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A correspondent protests, with a degree of earnestness amounting to indignation, against Professor Hart's article, in our last number, on Shakespeare in Germany. It is needless to say that our own sympathies are with our correspondent, and not with our contributor, although we recognize a certain value in his article, as information of the course and tendency of thought in an important literary school in Germany. But let us hear our excited correspon

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"That such a book as Gustave Rümelin's Shakespeare Studies of a Realist' should be put forth as an effort to maintain the negative of the universal affirmations of the reach and significance of Shakespeare's genius, in Germany, a country that has given its supremest poets and its best scholars to eulogize and elucidate the nature of the works that liberated her from French classicism, we can understand; it is likewise intelligible that an American, in the lonely depths of his own conscience of the true and beautiful, unilluminated by liberal studies and a world-experience, should misapprehend the purpose of the great dramatist, and discover him to be ignorant of nineteenth-century ideas, for which reason, from the unimaginative estimate of a local experience, he states his objections to the dramatist's treatment of character and life, under the impression that he has made a discovery of damaging shortcomings in the make and action of the chief creations of Shakespeare; but that an American should be at the pains of translating and republishing, with an approving sinile, this crooked foreign criticism, passes the ordinary limits of a critical intelligence. "Our German says we ask ourselves in vain why the personages of Shakespeare's drama act and speak as they do; and, contrasting them with Goethe's characters, the product of a later time, implies that they are inferior because they do not, as Goethe's men and women are said to do, act and express themselves in accordance with every rule, not merely of sentiment, but of society.'

"He assails the great master in several direct ways; because of his deficient historical sense; for his want of appre

ciation of the Puritan element of his time; because he wrote for lords and louts, and not for the middle classes; because he thought the pretensions of a stolid prosperity ridiculous, and was charmed with the impulsive and manly disposition of fortunate youth; because he represented men as illogical, subject to sudden changes, and often the mere agents of their passions; because his women, sweet and lovely as they are, are yet too much under the influence of full-blooded manhood; because, knowing that the unreason, the folly, and the passions of men make the comedy and tragedy of life, he represented men as often silly and stupid, generally wicked, and yet sometimes heroic; and, finally, because he has not depicted any characters that strive after culture, knowledge, or truth; 'none who are actuated by zeal for the public good, or even the good of others.' Yet again, he is assailed for his personal confessions, and then wondered at because, in his plays, 'he never obtruded any thing like his personal views.' And this is written by the Professor who also writes that Hamlet is the form into which the poet has poured the outflowings of his own diseased soul,' the mouthpiece whereby the poet proclaims to us his own choicest reflections.'


Certainly we agree with the last conclusion. But let us ask, How can a play be free from any thing like the poet's own views and emotions,' and at the same time be written solely to ventilate his own reflections upon life in general, and upon the stage?'

"O mighty wizard Shakespeare! and O mighty manhood of the sixteenth century! your ways are not our ways, nor your aims our aims! Reawakener and reawakening of the full nature of man, double fusion of intellect and passion, liberated from monastic ideas, surrendered to life and the glory of life, unburdened by the exhausting industries of the nineteenth century, you must always remain a lawless, riotous, unregenerate influence to the prosaic understanding; hated by Puritans and kicked at by cuistres, who believe a dramatist should always represent his characters under the rule of good society, didactically demonstrate the uses of poetry, and substitute nineteenthcentury historical essays on the origins and developments of the English people for living expression of living men

and women subject to the chance and change of life. But the imaginative minds of poets, and the bookless wit of the people, have always justly, and with admiration and wonder, apprehended the myriad development of the genius of Shakespeare and his epoch.

"The homage of Goethe in Germany, of Coleridge in England, of Taine and Hugo in France, of Lowell in New England, outweighs tons of dispraise from a prosaic, unimaginative Johnson, a spiteful Voltaire, and the duplicated misapprehensions of a lively American Professor."

