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portunity, so kindly afforded, of introducing M QUICHERAT, in his wonderful work
bim to a national institution, peculiarly adapted to increase the entente cordiale to which he had so pleasantly alluded. He accepted my invitation as frankly as it was given, and in five minutes we were hobnobbing in the friendliest manner in the world. Like all educated Russians, he had a fair understanding of English, and I was anticipating an evening of social enjoyment, when the following incident occurred:
The first part of the ball was over, and an intermission of ten minutes was announced before the beginning of the cotillon. The hall-doors were thrown open, and among the couples that came out upon the steps was one which attracted my attention. The lady, who was dressed in white, after a moment sent back her partner for a shawl, and, during his absence, she stood in such a position that the light from within fell directly upon ber face. The man-he was not an officerreturned with the shawl, and folded it around her pretty shoulders with an air that was not to be mistaken. They descended the steps arm-in-arm, and came forward, groping their way and laughing, in our direction. They stumbled upon a table only three or four yards from ours, and sat down to it. After a short confabulation, the man called out "Karl!" and the waiter came.
"Karl, two glasses of beer; but quick!" "And a portion of raw ham thereto, Karl," said the lady, in the unmistakable Saxon accent; "I am so frightfully hungry!" "Two glass beer, one portion ham," recited Karl, and hurried off.
The man pulled a cigar from his pocket and lit it with a match. I had recognized him before he kept a small cigar-shop on See-Strasse, in Dresden. He threw the lighted match on the ground, and it burnt there until the lady put out a small, arched foot, neatly booted, and daintily extinguished it. She was a pretty girl for a Saxon, especially a Saxon in her humble rank of life.
"Herr Kombustikoff," said I to my Russian friend, "I must leave you. I am very sorry but I have received a great shock. Good-night!" and I was gone before Karl returned with the raw ham and the beer, and thus it happened that I went to bed so early that night. I rested ill; but it would have fared yet worse with me had I known then, what I discovered next morning, that my too-courteous Russian had gone off after having paid for my punch as well as for his own! Did he imagine that I meant to barter my instruction for the price of the beverage to which it related? May this page meet his eye, and discover to him, at last, the true cause of my unceremonious behavior.
[CONCLUSION NEXT WEEK.]
upon the history of costume in France, upon which he has been engaged for more than forty years, ascribes the reputation which the Gauls obtained from the earliest times for their skill in woven fabrics to the results of their commerce with the Phoenicians, and the settlements of Greek colonists upon their Mediterranean coast.
The authors of antiquity never spoke but with wonder of the stuffs which they wove, in various colors, in stripes, squares, and flowers.
From the time of their first contact with the Romans, the Gauls were represented as having a costume which distinguished them from every other nation of Europe. The style of it certainly was due to the Asiatics. They wore close-fitting trousers; leather shoes with thick soles; a small, square mantle, under which the body and arms were entirely bare. The Latin has preserved the names they gave to these garments: sagum, for the mantle; bracæ, for the trousers, from which the French braies, the Scotch breeks, and the English breeches. The shoes were styled gallica, which became the French galoches and the English galoshes.
History and archæology are barren of records as to the dress of women among the Gauls. Classic art is very little to be depended on whenever it represents barbarians, as correctness was usually sacrificed to artistic effect. The most important monument in this respect is that in the Villa Ludovisi, of which there is a copy in the park at Versailles. It represents a vanquished Gaul plunging into his breast the dagger with which he has just slain his wife. The latter is dressed in a sagum, the dimensions of which do not exceed those of a neckerchief, and a short, sleeveless tunic which covers a skirt falling down to the feet. The Roman arch at
Orange, commemorating the triumph of Marius over the Cimbri, shows us two other women with a single mantle above a skirt, the body being bare as far as the waist. The same mantle with a flap drawn over the head is found in the bass-reliefs on the frieze of the tomb called Amendola, in the Museum of the Capitol at Rome; a beautiful work in which the little Gauls are represented playing in childish light-heartedness around their captive and desolate mothers.
