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they are, are absurd enough to be grotesque. A common mistake of this sort, with some persons, even in large cities, is to say, " Excuse my glove," when they offer their hand to a casual acquaintance, or on introduction to a stranger. It might be inferred from this remark that the wearing of gloves is either extremely rare in a civilized community, or that the wearer wishes to advertise the extraordinary fact that he has gloves. All he really desires is to appear polite; never suspecting for a moment that he is simply ridiculous.

If you offer to shake hands with any one in a place where it is customary to wear gloves, you certainly need no excuse for compliance with the habit. You might, with equal reason, on receiving a visitor at your house, apologize to him for not removing your coat before bidding him welcome.

The superfluous phrase probably had its origin in the days when gloves were clumsy, and used more for protection than as an essential of dress. Then the naked hand was thought to be an evidence of good will and cordiality. Since gloves have been universally adopted, the idea of asking pardon for wearing them is an anachronism as well as an impropriety.

Gloves are now made to fit exactly, so that, were it courtesy to take them off on encountering one's friends or acquaintances, an amount of time and trouble would be required which would inevitably render a social greeting at once a comical exhibition,

and a bore.

The Bath.

THE world will never agree about hygienic theories. But what is actually beneficial or injurious to health, experience ought to teach readily. The virtue of frequent bathing, one might think, would be universally admitted. Nevertheless, there are ultra-conservatives who earnestly believe it detrimental. They believe this, too, without testing it.

It may be safely asserted that all persons of sound constitution and unimpaired health are greatly benefited by daily baths. Whether these should be warm or cold they themselves can best determine. Those who do not feel a speedy reaction from a cold bath, after a vigorous rubbing, or who do not feel better for it, should substitute warm or tepid water for cold. They may imagine, at first, that it does them no good; but, after a while, they will discover their mistake by a higher condition of physical feeling, and an augmented glow of spirits.

Almost without exception, the most robust persons are the most frequent and regular bathers. Those who have formed the habit could not be induced to give it up on any account; for they know that, if they did, they would suffer from it in various ways. They will tell you that they are not themselves until they have taken their daily bath; that it not only keeps their pores open, and their circulation perfect, but their mind clear, and their disposition buoyant. They are strangers to moodiness

and megrims, and, being agreeable to themselves, are generally agreeable to others.

Daily baths are of particular service to persons of sedentary habit, since the bath, to a certain extent, takes the place and fulfills the purposes of exercise. A copious cause of disease is a want of proper excretion, which is always materially assisted by the bath.

Invalids are prone to think they cannot bear baths at all, or, at least, only at long intervals. They require them far more than healthy persons do; indeed they cannot dispense with them without serious injury. A cold bath may be too much of a shock; but a warm bath frequently, if not daily administered, will help them incalculably. Only by bathing can they hope to free themselves from the steadily accumulating impurities that any deranged condition invariably engenders. They may recover deprived of the bath; though they are not likely to recover so quickly.

Answering Letters.

THE most satisfactory correspondence between friends is that which is prompted and carried on by inclination, and not from any sense of duty. When we receive a private letter from one whom we esteem and cherish, what emotions, sympathies and affections it excites. Our heart and our mind respond as we run over the welcome lines. Every question suggests an answer, every sentence evokes a spontaneous reply. Our actively enlisted brain has prepared, without effort, whatever we wish to say. It is ready and anxious to dictate to the hand, and if its dictation be not followed at or about that time, the force of the inspiration will be dulled if, indeed, we are not bereft of it entirely. The longer the answer is delayed, the more difficult and unsatisfactory it becomes. All the fresh, fine things we were ready to say evaporate; what would have been a warm delight becomes a frigid duty. The letter reflects our mood; is stiff, awkward, forcednot at all what we had hoped, and wanted to put on paper.

Private correspondence of the right kind is little more than recorded conversation. To place great gaps between letters and their answers is like putting questions to a friend one day, and waiting until the next day, or the next week for his replies. A hundred things are likely to interfere with answering letters; but the thing that interferes most is If we make it a rule our own procrastination. to attend to them at the earliest leisure moment, we shall soon find few missives rebuking us for silence, and we shall feel that our correspondence has grown to be what it always should be-a spontaneous, pleasant, entirely cordial interchange of friendship.

Frightening Children.

