« AnteriorContinuar »
son's more dignified works. However | Roman Empire disappeared, and the this may be, it is quite evident that the dominance obtained by the Church over. laureate has, consciously or uncon as well as by reason of, their ignorance. sciously, changed his style, abandoning Shall I malign the present age if I say idealistic painting for realistic, and aim that the civilization of the past, like ing at greater directness and simplicity Boethius of old, is suddenly confronted of treatment. Let us for a moment en by new barbarians (I use Matthew quire into the meaning of this. There Arnold's word) coming from below, and are two elements that have to be taken that over these masses unable to appreinto account when we are considering ciate the criticism of Literature and Literary Revolutions. These are brought Dogma,' Science holds absolute sway ; about quite as much by the widening of | that before science much of the poetry the circle of readers, for whom literature and potency of beauty of the past are comes into being, as by the changes of melting away, like Shakespeare's fairy thought that pass over the atmosphere land in the cold clutch of time. We can in which the poet lives and writes. These understand at once the natural repulsion two elements combine together to form felt by poets to materialism and the what is called 'the Spirit of the Age.' effect that it produces in their writings. Thus the literature of a country keeps As the world of fact grows more uninvitpace with its social changes, and the ing, they get further away from it; they transference of power which slowly goes write for the few about subjects in which on in the political world is reflected in the few only take interest, in a language literature by the changes of subject and which the few only can understand. style. To illustrate this point: The Such is the history of much of the poetry change from the involved construction of the day. A recent critic thus writes of English prose in the 17th century to of Swinburne's last volume (Studies in the comparatively simple style of the Song'): 'He appears to have never come 18th century, or, again, the revolution in contact with the world ; he knows identified with the name of Wordsworth, nothing of its sorrows, its delights, its piz., the revolt from the correct school hopes ; at least, he cannot identify himof poetry to the nature poets of the pre- | self with them and mould them into sent century, were both in a very real poems. He, therefore, stands apart, and sense popular changes. A similar revo sings of grief, love, hate, hope and deslution is taking place in literature at the pair as abstract sentiments.' And with present day. It would, in fact, be a change of subject this is true of most strange if it were not so, when we reflect contemporary poetry. Tennyson's senon the strides that democracy is making sitiveness to his environment has led him in almost every country in Europe and to change his style to address himself to America. The circle of readers, owing the feelings that actually agitate the to the spread of education, is widening great public about him. His last poem year by year, and the would-be popular may be full of inorbid introspection, but poem in 1881 has to reckon with a very the subject is real enough. I regard, different audience from a poem published then, the present as the beginning of a in 1837. The reading public of that year new era in poetry as in so much else, an was a mere oligarchy coinpared with the era of which the first prophet was one, reading public now. And if we consider much of whose writings it is impossible this state of things attentively, at the to admire, pay even to tolerate-the same time trying to estimate the effect poet of democracy, Walt Whitman. Of that the popularization of Science and life,' he tells us in an Inscription to his scientific modes of thought has had upon * Leaves of Grass,' 'immense in passion, the imagination, we shall be in a posi. pulse and power, the modern man I sing. tion to appreciate what Tennyson means And Tennyson was undoubtedly thinkby the 'new dark ages of the popular ing of the new life coming from America press,'as well as to account for the ster to regenerate that of the Old World when, ility of imaginative and poetical litera in his late volume, he invoked the ' diture at the present day. The Dark Ages viner Air' to come ‘far from out the of history were the times of ignorance west,' and to 'breathe over all this weary produced by two causes working simul world of ours.' Only when this influtaneously : the influx of a rude, unlet ence is more fully felt and the diviner tered multitude into Europe before Light breaks 'far from out a sky forwhom the ancient civilization of the ' ever bright' over the ruined world.' will literature revert to her old glories. viner air and light shall have sprung up ; And when poets have become accus we may hope that the reflections of agtomed to their environment, and ceased nostic monomania will seem no less unfit to think so brainsickly of things ;' when subject for poetry than the crazes of æsthe tyranny of science is overborne, and theticism. a new generation invigorated by a di- .
