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respectful account of those elements. We think in the valor of our youth that we can grasp and mold life to our will; but we learn at last by many defeats and much humbling of pride, how real and much to be respected in their actuality are the things we thought of in the beginning as mere powers in our game. Moreover, as with the artist, it is our personal quality that should mold our lives and give them value, but the sense of personality is somewhat weak in these days. There is plenty of individuality, but it is unrelated and inefficient. Because man's sense of his own personality is weak, he has but a feeble belief in the personality of God, for the two are intimately connected. Increasing knowledge of our environment is doubtless responsible for this state of things. It is all so wonderful, and natural law is so great, that man is tempted to think of himself as the product of circumstances, a tool of great forces, rather than a force in himself. The modern mind is like an artist, if such a one could be found, who should paint the background of a portrait first, and then modify the face and figure of his sitter to harmonize with it. The folly of such a procedure is so obvious to the true artist, his sense of his own personality and that of his sitter is so strong, that his unwritten creed on this point, if we can grasp it, may reinforce in our thinking that personal note, both human and divine, which is so much to be desired." Then the author goes on to show how the artist's creed, framed from the standpoint of his work and experience, does reinforce our faith in the significance and preeminence of personality, the universe through. The charm, and grace, and sensibility of the artistic spirit run through following chapters, entitled “The Ensemble,” “The Values,” “Individuality,” «« Personality, istence and Relation,” “Recognition,” “Immortal Life,” and “Conclusion." There are many lovely and delicately wise things in the book, which will bear reading again and again. The minister cannot look at the great central truths of life from too many standpoints, and Religio Pictoris shows him his world of truth from a new angle and gladdens him with a sense of beautiful enrichment in his mind and heart. He finds on these pages, not doctrine in syllogism, but doctrine in bloom. The fifth chapter is prefaced with those fine lines of Edmond Holmes:
Not in the strength of duty but of love,
Not as Fate wills, but as their comrades call,
Each drawn to each, and all afire for all.
The book lends a somewhat novel and very lovely sort of help to a minister's thinking and feeling, and will make divine truth positively fragrant in every thoughtful home where it is permitted to diffuse its warm.
PHILOSOPHY, SCIENCE, AND GENERAL LITERATURE.
Letters of Emerson to a friend. Edited by CHARLES ELIOT NORTON. 12mo,
pp. 81. Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin & Company. Price, cloth. $1.
These letters, dating from 1838 to 1853, are parts of the early records of a friendship which began when Emerson was thirty years old, and lasted till his death. Emerson himself set forth that the ideal is not to be attained on earth. He said, “We walk alone in this world: friends such as we desire are dreams and fables." Yet he prized with rare appreciation such friendships as the 'artificial order of society and the weakness of human nature allow to exist. Dr. Norton says that the unique charm of Emerson's nature lay in his pure idealism, and that his individuality was so complete and absolute as to distinguish him from all other men in his generation, and to give him place with the few of all time who have had native force sufficient to enable them to be truly themselves, and to show to their brother men the virtue of an independent spirit. Not all these thirty-four letters and fragments have intrinsic value to call for publication; yet we relish this little volume as one more drink from a crystalline fountain of which, we may presume, this is our final sip. In 1839 Emerson wrote, “It seems as if a certain perplexity were all but universal among the contemplative class of persons in this country at this moment: the very children are infected with skepticism and ennui.” Comparing the expressive arts, painting and sculpture on the one hand with poetry on the other, he wrote, “The eye is a speedier student than the ear; by a grand or a lovely form it is astonished or delighted once for all and quickly appeased, whilst the sense of a verse steals slowly on the mind and suggests a hundred fine fancies before its precise import is finally settled.” To his friend, nine years his junior, he writes: “I will not understand an expression of sadness in your letter as anything more than a momentary shade. For I conceive of you as allied on every side to what is beautiful and inspiring, with noblest purposes in life and with powers to execute your thought. What space can be allowed you for a moment's despondency? The free and the true, the few who conceive of a better life, are always the soul of the world. In whatever direction their activity flows, society can never spare them, but all men feel, even in their silent presence, a moral debt to such—were it only for the manifestation of the fact that there are aims higher than the average.” Of Friendship, which is to him the most attractive of topics, Emerson said: “The subject is so high and sacred, we cannot walk straight up to it; we must saunter