THE greatest difficulty in the way of properly rearing children is that their elders forget that

Parents, with

they were ever children themselves. all their love and tenderness, are often so unmindful of the extreme sensibility of their offspring, that they think to amuse by frightening them. This is like tickling them with a needle; it is all pain and no pleasure. Because a fright is intended to be a joke, it is no reason that it is so understood, especially by the little folks, who are altogether literalists.

Nothing can be worse for a child than to frighten it. The effect of the scare it is slow to recover from: it remains sometimes until maturity, as is shown by many instances of morbid sensitiveness and excessive nervousness.

Not unfrequently, fear is employed as a means of discipline. Children are controlled by being made to believe that something terrible will happen to them; are punished by being shut up in dark rooms, or by being put in places they stand in dread of. No one, without vivid memory of his own childhood, can comprehend how entirely cruel such things are. We have often heard grown persons tell of the suffering they have endured, as children, under like circumstances, and recount the irreparable injury which they are sure they then received. No parent, no nurse, capable of alarming the young, is fitted for her position. Children, as near as possible, should be trained not to know the sense of fear, which, above everything else, is to be feared, in their education both early and late.

Marking Books.

SOME persons are so fond of marking books, and of reading marked books, that they never imagine others can think or feel differently. Consequently these markers treat every volume which they get into their hands as if it were their own; emphasizing this sentence or that passage by bars and lines, with a degree of freedom that may be particularly unpleasant to those who come after them. There are fastidious folk, among them those of the nicest culture, who attach something like sacredness to a favorite author, and who resent the slightest marring of the pages as though it were a personal indignity to themselves. Their feelings may be fancied when the author they have cherished with such care and tidiness, is returned to them maimed and mangled with endless pencil strokes, perchance with comments of censure or approv


Even books borrowed from public libraries enjoy no immunity from these irrepressible markers, who, by indulgence of their egotism, for it is nothing else, spoil the pleasure of persons more sensitive and modest than they. The worst of the habit is that it is practiced without reflection. Those who have it rarely, if ever, reflect that it is a mild form of social barbarism, because it invades the delicacy of the individual, which every person of feeling and culture naturally holds sacred.

The Life of Christ.


ALMOST unannounced, and certainly without any parade of advertisement, Messrs. E. P. Dutton & Co., have given to American readers a work which, in some ways, takes at once the highest rank in modern Christology. No department of religious literature has, in our day, shown such various activity as that of which the human history of our Lord Jesus Christ is the subject matter. To friends and foes alike this theme is the one on which the utmost skill of criticism, the utmost laboriousness of research, the utmost ability of statement, is to be expended. Strauss, Renan, and their followers of various degree, have their own "Lives of Christ," in which their peculiarities of religious or irreligious thought receive authoritative expression. And on the other hand, there is scarcely an orthodox preacher of great reputation, or an orthodox theologian of eminent station, who has not, at some time, thought of undertaking, from his own point of view, and as the vehicle of his own best conviction and opinion,

a similar work. How successful, too, this kind of literature must be is evident from the fact that publishers seem to be, all the while, on the look-out for authors of the best sort whom they may set at just this work.

The volumes before us seem to have been originated in this way by a suggestion from the English publishers. "They applied originally," we are frankly told in the Preface, " to an eminent theologian, who accepted the proposal, but whose elevation to the episcopate prevented him from carrying it out." Of course we can only conjecture as to the eminent theologian to whom reference is made; but there will be few among the readers of this most admirable book who will in the least regret his timely promotion, by which the work fell fortunately into the hands of Dr. Farrar.

It is impossible for us to give a detailed examination of the two volumes before us, but, perhaps, we may give the best general characterization of it when we say that it is at once popular and learned, at once devout and broad. It is a book for the

people in the best possible sense; and so its style is simple and easy and attractive to an extraordinary degree. For the most part it is narrative and historical; and it has this very important excellence, that each word is picturesque and effective, suggesting some detail which is essential to the completeness of the story, but which would embarrass the recital of it, if it were drawn out at length. From first to last, the human interest of that mortal life which began at Bethlehem, is continuously and impressively exhibited-and that without a strain of effort or the least unnaturalness of emphasis. The detailed and fragmentary materials, which the Evangelists have furnished, are illustrated, explained, confirmed by all that modern scholarship and research can command, and are woven with seeming artlessness, but with consummate art, in a continuous narrative, in which the divine tone of the Gospel text is never lost, nor the divine color of the sacred picture ever faded. With a careful study of proportion and of order, both of time and of importance, we have the story of the childhood and manhood of the Lord Jesus told us about as fully and completely as we can expect ever to have it told. The arrangement of the book in chapters, of which some one conspicuous incident is the center, or some distinct period the substance, -chapters so brief as to be easily manageable, and so single in their contents that each one bears its own impression of unity and completeness,-is especially to be commended. The length and structure of the chapters may seem, at first, to be an unimportant thing; but it is, in part, the careful observance of such apparently unimportant things that makes the book fit to be, in the best sense, a book for popular usefulness.

