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127697 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 



THE MACMILLAN COMPANY 

1TCWYORK BOSTON * CHICAGO 1'ALLAS 
ATLANTA * SAN 

MACMILLAN & CO. 

LONDON < BOMBAY ' 
UK L BOURNE 

THE MACMILLAN CO, OP CANADA, LT&, 

TORONTO 



^* 

-. * 

READER'S DIGEST 

t 4 

OF BOOKS 



BY 

HELEN REX KELLER 

INSTRUCTOR IN LIBRARY ECONOMY AT COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY 



flew 

THE MACMIIXAN COMPANY 
1924 

All rights reserved 



. PRINTED .Itf TH5, VSITJ5B STATES OF AMERICA 



Copyright, 1896, by R. & JVafc- <wl J, A. #i 

Copyright, M, fy /, A. ttiU 
Copyright, MIS* by H Wrr Library t \vnpmy 
Copyright, 1917, by United Rtato PuMithrrt 
All Right* Rfirrxd 

Published JttHwry, / XV 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 



ABBE CONSTAJSTTIN, THE, by Ludovic Hal<vy. The great estate of Longueval, 
consisting of the castle and its dependencies, two splendid farms and a forest, is 
advertised for sale by auction. The Abbe* Constantin, a generous, genial, self- 
sacrificing priest, who has been thirty years the cure" of the little villge, is disconso- 
late at the thought that all his associations must be broken up. His distress is 
increased when he learns that the whole property has been bought by an American 
millionaire. He is about to sit down to his frugal dinner in company with his godson 
Lieutenant Jean Renaud, the orphaned son of the good village doctor, when his 
vicarage is invaded by two ladies who have just arrived by train from Paris. On 
their arrival the plot hinges; simple as it is, it has a great charm, and the style is 
delightful. It sparkles with light and graceful epigrams: "The Frenchman has 
only one real luxury his revolutions. " "In order to make money the first thing 
is to have no need of it. " "It is only the kings of France who no longer live in 
France." "The heart is very little, but it is also very large;" "Love and tran- 
quillity seldom dwell at peace in the same heart." First published in 1882, it has 
had more than one hundred and fifty editions and still enjoys uninterrupted popu- 
larity both in France and in English-speaking countries. 

ABBE MOUKET'S TRANSGRESSION, THE, see ROUGON-MACQUART. 

ABBOT, THE, by Sir Walter Scott (1820). A sequel to 'The Monastery/ but 
dealing with more stirring and elevated situations and scenes. The time of the action 
is 1567-68, when Shakespeare was a boy of three, and Elizabeth was newly estab- 
lished on the throne of England. While the action goes on partly at Avenel Castle, 
and Halbort Glendinning of 'The Monastery/ as well as his brother Edward (now 
an abbot), figure prominently in the story, the reader finds that he has exchanged the 
humble events of the little border vale by Melrose for thrilling and romantic ad- 
ventures at Lochleven Castle on its island in the lake, north of Edinburgh, where 
Mary Queen of Scots is imprisoned; and in place of the braw and bonny Scotch of 
Tibb and Dame Elapeth, we have the hearty English of Adam Woodcock the falconer, 
as masterly a portrait in Scott's gallery as Gurth, Hal o' the Wynd, or Dandie 
Dinmont* The chief interest centres around the unfortunate queen; and the frame- 
work oC the tale is historically true. The masterpiece of description in 'The Abbot ' 
is the signing of the abdication by Mary at the stern insistence of the commissioners 
Lindsay and Ruthven, a scene made famous by more than one great painting 
and by more than one historian. 

ABSAI0M AND ACOTTOPHEL, a satirical poem in heroic couplets by John Dryden, 
published in November, i68t; a second part by Dryden and Nahum Tate (1652- 
1715) was published a year later* The poem was undertaken by Dryden at the 
request of Charles II. in support of the royal party against the machinations of the 



2 . THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

Whigs. Under the leadership of Anthony Ashley Cooper, Earl of ShaftesMiry 1,1621-* 
1683), they were attempting to exclude the king's brother James, Duke of York, 
from the throne on the ground of his Roman Catholicism and to transfer the succcv 
sion to the king's illegitimate son, James, Duke of Monmouth. Their cause w...- 
advanced by a skillful use of the discovery of an alleged 'Popish Plot' to 
murder the king, enthrone his brother, and suppress Protestantism ^K'^-S,. For a 
time they were in control of the government and nearly succeeded in excluding 
James and making Monmouth the king's heir. But a reaction set in, Charles >!is- 
missed Shaftesbury, recalled James, and rallied the Tories about him, driving Mon- 
mouth and Shaftesbury into an attitude of rebellion. At this point Dry don wn ;tc his 
'Absalom and Achitophel,' skillfully adapting the Biblical narrative of Axiom's 
rebellion against King David to the political situation. Under the gitist 1 of the 
crafty Achitophel, Shaftesbury plies Monmouth, who appears as the handsome ani 
popular Absalom, with arguments for claiming the throne. He yields to the utv,j-t;i- 
tion and begins a progress through the kingdom, corresponding to an actual progroi 
made by Monmouth in defiance of the king's orders in 1680. An enumeration of the 
chief supporters of Monmouth and of the king under the thin disguise of appropriate 
Hebrew names emphasizes the gravity of the contest, gives new opj>ort \snit y at 
stating the principles involved, and illustrates Dryden's skill in portraiture and in 
verse-argument. Especially vigorous are the descriptions of Achitophel (the* Earl 
of Shaftesbury), Zimri (the Duke of Buckingham), and Corah (Titus Oate>> The 
poem ends with a dignified and manly speech by David (Charles IL) asserting hin 
prerogative but promising forgiveness if Absalom will repent. I>yden's known 
contributions of the second part are confined to lines 310-509, in which he satirizes 
two poets of the opposite party, Doeg (Elkanah Settle, 1648-1724) and Og ;Thonus 
Shadwell, 1642-1692, already pilloried in Dryden's 'Mac Flecknoc/ October 4, i68l>, 
As a writer of brilliant satire or panegyric and as a vigorous controversialist Drydtm 
is unsurpassed, and this poem is a fine instance of his power. 

ACROSS THE CONTINENT: 'A Summer's Journey to the Rocky Mountains, the 
Mormons, and the Pacific States ' (May-September, 1865), by Samuel Bowles (1#6$). 
A volume of newspaper letters and supplementary papers, by an exceptionally able 
journalist, designed to give to Eastern American readers an account of thv nature* 
the material resources, and the social and industrial development of the vast region 
between the Mississippi River and the Pacific Ocean; and with this to make- revela* 
tions and raise discussion on such themes as the Pacific Railroad, the Morrwms, and 
the mines. Bowles spent another summer vacation, 1869, in travel and exploration 
among the mountains of Colorado, and made a second book of newsj>a|er letters nn 
Colorado as 'The Switzerland of America.' He then incorporated the two sketch*;-* 
of far west journeyings in what was designed to be a new and permanent work. The 
papers were carefully revised, amplified, and illustrated, and a work made with the 
title 'Our New West,' 1869, in which the author attempted to convoy some true idea 
of the condition and promise of the western half of the continent. Thoroughly 
well executed, Bowles's narrative of natural resources and of industrial developments 
remains full of interest. His vigorous style, keen insight, unfailing Kene of humor, 
and judicial mind made him an almost unrivaled observer and reporter. 

ACTS OF THE APOSTLES ('Actes des Ap6tres') (9 vols. 1789-91), a sera* of 

satirical pamphlets directed against the French Revolutionists, by Peltier, who * 
assisted by several royalist writers. It is full of witty attacks on the leader* of the 
Revolution, and especially on the framers of the constitution of '89, who ar* 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 3 

sented as rope-dancers performing their feats on a very thin wire. It attacks all 
new ideas, ridicules reforms of every kind, and boldly defends the principles of the 
aristocracy. 

ADAM is a dramatic work of the twelfth century by an unknown author. It is 
written in French, with the exception of the responses and canticles, which are in 
Latin; and it derives its chief importance from the fact that it is the oldest drama in 
the language. It gives the history of the fall of Adam and the murder of Abel, 
followed by a procession of all the prophets who foretold the coming of the Messiah. 
The piece was played on the public square in front of the church. The platform 
upon whirh it was represented must have been backed against the portal; for in the 
stage directions, the actor who takes the part of God is told to return at once to the 
church, whenever he leaves the stage. Some of the scenes are managed with con- 
siderable skill; and there is a good deal of clever character-drawing and vigorous 
dialogue. The scene where the serpent tempts Eve is especially noteworthy for its 
simplicity and animation. 

ADAM BEDE, the earliest of George Eliot's novels, was published in 1859, as "by 
the author of 'Scenes of Clerical Life.' " The story was at once pronounced by the 
critics to be not more remarkable for its grace, its unaffected Saxon style, and its 
charm of naturalness, than for its perception of those universal springs of action that 
control society, and for that patient development of character and destiny that 
inferior novelists slight or ignore. The chief scene is the Poyser farm in the Mid- 
lands, a delightful place of shining kitchens, sweet-smelling dairy-houses, cool green 
porches, wide barns, and spreading woods. Here Mrs. Poyser, a kind-hearted woman 
with an incorrigibly sharp tongue, has taken her husband's niece, Hester Sorrel, 
an ambitious, vain, empty-headed little beauty, to bring up. Adam Bede, the 
village carpenter, an admirable young fellow, is her slave. 

A skeleton of the plot would convey no impression of the strength and charm 
of the story. It seems to have been, in the author's mind, a recognition of the hero- 
ism of commonplace natures in commonplace surroundings, of the nobility of noble 
character wherever found. But Adam Bedc, intelligent, excellent, satisfactory 
though he is, is quite sulx>rdinated in interest to the figure of poor Hetty, made 
tragic through suffering and injustice. Her beauty, her vanity, her very silliness, 
cndeur her. Dinah Morris, the woman preacher, is a study from life, serene and 
lovely. Mr. I r wine, the easy-going old parson, is a typical English clergyman of the 
early nineteenth century; IJartle Massey, the schoolmaster, is one of those humble 
folk, full of character, foibles, absurdities, and homely wisdom, whom George Eliot 
draw?; with loving touches; while Mrs. Poysor, with her epigrammatic shrewdness, 
her untiring energy, her fine pride of respectability, her acerbity of speech, and her 
charity of heart* belongs to the company of the Immortals. 

ADAM BLAIR, by John Gibson Lockhart, Seott's son-in-law, who wrote the famous 
Life of Sir Wrtltcr, is a Scotch story of rural life in the last century. It gives inti- 
mnte descriptions of native manners, and has tragic power in the portrayal of the 
human heart. Thi novel, the lxjt of the three written by Loekhart, was published 
in itf, the full title being 'Some Passages in the Life of Mr, Adam Blair, Minister 
of the Gospel at Crostt-Meikle.' 

ADMIRABLE CIUCHTOir, THE, by Sir J. M. Barrie (1902). The Earl of Loam, 
a, widower and a believer in the equality of man, gives practical shape to his ideas by 
insisting that his daughters should receive the servants at monthly teas, an arrange- 



4 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

ment heartily disliked by both the young ladies and the servants. In a monthly 
address to the servants Lord Loam expresses a wish that the artificial barriers of 
society could be swept away and announces that in less than forty-eight hours he 
and his daughters will start on a voyage to distant parts of the world, and in order to 
show active opposition to the prevailing luxury of the day, he has decided to allow 
the three daughters only one maid among them. Crichton, the butler, whose ideal 
is a haughty, aristocratic English house, with everyone kept in his place, and who 
says that servants like disdain from their superiors, at first refuses to go, but is 
afterwards persuaded to go in the capacity of valet to Lord Loam. After a voyage 
of two months the yacht is wrecked on a desert island, where there is an opportunity 
of putting theories of equality to the test. In a short space of time Crichton, who 
thinks there must always be "one to command and others to obey," becomes vir- 
tually the master. Lady Mary, the least docile of the Earl's three daughters, be- 
comes his fiancee. A ship comes to the island, and all leave Crichton except Lady 
Mary, who says she will never give him up. On the return to England to their 
former set, Crichton informs Lady Brocklehurst, whose son is engaged to Lady Mary, 
that on the island there was as little equality as elsewhere, that all the social distinc- 
tions were preserved, and the servants had to keep their place. 

ADOLESCENCE, 'its psychology, and its relations to physiology, anthropology f 
sociology, sex, crime, religion, and education,' a monumental psychological and 
sociological treatise by G. Stanley Hall, was published in 1904. The first three 
chapters are devoted to the general physical changes of adolescence, chapters four 
and five to its diseases and crimes, chapters six and seven to sexual changes and 
perils, and the eighth to the records of adolescence in literature and autobiography. 
The remaining chapters, which constitute the second volume, are occupied with the 
genetic psychology of adolescence, " beginning with sensation and proceeding to 
feelings, will, and intellect." The new susceptibility of the senses, the development 
of love, and of the sentiment of nature, the psychology of conversion, the rise of 
social instincts, and the characteristics of adolescent intellect form the principal 
topics discussed in this volume. Abundant illustrative detail, thorough grasp of 
physiological, psychological, and sociological principles, sympathetic entrance into 
,the troubles and enthusiasms of youth, and wise suggestions for its direction and 
education are some of the merits of this valuable book. 

ADOLPHE, a romance by Benjamin Constant (1816). The story has very little 
incident or action. The whole plot may be summed up in a few words: Adolphe 
loves Ele*onore, and can be happy neither with her nor without her. The beauty of 
the author's style and the keenness and delicacy with which he analyzes certain 
morbid moods of the soul have placed this work among the masterpieces of French 
literature. The romance is almost universally believed to be an autobiography, in 
'which Constant narrates a portion of the adventures of his own youth. 

ADRIENNE LECOUVRETO, a play by Scribe and Ugouve*, which first appeared 
in 1849, possesses witty dialogue and strong dramatic situations. The scene is 
laid in Paris, in March, 1730. Maurice, Count de Saxe, a former admirer of the 
Princess de Bouillon, now loves and is loved by Adrienne Lecouvreur, a beautiful 
actress of the Come*die Franchise; who, not knowing his real name and rank, believes 
him a poor soldier of fortune. Though the action resulting from this mistake occu- 
-pies the space of two days only, it is very complicated; yet the unity of the play is 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 7 

meets the beautiful Theagenes, and after innumerable adventures, marries him. The 
pair live happily for a while, and then encounter dangers of the most varied character. 
They are about to be killed, when Chariclea is recognked and restored to her proper 
station. This interminable romance enjoyed a great reputation from the Renais- 
sance down to the close of the eighteenth century. 

AFFECTED LADIES, THE, see PRECIEUSES RIDICULES. 

AFTER THE PARDON ('Dopo il Perdone '), by Mathilde Serao (1906). In this 
romance, Donna Maria, who has left her husband for her lover, returns home after 
three years' absence. Her husband, realizing that the fault was his in part, desires 
her return, and offers her his pardon. The great passion of her life, " beyond all laws 
and duties," is over, and she wishes only to atone to her husband for his suffering 
by devoting herself to his happiness. She advises her lover, Count Marco, to marry 
the betrothed he had deserted for her sake. The second part of the book is the 
story of their failure to escape from the past. Count Marco fails to make his young 
bride happy, because she is jealous of his past, and refuses to be content with the 
fond affection he offers her. Donna Maria's husband, also, is unwilling to accept 
less than his wife has given to another. His love is jealousy and suspicion, and the 
pardon, becomes a tragic farce of daily accusation and condemnation. He wishes 
Donna Maria had never returned. Traveling alone in Switzerland, Donna Maria 
meets Count Marco, whose wife's coldness has driven him from her. They have 
learned that they can never bring happiness to the two they have wronged, who 
desire the impossible. United by the memory of their dead love, they are still dear 
td each other, and decide it is their destiny to spend the rest of their lives together 
since their only happiness is the remembrance of the happiness they have lost. 

AFTERMATH, see KENTUCKY CARDINAL. 

AGAMEMNON, a tragedy by ^Eschylus, setting forth the theme of retribution with 
a dramatic power, a depth of 'religious insight, and a splendor of diction unequaled in 
Greek literature. The play is the first of a trilogy, which includes ' The Choe>phorae' and 
' The Suppliants ' and which is concerned with the purging of the ancestral guilt of the 
house of Atreus, Because of the crime of that king in feeding his brother, Thyestes, 
with the flesh of his own children, destiny has involved Agamemnon, the son of 
Atreus, in another crime. He has sacrificed his daughter, Iphigenia, in order to 
obtain favorable winds for the Greek expedition to Troy. As a vengeance upon her 
husband for this cruelty, his wife, Clytsemnestra, becomes the paramour of ^Egistheus, 
the son of Thyestes, and plans to murder Agamemnon upon his return. 

The situations in this play are exceptionally striking. The lonely figure of the 
watchman on the palace roof in the opening scene, waiting for the beacon light that 
shall announce the fall of Troy, and muttering that all is not well at home, creates 
expectancy and suggests trouble. Qytaemnestra's jubilant description of the fires 
that carried the news from height to height until it reached the palace at Argos is one 
of the most stirring speeches in literature, and is significant of her forceful, dominating 
character* She is magnificent in the calm assumption of wifely fidelity with which 
she welcomes home Agamemnon and the conquering blandishments by which she 
induces him to commit the irreverence of walking into the palace, on purple embroider- 
ies sacred to the gods in order that he may be in their eyes a fitter subject for, her 
vengeance. Greatest of all, however, is the scene in which Cassandra, Agamem- 
non's captive, left in the courtyard with the chorus, recognizes by her prophetic gift 



8 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

the divine vengeance that broods upon the palace, and in shuddering outbursts of 
horror foretells Agamemnon's murder and her own sacrifice to the jealousy of Cly- 
taemnestra. Then immediately follows the deep groan of Agamemnon, smitten by 
Clytaemnestra in his bath behind the scene. 

The chorus in this play, consisting of old counselors of Argos, is of unusual im- 
portance. Not only are the choric odes weighted with thoughts, rich in poetic 
expression, and intensely significant in their references to divine retribution, but in 
the more purely dramatic scenes, especially at the close, the chorus, through its 
leader, takes a resolute part in the action, denouncing the crime of Clytsemnestra, 
and the compliance of ^gistheus, who now accepts the kingship, and prophesying 
that vengeance will be taken by Agamemnon's absent son, Orestes, whose name 
points the way to the other plays of the trilogy. 

AGE OF CHIVALRY, THE, or, THE LEGENDS OF KING ARTHUR, by Thomas Bui- 
finch, was published in 1858. More than twenty years after, an enlarged edition 
appeared under the editorship of Edward Everett Hale. In Part First, the legends 
of King Arthur and his knights are considered. Part Second deals with the Ma- 
binogion, or ancient prose tales of the Welsh; Part Third with the knights of English 
history, King Richard, Robin Hood, and the Black Prince. From the time of its 
first publication the popularity of the book has been great. No more sympathetic 
and fitting introduction could be found to the legends of chivalry. The book is 
written in a youthful spirit that commends it to the young. 

AGE OF FABLE, TBOS, or, THE BEAUTIES OF MYTHOLOGY, by Thomas Bulfinch, 
was published in 1855, and republished in 1882 under the editorship of Edward 
Everett Hale. It has become a standard work upon mythology, by reason of its 
full and extensive yet delicate treatment of the Greek and Roman myths. While 
especially adapted for young people, it possesses qualities which commend it alike 
to the scholar and to the general reader. 

AGE OF REASON, THE, by Thomas Paine, was first published in a complete edition 
on October 25th, 1795. IB I 793 the First Part appeared, but no copy bearing that 
date can be found. When it went to press the author was in prison, in France, 
having been arrested almost at the hour of its completion. Referring to this in the 
preface to the Second Part, he writes: "Conceiving . . . that I had but a few days 
of liberty, I sat down and brought the work to a close as speedily as possible; and I 
had not finished it more than six hours, in the state it has since appeared, before a 
guard came there about three in the morning, with an order signed by the two 
committees of Public Safety and Surety General for putting me in arrestation as a 
foreigner, and conveying me to the prison of the Luxembourg. I contrived on my 
way there to call on Joel Barlow, and I put the manuscript of the work into his 
hands, as more safe than in my possession in prison; and not knowing what might 
be the fate in France either of 'the writer or the work, I addressed it to the protection 
of the citizens of the United States." His motive in writing the boo"!: is thus set 
forth in the first chapter: "It has been my intention, for several years past, to 
publish my thoughts upon religion; . . . the circumstance that has now taken place 
in France of the total abolition of the whole national order of priesthood, and of 
everything appertaining to compulsive systems of religion, and compulsive articles 
of faith, has not only precipitated my intention, but rendered a work of this land 
exceedingly necessary, lest, in the general wreck of superstition, of false systems of 
government and false theology, we lose sight of morality, of humanity, and of the 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 9 

theology that is true." He goes on to state his creed, his belief in one God, in the 
future life, in the equality of man, and in the duty of benevolence. Part First 
consists of an inquiry into the bases of Christianity, its theology, its miracles, its 
claims of revelation. The process is destructive and revolutionary. In Part Second, 
the author makes critical examination of the Old and New Testament, to support 
the conclusions and inferences of Part First. Yet the work is not wholly negative. 
"The Word of God is the creation we behold." Lanthenas's French rendering of 
Part First contains this remarkable reference to Jesus, found presumably in the lost 
original version: "Trop peu ixnite 1 , trop oubli^, trop m<Sconnu." 

AGNES GREY, Anne Bronte's first novel, was published in December, 1847, a year 
and a half before her death, when she was twenty-seven years old. Her talents were of 
the moonlight order. The book is but a pale reflection of the brilliant Bronte* genius. 
The heroine, Agnes Grey, the daughter of a clergyman in the North of England, 
becomes, through reverses of fortune, a governess. Her experiences are those of 
Anne Bronte herself, the unpleasant side of such a position being set forth. The 
book, however, ends happily in the marriage of Agnes to a clergyman. Although well 
written, it lacks the elements of strength and warmth. It lives by the name of the 
author rather than by its intrinsic merit. 

AGNES OF SORRENTO, a romance by Harriet Beecher Stowe (1862). The scene 
is laid in central Italy during the time of the infamous Pope Alexander VI. (from 
1492 to 1503). Agnes is the daughter of a Roman prince who secretly marries, and 
then deserts, a girl of humble parentage. The young mother dies of grief, and Elsie, 
the grandmother, takes Agnes to Sorrento, where she lives by selling oranges in the 
streets. Her beauty and her purity attract to her many lovers, worthy and un- 
worthy, and involve her in many romantic and dramatic incidents. The story is 
delightfully told, the Italian atmosphere is well suggested, and the book, though not 
Mrs. Stowe's best, takes good literary rank. 

AGRICULTURE ('De Re Rustica'), by Columella in the first century. It consists 
of twelve books, of which the tenth is in verse and devoted to gardens. The work is 
preceded by an introduction, in which the author deplores the contempt into which 
agriculture has fallen. He sees on all sides schools open to teach rhetoric, dancing, 
and music. Even mountebanks, cooks, and barbers are fashionable, and infamous 
houses in which gambling and all sorts of vices that ruin youth are patronized; while 
for the art of fertilizing the earth there are neither masters nor pupils, neither justice 
nor protection. The author begins with general views on agriculture and rural 
economy, and concludes with a sort of agricultural calendar, in which he points out 
the labors to be performed according to the order of the seasons. The work is much 
consulted by scholars, who find in it many valuable details on important points of 
Roman civilization. The style has all the purity of the Augustan age. 

AGRICULTURE ('L' Agriculture'), a French translation by Clement Mullet of the 
Book of Ibn-el-Awam, written in Arabic, in the twelfth century. Besides preserving 
a multitude of quotations from lost Latin and Greek authors, it gives very interesting 
details of the life and domestic economy of the Arabs in Spain. It enters fully into 
the administration of rural property, the interior life of the household, the treatment 
of workmen, and the position of the wife. The author discusses everything con- 
nected with agriculture; but is especially instructive on aromatic plants, and the 
different methods of distilling perfumes from them. We have also an account of 
the superstitions that prevailed among the Moors of the period in the rural districts. 



io THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

AGRICULTURE ('L' Agriculture'), a didactic poem by Rosset (1774-82). It is 
remarkable as being the first georgic poem in the French language. The subjects 
dwelt on are fields, vineyards, woods, meadows, plants, kitchen-gardens, ponds, and 
English gardens. While it contains some very fine descriptive passages, the work on 
the whole is cold and monotonous. 

AGRICULTURE ('Agricultural, by Terentius Varro (116-27 B.C.). The best 
work on this subject that has come down from the ancients. It is divided into three 
books, preceded by a long preface addressed to Fundania, the author's wife. The 
first book contains sixty-nine chapters, and treats of agriculture in general: the nature 
of soils; the places most suitable for a farm; the attention that ought to be given to 
sheepfolds, stables, and cattle-sheds; the right kind of casks for wine, oil, etc.; the 
necessary domestic animals, including the watch-dogs. The author then turns his 
attention to the cultivation of the vine, of the olive, and of gardens. He designates 
the work of each season, and tells when and how seed should be sown, and crops 
gathered in and preserved. In the eleven chapters of the second book, Varro speaks 
of the care and training of beasts, and their profitableness. The third book, con- 
sisting of seventeen chapters, is devoted to the villatica pastiones, that is, to the 
care of the poultry-yard, and to hunting, fishing, the keeping of bees, and the propa- 
gation and care of fish. The book, once a great favorite, now belongs among the 
curiosities of literature. 

AGRICULTURE AND PRICES, 'A History of, in England from the year after the 
Oxford Parliament (1259) to the commencement of the Continental War,' (1793). 
By James E. Thorold Rogers (8 vols., 1866-98). This work opened up a field oi 
immense research and monumental significance, undertaking to recover aspects of 
the history of the people of England which contemporary records of prices of every 
kind give the means of knowing. Through this and subsequent researches, it has 
become possible to study almost every particular of the lives of the occupants of the 
soil of England; particulars as to the land, as to farms and farming, and as to every 
fact of the daily life of the landlord, the farmer, and the laborer. There is thus 
recovered for history no small portion of the bygone life of the English people; and 
with this, much light is thrown on principles of political and social economy which 
must be taken account of, not only by the philanthropist, but in all wise govern- 
mental administration. 

AIDS TO REFLECTION", by S. T. Coleridge, which appeared in 1825, is a collec- 
tion of moral and religious aphorisms, with commentaries. While these are not 
sequentially connected, they are yet so arranged as to illustrate the author's purpose, 
to address his thought to the unspiritual but reflecting mind of the supposed pilgrim, 
who is led from worldly-mindedness to the acceptance of spiritual religion. Coleridge 
takes up the argument on the pilgrim's (imputed) principles of worldly calculation. 
Beginning with religion as Prudence, resultant from the sense and sensuous under- 
standing, he ascends to the ground of morality, as inspired by the heart and con- 
science, and finally to Spiritual Religion, as presented by reason and the will. 

This argument is by no means patent to the casual reader, for the author ad- 
dresses himself to the heart rather than to the reasoning faculties. The doctrines 
of the book are held to be those of the Church of England, broadly interpreted. 
The language is choice; and notwithstanding the philosophical and somewhat sen- 
tentious nature of the treatment, the book is eminently readable, exhibiting, in 
several passages, Coleridge's prose at its best 



. THE READER^' DIGEST OF BOOKS . I 

L'AIGLON, a play by Edmond Rostand (1900). After Napoleon's downfall, his 
son, the Duke of Reichstadt, is virtually a prisoner at the court of hib grandfather, 
the emperor of Austria. Metternich tries to keep him in ignorance of his father's 
triumphs, lest he dream of greatness and trouble the peace of Europe. Bonapartists 
from Paris succeed in escaping the vigilant Metternich, and disguised as servants, a 
tailor, a milliner, and a dancer, watch over the little "eaglet," teach him to fight 
Wagram and Marengo over again with painted wooden soldiers, and encourage him 
to take the leadership of a conspiracy to seize the throne of France. He contrives to' 
win over his grandfather to his plans, but is checkmated by Metternich. Metternich 
ruthlessly forces the Duke of Reichstadt to the mirror, and shows him he has, not 
the features of Napoleon, but the pale face of a descendant of the Hapsburgs, whose 
weakness and impotence he inherits. This dramatic scene is given in the LIBRARY. 
The pathetic little shadow of the mighty Napoleon reaches the field 'of Wagram on 
the flight to France, but in anxiety over the peril of his cousin, the "Countess Cama- 
rata, who is impersonating him at a masked ball, he hesitates and delays and is 
overtaken by Austrian soldiers. Left alone in the night on the battlefield, he has a 
vision of the battle. He hears the moans and groans of the wounded and dying, and 
is overcome with the realization of the cost of his father's imperial ambition. He 
begs heaven to forgive his attempt to raise again the standard of war, and offers his 
own life in expiation. The captive "eaglet" dies amid the trivialities and dullness 
of the court, in the prime of his young manhood, heartbroken at his failure to imitate 
and avenge his great father. 

AINO FOLK-TALES, by Basil H. Chamberlain (1888). Twelve hundred years ago 
a Chinese historian wrote that " on the eastern frontier of Japan there exists a barrier 
of great mountains, beyond which is the land of the Hairy Men." These were the 
Aino, so called from the word in their language signifying "man. " In the dawn of 
history they appear living far to the south and west of their present haunts, century 
by century retreating eastward and northward, as steadily as the American Indian 
has retreated westward. In this collection of stories Professor Chamberlain , has 
sought to preserve those strange folk-tales which were told in the -huts of, this un- 
tutored people ages ago, and retold to each succeeding generation. The interest in 
these stories consists in their pictures of Aino ideas, morals, and customs. ' The 
stories of 'The Salmon-King/ 'The Island of Women,' and, others, are based on 
episodes of Japanese tales, sometimes belonging to world-wide cycles of myth, as 
in the theme of the mortal who eats the deadly food of the underworld. On the- 
other hand there is much genuine Aino matter in the collection. 



AIRY FAIRY LILIAN, by Mrs. Hungerford ("The Duchess") (1879), aeeds -no- 
elaborate plot to make it interesting. Its slender thread of story- -traces* the- -willful 
though winsome actions of Lilian Chesney. An orphaned heiress piquant,- -airy',. 
changeful, lovable she lives, after the death of her parents, with Lady Chetwbo,de.. 
Sir Guy Chetwoode, her rather young guardian; Cyril, his 'brother, and Florence. 
Beauchamp, his cousin, complete the household. Sir Guy/staid, earnest, and manly j. 
alternately quarrels with and pays sincere court to his ward, winning, her after- she 
has led him a weary chase, the details of which form the chief: charm of - the story. 
Cyril, twenty-six, pleasant but headstrong, finds- his love in a fair young widow, Mrs. 
Arlington, about whose character an unfortunate haze of doubt has been cast to 
be dissipated, however, in the end. The ambitious Florence, as vapid as she is 
designing, fails to impress Sir Guy, and contents herself with- a Mr. 3oer, appro- 



12 THE HEADER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

priately named. Two of Lilian's cousins, Arthur Chesney (a vain suitor for her 
hand), and Taffy Musgrave (a young British red-coat whom everybody likes), add 
no little interest to the group, who are of a marrying mind generally. Wholesome, 
pretty, not too serious, the story maintains its interest to the last without introduc- 
ing any startling episodes. It paints a pleasant picture of English country life at 
that time with sufficient fidelity to detail and an agreeable variety of light and shadow. 

AJAX,a tragedy by Sophocles (495-406 B.C.). After the death of Achilles, the 
Greek leaders decide to give his arms to Ulysses, as the most worthy to bear them. 
The neglected Ajax is furious, and goes forth in the night to avenge the affront. 
Minerva deprives him of reason, and he attacks the flocks of sheep in the Greek 
camp, mistaking them for his enemies. When exhausted with slaughter,, he leads 
the surviving sheep, chained as prisoners, to his tent. When he recovers his senses 
he sees into what abysses the wrath of the gods has plunged him. He must become 
the jest of the army if he remains before Troy; he will shame his old father if he returns 
to Salamis: he resolves to end his dishonored life. The prayers of Tecmessa, his 
captive mistress, and of his Salaminian comrades, are unavailing. Yet it is with 
regret that he quits this beautiful world. The monologue in which he bids it farewell, 
and which is the most remarkable passage in the drama, contains entrancing pictures 
of the life he is about to abandon. He takes leave of his country, his father's hearth, 
the companions of his childhood, and of glorious Athens. He has tears even for 
Troy, a land he lately called his foe, but become for him now a second country, by 
reason of so many years of combats and of glory. The names of his beloved parents 
are his last words on earth; the next will be uttered in Hades. Then follow the 
attempt to prevent his burial, which, if successful, would doom him to wander forever, 
an unhappy and restless ghost, through the infernal regions; the despair of his brother 
Teucer, Teucer's vehement invectives against the enemies of the hero, and the noble 
generosity of Ulysses, who undertakes the defense of the dead. 

AKBAR-NAHMAH, by AbG-al-Fazl (1605). A history in Persian of the nearly 
fifty years* reign of Akbar, Mogul emperor of India (a contemporary of Queen 
Elizabeth) ; the greatest Asiatic monarch of modern times, and in genius and charac- 
ter one of the most remarkable men that ever lived. A modern 'Life' has appeared 
an the English 'Rulers of India' series, edited by Sir W. W. Hunter. According to this 
history, Akbar was the grandson of Baber, the first of the Great Moguls in India. 
He succeeded his father, Baber's eldest son Humayun, when barely fourteen. At 
Akbar's birth, October I4th, 1542, Humayun had lost his dominions, and had only 
begun after twelve years of exile to recover them, when his death in 1556 left Akbar 
the throne of Delhi, with an able but despotic Turkoman noble acting as regent. 
Akbar at seventeen took the government into his own hands; and by his vigilance, 
energy, and wisdom, with a magnanimity, toleration, and generosity rarely seen in 
powerful rulers, extended and consolidated his empire on a scale of territory and 
strength, and to a degree of order, peace, and prosperity, wholly unexampled. In 
addition to economic and social reforms of the most enlightened and equitable 
character, Akbar rose far above his age, and above his own creed as a Moslem, in 
establishing absolute toleration. He gave the Hindus freedom of worship, only 
prohibiting inhuman barbarities. , He had Christian teacfiers expound their faith 
at his court, and made Hindu, Moslem, and Christian meet in a parliament of re- 
ligions, to study the sympathy of faiths. He even founded a new-departure faith 
for uniting all believers in God. He promoted schools for Hindus as well as Moslems, 
and was a munificent patron of literature. 



- THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 15 

ALICE, OR, THE MYSTERIES, see ERNEST MALTRAVERS. 

ALICE-FOR-SHORT, by William De Morgan (1907). The scene of this story is 
laid ,in London, where Alicia Kavanagh, called Alice-for-short, is introduced as a 
neglected child overwhelmed with grief at the breaking of a beer-jug with which she 
is returning to her 'drunken mother. The child is befriended by Charles Heath, a 
young artist whose studio proves to be in the- same house in which- the Kavanagh 
family occupy the cellar. A drunken brawl ensues in which Kavanagh first kills his 
wife and then takes poison, after which the frightened child is conveyed by the artist 
to his own London home where his family adopt her. His sister Peggy devotes herself 
to the sick and exhausted Alice and later falls in love with Rupert Johnson, the young 
doctor who comes to tend the child. Eventually the doctor risks' his life to rescue 
Alice from a perilous fall over a cliff, and Peggy, who has frowned upon his suit, 
relents, owns that she loves him, and their marriage takes place. Charles is entrapped 
by a scheming model, whom he marries, and who elopes with another man after 
having led the artist a wretched existence. News of the death of the erring wife is 
soon followed by the illness of their only son Pierre, who is stricken with small-pox. 
Alice, now a lovely young woman, has studied nursing and at once takes her place 
by the boy's bedside; she nurses him back to health and then succumbs to the disease. 
Charles who has loved Alice from childhood, is frantic at the catastrophe and devotes 
himself to furthering her welfare, but refrains from making love to her thinking she 
. must prefer some younger man. In tne end, he discovers that she prefers him to any 
of the others and they are joyfully united. Throughout the tale runs a ghost-story 
connected with the house 'in which Charles has his studio, and interwoven with the 
history of Alice's forebears. 'The tenants see visions of a lovely lady of long ago who 
has been murdered in the house. At last her skeleton is found in the cellar and the 
mystery is cleared up which is connected with a curious ring found on the premises 
by Alice's mother and left to the little girl. Documents are introduced which make it 
clear that Alice is the descendant of the titled family that once lived in this house, and 
her possession of the ring entitles her to a valuable property, for which, however, she 
has no desire to enter a claim. 

ALICE IN WONDERLAND (1865), and THROUGH THE LOOKING-GLASS 

(1871), by Lewis Carroll (Charles L. Dodgson). ALICE'S ADVENTURES IN WONDER- 
LAND> Alice, a bright 'well-behaved little girl, quite normal in every way, is the 
heroine of this fantastic tale, the great charm of which consists in the perfect plausi- 
bility of all its impossibilities. ' By following an extraordinary rabbit down into a 
rabbit hole, she-finds herself in a land where unreal things seem real. But however 
absurd the doings of the inhabitants of Wonderland, she is never surprised at them. 
Her mistakes at first barely save 1 her from drowning in her own tears; but afterwards 
she meets many queer animal friends besides a crusty old Duchess, a mad Hatter, a 
sleepy Dormouse, and a March Hare with whom she has strange experiences, and 
finally they take her to -play croquet with the Queen of Hearts. During a trial by 
jury at the court of the Queen, Alice becomes excited and calls everyone there 
nothing but a pack of cards. As they rise into the air and come flying down upon her, 
she awakes and finds herself beside her sister on a bank' where she had fallen asleep. 
THROUGH THE LOOKING-GLASS. The next time Alice dreams, she steps through 
the looking-glass ; in this land the people are all chessmen, and the country is divided 
up like a chessboard, with little brooks and hedges marking the squares. She travels 
extensively as she moves in the game, and is crowned queen at the end. This dream 



i6 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

also comes to a climax by the violence of her resentment against so much nonsense, 
and she wakes suddenly. Besides longs, knights, pawns, and the other pieces of the 
game, there are more eccentric animals and people who have something to say. The 
careless White Queen and the fiery-tempered Red Queen are very amusing, and 
Tweedledum and Tweedledee are responsible for the song of 'The Walrus and the 
Carpenter'; where, to quote the Duchess, one has to 'Hake care of the sense, and the 
sounds will take care of themselves." 

ALICE OP OLD VINCENNES, by Maurice Thompson, was published in 1900. 
The scene of the story is laid in old Vincennes on the Wabash, in 1778, and describes 
the life of the northwest during the Revolutionary period. The heroine, Alice 
Roussillon, by birth a Tarleton, and therefore a member of one of the "first " Colonial 
families, has been stolen in her infancy and educated as a Creole girl amid the hard- 
ships of pioneer life and the uncertainty of Indian warfare. Her adopted father is 
Gaspard Roussillon, a successful French trader with the Indians, and Alice grows up 
strong and beautiful and an expert with gun and sword. Lieutenant Beverly, Alice's 
lover, is a man of aristocratic birth whose affection for one he considers a simple 
creole girl portends a hard struggle between his patrician feelings and his love. 
However, this obstacle is removed by the discovery of Alice's true lineage, and, 
after many exciting adventures, she and Beverly are at length united. There are 
many thrilling episodes described in the story, among which may be mentioned the 
rescue of the settlement by the young American Colonel George Rogers Clark, who 
puts the British soldiers to route after one of the most trying marches ever described 
in fiction. Among the conspicuous characters in the tale is good old Pere Beret, 
who is a mountain of strength in more ways than one, and his duel with Colonel 
Hamilton over the supposed dead body of Alice is powerfully described. The Indians 
are most graphically pictured and "Long Hair," with his craft and cruelty, savage 
nobility and meanness, and splendid but hideous physique, is one of the most pic- 
turesque figures in the book. Old frontier life in all its rudeness and simplicity is 
vividly portrayed, and the stirring times when men went about with scalps hanging 
at their belts are brought forcibly before the reader. 

ALKAHEST, or, THE HOUSE OF CLAS ('La Recherche de 1'Absolu' The 
Search for the Absolute), is a striking novel by Honore* de Balzac. The scene 
is laid in the Flemish town of Douai early in the last century; and the tale gives, 
with all the author's care and richness of detail, a charming representation of Flemish 
family life. The central character, Balthazar Claes, is a wealthy chemist, whose 
ancestral name is the most respected and important in the place. His aim, the dream 
of his life, is to solve the mystery of matter. He would by chemical analysis discover 
the secret of the absolute. Hence he toils early and late in his private laboratory: 
everything is given up to the god of science. Gradually the quest becomes a fixed 
idea, for which money, family, health, sanity, are sacrificed. Claes dies heart-broken 
and defeated; a tragic figure, touching in its pathos, having dignity even in its 
downfall. As foils to him stand his devoted wife and his eldest daughter Marguerite, 
noble women, the latter one of the finest creations of Balzac's genius. They sym- 
pathize sorrowfully yet tenderly with his ideal, and bear with true heroism the misery 
to which his mad course subjects them. Simple in its plot, the story displays 
some of the deepest human passions, and is a powerful romance. It belongs to 
that series of the Human Comedy known as 'Philosophical Studies/ and appeared 
in 1834. 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 17 

ALL FOOLS, by George Chapman. 'All Pools,' the original name of which was 
'The World Runs on Wheels,' was completed at least as early as 1599, though not 
printed until 1605. The later title suggests the nature of the plot, which plays off 
one set of characters against another. Fortunio, elder son of Marc Antonio, "an 
honest knight, but much too much indulgent to his presuming children' 1 loves 
Bellonora, daughter of Gostanzo, " the wretched Machiavellian, the covetous knight/' 
whose son Valerio has secretly married Gratiana. Gostanzo thinks that Valerio is 
"the most tame and thrifty groom in Europe, " though he is really devoted to dice, 
cards, tennis, and even more questionable activities. Rinaldo, a younger son of Marc 
Antonio, a woman hater who is by way of being a scholar, persuades Gostanzo that 
Fortunio and Gratiana are secretly wedded. Gostanzo informs Marc Antonio, at 
the same time offering to take them to his house that Fortunio may be reformed by 
his precepts and by the example of the chaste Valerio. During their stay at his 
house Gostanzo seeing the intimacy between Valerio and Gratiana resolves to send 
her away, but is persuaded by the scheming Rinaldo to send her to Marc Antonio, on 
the plea that she is wife of Valerio, married without bis knowledge. In the end 
Rinaldo himself, whose "fortune is to win renown by gulling" the others, is "gulled " 
by his own greed. 

ALL FOR LOVE, or, THE WORLD WELL LOST, by John Dryden (1678). In 
the preface to this, which most critics would agree is Dryden's finest play, the 
author claims that "the unities of time, place, and action are more exactly observed 
than perhaps the English theatre requires." While endeavoring to follow the 
practice of the ancients, he thinks that their models are too little for English tragedy 
which requires larger compass. On the other hand he thinks that the French poets, 
while strict observers of the punctilios of manners, lacked the genius which animated 
the English stage. In style he professes "to imitate the divine Shakespeare, and in 
order to "perform more freely" disencumbers himself from rhyme. The play is to 
some extent based on Shakespeare's 'Antony and Cleopatra,' and enters into com- 
petition with it. In accordance with the suggestion of the title, 'All for Love, 1 he 
represents Antony and Cleopatra as being more under the sway of passion than in 
Shakespeare's play. In the older drama Antony in the mid-tide of his passion has 
thoughts of other and higher ties of duty and country. In Dryden he is completely"* 
enslaved and reacts to no other impulse. Cleopatra is also so completely enslaved 
that she has no wit left over to devise the meretricious arts by which the Shakespear- 
ean heroine tried to draw her lover to herself. Another great difference in the treat- 
ment of the theme is that Dryden confines the action to Alexandria and to a period 
of a few days, whereas Shakespeare allows several years and a great variety of 
scene for the development of the denouement. The play of passion is therefore 
much more circumscribed in Dryden than in Shakespeare. 

ALL SORTS AND CONDITIONS OF MEN, by Sir Walter Besant (1882). The 
famous People's Palace of East London had its origin in this story; and because of it 
mainly the author, Walter Besant, was knighted. The story concerns chiefly two 
characters, the very wealthy orphan Angela Messenger, and Harry Goslett, ward 
of Lord Joscelyn. Miss Messenger, after graduating with honors at Newnham, 
resolves to examine into the condition of the people of Stepney Green, Whitechapel 
region, where she owns great possessions (including the famed Messenger Brewery). 
To indicate t6 the workmgwomen of 'East Loridbri & ?my of eseape from the meanness, 
misery, and poverty of their lives, she sets up among them a co-operative dress- 



iS THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

making establishment, she herself living with her work-girls. Her goodness ant 
wealth bring happiness to many, whose quaint stories of poverty and struggle form 
considerable portion of the novel. The book ends with the opening of the People' 
Palace, and with the heroine's marriage to Harry Goslett, whose dramatic story 
clearly interwoven with the main plot. 

ALLAN QUATERMAIN, by H. Rider Haggard (1888), rehearses the adventures o 
the old hunter and traveler who tells the story, and whose name gives the title to th< 
book. He is accompanied from England on an African expedition by Sir Henrj 
Curtis huge, fair, and brave and Captain Good, a retired seaman. They take 
with them Umslopogaas, a trusty and gigantic Zulu, who has served before undei 
Quartermain. At a mission station the party leads an expedition to rescue tht 
daughter of the missionary, Flossie Mackenzie, who had been captured by hostile 
blacks. The interest of the book is found in the swift movement of the narrative 
and the excitement of incessant adventure. 

ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL, by Shakespeare (1602) is a play, the story oi 
which came to the poet from Boccaccio, through Paynter's 'Palace of Pleasure, 
although he introduces variations. It tells how Helen de Narbon, a physician's 
daughter, and orphaned, forced her love on a handsome and birth-proud young 
French nobleman, Bertram de Rousillon, with whom she had been brought up from 
childhood. It is a tale of husband-catching by a curious kind of trick. Helena 
heals the king with her father's receipt, asks for and accepts Bertram as her reward, 
and is married. But the proud boy flies to the Florentine wars on his wedding-day, 
leaving his marriage unconsummated. Helen returns sorrowfully to Rousillon; and 
finds there a letter from her husband, to the effect that when she gets his ring upon 
her finger and shows him a child begotten of his body, then he will acknowledge her 
as his wife. She undertakes to outwit him and reclaim him. Leaving Rousillon on 
pretense of a pilgrimage to the shrine of Saint Jacques le Grand, she presently con- 
trives to have it thought she is dead. In reality she goes to Italy, and becomes Ber- 
tram's wife in fact and not mere name, by the secret substitution of herself for the 
pretty Diana, with whom he has an assignation arranged. There is an entanglement 
of petty accidents and incidents connected with an exchange of rings, etc. But r 
finally, Helen makes good before the King her claim of having fulfilled Bertram's 
conditions; and she having vowed obedience, he takes her to his heart, and we may 
suppose they live happily together "till there comes to them the destroyer of delights 
and the sunderer of societies." One's heart warms to the noble old Countess of 
Rousillon, who loves Helen as her own daughter. She is wise and ware in worldly 
matters, and yet full of sympathy, remembering her own youth. Parolles is a cross 
between Thersites and Pistol, a volte-faced scoundrel who has to pull the devil by 
the tail for a living. His pretense of fetching off his drum, and his trial blindfolded 
before the soldiers, raises a laugh; but the humor is much inferior to that of * Henry 
IV.'- 

ALMAGEST, THE, by Ptolemy of Alexandria, about 150 A.D. This great astronomi- 
cal and mathematical work established the "Ptolemaic System" as astronomical 
science for 1400 years, until the Copernican overthrew it, and gave to celestial calcu- 
lations the permanent basis of trigonometrical methematics. Hipparchus, nearly 
ihree hundred years before, had made those advances in astronomy and mathematics 
Df which Ptolemy's work is the only existing report. It was mainly as a systematic 
expounder, correcting and improving earlier work, that Ptolemy became so great a 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 19 

representative figure in the literature of science. The system which bears his name 
was implicitly held by earlier philosophers, but his statement became the authority 
to which it was referred. His work, entitled 'The Great Composition/ was called 
by the Arabs magiste, "greatest," and with al, "the," the name 'Almagest' came 
into use. The Geography of Ptolemy, in which he was more original than in his 
other great work, was the geographical authority in science even longer than the 
'Almagest' was in astronomy. The materials of the work were derived in great 
part from Marinus of Tyre, who lived shortly before him, but the skill with which 
Ptolemy used them gave his work its high authoritative character. A series of 
twenty-six maps, and a general map of the world, illustrated the 'Geography.' 'See 
also "Geography" of Ptolemy. 

ALMAYER'S FOLLY, by Joseph Conrad (1895), is a novel of Eastern life, whose 
scene is laid on a little-known river of Borneo, and whose personages are fierce Malays, 
cunning Arabs, stolid Dutch traders, slaves, half-breeds, pirates, and white renegades. 
Almayer, the son of a Dutch official in Java, has been adopted in a sort of way by 
one Captain Lingard, a disreputable English adventurer, who persuades him to 
marry a Malay girl, whom also he has adopted, the sole survivor of a crew of Malay 
pirates sent by Lingard to their last account. The story is crowded with adventure, 
and the characters stand out, living creatures, against a gorgeous tropical background. 
But its merit lies in its careful rendering of race traits, and in its study of that dry-rot 
of character, indecision, irresolution, procrastination. It is quite plain that the sins 
Mr. Conrad imputes to his "frustrate ghosts" are "the unlit lamp and the ungirt 
loin." 

ALONE, by Mrs. Mary Virginia Terhune (who is better known by her pen-name, 
" Marian Harland "), was her first novel, and appeared in 1854, when she was twenty- 
four. The scene is laid in Richmond, Virginia, where Ida Ross, an orphan of fifteen, 
goes to live with her guardian Mr. Read, and his daughter Josephine, a girl of her 
own age. With the Reads, who are cold, worldly, and reserved, the impulsive and 
affectionate Ida is extremely unhappy. Fortunately her life is changed by friendship 
with a schoolmate, Carry Carleton. In the well-bred and kindly households of the 
Carletons and their relatives, Ida finds friends and lovers. When the girls enter 
society, Josephine becomes jealous of Ida's greater attractiveness, chiefly because a 
certain Mr. Lacy falls in love with her. Misunderstandings ensue. Ida gives up her 
lover, and returns to the home of her childhood to devote her life to philanthropy. 
But the misunderstandings are explained, and the well-disciplined recluse is married 
to Mr. Lacy. The book had a very great vogue, and made a reputation for the 
author. It is simple in plot, contains a transcript of every-day life, and is deeply 
religious in tone, but belongs to a fashion in fiction which no longer prevails. 

ALTON LOCKE, by Charles Kingsley, was published in 1850, when the author was 
thirty-one. It was his first novel, and like 'Yeast,' which closely followed it, showed 
Kingsley's broad humanitarianism, unconventionality, interest in and sympathy for 
the wrongs of the English working classes. It made a great stir, and did much in 
England to turn the thoughts of the upper ranks to their responsibility for the lower. 
Its hero is a poet-tailor of a mystic turn 'Alton Locke, Tailor and Poet,' is the 
full title; he feels deep in his soul the horrors of the sweating system and other abuses 
which grind the poor, and devotes himself to their amelioration. " I am, " he says of 
himself, "a Cockney among Cockneys": he is sketched from his boyhood in a mean, 
suburban quarter of the city, through his struggle for education and maintenance, 



2O THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

which brings him into contact with the case of the toiling city masses, to his leader 
ship of their cause, his advocacy of Chartism, and final failure to realize his dreams 
The purity, ideality, and altruism of Locke and his friends Crossthwaite, MacKaye 
Lady Ellerton, and Eleanor, make them inspiring prophets of the war of the Emanci 
pation of Labor. The story is full of vigorous, earnest, eloquent preaching, anc 
would now be called "problem fiction" of the frankest sort; and it is also ofter 
dramatic and thrilling. 

ALZIRE, a well-known tragedy by Voltaire (1736). The time is the sixteenth 
century. Monteze, the native king of a part of Potosi, has, with his daughter Alzire 
and a large number of American Indians, fallen into the power of Guzman, the 
Spanish governor of Peru. The Spaniard falls in love with Alzire, who has become 
a Christian. Having been betrothed to an Indian chief now believed to be dead, 
she hesitates to marry the governor, but is persuaded by her father, and by Alvares 
the father of Guzman. After the marriage, Zamore, her first lover, reappears among 
a crowd of prisoners. His fury becomes uncontrollable when he learns that Guzman, 
who has already wrested from him everything else he valued, power, wealth, and 
liberty, has now deprived him of his betrothed. In vain does Alzire contrive the 
captive's escape. He will not fly without her. In disguise he penetrates to the 
chamber of his enemy, and mortally wounds him. Both Alzire and Alvares seek to 
save him, but cannot unless he adopts Christianity. He refuses; but when his rival 
Guzman says, "Your God has enjoined on you vengeance and murder: mine com- 
mands me to pity and forgive my murderer, " he is overcome, and makes a profession 
of faith. Dying, Guzman unites the lovers. This play is often rated as Voltaire's 
dramatic masterpiece. In elegance of diction, in picturesqueness and vigor of con- 
ception, it leaves little to be desired. The dramatist's intention was to contrast the 
noble but imperfect virtues of the natural man with those of the man trained under 
the influences of Christianity and civilization. 

AMADIS OF GAUL, formerly attributed to Vasco Lobeira. Robert Southey, in the 
introduction to his English version of this romance, says: "'Amadis of Gaul' is 
among prose what 'Orlando Furioso' is among metrical romances, not the oldest 
of its kind but the best. " It is however so old as to have belonged to the age of the 
fairest bloom of chivalry, the days of the Black Prince and the glorious reign of 
Edward III. in the two realms of England and France. It is a tale of the knightly 
career of Amadis and his two brothers, Galaor and Florestan, the sons of King Perion 
of Gaul. The name of the knight's mistress is Oriana; but many are the damsels, 
ladies, and queens, whom he rescues in peril, not without wounding their hearts, but 
remaining loyal to the last to his liege lady his marriage with whom terminates, in 
Southey 's opinion, the narration of the original author. The remaining adventures 
after the Fourth Book are, as he thinks, added by the Spanish translator Garcia 
Ordonez de Montalvo, and exhibit a much lower type both of literary style and of 
morals. The author is a Portuguese who was born at Porto; fought at Aljubarrota, 
where he was knighted by King Joao; and died at Elvas, 1403. The oldest version 
extant is that of Montalvo in Spanish, and the oldest edition is supposed to be that 
of Seville, 1 526. But the romance was familiar to the Spanish discoverers of America, 
and must have enjoyed a wide popularity since the time when, in the reign of Joao L, 
the Infante Dom Pedro wrote a sonnet in praise of Vasco Lobeira, "the inventor of 
the Books of Chivalry/' Cervantes, whose own romance was the death-knell of 
these unnatural and preternatural extravaganzas, names this as one of the three 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 21 

romances spared in the burning of Don Quixote's library, "because it was the first 
of the kind and the best. " It depicts a time "not many years after the passion of 
our Redeemer," when Garinter, a Christian, was King of lesser Britain, Languines 
King of Scotland, Perion King of Gaul, and Lesuarte King of Great Britain. The 
scene is laid in such mystic parts of the earth as the island of Windsor, the forest of 
Angaduza, and "Sobradisa which borders upon Serolis." The manly love of the 
three brother knights, their honor, fidelity, and bravery, are noble types of the ideal 
of the chivalric romance. It is to the interpolations and additions of the Spanish 
and French translators through whom the romance has come down to us, that we 
owe the gross and offensive passages which mar the otherwise pure and daarming 
narrative. 

AMATEUR POACHER, THE, by Richard Jefferies, was published in 1889. Like 
the other works by this author, ' The Gamekeeper at Home,' ' Wild Life in a Southern 
Country, 1 etc., it displays a genius for the observation of nature, yet its scope is 
narrow and simple. "The following pages," says the author, "are arranged some- 
what in the order of time, beginning with the first gun and attempts at shooting. 
Then come the fields, the first hills and woods explored, often without a gun or any 
thought of destruction; and next the poachers and other odd characters observed 
at their work." 

The book opens with a tempting sentence: "They burned the old gun that 
used to stand in the dark corner up in the garret, close to the stuffed fox that always 
grinned so fiercely." The narrative goes on in the same familiar, brisk, hunting- 
morning style, carrying the reader far afield, into damp woods, and over sweet, rich 
pastures. In conclusion the author writes: "Let us go out of these indoor, narrow, 
modern days, whose twelve hours somehow have become shortened, into the sunlight 
and pure wind. A something that the ancients called divine can be found and felt 
there still. " The book is cheerful and wholesome, possessing the charm of nature 
itself. 

AMBASSADORS, THE, a novel by Henry James (1902-03). Lambert Strether comes 
from Woolett, Massachusetts, on an embassy from the wealthy Mrs. Newsome to 
bring back her son Chad from Paris to the business he has inherited, and to discover, 
if possible, what is the sinister influence which has prevented him from returning 
heretofore. It is inferred that Strether has been selected to many Mrs. Newsome 
and her fortune. He finds Chad greatly changed for the better by his intimacy with 
the Countess de Vinnoet, a woman of inexpressible charm, and becomes converted 
to their relations as beyond the comprehension and standards of Woolett, Massa- 
chusetts. It is long before he learns their secret, and his reaction is to be ashamed of 
his mission, and to urge Chad not to return. The second embassy is composed of 
Mrs. Pocock, Chad's sister, her husband, and young sister-in-law, who come to find 
out what is keeping Strether in Paris, and call him to account for his failure as 
ambassador. Chad tries to divert his sister by attentions and entertainments, but 
Europe has no effect on her New England conscience. She convinces Strether of 
his own delinquency, and he returns to Woolett; but Chad remains > faithful to the 
ties he has formed in Paris, 

AMBER GODS, THE, a novel in miniature, by Harriet Prescott Spofford, was 
published in 11863. It is remarkable neither for plot nor for character-drawing, but 
for a magnificent depth and richness of color, like a painting by Titian. An amber 
amulet or rosary, possessing mysterious influences, gives the title to the story. 



22 JUtUS KJbAJJJbK & JJlUJti/S l ur JDV^VX^VJ 

AMBITIOUS WOMAN, AN, a novel by Edgar Fawcett, appeared in 1883. It ^is a 
, keen, yet sympathetic analysis of an American female type whose dominant trait is 
social ambition. Claire Twining is reared in the ugly poverty of a Brooklyn suburb. 
She is clever, capable, with a great desire for the luxuries of life. Through the good 
offices of a schoolmate she gains a social foothold. If Claire's transformation seems a 
little sudden, there is yet much genuine strength in the story and much truthful 
observation of city life in New York. 

AMBROSIO, see MONK. 

AMELIA, by Henry Fielding, was published in 1751, and was the last of that novelist's 
works of fiction, as well as one of the most famous novels of the eighteenth century. 
He was forty-four when it appeared, and in impaired health. It has, perhaps for 
this reason, less of the exuberant vitality which characterized 'Tom Jones/ a novel 
preceding it by two years. The plot is more serious; but in a rich, quiet fund of 
humor it is not far behind that masterpiece. In 'Amelia/ Fielding drew the portrait 
of a virtuous and lovely wife; his own, it is believed, furnishing the model. It is a 
story of married life. Mr. Booth, the husband of the heroine, an impoverished 
gentleman, is introduced to the reader in prison, where he has been taken for par- 
ticipation in a street quarrel. His companion there, Miss Matthews, is a handsome 
young woman of easy virtue, who has murdered her betrayer. The relations of 
Booth and this woman are improper; but the husband is saved from this, as from 
other faults of conduct, by the purity, goodness, and devotion of Amelia, whom he 
devotedly loves. Eventually she brings him a fortune, he is released from prison, 
and happiness reigns. In contrasting Booth's poorer nature with the noble character 
of his wife, Fielding is supposed to have had himself in mind. It is noteworthy that 
the novelist, in depicting her, emphasized her beauty of mind and heart by stating 
that her bodily beauty was marred through the disfigurement of her nose in a carriage 
accident. The story is strong in portraiture of character, in sincerity, in analysis of 
motive, and in wit. 

AMENITIES OF LITERATURE, by Isaac Disraeli, father of Lord Beaconsfield, 
was published in 1841, when the author was seventy-five years old. The title was 
adopted to connect it with two preceding volumes, 'Curiosities of Literature' and 
' Miscellanies of Literature.' As the author relates in the preface, it forms a portion 
of a great work projected, but never accomplished. "A history of our vernacular 
literature has occupied my studies for many years. It was my design, not to furnish 
an arid narrative of books or of authors, but following the steps of the human mind 
through the wide track of time, to trace from their beginning the rise, progress, and 
decline of public opinions. ... In the progress of these researches many topics 
presented themselves, some of which from their novelty and curiosity courted investi- 
gation. Literary history, in this enlarged circuit, becomes not merely a philological 
history of critical erudition, but ascends into a philosophy of books. " In the midst 
of his studies toward the working-out of this design, Disraeli was arrested by loss of 
sight. The papers in ' Amenities of Literature ' form a portion of the projected history. 
The first volume consists of thirty-eight chapters on subjects connected with early 
English life and literature; among them The Druidical Institution; Cacdmon and 
Milton; Dialects; Early Libraries; The Ship of Fools; and Roger Ascham. The second 
volume, possessing less unity of design, has thirty-two chapters on subjects strange, 
familiar, and quaint: Rhyming Dictionaries are treated of; Allegories and the Rosi- 
crucian Fludd are discussed. There are chapters on Sir Philip Sidney, on Si>enser, 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 23 

Hooker, and Drayton, and a dissertation on Pamphlets. The book as a whole is a 
pleasant guide into the half-hidden by-paths of English literary history. It is a 
repository of much curious book-gossip and of authors' lore. 

AMERICA, DISCOVERY OF, see DISCOVERY OF AMERICA. 

AMERICA, NARRATIVE AND CRITICAL HISTORY OF, see NARRATIVE, ETC. 

AMERICAN, THE, by Henry James, was published in 1877. It was the novelist's 
third book of fiction, a volume of short tales and a novel preceding it. The central 
character, Christopher Newman, is a typical product of the United States: cool, self- 
confident, and able, impressing, by the force and directness of his nature, all who 
come in contact with him. Having made his fortune, he is traveling in Europe for 
pleasure. He falls in love with a Parisian lady of noble birth, who is half English, 
Madame de Cintre', a widow; and she comes to care for "him enough to engage herself 
to him. The obstacles in the way of their marriage give rise to many dramatic 
incidents. 

AMERICAN COMMONWEALTH, THE (1888. New ed., rev. 2 vols. 1913), by 
Viscount James Bryce (the eminent historian of the Holy Roman Empire), is a 
study of the political, social, and economic features of what its author calls "the 
nation of the future"; and the most important study since De Tocqueville's 'Democ- 
racy/ Lord Bryce deals with his subject in six grand divisions: Part i. treats of the 
federal government, its executive, legislative, and judiciary departments, with a 
survey of their powers and limitations; the relation existing between the federal 
government and the State governments; constitutional development and its results. 
Part ii. considers the State governments (including rural and city governments), 
their departments, constitutions, merits, and defects. Part iii. is devoted to the 
political machinery and the party system, giving a history of the origin and growth 
of political parties; their composition; their leaders, past and present; and their 
existing conditions and influences. Part iv. is concerned with public opinion, its 
nature and tendencies; the means and causes for its control of all important issues in 
the various sections of the Union. Part v. gives concrete illustrations of the matters 
in the foregoing chapters, together with a discussion of the " strength and weakness 
of democratic government as it exists in the United States. " Part vi. is confined 
to non-political institutions; the aspects of society, the intellectual and spiritual 
forces upon which depend the personal and political welfare of unborn generations of 
American citizens; and upon whose success or failure rests the promulgation of 
American democratic ideals and principles among the nations. The work is lucidly' 
written, free from technicalities, and fluent in style, so that it is as easy for the laity 
to comprehend, as for those initiated by practical experience into the workings of our 
government. The chapters dealing with the professional and social sides of American 
life, and especially those devoted to the American universities, have been enthus- 
iastically received by Americans, some American universities accepting the work 
as a text-book in their schools of law, economics, and sociology. 

AMERICAN CONFLICT, THE, by Horace Greeley (1864-66). This history is 
not restricted to the period of armed conflict between the North and South in the 
sixties; but purports to give, in two large volumes, an account of the drift of public 
opinion in the United States regarding human slavery from 1776 to the close- of the 
year 1865. The most valuable feature of this history is the incorporation into it of 
letters, speeches, political platforms, and other documents, which show authentically 



24 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

and beyond controversy the opinions and dogmas accepted by political parties and 
their chiefs, and approved by public opinion North and South; as the author justly 
remarks, nothing could so clearly show the influences of slavery in molding the 
opinions of the people and in shaping the destinies of the country. Thus the work is 
a great magazine of materials for the political history of the United States with 
regard to slavery; and whatever judgment may be passed on its author's philosophy 
of the great conflict, the trustworthiness of his volumes, simply as a record of facts 
and authentic declarations of sectional and partisan opinion, is unquestionable. 

AMERICAN CONTRIBUTIONS TO CIVILIZATION, and Other Essays and 
Addresses, by Charles W. Eliot (1897). A collection of miscellaneous addresses and 
magazine articles, written during the previous twenty-five years by the presi- 
dent of Harvard; not, however, including any educational papers. The 'American 
Contributions ' is the subject of the first only, out of about twenty papers. There are 
included also the remarkable set of inscriptions prepared by Mr. Eliot for the Water 
Gate of the World's Pair at Chicago, 1893 ; that for the Soldiers' Monument on Boston 
Common; and those for the Robert Gould Shaw monument, commemorating the 
54th Regiment Massachusetts Infantry. Through the entire volume there appear a 
grasp of conception, a strength and refinement of thought, and a clearness and vigor 
of style, very rarely found in writers on themes not involving imagination or making 
appeal to feeling. 

AMERICAN CRISISi THE, is the general name given to a series of political articles 
by Thomas Paine. These articles are thirteen in number, exclusive of a 'Crisis 
Extraordinary ' and a ' Supernumerary Crisis.' The first and most famous, published 
in the Pennsylvania Journal, December igth, 1776, began with the famous sentence, 
"These are the times that try men's souls." "It was written during the retreat of 
Washington across the Delaware, and by order of the commander was read to groups 
of his dispirited and suffering soldiers. Its opening sentence was adopted as the 
watchword of the movement on Trenton, a few days after its publication, and is 
believed to have inspired much of the courage which won that victory. " The second 
'Crisis' is addressed to Lord Howe on the occasion of his proclamations to the 
American people, in the interests of Great Britain. The third ' Crisis ' is dated April 
I9th, 1777, two days after the appointment of Paine to the secretaryship of the Com- 
mittee of Foreign Affairs. The fourth appeared shortly after the battle of Brandy- 
wine, in the fall of 1777. The fifth was addressed to General William Howe, and 
was written when Paine was employed by the Pennsylvania Assembly and Council 
to obtain intelligence of the movements of Washington's army. The sixth was 
addressed to the British Commissioners appointed to "treat, consult, and agree, upon 
the means of quieting the Disorders" in the colonies. The seventh and eighth 
addressed the people of England; and the ninth, no particular person or body of 
persons. The tenth was on the King of England's speech at the opening of Parlia- 
ment, November 27th, 1781. The eleventh considered the Present State of News, 
The twelfth was addressed to the Earl of Shelburne. The thirteenth and last, pub- 
lished April igth, 1783, bears the title, 'Thoughts on the Peace, and the Probable 
Advantages thereof.' It opens with the words, "The times that tried men's souls 
are over. " The pamphlets throughout exhibit political acumen and the common- 
sense for which Paine was remarkable. As historical evidence of the underlying 
forces in a unique struggle, and as a monument to patriotism, they possess great and 
lasting value. 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 25 

AMERICAN LAW, see COMMENTARIES ON. 

AMERICAN MUNICIPAL PROGRESS, by Charles Zueblin (latest ed. 1915). 
A revised edition of this book, first published in 1902, was needed, as it is just in the 
years since 1900 that the municipal idea has been most extensively developed both 
in Europe and America. What steps have been taken in the direction of municipaliza- 
tion in the western world may be seen from a concise statement in the preface. 
"Already this century has witnessed the first municipalized street railways and 
telephone in American cities; a national epidemic of street paving and cleaning; the 
quadrupling of electric lighting service and the national appropriation of display 
lighting; a successful crusade against dirt of all kinds smoke, flies, germs and 
the diffusion of constructive provisions for health like baths, laundries, comfort 
stations, milk stations, school-nurses, and open air schools; fire prevention; the 
humanizing of the police and the advent of the policewoman; the transforming of 
some municipal courts into institutions for the prevention of crime and the cure of 
offenders; the elaboration of the school curriculum to give every child a complete 
education from the kindergarten to the vocational course in school or university or 
shop; municipal reference libraries; the completion of park systems in most large 
cities and the acceptance of the principle that the smallest city without a park and 
playground is not quite civilized; the modern playground movement giving organized 
and directed play to young and old; the social centre; the democratic art museum; 
municipal theatres; the commission form of government; the city manager; home rule 
for cities; direct legislation a greater advance than the whole nineteenth century 
compassed. " The book is a mine of information for civil and social workers, munici- 
pal officials, and intelligent citizens generally, and its value is enhanced by a full 
bibliography. 

AMERICAN PAINTING, THE HISTORY OF, by Samuel Isham (1915). The 
plan of the editor and author of this book is to present the history of a particular art 
in a given area from the artist's point of view. As the United States is the youngest 
of the great nations, the student must not expect to find in the history of its art 
cither organic growth or logical development, but rather the continual desertion of 
one set of models for another, with the retention at each change of hardly any tradi- 
tion of former ideals. American painting, however, may roughly be classified in 
three periods the Colonial, during which the inspiration was mainly English; the 
Provincial, when English influence waned and painters looked for guidance to.Dussel- 
dorf, Rome, or Paris; the Cosmopolitan, immediately succeeding the Civil War, when. 
American painting took its place in rivalry with the rest of the world. The present 
tendency, which is proceeding with extraordinary rapidity, is the attempt to develop 
an indigenous painting adapted to native needs and tastes. The aim of the author 
has been to trace the development of painting and of the appreciation of painting. 
Particular artists and their works are mentioned at such length as will record the 
growth of the country in intelligence and culture, and show how the painter has been 
inspired or at least influenced by his environment and how later ,he has reacted upon 
it. The evolution of the art in the .United States from Copley and Benjamin West, 
the latter of whom got his first colors from the painted savages of the foresj;, to the 
superb craftmanship of Whistler and Sargent is skillfully traced with proportion, 
candor, and clarity. 

AMERICAN PROSE MASTERS, by William Crary Brownell (1909). A series 
of critical essays on Cooper, Ha^tborae, Emerson, Poe, Lowell, and Henry James, 



20 , THE READER S DIGEbT OF 

With great acufceness the author applies to these authors a rigid critical standard, 
considering in turn their substance, philosophy, culture, and style. Cooper 
he places unusually high, but depreciates Hawthorne -as lacking in substance. Emer- 
son he praises as an apostle of refinement to an age of democracy. Poe is a consum- 
mate artist but without intellectual content and "therefore valueless." Lowell's 
criticism he condemns as dilettante because, though based on sound scholarship, it 
was impressionistic and pictorial rather than intellectual. Henry James he values 
for his penetrative analysis of the complicated relations of modern life. This critic 
is somewhat over-fastidious, but his conscientiousness, perspicuity, precision, and 
impartiality are valuable contributions to American criticism, relieving it from the 
suspicion of provincial partiality and holding favorite authors up to the highest 
standards. 

AMERICAN REVOLUTION, THE, by John Fiske (1891). This volume, origin- 
ally intended for beginners in history, owes its vogue to the author's terse and flexible 
vernacular; his sense of harmonious and proportionate literary treatment; and that 
clear perception of the relative importance of details, and firm yet easy grasp of 
principles and significant facts, resulting from the trained exercise of his philosophic 
powers. 'The American Revolution* was first published in 1891 ; but the edition of 
1896 is "illustrated with portraits, maps, facsimiles, contemporary views, prints, and 
other historic materials." This work exhibits a delightful vivacity and dramatic 
skill in the portraiture of Washington as the central figure of the American revolt 
against the arbitrary government of George the Third. A full treatment of the 
earlier tyranny of the Lords of Trade, leading up to the crisis, is followed by Wash- 
ington's entrance on the scene, at Cambridge, as commander-in-chief of the American 
forces. The military gains of Washington in spite of the enemy's large resources, 
and the varying fortunes of the patriot army, leading down through the discourage- 
ments of Valley Forge and up again, through the campaigns of the South and of 
Virginia, to final success, are shown by Mr. Fiske with remarkable clearness and skill. 
Finally he points out the broad results to all future civilization of the triumph of the 
Colonial cause, in the surrender of Cornwallis. His point of view is one with that of 
John Morley, who says: "The War of Independence was virtually a second English 
Civil War. The ruin of the American cause would have been also the ruin of the 
Constitutional cause in England; and a patriotic Englishman may revere the memory 
of Patrick Henry and George Washington, not less justly than the patriotic 
American." 

AMERICAN REVOLUTION, LITERARY HISTORY OF THE, see LITERARY, 
ETC. 

AMERECANS AND OTHERS, 'a collection of essays on contemporary manners' by 
Agnes Repplier (1912). The point of view is that of an educated gentlewoman, 
witty, satirical, gracious, and refined, a valiant upholder of sane and wholesome 
ideals. Her essays ridicule the defects and strive to encourage the merits of American 
social life. 'A Question of Politeness' attacks the common delusion that rudeness 
is a mark of sincerity. In ' The Mission of Humor ' she criticizes the cheap wit of the 
comic supplements and the lack of intellectual content in American humor. 'Good- 
ness and Gayety' pleads for the union of wit and sanctity. 'The Nervous Strain' 
attempts to check the American habit of rush and worry by an appeal to common- 
sense and to the sayings of Marcus Aurelius. 'The Greatest of these is Charity ' is a 
satire on the charitable enterprises of wealthy American women. .Other essays are 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 27 

|The Girl Graduate/ 'The Estranging Sea,' 'The Customary Correspondent/ and 
'The Condescension of Borrowers.' The style is finished, and refined, and attrao 
tively combines gayety and seriousness. 

AMIEL'S JOURNAL, a selection of daily meditations from the diary of Henri 
Fre"de*ric Amiel, who was a professor of aesthetics and later of philosophy at the 
University of Geneva, but published little, putting his best work into this 'Journal 
Intime,' which extends from 1848 to 1881, the year of his death, and appeared in 1882. 
A good English translation by Mrs. Humphry Ward was published in 1889. The 
work consists of detached meditations of a philosophic, religious, descriptive, and 
personal character written in a lucid, aphoristic style. Amiel was a man of reflective 
temperament and had the habit of introspection, fostered by a skeptical and analyzing 
age. Four years of philosophical studies in Germany had intensified this tendency, 
and directed his contemplations too exclusively to the infinite, paralyzing his will 
and his power of seeking positive truth. Some of the entries in the journal express a 
yearning for Nirvana, for absorption in the universe; in others he attempts to fuse 
into one the most diverse systems of thought. Others are nicely discriminating 
appreciations of literature and art, or penetrating criticisms of society and national 
life. Concerning religion Amiel disbelieves in the permanency of dogma but holds 
that an element of faith is essential if religion is to retain its power over the masses. 
He maintains the unity of the religious aspirations beneath diverse creeds. His 
descriptions of Genevan landscape show genuine power of suggesting the spiritual 
presence immanent in nature. 

AMOS JUDD, by J. A. Mitchell (1895). 0* the outbreak of civil war in a prov- 
ince of Northern India, the seven-year-old rajah is smuggled away to save his life, 
by three faithful followers, two Hindoos and an American; and for absolute safety is 
taken to the Connecticut farmhouse of the American's brother. Under the name of 
Amos Judd he is brought up in ignorance of his origin. The most dramatic incidents 
of his life hinge upon his wonderful faculty of foreseeing events. In this story the 
atmosphere of a world invisible seems to surround and control that of the visible 
world ; and the shrewd and unimaginative Yankee type is skillfully and dramatically 
set against the mystical Hindu character, to whom 'the unseen is more real than the 
actual. The story is well told. 

L* AMOUR, by the noted French historian Michelet, was published in 1859, when 
he was sixty-one years old. In the Introduction he writes: "The title which 
would fully express the design of this book, its signification, and its import, would be 
1 Moral Enfranchisement Effected by True Love.' " Judged by the standards of the 
present day, *L' Amour' seems old-fashioned; its ideals of women obvious. At the 
time of its publication, however, it appeared revolutionary and daring. Yet it was 
merely an attempt to establish reverence for the physical life of woman. Her in- 
tellectual life was considered only as a kind of appendage to the physical. Michelet 
apparently had no other conception of woman and her destiny than as maiden, wife, 
mother, housekeeper. Of the end-of-the-century woman he had no foreknowledge. 
The conception of his work rested on a sentimental basis. It was the fruit of a philan- 
thropic motive. He saw about him not a nation of families, but of individuals. He 
wished to hold before his countrymen an ideal of family life. This ideal was noble 
but narrow. Woman was to frfrn a fragile plant to be cared for and cherished by 
man. One muscular girl playing golf would have destroyed his pretty conception, 
but the athletic college woman did not belong to the fifties. The work however 



28 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

served its purpose. As far as it went it was good. Its conception of love, though 
one-sided, was sufficiently in advance of contemporary thought on the subject to 
render the book remarkable. 

