« AnkstesnisTęsti »
worldly prosperity, no extraordinary phase of fortune, but rather the acquisition of 'a sound mind in a sound body,' the complete culture of the physical, moral, and intellectual faculties of the individual. It is true that I have not neglected the ordinary meaning which the world gives to 'success,' nor do I wish to contend that competent means for the wholesome enjoyment of life is not a very reasonable and proper object for a man's energies. But I have endeavored to realize for the word a wider and higher significance, and to deal with it as represent ing the development of mind, soul, and body-the living, so far as is possible to man, a 'perfect life."" In short, the so-called secret of success is really no secret at all, but a restatement of principles of conduct and ideals of life with most of which every reader has been familiar since the days of his copybook exercises.
To the objection that his book simply reiterates truths which have become the commonplaces of moralists and the stock-in-trade of social teachers, the author rejoins by admitting it, but suggests that truths of so much importance can not be too frequently enforced, that their repetition may impress minds which have not been impressed before, and that they may be accompanied with fresh examples or presented in newer forms, so as to arrest the attention of the careless or suggest to the thoughtful new lines of reflection. To the further objection that his theme is hackneyed, and that he follows in the beaten track of worthy predecessors, he replies that, though he traverses the same ground, yet he devotes much space to illustrations from the comparatively fresh departments of "business and "commerce," and pursues more than one course of inquiry which previous writers have only glanced at.
These pleas may all be frankly accepted, and it is not a little creditable to Mr. Adams that he sets out upon a somewhat dubious task with no more of pretension or deception than is implied in his title. The truth is, however, that the book will be read and enjoyed not for its morality or doctrines, excellent as these are, but for the genuine and varied entertainment which it affords. It is in the main a collection of stories and anecdotes, classified under appropriate texts, and strung together upon a slender thread of exposition. Some of these stories are old, some not so old, and others entirely new-at least to us; and they are all told with spirit, vigor, and a certain freshness. They are not always of a humorous character, though it is evidently the aim of the author to combine instruction with amusement whenever possible; but even when they are not avowedly humorous they seldom fail to be entertaining. The volume might be pretty accurately described as a collection of personal ana illustrating the character and habits of men who have become eminent in various walks of life. A noticeable proportion of the anecdotes are derived from American sources, and refer to well-known Americans. There are fewer mistakes in these than might be expected, but the Astor whose history is narrated on page 64 is John Jacob, not William.
NOT the least curious of the many eccentricities of Mr. Ruskin is his persistent refusal to reprint his "Modern Painters," the copyright of which now belongs to him. No doubt to reproduce it in what the author would be content to consider its permanent shape would involve much labor in the way of revision, modification, and amendment, for a very large proportion of the original work is devoted to topics of transient interest, and to the discussion of questions which are now either settled or obsolete; but, in spite of the multifariousness and variety of his other writings, it is to the "Modern Painters" that one must still go in order to obtain anything like an adequate conception of Mr. Ruskin's art-teachings and of the splendor and vigor of his expositions. For such readers as may not have either the time or the disposition to cope with the original work in its fullness and voluminousness, a very useful résumé or compendium of it may be found in "Ruskin on Painting," one of the latest issues in Appletons' New Handy-Volume Series. This little volume contains a copious and judicious selection of passages from the "Modern Painters," which, taken consecutively, present the main argument of that work, with the exception of those special discussions which could be rendered intelligible only by the help of elaborate engravings, or which deal with questions that, as we have said, are now either settled or of obsolete interest. From it the reader may obtain a fairly adequate idea not only of the doctrines, theories, and opinions of Mr. Ruskin on art matters, but of that incomparably opulent and brilliant style which gives one a more exalted conception of the power and capacities of the English language. The selections are preceded by a biographical sketch based to a considerable extent upon those piquant autobiographical reminiscences with which Mr. Ruskin refreshed his readers in the earlier numbers of his "Fors Clavigera." The only fault likely to be found with this sketch will be on the score of its brevity-it would be difficult to imagine more entertaining or, on the whole, more instructive reading than these personal reminiscences afford.