The abundant learning with which the author fitted himself for his great work is sufficiently evident from the array of foot-notes and the numerous appendices with which the book is furnished. The progress of the narrative is never interrupted by questions of disputed interpretation or exegesis. But to scholars who may wish to dispute or to verify the conclusions at which the author has arrived there is abundant opportunity given by the references of which we have spoken. Not the least valuable of all the author's qualifications for his work is his personal familiarity with the scenes in which the gospel history is laid, and his quick and accurate appreciation of their significance. Many travelers in the Holy Land have been more thorough in their researches, more statistical in their results than Dr. Farrar pretends to have been. But very few have had a finer sense, both of the natural charms and of the religious associations of these sacred places, or a more exact and graceful faculty of description than that which these learned and careful pages constantly reveal.

The spirit, at once devout and broad, in which this book is written finds expression upon almost every page. One quotation, taken almost at random, may illustrate it. It is from the chapter which

describes the scene of Christ's ministry about the Sea of Galilee, contrasting it with the stern landscape of the Judean wilderness in which the voice of John the Baptist had resounded: "It would be clear to all that the new Prophet who had arisen was wholly unlike his great forerunner. The hairy mantle, the ascetic seclusion, the unshorn locks, would have been impossible and out of place among the inhabitants of those crowded and busy shores. Christ came not to revolutionize but to ennoble and to sanctify. He came to reveal that the Eternal was not the Future, but only the unseen: that Eternity was no ocean whither men were being swept by the the river of Time, but was around them now, and that their lives were only real in so far as they felt its reality and its presence. He came to teach that God was no dim abstraction, infinitely separated from them in the far-off blue, but that He was the Father in whom they lived and moved and had their being; and that the service which He loved was not ritual and sacrifice, not pompous scrupulosity and censorious orthodoxy, but mercy and justice. humility and love. He came, not to hush the natural music of men's lives, nor to fill it with storm and agitation, but to re-tune every silver chord in that │‘harp of a thousand strings,' and to make it echo with the harmonies of heaven." (P. 180, vol. I.)

It is in this spirit, intelligent, candid, broad, and at the same time most tenderly reverent and worshipful, that the writer tells again "the old, old story." There is no cant or affectation, no mock humility, no unnatural emphasis of tone. The book must take its place at once in the very front of that department of literature to which it belongs.

It is, of course, possible to detect some faults of execution in detail. One wonders, for example, how so elegant a writer could, even by accident, have suffered such a blemish on his pages as the phrase (p. 82, vol. I.), “Have ever and must ever live." And, again, there is, in a foot note, a somewhat needless disparagement of Dr. Robinson's accuracy as an explorer and an identifier of ancient sites, on the ground that he "knew little or no Arabic," (p. 161, vol. I.); when it should be remembered that, on such questions, the authority in Robinson's Researches, was really Dr. Eli Smith, his constant traveling companion,-whose name is on the title page of Robinson's great work, and who was one of the foremost, in his day, among modern Arabic scholars. But such details of criticism are comparatively unimportant, and the general value of the work must stand where we have placed it.

Nordhoff's New Book.*

Perhaps the most striking characteristic of Mr. Nordhoff's style, as a writer of travels, is that seductive ease and exquisite naturalness of tone to which uncritical and credulous readers give ready ear,

* Northern California, Oregon and the Sandwich Islands. By Charles Nordhoff, author of "California for Health, Pleasure and Residence," &c., &c. New York: Harper & Bros.

sometimes to their own serious undoing. There are those on whom the mention of his first volume on California has an immediately infuriating effect, like that of a red rag on a bull; persons, for example, who, in the unsuspecting glow of enthusiasm, kindled by his fluent narration, sought on the Pacific coast, during the last winter, "the most perfect climate in the world." To such persons arriving,— after the uninteresting and uncomfortable seven days journey across the continent, and covered with the dust of a dozen States and Territories,-on the shores of the bay of San Francisco, and prepared to find at every step some confirmation of their roseate anticipations, it was a little disheartening to hear the whispered interlocutory comments of the hospitable residents, when Mr. Nordhoff and his book were mentioned. Instead of an unhesitating endorsement of that author, such as might naturally have been expected from them, it was sad to see them nudge each other with the furtive elbow and deprecate the too sudden disclosure of realities to the newly arrived traveler. "Let him find out for himself," they said, significantly-and indeed he did, too soon. And when, under the ceaseless, melancholy floods of rain that poured down from the leaden sky, heart and flesh began to fail, and the natural consequence of coughs, colds and bronchitis had begun to be apparent, till the resident physician was called in, it was interesting to discover that he also, from his professional standpoint, had his own views of Mr. Nordhoff and of his "book for travelers and settlers."