After the Roman conquest the usages of the Gauls by degrees assimilated with those of the conquerors, who were the best administrators the world has ever seen. The quality of Roman citizen, which from step to step might lead to the highest offices of the state, was a reward to the provincials for public services, which Cæsar lavishly bestowed. Those obtaining it adopted the Ro
man dress, which in some degree affected those of the other classes. The influence of the provinces, on the other hand, in the matter of colors, was such that in the second century Aurelian permitted all except the imperial purple to be used by women. Hitherto the stola and the tunic of Roman women of the better classes had always been white, colors being regarded as a sign of poverty, loose character, or of barbarism.
The distinction between the Romans and the inhabitants of the provinces ceased during the third century by the extension of citizenship to all the free subjects of the empire. Thereafter the old Roman costume, except as a mark of high office, was no longer in vogue in Gaul.
For women, the fundamental garment was a large and flowing one of linen, with a tunic reaching to the heels. In the fourth century the arms were bare or covered only by the folds flowing from the arm-holes, but in the fifth century they were always covered with close sleeves attached either to the outer or to the under tunic. In 1851 there was discovered, at Martres-de-Veyres, the tomb of a woman of the fourth century, of high rank. The corpse was in perfect preservation, and was lying face downward. The hair was of a dark chestnut, six feet in length, and separated at the end into four locks. The body was covered with four tissues of wool, which unfortunately were removed in layers without taking note of the form of the garments which they made. All that is known is, that a single piece enveloped the middle, and that the others covered the body from the neck to the feet. The outermost was fringed and of coarse appearance; the next was finer; the last, of altogether delicate workmanship, contained threads of gold and of silk. The museum at Clermont retains the slippers on the feet of the skeleton. These are of leather, pointed and raised in front, with no quarters, and with a thick sole made of cork.
In the Merovingian era, from the fifth to the sixth century, accounts of the costume are highly contradictory. The Roman monuments, which prove little in themselves, represent the women with bare arms. But what makes it more likely that this is in accordance with the fact, is the extreme severity with which the Salic law punished the laying of hands upon the arms of a freewoman. This offense brought upon the culprit a fine equal to that imposed for stealing
In the time of Charlemagne the illuminations of the manuscripts represent the women invariably as wearing two robes with a manteau thrown over the head in the manner of a veil. The outer robe, provided with large, short sleeves, is flowing, often open half-way up, leaving uncovered the under robe, which sweeps the ground and has close sleeves.
In the early feudal times their costume had little changed from that of Charlemagne. A caprice of the tenth century consisted in tucking the flaps of the tunic in the girdle in such a way that the skirt fell in front and behind in folds like those of a bed-curtain.
Of the two tunics with which the body was clothed, the under was called chainse, the outer bliaud. Chainse is, in very old French,
a masculine form of chemise; bliaud, becoming bliaude in the feminine, gave origin to the modern blouse.
The chainse was most often of white linen: "Blanc comme chainse" was a proverbial saying. The bliaud was made of woolen or silken stuff, and came down as far as the feet. During the tenth and eleventh centuries it was cut so as to form several great folds at the sides, but was tight in front and over the loins. It had large, open sleeves, which showed the arm covered with the artistically-folded sleeves of the chainse.
The part played by this latter garment in the history of French costume is an interesting one to follow. The Imperial Treasury at Vienna possesses a bliaud and a chainse whose date is fixed, by an inscription in the embroidery, as of the end of the twelfth century. The chainse is of fine linen. A square neck-piece of silk, richly embroidered, adorns the upper part, with a button for the flap of the opening. A wide border of violet silk, embroidered, at the bottom and at the wrists, further ornaments it, while two bands of blue silk, also embroidered, cross the sleeves in the middle.
The men continued to wear the braies, and on horseback they wore a chainse open at the sides half-way up, and, the bliaud being drawn up, it looked like two streamers of white linen flapping about the legs of the horseman. The effect was not bad, but it was dangerous in case of losing the stirrups. For war the inconvenience of these flying skirts was manifest, and many cavaliers refused to follow the style. The costume for the two sexes remained long, but in the middle of the fourteenth century there was a change in the number and in the cut of the garments. Moreover, it departed from the essential principle, which, up to that time, was that it should be of two pieces only. People had become more delicate, and experienced the need of covering the body more. The chainse was transformed into the chemise, in the sense we understand it, a fundamental garment of linen, which every person of condition wore next the skin.