ANABASIS, THE ('Retreat of the Ten Thousand,' 401-399 B. C.), by Xenophon. 
The word means the going up or expedition, i. e., to Babylon,, the capital of the 
Persian Empire; but most of the narrative is occupied with the retreat. The 
occasion of the famous expedition was the attempt of Cyrus the Younger to 
unseat his elder brother Artaxerxes from the throne of Persia by aid of a Greek army, 
which he gathered in or near his satrapy in Asia Minor, and then moved swiftly 
across Persia against the miscellaneous barbarian hordes of his brother with their 
small centre of disciplined Persian guards. The plan succeeded, and Cyrus was about 
to win the great battle of Cunaxa, when he was killed in the fray, and the Ten Thou- 
sand were left leaderless and objectless in the heart of a hostile empire a thousand 
miles from their kin. To complete their ruin, all the head officers were decoyed 
into a mock negotiation by Artaxerxes and murdered to a man. In their despair, 
Xenophon, a volunteer without command, came forward, heartened them into hold- 
ing together and fighting their way back to the Euxine, and was made leader of the 
retreat ; which was conducted with such success, through Persia and across the snow- 
clad Armenian mountains, against both Persian forces and Kurdish savages, that the 
troops reached Trapezus (Trebizond) with very little loss. Even then their dangers 
were not over: Xenophon had now to turn diplomatist; to gain the good graces of the 
Greek cities on the Black Sea, and to negotiate with Seuthes the Thracian king who 
tried to assassinate him, and with the governors of the different cities subject to 
Sparta. At last the adventure was over. Many of the survivors went back to Greece ; 
but the larger number took service under Spartan harmosts, and were subsequently 
instrumental in freeing several Greek cities in Asia Minor. 

Merely as a travel sketch the tale is highly interesting. The country traversed 
in Persia was almost utterly unknown to the Greeks: and Xenophon makes mem- 
oranda in which he enumerates the distances from one halting-place to another; 
notes the cities inhabited or cities deserted; gives a brief but vivid description of a 
beautiful plain, a mountain pass, a manoeuvre skillfully executed, or any amusing 
episode that falls under his eye. And we find that camp gossip and scandal were as 
rife, as rank, and as reliable as in other ages. He is especially delightful in his por- 
traits, sketched in a few sentences, but vigorous and lifelike: Cyrus, a man at once 
refined and barbarous, an impressive picture of a Persian prince brought in contact 
with Greek civilization; Clearchus, the type of an excellent general, upright but 
harsh; Proxenus, a fine gentleman, but too soft and weak; the unscrupulous Merion, a 
natural product of civil dissension. Xenophon tells the story in the third person, 
after the fashion in the classic times; and if he makes himself out a most eloquent, 
courageous, resourceful, and self-sacrificing leader, his other work makes one willing 
to accredit him cheerfully. 

ANACHARSIS, THE YOUNGER, see PILGRIMAGE OF. 

ANALOGY OF RELIGION, THE, by Bishop Joseph Butler, first appeared in 1736, 
and has ever since been held in high esteem by orthodox Christians. The full title 
is 'The Analogy of Religion, Natural and Revealed, to the Constitution and Course 
of Nature/ The argument, which is orderly and concise, is briefly this: The author 
lays down three premises, the existence of God; the known course of nature; and 
the necessary limitations of our knowledge. These premises enable him to take 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 29 

common ground with those whom he seeks to convince the exponents of a "loose 
kind of deism. " He then argues that he who denies the Divine authorship of the 
Scriptures, on account of difficulties found in them, may, for the same reason, deny 
the world to have been created by God: for inexplicable difficulties are found in the 
course of nature; therefore no sound deist should be surprised to find similar difficul- 
ties in the Christian religion. Further, if both proceed from the same author, the 
wonder would rather be, that there should not be found on both the mark of the 
same hand of authorship. If man can follow the works of God but a little way, and 
if his world also greatly transcends the efforts of unassisted reason, why should not 
His word likewise be beyond man's perfect comprehension? In no sense a philosophy 
of religion, but an attempt rather to remove common objections thereto, the work is 
necessarily narrow in scope: but within its self-imposed limitations the discussion is 
exhaustive, dealing with such problems as a future life; God's moral government; 
man's probation; the doctrine of necessity; and most largely, the question of revela- 
tion. To the 'Analogy' there are generally subjoined two dissertations: one on 
Personal Identity, and one on The Nature of Virtue. 

ANALYSIS OF BEAUTY, THE, an essay on certain artistic principles, by William 
Hogarth, was published in 1753. In 1745 he had painted the famous picture of 
himself and his pug-dog Trump, now in the National Gallery. In a corner of this 
picture appeared a palette bearing a serpentine line under which was inscribed: 
"The Line of Beauty and Grace." This inscription provoked so much inquiry and 
comment that Hogarth wrote ' The Analysis of Beauty ' in explanation of it. In the 
introduction he says: "I now offer to the public a short essay accompanied with two 
explanatory prints, in which I shall endeavor to show what the principles are in 
nature, by which we are directed to call the forms of some bodies beautiful, others 
ugly; some graceful and others the reverse." The first chapters of the book deal 
with Variety, Uniformity, Simplicity, Intricacy, Quantity, etc. Lines and the com- 
position of lines are then discussed, followed by chapters on Light and Shade, on 
Proportion, and on Action. The * Analysis of Beauty ' subjected Hogarth to extrava- 
gant praise from his friends and to ridicule from his 'detractors. Unfortunately he 
had himself judged his work on the title-page, in the words "written with a view 
of fixing the fluctuating ideas of taste." This ambition it was not possible for 
Hogarth to realize. The essay contains, however, much that is pertinent and 
suggestive. 

ANASTASIITS or, MEMOIRS OF A MODERN GREEK, WRITTEN AT THE CLOSE OF THE 
EIGHTEENTH CENTURY, by Thomas Hope (1819). The author of this romance, a 
rich retired merchant, woke one morning, like Byron, to find himself famous. He 
was known to have written some learned books on furnishing and costume; but 
'Anastasius' gave frjtn rank as an accomplished painter of scenery and delineator of 
manners. The hero, a young Greek ruined by injudicious indulgence, is an apostate, 
a robber, and a murderer. To avoid the consequences of a disgraceful love affair, he 
runs away from Chios, his birthplace, and seeks safety on a Venetian ship. This is 
captured by the Turks, and Anastasius is haled before a Turkish magistrate. Dis- 
charged, he fights on the side of the Crescent, and goes to Constantinople, where he 
resorts to all sorts of shifts for a livelihood, jugglery, peddling, nostrum-making; 
becomes a Mussulman, visits Egypt, Arabia, Sicily, and Italy. His adventures 
"dizzy the arithmetic of memory": he goes through plague and famine, battle and 
accident, and finally dies young, a worn-out and worthless adventurer. He is a man 



30 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

of the world, and through his eyes the reader is made to see the world that he lives in. 
The book has passages of great power, often of brilliancy and wit; but it belongs to 
the fashion of a more leisurely day, and is now seldom read. 

ANATHEMA, a drama by Leonid Andreyev (1909). Anathema is the Devil, 
the tempter of man. In the prologue he stands outside the gates of eternity, and 
calls on the silent Guardian to open them for an instant that he may have a glimpse 
of the mysteries to illumine the way for the Devil and for man, alike groping in 
darkness. The Guardian bars the way, and in anger Anathema swears to return to 
earth and ruin the soul of David Leizer. David Leizer is not a Faust or a Job, but an 
insignificant Jewish shopkeeper dying of poverty in a Russian town. Anathema 
appears to him as a lawyer to announce that he has inherited a fortune. David 
divides his wealth among the poor and outcast. His attempt to help his fellow-man 
results in strife and bloodshed. His millions are not sufficient, and the mob stones 
him to death because he does not work miracles to clothe and feed them and bring 
back the dead to life. Anathema in an epilogue again approaches the eternal gates 
and challenges the Guardian to answer him. Did not David manifest in his life and 
death the powerlessness of love and create a great evil? The Guardian replies that 
David has attained immortality, but that Anathema will never know the secret of life. 

ANATOL: A SEQUENCE OF DIALOGUES, by Arthur Schnitzler (1893). A 
cycle of seven different love affairs of a young Viennese man of fashion, ending with 
his marriage. He flirts from heart to heart, and such is his incurable sentimentality 
that anticipations and retrospects are often more to him than the sweetheart of the 
moment. Suffering agonies of doubt as to whether his mistress is true to him or not, 
he proposes to hypnotize the lady and ask the fatal question; but when the oppor- 
tunity comes, he lacks courage to put his happiness to the test. A most amusing 
episode is " The Farewell Dinner." While waiting for Mimi to come from the ballet, 
he confides to his friend Max that he is on with a new love before he is off with the old, 
and finds it too inconvenient to have two suppers every evening, so intends to break 
the news to Mimi that all is over. His amazement and pique are delightful when 
Mimi anticipates his announcement with her own farewell and her new love affair. 
Another episode, at once amusing and pathetic, is given in the LIBRARY. A 
last lapse on the eve of his wedding almost prevents him from meeting his bride in 
time for the ceremony. 

ANATOMIE OF ABUSES, by Philip Stubbes, was entered upon the Stationers' 
Register in 1582-83; republished by the New Shakspere Society in 1877-79 under 
the editorship of Frederick J. Furnivall. 

This most curious work without the aid of which, in the opinion of the editor, 
"no one can pretend to know Shakspere's England" is an exposure of the abuses 
and corruptions existing in all classes of Elizabethan society. Written from the 
Puritan standpoint, it is yet not over-prejudiced nor bigoted. 

Little is known of Philip Stubbes. Thomas Nash makes a savage attack on the 
'Anatomie' and its author, in a tract published in 1589. Stubbes himself throws 
some light upon his life, in his memorial account of his young wife, whose "right 
virtuous life and Christian death" are circumstantially set forth. The editor be- 
lieves him to have been a gentleman "either by birth, profession, or both"; to 
have written, from 1581 to 1610, pamphlets and books strongly on the Puritan side; 
before 1583 to have spent "seven winters and more, traveling from place to place, 
even all the land over indifferently. "_ It is supposed that in 1586 he married a girl of 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 31 

fourteen. Her death occurred four years and a half afterwards, following not many 
weeks the birth of a "goodly man childe." Stubbes's own death is supposed to 
have taken place not long after 1610. 

'The Anatomie of Abuses' was published in two parts. These are in the form 
of a dialogue between Spudens and Philoponus (Stubbes), concerning the wickedness 
of the people of Ailgna (England). Part First deals with the abuses of Pride, of 
Men's and Women's Apparel; of the vices of whoredom, gluttony, drunkenness, 
covetousness, usury, swearing, Sabbath-breaking, stage-plays; of the evils of the 
Lords of Misrule, of May-games, church-ales, wakes, feasts, of "pestiferous dancing," 
of music, cards, dice-tables, tennis, bowls, bear-baiting; of cock-fighting, hawking, 
and hunting, on the Sabbath; of markets, fairs, and foot-ball playing, also on the 
Sabbath; and finally of the reading of wicked books; the whole being followed by a 
chapter on the remedy for these evils. 

Part Second deals with corruptions in the Temporalty and the Spiritualty. 
Under temporal corruptions the author considers abuses in law, in education, in 
trade, in the manufacture of apparel, in the relief of the poor, in husbandry and 
fanning. He also considers abuses among doctors, chandlers, barbers, apothecaries, 
astronomers, astrologers, and prognosticates. 

Under matters spiritual the author sets forth the Church's sins of omission rather 
than of commission; but he treats of wrong preferment, of simony, and of the evils 
of substitution. 

The entire work is most valuable, as throwing vivid light upon the manners and 
customs of the time, especially in the matter of dress. An entire Elizabethan ward- 
robe of fashion might be reproduced from Stubbes's circumstantial descriptions. 
Concerning hose he writes: 

"The Gally-hosen are made very large and wide, reaching downe to their knees 
onely, with three or four guardes a peece laid down along either hose. And the 
Venetian hosen, they reach beneath the knee to the gartering place to the Leg, 
where they are tyed finely with silk points, or some such like, and laied on also with 
reeves of lace, or gardes as the other before. And yet notwithstanding all this is not 
sufficient, except they be made of silk, velvet, saten damask, and other such precious 
things beside," 

ANATOMY OF MELANCHOLY, by Robert Burton (1621), is a curious miscellany, 
covering so wide a range of subjects as to render classification impossible. This 
torrent of erudition flows in channels scientifically exact. Melancholy is treated as 
a malady, first in general, then in particular. Its nature, seat, varieties, causes, 
symptoms, and prognosis are considered in an orderly manner, with a great number 
of differentiations. Its cure is next examined, and the various means discussed 
which may be adopted to accomplish this. Permissible means, forbidden means, 
moral means, and pharmaceutical means are each analyzed. After disposing of the 
scholastic method, the author descends from the general to the particular, and treats 
of emotions and ideas minutely, endeavoring to classify them. In early editions of 
the book, there appear at the head of each part, synoptical and analytical tables, 
with divisions and subdivisions, each subdivision in sections and each section in 
subsections, after the manner of an important scientific treatise. While the general 
framework is orderly, the author has filled in the details with most heterogeneous 
material. Every conceivable subject is made to illustrate his theme : quotations, brief 
and extended, from many authors; stories and oddities from obscure sources; literary 
descriptions of passions and follies; recipes and advices; experiences and biographiesc 



32 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

ANCIENT LAW, by Henry Sumner Maine (1861). In his remarkable work on 
'Ancient Law: Its Connection with the Early History of Society, and Its Relation 
to Modern Ideas/ Sir Henry Maine attempted to indicate some of the earliest ideas 
of mankind, as reflected in ancient law, and to point out the relation of those ideas to 
modern thought. To a large extent the illustrations were drawn from Roman law, 
because it bears in its earliest portions traces of the most remote antiquity, and at the 
same time it supplies many elements of modern culture. A principal contention of 
Maine was that patriarchal or fatherly authority was the earliest germ of social order. 
The distinction given the author by this work led to his having a seven years' period 
of service in India as legal member of the Council; and on his return to England and 
appointment to a professorship of jurisprudence at Oxford, his first course of lectures 
was published as 'Village Communities' (1871). It was another course of Oxford 
lectures which gave the substance of his 'History of Early Institutions' (1875); in 
which, as in 'Village Communities,' he drew from knowledge gained in India to throw 
light upon ancient social and political forms. Not only were these works among the 
first examples of thorough historical research into the origins of social order and 
political organization, but the skill in exposition and admirable style in which they 
are executed make them of permanent interest as models of investigation. The work 
of Maine on the origin and growth of legal and social institutions was completed by 
a volume in 1883 on 'Early Law and Custom.' His effort is still to reconcile the 
growth of jurisprudence with the results obtained by modern anthropology, while 
each study is made to explain and illuminate the other. Beginning with the primi- 
tive religion and law, as disclosed in the earliest written monuments preserved in 
the sacred Hindoo laws, the rise of the kingly power and prerogative and the meaning 
of ancestor- worship are discussed. The book closes with a study of the feudal theory 
of property, and its effect upon modern systems of rental and landholding. 

ANCIENT MARINER, see RIME OF THE, 

ANCIENT POTTERY, HISTORY OF, GREEK, ETRUSCAN, AND ROMAN, by H. 

B. Walters (1905). The importance of ceramics to the historic student is obvious. 
"Among the simplest yet most necessary adjuncts of a developing civilization," says 
Mr. "Walters, "Pottery may be recognized as one of the most universal. The very 
earliest and rudest remains of any people generally take the form of coarse and 
common pots, in which they cooked their food or consumed their beverages. " More- 
over the evidence supplied by ceramics is contemporary, and from this study we 
not only learn what were the common everyday lives of a people, but see the first 
beginnings and the gradual evolution of such artistic instinct as they may have 
possessed. The scope of the book is to trace the history of the art of working in clay 
from its use among the oldest nations of antiquity to the period of the decline of the 
Roman Empire. The importance of Greek ceramics is twofold. In grace of artistic 
form the Greeks excelled all nations, either past or present. So rapid and successful 
in recent years has been the progress of investigation that no branch of classical 
archeology has become so firmly established or so fertile in results as the study of 
fictile art among the Greeks. Moreover to the Greek art was the language by which 
he expressed his ideas of the gods. The pottery of the Etruscan epoch, that is the 
period previous to the Roman domination of Italy, was characterized by a develop- 
ment of geometrical decoration, probably under Eastern influence. The work of the 
Roman period, from the second century onwards and including the remains of similar 
pottery from Gaul, Britain, and other countries over which Roman sway extended, 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 33 

was in nearly all respects inferior to Greek. It had less artistic skill, and, generally 
speaking, bore the same relation to Greek ceramic products as all Roman art did 
to Greek art. It was, in other words, more mechanical and less imaginative and 
inspired. Mr. Walters has enriched his history with a large number of valuable 
illustrations which really elucidate the text. 

ANCIENT REGIME, THE, by H. A. Taine (1875). A study of the France which, 
after twelve hundred years of development, existed in 1789; the part which clergy, 
nobles, and king played in it ; the organization of politics, society, religion, and the 
church; the state of industry, education, science, and letters; and the condition of the 
people: with reference especially to the causes which produced the French Revolution, 
and through that catastrophic upheaval created a new France. Not only the more 
general facts are brought to view, but the particulars of industrial, domestic, and 
social life are abundantly revealed. First the structure of society is examined; then 
the habits and manifestations of character which were most notably French; then 
the elements of a dawning revolution, the representative figures of a new departure, 
master minds devoted to new knowledge; philosophers, scientists, economists, seeking 
a remedy for existing evils; then the working of the new ideas in the public mind; 
and finally the state of suffering and struggle in which the mass of the people were. 
A masterly study of great value for the history of France and for judgment of the 
future of the French Republic. Taine's phenomenal brilliancy of style and pictur- 
esqueness of manner, his philosophical contemplation of data, and his kean reasoning, 
have never been more strikingly exhibited than in these volumes, which are as ab- 
sorbing as fiction. 

ANCIENT ROME IN THE LIGHT OF RECENT DISCOVERIES, by Rodolfo 
Lanciani, Professor of Archaeology in the University of Rome, and Director of Ex- 
cavations for the National Government and the Municipality of Rome (1888). In 
his character of official investigator, Professor Lanciani has grouped, in this volume, 
various illustrations of the life of ancient Rome as shown in its recovered antiquities, 
columns, capitals, inscriptions, lamps, vases; busts or ornaments in terra-cotta, 
marble, alabaster, or bronze ; gems, intaglios, cameos, bas-reliefs, pictures in mosaic, 
objects of art in gold, silver, and bronze; coins, relics in bone, glass, enamel, lead, 
ivory, iron, copper, and stucco: most of these newly found treasures being genuine 
masterpieces. From these possessions he reads the story of the wealth, taste, habits 
of life, ambitions, and ideals of a vanished people. The book does not attempt to 
be systematic or exhaustive, but it is better. It is full of a fine historic imagination, 
with great charnTof language, and perennial richness of incident and anecdote which 
make it not only delightful reading, but the source of a wide new knowledge. With 
the true spirit of the story-teller, Professor Lanciani possesses an unusual knowledge 
of out-of-the-way literature which enriches his power of comparison and illustration. 
* Pagan and Christian Rome' (1892) made up in part of magazine articles, and inten- 
tionally discursive, attempts to measure in some degree the debt of Christian art, 
science, and ceremonial to their Pagan predecessors. 'Ruins and Excavations of 
Ancient Rome, a Companion Book for Students and Travelers' (1897) is, on the other 
hand, a systematic treatise on modern discovery, supplied with maps, diagrams, 
tables, lists, and a bibliography. The descriptions begin with the primitive palisades, 
and come down to the present time, treating prehistoric, republican, imperial, medi- 
aeval, and modern Rome; and the book, though more formal, is hardly less entertain- 
ing than its predecessors. 

3 



34 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

ANCIENT STONE IMPLEMENTS, WEAPONS, AND ORNAMENTS OF GREAT 

BRITAIN, THE, by Sir John Evans (1872). The various forms, probable uses 
methods of manufacture and in some instances the circumstances of discovery o 
these relics of the Stone Age are the theme of this volume. Stone instrument; 
found in ossiferous caves and ancient alluvial deposits and associated with the re 
mains of a fauna now largely extinct are said to belong to the palaeolithic as distin 
guished from the neolithic period, the remains of which are usually found on or nea 
the surface of the soil. The discoveries of Dr. Schmerling in the caves of Belgium 
first published in 1833 an <i confirmed by later investigators, showed that human bones 
worked flints, and bone instruments were often found close to the remains of extinci 
animals. Sir John Evans describes in detail a number of stone implements of the 
earlier and later periods, which had been manufactured for use as flints, hatchets 
arrowheads, grinding utensils, or for other purposes of war, the chase, or peace, 
Stone celts, which at first were universally believed to have been thunderbolts and 
therefore to possess medical or preservative virtues, were in the early stages of theii 
evolution chipped or rough hewn, then ground at the edge only, then polished, then 
hafted. Axes and hammers were first employed as weapons and only later served 
as tools. Knives, occasionally perhaps used as lanceheads, were sometimes oval, 
sometimes circular or triangular. Javelin and arrowheads, supposed to have 
fallen from heaven, and therefore worn as amulets, sling-stones, roughly chipped 
from flint, or the ornamented balls which prehistoric Scotland used as missiles; the 
implements of war, the chase, and domestic use are described with a wealth of his- 
toric evidence and a large number of admirable illustrations. 

ANDES AND THE AMAZON, THE, or, ACROSS THE CONTINENT OF SOUTH AMERICA. 
by James Orton (1870). In 1868, under the__auspices of _the^ Smithsonian Institu- 
tion, Mr. Orton, who for many years was professor of natural history in Vassar 
College, led an exploring expedition to the equatorial Andes and the river Amazon; 
the experiences of the party being vivaciously set forth in this popular book. Before 
this exploration, as Mr. Orton explains, even central Africa had been more fully 
explored than that region of equatorial America which lies in the midst of the western 
Andes, and upon the slopes of those mountain monarchs which look toward the 
Atlantic. A Spanish knight, Orellana, during Pizarro's search for the fabled city of 
El Dorado in 1541, had descended this King of Waters (as the aborigines called it); 
and with the eyes of romance, thought he discovered on its banks the women warriors 
for whom he then newly named the stream the "Amazon, " a name still used by 
the Spaniards and the Portuguese in the plural form, Amazonas. Except for one 
Spanish exploration up the river in 1637, the results of which were published in a 
quaint and curious volume, and one French exploration from coast to coast eastward 
in 1745, and the indefatigable missionary pilgrimages of Catholic priests and friars, 
the great valley remained but vaguely known. National jealousies had kept the 
river closed to foreign navigation, until, by a larger policy, it was made free to 
the flags of all nations in 1867. ' The Andes and the Amazon ' is not intended to be 
a scientific record of newly discovered data. Whatever biological or archaeological 
contributions it offers are sufficiently intelligible and accurate, and there is scattered 
through the three hundred and fifty pages of the book a large amount of general 
information, such as a trained observer would instinctively gather, and an intelligent 
audience delight to share. 

ANDROMACHE, a tragedy by Euripides. The heroine (Hector's widow) is part 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 35 

undergone the usual fate of feminine captives, and has borne her master a son named 
Molossus. Hermione, the daughter of Menelaus and lawful wife of Pyrrhus, is 
furiously jealous of this Trojan slave; and with the aid of her father, resolves to kill 
Andromache and the child during the absence of her husband. Fortunately the aged 
Peleus, the grandfather of Pyrrhus, arrives just in time to prevent the murder. 
Orestes, a cousin of Hermione, to whom she had formerly been betrothed, stops at 
her house on his way to Dodona. Hermione, fearing the resentment of her spouse, 
flies with him. Then they lay an ambuscade for Pyrrhus at Delphi and slay him. 
Peleus is heart-broken when he learns the tidings of his grandson's fate; but he is 
visited by his wife, the sea-goddess Thetis, who bids him have done with sorrow, 
and send Andromache and her child to Molossia. There she is to wed Helenus, the 
son of Priam, and for the rest of her life enjoy unclouded happiness. Thetis orders 
the burial of Pyrrhus in Delphi. Peleus himself will be released from human griefs, 
and live with his divine spouse forever in the palace of Nereus beneath the sea, in the 
company of his son Achilles. 

ANDROMACHE ('Andromaque'), a tragedy by Racine (1667), suggested to him 
by some lines in the ^Eneid of Virgil. The play owes very little to the 'Andromache ' 
of Euripides except the title. In Euripides, everything is simple and true; in Racine, 
everything is noble, profound, and impassioned. The Andromache of the French 
poet is a modern Andromache, not the real Andromache of antiquity; but the drama 
is one of his greatest works, and wrought a revolution in French dramatic art by 
proving that the delicate shades and almost imperceptible movements of the passion 
of love could be an inexhaustible source of interest on the stage. The drama was 
parodied by Subligny in his 'Folle Querelle.' Racine suspected that the parody was 
written by Moliere, and the affair was the occasion of a serious breach between them. 

ANGEL IN THE HOUSE, THE, Coventry Patmore's most noted poem, was pub- 
lished in four parts between 1854 and 1862. 'The Betrothal' appeared in 1854, 
'The Espousals' in 1856, 'Faithful Forever' in 1860, and 'The Victories of Love' in 
1862. The entire poem is idyllic in form. It is a glorification of domestic life, of love 
sheltered in the home, and guarded by the gentle and tender wife. In consequence 
it has been extremely popular in British families of the class it describes, high- 
bred gentlefolk, to whom the household is the centre of refining affection. 

ANIMAL SYMBOLISM IN ECCLESIASTICAL ARCHITECTURE, by E. P. Evans 
(1896). A work of curious interest, designed to trace the very wide use of animal 
symbols in religious relations. The famous work of an Alexandrian Greek, known 
as the ' Physiologus ' or The Naturalist, became at a very early date a compendium of 
current opinions and ancient traditions touching the characteristics of animals and 
of plants, viewed as affording moral or religious suggestion. The mystical meaning 
of the various beasts grew to be a universally popular study, and the 'Physiologus' 
was translated into every language used by readers. " Perhaps no book, " says Mr. 
Evans, "except the Bible, has ever been so widely diffused among so many peoples 
and for so many centuries as the 'Physiologus.' " The story of this symbolism in its 
application, with modifications-, in architecture, is told by Mr. Evans with fullness of 
knowledge and sound judgment of significance of facts. It is a very curious and a 
singularly interesting history. 

ANNA KAKENINA, a famous novel of contemporary life, by Count Lyof Tolstoy 
(1873-76), was first published as a serial in the Russian Contemporary, an English 



36 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

translation, appearing in 1886. The remarkable character of the book pkces it in 
the category of world-novels. Its theme the simple one of the wife, the husband, 
and the lover is treated with a marvelous perception of the laws of morality and 
of passion. The author depicts the effect upon a high-bred sensitive woman of the 
violation of the moral code, through her abandonment to passion. The character of 
Anna Karenina is the subject of a subtle psychological study. A Russian noble- 
woman, young, beautiful, and impressionable, she is married to a man much older 
than herself. While visiting in Moscow, in the household of her brother Prince 
Stepan Oblonsky, she meets Count Vronsky, a brilliant young officer. He loves her, 
and exercises a fascination over her which she cannot resist. The construction of the 
novel is intricate, involving the fortunes of many other characters; fortunes which 
present other aspects of the problems of love and marriage. The interest is centred, 
however, in Anna Karenina. No criticism can convey the powerful impression of 
her personality, a personality colored by the mental states through which she passes, 
dawning love, blind passion, maternal tenderness, doubt, apprehension, defiance, 
sorrow, and finally despair. The whole of a woman's heart is laid bare. The realism 
of Anna Kare'nina is supreme and merciless. Its fidelity to the life it depicts, its 
strong delineation of character, above all its masterly treatment of a theme of world- 
wide interest, place it among the first novels of the nineteenth century. 

ANNALS OF A FORTRESS, by E. Viollet-le-Duc: translated by Benjamin Bucknall 
(1876). A work of highly practical fiction, telling the story through successive ages 
of an ideal fortress, supposed to have been situated at a point on a branch of the 
Sa6ne River which is now of special importance in view of the present eastern fron- 
tier of France. The story follows the successive ages of military history frcm early 
times down to the present, and shows what changes were made in the fortress to 
meet the changes in successive times in the art of war. The eminence of the author, 
both as an architect and military engineer, enabled him to design plans for an ideal 
fortress, and to give these in pictorial illustrations. The work is as entertaining to 
the reader as it is instructive to the student of architecture, and the student of war 
for whom it is especially designed. 

ANNALS OF A PUBLISHING HOUSE, see BLACKWOOD, WILLIAM. 

ANNALS OF A QUIET NEIGHBORHOOD, by George Macdonald (1866), records 
a young vicar's effort to be a brother as well as a priest to his parishioners; and tells 
incidentally how he became more than a brother to Ethelwyn Oldcastle, whose 
aristocratic, overbearing mother, and madcap niece Judy, have leading r61es in the 
story. At first Judy's pertness repels the reader; but like the bad boy who was not 
so very bad either, she wins increasing respect, and is able, without forfeiting it, to 
defy her grandmother, the unlovely Mrs. Oldcastle, whose doting indulgence has 
come so near ruining her disposition. Anyone wishing to grasp the true inwardness, 
as well as the external features, of the life of an English clergyman trying to get on 
to some footing with his flock, has it all here in his own words, with some sensational 
elements intermingled, for which he makes ample apology. But the book on the 
whole is free from puritanical self-arraignment. The constant moralizing never 
becomes tiresome, as in some of the author's later work.- "If I can put one touch 
of rosy sunset into the life of any man or woman of my cure, I shall feel that I have 
woiked with God," mutters the young vicar on overhearing a lad exclaim that he 
should like to be a painter, because then he could help God paint the sky; and this 
hope, the first the clergyman dares form, is equally carried out in the case of rich and 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 37 

poor. With regard to both these divisions of society there is much wholesome plain- 
speaking, as where it seems to the vicar "as if the rich had not quite fair play; . . . 
as if they were sent into the world chiefly for the sake of the cultivation of the virtues 
of the poor, and without much chance for the cultivation of their own. " From this 
acute but pleasant preamble to his heart-warming "God be with you" at the end, 
this mellow character, capable of innocent diplomacy and of sudden firmness upon 
occasion, only loses his temper once, and that is when the intolerable Mrs. Oldcastle 
makes a sneering reference to the " cloth." 

ANNALS OF A SPORTSMAN, by Ivan TurgSneff, consists of a number of sketches 
of Russian peasant life, which appeared in book form in 1852, and established the 
author's reputation as a writer of realistic fiction. Turge"neff represents himseJf 
with gun on shoulder tramping the country districts in quest of game and, in passing, 
noting the local life and social conditions, and giving closely observed, truthful 
studies of the state of the serfs before their liberation by Alexander II.; his book, it 
is believed, being one of the agencies that brought about that reform. Twenty-two 
short sketches, sometimes only half a dozen pages long, make up the volume. Peas- 
ant life is depicted, and the humble Russian toiler is put before the reader in his 
habit as he lived in the earlier years of the nineteenth century; contrast being furnisherl 
by sketches of the overseer, the landed proprietor, and representatives of other inter- 
mediate classes. The general impression is sombre: the facts are simply stated, 
leaving the inference of oppression, cruelty, and unenlightened misery to be drawn. 
There is no preaching. The best of the studies 'The Burgomaster,' 'Lgove,' 
'The Prairie,' 'The Singers/ 'Kor and Kalmitch,' 'The District Doctor' are little 
masterpieces of analysis and concise portrayal, and a gentle poetic melancholy runs 
through all. Especially does the poetry come out in the beautiful descriptions of 
nature, which are a relief to the poignant pathos of some of the human scenes. 

ANNALS OF RURAL BENGAL (1868, 5th ed. 1872), and its sequel ORISSA (2 vols., 
1872), by Sir William Wilson Hunter. In these volumes one of the most admirable 
civilians that England ever sent to India displays his finest qualities: not alone his 
immense scholarship and his literary charm, but his practical ability, his broad 
humanity and interest in the "dim common populations sunk in labor and pain," 
and his sympathy with religious aspiration. The first volume is a series of essays on 
the life of the peasant cultivator in Bengal after the English ascendency: his troubles 
over the land, the currency, the courts, the village and general governments, the 
religious customs, and the other institutions, all bearing directly on his prosperity. 
A valuable chapter is on the rebellion of the Santal tribes and its causes. It is 
interesting to know that he ranks Warren Hastings very high as a sagacious and 
disinterested statesman, and says that no other name is so cherished by the masses 
in India as their benefactor. 'Orissa' is a detailed account of all elements of life 
and of history in a selected Indian province; a study in small of what the government 
has to do, not on great theatrical occasions but as the beneficial routine of its daily 
work. Incidentally, it contains the best account anywhere to be found of the 
pilgrimages of "Juggernaut" (Jaganath); and an excellent summary of the origins 
of Indian history and religions. 

ANNALS OF THE PARISH, by John Gait, a native of Ayrshire, Scotland, 
was published in 1821. In the spirit, if not in the letter, this work is the direct an- 
cestor of the tales of Maclaren and Barrie. Although it cannot properly be called 
a novel, it is rich in dramatic material. It purports to be written by Mr. Balwhid- 



38 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

der, a Scottish clergyman, who recounts the events in the parish of Dalmailing 
where he ministered. He carries the narrative on from year to year, sometimes 
recording an occurrence of national importance, sometimes a homely happening, 
as that William Byres's cow had twin calves "in the third year of my ministery." 
There was no other thing of note this year, "saving only that I planted in the gar- 
den the big pear-tree, which had two great branches that we call the Adam and 
Eve." Concerning a new-comer in the parish he writes: "But the most remarkable 
thing about her coming into the parish was the change that took place in the Chris- 
tian names among us. Old Mr. Hooky, her father, had, from the time he read his 
Virgil, maintained a sort of intromission with the nine Muses by which he was led 
to baptize her Sabrina, after a name mentioned by John Milton in one of his works. 
Miss Sabrina began by calling our Jennies Jessies, and our Nannies Nancies. . . . 
She had also a taste in the mantua-making line, which she had learnt in Glasgow; 
and I could date from the very Sabbath of her first appearance in the Kirk, a change 
growing in the garb of the younger lassies, who from that day began to lay aside 
the silken plaidie over the head, the which had been the pride and bravery of their 
grandmothers." 

The 'Annals' are written in a good homely style, full of Scotch words and Scotch 
turns of expression. The book holds a permanent place among classics of that 
country. 

ANNE, a novel, by Constance Fenimore Woolson, appeared serially in 1882. It 
immediately took, and has since maintained, high rank among American novels. 
The story traces the fortunes, often sad and always varied, of Anne Douglas, a 
young orphan of strong impulses, fine character, and high devotion to duty. The 
plot centres in Ward Heathcote's ardent and abiding love for Anne, and her equally 
constant affection for him. It is managed with much ingenuity, the study of char- 
acter is close and convincing, and the interest never flags. Like all Miss Woolson 's 
work it is admirably written. 

ANNE OF GEEERSTEIN, by Sir Walter Scott (1829). This romance finds its 
material in the wild times of the late fifteenth century, when the factions of York 
and Lancaster were convulsing England, and France was constantly at odds with 
the powerful fief of Burgundy. When the story opens, the exiled Earl of Oxford 
and his son, under the name of Philipson, are hiding their identity under the guise 
of merchants traveling in Switzerland. Arthur, the son, is rescued from death by 
Anne, the young countess of Geierstein, who takes him for shelter to the home of 
her uncle, Arnold Biedermann, where his father joins him. On their departure 
they are accompanied by the four Biedermanns, who are sent as a deputation to 
remonstrate with Charles the Bold, concerning the oppression of Count de Hagen- 
bach, his steward. When the supposed merchants reach the castle, they are seized, 
despoiled, and cast into separate dungeons by order of Hagenbach. The Black 
Priest of St. Paul's, a mysterious but powerful personage, now appears on the' scene; 
and Charles, Margaret of Anjou, Henry of Richmond, and other great historic 
personages, are met with all living and realizable personages, not mere names. 

The story is filled with wild adventure, and the reader follows the varying for- 
tunes of its chief characters with eager interest. It presents vivid pictures of the 
still-Hngering life lawless and picturesque of the Middle Ages. 

L'ANNEATJ D'AMETHYSTE, see L'EISTOIRE CONTEMPORAINE. 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 39 

ANNIE KILBURN, a novel of New England life, by W. D. Howells, was published 
in 1888. Its heroine, a woman in her later youth, returns to her native New Eng- 
land village after a prolonged sojourn in Rome, terminated by the death of her 
father. Her foreign environment has unfitted her for sympathetic residence with 
the friends of her girlhood, yet it has not diminished the insistency of her Puritan 
conscience. She does good with malice prepense, and labors to be a power for well- 
being in the community. Her acquaintance with a fervid young minister increases 
her moral intensity. She makes many mistakes, however, and grieves over them with 
feminine uselessness of emotion. At last she finds her balance-wheel in Dr. Morrell, 
a healthy-minded man. Annie is an excellent portrait of a certain type of woman. 
Her environment, the fussy "good society" of a progressing New England village, 
is drawn with admirable realism; while the disintegrating effect of the new industrial 
order upon the older and simpler life of narrow ambitions and static energy is skill- 
fully suggested. 

ANTARCTIC, THE HEART OF THE, see HEART OF THE ANTARCTIC. 

ANTE-NICENE LIBRARY, THE. 'Writings of the Apostolic Fathers Prior 
to 325 A.D.,' by Drs. A. Roberts and J. Donaldson (24 vols., 1867-72). A 
work giving in English translation the writings of the leading Christian authors 
for three centuries after Christ. It includes apocryphal gospels, liturgies, apologies, 
or defenses, homilies, commentaries, and a variety of theological treatises; and is of 
great value for learning what Christian life and thought and custom were, from the 
time of the Apostles to the Council of Nicsea. To supplement the ' Ante-Nicene 
Library,* Dr. Philip Schaff edited a 'Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene 
Fathers/ 14 vols. ("1890-1908), beginning with Augustine and ending with Chrysos- 
tom. This covers some of the most important, and is of great value. A second 
series of 14 vols. (1890-1903) begins with the historians Eusebius and Socrates, 
and ends with Ephraem Syrus. 

ANTHJA AND HABROCOMUS, or, THE EPHESIACA, a Greek romance, by 
Xenophon of Ephesus, written during the fourth century of the Christian era. It 
was lost until the eighteenth century, and then found in the Florentine library by 
Bernard de Montfaucon. It was at once translated into most modern languages. 
The subject of the story is the lot of two lovers united by marriage, but separated 
by destiny, and coming together again only after a long series of misfortunes* Their 
beauty is the cause of all their afflictions, lighting the fires of passion, jealousy, and 
revenge, and constantly endangering the fidelity they have sworn to each other. 
But, by marvelous stratagems, they triumph over all the attempts made to compel 
them to break their vows, and escape unharmed from the most difficult situations. 
At length, after many wanderings over land and sea, they meet once more. Anthia 
declares that she is as faithful as when she first left Tyre for Syria. She has escaped 
unscathed from the menaces of brigands, the assaults of pirates, the outrages of 
debauchees, and many a threat of death. Habrocomtis assures her, in reply, that 
no other young girl has seemed to him beautiful, no woman has pleased him, and he 
is now as devotedly hers as when she left him a prisoner in a Tyrian dungeon. The 
faults of the story are the grotesque improbability of many of its inventions and 
its want of proportion; its merits are pithiness, clearness, and elegance of style. 

ANTHROPOLOGY, 'An Introduction to the Study of Man and Civilization/ 
by E. B. Tylor (1881). A work designed to give so much of the story of man *% 



40 * THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

can be made interesting to the general reader. It tells what is known of the earliest 
appearance of man on the globe; of the races of mankind; of languages and writ- 
ing; of the various arts of life and arts of pleasure, as they were developed; of the 
beginnings of science; of the earliest stages of religion, mythology, and literature; 
and of the first customs of human society. The work is a valuable contribution 
to popular knowledge of the origins of human culture. Like all Professor Tylor's 
books, it is eminently readable, though now somewhat out of date. 

ANTIDOSIS, or, EXCHANGE OF PROPERTIES. An oration by Isocrates (436-338 
B. C.) Three hundred of the richest citizens of Athens were obliged by law to 
build and equip a fleet at their own expense, whenever it was needed. If one of the 
three hundred was able to show that a citizen, not included in the list, was wealthier 
than he, he could compel him to take his place or else make an exchange of property. 
Megacleides, a personal enemy of Isocrates, being ordered to furnish a war vessel, 
insisted that it was the duty of the latter to do so, adding that he was a man of bad 
character. In the trial that ensued, Isocrates was condemned to deliver the tri- 
reme, or else exchange his property for that of Megacleides. 

The defense, written after the trial, has the form of a forensic oration spoken 
before an imaginary jury, but is really an open letter addressed to the public. Isoc- 
rates not only shows why he should not be condemned, but vindicates his whole 
career; he describes what a true "sophist" ought to be, and gives his ideas of the 
conduct of life. Megacleides (called Lysimachus in the discourse) is termed a 
"miserable informer," who, by an appeal to the vulgar prejudice against the Sophists, 
would relieve himself from a just obligation at the expense of others. Isocrates 
goes into a detailed account of his conduct as statesman, orator, and teacher. " My 
discourse shall be a real image of my mind and life." He enters minutely into his 
views on philosophy and education. The object he has always set before himself 
has been to impart a general culture suitable for the needs of practical life. He 
despises the people who "teach justice, virtue, and all such things at three minse 
a head." By philosophy he understands culture, simply; and the chief elements 
of culture are the art of speaking, and whatever trains the citizen for social and 
political success. He attaches the utmost importance to the art of expression, for 
it is absolutely essential to any scheme of general culture. To instruct his pupils 
how to act in unforeseen emergencies should be the great aim of the teacher. "As 
we cannot have an absolute knowledge of what will happen, whereby we might know 
how to act and speak in all circumstances, we ought to train ourselves and others 
how we should act, supposing such or such a thing occurred. The true phi- 
losophers are those who are successful in this. Absolute knowledge of what may 
happen being impossible, absolute rules for guidance are absurd." To prove the 
success of his system, he calls attention to the number of illustrious Greeks he 
has taught. 

ANTIGONE, a tragedy by Sophocles (495-406 B.C.). Thebes has been be- 
sieged by Polynices, the dethroned and banished brother of Eteocles, who rules in 
his stead. The two brothers kill each other in single combat, and Creon, their kins- 
man, becomes king. The play opens on the morning of the retreat of the Argives, 
who supported Polynices. Creon has decreed that the funeral rites shall not be 
performed over a prince who has made war upon his country, and that all who con- 
travene this decree shall be punished with death. Antigone declares to her sister 
Ismene that she herself will fulfill the sacred ceremonies over her brother's corpse 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 41 

in spite of the royal proclamation. The tragedy turns on the inexorable execution 
of the law by Creon, and the obedience of Antigone to the higher law of love. Apart 
from its beauty and grandeur as a picture of the woman-hero, the 'Antigone' has a 
political value. It contains noble maxims on the duties of a citizen, and on the 
obligation imposed on the head of a State to be always ready to sacrifice his private 
feelings to the public good. While the poet attacks anarchy and frowns on any 
attempt to disobey the laws or the magistracy, he sees as clearly the danger of 
mistaken tyrannical zeal. There have been several imitations of this great drama. 
In Alfieri's, all the minor personages who add so much to the excellence of Sophocles's 
play disappear, and only Creon, Hsemon, and Antigone are left on the stage; it 
has many beauties and the dialogue is forceful and impassioned. Rotrou imitates 
the 'Thebaid' of Seneca and 'The Phoenicians' of Euripides in the second part of 
his 'Antigone, ' and Sophocles in the first. 

ANTIQUARY, THE, by Sir Walter Scott (1816). 'The Antiquary' is not one 
of Scott's most popular novels, but it nevertheless ranks high. If it is weak in its 
supernatural machinery, it is strong in its dialogue and humor. The plot centres 
about the fortunes and misfortunes of the Wardour and Glenallan families. The 
chief character is Mr. Jonathan Oldbuck, the Antiquary, whose odd sayings and 
garrulous knowledge are inimitably reported. Sir Arthur Wardour, the Antiquary's 
pompous friend, and his beautiful daughter Isabella, suffer reverses of fortune brought 
about mainly by the machinations of Herman Dousterswivel, a pretended adept 
in the black arts. Taking advantage of Sir Arthur's superstition and antiquarian 
vanity, he dupes that credulous gentleman into making loans, until the hero of the 
tale (Mr. William Lovel) comes to his rescue. He has already lost his heart to 
Miss Wardour, but has not put his fate to the test. His friend, and host, the Anti- 
quary, has a nephew, the fiery Captain Hector M'Intyre, who also loves Miss War- 
dour. Their rivalry, the machinations and exposure of Dousterswivel, a good 
old-fashioned wicked mother-in-law, and other properties, make up a plot with 
abundance of incidents and a whole series of cross-purposes to complicate it. The 
best-remembered character in the book is the daft Edie Ochiltree. 

ANTIQUITIES OF THE JEWS, see JEWS, HISTORY OF THE. 

ANTONINA, by Wilkie Collins (1850). A romance of the fifth century, in which 
many of the scenes described in the 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire' are 
reset to suit the purpose of the author. Only two historical personages are intro- 
duced into the story, the Emperor Honorius, and Alaric the Goth; and these 
attain only a secondary importance. Among the historical incidents used are the 
arrival of the Goths at the gates of Rome, the Famine, the last efforts of the be- 
sieged, the Treaty of Peace, the introduction of the Dragon of Brass, and the col- 
lection of the ransom, most of these accounts being founded on the chronicles of 
Zosimus. The principal characters are Antonina, the Roman daughter of Numa- 
rian; Hermanric, a Gothic chieftain in love with Antonina; Goisvintha, sister to 
Hermanric; Vetranio, a Roman poet; Ulpius, a pagan priest; Numarian, a Roman 
Christian, father of Antonina and a fanatic; and Guillamillo, a priest. This book 
does not show the intricacy of plot and clever construction of the author's modern 
society stories; but it is full of action, vivid in color, and sufficiently close to history 
to convey a dramatic sense of the Rome of Honorius and the closing-in of the bar- 
barians. 



42 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

ANTONIO AND MELLIDA, History of, The First Part, and Antonio's Revenge, 
The Second Part, by John Marston (1602). Both parts of this play appear to have 
been acted as early as 1600, though not printed till 1602. In 1601 they were ridi- 
culed in "Poetaster" by Ben Jonson, who satirized the pomposity which abounds 
in them. Lamb speaks with approval of the "passionate earnestness" of some 
passages, and later critics, while agreeing that the style and matter are unequal, 
accord to Marston 's work the power of moving the reader by scenes of tragedy and 
mystery. Antonio, son of Andrugio, Duke of Genoa, and Mellida, daughter of 
Piero, the Duke of Venice, are in love. Andrugio is defeated by Piero, and compelled 
to fly for refuge to the marshes with an old nobleman, Lucio, and a page. The 
Duke of Venice offered a reward for the capture of Andrugio and Antonio and the 
latter "to apprehend the sight of Mellida," daughter of Piero, with whom he is in 
love, appears in the guise of an Amazon at Piero's court. Mellida flees but is cap- 
tured again by her father. Andrugio, seeing his son fall dead to all appearance, 
offers himself to Piero, who pretends to be appeased and gives the gold, which he 
had promised as a reward for the heads of Andrugio and Antonio, to solemnize the 
unity of the two houses. 'Thus "the comic crosses of true love" seem to meet with 
a happy ending. In the second part the prologue sounds "a tragic note of prepara- 
tion" for an orgy of crime. Piero poisons Andrugio, murders Antonio's friend 
Feliche, and places the corpse by the side of Mellida, that she may be supposed 
guilty of unfaithfulness to Antonio. He then plots to compass the death of Antonio 
and to win the hand of Antonio's mother, Maria. Mellida dies of grief, and Antonio 
with the help of Pandulfo (father of Feliche) and Alberto (friend of Feliche) plans 
revenge. They appear as maskers at a banquet given by Piero on the evening 
before his wedding, and, having by a ruse got the hall cleared of the guests and 
servants, they bind the tyrant in his chair, taunt him, and finally cut him to pieces 
with their swords. The avengers are invited by a grateful people to accept high 
offices, but they prefer "to live enclosed in holy verge of some religious order." 

ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA, written about 1607, is the second of Shakespeare's 
Roman plays, 'Julius Caesar* being the first. For breadth of treatment and rich- 
ness of canvas it excels the latter. There is a splendid audacity and self-conscious 
strength, almost diablerie, in it all. In Cleopatra, the gipsy sorceress queen, the 
gorgeous Oriental voluptuousness is embodied; in the strong-thewed Antony, the 
stern soldier-power of Rome weakened by indulgence in lust. There is no more 
affecting scene in Shakespeare than the death, from remorse, of Enobarbus. In 
the whole play the poet follows North's 'Plutarch 7 for his facts. The three rulers 
of the Roman world are Mark Antony, Octavius Caesar, and their weak tool, Lepidus. 
While Antony is idling away the days in Alexandria with Cleopatra, and giving 
audience to Eastern kings, in Italy things are all askew. His wife Fulvia has died. 
Pompey is in revolt with a strong force on the high seas. At last Antony is shamed 
home to Rome., Lepidus and other friends patch up a truce between him and 
Caesar, and it is cemented by Antony marrying Caesar's sister Octavia, to the bound- 
less vexation of Cleopatra. What a contrast between the imperial Circe, self-willed, 
wanton, spell-weaving, and the sweet, gentle Octavia, wifely and loyal! From the 
time when Antony first met his "serpent of old Nile," in that rich Venetian barge 
of beaten gold, wafted by purple sails along the banks of the Cydnus, up to the fatal 
day of Actium, when in her great trireme she fled from Caesar's ships, and he shame- 
fully fled after her, he was infatuated over her, and she led him to his death. After 
the great defeat at Actium, Enobarbus and other intimate followers deserted the 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 43 

waning fortunes of Antony. Yet once more he tried the fortune of battle, and on 
the first day was victorious, but on the second was defeated by sea and land. Being 
falsely told that Cleopatra is dead, Antony falls on his sword. Cleopatra has taken 
refuge in her monument, and she and her women draw up the dying lover to its 
top. But the monument is forced by Caesar's men, and the queen put under a 
guard. She has poisonous asps smuggled in a basket of figs, and applies one to her 
breast and another to her arm, and so dies, looking in death "like sleep," and 

" As she would catch another Antony 
In her strong toil of grace." , 

ANTS, BEES, AND WASPS, 'a record of observations on the habits of the social 
hymenoptera,' by Sir John Lubbock (Baron Avebury), was published in 1882. 
Based on painstaking research and a thorough acquaintance with previous investiga- 
tions and written in a clear and attractive style with an abundance of interesting 
anecdotes and curious information, this is a book which appeals both to the scientist 
and to the general reader. The author had kept numerous colonies of ants under 
continuous observation and made some important experiments which are carefully 
recorded in the appendix. He is impressed by the keen instincts of ants, their social 
organization, and their constructive ability. Numerous experiments prove their 
power to distinguish colors and scents, to find their way, and to recognize and 
communicate with members of their own colony. They are organized in elaborate 
social groups, including queens, sterile female workers, and males. Among the 
workers a division of labor prevails, some caring for the young ants or larvae, and 
the pupas which will later turn into full-grown ants, others capturing and milking 
the aphides, which serve the ants as cattle and are domesticated by them, some 
caring for the beetles which are kept as pets, others guarding the queen or going out 
to make war on other ants and bringing them back as slaves. Among the numerous 
species of ants the author distinguishes three stages of organization, corresponding 
to three periods in man's social development. There are the ants which live in 
small communities and subsist mainly by preying upon insects, like man in the 
savage state, who lives in the woods and supports life by hunting; there are the ants 
which have developed large social groups, constructed elaborate dwellings, and 
domesticated the "aphides " whom they "milk." These are like man in the pastoral 
age, who lived on his flocks. Lastly there are ants which cultivate rice about their 
dwellings and store up grain. These correspond to the agricultural stage of man's 
progress. The worker-ants, being wingless, are of less value than bees in securing 
cross-fertilization of flowers, since in crawling from one flower to another they often 
take pollen from one blossom to another on the same plant. On the other hand, 
by devouring harmful insects ants render growing things an extremely beneficial 
service. The book is completed by two chapters recording some experiments with 
bees and wasps. Both can distinguish color and recognize members of their own 
hive or colony, but there is no evidence of family affection. A book of facts so 
remarkable and so reliably and pleasantly stated is deservedly the most popular 
of the author's productions. 

APOCRYPHAL GOSPELS, and other Documents relating to the History of -Christ. 
Translated from the originals in Greek, Syriac, Latin, etc., by B. H. Cowper. A 
trustworthy, scholarly, and complete collection of the writings, not included in the 
New Testament, which sprang up in various quarters as attempts to recover the 
story of Christ. They form a singular body of curious stories, mostly legendary 



44 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

fictions without historical value, but very interesting and significant as show- 
ing how legends could arise, what form they could take, and what ideas they 
embodied. 

APOLLO, : an Illustrated Manual of the History of Art throughout the Ages/ by 
Salomon Reinach U94i new e d- 1913)- This illustrated record of the evolution of 
art is a reproduction of twenty-five lectures delivered at the Ecole du Louvre. Pro- 
fessor Reinach assumes that art is a social phenomenon and not merely the efHores- 
cence of individual genius. He therefore traces the growth of the artistic faculty 
from the stone and bronze ages, the civilizations of Egypt, Chaldea, and Persia, and 
the later products of Greece and Rome to the masterpieces of Romanesque and Gothic, 
the architecture of the renaissance and modern times, the painting of the Nether- 
lands, Italy, France, and Germany, and the varied products of the eighteenth and 
nineteenth centuries. The work is written by a master and an expert for students and 
learners. The variety of subjects upon which it touches is amazing and no less 
astonishing is its unfailing sure-footedness and sense of proportion. M. Reinach 
concludes with a prophecy that the social mission of art is far from coming to an 
end, that in the twentieth century greater importance than ever will be attached to 
the study of art as a branch of education. "The art of the twentieth century," 
he says, "will be idealistic and poetical, as well as popular; it will translate the 
eternal aspiration of man, of all men, towards that which is lacking in daily life, 
and that which completes it, those elements of superfluity and luxury which our 
sensibility craves and which no mere utilitarian progress can supplant. " There 
are nearly six hundred clear and appropriate illustrations. 

APOLOGIA PRO VITA SUA, Cardinal Newman's famous justification of his 
religious career, was published in 1865. The occasion of his writing it was the 
accusation by Charles Kingsley that he had been, in all but the letter, a Romanist 
while preaching from the Anglican pulpit at Oxford. This accusation was incor- 
porated in an article by Kingsley upon Queen Elizabeth, published in January, 
1864, in a magazine of wide circulation. In Newman's preface to his 'Apology' 
he quotes from this article a pivotal paragraph: "Truth, for its own sake, has never 
been a virtue with the Roman clergy. Father Newman informs us that it need 
not and on the whole ought not to be; that cunning is the weapon which heaven 
has given to the saints wherewith to withstand the brute male force of the wicked 
world, which marries and is given in marriage. Whether his notion be doctrinally 
correct or not, it is at least historically so." A correspondence ensued between 
Kingsley and Newman, which appeared later in the shape of a pamphlet. Kingsley 
replied in another pamphlet. Newman then deemed the time ripe for a full and 
searching justification of his position, and of the position of his brother clergy. 
The 'Apologia' appeared the next year. In it Newman endeavors to show that 
from his childhood his development was a natural, logical, instinctive progress 
toward the Catholic Church; that the laws of his nature, and not intellectual trick- 
ery or sophistry, led him to Rome. His reason was one with his heart, his heart 
with his reason. Yet he does not neglect the recital of the external influences 
which marked the changes in his religious life. For this reason the 'Apologia' 
casts remarkable light upon the religious England of the first half of the nineteenth 
century; and especially upon its concentrated expression, the Oxford movement. 
Its supreme value, however, is its intimate revelation cf a luminous spirituality, 
of a personality of lofty refinement and beauty. 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 45 

APOLOGY FOR HIS LIFE. Colley Gibber's autobiography was published in 
1740, when the author, poet-laureate, actor, and man-about-town was in his seven- 
tieth year. In the annals of the stage this curious volume holds an important 
place, as throwing light upon dramatic conditions in London after the Restoration, 
when the theatre began to assume its modern aspect. Gibber, born in 1671, had 
become a member of a London company when only eighteen years of age. 

Gibber gives a very full account of famous contemporary actors and actresses: 
Mrs. Oldfield, Mrs. Barry, Mrs. Bracegirdle, Betterton, Kynaston, Mountford, 
and others. His record is valuable also as revealing the relations between the stage 
and the State, indicated by the various laws and restrictions in regard to the drama. 

The 'Apology' is brimful of personal gossip. Gibber talks a great deal about 
himself, his friends, his enemies, his plays, his acting, but in a good-humored, non- 
chalant way. The ill-nature of Pope, who had placed him in the Dunciad, only 
moves him to an airy protest. Altogether his autobiography reveals an interesting 
eighteenth-century type of character, witty, worldly, without a gleam of spirituality, 
almost non-moral, yet withal kindly and companionable. Such, by his own confes- 
sion, was the man who became poet-laureate to George II. 

APOSTOLIC FATHERS, THE: Revised Texts, with English Translations (2 pts. f 
2d ed. 1889-90), by J. B. Lightfoot. A collection of about twelve of the earliest 
Christian writings, directly following those of the Apostles, made with great care 
and learning by the ablest of recent English Biblical scholars. The writings gathered 
into the volume represent those teachers of Christian doctrine who stand in the 
history nearest to the New Testament writers, and the account of them given by 
Dr. Lightfoot is not only the best for students, but it is of great interest to the general 
reader. 

APRIL HOPES, a novel of two young people, by W. D. Howells, was published 
in 1887. In the heroine, Alice Pasmer, he has portrayed the high-bred New England 
girl with the Puritan conscience. The hero, Dan Mavering, a Harvard graduate 
of good family, has this conscience to contend with in his wooing of Alice and dur- 
ing his engagement with her. Their most serious misunderstandings arise from 
the girl's iron-clad code, which "makes no allowance for human nature." The 
book is well written, exhibiting the author's characteristic realism of style and treat- 
ment. 

ARABIA, Central and Eastern: A Personal Narrative of a Year's Journey through 
(1862-63), by William Gifford Palgrave: 2 vols., 1865. One of the best reports of 
travel ever made. The author was a brilliant Englishman, who, after graduating 
at Oxford with great distinction, and a very short connection with military service 
in India, became a priest in the Society of Jesus, and was sent as a missionary to 
Syria. Here he perfectly mastered the Arabic language, and the Syrian and Arab 
customs. Napoleon III. called him to France in 1860 to report on the Syrian mas- 
sacres; and upon this he undertook to make, at the Emperor's expense, an expedi- 
tion through Arabia, where no Christian could safely risk his life. He assumed 
the guise of a Syrian physician and a Mohammedan, and succeeded in going through 
the kingdom under fanatical Wahabee rule, making observations of the greatest 
value. 

ARABIAN NIGHTS, or, THE THOUSAND AND ONE NIGHTS, a collection bi 
about two hundred and fifty stories, romantic and realistic, enclosed in a 
frame-story of a cruel king who postpones, night after night, the execution 



46 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

of his queen through interest in her narratives, which she takes care to leave 
unfinished, when the hour of execution arrives. The idea of the frame comes 
from India and many of the stories also, though other oriental countries have 
also contributed. The fourteenth or fifteenth century was the approximate date 
of the collection as we know it. For fuller information see the essay on 'The 
Arabian Nights' in the LIBRARY. 

D'ARBLAY, MADAME, DIARY AND LETTERS OF. The diary and letters of 
Madame d'Arblay, the gifted Fanny Burney, surpass in modern estimation the rest 
of her writings. The record begins with 'Evelina.' The success of her first effort, 
the dinings, winings, and compliments that followed, are recorded with a naive gar- 
rulousness perfectly consistent with simplicity and sincerity. The three periods of 
the authoress's life her home life, her service as maid of honor to Queen Char- 
lotte, and her subsequent travels and residence abroad with General D'Arblay 
are described. She draws portraits of her friends: Johnson, Burke, Sir Joshua 
Reynolds, Thrale, Boswell, and her "Dear Daddy Crisp." Outside their talk of 
literary celebrities, these memoirs describe court etiquette under the coarse Madame 
Schwellenberg, the trial of Warren Hastings, the king's insanity during 1788-89, 
and many other incidents which were the talk of the town. In later life, after her 
husband had regained his command, the stay of the D'Arblays in Waterloo just 
before the day of the battle furnishes a passage upon great events. From this 
source, Thackeray, when describing the departure and death of George Osborne 
in 'Vanity Fair/ probably drew his material. Lively, talkative, gossipy, full of 
prejudices, the book is as interesting as little Frances Burney herself must have 
been. 

ARCADIA, a rpastoral romance by Sir Philip Sidney, was begun in 1580, while 
he was in retirement at the seat of his brother-in-law, the Earl of Pembroke; and 
published in 1590, four years after his death. Composed with no thought of publica- 
tion, but as an offering to a beloved sister, the Countess of Pembroke, the ' Arcadia ' 
bears the character of a work intended for no harsher judgment than that of love 
and intimacy. It seems to have been written in a dreamy leisure, filling the idle 
spaces of long summer days, sheet after sheet passing from the poet's hand without 
revision, sometimes without completion. It is a pastoral of the artificial order: 
Arcadia is in Greece; its inhabitants are half -gods in mediaeval dress, knights and 
shepherds, princes and helots; fair maidens who worship Christ and Apollo and 
other people of the same order, who never lived save in the fair and bright imagina- 
tion of a poet-soldier. That the 'Arcadia' is formless and without plot constitutes 
much of its charm. In fairy-land there are no direct roads; and no destinations, 
since it is all enchanted country. There the shepherd-boy pipes "as though he 
should never be old," in meadows "enameled with all sorts of eye-pleasing flowers"; 
there the "humble valleys" are comforted with the "refreshing of silver rivers"; 
there, there are "pretty lambs" and "well-tuned birds." 

Such was the popularity of the ' Arcadia, ' that, previous to the middle of the 
seventeenth century, upwards of ten editions were published; a French translation 
appeared in 1624. 

ARCHITECTURE, A HISTORY OF, in all Countries, from the Earliest Times to 
the Present Day, by James Fergusson (ist ed. 1867-76; 3d ed., 5 vols., 1891-99). 
The method of treatment in these volumes is historical, and the aim is to trace every 
form from its origin and note the influence one style has had upon another. AT- 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 47 

chitecture thus becomes " one of the most important adjuncts of history, filling up 
many gaps in the written record and giving life and reality to much that without 
its presence could with difficulty be realized." Still more important is its ethno- 
graphic use, for if studied in this way it may be made a more trustworthy and 
intelligible guide even than language to discriminate between different races of man- 
kind. A valuable section of the book, "Ethnography as Applied to Architectural 
Art," shows how the religion, government, morals, literature, arts, and sciences 
are reflected in the architectural remains of the Turanian, Semitic, Celtic, and Aryan 
races. Following the historical method, Dr. Fergusson then proceeds to deal with 
the architecture of ancient times, under the headings (i) Egyptian, (2) Assyrian, 
(3) Grecian, (4) Etruscan, Roman, and Sassanian* Christian architecture is discussed 
topographically and the great masterpieces of France, Flanders, Germany, Scandina- 
via, England, Spain and Portugal, Italy, and Byzantine countries are described and 
criticized. Saracenic and ancient American buildings are also included in a work 
of vast scope and immense learning. The author thus replies to the charge that 
he has criticized Gothic architecture with undue severity: "My faith in the exclu- 
sive pre-eminence of mediaeval art was first shaken when I became familiar with 
the splendid remains of the Mogul and Pathan emperors of Agra and Delhi, and saw 
how many beauties of even the pointed style had been missed in Europe in the 
Middle Ages, My confidence was still further weakened when I saw what rich- 
ness and variety the Hindu had elaborated not only without pointed arches, but 
indeed without any arches at all. And I was cured when, after a personal inspec- 
tion of the ruins of Thebes and Athens, I perceived that at least equal beauty 
could be obtained by processes diametrically opposed to those employed by the 
mediasval architects." 

ARCTIC BOAT JOURNEY, AN, in the autumn of 1854, by Isaac Israel Hayes, 
M.D. (1860. Enlarged edition, 1867). The record of a boat journey of nearly 
four months, amid perils of ice and storm and extreme cold, the object of which 
was to carry intelligence to Upernavik, in North Greenland, of the peril in which 
Dr. Kane's second Grinnell expedition found itself, with -their vessel hopelessly 
fast in the ice. The simple story of adventures is a thrilling one, and with it Dr. 
Hayes gives, in his final edition, information in regard to the Open Polar Sea discov- 
ered in 1854; the great Mer de Glace of Northern Greenland, of which he was one 
of the discoverers in 1853; and Grinnell Land, the most northern known land of the 
globe, his own discovery in 1854. 

ARCTIC EXPLORATIONS, the Second Grinnell Expedition in search of Sir John 
Franklin, 1853-55, by Elisha Kent Kane (2 vols., 1856). Dr. Kane's first Grinnell 
Expedition voyage, which he made as a surgeon under E. J. DeHaven, 1850-51, 
was described in his 'TL S. Grinnell Expedition' (1854). It was by the second 
expedition, under his own command, that his fame as an Arctic explorer was made. 
The incidents of the voyage along the coast of Smith Sound to a latitude never 
before attained, 78 43' N.; the winter spent in that far region; the discovery of the 
Humboldt glacier of Greenland, and the attempt the next spring to follow its course 
northward; and the series of adventures following, until the frozen-in ship had to 
be abandoned, and the party escaped perishing only through Kane's indefatigable 
exertions, supplied rich materials for the book in which Kane told the story of tne 
more than two years' voyage. In the additions made to geographical knowledge 
also, and in many accurate and valuable scientific observations, Kane's work was 



48 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

exceptionally interesting and valuable. It brought him both popular applause 
from delighted readers, and honors from societies, English and French, representing 
the scholars of the time. 

ARCTIC SERVICE, see THREE YEARS OF* 
L' ARGENT, see ROUGON-MACQUART, 

ARGONAUTICA, an epic poem in four cantos, by Apollonius of Rhodes, a con- 
temporary of Ptolemy Philadelphus. Apollonius found all the elements of his poem 
in the legendary traditions of the Greeks; the expedition of the Argonauts being, 
next to the siege of Troy, the most famous event of the heroic ages, and the most 
celebrated poets having sung some one or other of its heroes. The first two cantos 
contain an explanation of the motives of the expedition, the election of Jason as 
commander-in-chief, the preparations for departure, and a narrative of the inci- 
dents that marked the voyage from Chalcis. The third describes the conquest of 
the Golden Fleece, and the beginning of Medea's love for Jason, the development 
of which forms the finest portion of the poem. Her hesitations and interior strug- 
gles supplied Virgil with some of his best material for the fourth book of the ^Eneid. 
In the fourth canto Medea leaves her father to follow Jason. This book is full of 
incident. The Argonauts go through the most surprising adventures, and encounter 
perils of every description, before they are able to reach the port from which they 
started. These various events have allowed the poet to introduce brilliant mytho- 
logical pictures, such as his account of the Garden of the Hesperides. The work 
has been frequently translated into almost every modern language, and is admit- 
tedly the masterpiece of Alexandrian literature. The 'Argonautica' of Valerius 
Flaccus is an imitation of that of Apollonius, while the style is that of Virgil. Quin- 
tilian and other contemporaries of the author considered the imitation superior 
to the original. Most modern scholars, however, regard it as without originality 
or invention, and as a mere tasteless display of erudition. 

ARISTOTLE'S WORKS. An English translation of the works of Aristotle is now 
being published by the Oxford University Press with funds, left by Professor Jowett, 
"to promote the study of Greek literature, especially by the publication of new 
translations and editions of Greek authors" (Pref). The series was begun in 
1907 under the general editorship of Professors J. A. Smith and W. D. Ross of Oxford 
university, with the co-operation of various scholars. The editors hope to include 
translations of all extant works of Aristotle. Those which have appeared are 
The 'Parva naturalia,' translated by J. I, Beare and G. R. T. Ross; 'De mundo/ 
translated by E. S. Forster; 'De spiritu/ translated by J. F. Dobson; 'Historia ani- 
maHum/ translated by D.W.Thompson; ' De partibus animalium' translated by Wil- 
liam Ogle; 'De motu animalium/ *De incessu animalium,' translated by A. S. L. 
Farquharson; 'De generatione animalium,' translated by A. Platt; 'Opuscula/ 'De 
coloribus/ 'De audibilibus/ 'Physiognomonica/ 'DeMelisso,' 'Xenophane/ 'Georgia/ 
translated by T. Loveday and E. S. Forster; 'De plantis/ 'Mechanica/ 'Ventorum 
situs et cognomina/ translated by E. S. Forster; 'Demirabilibusauscultationibus/ 
translated by L. D. Dowdall; 'De lineis insecabilibus/ translated by H. H. Joachim; 
1 Metaphysica, * translated by W. D. Ross ; ' Magna moralia, ' translated by St. George 
Stock; 'Ethica eudemia/ 'De virtutibus et vitiis/ translated by J. Solomon. Among 
books of chief importance are the following: 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 49 

'The Parts of Animals/ translated, with Introduction and Notes, by W. Ogle 
1 882, opens for the reader a special field of interest. One of the subjects of Aristotle's 
interest and research was animal life, the phenomena of which he carefully observed, 
and a theory of which he endeavored to form. In his work on the parts of animals, 
following that on their history, he undertook to find the causes of biological pheno- 
mena, and set forth his physiological conclusions. He showed profound scientific 
insight in recognizing the importance of comparative anatomy as the foundation 
of biology, and was one of the first to look for the laws of life in all organic beings. 
Although making but little approach to the exact knowledge of to-day, Aristotle's 
study of animals is of great interest from its anticipation of the best modern method, 
and to some extent from the material which it furnishes. The whole work is care- 
fully translated and explained in Mr. Ogle's volume. 

Aristotle's 'History of Animals,' in ten books, is counted one of his greatest 
achievements. It shows an acquaintance with about 500 species, and enumerates 
observations very remarkable for the time at which they were made. A transla- 
tion in two volumes is given in Bonn's Library. 

'On Youth and Old Age; Life and Death and Respiration/ translated, with 
Introduction and Notes, by W. Ogle, 1897, is the latest of the treatises devoted by 
Aristotle to the phenomena of animal Hfe; and a specially important one as con- 
taining ideas of vitality, of the soul, of youth compared with age, of the contrast 
of life and death, and of respiration or the breath of life, and its function in the 
animal system. Even the errors of Aristotle are curiously interesting, and in some 
of his ideas there are remarkable suggestions of truth as modern research has estab- 
lished it. Not a little of Aristotle's reference of the phenomena of life to fire would 
prove sound science if a doctrine of electricity as the cause of vitality should be 
adopted. The translator of the work devotes an elaborate introduction to a careful 
review of all the points made by Aristotle, and he further appends full notes to hi? 
translation of Aristotle's text. It is easy now to correct the errors of Aristotle, but 
even as wrong guesses at truth they are interesting. In his conception of the animal 
system the play of the heart causes heat; heat causes the lungs and chest to expand; 
and cold air rushing in checks this expansion by neutralizing the heat. 

* The Metaphysics* is one of Aristotle's most famous works and enjoyed a particu- 
lar popularity in the Mediaeval Universities. The title would have mystified Aris- 
totle for it means merely "a supplement to the ' Physics,* " and was given to the work 
by an editor in Roman times. It deals with being as being; its properties and causes, 
and with God, the first mover of all things. The earlier portions contain an impor- 
tant review of previous Greek thought. It is not a finished work but a rather 
confused and repetitious compilation from various essays and discourses in which the 
author was grasping toward a coherent metaphysical theory. By far the best trans- 
lation is that by Ross, in the Oxford edition. 

* On the Soul,' the 'De Anima,' as it was called in the Middle Ages, is a species of 
psychology, dealing with the vital principle in men, animals, and even plants. After 
a review of the objections to the prevailing conception of the soul and a historical 
retrospect of earlier theories the author deals with the five powers of the soul, nutri- 
tion,, desire, perception, movement from place to place, and, finally, thinking. Much 
attention is given to the nature and organs of sensation and to the deep philosophic 
problems involved in thought. There are many obscure and dislocated passages 
which have left readers in doubt as to whether Aristotle believed in the immortality 
of the soul; and, if he did, in what sense and to what extent. Translated by R. D. 
Hicks in 1907. 



50 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

Aristotle's 'Politics,' G. Bekker's Greek Text of Books L, iii., iv. (vii.), with an 
English translation by W. E. Boiland, and short Introductory Essays by A. Lang, 
gives a good introduction to this part of Aristotle's writings. The essays by Lang, 
extending to 105 pages, give an excellent view of Greek political ideas represented 
by Aristotle. The fine two- volume edition of Jowett's 'Polities' of Aristotle, trans- 
lated into English with an elaborate Introduction, a whole volume of critical 
notes, and a very full Index, puts the reader in complete possession of the means of 
thoroughly knowing what Aristotle taught on politics. In every respect the work 
is one of the most admirable presentations ever made of a masterpiece of Greek 
antiquity. A second work of great value is the elaborate 'Politics of Aristotle,' 
by \V. L. Xewman, who devotes an introductory volume of 580 pages to a very care- 
ful study of the political theories of Aristotle, in comparison with other Greek polit- 
ical teaching, and in his second and third _volumes gives the Greek text of the 
'Polities' with very elaborate and valuable notes. A less expensive work than 
Jowett's, for a good English translation of the 'Politics,' is J. E. C. Welldon's; a 
complete English version, with an analysis in 96 pages, and some critical footnotes. 
To scholars a work of elaborate learning will be found in 'The Politics of Aristotle: 
A Revised [Greek] Text, with Introduction, Analysis, and Commentary, ' by Franz 
Susemihl and R. D. Hicks, of which the first volume, of 700 pages, was published 
in 1894. 

Aristotle's 'Constitution of Athens 1 Translation, Introduction, and Notes, by 
F. G. Kenyon, 1891; also an edition, translated, by E. Poste is an important 
recent addition to our knowledge of Greek politics. 

' The Nicomachean Ethics of Aristotle, ' newly translated into English, by Robert 
Williams, 1869-91, is the most important to the modern reader of all that Aristotle 
has left us. The work is a brief and methodical system of moral philosophy, with 
much in it of connection with modern thought. The translation here given is de 
signed to reproduce the original in an intelligible and connected form for the benefit 
of the general reader. J. A. Stewart's ' Notes on the Nicomachean Ethics of Aris- 
totle 1 is a two- volume work of more than a thousand pages, devoted to notes dis- 
cussing and explaining, from the Greek text, the thoughts of Aristotle and the 
exact meaning of the Greek terms employed by him. It can be used by the English 
reader, without reference to knowledge of Greek. 

The 'Rhetoric of Aristotle,' with a Commentary; by Edward Meredith Cope: 
Revised by John Edwin Sandys: (3 vols., 1877), gives Aristotle's work in the original 
Greek, with very full and valuable notes. Mr. Cope published in 1867 an 'Intro- 
duction to Aristotle's Rhetoric, ; in which he gives a general outline of the contents 
of the treatise and paraphrases of the more difficult portions. With the four volumes 
the English reader can readily find the points and arguments of Aristotle's treatment 
of the art of rhetoric. 

'Aristotle's Theory of Poetry and Fine Art,' with a Critical [Greek] Text and a 
Translation of the 'Poetics,' by S. H. Butcher (1895), is an excellent treatment of 
Aristotle's theory of poetry in connection with other aspects of his comprehensive 
thought. The insight of Aristotle in his conception of the essential character of 
poetry, his penetrating analysis of the imaginative creations of Greece, ' and his 
views of tragedy, limited by the theatre of his time, give a special interest to Dr. 
Butcher's volume. 

ARMADALE, by Wilkie Collins (1866). The plot of this, like that'of 'The New 
Magdalen/ and other of its author's later novels, is a gauntlet of defiance td' the 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 51 

critics who had asserted that all the interest of his stories lay in the suspension 
of knowledge as to the denouement. The machinery is in full view, yet in spite of 
this disclosure, the reader's attention is held until he knows whether the villain or 
her victims will come out victorious. This villain is one Lydia Gwilt, who, as a girl 
of twelve, has forged a letter to deceive a father into letting his daughter throw 
herself away. Hateful and hideous as is her character, Lydia is so drawn as to 
exact a certain pity from the reader, by reason of her lonely childhood and her strong 
qualities. The few minor characters of the book, though distinct enough, do not 
detain the reader, eager to know the fate of poor Ozias, the hero, who is a lovable 
fellow. Among the few minor characters in this novel are Mrs. Oldershaw, Mr. 
Felix Bashwood, and Mr. Pedgift the lawyer. 

ARMOREL OF LYONESSE, by Sir Walter Besant, published in 1884. The scene 
is the Stilly (or Lyonesse) Isles (twenty-five miles south of England). Alone on 
one of these (Samson) lives an old woman of nearly a hundred, Ursula Rosevean, 
with her great-great-great-granddaughter Armorel and the Tryeth family of four. 
To them come Dick Stephenson and Roland Lee, the latter an artist saved from 
shipwreck by Armorel. Roland finds a strong attraction in Armorel, and remains 
at the islands three weeks. He returns to London, where, later, Armorel is instru- 
mental in extricating him from a network of evil in which he has become involved 
through one false step. The intricacy of the plot is worthy of Wilkie Collins. 