R. W. BOODLE.
The Prince and the Pauper, by MARK | unauthorized New York reprints of a
Twain. Montreal : Dawson Bros., British copyright. Of course an inter1881.
national treaty applied to literature
between the United States and Great This new production of Mark Twain Britain, if ever secured, would remove has had the advantage of some extrane injustice on both sides and do away with ous advertising in the effort made by his the anomalies of the position. But unMontreal publishers to secure for it Can til that is negotiated, Canada, we argue, adian copyright, on the strength of its should have complete control over her author's sojourn in Canada, while an edi. copyright legislation, and the absurdity tion of the work for sale in the Domin of protecting the literature of other ion was passing through the press. The countries, while our own has no like conapplication was, however, refused, on sideration given it, should cease. That the plea that the brief visit of the author we have so long consented to tie our to Montreal was not a full compliance own hands in the matter of reprinting with the Act which gives the privilege English books in Canada, while our of copyright to those “domiciled” in neighbours were royally free to reproCanada. This interpretation of the law duce and send them into the country, may be officially justified, though we has always seemed to us a national fatuincline to think that when the Act was ity without a parallel. It would seem being passed the question of “ domicile” equal lunacy to give copyright in Canawas made subordinate to the condition da to American literature while our own that the work for which a native copy and that of England have no similar proright was sought should be printed in tection on the other side. the country. Its author, we conceive, But let us say a word or two of the therefore, should, so long as the existing book before us. “The Prince and the law remains in force, have had a copy Pauper,' is a delightful boy's book. It right-and more particularly so, because is a highly-sugared dose of English hishe had already secured one in England. tory of the Tudor period, and gives us a While expressing this view, however, we form of the legend which has so often by no means subscribe to the doctrine appeared in Indo-European folk lore, of that what is copyright in England should the Prince wandering in disguise and be copyright here, at least in the case of unrecognised. As rendered by Mr Clean alien in whose country no reciprocal mens, the story is of a little London privilege is accorded. It may be very street arab, beaten and maltreated in a annoying to Mark Twain to find cheap drunken home, but saved from moral Canadian reprints of his books crossing evil by the instructions of a'good old the line and clandestinely underselling priest, -one of those ejected from the the author's high-priced American edi. monasteries of Henry VIII. In a prettily tivns. But it is equally a matter of loss imagined scene this boy is brought into and annoyance to the English author to contact with the little Prince Edward, find the Canadian market glutted with afterwards Edward VI. The boys exchange clothes and, by an accident, | fast and loose with doctrine is a vice the real prince is hustled into the streets, with theological writers, who are too while his comrade is recognised by every apt to import casuistry into argument. one as the true prince. Here and there The same disingenuousness, as we think, a few American vulgarisms, which would appears in Dr. Norman's sneer at the have been better omitted, crop out; admission of a Unitarian member to the but on the whole the situations are Committee of Revision. The italics in treated with much genial comic humour. the following quotations are ours :The adventures of the true Prince are There should be a moral and spiritual well conceived ; and religious insanity as well as a critical faculty, also one who is aptly described in the Hermit. The * examines the living Word as a surgeon book is very readable, though in a new dissects an inanimate corpse, and one who vein from that which Mark Twain has places the Inspired record on a level hitherto worked. The volume will make with any other book, though I do not an acceptable New Year's present. apply this to Mr. Vance Smith ? can
hardly be said to possess all the neces
sary qualifications. If this does not Considerations on the Revised Edition apply to Mr. Vance Smith, to whom
of the New Testament. By the Rev. does it apply ? Dr. Norman is speaking Canon R. W. NORMAN, M. A., D.C.L. of the admission of a Unitarian member. Montreal : The Gazette Printing Com Some,' he says, speaking presumedly pany. 1881.