The under-robe was ordinarily of wool and called the cotte (coat). Different names designated the outer robe, the most usual term being surcot. The latter had short sleeves for the women, showing those of the cotte, which was otherwise covered. As for the chemise, it was entirely covered, as at present. The later artifices to display this garment will be shown in their place, but one remark in this connection may be made, which applies to all the linen of the toilet. In modern times we esteem it white only when it is heightened by a bluish tinge. When it is in the least yellow it is insufferable, and is at once sent to the wash-tub. In the thirteenth century, on the contrary, it was the yellow tinge that was sought after, and the use of saffron for all linen was in vogue. It was even esteemed a mark of beauty in the complexion, and a poet complains of the
"Saffrens et estranges colours Qu'elles metent en lor visages." Very soon the surcots were worn without a girdle, and means were taken to show the body of the cotte by openings in the sides,
through which was seen not only the cotte, but the richness of the girdle, which now was worn upon the under-garment.
The élégantes of the time profited by these openings to show the chemise by means of other cuts in the cotte. And (who would believe it?) there were those who continued the slashes even upon the chemise, so that the whiteness of the skin beneath might be perceived
"Une autre laisse, tout de gré,
Sa char apparoir au costé."
This sufficiently explains why the preachers called the slashes of the dress "windows of bell."
There was, afterward, a sort of cotte without girdle and open at the top (sorquanie), to show the bust. This was what the women of Languedoc wore laced in front, through the lacings of which were shown the folds of a chemise, gathered, frilled, and embroidered in silk and gold. In the last years of the thirteenth century a law was passed forbidding laced cottes, as well as embroidered chemises. Brides only, by tolerance, were allowed the latter on the weddingday and for a year after, not a day longer.
Jacques de Vitry, the greatest preacher of his day, who afterward became cardinal, had previously set down in the list of diabolic trades the manufacture of chemises too finely ornamented. The moralists had always waged the war against scandalous fashions upon the wearers. This one attacked the makers. He menaced with eternal damnation those who ministered to the frivolity.
It was not until the middle of the fourteenth century that the influence of Spanish modes brought about a change in French costume. Except with the clerks and the clergy, who retained the "long robe," short garments replaced the long tunics. The outer garment, reaching to the knees, was called the jacquet, the under-garment the pourpoint or gipon, the one opening at the front, the other at the side. The chemise, shortened like the rest, became universal. The opposition to such a radical change was violent, as may be imagined. The chronicler of St.-Denis looks upon the defeat at Crécy as a punishment for the wicked pride displayed by his countrymen: "And for this, no wonder that God wished to chastise the excess of the French by his scourge, the King of England." Another chronicler is of a different opinion. Instead of seeing in the disaster of Crécy the consequence of the change of style, he pretends that this change was only a preparation for the disaster. "The nobles," he says, "put themselves in light trim in order the better to run from the enemy."
At the close of the next century the wretched state of the country, and the example of Louis XI., put a great check upon the extravagance in dress. In prosperous Burgundy, however, the opposite state of things prevailed.
Speaking of the shortness of the dress of the men, which exposed the lower limbs, the chronicler of Arras, Jacques Duelercq, continues : "And with this they have the sleeves of their robes and of their pourpoints cut open in such a manner that their arms show through a thin chemise, which chemise
has a large sleeve." These openings in the sleeves to allow the chemise to protrude were something new. But the style had come by degrees. The object of the slashes was at first to show that the sleeves of the pourpoint, which were entirely covered by the robe or jacquet, were actually of the same material as the body. It was but another step to follow the same course and by other openings to show the sleeves of the chemise. This honor paid to the chemise came from the perfection to which linen fabrics had arrived in the fifteenth century. Holland produced linens of wonderful fineness and whiteness. The additional merit of costliness assured their success as an article of luxury. The linen, at first exhibited upon the arms, was shown afterward upon the body, the shoulders, and even the thighs, by the always increasing number of slashes.