ARMY LIFE IN A BLACK REGIMENT, by Thomas Wentworth Higginson 
(1870). The First South Carolina Volunteers was the first slave regiment mustered 
into the service of the United States during the late Civil War. It was viewed in 
the beginning more in the light of an experiment than as an actual factor in the 
war, and Colonel Higginson, who left a company of his own raising to take command, 
tells the story of this experiment in the form of a diary, the first entry being dated 
Camp Saxton, Beaufort, South Carolina, November 24th, 1862; the last, February 
29th, 1864. While the regiment did not engage in any great battles, it made many 
minor expeditions, was on picket duty, engaged in constructing forts, etc., all these 
duties being described in detail. The diary is valuable, in the first place, for the 
account of camp life, its privations and pleasures, work and recreation; secondly, 
for the description of the colored man as a soldier, and the amusing accounts of his 
peculiarities before freedom had made him "more like white men, less naive, less 
grotesque." Many quaint negro songs are given, and stories told in dialect. 
The diary displays great moderation and good taste, merits never absent from 
Colonel Higginson's work; and had it no other merit, it would be delightful 
reading, from its vivid description of Southern scenes and its atmosphere of 
Southern life. 

ARNE, by Bjornstjerne Bjornson, was published in 1858, when the author was 
twenty-six. It was the second of the delightful idyllic tales of Norwegian country 
life with which Bjornson began his literary career. It is a simple, beautiful story 
of the native life among the fiords and fells, with a charming love interest running 
through it. There is no intricacy of plot, and the charm and power come from the 
sympathetic insight into peasant character and the poetical way it is handled. 
Arne is a typical son of the region, sketched from his days of boyhood to his happy 
marriage. The portrayal of Margit, Arne's mother, is a pathetic and truthful one; 
and many of the domestic scenes have an exquisite naturalness. 



52 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

ARNOLD, THOMAS, LIFE AND CORRESPONDENCE OF, by A. P. Stanley 
(1844). Dean Stanley's vivid and fascinating personality will perhaps best be 
remembered as a magnetic influence rather than as a figure in literature. His 
first work of importance, and by common consent his best and the one most likely 
to live, is his Life of the famous head-master of Rugby School. Arnold's greatness 
as a schoolmaster consisted in his recognizing, to use Stanley's words, "in the 
peculiar vices of boys the same evils which, when full grown, become the source of 
so much social mischief"; " he governed the school precisely on the same principles 
as he would have governed a great empire"; "constantly, to his own mind or to his 
scholars, he exemplified the highest truths of theology and philosophy in the simplest 
relations of the boys towards each other, or towards him." "The business of a 
schoolmaster," he used to say, "no less than that of a parish minister, is the cure of 
souls." The lads were treated as schoolboys, but as schoolboys who must grow up 
to be Christian men. The aim of the teacher was to foster, first, religious and 
moral principles; second, gentlemanly conduct; third, intellectual ability. As a 
scholar Arnold was one of the first to introduce into England the - historic methods 
of men of the school of Niebuhr, the historian of Rome. In his view the aim of 
education should be to attain to Christianity without sectarianism. Similarly, 
Church and State should be coterminous and the aim of the Church should be "to 
Christianize the nation, to introduce the principles of Christianity into men's social 
and civic relations, and expose the wickedness of that spirit which maintains the 
game laws, and in agriculture and trade seems to think that there is no such sin 
as covetousness, and that if a man is not dishonest, he has nothing to do but to 
make all the profit of his capital that he can." Stanley has adopted the unfortunate 
method of appending Arnold 's letters at the end of each chapter, instead of weaving 
them into the narrative. 

AROUND A SPRING ('Autour d'une Source'), by Gustave Droz, is a French idyl 
of country life in the last century, charming in its truthful presentation of a village 
community. It was published in 1869. The hero is the Abb Roche, a middle- 
aged priest in a mountain town. He is a man of noble, vigorous nature, and fine 
presence, with no experience of the outside world. To the long-untenanted chateau 
of Manteigney comes its count, with his pretty young wife, a rather light fashion- 
able Parisian, whose money has enabled her husband to rehabilitate his ancestral 
possessions. She is a strange, alluring apparition to the priest, and he loves her, 
to his sorrow. She is a somewhat cynical study of a social butterfly. The attrac- 
tion of the tale lies in the romantic nobility of the Abbe", the poetry with which the 
country scenes are depicted, the fact that Droz was originally a painter comes 
out in his picturesque descriptions, and the light touch with which the frivolous 
folk of the chateau are portrayed. The title of the story refers to a medicinal 
spring that is discovered on the Manteigney estate. 

AROUND THE WORLD IN EIGHTY DAYS, by Jules Verne (1873). Phileas 
Fogg, a respectable English gentleman of phlegmatic temperament and methodical 
habits, maintains, during a discussion at his club in London, that a man can travel 
around the world in eighty days; and to prove it, he makes a wager of half his fortune 
that he can do it himself in that time. The bet is accepted, and he starts the same 
night, taking his French servant Passepartout with him. He wins his wager, after 
a series of adventures in which nature, man, accident, and the novelist combine to 
defeat him, but are all baffled by his unfailing resource, iron will, invincible coolness, 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 53 

and Napoleonic readiness to sacrifice everything else to the one essential point; 
everything except humanity, in whose behalf he twice risks defeat, first to save from 
suttee the beautiful young Hindoo widow Aouda, and second to save Passepartout 
from murder by a Chinese mob. His virtue is rewarded by success and Aouda. 

ART, LECTURES ON, by H. A. Taine (1865). M. Taine in this volume applies 
to art the same theory as to literature in his ' Histoire de la Litte*rature Anglaise. ' 
A work of art is not an isolated creative act but is the product of (i) the sum total of 
the author's artistic tendencies; (2) the school to which he belongs; (3) the society 
amid which he lives. Hence we speak of Greek tragedy, or Gothic architecture, or 
Flemish painting, or French tragedy. M. Taine divides art into two groups, (i) 
painting, sculpture, poetry, and (2) architecture, music. "The end of a work of art," 
he says, "is to manifest some essential or salient character, consequently some im- 
portant idea, clearer and more completely than is attainable from real objects. Art 
accomplishes this end by employing a group of connected parts, the relationships of 
which it systematically modifies. In the three imitative arts of sculpture, painting, 
and poetry, these groups correspond to real objects. " The remainder of the lectures 
are devoted tp an exposition of the philosophy of art in Italy, the Netherlands, and 
Greece. In Italy the special object of classic art was to express the ideal human 
form. In the Netherlands art was intimately associated with the national life and 
rooted in the national character itself. Greek art was marked by a sensitiveness to 
delicate relationships, propriety and clearness of perception, and love of beauty. 

ART IN ANCIENT EGYPT, A HISTORY OF, from the French of Georges Perrot 
and Charles Chipiez; translated and edited by Walter Armstrong. 2 vols., 1883. 
Art in Chaldea and Assyria. 2 vols., 1884. Art in Phoenicia and its Dependencies. 
2 vols., 1885. Art in Sardinia, Judasa, and Asia Minor. 2 vols., 1890. Art in 
Persia, i vol., 1892. Art in Phrygia, Lydia, Caria, and Lycia. I vol., 1892. 
Art in Primitive Greece. 3 vols., 1894. 

This entire series not only constitutes a monumental contribution to the history 
of art in its earlier and more remote fields, but serves most admirably the purpose of 
a realistic recovery of the almost lost histories of the eastern originators of human 
culture. Perrot as author of all the narratives, and Chipiez as the maker of all the 
drawings and designs, have together put upon the printed and pictured page a 
conscientious and minutely accurate history, fully abreast of the most recent re- 
search, French, English, German, and American, -*- and supplying revelations of 
the life, the worship, the beliefs, the industries, and the social customs of the whole 
eastern group of lands, from Egypt and Babylonia to Greece. 

ART OF JAPAN, THE ('L'Art Japonais'), by Louis Gonse. This standard work, 
published in 1886, treats successively of painting, architecture, sculpture, decorative 
work in metal, lacquer, weaving, embroidery, porcelain, pottery, and engraving. 
It points out the unity and harmony of all artistic production in a country where no 
distinction is made between the minor and the fine arts, where even handwriting 
done with the most delicate of implements, the brush is an art within an art, and 
where perfect equipment implies a universality of aptitudes. But painting is the 
key to the entire art, and the book dwells upon all that is indigenous or not due to 
Chinese influence. It traces the development of the parallel schools of painting : the 
Tosa, dependent on the fortunes of the imperial family, and the Kano, following 
Chinese tradition and supported by the shogunate. The shrines of Nikko are 
regarded as the culminating point of architecture and painting: there is nothing in 



54 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

the modern Tokio to compare with them. Many pages are devoted to Hokusai; 
long disdained by his countrymen, but now become so important that a painting 
with his signature is the white blackbird of European and Japanese curiosity. Kiosai, 
who was fifty-two at the time of writing, is commended for his resistance to European 
influence. Among the abundant illustrations, several examples of colored prints 
are given, as well as reproductions of bronzes and lacquer. Still more interesting is 
the reproduction a bronze nine feet in height, now in Paris of the colossal 
Buddha of Nara, the largest statue ever cast in bronze. Throughout the book all 
materials and processes are clearly explained. The method of casting is the same 
as in Europe, the perfection of the workmanship constituting the only difference. 
The best ivory is of a milky transparency, the reader is warned against netzkes 
that have been treated with tea to make them look old. Cherry-wood lends itself to 
the most minute requirements of the engraver. A Japanese connoisseur could judge 
the aesthetic value of a piece of lacquer by the quality of the materials alone. The 
etiquette, significance, and wonderful temper of the Japanese blade are discussed, 
and the deterioration of art since the revolution of 1868 lamented. 

ART OF PHEIDIAS, ESSAYS ON THE, see PHEIDIAS. 

ART OF POETRY, THE ('L'Art Poe*tique'), a didactic poem, by Boileau (1674). 
The work is divided into'four cantos. In the first, the author intermingles his pre- 
cepts with an account of French versification since Villon, now taking up and now 
dropping the subject, with apparent carelessness but with real art. The second 
canto treats of the different classes of poetry, beginning with the least important: 
eclogue, elegy, ode, epigram, sonnet, etc. The third deals with tragedy, comedy, 
and the epic. In the fourth, Boileau returns to more general questions. He gives, 
not rules for writing verse, but precepts addressed to the poet; and points out the 
limits within which he must move, if he wishes to become perfect in his art. Although 
his work is recognized as one of the masterpieces of the age of Louis XIV., Boileau 
has prejudices that have long been out of date. He ridicules the choice of modern or 
national subjects by a poet, and would have him confine himself exclusively to the 
history or mythology of Greece and Rome. 

ART OF POETRY, OF THE ('Ars Poetica'), by Horace (65-8 B.C.). The 
name by which this famous work is known is not the name given it by its author, who 
called it simply a * Letter to the Pisos.' It does not pretend to be a didactic treatise 
and is rather in the nature of a friendly talk by a man of exquisite taste and discern- 
ment. It has become the type of all works of a similar character. In the first part 
Horace treats of the unity that is essential to every composition, and the harmonious 
combination of the several parts, without which there can be no lasting success. 
The metre and style must also be in unison with the particular kind of poetry m 
question: the form of verse suited to tragedy not being suited to comedy, although it 
is allowable for a tragic hero to use occasionally the speech of ordinary life. The 
language must be adapted to the situation and passions of the character, and must 
be consistent throughout with the disposition assigned him by history or fable and 
with the age in which he lived. In the second part, the poet confines himself to the 
form of the drama, the principles he has already established being so general that 
they apply to every class of composition. This form is the representation of the 
action itself, and he points out the limits beyond which the dramatic writer may not 
go. In the third part Horace shows how a young poet will find ample material for 
his works in the writings of the philosophers, and above all in a careful observation 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 55 

of life and society. He then traces the character of a perfect poem. But perfection 
is not to be expected. Faults are excusable if they are rare and unimportant. 
What neither gods nor publishers will excuse is mediocrity. Yet mediocrity is the 
order of the day. One of the causes of this is that poets do not take their art seriously. 
But poetry is of more importance than many think. Horace concludes by counsel- 
ing the author not to be in a hurry to publish, and to seek the advice of some sate 
guide and critic. 

ARTEVELDE, see PHILIP VAN. 
ARTHUR, see MORTE D'ARTHUR. 

ARTIST'S LETTERS FROM JAPAN, AN, by John La Farge (1887). "The pale 
purple even melts around my flight/' ran the author's telegram at the moment of 
turning his face toward those islands where, as he afterwards wrote from Nikko, 
"everything exists for the painter's delight." And the telegram struck the keynote 
of the journey; for it is atmosphere even more than varied information, that renders 
these letters remarkable. The wonderful whiteness, the "silvery milkiness," of the 
atmosphere was the first "absorbingly new thing" that struck the painter when he 
landed at Yokohama. He erects a series of brilliant toriis or gateways (literally 
bird-perches of the gods), the reader getting the most exquisite glimpses of life and 
art in the ' ' land of inversion, ' ' where " art is a common possession. ' ' Like the shrines 
to which they lead, the letters are enriched with elaborate carving and delicate de- 
signs. But unlike the actual toriis, they do not of necessity point out any place, 
pleased rather with some tone "of meditation slipping in between the beauty coming 
and the beauty gone." Or they serve as a frame to a "torrent rushing down in a 
groove of granite" between "two rows of dark cryptomeria, " or a garden or a sunset: 
"a rosy bloom, pink as the clouds themselves, filled the entire air, near and far, 
toward the light." The idealist easily passes to the effect of the moral atmosphere. 
The whole drift of the book is toward a purer art; but it contains much lively matter, 
accounts of the butterfly dance in the temple of the Green Lotus, and of fishing 
with trained cormorants. A thread runs through the letters, tracing the character 
and progress of the usurping Tokugawa family, from the cradle of their fisherman 
ancestors to the graves of the great shogun and his grandson in the Holy Mountain of 
Nikko. In Nikko the interest culminates: there was written the chapter on Tao, 
serene as the peculiar philosophy it diffuses, and perhaps the best part of the book, 
which sets forth the most serious convictions on universal as well as Japanese art. 
Yet the letters were written without thought of publication or final gathering into 
this unique volume, with its various addenda and the "grass characters" of its 
dedicatory remarks peeping out irregularly, like the "lichens and mosses and small 
things of the forest" that "grow up to the very edges of the carvings and lacquers." 

ARYAS, SACRED LAWS OF THE, see SACRED BOOKS OP THE EAST. 

AS IT WAS WRITTEN, 'a Jewish Musician's Story/ by Sidney Luska (Henry 
Harland). This story is as fatalistic as the Rubdiyat, though the scene is laid in 
modern New York. Ernest Neumann, a young violinist of great promise, but of 
painfully sensitive temperament, falls in love with a beautiful girl of his own race, 
Veronika Pathzuol, living with her uncle Tibulski, a kindly old dreamer and an un- 
successful musician, whom she supports by singing and teaching. Ernest and Veron- 
ika are shortly to be married, when she, in the absence of her uncle, is murdered in 



56 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

her bed. The mystery of this murder is the motive of the ensuing plot. Sombre 
and tragic though it is, the romance shows unusual vigor of conception and execution, 
and extraordinary intuitive knowledge of the psychology of an alien race. 

AS YOU LIKE IT (1600). In this happiest of his middle-period comedies, Shake- 
speare is at no pains to avoid a tinge of the fantastical and ideal. Its realism lies in its 
gay riant feeling, the fresh woodland sentiment, the exhilaration of spirits that attend 
the escape from the artificialities of urban society. For one reason or another all the 
characters get exiled, and all meet in the Forest of Arden, where "as you like it" is 
the order of the day. There is the manly young Orlando, his villainous elder brother 
Oliver, and their servant Adam. At court is the reigning duke, his daughter Celia, 
her cousin Rosalind, and Touchstone the clown. In the forest, the banished elder 
duke (father of Rosalind) and the melancholy Jacques, and other lords who are 
blowzed with sun and wind a-chasing the dappled deer under the greenwood tree; 
the pealing bugle, the leaping arrow, the al fresco table loaded with the juicy roast 
of venison, and long idle summer hours of leisurely converse. On the outskirts of 
the forest are shepherd swains and lasses, old Conn, Silvius (in love with Phebe), 
and the wench Audrey. Orlando has had to fly from his murderous brother. Rosa- 
lind has been banished the court by her uncle, and she and Celia disguised as shepherd 
men have slipped away with Touchstone. Now Rosalind has been deeply smitten 
with Orlando since she saw him overcome the duke's wrestler, and he is equally in 
love with her. We may imagine her as "a nut-brown maid, tall, strong, rustically 
clad in rough forest garments, " and possessing a perennial flow of cheerful spirits, a 
humor of the freshest and kindliest. Touchstone is a fellow of twinkling eye and 
dry and caustic wit, his face as solemn as a churchyard while his hearers are all agrin. 
He and Jacques look at life with a cynical squint. Jacques is a blase libertine, who is 
pleased when things run counter and athwart with people, but is after all not so bad 
as he feigns to be. Like a series of dissolving views, scene after scene is glimpsed 
through the forest glades here the forester lords singing, and bearing the antlers 
of the stag; there lovesick Orlando carving verses on the bark of trees, or rescuing 
his brother from the lion. The youth Ganymede (really Rosalind) pretends she can 
cure Orlando of his lovesickness by teaching him to woo him as if he were Rosalind, 
all of which makes a pretty pastoral picture. Anon Touchstone passes by, leading by 
the hand the captive of his spear, Audrey, who has never heard of poetry; or in 
another part of the woodland he is busy mystifying and guying the shepherd Conn. 
Ganymede gets the heartless coquette Phebe to promise that if she ever refuses tc 
wed him (with whom she is smitten) she will wed her scorned and despairing admirer 
Silvius, and makes her father promise to give Rosalind to Orlando; then retires and 
comes back in her own garments as Rosalind. The play ends with a fourfold marriage 
and a dance under the trees. 

ASLAUGA'S KNIGHT, f a tale of mediaeval chivalry/ by Friedrich Fouque*, Baror 
de la Motte (1814) . Aslauga was a Danish queen, whose memory was preserved in ar 
illuminated volume that told of her good and beautiful life. The fair knight Frods 
read in this book, and made a vow that Aslauga should be his lady, the object of his 
love and worship. She thereupon appears to him, an entrancing visionary form 
From that day forth he often sees her, in the dimness of the forest, or mingling witl 
the glory of the sunset, or gliding in rosy light over the winter sea. She protect; 
him in a great tournament, where the bravest knights of Germany fight for the han< 
^r ft, A pn*r>rAc* mMporarrhV Onlv Froda contends for glory, not for love, and wins 



Froda's dear friend Edwald desires to win the princess; but as he is second, not first, 
she scorns him. Froda is to wed the princess; but on the day of their nuptials, 
Froda's skyey bride, Aslauga, again appears in her golden beauty to claim her 
faithful knight; he dies that Edwald and Hildegardis may be one. 

ASMODEUS, THE LAME DEVIL ('Le Diable Boiteux'). A novel by Alain Rene* 
Le Sage, first published in 1707, and republished by the author, with many changes 
and additions, in 1725. It is sometimes known in English as 'Asmodeus,' and 
sometimes as 'The Devil on Two Sticks,' under which title the first English transla- 
tion appeared, and was dramatized by Henry Fielding in 1768. 

The title and some of the incidents are borrowed from 'El Diablo Cojuelo' 
(1641) of the Spanish Luiz Veloz de Guevara. But after the first few chapters Le_ 
Sage departs widely from his predecessor. The very plan is abandoned, and the new 
episodes and characters introduced are entirely original with Le Sage. Guevara 
ends his story with awkward abruptness; while the French romancer winds up with a 
graceful romance, dismissing Don Cleofas to happiness with his beloved Seraphina. 
In short, where the two diverge the advantage is wholly with the later comer in style, 
wit, and ingenuity of invention. Nevertheless the conception is Guevara's. Don 
Cleofas, a young Spanish profligate of high lineage, proud and revengeful but brave 
and generous, delivers from his imprisonment in a bottle the demon Asmodeus; who 
in gratitude assists him in his pranks, and carries him triumphantly through a series 
of amusing adventures. Especially does the demon bestow on his deliverer the power 
of sailing through the air, and seeing through the roofs what is going on within the 
houses of Madrid. Le Sage introduced into his story, under Spanish names, many 
anecdotes and portraits of Parisian celebrities. These were all immediately recog- 
nized, and contributed greatly to the contemporary vogue of the novel, which was 
greater even than that of 'Gil Bias/ It is one of the famous traditions of the book 
trade that two young French noblemen actually fought a duel in a book-store for the 
possession of the only remaining copy. 

ASPECTS OF FICTION, AND OTHER VENTURES IN CRITICISM (1896), by 
Brander Matthews, is a collection of crisp articles relating largely to novelists and 
novel-writing. A clever practitioner in the art of short-story writing, the author 
speaks here as of and to the brothers of his own craft, with an eye especially for good 
technique, that artistic sense of proportion and presentation so dear to his own half- 
Gallicized taste. 'The Gift of Story-Telling,' 'Cervantes, Zola, Kipling & Co.,' 
are brilliant analyses, fresh, original, pregnant, and spiced with a just measure of 
sparkling wit; by means of his close study of the history of fiction, he often brings the 
traits and practices of older authors to illuminate by a felicitous application those of 
contemporary novelists, discovering permanent canons of art in fresh, elusive guises. 
A lighter vein of humor and observation renders the paper in 'Pen and Ink' upon the 
'Antiquity of Jests' an interesting and amusing bypath of research. 'Studies of the 
Stage' is the fruit of many years' intimacy with the history of the stage and stage 
conventions, aided, enriched, and deepened by an experience with such present 
methods of stagecraft behind the footlights as falls to the lot of a practical playwright. 
Mr. Matthews writes of 'The Old Comedies' and 'The American Stage' in a happy 
tone of reminiscence and sympathetic observation. ' The French Dramatists of the 
Nineteenth Century,' the best work accessible on the subject in English, is a scholarly 
contribution to the history of the French stage from the Romantic movement to 
the present day. A lifelong familiarity with French people and literature gives the 



58 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

judgments of Professor Matthews an especial convincingness. His 'Americanisms 
and Briticisms' contains a series of telling strokes at the provincialism that still 
characterizes some aspects of our literature. 

L'ASSOMMOIR, see ROUGON-MACQUART. 

ASTORIA, OR, ANECDOTES OF AN ENTERPRISE BEYOND THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS, 
by Washington Irving (1836; revised ed. 1849). An early work, of a somewhat 
rambling and disjointed nature, comprising stories of expeditions by land and sea, but 
presenting the history of a grand scheme, devised and conducted by a master mind, 
the national character and importance of which fully justified the interest which 
Irving was led to take in it. The characters, the catastrophe of the story, and the 
incidents of travel and wild life, were easily made by Irving to have the interest of a 
novel; and in that light, not less than as a chapter of Far West history, the work 
does not lose its value by the lapse of time. 

ASTREA ('L'Astr^e'}, by Honore* d'Urfe*, a famous French novel, is in five volumes. 
The first volume appeared in 1609, the second was published in 1616, the third in 
1619, and in 1627 his posthumous notes and manuscripts were compiled into the 
fourth and fifth volumes, and published by his secretary Baro. Probably no other 
novel was ever so successful, all cultivated Europe being enthusiastic over it for many 
years. The period is the fourth century. Celadon, a shepherd, lover of the beautiful 
shepherdess Astrea, lives in the enchanted land of Foreste. While their marriage 
awaits parental sanction, a jealous shepherd persuades Astrea that Celadon loves 
Aminthe. She therefore angrily repulses him. Celadon throws himself into the 
river Lignon, and Astrea faints on the bank. Her parents sorrow so bitterly over her 
grief that both soon die. Astrea may now weep unreservedly without being suspected 
of mourning for Celadon. But Celadon lives. He has been succored by the Princess 
Galatea and her attendant nymphs, taken to court, and tenderly cared for. Thence 
he escapes to a gloomy cavern, where he spends his time bewailing Astrea. Meeting 
a friendly shepherd, he sends a letter to "the most beautiful shepherdess in the 
world." Astrea at once sets out to find him. Thus the story rambles on, a long, 
inconsequent sequence of descriptions, adventures, and moral reflections. War 
breaks out in Foreste. Celadon, who, disguised as a druidess, has become Astrea 's 
friend, is with her taken prisoner, but both escape. At last he reveals himself, but is 
repulsed. Once more he resolves to die; all the characters accompanying him to 
the Fountain of Truth, whose guardian lions devour hypocrites and defend the vir- 
tuous. They spare him; and Astrea, looking into the truth-revealing water, is at 
last convinced of his fidelity. Everybody is a model of virtue, and the story ends 
with a general marriage fte. Whether 'L'AstreV requires a key is not important. 
Euric may have been Henri IV., Celadon and Astrea other names for D'Urf and his 
wife Diane; but probably the story is fanciful. Its charm lies in its pastoral setting, 
and its loftily romantic conception of love. It is a day-dream, which solaced the 
soldier-author himself. The story is written in straightforward, fluent French, and 
is full of sentiment and ingenuity; but like so many other immortal works of fiction, 
it lives only in the limbo of the forgotten. 

ASTRONOMY, THE DAWK OF, see DAWN etc. 

AT THE RED GLOVE, by Katharine S. Macquoid (1885). The scene of this 
slight but pleasant story is laid among the bourgeois of Berne. Madame Robineau. 
a mean and miserly glove-dealer, takes her pretty orphan cousin, Marie Peyrolles, 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 59 

to serve in her shop. The girl finds two admirers among her cousin's lodgers, 
one Captain Loigerot, an elderly retired French officer, the very genius of rollicking 
fun and kindness; the other a handsome young bank clerk, Rudolph Engemann. 
The chief interest in the story follows the clever character-study of Madame Carouge 
and the simple life of the homely Bernese. 

ATALA, a romance of the American wilderness, by Chateaubriand, was published 
in 1 80 1. In a letter in the Journal des DSbats, the preceding year, the author makes 
this reference to it : "In my work upon the ' Genius of Christianity, or the Beauties 
of the Christian Religion,' a certain portion is devoted exclusively to the poesy of 
Christianity; . . . the work is terminated by a story extracted from my 'Travels in 
America, 1 and written beneath the very huts of the savages. It is entitled ' Atala.'" 
'Atala' is an extravagant and artificial but beautiful romance of two lovers, a 
young Indian brave, Chactas (i.e., Choctaw), and an Indian maiden, Atala. Chateau- 
briand drew his conception of Chactas a savage, half civilized by contact with 
European culture from the tradition of an Indian chief, who, having been a galley- 
slave at Marseilles, was afterwards liberated and presented to Louis XIV. The 
pivot of the romance is the power of Christianity to subdue the wildest passions of 
man. Atala, a Christian, has taken the vow of virginity by the death-bed of her 
mother. Afterwards she finds herself in love with Chactas, who has been taken 
prisoner by her tribe. She aids him to escape, and together they roam through the 
pathless forests of the New World surrounded by luxuriant nature, haunted by the 
genius of the wilderness, the genius of productive life. Chactas would fain be one 
with nature in his abandonment to instinct; but Atala, although she is consumed with 
love for him, is obedient to what she believes to be a higher law. In a great tempest 
of lightning and rain they lose their way, being found and sheltered by a pious hermit, 
Father Aubrey, who takes them to his cave. Atala tells him the story of her vow, 
and of her temptation. He replies that she may be released, but his assurance comes 
too late. She has taken a poison, that she may become death's bride ere she has given 
herself to another. The hermit fills her last hours with the comfort of his ministra- 
tions, and she departs reconciled and soothed. Chactas carries her in his arms to the 
grave prepared by the hermit, the wind blowing her long hair back against his face. 
Together they leave her to her sleep in the wilderness. 'Atala,' despite its arti- 
ficiality, retains its charm to this day. Chateaubriand's savages are Europeans, his 
forests are in Arcadia; nevertheless the narrative has a fascination which gives it a 
place among the fairy-tales of fiction, due not only to its charm of style but its 
noble elevation of thought. 

ATALANTA IN CALYDON, by Algernon Charles Swinburne (1865), is a tragedy 
dealing with a Greek theme, and employing the Greek chorus and semichorus in its 
amplification. To this chorus are given several songs, which exemplify the highest 
charms of Swinburne's verse, his inexhaustible wealth of imagery, and his flawless 
musical sense. The story is as follows: Althaea, the daughter of Thestius and Eury- 
themis, and wife to CEneus, dreams that she has brought forth a burning brand. At 
the birth of her son Meleager come the three Fates to spin his thread of life, prophesy- 
ing three things: that he should be powerful among men; that he should be most 
fortunate; and that his life should end when the brand, then burning in the fire, 
should be consumed. His mother plucks the burning brand from the hearth and 
keeps it; the child grows apace and becomes in due time a great warrior. But 
Artemis* whose altars CEneus, King of Calydon, has neglected, grows wroth with 



6o THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

him, and sends a wild boar to devastate his land, a beast which the mightiest hunters 
cannot slay. Finally all the warriors of Greece gather to rid GEneus of this plague. 
Among them comes the Arcadian Atalanta, a virgin priestess of Artemis, who for his 
love of her lets Meleager slay the boar; and he presents her the horns and hide. But 
his uncles, Toxeus and Plexippus, desire to keep the spoil in Calydon, and attempt 
to wrest it from Atalanta. In defending her, Meleager slays the two men. When 
Althaea hears that Meleager has slain her brothers for love of Atalanta, she throws 
the half-burned brand upon the fire, where it burns out, and with it his life. The 
feast becomes a funeral. Althaea dies of sorrow, but Meleager has preceded her; his 
last look being for the beautiful Atalanta, whose kiss he craves at parting, ere the 
night sets in, the night in which "shall no man gather fruit." 

ATBLAXIE, a tragedy, by Racine (1691). The drama is founded on one of the 
most tragic events in sacred history, described in 2 Kings xi., and in 2 Chronicles 
xxii. and xxiii. Athaliah is alarmed by a dream in which she is stabbed by a child 
clad in priestly vestments. Going to the Temple, she recognizes this child in Joash, 
the only one of the seed royal saved from destruction at her hands. From that 
moment shc k bends all her efforts to get possession of him or have him killed. The 
interests and passions of all the characters in the play are now concentrated on the 
boy, whose restoration to the throne of his fathers is finally effected through the 
devotion of his followers. The drama is lofty and impressive in character, and well 
adapted to the subject with which it deals. 

ATLANTIS, a novel by Gerhart Hauptmann (1912). A German physician, 
Frederick von Kammacher, is the victim of a morbid passion for a depraved young 
girl, Ingigerd, who has made a sensation on the stage in a dance which portrays the 
struggle and surrender of a spider's victim. He has recently placed his wife in an 
insane asylum; a scientific monograph he has written has been ridiculed by other 
scientists; and in the psycho-pathological state induced by depression, he is obsessed 
by Ingigerd 's fascination. He takes passage on the ship with her to America where 
she is to appear in vaudeville. The action takes place almost entirely on shipboard. 
It is a stormy passage, and they are shipwrecked in mid-ocean, possibly on a moun- 
tain peak of the lost Atlantis. The narration of events leading up to the wreck, 
the description of the wreck itself, and the struggle for the lifeboats is vivid realism. 
He saves Ingigerd and becomes her lover. In New York they meet theatre managers, 
and artists, and Ingigerd begins her professional career. Frederick escapes from her 
to a log cabin in the country, recovering from his obsession after an attack of brain 
fever. His wife dies, and he marries an artist whose sane, normal comradeship had 
helped him to free himself from Ingigerd 's toils; together the newly married pair 
return to Europe. The description of American personalities attracted attention 
because some of them seemed to be taken from the life during Hauptmann 's visit to 
this country in 1892, and the account of the shipwreck was notable as a kind of 
prophetic version of the loss of the Titanic, which followed in 1912. 

ATTIC PHILOSOPHER, AN ('Un Philosophe sous les Toits'), appeared in 1850. 
The author, Emile Souvestre, then forty-four, was already well known as a writer 
of stories; but this book was less a story than a collection of sympathetic moralizings 
upon life, "the commonplace adventures of an unknown thinker in those twelve 
hostelries of time called months. " He shows us one year in the life of a poor working- 
man who, watching brilliant Paris from his garret window, knows moments of envy, 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 61 

ambition, and loneliness. For these moods he finds a cure in kindness to others, in a 
recognition of his own limitations, and in a resolve to make the best of things. The 
voice is that of Souvestre himself, deducing from his own experience lessons of con- 
tentment, brotherly love, and simplicity. His character sketches include the frail 
and deformed Uncle Maurice, learning self-abnegation; the drunken Michael Arout, 
regenerated through love and care for his child; the kind and ever-youthful Frances 
and Madeleine, middle-aged workwomen, cheerful under all hardships; and many 
more vivid personalities. He excels in presenting the nobility hidden under common- 
place exteriors, and the pathos involved in commonplace conditions. In 1851 the 
French Academy crowned the 'Attic Philosopher'; and in 1854, after the death of 
Souvestre, it awarded his widow the Lambert prize, which is always bestowed upon 
the most useful author of the year. 

AUCASSIN AND NICOLETTE, a twelfth-century cante-fable, or tale in alternating 
prose and verse, composed by an unknown minstrel probably of the borders of Cham- 
pagne and Picardy. Its subject, the idyllic love of a youthful pair separated by 
religion, birth, and romantic vicissitudes, bears a general resemblance to that of the 
lay of Floire et Blanche/or. The narrative medium, a simple prose giving way at 
intervals to seven-syllable verses with refrain, though unique in Old-French litera- 
ture, is well known to students of the popular ballad and tale in various countries. 
The style has an apparently artless grace and a freshness suitable to the portrayal of 
young love; and there is a whole-souled almost pagan devotion to worldly beauty 
which anticipates the Italian Renaissance. Aucassin, son of the Count de Biaucaire, 
falls in love with Nicolette, a Saracen maiden, brought up a Christian in the home of 
his father's captain. On learning of Aucassin 's passion the Count orders the captain 
to remove her, and the latter shuts her up in his own house. Aucassin 's efforts to find 
Nicolette are frustrated by the captain, who warns the youth that a liaison with her 
would conduct him to Hell. At this Aucassin bursts out that Hell, the abode of fine 
knights and ladies and minstrels, would be preferable to Paradise, the home of beggars, 
priests, and monks. Later he does valiant service against his father's enemy, Count 
Bougars de Valence, on the promise of a short interview with Nicolette; and when the 
promise is broken, he releases the Count, whom he has made prisoner. For this act 
Aucassin is imprisoned in a tower. Through a crevice in the wall he is addressed 
by Nicolette, who has escaped by letting herself down from her window. As she is 
telling him of her resolution to flee the country and he is begging her to be true, they 
are interrupted by the arrival of the city guards. Nicolette manages to cross the wall 
and ditch and to escape to the neighboring woods. With some shepherd boys, who 
take her for a fay, she leaves a message for Aucassin and then constructs a bower of 
boughs and leaves, where she lives in hiding. Meanwhile her escape becomes known 
and Aucassin is released from prison. Riding through the forest he meets the shep- 
herd boys, who inform him of Nicolette's presence there; and after a long search, and 
a meeting with a gigantic swain to whom he gives money to replace a lost ox, Aucassin 
reaches the bower. The meeting of the lovers is described in a strain of simple, 
idyllic beauty and is followed by an account of their journey to the land of Torelore, a 
topsy-turvy realm, where the king lies in child-bed and the queen goes out to a battle 
in which apples, eggs, and cheeses are used for missiles. Carried off in separate 
vessels by Saracens the lovers are brought to their respective countries. Aucassin 
finds his parents dead and rules in their place; Nicolette is restored to her father, the 
King of Carthage. When, however, he arranges a marriage for her she steals away 
disguised as a jongleur, reaches the palace of Aucassin, relates to him her own story 



62 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

in the form of a lay, and at last reveals herself. Their happy marriage ends 
the tale. 'Aucassin and Nicolette' was charmingly translated by Andrew Lang 
in 1887. 

AUDREY, by Mary Johnston, published in 1902, has taken its place with the other 
successful historical novels of that day. The scene is laid in Virginia in the early part 
of the eighteenth century, where Marmaduke Haward, a wealthy young man, res- 
cues a little orphan girl Audrey, whose parents have been killed by the Indians, and 
makes her his ward. He puts her in the care of the minister Darden, and his wife 
Deborah, who take charge of her during Haward's absence of ten years in England. 
Darden proves himself dissolute and Audrey receives but scant kindness from her 
guardians. Haward returns to his country estate, Fairview, and, upon finding 
Audrey grown into a girl of wondrous beauty, begins to take a deep interest in her. 
At this time he is paying his addresses to Mistress Evelyn Bird, a charming woman 
of wealth and position who really loves him, but hesitates about accepting 'his ad- 
vances, fearing they may not be sincere. Hugon, a half-breed trader, whose atten- 
tions to Audrey are most distasteful to her, feels he has a rival in Haward and his 
plot to kill him is only prevented by the prompt action of Audrey and McLean, the 
storekeeper of Fairview. Haward and Audrey are much together and gossip is 
already rife, when the former, piqued by Evelyn's refusal to dance with him at the 
Governor's ball, in a fit of feverish bravado determines to make Audrey his partner 
at the Palace. In doing this he draws upon himself and upon her the anger of the 
guests, especially of Evelyn, and Audrey is publicly rebuked in the church the follow- 
ing Sunday. She is completely crushed when she realizes the position in which she 
has been placed by Haward and her faith in him is destroyed. He has a long illness 
and upon his recovery endeavors to persuade Audrey that he loves her and wishes 
her to become his wife, but she eludes him and repulses him on every occasion. 
Audrey becomes an actress and her beauty and talents bring the world to her feet. 
Haward is unceasing in his efforts to win back her love and has just succeeded in 
doing so, when the blow of the assassin Hugon, which was intended for him, is inter- 
cepted by Audrey, who sacrifices her life for his. 

AUI/B LIGHT IDYLLS, by Sir James M. Barrie (1888), is a series of twelve sketches 
of life in Glen Quharity and Thrums. In all of them the same characters appear, 
not a few being remtroduced in the author's later books, notably Tammas Hag- 
gart, Gavin Ogilvy, and the Rev. Gavin Dishart, "the little minister," who figures 
in the novel of that name. The titles of the sketches suggest the nature of their 
contents: The School-House; Thrums; The Auld Licht Kirk; Lads and Lasses; The 
Auld Lichts in Arms; The Old Dominie; Cree Queery and Mysy Drolly ; The Courting 
of T'nowhead's Bell (reprinted in this LIBRARY) ; Davit Lunan's Political Reminis- 
cences; A Very Old Family; Little Rathie's "Bural"; and A Literary Club. Humor 
and pathos mingle, and the characters are vividly real. The charm of the sketches 
the author's earliest important work lies in their delineation of rural Scottish 
character. Barrie's peculiar characteristics are well illustrated in the 'Idylls/ 

ATTLULARIA (from Aulula, a pot), a comedy by Plautus (254-184 B. C.). 
Although an old miser is the principal character in the play, the real hero, or heroine, 
is the pot. The favor of his Lar, or household god, enables Euclion to dig up a pot 
of gold, buried beneath the hearth by his grandfather. No sooner has he become rich 
than avarice takes hold of him. With trembling hands he buries the pot deeper 
still: he has found it, others may; the very thought makes his hair stand on end. The 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 63 

dramatic situations of the play turn on this dread of Euclion's that aomeone will 
rob him of his new-found treasure. The fifth act is supposed to have been written 
by Antonius Urceus Codrus, a professor in the University of Bologna, sometime 
during the fifteenth century. Moliere's 'L'Avare' is an imitation of the 'Aulularia.' 
It has been imitated also, at least in the principal character, by Le Mercier in his 
' Come'die Latine. ' See also ' L'Avare. ' 

AURELIAN, a historical novel by William Ware, an American author born in 1797, 
was first published in 1838 under the title 'Probus.' It was a sequel to 'Letters of 
Lucius M. Piso,' published the year before; and like that novel, it is written in the 
form of letters. The full title reads 'Aurelian; or, Rome in the third century. In 
Letters of Lucius M. Piso, from Rome, to Fausta, the daughter of Gracchus, at 
Palmyra/ The novel presents a singularly faithful picture of the Rome of the 
second half of the third century, and of the intellectual and spiritual life of the time 
as expressed in both Christians and pagans. The Emperor Aurelian figures promi- 
nently in the story, which closes with the scene of his assassination. The style of 
'Aurelian' is dignified and graceful, with enough of the classical spirit to meet the 
requirements of the narrative. 

AURORA LEIGH, a poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, which appeared in 
1857. She called it the "most mature" of her works, the one in which "the highest 
convictions upon life and art are entered." It is in reality a novel in blank verse. 
The principal characters are Aurora Leigh, who is supposed to write the story; 
Romney Leigh, her cousin; Marian Earle, the offspring of tramps; and a fashionable 
young widow, Lady Waldemar. The book discusses various theories for the re- 
generation of society. The cnief theme is the final reconcilement of Aurora's ideals 
with Romney's practical plans for the improvement of the masses. Bits of scenery, 
hints of philosophy, and many of Mrs. Browning's own emotions and reflections 
regarding art are interspersed through the narrative. Aurora Leigh, the child of a 
cultivated and wealthy Englishman, is at his death sent from Tuscany to England, 
and put into the care of a prim maiden aunt. She devotes herself to study; refuses 
the hand of her rich cousin Romney, who has become a socialist; and goes to London 
to gain a livelihood by literary work. Rornney Leigh wishes to afford society a moral 
lesson by a marriage with Marian Earle, a woman of the slums, who becomes in- 
volved in a tragedy which renders the marriage impossible, when Romney retires to 
Leigh Hall. Through an accidert he becomes blind, and these misfortunes reveal to 
Aurora her love for him; and the poem closes with a mutual exchange of vows and 
aspirations. It is filled with passages of great beauty, and ethical utterances of a 
lofty nature. 

AUSTRALASIA. Vol. i.: Australia and New Zealand, by A. R. Wallace (1893); 
with 14 Maps and 91 Illustrations. Vol. ii. : Malaysia and the Pacific Archipelagoes, 
by F. H. H. Guillemard; with 16 Maps and 47 Illustrations. The first of these 
volumes, by an eminent English naturalist and traveler, describes from full informa- 
tion the remote southern regions in which the expansion of England is going on upon a 
scale very inadequately understood in America. These regions, moreover, are of 
extreme interest, from their natural features, and from the part which they have 
played in the history of mankind. It would be difficult to have their story from a 
hand more competent than that of A. R. Wallace. The second volume supplies 
by far the most interesting and accurate account extant of the tropical portion of the 
great eastern Archipelago, the northern part of which is really a portion of Asia. 



64 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A SLANDER, THE, by Edna Lyall (1887). The slander 
is born in a small dull English country town, called Muddlelon, in the summer of 
1886. It is introduced to the world by an old lady, Mrs. O'Reilly, a pleasant, 
talkative woman, who imagines it and puts it into words over the teacups to her 
young friend Lena Hough ton. "I assure you, my dear," she says, "Mr. Zaluski is 
nothing less than a Nihilist." Sigismund Zaluski, a young Polish merchant of 
irreproachable character, has recently come to Muddleton, achieved an instant 
popularity in its society, and won the affections and promised hand of Gertrude 
Morley, one of the village belles. Miss Houghton repeats this slander to the young 
curate, who, jealous of the Pole's success, tells it to Mrs. Milton Cleave, his gossipy 
hostess, who writes it to a friend in London. It makes its next appearance at a 
dinner party, where, with the additions it has gained, it is related to a popular novelist. 
Struck with its dramatic possibilities, he repeats it to a friend at the Club, where it is 
overheard by an uncle of Gertrude, who writes to St. Petersburg to find out the truth. 
By this time, in addition to being a Nihilist, the young Pole is an atheist, an unprin- 
cipled man, besides being instrumental in the assassination of the Czar. The letter 
is found by the police; and Zaluski, returning to St. Petersburg on business, is 
arrested, and dies in a dungeon. The story is strongly told, its probabilities seeming 
often actual facts. It needs no commentary; its truth is epitomized in the apt 
quotation of the author: "Of thy words unspoken thou art master: thy spoken word 
is .master of thee." 

AUTOCRAT OF THE BREAKFAST TABLE, THE, by Oliver Wendell Holmes 
(1858), a series of essays appearing first in the Atlantic Monthly, consists of 
imaginary conversations around a boarding-house table, and contains also many of 
his most famous poems: 'The Deacon's Masterpiece, or the Wonderful One-Hoss 
Shay 7 ; 'The Chambered Nautilus'; 'The Old Man Dreams'; 'Contentment'; 
'Estivation'; the bacchanalian ode with the teetotal committee's matchless altera- 
tions; and others. The characters are introduced to the reader as the Autocrat, the 
Schoolmistress, the Old Gentleman Opposite, the Young Man Called John, The 
Landlady, the Landlady's Daughter, the Poor Relation, and the Divinity Student; 
but Holmes is far too good an artist to make them talk always the "patter" of their 
situations or functions, like automata. Many subjects art, science, theology, 
philosophy, travel, etc. are touched on in a delightfully rambling way; ideas widely 
dissimilar following each other, with anecdotes, witticisms, flowers of fact and fancy 
plentifully interwoven. This is the most popular of Dr. Holmes r s books; and in 
none of them are his ease of style, his wit, his humor, his kindly sympathy and love 
of humanity more clearly shown. While there is no attempt to weave these essays 
into a romance, there is a suggestion of sentimental interest between the Autocrat 
and the Schoolmistress, which affords an opportunity for a graceful ending to the 
conversations, when, having taken the "long walk" across Boston Common, a 
little journey typical of their life's long walk, they announce their approaching 
marriage to the circle around the immortal boarding-house table. 

L'AVAHE ('The Miser'), one of the most famous of Moliere's prose comedies, first 
produced September Qth, 1668. It is founded on the 'Aulularia' of Plautus (which 
see above), and was paraphrased by Fielding in his comedy of 'The Miser.' Har- 
pagon, a sexagenarian miser who incarnates the spirit of avarice, has determined to 
marry a young woman named Mariane, who lives in obscure poverty with her 
invalid, mother. He has likewise determined to bestow the hand of his own daughter 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 65 

Elise upon Anselme, a friend and companion of his own age, who has consented to 
take her without a dot or marriage portion. But the young women prefer to choose 
their own lovers. Harpagon's son, Cl&inte, is the favored suitor of Mariane. Valere 
is desperately smitten with Elise, and for the purpose of wooing her has introduced 
himself into the Harpagon household under the guise of the house-steward. Har- 
pagon's dearest possession is a casket containing ten thousand francs, which he has 
buried in his garden, and with which his thoughts are ever occupied. La Fleche, a 
valet, discovers the chest. Harpagon's despair and fury, the complications ensuing, 
and the disentanglement necessary to a successful stage ending, are given with all 
Moliere's inexhaustible verve and humor. See also 'Aulularia.' 

AVE, see HAIL AND FAREWELL, by George Moore. 

AVERAGE MAN, AN, by Robert Grant (1883), is a New York society story; a 
novel of manners rather than plot, concerning itself more with types than with in- 
dividuals. Two young men, both clever and of good family, educated at Harvard 
with an after- year of Europe, settle down in New York to practice law. One of them, 
Arthur Remington, is content to win a fair income by hard work at his profession, 
and finally marries a poor but charming girl, who has always represented his ideal, 
and who refuses a millionaire for his sake. His friend, Woodbury Stoughton, eager 
for money and fame, dabbles in stocks and loses most of his small fortune. He 
marries for her money the beautiful uncultivated daughter of a railway king, who 
loves him devotedly, and to whom he is indifferent. He is elected to the Assembly 
as a leader of the "better element" in politics; but his ambition to get into Congress 
leads him into such double-dealing that the Independents desert him, and he is 
overwhelmingly defeated. Qn the eve of election, also, his young wife learns of his 
infidelity to her, and leaves him. The story is slight, but the portraiture of a certain 
phase of New York fashionable society is vivid, and the study of the inevitable 
deterioration of life without principle is searching and dramatic. 

AVESTA, THE ZEND-, see SACRED BOOKS OF THE EAST. 

AWAKENING OF HELENA RICHIE, THE, by Margaret Deland (1906). The 
scene of this story is laid in Old Chester and depicts many of the same characters 
that have appeared in previous tales by the author. Helena Richie is an attractive 
and fascinating woman who is something of a mystery to her neighbors. She has 
recently moved to the town and settled herself in a comfortable home, where she 
lives alone with her servants and holds herself aloof from the residents of Old Chester. 
She is known as a widow and her only visitor is Lloyd Pryor, who passes as her brother. 
This, however, is not the truth, as he is in reality Helena's lover and she in her desire 
for happiness blinds herself to her wrongdoing. She has been separated for thirteen 
years from her husband whom she despises, and expects in the event of his death to 
marry Pryor. He, however, is selfish and cruel and in spite of her intense love for 
him his affection for her has cooled. Helena adopts a small boy named David, who 
is brought to her notice by her two friends Dr. William King and Dr. Lavendar, and 
becomes passionately attached to him. She has an unsought admirer in Sam Wright, 
a village youth of artistic temperament, who shoots himself when lie learns her 
secret. This tragedy makes a deep impression on Helena and she decides to marry 
Pryor at once, as her husband has died at last, and she feels this act will restore her 
womanhood. However, Pryor is not at all anxious for this step, partly on account 
of his daughter Alice, a girl of nineteen, who is in completp ignorance of her father's 



66 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

past, and partly because his feelings for Helena have undergone a change. He 
consents with rather bad grace to the plan, stipulating, however, that she part 
with David. This Helena refuses to do, and when called upon to choose between 
them takes David. Her plan is frustrated by Dr. King, who convinces her she 
is not qualified to bring up a child. She confesses everything to Dr. Lavendar, 
renounces David, and becomes so chastened that he restores the child to her 
care. 

AWAKENING OF SPRING ('Fruhlings Erwachen'), by Frank Wedekind (1891). 
This "children's tragedy" is "one of the documents in a paper war which has 
resulted ... in having the physiology of sex taught in many of the German 
schools" (Translator's preface). The play is a frank but withal artistic presenta- 
tion of the necessity of enlightening the child with regard to the problems of sex. 
In the story, two boys, the sensitive Moritz and the more assertive Melchior, specu- 
late about sex, and Melchior promises to write out the physiological facts with 
drawings for his friend. Wendla, one of the group of school-children, questions her 
mother about her sister's new baby, but her mother evades the question, and seems 
interested only in the flounces to lengthen her growing daughter's dress. Later 
Wendla and Melchoir take refuge from a thundershower in the hayloft, and being, 
in the author's view, as innocent as mating birds and spring flowers are exposed to the 
dangers of their ignorance at this'critical period. The play is also an indictment of 
the cramming system of education. Moritz fails in his examinations and commits 
suicide. The paper Melchior had written for Moritz is judged by his parents and 
teachers to be a contributing cause to his suicide. One of the few touches of humor 
is the scene in which the faculty of the Gymnasium pass judgment on Melchior and 
spend the time quarreling over the opening and closing of a window. Melchior is not 
allowed to defend himself. In vain he says he has written nothing obscene. He is 
sent to a reformatory by his unintelligent parents. Wendla dies at fourteen in giving 
birth to a child, from the abortives given her to avoid a scandal. She says reproach- 
fully, "Oh mother, why didn't you tell me everything?" and her mother replies: 
"My mother told me no more." In the last scene, Melchior, escaping from the 
reformatory, discovers Wendla's tombstone in the graveyard. Moritz appears car- 
rying his head under his arm, and tries to induce Melchior to kill himself. A masked 
man, typifying the spirit of Life as Moritz symbolizes Death, urges Melchior to trust 
to him. The contest in the soul of Melchior is externalized in this duel between 
Life and Death, and Life wins him. 

AZTEC TREASURE-HOUSE, THE, by Thomas A. Janvier (1890), is a narration of 
the thrilling adventures of a certain Professor Thomas Palgrave, Ph.D.; an archae- 
ologist who goes to Mexico to discover, if possible, remains of the early Aztec civiliza- 
tion. The reader is hurried with breathless interest from incident to incident; and 
the mingling of intense pathos and real humor is characteristic of the author of 'The 
Uncle of an Angel ' and other charming books. Professor Palgrave, in company with 
Fray Antonio, a saintly Franciscan priest; Pablo, an Indian boy; and two Americans, 
Young, a freight agent, and Rayburn, an engineer, starts in search of the treas- 
ure-house of the early Aztecs. The professor goes to advance science; Fray An- 
tonio to spread his faith; Pablo because he loves his master; and the rest for 
gold. What befell them in the search must be learned from the story. This 
volume, considered either as a piece of English or as a tale of adventure, deserves 
a high place. 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 67 

BABYLONIAN INFLUENCE ON THE BIBLE AND POPULAR BELIEFS, by A. 

Smythe Palmer, D.D. (1897). A small volume specially devoted to showing how 
the Hebrew Mosaic books evince "familiarity with the great religious epics of Baby- 
lonia, which go back to the twenty-third century B.C,, to a date, that is, about 
800 years earlier than the reputed time of Moses"; and how, in consequence of this 
familiarity, "Babylonian ideas were worked into these early Hebrew documents, 
and were thus insured persistence and obtained a world- wide currency." That 
"Babylon still survives in our culture," is Dr. Palmer's general conclusion. He 
especially devotes his work to showing how the Babylonian conception of Tiamat 
was reproduced in the Hebrew conception of Tehom, "the Deep"; how the Baby- 
lonian idea of the Deep, suggesting the Dragon of the Deep, gave the Hebrew mind 
its idea of Satan; and how again the idea of the Deep became, first to the Babylonians, 
and then to the Hebrews, the idea of a Hades, or Tartaros, or Hell. Dr. Palmer 
makes prominent these points: (i) that "the Hebrew record of the creation is based 
on the more ancient accounts which have been preserved in the Babylonian tablets"; 
(2) that "religious conceptions of the Babylonians, suggested by phenomenal aspects 
of nature, especially the Sun, lay at the base of the Hebrews' early faith"; (3) that 
"the Great Deep was constituted a symbol of lawlessness," "was personified as a 
dragon or great serpent," and "became a symbol of moral evil"; (4) that "among 
the Hebrews this serpent or dragon introduces sin"; and (5) that "this Chaos- 
Dragon contributed shape to later conceptions of the Devil." He further says, with 
reference to "the mediatorial god, Merodach" of Babylonian belief: "It has often 
been remarked that Merodach, as mediator, healer, and redeemer, as forgiving sin, 
defeating the Tempter, and raising the dead, in many of his features foreshadowed 
the Hebrew Messiah"; and also: "The Babylonians themselves seem to have 
considered their Merodach (or Bel) and the Hebrew Ya (Jah Jehovah) to be one 
and the same." In such suggestions of study as these, Dr. Palmer's pages are very 
rich. 

BABYLONIAN TALMUD, see TALMUD. 

BALAUSTION'S ADVENTURE, by Robert Browning, see ALCESTIS. 

BALLADES AND VERSES VAIN, by Andrew Lang (1884). Mr. Lang's light 
and graceful touch is well illustrated in this little volume, containing some of his 
prettiest lyrics. He is fond of the old French verse forms, and the sentiments which 
belong to them. The gay verses are wholly gay; the serious ones are pervaded with 
a pensive sadness that of old memories and legends. Mr. Lang's sober muse is 
devoted to Scotland, and after that to old France and older Greece; but whether 
grave or gay, his exquisite workmanship never fails him. 

BALLADS, English and Scottish Popular, by Francis J. Child (Ten Parts, or Five 
Volumes, Imperial Quarto. 1897.) A complete collection of all known English 
and Scottish popular ballads; every one entire and according to the best procurable 
text, including also every accessible independent version; and with an introduction 
to each, illustrated by parallels from every European language. In its recovery and 
permanent preservation of songs which date far back of modern civilization, songs 
which show the thought and feeling of the child-life of humanity, and the seed from 
which the old epics sprang, the collection is of the highest value to the student of 
primitive -history. It. is a storehouse of language, of poetry, of fiction, and of folk- 
lore, so many times the richest ever made, so complete, learned, and accurate, as to 



68 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

occupy a final position. It is a monument of research, scholarship, and laborious 
service to literature, and of the essential unity o all races and peoples in their 
popular poetry, to have raised which was the work of a noble life. 

BALLADS AND BARRACK-ROOM BALLADS, by Rudyard Kipling (1892). 
This volume is about evenly divided between poems written in English and those 
written in cockney dialect. The first half is serious; and most of its themes are found 
in Hindoo legends and wild sea-tales. The last half deals with the joys and woes of 
Tommy Atkins, and the various experiences of the British private, from the "arf- 
made recruity" to the old pensioner on a shilling a day. No such vivid portraiture 
of the common soldier, with his dullness, his obedience, and his matter-of-course 
heroism, has ever been drawn by any other artist. The book contains, among other 
favorites, 'Danny Deever,' 'Fuzzy Wuzzy,' and 'The Road to Mandalay,' besides 
the grim story of Tomlinson, too ineffective either in virtue or sin to find place in 
heaven or hell. 

BANQUET, THE, a dialogue by Plato (427-347 B.C.). 'The Banquet' is 
usually considered the finest of Plato's dialogues, because of its infinite variety, its 
vivid and truthful discrimination of character, and the ease with which the author 
rises naturally from the comic, and even the grotesque, to the loftiest heights of 
sublimity. A number of guests assemble at the house of Agathon. The subject of 
love is introduced ; they proceed to discuss, praise, and define it, each according to 
his ideas, disposition, and character. Socrates, summoned to give his opinion, re- 
lates a conversation he once had with a woman of Mantinea named Diotime. This 
artifice enables Plato to make Socrates responsible for ideas that are really his own. 
In the opinion of the Mantinean lady, the only way to reach love is to begin with the 
cultivation of beauty here below, and then rise gradually, by steps of the ladder, to 
supreme beauty. Thus we should proceed from the contemplation of one beautiful 
body to two, from two to several; then from beautiful functions and occupations to 
beautiful sciences. Thus we come at last to the perfect science, which is nothing 
else but the science of supreme beauty. A man absorbed in the contemplation of 
pure, simple, elementary beauty beauty devoid of flesh, color, and all other perish- 
able vanities; in a word, divine beauty, one and absolute could ne\er endure to 
have his ideas distressed by the consideration of ephemeral things. Such a man will 
perceive beauty by means of the organ by which beauty is perceptible; and will 
engender here below, not phantoms of virtue, because he does not embrace phantoms, 
but true virtues, because he embraces truth. Now, he who engenders and fosters 
true virtue is loved by God; and if anyone deserves to be immortal, surely it is he. 
The end of the dialogue is almost entirely devoted to the praise of Socrates, and to a 
picture of his life as a man, a soldier, and an instructor of youth. It is Alcibiades who 
draws the portrait of his master. He has just entered the banquet hall with some of 
his boon companions, and is himself tipsy. His potations, however, serve to add fire 
and energy to his description of the philosopher, whom he says he knows thoroughly, 
and of whom he has also a good many personal reasons to complain. Socrates, he 
continues, is not unlike those Silenuses you find in the studios of the sculptors, with 
reed-pipes or flutes between their fingers. Separate the two pieces composing a 
Silenus, and lo! the sacred figure of some god or other, which was hidden by the outer 
covering, is revealed to your eyes. As far as outward appearance goes, then, Socrates 
resembles a Silenus or satyr. Indeed, anyone who looks closely can perceive clearly 
that he is the very image of the satyr Marsyas, morally as well as physically. Can he 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 69 

deny that he is an unblushing scoffer? If he does, witnesses are within call ready tc 
prove the contrary. Is he not also a flute-player, and a far better one than Marsyas, 
too? It was by the potency of the sounds which the satyr's lips drew from his 
instruments that he charmed men. The only difference between him and Socrates 
is that the latter, without instruments and by his discourses cimply, produces the 
same effects. Alcibiades next dwells on the oracles that predicted the advent of his 
divine teacher, and their mutual relations at Athens during the military expedition tc 
Potidaea and in the defeat at Delium. He then returns to his comparison between 
Socrates and a Silenus, and declares that his discourses also are Silenuses. With all 
his admiration for the philosopher, he must acknowledge that at first his language 
seemed to him as grotesque as his person. The words and expressions forming the 
exterior garb of his thought are quite as rugged and uncouth as the hide of some 
repulsive satyr. And then he is always talking of such downright asses as black- 
smiths, cobblers, curriers, and so forth, and he is always saying the same thing in 
the same terms. But a person has only to open his discourses and take a peep inside, 
and he will discover, first, that there is some meaning in them after all; and after closer 
observation, that they are altogether divine, and enshrine the sacred images of every 
virtue and almost of every principle that must guide anyone ambitious to become a 
good man. 

BANQUET, THE, a dialogue by Xenophon (430-357 B.C.), is the third work 
directly inspired by the author's recollections of Socrates, and was probably written 
with the view of giving a corrector idea of his master's doctrines than is presented in 
'The Banquet' of Plato. The scene takes place at the home of the wealthy Callias 
during the Panathenaic festival. Callias has invited a large party to a banquet 
arranged in honor of young Autolycos. Socrates and a number of his friends are 
among the guests. The extraordinary beauty of Autolycos has such an effect on the 
assembly that everyone is struck dumb with admiration. The buffoon Philippos 
makes vain efforts to dispel this universal gravity; but he has only poor success, and 
complains with mock solemnity of his failure. When the tables are removed, three 
comedians, a harper, a flute-player, and a dancer enter, and with them their manager. 
The artists play, sing, and dance; while the guests exchange casual remarks, which, on 
account of the distraction caused by the entertainment, become more and more dis- 
connected. Socrates proposes that conversation take the place of music entirely, 
and that each describe the art he cultivates, and speak in praise of it. Then several 
discourses follow. The most important of them are two by Socrates, in one of which 
he eulogizes the dignity of the trade he himself has adopted. In the other, he speaks 
of lo\ e. The love, howev er, which he celebrates, is the pure love that has the heavenly 
Aphrodite for its source, and has no connection with the popular Aphrodite, After 
these discourses an imitative dance is given by the artists, in which the loves of 
Bacchus and Ariadne are portrayed. 

BARABBAS: 'A Dream of the World's Tragedy,' by Marie Corelli (1893), is 
briefly the story of the last days of Christ, his betrayal, crucifixion, and resurrection. 
The scene opens in a Syrian prison where Barabbas, a convicted murderer and thief, 
is awaiting sentence. It being the feast of the Passover, according to the Law the 
Jews can demand the release of a prisoner. Fearful that Christ will be given up, they 
ask the freedom of Barabbas. Leaving his cell, he joins the crowd in the Hall of 
Judgment, is present on the journey to Calvary, at the crucifixion, and at its tragic 
ending. The crimes of Barabbas had been instigated by the -wiles of Judith Iscariot, 



70 THE READER S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

a beautiful wanton, who also prompts her brother to the betrayal of his Lord. Judas 
Iscariot is described as a weak-minded youth, a willing tool in his sister's hands. His 
self-destruction and her ruin by Caiaphas unite in driving her insane. During her 
madness she attempts to kill the High Priest; who however escapes, and hating 
Barabbas for his rivalry in Judith's affections, has him imprisoned on the false 
charges of attempted murder and the theft of Christ's body from the tomb. Barab- 
bas dies in prison, after being converted to Christianity. He is depicted as a "type 
of Human Doubt aspiring unto Truth." 

The story is dramatically told, but gives the author's imaginary conception of 
persons and events rather than historic portraits. It shows, however, a certain 
amount of study of Jewish manners and customs. The style is florid and meretricious. 

BARBARA'S HISTORY, by Amelia Blandford Edwards, appeared in 1864. It is 
the romance of a pretty girl, clever and capable, who, passing through some vexa- 
tions and serious troubles, settles down to an unclouded future. Barbara Churchill 
is the youngest daughter of a selfish widower, who neglects his children. When ten 
years old, she visits her rich country aunt, Mrs. Sandyshaft, with whom she is far 
happier than in her London home. Here she meets Hugh Farquhar, owner of the 
neighboring estate of Broomhill; a man of twenty-seven, who has sowed wild oats 
in many lands and reaped an abundant harvest of troubles. He makes a great pet 
of Barbara, who loves him devotedly. The story thenceforth is of their marriage, 
her jealousy in regard to an Italian girl whom her husband has protected, and an 
explanation and reconciliation. It is well told, the characterization is good, and 
Barbara is made an extremely attractive little heroine. 

BARBER OF SEVILLE, THE, by Pierre Augustin Caron (who later assumed the 
nom de guerre "Beaumarchais"), appeared in 1775 as a five-act French comedy. 
It is the first- of the Figaro trilogy, the later plays being the 'Marriage of Figaro' and 
the 'Guilty Mother/ The whole drift of the 'Bar bier,' as of the 'Mariage,' is 
to satirize the privileged classes, from the political and "rights-of-man" point 
of view rather than from that of the social moralist. The plays proved to be formid- 
able political engines. 

Full of sparkling, incisive, and direct dialogue, eminently artistic as a piece of 
dramatic construction, yet lacking the high literary merit which characterizes some 
of the author's other work, the 'Barbier, 1 the embodiment of Beaumarchais's viva- 
cious genius, lives to the world in its leading character, Figaro the inimitable. The 
simple plot follows the efforts and "useless precautions" of Bartholo, tutor and 
guardian of Rosine, a coquettish beauty loved by Count Almaviva, to prevent 
his pupil-ward from marrying, for he himself loves her. But Bartholo is outwitted, 
though with difficulty, by younger and more adroit gallants, whose schemes form 
the episodes of the comedy. Don Basilio, an organist and Rosine's teacher of singing, 
is the typical calumniator, operating by covert insinuation rather than by open dis- 
paragement. Figaro is, as the title indicates, a barber of Seville, where the action is 
laid, though the play has an air unmistakably French. He is presented as a master 
in cunning, dexterity, and intrigue, never happier than when he has several audacious 
plots on hand. "Perpetually witty, inexhaustibly ingenious, perennially gay," 
says Austin Dobson, "he is pre-eminently the man of his country, the irrepressible 
mouthpiece of the popular voice, the 'cynical and incorrigible laugher . . . who 
opposes to rank, prescription, and prerogative, nothing but his indomitable audacity 
or his sublime indifference." 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 71 

BARCHESTER TOWERS, by Anthony Trollope (1857), is the second of the eight 
volumes comprised in his 'Chronicles of Barsetshire. 1 The noteworthy success of 
1 The Warden ' led him to continue his studies of social life in the clerical circle cen- 
tring at the episcopal palace of Barchester. He gives us a pleasant love story evolved 
from an environment of clerical squabblings, schemes of preferment, and heart- 
burnings over church government and forms of service. The notable characters are 
Bishop Proudie, his arrogant and sharp-tongued wife Mrs. Proudie, and Eleanor 
Bold, a typical, spirited, loving English girl. Trollope excels in showing the actuating 
motives, good and bad, of ordinary men and women. In a book as thoroughly 
"English as roast beef," he tells a story of every-day life, and gives us the interest 
of intimate acquaintance with every character. A capital sense of the "Establish- 
ment" pervades the book like an atmosphere. 

BARFUSSELE, see LITTLE BAREFOOT. 

BARLAAM AND JOSAPHAT, one of the most popular of early mediaeval romances, 
is supposed to have been written by St. John of Damascus, or Damascenus, as 
he is sometimes called, a Syrian monk born about the end of the seventh century. 
The name of Barlaam and Josaphat appear in both the Greek and Roman lists of 
saints. According to the narrative of Damascenus, Josaphat was the son of a king 
of India brought up in magnificent seclusion, to the end that he might know nothing 
of human misery. Despite his father's care, the knowledge of sickness, poverty, 
and death cannot be hidden from him: he is oppressed by the mystery of existence. 
A Christian hermit, Barlaam, finds his way to him at the risk of life, and succeeds 
in converting him to Christianity. The prince uses his influence to promote the new 
faith among his people. When he has raised his kingdom to high prosperity, he leaves 
it to spend the remainder of his days as a holy hermit. 

Professor Max Muller traces a very close connection between the legend of 
Barlaam and Josaphat, and the Indian legends of the Buddha as related in the San- 
skrit of the Lalita Vistara. This connection was first noticed, according to Professor 
Muller, by M. Laboulaye in the Journal des De"bats (July, 1859). A year later, Dr. 
Felix Liebrecht made an elaborate treatment of the subject. 

The episodes and apologues of the romance furnished poetic material to Boc- 
caccio, to Gower, to the compiler of the 'Gesta Romanorum,' and to Shakespeare; 
who is indebted to this source, through Wynkyn de Worde's English translation, for 
the casket incident in the 'Merchant of Venice/ The entire story is found in the 
'Speculum Historiale' of Vincent of Beauvais, and in a briefer form in the 'Golden 
Legend' of Jacobus de Voragine. It has been translated into several European 
tongues, "including Bohemian, Polish, and Icelandic. A version in the last, exe- 
cuted by a Norwegian king, dates from 1204; in the East there were versions in 
Arabic, Ethiopic, Armenian, and Hebrew, at least; whilst a translation into the 
Tagala language of the Philippines was printed at Manila in 1712." 

BARNABY RUDGE was Dickens's fifth novel, and was published in 1841. The plot 
is extremely intricate. Barnaby is a poor half-witted lad, living in London toward 
the close of the eighteenth century, with his mother and his raven Grip. His father 
had been the steward of a country gentleman named Haredale, who was found 
murdered in his bed, while both his steward and his gardener had disappeared. The 
body of the steward, recognizable only by the clothes, is presently found in a pond. 
Barnaby is born the day after the double murder. Affectionate and usually docile, 
credulous and full of fantastic imaginings, a simpleton but faithful, he grows up to 



72 THE READER S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

be liked and trusted. His mother having fled to London to escape a mysterious 
blackmailer, he becomes involved in the famous "No Popery" riots of Lord George 
Gordon in 1780, and is within an ace of perishing on the scaffold. The blackmailer, 
Mr. Haredale the brother and Emma the daughter of the murdered man, Emma's 
lover Edward Chester, and his father, are the chief figures of the nominal plot; but 
the real interest is not with them but with the side characters and the episodes. 
Some of the most whimsical and amusing of Dickens 's character-studies appear in 
the pages of the novel; while the whole episode of the gathering and march of the 
mob, and the storming of Newgate (quoted in the LIBRARY), is surpassed in dramatic 
intensity by no passage in modern fiction, unless it is by Dickens's own treatment 
of the French Revolution in the 'Tale of Two Cities.' Among the important charac- 
ters, many of whom are the authors of sayings now proverbial, are Gabriel Varden, 
the cheerful and incorruptible old locksmith, father of the charming flirt Dolly 
Varden; Mrs. Varden, a type of the narrow-minded zealot; Miss Miggs, their servant, 
mean, treacherous, and self-seeking; Sim Tappertit, an apprentice, an admirable 
portrait of the half -fool, half -knave, so often found in the English servile classes about 
a century ago; Hugh the hostler and Dennis the hangman; and Grip the raven, who 
fills an important part in the story, and for whom Dickens himself named a favorite 
raven. 

BARNAVAUX ET QTTELQUES FEMMES, see UNDER THE TRICOLOUR. 

BARNEVELD, JOHN OF, THE LIFE AND DEATH OF, by John Lothrop Motley 
(1874). * n this brilliant biography, the author shows that as William the Silent is 
called the author of the independence of the Dutch Provinces, so John of Barneveld 
deserves the title of the "Founder of the Dutch Republic." The Advocate and 
Keeper of the Great Seal of the Province of Holland, the most powerful of the 
seven provinces of the Netherlands, was virtually "prime minister, president, 
attorney-general, finance minister, and minister of foreign affairs, of the whole re- 
public." Standing in the background and veiled from public view behind "Their 
High Mightinesses, the States-General," the Advocate was really their spokesman, 
or practically the States-General themselves, in all important measures at home 
and abroad, during those years which intervened between the truce with Spain in 
1609 and the outbreak of the Thirty Years' War in 1618. 

Born in Amersfoort in 1547, of the ancient and knightly house of Oldenbarneveld, 
he received his education in the universities of Holland, France, Italy, and Germany, 
and became one of the first civilians of his time, the friend and trusted councilor of 
William the Silent, and the chief negotiator of the peace with Spain. The tragedy 
with which his lif e ended owes itself, as Motley points out, to the opposition between 
the principle of States-rights and religious freedom advocated by Barneveld, and that 
of the national and church supremacy maintained by Prince Maurice the Stadt- 
holder, whose desire to be recognized as king had met with Barneveld's prompt 
opposition. The Arminian doctrine of free-will, as over against the Calvinists' 
principle of predestination, had led to religious divisions among the provinces; and 
Barneveld's bold defense of the freedom of individual belief resulted at length in his 
arrest and that of his companion and former pupil, Hugo Grotius, both of whom were 
condemned to execution. His son, engaging later in a conspiracy of revenge against 
the Stadtholder, was also with the other conspirators arrested and put to death. 

The historian obtained his materials largely from the Advocate's letters and other 
MS. archives of the Dutch government, and experienced no little difficulty in de- 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 73 

ciphering those papers "covered now with the satirical dust of centuries, written 
in the small, crabbed, exasperating characters which make Barneveld's handwriting 
almost cryptographic; but which were once, "sealed with the Great Seal of the 
haughty burgher aristocracy, documents which occupied the close attention of the 
cabinets of Christendom." 

Of Barneveld's place in history the author says: "He was a public man in the 
fullest sense of the word; and without his presence and influence the record of Holland, 
France, Britain, and Germany might have been essentially modified. The Republic 
was so integral a part of that system which divided Europe into two great hostile 
camps, according to creeds rather than frontiers, that the history of its foremost 
citizen touches at every point the general history of Christendom." 

BARRACK-ROOM BALLADS, see BALLADS, ETC. 

BARRIERS BURNED AWAY, by Edward Payson Roe, after appearing as a serial 
story in the New York Evangelist, was published in book form in 1872. Of a cheap 
edition, issued ten years later, 87,500 copies were sold. It was the author's first 
novel, and its great popularity led him to adopt story- writing as a profession. The 
plot of this book is very simple. Dennis Fleet finds the support of his mother and 
the younger children devolving upon him, after the death of his father. Seeking 
work in Chicago, he finds it impossible to secure a position suited to his social rank 
and education. After many hard experiences, he is hired to shovel snow in front of a 
fine-arts shop where he afterward becomes a porter. Though he cheerfully performs 
the humblest duties, his superiority to them is evident. His employer, Mr. Ludolph, 
a rich and money-loving German, finds him valuable enough to be made a salesman. 
Mr. Ludolph is a widower, having an only daughter, Christine, with whom Dennis 
falls in love. She treats him contemptuously at first, but soon discovers his trained 
talent for music and knowledge of art. He rises above the slights he receives, and 
makes the impression of a nobleman in disguise. Then follow an estrangement and 
a reconciliation. The most noteworthy feature of the novel is the striking descrip- 
tion of the Chicago fire. 

BARRY LYNDON, the best of Thackeray's shorter novels, originally written as a 
serial for Fraser's Magazine, was published in book form in 1844. It is cast in the 
form of an autobiography. The hero is an Irish gambler and fortune-hunter, a 
braggart and a blackleg, but of audacious courage and of picturesque versatility. 
He tells his story in a plain matter-of-fact way, without concealment or sophistica- 
tion, glorying in episodes which would seem shameful to the most rudimentary 
conscience, and holding himself to be the best and greatest but most ill-used of men. 
The irony is as fine as that of Fielding in 'Jonathan Wild the Great,' a prototype 
obviously in Thackeray's mind. 

BASHKIRTSEFF, MARIE, THE JOURNAL OF ('Le Journal'), which appeared in 
Paris in 1885, an ^ was abridged and translated into English in 1889, was called by 
Gladstone "a book without a parallel." Like Rousseau 's 'Confessions/ it claims 
to be an absolutely candid expression of individual experience. But the 'Journal' 
was written avowedly to win posthumous fame; and the reader wonders if the gifted 
Russian girl who wrote it had not too thoroughly artistic a temperament for matter- 
of-fact statement. The child she portrays is always interpreted by a rnaturer mind. 
Marie is genuinely unhappy, and oppressed with modern unrest; but she studies her 
troubles as if they belonged to someone else, and is interested rather than absorbed 



74 THE READER S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

by them. After a preface, summarizing her birth in Russia of noble family and her 
early years with an adoring mother, grandmother, and aunt, she begins the 'Journal ' 

at the age of twelve, when she is passionately in love with Count H whom she 

knows only by sight. A few years later a handsome Italian engages her vanity rather 
than her heart. But, as she herself vaguely felt, her struggle for self-expression unfits 
her for marriage. Prom the age of three years she cherished inordinate ambition, and 
felt herself destined to become great either as singer, or writer, or artist, or queen of 
society. Admiration was essential to her, and she records compliments to her 
beauty or her erudition with equal pleasure. Her life was a curious mixture of the 
interests of an attractive society girl with those of a serious student. The twenty- 
four years that the diary covers were crowded with ambitions and partial successes. 
Her chronic discontent was due to the disproportion between her aspirations and her 
achievements. In spite of the encouragement which her brilliant work received in 
the Julian studio, she suspected herself of mediocrity. "The canvas is there, every- 
thing is ready, I alone am wanting," she exclaims despairingly, shortly before her 
death, when, although far advanced in consumption, she is planning a chef- 
d'ceuvre. She was never unself conscious, and her book reveals her longings, her 
petty vanities, and her childish crudities, as well as her versatile and brilliant talents. 

BATRACHOMYOMACHIA, see BATTLE OF THE FROGS AND MICE. 