... Few regions of the earth's surface have remained so nearly a terra incognita that a book of such fresh and romantic interest could be written about them as Mr. Beerbohm has given us in his Wanderings in Patagonia." The old illusion that the Patagonians are giants has been pretty well dispelled, or at least relegated to the most ignorant and credulous, but nearly everything else that Mr. Beerbohm tells us has the charm of novelty and the dignity of instruction. It is less, however, as a description of a country and people than as a record of personal adventure that the author presents his book to our notice. He spent but a short time in the country, and his journeys were not extensive;
*Ruskin on Painting. With a Biographical Sketch. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 18mo, pp. 210. Appletons' New Handy-Volume Series, No. 29. New
+ Wanderings in Patagonia, or Life among the Ostrich-Hunters. By Julius Beerbohm. Leisure Hour Series. New York: Henry Holt & Co. 16mo, pp. 294.
but if a novelist should venture to crowd so many striking experiences and unexpected coincidences into so brief a period, he would certainly be accused of exaggeration. Mr. Beerbohm narrates his adventures with spirit and vivacity, and indeed exhibits a literary faculty which it is to be hoped will be exercised in other fields. He does not set himself to provide a hand-book of the country, or to compile a miscellaneous aggregation of facts; but he is a close and alert observer, and as the result of his own personal observations he presents us with a great deal of information of a varied and attractive character. His book is a model of its kind, and may be commended to intending travelers as an example of how much may be observed in a brief time and under not very advantageous circumstances. The volume contains a map of Patagonia, showing Mr. Beerbohm's journey, a serviceable index, and two illustrative woodcuts.
. . . . Mr. A. F. Nightingale, Principal of the Lake View High School, near Chicago, has prepared, in his "Hand-book of Requirements for Admission to the Colleges of the United States,' work which will doubtless prove extremely useful to a large and constantly increasing class. It presents in tabular form, and with all needful minuteness of detail, the requirements for admission (that is, the amount of work in various departments which the student must have done beforehand) in forty-four of the leading colleges of the United States, representing the different sections of the country, the leading denominational institutions, and the most important State universities of the West. Of each of the colleges included, the different studies and the degree of preparation required in each study are given in detail; but an average of the requirements to enter the colleges represented in the book will admit a student to the Freshman class of any college or university not named, so that, as the author says, it furnishes a chart of universal application to the colle giate institutions of the United States. The facts presented have been gathered from the latest catalogues and circulars of the institutions included, and verified by correspondence with the collegiate authorities; and they appear to be as authentic as they are comprehensive. Besides the table of "Requirements," there are a complete list of the colleges of the United States; a list of the leading ones in the order of their establishment; a list showing the number of students in each; a classification of colleges in regard to admission of the sexes; a classification of them in regard to denominational control; a table showing the ratio of colleges to population; the details of the Harvard University examination for women, taken from the circular of 1879; and specimen questions for admission to college.
vated class of readers will be cordially grateful is that undertaken by the Messrs. Harper in the new library editions of the standard English and American historians, including Macaulay, Hume, Gibbon, Motley, and Hildreth. The Macaulay was published during the winter, and received in a recent number our due tribute of praise. It has now been followed by Motley's "Rise of the Dutch Republic,"* which is issued in the same richly simple and tasteful style, making three volumes which every lover of choice books will be eager to possess. These will be followed in due course by the rest of Motley's histories, and there will then be no reason why these works, which, as the “Edinburgh Review" says, reflect honor upon American literature, and would do honor to the literature of any country in the world, should not find a place in even the most modest library.
In his "Reading-Book of English Classics" Dr. Leffingwell has attempted to provide for young pupils (not beginners, however) a variety of reading exercises, and at the same time to make them acquainted with the names and works of great authors. He thinks, with ex-President Hill, of Harvard, that “the reading-books in schools, which were formerly made up by compilations of classic authors, are now too largely original compositions or compilations from inferior writers"; and his book is a return to what he considers the older and better plan. His selections are varied in subject and style, and are taken in about equal proportion from the leading English and American authors.