In the France of Louis XI., novelties were very slowly introduced in the dress of the women, which continued to fit closely to the body and arms. Only to the low cut which had been introduced in front was added another at the back. The neck or shoulder piece of gauze, which went all around the part thus opened, took the name of gorgias, which name soon became used in other meanings very common up to the seventeenth century. A gorgias, or a gorgiase, was a man or woman who dressed in a provoking and pompous manner. The English"
gorgeous" and gorgeousness came from this word. At the death of Louis XI. we may regard the middle ages as ended, and its costumes as well. The freedom of the body from the restrictions of the garments became the rule. Another modern symptom was the effort unite economy with splendor. Hitherto the very linings of the garments were, apparently as a matter of conscience, of the most costly material. Queen Anne, of Brittany, had her cottes lined with linen, with a border of silk, more or less wide at the bottom of the skirt and wrists. From the economies to the tricks of the toilet is but a step, and these last have been faithfully recorded by the satirists of the fifteenth century. The
This ornamentation could he seen only at the collar and wrists, as the chemise was entirely covered by the pourpoint. The collar was turned down, and was adorned not only with embroidery of gold, but also with pearls. This lasted till the end of the reign of Henry II., when a return was made to the frilled collar, which had already been tried in 1540.
A hundred years later the dimensions of the pourpoint were greatly diminished, and the slashes fewer in number. There were so many fashions in regard to it that the tailors could scarcely respond to the demands upon their ingenuity.
Under Louis XIII. there were either two or four cuts up and down the pourpoint, through which the snowy folds of the chemise escaped:
"Renfloit en beaux bouillons neigeux, Comme petits flots escumeux. Richelieu, on account of their foreign manufacture, had introduced an edict forbidding the use of laces which ornamented the collar and sleeves of the chemise. But the passion for them was so strong that Tallemant des Réaux relates the story of a certain Pardaillan who, when about to reach the house in which he meant to pay a visit, closed the curtains of his coach in order to put on his laces. His visit finished, he removed them in the same manner. In the early years of Louis XIV. and after the death of Richelieu, the rage for laces took on a new fervor. The very minuteness of the prohibitions of the new edicts was taken advantage of in evading them. Thus, laces being specifically forbidden at the neck and wrists of the chemise, the ingenuity of fashion succeeded in applying them at another portion in a manner which is thus set forth in the "Lois de la Galanterie Françoise" of 1644: "You must know that what they call a jabot is the fall of the chemise over the stomach, which must always be shown with its ornaments of lace, for it is only your old dotard that goes buttoned all the way down."
Now, the "jabot" is properly the crop of a bird, and whoever has noticed the appearance it presents in a young bird before it is covered by the feathers, will see how the word came to be applied to the fold of the chemise which escaped from the pourpoint. Later on, the pourpoint was shortened, and the waist lowered to allow a great puff of the chemise to encircle the body. The effect at first was ridiculous, because it seemed at every step as if the essential garment below was about to drop off, and when worn in the street it was greeted with childish shouts of warning. But, as there is nothing to which fashion does not reconcile us, the style was soon carried to the extremest lengths. Later on in the same reign, the pourpoints, which had already lost one-half of their bodies, had two-thirds of their sleeves cut away. Nothiug was more appropriate than the name of brassières, which Molière applied to them. From the shortening thus effected, the che¿mise gained on the arms as well as upon the body what the outer garment had lost. But It may easily be supposed that, with so much exposure as this, the chemise alone could not protect the body against the cold. Un
derneath it a camisole and an under-chemise
Toward the end of the seventeenth century rich laces, tours de manches, ordinarily in three rows, bordered the short sleeves of the dress of the grandes-dames, and lace poignets the sleeves of the chemise, although they stopped very much above the wrists.