BATTLE OF DORKING, THE, by Charles Cornwallis Chesney. This little skit 
appeared first in Blackwood's Magazine in 1871, and has since been reprinted under 
the title 'The Fall of England. 1 After the ignominious defeat of the French at 
Sedan, Colonel Chesney, professor of military history at Sandhurst, foresaw a similar 
fate for his own country unless it should reorganize its army. He urged vigorous 
measures of reform ; and as the necessity for these was not perceived by the country 
at large he contributed to the press various articles, both technical and popular. 
Among the latter was this realistic and matter-of-fact account of an imaginary 
invasion of England by a foreign power. The fleet and army are scattered when war 
is declared, but the government has a sublime confidence that British luck and pluck 
will save the country now as hitherto. To universal surprise and consternation, the 
hostile fleet annihilates the available British squadron and the enemy lands on the 
south coast. Volunteers are called out and respond readily; but ammunition is 
lacking, the commissariat is unorganized, and the men, though brave, have neither 
discipline nor endurance. The decisive battle is fought at Dorking, and the British 
are routed in confusion. Woolwich and London are in the hands of the enemy, and 
England is compelled to submit to the humiliating terms of the conqueror. She is 
stripped of her colonies, and pays a heavy war indemnity, all because power has come 
into the hands of the rabble, who have neither foresight nor patriotism to preserve 
the liberties of their country. The book was widely read and quoted in its day, 
then forgotten, and recalled at the beginning of the Great War. 

BATTLE OF THE BOOKS, THE, by Jonathan Swift, was written in 1697, but 
remained in manuscript until 1704. It was a travesty on the endless controversy 
over the relative merits of the ancients and moderns, first raised in France by Per- 
rault. Its immediate cause, however, was the position of Swift's patron, Sir William 
Temple, as to the genuineness of the 'Letters of Phalaris.' 

In the satire, the Bee, representing the ancients who go direct to nature, and the 
Spider, representing the moderns weaving their webs from within, have a sharp 
dispute in a library, where the books have mutinied and taken sides, preparatory to 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 75 

battle. In the description of this Battle, Swift's arrows of wit fly thick and fast, 
Dryden and Bentley coming in for a goodly share of their destructive force. Nothing 
is left of the poor moderns when he has finished with them. The work, despite its 
vast cleverness, was not taken with entire seriousness by Swift's contemporaries. 
He was not then the great Dean; and besides, he was dealing with subjects he was 
not competent to treat. It remains, however, a brilliant monument to his satirical 
powers, and to the spirit of destruction which impelled him even as a youth to au- 
dacious attacks on great names. 

BATTLE OF THE FROGS AND MICE, THE ('Batrachomyomachia'), a mock- 
heroic poem written in imitation of the Iliad. The authorship has been attrib- 
uted to Homer, and to Pigres the brother of Queen Artemisia, but without any 
foundation in either case. It is really a parody on the style of Homer. The mouse 
Prigcheese, who has just escaped the tooth of a hideous monster (a weasel perhaps, or 
it may be a cat), stops on the border of a marsh to slake his thirst; for he has been 
running fast and long. Chubbycheek, Queen of the Progs, enters into conversation 
with him. She invites him to come to her palace, and politely offers her back as a 
mode of conveyance. The novelty of the journey enchants Prigcheese, but his joy 
is not of long duration. A water-snake rears its awful head above the waters. 
Chubbycheek, wild with terror, plunges to the bottom; and Prigcheese, after heroic 
struggles, perishes in the waves, but not before he has devoted Chubbycheek to the 
wrath of the avenging gods. A mouse who happens to be sauntering along the shore 
hastens to announce to the mouse nation the sad fate of their fellow-citizen. A 
general assembly is convoked; and on the motion of Nibbleloaf, the father of the 
victim, war is declared against the frogs, and the herald Lickthepot is charged with 
the duty of entering the enemy's territories and proclaiming hostilities. Chubby- 
cheek asserts her perfect innocence, nay her ignorance, of the death of Prigcheese. 
The frogs, fired by her eloquence, prepare to make a vigorous resistance. Meanwhile 
the gods, from their "Olympian thrones, view with anxiety and fear the agitations 
that are disturbing the earth. But Minerva is of opinion that for the present it 
would be rash to interfere, and the lords of heaven decide to remain simply spectators 
of the direful event that is drawing near. Soon the conflict rages, furious, terrible, 
the chances leaning now to the one side, now to the other. At length the mice are 
victorious, and Greedyguts, their leader, announces his determination to wipe out 
the entire vile race of their enemies from the face of the earth. Jupiter is alarmed, 
and resolves to prevent such a disaster. He will send Pallas or Mars to assuage the 
wrath of the ferocious Greedyguts. Mars recoils in terror from the rough task. 
Then the King of Heaven seizes his thunderbolt, and hurls it among the conquerors; 
even the thunderbolt is powerless. They are frightened for a moment, and then 
renew the work of destruction with more fury than ever. Jupiter thereupon enrolls 
another army, and sends it against these haughty victors: it is composed of warriors 
supplied by nature with arms defensive and offensive, who in the twinkling of an 
eye change the issue of the battle. These new antagonists are crabs. The mice fly 
in confusion, and the conflict ends at sunset. 

BAVIAB, THE, and THE M^EVIAD, by William Gifford. It was through these 
two satires that the author, who later was the first editor of the Quarterly Review, 
first became known. 'The Baviad/ which first appeared in 1792, is an attack on a 
band of English writers living in Florence, Italy, among them being Mrs. Piozzi, Mr. 
Greathead, Mr. Murray, Mr. Parsons, and others, who had formed themselves into 



76 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

a kind of mutual admiration society. It is an imitation of the first satire of Perseus, 
and in it the author not only attacks the "Delia Cruscans" but all who sympathize 
with them: "Boswell, of a song and supper vain," "Colman's flippant trash," 
"Morton's catch- word, " and "Holcroft's Shug-lane cant," receive his attention; 
while the satire ends with the line, "the hoarse croak of Kemble's foggy throat." 
The 'Mseviad,' which appeared in 1795, is an imitation of the tenth satire of Horace, 
and was called forth, the author says, "by the reappearance of some of the scattered 
enemy." He also avails himself of the opportunity briefly to notice "the present 
wretched state of dramatic poetry. " It was generally considered that the author 
was engaged in a task of breaking butterflies on wheels, but he says, "There was a 
time (when ' The Baviad ' first appeared) that these butterflies were eagles and their 
obscure and desultory flights the object of universal envy and admiration." 

BEACONSFIELD, LORD, see DISRAELI, BENJAMIN, EARL OF BEACONSFIELD, 
THE LIFE OF. 

BEAUCHAMP'S CAREER, one of George Meredith's novels (1876). This story 
presents a complex network of social and political problems, in which the chief 
figures are enmeshed. Nevil Beauchamp, the hero, is a young English naval officer, 
of distinguished lineage and aristocratic environment and traditions. But he takes 
little pride in these accidents of fortune. With the temper and ambition of a martyr, 
he is prepared to sacrifice himself or his caste to the interests of his country. In 
Venice he meets a French girl, Rene*e de Croisnel, whose father has betrothed her to 
the middle-aged Marquis de Rouaillat. Nevil and Rene*e fall in love. Beauchamp, 
with characteristic impetuosity and lack of humor, urges that the larger interests of 
humanity condemn the proposed marriage as a sin against nature, and that it is her 
sacred duty to accept him. Rene*e remains unmoved in the conviction that her duty 
to her father is paramount. The disappointed lover plunges again into politics. 
On his return to England he falls under the influence of the radical, Dr. Shrapnel 
(an enthusiastic advocate of the rights of the democracy), and of his adopted daugh- 
ter, Jenny Denham. He has many sharp and bitter conflicts with his own people. 
They are ultra-conservative, he is a radical and a republican. Always ready for 
sacrifice and indifferent to ridicule, often blundering, he yet succeeds in preserving a 
certain dash and distinction even in the midst of his failures. Rene*e presently leaves 
her husband to come to England and throw herself into his arms; but is foiled by the 
ready wit of Rosamund Culling, the housekeeper of Beauchamp's uncle. Eventually 
the young radical makes a loveless marriage with Jenny Denham. Shortly after, he is 
drowned in saving the life of a nameless little urchin in the harbor of Southampton. 
The novel is a remarkable study of youthful radicalism. 

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, see FAIRY TALES. 

BEAUX' STRATAGEM, THE, by George Farquhar (1707). "The rules of English 
comedy, " says Farquhar, "don't He in the compass of Aristotle or his followers, but 
in the pit, box, and galleries. . . . Comedy is no more at present than a well-framed 
tale handsomely told as an agreeable vehicle for counsel or reproof." Farquhar's dra- 
matic work is marked by rollicking spirits, good humor, manliness, and spontaneity. 
His last and best play, 'The Beaux' Strategem,' was written in six weeks during a 
"settled illness." Before he had finished the second act he knew that his malady 
was mortal, but he persevered and tried to be "consumedly lively to the end." 
Archer and Aimwell, two gentlemen of broken fortunes, disguised as master and 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 77 

servant, are a source of perpetual amusement. The innkeeper Boniface is an original 
creation which met with immediate success on the stage. Scrub, servant to the stupid 
and brutal Squire Sullen, is not only the ornament of the kitchen but a reliable 
repository for the secrets of the young ladies. Lady Bountiful, the "old civil 
country gentlewoman that cures all her neighbors of all distempers and is foolishly 
fond of her son, Squire Sullen," and who besides is the gullible benefactress of the 
whole parish, has passed into a proverb. 

BEE, see LIFE OF THE. 

BEES, BRAMBLE AND OTHERS, see MASON-BEES. 

BEES, THE MASON, see MASON-BEES. 

BEGGAR'S OPERA, THE, by John Gay, was first played in 1728, exciting "a 
tempest of laughter." Dean Swift, upon whose suggestion this "Newgate pastoral" 
was written, declared that '"The Beggar's Opera* hath knocked down Gulliver." 
The object of the play was to satirize the predatory habits of "polite" society in 
thief-infested London, and incidentally to hold up to ridicule Italian opera. The 
chief characters are thieves and bandits. Captain Macheath, the hero, is the leader 
of a gang of highwaymen. A handsome, bold-faced ruffian, "game" to the last, he 
is loved by the ladies and feared by all but his friends with whom he shares his 
booty. Peachum is the "respectable" patron of the gang, and the receiver of stolen 
goods. Though eloquently indignant when his honor is impeached, he betrays his 
confederates from self-interest. Macheath is married to Polly Peachum, a pretty 
girl, who really loves her husband. She remains constant under many vicissitudes, 
despite the influence of her mother, whose recommendation to Polly to be " somewhat 
nice in her deviations from virtue" will sufficiently indicate her character. Having 
one wife does not deter Macheath from engaging to marry others, but his laxity 
causes him much trouble. Being betrayed, he is lodged in Newgate gaol. His escape, 
recapture, trial, condemnation to death, and reprieve, form the leading episodes in 
his dashing career. After his reprieve he makes tardy acknowledgment of Polly as 
his wife, and promises to remain constant to her for the future. Polly is one of the 
most interesting of dramatic characters, at least three actresses having attained 
matrimonial peerages through artistic interpretation of the part. Gay's language 
often confirms to the coarse taste and low standards of his time; and the opera, still 
occasionally sung, now appears in expurgated form. Its best-known piece is Mac- 
heath's famous song when two of his inamoratas beset him at once 

" How happy could I be with either 
Were t'other dear charmer away! " 

BEGINNERS OF A NATION, THE. 4 A history of the source and rise of the earliest 
English settlements in America, with special reference to the life and character of 
the people.' By Edward Eggleston (1896). This is the first volume of a pro- 
posed History of the United States, on the lines set forth by Mr. Eggleston in the 
sub-title quoted above. The volume is fully and carefully treated in the LIBRARY, 
under 'Eggleston.' 

BEGINNINGS OF NEW ENGLAND, THE, by John Fiske (1889). The occasion 
and manner of this book, in the author's series of American History volumes, are 
Indicated in a few sentences of the preface: 

"In this sketch of the circumstances which attended the settlement of New 



78 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

England, I have purposely omitted many details which in a formal history of that 
period would need to be included. It has been my aim to give the outline of such a 
narrative as to indicate the principles at work, in the history of New England down 
to the Revolution of 1689. ... In forming historical judgments, a great deal 
depends upon our perspective. Out of the very imperfect human nature which is so 
slowly and painfully casting off the original sin of its inheritance from primeval 
savagery, it is scarcely possible in any age to get a result which will look quite satis- 
factory to the man of a riper and more enlightened age. Fortunately we can learn 
something from the stumblings of our forefathers; and a good many things seem quite 
clear to us to-day, which two centuries ago were only beginning to be dimly discerned 
by a few of the keenest and boldest spirits. The faults of the Puritan theocracy, 
which found its most complete development in Massachusetts, are so glaring that 
it is idle to seek to palliate them or to explain them away. But if we would really 
understand what was going on in the Puritan world of the seventeenth century, and 
how a better state of things has grown out of it, we must endeavor to distinguish and 
define the elements of wholesome strength in that theocracy, no less than its elements 
of crudity and weakness." 

In the scientific spirit, which seeks the truth only and never the buttressing of 
any theory, yet with the largest liberality of judgment, the historian illustrates the 
upward trend of mankind from its earlier low estate. His philosophic bent appears 
most lucidly expressed in the first chapter, where the Roman idea of nation-making 
is contrasted with the English idea; the Roman conquest, with incorporation but 
without representation, with the English conquest, which always meant incorpora- 
tion with representation. Then follow a description of the Puritan exodus, and the 
planting of New England, with comments on its larger meanings, a picture of the 
New England confederacy; the scenes of Zing Philip's lurid war, and the story of 
the tyranny of Andros, James the Second's despotic viceroy, which began the 
political troubles between the New England and the Old, that ended only with Ameri- 
can independence. This volume, as will be inferred, is among the most interesting 
and suggestive of Mr. Fiske's many monographs. 

BEGUM'S DAUGHTER, THE, by Edwin Lassetter Bynner (1890), is a tale of 
Dutch New York when Sir Edmund Andros was royal governor of New England. 

The chief figures are Jacob Leisler and his family; the Van Cortlandts; and Dr. 
Staats, with his wife and daughter. This daughter, Catalina, child of a Dutch 
physician and an East-Indian mother (the Begum), combines the characteristics of 
both parents. She is the best friend of Hester Leisler, who is betrothed against 
her father's will to Steenie Van Cortlandt. When Leisler succeeds in overthrowing 
the royal governor, he forbids Hester's intercourse with Steenie, whose father is of 
the governor's party. Hester is defiant ; but her sister Mary is forced by her father to 
marry Milborne, one of his supporters, though her heart is with Abram Gouverneur, 
a young Huguenot. Leisler tries to marry Hester to Barent Rhynders, a junker from 
Albany, whose people are of use to him, but she refuses; and before her father can 
press the point, matters of graver importance claim his entire attention, he is 
sentenced to death as a traitor. After his execution, Hester still refuses to marry the 
patient Steenie, until she has cleared her father's reputation; and she finally dismisses 
him and becomes betrothed to Barent Rhynders, after her widowed sister Mary has 
wedded her first love, Gouverneur. Steenie lays his heart at the feet of the capricious 
Catalina, who refuses him because she thinks him in love with Hester. She presently 
accepts him, however: and when he reminds her of their former meeting, saying, 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 79 

''But you told me " she interrupts, blushing, "A wicked lie! " This scene closes 
one of the quaintest stories in the large number of tales that depict colonial New 
York. The student finds in it nothing with which to quarrel; and the lover of fiction 
enjoys it all. 

BELINDA, by Maria Edgeworth (1801). Belinda Portman, the charming niece 
of Mrs. Stanhope, goes to spend the winter in London with Lady Delacour, a bril- 
liant and fashionable woman; at her house she meets Clarence Hervey for the first 
time. He admires Belinda and she likes him, but mutual distrust serves to keep 
them apart. Belinda is greatly beloved in the household; and her influence almost 
succeeds in bringing about a reconciliation between Lady Delacour and her dissi- 
pated husband, when her Ladyship becomes most unreasonably jealous, and Belinda 
is forced to seek refuge with her friends the Percivals. While there, Mr. Vincent, 
a young Creole, falls violently in love with her; but the old friendship with Lady 
Delacour is re-established, and Belinda returns without having bound herself to 
him. Believing that Clarence Hervey's affections are already" engaged, she would 
have married Mr. Vincent had she not discovered his taste for gaming. Clarence 
is deeply in love with Belinda, but feels obliged to marry Virginia St. Pierre, whom 
he had educated to be his wife. Fortunately she loves another. The story ends 
happily with the reconciliation of the Delacours, and the marriage of Clarence 
Hervey and Belinda. 

BELL OF ST. PAUL'S, THE, by Sir Walter Besant (1889), is a romance covering 
in actual development only three months, but going back twenty years or more for 
a beginning. Lawrence Waller, a typical hero of romance, a young, handsome, rich 
Australian, comes to London and takes up his residence at Bank Side, in the house 
of Lucius Cottle. Although they are not aware of the fact, Cottle and his family 
are cousins to Lawrence's mother; whose husband, an unsuccessful London boat- 
builder, having emigrated to Australia, has become after thirty years premier of 
that colony. On the night of his arrival the young Australian sees two lovely girls 
rowing out of the sunset, Althea Indagine, and Cottle's younger daughter Cassie.' 
Althea is the daughter of an unsuccessful and embittered poet, with wliom the girl 
leads a hermit life, seeing no one but the Cottle family and an adopted cousin,- 
Oliver, whom twenty years before, her uncle Dr. Luttrell had bought from his 
grandmother for 5, intending to see how far education, kindness, and refined asso- 
ciation could eradicate the brutish tendencies in a gipsy child of the worst type. 
The boy, having become an eminent chemist, displays when opportunity offers the 
worst characteristics of his race. Lawrence falls in love with Althea; and Oliver 
Luttrell appears as his rival, having already, unknown to Althea, trifled with the 
affections of her friend Cassie. In the end Oliver is exposed as a forger, a discovery 
which deeply pains his foster-father. Like a fairy prince Lawrence comes to the 
assistance of all his relatives, revealing himself at the most dramatic moment, and 
shipping most of them to Australia, where there is room for all. The unhappy poet, 
too, decides to emigrate. 

BELOVED VAGABOND, THE, by William J. Locke (1906). This is the story 
of Paragot, the Beloved Vagabond, told by his adopted son, whom he had picked 
up from among the unwashed urchins of London and transplanted to his Bohemian 
quarters which were as Paradise to the neglected boy. Amid untidy surroundings 
Paragot reigns a king of philosophers instructing his pupil, whom he christens Anti- 



8o THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

cot, in art, literature, and the humanities, and enlightening the frequenters of "The 
Lotus Club" with his droll wit and philosophic lore. Later, the pair set out for a 
tour of Europe and travel from place to place picking up general information and 
performing odd jobs. They fall in with Blanquette, a friendless country girl, and 
a stray dog, who are by Paragot annexed to his wandering household. Paragot for 
a time exercises his skill as a violinist and they practice the r61es of traveling musi- 
cians, the girl playing the zither and the boy the tamborine. Chance brings together 
the "Beloved Vagabond" and his early love Joanna, who has become Countess de 
Verneuil, and from whom he was separated by the treachery of the man she later 
married. She recognizes her old lover and during her husband's illness summons 
him to her aid. After the Count's death the truth regarding his treachery is re- 
vealed to the Countess who recalls the still adoring Paragot and renews their pre- 
vious engagement believing that they can resume the old relations at the point 
where they were broken off thirteen years before. But the result is an absolute 
failure. Paragot gives up his Bohemian habits and tries to adapt himself to the 
conventional standard sweetly set by his adored Joanna; he dresses in prescribed 
garb and meekly endeavors to become as are the others in a placid English coun try- 
town. Gradually the couple begin to realize that they have changed irrevocably 
in the intervening years. Paragot, unable longer to endure the strain, rushes off 
without a word and turns up in a state of blissful hilarity at a Bohemian resort in 
Paris, where he is captured and brought home to his old lodgings by his adopted 
son and the faithful Blanquette, who worships the ground he walks on. Paragot 
returns with rejoicing to his free and easy methods of existence and realizing the 
futility of restoring his old ideal world turns to that of commonplace reality; he 
marries the devoted Blanquette and goes to live on a small farm. Here the reader 
takes final leave of him as he is visited by his prote*ge" who has become a successful 
artist, thanks to his adopted father's training. Paragot has at last attained the 
happiness he sought for, in cultivating the soil and resting content in the ministra- 
tions of his cheerful wife while he views with pride the growth of his infant son. 

BEN HTTR: A TALE OF THE CHRIST, by Lew Wallace (1880). The scene 
of this extremely popular story is laid in the East, principally in Jerusalem, just 
after the Christian era. The first part is introductory, and details the coming of 
the three wise men, Melchior, Kaspar, and Balthasar, to worship the Babe born in 
the manger at Bethlehem. Some 'fifteen years later the hero of the tale, Judah 
Ben Hur, a young lad, the head of a rich and noble family, is living in Jerusalem, 
with his widowed mother and little sister to whom he is devotedly attached. When 
Valerius Gratus, the new Roman governor, arrives in state, and the brother and 
sister go up on the roof to see the great procession pass, Judah accidentally dislodges 
a tile which fells the governor to the ground. Judah is accused of intended murder; 
his (till then) lifelong friend Messala, a Roman noble, accuses him of treasonable 
sentiments; his property is confiscated, and he is sent to the galleys for life. In the 
course of the narrative, which involves many exciting adventures of the hero, John 
the Baptist and Jesus of Nazareth are introduced, and Ben Hur is converted to the 
Christian faith through the miracles of our Lord. 

This book is one of the most successful examples of modern romantic fiction. 
It displays great familiarity with Oriental customs and habits of mind, good con- 
structive ability, and vivid powers of description. The story of the Sea Fight, for 
example, and of the Chariot Race (quoted in the LIBRARY), are admirably vivid 
and exciting episodes. 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 81 

BEOWULF, an old English epic poem of unknown author and uncertain date, 
probably composed from earlier heroic lays, about 650 A.D., by a Christian poet, 
familiar with court life. As the scene and characters of the poem are entirely 
Scandinavian it is inferred that the material was brought over by the Angles when 
they settled in Britain or that the author obtained it by a visit to Scandinavia. 
Beowulf gives a representative picture of the courts of Germanic kings at a stage 
of society not dissimilar to the heroic age of Greece; and in its dignity, warlike ideals, 
and literary form is not incomparable to the Homeric poems. Each represents the 
point of development at which the rudely improvised lay of the bard is passing into 
the finished epic though in Beowulf the transition is less complete. Popular 
superstition is the basis of the story. Heorot, the palace of Hrothgar, King of the 
Danes, is visited nightly by a monster named Grendel,_who devours the king's thanes 
as they sleep. Beowulf, the nephew of Hygelac, King o the Geats, a tribe in South- 
ern Sweden (or, according to some scholars, the Jutes), comes across the sea with 
fourteen followers to free the Danes from this scourge. After a cordial welcome 
by Hrothgar and his court the visitors are left alone in the hall for the night. As 
they sleep, the monster Grendel enters, and devours one of the Geats. Though 
invulnerable to weapons Grendel is seized by Beowulf and held in a mighty grip 
from which he breaks away only with the loss of his arm, and flees to his cavern 
beneath a lake to die. Great are the rejoicings in Heorot. The minstrels sing 
heroic lays to honor Beowulf and the king loads him with gifts. But another 
monster, Grendel's mother, still lives and comes to the hall that night to avenge 
her son's death. The followers of Hrothgar are now sleeping there, and one of them, 
^schere, she carries off and devours. Beowulf pursues her to the depths of the 
gloomy lake, where she grapples with him and drags him into the cavern beneath 
the water. A desperate struggle ensues, in which after Beowulf's sword has failed 
and he has been flung to the ground and almost killed by her dagger, he slays the 
monster with an enchanted sword, found in the cavern. He then decapitates the 
lifeless Grendel and returns with his head to the shore. He is again thanked by 
Hrothgar, and after many ceremonious speeches returns to the palace of Hygelac, 
where his narration of his exploits gives occasion for another picture of court life. 
A long interval ensues, in the course of which Hygelac and his son Heardred are 
successively killed in battle, leaving the kingdom to Beowulf, who rules well for 
fifty years. Then a dragon with fiery breath devastates the kingdom. Beowulf 
with twelve followers' goes out to kill it. Sorely wounded and deserted by all his 
comrades but one, he finally slays the dragon, but at the cost of his own life. His 
body is burned by the Geats on a funeral pure and the ashes are enclosed in a barrow. 
The poem contains many references to other Scandinavian saga heroes, and at 
least one historical personage, Hygelac, who has been conclusively identified with a 
chieftain, Chochilaicus, who was slain during a raid upon the Franks and Frisians, 
about 515 A.D. Beowulf may also have been an actual person but has affiliations 
with the heroes of popular story and with certain Scandinavian deities. 

BERRY, MISS, EXTRACTS OF THE JOURNALS AND CORRESPONDENCE 

OF. Edited by Lady Theresa Lewis. These interesting records cover the long 
period, 1783-1852, say from the American Revolution to the Crimean War. 
They were edited by Lady Lewis at Miss Berry's request, and were published in 
three volumes in 1865. 

Miss Mary Berry was born in 1763, and was brought up with her younger sister 
Agnes. Neither of the two was robust, and a large part of their lives was spent 
6 



82 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

traveling on the Continent in search of health. While young girls the Misses Berry 
became acquainted with Horace Walpole, afterwards Lord Orford, and the friend- 
ship then begun ended only with his death in 1797. The lonely old man was charmed 
with their good sense and simplicity, and his intercourse and correspondence with 
them comforted his declining years. He bequeathed his papers to Miss Berry, 
who edited and published them, as well as the letters of his friend Madame du 
Deffand. She also wrote some original works, the most important being 'A Com- 
parative View of Social Life in England and in France, 1 in which she strongly advo- 
cated a better understanding between the two countries. She devoted herself to 
the serious study of events and character, and lived with her sister in modest retire- 
ment. They were long the centre of a little coterie of choice spirits, and both died 
in 1852, beloved and lamented by the children and grandchildren of their early 
friends. 

The extracts from the journals are chiefly descriptive of Miss Berry *s travels, 
and are valuable as pictures of manners and customs that have changed, and of 
modes of travel long obsolete. But the main interest attaches to her account of 
the people she met, among whom were Scott, Byron, Louis Philippe, and the Duke 
of Wellington. She was an intimate friend of Princess Charlotte; and one of the 
most important papers in the collection is Lady Lindsay's journal of the trial of 
Queen Caroline, written expressly for Miss Berry. 

The correspondence is even more interesting than the journals, and contains 
many of Horace Walpole's letters hitherto unpublished. They touch lightly on 
political and social topics, and show his genial nature and brilliant style, as well 
as his unaffected devotion to the young ladies. We find several letters from Jo- 
anna Baillie and from Madame de Stael, who were both warm personal friends of 
Miss Berry. There are also cordial letters from Canova, Lord Jeffrey, Sydney 
Smith, and other celebrities. The reader owes a debt of gratitude to Miss Berry 
for preserving these interesting and valuable papers, and to Lady Lewis for her 
careful and sympathetic editorship. 

BESIDE THE BONNIE BRIAR BUSH (1894), by Ian Maclaren (the Rev. Dr. 
John Watson), delineates Scottish character and life among the lowly. It consists 
of short sketches with no attempt at plot, but interest attaches to the well-drawn 
characters. Domsie, the schoolmaster, bent on having Drumtochty fitly represented 
by "a lad o* pairts" in the University; Drumsheugh, with a tender love-sorrow, 
and a fine passion for concealing from his left hand the generous deeds of his right; 
the Rev. Dr. Davidson, long the beloved minister at Drumtochty; Burabne, with 
apt comments upon men and events; Marget Howe, whose mother heart still beats 
warm even after her Geordie's death; "Posty," the mail carrier; and Dr. Weelum 
Madure, going through field and flood at the call of duty, these with many others 
are drawn with a quaint intermingling of pathos and humor. The church life of 
rural Scotland affords a rich field for the powers of the author, 

BETE HUMAINE, I<A, see ROTTGON-MACQUART. 

BETROTHED, THE, {'I Promessi Sposi') by Alessandro Manzoni. 'A Milan- 
ese story of the I7th century. Discovered and Retold by Alessandro Manzoni. 
Milan, 1825-26. Paris, 1827,' is the title of a book which, the author's only romance, 
sufficed to give him a European reputation. The purity and nobility of his life and 
the spiritual tojae of his writing make him the fit companion of his compatriot 
Mazzini in morals and politics. He wrote little, but all was from his heart and 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 83 

bespoke the real man. Skeptical in early life, and marrying a Protestant woman, 
she in restoring him to the Christian church herself became Roman Catholic, and 
their union was one of both heart and faith. It was under these influences, and 
amid the religious and political reaction which followed the death of Napoleon L, 
that Manzoni who had already become famous through his 'Sacred Hymns,' 
and his tragedies the 'Adelchi' and ' Carmagnola, ' both relating to remote periods 
of the past now produced a colossal romance which combined in one narrative 
a complete picture of Italian life. The scene of the story is laid within the country 
around Milan, and the plot concerns only the troubled and impeded but at last 
happily liberated course of true love between the humble peasant Renzo and his 
already betrothed Lucia, the village maiden, for whom Don Rodrigo, the chief of a 
band of outlaws, has laid his snares. On this simple scheme the author manages to 
introduce a graphic picture of the Italian robber-baron life, as represented by the 
outlawed but law-defying Don Rodrigo and his retainers; of various phases of the 
clerical and monastic life, as represented by the craven village curate Abbondio, 
the heroic priest Cristoforo, and the gentle and magnanimous Cardinal Borromeo; 
of a devastating plague in all its terrors and demoralizing power, as witnessed by 
the lover in searching the great city and the lazaretto for his beloved; of the "mo- 
natti," the horrible band of buriers of the dead; of the calming and restoring influ- 
ence of the Church in bringing order out of tumult, the wicked to punishment, and 
virtue to its reward. The story is like a heritage of Boccaccio, Defoe, and Walter 
Scott, in a single superb panorama of which Salvator Rosa might have been the 
painter. The religious motive of the book is sincere but not exaggerated, and never 
runs to fanaticism. Its original publication was in three volumes, and occupied 
two years, 1825-26, during which time it awakened a wide interest in European 
circles; and having been soon translated into all modern languages, it has become 
probably the best known of all Italian romances to foreign readers. 

BETTY ALDEN, by Jane G. Austin. When 'Betty Alden' appeared in 1891, it 
was at once received as among the best of Mrs. Austin's historical novels. Betty 
was the daughter of John Alden and Priscilla; and from the fact that she was the 
first girl born among the Plymouth Pilgrims, her career has an especial interest 
for readers of history. Yet although Betty gives her name to the book, she is not 
the heroine. The story opens when she is about four years old, and continues until 
after her marriage with William Pabodie, critical years in the history of the 
Plymouth colony, whose events are skillfully woven into the narrative, and whose 
great men Winslow, and Bradford, and the doughty Miles Standish, with Dr. 
Fuller, and the Rowlands, and John Alden himself appear and reappear, with 
Barbara Bradford and Priscilla, and the pure, fragile Lora Standish, whose early 
death causes her father such sorrow. In sharp contrast with the upright Pilgrims 
stand out Sir Christopher Gardiner, the soi-disant knight of the Holy Sepulchre, 
with his fine clothes and light morals; Oldham and Lyford, with their treacherous 
reports to the Adventurers; and other outsiders, who were thorns in the flesh of 
the Pilgrims. Mrs. Austin is accurate as well as picturesque in her descriptions of 
the merrymakings and feasts of the time, and of the everyday life of these first settlers. 

BEVERLY OF GRAtJSTARK, by George Barr McCutcheon (1904). This is a 
sequel to the story entitled Graustark, and gives the reader a further glimpse of the 
romantic adventurer Grenfall Lorry and his lovely wife, the Princess Yetive. When 
the story opens they are living in Washington but are called suddenly back to Grau- 



84 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

stark by the news that political troubles have broken out there. Prince Gabriel, 
who was the villain of the previous volume, has escaped from prison where he has 
been confined and has wrested the throne of Dansbergen from his step-brother, 
Prince Dan tan. In consequence war is eminent and Graustark is likely to be in- 
volved. While in Washington the Princess Yetive has become greatly attached to 
a charming American girl named Beverly Calhoun and invites her to visit her at 
the royal palace. Beverly, who is ready for adventure, starts from St. Petersburg 
in the company of a negro maid-servant to make the journey by coach to Graustark. 
She is provided with an escort as she is to pass through a rough and dangerous 
country, but is deserted by her false protector who mistakes her for the Princess 
Yetive, and is left in a most dangerous position. She is rescued from this predic- 
cament by a band of goat-hunters, headed by a chief named Baldos, who also takes 
her for the princess but who protects her until she reaches her destination. Baldos, 
who has been seriously injured in saving Beverly from the attack of a wild beast, 
is put into a hospital by her, and while he is convalescing she persuades the prin- 
cess to make him one of the palace guards. Beverly and Yetive conspire to keep 
up the illusion that the former is the princess of Graustark, but though they lay 
their plans very cleverly, Baldos sees through their deception. He does not let 
them know, however, that he has discovered the conspiracy and plays his part 
without committing himself. His manners and bearing, which are so far above his 
position, baffle the princess and her household and they endeavor to solve the 
mystery. Beverly finds herself becoming deeply in love with her unknown hero 
and after having tried in vain to conquer her feelings agrees to marry him and share 
his humble lot. After a series of thrilling adventures Gabriel is captured and the 
real identity of Baldos is revealed, as he acknowledges himself to be the dethroned 
Prince Dantan. 

BEWICK, THOMAS, AND HIS PUPILS, by Austin Dobson (1884). This in- 
formal biography, in the poet's charmingly familiar style, is further enlivened by 
extracts from the great engraver's autobiography, prepared for his daughter, and in 
its descriptions of nature almost striking the note of English poetry. Born in 1753, 
when the art of wood-engraving was at its lowest ebb, Bewick falsified the say- 
ing of Horace Walpole that the world would "scarcely be persuaded to return tc 
wooden cuts." It would be easy to draw a parallel between this son of a Northum- 
berland farmer and his contemporary the Japanese HokusaL Both were pioneers, 
indefatigable workers, lovers of nature from early childhood, acute observers of 
all objects, and artists whose best work is unrivaled, though their field lay in the 
prints displayed in the homes of the people. Both the efforts and the escapades 
of the English lad are spicy reading. He had never heard of the word drawing, 
and knew no other paintings than the King's Arms in Ovingham Church, and 
a few public signs. Without patterns, and for coloring having recourse to bram- 
bleberry juice, he went directly to the birds and beasts of the fields for his subjects. 
He covered the margins of his books, then the gravestones of Ovingham Church 
and the floor of its porch; then the flags and hearth of Cherryburn, the farm-house 
where he was born. Soon the neighbors' walls were ornamented with his rude 
productions, at a cheap rate. He was always angling, and knew the history and 
character of wild and domestic animals; but did not become so absorbed in them 
as to ignore the villagers, their Christmas festivities and other features of their 
life. After serving his apprenticeship to an engraver in Newcastle, he went to 
London; but pined for the country, and though he abhorred war, said that he would 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 85 

rather enlist than remain. He opened a shop in Newcastle, where for nearly fifty 
years he carried on his work. His serious work begins with his illustrations to 
a work called 'Select Fables.' His cut for 'Poor Honest Puss' is worthy of a 
Landseer in little. 'Bewick considered his ChiHingham Bull, drawn with difficulty 
from the living model, his masterpiece; and its rarity, owing to the accidental 
destruction of the original block, enhances its value. But he reached his high- 
water mark in birds. We see them as he saw them, alive; for he had an eye- 
memory like that of Hogarth. One of the last things he ever did was to prepare a 
picture and a biography, in some seven hundred words, of a broken-down horse, 
dedicating the work to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. This 
forerunner of 'Black Beauty' was entitled 'Waiting for Death.' His own death 
occurred in 1828, before the head of the old horse had been entirely 'engraved. 
Among many delightful passages, this life contains an interesting account of the 
visit that the naturalist Audubon paid him in 1827. Although Bewick was respon- 
sible for the revival of wood engraving, he had no "school" in the conventional 
sense. Mr. Dobson explains the marked differences between Bewick's method and 
that of Durer and Holbein, and credits him with several inventions. 

BEYOND THE PALE, by B. M. Croker (1897). The scene of this story is laid 
in Munster, Ireland. The heroine is Geraldine O'Bierne, better known as Gallop- 
ing Jerry, the last representative of an old and ruined race. At her father's death, 
the great estate of Carrig is seized by the mortgage-holders; and her mother, a 
penniless and silly beauty, marries Matt Scully, a neighboring horse-dealer, a 
match so far beneath her that the indignant county cuts her altogether. Scully 
despises his stepdaughter till he discovers that she can ride with judgment and 
dauntless courage; whereupon he takes her from school, and sets her to breaking 
his horses. Her mother being dead, she is bullied and abused by him and his niece 
Tilly, a vulgar slattern; pursued by Casey Walsh, jockey and blackleg; cut by 
the county, and adored by the peasantry. The Irish pride of race is the main ele- 
ment of interest. The story is bright, original, and very well told; while two or 
three character-studies of Irish peasants are portraitures that deserve to live with 
Miss Edgeworth's. 

BHAGAVADGITA, see SACRED BOOKS OF THE EAST. 

BIBLE, THE; 'that is the holy Scripture of the Olde and Newe Testament, faith- 
fully & truly translated out of Douche and Latyn into Englishe (1535)-' The first 
complete English Bible, being the earliest translation of the whole Bible into Eng- 
lish. The Psalms of this translation are still used in the Book of Common Prayer 
and much of the rare quality of our most familiar version is due to Coverdale. 
Born in Yorkshire in 1488, and educated at Cambridge, Miles Coverdale was able 
to contribute to English popular literature a version of the Bible "translated out 
of Dutch and Latin," before a translation from the original tongues had been at- 
tempted. He superintended also the bringing out in 1539 of the first 'Great Bible'; 
and the next year edited the second 'Great Bible,' known also as 'Crammer's 
Bible.' He is supposed to have assisted in the preparation of the 'Geneva Bible* 
(1560), which was the favorite Puritan Bible, both in England and in New England. 

BIBLE, see also THE INDIAN BIBLE: also APOCRYPHAL GOSPELS and 
articles on the OLD TESTAMENT and NEW TESTAMENT in the LIBRARY. 



86 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

BIBLE, THE POLYCHROME. A new translation of the Scriptures from a re- 
vised text, by eminent Biblical scholars of Europe and America; Professor Paul 
Haupt, Johns Hopkins University, editor, with the assistance in America of Dr. 
Horace Howard Furness. The special scheme of this great work is its use of color 
backgrounds upon which to print the various passages by different writers which 
have been made up into one work, as Isaiah or the Psalms. It is based on the general 
conviction of Biblical scholars that only good can come from making perfectly clear 
to the public the full results of modern critical research. The Revised Version 
is considered by the projectors of the Polychrome an unsatisfactory compromise, 
in that it fails to show the results of modern research, either in its text of the origi- 
nal or in its translation. In particular it does not show the exact facts of the 
Hebrew originals; where in many cases a book is made up by fitting together parts 
of two or three writings, differing in character, authorship, and date. The Poly- 
chrome device to show these facts is that of printing what is of one writer on the 
white paper, what is of a second writer on a color impressed on the page over just 
space enough for the passage, and so with a third, or more. Each has his color, 
and the reader easily follows the respective writers. In the translation a marked 
change is effected by the~use of modern literary English, in place of Biblical English, 
which does not faithfully show the true meaning. In the texts followed and the 
translation adopted, the general agreement of Biblical scholars is represented. In 
the preparations made for its execution, and the plans for a collaboration of eminent 
specialists throughout the world, the work is perhaps the greatest yet attempted 
in the field of Biblical scholarship. Its translators especially represent the best 
scholarship of America, England, and Continental Europe. A corresponding 
Polychrome edition of the Hebrew text, edited by eminent Hebraists under Profes- 
sor Haupt 's direction, was issued in advance of the English version. 

BIBLE IN SPAIN, THE, by George Borrow, was published in 1843. It is an 
account of the author's five-years' residence in Spain as an agent of the English 
Bible Society. In the preface he thus explains his book: 

"Many things, it is true, will be found in the following volumes, which have lit- 
tle connection with religion or religious enterprise; I offer, however, no apology 
for introducing them. I was, as I may say, from first to last adrift in Spain, the 
land of old renown, the land of wonder and mystery, with better opportunities of 
becoming acquainted with its strange secrets and peculiarities than perhaps ever 
yet were afforded to any individual, certainly to a foreigner; and if in many in- 
stances I have introduced scenes and characters perhaps unprecedented in a work 
of this description, I have only to observe that during my sojourn in Spain I was so 
unavoidably mixed up with such, that I could scarcely have given a faithful nar- 
rative of what befell me had I not brought them forward in the manner I have 
done." 

'The Bible in Spain* is therefore a fascinating story of adventure and pictur- 
esque life in a land where, to the writer at least, the unusual predominates. As a 
reviewer wrote of the book at the time of its publication, 'We are frequently re- 
minded of Gil Bias in the narratives of this pious, single-hearted man. ' Sorrow's 
work is unique in the annals of missionary literature. 

BIBLE LANDS, Recent Research in: Its Progress and Results. Edited by Her- 
mann V. Hilprecht (1897). A work of definitive and comprehensive excellence 
presenting in eight chapters, by as many writers of high authority, the best new know- 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 87 

ledge of the fruits of Oriental exploration throwing light on the Bible. It grew 
out of a series of articles prepared by leading American and European specialists 
for the Sunday-School Times; and it thus carries an attestation which will com- 
mend it to readers who desire a trustworthy account of the recent most remark- 
able expansion of knowledge concerning Palestine, Babylonia, Egypt, and Arabia, 
in respect of their history previous to andMuring the "Mosaic" period. As some 
of the art objects pictured in the illustrations are of date 4000 B.C., it will be seen 
that the recovery of a time long before Abraham's opens to view pages of the story 
of mankind of extreme interest and significance. The new light thus thrown upon 
the ancient East shows how "Ur of the Chaldees" was, to older cities near the head 
of the Persian Gulf, a new mart of trade and seat of culture, such as Chicago is to 
New York; and how Abraham in going to Palestine went to the Far West of that 
Oriental world, where the east coast of the Mediterranean was to the world of cul- 
ture what the American Pacific coast is to-day. It was Abraham who thus first 
acted on the advice, "Young man, Go" West." The date of his defensive expedi- 
tion related in Genesis xiv. is now definitely fixed by Babylonian inscriptions at 
about 2250 B.C.; and the invasion he repelled is found to have been in pursuance 
of aims on which the kings of Babylonia are known to have acted as early as 3800 
B.C., or fully 1500 years before Abraham. 

BIGLOW PAPERS, THE, by James Russell Lowell, a series of political satire, 
in alternating prose and verse. The first series, relating to the war between the 
United States and Mexico, appeared in various journals from 1846 to 1848 and 
was published in the latter year in book form. Lowell believed the Mexican war 
a device of the Southern states to increase the extent of slave-holding territory and 
vehemently opposed it. For the expression of his views he created three typical 
Yankee characters: the Reverend Homer Wilbur, a New England country parson, 
scholar, and antiquarian, whose stilted and pedantic introductions to the verses serve 
as a medium for conveying Lowell's more serious moods; Hosea Biglow, a down- 
east farmer, whose shrewdness, common sense, and zeal for liberty find congenial 
expression in racy Yankee dialect both prose and verse; and Birdofredum Sawin, 
a rascally fellow- villager of Biglow's, who enlists for the Mexican war, becomes a 
convert to slavery and later to secession, and writes from the South epistles full of 
uproarious adventure and absurd arguments in favor of the cause he has adopted. 
This first series voices Lowell's hatred of a war which he considered un-Christian 
and of those Northern Whigs who supported it in order to gain political power. 
Few political invectives are more withering than Hosea Biglow's first poem, attack- 
ing the recruiting agents and the editorial supporters of the war; and the famous 
third poem, 'What Mr. Robinson Thinks, 1 with its stinging sarcasm and catchy metre, 
is not easily matched in the annals of satire. 'The Pious Editor's Creed' is worthy 
of Burns as an ironical presentation of hypocrisy. 'I du believe in Freedom's cause. 
, . . But libbaty's a kind of thing that don't agree with niggers. ' 

The second series of Biglow papers appeared in the Atlantic Monthly from 1862 
to 1866 and was published in book form in 1867. The Civil War had induced Lowell 
to revive the literary figures created in an earlier crisis, and he handles these char- 
acters with the old brilliance and power. Of particular interest are the comments 
of Wilbur and Biglow on the Trent Affair which constitute the second paper, entitled 
'Mason and Slidell: a Yankee Idyll/ In a dignified prose introduction, a vernac- 
ular dialogue in heroic couplets between Concord Bridge and Bunker Hill Monu- 
ment (suggested by Burns's '.Brigs o' Ayr'), and a homely epistle from Jonathan 



88 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

to John, Lowell expresses his indignation at England's sympathy for the Con- 
federacy, her supercilious attitude toward the North, and her resentment at an act 
of seizure similar to that which she had herself defended in 1812; he approves, how- 
ever, the action of Lincoln in giving up the captured Confederate commissioners, 
and prophesies a future understanding between Great Britain and the Union. 
Birdofredum Sawin excites ridicule by his long epistles descriptive of his settlement 
and marriage in the South and his conversion to slavery and separation from the 
Union. Biglow's imaginary message to the Confederate Congress by Jefferson Davis 
illustrates the growing encouragement of the North at the weakening of Southern 
credit and morale. In the closing papers there are some attractive pictures of 
New England scenery and some fine prophecies of peace and reconstruction. The 
book is a brilliant and witty embodiment of the best abolitionist and unionist senti- 
ment. The often ponderous but genuine and earnest zeal of the Reverend Homer 
Wilbur, the vigorous native wit and humor of Hosea Biglow, whose dialect, a spon- 
taneous development of the race and soil, was deliberately chosen by Lowell as a 
source of life and freshness in diction, and the characteristically American exaggera- 
tion and caricature of Birdofredum Sawin are merely different phases of Lowell's 
attitude and temper. Many of the political allusions are obscure to the modem 
reader but the general drift of the satire is easy to follow and its effectiveness is 
unquestionable. 

BIMBI: STORIES FOR CHILDREN (1882). Ouida has done nothing so per- 
fectly as her stories of child-life. In 'Bimbi' we see her at her best. The stories 
are simply but charmingly told, and show a wonderfully intimate sympathy with 
children. The characters are mostly little peasants, sweet, natural, and thoughtful, 
filled with a love of beauty and of old legends, and touched with the simple spon- 
taneous heroism that is possible only to a child. 

* Hirschvogel, ' which opens the volume, is the story of a German boy's romantic 
attachment for a beautiful porcelain stove, made by the great master Hirschvogel. 
August's father having sold the stove, the child secretes himself in it, and after a 
terrible journey of three days is found inside by the young king who has bought 
it; and who, pleased with the child's devotion, allows him to stay with his beloved 
Hirschvogel and receive an artist's education. 

' Moufflou ' takes its name from a clever poodle, which Lolo, his little lame master, 
had taught to do many tricks. Lolo's mother having sold the dog while he was 
away, the child takes the loss so much to heart that he becomes ill, and is saved 
from death only by the opportune arrival of Moufflou, who has escaped and walked 
many miles to find his little master. 

Findelkind is a boy whose whole life is saddened because some twin lambs from 
his flock stray, and are frosen to death, while he is away upon a quest for money 
with which to found a monastery. 

The Little Earl who gives his name to the last story in the book learns early the 
lesson that " It is the title they give me and the money I have got that make people 
so good, to me. When I am only me you see what it is." 

'In the Apple Country* relates how a young Englishman receives into his home 
Gemma, a hot-tempered, warm-hearted little Italian girl, with her grandfather 
and brother, who have been arrested for strolling. And when Gemma has grown 
into a beautiful girl, impulsive still, but sweet and gentle, she consents to give up 
forever the grapes and oranges of Italy to live in the "Apple Country," as Philip 
Corey's wife. 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 89 

Perhaps the most charming of the stories is 'The Child of Urbino. ' Two friends 
of the child Raf aelle Luca, a noble youth, and his sweetheart Pacifica, a gentle 
maiden are in great trouble. Pacifica's father, a great artist, has promised his 
daughter's hand to the painter winning in a contest to be decided by the duke, and 
Luca could paint but ill. On the day of the decision the duke and all present gaze 
in wonder upon one piece, which is found to be the work of the seven-year-old child 
Rafaelle. .Modestly and quietly the child claims Pacifica, takes her hand and 
places it in Luca's. They tell Luca that an angel has come down for him. "But 
Luca heard not: he was still kneeling at the feet of Rafaelle, where the world has 
knelt ever since." 

BIOGRAPHIA LITERARIA, a loosely-knit series of chapters, autobiographical, 
philosophical, and critical, by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, published in 1817. In the 
more philosophical chapters Coleridge explains his distinction between fancy and 
imagination and shows its relation to the views of Kant and other idealists. In 
chapters xiv. to xxii. he presents an extremely valuable examination and criticism 
of the poetical theories of Wordsworth as expressed in his Preface to the 'Lyrical 
Ballads' (1800). To the first edition of this famous collection Coleridge had con- 
tributed 'The Ancient Mariner.' He had been in close association with Words- 
worth at the time when the book was planned and had discussed that plan with 
him. While warmly praising Wordsworth's power of investing common objects 
and scenes with an atmosphere of wonder he took exception to his dicta that the 
language of poetry should as far as possible be identical with that of common life 
and that there is no essential difference between the language of prose and that of 
poetry. He points out that poetry, being idealistic in its aims, must express concepts 
for which there are no words in ordinary conversation, that Wordsworth himself 
frequently uses in his poetry language utterly removed from that of humble, un- 
educated people, and that metre, by its emotional effect, differentiates poetry from 
prose. This admirable critique forms a salutary corrective to the excesses of 
Wordsworth's theory and brings out with sympathetic and appreciative insight 
the poetic beauties of his practice. It also enriched English criticism by some very 
important principles and judgments. 

BIRCH DENE, by William Westell (1891). The scene of this sombre story is 
laid in London and the North of England, the England of George IV. and the landed 
proprietor. A young gentlewoman, wife of an officer, comes up to London with 
her child, to meet her husband, on his return from extended foreign service. He 
does not arrive, and she can hear no news of him. Friendless and alone, she falls 
into dire want; and finally, one stormy day, snatches a little cloak hanging- out- 
side a shop, for her shivering boy. She is immediately seized and brought to trial. 
In the criminal code of that day, stealing an article valued at five shillings or more 
was one among one hundred and fifty capital crimes; and the poor woman is sen- 
tenced to be hanged, a fate she escapes by dropping dead in the dock. Stricken 
with brain fever after the trial, the poor little lad, Robin, cannot remember his 
father's name, which his mother had carefully concealed, nor where he was born. 
He is sheltered and brought up by a kindly old bookseller; but on the death of his 
benefactor, when no will is found, the little property passes to a nephew, a miserly 
undertaker. To get rid of Robin, now aged nineteen, he apprentices him to a cotton- 
spinner in the Lancashire village of Birch Dene. The interest of the story lies in 
its graphic portraiture of the English industrial life of the early part of the century, 



90 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

in its stud}* of artisan character, its clever invention of incident and plot, and its 
humane spirit, 

BIRD, THE (' L'Oiseau '), by Jules Michelet. In the year 1855 the eminent historian 
took up the study of natural science, as a relief from the too great strain of continued 
observation of the course of human events; and in three volumes, of which ' L'Oiseau' 
is one, he treated of non-human nature in a manner sympathetic and stimulating, 
but thoroughly imbued with his peculiar ethical and scientific theories. These 
works partook of the exceeding popularity which had met his studies in human his- 
tory; and naturally, for they had all the charm of style, the grace and color and 
poetic feeling, which belonged to Michelet, together with the interest of an entirely 
novel attitude toward the subject presented. 

'L'Oiseau' is less a treatise on ornithology than a biography of the bird and, 
as a translator says, "an exposition of the attractiveness of natural history." It 
tells the story of bird-life in a delightful, somewhat discursive fashion, as the story 
of a being like ourselves. A hint of Pantheism, a suggestion of metempsychosis, 
a faint foreshadowing of Darwin, infuse the story of the birds as told by Michelet. 
Through it breathes a tender love for nature, a love which strove rather to establish 
a sympathy between man and his environment than to inform him concerning it. 
The author says that he shall try "to reveal the bird as soul, to show that it is a 
person. The bird, then, a single bird, that is all my book, but the bird in all the 
variations of its destiny, as it accommodates itself to the thousand vocations of 
winged life. . . . What are these? They are your brothers, embryo souls, 
souls especially set apart for certain functions of existence, candidates for the more 
widely harmonic life to which the human soul has attained." This conception colors 
the whole treatment of the subject. A translation, with illustrations by Giacomelli, 
was published in London and New York, 1869, three years after it first appeared 
in Paris. 

BIRDS, THE (' Aves'), by the Greek dramatist Aristophanes, is a comedy that 
appeared in 414 B.C. It belongs with the writer's earlier plays, in which farcical 
situations, exuberant imagination, and a linguistic revel are to be noted. The 
comedy is a burlesque on the national mythology: the author creates a cloudland 
for his fancy to sport in without restraint. A couple of old Athenians, Euelpides 
and Peisthetairos, sick of the quarrels and corruptions of the capital, decide to 
quit the country. They seek Epops, now called Tereus, who has become King of 
the Birds. He tells them so much about the bird kingdom that they are interested; 
and after a council of the birds, who, at first hostile, finally give the strangers 
a friendly reception, propose to build a walled city (Cloud-Cuckoo-Land) to 
shut out the gods and enhance bird power. This is done under Peisthetairos's 
supervision. Various messengers come from Athens and are summarily treated; 
a deputation from the gods also comes, offering peace, which is accepted on condi- 
tion that the birds are reinstated in all their old-time rights. The comedy doses 
with the marriage hymn for Peisthetairos and Basileia, the beautiful daughter of 
Zeus. Throughout, the bird chorus sings lofty poetry, and the comedy parts are 
full of rollicking audacity of wit, much of it, however, so dependent upon local 
allusion or verbal play as to make it obscure for the English reader. 

BIRDS OF AMERICA, THE, the monumental work of John James Audubon, 
the great American naturalist, was published first in England between the years 
1827 and 1830. It contained colored illustrations of 1065 species of birds. The 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 9 1 

\,ext of this remarkable book is descriptive of the habits and manners of the birds 
observed by Audubon himself in his long wanderings over the North-American 
continent. Aside from its scientific value, it is most interesting because written 
throughout with the same enthusiasm which prompted the original investigations 
of the author. 

BISMARCK, SOME SECRET PAGES OF HIS HISTORY, by J. H. M. Busch 
(i 898) . From 1 870 Busch had been employed by Bismarck as one of his press agents, 
and in this capacity was with the Chancellor during the whole of the Franco- Prussian 
War. His work is a priceless record, not only as a moving picture of Bismarck's 
daily life, but as a revelation of the means which the Chancellor used to manipulate 
opinion in Germany, in England and other neutral countries, and even in France. 
The most illuminating side-lights are thrown upon the great events which led up 
to the formation of the German Confederation and the war of 1870-1. Speaking 
of Moltke, for example, Bismarck said (October 4, 1870) : " I have not seen him look- 
ing so well for a long time past. That is the result of the war. It is his trade. I 
remember, when the Spanish question became acute, he looked ten years younger. 
Afterwards, when I told him that the Hohenzollern had withdrawn, he suddenly 
looked quite old and infirm. And when the French showed their teeth again, 
1 Molk ' was once more fresh and young. The matter finally ended in a diner & trois 
Molk, Roon, and I which resulted (here the Chancellor smiled a cunning smile) 
in the Ems telegram." 

BITTER-SWEET, by J. G. Holland, is a narrative didactic poem, of about three 
thousand five hundred lines, which appeared in 1858 and won great popularity. 

Israel, a good old Puritan farmer, dwells in his ancestral New England home. 

-% 

" His daughter Ruth orders the ancient house, 
And fills her mother's place beside the board.*' 

On Thanksgiving eve the patriarch's children, with their families, gather for the 
festival. Round the hearth God's justice and providence and the mystery of evil 
are discussed. Israel stands for faith. Ruth expresses her doubts, having looked 
in vain for justice in the world. David, a poet, husband to Ruth's sister Grace, 
undertakes to teach Ruth that there is no incongruity in the existence of evil in a 
world created by beneficent design. His first illustration is drawn from nature, 
as David and Ruth seek the cellar to bring cider and apples for the, company, and 
is epitomized in the couplet: 

" Hearts, like apples, are hard and sour, 
Till crushed by Pain's resistless power," 

Grace, and Mary, a foster-daughter of the house, exchange the stories of their 
domestic sorrows, while each finds in the other consolation and sympathy. Grace 
tells of her husband's apparent interest in some unknown woman; but admits her 
griefs to be trivial beside those of Mary, whose dissolute husband has deserted her 
and their child. The question is next illustrated by story. Joseph, one of Israel's 
sons, tells to the children the old story of Bluebeard. The older folk find in it serious 
lessons in line with the main theme of the poem. Finally there is heard the cry of 
a man perishing in the storm which rages without. Brought to the fireside and 
revived, he proves to be the weak but now repentant Edward, husband to Mary. 
The injured wife forgives all, and discloses that the friend who has been comforting 



92 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

her is the poet David. The revelation shows Grace that her jealousies have been 
groundless. Edward dies peacefully, and all see more clearly that God has not 
forgotten the world, and that there is 

"In every evil a kind instrument 
To chasten, elevate, correct, subdue." 

BLACK BEAUTY, HIS GROOMS AND COMPANIONS, by Anna Sewall (1877). 
This story, written in the form of a horse's autobiography, is really a tract on the 
proper treatment of horses. Black Beauty, a high-bred gentle creature, accustomed 
to kind treatment in a gentleman's stables, has his knees broken by a drunken groom, 
and is so much disfigured that he is sold to the keeper of a livery stable. In turn 
he becomes a cab-horse, a cart-horse, then a cab-horse again, and finally, when he 
is utterly broken down by overwork and hard treatment, he is bought by a farmer 
who recognizes his good blood, and nurses him patiently into health again. He is 
then sold to a family of ladies, whose coachman is an old friend, and in whose stable 
he passes the rest of his days happily. The story, told with simplicity and restraint, 
and without a word of preaching, is the best of sermons. Its vogue was great, and 
it remains a favorite with young readers. 

BLACK DIAMONDS, by A'laurice Jokai, the famous Hungarian novelist, is a 
strong story of industrial and aristocratic life in Hungary, with a complicated plot, 
and dramatic even sensational features. It was published in 1870. Its 
interest centres around the coal-mining business; the black diamonds are coal 
also, by a metaphor, the humble folk who work in the mines and exhibit the finest 
human virtues. The hero is Ivan Behrends, owner of the Bondavara coal mine; 
a man of great energy and ability, with a genius for mechanics. He does a small 
conservative business, and a syndicate of capitalists try to crush him by starting 
an enormous colliery near by; only to make a gigantic failure, after floating the 
company by tricky stock-exchange methods. Ivan outwits them by sticking to 
honest ways and steady work. Edila, the pretty little colliery girl whom Ivan loves, 
goes to the city as the wife of a rich banker, and has a checkered career there, be- 
coming the prote*ge*e of a prince and a conspicuous actress; but eventually she 
prefers to come back to the mine, don her old working clothes to show her humil- 
ity, and marry Ivan. Very graphic scenes in the stock exchange, in the under- 
ground world of the miner, and in the fashionable society life of Vienna and Pesth, 
are given; the author being thoroughly familiar with Hungary, high and low, and 
crowding his book with lively incidents, and varied clearly drawn characters. 

BLACK SHEEP, THE. A novel by Edmund Yates (1867). George Dallas is 
the black sheep of his family. His mother, a widow, has married Capel Carruthers, 
a wealthy, pompous, narrow-minded bit of starched propriety. Carruthers refuses 
to make a home for the youth on his splendid estates, and casts him adrift on the 
world. George becomes wild and reckless, and moves m a set of "black sheep": 
men and women mostly of gentle birth like himself, who have fallen into evil ways. 
Chief among these are George Routh and his wife Harriet, professional sharpers, 
who deem it to their interest to get him into their power. Routh is a scamp by 
nature. His wife, an innocent girl, falls to his level through her overwhelming love 
for him. Routh lends Dallas the money to pay a gambling debt to a mysterious 
American named Deane. The style of the story is energetic, and its rapid com- 
plications make it interesting. 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 93 

BLACKWOOD, WILLIAM, AND HIS SONS, their Magazine and Friends; 
Annals of a publishing house, by Mrs. M. 0. W. OHphant (1897). This book, 
projected in three volumes, the last of which, unhappily, the author did not 
live to complete, is in effect an outline sketch of English letters for the greater 
part of the eighteenth century. In the form of a biography of the great Scotch 
publishing-house, the relations of its partners to the writing world of their time 
are detailed with infinite humor and enjoyment. "William Blackwood, first of the 
name, began as a dealer in second-hand books in Edinburgh; his first publication 
being a catalogue of his own stock, done with so much knowledge and so excellent 
a classification that it still remains in use. The great London house of Murray 
wanting a Scotch agency, the enterprising and determined Blackwood secured it, 
the first "ten-strike" in his game of life. His next good fortune was the honor of 
publishing 'The Tales of My Landlord/ which, though anonymous, Blackwood 
confidently ascribed to Scott. Unluckily, he ventured afterward to find some fault 
with 'The Black Dwarf'; and the indignant author of Waverley repudiated him 
and all his works in a sharp letter, closing " I'll be cursed but this is the most impudent 
proposal that ever was made." Blackwood therefore lost the opportunity of be- 
coming Scott's publisher; but poor Scott doubtless lost the assurance of a comfort- 
able and tranquil age. Miss Susan Ferrier, the author of 'Marriage,' 'Destiny, 1 
etc., was one of Blackwood 's protegees, as were so many of the successful writers 
of the early century. But all his other debuts and successes were eclipsed, Mrs. 
OHphant considers, by the association of Wilson, Lockhart, and Blackwood in the 
founding and editing of Blackwood 's Magazine. 'Maga,' the Blackwood venture, 
on the other hand, was a Tory rival to the well-established Edinburgh Review. For 
those were days when politics colored opinion to a degree which is now almost in- 
credible. "When the reviewer sits down to criticize," wrote Lockhart, "his first 
question is not, 'Is the book good or bad?' but 'Is the writer a Ministerialist or an 
Oppositionist?' " Mrs. OHphant confesses freely the blunders of 'Maga': its 
mean attack on Coleridge in the first number, its foolish and baseless onslaught 
on the "Cockney school'' represented by Leigh Hunt, and its promise of judgment 
to come on "the Shelleys, the Keatses, and the Webbes." On the other hand, she 
shows the friendly connection of George Eliot and of Lord Lytton with the house, 
and its pleasant relations with many less famous persons whom Blackwood intro- 
duced to the world. Full of the most agreeable gossip as they are, the real value 
of these volumes lies perhaps not more in the history of the time which they present, 
than in the impression they give of the kindly and helpful influence of the Black- 
woods themselves upon the Hves and work of their many clients. 

BLEAK HOUSE. A novel by Charles Dickens (1853). One theme of this 
story is the monstrous injustice and even ruin that could be wrought by the de- 
lays in the old Court of Chancery, which defeated all the purposes of a court of 
justice; but the romance proper is unconnected with this. The scene is laid 
in England about the middle of last century. Lady Dedlock, a beautiful society 
woman, successfully hides a disgraceful secret. She has been engaged to a Captain 
Hawdon; but through circumstances beyond their control, they were unable to 
marry, and her infant she beHeves to have died at birth. Her sister, however, has 
brought up the child under the name of Esther Summerson. Esther becomes the 
ward of Mr. Jarndyce, of the famous chancery law case of Jarndyce vs. Jarndyce, 
and Hves with him at Bleak House. Her unknown father, the Captain, dies poor 
and neglected in London. A veiled lady visits his grave at night; and this confirms 



94 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

a suspicion of Mr. Tulkinghorn, Sir Leicester Dedlock's lawyer, already roused by 
an act of Lady Dedlock. With the aid of a French maid he succeeds in unraveling 
the mystery, and determines to inform his friend and client Sir Leicester of his 
wife's youthful misconduct. On the night before this revelation is to be made, 
Mr. Tulkinghorn is murdered. Lady Dedlock is suspected of the crime, disappears, 
and after long search is found by Esther and a detective, lying dead at the gates 
of the graveyard where her lover is buried. The story is told partly in the third 
person, and partly as autobiography by Esther. Among the other characters are 
the irresponsible and impecunious Mr. Skimpole; Mrs. Jellyby, devoted to foreign 
missions; crazy Miss Flite; Grandfather Smallweed; Krook, the rag-and-bottle 
dealer; Mr. Guppy, who explains all his actions by the statement that "There are 
chords in the human mind"; the odiously benevolent Mrs. Pardiggle; Mr. Turvey- 
drop, the model of deportment; Mr. Chadband, whose name has become prover- 
bial for a certain kind of loose-jointed pulpit exhortation; Caddy Jellyby, with inky 
fingers and spoiled temper, all of whom Dickens portrays in his most humorous 
manner; and, among the most touching of his children of the slums, the pathetic 
figure of poor Jo, the crossing-sweeper, who "don't know nothink." The story is 
long and complicated; but its clever satire, its delightful humor, and its ingrained 
pathos, make it one of Dickens's most popular novels. 

BLIND, THE ('Les Aveugles') (1890), by Maurice Maeterlinck, the Belgian 
poet-dramatist, is a play of symbolism, which, like the earlier 'The Intruder,' is 
one of the writer's best-known and most striking works. It is an eerie kind of alle- 
gory. On an island, in a mystic norland wood, under the night stars, sit a company 
of blind folk, men and women, under the guidance of an old priest returned from 
the dead. They grope about in a maze and query as to their location and destiny, 
a strange, striking effect being produced by the grewsome setting of the scene and 
the implication of the words, through which the reader gathers that this is a sym- 
bolic picture of life, in which mankind wanders without faith or sight in the forest 
of ignorance and unfaith, depending upon a priestcraft that is defunct, and knowing 
naught of the hereafter. The poetry and humanity of this picture-play are very 
strong. Good English translations of this and other dramatic pieces by Maeter- 
linck have been made by Richard Hovey, Alexander Teixeira de Mattos, and Alfred 
Sutro. 

BLITHEDALE ROMANCE, THE, the third of Nathaniel Hawthorne's romances, 
published in 1852, was the outcome of an intimate acquaintance with the members 
of the Brook Farm Community; and immortalized the brief attempt of that little 
group of transcendentalists to realize equality and fraternity in labor. It is more 
objective and realistic than Hawthorne's other works, and therefore in a sense more 
ordinary. Its central figure is Zenobia, a beautiful, intellectual, passionate woman; 
drawn as to some outlines from Margaret Fuller. At the time it opens, she has 
taken up her abode at Blithedale Farm, the counterpart of Brook Farm. The 
other members of the community are Hollingsworth, a self-centred philanthropist; 
a Yankee fanner, Silas Forster, and his wife; Miles Coverdale, the relater of the 
story; and Priscilla, who is Zenobia's half-sister, though of this fact Zenobia is 
ignorant. 'The Blithedale Romance 1 is a brilliant instance of Hawthorne's power 
as a story-teller. No scene in the whole range of fiction is more realistic than the 
finding of Zenobia's body in the dead of night; drawn from the dank stream, a 
crooked, stiff shape, and carried to the farm-house where old women in nightcaps 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 95 

jabber over it. Nothing could be more in the manner of Hawthorne than his com- 
ment that if Zenobia could have foreseen her appearance after drowning, she would 
never have committed the act. 

BLOT IN THE 'SCUTCHEON, A, a tragedy by Robert Browning, published 
in 1843 and acted in the same year. Mildred Tresham, only sister of Thorold, 
Earl Tresham, has been seduced by Henry, Earl Mertoun, whose lands adjoin those 
of her brother. Anxious to repair this wrong he formally requests her in marriage. 
Thorold, who knows nothing of his sister's fall, readily consents. But a retainer 
sees Mertoun climb to Mildred's chamber and informs his master, without being 
able to identify the intruder. Questioned by her brother, Mildred admits the truth 
of the story, but refuses to divulge her lover's name or to dismiss Earl Mertoun. 
Deeply wounded in his family pride, which is morbidly intense, Thorold is too emo- 
tionally stirred to infer that Mertoun and the lover are the same. Denouncing 
Mildred as a shameless woman he rushes into the park, where he wanders until 
midnight. Meanwhile, Mildred's cousin, Gwendolen, in a talk with Mildred, has 
divined the identity of Mertoun and the offender, and with her fianc6 and the earl's 
brother, Austin Tresham, goes out to find Thorold and to persuade him to forgive- 
ness. They are too late, however. At midnight Thorold encounters Mertoun 
on his way to an interview with Mildred, and in his anger compelled him to fight a 
duel in which Mertoun, refusing to defend himself, is mortally wounded. Realizing 
at length his own harshness and injustice towards a boy who was penitent and 
eager to atone for his fault, Thorold exchanges forgiveness with Mertoun, and on 
his death, takes poison. He then goes to beg forgiveness of his sister who grants it 
and dies of a broken heart, closely followed by her brother. In dying he says that 
he leaves to Austin and Gwendolen an unblotted 'scutcheon. The catastrophe 
has been criticized as not inevitable and the speeches as too analytical for the stage, 
but there can be no doubt of the pathos and tragic power of this drama. 

BLUE BIRD, THE ('L'Oiseau bleu'), by Maurice Maeterlinck (1908). In the 
opening scene of this charming play the children of a woodcutter dream on Christ- 
mas eve that a fairy sends them on a quest for the blue bird of happiness for her 
little girl. Tyltyl, the boy, wears a green hat with a magic diamond in the cockade, 
which enables human beings to see like the fairies. At a turn of the diamond, the 
hours come dancing from the clock, and the souls of Light, Bread, Milk, the Dog, and 
the Cat awaken to accompany the children on their journey. They first visit their 
grandparents in the Land of Memory, where the dead return to life whenever we 
remember them. Then they search the caverns of the Palace of the Night for the 
blue bird, and see wonderful things. In the Kingdom of the Future, under the 
guardianship of Father Time, they see the unborn babies, with all sorts of things 
they are to bring to earth, crimes, inventions, and blessings for mankind. In the 
forest, the Cat warns the trees that the children of the woodcutter, their enemy, are 
in their power. The ivy binds the paws of the Dog, but he bursts his bonds to de- 
fend his master. At a turn of the magic diamond they find themselves back in the 
cottage, and the blue bird in their own cage at home. They give the bird to a neigh- 
bor to please her little girl who is sick, and it flies away. This fantasy paints the 
moral that happiness, though sought far away, and in the past or the future, can 
best be found close by in acts of unselfishness. The final flight of the blue bird out 
of the little girl's hand implies that happiness lies in the quest, not the possession. 

BLUEBEARD, see FAIRY TALES. 



96 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

BOB, SON OF BATTLE, by Alfred Ollivant (1898). It is the author's 
mission to be the inventor of the novelistic dog, for though horses have often 
figured in fiction, this is the first fully fledged novel with a dog for the central 
figure. The scene of the story is laid in the Cumberland fells and much of the 
interest turns on the trials of the sheep dog of the North. Bob or "Owd Bob," 
as he is called, is the last of the renowned "gray dogs of Kennion," a wonderfully 
fine and sagacious breed of shepherd dogs, in which the dalesmen took great pride. 
The deeds of this splendid creature and those of his rival, "Red Wull," the "Tailless 
Tyke," are set forth in a powerful manner. The dogs' contest for the "Champion 
Challenge Dale Cup" is described in a most spirited way, and the contrast in the 
characteristics of the two rivals is as great as that between their respective owners. 
Bob's master, James Moore, the farmer of Kenmuir, calm, firm, and gentle-hearted, 
one of a race of gallant "statesmen," is as widely distinguished from the blasphemous 
little Adam McAdams as is the noble gray dog from his sanguinary foe. McAdams's 
attachment to his dog, which is so much stronger than that which he feels for his 
own son, whom he treats with much cruelty, is set forth with remarkable strength. 
The search for the mysterious sheep slayer, and the capture of "Red Wullie," red- 
fanged and caught in the commission of the one capital crime of the sheep-dog, 
causes the breakdown of the culprit's master and reveals a bit of tenderness yet 
left in his hardened nature. Many of the episodes are eminently pathetic, espe- 
cially so is the action of the "gray dog of Kenmuir" upon the tragic occasion of 
the downfall of his rival. 

BOCCACCIO, GIOVANNI, 'Asj Man] and Author/ by John Addington Symonds 
(1895). A monograph in a hundred pages of fine learning and rare criticism, on one 
of "the three founders of modern literature." Dante, first of the three, stood 
within the shadow of mediaeval theology; Petrarch, coming next, initiated the 
Revival of Learning, humanism, scholarship, the modern intellectual ideal. 
Boccaccio was the founder of Greek studies, and Petrarch's ablest lieutenant in the 
pioneering work of the Revival of Learning. He created the novel; and though a 
second only to Petrarch, as Petrarch was a second only to Dante, in force of char- 
acter and quality of genius, he ruled the course of Italian literature, and its far- 
reaching influences, for three centuries. Such in outline is the story to which 
Symonds devotes his monograph. 

BOHEMIANS OF THE LATIN QUARTER, THE, 'Scenes de la Vie de Boheme,' 
by Henri Murger (1848). Murger knew intimately the life of the penniless Parisian 
artists, musicians, and literary men who congregated in the Latin Quarter, and 
in this story has faithfully depicted it. Not possessed of genius or not yet recognized 
at their true worth they were unwilling to devote themselves to mere money-making 
tasks and therefore continued to strive for success in painting, the drama, poetry, 
or music. They endured cold and hunger, spent money freely and generously when 
they had it, and when it was gone were not above evading their tailors or landlords, 
upon whom as on the industrious bourgeoisie they looked down as Philistines. 
In this story we are introduced to a poet, Rodolphe; a painter, Marcel; a musician, 
Schaunard; and a philosopher, Colette. All have the same high artistic ambitions 
joined with impectmiosity; all employ the same tricks to deceive the bill-collector 
and the waiter. The story of Rodolphe's connection with Mimi and Marcel's 
with Musette, and of the delights, jealousies, separations, and reconciliations that 
ensued gives a certain unity to the book, which is, however, mainly episodic. The 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 97 

pathetic death of Mimi closes the story, as it also forms the crisis of the drama, 
'La Vie de Boheme,' which Murger and Theodore Barriere staged in 1849. This 
play is the source of the libretto of Puccini's opera, 'La Boheme' (1898). Murger's 
tale and drama will live as a vivid record of a noted phase of literary life in the nine- 
teenth century. 

BOHN'S LIBRARIES. A uniform 'Publication Series' of standard works of 
English and European literature, of which Thomas Carlyle said: "I may say in 
regard to all manner of books, Bohn's Publication Series is the usefulest thing I 
know." It covers the whole ground of history, biography, topography, archae- 
ology, theology, antiquities, science, philosophy, natural history, poetry, art, and 
fiction, with dictionaries and other books of reference; and comprises translations 
from French, German, Italian, Spanish, Scandinavian, Anglo-Saxon, Latin, and 
Greek. The originator of the enterprise, Henry George Bohn, a London bookseller, 
who startled the English trade by issuing in 1841 a guinea catalogue of some 25,000 
important and valuable old books, began in 1846 with the Standard Library. His 
design was to promote the sale of good books by a cheap uniform issue of works of 
a solid and instructive kind. The choice of type, paper, and binding was most 
judicious, and for cheap books nothing equal to it had ever been done. The Stand- 
ard soon numbered 371 vols. The other libraries added later were the His- 
torical Library, 26 vols.; the Philosophical, 23 vols.; Ecclesiastical and 
Theological, 10 vols.; Antiquarian, 24 vols.; Illustrated, 61 vols.; Sports and 
Games, 6 vols.; Classical, 104 vols.; Collegiate, 9 vols.; Scientific, 30 vols.; 
Economics and Finance, 5 vols.; Reference, 24 vols.; Novelists, 17 vols.; and 
Artists, 9 vols.; making 721 volumes classified under 14 heads. The great success 
of Mr. Bohn's scheme initiated a period of inexpensive production and wide 
distribution of books of real value, which cannot but have done much for the spread 
of real culture throughout the English-speaking world. 

BONDMAN, THE (1890), one of Hall Caine's best-known romances, abounds in 
action and variety. Stephen Orry, a dissolute seaman, marries Rachael, the daugh- 
ter of Iceland's Governor-General, and deserts her before their boy Jason is born. 
Twenty years later, at his mother's death-bed, Jason vows vengeance upon his 
father and his father's house. Orry, drifting to the Isle of Man, has married a 
low woman, and sunk to the depths of squalid shame. Finally the needs of 
their neglected boy, Sunlocks, arouse Orry to play the man; he reforms and 
saves some money. Sunlocks grows up like a son in the home of the Manx 
Governor, and wins the love of his daughter Greeba. The youth is sent to 
Iceland to school, and is commissioned by Orry to find Jason and give him 
his father's money a mission he is unable to fulfill. In trying to wreck, and 
then to save, an incoming vessel (which, unknown to Orry, is bearing the 
avenging Jason from Iceland to Man) Orry is fatally hurt; but is saved from 
drowning by Jason, who learns from the dying man's delirium that he has 
rescued the father and missed the brother whom he has sworn to kill. Through- 
out the story, 'his blind attempts at doing new wrongs to revenge the old are 
overruled 'by Providence for good; and at the last, no longer against his will but 
by the development of his own nature, he fulfills his destiny of blessing those 
he has sworn to undo. 

BONHEUR DES DAMES, AU, see ROUGON-MACQUART. 