.. Among the latest issues of Appletons' New Handy-Volume Series is "An Accomplished Gentleman," by Julian Sturgis, author of "John-aDreams." As in the latter story, the charm of “An Accomplished Gentleman" lies rather in the manner and style than in the substance of the story, though the plot and narrative are not without interest. The style is in a remarkable degree polished, incisive, and epigrammatic; and the character-drawing exhibits a neatness of touch which reminds one of the post-Restoration comedy rather than of the modern analytical school of fiction. Another member of the series is "A Rogue's Life: from his Birth to his Marriage," by Wilkie Collins," being a revised and improved version of a novelette which Mr. Collins contributed more than twenty years ago to “Household Words," and which had dropped out of the memory of the present generation. Still another addition to the series is "The Attic Philosopher in Paris," from the French of Emile Souvestre, which has long been and will long remain one of the minor classics of fictitious literature.
*The Rise of the Dutch Republic. A History. By . . . An enterprise for which the more culti- John Lothrop Motley, LL. D., D. C. L. A new cheap
* A Hand-Book of Requirements for Admission to the Colleges of the United States, with Miscellaneous Addenda for the Use of High Schools, Academies, and other College Preparatory Institutions. By A. F. Nightingale, A. M. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 4to, pp. 63.
edition in 3 vols., 8vo, vellum cloth, with uncut edges and gilt top. New York: Harper & Brothers. 8vo, pp. 579, 582, 664.
+ Reading-Book of English Classics for Young Pupils. Selections from the Standard Literature of England and America. By C. W. Leffingwell, D. D. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. 12mo, pp. 403.
BY WALTER BESANT AND JAMES RICE,
AUTHORS OF THE GOLDEN BUTTERFLY," BY CELIA'S ARBOR," ETC.
WHAT STEPHEN PROPOSED.
HIS was the dream of a night. Morning, especially if it be cold, rainy, and uncomfortable morning, brings awaking and reality. Stephen awoke and realized. He remembered the evening's dream with a shudder which came of shame. He looked out upon leaden clouds, rain-beaten, bare branches, and plashy lawns, and he was ashamed of his ready enthusiasm.
Morning always found Stephen Hamblin sad. It is the way with men whose joys belong entirely to the town. In the morning he was at his worst in looks and in temper. The bald temples seemed to cover a larger area of skull, the tuft of black hair which remained in the middle seemed smaller, and his eyes seemed closer together. Morning, with such men, is the time for evil deeds.
He breakfasted alone, and then dragged out all the papers and spread them before him. He would, at least, learn all that was to be learned, and at once. Absurd to go on dreaming impossibilities.
And yet, in one form or the other, the dream had been with him so long that it was hard to put it aside.
The documents divided themselves into three classes. There were the letters-Alison had already taken away her own; there were the papers relating to private accounts, small but continuous loans to Alderney Codd, himself, and others; and there were the diaries and journals year by year. The lawyers had gone through
them before and taken away the more important papers. But there was still a great pile left.
Stephen had already carelessly turned over the letters. He now devoted himself to a rigid and thorough reading of every scrap of paper.
This took him more than one day. At the close of the first day's work he laid down the last read paper with a sigh of satisfaction, because he had as yet arrived at nothing. The results he wished to secure were chiefly negative results. There was not one hint, so far as he had got, of any love-business at all. If there were letters from women, they were letters from people in distress, asking for money if there were any reference at all to marriages, they were those of persons entirely unconnected with the matter which interested Stephen.
Stephen was, in one sense, disappointed. What he would have rejoiced to find-evidence of an amourette without a ring-he had not found. But, on the other hand, there was no evidence of any love-passages at all, which was clear gain.
He went up to town, dined at the club, sat late after dinner, slept at his chambers in Pall Mall, and returned to Clapham on the following morning.
Here he renewed his researches.