for himself and those of his school,
'may regret the presence on the ComThis brochure contains a scholarly mittee of a Unitarian member,' Now and well written review of the excellen this sub-acid intolerance, the modern cies and defects of the Revised New survival of the spirit of St. Dominic, Testament ; which in the absence of the
may pass unchallenged when confined to achievement of a perfect Greek Text, ecclesiastical buildings wherein the anathe author accepts as 'a most valuable themas of Athanasius, the damnatory, contribution to our knowledge of Scrip are still recited if not believed; but when ture.' Dr. Norman has done good ser it comes into the light of day and enters vice to theological and other students of the arena of literature, such language the New Testament, by inserting in his becomes a fair mark for criticism, with appendix, first, a list of important no right to claim benefit of clergy. We changes or omissions in the Revisers' therefore feel bound to say that Dr. text,' and secondly, Samples from the Norman's contemptuous rejection of Revised edition, of passages where there Unitarians from the rank of Christians, is an improvement in the way of in and his treatment of Mr. Vance Smith's creased accuracy. In the latter list of claims to our gratitude as one of the Resamples, the rendering in the authorised vision Committee, seems to us in the version and that in the revision are put very worst taste of reactionary ecclesiin parallel columns. This gives a great asticism. The spirit of bigotry which help in estimating the amount of im dictates such petty insults to the Uniprovement effected. Dr. Norman's re tarian branch of the Christian Church marks on this subject are sensible and is certainly not in favour with the laity well put ; but in speaking of the ques of the Church to which Dr. Norman betion of Inspiration he seems to contra longs, though it is but too likely to redict himself ; at one placo, p. 6, main commend him to his clerical brethren. taining 'plenary Inspiration, and that to alter one word or even one letter would be presumptuous and profane.' Suicide : an Essay on Comparative Moral This is the old-fashioned verbal Inspira Statistics. By HENRY MORSELLI, M.D., tion theory with a vengeance. But if Professor of Psychological Medicine in so, how comes Dr. Norinan to say that the Royal University, Turin, &c. New • the Sacred writers were not passive York : D. Appleton & Co. ; Toronto : instruments in the hands of the Holy N. Ure & Co. 1882. Ghost,' which is exactly what they must have been if they had such plenary in In addition to maps displaying the spiration' that it would be profane to geographical intensity of suicide, this alter' one word or even one letter' of book contains over fifty valuable statiswhat they wrote ? This habit of playing' tical tables, showing the seasons, the places, the ages, the callings, religions, I our own time. Among them a high place and other conditions that conduce to may well be given to the really pretty self-destruction. Among the interest poems quoted from Mr. Thomas O'Hagan, ing facts to be gleaned from the tables of Belleville, Ont., at page 131. But why are these : suicide increases alarmingly, is no extract given from the very beauwith civilization ; it varies inversely to tiful poems of the late Archbishop Murcrimes of violence ; it is commoner in ray, of Dublin? Aubrey de Vere desummer than in winter, and very much serves the high place given to him, both commoner among males than females, as a Catholic and as a poet, but the exthough widows are more prone to it than tracts are by no means of his best. widowers. There is a chapter on the influence of race and sex upon the choice of deaths.
Manual of Ontario Insurance Law; with The author's main conclusion is that Notes of Amendments and an Analy'suicide is an effect of the struggle for tical Index ; also a list of special Acts existence and of human selection, which of Incorporation, by J. HOWARD HUNworks according to the laws of evolution TER, M. A., Inspector of Insurance for among civilized people.' And his pro Ontario. Toronto: C. B. Robinson, posed antidote is to lessen the intensity 1881. of the struggle. He therefore endorses the Malthusian theory ; but, thinking In this handy and compact Manual society not quite ready at present to we have an admirable instance of the check population by law, he advises service which a man of education and doing this—as well as weakening the literary talent can render in elucidating motives to suicide-by moral training. the text of Acts of Parliament, in facili
The author's style, we may add, is not tating reference to them, and, generally, particularly lucid, or his translator is in making plain the dark and devious sometimes at fault.