we would find the secret. Nature's roads are not turnpikes but circles, and the instincts are the only sure guides.” He says the Confessions of Augustine were translated“two hundred years ago in the golden time when all translations seemed to have the fire of original works.” Of books he writes, “It happens to us once or twice in a lifetime to be drunk with some book which probably has some extraordinary relative power to intoxicate us and none other; and having exhausted that cup of enchantment, we go groping in libraries all our years afterward in the hope of being in Paradise again.” One hot and languid July day he wrote: “Not the smallest event enlivens our little sandy village. If I look out of the window there is perhaps a cow; if I go into the garden there are cucumbers; if I look into the brook there is a mud turtle. In the sleep of the great heats there was nothing for me but to read the Vedas, the Bible of the tropics. . . . It is as sublime as heat and night and a breathless ocean. It is of no use to put away the book: if I trust myself in the woods or in a boat upon the pond, nature makes a Brahmin of me presently." And on another similar day he writes from Nantasket Beach: “Is it the lassitude of this Syrian summer, that more and more draws the cords of Will out of my thought and leaves me nothing but perpetual observation, perpetual acquiescence? Shall I not be Turk and fatalist before today's sun shall set ? and in this thriving New England too, full of din and snappish activity and invention and willfulness. Can you not save me, dip me into ice water, find me some girding belt, that I glide not away into a stream or a gas, deceasing in infinite diffusion ?” The following bit is pure Emersonian: “Not in his goals, but in his transition, man is great, and the truest state of mind rested in becomes false. Our admiration accuses us. Instead of admiring the Apollo, or the picture, or the victory at Marengo, we ought to be producing what is admirable, and these things should glitter to us as hints and stints merely.” And this: "I find myself, maugre all my philosophy, a devout student and admirer of persons. I cannot get used to them; they daunt and dazzle me still. Blessed be the Eternal Power for those whom fancy even cannot strip of beauty, and who never for a moment seem to me profane." Here is even Emerson guilty of a common and seemingly incurable but wholly inexcusable blunder. He writes, “A figure whom, the ancients said, sometimes appeared.” It is impossible to parse “whom.” Of course it should be who. It is not the object of " said,” but the subject of “ appeared,” and must have the nominative form. As much as this a boy of fourteen, who had been taught analysis and parsing by Thompson H. Landon, would infallibly know. Of Henry James, Emerson writes in 1849, "I had the happiest half hour with that man lately, at his house: so fresh and expansive he is.” He says he asks more from his benefactors than mere talent and information-he asks “expansions that amount to new horizons.” Carlyle and Arthur Helps asked Emerson in England if there were any Americans who really had an American idea, and he told them in reply that there “were monsters hard by the setting sun who believed in a future such as was never a past, but if it were shown to them (the English] they would think French communism solid and practicable in comparison with that future.” Emerson's sensitiveness to his friends appears in this confession: “Some of the best of the children of men have put their hands into mine. I will deserve them and hold them fast. . . It is strange how people act on me. I am not a pith ball nor raw silk, yet to human electricity is no piece of humanity so sensible. I am forced to live in the country, if it were only that the streets make me desolate, but if I talk with a man of sense and kindness I am imparadised at once.” The shining of Emersou's pure genius grows not dim with the years that roll over his grave.
Jane Eyre. By CHARLOTTE BRONTE. With an Introduction by Mrs. Humphry
Ward. 8vo, pp. 558. New York and London: Harper & Brothers. Price, cloth, ornamental, gilt top, $1.75.