In the first quarter of the last century the veste, which had earlier replaced the pourpoint, was opened above and half-way down, displaying the chemise and the cravate. This last, which owed its origin to the Croats who served in the armies of the king, was of linen or muslin, with very long and voluminous ends hanging down in front. It is the prolongation of the cravate which gave the idea of the jabot, as the term is now used. A black ribbon knotted over the throat, or a collar of muslin fastened behind, having replaced the pendent cravate, a frill of lace was placed upon the chemise, which kept up the appearance of the folds of the cravate that had hitherto protruded from the opening of the veste.
With both sexes the exposure of the chemise upon the body and on the arms reached its greatest height at the latter part of the preceding century. The closing years of the eighteenth century witnessed, in the costume of the incroyables of the Directory, a reduction of this exposure to an extent just sufficient to show the place where a golden breastpin, with a jeweled head, was fastened.
The ruffles and frills of the earlier years of the Empire and the Restoration have ceased to be worn by the Frenchmen of the present day, while with the women the garment is no longer a visible part of the costume, although it is not regarded, as by some of their English and American sisters, as one not to be mentioned in polite society.
very generally been misunderstood all these years. It is at least by no means certain that the usual interpretation is the idea intended to be conveyed. Perhaps, instead of an admonition to fear the thoroughness of the man of one study or one specialty, the saying meant to imply that the man of one book is to be avoided as a tremendous bore, as a fellow wholly one-sided, with narrow and disproportionate ideas of things. But, whatever may have been the original purport of the maxim, it is entirely certain that the saying will bear the definition we have suggested. From some points of view it looks as if it were altogether the wisest construction to be put upon it. If catholicity of taste and largeness of judgment are important intellectual conditions, then we must look upon the man of a single study as one incompetent to fulfill his duties toward society in an adequate and satisfactory manner. And yet, as we all know, there are very decided reasons why there should be men closely devoted to special studies. The arts and sciences are too difficult for a man to do more than completely master one or two of them in the short period of life that is given him; and hence it is obvious that there must be men of "one book," if the race is to achieve perfect knowledge and mastery of its surroundings. This necessity has impressed many persons so deeply that we hear on all sides utterances as to the urgency of thoroughness in a few things rather than a superficial knowledge of many things. It is declared that the vice of the age is the habit of half learning things, and that in America, especially, the thing most incumbent upon educators at the present moment is, to insist upon a few things well learned.
If there is any mistake in this attitude it is in assuming that a principle which is forcibly applicable to all professional persons is also applicable to all laymen. It is indeed true that every lawyer, every physician, every engineer, every chemist, every naturalist, every artisan, should each bend his energies to the mastering of his chosen pursuit. Half knowledge in one's profession is wholly inexcusable. Half knowledge in any thing in which full knowledge is requisite, by one's position or one's profession, is not to be tolerated. But outside of one's special pursuit, why should one not seek to obtain a sort of general conception of other arts, sciences, and professions? As it is simply impossible ordinarily for one to have more than a slight knowledge of a majority of the sciences, there is assuredly no reason why he
may not get at least this surface knowledge. Our happiness, our ability to enjoy the society of our fellow-mer, largely depends upon our capacity to know something of many things. A man should know enough of drawing and the laws of color to enjoy works of art; enough of the principles of music to appreciate the compositions of the great masters; enough of astronomy to comprehend the general laws of the solar system; enough of ethnology to be entertained by the history of races; enough of natural history to awaken a zest in the habits and strange facts of animal life; enough, in brief, of all of the arts and sciences to enable him to feel an intelligent interest in all that they have accomplished. What service, we may ask, would specialists render the world if every man were solely absorbed in one study, so wrapped up in his own purposes as to be cold and indifferent to every thing done by others? There must be a class on the alert to know something of many things, in order that the labors of specialists may be of any avail. Imagine a party of a dozen one-ideaed men at dinner-without a single ground of common sympathy upon which all could meet! Great as might be the achievements of each in such a group of savants, one would prefer the society of the most confirmed smatterers in the world. Smattering is innocent enough just so long as it does not pretend to be any thing more-just so long as it is the result of a mental activity which is not content in being wholly in the dark as to matters going on in the world. Let us say here that our knowledge of a thing should be sound as far as it goes. A man may acquire very little, yet that little ought to be and may be accurate, it may be discriminating and just, and it should be in its degree the truth.