We should have liked it better if our correspondent, instead of venting his mere indignation, had taken the pains to show, with more elaboration and measure, the utter groundlessness of Rümelin's criticism, both as history and art. It is true that, for the students and lovers of Shakespeare, who know him to be the sovereignest intellect of all time-the very flowering of all that is noble and sweet in the heart of our humanity-this would be needless; for their worship is an intelligent one, founded upon long years of experience, in which Shakespeare has furnished the

staple nutriment of their intellectual and imaginative life; but it would not be needless, we are sorry to say, for others who have not yet entered into his world, and discerned the splendor and beauty of his orb of genius. For such, the labors of the patient scholar, the sound critic, the enthusiastic commentator, are still useful. Happily, our native literature is not deficient in the right materials for meeting this want, and so defeating a sciolistic and superficial criticism. Mr. Dana's lectures on dramatic art, so thorough and deep, are still extant, and widely remembered. Verplanck's, Hudson's, White's editions of the bard, are easily to be had; and, more recently, Ruggles' "Method of Shakespeare as an Artist," is extremely promising in the same line. With such writers to maintain the orthodoxy of our faith in the supremacy of the profoundest instructor and noblest ornament of our Anglo-Saxon race, we have no fear that a thousand Rümelins, with a thousand more American admirers in their wake, will do much hurt to our æsthetic sensibilities.


It is a curious circumstance that three great writers of the time should have died, and left unfinished works of fiction in the course of publication. We can recall no similar episode in the history of English literature; for though some of the poets may have left scores of small poems in the rough, and a few prose-writers the outlines of projected labors, nothing like a great work can be said to have been interrupted by death until the world was startled by the report, one December morning, that the author of "Denis Duval" had been found stiff and stark in his bed. The death of a great man at any time is a blow, but the thought that his work is done mitigates, as the thought that his work is undone increases, its severity. We are tormented in the latter case by a curiosity which must forever remain

unsatisfied, and which must never cease to torment on that account. As we are tantalized by the last-century English and French adventurers in "Denis Duval," we are tantalized by the American figures of the old man and the young child, which, wandering almost by stealth from the shadowy chambers of Hawthorne's soul, suddenly found the doors closed against their return by death. May The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Fields, Osgood & Co.) be the last literary mystery that shall remain unsolved to the world! Whether "Edwin Drood" is above or below the standard set up for himself by Dickens in his late works, we shall not undertake to decide, partly because it is a fragment, and partly because his death is still too recent for us to judge it dispassionately. It contains a great deal

of good writing-as which of his stories does not?-and it contains pages which are forced and labored. Here and there we think we perceive evidences of a jaded mind. We wish we could say that it shows a desire on Dickens' part to return to the fresh and natural style of his early manhood-to the walks of humorous observation in which he excelled Shakespeare-but we cannot. Whether some of the characters are natural, need not be discussed; it is enough that they affect as being unnatural, if not impossible. We should place among these the gamin who stones Durdles home at night, when he is too drunk to go without such gentle little geologic reminders. But, find what fault we may, how charming it all is, and what a pity that we shall never have any more of it! Here is a little bit in the best style of Dickens. It occurs, as the reader will remember, in the description of the wonderful closet belonging to the good old mother of the Reverend Septimus Cresparkle. "Every benevolent inhabitant of this retreat had his name inscribed upon his stomach. The pickles, in a uniform of rich brown double-breasted buttoned coat, and yellow or sombre drab continuations, announced their portly forms, in printed capitals, as Walnut, Gherkin, Onion, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Mixed, and other members of that noble family. The jams, as being of less masculine temperament, and as wearing curl-papers, announced themselves, in feminine caligraphy, like a soft whisper, to be Raspberry, Gooseberry, Apricot, Plum, Damson, Apple, and Peach. The scene closing on these charmers, and the lower slide ascending, oranges were revealed, attended by a mighty japanned sugar-box, to temper their acerbity if unripe. Home-made biscuits waited at the Court of these Powers, accompa nied by a goodly fragment of plumcake, and various slender ladies' fingers to be dipped into sweet wine and kissed." As every thing that Dickens has written is redolent of good eating and drinking, it is not singular, perhaps, that the last paragraph of "Ed

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win Drood" should leave Mr. Datchez at the breakfast-table. It is singular, however (we cannot but think), that the lines immediately preceding are as follows: "I've seen him, deary; I've seen bim!' And you know him?' 'Know him! Better far than all the Reverend Parsons put together know him.'” Is it too fanciful to think that the Shadow stooping at that moment over the Great Humorist took the pen from his hand unseen, and wrote thus darkly of himself? Dickens would not have thought so, we are persuaded, whatever his readers may think. Besides "The Mystery of Edwin Drood," the volume contains "Some Memories of Charles Dickens" from the Atlantic Monthly; "George Silverman's Explanation"; "Holiday Romance"; 66 Sketches of Young Couples"; "New Uncommercial Samples"; and "The Will of Charles Dickens."