7 



98 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

BOOK OF DAYS, THE, edited by Robert Chambers. These two large 
volumes (which have for their sub-title 'A Miscellany of Popular Antiquities in 
connection with the Calendar') contain a curious and interesting collection of what 
its editor calls "old fireside ideas." This encyclopedic work was published in Edin- 
burgh in 1863; and in bringing it out, the editor expressed a desire to preserve 
interest in what is "poetical, elevated, honest, and of good report, in the old na- 
tional life," recognizing the historical, and even the ethical, importance of keep- 
ing this active and progressive age in touch with obsolescent customs, manners, 
and traditions. Beginning with January first, each day of the year has its own 
curious or appropriate selection, and its allowance of matters connected with 
the Church Calendar, including the popular festivals, saints' days, and holidays, 
with illustrations of Christian antiquities in general. There is also much folk- 
lore of the United Kingdom, embracing popular notions and observances con- 
nected with times and seasons and notable events, biographies, anecdotes, historical 
sketches, and oddities of human life and character, as well as articles on popular 
archaeology tending to illustrate the progress of civilization, manners, and litera- 
ture, besides many fugitive bits and odd incidents. 

BOOK OF MARTYRS, THE, by John Foxe, sometimes known as the 'History 
of the Acts and Monuments of the Church/ was first published in Latin in 1554, 
when the author was in exile in Holland. The first English edition appeared in 
1563. By order of the Anglican Convocation meeting in 1571, the book was placed 
in the hall of every episcopal palace in England. Before Foxe's death in 1587 it 
had gone through four editions. 

This strange work kept its popularity for many years. The children of succeed- 
ing generations found it a fascinating story-book. Older persons read it for its 
noble English, and its quaint and interesting narrative. 

The scope of the 'Book of Martyrs' is extensive. The author calls the roll of 
the noble army from St. Stephen to John Rogers. From the persecutions of the 
early Church, he passes to those of the Waldenses and Albigenses, from these to 
the Inquisition, and from the Inquisition to the persecutions under English Mary. 
Foxe, as a low-churchman, was strongly prejudiced against everything that savored 
of Catholicism. His accounts are at times overdrawn and false. The value of the 
work, however, does not lie in its historical accuracy, nor in its scholarship; but 
rather in the fervent spirit which inspired its composition. 

He writes, in conclusion, of the unknown martyrs: "Ah, ye unknown band, 
your tears, your sighs, your faith, your agonies, your blood, your deaths, have 
helped to consecrate this sinful earth, and to add to its solemn originality as the 
battle-field of good and evil of Christ and Belial." 

BOOK OF MORMON, see MORMON. 

BOOK OF NONSENSE, by Edward Lear (1846). This nursery classic, as much 
cherished by many adults as by hosts of children, is made up from four minor 
collections published at intervals during a long life. The author began as 
an artist; colored drawings for serious purposes were supplemented by others 
for the amusement of the groups of little ones he loved to gather around 
him; and the text added to them has proved able to endure the test of time 
without the aid of drawing, and much of it has become part of the recognized 
humorous literature of the language. Of pure illustration, save for an amusing 
title to each, his nonsense flora, fauna, and shall we say, in his own manner 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 99 

deadthingsia, are full of wit; for pictures can be witty as well as words, 
and the drawings of the "nastikreechiakrorluppia,"the' < armchairia comfortabilis," 
and many other scientific curiosities, never pall. A grade beyond this in verbal 
accompaniment are the five-line stanzas after the manner of the " Old Man of To 
bago," in 'Mother Goose': a few of these as that of the "young lady of Lucca, 
Whose lovers had all forsook her," and of the "old man who said, 'How shall I 
manage this terrible cow?' " rank as familiar quotations, but he has been so 
greatly surpassed by others in this line that they can hardly be thought his best. The 
"Nonsense Cookery," in one recipe of which we are told to "serve up in a clean 
table-cloth or dinner napkin, and throw the whole mess out of window as fast as 
possible"; and the voyage around the world of the four children, who are looked on 
by their elders with "affection mingled with contempt," add each their quota of 
good things. But unquestionably his highest level is reached in the famous bal- 
lads, such as 'The Jumblies, ' who "went to sea in a sieve," and reached "the lakes, 
and the Torrible Zone, and the hills of the Chankly Bore"; the Pelican Song, with 
some really lovely poetry in it, and its inimitable nonsense refrain; 'The Owl and 
the Pussy Cat'; 'The Pobble who Has No Toes'; 'The Yonghy Bonghy Bo'; "The 
Quangle Wangle Quee'; 'The Old Man from the Kingdom of Tess'; 'The Two Old 
Bachelors'; and others, all together making up a melange of buoyant fun which 
entitles the author to the gratitude of 'everybody. 

BOOK OF SNOBS, THE, a series of sketches by William Makepeace Thackeray, 
appeared first in Punch, and was published in book form in 1848. The idea of the 
work may have been suggested to Thackeray when, as an undergraduate at Cam- 
bridge in 1829, he contributed to a little weekly periodical called The Snob. In 
any case, the genus Snob could not long have escaped the satirical notice of the 
author of 'Vanity Fair.' He was in close contact with a social system that was 
the very nursery of snobbishness. In his delightful category, he omits no type of 
the English-bred Snob of the university, of the court, of the town, of the country, 
of the Church; he even includes himself, when on one occasion lie severed his friend- 
ship for a man who ate peas with a knife, an exhibition of snobbery he repented 
of later, when the offender had discovered the genteel uses of the fork. The half- 
careless, half -cynical humor of it all becomes serious in the last paragraph of the 
last paper: 

"I am sick of court circulars. I loathe haut-ton intelligence. I believe such 
words as Fashionable, Exclusive, Aristocratic, and the like, to be wicked unchristian 
epithets that ought to be banished from honest vocabularies. A court system that 
sends men of genius to the second table, I hold to be a Snobbish System. A society 
that sets up to be polite, and ignores Art and Letters, I hold to be a Snobbish Society, 
You who despise your neighbor are a Snob; you who forget your friends, meanly 
to follow after those of a higher degree, are a Snob; you who are ashamed of your 
poverty and blush for your calling, are a Snob; as are you who boast of your pedi- 
gree or are proud of your wealth." 

BOOK OF THE COURTIER, THE, by the Count Baldassare Castiglione, a 
treatise in the form of a dialogue on the qualities and ideals of a gentleman, was 
published in 1528. The author, a distinguished courtier and diplomatist, was in 
the service of the Duke of Urbino from 1503 to 1516, and his book records the ele- 
gance and literary culture of that court, the most brilliant of the Italian Renaissance. 
Under the leadership of the gracious and accomplished duchess, Elisabetta Gonzaga, 



ioo THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

a group of ladies and gentlemen, including Giuliano de' Medici, Bembo, and Bib- 
biera, resolve to spend several evenings in discussing the nature of the perfect cour- 
tier. That the courtier should be skilled in arms and manly exercises, socially gifted, 
a good musician, well-read, a prudent and high-principled counsellor, and that his 
accomplishments should be manifested with a careless ease and grace free from all 
indication of labored study are the central conceptions of the company. There is 
an interesting digression on the ideal court lady and an eloquent panegyric by Bembo 
on Platonic love. A skill akin to Plato's is shown in the management of the dialogue, 
the graceful play of repartee, and the invention of natural and picturesque inci- 
dents to add life and variety to the record. An English translation by Thomas 
Hoby (published 1561, reprinted 1900) is an important monument of Tudor prose 
and had a marked influence on Elizabethan literature and ideals. 

BOOKS AND BOOKMEN, by Andrew Lang (1886), is, as the author states in 
the preface, "the swan-song of a book-hunter. The author does not book-hunt 
any more: he leaves the sport to others, and with catalogues he lights a humble 
cigarette." Thus humorously he ushers in a little volume of rare vintage; the 
mellow reflections of one whose scholarship in the subjects he treats is only equaled 
by his geniality. He writes with pleasant nonchalance of 'Literary Forgeries'; 
of 'Parish Registers'; of 'Bookmen at Rome'; of 'Bibliomania in France'; of 
1 Book-Bindings'; of 'Elzevirs'; of 'Japanese Bogie-Books, ' a feast indeed for 
an epicurean. The volume ends with a prayer that it may be somehow made legiti- 
mate "to steal the books that never can be mine." 

BOOKS AND CULTURE, see ESSAYS of Hamilton Wright Mabie. 

BOOKS AND THEIR MAKERS, A.D. 476-1709; by George Haven Putnam, 
A.M. (2 vols., 1896). A history of the production and distribution of the books 
that constitute literature, from the fall of the Roman Empire to the close of the 
seventeenth century, when copyright law, in an English statute of 1710, first re- 
cognized the writings of an author as property to be protected. In an earlier work, 
'Authors and their Public in Ancient Times, ' Mr. Putnam covers the whole ground 
of the making and circulation of books down to the fall of the Roman Empire. 
The three volumes admirably tell the story of books, from their beginnings in Baby- 
lonia, Egypt, India, Persia, China, Greece, and Rome, to the age of the printed 
in place of the manuscript book; and then the immensely expanded story from 
Gutenberg's production of a working printing-press to the "Act of Queen Anne." 
It would be hard to find a more entertaining or a more delightfully instructive story 
than that here drawn from wide resources of scholarly research, critical discernment, 
and broadly sympathetic appreciation of every phase of a great theme, and handled 
with happy literary skill. The history of the making of manuscript books in the 
monasteries, and later in the universities, and of some libraries of such books; and 
the further history of the great printer-publishers after the revival of learning, and 
of some of the greatest authors, such as Erasmus and Luther, is a record of that 
pathway through twelve centuries which has more of light and life than any other 
we can follow. By readers who value literature as bread of life and source of light 
to mankind, Mr. Putnam's volumes will be given an important place, 

BOOTS AND SADDLES; or, LIFE IN DAKOTA WITH GENERAL CUSTER, by Eliz- 
abeth B. Custer (1885). The author says that her object in writing this book, 
which records her experiences in garrison and camp with her husband, was to give 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 101 

civilians a glimpse of the real existence of soldiers in the field. Her married life 
was not serene: she was left in 186.4 in a lonely Virginia farmhouse to finish her 
honeymoon alone, her husband being summoned to the front ; and at scarcely any 
time during the next twelve years was she free from fear of immediate or threatened 
peril. General Custer was ordered to Dakota in the spring of 1873. Mrs. Ouster's 
book gives a lively and detailed account of their life there from 1873 to 1876, the 
time of the general's death. All those little details the household habits and 
changes, the packings and movings, the servants' remarks, the costumes, the weather, 
the frolics and the feasts that are so much to women, and the absence of which 
makes the picture so dim, here appear. The regimental balls, the pack of hounds, 
her husband's habits and looks and horsemanship, the coyotes, the sleigh-rides, 
the carrying of the mail, the burning of the officers' quarters, the curious characters 
and excursionists, the perplexities and pleasures of army domestic life, the Indians, 
the gossip, the ins and outs of army etiquette, the deserters, the practical jokes, 
are duly described. Her sketch of thirty-six hours spent in a cabin during a Dakota 
blizzard, with no fire, the general sick in bed and requiring her attention, the wind 
shrieking outside and at times bursting in the door, the air outdoors almost solid 
with snow that penetrated the smallest cracks and collected on the counterpane, 
and (to help matters) a party of bewildered soldiers, some of them partially frozen, 
claiming her hospitality and care, is very graphic. 

There is an interesting chapter on General Ouster's literary habits, and an 
appendix containing extracts from his letters. Captain King has described army 
life in the West from the masculine side; such a book as this paints it from the 
feminine. 

BORIS GODOUNOFF, an historical drama, mainly in blank verse, written 
by Alexander Sergye*evitch Pushkin, in 1826 and first acted in 1831. Inspired by the 
chronicle-histories of Shakespeare, Pushkin chose for his theme the troubled period 
of Russian history that followed the death of Czar Theodore, the son of Ivan the 
Terrible, in 1598. The play begins at Moscow, where conversations of the nobles 
and the people show the dangerous condition of the realm. Theodore has died 
without an heir, his younger brother, Dimitry, having been assassinated in 1591. 
Although suspected of having ordered the death of Dimitry, the late czar's brother- 
in-law, Boris Godounoff, is felt to be the strongest man in Russia and is urged by 
nobles and people to accept the crown. After some show of resistance he complies. 
The scenes now shift to the year 1603. In the monastery of Tchudoff is a young 
monk, Gregory Otrepieff, of a noble Galician family. Restless and ambitious he 
listens with delight to the stories of an old monk who tells him of the exploits of 
Ivan and Theodore and the murder of Dimitry, which he knows to have been or- 
dered by Boris. Learning that he and the murdered prince would have been of 
the same age, Gregory resolves to pass himself off as Dimitry, saved from death. 
He escapes from the monastery, by cleverness and address evades the guards who 
have overtaken him at a tavern, and gets across the border into Lithuania. News 
soon comes that he has proclaimed himself as Dimitry and that the Polish king and 
people have accepted him and are preparing an invasion to seat him on the throne. 
The Russians are profoundly stirred by the intelligence, though restrained by the 
stem measures of Czar Boris. Meanwhile Gregory, the false Dimitry, delays his 
attack, while he makes love to the beautiful Marina, daughter of the Polish voyevod, 
Mnichek. In a powerful scene with her he admits that he is an impostor, not endur- 
ing to receive her love in another's name. At first she overwhelms him with scorn 



102 THE READER S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

and contempt; but when he says defiantly that he is the czarevitch in spirit, that 
whether the Poles believe him to be the true or false Dimitry they will follow him as 
a pretext of war, and that he will prove himself worthy in spite of her scorn, she 
admires his manliness and promises that if he conquers Boris and makes himself 
czar she will many him. We are then shown a number of battle and counsel scenes 
as the invaders enter Russia and Boris takes measures against them. A prelim- 
inary victory for the false Dimitry is followed by his defeat by superior numbers. 
He retires, however, and raises a new army, stirred up by the belief that he is Dimitry. 
At this juncture Czar Boris suddenly dies, giving to his son advice which resembles 
that of Henry IV. to Prince Hal. The young Theodore has no opportunity to fol- 
low it, however. An ambassador from Dimitry soon urges the people to an uprising; 
and the new czar with his sister Xenia is killed in prison. The play is a mere suc- 
cession of historical tableaux without division into acts and without any well-marked 
structure. The style has the simple directness of the old chronicles from which 
the story is drawn. The incidents are represented with historic faithfulness and 
dramatic force. The opera by Moussorgsky founded on this drama was given in 
St. Petersburg in 1874, and in a first performance in New York in 1913. 

BORIS LENSKY, a German novel by Ossip Schubin, was published in an English 
translation in 1891. The story is centred in the career of a famous musician, whose 
name gives the title to the book. A violinist of world-wide reputation, a man to 
whom life has brought golden gifts, he is yet unhappy, as forever possessed with a 
craving for the unattainable. The most unselfish love of his barren life is for his 
beautiful daughter Mascha. Her downfall, when little more than a child, becomes 
a means of testing this love. Nita von SankjeVich, a woman whom Lensky had 
once sought to ruin, comes to his rescue in Mascha's trouble, and procures the 
girl's marriage to her false lover. The book closes with Lensky 's death; when his 
son Nikolai, who had cherished a hopeless love for Nita, begins a new life of calm 
renunciation, free from the selfishness of passion. 

BOSTONIANS, THE, by Henry James, was published in 1886. Written in a 
satirical vein, it presents with unpleasant fidelity a strong-minded Boston woman 
possessed by a "mission." Olive Chancellor, a pale, nervous, intense Bostonian > 
"who takes life hard," is never so happy as when struggling, striving, suffering in 
a cause. The cause to which she is devoted throughout the novel is the emancipa- 
tion of women. Living in a one-sex universe of her own creation, she takes no 
account of men, or regards them as monsters and tyrants. When the book opens 
she discovers, or believes she discovers, a kindred soul, Verena Tarrant, the 
daughter of a mesmeric healer, a beautiful red-haired impressionable girl; a singu- 
larly attractive prey for the monster man, but possessed nevertheless of gifts in- 
valuable to the cause of women's rights, if properly utilized. Certain phases of 
Boston life as women's club meetings, intellectual stances, and lectures are 
depicted with great cleverness; and the characters are delineated with James's wonted 
shrewdness and humor. The novel abounds in epigrammatic sentences. Olive's 
smile is likened to "a thin ray of moonlight resting upon the wall of a prison/' The 
smile of Miss Birdseye, a worn philanthropist, was "a mere sketch of a smile, 
a kind of installment, or payment on account; it seemed to say that she would 
smile more if she had time." Miss Chancellor "was not old she was sharply 
young/' 

BOSWELL'S LIFE OF JOHNSON, see JOHNSON. 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 103 

BOTANIC GARDEN, THE, by Erasmus Darwin. The first part of this long poem 
appeared in 1781; and received so warm a welcome that the second part, contain- 
ing the 'Loves of the Plants, ' was published in 1789. It was intended "to describe, 
adorn, and allegorize the Linnasan system of botany." After the classic fashion of 
his day, the poet adopts a galaxy of gnomes, fays, sylphs, nymphs, and salamanders; 
affording, as he says, "a proper machinery for a botanic poem, as it is probable they 
were originally the names of hieroglyphic figures representing the elements." And 
concerning the ' Loves of the Plants, ' he remarks that as Ovid transmuted men 
and women, and even gods and goddesses, into trees and flowers, it is only fair that 
" some of them should be re- transmuted into their original shapes. 

"Prom giant oaks, that wave their branches dark, 
To the dwarf moss that clings upon their bark. 
What beaux and beauties crowd the gaudy groves. 
And woo and win their vegetable loves!" 

The whole poem, of many hundreds of lines, is written in this glittering heroic 
verse; some of which is poetical, but the greater part labored, prosaic, and unin- 
teresting. The book might have been forgotten but for the parody upon it, 'The 
Loves of the Triangles/ which appeared in the Anti- Jacobin; much to the amuse- 
ment, it is said, of the caricatured poet. As the grandfather of Charles Darwin, 
and as an early observer of some of the natural phenomena upon which the Dar- 
winian system rests, Erasmus Darwin has of late years become once more an inter- 
esting figure. 

BRAMBLE-BEES, see MASON-BEES. 

BRAVO, THE, by James Fenimore Cooper (1831), is a tale of Venice in the six- 
teenth century, full of mystery and intrigue, and the high-sounding language which 
fifty years ago was thought the natural utterance of romance. Don Camillo Mon- 
forte, a Paduan noble, has a right by inheritance to a place in the Venetian Senate. 
He becomes obnoxious to the Council, and a bravo is set on his track to kill him. 
He has fallen in love with Violetta, a young orphan heiress designed for the son 
of an important senator; and she consents to elope with him. A priest marries 
them; but by a trick she is separated from him and carried off. The Bravo, sick 
of his horrible trade, has refused to take a hand in the kidnapping of Violetta; and 
confesses to Don Camillo all he knows of it, promising to help him recover his bride. 
Jacopo, the Bravo, finds her in prison, and contrives her escape to her husband; 
but is himself denounced to the Council of Three, and pays for his treachery to them 
with his head. The romance is of an antiquated fashion; and has not the genuine- 
ness and personal force of Cooper's sea stories and 'Leatherstocking Tales,' which 
grew out of an honest love for his subjects. 

BREAD-WINNERS, THE, by John Hay, appeared anonymously in 1883. I* * s a 
social study of modern life. Alfred Farnham, a retired army officer, takes a kindly 
interest in Maud Matchin, the handsome but vulgar daughter of a master carpenter 
in a Western city. Maud's head is turned by Farnham's kindness, and she boldly 
confesses her love to him which is not reciprocated. Maud's rejected lover, 
Sam Sleeny, an honest but ignorant journeyman in Matchin's employ, is jealous of 
Farnham. He is dominated by Offitt, a vicious demagogue, and joins a labor-reform 
organization. Farnham loves his beautiful neighbor Alice Belding. She refuses his 
addresses, but soon discovers that her heart is really his. During a riotous labor 



io4 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

strike (described at length), Farnham organizes a band of volunteer patrolmen for the 
protection of life and property. His own house is attacked by the mob, and Sleeny 
assaults its owner with a hammer; but failing to kill him, threatens future vengeance. 
OfHtt now pays his addresses to Maud, who intimates that she desires to see Farn- 
ham suffer for his affront to her. Offitt stealthily enters Famham's home, strikes 
him with a hammer borrowed from Sleeny, and makes off with a large sum of money 
just as Alice and Mrs. Belding arrive in time to care for Farnham's serious hurts. 
OfEtt dexterously directs suspicion to Sleeny, who is arrested. The real culprit 
hastens to Maud, and urges her to fly with him. Suspecting the truth, she refuses, 
and wheedles from Offitt his secret, which she at once reveals. In the meanwhile, 
Sleeny breaks jail and flies to Maud's home. Here he meets Offitt, and kills him for 
his perfidy. Sleeny is at once cleared of the charge of assaulting Farnham, but is 
tried for the killing of Offitt and acquitted upon the ground of temporary insanity. 
The novel is brilliantly written, and its presentation of the conditions of labor is 
very graphic. 

BRIDE FROM THE BUSH, A, by Ernest William Hornung (1890), is a simple tale, 
directly told. There is little descriptive work in it, the characters are few and dis- 
tinct, and the story is developed naturally. 

Sir James and Lady Bligh, at home in England, are startled by the news from 
their elder son, Alfred, that he is bringing home a "bride from the bush," to his 
father's house. The bride arrives, and drives to distraction her husband's conven- 
tional family, by her outrages upon conventional propriety. Gladys tries hard to 
improve; but after an outbreak more flagrant than usual, she runs away home to 
Australia, because she has overheard a conversation which implies that her husband's 
prospects will be brighter without her, and that he has ceased to love her. Alfred, 
broken-hearted at her disappearance, and apprehensive for a time that she has 
drowned herself, breaks down completely; and as soon as he is partially recovered, 
he goes out to Australia to find her. On the way to her father's "run," he takes 
shelter from a sand-storm in the hut of the "boundary rider," finds a picture of 
himself on the pillow, and surmises the truth,' of which he is assured a few moments 
later, when Gladys, the "boundary rider, " comes galloping in. Explanations follow; 
and the reunited couple decide to remain in Australia, and never to return "home" 
except for an occasional visit. The book is full of a spirit of adventure, and a keen 
sense of humor, which give value to a somewhat slight performance. 

BRIDE OF LAMMERMOOR, THE, by Sir Walter Scott (1819), is included in the 
group of ' Waverley Novels' called 'Tales of my Landlord/ The plot was suggested 
by an incident in the family history of the earls of Stair. The scene is laid on the 
east coast of Scotland, in the year 1700. The hero is Edgar, Master of Ravens wood, 
a young man of noble family, penniless and proud. He has vowed vengeance against 
the present owner of the Ravenswood estates, Sir William Ashton, Lord Keeper, 
whom he considers guilty of fraud; but foregoes his plans on falling in love with Lucy, 
Sir William's daughter. There is a secret betrothal; the ambitious Lady Ashton 
endeavors to force her daughter to marry another suitor; and in the struggle Lucy 
goes mad, and Ravenswood, thinking himself rejected, comes to an untimely end. 
The most famous character in the book is the amusing Caleb Balderstone, the 
devoted old steward of Ravenswood, who endeavors constantly to save the family 
honor and to conceal his master's poverty by ingenious devices and lies, and whose 
name has become the symbol of " the constant service of the antique world." Though 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 105 

sombre and depressing, the 'Bride of Lammermoor 1 is very popular; and the plot 
has been used by Donizetti in the opera 'Lucia/ 

BRIDGEWATER TREATISES, THE, were the result of a singular contest in com- 
pliance with the terms of the will of the Earl of Bridgewater, who died in 1829. He 
left 8000 to be paid to the author of the best treatise on 'The Power, Wisdom, and 
Goodness of God, as manifested in the Creation.' The judges decided to divide the 
money among the authors of the eight following treatises: 'The Adaptation of 
External Nature to the Moral and Intellectual Constitution of Man, 1 by Dr. Thomas 
Chalmers, 1833 ; ' Chemistry, Meteorology, and the Function of Digestion/ by William 
Prout, 1834; 'History, Habits, and Instincts of Animals,' by William Kirby, 1835; 
'Geology and Mineralogy,' by Dean (William) Buckland, 1836; 'The Hand ... as 
Evincing Design,' by Sir Charles Bell, 1833; 'The Adaptation of External Nature 
to the Physical Condition of Man/ by John Kidd, M.D., 1833; 'Astronomy and 
General Physics,' by William Whewell, 1833; 'Animal and Vegetable Physiology , 
by Peter Mark Roget, 1834. All these essays were published as Tracts for the Times; 
they had a large circulation, and no small influence in their own period. 

BRIGHT, JOHN, THE LIFE OF, by G. M. Trevelyan (1913). Bright's biog- 
rapher has the supreme qualifications of sympathy for the subject, interest in the 
material which he has to handle, and consummate literary skill. Besides 
supplying a detailed account of Bright's early days, entrance into public life, 
and public activities, he paints an intimate and life-like portrait of the man which 
enables the reader to realize Bright's unique power as an orator. "Bright, " he says, 
"was first and foremost a preacher of broad principles in their moral and poetic force, 
a speaker less instructive, but even more moving than Gladstone." He has himself 
described the difference between them thus: "When I speak I strike across from 
headland to headland. Mr. Gladstone follows the coastline; and when he comes to a 
navigable river he is unable to resist the temptation of tracing it to its source." 
On another occasion Bright said, quoting Milton, '"True Eloquence I find to be 
none but the serious and hearty love of truth/ And I have endeavored, as far as I 
have had the opportunities of speaking in public, to abide by that wise and weighty 
saying. So far as I am able to examine myself, during the thirty years that I have 
been permitted to speak at meetings of my countrymen, I am not conscious that I 
have ever used an argument which I did not believe to be sound, or have stated 
anything as a fact which I did not believe to be true." Hence the man who at the 
beginning of his career was so hated by some people that they used to say "they 
would go twenty miles to see John Bright hanged" became a national institution. 

BRITAIN, see H3STORIA BRITONUM. 

BRITAIN, ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY OF, see ECCLESIASTICAL, 

BRITISH INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE, THE GROWTH OF, see GROWTH. 

BROAD HIGHWAY, THE, by Jefferey Farnol (1911). The scene of this story is 
laid in England in the early part of the eighteenth century. It gives the adventures 
and experiences of Peter Vibart, related in a graphic and picturesque manner by 
himself. An orphan, he has been brought up by a rich and eccentric uncle who dies 
leaving "him his fortune if he marries Lady Sophia Sefton within the year, otherwise 
he is cut off with a legacy of ten guineas. Peter, being independent in spirit, declines 
to marry a person whom he does not know and taking his ten guineas starts out on 



io6 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

"The Broad Highway" to seek his fortune. He meets with all sorts of thrilling 
adventures, is soon robbed of his money and left penniless. Being skilled in wrestling, 
Peter is victorious on many occasions when he is called upon to show his prowess, and 
bearing a striking resemblance to his dissolute cousin Maurice Vibart, who is a 
famous fighter, he is frequently taken for him. A great lover of nature, as well as a 
scholar, Peter thoroughly enjoys his wandering existence and decides to try his hand 
at the trade of blacksmith, meanwhile, taking up his habitation in a deserted hut in 
a hollow in the woods. One night he is awakened by the bursting in of his door and 
the sudden entrance of a beautiful woman who is fleeing from a pursuer. Peter at 
once comes to the rescue and after a fierce fight downs his adversary, who proves to 
be his cousin Maurice. The lady gives her name as Charmian Brown and explains 
that she has started to elope with Maurice Vibart but repenting her rash act has 
sought Peter's hut as refuge. Finding Peter much injured by his encounter, Char- 
mian binds up his wounds and ministers to his comfort. Wishing to hide herself and 
finding Peter a thorough gentleman, Charmian remains at the hut, cooks his meals, 
and makes an ideal home for him. Peter, of course, falls in love with his charming 
companion and they decide to go to the minister's house to be married. On their 
return Peter is called to the bedside of a dying friend and during his absence Maurice 
Vibart is mysteriously shot outside of his house. Peter suspects Charmian, who tells 
him she only shot her pistol in the air, and lets himself be arrested for the murder. 
He escapes from prison and runs across the real murderer who is an old enemy of 
Maurice's and who confesses to the crime. Peter overjoyed, hastens to his wife, 
who proves to be Lady Sophia Sefton, who has disguised herself as Charmian Brown. 

BRONTE, CHARLOTTE, LIFE OF, by Mrs. Gaskell, was published in 1857, two 
years after the death of the author of 'Jane Eyre.' It has taken rank as a classic in 
biographical literature, though not without inaccuracies. Its charm and enduring 
quality are the result of its ideal worth. It is a strong, human, intimate record of a 
unique personality, all the more valuable because biased by friendship. A biography 
written by the heart as well as the head, it remains for that reason the most vital of 
all lives of Charlotte Bronte" . A mere scrap-book of facts goes very little way toward 
explaining a genius of such intensity. A new edition, ed. by Clement K. Shorter 
was published in 1900. 

BRONTE, CHARLOTTE, AND HER CIRCLE, by Clement K. Shorter, was pub- 
lished in 1896. It is not a biography, but a new illumination of a rare personality, 
through an exhaustive collection of letters written by, or relating to, the novelist of 
Haworth. In the preface the editor writes: "It is claimed for the following book 
of some five hundred pages that the larger part of it is an addition of entirely new 
material to the romantic story of the Brontes." This material was furnished partly 
by the Rev. Arthur Bell Nicholls, Charlotte's husband, and partly by her lifelong 
friend Miss Ellen Nussey. 

The arrangement of the book is calculated to assist the reader to a clearer under- 
standing of Charlotte Bronte's life. A chapter is given to each person or group of 
persons in any way closely related to her. Even the curates of Haworth are not 
overlooked. Yet the editor's discrimination is justified in every instance by letters 
relating directly to the person or persons under consideration. The entire work is 
an interesting contribution to the ever-growing body of Bronte literature. 

BROOK KERITH, THE, by George Moore (1915). The author's theory of the 
"Christ myth" is the theme of an historical novel, the life of Jesus. The first part 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS , 107 

of the book is the story of Joseph of Arimathea, the son of the rich merchant. The 
setting is the little Galilean village on the lake, the picture of the period, and the 
customs of Jewish family life, and primitive sects like the Essenes. Joseph becomes 
interested in Jesus, the shepherd, who has left his flocks to foretell the end of the 
world. Peter, James, and John, fishermen in his father's employ, become disciples of 
Jesus, and Joseph would also follow him but for his father's illness and his promise 
not to leave him. He does not see Jesus again until he finds him crucified on the 
cross in Jerusalem. Joseph asks his friend Pilate for permission to remove the body 
for burial, and takes Jems to his own tomb. After the holy women, Alary and 
Marcha, have left the tomb, Joseph discovers that Jesus is still living, and carries 
him home in the night and hides him in the empty gardener's cottage. Joseph listens 
to the tales of the resurrection without comment. As soon as Jesus recovers from his 
wounds, Joseph goes with him to the Essenes by the Brook Kerith, where Jesus had 
lived before his ministry, as the humble shepherd of the community. For thirty 
years Jesus tends the flocks. He comes to admit to himself that he committed a 
great sin of blasphemy against God when he believed he was the Messiah prophesied 
by the Book of Daniel. He repents the violence of his teachings in Jerusalem. 
Paid, persecuted for preaching Christianity, takes refuge one night with the brethren. 
Jesus asks him, "And who are these Christians?" Paul tells him the story of the 
resurrection and the mediation of the Son, dying on the cross for the sins of the world. 
Jesus is horrified at the supernatural Christianity of Paul's imagination, and resolves 
to go to Jerusalem and tell the truth. Paul considers him a mad man and impostor, 
and Jesus is forced to see that his story will not be believed. In accordance with one 
of the old legends it is suggested that Jesus goes to preach in India. Moore's con- 
ception of Jesus is two-fold, the spiritual leader of the Sermon on the Mount, the 
fanatic, misled by pride of the scourging in the Temple, and always one of the great 
men of the ages. 

BROTHERS KARAMAZOV, THE, a novel by Fedor Dostoevsky (1879-1880). 
The three brothers are the sons of a depraved, debauched father, for whom the two 
older sons, Dmitri and Ivan, feel hatred and contempt. The youngest son, Alyosha, 
is a character like Prince Myshkin, the "Idiot," a friend to all humanity, loved and 
trusted by his father and brothers. Ivan is the intellectual member of the family, 
a materialist and sceptic, whose restless mind finally tortures itself to its own de- 
struction. Dmitri, the eldest, is a man of violent undisciplined passions. He quarrels 
with his father over his inheritance and is his rival for the love of Grushenka, a 
woman who had been seduced and abandoned when a very young girl, and is now the 
mistress of a rich old merchant. The father's passion is entirely base, but Dmitri 
loves her and wants to marry her. The frenzied jealousy of the two is known by 
everyone, and Dmitri threatens to kill his father. When the old man is found 
murdered and robbed, all the circumstances point to Dmitri's guilt. There is a 
fourth son, Smerdyakov, the illegitimate child of an innocent imbecile girl. Smer- 
dyakov is a servant in the house, but is not suspected because he is an epileptic and 
is found in convulsions when the crime is discovered. He confesses to Ivan that he 
killed the father, following to their logical conclusion Ivan's idea that "all is per- 
missible"; Ivan who desired his father's death, realizes that he unknowingly has 
Instigated the murder. Ivan's evidence at the trial does not save his brother Dmitri, 
because he is almost delirious with brain fever, and mixes fact and hallucination. 
Smerdyakov commits suicide before the trial. In drunken anger Dmitri had written 
?, letter to a young girl, Katerina Ivanovna, to whom he was betrotned, in which he 



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threatens to kill his father to get money. She produces the letter to save Ivan whom 
she really loves. Dmitri is thus condemned through his own folly, which prejudices 
the peasant jury against him. 

BROWNING, ELIZABETH BARRETT, LETTERS OF. Edited by Frederic G. 
Kenyon. (2 vols., 1897.) This definitive presentation of Mrs, Browning's charac- 
ter and career is a selection from a very large mass of letters collected by Mr. Brown- 
ing, and now used with the consent of R. Barrett Browning. It is made a chronicle, 
and practically a life, by the character of the letters and the addition of connecting 
links of narrative. The letters give an unusually full and interesting revelation of 
Mrs. Browning's character, and of the course of her life. The absence of controversy, 
of personal ill-feeling of any kind, and of bitterness except on certain political topics, 
is noted by the editor as not the result of any excision of passages, but as illustrating 
Mrs. Browning's sweetness of temperament. The interest of the work as a chapter 
of life and poetry in the nineteenth century is very great. 

BRUT, THE, a metrical chronicle of early British history, both fabulous and authen- 
tic, and the chief monument of Transitional Old English, first appeared not long 
after the year 1200. Its author Layamon, the son of Leovenath, was a priest, residing 
at Ernley on the banks of the Severn in Worcestershire. His work is the first MS. 
record of a poem written after the Conquest in the tongue of the people. The Nor- 
man-French influences had scarcely penetrated to the region where he lived. On 
the other hand, the inhabitants were in close proximity to the Welsh. The additions 
that Layamon made to the 'Brut' show how deeply the Arthurian legends had sunk 
into the minds of the people. 

The 'Brut' is a translation, with many additions, of the French 'Brut d'Angle- 
terre' of Wace, which in its turn is a translation of Geoffrey of Monmouth's 'Historia 
Britonum.' Layamon's version begins thus: 

"There was a priest in the land Who was named Layamon. He was son of 
Leovenath, May the Lord be gracious to him ! He dwelt at Ernley, at a noble 
church Upon Severn's bank. Good it seemed to him, Near Radstone, Where he 
read book. It came to him in mind, And in his chief thought That he would of 
England Tell the noble deeds. What the men were named, and whence they came, 
Who English land First had, After the flood That came from the Lord That de- 
stroyed all here That is found alive Except Noah and Sem Japhet and Cane And 
their four wives That were with them in the Ark. Layamon began the Journey Wide 
over this land, And procured the noble books Which he took for pattern. He took 
the English book that Saint Bede made, Another he took, in Latin, That Saint Albin 
made, And the fair Austin Who brought baptism in hither; the third book he took, 
Laid there in the midst, That a French clerk made, Who was named Wace, Who well 
could write, and he gave it to the noble Eleanor that was Henry's Queen, the high 
King's. Layamon laid down these books and turned the leaves. He beheld them 
lovingly." 

The 'Brut' contains, however, few traces of Bede's chronicle. It follows Wace 
closely, but amplifies his work and adds to it. Some of the additions are concerned 
with the legendary Arthur. Layamon's most poetical work is found in them. The 
beautiful legends of the great king seem to have appealed powerfully to his imagina- 
tion and to his sympathies as a poet. He makes Arthur say in his dying speech: 

"I will fare to Avalun, to the fairest of all maidens, to Argante the Queen, an elf 
most fair, and She shall make my wounds all sound; make me all whole with healing 



THE READER S DIGEST OF BOOKS TOg 

draughts. And afterwards I will come again to my kingdom, and dwell with the 
Britons with Mickle Joy." 

BRUT, ROMAN DE. A poem in eight-syllable verse, composed by Robert Wace, 
but indirectly modeled upon a legendary chronicle of Brittany entitled 'Brut y 
Brenhined' (Brutus of Brittany), which it seems was discovered in Armorica by 
Walter, archdeacon of Oxford, and translated into Latin by Geoffrey of Monmouth. 
This translation is declared to have been the source from which Wace drew his 
materials. He presented his poem to Eleonore of Guyenne in 1155, and it was 
translated into Anglo-Saxon by Layamon. 

The 'Roman de Brut' relates that after the capture of Troy by the Greeks, 
^Eneas came to Italy with his son Ascanius, and espoused Lavinia, daughter of King 
Latinus; she duly presented a son to him. This son, as well as Ascanius, succeeded 
to the kingly power; and the throne devolved at last upon Silvius, son of Ascanius. 
Silvius fell in love with a damsel who died upon giving birth to Brutus, from whom the 
'Roman de Brut' takes its name. Brutus was a mighty hunter. One day he had 
the misfortune to slay his father with a misdirected arrow aimed at a stag, and 
forthwith he fled. First he went to Greece, where he delivered the Trojan captives; 
and next he gained the Armorican Isles, which he conquered, giving them the name 
of Britain. Afterward he made war upon the king of Poitou, founding the city of 
Tours, which he named in honor of his son. From Poitou he returned to the Ar- 
morican Isles, overcoming the giants in possession of that region, and once more 
naming it Britain. He immediately founded the city of London, and reigned long 
and gloriously there. 

The narrative now concerns itself with the descendants of Brutus. The adven- 
tures of Lear, of Belin, of Brennus who voyaged to Italy, of Cassivellaunus who so 
bravely resisted Cassar, of all the bellicose chiefs who opposed the dominion of the 
Roman emperors, are minutely related. But not until King Arthur is introduced 
do we meet the real hero of the 'Roman de Brut/ Arthur performs prodigies of 
valor, is the ideal knight of his order of the Round Table, and finally departs for some 
unknown region,- where it is implied he becomes immortal, and never desists from the 
performance of deeds of valor. In this portion of the narrative figure the enchanter 
Merlin, bard to King Arthur; the Holy Grail, or chalice in which were caught the 
last drops of the Savior's blood as he was taken from the cross; Lancelot of the Lake, 
so styled from the place in which he was trained to arms; Tristan and his unhallowed 
love; Perceval and his quest of the Holy Grail. These and other features of the 
'Roman de Brut* made it unprecedentedly popular. It was publicly read at the 
court of the Norman kings, that the young knights might be filled with emulation; 
while fair ladies recited it at the bedside of wounded cavaliers, in order that their 
pain might be assuaged. 

BRUTUS, or, DIALOGUE CONCERNING ILLUSTRIOUS ORATORS, by Cicero (106- 
143 B.C.). The work takes its title from Brutus, who was one of the persons 
engaged in the discussion. The author begins by expressing his sorrow for the 
death of Hortensius, and the high esteem in which he held him as a speaker. Still he 
feels rather inclined to congratulate him on dying when he did, since he has thus 
escaped the calamities that ravage the republic. Then he explains the occasion and 
the object of this dialogue, which is a complete history of Latin eloquence. He relates 
the origin of the art of oratory among the Romans, its progress, and its aspect at 
different epochs; enters into an elaborate criticism of the orators that have succes- 



i io THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

sively appeared; and gives, in an informal sort of way, rules for those who seek td 
excel in the oratorical art, and lays down the conditions without which success is 
impossible. The work is at once historical and didactic, and embraces every variety 
of style: being at one time simple and almost familiar, at another almost sublime; 
but always pure, sweet, and elegant. 

BUDDHA FIELDS, see GLEANINGS IN. 

BUDDHIST MAHAYANA TEXTS, see SACRED BOOKS OF THE EAST. 

BUDDHIST SUTTAS, see SACRED BOOKS OF THE EAST. 

BURNS, LIFE OF, by J. G. Lockhart (1828). Lockhart possessed in full measure 
the two indispensable qualifications for a biographer, love of the subject, and a dis- 
criminating candor. Both these characteristics are displayed in the 'Life of Burns/ 
which originally appeared unambitiously in Constable's Miscellany in 1828, and 
which has never been excelled by any of the numerous later biographers of the poet, 
though these have had the advantage of access to abundance of fresh material, 
especially in the form of correspondence. The picture which he has painted is 
unforgettable. The poet's father, immortalized as the saint, the father, and the 
husband of "The Cotter's Saturday Night"; his mother, whose inexhaustible store 
of ballads and tales stirred the imagination of the future poet; the mean cottage of 
his early years in which, as Murdoch, his teacher, said, "there dwelt a larger portion 
of content than in any palace in Europe"; the books and people that influenced his 
youth and first touched the chords of poetry within him; his numerous loves and the 
exquisite lyrics inspired by them; the strivings of genius held down by grinding 
poverty; the success of his first published book of poems and his manly independence 
when he became the lion of literary Edinburgh; his heresies in theology and politics; 
his letters, amongst the finest in English literature; his life at Dumfries; and his 
ostracism on account of his revolutionary opinions, all these Lockhart describes 
with exquisite sympathy, fine literary skill, and sense of proportion. "Burns," he 
says, "short and painful as were his years, has left behind him a volume in which 
there is inspiration for every fancy, and music for every mood. . . . Already, in 
the language of Childe Harold, has, 

14 ' Glory without end 

Scattered the clouds away; and on that name attend 
The tears and praises of all time.' " 

BURTON, CAPTAIN SIR RICHARD F., LIFE OF, by his wife. One of the most 
romantic figures of the nineteenth century was Sir Richard Burton. He was of mixed 
Irish, Scotch, English, French, and possibly Arabian and Gipsy blood; he claimed his 
descent direct from Louis XIV. of France; he published upwards of eighty bulky 
volumes, including translations of the ' Arabian Nights ' and the ' Lusiad ' of Camoens ; 
he began the study of Latin when he was three, and Greek when he was four, and 
knew twenty-nine languages; he was the pioneer discoverer of Darkest Africa, and 
his adventures took him into all parts of the world. Out of such lives myths are made. 
In 1887, Francis Hitchman, aided by Isabel, Lady Burton, of whose character and 
ability he speaks in the highest terms, published an account of Burton's private and 
public life, including his travels and explorations in Asia, Africa, and both North 
and South America. After Sir Richard's death, his wife published in 1893, in 
two octavo volumes, with many portraits and other illustrations, a voluminous ' Life,' 



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in which she argues with passionate insistance that she, and she alone, is fitted to 
give a truthful and complete account of his wonderful career and his unique person- 
ality. "There are three people in the world," she says, "who might possibly be 
able to write sections of his life. Most of his intimate friends are dead, but still there 
are a few left." She insists that she was the one person who for more than thirty 
years knew him best. Daily, for all that time, she "cheered him in hunger and toil, 
attended to his comforts, watched his going out and coming in, had his slippers, 
dressing-gown, and pipe ready for him every evening, copied and worked for him, 
rode and walked at his side, through hunger, thirst, cold, and burning heat, with 
hardships and privations and danger. Why," she adds, "I was wife and mother, 
and comrade and secretary, and aide-de-camp and agent for him; and I was proud, 
happy, and glad to do it all, and never tired, day or night, for thirty years. . . . 
At the moment of his death, I had done all I could for the body, and then I tried to 
follow his soul. I am following, and I shall reach it before long." Lady Isabel 
belonged to a Roman Catholic family, and her relatives, like his, were opposed to 
the marriage, which took place by special dispensation in 1861. At the time of his 
death, Lady Burton startled society by declaring that he had joined "the true 
Church." She says: "One would describe him as a deist, one as an agnostic, and 
one as an atheist and freethinker, but I can only describe the Richard that I knew. 
I, his wife, who lived with him day and night for thirty years, believed him to be 
half-Sufi, half Catholic, or I prefer to say, as nearer the truth, alternately Sufi and 
Catholic." A little later she aroused much indignant criticism by burning Sir 
Richard's translation of 'The Scented Garden, Men's Hearts to Gladden,' by the 
Arabic poet, the Shaykh al Nafziwi. She justifies her action with elaborate argu- 
ment, and declares that two projected volumes, to be entitled 'The Labors and 
Wisdom of Richard Burton,' will be a better monument to his fame than the unchaste 
and improper work that she destroyed. 

Her alleged misrepresentations are corrected in a small volume entitled 'The 
True Life of Captain Sir Richard F. Burton,' by his niece, Georgiana M. Stisted, who 
uses the severest terms in her portrayal of the character of the woman whom her 
uncle married, as she declares, in haste and secrecy, and with effects so disastrous to 
his happiness and advantage. 

Still another contribution to the topic is found in two thick volumes called 'The 
, Romance of Isabel, Lady Burton/ which is the story of her life, told in part by herself 
and in part by W. H. Wilkins, whose special mission it is to correct the slanderous 
misrepresentations of the author of 'The True Life.* Whether as romance or reality, 
the story of this gifted couple, with all their faults, is an extraordinary contribution 
to the literature of biography. 

BUSINESS OF BEING A WOMAN, THE, by Ida M. Tarbell (1913). The book 
is an appeal to the modern woman who is discontented with woman's r61e of 
child-bearing and home-making and desires to complete her emancipation by de- 
voting herself to some supposedly higher activity, usually by attempting to do the 
work of men. This type Miss Tarbell calls 'The Uneasy Woman' because of its 
restlessness, dissatisfaction, and unsettled state. Miss Tarbell is no enemy to the 
extension of woman's opportunities for education and employment but she is con- 
servative enough to hold that the main business of being a woman is still that of 
motherhood and the making of the home. She proceeds to show that these tasks, 
far from being narrow, tedious, and unworthy of an emancipated being, are of the 
noblest, the most absorbing, and the most rewarding kind, requiring all the added 



ii2 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

culture and power which woman's freedom has bestowed. The mere efficient 
management of the household requires an economic knowledge and a practica 
ability equal to that of the business man. The moral training of the children is 
problem worthy of the highest energies. The proper training of domestic servants, 
usually foreigners, would do much to make them useful citizens, and thus 
promote democracy in the most practical way. Above all, the woman's business 
is noble because it is not merely material and mechanical but consists in the 
creation of a spirit that makes home a happy social centre. By these and other 
shrewd and practical arguments the author successfully combats the view that 
"celibacy is the aristocracy of the future" and makes her work a material con- 
tribution to the subject of her last chapter, " the ennobling of the woman's 
business." 

BUSSY D'AMBOIS, by George Chapman. This, the most popular of Chapman's 
tragedies, first appeared in 1607 and was republished in 1608, 1616, 1641, 1657. 
The scene is set in the Court of Henry III. of France, who with his brother, Monsieur 
the Duke of Alencon, and the Duke of Guise, the head of the Spanish party in the 
French Wars of Religion, takes part in the action of the play. Bussy d'Ambois, of 
noble birth, but a child of fortune who has to depend on his valor and his character, 
is introduced to the Court by Monsieur whose purpose it is to use him as a tool to 
smooth his own path to the throne. But Bussy raises himself to a position of power 
and independence, and Monsieur and Guise, whom he has flaunted, combine to 
compass his destruction. This they attempt to accomplish by revealing to the 
Count of Mountsurry Bussy's passion for the Countess Tamyra, whom he used to 
visit by a subterranean passage known only to himself and a friar who had acted as 
his guide. The friar is killed and his ghost warns the lovers of his fate and their 
danger. Bussy is deceived by a letter which the Countess had been compelled by 
her husband to write in her blood, and going to meet her for the last time is con- 
fronted by the Count in the habit of the friar. Although he defeats his immediate 
adversary, he is shot by the hireling assassins of his other foes. The character of 
Bussy is powerfully drawn, but the other figures are bloodless and the style often 
degenerates into bombast. 

BUT YET A WOMAN, by Arthur Sherburne Hardy (1883), is a romance of real life, 
its scene laid mainly in Paris during the time of the Second Empire. Rene*e Michael, 
a fair young girl destined to be a religieuse, shares the home and adorns the salon of 
her elderly bachelor uncle, M. Michael. They enjoy the friendship of M. Lande, 
and his son, Dr. Roger Lande. The four, together with Father Le Blanc, a kindly 
old cure", and Madame Stephanie Milevski, make up a congenial house party at M. 
Michael's summer home on Mt. St. Jean. Stephanie, the half-sister of her host, is 
the young widow of a Russian nobleman who has died in exile. She was associated 
with the eminent journalist M. De Marzac in the Bourbon restoration plot, and 
became the object of his ardent though unrequited love. Her affection is for Dr. 
Roger Lande; but he loves Rene*e, and not in vain. Stephanie induces M. Michael 
to allow her to take Rene"e on a journey to Spain. Upon the eve of their departure, 
De Marzac, angered by Stephanie's continued denial of his suit, accuses her of taking 
Rene*e to Spain in order to prevent Roger from wooing her until the time set to begin 
her novitiate shall have arrived. The unraveling of this situation makes an excellent 
story. The book is written with charming delicacy of treatment, and conceived 
entirely in the French spirit. 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 113 

CABOT, JOHN, The Discoverer of North America, and SEBASTIAN, his Son, 
'a Chapter of the Maritime History of England under the Tudors,' (1496-1557) 
by Henry Harrisse (1895). A work of authority for the earliest history of America; 
especially valuable for its complete recovery of the true Cabot history, and exposure 
of the false tradition of things done and honors won by Sebastian, the son, who is 
proved to have grossly falsified the course of events to make himself a far more 
important figure than he ever was. He did indeed play no small part in the story 
after his father; but it not only gave no ground for the claims made by him in con- 
nection with the work of the father, but left him discredited by notable want of 
success. The entire history is admirably dealt with by Harrisse, and the story is 
one of great interest. 



, SAINT, a Northumbrian poet of the seventh century and reputed author 
of the Anglo-Saxon metrical paraphrases of the Old Testament, is known to us 
chiefly through the account in Bede's * Ecclesiastical History.' Casdmon is there 
described as an unlearned man who was often abashed when in company he in his 
turn was called upon to sing a song to the harp. On one of these occasions after he 
had left the company in shame at his inability, he dreamt that he heard a voice 
commanding, "Caedmon, sing something to me." He protested his ignorance but 
the voice repeated its command, and he asked: "What shall I sing." "Sing the 
beginning of created things, " was the response. Then Caedmon sang verses which 
Bede renders as follows: "Now ought we to praise the founder of the heavenly 
Kingdom, the power of the Creator. His wise design, and the deeds of the Father in 
glory: how He, eternal God, was the Author of all things wonderful, who first created 
for the children of men the heaven for a roof and afterwards the earth He, 
almighty guardian of mankind." On awakening Caedmon remembered his verses 
and added others. He was taken to Hild, abbess of the monastery at Whitby, who at 
once recognized that the unlearned herdsman had received the miraculous gift of 
inspiration. He became a monk and reproduced portions of the Bible in verse so 
beautiful that soon "his teachers were glad to become his hearers." The Anglo- 
Saxon poems 'Genesis,' 'Exodus,' and 'Daniel/ in a manuscript of the tenth 
century, edited by Jurdus in 1655, were ascribed by him to Csedmon, but they were 
not in the Northumbrian dialect. These and other poems are, however, usually 
known as 'Caedmonic,' and may have been based on his originals. Special interest 
attaches itself to a fragment on the "Fall of Man" interpolated in the 'Genesis' 
because of its resemblances to Milton's 'Paradise Lost.' It is possible that Milton 
may have become acquainted with the Caedmonic poem through Junius. See 
"Anglo-Saxon Literature" in the LIBRARY. 

OffiSAR: A SKETCH, by James Anthony Proude (rSSo). A life of the great soldier, 
consul, and dictator of Rome, a general and statesman of unequaled abilities, and 
an orator second only to Cicero. Mr. Froude calls his book a sketch only, because 
materials for a complete history do not exist. Cassar's career of distinction began in 
74 B.C., later than Cicero's, and ended March I5th, 44 B.C., nearly two years before 
the death of Cicero. The fascinations of style in Mr. Froude's brilliant picture of 
Caesar are not equally accompanied with sober historical judgment. As in his other 
works, he exaggerates in drawing the figure of his hero. He is to be listened to, not 
for a verdict but a plea. 

C9SSAR AND CLEOPATRA, by Bernard Shaw (1899). In aai amusing preface to 
'Three Plays for Puritans' the author claims that the Caesar of Shakespeare is an 
8 



U4 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

"admitted failure'* and asks to be allowed to "set forth Cassar in modern light.' 1 
In his theory of history the world in 48 B.C. was exactly like the world in 1907 A.D., 
and the comic satire of the play is the utterance of modern thoughts, allusions, and 
slang of our own times by historic personages of this remote age. His middle-aged 
Cesar is master of war but satiated with it. Made pacific by the sight of nations 
drenched in blood, he values clemency above all things. Efficiency and a genius for 
hard work are the qualities by which he has conquered the world. The serpent of 
the Xile is a charming young barbarian, by turns spitfire, petulant, and kittenish. 
Terrified at the approach of the Roman legions and by rumors of the ferocity of 
Cassar, she has fled from the palace, seeking the protection of a baby sphinx in the 
nearby desert. Caesar, alone, musing upon the vanities of life and the littleness of 
man, finds her cuddled up asleep between the paws of the sphinx. She invites the 
"kind old gentleman" to come up and take the other paw, and warns him that 
Cassar will probably eat him. This scene is quoted in the LIBRARY. Caesar insists 
that Cleopatra return to the palace and act the queen without fear, and as the 
Roman soldiers salute her companion, she falls into his arms sobbing with relief. 
Ptolemy, king of Egypt, who disputes his sister's reign, is a boy of ten. Brittanicus, 
Caesar's secretary, the exponent of respectability from the British Isles, is shocked to 
learn that the custom of Egypt makes the brother and sister man and wife. Cleo- 
patra longs for power to cut off her brother's head, and poison her slaves to see them 
wriggle. During the siege by the Egyptians, while Caesar waits for reinforcements, 
Cleopatra is a prisoner in the palace. She passes the Roman guards by rolling herself 
in a rug which she sends to Caesar. Caesar is most noble when he rebukes Cleopatra, 
drunk with her newly-discovered power, for procuring the assassination of an enemy. 
Caesar departs for Rome with the promise that he will send Mark Antony back as a 
present. The curtain falls with the Queen in tears, but expressing the hope, never- 
theless, that Caesar will never return. 

CJESARS, THE LIVES OF THE FIRST TWELVE, by Caius Suetonius, 130-135 
A.D. A book of biographies of the Roman emperors from Julius Caesar to Domitian ; 
and largely a book of anecdotes, mere personal facts, and, to no small extent, scandal, 
much of which may have been fiction. It throws hardly any light on the society of 
the time, the character and tendencies of the period; but gives the twelve personal 
stories with a care in regard to facts and a brevity which makes every page interest- 
ing. The first six are much fuller than the last six. In none of them is there any 
attempt at historical judgment of the characters whose picture is drawn. We get 
the superficial view only, and to no small extent the view current in the gossip of the 
time. A fair English translation is given in the Bohn Classical Library. A recent 
English translation is by J. C. Rolfe in the Loeb Classical Library. 

CJESAR'S COMMENTARIES. This great work contains the narrative of Cesar's 
military operations in Gaul, Germany, and Britain. It was given to the world in 
the year 51 B.C. Every victory won by Caesar had only served to increase the alarm 
and hostility of his enemies at Rome, and doubt and suspicion were beginning to 
spread among the plebeians, on whom he chiefly relied for help in carrying out his 
designs. When public opinion was evidently taking the side of the Gauls and 
Germans, the time had come for Caesar to act on public opinion. Hence the ' Com- 
mentaries/ a hasty compilation made from notes jotted down in his tent or during a 
journey. "They form, " says Mommsen, "a sort of military memoir, addressed by a 
democratic general to the people from whom he derived his power." To prove in an 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 115 

indirect way, he himself keeping in the background, that he has done his best for the 
honor and advantage of Rome, is his main object. He proceeds, then, to demonstrate 
the following propositions: A Germanic invasion threatened Gaul. With Gaul in 
the hands of the Germans, the Romans knew from experience that Italy herself 
was not safe from invasion. Caesar's first achievement was to drive the Germans 
back across the Rhine. Every event that followed was the necessary consequence 
of this victory. The Belgae, sympathizers with their Teutonic kinsmen, revolted 
after the defeat of Ariovistus. To convince them that west of the Rhine, Rome was 
supreme, was the reason of Caesar's campaigns in the north and east. But how long 
would the Belgae, Nervii, and other warlike tribes continue submissive, if the clans 
in the west remained independent? It must be plain, therefore, to any patriotic 
Roman, that the naval and military operations of Csesar and his lieutenants against 
the Veneti, the Armoricans, and the Aquitanians, were inevitable. Perhaps, too, the 
patriotic Roman will conclude, although Caesar is silent on the matter, that these 
brilliant campaigns redound as much to the glory of the Roman name as to that of 
Caesar. Although Gaul, protected by Rome, was now invincible, it was very desir- 
able that the Germans and Britons should have tangible evidence of the fact, and so 
Caesar crossed the Rhine and the Channel. But unfortunately, the Gauls were not 
wise enough to accept the situation. They revolted. Caesar suppressed the insur- 
rection with a vigor and sternness they were never likely to forget; and at Alesia, a 
year before these Military Memoirs were to be circulated, the finest conquest that 
Rome ever made was forever completed. The quality that especially gives distinc- 
tion to the work is its simplicity. "It is as unadorned, " says Cicero, "as an ancient 
statue; and it owes its beauty and its grace to its nudity." As to its truthfulness, 
we cannot decide absolutely, the Gauls not having written their Commentaries. 
But if Caesar sinned in this respect, it was probably by omission, not by commission. 
Things the Romans might not like he does not mention: the sole aim of the book is to 
gain their suffrages. There is no allusion to the enormous fortune Caesar acquired 
by plunder. On the other hand, he speaks of his cruelties for instance, the killing 
in cold blood of 20,000 or 100,000 prisoners with a calmness that to us is horrible, 
but which the Romans would deem natural and proper. 

CALEB WILLIAMS, ADVENTURES OF, by William Godwin (1794), a curious, 
rambling, half sensational and half psychological story, met with immediate popu- 
larity, and furnished the suggestion of the well-known play 'The Iron Chest.' Caleb, 
a sentimental youth, who tells his own story, is the secretary of a Mr. Falkland, a 
gentleman of fortune, cold, proud, and an absolute recluse. Caleb learns that his 
patron had once been a favorite in society; his retiring habits dating from his trial 
some years earlier for the murder of one Tyrrel, a man of bad character, who had 
publicly insulted him. Falkland having been acquitted, two laborers, men of 
excellent reputation, both of whom had reason to hate the knavish Tyrrel, have 
been hanged on circumstantial evidence. Caleb, a sort of religious Paul Pry, is 
convinced that Falkland is the murderer, and taxes him with the crime. Falkland 
confesses it, but threatens Caleb with death should he betray his suspicions. The 
frightened secretary runs away in the night; is seized, and charged with the theft of 
Mr. Falkland's jewels, which are found hidden among his belongings. He escapes 
from jail only to fall among thieves, is re-arrested, and makes a statement to a 
magistrate of Falkland's guilt, a statement which is not believed. The trial comes on; 
Falkland declines to prosecute, and the victim is set at liberty. Falkland, whose 
one idea in life is to keep his name unspotted, then offers to forgive Caleb and assist 



n6 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

him if he will recant. When he refuses, his enemy has him shadowed, and manages 
tri hound him out of every corner of refuge by branding him as a thief. Caleb, driven 
to hay, makes a formal accusation before the judge of assizes and many witnesses. 
Falkland, in despair, acknowledges his guilt, and shortly after dies, leaving Caleb 
who, most curiously, has passionately lo\ed him all this time the victim of an 
undying remorse. 

CALIPH VATHEK, see VATHEK. 

CALL OF THE BLOOD, THE, by Robert Hichens (1906). This is the story of an 
Englishwoman named Hermione Lester who marries a man named Maurice Delarey, 
ten years her junior. At the time of her marriage Hermione is thirty-four and while 
having a striking personality is very plain in form and feature. Her husband on 
the contrary is very handsome and has the coloring of the south, which shows his 
Sicilian blood that he has inherited from his grandmother. Hermione has a warm 
friend in Emile Artois, an author and a man of genius, and between them a strong 
platonic friendship has existed for some years. Before her marriage Hermione 
brings about a meeting between the two men and though Artois is impressed with 
Delarey T s beauty and charm of manner he cannot help a feeling of distrust. Her- 
mione and Maurice go to Sicily on their honeymoon as the latter has never been 
there, and Hermione, who loves it, feels sure he will share her enthusiasm. Her 
anticipations are realized as Maurice enters at once into the spirit of the place and is 
actually boyish in his enjoyment of everything. After a couple of months of happi- 
ness Hermione is called to the bedside of Artois in Africa, where he is thought to be 
dying. Hermione, however, nurses him back to health and after several weeks of 
convalescence is able to bring him back with her to Sicily. During her absence 
Maurice, who is lonely and somewhat piqued that she should leave him, amuses 
himself with the friendship of a pretty Sicilian girl named Maddelena. The ac- 
quaintance which begins innocently ends however in wrong doing, as "the call of 
the blood " is strong in Maurice and he cannot withstand the impulses of his nature. 
He is overwhelmed with shame at the thought of Hermione's learning of his falseness, 
and upon her return both she and Artois notice the change that has taken place in 
him. Hermione ascribes it to jealousy of Artois, but the latter interprets it differ- 
ently. Maurice goes to bathe and is murdered by Salvatore, Maddelena's father, 
and his body is found in the water. The truth is known by Artois and a faithful 
servant named Gaspare, but they hide everything from Hermione and she mourns 
truly for her husband whose character remains for her unblemished. 

CALL OF THE WILD, by Jack London (1903). The hero of this story, Buck, the 
offspring of a St. Bernard sire and a Scotch shepherd dog, is a pampered house dog 
on a large estate. It is the time of the rush for gold in the Klondike, and he is stolen 
and shipped north to be brutally broken and trained to be a sledge dog. He learns 
the primitive law of club and fang and wins the leadership of the dog team from the 
old leader, Spitz, in a terrible battle for survival. There are many journeys in the 
ice and snow and much hardship until he finds in John Thornton the real master to 
whom he gives his heart and allegiance. His master, proud of his dog, recklessly 
accepts a wager that Buck can break from the ice and walk away with a thousand 
pound load on a sledge, a task for ten dogs, and Buck wins for him. Thornton is 
murdered by the Indians and Buck responds to the call of the wild, harking back to 
the life of his remote forbears as leader of a pack of wolves. A vivid picture of the 
wild life of dog and man in the Alaska gold fields. 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 117 

CALLED BACK, by "Hugh Conway" (Frederick John Fargus) (1884). Gilbert 
Vaughn, the hero of this story of mystery, is a young Englishman of fortune, totally 
blind from cataract. By a curious accident, he strays one midnight into a strange 
house, mistaking it for his own, and walks in upon a murder. He hears a scuffle and 
a woman's shrieks, and bursting into the room, stumbles over the body of a man. 
His keen sense of hearing informs him that there are three other men in the room, and 
a moaning woman. As he cannot identify them, the men spare his life, and drug 
him. Found by the police in a suburb, he is identified and taken home. On recovery, 
he finds no one to believe in his story. Two years later, the cataract is operated 
upon and he recovers his sight, when he falls in love with and marries a young girl 
of extraordinary beauty, Pauline March. She is half English, half Italian; her only 
living relative being an uncle, Dr. Ceneri, an Italian physician. After his marriage 
Vaughn discovers that his bride is mentally weak; that she has no memory, and 
scarcely any comprehension of what passes. The story then becomes complicated, 
and full of adventures in Italy and Siberia. Extremely sensational in character, 
and with little literary merit, the graphic force of this story, the rapidity of its move- 
ment, its directness, and its skillful suspension of interest, gave it for a season so 
extraordinary a vogue that it outsold every other work of fiction of its year. 

CALLISTA, 'a Sketch of the Third Century', by John Henry Newman. Cardinal 
Newman tells us that this is an attempt to imagine, from a Catholic point of view, 
the feelings and mutual relations of Christians and heathen at the period described. 
The first few chapters were written in 1848, the rest not until 1855. The events here * 
related occur in Proconsular Africa; giving opportunity for description of the luxuri- 
ous mode of life, the customs and ceremonies, then and there prevailing. Agellius, 
a Christian, loves Callista, a beautiful Greek girl, who sings like a Muse, dances like 
a Grace, and recites like Minerva, besides being a rare sculptor. Jucundus, uncle to 
Agellius, hopes she may lead him from Christianity; but she wishes to learn more 
concerning that faith. Agellius, falling ill, is nursed by Cyprian, bishop of Carthage, 
who is in hiding. A plague of locusts comes. Frenzied by their devastations and 
the consequent famine, the mob rises against the Christians. Agellius is summoned 
to his uncle for safety. Callista, going to his hut to warn him, meets Cyprian, who 
gives her the Gospel of St. Luke. While they discourse, the mob approaches and 
they are captured. Cyprian and Agellius, however, are helped to escape. Callista 
studies St. Luke and embraces Christianity. She refuses to abjure her religion, is 
put to death by torture, is canonized, and still works miracles. Her body is rescued 
by Agellius and given Christian burial. Her death proves the resurrection of the 
church at Sicca where she died: the heathen said that her history affected them 
with constraining force. Agellius becomes a bishop, and is likewise martyred and 
sainted. 

CAMBRIDGE DESCRIBED AND ILLUSTRATED: 'Being a Short History of the 
Town and University.' By Thomas Dinham Atkinson. With introduction by John 
Willis Clark (1897). A very complete, interesting, and richly illustrated account 
of the English town and university, which has been in some respects even more than 
Oxford a seat of literature, as well as education, in England. To American readers 
especially, the work is of importance because of the extent to which Cambridge 
University graduates were leaders in the planting of New England. The story of 
the old town opens many a picture of early English life and that of the great group of 
famous colleges which constitute the university; and supplies chapters in the history 



n8 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

of English culture peculiarly rich in interest, from the fact that Cambridge has so 
largely stood for broad and progressive views, while Oxford has until recently repre- 
sented narrow conservatism. 

CAMILLE ('LA DAME Aux CAMELIAS'), a novel by Alexandre Dumas the 
younger, was published in 1848, the celebrated play founded upon it appearing in 
1852 at the Vaudeville Theatre in Paris. The popularity of both the novel and the 
play is owing, perhaps, to the fact that the incidents of the story admit of many 
interpretations of the character of the heroine. Like other women of her class, she 
is linked to, is indeed a representative of, the most inexplicable yet most powerful 
force in human nature. Camille is the portrait of a woman who actually lived in 
Paris. Dumas had seen her, and relates a love story of which she was the central 
figure. Like Aspasia, she has a strange immortality. Each reader of the book, 
like each spectator of the play, gains an impression of Camille that is largely subjective. 
The elusiveness of the personality, the young ardor that forced Dumas to tell the 
story straight from the heart, straight to the heart, give to ' Camille ' its fascination. 

CAMP, MAJOR HENRY WARD, see THE KNIGHTLY SOLDIER. 

CANDIDA, by Bernard Shaw (1897). Candida, the heroine of this successful comedy, 
is the engaging wife of a clergyman who is fond of preaching in the pulpit and out of it. 
When Eugene Marchbanks, a youthful poet, tells him he is in love with Candida, the 
Rev. James Morell first laughs with condescending superiority but is finally goaded 
into dropping his rhetoric to shake Eugene. Though Eugene screams with fright, 
he has the courage of his ideas and succeeds in terrifying the clergyman out of his 
complacent attitude of model husband. The Rev. James, however, is a likeable, 
sincere person, not simply the "moralist and windbag " Eugene calls him. Eugene is 
an extraordinary character, reminiscent of Shelley, with the range of vision of a seer, 
beyond the comprehension of the conventional preacher. He is too sensitive for the 
everyday world, in which the clergyman deals out spiritual gruel, suitable for "cheap 
earthenware souls, " and his domestic wife soils her beautiful hands to fill the lamps 
and slice the onions for supper. The two men agree that Candida shall choose 
between them. This scene of the "choice" is quoted in the LIBRARY. Candida 
calmly asks for bids since she is up at auction. Her husband offers her his strength, 
and Eugene, his weakness. She says she will choose the weaker of the two, and to his 
surprise it is her husband who holds her because of his need and dependence on her 
loving care. One of the most audacious speeches in the play is Candida 's reply to 
her husband, when he tells her he relies on her goodness and purity. She says, "I 
would give them both to Eugene as willingly as I would give my shawl to a beggar 
dying of cold, if there were nothing else to restrain me. Put your trust in my love 
for you, James, for if that went I should care very little for your sermons mere 
phrases that you cheat yourself and others with every day." Candida's frankness 
wounds her big boy of a husband at first, but her love convinces his pride. Eugene 
rejects this idea of love, and departs cured of his infatuation. 

CANDIDE, ou, L'OPTIMISME, a satirical novel by Voltaire, was published 
anonymously in 1759, with the fictitious statement appended that it had been trans- 
lated from the German by "M. le Docteur Ralph." Voltaire's aim was to ridicule 
the facile optimism so current in the eighteenth century, particularly as expressed in 
Pope's "Whatever is is right," and the dictum of Leibnitz that "All is for the best in 
this, the best of all possible worlds." The Lisbon earthquake of 1755 and the suffer- 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 119 

ings caused by the Seven Years' War had done something to shake this creed. Vol- 
taire determined to complete the overthrow by a burlesque narrative in which 
optimism should be reduced to absurdity. The hero, Candide, is the illegitimate 
scion of a noble German family. He is brought up at the Castle of Thunder-ten- 
tronckh, where he learns from the philosopher, Pangloss, that every effect has a 
cause, that every cause has a sufficient reason, and that all is for the best in this, the 
best of all possible worlds. Caught by the baron in making love to his daughter, 
Cunegonde, Candide is kicked out of the castle, forced into military service, beaten 
for desertion, forced into a great battle, and made a witness of the atrocities com- 
mitted in neighboring villages. Escaping from the army he falls in with a humane 
Anabaptist, Jacques, and later with Pangloss who tells him that the baron's castle 
has been destroyed by the soldiers and Cune*gonde outraged and killed. Pangloss, 
who is suffering from the most abhorred of maladies, is cured by the kindly Jacques, 
and the three set out on a business voyage to Lisbon. They are shipwrecked in a 
dreadful tempest and the Anabaptist is drowned. Candide and Pangloss on arrival 
find the city destroyed by the famous earthquake of 1755 and thirty thousand people 
killed. Pangloss, attempting to console the survivors by his usual formula, is arrested 
for heresy and is hanged by the Inquisition, while Candide is flogged. He is, however, 
rescued by Cune"gonde, who had not been killed but had been sold to a Portuguese 
Jew, who with the Grand Inquisitor, kept her as mistress. Candide manages to kill 
both these personages, and he and his lady love make their escape to Cadiz, where 
Candide obtains a captain's commission in an expedition against the Jesuit rebellion 
in Paraguay. During the journey an old attendant of Cunegonde, who has made her 
escape with them, relates her adventures, which are much more distressing than those 
of the young people. On arrival at Buenos Ayres Cunegonde is seized by the gover- 
nor and Candide is forced to fly to the rebels by the advent of Spanish officials who 
are pursuing the'murderer of the Inquisitor. Among the rebels he finds the brother 
of Cunegonde, a priest and military commandant, who at first welcomes him, but 
whose insults when he hears of Candide's aspirations to the hand of his sister lead 
to a fight in which Candide severely wounds him. Accompanied by a half-breed 
servant, Cacambo, Candide traverses the forests of South America, visits the country 
of El Dorado, where the people are virtuous, brings away great treasures, despatches 
his servant to win back Cunegonde from Buenos Ayres, and sails for Venice, with a 
pessimistic philosopher, Martin, who believes the world ruled by evil. They visit 
France, where they meet with frivolity and dishonesty, touch the English coast, 
where they witness the execution of Admiral Byng "pour encourager les autres, " and 
sojourn in Venice, where they make the acquaintance of the cultured and fastidious 
Pococurante, a nobleman who is weary of all the pleasures that the world can give. 
At length Candide gets word from Cacambo that Cunegonde is a slave in Con- 
stantinople. Cacambo had faithfully ransomed her and started for Venice, but they 
had been seized by a pirate and sold as slaves in Turkey. Candide, Cacambo, and 
Martin immediately go to Constantinople. On a galley they find two slaves who 
turn out to be Cunegonde 's brother and Pangloss. Their lives have been miracu- 
lously saved, and by a series of adventures they have come to be rowers in the same 
galley. Candide now finds and ransoms Cunegonde, who has unfortunately become 
very ugly; but regard for his promise and anger at her brother, who still refuses his 
consent and is finally sent back to the galley, confirms Candide in his purpose of 
marrying her. The whole group now settles on a little farm beside the Bosphorus, 
where, on the advice of an old peasant, they find a measure of content in hard work. 
Pangloss is still an optimist; Martin says that work without thought is the only 



i2o THE READBR'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

means of rendering life supportable; and Candida's unfailing motto is "il faut cultiver 
notrc jardin. " Voltaire never wrote a more brilliant polemic than this, and in spite 
of its cynicism the book has a core of sound sense, vehement hatred of oppression, 
and wise practical philosophy. 

CANTERBURY PILGRIMS, THE, by Percy Mackaye (1903). This is a modern 
treatment in verse of the famous pilgrimage on which Geoffrey Chaucer, poet at 
King Richard's court, travels incognito with the pilgrims in order to come nearer 
their hearts and their lives to put them into verse. Alisoun, the jovial Wife of Bath, 
survivor of five husbands, has vowed to find a sixth spouse among the pilgrims, and 
in spite of the devotion of the miller and a dozen swains who aspire to her hand, her 
roving eye lights on Chaucer. He has already fallen under the spell of the gentle 
prioress, Aladame Eglantine, charmed with her sweet simplicity and her French of 
"Stratford-atte-Bowe." She appeals to his chivalry for the needs of her little dog, 
"one ounce of wastel-bread, toasted a pleasant brown; one little cup of fresh milk." 
She confides to him that she expects to meet her brother, the Knight returning from 
the Holy Land. She has not seen him for many years, but will know him by his 
ring, marked with the letter "A" like the brooch she wears, with the motto "Amor 
vincit omnia." The jealous Alisoun overhears the conversation, and plots to win 
Geoffrey by guile. She insinuates that the prioress is on her way to meet a lover. 
A bet is made that if the prioress gives her brooch to any man except her brother, 
Chaucer must marry Alisoun at Canterbury. To secure the brooch Alisoun and her 
sweethearts kidnap the Knight; Alisoun dons his clothes, deceives the gentle prioress, 
and wins the bet. From the Man of Law, however, Geoffrey learns that no woman 
in England can be married more than five times. In the last act in front of 
Canterbury cathedral, King Richard and his court welcome the poet, and the king 
extricates him from his predicament, by allowing the suspension of the marriage law 
only in case of a miller, and the enamored miller relieves him of his ale-drinking 
sweetheart. A scene from the Tabard Inn is quoted in the LIBRARY. 

CANTERBURY TALES, a collection of twenty-four stories, all but two of which 
are in verse, written by Geoffrey Chaucer mainly between 1386 and his death in 1400. 
The stories are supposed to be related by members of a company of thirty-one 
pilgrims (including the poet himself) who are on their way to the shrine of St. Thomas 
at Canterbury. The prologue which tells of their assembly at the Tabard Inn in 
Southwark and their arrangement that each shall tell two stories on the way to 
Canterbury and two on the return journey, is a remarkable picture of English social 
life in the fourteenth century, inasmuch as every class is represented from the gentle- 
folks to the peasantry. The transitional narratives between the stories, exhibiting 
the incidents of the journey, the effect of the tales on the company, the outbreaks of 
personal or professional jealousy among the pilgrims, and the other by-play incidental 
to a large and diverse group of fellow-travelers, are extremely entertaining and 
dramatic, the host, who presides over the proceedings, being an especially lifelike 
figure. The narrative is not continuous. Gaps have been left between certain stages 
of the journey for Chaucer did not live to fill out the vast scheme he had outlined, and 
instead of the one hundred and twenty-four tales which it would require has left but 
twenty-four. Some of these, like the Knight's Tale, and the Second Nun's Tale 
were earlier works, others, like the Miller's Tale, the Reeve's Tale, the Nun's Priest's 
Tale, and the Pardoner's Tale, were written expressly for this collection and with its 
dramatic background in mind. The Canon's Yeoman's Tale was introduced as an 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 121 

afterthought and involved the bringing in of two additional members of the company. 
Practically all the tales, old and new, are skillfully adapted to their tellers. The tales 
represent almost every type of mediaeval literature: the fabliau, the mdrchen, the 
pious tale, the saints' legend, the sermon, the exemplum, the lay, the metrical 
romance, and the romantic epic. They are masterpieces of narrative art, revealing 
the author's close observation of men and women, his delight in the process, his ready 
human sympathy, and his elusive humor. For fuller comments see the critical essay 
in the LIBRARY under * Chaucer.' 