Of course we do not object to, indeed, would urge, the utmost thoroughness practicable. The question we raise is, whether men and women are to be exhaustively cultivated in a few things, or partially cultivated in the whole range of studies. Should we know every minute fact in a few sciences to the exclusion of the large, general facts of all the sciences? Is it not well to know the outlines of some arts rather than not to know any thing about them at all? Every welldeveloped character should be many-sided, hospitable to all forms of thought, and alert to all aspects of taste and study, even if it necessarily must touch some of the things it comes in contact with only superficially. It is only, as we have already said, your fool that, in imagining his half glimpse whole knowledge, renders catholicity of study in the eyes of certain people something to be deplored. We cannot get rid of the fools; it is necessary, indeed, that we ourselves
should be on guard so as not to mistake superficial for exhaustive knowledge; but he whose mental survey commands an extended and varied prospect, even if he does not know accurately all the minute phases of the blended view, is better fitted for intellectual and æsthetic enjoyment than he who has shut up all his faculties and all his sympathies in one narrow road.
IN Mr. Charles Reade's concluding letter to the Tribune on international copyright there is the following in regard to the abundance of material for the purposes of American authors:
"What is the position in the world of the American writer? Does he keep pace with the American patentee? Why, it is a complete contrast: one is up, the other is down; one leads old nations, the other follows them; one is a sun diffusing his own light over his own hemisphere and ours, the other a pale moon lighted by Europe. Yet the American mechanical inventor has only the forces and materials our mechanical inventor can command; whereas the American writer has larger, more varied, and richer materials than ours. Even in fiction, what new materials has the English artist compared with that goldmine of nature, incident, passion, and character-life in the vast American Republic? Here you may run on one rail from the highest civilization to the lowest, and inspect the intervening phases, and write the scale of man. You may gather in a month, amid the noblest scenes of Nature, the history of the human mind, and note its progress. Here are red man, black man, and white man. With us man is all of a color, and nearly all of a piece; there contrasts more piquant than we ever see, spring thick as weeds; larger aud more natural topics ring through the land, discussed with broader and freer eloquence; in the very Senate the passions of well-dressed men break the bounds of convention, and nature and genuine character speak out in places where with us etiquette has subdued them to a whisper. Land of fiery passions and humors infinite, you offer such a garden of fruits as Molière never sunned himself in, nor Shakespeare either! And what food for poetry and romance were the feats of antiquity compared with the exploits of this people? Fifty thousand Greeks besieged a Phrygian city fighting for a rotten leaf-the person of an adulteress, without her mind. This ten years' waste of time is a fit subject for satire; only genius has perverted it into an epic-what cannot genius do? But what was this, in itself, and what were the puny wars of Pompey and Cæsar compared with a civil war, where not a few
thousand soldiers met on either side to set one Pompey up, one Cæsar down; but armies like those of Xerxes encountered again and again, fighting, not for the possession of a wanton, nor the pride of a general, but for the integrity of a nation and the rights of man? Yet the little old things seem great, and the great new things sound small. Carent quia vate
marches, with sounding tread, from sea to sea. See iron labor pierce the bowels of the mountain, and span the lake's broad bosom. It creeps, it marches, it climbs, it soars, it never halts; the savages arm, and saddle their wild steeds; they charge, they fire, they assassinate, they wheel about, with flaming eyes and flying arrows; then civilization takes its rifle in one hand, and its pick in the other, and the labors of war and peace go on together, and still the mighty iron road creeps, climbs, and marches, from hemisphere to hemisphere and
sea to sea.
"These are the world-wide feats that touch mankind, and ought to thrill mankind. Yet they go for less than small old things done in holes and corners. Carent quia vate sacro. For there where the soil is so fertile, art is sterile. Few are the pens that glow with sacred fire; few great narrators, and not one great dramatist. Read the American papers-you revel in a world of new truths, new fancies, and glorious crude romance, awaiting but the hand of art; you roll in gold-dust. Read their dramas or narratives. How French! How British! How faint beside the swelling themes life teems with in this nation that is thinking, working, speaking, and living, and doing every thing-except writing-at a rate of march without a present rival or a past parallel beneath the sun!"