This is the first volume of the new “ Haworth Edition" of the works of the Bronté sisters, with prefaces by Mrs. Humphry Ward, and annotations by Clement K. Shorter; the whole to be completed in seven volumes, illustrated with photogravure portraits and views. This superb republication of English classics follows close upon the equally magnificent new edition of Thackeray's works issued recently by the same great publishing firm of Harper & Brothers, and the two together are samples of the lofty kind of service which that most honorable house has rendered to the American reading public through three generations. No publishing house in the world has a nobler record. It bas aimed always at quality, and has published many books of a high order which were more valuable to the public than financially profitable to the publishers. Its aims have never been lowered from the mark set by the original four Harper brothers, who were men of great strength of character, working force, uprightness of conduct, and purity of purpose. It is a pleasure to record that the signs of enterprise and vigor in the management of the firm were never greater than at present, and there is good promise for a demonstration of the proposition that solvency and high aims can abide together. The people of the United States have abundant reasons for wishing this great house to perpetuate its great work. Charlotte Bronté's powerful romance, Jane Eyre, was first published in 1847, and in a few weeks had taken London by storm, winning such success as Thackeray said took him ten years to achieve. Of Thackeray, Charlotte Bronté, in her preface to the second edition of Jane Eyre, wrote: “Ahab did not like Micaiah, because he never prophesied good concerning him, but evil ; probably he liked the sycophant son of Chenaanah better; yet might Ahab have escaped a bloody death had he but stopped his ears to flattery and opened them to faithful counsel. There is a man in our own days whose words are not framed to tickle delicate ears; who, to my thinking, comes before the great ones of society much as the son of Imlah came before the throned Kings of Judah and Israel; and who speaks truth as deep, with a power as prophet-like and as vital—a mien as dauntless and as daring. Is the satirist of Vanity Fair admired in high places ? I cannot tell; but I think if some of those amongst whom he hurls the Greek fire of his sarcasm, and over whom he flashes the levin-brand of his denunciation, were to take his warnings in time, they or their seed might yet escape a fatal Ramoth-gilead.” Some likened Thackeray to Fielding, but she said, “He resembles Fielding as an eagle does a vulture; Fielding could stoop on carrion, but Thackeray never does." A fresh charm is added to this new edition of a great book by Mrs. Ward's Introduction, a study of life and character, as well as a literary analysis. In it the strong, free, passionate personality of Charlotte Bronté is analyzed. It notes that she was an Irishwoman, and her genius at bottom a Celtic genius. “The main characteristics of the Celt are all hers-disinterestedness, melancholy, wildness, a wayward force and passion, forever wooed by sounds and sights to which other natures are insensible_by murmurs from the earth, by colors in the sky, by tones and accents of the soul, that speak to the Celtic sense as to no other. . . . Idealism, understood as a lifelong discontent; passion, conceived as an inner thirst and longing that wears and kills more often than it makes happy; a love of home and kindred entwined with the very roots of life, so that homesickness may easily exhaust and threaten life; an art directed rather to expression than to form-ragged often and broken, but always poignant, always suggestive, touched with reverie and emotion; who does not recognize in these qualities, these essentially Celtic qualities, the qualities of the Brontés ?" Charlotte Bronté was rich in the Celtic pride, the Celtic shyness, the Celtic endurance, the Celtic craving for solitude. But the Celtic element was not all of her. Crossing the wild impetuous Irish temper was an influence long breathed on her from Yorkshire and the hard, frugal, persistent North. As for the material she likes and works upon, her main stuff is English, Protestant, law-respecting, conventional even. She made wide acquaintance with Victor Hugo, Alfred de Musset, and George Sand, and her genius was likely quickened by them, as also by other writings of French romanticism, that rich and brilliant movement started by Chateaubriand at the century's beginning. But from French books as a whole she revolted. In 1840 she wrote: “Another bale of French books received from G- , containing forty volumes. They are like the rest, clever, wicked, sophistical, and immoral. The best of it is, that they give one a thorough idea France and Paris as they are." Wh ever wants the great English classics of the nineteenth century in elegant and unsurpassable form for building a library in the study or the home can nowhere find anything to excel the editions now issued by the Karpers of the works of Thackeray and the works of the Bronté sisters. God's Education of Man. By WILLIAM DEWITT HYDE, President of Bowdoin Col
lege. 12mo. Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin & Company. Price, cloth, $1.25. The book aims to indicate certain changes taking place in theological conceptions. The Introduction and Conclusion are “for clergymen and such laymen as are not afraid of hard reading on fundamental themes.” The three central chapters restate in modern terms the essential truths expressed in the old doctrines of sin, redemption, and sanctification. Regarding God and man as kindred-related to each other as vine to branch, father to child—Dr. Hyde indicates his conception of the divine