CAPE COD, by Henry D. Thoreau (1865). Until Thoreau arrived to make ac- 
quaintance with its hard yet fascinating personality, Cape Cod remained unknown 
and almost unseen, though often visited and written about by tourists and students 
of nature. Something in the asceticism, or the directness, or the amazing keenness, of 
Thoreau's mind brought him into sympathetic understanding of the thing he saw, 
and he interpreted the level stretches of shore with absolute fidelity. In these pages 
the melancholy land looks as "long, lank, and brown" as it looks lying under the 
gray autumn sky. Nor does he spare any prosaic detail. The salt wholesomeness 
of his sea breeze does not wholly overcome the offensive flotsam and jetsam drifted 
up on the sand; but on the other hand, with the simplest means, he communicates 
what he feels so fully, the savage grandeur of the sea, and its evanescent and ever- 
changing loveliness. In this, as in all his other books, Thoreau rises from the obser- 
vation of the most familiar and commonplace facts, the comparison of the driest bones 
of observed data, to the loftiest spiritual speculation, the most poetic interpretation 
of nature. His accuracy almost convinces the reader that his true field was history 
or science, until some aerial flight of his fancy seems to show him as a poet lost to the 
Muse. But whatever his gifts, he was above all, as he shows himself in l Cape Cod," 
Nature's dearest observer, to whom she had given the microscopic eye, the weighing 
mind, and the interpretative voice. 

CAPITAL, by Karl Marx (1867), English translation edited by Fred Engels, 1889. 
A book of the first importance, by the founder of international socialism; written 
with marvelous knowledge of economic literature and of the economic development 
of modern Europe, and not less with masterly skill in the handling of his extraordinary 
knowledge; a book of which a conservative authority has said: "Since the beginning 
of literature, few books have been written like the first volume of Marx's * Capital.' 
It is premature to offer any definitive judgment on his work as a revolutionary thinker 
and agitator, because that is still very far from completion. There need, however, 
be no hesitation in saying that he, incomparably more than any other man, has 
influenced the labor movement all over the civilized world/' The conservative 
aspect of Marx's teaching is in the fact that he honestly seeks to understand what, 
apart from any man's opinion or theory, the historical development actually is; and 
that he does not think out and urge his own ideal programme of social reform, but 
strives to understand and to make understood what must inevitably take place. 

CAPTAIN FRACASSE, by Theophile Gautier. The scene is laid in France during 
the reign of Louis XIII.: the manners, morals, and language of that age being care- 
fully depicted. The Chateau de la Misere, situated in Gascony, is the home of the 
young Baron de Sicognac, where he lives alone in poverty, with his faithful Pierre, 
and his four-footed friends Bayard, Miraut, and Beelzebub. To a troop of strolling 
players he offers shelter, they in turn sharing with him their supper. Falling under 
the charms of Isabella, the pretty ingSniie of the troop, he accepts their kindly offer 



122 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

to continue with them to Paris, where good fortune may await him. Martamoro, one 
of the actors, perishes in the snow; and Sicognac, ashamed of being a burden to his 
companions, takes his place, assuming the name of Captain Fracasse, and passing 
through many adventures on the road. Isabella returns the love of Captain Fra- 
casse, but will not allow him to commit a mesalliance by making her his wife. 

'Captain Pracasse,' although announced in 1840, was not published until 1863, 
when it met with most brilliant success. Much of the story is borrowed from the 
* Roman Comique' of Scarron. 

CAPTAIN VENENO, by Pedro Antonio de Alarcdn (1881). The opening scene of 
this clever and amusing story is laid in Madrid, in the month of March, 1848. In a 
skirmish between the royal troops and a handful of Republicans, Don Jorge de C6r- 
doba, called Captain Veneno (poison) on account of his brusque, pugnacious manner, 
is wounded before the house of Dona Teresa Barbastro, who shelters him. A pro- 
fessed hater of women and marriage, he laments his prolonged imprisonment in 
terms which anger the mother and amuse the daughter; but his kind heart is so 
apparent that his foibles are humored. When Dona Teresa dies she confides to him 
that she has spent her fortune in trying to secure the confirmation of the title of 
Count de Santurce, conferred on her husband by Don Carlos. He hides the truth 
from the daugh f er. Angustias, for a few days; but when she learns that he is paying 
the household expenses, she insists upon his leaving, now that he can walk. He tries 
to induce her to let him pension her, or provide for her in any honorable way except 
by marrying her, although he professes to adore her. His offers being rejected, he 
proposes marriage with one inexorable condition, that if there should be children, 
they shall be sent to the foundling asylum ; to which she laughingly agrees. The story 
is written with a breezy freshness; and the evolution of the Captain's character is 
delightfully done, from his first appearance to his last, where he is discovered on all- 
fours with an imp of three on his back, and a younger one pulling him by the hair, 
and shouting "Go lang, mule! " After 'The Child of the Ball/ this is the most popu- 
lar of Alarc6n's stories, as it deserves to be. 

CAPTAINS ALL, by W. W. Jacobs (1905). Humorous stories of the escapades and 
wooings of sailors on shore. The night-watchman at the docks spins yarns reminis- 
cent of the doings of Sam Small, Ginger Dick, and Peter Russett. Sam tries to elude 
his mates to pay court to a widow, the proprietress of a prosperous tobacco shop. 
They find him out, and for a time two more " captains" are his rivals, until they are 
disenchanted by the arrival of the widow's nine children who have been away on a 
visit. Sam signs up for a voyage to China instead of settling down on land, as he 
planned. The boatswain, hoping to win the landlady of an inn, hires another man to 
pretend to break into the inn one night to give him a chance to rescue his lady love 
from burglars. The lady unexpectedly locks the burglar in the closet, and the plot 
collapses. The boatswain hears a pistol shot and the widow rushes out to tell him 
she has killed a man. While he digs a grave in the yard to hide the body, the lady 
and the burglar become better acquainted as they are watching his efforts from the 
window, 'The Temptation 1 is the farcical tale of a converted burglar, a preacher 
in the sect of the Seventh Day Primitive Apostles, billeted on a brother apostle, who 
is a jeweler. Both he and the jeweler fear he may be tempted to relapse into sin. 
The jeweler spends a nervous night, hearing brother Burge in terrific conflict with the 
Devil, who apparently urges him to rifle the shop. The two men meet on the stairs, 
and the jeweler makes the excuse that he thought he heard burglars below, wherea t 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 123 

the ex-burglar rushes terrified to his room, and shouts out the window for the police. 
The officer arrests him, and in later explanations, it comes out that lurid allusions to 
a guilty past are covered in fact by a sentence of fourteen days for stealing milk cans. 
Another story relates the confounding of a stingy sailor by a girl's wit. The old 
gaffer at the Cauliflower Inn relates anecdotes of the successful roguery of Bob Pretty- 
man, the poacher, and there is a gruesome tale of death on board ship at sea. 

CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS, by Rudyard Kipling (1897), is a study in the 
evolution of character. The hero is an American boy, Harvey Cheyne, the son 
of a millionaire, a spoiled little puppy, but with latent possibilities of manliness 
smothered by his pampered life. A happy accident to the boy opens the way for the 
development of his better nature. In a fit of seasickness he falls from the deck of a 
big Atlantic liner, and is picked up by a dory from the Gloucester fishing schooner 
We're Here, commanded by Disko Troop, a man of strong moral character and 
purpose. This skipper is unmoved by Harvey's tales of his father's wealth and 
importance, nor will he consent to take him back to New York until the fishing 
season is over; but proposes instead to put the boy to work on the schooner at ten 
dollars a month. This enforced captivity is Harvey's regeneration. He learns to 
know the value of work, or obedience, of good-will. He is sent back to his father as a 
boy really worth the expense of bringing up. Mr. Cheyne returns good office with 
good office by securing Troop's son, Dan, a chance to rise as a seaman. 

The simple story is told with a directness and clarity characteristic of Kipling, 
who appears so little in the pages of the book that they might be leaves from life 
itself. The strength and charm of the story lies in its rare detachment from the 
shackles of the author's personality, and in its intrinsic morality. 

CAPTAIN'S DAUGHTER, THE, by Alexander Pushkin. This story, published in 
1832, narrates the adventures of a young officer and his sweetheart, during Puga- 
cheTs rebellion, in the reign of Catherine II. Piotr Andreyevich Grinef, son of a 
wealthy Russian noble, joins the army, and is sent to the small fortress of Byglogorsk. 
Savelich, an old family servant, accompanies him thither, and with wonderful love 
and devotion acts the part of guardian angel. Captain Mironof, the commandant, a 
kindly old soldier, receives him with much affection and offers him the hospitality 
of his house; where Vasilisa his wife, good-hearted but inquisitive, oversees the affairs 
of the whole fortress. Piotr and the sweet-faced daughter Maria soon fall in love; 
but Schvabrin, the girl's rejected lover, causes the devoted pair to undergo many 
trials. In time, Emilian Pugache*f, a Cossack, assuming the title Peter III., arrives 
at the fortress with a band of insurgents, among them the traitor Schvabrin; and 
overpowering the garrison, captures the town. Captain Mironof and his wife are 
murdered, and Schvabrin, the traitor and deserter, is left in charge. Pugache*f, with 
unexpected gratitude, remembering a former kindness of Piotr, pardons him and 
permits him to leave the town, although Piofcr will not swear allegiance. He goes to 
Orenburg with his servant; and while there receives a letter from Maria, who prays 
for help from Schvabrin 's persecutions. Piotr rescues her, and she goes to his parents, 
who gladly welcome her, while Piotr joins a detachment of the army under Jurin. 
Here Schvabrin gives information that leads to his arrest p.s a spy and his sentence 
as an exile to Siberia. From this fate he is saved by Maria, who obtains his pardon 
from the Empress, and he is released in time to see Pug^ch^f hanged as a traitor. 
The author, who also wrote a serious history of the Pugacjie'f rebellion, gives in this 
delightful romance a very true account of that remarkable uprising. 



124 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

CARACTERES, ou, MCEUR^ DE CE SIECLE, by La Bruyere. The first edition 
appeared in i6SS, The eight editions that followed during the author's lifetime 
contained so many additional portraits, maxims, and paragraphs, that they were 
really new works. Each 'Caractere' is the portrait of some individual type studied 
by La Bruyere in the world around him. His position in the family of Conde*, and 
consequent opportunities for character-study, afforded him all the materials he 
needed; and so he has given us a whole gallery of dukes, marquises, court prelates, 
court chamberlains, court ladies, pedants, financiers, and in fact representatives of 
every department of court, professional, literary, or civic life. He gets at them in the 
different situations in which they are most likely to reveal their personal and mental 
characteristics, and then makes them tell him their several secrets. Unlike Montaigne 
and La Rochefoucauld, he does not much care to meddle with the man and woman of 
all times and places. His victim is this or that man or woman belonging to the 
second half of the seventeenth century. Naturally, a mind-reader of this sort, who 
was also a master of the most polished sarcasm, clothed in the most classical French 
ever written save that of Racine and Massillon, would make many enemies; for under 
the disguise of Elmire, Clitiphon, and other names borrowed from the plays and 
romances of the age, many great personages of the literary and fashionable world 
recognized themselves. La Bruyere protested his innocence, and no doubt in most 
cases several individuals sat for a single portrait; but it is also pretty certain that he 
painted the great Conde in 'Ernile, ' and Fontenelle in 'Cydias,' and that many others 
had cause for complaint. While it is admitted that the picture he presents of the 
society of his time is almost complete, it does not appear that the ' Caracteres ' were 
composed after any particular plan. Still, although there may not be a very close 
connection between the chapters, there is a certain order in their succession. The 
first, which paints society in its general features, is a sort of introduction to the nine 
following, which paint it in its different castes. Universal ethics are the subje ;t of 
the eleventh and twelfth, while the eccentricities and abuses of the age are dealt 
with in the thirteenth and fourteenth, and in the fifteenth we have the Christian 
solution. Some critics hold La Bruyere a democrat and a precursor of the French 
Revolution. The Caracteres, however, teem with passages that prove he accepted 
all the essential ideas of his time in politics and religion. A large number of manu- 
script "keys " to the * Caracteres ' appeared after their publication. Quite a literature 
has grown up around these keys. The ' Come*die de La Bruyere 7 of ISdouard Fournier 
deals with the key question, both exhaustively and amusingly. The 'Edition Ser- 
vois' (1867) of the * Caracteres ' is considered by French critics unrivaled; but English 
readers will find that of Chassary (1876) more useful, as it contains everything of 
interest that had appeared in the preceding editions. 

CARICATURE AND OTHER COMIC ART, 'in All Times and Many Lands/ by 
James Parton. This elaborate work, first published in 1877, is full of information 
to the student of caricature, giving over 300 illustrations of the progress of the art 
from its origin to modern times. Beginning with the caricature of India, Egypt, 
Greece, and Rome, as preserved in ceramics, frescoes, mosaics, and other mural 
decoration, Mr. Parton points out that the caricature of the Middle Ages is chiefly 
to be found in the grotesque ornamentations of Gothic architecture; in the ornamen- 
tation of castles, the gargoyles and other decorative exterior stonework of cathedrals, 
and the wonderful wood-carvings of choir and stalls. Since that time, printing has 
preserved for us abundant examples. The great mass of pictorial caricature is 
political; the earliest prints satirizing the Reformation, then the issues of the English 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 125 

Revolution, the French Revolution, our own Civil War, the policies and blunders of 
the Second Empire, and many other lesser causes and questions. Social caricature is 
represented by its great apostle, Hogarth, and by Gillray, Cruikshank, and many 
lesser men in France, Spain, and Italy, England and America; and in all times and all 
countries, women and matrimony, dress and servants, chiefly occupy the artist's pen- 
cil. When this volume was published, the delightful Du Maurier had not reached a 
prominent place on Punch, and the American comic papers, Life, Puck, and the rest, 
were not born; but English caricature of the past century is treated at great length. 
The book opens with a picture of two 'Pigmy Pugilists ' from a wall in Pompeii, and 
closes with a sentimental street Arab of Woolf exactly like those which for twenty 
years after he continued to draw. The volume is not only amusing, but most 
instructive as a compendium of social history. 

CARISSIMA, THE, by the lady who chooses the pen-name of "Lucas Malet" 
(1896), and who is a daughter of Charles Kingsley, is a character-study of a most 
subtle description. The heroine, Charlotte Perry, affectionately called Carissima, is 
a "modern" young woman, very pretty and charming, apparently full of imagination 
and sympathy, and a lover of all things true and beautiful. She is engaged to Con- 
stan tine Leversedge, a manly, straightforward, honest Englishman, who has made a 
large fortune by hard work in South Africa, and who adores his beautiful fiancee. 
At the Swiss hotel, where Leversedge and the Perrys are staying, she meets an old 
friend, Anthony Hammond, who tells the story. Hammond finds out that Leversedge 
is suffering from an extraordinary obsession or incubus; he is haunted by a dog, which 
he had once killed. He never sees it except at night, and then he sees only its horrible 
eyes; but he can feel it as it jumps on his knees or lies against his breast in bed. 
Hammond advises him to tell Charlotte of this apparition, and she accepts the revela- 
tion with great courage, professing her willingness to help her lover to drive the horror 
from his mind. She declares her only fear to be that instead of conquering the 
hallucination, she may, after her marriage, come to share it. Leversedge offers to 
give her up; but she bravely sticks to her promise, Leversedge telling her that if the 
grisly thing finds her out, he will free her by taking his own life. On the night after 
the wedding, she cries out in terror that she sees the dog. Her husband, horror- 
stricken that what he dreaded has happened, yet implores his wife to stay by him, 
to help him fight the spectre; certain that together they may lay the ghost. Then she 
tells him that she will not remain; that she does not love him; that she has lied about 
the dog, playing a trick to get rid of him. The trick is successful, for the next 
morning Leversedge's body is found in the lake. The Carissima assumes the properly 
becoming attitude of despair, but it is plain that she will marry another lover. The 
book displays a skillful intricacy of subordinate causes and effects, but its chief 
interest lies in the study of the Carissima, who seems an angel but who is "top-full of 
direst cruelty." 

CARLINGFORD, see CHRONICLES OF. 

CARLYLE, THOMAS, LIFE OF, by J. A. Froude (1882). The historian Froude was 
not only the pupil but the devoted friend of Thomas Carlyle. Fortunately for the 
reader he has gone to his master for ideas, but not for style, and in this biography 
his love for the vivid and picturesque is seen at its best. A great deal of the material, 
particularly correspondence upon which the book is based liad been put into his 
hands by Carlyle himself with permission to use it at his discretion. He has pro- 
duced one of the most fascinating, but one of the most misleading of biographies, 



126 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

which nevertheless holds the attention of the reader by its consummate literary art. 
He has made the sage of Ecclefechan less generous, less considerate, and less lovable 
than he was, but he has left an extraordinarily vivid picture of the grim, gruff (though, 
at bottom, kindly-naturedj philosopher. "His function was sacred to him, and 
he had laid down as a fixed rule that he would never write merely to please, never 
for money, that he would never write anything save when specially moved to write 
by an impulse from within; above all, never to set down a sentence which he did 
not in his heart believe to be true, and to spare no labor till his work to the last 
fibre was as good as he could possibly make it." Hardly less fascinating is the 
picture of Jane Welsh, the delicately-nurtured, highly-gifted woman who had been 
passionately devoted to Edward Irving, later the founder of the Catholic Apostolic 
Church, but who had married Carlyle, whom she merely esteemed. "She had the 
companionship of an extraordinary man. Her character was braced by the contact 
with him, and through the incessant self-denial which the determination that he 
should do his very best inevitably exacted of her. But she was not happy. Long 
years after, in the late evening of her laborious life, she said : ' I married for ambition. 
Carlyle has exceeded all that my wildest hopes ever imagined of him and I am 
miserable.' f> 

CARMEN, by Prosper Me'rime'e (1847). Don Jose* Lizzarrabengoa, Navarrese 
and corporal in a cavalry regiment, meets at Seville a gipsy known as Carmen. 
While taking her to prison for a murderous assault on another woman, he is induced 
to connive at her escape, and is reduced to the ranks therefor. Jealously infatuated 
with her, he kills his lieutenant, and becomes a member of a band of smugglers of 
which she is the leading spirit. In a duel with Garcia, her rom or husband, he 
kills Garcia also, and becomes in his turn the rom of the fascinating Carmen. 
Jealous of every man who sees her, he offers to forget everything if she will go with 
him to America. She refuses for the sake of another lover as he believes; 
and he declares that he will kill her if she persists. A thorough fatalist, she an- 
swers that it is so written and that she has long known it, but that "free Carmen 
has been and free she will always be." Don Jose* kills her, buries her body in the 
woods, and riding to Cordova, delivers himself to the authorities. In this story, 
the author, turning away from an artificial society, has returned to the passion 
and ferocity of primitive nature. The romance is best known in its operatic version. 

CASA BRACCIO, by F. Marion Crawford, was published in 1896, and is one of 
the author's stories of Italian life. Angus Dalrymple, a young Scotch physician, 
falls in love with a beautiful nun, Sister Maria Addolorata, who is of the distinguished 
Roman house of Braccio. She is in a convent in Subiaco, near Tivoli. Dalrymple 
persuades her to run off with him, and they fly, pursued by the curses of Stefanone, 
the peasant father of a girl whose hopeless love for Angus leads to her suicide. The 
scene then shifts to Rome, seventeen years having elapsed. Dalrymple appears 
with his daughter Gloria, the mother having died. Gloria is very beautiful and 
sings superbly. She is loved by two men: Reanda, a gifted Italian artist, and 
Paul Griggs, an American journalist. She marries the former; but after a while 
leaves him and lives with Griggs, gives birth to a child by him, and kills herself. 
Before her death she writes to Reanda, confessing to him that she deplores having 
left him and has always loved him. The letters containing the admission are sent 
by Reanda to Griggs, out of revenge, and break his heart, for he has idolized Gloria. 
Meanwhile the father, Dalrymple, is at last tracked down and murdered by Stefa- 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 127 

none, the peasant of Subiaco, in a church where the Scotchman was musing on his 
wife's memory. The first half of the novel is much the best. 

CASTLE DALY, by Annie Keary. 'Castle Daly,' the most popular of Annie 
Keary 's stories, was published in 1875. It relates the fortunes of an English and 
an Irish family. The scene is laid in Connemara, Ireland, during the famine of 
1846 and the formation and insurrection of the party of "Young Irelanders" in 
1846-49. The impartial delineation of the strong and weak points of Celtic char- 
acter, the combination of acute observation and deep feeling, and the exciting history 
of the rebellion led by O'Brien, make it very interesting. The Irish nature is typi- 
fied in the golden-haired heroine, Ellen, daughter of Squire Daly; in Connor, her 
brother, who joins the "Young Irelanders"; and in Cousin Anne of "Good People's 
Hollow," who, heedless of the precepts of political economy, rules her tenants with 
lavish kindness. On the other hand, the careful foresight of the Saxon race is well 
portrayed in John Thornely, and in Pelham, the eldest son of Squire Daly, who 
inherits English characteristics from his mother. 

CASTILIAN DAYS, by John Hay, has gone through many editions since its publi- 
cation in 1871 ; a prosperity at which no reader of the book can wonder. Its seven- 
teen essays present a vivid picture of the life of Spain. Joining a graceful and 
brilliant style with the happiest perception of the significance of things seen, the 
author finds a subject worthy of his interpretation in that mediaeval civilization of 
the Iberian peninsula which has lasted over into the nineteenth century a civili- 
zation where the Church holds sway as it did in the Middle Ages: where the upper 
classes believe in devils, and the peasants dare not yawn without crossing themselves, 
lest an imp find lodgment within them; where duels are fought in all deadliness 
whenever a caballero's delicate honor is offended; where alone the Carnival survives 
as an unforced, naive, popular fe"te; where rich and poor play together, and enjoy 
themselves like children. Madrid, Segovia, Toledo, Alcala", Seville, are so described 
that we see the people abroad, at home, at church, at the bull-fights, at the miracle- 
play, in the brilliant light of their sub-tropical skies. The whole history of Spain 
of its Moors, its Goths, its Castilians is written in its streets and its customs; 
and Mr. Hay has translated it for Western eyes to read. His book is the work at 
once of the shrewd social observer and the imaginative poet. 

CASTING AWAY OF MRS. LECKS AND MRS. ALESHINE, THE (1886), 
by Frank R. Stockton. This chronicle sets forth the curious experiences of Mrs. 
Leeks and Mrs. Aleshine; two middle-aged widows, from a little New England 
village, who, having "means," decide to see the world and pay a visit to the son of 
one of them, who has gone into business in Japan. On the steamer crossing the 
Pacific they meet a young Mr. Craig, who tells the story. The two ladies and Mr. 
Craig are cast away in most preposterous circumstances, on a lonely isle in mid- 
ocean. Many of the scenes, like the escape from drowning of the two widows, 
are of the very essence of true humor, of a grotesque form; and the story-teller's 
invention and humor never once flag. It is a good example of Stockton's unique 
method of story-telling the matter extremely absurd and the manner extremely 
grave, the narrative becoming more and more matter-of-fact and minutely realistic, 
as the events themselves grow more and more incredible. 

CASTLE OF OTRANTO, THE, by Horace Waipole. It is curious that a man 
with no purpose m life beyond drinking tea with Lady Suffolk, or filling quarto 



128 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

note-books with court gossip, should produce an epoch-making book; for the 
'Castle of Otranto,' with its natural personages actuated by supernatural 
agencies, is the prototype of that extraordinary series of romantic fictions 
which began with Anne RadclifFe, and was superseded only by the Waverley 
novels. 

The reader's interest is aroused with the first page of the romance, and never 
flags. Conrad, son of Manfred, Prince of Otranto, about to marry Isabella, daughter 
of the Marquis of Vicenza, is found in the castle court, dashed to pieces under an 
enormous helmet. Now deprived of an heir, Manfred declares to Isabella his in- 
tention of marrying her himself; when, to his horror, his grandfather's portrait 
descends from the wall, and signs to Manfred to follow him. Isabella meanwhile, 
by the assistance of a peasant, Theodore, escapes to Friar Jerome. For this inter- 
vention, Manfred, now returned from his tete-a-tete with his grandfather's phan- 
tom, leads the youth into the court to be executed, when he is found to be Jerome's 
son, and is spared. At this moment a herald appears demanding of Manfred, 
in the name of Prince Frederick, his daughter Isabella and the resignation of the 
principality of Otranto usurped from Frederick; who follows the proclamation, 
is admitted co the castle and informed of Manfred's desire to marry Isabella, when 
word comes that she has escaped from Jerome's protection. A series of ludicrous 
portents hastens the denouement: drops of blood flow from the nose of the statue 
of Alphonso, the prince from whose heirs the dukedom has been wrested; unrelated 
arms and legs appear in various parts of the castle; and finally, in the midst of the 
rocking of earth, and the rattling of "more than mortal armor," the walls of the 
castle are thrown down, the inmates having presumably escaped. From the ruins 
the statue of Alphonso, raised to gigantic proportions, cries, "Behold in Theodore 
the true heir of Alphonso." Isabella, having been rescued at the critical moment, 
is of course married to Theodore. 

This wildly romantic tale, published in 1764, was enthusiastically received by 
the public; who, as Sir Leslie Stephen so well says, "rejoiced to be reminded that 
men once lived in castles, believed in the Devil, and did not take snuff or wear 
powdered wigs." 

CASTLE RACKRENT, by Maria Edgeworth. This, as the author announces, is 
"an Hibernian tale taken from facts and from the manners of the Irish squire before 
the year 1782." The memoirs of the Rackrent family are recounted by Thady 
Quirk, an old steward, who has been from childhood devotedly attached to the house 
of Rackrenfc. The old retainer* s descriptions of the several masters under whom he 
has served, vividly portray various types of the "fine old Irish gentleman"; fore- 
most among them all being Sir Patrick Rackrent, "who lived and died a monu- 
ment of old Irish hospitality," and whose "funeral was such a one as was never 
known before or since in the county." Then comes Sir Murtagh Rackrent, whose 
famous legal knowledge brought the poor tenants little consolation; and his wife, 
of the Skinflint family, who "had a charity school for poor children, where they were 
taught to read and write gratis, and where they were kept spinning gratis for my 
lady in return." Next follows Sir Kit, "God bless him! He valued a guinea as 
little as any man, money was no more to him than dirt, and his gentleman and groom 
and all belonging to him the same." Also his Jewish wife, whom he imprisons in 
her room for seven years because she refuses to give up her diamonds. In the 
words of Thady, "it was a shame for her not to have shown more duty, when he 
condescended to ask so often for such a bit of a trifle in his distresses, especially 



THE READER 's DIGEST OF BOOKS 12$ 

when he all along made it no secret that he married her for money." The memoirs 
close with the history of Sir Condy Rackrent, who dies from quaffing on a wager 
a great horn of punch, after having squandered the remainder of the family fortune. 
'Castle Rackrent' was issued in 1801, and was the first of a series of successful novels 
produced by the author, whose descriptions of Irish character, whether grave or 
gay, are unsurpassed. Sir Walter Scott has acknowledged that his original idea, 
when he began his career as a novelist, was to be to Scotland what Miss Edgeworth 
was to Ireland. 

CATHARINE, by Jules Sandau (Paris: 1846). The scene of the story is laid in 
the little village of Saint-Sylvain, in the ancient province of La Marche. The 
cure, a priest patterned after the Vicar of Wakefield, who spends most of his in- 
come of 800 francs in relieving his poor, discovers that there is no money left to buy 
a soutane for himself and a surplice for his assistant; while the festival of the patron 
of the parish is close at hand, and their old vestments are in rags. There is con- 
sternation in the presbytery, especially when the news arrives that the bishop of 
Limoges himself is to be present. Catharine, the priest's little niece, determines to 
make a collection, and goes to the neighboring chateau, although warned that the 
Count de Sougeres is a wicked and dangerous man. But Catharine, in her inno- 
cence, does not understand the warning; and besides, Claude, her uncle's choir- 
leader and her friend from childhood, will protect her. When she reaches the chateau 
she meets, not the count, but his son Roger, who gives a liberal donation to the 
fair collector, and afterward sends hampers of fowl, silver plate, etc., to the presby- 
tery, so that Monseigneur of Limoges and his suite are received with all due honor. 
Universal joy pervades the parish, which Claude does not share. He is jealous; 
and with reason, for Catharine and Roger quickly fall in love with each other. 
'Catharine 7 ranks as one of the best, if not the best, of Sandeau's works. While 
some of the scenes show intense dramatic power, and others are of the most pathetic 
interest, a spirit of delicious humor pervades the whole story, an unforced and 
kindly humor that springs from the situations, and is of a class seldom found in 
French literature. 

CATHARINE FURZE, "by Mark Rutherford; edited by his friend Reuben Shap- 
cott." Published in 1893, this book opens with a description of Easthorpe, the 
market town of the English Eastern Midlands, in 1840. The two inns are patron- 
ized by landlords, farmers, tenants, and commercial travelers; especially on election 
days. The story centres about the life of Mr. and Mrs. Furze, and their daughter 
Catharine, aged about nineteen. Mike Catchpole, by an accident in the factory 
of Mr. Furze, loses his eyesight. Catharine, with a sense of justice, insists that 
he shall be made an apprentice in the business. The girl is sent to school to the 
Misses Ponsonby, who are very strict in their religious habits and manner of instruc- 
tion, and whose pupils are questioned upon the weekly sermon by the preacher, 
Mr. Cardew. He has not learned the art of being happy with his wife; and when 
he meets Catharine they discuss Milton, Satan, and the divine eternal plan. Car- 
dew's presence is inspiriting to her. Tom Catchpole, a clerk in her father's store, 
worships Catharine from afar. At last he confesses his love and she refuses him. 
After her return from school she finds life utterly uninteresting, having no scope 
for her powers. When she falls ill and fades away, Cardew is sent for: she tells 
him that he has saved her. "By 'their love for each other they were both saved." 
She takes up her life once more, and the book ends without a climax almost 



130 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

without incident. Written with an almost heartless impersonality, it is a strik- 
ing portraiture of that English lower middle-class life which Matthew Arnold 
pronounced so deadly for mind and soul. It might be called a tragedy of the 
unfulfilled. 

CATO OF UTICA, by Joseph Addison. A tragedy in five acts and in blank verse. 
It was first represented in 1713. The scene is laid in a hall of the governor's palace _ 
at Utica. The subject is Cato's last desperate struggle against Caesar, and his 
determination to die rather than survive his country's freedom. All the "unities" 
are strictly observed : there is no change of place, the action occurs on the same 
day, and all the incidents centre around Cato and conduce to his death. 'Cato' 
owed its extraordinary success to the deadly hatred that raged between the Whigs 
and Tories at the time: the Whigs cheered when an actor mentioned the word 
"liberty"; and the Tories, resenting the implied innuendo, cheered louder than 
they. To the Whigs Marlborough was a Cato, to the Tories he was a Caesar. 
Bolingbroke, immediately after the performance, gave Booth, the Cato of the 
tragedy, fifty guineas "for having so well defended liberty against the assaults of 
a would-be dictator" (Alarlborough). Every poet of the time wrote verses in 
honor of 'Cato,' the best being Pope's prologue; and it was translated into French, 
German, and Italian. The German adaptation of Gottsched was almost as great 
a success as the original. 

CAUSERIES DTI LUNDI, by Saint e-Beuve. Every prominent name in French 
literature, from Villehardouin and Joinville to Baudelaire and Hale" vy, is exhaustively 
discussed in the 'Causeries' of Sainte-Beuve, in his own day the greatest critic of the 
nineteenth century. The author sometimes discusses foreign literature; his articles 
on Dante, Goethe, Gibbon, and Franklin being excellent. What is most original in 
Sainte-Beuve is his point of view. Before his time, critics considered only the work 
of an author. Sainte-Beuve widened the scope of criticism by inventing what has 
been called "biographical criticism." In the most skillful and delicate manner, he 
dissects the writer to find the man. He endeavors to explain the work by the charac- 
ter of the author, his early training, his health, his idiosyncrasies, and above all, by his 
environment. The 'Causeries' were first published as feuilletons in the papers. 
They may be divided into two distinct classes: those written before, and those written 
after, the Restoration. In the former there is more fondness for polemics than pure 
literary purpose; but they represent the most brilliant period in Sainte-Beuve 's 
literary career. After the Restoration, his method changes: there are no polemics; 
however little sympathy the critic may have with the works of such writers as De 
Maistre, Lamartine, or Beranger, he analyzes their lives solely for the purpose of 
finding the source of their ideas. The most curious portion of the 'Causeries' is 
that in which he discusses his contemporaries. He seems in his latter period to be 
desirous of refuting his earlier positions. Where he had been indulgent to excess, 
he is now extremely severe. Chateaubriand, Lamartine, and Be*ranger, who were 
once his idols, are relegated to a very inferior place in literature. Perhaps there is 
nothing more characteristic of Sainte-Beuve than the sweetness and delicacy with 
which he slays an obnoxious brother craftsman. In the tender regretfulness which 
he displays in assassinating Gautier or Hugo, he follows the direction of Izaak Walton 
with regard to the gentle treatment of the worm. Many lists of the most valuable of 
the 'Causeries 1 have been made; but as they all differ, it is safe to say that none of 
Sainte-Beuve's criticisms is without a high value. 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 131 

CAVALIER, THE, by George W. Cable (1901). This is a lively story of love and 
adventure in the days of the Civil War, and details the experiences of Richard 
Thorndyke Smith, a young soldier in the Southern army, who gives the reader 
his personal reminiscences. At the age of nineteen he becomes a scout under 
Lieutenant Ferry; figures in many thrilling adventures and performs many valorous 
deeds. Ferry, whose rightful name is Edgard Ferry Durand, is a brilliant and 
fascinating character whose noble and fearless nature makes him loved by men and 
women alike. He has fallen victim to the charms of Charlotte Oliver, a beautiful 
and daring Confederate spy, but, owing to the fact that she is already married, he 
feels the hopelessness of his love. Charlotte, who also goes by the name of Coralie 
Rothvelt, is wife in name only of a miserable rascal who deceived her into marrying 
him, but whose real character she discovered immediately after the ceremony, and 
who has done everything he could to make her life wretched. Charlotte is devoted 
to the Confederate cause and undertakes perilous risks without thought of danger, 
and is at the front in time of battle, caring for the wounded and dying. Although 
she reciprocates Ferry's affection, she will not encourage him until she is absolutely 
convinced of the death of her husband, who finally dies as a traitor, after having 
attempted her life and seriously wounded her. At last, her courage and fidelity 
are rewarded and she becomes the wife of the man she loves. Smith, who has been 
the faithful ally of both Charlotte and Ferry, wins the love of Camille Harper, the 
Major's daughter, and the curtain falls on the closing of the war, with strife and 
discord at an end. This story exhibits the author's simple and unaffected manner 
of writing, and the plot runs with unusual swiftness and ease. 

CAVALLERIA RUSTTCANA ('Rustic Chivalry'), a short story by the Sicilian 
Giovanni Verga, published in a collection entitled 'Novelle rusticane' in 1883 and 
presented in dramatic form at Turin in 1884. Pietro Mascagni made this prose play 
the basis of the verse-libretto of his one-act opera, 'Cavalleria Rusticana' (1890). 
The scene is a Sicilian village and the time Easter Day at the hour of mass. Turiddu 
Macca, a young peasant, son of a widowed mother, was in love with the coquette, 
Lola. On his return from military service he found her married to Alfio, a carter. 
Out of pique he paid his addresses to Santuzza, who fell desperately in love with 
him and on receiving his promise of marriage admitted him to her chamber. Lola, 
annoyed that Turiddu should love anyone else, ensnares him again, and her hus- 
band's frequent absences enable them to meet at her house. Meanwhile Santuzza 
finds herself about to become a mother. During the time of mass on Easter morning 
she rebukes Turiddu for his infidelity and begs him to return to her; but he refuses 
roughly, and Santuzza then reveals to Alfio, who has just returned from a journey, 
the relations of his wife, Lola, and Turiddu. Alfio finds Turiddu drinking in the 
village square after church and challenges him to a duel a challenge which is 
sealed by the peasants' custom of embracing and biting the ear. They go out 
quietly and word comes almost immediately that Turiddti. is slain. The story both 
in its narrative and its dramatic form presents in lively colors the fierce passions 
and primitive customs of the Sicilian peasantry. 

CAVOUR, a short biography, by the Countess Evelyn Martinengo-Cesaresco, 
was published in 1904, as one of the 'Foreign Statesmen Series, ' edited by Professor 
Bury. In a succinct yet clear and complete manner the writer tells the remarkable 
story of Cavour's achievement of the unification of Italy. Born in 1810, the younger 
son of a noble Piedmontese house, Camillo Benso, Count 'Cavour, early manifested 



132 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

tendencies strangely out of harmony with his rank and surroundings in a petty 
Italian principality. He was supremely interested in scientific farming and in 
political life, a pronounced Liberal, and an opponent of clerical influence in secular 
government. Travel in France and Italy strengthened these views. Just prior 
to the Revolutionary year of 1848, he started at Turin a newspaper entitled 'II 
Riaorgimento, ' a name which has since been applied to the movement which it 
inaugurated for the unification of Italy. Through this paper he was able to influence 
the King of Piedmont, Charles Albert, to declare war on Austria, in order to drive 
her out of Italy. After the failure of the Piedmontese at Novara and the abdication 
of the king, Cavour, now called to the government, induced the new King, Victor 
Emmanuel, to join England and France in the Crimean war, hoping thus to gain 
the support of these powers for a renewed attempt to liberate Italy from Austria. 
As a consequence, Cavour, representing Piedmont, was given a place at the peace 
conference in 1856. Finally in 1859 he succeeded in committing Napoleon III. 
to an alliance, and with his aid, drove Austria from Lombardy. Insurrections then 
broke out in the other Italian states, particularly in the kingdom of Naples, which 
was conquered by Garibaldi and his thousand volunteers (1860). By the close of 
the year Austria had agreed to make peace and the whole of Italy except Rome was 
declared an independent kingdom in February, 1861. In the same year Cavour died 
of fatigue brought on by overwork (June 6, 1861). His career, dominated as it 
was by the determination to set Italy free, is an inspiring one and the writer has 
risen to the height of her subject the unification of Italy. She tells how he 
gradually prepared the way for war against Austria, by strengthening the army, by 
diplomacy, and by co-operating with Garibaldi up to a certain point. "Possibly," 
she says, "he was the only continental statesman who ever saw liberty in an Anglo- 
Saxon light." At first he had to work against distrust, but his extraordinary powers 
as a diplomatist enabled him to succeed where Mazzini and Garibaldi would have 
failed. None will question his unwavering devotion to the cause of the emancipation 
of Italy. His extraordinary political acumen may be seen in his anticipation of 
the advance of Prussia. "In 1848," says the Countess Cesaresco, "he prophesied 
that Germanism would disturb the European equilibrium, and that the future Ger- 
man Empire would aim at becoming a naval power in order to combat and rival 
England on the seas. But he saw that the rise of Prussia meant the decline of 
Austria, and this was all that, as an Italian statesman, with Venetia still in chains, 
he was bound to consider.' 1 

CAVOUR, THE LIFE AND TIMES OF, by William Roscoe Thayer (2 vols., 1911). 
This is a more elaborate and detailed critical study than the biography of Countess 
Martinengo-Cesaresco, giving the history of Italy's deliverance from the yoke of a 
divided rule, great detail of movements and events in "the life of the great man 
whose daring genius conceived and carried out his country's emancipation." The 
book is a masterpiece of historical biography, and ranks with the scholarly and well 
constructed histories of the present time. He has studied apparently all available 
printed sources, including the new material of the last decade. 

CAXTOtfS, THE, by Edward Bulwer, Lord Lytton. c The Caxtons' was not 
only instantly popular in England, but 35,000 copies were sold in America within 
three years after its publication in 1850. The Caxtons are Austin Caxton, a scholar 
engaged on a great work, 'The History of Human Error'; his wife Kitty, much his 
junior; his brother Roland, the Captain, who has served in the Napoleonic campaigns; 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 133 

the two children of the latter, Herbert and Blanche; and Austin's son, Pisistratus, 
who tells the story. The quiet country life of the family of Austin Caxton is inter- 
rupted by a visit to London. There Pisistratus, who has had a good school edu- 
cation, though he has not yet entered the university, is offered the position of 
secretary to Mr. Trevanion, a leader in Parliament. Lady Ellinor, Air. Trevanion's 
wife, was loved as a girl by Roland and Austin Caxton; but she had passed them 
both by to make a marriage better suited to an ambitions woman. By a freak of 
fate Pisistratus now falls in love with her daughter Fannie, and when he finds that 
his suit is hopeless, he gives up his position under Mr. Trevanion, and enters Cam- 
bridge University, where his college course is soon closed by the financial troubles 
of his father. A further outline of this story would give no idea of its charm. The 
mutual affection of the Caxtons is finely indicated, and the gradations of light and 
shade make a beautiful picture. Never before had Bulwer written with so light a 
touch and so gentle a humor, and this novel has been called the most brilliant and 
attractive of his productions. His gentle satire of certain phases of political life 
was founded, doubtless, on actual experience. 

CECIL DREEME, by Theodore Winthrop (1862), by its brilliancy of style, crisp 
dialogue, sharp characterization, and ingenuity of structure, won an immediate 
popularity. Robert Byng, the hero, returning from ten years of study in Europe, 
meets on shipboard a remarkably accomplished and brilliant man, Densdeth, to 
whom he is much attracted, while conscious at the same time of an unacknowledged 
but powerful repulsion. Byng settles himself in rooms in Chrysalis College, a 
pseudo-mediaeval building which houses an unsuccessful university and receives 
lodgers in its unused chambers. On the floor above Byng is Cecil Dreeme, a myste- 
rious young artist, who is evidently in hiding for some unknown reason. Densdeth 
takes Byng to renew an old acquaintance and friendship with the Denmans, a rich 
and important family. Mr. Denman and his only living child, the beautiful Ernma, 
are in deep mourning for the younger daughter Clara; who some months before, 
when about to be married to Densdeth, a marriage believed to be most distasteful 
to her, is believed to have wandered from home while delirious from fever, and 
to have been drowned. These are the characters, who, with John Churm, an 
old friend of Byng's father, and a fellow-lodger in Chrysalis, and to whom the 
Denman girls have been like adopted children, carry on the story. A definite 
plot is worked out with adequate skill, but the strength of the story lies in its fine 
insight and spiritual significance. As Densdeth stands -for evil, so Byng stands for 
manliness rather than for conscience, and Clara for incarnate good. 

CECILIA, by Frances Burney. 'Cecilia; or Memoirs of an Heiress/ is a typical 
English novel of the eighteenth century. The plot is simple, the story long drawn 
out, the style stilted, and the characters alone constitute the interest of the book, 
and justify Dr. Johnson's praise of Miss Burney as "a little character-monger." 
The charming heroine, Cecilia Beverley, has no restriction on her fortune but that 
her future husband must take her name. She goes to London to stay with Mr. 
Harrel, one of her guardians, and is introduced into society by his wife. Mr. Harrel 
contrives to influence her for his own advantage, and succeeds in keeping about her 
only those admirers who serve him personally. She and the hero, Mortimer Delvile, 
have therefore little intercourse. After borrowing money from Cecilia and gambling 
it all away, Mr. Harrel in despair commits suicide. Cecilia then visits her other 
guardian, Mr. Delvile, at his castle, where she is constantly thrown with Mortimer, 



134 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

his cjon. Family pride keeps him from proposing to Cecilia, whose birth does not 
equal his own; but her beauty and gentleness overcome his resolves, and he per- 
suades her to a secret marriage. Mr. Monckton, who wishes to secure Cecilia's 
fortune, discovers her plans, and with the help of an accomplice prevents the mar- 
riage at the very church. Cecilia returns to the country, and after a harrowing 
family scene gives up Mortimer. But the heroine has her reward at the end. It 
is harrl, in our day, to understand the overpowering family pride and prejudice, the 
effects of which constitute largely the story of the heroine. ' Cecilia ' was published 
in 1782, four years after the issue of 'Evelina,' and met with public favor almost 
as great as that which welcomed the earlier romance. Sentimental, artificial, and 
unliterary though they are, Miss Burney's stories present a vivid picture of the 
society of her time, and are likely to remain among the English classics. 

CELLINI, BENVENUTO, THE LIFE OF, one of the few world-famous auto- 
biographies, and itself the Italian Renaissance as expressed in personality, was 
written between the years 1558 and 1562. It circulated in MS. and was copied fre- 
quently, until its publication in 1730. The original and authoritative MS. belongs 
to the Laurentian Collection in Florence. It was written "for the most part by 
Michele di Goro Yestri, the youth whom Cellini employed as his amanuensis. Per- 
haps we owe its abrupt and infelicitous conclusion to the fact that Benvenuto dis- 
liked the trouble of writing with his own hand. From notes upon the codex it 
appears that this was the MS. submitted to Benedetto Varchi in 1559. It once 
belonged to Andrea, the son of Lorenzo Cavalcanti. His son, Lorenzo Cavalcanti 
gave it to the poet Redi, who used it as a testo di lingua for the Delia Cruscan vocab- 
ulary. Subsequently it passed into the hands of the booksellers, and was bought 
by L. Poirot, who bequeathed it, on his death in 1825, to the Lauren tian Library.' 7 
Cellini's autobiography has been translated into German by Goethe, into Eng- 
lish by Nugent, Roscoe, and Symonds, and into French by Leopold Leclauche'. 
Symonds's translation is pre-eminent for its truthfulness and sympathy. It is 
fitting that Cellini's record of himself should be translated into the foremost modern 
tongues, since he stood for a civilization unapproached in cosmopolitan character 
since the age of Sophocles. Judged by his own presentment, he was an epitome 
of that world which sprang from the marriage of Faust with Helen. He, like his 
contemporaries, was a "natural" son of Greece; witnessing to his wayward birth 
in his adoration of beauty, in his violent passions, in his magnificent bombast, in 
his turbulent, highly colored life, in his absence of spirituality, in his close clinging 
to the sure earth. He was most mediaeval in that whatever feeling he had, of joy 
in the tangible or fear of the intangible, was intensely alive. "This is no book: 
who touches this touches a man." 

CENCI, TEE, a tragedy in blank verse, by Percy Bysshe Shelley, written and 
printed in Italy in 1819 and published in England in 1820. Though designed for 
the stage it was not acted in Shelley 's lifetime, but a special performance was ar- 
ranged by the Shelley Society in 1886. The play is based on an early manuscript 
account of the murder of the Roman Count Francesco Cenci, September 9, 1598, 
and the execution of his wife, Lucretia, his daughter, Beatrice, and his son Giacomo, 
as instigators of the murder, on May n, 1599. The dramatist, who follows closely 
the statements of the manuscript, presents in the opening scene Count Cenci, a 
monster of lust and cruelty, who buys immunity for his crimes by heavy contribu- 
tions to the Pope Clement VIII. Two of his sons he has sent to the University of 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 135 

Salamanca where he refuses to support them until compelled by the Pope. Another, 
Giacomo, he has robbed of his wife's dowry (II. ii.); his eldest daughter has escaped 
his household by marriage; a younger daughter, Beatrice, and a son, Bernardo, 
with their step-mother Lucretia, live in the Cenci palace where they are starved, 
imprisoned, beaten, and generally ill-treated, while Cenci Ms Rome with tales of 
his debauchery and cruelty. But Cenci's wealth, influence, and ruthlessness, and 
the Roman idea of the patria potestas, which the Pope warmly upholds, make inter- 
ference difficult for friends of the family. Orsino, a former suitor of Beatrice, now 
a priest, offers to carry to the Pope a petition for her release from her father's house; 
but fearing lest Clement should marry her to someone else he does not deliver the 
petition, hoping thus to further his own selfish ends and win her love (Act I., sc. ii.). 
The devilish glee with which Cenci announces at a feast of his friends and relatives 
the death of his two sons at Salamanca stirs Beatrice to make an impassioned appeal 
to the guests. But they do not dare to interfere. Beatrice's conduct incites Count 
Cenci to a crowning infamy, already half -planned. To satisfy his malignant hate 
he will ruin his own daughter and corrupt her mind until she consents to the crime. 
On the night of the feast he drops to her a hint of his purpose; and after she has 
suffered for a day the torments of apprehension, he outrages her. Realizing his 
further purpose of utterly debasing her, she resolves on killing him as her only hope; 
and in consultation with her step-mother and with Orsino, who from her distracted 
words and bearing have partly guessed what she has suffered, they arrange that 
Count Cenci shall be killed by assassins on the morrow, as he is transporting his 
wife and daughter to the lonely castle of Petrella, in the Apulian Apennines. Gia- 
como, coming in to kill his father for further persecution of him and his family, 
becomes an accessory to the plan (Act III., sc. i.). In. the next scene Orsino 
brings word to Giacomo that Count Cenci has escaped the ambush by arriving too 
early; but a new attempt is to be made, through the instrumentality of Olimpio 
and Marzio, two dismissed and aggrieved servants of Cenci. In Act IV., sc. i., Lucretia 
who has given Cenci an opiate strives to induce him to confess his sins on the ground 
that Beatrice has seen a vision warning him of death; His only reply is a threat 
of new outrage. In scene ii. the murderers arrive and in scene iii., though awed at 
first by the innocent appearance of the old man as he sleeps, they are goaded on by 
Beatrice to put him to death. No sooner has he been strangled and thrown from 
a window than the papal legate, Savella, comes to summon him to answer his wicked 
deeds, Lucretia shows great agitation, but Beatrice is perfectly composed even 
when they are arrested and taken to Rome to be examined on suspicion of being 
concerned in the crime. Orsino now reveals his baseness by betraying Giacomo 
to justice and making his escape in disguise (Act V., sc. v.) In the trial scene which 
follows, Marzio admits, under torture, that he did the murder, instigated by Gia- 
como, Orsino, and the ladies. But Beatrice, confronting him in the presence of the 
court, forces him by the strength of her personality and the power of her essential 
innocence to withdraw his accusation and declare himself alone guilty. He is re- 
moved for further torture and dies on the rack. But Giacomo and Lucrezia prove 
less resolute, and they with Beatrice are condemned to death. The Pope, jealous 
of his own patria potestas and alarmed by another case of parricide, refuses a pardon; 
and after one outburst of natural terror of death, Beatrice goes calmly to the scaffold. 
This drama shows the influence of Shakespeare in its diction and of Ford and Web- 
ster in its horror. The theme is treated with restraint and its repulsiveness is 
tempered and well-nigh obliterated by the emphasis placed on the mental sufferings 
and emotions of Beatrice and the masterly way in which she and her father are 



i$f> THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

characterized. The Italian atmosphere and temper is realistically preserved and 
the dignity and pathos of tragedy are never forgotten. 

CENT NOUVELLES NOUVELLES. This collection of facetious tales was first 
published at Paris in 1486. They were told at the table of the dauphin, afterwards 
Louis XL, in the Castle of Genappe during his exile. Their arrangement in their 
present form has been attributed to the Count of Croi, to Louis himself, and to 
Antoine de La Salle. The latter, however, seems to have been the editor. In 
spite of the difference in character and position of the narrators, the 'Nouvelles' 
are uniform in tone and style, and have the same elegance and clearness of diction 
that distinguished La Salle's 'Quinze Joyes de Manage.' Besides, the number 
actually related was far in excess of a hundred. A practiced writer therefore must 
have selected and revised the best. The work is one of the most curious monuments 
of a land of literature distinctively French, and which, since its revival by Voltaire 
in the eighteenth century, has always been successfully cultivated: the literature that 
considers elegant mockery and perfection of form adequate compensation for the 
lack of morality and lofty ideals. Although several of the stories are traceable 
to Boccaccio, Poggio, and other Italian novellieri, most of them are original. The 
historical importance of the collection arises from its giving details regarding the 
manners and customs of the fifteenth century that can be found nowhere else. Its 
very licentiousness is commentary enough on the private life of the men and women 
of the time. In spite of its title, however, there is nothing novel in the incidents 
upon which the 'Nouvelles' are based. Their novelty consists in their high-bred 
brightness and vivacity, their delicately shaded and refined but cruel sarcasm. 
With a slight modernization of the language, they might have been told at one of 
the Regent's suppers, and they are far superior of those related in the Heptameron 
of the Queen of Navarre. The 'Nouvelles' also show us that the Middle Ages are 
past. Instead of gallant knights performing impossible feats to win a smile from 
romantic chatelaines, we have a crowd of princes and peasants, nobles and trades- 
men; all, with their wives and mistresses, jostling and duping one another on a 
footing of perfect equality. Another sign that a new era has come is the mixed 
social condition of the thirty-two story-tellers; for among them obscure and untitled 
men, probably domestics of the Duke of Burgundy, figure side by side with some 
of the greatest names in French history. 

CENTRAL AMERICA, Incidents of Travel in Chiapas and Yucatan, by John 
Lloyd Stephens (2 vols., 1841). The story of a journey of nearly 3000 miles, 
including visits to eight ruined cities, monuments of a marvelously interesting lost 
civilization; that of the Maya land, the many cities of which, of great size, splendor, 
and culture, rivaled those of the Incas and the Montezumas. Ten editions of this 
book were published within three months. Two years later, Mr. Stephens supple- 
mented this first adequate report of the character of Central American antiquities 
by a second work, his 'Travel in Yucatan, ' in which he reported further explorations 
extended to forty-four ruined cities. 

CENTRAL AMERICA, Notes on, by Ephraim George Squier: 1854. The States 
of: 1857. Two works by an American archaeologist of distinction, who, after a 
special experience in similar researches in New York, Ohio, and other States, entered 
on a wide and protracted research in Central America in 1849; published a work 
on Nicaragua in 1852; and later gave, in the two works named above, a report of 
observations on both the antiquities and the political condition of Central America, 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 137 

the value of which has been widely recognized. The ' Serpent Symbols' (1852) of 
Mr. Squier attracted attention as a study of great value in the baffling science of 
primitive religion and speculation on nature; and his 'Peru: Incidents and Explora- 
tions in the Land of the Incas' (1877), was the result of exhaustive investigations 
of Inca remains, and a most valuable contribution to knowledge of ancient Peru. 

CERAMIC INDUSTRIES, TREATISE ON, by Emile Bouny (1897), translated by 
W. P. Rix (1901) and by Alfred B. Searle (1911). The publication of a translation 
of M. Bourry's classic work is justified because at the date when it was issued (1901) 
there was no adequate textbook on ceramics in English. Its value both for the 
student and the manufacturer consists in the fact that it treats with equal fullness 
the manipulation of every class of ceramics from the common brick to the finest 
porcelain and supplies a description of a judicious selection of the best known 
machines and appliances in use in various countries. The translator appropriately 
calls attention to the fact that the governments of continental Europe have stimu- 
lated the industry by giving either direct or indirect assistance to students or facto- 
ries engaged in research, and suggests that manufacturers should combine to engage 
in such technical research as relates to subjects and methods common to all pottery 
manufacture, and leave to individual manufacturers the opportunity to specialize 
in details peculiar to their own section. The volume opens with a classification and 
definitions of ceramic products and a useful historic summary of ceramic art. These 
are followed by discussions of raw materials and the means of trying them; of the 
properties, composition, and preparation of plastic bodies; of the processes of mold- 
ing, drying, glazing, firing, and decorating. The second half of the book is devoted 
to special pottery methods, whether terra cotta, fireclay, faience, stoneware, or por- 
celain. There are three hundred and twenty-three well chosen illustrations of 
machines and processes. 

CESAR BIROTTEAU, The Greatness and Decline of, by Honors' de Balzac (1838). 
This novel pictures in a striking and accurate manner the bourgeois life of Paris at 
the time of the Restoration. Ce*sar Birotteau, a native of the provinces, comes to 
the city in his youth, works his way up until he becomes the proprietor of a perfumery 
establishment, and amasses a considerable fortune. He is decorated with the Cross 
of the Legion of Honor, in consequence of having been an ardent Loyalist; and this 
mark of distinction, coupled with his financial success, causes him to become more 
and more ambitious. He grows extravagant, indulges in speculation, and loses 
everything. This stroke of misfortune brings out the strength of character which, 
during his prosperity, had remained concealed beneath many petty foibles. In this 
story the life of the French shopkeeper who values his credit as his dearest possession, 
and his failure as practically death, is faithfully- portrayed. The other characters 
in the book are lifelike portraits. Constance, the faithful and sensible wife of Birot- 
teau, and his gentle daughter Ce*sarine, are in pleasing contrast to many of the women 
Balzac has painted. Du Tillet, the unscrupulous clerk, who repays his master's 
kindness by hatred and dishonesty; Roquin the notary; Vauquelin the great chemist; 
and Pillerault, uncle of Constance, are all striking individualities. The book is 
free from any objectionable atmosphere, and is exceedingly realistic as to manners 
and customs. It has been admirably translated into English by Katharine Prescott 
Wonneley. 

CHALDEE MS., THE (1817). This production, in its day pronounced one of 
the most extraordinary satires in the language, is now almost forgotten save by 



138 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

students of literature. It was a skit at the expense of the publisher Constable, and 
of the Edinburgh notables specially interested in the Whig Edinburgh Review; 
prepared by the editors for the seventh number of the new Tory Blackwood's Maga- 
zine, October, 1817. In form it was a Biblical narrative in four chapters, attacking 
Constable, and describing many of the Constable clientage with more or less felici- 
tous phrases. Scott was "that great magician which hath his dwelling in the old 
fastness." Constable was "the man which is crafty," who "shook the dust from 
his feet, and said, ' Beloved, I have given this magician much money, yet see, now, 
he hath utterly deserted me.'" Francis Jeffrey was "a familiar spirit unto whom 
the man which was crafty had sold himself, and the spirit was a wicked and a cruel/' 
Many of the characterizations cannot be identified at this day, but they were all 
scathing and many of them mean. The joke was perpetrated by James Hogg, 
the "Ettrick Shepherd," whose original paper was greatly enlarged and modified 
by Wilson and Lockhart, and who himself declared that "the young lions in Edin- 
boro' interlarded it with a good deal of devilry of their own." To escape detection, 
the Blackwood men described themselves as well as their rivals: Wilson was "the 
beautiful leopard from the valley of the palm-trees, whose going forth was comely 
as the greyhound and his eyes like the lighting of fiery flame. And he called from a 
far country the scorpion [Lockhart] which delighteth to sting the faces of men." 
Hogg was " the great wild boar from the forests of Lebanon, who roused up his spirit, 
and whetted his dreadful tusks for the battle. 1 ' The satire which now seems so 
harmless shook the old city to its foundations, and produced not only the bitterest 
exasperation in the Constable set, but a plentiful crop of lawsuits; one of these being 
brought by an advocate who had figured as a "beast." As it originally appeared, 
the satire was headed 'Translation from an Ancient Chaldee Manuscript,' and 
pretended to be derived by an eminent Orientalist from an original preserved in 
the great Library of Paris. In after years both Wilson and Lockhart repented 
the cruelty of this early prank. 

CHANCE ACQUAINTANCE, A, by William Dean Howells (1873). This agree- 
able and entertaining sketch is one of Mr. Howells's earlier stories. It relates 
the experience of a pretty Western girl, Kitty Ellison, who, while traveling on the 
St. Lawrence with her cousins Colonel and Mrs. Ellison, has an "affaire du cceur" 
with Mr. Miles Arbuton, of Boston. The latter, an aristocrat of the most conven- 
tional type, is thrown much with Kitty on the steamer, and finally falls in love with 
her. Mrs. Ellison, a rather commonplace but kind-hearted woman, sprains her 
ankle, and this misfortune delays their party in Quebec. During this interval Mr. 
Arbuton and Kitty explore the city, an occupation affording ample time for 'he 
maturing of their friendship. Arbuton at length declares himself, and Kitty asks 
for time to consider his proposal. She feels the unsuitability of the match; he 
being of distinguished family, rich and cultivated, while she is a poor girl, with little 
to boast of but her own natural charms. She finally accepts him, however, when 
some of his aristocratic friends appear on the scene. He ignores Kitty for the time 
being and leaves her by herself, while he does the honors for the newcomers. She 
realizes that he is ashamed of her, and decides to give him up. On his return she 
tells him of her decision, and resists his entreaties to overlook his conduct. The 
story ends with the departure of the Ellisons from Quebec, and the reader is left 
in ignorance of the fate of Mr. Miles Arbuton. The book contains many charming 
descriptions of the picturesque scenery and places about Quebec, and the story is 
told with delightful airiness and charm. 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 139 

CHANSON DE ROLAND. This is the culmination of a cycle of 'Chansons de 
Geste ' or Songs of Valor, celebrating the heroic achievements of Charlemagne, and 
inspired especially by the joy and pride of the triumph of Christian arms over the 
Mohammedan invasion, which, through the gate opened by the Moors of Spain, 
threatened to subdue all Europe. The Song of Roland or of Roncesvalles celebrates 
the valor of Roland, a Count Paladin of Charlemagne, who, on the retreat of the 
King from an expedition against the Moors in Spain, is cut oft with the rear-guard 
of the army in the pass of Roncevaux; and, fatally wounded in the last desperate 
struggle, crawls away to die beneath the shelter of a rock, against which he strikes 
in vain his sword Durandal, in the effort to break it so that it may not fall into the 
hands of his enemy: 

"Be no man your master who shall know the fear of man: 
Long were you in the hands of a captain 
Whose like shall not be seen in Prance set free!" 

The French text of the 'Chanson' was first published in Paris by M. Francisque 
Michel in 1837, and afterward in many editions. The original form of the lines 
above quoted is as follows: 

"Ne vos ait hume ki pur altre feietl 
Mult bon vassal vos ad lung tens tenue: 
Jamais n'ert tel in France la solue." 

Around this incident have grown a multitude of heroic and romantic tales which 
have taken form in all the mediaeval literature of Europe; but especially in Italy, 
where however the hero appears with little more than the name to identify him, 
in the 'Orlando Furioso' of Arios+o, and the 'Orlando Innamorato' of Boiardo. 
Tyrwhitt, in his edition of Chaucer, was the first to call the attention of English 
readers to the ' Chanson ' ; but English tradition has it that the song was sung by 
the Norman Taillef er just before the battle of Hastings. The best and oldest French 
MS., called the "Digby," is preserved in the Bodleian library at Oxford. The 
French poem contains 6,000 lines. A Fragment of 1,049 lines, translated in Middle 
English from what is known as the Lansdowne MS., is published by the Early 
English Text Society. 

CHANTECLER, by Edmond Rostand (1910). The scene of this romantic French 
drama is a farmyard, the hero, a cock, and the dramatis personse, hens, guinea hens, 
ducks, turkeys, a blackbird, a dog, and a cat. Chantecler believes that his cock-a- 
doodle-doo each morning brings the day, that the sun rises at his call. He confides 
this secret of his song to a lovely hen-pheasant who has flown into the barnyard to 
escape a hunting dog. She falls in love with the splendid self-assertion of the Gallic 
cock. His enemies the owls, who hate the day, and the cat, conspire against the 
cock. At the guinea hen's five o'clock tea he is driven to fight and is nearly killed 
by a gamecock, armed with a steel spur. The fickle crowd of hens applaud the 
gamecock until a hawk appears and Chantecler asserts his real supremacy. He 
leaves them and goes to the forest with the pheasant. She is jealous of the Dawn, 
wishing to rule alone in his heart. One morning she covers his eyes with her wings, 
and he discovers that the ungrateful Dawn has come without his helj>. Disillusioned, 
he suffers, but regains his faith in himself and leayes her to return to the barnyard, 
to cheer his fellows with his call to the sun. 

" For in gray mornings when poor beasts awake. 
Not daring to believe that night is done, 
My ringing clarion will replace the sun." 



140 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

The pheasant sees the hunter and fearing for Chantecler, flies up, forgetting the snare 
of the net, in which she is caught. The symbolism of the play is obvious. The 
chattering hens, the turkey, a solemn pretentious philosopher, the tuft-hunting 
guinea hen and her troupe of celebrities, the blackbird, cynical and modern, are a 
delightful satire on human society. Chantecler's hymn to the sun is quoted in the 
LIBRARY. 

CHAPLAIN OF THE FLEET, THE, by Sir Walter Besant and James Rice (1881). 
This story opens on the last day of the year 1750, and gives a detailed account of 
the famous Liberties or Rules of the old Fleet prison in London, and of the Fleet 
marriages. These "Rules'* were houses in certain streets near the Fleet Market, 
where prisoners for debt were allowed to live, outside the prison, on payment of 
fees. Among these prisoners were clergymen, who performed clandestine mar- 
riages. A regular trade sprang up, touters were employed to bring clients, and every 
species of enormity was practiced. Gregory Shovel was one of these clergy, and so 
plumed himself on his success in this iniquitous traffic that he took the name of 
"Chaplain of the Fleet," which gives the book its title, the whole plot turning 
upon one of these Fleet marriages. This novel is considered one of the best of those 
written under the firm-name of Besant and Rice. 

CHARACTERISTICS, by Anthony Ashley Cooper, Earl of Shaftesbury. The 
three volumes of Shaftesbury's 'Characteristics' appeared anonymously in 1713, 
two years before the death of the author at the age of forty-two. These, with a 
volume of letters, and a certain preface to a sermon, constitute the whole of his 
published works. The 'Characteristics' immediately attracted wide attention; 
and in twenty years had passed through five editions, at that time a large circulation 
for a book of this kind. The first volume contains three rather desultory and 
discursive essays: 'A Letter concerning Enthusiasm'; 'On Freedom of Wit and 
Humor'; 'Soliloquy; or, Advice to an Author.' The second volume, with its 
'Inquiry concerning Virtue and Merit,' and the dialogue 'The Moralists: A Philo- 
sophical Rhapsody, ' forms his most valuable contribution to the science of ethics. 
In the third volume he advances various 'Miscellaneous Reflections,' including 
certain defenses of his philosophical theories, together with some essays on artistic 
and literary subjects. 

From the first appearance of the 'Characteristics,' it was seen that its philoso- 
phical theories were to have an important part in the whole science of ethics. De 
Mandeville in later years attacked him, Hutcheson defended him, and Butler and 
Berkeley discussed him, not always with a perfect comprehension of his system. 
Its leading ideas are of the relation of parts to a whole. As the beauty of an exter- 
nal object consists in a certain proportion between its parts, or a certain harmony 
of coloring, so the beauty of a virtuous act lies in its relation to the virtuous char- 
acter as a whole. Yet morality cannot be adequately studied in the individual 
man. Man must be considered in his relation to our earth, and this again in its 
relation to the universe. 

The faculty which approves of right and disapproves of wrong is by Shaftesbury 
called the moral sense and this is perhaps the distinctive feature of his system. Be- 
tween this sense and good taste in art he draws a strong analogy. In its recognition, 
of a rational as well as an emotional element, Shaftesbury's "moral sense" is much 
like the "conscience" described later by Butler. While the "moral sense" and 
the love and reverence of God are, with Shaftesbury, the proper sanctions of right 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 141 

conduct, a tone of banter which he assumed toward religious questions, and his 
leaning toward Deism, drew on him more or less criticism from the strongly orthodox. 
By his 'Characteristics' Shaftesbury became the founder of what has been called the 
* ' benevolent ' ' system of ethics ; in which subsequently Hutcheson closely followed him. 

CHARICLES, by W. A. Becker. The first idea of 'Charicles; or Scenes from 
the Private Life of Ancient Greece/ as well as of his preceding work 'Gallus' (Leip- 
sic: 1840), was probably suggested to the author by Bottiger's 'Sabina; or, Scenes 
from the Morning Toilette of a Great Roman Lady. ' The story, which in itself 
is of much interest, serves but as a framework for pictures of the everyday pursuits 
and lighter occupations of the Greeks. A young Athenian, the son of an exile, on 
his return home passes through Corinth, and meets with many adventures among 
the hetserae and swindlers of that gay city. When he reaches Athens, he is agreeably 
surprised by the news that his father's property has not been sold. A large sum of 
money remains to his credit in the hands of an honest banker, and he compels a 
dishonest one who tries to cheat him out of three talents, to disgorge. Then follow 
wrestling-matches at the gymnasia, banquets in his honor given by his school-boy 
friends, shipwrecks, revelries at the Dionysia, etc; the whole ending in a marriage 
with the wealthy and charming young widow of an old friend of his father. 'Chari- 
cles' is the first work devoted to the private life of the Greeks; and without entering 
into its darker details, it gives an instructive and suggestive portraiture of all its 
aspects. But the most valuable portions of the work are the notes and excursuses, 
which compose a complete manual of antique usages and customs, and are commea- 
taries on each of the twelve scenes into which the story is divided. Thus, after 
the first Scene, 'Youthful Friends, 1 we have an excursus on education, and so on. 
The English translation, in one volume, by the Rev. F. Metcalfe, is admirable, and 
in form superior to the original; the excursuses being thrown together at the end 
of the volume, so as not to interfere with the tenor of the narrative. 

CHARLES AUCHESTER, a musical novel by Elizabeth Sara Sheppard, an Eng- 
lishwoman, was written when she was sixteen, and published a few years later, 
in 1853. The manuscript was first submitted to Disraeli, who prophesied that 
the book would become a classic. His enthusiasm may have been owing in part 
to the fact that the hero is of Jewish extraction, and that the author pays the highest 
tributes to the genius and glory of the Hebrew race. The novel records the devel- 
opment of one Charles Auchester, who from earliest childhood has his very being 
in the world of harmony. His story, told by himself, is a blending of his outer and 
inner life in one beautiful web of experience. He introduces himself as a child in 
an old English town, living a quiet sequestered life with his mother and sister. After- 
wards he goes to the Caecilia School in Germany to carry on his musical education. 
The guiding star of his life there is Seraphael, a marvelous young genius, whose 
very presence is an inspiration. By Seraphael is meant Mendelssohn, whose career 
is followed closely throughout. Jenny Lind is supposed to be the original of another 
of Auchester's friends, Clara Bennette, a famous singer. Many musical events 
are described with remarkable fidelity to the spirit as well as to the letter of such 
occurrences. The entire book, fanciful and extravagant though it is in parts, is 
steeped in an indescribable golden atmosphere of music, and of the spiritual exalta- 
tion which musicians know. As the record of spiritual experiences whose source is 
harmonious sound, 'Charles Auchester 1 is perhaps unique in the whole range of 
fiction. 



142 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

CHARLES THE BOLD, Duke of Burgundy, History of. By John Foster Kirk 
(3 vols., 1863-68). An excellent special book on a most interesting and significant 
figure in the history of France and of Europe (i433~77)- He was tne last in the 
long line of princes who for centuries, almost since Charlemagne's time, had en- 
deavored to build up a "middle*' or "buffer'* kingdom along the Rhine and the 
Rhone, between the exclusively French and the exclusively German powers: the old 
kingdom of Lotharingia, later Lorraine, the mediaeval kingdom of Aries, the ever- 
varying duchy of Burgundy, all represented this most promising, most determined, 
and most futile of political efforts. With the crushing defeat and death of Charles, 
in his prime the most powerful potentate of the age, his dominion stretching 
like a gigantic bow almost from Savoy to the German Ocean, around the entire 
east and north of France, the unnatural ribbon-State of unrelated parts without 
common interests went to pieces, and with it the dream of a buffer kingdom perished 
forever. The Burgundian duchy and Picardy were seized by Louis XL of France, 
the Netherlands went by marriage to Austria and ultimately to Spain, Charles's 
daughter Alary being the ancestress of Charles V. and Philip IT. The career of 
Charles the Bold is therefore one of the chief landmarks of European history, the 
direct precursor of the Franco-German War; Granson, Morat, and Nancy are the 
forerunners of Sedan. Charles is most familiarly known through Scott's 'Quentin 
Durward'; but Mr. Kirk's history gives the real man, as well as his great rival 
Louis XL, and much of great interest and instruction besides. 

CHARLES 2H., HISTORY OF, by Voltaire. This history was published in 
1731. It is divided into eight books, of which the first sketches briefly the history 
of Sweden before the accession of Charles. The last seven deal with his expedition 
into Poland, its consequences, his invasion of Russia and pursuit of Peter the Great, 
his defeat at Pultowa and retreat into Turkey, his sojourn at Bender and its results, 
his departure thence, his return home, his death at the siege of Frederickshall in 
Norway. Intermingled with the narrative of battles, marches, and sieges, we 
have vivid descriptions of the manners, customs, and physical features of the coun- 
tries in which they took place. It resembles the 'Commentaries' of Caesar in the 
absence of idle details, declamation, and ornament. There is no attempt to ex- 
plain mutable and contingent facts by constant underlying principles. Men act, 
and the narrative accounts for their actions. Of course, Voltaire is not an archivist 
with a document ready at hand to witness for the truth of every statement; and 
nany of his contemporaries treated his history as little better than a romance. 
But apart from some inaccuracies, natural to a writer dealing with events in distant 
:ountries at the time, the 'History of Charles XII.' is a true history. According 
,o Condorcet, it was based on memoirs furnished Voltaire by witnesses of the events 
le describes; and Zing Stanislas, the victim as well as the friend and companion 
>f Charles, declared that every incident mentioned in the work actually occurred. 
This book is considered the historical masterpiece of Voltaire. 

CHARLOTTE TEMPLE, by Susanna Haswell Rowson. This 'Tale of Truth' 
7as written about 1790. It was, if not the first, one of the first works of fiction 
mtten in America; 25,000 copies were sold within a few years; and it has been 
epublished again and again. It was written by an Englishwoman who came to 
imerica with her husband, the leader of the band attached to a British regiment, 
he was for some years favorably known as an actress, and then opened a boarding- 
ool which for twenty-five years ranked first among such institutions in New 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 143 

England. Her other writings were numerous, but were soon forgotten, while 'Char- 
lotte Temple* still sells. It is a true story, the heroine's real name being Stanley. 
She was granddaughter to the Earl of Derby; and her betrayer, Col. John Mon- 
tressor of the English army, was a relative of Mrs. Rowson herself. Charlotte's grave 
in Trinity Churchyard, New York, but a few feet away from Broadway, is marked 
by a stone sunk in the grass. Mrs. Dall, in her 'Romance of the Association, ' tells 
us that Charlotte's daughter was adopted by a rich man, and in after years met 
the son of her true father, Montressor, or Montrevale as the book has it. They 
fell in love, and the young man showed his dying father a miniature of his sweet- 
heart's mother (the wretched Charlotte), to whom she bore a striking likeness, and 
thus the truth was made known. The story in brief is this: Charlotte Temple, 
a girl of fifteen elopes from school with Montrevale, an army officer; they come to 
America, where he deserts her and marries an heiress. She gives birth to a daughter 
and dies of want. The style and language are strangely old-fashioned, hysterics 
and fainting fits occur on every page; yet a romantic interest will always attach to it. 

CHASTELAKD, by Algernon Charles Swinburne (1869). The scene of this tragedy 
is laid at Holyrood Castle, during the reign of Mary Queen of Scots. Mary Beaton, 
one of the "four Maries," promises Chastelard to arrange a meeting between him 
and the Queen. When he comes to the audience-room, however, he finds only 
Mary Beaton herself, who, in shame, confesses her love for him. While he is assur- 
ing her of his pardon, they are discovered by the other Maries. The Queen, angry 
at what she has heard, tries to make Chastelard confess his desertion of her; and 
declares her intention of marrying Darnley. Chastelard, by the agency of Alary 
Beaton, gains access to the Queen's chamber, discloses himself when she is alone, 
and after having convinced her of his love for her, submits to the guards, who take 
him to prison. Mary, fickle and heartless, in her desire to avoid both the shame of 
letting him live and the shame of putting her lover to death, tries to shift the respon- 
sibility to Murray, signs his death-warrant, and orders a reprieve, in quick succes- 
sion. Then, going in person to the prison, she asks Chastelard to return the reprieve. 
He has already destroyed it; and after one short, happy hour with her, he goes 
bravely to his death. From an upper window in the palace, Mary Beaton watches 
the execution and curses the Queen just as Mary enters with Bothwell. 

In 'Chastelard' Swinburne has portrayed a fickle, heartless, vain, and beauti- 
ful queen; and in the few touches given to a character of secondary importance, 
has delicately and distinctly drawn Mary Beaton. The male characters are less 
sympathetic. 

The tragedy is conspicuously one to be read, not acted. It is too long, too much 
lacking in action, and of too sustained an intensity for the stage. The style is 
essentially lyric, full of exquisite lines and phrases; and as a whole, the play presents 
an intense passion in a form of adequate beauty. It contains a number of charming 
French songs, and is dedicated to Victor Hugo. It was published in 1869. 

CHAXTCER, STUDIES IN: 'His Life and Writings/ by Thomas R. Lounsbury, 
LL.D. (3 vols., 1892). One of the most interesting and valuable books, both in 
matter and treatment, which recent research in letters has produced; alike admir- 
able in learning and singularly sagacious and lucid in criticism. The first design 
of the work was that of a compendious and easily accessible account of the results 
of recent Investigation; but examination showed that many of these were question- 
able or worthless, and that the field of Chaucer interest presented a range of problems * 



144 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

not half of which had been treated adequately, and many of which had not been 
touched at all. The exact scope and design of the work were therefore changed, 
not only from what was at first contemplated, but to attempt a task far larger and 
more thorough than anything yet undertaken. 