This is all very eloquent, and will strike, no doubt, many minds as conclusive. But the fact is, that rich and varied as the ma. terial of American life may seem, there is something about it that does not readily translate into art. In all its manifestations that are distinctively its own, it is raw and crude, without atmosphere, so to speak, and without tone; and this is the main reason why American literature has been so lagging. We doubt if the absence of international copyright has had much to do with it; this may possibly have repressed it a little, inasmuch as English books in cheap reprints have in a measure taken possession of the reading public. But we know of no distinctly forcible American book that has failed to get a hearing, and no really strong writer that is without recognition. But that successful authors are few, is because it requires more skill and genius here to model national material into art-forms than it does in old countries. This makes the chances of success in literature here less, while on the other hand the professions offer to ambitious minds with us many more brilliant opportunities than they do in other countries. In brief, the social elements here are not very amenable to art, while the intellectual forces nearly all tend to law, banking, medicine, and trade.
We have, moreover, one serious national defect. The genius of America is not dra matic. It is very active, as Mr. Reade so eloquently describes, in a hundred things; it is inventive, it is inquisitive, it is scientific, it is even within certain bounds artistic; but its lack of dramatic passion and perception chills all high production in the domain of the imagination. It can write no dramas;
it is only partially successful in the novel; and while our artistic genius is very charming in landscape, it is utterly weak in historic or dramatic composition. We have had grand orators, excellent historians, charming essayists, noble idyllic poets, but our novelists as a class have been inferior, and our dramatists utterly puerile. We may yet, however, hope for strong things. It does not follow, because the difficulties are great, that we shall not be able in time to overcome them. There are, indeed, indications that our writers are rising to the level of their tasks. Bret Harte has shown how art may manage the wild incidents of frontier life; and hence it may be believed that the turbulent conditions of other forms of our sharply-contrasted civilization may yet come under the control of dexterous hands; and in the land where the soil is so fertile, art, in the form to which Mr. Reade refers, may yet cease to be sterile.
THE English are a music-loving people, though England has never yet produced a composer of the first rank. Michael William Balfe has, among British subjects, attained the highest eminence; and be was an Irishman, nor was his greatest work-"Il Talismano "-fully recognized as a work of genius till after his death. England lost a good composer, though not a great one, in William Vincent Wallace; and gives promise of developing another of a higher order of talent, in Arthur Sullivan. But England has given to the world no Beethoven, like Germany; no Gounod or Auber, like France; no Rossini, like Italy. Yet, of all cities, London is the most hospitable to the lyric art. The most distinguished artists there receive the highest remuneration, and are rewarded by the most generous and substantial constancy. Hitherto, the London opera-goer, however, has been forced to put up with many discomforts. There may be some compensation to the English mind for the dinginess, the bad acoustics, the uncomfortable seats, the difficulty of access of Covent Garden and Drury Lane, in their venerable associations. Even the prosaic American finds gratification in the thought that he is sitting in the house where Kean stormed and Kemble strutted, which echoed the peerless voice of Malibran, and on whose boards tripped the lightsome Ellsler. Yet the Londoners have gradually awoke to the fact that their two great hisoric theatres are wofully dismal and barnike; that their seats are cramped and anguar; that they too often fail to render up to he listener's ear the sound sent forth from the actor's throat; that the modes of ingress und egress are curiously inconvenient; and hat the neighborhood in which they stand s one of the murkiest and dreariest slums in
the Spectator assures us, is as large, as strong, as energetic, mentally and bodily, as ever it was. It may be added that cases of ruined health from the use of tobacco are more rare than deaths by many articles of food which Dr. Drysdale would never think of tabooing, and are mainly confined to cases of its use in excess. But the doctor's fulmination is against tobacco smoked; tobacco chewed is an unknown abomination in his country, and hence the direful effect of this use of the weed is not expounded by the worthy savant. Nor are the social nuisances connected with the use of tobacco-which we have so often touched upon taken into consideration; and after all it may be questioned whether the infliction of tobacco smoke and tobaccosaliva upon innocent persons is not as great an evil as the sanitary effects upon those who indulge; for in the one case a man is a voluntary sufferer by his own excesses, in the other he is the helpless victim of other people's intolerable selfishness.
