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concerning her. Lisetta, whose name is found in one sonnet, is the most shadowy figure of the five; but possibly she may be the lady whom Dante in the “Banquet” calls Philosophy. This suggestion leads to a discussion of the relation between the “New Life," the “Banquet” and the last part of “Purgatory.” Such a scheme is entirely suitable for a series of lectures, and Professor Grandgent has employed it with very great skill for presenting many of the lyrical poems and the problems connected with their interpretation. A large part of the book consists of rhymed translations; nearly all of them are by Professor Grandgent himself, and these are a distinct contribution to the literature of Dante in English. Many of the poems are extremely difficult, and, except for those in the “New Life,” they have rarely tempted translators. Deft in workmanship as these versions are, their wording is inevitably influenced by the search for English rhymes; but who can derive satisfaction from a lyric translated into prose? Professor Grandgent's general system of interpretation is most sound and scholarly. The somewhat fanciful ascription of names to ladies who are usually nameless is not intended to be taken too seriously, and does not affect the validity of the really important material in the book.
The translation of the “Divine Comedy" by Professor Langdon of Brown University naturally suggests comparison with that by the late Henry Johnson of Bowdoin College, since both of them follow the method of Longfellow-reproducing Dante's meaning with fidelity, while preserving as much of the poetical effect as is possible in English blank verse. Professor Langdon argues convincingly for the use of blank verse, which, he says, gives the closest approximation to the effect of the Italian terza rima; rhymed versions necessarily do more or less violence to the thought of the original, and soon begin to seem out of date. The quality of the three translations mentioned is not widely different; indeed, an appreciable number of lines are identical in two of them, or even in all three. Many passages in Professor Langdon's version are highly effective. On the whole, however, it is more prosaic than Johnson's, through the choice of individual words which correspond literally to those of the Italian original without having quite their suggestiveness. For instance, these lines
(“Hell,” I, 123-8) in Langdon, especially the homely word
With her at my departure I shall leave thee,
as king; there is His town and lofty throne,
With her will I leave thee when I depart,
There is His city and His lofty seat.
KENNETH McKENTIB. . University of Illinois.
NATIONALITY The Principle of Nationalities, by Israel Zangwill, $0.50; National
ism, by Sir Rabindranath Tagore, $1.25; Macmillan Co. The Frontiers of Language and Nationality, by Leon Dominian, $3.00, Henry Holt & Co. Mankind: Racial Values and the Racial Prospect, by Seth K. Humphrey, $1.50, Scribners. New York. 1917.
Nationality? The word seems easy to define. At least it seems easy until one begins to read the books about it. A nation is a group of people living in a definite area and united underNo, the reviewer is sure that his definition has already gone wrong, and if he were to finish he would make a mistake in almost every word. Nationality is "a state of mind” according to Zangwill. “A nation ... is that aspect which a whole population assumes when organized for a mechanical purpose,” says Tagore. In Dominian's opinion “the spirit of nationality represents the highest development of the idea of self-preservation.” Humphrey does not attempt to define nationality, but assumes that the welfare of the nation is the most sacred duty of every good citizen.
The writers of the four books under review belong to four highly diverse races, and grew up in four strikingly diverse habitats. Zangwill is a Jew from London; Tagore is a Hindu from India; Dominian is an Armenian from Constantinople; and Humphrey is an American of English ancestry. Each writes ably in his way, and the opinion of each is worthy of respect, no matter how strongly one may differ from it. The fact that four such men write so ably on kindred subjects is in itself enough to refute the frequent assumption that most of the world's ability is now locked up in the European branches of the Aryan race. The fact that these four differ so radically is strong evidence that even the most careful writers cannot free themselves from the bias arising from their racial affinities.