Dr, Lounsbury modestly describes his work, in three volumes and sixteen hun- 
dred pages, as "eight chapters bearing upon the life and writings of Chaucer; eight 
distinct essays, or rather monographs"; but the Chaucer unity and the unity of 
masterly treatment hardly permit any such distinction of parts. The life of Chaucer, 
the Chaucer legend, the text of Chaucer, and what exactly are the true writings of 
Chaucer, are the topics of Vol. i., and of a third of Vol. ii. The two double chapters 
which foUow, to the end of Vol. ii., are on the learning of Chaucer, first in works 
still known, and second in works and authors now hardly known at all; and on 
Chaucer's relations to, first the English language, and second the religion of his 
time. The succeeding chapters, which fill the third volume, on Chaucer in Literary 
History and Chaucer as a Literary Artist, even increase our grateful and delighted 
estimate of the author's wealth of knowledge and mastery of exposition; not to 
speak of a refinement of style and felicity of wit rarely found in English prose. 

CHERRY ORCHARD, THE, by Anton Chekhov (1904). The play is historical 
and symbolic, a picture of the passing of the old order of Russian aristocracy. 
Madame Ranievskaia, her seventeen year old daughter, and her brother return 
from Pans to their country estate after an absence of five years. Their affairs 
are in confusion and the estate is about to be sold for debt. A wealthy neighbor, 
Lopachin, whose grandfather was a serf on the estate, makes the practical suggestion 
that the famous cherry orchard be sold in lots for suburban villas to restore the 
family fortune. To cut down the cherry trees and remove the old house with its 
associations of childhood is sacrilege not to be considered by these aristocrats. 
Each member of the family has some plan to get money, but no plan is practical or 
practised. The day of the sale approaches, and they talk interminably, but are 
incapable of action. See scene in the LIBRARY. The practical neighbor buys the 
property, after trying in vain to help these sentimental, amiable, ineffectual people 
to save themselves. They arrive in the first scene in May when the cherry orchard 
is in bloom. In the last scene it is autumn; the charming old house is dismantled; 
the family are leaving forever; and we hear the stroke of the axe cutting down the 
cherry trees to make room for the suburban villas and for the new class in Russian 
society, which is not gentleman or peasant, but the energetic rich self-made men, 
the sons of the peasants. 

CHESTERFIELD, LORD, see LETTERS TO HIS SON. 
CHIEN D'OR, LE, see THE GOLDEN DOG. 

CHILD OF THE BALL, THE ('El Nino de la Bola'), by Pedro Antonio de Alarcon 
(1880). The scene of this powerful and tragic novel is Andalusia. Don Rodrigo 
Venegas mortgages his hacienda to Don Elias Perez, and his whole estate is eaten 
up by usury. When Perez's house burns, no one tries to save it; and he proclaims 
that it is the work of an incendiary trying to destroy all evidence of his debt. Rod- 
rigo rushes into the flames and saves the papers, dying as he delivers them. Rodrigo's 
estate is put at auction, and bid in by Perez for one million reals less than his claims. 
Rodrigo leaves a young son, Manuel, who is adopted by the curate, Don Trinidad! 
'Fpr three years after, Manuel speaks not a word; till one day, standing before the 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 145 

image of the infant Christ with a ball in its hand (called the "Child of the Ball") 
he says, "Child Jesus, why don't you speak either?" Meeting Perez's daughter 
Soledad when a young man, he falls in love with her. He fights this passion; living 
for months at a time on the mountains, and with no weapon but his hands, battling 
with the wild beasts. To bring him back to civilization, Don Trinidad tells him 
that Soledad reciprocates his love. At the feast day of the "Child of the Ball," 
it is customary to bid for the privilege of dancing with any lady; the money going 
to the cult of the Child. Manuel bids for a dance with Soledad; but her father 
outbids him and he is obliged to desist. Perez accuses him of his debt of one mil- 
lion reals; and Manuel, to pay it, determines to leave Spain. He promises to return 
on the anniversary of this day and claim Soledad; and woe to him who in the mean- 
time dares to come between them. Eight years after he returns and finds Soledad 
married to Antonio Arregui. All efforts of Don Trinidad to dissuade him from 
killing Arregui are in vain; but he is left alone with the "Child of the Ball," and 
finally decorates it with the jewels he had brought for his bride, and lays at its feet 
the dagger he had concealed. The next morning he leaves, but is overtaken by a 
letter from Soledad. He returns, bids a sum which Arregui cannot equal, and Soledad 
flies to his arms. Arregui takes the dagger from the feet of the image and stabs 
Manuel, and the lovers fall to the ground dead. The story is told with dramatic 
force; and tender, idyllic passages lighten its tragic gloom. 

CHILD OF THE JAGO, A, by Arthur Morrison (1896), is a sadly realistic 
sketch of life among the slums of London. The Jago is a name given to certain 
streets in the neighborhood of Shoreditch, East City. The author knows the 
district from residence there, while he was in the employment of a humani- 
tarian society. The "child" is Dicky Perott, whose father, Josh Perott, is a thief, 
bruiser, and murderer, who ends on the gallows. The lad is bred to vice as the 
sparks fly upward, and what few feeble efforts he makes towards a better life are 
nipped in the bud. Yet he has his own queer, warped code of ethics; and when he 
is stricken down by a knife in a street row, dies with a lie on his lips to shield the 
culprit. Dicky feels that on the whole, death is an easy way out of a sorry tangle. 
The Jago scenes are given with photographic distinctness, the dialect is caught, 
the life both external and internal sordid, brutal, incredibly vicious, yet relieved 
with gleams and hints of higher things is depicted with truth and sympathy. 
The study of Father Sturt, the self -sacrificing clergyman is a very suggestive setting- 
forth of the difficulty of helping these demoralized human beings. The story is one 
of great power, very sombre and painful, but valuable as a statement of the real 
conditions among the lowest class of London poor. 

CHTLDE HAROLD'S PILGRIMAGE, a narrative-descriptive poem in the Spen- 
serian stanza, by George Gordon, Lord Byron. The first and second cantos were 
published together in 1812, the third and fourth in 1816 and 1818 respectively. 
The first two cantos describe the poet's journey through Portugal, Spain, the Me- 
diterranean, and Greece. Autobiographic references are thinly disguised tinder 
the pseudonym 'Childe Harold' and an archaic diction which the poet soon lays 
aside. Representing himself as hardened and world-weary from youthful dissipa- 
tion but sentimentally fond of brooding on his lost affections and present misery 
he conducts the reader through the famous scenes of the Peninsula and Hellas, 
pausing to give word-pictures of landscape, historical and political reflections, and 
accounts of characteristic amusements and occupations of the people visited. An 



146 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

account of an Albanian chieftain and the war-song of his robber band is particu- 
lar!}' striking. The third canto, written shortly after Byron's separation from his 
wife and retirement to Switzerland, strikes a deeper note in its now frankly personal 
references to his lost daughter, his rebellious attitude against society, and his attempts 
to fathom the mystery of his own emotions. Some of Byron's best known lines 
descriptive and reflective occur in this and the succeeding canto in which he 
portrays the field of Waterloo, the journey up the Rhine, the glories of sunset and 
storm in the Alps, and the historic, artistic, and literary associations of Geneva, 
Venice, Florence, and Rome. In addition to the sentimental and pictorial passages 
of the poem, Byron has a critical power of estimating great men and movements 
which is responsible for some often-quoted lines, like those on Voltaire, Gibbon, 
Napoleon, the Italian poets, and the French Revolution. The whole poem is a gal- 
lery of pictures landscapes and historical pieces commented on by a powerful 
but self-centred mind, over-dominated by sentiment and by the spirit of revolt, 

CHILDREN OF GIBBON (1886). Walter Besant's 'Children of Gibeon,' like his 
'All Sorts and Conditions of Men,' deals with society in both the West and East 
Ends of London, and their relations to each other. A rich widow, Lady Mildred 
Eldredge, adopts the two-year-old daughter of a former servant, to be brought up 
with her own daughter. The children are of the same age, and look so much alike 
that Lady Mildred conceives the idea of calling them Valentine and Violet, and 
keeping them and the world in ignorance as to which is Beatrice Eldredge, the heiress, 
and which Polly Monument, the washerwoman's daughter, a secret which is to be 
revealed when they are of age. At twenty they are introduced to Polly's family; her 
mother being then in an almshouse, her brother Joe a plumber, Sam a board-school 
teacher, Milenda a sewing-girl, and Claude a young lawyer and university man whom 
Lady Mildred has educated. Violet is filled with the fear that she shall turn out to 
be the sister of these dreadful people; but Valentine, who is sure that she herself is 
the real Polly, wishes to go to live with her sister Milenda, and to work among her 
own people. With Lady Mildred's consent she takes up her abode in Hoxton, and 
on the first day of her sojourn there finds accidental proof of the fact that she is 
Beatrice Eldredge. Nevertheless, as Polly she goes on with her work, in order to 
help Milenda and two young sewing-girls, who live with her, and with whom she 
spends the summer. Meantime Claude, having also found out the truth, falls 
deeply in love with her, and finally marries her. The plot is so ingeniously managed 
that it seems entirely plausible; the studies of London wage-earners and London 
slums are faithful, without being too repulsive; and the tone of the book is cheerful, 
while many social problems are touched in the course of an entertaining story. The 
'Children of Gibeon ' has proved one of the most popular of Besant's novels. 

CHILDREN OF THE ABBEY, THE, by Regina Maria Roche (1796). The Earl of 
Dunreath, marrying a second time, is induced by the machinations of his wife to cast 
aside her stepdaughter, for a luckless marriage. It is with the children of this marriage 
that the story deals. The motherless Amanda is the heroine; and she encounters all 
the vicissitudes befitting the heroine of the three-volume novel. These include the 
necessity of living under an assumed name, of becoming the innocent victim of 
slander, of losing a will, refusing the hands of dukes and earls, and finally, with her 
brother, overcoming her enemies, and living happy in the highest society forever 
after. The six hundred pages, with the high-flown gallantry, the emotional ex- 
cesses, and the reasonless catastrophes of the eighteenth-century novel, fainting 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 147 

heroines, love-lorn heroes, oppressed innocence, and abortive schemes of black- 
hearted villainy, form a fitting accompaniment to the powdered hair, muslin gowns, 
stage-coaches, postilions, and other picturesque accessories. 

CHILDREN OF THE GHETTO, by I. ZangwilL This book was published in 1892, 
and is, as the author says, "intended as a study, through typical figures, of a race 
whose persistence is the most remarkable fact in the history of the world." It is 
divided into two parts, the first of which gives the title to the whole, and describes 
life in the London Ghetto, its sordid squalor and rigid ritualism, combined with 
genuine religious faith and enthusiasm. The wretched inhabitants, huddled together 
in misery, and constrained to keep many fasts not prescribed in the calendar, are 
still scrupulous about all the detailed observances of their religion, and bound by a 
remarkable loyalty among themselves. A good example of their subjection to form 
is shown in the rigid but kindly Reb Shemuel, who would give the coat off his back to 
help a needy Jew, and yet could ruin his daughter's whole life on account of an un- 
important text in the Torah. The second part, 'Grandchildren of the Ghetto,' 
develops some of the characters who are children in the earlier portion, and also 
introduces us to the Jew who has acquired wealth and culture, while retaining his 
race characteristics. This division of the book deals rather with the problems of 
Judaism, both of the race and of individuals. It shows the effects of culture on differ- 
ent types of mind, and gives us the noble aspiration of Raphael Leon, the profound 
discontent of Esther, the fanatical zeal and revolt of Strelitski, and the formalism 
of the Goldsmiths, serving merely as a cloak for their ambition. There are many 
touches of the author's characteristic wit and irony. He tells of the woman "who 
wrote domestic novels to prove that she had no sense of humor"; and makes certain 
wealthy Jews say with apparent unconsciousness, that they are obliged to abandon 
a favorite resort ' ' because so many Jews go there. ' ' The book raises problems that it 
does not solve; but the masterly and sympathetic exposition of the Jewish tempera- 
ment invites a better comprehension of that wonderful race. 

CHILDREN OF THE SOIL, a novel of modem Polish life, by Henryk Sienkiewicz 
(1894). The plot centres itself in the career of Pan Stanislas Polanyetski, a 
man of wealth and education, who at the age of thirty "wanted to many, and 
was convinced that he ought to marry." The story opens with his business visit 
to the estate of Kremen, on which he has a claim, the home of a relative, Pan 
Plaritski, and his daughter Maryina. He falls in love with Maryina; but the refusal 
of her father to pay his debt to Polanyetski causes misunderstanding between the 
latter and the young girl, and they are alienated for the time being. Their reconcilia- 
tion and marriage are brought about by a little invalid girl, Litka, who loves them 
both, and who wishes to see them happy. After his marriage, Polanyetski conceives 
an unworthy attachment for the wife of Ms friend Mashko, but finally overcomes 
temptation. The book closes upon his happiness with his wife and child. There 
are interesting side issues to the story, involving questions of property, of the social 
order, of marriage. The work as a whole, although realistic, is sane in spirit, genial 
and broad in its conception of lif e and character. Maryina is one of the most finished 
of Sienkiewicz's types of noble women. 

CHILDREN OF THE WORLD, by Paul Heyse (1873), obtained immediate 
popularity, and caused great controversy over the fearless treatment of the theme. 
The children of the world are represented by a young doctor of philosophy, a strong, 
well-balanced character; his younger brother, an almost Christlike idealist; and 



148 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

their circle of friends and fellow-students, who, in spite of mistakes and eccentricities, 
bear the stamp of true nobility of soul. They are all either on the road to, or have 
already reached, what the children of God are pleased to call unbelief. In the por- 
traiture of the differing camps there are no sharp contrasts, no unfair caricaturing, 
but an impartiality, a blending of one into the other, that makes one of the strongest 
claims of the book to attention. 

CHINA, SACRED BOOKS OF, see SACRED BOOKS OF THE EAST. 

CHINESE, see SOCIAL LIFE OF THE. 

CHINESE LETTERS, see CITIZEN OF THE WORLD. 

CHIPS FROM A GERMAN WORKSHOP. By F. Max Muller (5 vols. 1867-75. 
New ed. 1895). A collection of special studies incidental to the author's editing of a 
library of the 'Sacred Books of the East/ The several volumes cover various fields, 
as follows: (i) the Science of Religion; (2) Mythology, Traditions, and Customs; (3) 
Literature, Biography, and Antiquities; (4) chiefly the Science of Language; (5) 
Miscellaneous and later topics. Although they are "occasional" work, their wealth 
of material and thoroughness of treatment, and the importance of the views presented, 
give them not only interest but permanent value. On many of the points treated, 
discussion is still open, and some of the views advanced by Professor Muller may come 
into doubt; but his contributions to a great study will not soon lose their value. 

CHOICE OF BOOKS, THE, and other Literary Pieces, by Frederic Harrison (1886). 
The title essay of this volume is a discourse on Reading, its benefits and its perils. 
In the first section, ' How to Read,' an eloquent plea is made for the right of rejection; 
for the avoidance of books that one "comes across, " and even of the habit of one- 
sided reading. The essayist pleads that the choice of books "is really a choice of 
education, of a moral and intellectual ideal, of the whole duty of man." He warns 
readers that pleasure in the reading of great books is a faculty to be acquired, not a 
natural gift, at least not to those who are spoiled by our current education and 
habits of life. And he offers as a touchstone of taste and energy of mind, the names 
of certain immortal books, which if one have no stomach for, he should fall on bis 
knees and pray for a cleaner and quieter spirit. The second division is given to the 
'Poets of the Old World,' the third to the 'Poets of the Modem World/ and the last 
to the 'Misuse of Books/ The essay is full of instruction and of warning, most 
agreeably offered; and the penitent reader concludes with the writer, that the art of 
printing has not been a gift wholly unmixed with evil, and may easily be made a dog 
on the progress of the human mind. An extract is given in the LIBRARY, under Mr. 
Harrison's name; and the other side of the shield is shown in Mr. Arthur J. Balfour's 
answer, also given under his name. Fourteen other essays, partly critical, partly 
historical, partly aesthetic, fill the volume; the ablest and one of the most delightful 
among them being perhaps the famous paper, 'A Few Words about the Eighteenth 
Century/ 

CHOIR INVISIBLE, THE, by James Lane Allen, appeared in 1897, and is one of Ms 
most popular and pleasing stories. It was enlarged from an earlier story called 
'John Gray/ Its scene is the Kentucky of a hundred years ago. The hero is John 
Gray, a schoolmaster and idealist, who, disappointed in his love for Amy Falconer, a 
pert, pretty, shallow flirt, gradually comes to care for Mrs. Falconer, her aunt, a 
noble woman in reduced circumstances, who with her husband has left a former 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 149 

stately home in Virginia and come to live in the Kentucky wilderness. She loves 
him in return with a deep, tender passion that has in it something of the motherly 
instinct of protection; but, her husband being alive, she conceals her feeling from 
Gray until after he has departed from Lexington and settled in another State. She 
then writes him to say she is free and he replies that he is married. But he tells her 
in a final letter that she has remained his ideal and guiding star to noble action. 
The romantic atmosphere and the ideal cast of these two leading characters make the 
fiction very attractive; and the fresh picturesque descriptions of pioneer life in 
Kentucky give the tale historical value. 

CHOUANS, THE, by Balzac. This was the novelist's first important work. The 
title, when it appeared in 1829, was 'The Last Chouan: or, Bretagne in 1800.' In 
1846 it was rearranged in its present form. It is the story of a young girl, Marie de 
Verneuil, sent by Fouche* to entrap the leader of the royalists in Bretagne, the Marquis 
de Montauran. She falls in love with him, reveals her disgraceful mission, and 
devotes all her energies to save him, until a trick of his enemies leads her to believe 
him false. Then she plots his ruin, is undeceived too late; and both die together. 
Marie is an exquisite creation, revealing that deep and intuitive knowledge of the 
soul of woman of which Balzac was to give so many proofs afterward. Montauran 
also is an original character, vigorously and delicately drawn. In Hulot, the rough 
republican commandant sprung from the ranks, and in Marche-a-Terre, the ferocious 
but honest fanatic, we have two of Balzac's "types," designed and classified truth- 
fully and convincingly. Many of the scenes are of tragic intensity. Nothing could 
be more terrible than that of the massacre of the Blues at Vivetiere, that of the un- 
masking of the spy among her enemies, or that of the roasting of the old miser by the 
Chouans to compel him to reveal his treasure. The description of a mass said by a 
priest in rags, in the midst of the forest, before a granite altar, while the insurgents, 
kneeling near their guns, beat their breasts and repeat the responses, is singularly 
grand and imposing. The author made a profound study of the scenery of Bretagne, 
and the manners of its people, before he wrote his romance; and his pictures of both 
scenery and people have the stamp of reality and truth. 

CHRISTIAN, THE, by Hall Caine (1897), is a popular romance. For the most 
part the scene is laid in London. The main characters are Glory Quayle, the 
granddaughter of a Manx clergyman, and John Storm, the son of a nobleman and 
nephew of the prime minister. Glory has actor's blood in her veins; John is a religious 
enthusiast whom his father, disappointed in his choice of life, disinherits. The girl 
goes to London as a hospital nurse; the man, as assistant clergyman of a fashionable 
church. But she is soon tired of a life she is unfitted for, and longs for pleasure, 
change, excitement; while he is sickened at the worldliness, fraud, and pretense of 
West End piety, and resigns his position to join a monastic brotherhood, finding, 
however, after a year of trial, that the ascetic retirement from the world is not the 
true religious ideal for him. The thought, too, of Glory mingles ever subtly with 
the thought of God. Meanwhile, she has had some hard knocks in the struggle to 
get on the stage and show her unusual powers. She becomes a music-hall singer, to 
John's great distress, and for a long while he keeps away from her and her fashionable 
friends. But his desire to save Glory's soul and to win the girl herself leads 
him to a declaration, and he finds he is loved in return; but she is unwilling to give 
up her profession and associate herself with him in his work. She makes a brilliant 
d6but as a star on the regular stage. Father Storm breaks down as a hermit and a 



150 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

crusading Christian, and ends in failure. The details of London life are spectacular, 
and the object of the book seems to be to show the inadequacy of London churches to 
save the city. 

CHRISTIAN WOMAN, A ('Una Cristiana'), by Emilia Pardo-Bazan (1890). In this 
interesting novel, the author presents a very realistic picture of modern Spanish life, 
into which are introduced many current social and political questions. The story is 
an autobiography of Salustio Unceta, a student in the School of Engineers in Madrid, 
and a liberal in politics and religion. His tuition is paid by his uncle Felipe, who 
invites Salustio to be present at his marriage to Carmen Aldoa. There is in the Un- 
ceta family a trace of Hebrew blood, which has declared itself both in the personal 
appearance and the power of acquisition of Felipe, and which excites a feeling of 
loathing in Salustio. He cannot understand why Carmen should marry Felipe, but 
overhears her secret when she is telling it to Father Moreno: she marries to escape 
sanctioning by her presence in the house a scandalous flirtation of her father. After 
the marriage, Felipe, to save expenses, takes Salustio into his house; and the results 
are very unfortunate. 

CHRISTIANITY, THE GENIUS OF, see GENIUS OF CHRISTIANITY. 

CHRISTIANITY IN CHINA, TARTARY, AND THIBET, by the AbbS Hue. A 
curiously interesting and elaborate history of the presence in the Chinese Empire of 
Christian missions from the time of the Apostles to the end of the seventeenth century. 
The author was a Roman Catholic missionary in China, 1840-52. By shaving his 
head and dyeing his skin yellow, and wearing a queue and Chinese costume, and by 
a thorough command of the Chinese language, he was able to travel not only in 
China proper, but in Thibet and Tartary. He published in 1850 an exceedingly in- 
teresting account of his travels during 1844-46, and in 1854 a work on the Chinese 
Empire. His first work related marvels of travel which aroused incredulity; but 
later researches have amply shown that this was unjust. The final work, connecting 
the history of the Chinese Empire with the maintenance through centuries of Chris- 
tian missions, is a work of great value for the history of the far East. Hue wrote in 
French; but all the works here mentioned were brought out in English, and met with 
wide popular acceptance. The ' Travels in the Chinese Empire ' came out in a cheap 
edition, 1859; the 'Chinese Empire, Tartary, and Thibet,' was in 5 vols., 1855-58; 
and the 'Christianity,' etc., 3 vols., 1857-58. 

CHRISTIE JOHNSTONE, by Charles Reade, was published in 1855, three years 
after 'Peg Woffington' had given the author his reputation. It is one of the best 
and most charming of modern stories. It depicts a young viscount, rich and blase", 
who loves his cousin Lady Barbara, but is rejected because of his lack of energy and 
his aimlessness in life. He grows pale and listless; a doctor is called in, and prescribes 
yachting and taking daily interest in the "lower classes." The story, by turns 
pathetic and humorous, abounds in vivid and dramatic scenes of Scotch life by the 
sea; and Christie, with her superb physique, her broad dialect, her shrewd sense, and 
her noble heart, is a heroine worth while. Reade's wit and humor permeate the book, 
and his vigorous ethics make it a moral tonic. 

CHRISTOPHER, by Richard Pryce (1911). This is the story of an English boy 
named Christopher Herrick, and is a detailed account of his career from the time o f 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 151 

his birth till he reaches manhood. He is born on an ocean steamer, which is bringing 
his widowed and heart-broken young mother back from India to her home in England. 
Christopher's early years are carefully watched over by his devoted mother, his 
faithful nurse Trimmer, his grandmother and his two unmarried aunts. He early 
develops an observing nature and a receptive mind and is a most lovable and thought- 
ful child. His quaint sayings and his original way of looking at things make interest- 
ing pages for the reader. While Christopher is still a child his mother marries again 
and becomes the wife of John Hemming, one of her early admirers. Previous to his 
marriage Hemming had had an affair with a fascinating divorcee, Mrs. St. Jemison, 
whose beauty had made a deep impression upon Christopher and later he finds in her 
daughter Cora his ideal. Christopher has finished his second year at Oxford and is 
off for a foreign trip with a friend when he sees at a railroad station an unusually 
pretty girl who later proves to be Cora St. Jemison. Christopher's impressionable 
nature is immediately touched and he journeys from place to place in search of his 
paragon, whom he finally meets in London in the drawing-room of a friend. From 
this moment Christopher's every thought is of Cora, and though he does not see her 
again for two years she is constantly in his mind. He finishes college and adopts 
writing for his vocation. At last he and Cora come together again but after a period 
of earnest devotion on Christopher's part rewarded by a shallow affection which is 
all that the frivolous Cora can offer, she finally tells him they can not be happy 
together and marries another man. Christopher is crushed with disappointment and 
grief, but the reader takes leave of him at this crisis filled with the assurance that 
better things are in store for him. 

CHRONICLES OF CARLINGFOKD. The general title of 'Chronicles of Carling- 
ford' covers a number of tales and novels by Mrs. Margaret Oliphant, which have no 
direct sequence or continuous plot, but which have more or less connection through 
the reappearance of some of the same characters. These novels which can hardly 
be called a series, but rather a group include 'Salem Chapel/ 'The Rector/ 'The 
Doctor's Family/ 'The Perpetual Curate/ 'Miss Marjoribanks/ and 'Phcebe Junior/ 
The earliest to appear was 'Salem Chapel/ which was published anonymously in 
1863, but was readily attributed to Mrs. Oliphant, who had then been for fourteen 
years before the public as a writer, and whose style was recognizable. ' Salem Chapel ' 
holds perhaps the foremost place among the Chronicles, having a strong dramatic 
interest in addition to that which it possesses as a tale of English middle-class life. 
Carlingford is a country town; and its chronicles are for the most part those of 
ordinary persons, set apart by no unusual qualities or circumstances. The portraits 
of these people are vividly drawn, with humor and delicacy as well as strength. The 
vicissitudes in the ministry of Arthur Vincent, preacher in the Dissenting Salem 
Chapel, form the framework of the tale. The hopeless infatuation of Vincent for 
Lady Western, and the temptation of Mildmay, Lady Western's brother, constitute 
the romance and tragedy of the story. Mr. Tozer, the rich dealer in butter, who is 
the financial pillar of the Dissenting chapel; his pretty but vulgar daughter Phcebe, 
who is more than half in love with the handsome young minister; Dr. Marjoribanks, 
the old country doctor; Dr. Rider, his younger successor, and in some sense his rival; 
Mr. Wentworth, the curate of St. Roques; the Wodehouse family, all the many 
dwellers in Carlingford who appear and reappear through these tales, become 
familiar acquaintances of the reader. A great charm of these novels is the distinct- 
ness with which each character is portrayed, and the individuality which is preserved 
for each among the large number introduced in the action. 



152 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

CHRONICLES OF CLOVERNOOK, THE, by Douglas Jerrold. Clovernook is a 
"hamkt wherein fancy has loitered away a truant hour," "the work of some sprite 
that in an idle and extravagant mood made it a choice country-seat." Into this land 
of fantasy the author rides in the twilight; the sagacity of his ass, whose name is 
Bottom, bringing him through unknown paths to the house of the Hermit of Belly- 
fulle "the very pope of Hermits," as Dickens styled him in one of his letters. 
In the companionship of the Hermit, and under his guidance, the adventurer explores 
Clovernook, and discourses of it. He learns of the Kingdom of As-you-like, whither 
the dwellers in Clovernook repair yearly; the Land of Turveytop, where men are 
purged of their worldliness; the Isle of Jacks; Honey-Bee Bay; and at the pleasant inn 
called "Gratis" he meets the Twenty-five Club and other gentle philosophers, in 
whose tales and conversation the realities of the crude world outside are refined into 
the dreams of this realm of fancy. 'Clovernook' charms by its quiet humor, the 
grace of its fancies, and the benevolence which characterizes even its satire. It is the 
work to which Mr. Jerrold referred as, in certain parts, best expressing himself as he 
wished the world to understand him. It was written in the prime of his literary career 
at the age of forty years, while he was the leading contributor to Punch, with his 
position well established as one of the popular writers of the day. Appearing serially 
in that paper, 'The Chronicles of Clovernook' was published separately in 1846, and 
has since had its place in the collected works of its author. 

CHRONICLES OF FROISSART, THE, The Chronicles of the French poet and 
historian Jean Froissart embrace the events occurring from 1325 to 1400 in England, 
Scotland, France, Spain, Brittany, and the Low Countries. They are of great value 
in illustrating the manners and character of the fourteenth century. Froissart 
began his work on them when but twenty years old, in 1357; they were not completed 
until 1400. They present a vivid and interesting picture of the long-continued wars 
of the times, setting forth in detail not only the fighting, but the feasts, spectacles, 
and all the pageantry of feudal times; and they are enlivened throughout by Frois- 
sart's shrewd comments and observations. Among the many interesting historic 
personages are King Edward III. of England, Queen Philippa, Robert Bruce of 
Scotland, and Lord James Douglas who fought so valiantly for the heart of Bruce. 
Froissart depicts the invasion of France by the English, the battle of Cre"cy, the great 
siege of Calais, and the famous battle of Poitiers; describes the brilliant court of the 
great B6araese, Lord Gaston Phcebus, Count de Foix, whom he used to visit; and 
portrays among other events the coronation of Charles VI. of France, the heroic 
struggle of Philip van Artevelde to recover the rights of Flanders, and the insurrec- 
tion of Wat Tyler. There is also a valuable description of the Crusade of 1390. 
Froissart obtained his material by journeying about and plying with questions the 
knights and squires whom he met, lodging at the castles of the great, and jotting down 
all that he learned of stirring events and brave deeds. He was much in England, 
being at different times attached to the households of Edward III. of England and of 
King John of France, and becoming an especial favorite with Queen Philippa, who 
made him clerk of her chamber. The 'Chronicles' first appeared in Paris about the 
end of the fifteenth century. In the Library at Breslau is a beautiful MS. of them, 
executed in 1468. 

CHRONICLES OF THE SCHONBERG-COTTA FAMILY, by Mrs. Elizabeth 
Charles (1863). These chronicles, dealing with the period of the Reformation in Ger- 
many, are written chiefly by Friedrich and Else, the eldest children of the Schonberg- 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 153 

Cotta family. Their father is an improvident printer with eight children to provide 
for. Martin Luther, adopted by their aunt Ursula Cotta, is prominent throughout. 
The chronicles open with the efforts of Friedrich and Else to understand the Romanist 
religious life, and their brave efforts to hold the family together. The family, which 
is very religious, sends the eldest son, Friedrich, to the University of Erfurt, where 
Luther has already shown great promise. In fulfillment of vows, Luther and Fried- 
rich next enter an Augustinian monastery, where they struggle hard to destroy their 
worldly ties, Friedrich being especially beset on account of his love for a young girl 
named Eva. Rising rapidly, the two friends are intrusted with a mission to Rome. 
The lives of the easy-going monks distress them; finally the selling of indulgences 
brings Luther to outspoken denunciation of the abuses of the Church. In this 
Friedrich supports him, and both are excommunicated and thrown into prison. 
Luther escapes, and appeals to the people with his new doctrine that personal re- 
sponsibility to God is direct, without mediation of priests. This teaching is proclaimed 
broadcast, and Luther becomes an object of fear to Rome; but he lives to the age 
of sixty-three, and dies a happy father and husband, having espoused Catherine 
von Bora, a former nun. Friedrich, after many hindrances, marries Eva. The book 
is written with an effort after the archaic style, and has much of the simplicity and 
directness of the old chronicles. Its point of view is that of evangelical Protestantism, 
and it lacks the judicial spirit that would have presented a true picture of the time. 
It is interesting, however, and has proved a very great favorite, though accurate 
scholarship finds fault with its history. 

CHRYSAL, or, THE ADVENTURES OF A GUINEA, "containing curious and interesting 
anecdotes of the most noted persons in every rank of life whose hands it passed 
through, in America, England, Holland, Germany, and Portugal. " This satirical 
novel, by Charles Johnstone, an Irishman, was published in 1760. In 'Davis's 
Olio of Bibliographical and Literary Anecdote/ a key to the characters is presented. 
The first two volumes of the work were written for the author's amusement. Its 
popularity induced him to extend it to four volumes. 

Chrysal, signifying gold or golden, is the spirit inhabiting a guinea, which passes 
through many hands, from the prince's to the beggar's. It tells its own story, which 
is chiefly the adventures of those in whose possession it is for the time being. This 
curious and now rare work is written in an old-fashioned, ponderous style; and 
judged by modern standards of melodramatic fiction, is not very readable. 

CHURCH OF ENGLAND, see REFORMATION OF THE. 

CHURCHILL, LORD RANDOLPH, by Winston Churchill (1906). The life of 
Lord Randolph Churchill by his son is one of the foremost of English political biog- 
raphies. With the exception of the first two chapters and the last, the events which 
it describes are included within the stormy period between 1880 and 1890. Lord 
Randolph had no long years of office to his credit, no great legislation called by his 
name, no easily tabulated list of achievements, yet his forceful and magnetic per- 
sonality exercised an extraordinary influence upon the Conservative party when it 
was in danger of being overwhelmed by Gladstone. He was a leader of that pro- 
gressive variety of English Conservatism which came to be known as Tory Democ- 
racy, urging the Conservatives to adopt popular reforms and to dispute the claim of 
Liberals to be the only true champions of the working classes. Although he had much 
sympathy with Ireland, he was a bitter opponent of Gladstone's Home Rule pro- 
posals of 1885. The great force which he was just beginning to exercise on British 



154 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

politics was broken by his death at the comparatively early age of forty-six, yet he 
has a secure place in English political history, for, in the words with which his 
biographer closes, "there is an England which stretches far beyond the well-drilled 
masses who are assembled by party machinery to salute with appropriate acclamation 
the utterances of their recognized fuglemen; an England of wise men who gaze without 
self-deception at the failings and follies of both political parties; of brave and earnest 
men who find In neither faction fair scope for the effort that is in them; of 'poor men ' 
who increasingly doubt the sincerity of parry philanthropy. It was to that England 
that Lord Randolph Churchill appealed; it was that England he so nearly won; it is 
by that England he will be justly judged." 

CICERO, MARCUS TULLIUS* LIFE OF. By William Forsyth (2 vols., 1863). 
A chapter of personal history, and of the story of classical culture, in the first half 
of the last century before Christ, of great interest and value. It deals not only with 
the orator and statesman, and the public affairs in which he played so great a part, 
but with Cicero as a man, a father, husband, friend, and gentleman, and with the 
culture of the time, of which Cicero was so conspicuous a representative. The picture 
serves particularly to show along what lines moral and religious development had 
taken place before the time of Christ. Cicero's public career covered the years 
80-43 B.C., and within these years fell the career of Caesar. 

CICERO AND HIS FRIENDS, by Gaston Boissier (1892). There is probably no 
man of ancient times of whose public and private life we know so much as we do of 
Cicero's: the sixteen extant books of his 'Letters to Various Persons/ or as they are 
usually styled, his ' Letters to Friends,' and those to his friend Atticus, reveal the 
man in his littleness and vanity no less than in his greatness. He was a great man 
and a great patriot; but with his incontestable virtues he combined almost incredible 
weaknesses of character, his wheedling letters to one Lucius Lucellus, a writer of 
histories, whom he asks to write an account of his consulship, is sufficient proof of 
this. From these letters of Cicero, and also from his forensic orations and his 
philosophical and rhetorical writings, the author of this book draws the material for a 
singularly interesting account of the great orator's public and private life. It has 
been the fashion of scholars of late to belittle Cicero; to write him down an egotist, a 
shallow, time-serving politician, a mere phrase-maker. M. Boissier admits that 
Cicero was timid, hesitating, irresolute; he was by nature a man of letters rather 
than a statesman. But the mind of the man of letters is often broader, more com- 
prehensive than that of the practical statesman; and "it is precisely this breadth that 
cramps and thwarts him when he undertakes the direction of public affairs." He 
redeemed the vacillations and timidities of his political career by meeting death at 
the hand of the hired assassin with stoic fortitude. In a chapter on Cicero's private 
life, the question comes up as to the ways in which he acquired his very considerable 
wealth. In accounting for it, the author cites numerous instances of the orator's 
clients making him their heir for large sums: the law forbade payment of money to 
advocates, and the method of making payment by legacies was invented as a means 
of circumventing the statute. Another way was "borrowing" money from rich 
clients; and many instances are cited of large sums being loaned to Cicero by wealthy 
men whom he had defended in the courts. Besides wealthy clients in private life, 
there were towns and provinces whose interests he had defended in the Senate; and 
above all, there were the rich corporations of the fanners of the public revenues whom 
he had served: these interests found a means of recompensing the advocate liberally. 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 155 

The domestic life of Cicero was embittered by the unhappy marital experiences of 
his daughter Tulliola, the extravagances of his first wife Terentia, and the dissolute 
character of his son Marcus. But in his household was one faithful servitor, his slave 
and amanuensis Tiro, whom he loved with parental affection. In one of his letters 
to Tiro he writes: "You have rendered me numberless services at home, in the forum, 
at Rome, in my province, in my public and private affairs, in my studies and my 
literary work." Tiro survived his master many years; but to the day of his death he 
labored to perpetuate the fame of Cicero by writing his life and preparing editions 
of his works. The Friends of Cicero, of whom notices are given in the volume, are 
Atticus, Caelius, Julius Caesar, Brutus, and Octavius. 

CID, THE ('Poema del Cid,' 'Cantares del Cid,' or 'Gesta de myo Cid'), a popular 
epic poem of the twelfth century, narrating in long assonant couplets, events real 
and legendary from the life of a Castilian noble, Rodrigo Diaz de Bivar (d. 1099), who 
was exiled by the king of Leon-Castile and thenceforward lived as an independent 
chieftain, in alliance now with Christian and now with Moorish princes. The name 
Cid, or Lord, was given to him by the Arabs. The poem describes the Cid's exile, his 
campaign against the Moors, his capture of Valencia (1094), an d the'marriage of his 
daughters, first to the Infantes of Carrion, who insult them, and then to the Infantes 
of Navarre and Arragon. A second poem, the 'Cronaca Rimada del Cid/ ' Cantar de 
Rodrigo/ or 'Leyenda de las Mocedades de Rodrigo' relates his enfances or first 
exploits his slaying of his father's enemy, Count Gomez, and his marriage to 
Jimena, daughter of Gomez. The exploits of the Cid are also celebrated in the later 
Romances or ballads (c. 1500). As a specimen of the epic of the people, as a direct, 
vigorous narrative, and as a revelation of mediaeval Spain, this poetry has great 
importance. For a full account, see the LIBRARY under 'The Cid.' 

CH), THE, a drama by Pierre Corneille, first performed in 1636. It is closely 
modeled on a Spanish play by Guillem de Castro (1569-1631) 'Las Mocedades del 
Cid' i.e., 'The Youth of the Cid,' a romantic treatment of the mediaeval poem on that 
subject. The play presents Corneille's favorite theme of the strong character faced 
by conflicting duties. Don Rodrigue loves Chimene but is bound by filial duty to 
kill her father, Don Gomes, for insulting his father, Don Diegue. Chimene, who 
reciprocates the love of Don Rodrigue, is now equally bound to enmity against him. 
She refuses to take his life when he gives her the opportunity; but although he res- 
cues the city of Seville from the Moors she feels obliged to demand of the king a 
champion against him. Nevertheless her distress at the supposed victory of this 
champion Don Sanche, a rival suitor, reveals her true feelings; and by tne command 
of the king she weds the real victor, Don Rodrigue. The character of the Infanta, 
who also loves the hero, but suppresses this emotion in deference to her duty to 
Chimene and to the king, is another example of the strong-willed personages so typical 
of Corneille. Though romantic in theme the play, by its observance of the unities 
and of stage decorum, initiated the reign of classicism in the French drama. 

CINDERELLA, see FAIRY TALES. 

CINQ-MARS, by Alfred de Vigny (1826). The subject of this historical romance is 
the conspiracy of Cinq-Mars and De Thou against Richelieu, its detection, and the 
execution of the offenders at Lyons in 1 642 . The work is modeled after the Waverley 
novels. All the action centres around the great figure of Richelieu. The aristocratic 
prejudices of the author prevent him from doing full justice, perhaps, to the states- 



156 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

man who curbed the power of the French noblesse; and many critics think that Bulwer 
depicts him more truly. The Richelieu of De Vigny is Richelieu as he appeared to 
the courtiers of the time: the organizer of assassination and espionage, in conjunction 
with Father Joseph and Laubardemont, Richelieu in his days of hatred and murder. 
The author is more just to the Cardinal when he shows him making successful efforts 
to place France at the head of Europe, preparing and winning victories, and sending 
his king to fight like an obscure captain. The character of Louis XIII. is finely 
drawn, and we have a lifelike and admirably colored portrait of that strange and 
gloomy monarch, who is the master of France and the slave of Richelieu, and who 
sends his most devoted friends to the scaffold at the bidding of the man he hates. 
Indeed, the contrast between the obedient monarch and his imperious servant is the 
most striking feature in the romance. There are many scenes of great historic 
value; as for instance, that in which Richelieu retires on the King's refusal to sign a 
death- warrant, and abandons Louis to himself. The presentation of Cinq-Mars is 
also very vivid: we have a Cinq-Mars, who, if not true to history, is at least true to 
human nature. The outline of De Thou is perhaps just a little shadowy. 

CITIES OF NORTHERN AND CENTRAL ITALY, by Augustus J. C. Hare (1876). 
In this work, consisting of three volumes, not only the cities but the towns and even 
the villages of Northern and Central Italy receive the careful and comprehensive 
attention of the writer. Entering Italy by the Cornice Road at Men tone, the 
reader is plunged at once into the land of the citron and myrtle. The district de- 
scribed embraces the whole country from the Alps to the environs of Rome: Genoa, 
Turin, Milan, Venice, Bologna, Verona, Padua, and Florence are treated at length. 
Nothing of interest has been omitted : cathedrals, palaces, homes and haunts of great 
men, the Old Masters and their works, all have place, while well-known names of 
history and legend have been studied with painstaking care. The volumes contain 
hotel and pension rates, omnibus and railway fares, and catalogues of the exhibits in 
the various galleries, that of the Pitti Palace being particularly noteworthy. 
Yet they are not "guides" merely; for they offer the reader not only the excellent 
comments of Mr. Hare, but whole pages of quotations from famous art critics and 
historical authorities, such as Ruskin, Goethe, Gautier, Dickens, Symonds, Freeman, 
Perkins, Story, and others. The writer's love for his subject produced a delightful 
work. 

CITIZEN OF THE WORLD, by Oliver Goldsmith. Published under this title in 
the Public Ledger, a weekly journal of London, they ran through the year 1760, and 
were published in book form in 1762 as 'The Citizen of the World; or Letters from a 
Chinese Philosopher Residing in London to his Friends in the East. ' Their charm li es 
in their delicate satire rather than in any foreign air which the author may have 
tried to lend them. They amused the town, they still divert and instruct us, and 
they will delight future generations. Lien Chi Altangi became real, and lives. He 
detects and exposes not merely the follies and foibles lying on the surface, but the 
greater evils rankling at the heart, of English society. He warns England of her 
insecure tenure of the American colonies, her exaggerated social pretenses, and the 
evil system of the magistracy. He ridicules English thought and the fashions which 
make beauty hideous, and avows his contempt for the cant of professed connoisseurs. 
The abuses of church patronage did not escape him; and he comments on the inci- 
dents of the day. As we read these 'Chinese Letters' all London of the eighteenth 
century rises before us. " Beau Tibbs, " and the " Man in Black " who accompanies 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 157 

the philosopher to the theatre are immortal; and 'The White Mouse and Prince 
Bonbennin' is founded on an actual experience of Goldsmith. 

CITOYENNE JACQUELINE, by Sarah Tytler (1865). The scene opens in the earls- 
months of the French Revolution, 1792, in Faye-aux-Jonquilles, a village near Paris; 
the home of Jacqueline de Faye, only child of "Monsieur" and "Madame," nobles 
of the old regime. Jacqueline has inherited the traditional ideas of her aristocratic 
ancestry, and is trained in the fantastic etiquette of her age; but displays disquieting 
symptoms of independence, a character sure to lead its possessor into strange paths. 
She is in love with her cousin, the Chevalier de Faye, to whom she is betrothed; but 
owing to the changes brought about by the Revolution, he transfers his attentions to 
another cousin, a wealthy and vivacious widow, Petronille de Croi. In her anger and 
despair, Jacqueline takes a step that separates her from her order: she marries a 
handsome young peasant proprietor. The wild days of '93 arrive, and she and her 
family are deeply involved in the turmoils of the time. After they have suffered 
together, and he has sheltered her mother, she comes to love her plebeian husband. 
The story moves swiftly through scenes of conspiracy and bloodshed, to close among 
the green fields of Jonquilles. It presents a vivid picture of the days of the Terror; 
a realistic portrayal of the inhumanities and self-sacrifices of that lurid period. The 
meetings of Citoyenne Jacqueline with Charlotte Corday, and with Lydia, daughter 
of Laurence Sterne, are interesting episodes of her Paris life. 

CITY OF GOD, THE, by St. Augustine. This work, the most important of all his 
writings, was begun in 413, three years after the capture and pillage of Rome by the 
Visigoths under Alaric. The pagans had endeavored to show that this calamity was 
the natural consequence of the spread of the Christian religion, and the main purpose 
of Augustine is to refute them. The work, which was finished about 426, is divided 
into twenty-two books. The first five deal with the arguments of those who seek to 
prove that the worship of the gods is necessary to the welfare of the world and that 
the recent catastrophe was caused by its abolition; the five following are addressed to 
those who claim that the worship of the divinities of paganism is useful for the attain- 
ment of happiness in the next life; and in the last twelve we have an elaborate 
discussion of the subject that gives its title to the whole work, the contrast to be 
drawn between two cities, the City of God and the city of the world, and their progress 
and respective ends. It would obviously be impossible to give in this space anything 
like a satisfactory re*sume* of this vast monument of genius, piety, and erudition. 
Notwithstanding its learning, profound philosophy, and subtle reasoning, it can be 
still read with ease and pleasure, owing to the variety, multiplicity, and interest of its 
details. Augustine bases many of his arguments on the opinions held by profane 
authors; and his numerous and extensive quotations, some of them of the greatest 
value, from writers whose works have been long since lost, would alone suffice to 
entitle the author to the gratitude of modern scholars. Few books contain so many 
curious particulars with regard to ancient manners and philosophical systems. In 
the 'City of God' a vivid comparison is instituted between the two civilizations that 
preceded the Middle Ages; and the untiring efforts of ambition and the vain achieve- 
ments of conquerors are judged according to the maxims of Christian humility and 
self-denial. The ' City of God' is the death-warrant of ancient society; and in spite 
of its occasional mystic extravagance and excessive subtlety of argument, the ardent 
conviction that animates it throughout will make it one of the lasting possessions of 
humanity. 



158 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

CIVIL WAR IN AMERICA, A HISTORY OF THE, by Philippe, Comte de Paris. 
In the summer of 1861, Philippe, Comte de Paris, joined the Northern army, rather 
as a spectat' r than as an active participant in affairs. He was appointed to McClel- 
lan's staff, and for a year followed the fortunes of the North. He returned to France 
wi Hi much valuable material concerning the history of that first year, to which he 
added, between 1862 and 1874, an equal amount of important information bearing 
upon the remaining years of the war. In 1875 the first volume of the translation was 
issued. Three other volumes appeared, in 1876, 1883, and 1888, respectively. The 
banishment of the Comte de Paris from France cut short the work, which has never 
been finished, but ends with the close of the account of the Red River Expedition 
under General Banks. 

The historian writes from the point of view of an unprejudiced spectator. His 
object was not to uphold one side or the other, but to present to Europe a clear and 
impartial account of one of the most momentous struggles in history. As his work 
was addressed primarily to a European audience, much space is devoted to the 
conditions which brought about the conflict, to the formation and history of the 
United States army, and to the character of the country which was the scene of 
action. His is an essentially military history: marches and countermarches are 
described with an amount of detail which, but for the admirable clearness of style, 
would sadly confuse the lay mind. In his judgments, both of men and of events, the 
Comte de Paris is very impartial; though a slightly apologetic tone is often adopted 
in regard to the Administration, and a certain lack of enthusiasm appears towards 
many officers of Volunteers, notably in the later years of the war. This attitude of 
mind was doubtless due to his natural prepossession in favor of a regular army and 
an unchanging form of government. 

CIVILIZATION IN ENGLAND, HISTORY OF, a philosophical history by Henry 
Thomas Buckle, the first volume published in 1857 and the second in 1861. In his 
introduction Buckle asserts that the actions of men, both individually and collec- 
tively, are determined solely by their antecedents and are therefore subject to scientific 
laws like any other natural phenomena. He accordingly proposes to write a history of 
civilization in which every stage of progress shall be accounted for by scientific laws. 
The principal external agents which determine the course of history are climate, food, 
soil, and the general aspect of nature; according to the abundance or scarcity of these 
material things man is dominated by nature or dominates her. 'Moral forces and 
conservative tendencies as exhibited in respect for old beliefs, opinions, and institu- 
tions have been a retarding influence in human development, which has been for- 
warded by the growth of intellect, by the spirit of independent investigation, and by 
the principle of skepticism. Budde then proceeds to apply these principles to the 
history of civilization in England, France, and Spain from the sixteenth to the eigh- 
teenth centuries. He did not live to extend his survey to other times and countries. 
Appearing when the theory of evolution was in the air and naturalistic views were 
gaining converts, Buckle's work made a great sensation. The boldness and vigor of 
its position gained it enthusiastic adherents and bitter enemies. It showed men the 
implications of the new scientific doctrines and forced them to take sides. The book 
is made extremely readable by the broad powerful sweep of its generalizations and 
the incisiveness of its style. 

CIVILIZATION IN EUROPE, History of. By Francois P. G. Guizot (new edi- 
tion with critical and supplementary notes by George W. Knight, 1896). A standaitf. 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 159 

,7ork of great value, much improved by Professor Knight's critical and supplementary 
notes. The general summary of the progress of culture in Europe is admirably done, 
with all the new light to date. In a larger work, the 'History of Civilization,' Guizot 
surveyed a wider field, and dealt more thoroughly with some of the great problems 
of human progress. President C. K Adams has said of this larger work that "perhaps 
no historical book is capable of stirring more earnest and fruitful thought in the 
student." 

In his 'Civilization in Europe' Guizot begins with the fall of the Roman Empire, 
and ends with the opening of the French Revolution. Although he analyzes all the 
important facts of history between the great landmark of 476 and the convocation 
of the States-General in 1789, he is far more anxious to grasp their import than to give 
a vivid relation of them; and therefore, facts in themselves play but a small part in 
his exposition. They are simply a help in his effort to discover the great laws that 
direct the evolution of humanity, and to show its development in the individual and 
in society. "Civilization," he says, "consists of two facts, the development of 
the social state and the development of the intellectual state; the development of the 
exterior and general condition, and of the interior nature of man, in a word, the 
perfection of society and humanity." It was impossible for the author to examine 
every aspect of the problem in a single volume. His investigations are therefore 
limited to purely social development, and he does not touch upon the intellectual side 
of the question. But the precision with which he notes the origin, meaning, and 
bearing of all accomplished events renders his work of great value. 

CLARA VATJGHAN, by Richard Doddridge Blackmore (1864). This rather sensa- 
tional story comes fairly under the head of pathological novels. The heroine, Clara 
Vaughan, inheriting an abnormal nervous susceptibility, has the misfortune at ten 
years of age to see her father murdered. Henceforth she devotes her life to the 
identification and punishment of his murderer. She suspects her uncle, Edgar 
Vaughan, and so insults and torments him that he turns her out of doors at seventeen. 
She goes to South Devon for a while, thence to London, where she meets Professor 
Ross (whose real name is De la Croce) and his children Isola and Conrad. With 
Conrad she falls in love, but impediments hinder their marriage. Her uncle becoming 
dangerously ill, she nurses him back to life. They are reconciled; and it is discovered 
that Isola and Conrad are his long-lost children, and that Clara's father has been 
killed in mistake, for his brother Edgar, by De la Croce, his Corsican wife's brother. 
Crowded with remarkable incidents and hair-breadth escapes, this is the most fan- 
tastic, as it was the earliest and least mature, of Blackmore's novels. Not the least 
attractive character is Giudice, the bloodhound, who plays an active part in the 
development of the plot. 

CLARISSA FURIOSA, by W. E. Norris. This story, which may be regarded in the 
light of a satire on the "New Woman," is perhaps the least successful of the clever 
author's novels. Clarissa Dent, an orphan, rich, petted, and pretty, after a brief 
courtship marries Guy Luttrell, a soldier. Clarissa goes with the regiment to Ceylon, 
where Guy flirts, and she concludes that incompatibility of views must separate them ; 
she returns to England, and most of the story is taken up with the semi-public life 
to which she devotes herself. The book is amusing, like all of Norris's, and the work- 
manship is of course good. But the note is forced, and the reader feels the writer's 
want of genuine interest in his characters. It was first published in the Cornhill 
Magazine, in 1896. 



160 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

CLARISSA HARLOWE, by Samuel Richardson, was published in 1751, ten years 
after 'Pamela,' when Richardson was over sixty years old. In 'Pamela 1 he tried to 
draw the portrait of a girl of humble class in distress; in 'Clarissa' he essayed to do 
the same thing for a young woman of gentility. She is of a good country family 
(the scene being laid in rural England of the first half of the eighteenth century, 
Richardson's time), and is wooed by Lovelace, a well-known but profligate gentle- 
man. The match is opposed by the Harlowes because of his dubious reputation. 
Clarissa for some time declines his advances; but as she is secretly taken by his 
dashing ways, he succeeds in abducting her, and so compromising her good name that 
she dies of sharne, her betrayer being killed in a duel by her cousin, Colonel Mor- 
den. Lovelace's name has become a synonym for the fine-gentleman profligate. 
He is drawn as by no means without his good side, and as sincerely loving Clarissa, 
who stands as a sympathetic study of a noble-minded young woman in misfor- 
tune. The story is largely told by letters exchanged between Clarissa and her 
confidante Miss Howe, and between Lovelace and his friend Belford. Its affect- 
ing incidents moved the heart of the eighteenth century, and ladies of quality 
knelt at Richardson's feet imploring him to spare his heroine. To the present- 
day reader, the tale seems slow and prolix; but it was able to enchain the attention 
of a man like Macaulay, and has much merit of plot and character. It is, more- 
over, a truthful picture of the conventions and ideals of its period, while it 
possesses a perennial life because it deals with some of the elemental interests and 
passions. 

CLARK'S FIELD, by Robert Herrick (1914). Left an orphan at an early age, 
Ardelle Clark lives with her uncle and his wife and assists the latter in keeping 
lodgers. The financial hopes of the family are based on a large tract of land called 
"Clark's Field," in the centre of a manufacturing town, adjacent to the city of B. 
(presumably Boston), which they have owned for several generations but have been 
unable to realize upon. When Ardelle is fourteen the property is sold, and her uncle 
and aunt having died, she becomes sole heir to a fortune which amounts later to 
several million dollars. Being a minor, Ardelle becomes a ward of the Washington 
Trust Co. and is sent to a fashionable school and later to Paris. Here she meets an 
impecunious and worthless young art-student from California named Archie Davis, 
and marries him much to the disapproval of her guardians. Ardelle and her husband 
drift aimlessly about leading an idle, useless existence until the former attains her 
majority, when they return to America and take possession of the five million dollars 
awaiting them. This they proceed to waste in every conceivable way, settling 
eventually in California where they build a palatial residence. Ardelle has a son on 
whom she lavishes the affection she once felt for Archie, who, now, through weakness 
and dissipation, has alienated her love. Among the workmen on the place is a young 
mason named Tom Clark who proves to be a long-lost cousin of Ardelle and presum- 
ably an equal heir to the property. Ardelle decides not to acquaint Tom with this 
knowledge but the moment arrives when he makes a heroic attempt to save her 
child from a burning house, and though the child is dead, Ardelle insists he shall share 
her fortune. She parts finally with Archie and returns East to inform the Trust Co. 
of her decision. She finds complications awaiting her as the property so long un- 
claimed by the lost heirs stands irrevocably in her name. Nevertheless she is able to 
compensate Tom according to her desire, and decides with his assistance to use her 
money for the welfare and uplift of the poor people who live in the tenements built 
upon Clark's Field. 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 161 

CLASSICAL GREEK POETRY, THE GROWTH AND INFLUENCE OF, by Professor R. 
C. Jebb (1893). Delivered originally as lectures at Johns Hopkins University, these 
chapters compose a brilliant sketch of the history and character of Greek poetry, 
epic, lyric, and dramatic. The introductory analysis of the Greek temperament is 
followed by an account of the rise of the lyric in Ionia, as a partial outgrowth of 
the earlier epic, and of the newer form, the drama, which came to supersede it in 
popularity. One of the most interesting chapters is occupied with the discussion of 
Pindar, in some respects the most interesting individuality in Greek literature, 
"the most wonderful, perhaps, in lofty power, that the lyric poetry of any age can 
show." In the last chapter, on 'The Permanent Power of Greek Poetry,' Professor 
Jebb sums up the great elements in our present civilization directly traceable to the 
force and genius of the Greeks. In this work he unites rare literary skill with the 
ripest scholarship. To the student who seeks to know what Greece and her literature 
means to the present age, but who has no time for superfluous dates or facts, or dis- 
quisitions, this work is indispensable; for the author, a true Greek in a modern age, 
stands among the leading interpreters of her greatness. 

CLAVERINGS, THE, by Anthony Trollope (1867), is a novel of contemporary 
English life, as shown in the fortunes of a country family. The story treats of the 
inconstant affections of Harry Clavering, the rector's son and cousin of the head of 
the family. The fickle lover is so agreeable and kind-hearted a young fellow that 
the tale of his fickleness wins the reader to friendship. All the characters are so typi- 
cal of the commonplace respectable life that Trollope describes, as to seem like per- 
sonal acquaintances. The reader is certain of meeting again Lady Ongar, Florence 
Burton, Lady Clavering, and the rest, and is pleased with the prospect. The book 
was a great favorite. 

CLAYHANGER (1910), by Arnold Bennett. At the opening of the novel Edwin 
Clayhanger, of Bursley, is a fifteen-year-old lad just leaving school. His ambition 
to become an architect is overridden by his stern father, Darius Clayhanger, who 
insists on his going into the family printing business. Though Edwin proves in- 
valuable, Darius refuses to pay him more than a pittance. Edwin's love for art and 
literature is stimulated through Mr. Orgreave, a Bursley architect, and he finds a 
congenial companion in Mr. Orgreave's charming daughter, Janet, through whom he 
'comes to know Hilda Lessways, an odd girl who comes down from Brighton on a 
visit. Edwin and Hilda are mutually attracted, because she has an interesting mind 
which runs parallel to his, but when he informs his father of his intention to marry 
her, Darius refuses to pay his son more than a pound a week. But Edwin is saved 
the embarrassment of trying to establish a home on that amount by the startling 
news that Hilda has married a Mr. Cannon. Edwin is heartbroken. He cannot 
return Janet's affection because he is still devoted to the faithless Hilda. When Hilda 
sends her little son, George Edwin, down to visit "aunt" Janet, Edwin and the boy 
become inseparable companions, and when Edwin finally succeeds in getting Hilda's 
address he hurries to Brighton to see his old love. He arrives just in time to save 
Hilda's furniture from being attached for debt, and he gives her enough money to 
tide her over; he learns from her that the marriage with Cannon was forced upon her; 
that Cannon is now in prison for bigamy and that her marriage to him is void. 
Edwin returns to Bursley, considerably comforted. Little George's illness in Bursley 
brings Hilda down from Brighton in hot haste. Edwin stays with Hilda until the 
child is well out of danger. Then he goes home to trouble of his own. Darius Clay- 



i62 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

hanger suffers a shock, and softening of the brain follows. Always hard to manage, 
Darius becomes exceedingly difficult in his last illness. The dictatorial old man 
suffers keenly when he has to give over entire charge of the business to Edwin, 
including the keys, and the power of signing checks. The illness and death of Darius 
are described in Bennett's most masterly style, and the reader is left to look forward 
to the marriage of Hilda and Edwin. 

The sequel, 'Hilda Lessways,' tells the story again from Hilda's point of view, 
clearing up the mystery of her marriage to Cannon, in which she was the victim 
partly of circumstances, partly of her own ardent and erratic temperament. 'These 
Twain,' which completes the trilogy, recounts Edwin's success in the printing busi- 
ness and his married life witn Hilda and her son George. Some of the minor charac- 
ters are admirable studies in Bennett's realistic manner. 

CLEANNESS, see PEARL. 

CLELIE, a romance in ten volumes by Mademoiselle de Scude*ry (1654-60). The 
name of her brother figured on the title-pages of the first volumes; but the secret of 
the authorship having been discovered, her name replaced it. It would be difficult 
tn summarize the incidents of this once famous production. The subject is the siege 
of Rome after the expulsion of Tarquin the Proud, The heroine is the young Roman 
girl who was a hostage of Porsena, and swam across the Tiber under a shower of 
arrows from the Etruscan army. Lucretia, Horatius, Mucius Scsevola, Brutus, and 
all the heroes of the young republic are actors in the drama; and all are desperately 
in love, and spend most of their time in asking questions and solving riddles that have 
a serious connection with love, and especially with a very mysterious species of 
gallantry, according to the taste of the time in which it was written. They draw 
maps of love on the noted country of Tendre. We see the river of Inclination, on its 
right bank the villages of Jolis-Vers and Epitres Galantes, and on its left those of 
Complaisance, Petits-Soins, and Assiduities. Further on are the hamlets of Abandon 
and Perfidie. By following the natural twists and turns of the river, the lover will 
have a pretty fair chance of arriving at the city of Tendre-sur-Estime; and should he 
be successful, it will then be his own fault if he do not reach the city of Tendre-sur- 
Inclination. The French critics of the present century do not accept Boileau's 
sweeping condemnation of Clelie; they consider that the work which excited the 
admiration of Madame de Se*vign6 and Madame de La Fayette has merits that fully 
justify their admiration. The manners and language assigned the Roman characters 
in the romance are utterly ridiculous and grotesque; but if we consider the Romans 
as masks behind which the great lords and ladies of the time simper and babble, its 
pictures of life are as true to nature as anything in literature. The fashionable 
people who recognized themselves under their Roman disguises were charmed with 
Mademoiselle de Scude*ry's skill as a portrait-painter. The work marks the transition 
from the era of Montaigne to that of Corneille; and as such may, to some extent, be 
considered epoch-making. 

CLEOPATRA, by H. Rider Haggard (1889). This, the most ambitious of Haggard's 
romances, presents a vigorous picture of Egypt under the rule of the wonderful Queen. 
Hannachis, priest and magician, descendant of the Pharaohs, tells his own story. 
Certain nobles, hating the Greek Cleopatra and her dealings with Rome, plot to 
overthrow her, and seat Harmachis on her throne. He enters her service to kill 
her when the revolt is ripe, but falls in love with her and cannot strike. Following 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 163 

this complication come plot and counterplot, treason and detection, private 
griefs and hates that overthrow empires, and the later tragedy of Cleopatra's stormy 
life; more than one historic figure adding dignity and verisimilitude to the tale. The 
plot is well managed, and the interest maintained. The book is written in a curi- 
ously artificial manner, carefully studied. It contains many dramatic passages, 
with now and then an unexpected reminiscence of the manner of ' King Solomon's 
Mines' and 'She'; while its pages are crowded with gorgeous pictures of the splendid 
material civilization of Egypt. 

CLIFF-DWELLERS, THE, by Henry B. Fuller (1893)^3 a story of Chicago at the 
end of the nineteenth century; a sober arraignment of the sin and greed of a purely 
material civilization. The protagonists of the drama take their title of "cliff- 
dwellers" from their occupation of various strata of an enormous office building, 
owned by the millionaire Ingles, whose beautiful wife is in reality the central char- 
acter of the story, though she is not presented to the reader till the very last page. 
A young Easterner, George Ogden, a well-bred, average man of good intentions, is 
perhaps the hero; as the villain may be identified with Erastus Brainerd, a self-made 
man, utterly selfish and hard, who has ridden rough-shod over every obstacle, to the 
goal of a large fortune. Into the life whose standards are set chiefly by the un- 
scrupulous successes of Brainerd, and the aesthetic luxury of the beautiful Mrs. 
Ingles, all the characters of the story are brought. The motives of the play are envy, 
ambition, love of ostentation, a thorough worship of the material, as these charac- 
teristics manifest themselves in a commercial community. There is a distinct and 
well-ordered plot, and the characters develop consistently from within. This clever 
story is too sincere to be called a satire, and too artistic to be called a photograph; but 
it is executed with a merciless faithfulness that has often elicited both characteriza- 
tions. 

CLOCKMAKER, THE: OR, THE SAYINGS AND DOINGS OF SAMUEL SLICK OF SLICK- 
VILLE, by Thomas Chandler Haliburton. It would be hard to prove that the conven- 
tional Yankee, as he is commonly understood, did not exist before Judge Haliburton 
published his account of that impossible person; yet no other book has so widely 
spread before the world the supposed characteristics of the typical New-Englander. 
Sam Slick, first presented to the public in a series of letters in the Nova-Scotian, 
in 1835, appeared two years later in a volume. The author was then but forty-three, 
although for eight years he had been chief justice of the court of Common Pleas. 
Having the interests of his province greatly at heart, he invented the clever clock- 
maker less to satirize the Yankees than to goad the Nova-Scotians to a higher sense of 
what they might accomplish politically and economically. To carry out his plan, he 
imagined a Nova-Scotian riding across country on a fast horse, and meeting Slick, 
the peddler, bound on a clock-selling expedition. The Yankee horse proves the faster, 
while his owner, in spite of an unattractive exterior, shows himself a man of wit. 
The peddler, with his knowledge of human nature and his liberal use of "soft sawder, " 
is more than a match for the natives he has dealings with. Thus two birds are hit 
by Judge Haliburton with one stone. The average Yankee is satirized in the gro- 
tesque personality of the peddler, and the Nova-Scotians are lashed for their short- 
sightedness and lack of energy. The fund of anecdote and keen wit displayed in this 
book won it many Admirers on both sides of the line. Either the Npva-Scotians as a 
whole did not feel hurt by its hits at themselves, or they found consolation in the 
picture presented of the sharp-bargaining, boastful Yankee. The Yankee enjoyed 



164 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

its humor without being bored by its local politics, and most readers made allowance 
for its intentional caricature. The later chronicles of Sam Slick, including 'The 
Attache* ; or Sam Slick in England, * met with less success than the first. 

CLOISTER AND THE HEARTH, THE, by Charles Reade (1861). The master- 
piece of this vigorous novelist recreates the fifteenth century, and presents to mod- 
ern eyes the Holland, Germany, France, and Italy of the Middle Ages, as they 
appeared to mediaeval people. The hero of the story is Gerard, son of a Tergouw 
mercer; a studious sweet-natured lad, strongly artistic in bent, but designed for the 
Church, where a good benefice is promised him. He falls in love with Margaret 
Brandt, the daughter of a poor scholar, and giving up the Church career, betroths 
himself to her; and is on the eve of marriage when his irate father imprisons him in the 
stadthuys for disobedience, as a mediaeval parent has power to do. From this point 
the story ceases to be a simple domestic tale, and becomes a record of swift adventure 
in Holland, Germany, and Italy. Then follows a most touching tale of betrayed 
affection, of noble womanly patience and heroism; and through all, a vivid and 
thrilling portrayal of the awful power of the mediaeval Church. Scene crowds on 
scene, and incident on incident, aflame with the imagination of the romancer. The 
dramatic quality of the story, its vivid descriptive passages, the force and individ- 
uality impressed on its dialogue, its virile conception of the picturesque brutality 
and the lofty spirituality of the age it deals with, the unfailing brilliancy of the 
novelist's treatment of his theme, and its humorous quaintness, place 'The Cloister 
and the Hearth ' among the half-dozen great historical romances of the world. 

CLOUDS, THE ('Nubes'), a comedy by Aristophanes; acted in 423 B. C. Though 
one of the most interesting and poetic of the author's plays, the people refused to hear 
it a second time. But its literary popularity counterbalanced its failure on the stage; 
most unfortunately for Socrates, whose enemies, twenty-five years afterward, found 
in it abundant material for their accusations. Strepsiades, an unscrupulous old rascal 
almost ruined by his spendthrift son Pheidippides, requests the philosopher to teach 
him how to cheat his creditors. The Clouds, personifying the high-flown ideas in 
vogue, enter and speak in a pompous style, which is all lost on Strepsiades. He asks 
mockingly, "Are these divinities?" "No," answers Socrates, "they are the clouds 
of heaven: still they are goddesses for idle people, it is to them we owe our thoughts, 
words, cant, insincerity, and all our skill in twaddle and palaver. " Then he explains 
the causes of thunder, etc., substituting natural phenomena for the personal interven- 
tion of the gods; to the great scandal of Strepsiades, who has not come to listen to 
such blasphemy, but to learn how to get rid of his debts. The Clouds tell him that 
Socrates is his man. ' ' Have you any memoranda about you ? ' ' asks the latter. ' ' Of 
my debts, not one; but of what is due me, any number. " Socrates tries to teach his 
new disciple grammar, rhythms, etc.; but Strepsiades laughs at him. Here two new 
characters are introduced, the Just and the Unjust. The former represents old times 
and manners; the latter the new principles taught by the Sophists. When the Just 
taught the young, they did not gad about in the forum or lounge in the bath-rooms. 
They were respectful to their elders, modest and manly. It was the Just who "formed 
the warriors of Marathon. " The Unjust scoffs at such training. If the young may 
not have their fling, their lives are not worth living. "You tell me, " he adds, " that 
this is profligacy. Well, are not our tragic poets, orators, demagogues, and most of 
their auditors profligate?" The Just has to admit this. Strepsiades, discovering 
that the lessons of Socrates are too much for him, sends his clever son to take his place. 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 165 

Pheidippides becomes an accomplished Sophist, mystifies the creditors, and beats 
his father, all the time proving to him that he is acting logically. The old man, at 
length undeceived, summons his slaves and neighbors, and sets fire to the house and 
school of Socrates. 

CLOVERNOOK, see CHROITICLES OF. 

CODEX ARGENTEUS, a Gothic translation of parts of the Bible, attributed to 
Ulfilas, bishop of the Dacian Goths in the fourth century. It is written on vellum, 
the leaves of which are stained with a violet color; and on this ground, the letters, all 
uncials or capitals, are painted in silver, except the initials, which are gold. The 
book, however, gets its name from its elaborately wrought silver cover, and not from 
its lettering. Ulfilas may in a certain sense be considered the founder of all Teutonic 
literature, as he was the first to raise a barbarous Teutonic dialect to the dignity of a 
literary language. Although the language of the 'Codex' is very different from that 
of later Teutonic nations, it serves as a standard by which subsequent variations may 
be estimated, and throws much light on the kindred languages of Germany. The 
Gothic version contains a number of words borrowed from Finnish, Burgundian, 
Slavic, Dacian, and other barbarous languages; but those taken from the Greek far 
exceed all others. The translator uses the Greek orthography. He employs the 
double gamma, gg, to express the nasal n followed by g: thus, we have tuggo for 
tungo, the tongue; figgr for finger; dragg for drank; and so on. The similarity of 
most of the characters to Greek letters, and the exact conformity of the Gothic Scrip- 
tures to the original Greek text, prove that the version must have been made under 
Greek influence. Strabo, the author of an ecclesiastical history in the early part of 
the ninth century, says that the Goths on the borders of the Greek empire had an old 
translation of the Scriptures. The language of the 'Codex' differs importantly 
from mediaeval and modern German. Thus the verb haben is never used to express 
past time, while it is employed to denote future time; and the passive voice is repre- 
sented by inflected forms, forms utterly foreign to other Teutonic dialects. The 
'Codex' does not contain the entire Bible, but only fragments of the Gospels and 
Epistles of St. Paul, some Psalms, and several passages from Esdras and Nehemiah. 
It was discovered by some Swedish soldiers in the monastery of Werden in Westphalia 
in 1648; then deposited in Prague; afterward presented to Queen Christina, who 
placed it in the library of TJpsala; next carried off by Vossius; and finally restored to 
the University of Upsala which regards it as its most precious possession. 

CCELEBS IN SEARCH OF A WIFE, by Hannah More. This is the best-known work 
of fiction by that prolific moralist of a past era. It was written after she had 
passed her sixtieth year, and was intended as an antidote to what she considered the 
deleterious influence of the romantic tales of that day. In 'Ccelebs' she sought to 
convey precepts of religion, morals, and manners, in the form of a novel. Ccelebs, 
a young gentleman of fortune and estate in the north of England, sets out to find a 
woman who shall meet the somewhat exacting requirements of his departed mother. 
This estimable matron held that "the education of the present race of females is not 
very favorable to domestic happiness. " His dying father had also enjoined Ccelebs 
to take the advice of an old friend, Mr. Stanley, before marrying. Ccelebs goes to 
Stanley Grove in Hampshire, taking London on his way, and meeting at the house of 
Sir JohnBedfield several fashionable women who fail to reach his standard of eligibility. 
At Stanley Grove he finds his ideal in one of the six daughters of the house, Lucilla, 



166 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

with whom he dutifully falls in love, to be at once accepted. In the month of his 
probation he meets Dr. Barlow, rector of the parish; Lady Ash ton, a gloomy religion- 
ist ; the Carltons, a dissolute and unbelieving husband who is converted by a 
saintly wife; and Tyrril, holding the Antinomian doctrine of faith without works, 
whose foil is Flam, a Tory squire, simple in faith and practicing good works. The 
conversation of these and other personages supplies the didactic features of the novel. 
'Calebs' was published in London in 1808, and had an instant and great popularity. 
The first edition was sold in a fortnight; the book went through three more within 
three months, and eleven within a year. Its republication in the United States was 
also highly successful. 

CCEUR D;'ALENE, by Mary Hallock Foote (1894). Like her 'Led Horse Claim' 
and ' The Cup of Trembling, ' this is a story of the Colorado mining camps, full of 
realistic details. Its situations turn upon the labor strife between Union and non- 
Union miners in 1892, which forms the sombre background of a bright lovers' comedy. 
There is a thread of serious purpose running through it, an attempt to show in 
dramatic fashion what wrongs to personal liberty are often wrought in the name of 
liberty by labor organizations. The best-drawn character in the book is Mike Mc- 
Gowan, the hero's rough comrade, a Hibernian Mark Tapley. If the love passages 
seem at times over-emphasized, the author's general dialogue and descriptive writing 
have the easy strength of finished art; and her evident familiarity through actual 
acquaintance with the scenes described, gives to her work much permanent value of 
reality aside from its artistic merits. 

COLERIDGE, SAMUEL^TAYLOR: 'a Narrative of the Events of his Life,' 
by James Dyke Campbell (1894). A thoroughly independent and original narrative 
of the events of Coleridge's life, carefully sifting the familiar material and supple- 
menting it by fresh researches, but studiously avoiding critical or moralizing com- 
ment; a definitive biography of the poet and the man. A briefer biography based on 
this standard work is now prefixed to the Globe edition of Coleridge's poems. 

COLIN CLOUT (or COLYN CLOUTE), by John Skelton. This satire of the early 
British poet (1460?-! 529) was a vigorous pre-Reformation protest against the 
clergy's lack of learning and piety, disregard for the flock, 

"How they take no hede 
Theyre sely shepe to fede," 

and gross self-indulgence. It was written in from four to six syllable rhymes and even 
double rhymes, whose liquid though brief measures served their eccentric author's 
purpose: a form since designated as Skeltonical or Skeltonian verse. The poet em- 
ployed various other verse forms: often the easily flowing seven-line stanzas of his 
true parent in the poet's art, Chaucer, dead less than a hundred years. Like Chaucer, 
he helped to establish and make flexible the vernacular English tongue. Under 
Henry VII. Skelton had been tutor to his second son, Henry, who succeeded to the 
throne; and though his satires, published in both reigns, often hit the sins and follies 
of the court, he was not seriously molested by these monarchs. But in ' Colin Clout ' 
he sped more than one clothyard shaft of wit at Wolsey ; and at last in ' Speke, Parrot, ' 
and 'Why Come Ye Not to Court, ' so assailed the prelate's arrogant abuse of power 
that he found it prudent to take sanctuary with Bishop Islip in Westminster Abbey: 
and there he died and was buried "in the chancel of the neighboring church of St. 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 167 

Margaret's," says Dyce. His most famous poem gets its title from the rustic per- 
sonage supposed to be speaking through it: 

"And if ye stand in doubte 
Who brought this ryme aboute, 
My name is Colyn Cloute." 

The surname is clearly suited to the ostensibly dull-witted clown of the satire; and the 
Colin is modified from Colas, short for Nicolas or Nicholas, a typical proper name. 
This dramatic cognomen was copied by several poets of the following reign, Eliza- 
beth's, her favorite Edmund Spenser using it to designate himself in pastoral 
poems, and rendering it once more famous as a poem-title in 'Colin Clout's Come 
Home Again. ' 

COLLEGIANS, THE, by Gerald Griffin. As a teller of Irish stories, Griffin takes his 
place with Carleton, Banim, and Miss Edgeworth. Boucicault's famous play 'The 
Colleen Bawn ' was based on this tale, which was published in 1828. Not many years 
later the broken-hearted writer entered a convent, where he died at the early age of 
thirty-seven, under the name of Brother Joseph. The incidents of the book are 
founded on fact, having occurred near Limerick, Ireland. The story is one of dis- 
appointed love, of successful treachery, broken hearts, and "evil fame deserved "; but 
in the end virtue is rewarded. Like most other novels of its period, it is diffuse and 
over-sentimental; but it is likely to live for its faithful delineation of Irish character 
at its best and worst. 