This day he spent among the miscellaneous documents. Here were his own early I O U'sof late years this unmeaning ceremony had been abandoned-for prudence' sake, he tied these all up together and placed them in his own pocket. Nothing so hopelessly valueless as one of his own I O U's, and yet, for many reasons, nothing more desirable to get hold of. There were several, too, from Alderney Codd, which he also
put together by themselves for future use. Alderney might be influenced by means of them, he thought, with some shadowy idea about threatening that most impecunious of men and fellows.
of an indulgent life. Certainly that hero of the stage could not more unmistakably have shown his contempt for such a record. Some men would have been moved to admiration at a life so blameless; others would have been moved to love and
The same day he began the study of the gratitude, finding their own name constantly voluminous diaries.
Anthony Hamblin, brought up under the strict rule of an old-fashioned merchant, was taught very early to be methodical. He became, by long practice, methodical in all his ways. He not only kept carefully and endorsed all receipts, letters, and documents, down to the very play bills, the dinner-bills, the hotel-bills, the luncheonbills, but he actually entered in a big diary, one of the biggest procurable, all the simple daily occurrences of his life. Thus, the record of the day would appear as follows:
'April 1, 18—.-Letters: from Stephen, asking for a loan of twenty-five pounds-sent the check from the vicar, urging a continuance of my subscription to the schools-wrote to renew it from the Secretary of the Society for providing Pensions for Aged Beadles-put the letter in the basket: from the Hospital for Incurable Cats-sent half a guinea-see disbursements for month. Promised Alison a box at the opera: into town: saw Augustus on business matters: lunched at the City Club-more champagne than is safe in the middle of the day: saw Alderney Codd. Lent him ten pounds for a fortnight; took his IOU for the amount: did no work in the afternoon: walked all the way home strolled on the Common with Alison till dinner-time: the Dean and his daughters to dinner. Study at eleven: read till twelve."
This was the harmless chronicle of small things kept by the great City merchant. It was the journal of a man who was contented with life, was anxious about nothing, hoped for nothing strongly, had always found the road smooth, and was conscious that his lot was an enviable one. In Stephen's eyes it had one special merit: it accounted for every hour of the day. All Anthony Hamblin's life was there.
There were six-and-thirty of these volumes. Anthony had begun the first under the supervision of an exact and methodical father, when he entered the office at sixteen. What Stephen looked for and feared to find would probably occur somewhere about the sixteenth volume. Yet, taking every precaution, Stephen began with the earliest and read straight on.
The expression of his face as he toiled through page after page of these journals suggested contempt and wonder. With his dark eyes, almost olive-tint, and once clear-cut features, now rather swollen, he looked something like Mephistopheles, gone a little elderly, and showing signs
mentioned, and always accompanied by a gift; others would have felt sympathy with so much paternal affection as appeared in the later volumes. Stephen, for his part, was unconsciously engaged in comparing his own life, step by step, as he went on, with that before him. He rejoiced in the contrast: on the one side were peace and calm, on the other red-hot pleasures; the roses and rapture of life" for himself, and the insipidity of domestic joys for Anthony. History, to be sure, is not made by men of Anthony's stamp, because history is entirely a record of the messes and miseries incurred by people in consequence of their ignorance and the wickedness of their rulers. One thing of importance: there was no mention at all of any love-passages, to say nothing of any marriage. Yet Alison must have had a mother, and there could be no doubt that she was Anthony's own daughter. The resemblance to his mother was enough to prove it.
Presently the reader came upon a line which interested him. "By Jove!" he said, "I wonder what he says about Newbury?"
There was a good deal about Newbury, but not apparently what the reader expected.
"I thought he would have written something more about Dora," said Stephen.
He now read more carefully, as if he suspected something might happen about this time. To begin with, it was now only a year before Alison's birth, yet nothing was said. The entries were candid and frank; there was no hint at concealment; there seemed nothing to be concealed. The reader turned over page after page in anxiety which was fast becoming feverish. The holiday at Newbury seemed terminated, like all the rest, by return to London; not a word afterward about Dora Nethersole. The autumn and winter were spent at Clapham and in the City, as usual; in the spring Anthony went for a month to the south of France, his companion being that most respectable of the cousins, the Dean. He returned in early summer; in the autumn he went to Bournemouth. The reader's face clouded. He read on more anxiously. There was a gap of four weeks, during which there was no entry. You who have read Miss Nethersole's manuscript know how the time was spent. After that interval the journal went on. "Returned to town, saw Stephen, told him what I thought fit."