And yet, when one came to examine more specifically, it was hard to find distinct grounds for accusation against the accuracy of Mr. Nordhoff's statements. It was only that there was a glamour, somehow, unintentionally, but no less fatally, produced upon his readers by the very readable and apparently accurate and even statistical recital which he gave them. It is not that the climate of the Pacific coast, for example, is to be dreaded,-when one is properly acclimated,-(unless in such exceptional winters as the last one ;) but only that it needs to be understood, and that, somehow, Mr. Nordhoff does not lead us to understand it. And so with the inducements to settlers-it is not that there are not very great inducements to settlers, but it is that they are to be weighed over against certain other considerations to which the emphasis given in Mr. Nordhoff's book is of a different sort from that. given by actual experience. The average man who follows in the steps of this affable guide is, all the while, goaded by his experience to consider what a thing it is to be a guide and to be known to be a guide, and so to find rough places made smooth and crooked places straight before one, in the compilations of one's guide book.

In the present volume Mr. Nordhoff conducts his readers first to the Hawaiian Islands, and afterwards for a hurried run through northern California and Oregon, and, in one chapter, to the strange little

group of rocky islets which one sees on clear days from the Golden Gate, thirty or forty miles distant. It is to be commended as being very easy and entertaining reading, and seldom inaccurate in its positive statements, though sometimes false by defect, and sometimes erroneous in inference. It is strange, for example, that a man of Mr. Nordhoff's attainments and experience as a traveler should content himself with such a meager reference to the wonderful Wailuku valley, as that to be found on pages 77-8. The reader would scarcely imagine that the scenery dismissed with such a prosaic notice has beauty which ought to make it famous even beside the vallies of the Sierra. Indeed the wonderful perfection of the Sandwich Island climate and the charming picturesqueness and even magnificence of much of the Island scenery, seem not to have been appreciated by him as they deserve. One feels that his two books would both be better, if we could strike an average between the somewhat overstrained enthusiasm of the book on California, and the somewhat understated estimate of the attractiveness of the Hawaiian Kingdom. When it is generally known how perfect a sanitarium there is available, at only fifteen days from New York, in a little world detached from the great, busy tiresome world in which men grow sick and weary; in a community intelligent cultivated, Christian and generously hospitable; amid scenery of extraordinary beauty and interest; and in a country to which our own country is to be bound by ties of increasing intimacy, we may expect to see a part of the stream of travel which now crosses the Atlantic or skirts the Gulf, turned westward over the smooth Pacific. Meantime such books as this of Mr. Nordhoff, with its readable narrative and its attractive illustrations, are welcome as serving to keep up our interest in and our acqaintance with a country of which we shall presently know more.

Arthur Helps's "Ivan de Biron." *

As English novels are written, now-a-days, one that chooses a foreign country for its scene, and a remote time for its period, is hardly a fair test of an author's powers. He gains the advantage of garnishing his story with unfamiliar bits of history, or with passages of travel and geography that lend it a false air of novelty. At the same time, traits of manners look like copies, and the reader is suspicious of interiors painted by an artist who has never lived in them. Only he can do good work with such a plan who has the power to fix interest on the elements of romance common to all mankind, and to depict the genuine strength and sweetness of human hearts as they find in climates or in customs only variations for their expression. It is so that Quentin Durward glows with life, while Hypatia is coldly accurate.

Ivan de Biron. By the author of " Friends in Council." Boston: Roberts Brothers. 1874.