To begin with Zangwill, probably no one who has read his stories will deny that he has done much good in the world. His little book on nationalities, however, is likely to impress many readers as the idle vaporings of a man without a country. He writes as a homeless and crusty bachelor might write about married life. Zangwill is first and foremost an internationalist. His internationalism is excellent, but that does not make nationalism an evil as he seems to suppose. As well say that because a man belongs
to the Church Universal he should not be loyal to his own church. If a man believes in the brotherhood of all men, is he not thereby the more fully pledged to help his own brother? Zangwill devotes many of his pages to criticism of other writers upon nationalism, and thinks thereby to advance the cause of internationalism. He seems utterly unable to see that the evolution of national feeling, or patriotism, is like the evolution of the feeling for family and kindred. Nationalism is not the final stage of human progress, for internationalism is greater. No man, however, can be a good internationalist who is not a good patriot, just as no man can be a thorough-going patriot who is not intensely loyal to his family. The quality of Mr. Zangwill's writing may be judged from the only sentence which he italicizes: “All Nationalities not Simple are combinations of Simple Nationality, and into a Secondary Simple Nationality fused from all the primary they all tend to pass.
One might almost judge from this that Mr. Zangwill is himself one of those people who, as he says, “live after Christ, but not in the Christian era.”
Tagore's book charms by its inimitable style, but if its ideas were couched in ordinary English, they would pass unnoticed. It is wonderful that a man who at times uses English which is ungrammatical can hold the reader's attention so steadily. Listen to these sentences in which Tagore anathematizes the process which he supposes to have led to the growth of nationality:“This process of dehumanizing has been going on in commerce and politics. And out of the long birth-throes of mechanical energy has been born this fully developed apparatus of magnificent power and surprising appetite, which has been christened in the West as the Nation. As I have hinted before, because of its quality of abstraction it has, with the greatest ease, gone far ahead of the complete moral man. And having the conscience of a ghost and the callous perfection of an automaton, it is causing disasters of [sic] which the volcanic dissipations of the youthful moon would be ashamed to be brought into comparison.
So long as Tagore confines himself to imaginative writing he deserves the highest admiration. When he attempts to reason scientifically he fails. He does not believe in science: “The real truth is that science is not man's nature, it is mere knowledge and training.” He fails to realize that the scientific habit of thought,
which may be defined as intense curiosity combined with a determined zeal to find out, is natural-it is innate in thousands or perhaps millions of the children of the West long before they have been trained and filled with knowledge.
Stripped of its fascinating imagery and rhythmical language, Tagore's book is merely a protest against the way in which the energy of the West imposes itself upon the indolence of the tropics. To him the nation par excellence is Britain. He hates the impersonal nature of the British rule in India, and thinks that strong national feeling stifles individuality. “We who are no nation," as he proudly says, "feel that our task is not yet done.
Our history is that of our social life and attainment of spiritual ideals. . . . The teaching and example of the West have entirely run counter to what we think was given to India to accomplish."
When the reviewer had read forty-five pages of Tagore's book he wrote this comment: “A vivid appeal of the weak, impotent, but brainy man of the tropics against the over-mastering power of the 'nations' which live in the temperate zone." He meant that Tagore typifies the lack of energy and hence the weakness which is the inevitable consequence of life within the tropics. Science and a compact national organization require tremendous energy. That is why they have developed only in a small group of western nations and in Japan. It is far harder to write truth than poetry. The Japanese may have meant something of this kind when, according to his own quotation, they said that Tagore's "was the poetry of a defeated people.” Like Zangwill, Tagore seems to oppose the idea of nationality because he belongs to a race which has no nation of its own. Such a race is to be pitied, not blamed.
Dominian strikes another note. For him the nation is a political unit. Although he belongs to a race without a nation, he has assimilated the American idea of nationality. He rejoices in being a part of the American nation, but his book shows that he does not forget his Armenian antecedents. His book is well written, but it lacks the fire of Zangwill's and naturally cannot approach the style of Tagore's. Yet as a contribution to this much vexed question it far surpasses the others. It undertakes to determine the relation of language to nationality in Europe and the Near East. The book is a scientific and accurate account of the