It is sometimes interesting to take a book, and conjecture what it might have been, if the author had worked up the materials in different manner, and what it would have been if a different author had written it. Here, for instance, is The Three Brothers, a novel by Mrs. Olyphant (D. Appleton & Co.), the last, we suppose, of the many we owe to her unwearied pen. Its plot turns on the fortunes of three brothers, whose father dies, and leaves them to make their way in the world for seven years, when bis will is to be read. They attempt this difficult feat, with various degrees of willingness and success, until their probation is over, and the will is produced. It turns out to be a piece of blank paper! The heir takes the estate, of course, and his brothers what legally belongs to them outside of it. There is not much in this, as Mrs. Olyphant has managed it,-but what might not Mr. Charles Reade have discovered in it, or imparted to it? The eldest son, Ben, goes up to London, and falls into the clutches of a mother and daughter, with the latter of whom he is smitten. The youngest, Laurie, goes thither, likewise, and is smitten with a female painter, almost old enough to be his mother. The last, Frank, fol

lows them, and is smitten with a little musical daughter of this second Angelica Kauffmann. Mr. Reade would not care much for this, though he would describe it carefully as he does every thing, but he would come out strong on the after-adventures of the brothers, one of whom goes to Canada, as an engineer, another to India, as an officer, while the third plays at being an artist, in Rome. He would have had three strings to his bow here, which, we believe, is one more than he has in "Never Too Late to Mend," of which the first part is a tractate on prison reform, and the last a picture of life in the diggings of Australia. Though we have not got all we might have had out of "The Three Brothers," we are satisfied with the book. Mrs. Olyphant is not the workman that Mr. Reade is, but her work is of a kind that is more agreeable than his, and will last longer. We can't always be reading by flashes of lightning-which Mrs. Hemans thought was the way to read Shakespeare-and it is well that we cannot. The sunshine is much better, and, in the absence of that, the gleam of a modest candle. The best light in which to read Mrs. Olyphant's stories is such as suffuses the soft hours of an early autumn afternoon, when the trees are asleep in their shadows, the wind is tempering the lingering fires of summer, and the sky and river-if there be a river near-are alike beautiful and calm. She has a tender, gracious, happy woman-nature, and her insight into men and women, while not sharp and cynical, is noticeable for its range and justice. The three brothers are delicately discriminated. The best character, as a mere character, is Millicent, who seems to have been copied from life, and from a very favorable specimen of the genus Adventuress.

That Geology and Revelation could ever have been supposed to be in conflict, as they were for a considerable period, shows that one or both must have put forth very unwarrantable claims. This should have been evident at the start; for if both were what they

claim to be, the one the record of the Creator in His material handiwork, and the other the record of the Creator in the souls of His seers and prophets,-it is certain that no discrepancies could exist between them. And none did exist, for the differences that arose were not between Geology and Revelation, but between Geology and the way men understood Revelation-in other words, between Geology and Theology. That Theology proved the weaker of the two in the struggle was a sad thing-for the theologians, though they are beginning now to regard it in a different light. They have or some of them have-learned enough of Geology to see that the hand which wrote in its great stone-books, and the hand which wrote on the tables of the law, are one and the same. แ Reviewing the progress of opinion touching the relations of Science to Revealed Religion, it is noteworthy that, while many Protestant theologians and writers on both sides of the Atlantic have, until a recent period, treated the discoveries of science, and especially of Geology, so far as they affect theological dogmas, in a manner, if not of contempt, at least of distrust or unfairness; on the contrary, the Romanist writers who have discussed those themes, have done so, generally, in a spirit of broad catholicity well calculated to command the respect it merits. They have shown no sensitiveness or timidity lest, perchance, their exegesis might be disturbed by candidly admitting the changes demanded by the discoveries of Science." The paragraph we have quoted is from the Preface to an American edition of Geology and Revelation, by the Rev. Gerald Molloy, D.D., Professor of Theology in the Royal College of St. Patrick, Maynooth, of which Messrs. G. P. Putnam & Sons are the publishers. is a beautiful book of 380 pages, 12mo., based upon the latest and most trustworthy geological works of the time, and, so far as an unscientific reader can judge, it is of a high order of excellence. The present writer has read many volumes of the class to which it


belongs, but from none has he derived so lively an idea of the changes which have swept over the earth in the ages that are gone, and have made it what it is to-day. Dr. Molloy may not be a profound geologist, but he knows what we wish to know, and has the happy art of imparting his knowledge to us. His work is illustrated, but not so freely as we could wish; as regards fossil remains, it is very excellent.