paths of Legislative Enactment. Those interested in the subject of Insurance,
we feel sure, will greatly appreciate Mr. The Household Library of Catholic Poets. | Hunter's labour, and will thank him for
Compiled by Elior RYDER. Published the careful analysis he has made of the by JOSEPH A. Lyons, the University Provincial Acts relating to Insurance, of Notre Dame, Indiana. 1881. and for the detailed index he has com
piled to assist Insurance men and the This prettily bound volume is a collec policy-holding public in ascertaining at tion of choice morceaux of authors pro a glance what are the legal provisions of fessing the faith of the Church of Rome, the several Acts of our Local Legislasome of whom, as for instance, Alexan ture on this important subject. Mr. der Pope, were very lax in their adher Hunter's work is all the more timely ence to Catholic orthodoxy. Others, such now that the Imperial Privy Council has, as Crashaw, James Shirley, and Sir Wm. by a recent decision, affirmed the power Davenaut, we are hardly accustomed to of the Local Legislature to prescribe the think of as Catholics; they were Catholics conditions under which policies of Inas it were by accident, and their religion surance must be issued in Ontario. The does not colonr their writings as it does Manual should have a large and ready those of Faber, Newman, and Adelaide Proctor. In the interests of literature we feel bound to enter a protest against this practice of classifying writers, whose Literary Style and Other Essays. By best work is unconnected with religion, WILLIAM MATHEWS, LL.D., Chicago. according to the divisions of theological Toronto : Rose Belford Publishing sectarianism ; at least we hope to be Company. 1881. spared 'Protestant Poetry, "The Episcopalian Parnassus,' the ‘Methodist Muse,' As Mr. Mathews has most justly obor the Baptist Bard.' However, the vol served, style which may be defined as ume edited by Mr. Eliot Ryder has the 'the art of putting things,' is of the utmerit of bringing before the public well most importance to the literary aspirant. chosen extracts from some great but lit The essay before us gives a pleasant distle known poets such as Clarence Mangan, quisition on the leading characteristics and from several meritorious writers of l of the great masters of style from Bacor.
to Lord Macaulay, not very methodi- | heavy and laboured. Good English prose cally written, and rather calculated to style can hardly be said to have existed interest those who have already made before the age of Addison, and the critiintimate acquaintance with the authors cism on the writers reviewed is too detreated of than to aid the inexperienced sultory, just and piquant as it generally student. Also, we consider it a mistake is. We should desire a fuller analysis to dwell so much as Dr. Mathews has of the style in each case, illustrated by done on the merits, where style rather quotations, and with full directions to than matter is under consideration, of the student as to what is commendable such writers as Bacon, South, Barrow, and what to be avoided. But both this and the Caroline divines. The quaint and the other essays in Dr. Mathew's ness which characterises these eminent book are very readable, and will be usemen is surely not to be upheld as a ful in directing attention to much that is model ; and the structure of the sen characteristic in our literature. tence with all the Caroline divines is
The Major's Big Talk Stories,' is the title of Mr. F. Blake Crofton's new book, lately published by Messrs, Frederick Warne & Co., of London. One fantastic chapter (The Major on the Giraffe'), made its first appearance in the · Bric-abrac' of this magazine. A few others were printed in St. Nicholas,' and in some instances widely copied in the juvenile departments of the weekly papers. The escapes and escapades of the Major almost out-Munchausen the redoubted baron himself.
"A Literary History of the Nineteenth Century," by Mrs. Oliphant, the novelist, is announced for early publication in three volumes by Messrs. Macmillan & Co, of London and New York.
Mr. John Murray, the London publisher, announces a collection of the speeches and addresses, political and literary, delivered in the House of Lords, in Canada, and elsewhere, by the Earl of Dufferin, our late Governor-General.
Principal Shairp, of St. Andrews, has a new volume in press, entitled “Aspects of Poetry.'
President Hinsdale, of Hiram College, has just issued a volume dealing with
the late President Garfield's work as an educator, including his speeches an addresses on educational subjects.
Richard Grant White's ‘England without and within,' an appreciative and entertaining volume on phases of English life and character, has reached its fourth edition.
The Canada Publishing Co. of Toronto announce a new series of Canadian Readers, prepared by a syndicate of Canadian educators, for use in the Public and High Schools of the Dominion.
Messrs. John Lovell & Son, of Montreal, have ready for issue their comprehensive Business Directory of Ontario and Montreal, a mammoth volume of reference which must be invaluable to Canadian merchants and professional men.
The new volume of the English Men of Letters' series, edited by Professor Morley, is De Quincey, whose memoir has been written by Professor David Masson, of Edinburgh University.
The thirteenth volume of the new issue of the · Encyclopædia Britannica,' just published, takes the work down to the end of letter J,-the present instal.