"What he thought fit!" echoed Stephen. "Then he kept something back. What could that be?"
Then the journal returned to its accustomed very much unlike Anthony. Or he might have grooves, save that there was an entry which ap- married under an assumed name also unlike peared every month, and seemed mysterious. Anthony-in which case" (here Stephen smiled "Sent eight pounds to Mrs. B." Who was Mrs. gratefully and benignantly) “it might be absoB. In the journal, S. stood for Stephen, A. C. lutely impossible to prove the marriage." for Alderney Codd, F. for Mrs. Cridland, and so on. But who was Mrs. B.?
"A." must have been Alison. After that the references made to "A." became so frequent as to leave no doubt. He went to Brighton to see "A." She was growing tall; she was growing pretty; she was like his mother. Not a word said about her own. She had the Hamblin face. And so on.
There was certainly small chance of finding anything in the later diaries, but there might be some mention of the deceased wife's relations. Stephen persevered.
There was none. The book was full of Alison. The man's affection for his daughter was surprising. To Stephen it seemed silly.
He laid down the last of the volumes with a sigh of relief.
So far, in a set of thirty journals and diaries carefully kept from day to day, there was only one gap, a modest little four weeks' interval in which Anthony had been to Bournemouth. "What," thought Stephen again, "did he hide when he told me about his Bournemouth journey?"
Then he thought of another chance.
He remembered the great family Bible, bound in solid leather, which contained the whole genealogy of the Hamblins from the birth of the earliest Anthony.
But mostly Stephen inclined to the no-marriage theory. A secret liaison commended itself to him as the most probable way of accounting for the whole business. To be sure, one easily believes what is the best for one's own interest.
"Anthony," he said, "would be eager to destroy, as effectually as possible, every trace of the presumably brief episode. No doubt he wished that no one should even suspect its existence. That is the way with your virtuous men. But he could not efface his own daughter, and did not wish to try. Hence the shallow artifice of pretending that her mother had died in childbirth. And that must be the reason, too, of Anthony's disinclination to make a will, in which he would have had to declare the whole truth."
At this point of the argument Stephen grew red-hot with indignation. No Roman satirist, no vehement orator of eloquent antiquity, could be more wrathful, more fiery with passion, than himself. His face glowed with virtue. He was the Christian who did well to be angry.
"What an impudent, what a shameful attempt," he cried, "to defraud the rightful heir! Was it possible that an elder brother could be so base? But he was mistaken," said Stephen, rubbing his hands. "He was mistaken! He reckoned without me. He did not count on my suspicions. He thought he should hoodwink me with all the rest of them. Why, I knew it all along. He forgot that he had to do with a man of the world."
Certainly Stephen knew one side of the world extremely well: it was the seamy side.
After this examination there was no longer any doubt in his mind; he was resolved. At the
He knew where to find it, and opened it with fitting moment, after a little preparation, he would a perceptible beating of the heart.
There were the names of Anthony and himself, the last two of the elder line. No addition had been made. There was no entry of Anthony's marriage. The two brothers stood on the page, with space after them to record their respective marriages and death. But there was no further record. Like the journals, the Bible was silent.
“Alison," he said, "is certainly Anthony's child. For that matter, no one ever doubted it. For some reason, he wished to hide the place of her birth and the name of her mother. Why? Two reasons suggest themselves: one, that he was never married at all-unlike Anthony, that -the second, that he desired to conceal the marriage. Why, again? Possibly because he was ashamed of his wife's people. Unlike Anthony,
present himself in the character of sole heir and claimant of the whole estate. But there must be a little preparation first.
"As for what my cousins say or think," he said, “I care not one brass farthing. Nor, for that matter, do I care for what all the world says and thinks. But it is as well to have general opinion with one."
It would be well, he thought, to begin, after the manner of the ancients, the German political press, and Russian diplomatists, by scattering abroad ambiguous words.