the town. So there is to be a new operahouse, "national" in design, in a cheerful quarter, built for comfort, convenience, and hearing, with ample provisions for emptying the house in the quickest possible time in the event of fire, and supplied with all the latest devices of luxury and elegant adornment. The first brick has just been laid on the Thames Embankment by Mademoiselle Tietjens, and ere long the "Franco-Italian" edifice will rise, with tower, colonnade, and balcony, adding one more to the group of noble piles which decorate either side of the Thames at Westminster. The plan is less ostentatious and more commodious than that of the Grand Opéra at Paris; for the English, while ambitious to emulate other nations in artistic elegance, are determined as well to be comfortable and safe. The new opera - house will be finished, it is said, in time for the operatic season of 1876; if so, it will be a feat of architecture, indeed. When it is done and in full use, it will be a satisfaction to the visitor to London to go to the opera, through wide and well-lighted streets, and not, as at present, by crooked ways and lanes, which are nests of thieves and haunts of wretched poverty.
OUR London letter of last week came to hand so late that it was hurried into print after a hasty reading, and hence one statement therein escaped our notice until it was too late to amend it. This was, that Mr. Charles Reade had "rushed into print in order to defend Colonel Baker, of indecent-assault infamy." Our correspondent was in erMr. Reade wrote a letter to the London Telegraph, not to defend Colonel Baker's conduct, but to prove by numerous citations from police records that the sentence of Colonel Baker-in regard to the supposed leniency of which there is a wide-spread feeling in England-instead of being lenient, as compared with other sentences of a similar nature, was really unusually severe; and Mr. Reade, instead of defending the culprit, thinks it most proper a gentleman should be more severely punished for so heinous an offense." In justice to Mr. Reade, we think it incumbent upon us to make this explanation.
MANY and wise have been the "counterblasts against tobacco" since the day of royal and pedantic James; and just now there seems to be a sort of anti-tobacco revival in England. A correspondent lately tried to wean smokers from their "blessed weed" by describing, with harrowing minuteness, the unpleasant method of manufacturing cigars in France; and now comes ope erudite Dr. Drysdale, with an array of figures and a whole arsenal of dreadful medical terms, to prove that, unless tobacco is abandoned, the people will become dwarfs and idiots, commerce will dwindle and the coal-fields be exhausted, armies will cease to march and the factories subside into a dreary and hopeless silence. The doctor almost sympathizes with that African tribe in whose criminal code the use of tobacco is only a degree less heinous than murder. He complains that tobacco is a relic of barbarism, the gift of savages to civilization; he forgets that coffee, and spices, and green corn, and a hun. dred other things, are presents to us from the same humble source. What he does not prove is that the use of tobacco palpably and seriously diminishes length of life, stature, physical or mental vigor. It may be that an analysis of tobacco-smoke betrays the presence of a number of acids with long Latin names, ethylamine," "pyridine, "viridine," and other elements no less terrible than mysterious to the ordinary smoker; but nearly three centuries of smoking in England has not perceptibly deteriorated the race which,
HE task to which Professor Cocker has addressed himself in his "Theistic Conception of the World" is no less than to vindicate Christianity and the Christian conception of the origin, method, and gov ernment of the universe against all assailants, whether the attack be based on metaphysical or a priori grounds, or on the "previsions" of physical science. To the performance of this task he brings carefullytrained logical powers, wide general culture, thorough familiarity with Biblical exegesis and the copious literature of metaphysics,
The Theistic Conception of the World. An Essay in Opposition to Certain Tendencies of Modern Thought. By B. F. Cocker, D. D., LL. D. New York: Harper & Brothers.