The Princes of Art: Painters, Sculptors, and Engravers. Translated from the French, by Mrs. S. R. URBINO. 12mo. cloth, pp. 337. Boston, Lee & Shepard.

Elementary Treatise on Mechanics, for the use of colleges and schools of science, by Prof. W. G. PECK, LL. D., Columbia College. N. Y., A. S. Barnes & Co.

The Hard-Scrabble of Elm Island, by Rev. ELIJAH KELLOGG. 16mo. cloth, 320 pp. Boston, Lee & Shepard.

Bear and Forbear, or the Young Skipper of Lake Ucayga. OLIVER OPTIC. 16mo. pp. 312. Boston, Lee & Shepard.

The Story of a Working Man's Life, with sketches of travel in Europe, Asia, Africa, and America, as related by himself. FRANCIS MASON, D.D. 12mo. cloth, pp. 462. N. Y., Oakley, Mason & Co. The Life of Arthur Tappan, by LEWIS Tappan. 12mo. cloth. N. Y., Hurd & Houghton.

First Steps in English Literature, by ARTHUR GILMAN. 16mo cloth. N. Y., Hurd & Houghton.

The Choice of Paris, by S. G. W. BENJAMIN, author of "Turk and Greek." 16mo. cloth. N. Y., Hurd & Houghton.

A Dangerous Guest, a novel by the author of "Gilbert Rugge," etc. 8vo. paper, pp. 116. N. Y., Harper Brothers.

The Mystery of Edwin Drood, by CHAS DICKENS. 8vo. paper, pp. 104, with illustrations. N. Y., Harper Bros.

Tom Brown at Oxford, by the author of "Tom Brown's School Days." New edition, 8vo. paper, pp. 250, with illustrations by Sidney P. Hall N. Y., Harper Bros.

A Condensed Etymology of the English Language for Common Schools, containing the Anglo-Saxcn, French, German, Latin Greek, and other roots, and the English words derived therefrom, accurately spelled, accented, and defined, by WM. W. SMITH, author of "Definer's Manual," etc. 16mo. pp. 195. N. Y., A. S. Barnes & Co. WILLSON'S Intermediate Fifth Reader; embracing, in brief, the principles of Rhetoric, Criticism, Eloquence, and Oratory, the whole adapted to elocutionary instruction. 16mo. pp. 872. N. Y., Harper Bros.

The Normal Grammar, Analytic and Synthetic, illustrated by diagrams, by STEPHEN W. CLARK, A. M., author of "First Lessons in English Grammar," etc. 16mo. pp. 334. N. Y., A. S. Barnes & Co.

Workday Christianity; or the Gospel in the Trades, by ALEXANDER CLARK, author of "The Gospel in the Trees," etc., with an introductory note by WM. CULLEN BRYANT. 12mo. cloth, pp. 800. Phila., Claxton, Remsen & Co.


M. EUGENE CRÉPET has made selections from the best French poets of this century in his book, "Les Poëtes Français du Dixneuvième Siècle; Recueil des chefs-d'œuvre de la Poésie Française. Avec une notice Littéraire sur chaque Poëte" (Paris, Hachette et Cie). Among the prominent figures in his gallery are, of course, Lamartine, Alfred de Musset, Charles Nodier, Sainte-Beuve, Béranger, and Victor Hugo. The selections are made with care and taste, and the literary notices are instructive. Incapable as the French language and genius seem alike to be of the highest epic or dramatic excellence, there is no nation that has given to literature, in this century, so

many genuine and lasting lyrics as France; and we recommend this book as an attractive introduction to a most delightful study.

Uhland somewhere compares a bit of sausage half-hidden in saur-kraut to Venus slumbering among the roses. Of a kindred enthusiasm for epicurean beauties must the industrious horticultural antiquarian have been, who has compiled a history of asparagus—a Frenchman, of course. He finds that the asparagus of nature, still found wild in central France, is a long, thin, green stalk of a plant, useless to the cook; but that an ingenious gardener, one Louis Thérault, began to try the effect of cultivation on it a hundred

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