It would be unfair to ask that this story should convince us, like Tourgenieff's, that spring from the soil, of its truth to Russian character. But it is not unjust to wish, since the author chooses to carry us to regions so inhospitable, among customs so barbarous, that those alien modes of life should be brought into sympathy with our own by some touch of tenderness, such as in "The Exiles of Siberia" teaches us that the whole world is kin. Unfortunately it is upon circumstance, and not upon feeling, that the story most depends for its interest. Out of a bygone time, and with the masks that tradition has framed for them, the actors pose in shadowy rehearsal, instead of living and moving. The little love story that holds the plot together is pretty, but slight, and our just expectations are wronged when the author does not distinctly lead it to a close in that certain domestic beatitude which is the usual transfiguration of such commonplace emotion. Still, though there are points in it,such as the gypsy girl's sacrifice to her rival, and the force of a common misery in effacing difference of rank, which might have been more effectively accented by a more subtle reader of the heart, this love story, by its quiet tone, is more real and pleasing than anything else in the book. Enough is shown us of well-known personages to give it the pretension of a historical romance, but not enough to prove that it borrows vigor or dignity from the greatness of actual past lives. The Empress Elizabeth is a jovial, masculine, capricious nature, with contradictions of wit and polish, not the sensual, voluptuous princess history tells us she was. This or that soldier or statesman is vaguely sketched as cruel or arbitrary, without the special instances to make his image vivid, of which the annals of the time supply an abundance that might have been wrought into the story. To label a general a savage, and allude in a foot-note to some contemporary account of his excesses, is a very inartistic way of working. A cloudy atmosphere of conspiracy envelops the personages, but no great deeds flash out of it. We hold our breath, awaiting tragedy and horrors, and all evaporates in a panorama of processions, and a posting of going and returning exiles to and from Siberia, If the novel had decided to be one thing or the other,either a stormy romance of history or a simple idyl of Russian love-making,—it would have gained in clearness and interest. It is entertaining enough, with an occasional point of nice observation, or curious glimpse of strange, real incident; but it wants the coherence and fusion of finished work, such as this accomplished author has given us the fair right to expect, by writing of a different order.


WHEN everybody was talking about the comet, a few weeks ago, some one ventured the statement that the whole amount of matter of which the tail of this strange fish was composed could be squeezed

up-sponge fashion-into a ball a man might close in his fist! A good many things were said about the comet that we dare say the sayers now wish they had never said. Still, they were interesting enough at the time, and some of them scared a good many women and timid men, and thus fulfilled what was no doubt the intention of their authors. The particular remark we have mentioned came back to us just now when Mr. Holt's pocket edition of Clarissa Harlowe was put into our hands. Here is a comet's tail squeezed into a fist-ball, with a vengeance! The little book lies on our table as we write, a pretty pocket volume of 515 pages, and alongside it is a copy in eight volumes containing 3,632 pages.* The original edition (1748) was in eight volumes, and the type was smaller than the one we happen to be the owner of, but the amount of matter is of course the same, and think what a sum in reduction Mr. Holt's compiler set himself to solve !

We question very much whether the sum has been solved; we do not believe in fact that it can be solved. As there is no royal road to learning, so there is no royal recipe by which certain authors can be crammed into a pill, and swallowed. When, in the fairy tale, the Genius was sealed up in the earthen jar, he was, in fact, no genius at all. He was only known for what he was, when the too curious fisherman violated the seal of Solomon and let the spirit out to spread into a cloud that darkened half the heaven.

Suppose we had the comet of that Italian Coggia squeezed into our wife's smelling-bottle? Would it be the comet? No, it would only be what the scientific people call, "comet-stuff." That is, the comet divested of its poetry, of its power to rouse the imagination, to excite curiosity, terror, awe; to feed afresh the love of Celestial Beauty; to write anew the name of God upon the Heavens. From great things to small. There are certain books into whose very plan and method the element of lengthinesss,-of tedious and damnable iteration, if the reader will,-enters as an essential ingredient. We cannot conceive of a condensed "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire," of a condensed 'Arcadia," of a condensed " Paradise Lost." Nor can we conceive of a condensed "Clarissa Harlowe," Neither do we care to make apologies for its length to say that our grandmothers had few books to read, and that they had plenty of leisure; to say that Richardson had little sense of art; to say this, that, or the other gracious thing to help him make his peace with a steamboaty, rail-roadish, telegraphic age. The beauty of him is that he is long, that he dawdles, that he repeats himself, that he won't whip up his horses, no matter how testy the inside passengers may be;

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*Printed at Basle in 1792-3, (the last vol. only, in '93) for J. L. Legrand. We found it in Lucerne while hunting, without much success, for books from Gibbon's library. There would seem to have been a good many English books reprinted in the last century at Basle. Has any book worn ever looked into the matter?

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