the advance which has been made in poetry as an art during the period under review; the modern revival of the dramatic instinct. It will be seen that the book is suggestive in a very high degree.
Boston: James R.
* Victorian Poets. By EDMUND CLARENCE STEDMAN. Osgood & Co. 1876. 12mo, pp. 441.
LITERARY Notes.* _This book presents a series of what can hardly be called Essays-nine in number-on such subjects as Insufficiency; Extremes; Disguises; Standards; Rewards; Limits; Incongruity; Mutations; Parodoxes. The chapters on these subjects will remind the reader of the man who waded through the Dictionary, and declared that it was a very interesting book, but that there did not seem to be much connection in it. There is after all some connection” in these chapters, but it is the connection of a classified Index Rerum. Even the Table of Contents of this collection of anecdotes, and bright sayings, will be found to be entertaining. Fortunately, too, there is a good Index.
THE YEARS THAT ARE TOLD.-If Miss Porter had been trained to use the brush of a painter, the sentiments and the descriptions of life here embodied would have been presented on the canvass in a series of paintings with the titles of Day-dawn-Morning-Noon-- Afternoon-Even-tide. However, in place of the brush, she has used the pen; yet her illustrations of these themes which can never grow old, and which can never be devoid of interest, show that she has true poetic insight. The “studies” of her five sketches are found in the memories of an aged Christian woman who is about to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of her wedding day. Perhaps some readers may be disposed to criticise Miss Porter's work in respect to what might be called her technique, yet no one can fail to be charmed with her manner of developing her themes, or to be impressed anew with thankful reverence for every beautiful exhibition of the Eventide of a long life well spent.
* Literary Notes. By A. P. RUSSELL. New York: Hurd & Houghton. 12mo,
+ The years that are told. By ROSE PORTER. York: 12mo, pp. 234.
A. D. F. Randolph & Co. New
CURRENCY AND BANKING.*_ This little book by Professor Bonamy Price contains the substance of the lectures on the principles of currency and banking delivered by him at the University of Oxford. His first chapter is devoted to the consideration of a metallic currency, the second chapter to the subject of paper currency, and the third to banking.
Professor Price is very happy in the employment of simple language and a perspicuous style, and in the avoidance in great degree of technical terms. If to some readers he should seem to dwell too much on the primary principles it must be remembered that in this country propositions which are almost self-evident are called in question. His discussion of the subject of currency is very clear and satisfactory, as well as timely. We should question the correctness of the proposition which he argues at some length, that there can be no excess of a convertible currency; if by convertible he means a currency wbich may be, but is not actually, converted. The history of the currency in this country has shown that there may be a tacit understanding not to demand of the banks payment for their issues ; and that the existence of a large excess of currency tends to stimulate overtrading, or in other words to find new and unnecessary uses for the excess of currency which cannot be used in the legitimate channels of trade. This is, however, incidental to the main argument which is full,
* Currency and Banking. By BONAMY PRICE, Professor of Political Economy in the University of Oxford. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 1876.
clear, and convincing on the absolute need of a currency based on and convertible into coin.
The chapter on banking is interesting and able, exhibiting the same characteristics of style and in the use of language as that on currency. In this, also, he descends to elementary truths and develops his views in a forcible manner. His illustrations are naturally drawn from the Bank of England, the working of which is clearly explained. It is worthy of the careful perusal of all bankers and business men. We think many in this country would dissent from his views on the subject of bank reserves. This, however, is a pet theory of his and does not seriously detract from the value of the essay.
The book is printed in beautiful style and is quite attractive in its general appearance.
PROTECTION AND FREE TRADE.*_ The author of this book devoted the greater part of his active life to journalism in the interior of the State of New York, and sustained an influential position. He was one of the early promoters of telegraph companies in this country, and his investments in this direction proved very remu nerative. After his retirement from journalism he gave more study than he had been able to give during his active life, to the subject of political economy, and this posthumous publication is one of the results of his investigations.
It is such a book as might be expected from such a man, confident and decided in its views, and fearless in conducting an argument to its conclusions, but without scientific analysis or arrangement. It is a discussion of the principles which underlie the doctrine of free trade. A large part of the book is devoted to the idea of value. He combats with much vigor Bastiat's definition of value, that “it describes the relation existing between two services exchanged” and Professor Perry's explanation that "it is a relation which one thing holds to another thing.” He follows these writers very closely through their processes, and if he sometimes disproves some collateral position, he does not seem to us to sustain his attack on the main point or to establish his own position that value is an intrinsic, inherent quality of things.
* Protection and Free Trade : an enquiry whether protective duties can benefit the interests of a country in the aggregate; including an examination into the nature of value, and the agency of the natural forces in producing it. By Isaac Butts. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. 1875.
The chapters on the relation of the natural forces to labor and on the principles of protection and free trade are good specimens of the application of strong common sense to abstract subjects. The author is a firm believer in free trade and presents the usual arguments in favor of it, and against the arguments of the protectionists in a forcible and striking manner.
Civil LAW AND THE CHURCHES. *—The authorities of the Union Theological Seminary in New York obtained for their students, last winter, two lectures from a learned Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States on the relations of churches to the law of the land. Judge Strong's reputation as a jurist is a sufficient voucher for the quality of his teaching now that it has taken the form of a book. The modest sentence at the ending of his second lecture indicates the aim and the value of the work. “Fully sensible as I am that what has been said is not a full exposition of the subject, . . . . and that it will not make you lawyers, it has, I hope, revealed to you something that you may hereafter find convenient and useful.” Clergymen, of all denominations, need to understand definitely what the State has to do with churches ; and those who read the little book and keep it in their libraries, will learn more from it, and more accurately, than they could have learned from a mere hearing of the lectures.
SCHILLER'S DIE PICCOLOMINI.t-This volume is the second of the series, entitled “German Classics forj American Students," which is to be edited by James Morgan Hart, LL.D., and published by G. P. Putnam's Sons. The volume which preceded it was the Hermann and Dorothea of Gæthe. The critical apparatus furnished for the use of students who may read the Piccolomini is very complete, and comprises an historical introduction of some sixty pages; critical and explanatory notes, covering thirty pages; and an Index in which an account is given of the persons and places which are referred to in the drama; and a map in which are represented the political divisions of Germany at the commencement of the thirty years war.
* Two Lectures upon
Relations of Civil Law to Church Polity, Discipline, and Property. By Hon. WILLIAM STRONG, LL.D., Justice of the Supreme Court, U. S. New York: Dodd & Mead 12mo, pp. 141.
+ Schiller's Die Piccolomini, edited with an Introduction, Commentary, Index of persons and places, and Map of Germany. By JAMES MORGAN HART. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. 16mo, pp. 178.