COLLOQUIES OF ERASMUS, THE. This work, a collection of dialogues in Latin, 
was first published in 1 52 1 , and over 24,000 copies were sold in a short time. No book 
of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries has had so many editions, and it has been 
frequently reprinted and retranslated down to the present day, though it is now 
perhaps more quoted than read. The 'Colloquies' generally ridicule some new folly 
of the age, or discuss some point of theology; or inflict some innocent little vengeance 
on an opponent, who is made to play the part of a buffoon in the drama, while the 
sentiments of Erasmus are put in the mouth of a personage with a fine Greek name 
and with any amount of wisdom and sarcasm. Pew works have exercised a greater and 
more fruitful influence on their age than these little dialogues. They developed and 
reduced to form the principles of free thought that owed their birth to the contentions 
of religious parties; for those who read nothing else of the author's were sure to read 
the 'Colloquies/ Their very moderation, however, gave offense in all quarters: to 
the followers of Luther as well as to those of the ancient Church. They manifest the 
utmost contempt for excess of every sort, and their moderation and prudent self- 
restraint were alien to the spirit of the time. Erasmus shows himself much more 
concerned about the fate of Greek letters than he does about religious changes. He 
has been styled 'The Voltaire of the Renaissance'; and certainly his caustic vivacity, 
and his delicate, artistic irony and mockery, entitle him to the distinction. The 
Latin of the 'Colloquies' is not always strictly Ciceronian, but it is something better, 
it has all the naturalness of a spoken language; and this it is that made them so 
popular in their day to the great regret of Erasmus, who complains of the "freak 
of fortune" that leads the public to believe "a book full of nonsense, bad Latin, and 
solecisms" to be his best work. 

COLOMBA, a romance by Prosper Me*rim<Se (1853), is the story of a Corsican ven- 
detta, followed up to the end by the heroine, with a wild ferocity tempered with a 



168 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

queer sort of piety. The story has an ethical significance of a rather unfortunate kind, 
for the author's belief in the dogma of fatalism underlies the whole of it, that cir- 
cumstances control the human will, and whether a man is a brigand or a philanthro- 
pist depends purely on chance, crime and virtue being mere accidents. 

COLONEL ENDERBY'S WIFE, by "Lucas Malet" (Charles Kingsley's daughter, 
now Mrs. Harrison). The scene of this story, published in 1886, is laid in England 
and Italy during the seventies. Colonel Enderby is a disinherited Englishman of 
middle age, whose life has been shadowed by his father's neglect and injury. At the 
age of forty-eight he marries in Italy a glittering young creature of wonderful beauty. 
The tragedy which follows is that which always comes when a crass and brutal selfish- 
ness arrays itself against the generosity of a higher nature, if two people are so bound 
together that they cannot escape each other. The ending, though sad, is that which 
the logic of the situation makes inevitable. The book has been very widely read and 
praised. 

COLONEL'S DAUGHTER, THE, an early novel of Captain Charles King's, and 
one of his best, was published in 1883. The author disclaims all charms of rhetoric 
and literary finish in the conversations of his characters. They " talk like soldiers, " 
in a brief plain speech. For that very reason, perhaps, they are natural and human. 
The author has depicted army life in the West with the sure touch of one who knows 
whereof he writes. 'The Colonel's Daughter' is pre-eminently a soldier's story, ad- 
mirably fitted in style and character to its subject-matter. 

COLUMBUS, CHRISTOPHER, The Life and Voyages of, by Washington Irving. 
This history, published in three volumes, was written by Irving in 1828, during his 
residence in Madrid. He was at the time an attach^ of the United States legation, 
having been summoned there by Alexander H. Everett, then minister to Spain, who 
desired him to translate Navarrete's 'Voyages of Columbus,' which were then in 
course of publication. Irving entered upon this work with much interest, but soon 
came to the conclusion that he had before him rather a mass of rich materials for 
history than a history itself; and being inspired by the picturesque aspect of the 
subject and the great facilities at hand, he at once gave up the work of translation 
and set about writing a 'Life of Columbus' of his own. Having access to the 
archives of the Spanish government, to the royal library of Madrid, to that of the 
Jesuits' college of San Isidore, and to many valuable private collections, he found 
numberless historic documents and manuscripts to further his work. He was aided 
by Don Martin de Navarrete, and by the Duke of Veraguas, the descendant of 
Columbus, who submitted the family archives and treasures to his inspection. In 
this way he was enabled to obtain many interesting and previously unknown facts 
concerning Columbus. He was less than a year in completing his work, which has 
been called "the noblest monument to the memory of Columbus." This history, 
a permanent contribution to English and American literature, is clear and animated 
in narrative, graphic in its descriptive episodes, and finished in style. Recent his- 
torians have differed from Irving with regard to the character and merits of Columbus, 
and have produced some evidence calculated to shatter a too exalted ideal of the 
great discoverer; but despite this, his valuable work still fills an honored place in all 
historic libraries. 

COMEDY OF ERRORS, THE, by William Shakespeare (i 593) , is the shortest of the 
plays, and one of the very earliest written. The main story is from the 'Menaechmi ' 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOHS 169 

of Plautus. The Syracusans and the men of Ephesus have mutually decreed death 
to a citizen of one city caught in the other, unless he can pay a heavy ransom. ^Egeon 
of Syracuse is doomed to death by the Duke of Ephesus. He tells the duke his story, 
how at Epidamnum many years ago his wife had borne male twins, and at the same 
hour a humbler woman near by had also twin boys; how he had bought and brought 
up the latter; and how he and his wife had become separated by shipwreck, she with 
one of each pair of twins and he with one of each; and how five years ago his boy and 
servant had set out in search of their twin brothers, and he himself was now searching 
for them and his wife. Of these twins, one Antipholus and one Dromio live in Ephesus 
as master and servant respectively, the former being married to Adriana, whose sister 
Luciana dwells with her. By chance the Syracusan Antipholus and his Dromio are 
at this time in Ephesus. The mother Emilia is abbess of a priory in the town. 
Through a labyrinth of errors they all finally discover each other. Antipholus of 
Syracuse sends his Dromio to the inn with a bag of gold, and presently meets Dromio 
of Ephesus, who mistaking him, urges him to come at once to dinner: his wife and 
sister are waiting. In no mood for joking, he beats his supposed servant. The other 
Dromio also gets a beating for denying that he had just talked about dinner and wife. 
In the meantime, Adriana and her sister meet the Syracusans on the street, and 
amaze them by their reproaches. As in a dream the men follow them home, and 
Dromio of Syracuse is bid keep the door. Now comes home the rightful owner with 
guests, and knocks in vain for admittance. So he goes off in a rage to an inn to dine. 
At his home the coil thickens. There Antipholus of Syracuse makes love to Luciana, 
and downstairs the amazed Dromio of Syracuse flies from the greasy kitchen wench 
who claims him as her own. Master and man finally resolve to set sail at once from 
this place of enchantment. After a great many more laughable puzzles and contre- 
temps, comes Adriana, with an exerciser Doctor Pinch and others, who bind her hus- 
band and servant as madmen and send them away. Presently enter the bewildered 
Syracusans with drawn swords, and away flies Adriana, crying, "They are loose 
again! " The Syracusans take refuge in the abbey. Along comes the duke leading 
^Egeon to execution. Meantime the real husband and slave have really broken 
loose, bound Doctor Pinch, singed off his beard, and nicked his hair with scissors. 
At last both pairs of twins meet face to face, and ^Egeon and ^Emilia solve all puzzles. 

COMING RACE, THE, by Edward Bulwer-Lytton. This is a race of imaginary 
beings, called Vrilya or Ana, who inhabit an imaginary world placed in a mysterious 
subterranean region. They have outstripped us by many centuries in scientific 
acquirements; making the great discovery of a force, " vril, " of which all other forces 
are but modifications. They possess perpetual light; they can fly; and produce all 
the phenomena of personal magnetism. They have no laboring class, which has been 
superseded by machinery; there is absolute social equality; the ruler merely looks after 
a few necessary details. Intelligence supersedes force. Women are superior to men, 
their greater power over the force "vril" giving them greater physical and intellec- 
tual ability; still the more emotional and affectionate sex, in courtship they take the 
initiative; they are second to men only in practical science. In philosophy and re- 
ligion there is unanimity: all believe in God and immortality. The discoverer of this 
kingdom is a New-Yorker, who tries to entertain his hosts with a eulogy on the Amer- 
ican democracy; but this form of government, he learns, is called Koom-Bosh (Govern- 
ment of the Ignorant) in the Vrilya language. The finding of this new world gives 
rise to many speculations on human destiny. The entire devotion of these wonderful 
beings to science means the disappearance of all the arts,. There are no great novels 



i/o THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

or poems or musical compositions. There are no criminals and no heroes. Life 
has lost its evils, and with them all that is worth struggling for. Everything is 
reduced to a dead level; everywhere ennui seems to reign supreme. This story, 
published in 1871, was a skit on certain assumptions of science; but its cleverness of 
invention and brilliancy of treatment, added to the craving wonder of humanity 
as to what its evolution is to be toward, gave it a large popularity. 

COMMENTARIES, by Pius II. (.Eneas Sylvius). The great humanist Pope de- 
voted all his spare moments to the composition of this work, which is a mine of 
information on the literature, history, and politics of his age. Part of it was written 
by his own hand, the rest dictated. He was not only in the habit of taking notes on 
every subject, important or trivial, but, even during the stormiest periods of a life 
that was full of variety, he was always eager to glean information from the distin- 
guished men of every country, with whom he was constantly brought into contact, 
so that the ' Commentaries ' are both an autobiography and the history of a moment- 
ous and fruitful epoch. The disproportion between the length of the chapters, and 
their occasional want of connection, are accounted for by the interruptions in his 
literary labors which his absorption in public affairs rendered inevitable. When he 
could snatch only an hour from his duties as pope, he wrote a short chapter. When 
he had more leisure, he wrote a long one. The first book, which treats of his early 
career and his elevation to the pontificate, was evidently composed with more care 
and attention to style than those which succeed. In general, he wrote or dictated on 
a given day the facts that had come to his knowledge on the day before. Sometimes 
an incident is preceded by a historical or geographical notice, or is an apology for 
introducing an episode in the author's life. The book has thus some of the intimate 
and confidential qualities of a diary. It wants precision, is not always impartial, and 
in a word, has the defects common to all the historians of the time. But it is full of 
color and exuberant life, and its value as a historic source is inestimable. It gives a 
vivid idea not only of the Pope's extraordinary and almost universal erudition and 
exalted intelligence, but of the charm exercised by his affability, gentleness, and simple 
manners on everyone who came within reach. The classical, the Christian, and the 
modern spirit are intermingled in the 'Commentaries.' No earlier writer has so 
sympathetically described scenes that have a classical suggestiveness: the grotto of 
Diana on the opal waters of Lake Nemi; the villa of Virgil; the palace of Adrian near 
Tivoli, "where serpents have made their lair in the apartments of queens. " But he 
avoids anything that might hint of too great fondness for paganism. If the name of 
a god drops from his pen, he at once adds that he was an idol or a demon ; if he quotes 
an idea from a pagan philosopher, he immediately rectifies it in a Christian sense. 
Shortly before his death in 1464, Pius II. charged his poet-friend Campano to correct 
its faults, which of course Campano did not do. 

COMMENTARIES ON AMERICAN LAW, by James Kent (4 vols., 1826-30). 
Edition Annotated by C. M. Barnes, 1884. The celebrated ' Kent's Commentaries, ' 
ranking in the literature of law with the English Blackstone. The work of one of the 
most conspicuous and remarkable scholars in law and founders of legal practice in 
American history. A professor of law in Columbia College in 1796; judge of the Su- 
preme Court of the State in 1798; Chief Justice in 1804; Chancellor in 1814-23. On 
retiring from the bench in 1823, Kent resumed the work of a Columbia professor, and 
gave lectures which grew into the ' Commentaries ' ; the wide and accurate learning of 
which, with their clearness of exposition, have given him a high and permanent place 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 171 

among the greatest teachers of law. His decisions as Chancellor, published 1816-24, 
almost created American chancery law: and he added to his great work a 'Commen- 
tary on International Law,' 1866; Abdy's Edition, 1877. A notable edition of the 
'Commentaries' is that edited by O. W. Holmes, Jr., 1873. 

COMMENTARIES ON THE LAWS OF ENGLAND, appearing from 1765 to 1768, 

is the title of the celebrated law-book composed at forty-two by Sir William Black- 
stone, successively professor of law at Oxford and justice of the Court of Common 
Pleas in London. Unique among law treatises, it passed through eight editions in the 
author's lifetime, and has been annotated numberless times since, for the use of stu- 
dents and practitioners. It comprises a general discussion of the legal constitution of 
England, its laws, their origin, development, and present state; viewed as if the author 
were at work enthusiastically detailing the plans and structure of a stately edifice, 
complete, organic, an almost perfect human creation, with such shortcomings only 
as attend all human endeavor. The complacent, often naive, tone of fervent ad- 
miration betrays the attitude of an urbane, typical Tory gentleman of the eighteenth 
century, speaking to others of equal temper and station concerning their glorious 
common inheritance, the splendid instrument for promoting and regulating justice 
that had been wrought out from the remnants of the Roman jurisprudence through 
slow, laborious centuries, by dint of indomitable British common-sense, energy, and 
intellect. The insularity and concordant air of tolerance with the established order 
of things gives piquancy to the limpid, easy style, dignified and graceful, with 
which a mass of legal facts is ordered, arranged, and presented, with abundant 
pertinent illustration. Especially characteristic is the account of the rise and 
status of equity practice, and of the various courts of the realm. Thoroughly 
a man of his complacent time, untroubled by any forecast of the intellectual 
and social ferment at the close of his century, Blackstone has yet written for 
the generations since his day the most fascinating and comprehensive introduc- 
tion to legal study in English; and has the distinction of having written the 
sole law-book that by its literary quality holds an unquestioned position in 
English literature. 

COMMERCE OF NATIONS, THE, by C. F. Basfcable (1892). "One of the most 
striking features of modern times is the growth of international relations of ever- 
increasing complexity and influence ... it is in the sphere of material relations that the 
increase in international solidarity has been most decisively marked, and can be best 
followed and appreciated." Professor Bastable describes the leading features of 
international commerce; the overthrow of " the mercantile system " and the transition 
to protection; the English customs system from 1815 to 1860; the United States tariff 
and commercial policy; the European tariffs of the last generation of the nineteenth 
century. Later chapters constitute an examination, from the point of view of a free 
trader, of modern protectionist theory and the political, social, and economic argu- 
ments for protection. To many the most interesting section of the book is the con- 
cluding, which deals with reciprocity, retaliation, and commercial federation. The 
student who is endeavoring to discover permanent principles should, however, re- 
member these words of Professor Bastable: "One lesson that the study of commer- 
cial policy from the historical point of view teaches with the utmost plainness is the 
dependence of the particular trade regulations adopted by any community rather on 
the existing social conditions and the interest of the strongest classes, than on any 
precise theoretical doctrines." 



172 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

COMMODORE'S DAUGHTERS, THE (' Kommandorens Do ttre') by the Norwe- 
gian novelist Jonas Lie (1889), is a story of family life in Norway, characterized 
by unerring analysis and a convincing truthfulness. The novel, though some- 
what pessimistic and sad in its drift, is relieved by satiric humor and charm of 
description. The Commodore is elderly, amiable, henpecked; his wife ambitious and 
ill-tempered, with a foolish fondness for her son Karsten, a lazy young naval officer 
who marries for money to find himself duped. The daughters Cicely and Martha, 
girls of high spirits, good looks, and fresh, unspoiled natures, suffer in their love affairs 
through the narrow conventionality which surrounds them, and the marplot inter- 
ferences of mother and brother. Cicely is parted from a fine young officer who is 
deeply in love with her; and poor Martha dies broken-hearted because through an 
intrigue of her ambitious mother, her devoted boy lover is sent off to sea to get rid of 
him, and is drowned on the eve of her intended marriage. The plot is a mere thread; 
but the fretful social atmosphere of the household, with its jarring personalities con- 
stantly misunderstanding each other to their mutual harm, is delineated with fine, 
subtle strokes of character-drawing: it would seem to be the author's intention to 
give an idea of the petty, stifling social bonds in a small Norwegian town of 
to-day. 

COMPLETE ANGLER, THE, or, CONTEMPLATIVE MAN'S RECREATION: being 'A 
Discourse on Rivers, Fish-Ponds, Fish, and Fishing'; by Izaak Walton and Charles 
Cotton. The 'Complete Angler,' which was first published in England in 1653, 
was designed primarily by its author to teach the art of angling, of which long ex- 
perience with hook and line had made him master. The book is written in dialogue 
form, and is filled with conversations touching the theme in question, which are 
carried on by an angler, a hunter, a falconer, a milkmaid, and others. In this way 
observations are made regarding the various kinds of fish, their habits, whereabouts, 
and the best methods of securing them, with endless details and minute descriptions 
of the ways and means necessary to the success of this sport. The book is distin- 
guished by a pastoral simplicity, is admirable in style, and is filled with fine descrip- 
tions of rural scenery. It is moreover interspersed with many charming lyrics, old 
songs and ballads, among them the 'Song of the Milkmaid.' It is attributed to 
Christopher Marlowe, and begins: 

"Come live with me, and be my love, 
And we will all the pleasures prove, 
That valleys, groves, or hills, or field, 
Or woods and steepy mountains yield.'* 

The 'Angler' is not alone devoted to sport, but is filled with precepts which recom- 
mend the practice of religion and the exercise of patience, humility, contentment, 
and other virtues. Before the publication of this book, rules and directions for an- 
gling had been handed down from age to age chiefly by tradition, having only in a few 
instances been set down in writing. Whether considered as a treatise on the art of 
angling, or as a delightful pastoral filled with charming descriptions of rural scenery, 
'The Complete Angler* ranks among English classics. In 1676, when Walton was 
eighty-two and was preparing a fifth edition for the press, Charles Cotton, also a 
famous angler, and an adopted son of Walton's, wrote a second part for the book, 
which is a valuable supplement. It is written in imitation of the style and discourses 
of the original, upon "angling for trout or grayling in a clear stream." Walton, 
though an expert angler, knew but little of fly-fishing, and so welcomed Cotton's 
supplement, which has since that time been received as a part of his book. Waltoa 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 173 

is called the "Father of all Anglers"; indeed, there has been hardly a writer upon 
the subject since his time who has not made use of his rules and practice. 

COMPROMISE, ON, by John Morley (1874). The problem of this book is stated 
by its author. The right of thinking freely and acting independently, of using our 
minds without excessive awe of authority, and shaping our lives without unques- 
tioning obedience to custom, is now a finally accepted principle in some sense or other 
with every school of thought that has the smallest chance of commanding the future. 
Under what circumstances does the exercise and vindication of the right, thus 
conceded in theory, become a positive duty in practice? It is his opinion that the 
general mental climate, outside the domain of physical science, has ceased to be 
invigorating and encourages an already existing tendency "to acquiesce in a lazy 
accommodation with error, an ignoble economy of truth, and a vicious compromise 
of the permanent gains of adhering to a sound general principle, for the sake of the 
temporary gains of departing from it, " He discusses, therefore, the causes of this 
tendency, the influence of French examples, the increase in the power of the press, 
the growth of material prosperity, the sway exercised by a State Church. In later 
chapters he deals at large with individual intellectual responsibility in the sphere of 
politics and religion and concludes with an examination of the means by which 
opinion may be realized. What is most needed is a firm faith in the self-protecting 
quality and stability of society which will not be shattered by the firmness and 
sincerity of lovers of truth. " It is better to wait and to defer the realization of our 
ideas until we can realize them fully, than to defraud the future by truncating them, if 
truncate them we must in order to secure a partial triumph for them in the immediate 
present." 

CONCERNING ISABEL CARNABY, by Ellen Thorneycroft Fowler, was published 
in 1898. This is the story of Isabel Carnaby, a brilliant and spoiled child of fortune, 
who fascinates Paul Seaton, the ambitious and distinguished son of a Methodist 
minister. Paul, after being tutor to a baronet's son, gravitates into journalism, 
where his literary ability is soon recognized. His character being both serious and 
sensitive, his patience is exhausted by Isabel's exacting ways and her fondness for 
testing his affection, and their engagement is broken off. Isabel, shortly afterwards, 
writes an anonymous novel full of caricatures of society personages with herself as 
the central figure. The book achieves notoriety and there is much curiosity as to its 
author. Paul, on being taxed with its authorship by a member of Isabel's set who 
never suspects her, assumes the responsibility, causing much disapproval among his 
Methodist friends. Isabel subsequently becomes engaged to Lord Wrexham, a very 
chivalrous nobleman who releases her when he learns that her heart is given to 
another. Paul goes into politics, where he is most successful, and eventually he and 
Isabel, who deeply regrets her indiscreet literary production, are happily re-united. 
The book is full of clever epigrams, bright dialogue, and apt quotations and its 
character-drawing is strong and original. 

CONCILIATION; WITH THE AMERICAN COLONIES, SPEECH ON, by Edmund 
Burke, was delivered March 22, 1775, in submitting a set of resolutions affirming the 
principle of autonomy for the American colonies with the view of preventing their 
defection. Emphasizing the gravity of the crisis and the desirability of a peace based 
on a restoration of confidence and not on conquest, Burke inquires first into the de- 
sirability of concession to the colonies and then into the nature of the proposed con- 
cession. Taking up the first question and following his usual method of going to the 



174 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

heart of a subject, he makes a brilliant analysis of the American point of view. Owing 
to their growing population, their expanding commerce, agriculture, and fisheries, 
the wise neglect by which England has left them to develop these resources, their 
English descent, the Puritanism of the New Englanders and the sJaveholding of the 
Southerners, the prevalence of lawyers and litigation, and their distance from the 
mother country, the American people are filled with a fierce spirit of liberty. Should 
this state of mind be changed as inconvenient, prosecuted as criminal, or complied 
with as necessary? It cannot be changed, because the causes just enumerated are 
inalterable: population and wealth cannot be checked or the national temper broken. 
To prosecute it as criminal is impossible; one cannot indict a whole people, and force 
only begets further resistance. It remains to comply with it as necessary, in other 
words to make concessions. As to the nature of these concessions, they should 
meet the Americans' desire by giving them an interest in the constitution. To obtain 
a people's good- will is more prudent than to insist on abstract rights over them. As 
Ireland and Wales were contented by the granting of representative government, so 
will America be contented if allowed to raise all taxes by free grant and not by im- 
position. After denouncing the principle of coercion and of barter in colonial rela- 
tions, Burke ends by exalting the ties of common descent, common institutions, and 
common sentiment as the strongest links of empire. Though the cogency of Burke's 
arguments and the depth of his political wisdom were as usual ignored by the House 
of Commons and his resolutions were defeated 270 to 78, his speech remains a final 
pronouncement of the true principles of colonial government. 

CONFESSION OF A FOOL, THE, by August Strindberg. An autobiographical 
novel of which no authorized Swedish edition has ever appeared. Written in French, 
it appeared first in German in 1893. The suffering and the torture which one per- 
sonality can inflict upon another awakens the sympathy of the reader, and explains 
the author's attitude toward women in his writings. The hero's friendship with the 
pretty Baroness Marie began in her husband's home, where he was a welcome guest. 
He comes to adore her, and decides to flee from temptation. He actually embarks on 
a steamer for France, but, unable to endure the loneliness of the voyage and the 
thought of the separation, he returns on the pilot-boat. The baroness wishes to go 
on the stage, and makes this the public excuse for the divorce from her husband. 
After they are married he alternately loves and hates her. He makes several vain 
attempts to escape from the physical obsession she has for him. It is a frank, almost 
pathological description of the struggle which the intellectual man makes to free 
himself from the slavery of passionate love for this worthless woman, who finally 
drives him to madness. The most painful details are given concerning the relation of 
husband and wife. It is not a book which can be recommended to young readers or 
indeed to any whose nerves and intellectual digestion are not unusually strong. 

CONFESSIONS, by Jean Jacques Rousseau. The 'Confessions' of Rousseau were 
written during the six most agitated years of his life, from 1765 to 1770; and his state 
of health at this time, both mental and bodily, may account for some of the pe- 
culiarities of this famous work. The first six books were not published until 1781, and 
the second six not until 1788. According to more than one critic, the 'Confessions,' 
however charming as literature, are to be taken as documentary evidence with great 
reserve. They form practically a complete life of Rousseau from his earliest years, 
in which he discloses not only all his own weaknesses, but the faults of those who had 
been his friends and intimates. In the matter of his many love affairs he is unneces- 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 175 

sarily frank, and his giving not only details but names has been severely condemned. 
The case is all the worse, if, as has been supposed, these love affairs are largely imagi- 
nary. As the first half of the ' Confessions ' is, in the main, a romance with picturesque 
embellishments, the second half has little more foundation in fact, with its undue 
melancholy and its stories of imaginary spies and enemies. In the matter of style, the 
1 Confessions ' leaves little to be desired, in this respect surpassing many of Rousseau's 
earlier works. It abounds in fine descriptions of nature, in pleasing accounts of rural 
life, and in interesting anecdotes of the peasantry. The influence of the ' Confessions, ' 
unlike that of Rousseau's earlier works, was not political nor moral, but literary. He 
may be called from this work the father of French Romantisme. Among those who 
acknowledged his influence were Bernardin de St. Pierre, Chateaubriand, George 
Sand, and the various authors who themselves indulged in confessions of their own, 
like De Musset, Vigny, Hugo, Lamartine, and Madame de Stael, as well as many in 
Germany, England, and other countries. 

CONFESSIONS OF AN ENGLISH OPIUM-EATER, by Thomas De Quincey. 
These Confessions, first published in the London Magazine during 1821, start with 
the plain narrative of how his approach to starvation when a runaway schoolboy, 
wandering about in Wales and afterwards in London, brought on the chronic ailment 
whose relief De Quincey found in opium-eating; and how he at times indulged in the 
drug for its pleasurable effects, "but struggled against this fascinating enthrallment 
with a religious zeal . . . and untwisted, almost to its final links, the accursed chain." 
Then follow nightmare experiences, with a certain Malay who reappeared to trouble 
him from time to time, in the opium dreams; and also with a young woman, Arm, 
whom he had known in his London life. But the story's chief fascination lies in its 
gorgeous and ecstatic visions or experiences of some transcendental sort, while under 
the influence of the drug; the record of Titanic struggles to get free from it, and the 
pathetic details of sufferings that counterbalanced its delights. 

The 'Confessions of an English Opium-Eater' is one of the most brilliant books 
in literature. As an English critic has said, "It is not opium in De Quincey, but De 
Quincey in opium, that wrote the 'Suspiria' and the 'Confessions.' " All the essays 
are filled with the most unexpected inventions, the most gorgeous imagery, and, 
strange to say, with a certain insistent good sense. As a rhetorician De Quincey 
stands unrivaled. 

CONFESSIONS OF SAINT AUGUSTINE, THE. This famous work, written in 397, 
is divided into thirteen books. The first ten contain an account of his life down to 
his mother's death, and give a thrilling picture of the career of a profligate and an 
idolater who was to become a Father of the Church. We have in them the story of 
his childhood, and the evil bent of his nature even then; of his youth and its uncon- 
trollable passions and vices; of his first fall at the age of sixteen, his subsequent 
struggle and relapses, and the untiring efforts of his mother, Saint Monica, to save 
him. Side by side with the pictures he paints of his childhood (the little frivolities 
of which he regards as crimes), and of his wayward youth and manhood, we have his 
variations of belief and his attempts to find an anchor for his faith among the Mani- 
chseans and Neo-Platonists, and in other systems that at first fascinated and then 
repelled him, until the supreme moment of his life arrived, his conversion at the 
age of thirty-two. There are many noble but painful pictures of these inward 
wrestlings, in the eighth and ninth books. The narrative is intermingled with prayers 
(for the Confessions are addressed to God), with meditations and instructions, 



176 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

several of which have entered into the liturgies of every section of the Christian 
Church. The last three books treat of questions that have little connection with the 
life of the author: of the opening chapters of Genesis, of prime matter, and the myster- 
ies of the First Trinity. They arc, in fact, an allegorical explanation of the Mosaic 
account of the Creation. According to St. Augustine, the establishment of his 
Church, and the sanctification of man, is the aim and end God has proposed to himself 
in the creation. 

CONGRESS, TWENTY YEARS OF, see TWENTY YEARS, ETC. 

CONINGSBY, by Benjamin Disraeli, Lord Beaconsfield, published in 1844, when 
Disraeli was thirty-nine years old, was his sixth and most successful novel. In three 
months it had gone through three editions, and 50,000 copies had been sold in England 
and the United States. It was a novel with a purpose: the author himself explained 
that his aim was to elevate the tone of public life, to ascertain the true character of 
political parties, and especially to vindicate the claims of the Tories. Incidentally he 
wished to emphasize the importance of the church in the development of England, 
and he tried to do some justice to the Jews. The story opens in the spring of 1832, 
on frhe very day of the resignation of Lord Grey's ministry. This gives Disraeli a 
good opportunity for a dissertation on the politics of the time, including the call of 
the Duke of Wellington to the ministry. The hero, Coningsby, at this time a lad of 
ten, is visiting his grandfather, the rich and powerful Marquis of Monmouth. The 
latter had disinherited the father of Coningsby for marrying an amiable girl of less 
exalted station than his own. Their orphan son is now entirely dependent on his 
grandfather. Lord Monmouth, though showing little affection for the boy, is gener- 
ous to him. He sends him to Eton and to Cambridge, and has him often visit him 
at his town-house or his Castle. These visits bring the boy in contact with many 
interesting persons, such as the fascinating Sidonia, in whom Disraeli paints his ideal 
Jew; the Princess Colonna, and her stepdaughter Lucretia, whom the Marquis 
marries: the Duke (who has been identified as the Duke of Rutland) ; the subservient 
Rigby (in whom John Wilson Croker is supposed to be portrayed), and a host of 
personages of high degree with imposing titles. There are more than threescore 
characters in the book, and part of its popularity came from people's interest in 
identifying them with men and women prominent in English social and political life. 
Sidonia, the brilliant Jew, is said to be either Disraeli himself or Baron Alfred de 
Rothschild. Lucian Gay is Theodore Hook, and Oswald Millbank is W. E. Glad- 
stone. The Marquis of Monmouth is the Marquis of Hertford, and Coningsby 
himself has been variously regarded as a picture of Lord Littleton, Lord Lincoln, or 
George Smythe. 

Some of the charm of Coningsby has passed away with the waning interest in the 
political events which it describes. Its satire, however, is still keen, particularly that 
directed against the Peers. 

CONISTON, by Winston Churchill (1906). The scene of this story is laid in a 
country town in Vermont called Coniston, at the time of President Jackson's admin- 
istration. The central figure in the book is Jethro Bass, whose political career is 
described in a most detailed and picturesque manner. When a youth, Jethro is 
rough and uncouth, but in spite of his eccentricities there is a hidden strength that 
forces people to respect him. He becomes enamored of a lovely girl named Cynthia 
Ware, the belle of the village, and in spite of his peculiarities she is strongly drawn 
towards him. Jethro becomes interested in politics and places all his influence upon 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 177 

an issue to which Cynthia is greatly opposed. She goes to him and tells him that he 
must choose between her and the issue he has at stake, but he tells her he cannot give 
up his plans, and they part forever. Cynthia marries a man named WethereU and 
has one child, a daughter, who is named for her. Although Cynthia is fond of her 
husband she has never felt the intense love she had for Jethro and she confesses this 
to him before her death, which occurs a few years after her marriage, WethereU, 
poor and broken in health, returns to Coniston with little Cynthia. Jethro, who has 
become the big man of the town and "boss" of the political machine, recognizes 
Cynthia's child and becomes greatly attached to her. He assists WethereU financially, 
and after the latter's death takes Cynthia to live with him. Cynthia loves him 
blindly and trusts him implicitly, never imagining that his dealings are anything 
but the most honorable. At last her eyes are opened and she is grief stricken to find 
her idolized "Uncle Jethro" has gained his power by foul means as well as fair. 
Although she still loves him she leaves his home and goes away to teach school. In 
course of time Cynthia marries Bob Worthington, the son of a wealthy magnate, one 
of her mother's old admirers, and a bitter enemy of Jethro Bass. Mr. Worthington 
is at first bitterly opposed to his son's marriage but is won over by Jethro, who forces 
a compromise through sacrificing a measure for which he has worked untiringly. 

CONNECTICUT YANKEE IN KING ARTHUR'S COURT, A, by "Mark Twain" 
(1889). This humorous tale purports to be that of an American encountered by the 
author when "doing" Warwick Castle. The two meet again in the evening at the 
Warwick inn; then over pipes and Scotch whisky, the stranger explains that he is 
from Hartford, Connecticut, where he used to be superintendent of an arms factory; 
that one day, in a quarrel with one of his men, he lost consciousness from a blow on 
the head with a crowbar; that when he awoke he found himself in England at the 
time of King Arthur, where he was taken captive by a knight, and conveyed to 
Camelot. Here sleep overpowers the narrator, and he goes to bed; first, however, 
committing to the author's hands a manuscript, wherein sitting down by the fire 
again, he reads the rest of the stranger's adventures. The contact of Connecticut 
Yankeedom with Arthurian chivalry gives rise to strange results. England at the 
time of Arthur was a society in which the church "took it out" of the king, the king 
of the noble, and the noble of the freeman; in which "anybody could kill somebody, 
except the commoner and the slave, these had no privileges"; and in which de- 
parture from custom was the one crime that the nation could not commit. Sir 
Lancelot of the Lake, Galahad, Bedivere, Merlin, Guinevere, Arthur himself, etc., 
duly appear; and amidst all the fun and pathos, the courtliness, the sincerity, and the 
stern virtues as well as what seems to us the ridiculousness of the age. 

CONQUEROR, THE; being the true and romantic story of Alexander Hamilton, by 
Gertrude Atherton (1902). The recorded facts of Hamilton's career find their 
historical place in this "dramatized biography." His early life in the West Indies 
is based on family tradition as weU as documentary evidence. The description of the 
hurricane which devastated the beautiful island is a dramatic word picture. At 
seventeen Hamilton's remarkable mind made him a leader among the young patriots 
at King's College who demanded the independence of the American colonies. Wash- 
ington recognized his ability and appealed to his patriotism to give up a military 
career and become his aide and secretary. He married Elizabeth, the charming, 
vivacious daughter of General Schuyler. After the war he studied law, passing his 
bar examination with only three months 1 preparation, a phenomenal achievement. 



178 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

As secretary of the treasury and organizer of the new government his ideas were 
opposed by Jefferson, who in this book is shown in most unfavorable light. The 
unscrupulous Aaron Burr became his enemy, jealous of his success and great charm 
of personality. Mme. Croix, a clever, beautiful Egeria, with a talent for politics, 
drew Hamilton into the circle of public men about her. She loved him and the 
romance was an inspiration which he gave up at his wife's request, thus incurring 
Mme. Croix's tigerish hatred. Challenged by Burr to secret duel, he was wounded 
mortally. Eliza Croix, now Mme. Jumel, came to him the night before the duel to 
tell him that Burr was her deputy, and that neither her hate nor her love had ceased. 
At his death, the bells were tolled until sundown. The city and the people wore 
mourning for a month, the bar for six weeks. A monument erected to him by leading 
citizens bore the inscription, "The patriot of incorruptible integrity, the soldier of 
approved valor, the statesman of consummate wisdom." 

CONQUEST OF CANAAN, THE, by Booth Tarkington (1905). The scene of this 
story is laid in an Indiana town called Canaan, where intolerance and narrow- 
mindedness hold full sway among the inhabitants. The central figure is Joe Louden, 
who begins life under adverse circumstances. His father marries a second wife with 
a son of her own, named Eugene Bantry, whom she idolizes, and in consequence she 
prejudices her husband against his own son and causes him to treat him most unfairly. 
Joe is not even decently clothed and is allowed to run wild, while his stepbrother is 
sent to college and dressed in the latest fashion. Joe falls in with low companions and 
is avoided and disliked by the townspeople, who see only the bad in him. His one 
champion is a girl about his own age named Ariel Tabor, who is poor like himself 
and snubbed by her companions. Ariel's rich uncle dies, making her an heiress, and 
she and ker old grandfather'depart for several years' stay in Paris. Just at this time 
Joe gets himself into trouble and runs away from home. He works his way through 
college and the law school, and becoming a successful lawyer, returns after some years 
to his native town to practise. He is treated rudely and ignored by everybody but 
determines to stay and live down his past. He has always admired Mamie Pike, the 
daughter of Judge Pike, the leading man of the town, but she becomes engaged to his 
stepbrother Eugene, who is a poor specimen of manhood. Ariel returns from Paris a 
dazzling vision of elegance and beauty and takes the town by storm. She discovers 
how shamefully Joe has been treated and begins at once to try to mend matters. 
She gives Joe charge of her affairs, taking her property out of the hands of Judge' 
Pike, who has administered her uncle's estate. Joe finds that the Judge has been 
dishonest, but deals with him leniently in spite of the outrageous treatment he has 
received from him in the past. After Ariel's return Joe appreciates that she is the 
girl he really loves and he not only wins her for his wife, but, re-instated in the opinion 
of his townspeople, is elected mayor of Canaan. 

CONQUEST OF PERU, HISTORY OF THE, by William Hickling Prescott (.847). 
Of the five books into which this admirable work is divided, the first treats of the 
wonderful civilization of the Incas; the second of the discovery of Peru; the third of 
its conquest; the fourth of the civil wars of the conquerors; and the fifth of the settle- 
ment of the country. The first book hardly yields in interest to any of the others, 
describing as it does, on the whole, an unparalleled state of society. In it some of the 
votaries of modern socialism have seen confirmation of the practicability and success- 
ful working of their own theory; but Prescott's verdict of the system is that it was 
"the most oppressive, though the mildest, of despotisms." At least it was more 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 179 

lenient, more refined, and based more upon reason as contrasted with force, than 
was that of the Aztecs. He describes it very fully: the orders of society, the divisions 
of the kingdom, the administration of justice, the revenues, religion, education, 
agriculture, manners, manufactures, architecture, etc. From the necessities of its 
material, the work is more scattered in construction than is the 'History of the 
Conquest of Mexico,' which is usually regarded as the author's most brilliant produc- 
tion. Of the opportunities this afforded, Prescott himself remarks: "The natural 
development of the story ... is precisely what would be prescribed by the severest 
rules of art." The portrait drawn of Pizarro, who is the principal figure in the drama, 
is that of a man brave, energetic, temperate, and though avaricious, extravagant; 
bold in action, yet slow, and at the same time inflexible of resolution; ambitious; 
exceptionally perfidious. An effort is made to counterbalance the tendency to hero- 
worship and picturesque coloring by the occasional insertion of passages of an opposite 
character. 

CONQUETE DE PLASSANS, LA, see ROUGON-MACQTJART. 

CONSCRIPT, THE ('Histoire d'un Consent de 1813'), by Erckmann-Chatrian, was 
published at Paris in four volumes (1868-70). Joseph Bertha, a watchmaker's 
apprentice, aged 20, is in despair when he learns that in spite of his lameness, he 
must shoulder a gun and march against the allies. Hitherto his own little affairs 
have had much more concern for him than the quarrels of kings and powers, and he 
has an instinctive dislike to the spirit of conquest. Still his is a loyal heart, and 
he resists the temptation to desert. After'an affecting farewell to his betrothed, he 
marches to join his regiment, resolved to do his duty. Of the terrific battles of the 
period Joseph relates only what he saw. He does not pretend to be a hero, but he is 
always true to his nature and to human nature in his alternate fits of faint-heartedness 
and warlike fury. He obeys his leaders when they bid him rush to death or glory; 
but he cannot help turning his eyes back, at the same time, to the poor little cottage 
where he has left all his happiness. His artless soul is a battle-field whereon the 
feelings natural to him are in constant conflict with those of his new condition: the 
former prevailing when the miseries of the soldier's life are brought home to him; 
the latter, when he is inflamed by martial ardor. All the narrative, up to the time he 
returns wounded to his family, turns on the contrast between the perpetual mourning 
that is going on in families and the perpetual Te Deums for disastrous victories. This 
is the dominant note; and in the mouth of this obscure victim of war, this thesis, 
interpreted by scenes of daily carnage, is more eloquent and persuasive than if it 
borrowed arguments from history or philosophy. The style is simple, tamiliar; 
perhaps at times even vulgar; but it is never trivial or commonplace, and is always in 
harmony with the speaker. As the work was hostile to the Napoleonic legend, numer- 
ous obstacles were put in the way of its circulation at the time of publication. But, 
notwithstanding, it was scattered in profusion throughout France by means of cheap 
illustrated editions. 

CONSIDERATIONS ON REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT, see REPRESEN- 
TATIVE GOVERNMENT, 

CONSIDERATIONS ON THE GREATNESS AND DECAY OF THE ROMANS, 
see GREATNESS AND DECAY, ETC. 

CONSOLATIONS OF PHILOSOPHY, THE, by Boethius. This work called in 
Latin ' De Consolatione Philosophica 7 was written in prison just before the author 



180 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

v.ns put to death in 525 by Theodoric, whose favorite minister he had been before his 
incarceration. It is divided into five books; and has for its object to prove from 
reason the existence of Providence. A woman of lofty mien appears to the prisoner, 
and tells him she is his guardian, Philosophy, come to console him in his misfortunes 
and point out their remedy. Then ensues a dialogue in which are discussed all the 
questions that have troubled humanity: the origin of evil, God's omniscience, man's 
free will, etc. The 'Consolations' are alternately in prose and verse; a method 
afterwards adopted by many authors in imitation of Boethius, who was himself 
influenced by a work of Martianus Capella entitled 'De Nuptiis Philologise et Mer- 
curii.' Most of the verses are suggested by passages in Seneca, then the greatest 
moral authority in the West, outside of Christianity. The success of the work was as 
immense as it was lasting; and it was translated into Greek, Hebrew, German, French, 
and Anglo-Saxon, at an early period. The Anglo-Saxon version was by Alfred the 
Great; and is the oldest monument of importance in Anglo-Saxon prose. It has been 
imitated by Chaucer in the 'Testament of Love/ by James I. of Scotland in the 
'Kinges Quhair, 1 and by many other distinguished writers. In some sort, it connects 
the period of classic literature with that of the Middle Ages, of which Boethius was 
one of the favorite authors; and in classic purity of style and elevation of thought, is 
fully equal to the works of the philosophers of Greece and Rome, while, at the same 
time, it shows the influence of Christian ideals. "It is," says Gibbon, "a golden 
volume, not unworthy of the leisure of Plato or Tully." 

CONSTABLE, ARCHIBALD, AND HIS LITERARY CORRESPONDENTS, by 

Thomas Constable ( 1 873) . The story of the great Edinburgh publishing house which 
established the Edinburgh Review; became the chief of Scott's publishers; issued, 
with valuable supplementary Dissertations by Dugald Stewart, the fifth edition of 
the 'Encyclopaedia Britannica'; initiated the publication of cheap popular volumes 
of literature, art, and science; and by a bold liberality in payment of authors, with 
remarkable sagacity in judging what would succeed with the public, virtually trans- 
formed the business of publishing. An apprenticeship of six years with Peter Hill, 
Burns's friend, enabled Constable to start as a bookseller, January, 1795. He began 
by publishing theological and political pamphlets for authors, but in 1798 made some 
ventures on his own account. In 1800 he started the Farmer's Magazine as a quar- 
terly. The next year he became proprietor of the Scots Magazine, and in October, 
1802, the first number of the Edinburgh Review appeared. The generous scale of 
payment soon adopted, twenty-five guineas a sheet, startled the trade, and 
greatly contributed to make Constable the foremost among publishers of his day. 
He began with Scott in 1802, a part interest only, but secured entire interest in 1807 
by paying Scott a thousand guineas in advance for 'Marmion,' and the next year one 
thousand five hundred pounds for his edition of Swift's 'Life and Works.' Differ- 
ences arising now separated Scott and Constable until 1813, but in 1814 ' Waverley' 
appeared with Constable's imprint. The financial breakdown of various parties in 
1826 not only overthrew Constable, but involved Scott to the ex f ent of 120,000. 
Constable died July 21, 1827. 

CONSTABLE, JOHN, THE MEMOIR OF, by C. R. Leslie (1845). Leslie, himself 
an artist of note, was qualified to write the biography of John Constable (1776-1837) 
by an intense affection for his subject, qualified by never-failing good taste and dis- 
crimination. He has so skillfully chosen and arranged the letters of Constable that 
the story becomes almost an autobiographical record. The work of Constable as 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS l8l 

revealed in these pages was his combination of the art of portrait-painting with the 
power of reproducing the color of nature. He was the first to seek inspiration in the 
soft, rich colors of ordinary English scenery, " the first," says a writer in the ' Diction- 
ary of National Biography, ' " to suggest so fully not only the sights, but the sounds of 
nature, the gurgle of the water, the rustle of the trees. Other painters have made us 
see nature at a distance or through a window; he alone has planted our feet in her 
midst." His principles of art, formed in early manhood, and faithfully followed 
throughout life, appear in a letter dated May 29, 1802, which Leslie quotes. "There 
is room enough for a natural painter. The great vice of the present day is bravura, 
an attempt to do something beyond the truth. Fashion always had, and will have, 
its day; but truth in all things only will last, and can only have just claims on pos- 
terity." The character of the man who thus took truth, and truth only, as his 
standard was simple, noble, lovable, and blameless. His originality was happily 
described by Blake, who said on seeing one of his sketches, "Why, this is not drawing, 
but inspiration. " 

CONSTANCE TRESCOT, by S. Weir Mitchell (1905). In tb's story the author has 
pictured a woman who could love and hate with equal intensity. Constance Hood is 
a Northern girl who marries a Union officer, named George Trescot, a few years 
after the war, and goes with him to live in the South. Trescot is a fine man, of 
sterling character and high principles, and Constance loves him passionately, though 
she differs from him in many vital points. George is deeply religious while Constance, 
who has been brought up by a rich and skeptical uncle, has never been to church or 
known the comfort of a faith. The removal of the newly married couple to the 
South is something ^hat Trescot objects to at first but he was overruled by Constance 
whose uncle has offered him the opportunity of being his land agent in a Missouri 
town, called St. Ann. This position, as George has surmised, proves to be a difficult 
one and he soon finds himself surrounded by enemies and those who will injure him if 
possible. An important law-suit comes up for trial, the opposing attorney being a 
man of violent nature named John Greyhurst. Trescot wins the suit and his oppo- 
nent filled with rage shoots him as he is leaving the Court House. Constance is 
crushed and heartbroken at the death of her husband but as she recovers her strength 
she is filled with a desire for revenge. After an absence of a year abroad she returns 
to St. Ann prepared to ruin the happiness of her husband's murderer if she can do so, 
as he has been acquitted of the charge of manslaughter and is leading an apparently 
comfortable existence. Constance sends Greyhurst letters showing her husband's 
nobility of character, haunts him by her presence, and interferes with his financial 
schemes. Finally she writes to the girl he is hoping to marry and, stating the facts 
of her husband's death, causes the girl to reject Greyhurst's suit. The latter, whose 
peace of mind has been gradually shattered by Constance's course is driven to 
frenzy by this last act, and seeking her presence, he shoots himself and falls dead at 
her feet. Constance leaves St. Ann never to return, wrecked in health and happiness, 
and without hope for the future. 

CONSTITUTIONAL HISTORY OF ENGLAND, see ENGLAND. 

CONSUELO, by Amandine Lucile Aurore Dudevant (George Sand), published in 
1842, and its sequel 'The Countess of Rudolstadt,' issued the following year, form a 
continuous romantic narrative, of which the first book is the more famous. While 
not the most characteristic novel, perhaps, of the great French authoress, ' Consuelo' 
is the best known to general readers. It is a magnificent romance, kept always 



i82 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

within the bounds of the possible yet exhibiting a wealth of imagination and idyllic 
fancy not always found in conjunction with such restraint. Consuelo, like her 
creator, has in her veins the blood of the people; she has no dowry but a wonderful 
voice, and a noble natural purity that is her defense in all trials and temptations. 
Her childhood is spent in the Venice of the eighteenth century; a golden childhood of 
love and music, and a poverty which means freedom. After a bitter experience of 
deception, she leaves Venice to live in the Castle of Rudolstadt in Bohemia, as 
companion to the Baroness Amelia. One of the household is Count Albert, a melan- 
choly, half-distraught man of noble character, over whom Consuelo establishes a 
mysterious influence of calmness and benignity. 

The interest of the story is now held by certain psychic experiments and experi- 
ences, and it closes as the reader hopes to have it. ' Consuelo ' abounds in picturesque 
and dramatic scenes and incidents, in glowing romance, in the poetry of music and 
the musical life. It retains its place as one of the most fascinating novels of its 
century. 

CONSULATE AND THE EMPIRE OF FRANCE, UNDER NAPOLEON, HISTORY 

OF THE (1799-1815), by Louis Adolphe Thiers. The 'History of the Consulate 
and Empire ' fills twenty octavo volumes, and was published in installments between 
1845 and 1862. Written from an imperialistic point of view, it met with unusual 
success in France. It was crowned by the Academy, and Thiers was given the title 
of "national historian." The French found in it their own enthusiastic admiration 
for success, and their own prejudices. Thiers has little regard for the morality of 
actions: "You have failed, therefore you are wrong," seems to be his maxim. He 
rejoices in the establishment of absolutism and the suppression of liberty; nor does 
he see, beyond the glory of a victorious campaign, the excesses of warfare. 

Literature, philosophy, and art do not attract him; in the twenty volumes, he 
devotes but a scant half-dozen pages to such subjects. He imagines that the Con- 
sulate realized the ideal of a perfect government, and that the misfortunes of the 
Empire would have been avoided had Napoleon continued the tradition of the earlier 
time. It is evident, however, that the later policy was but the development of the 
earlier. Though admiring every act of unrestrained ambition on the part of his hero, 
Thiers deplores its consequences. At first the Continental system is Napoleon's 
gigantic plan to conquer England on the sea; later Thiers recognizes that Napoleon's 
own ports were the chief victims of the designed conquest. His inaccuracy as a 
historian is shown in his treatment of English affairs. He consulted no authentic 
document in the English language; and in his chapter on the Continental System, he 
says that England's violation of international law by "paper" blockades in 1806 
furnished Napoleon with just pretext for issuing the Berlin and Milan Decrees, 
the exact opposite of the facts in the case. Thiers is proud of his knowledge of mili- 
tary tactics, and likes to explain how defeat might have been avoided; but even his 
descriptions of battles are inexact, as Charras in his 'History of the Campaign of 
1815' points out. His style is easy; its prolixity, however, frequently deprives it of 
clearness and force, by requiring a whole volume to describe a military action which 
might have been more vividly presented in a few pages. 

CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN OPINION OF THE FRENCH REVOLUTION, by 

Charles Downer Hazen (1897). An extra volume in the Johns Hopkins University 
Studies in Historical and Political Science, a volume of three hundred pages, rich 
in interest to the student of American history. The first part of the work is devoted 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 183 

to the opinion of the French Revolution formed by Americans who were in France 
at the time. These were Thomas Jefferson, Gouverneur Morris, and James Monroe, 
Jefferson and Morris were eye-witnesses, who held themselves aloof from the conflict 
about them, and reported upon it as judicial and clear-sighted spectators. These two 
tell a continuous story from 1784 to 1794, with a change from Jefferson to Morris in 
1789. Then comes Monroe, from August, 1794 ^ October, 1795. 

The second part of the work gathers from a variety of sources the opinions of the 
Revolution which Americans at home formed, the Republicans on one side and the 
Federalists on the other. These opinions had much to do with American politics 
for a considerable time, and altogether they form an interesting chapter in our 
national life. 

CONVENTIONAL LIES OF OUR CIVILIZATION, by Max Nordau. Max Nordau 
was twenty-nine years old, when in 1878 he began to publish the results of his ex- 
tensive travels and his observations of life. 'Conventional Lies/ his first real study 
of social pathology, was issued in 1883, and in ten years passed through fifteen edi- 
tions, in spite of the fact that by imperial mandate it was suppressed in Austria on i^s 
first appearance, and later in Prussia. The author, in his preface to the sixth edition, 
warns people not to buy his book in the belief that from its suppression it contains 
scandalous things. "I do not attack persons, either high or low, but ideas." The 
book, he had asserted in an earlier edition, is a faithful presentation of the views 
of the majority of educated, cultivated people of the present day. Cowardice, he 
thinks, prevents them from bringing their outward lives into harmony with their 
inward convictions, and they believe it to be worldly policy to cling to relics of former 
ages when at heart they are completely severed from them. The Lie of Religion, 
of Monarchy and Aristocracy, the Political, Economic, and Matrimonial Lies, are 
those which Nordau chiefly attacks. 

It is form, however, not substance, which he usually criticizes; as in the case of 
religion, where he says that by religion he does not mean the belief in supernatural 
abstract powers, which is usually sincere, but the slavery to forms, which is a physical 
relic of the childhood of the human race. 

"Very seldom," he says, in discussing monarchy, "do we find a prince who is 
what would be called in every-day life a capable man; and only once in centuries 
does a dynasty produce a man of commanding genius." In the case of matrimony his 
plea is directed not against the institution, but in favor of love in marriage, as dis- 
tinguished from the marriage of convenience. Nordau's judgments are often based 
on insufficient foundation ; and he is inclined to be too dogmatic. Yet he is not wholly 
an iconoclast; and he believes that out of the existing egotism and insincerity, 
humanity will develop an altruism built on perpetual good-fellowship. 

COOK, CAPTAIN, see VOYAGES OF. 

CO-OPERATIVE WHOLESALE SOCIETY, see STORY OF THE C. W. S. 

CORINNE; or, ITALY, by Madame de Stael. Corinne's story is quite secondary, 
in the author's intention, to her characterization of Italy, but it runs thus: Oswald, 
Lord Nelvil, an Englishman, while traveling in Italy, meets Corinne, artist, poet, and 
musician, with a mysterious past. Their friendship ripens into love; but Oswald 
tells Corinne that his dying father desired him to marry Lucile, the daughter of Lord 
Edgermond. Corinne then discloses that her mother, an Italian, was the first wife 
of Lord Edgermond; and that after her mother's death and her father's second 



184 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

marriage, her life had been made so unhappy by her stepmother that she had returned 
to Italy, where she had been for eight years when Oswald arrived. He goes back to 
England, with the intention of restoring to Corinne her fortune and title; and there 
meets Lucile, and learns that his father had really wished him to marry Lord Edger- 
mond's elder daughter, but had distrusted Corinne because of her religion and Italian 
training. And now the too facile Oswald falls in love with Lucile. Corinne, who has 
secretly followed him, sends him his ring and his release. Believing that Corinne 
knows nothing of his change of feelings, but has set him free of her own desire, he 
marries Lucile. Five years later, Oswald and Lucile \isit Florence, where Corinne 
is still living, but in the last stages of a decline which began when Oswald broke her 
heart by marrying. The sisters are reconciled, but Oswald sees Corinne only as she 
is dying. 

In Corinne and Lucile, the author has endeavored to represent the ideal women 
of two nations; the qualities which make Corinne the idol of Italians, however, repel 
the unemotional Englishman. But besides its romantic and sentimental interest, 
in its treatment of literature and art it has always been considered authoritative. 
It served indeed for many years as a guide-book for travelers in Italy, though modern 
discoveries have somewhat impugned its sufficiency. When it first appeared in 1807, 
its success was instantaneous: and Napoleon, who detested the author, was so much 
chagrined that he himself wrote an unfavorable criticism which appeared in the 
Moniteur. 

CORIOLANUS, a powerful drama of Shakespeare's later years (written about 1609)., 
retells from North's ' Plutarch,' in terse sinewy English, the fate that overtook the 
too haughty pride of a Roman patrician, generous, brave, filial, but a mere boy in 
discretion, his soul a dynamo always overcharged with a voltage current of scorn 
and rage, and playing out its live lightnings on the least provocation. See his fierce 
temper reflected in his little boy, grinding his teeth as he tears a butterfly to pieces: 
"Oh, I warrant how he mammocked it!" Mark his strength: "Death, that dark 
spirit, in's nervy arm doth lie." "What an arm he has! he turned me about with his 
finger and thumb as one would set up a top." In battle "he was a thing of blood, 
whose every motion was timed with dying cries." In the Volscian war, at the gates 
of Corioli, this Caius Marcius performed such deeds of derring-do that he was nigh 
worshiped; and there he got his addition of 'Coriolanus.' His scorn of the rabble, 
their cowardice, vacillation, dirty faces, and uncleaned teeth, was boundless. The 
patricians were with him: if the plebeians rose in riot, accusing the senatorial party 
of "still cupboarding the viand," but never bearing labor like the rest, Menenius 
could put them down with the apologue of the belly and the members, the belly, 
like the Senate, indeed receiving all, but only to distribute it to the rest. Coriolanus 
goes further, and angers the tribunes by roundly denying the right of the cowardly 
plebs to a distribution of grain in time of scarcity. The tribunes stir up the people 
against him; and when he returns from the war, wearing the oaken garland and 
covered with wounds, and seeks the consulship, they successfully tempt his temper 
by taunts, accuse him of treason, and get him banished by decree. In a towering 
rage he cries, "You common cry of curs, I banish you!" and taking an affecting 
farewell of his wife, and of Volumnia his mother (type of the stern and proud Roman 
matron), he goes disguised to Antium and offers his services against Rome to his 
hitherto mortal foe and rival, Tullus Aufidius. The scene with the servants forms the 
sole piece of humor in the play. But his success leads to his ruin; his old stiff-necked 
arrogance of manner again appears. The eyes of all the admiring Volscians are on 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 185 

him. Aufidius, now bitterly jealous, regrets his sharing of the command; and when, 
softened by the entreaties of weeping wife and mother, Coriolanus spares Rome and 
returns with the Volscians to Antium, his rival and a band of conspirators "stain all 
their edges" in his blood, and he falls, like the great Julius, the victim of his own 
willful spirit. 

COKLEONE, by F. Marion Crawford, published in 1897, is the fourth in the 'Sara- 
cinesca ' series of modern Italian stories. The scene is mainly in Sicily. The leading 
character is Don Orsino, son of Giovanni Saracinesca and hero of 'Sant' Ilario. 1 The 
novel takes its title from the fact that Vittoria, the Sicilian hero, is of the Corleone 
race. The spirited scenes in which the Sicilian peasantry and bandits are leagued 
against the intruding Romans; the handling of the passions of love, hate, jealousy, 
and revenge; and the subsidiary scenes of Roman society life in which the Saracinesca 
move and have their being, afford Mr. Crawford opportunity for characteristic work. 
As a study of Sicilian character the book is also valuable. 

CORTES, HERNANDO, LIFE OF, by Sir Arthur Helps, English historian and 
essayist, was published in 1871, being dedicated to Thomas Carlyle. It is a clear, 
simple, scholarly account of the picturesque conquest of Mexico a conquest by a 
gallant gentleman and warrior, who was no better than his age. The author seeks 
neither to extenuate nor to conceal the doubtful qualities in the character of Cortez, 
but accepts him in the impersonal spirit of the historian. 

COSMIC PHILOSOPHY, OUTLINES OF, by John Fiske (1875). In these two 
. small volumes, one of the most eminent of modern thinkers presents the philosophic 
and scientific doctrines of Herbert Spencer, developed into a complete theory of the 
universe. Added to the outline of the evolutionary philosophy, as represented by 
Spencer, is a body of original speculation and criticism set forth with immense 
learning and ingenuity, and in a style which is a model of clearness and force. Most 
of Fiske's first volume is taken up with the Prolegomena, in which are expounded 
the fundamental principles of Cosmism. The second volume comprises the Synthe- 
sis, containing the laws of life, of mind, and of society. Life of every kind is shown 
to consist in a process of change within meeting change without; and this process 
applies alike to the lowest rudimentary organism struggling against a hostile environ- 
ment, and to the highest creature making use of those slowly evolved adaptations 
which enable it to overcome opposing conditions. Mind is an immaterial process 
similar in character, but more complex and more efficient. No true Cosmist will 
affect to know at what precise point the process becomes so complex as to deserve 
the name of mind. Though the extremes seem to have nothing in common, the chain 
of means has no break, and the real difference is of degree and not of kind. A like 
process is seen in the growth of society, from the homogeneousness of the primitive 
family to the heterogeneousness of the nation. Thus it appears that the method and 
the significance of all changes may be defined in the one word adaptation. Organic 
existence begins at some indefinitely remote point in inorganic existence; life must 
somewhere be foreshadowed in simple chemical activity. In short, the essayist's 
definition of the Cosmic theory is as follows: "Life including also intelligence as 
the highest known manifestation of life is the continuous establishment of rela- 
tions within the organism in correspondence with relations existing or arising in the 
environment"; and his statement of the Cosmic law of social progress is this: 

"The evolution of society is a continuous establishment of psychical relations 
within the community, in conformity to physical and psychical relations arising iu 



1 86 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

the environment; during which both the community and the environment pass from 
SL state of relatively indefinite incoherent homogeneity, to a state of relatively definite 
coherent heterogeneity; and during which the constituent units of the community 
become ever more distinctly individuated." 

Fiske obtains his generalizations by means of broad historical researches, 
and his great knowledge and aptness of illustration constantly enrich his pages. In 
the final chapters he sets forth the Cosmic religion, which, as he interprets it, seems 
to be an attitude of awe and submission to the Unknowable. 

COSMOPOLIS, by Paul Bourget (1892). This novel is written to demonstrate the 
influence of heredity. The scene is a*; Rome, but a glance at the principal characters 
shows the fitness of the title. 

Countess Steno is a descendant of the Doges. Bolislas Gorka shows the nervous 
irritability and facile conscience of the Slav; his wife is English. Lincoln Maitland 
is an American artist, whose wife has a drop of African blood. The clever Dorsenne 
is French. From the alien ambitions and the selfish intrigues of these persons the 
story arises. It is most disagreeable in essence, but subtle in analysis, dramatic in 
quality, and brilliant in execution. 

COSSACK FAIRY TALES. This collection of folk-lore was selected, edited, and 
translated from the Ruthenian by R. Nisbet Bain, and published in 1894. The 
Ruthenian or Cossack language, though proscribed by the Russian government, is 
spoken by more than twenty million people. There are in the original three im- 
portant collections of folk-tales, from which Mr. Bain has made a representative 
selection for translation. There are, Slavonic scholars maintain, certain elements 
in these stories found in the folklore of no other European people. Among these maj 
te mentioned the magic handkerchief, which causes a bridge across the sea to appear 
before a fugitive, or a forest to spring up in his rear delaying his pursuer. There is 
the magic egg, which produces a herd of cattle when broken; and the magic whip, 
which can expel evil spirits* Many elements and episodes common to other myth- 
ologies are found, however. There are, for example, Cossack versions of Cinderella 
and the woman who took her pig to market. One tale of a Tsar expelled by an angel 
is an almost literal rendering of King Robert of Sicily, with Cossack coloring. There 
is a Samson-like hero, who reveals the secret of his strength; and an episode of a man 
in a fish's belly, which resembles Hiawatha and the sturgeon rather than Jonah and 
the whale. 

The serpent figures prominently in these stories; and is generally, though by no 
means invariably, malign, and always represents superior intellectual power. The 
women are frequently ij-eacherous, especially when beguiled by the serpent; but it is 
interesting to notice the number of men who cannot keep a secret. The lower animals 
are always friendly to man, and frequently assist him in performing difficult tasks. 
The whole tenor of the stories is charmingly naive and inconsequent; among the 
vampires and magic fires it is somewhat startling to encounter guns and passports. 
The style is simple and poetic, especially in 'The Little Tsar Novishny,' perhaps the 
prettiest and most characteristic story of all. 

COSSACKS, THE, by Tolstoy (1852). This Russian romance is a series of pictur- 
esque studies on the life of the Cossacks of the Terek, rather than a romance. The 
slight love story that runs through it simply serves as an excuse for the author's 
graphic descriptions of strange scenes and strange peoples. The hero, Olenin, is a 
ruined young noble, who, to escape his creditors and begin a new life, enters a sotnia 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 187 

of Cossacks as ensign. One fine night he leaves Moscow; and at the first station 
on his way, he begins already to dream of battles, glory, and of some divinely beautiful 
but half -savage maiden, whom he will tame and polish. His arrival at the camp of his 
regiment on the Terek gives occasion for a fascinating and most realistic picture of 
the wild races he meets so suddenly. The young ensign falls in at once with his half- 
savage maiden, a tall, statuesque girl, with red lips, a rose-colored undergarment, and 
a blue jacket, who looks back at him with a frightened air as she runs after the buffalo 
she is trying to milk. As he is lodging with her parents, he sets about taming her 
immediately. But he has a rival, young Lukashka, whose threadbare kaftan and 
bearskin shako had long before captivated the fair Marianka. The love affairs of the 
rivals, whom she treats impartially, although she has already made up her mind, 
go on in the midst of hunting, ambuscade, and battle, which are the real subjects cf 
the book. At last Olenin discovers that he is too civilized for Marianka. "Ah!"" 
he says to himself, "if I were a Cossack like Lukashka, got drunk, stole horses, 
assassinated now and then for a little change, she would understand me, and I should 
be happy. But the cruelty and the sweetness of it is that I understand her and she 
will never understand me." The young Cossack is wounded in battle; and the 
linsign, not displaying much emotion at this calamity, receives a look from Marianka 
that tells him his company is no longer desirable: so he decides to exchange into an- 
other sotnia. Tolstoy's pictures of the rough life of the Cossacks have a wonderful 
charm. The story is particularly interesting as showing the first germs of the altru- 
istic philosophy which Tolstoy later developed into a cult of self-renunciation. 

COTTON KINGDOM, THE, by Frederick Law Olmsted. These two volumes of 
"a traveler's observations on cotton and slavery'* were published in 1861, being 
compiled from three previous works on the same subject, which had originally 
appeared as letters to the New York Times, between 1856 and 1860. The book, 
written with especial reference to English readers, was dedicated to John Stuart Mill. 
It is intended for the class of persons that would consider 'Uncle Tom's Cabin' 
overdrawn a*^d hysterical, and deals exclusively with facts. Authorities are cited, 
government reports quoted, names and places specified; everything is done to make 
the work convincing. 

Though the author began his observations in a fair and judicial spirit, he was 
everywhere impressed with the disadvantages of slavery. Even in States like Vir- 
ginia, where slaves were generally well treated, the economic evils were great, while 
farther south things were much worse. The slaveholding proprietors experienced 
so much difficulty in managing their estates that they had no energy for public 
affairs. There were no good roads, and no community life existed. Though the 
railroad and steamboat had been introduced, they were operated in a primitive and 
desultory fashion, mails were irregular, and mtercornmunication was uncertain and 
precarious. Slave labor, of course, made free labor tinremunerative and despised, 
and the poor white lived from hand to mouth on the brink of pauperism. In the 
cotton States the large plantations were worked with profit, but the small ones 
frequently failed to pay expenses. In every instance the cost of maintaining and 
managing the negroes was so great, and their labor so forced and reluctant, that 
much better results could have been obtained from free labor. In fact, had there 
been no other question involved, its monstrous wastefulness would have condemned 
slavery. But the moral evils were incalculably great. The slave was reduced, 
virtually, to the level of the brute, and all efforts to raise him morally and intellec- 
tually were regarded as unsafe and revolutionary He lost the good qualities of 



1 88 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

barbarism, and gained the vices of civilization, and was deliberately made as helpless 
as possible. The degradation of the master was even more deplorable. His sensi- 
bilities were blunted by the daily spectacle of brutality, his moral fibre was loosened, 
and there was no incentive to self-control, since he was subject to no law save his 
own capricious will. 

Not only was this book of value at the time of its publication, but it is useful at 
the present day. It explains how the curse of slavery retarded the industrial de- 
velopment of the South; and by showing the condition of master and negro before 
the emancipation, it affords a better comprehension of the grave problems that 
confront America to-day. 

COUNT FRONTENAC AND NEW FRANCE UNDER LOUIS XIV., see FRANCE 
AND ENGLAND IN NORTH AMERICA. 

COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO, THE, by Alexandre Dumas (1844), is the only novel 
of modern times which the great romancer has written; and it is so widely known that 
"the treasure of Monte Cristo" has passed into a proverb. The story opens in 
Marseilles, in the year 1815, just before the "Hundred Days." Young Edward 
Dantes, the hero, mate of the merchant ship Pharaon, is about to be made her cap- 
tain and marry his sweetheart, the lovely Catalan Mercedes, when his disappointed 
rivals, one of whom wants the ship and the other the girl, conspire against him, and 
lodge information with the "Procurateur du Roi" that Dantes is a dangerous Bona- 
partist, and is carrying letters from the Emperor, exiled in Elba, to his supporters. 
Although there is circumstantial evidence against him, the magistrate knows Dantes 
to be innocent; but he has reasons of his own for wanting him out of the way. He 
sends him to the gloomy Chateau of If, a fortress built on a rocky ledge in the sea, 
where he suffers an unmerited captivity of nearly twenty years. He escapes at 
length in a miraculous manner, with the knowledge, confided to him by a supposed 
madman, a fellow prisoner, of an enormous treasure hidden on the barren Island of 
Monte Cristo, off the Italian coast. Dante's discovers the treasure, and starts out 
anew in life, to dazzle the world as the mysterious Count of Monte Cristo, with the 
one fixed purpose of avenging himself on his persecutors, all of whom have risen high 
in the world to wealth and honors. He becomes a private Nemesis for the destruc- 
tion of the rich banker, the honored general, and the distinguished magistrate, each 
of whom his tireless, relentless hand brings low. The first half of the book is a story 
of romantic and exciting adventure; the second is in a different key, sombre and 
unlovely, and not likely to convince anyone that revenge is sweet. But the splendid 
imagination of Dumas transfigures the whole, its intensity persuades the reader that 
the impossible is the actual, and its rush and impetuosity sweep him breathless to the 
end. 

COUNT ROBERT OF PARIS, by Sir Walter Scott. The scene is laid in Constan- 
tinople during the reign of Alexius Comnenus (1080-1118). The hero is a French 
nobleman who with his wife, Brenhilda, has gene on the first Crusade (1096-99). 
While dining at the palace they are separated by the Emperor's treachery, and the 
Count is thrown into prison, from which he releases himself with the assistance of 
the Varangian Hereward the Saxon. Brenhilda, in the meanwhile, is exposed to the 
unwelcome attentions of the Emperor's son-in-law, Nicephorus Briennius, whom she 
challenges to combat. When the time for the duel comes, Count Robert appears 
himself; in the absence of Briennius Hereward engages him and is overcome, but 
bis life is spared in return for his past services. While the interest is centred in the 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 185 

fortunes of the hero and Hereward, these are closely connected with the conspiracy 
of the false philosopher Agelastes, Briennius, and Achilles Tatius, the commandei 
of the Varangian Guard, to dethrone the Emperor. The plot is exposed by Hereward, 
who refuses all rewards, and joins Count Robert and Brenhilda, in whose maid he has 
discovered his old Saxon love Bertha. Other characters introduced are Anna Com- 
nena, daughter of Alexius and author of the Alexiad; the Patriarch of the Greek 
Church; Ursel, a former conspirator; Godfrey of Bouillon, and other leaders of 
the Crusade. Many historical facts are altered for artistic effect. At the time of the 
story Anna was only fourteen instead of over thirty, and was not the heiress to the 
throne. The conspiracy anticipates her later attempt to overthrow her brother 
John, and substitute her husband. The most striking scene is the swearing allegiance 
by the Crusaders to the Emperor as overlord, in which Count Robert defiantly seats 
himself on the throne with his dog at his feet. The story was, with 'Castle Danger- 
ous,' the last of the Waverley novels, having appeared in 1831, the year before the 
author's death. 

COUNTESS JULIE, see MISS JULIA. 

COUNTESS OF RUDOLSTADT, THE, see CONSUELO. 

COUNTRY DOCTOR, THE ('Le Me*decin de Campagne 1 ), by Honore* de Balzac, 
belongs to the series known as 'Scenes from Country Life'; a part of his great cycle 
of fiction, 'The Comedy of Human Life.' It appeared in French in 1833, and in the 
standard English translation by Miss Wormeley in 1887. It is e of Balzac's noblest 
pieces of fiction, presenting beautiful traits of human nature with sympathy and 
power. The scene is laid in a village near Grenoble in France, and the story begins 
with the year 1829. To this village comes Genestas, a noble old soldier who adores 
Napoleon, and believes in the certainty of his return to save France. Under the 
assumed name of Captain Bluteau, he rests from his wounds, and is cared for by Dr. 
Benassis, the country doctor, the central character, and a remarkable study of the 
true physician. He is a sort of Father Bountiful in Grenoble. He treats the poor 
peasants without pay, and dislikes taking money except from the rich. He teaches 
the peasantry how to improve their land, introduces methods of work which make for 
prosperity, suggests new industries, and effects a great change for the bett er in the 
neighborhood; so that in ten years the population is tripled, and comfort and happi- 
ness are substituted for poverty and misery. The Doctor lives in an attractive old 
house with two servants, one of whom, Jacquotte, the cook, a scolding, faithful, 
executive, and skillful woman, proud of her culinary ability and devoted to Benassis's 
interest, is one of the most enjoyable personages in the story. The incidents of the 
plot have their explanation in the events of a preceding generation. The novel as a 
whole is one of the simplest of Balzac's, free from over-analysis of character and 
motive. 

COUNTRY HOUSE, THE, by John Galsworthy (1907). On a visit to the paternal ; 
seat of Worsted Skeynes, young George Pendyce falls in love with Helen Bellew, a 
pretty woman who is separated from her husband, but not divorced. When George 
returns to London he spends most of his time with the fascinating Mrs. Bellew. 
Unexpected complications arise from the love affair. Mr. Gregory Vigil, Mrs* 
Bellew's guardian and fond admirer, pitying her for her uncomfortable position in 
society, and knowing nothing of her affair with George, decides that she must secure a 
divorce from Captain Bellew. Vigil is much discouraged to hear from a lawyer that ! 



190 THE READER S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

until Captain Bellew gives his wife cause, there can be no divorce. Finally he de- 
cides to hire detectives and waits news of Captain Belle w's misdemeanors. Rumor 
of the intended suit reaches Captain Bellew. Knowing his wife's close acquaintance 
with young Pendyce, he writes to George's father, Squire Pendyce, that unless his son 
George breaks with Mrs. Bellew, he will be named as corespondent in the divorce 
suit, Bellew vs. Bellew and Pendyce. George absolutely refuses to give up Mrs. 
Bellew. The Squire is so angry that he revises his will, leaving George only the estate. 
While her husband the Squire is working off his feelings in bluster, quiet Mrs. Pen- 
dyce suffers keenly because of her son's entanglement. Unable to stay away from 
her boy, she defies the Squire and goes up to London to comfort George, whom she 
pictures as bowecl to the earth by his parent's anger. To her dismay she finds George 
annoyed at her visit and in deep trouble over racing debts. What troubles him most, 
however, is that Helen Bellew has thrown him over. Mrs. Pendyce stays with George 
through the first desperate stage of disappointed love in which he threatens to kill 
himself and then returns to Worsted Skeynes. With deep humiliation she goes to 
tell Captain Bellew that his wife has tired of her poor boy. Dressed in her best frock 
of dove-gray, she crosses the fields to the Bellew place. Captain Bellew shelters her 
from a thunderstorm, and touched by her distress, agrees to withdraw the divorce 
suit and save George's reputation. Mrs. Pendyce comes home very happy, her 
ambition for George's career kindled afresh, and something like forgiveness in her 
heart for Mrs. Bellew. 

COUNTRY LIVING AND COUNTRY THINKING (1862), by Gail Hamilton (Mary 
Abigail Dodge, born in Hamilton, Massachusetts), contains a dozen or more essays 
on all sorts of subjects, from flower-beds to marriage. They are written in an easy 
conversational style, full of fun and pungent humor, though earnest and even fiery 
at times. The author, always witty and whimsical, talks laughingly of the sorrows of 
gardening, the trials of moving, or whatever other occupation is engaging her for the 
moment, but with such brilliancy and originality that the topic takes on a new aspect. 
A keen vision for sham and pretense of any sort, however venerable, distinguishes her, 
and she is not afraid to fire a shot at any enthroned humbug. Her brightness conceals 
great earnestness of purpose, and it is impossible not to admire the sound and whole- 
some quality of her discourse. 

COUNTRY OF THE POINTED FIRS, THE, by Sarah Orne Jewett (1896). Like 
her other works, it is a study of New England character, subtle, delicate, temperate, 
a revelation of an artist's mind as well as of people and things. 

The homely heroine is Mrs. Todd, living at Dunnet Landing, on the eastern sea- 
coast of Maine, a dispenser to the village-folk of herb medicines made from herbs in 
her little garden. "The sea-breezes blew into the low end- window of the house, 
laden with not only sweet-brier and sweet-mary, but balm and sage and borage and 
mint, wormwood and southernwood. " Mrs. Todd's summer-boarder (Miss Jewett 
herself, no doubt) tells the story of her sojourn in the sweet, wholesome house, of her 
many excursions with her hostess, now to a family reunion, now to visit Mrs. Todd's 
mother on Green Island, now far afield to gather rare herbs. The fisher folk, the 
farm folk, and the village folk are depicted with the author's unique skill, living and 
warm through her sympathetic intuition. The book is fresh and clean with sea-air 
and the scent of herbs. Its charm is that of nature itself. 

COURTIER, see BOOK OF THE COURTIER. 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 191 

COUSIN PONS, by HonorS de Balzac. 'Cousin Pons, 1 written in 1847, belongs to 
Balzac's series of 'Scenes from Parisian Life, ' In it he intended to portray "a poor 
and simple-minded man, an old man, crushed by humiliations and insults, forgiving 
all and revenging himself only by benefits." The hero is Sylvain Pons, a simple- 
hearted old musician who has seen his best days professionally, whom his purse-proud 
cousins the Marvilles, wearying of his visits, slight and insult. The vicissitudes of 
the poor fellow make the story. Greed and cunning, in all grades of society, receive 
their due celebration. The Marvilles, the titled Popinots, the theatre director Gaud- 
issard, the various lawyers, the Jewish picture dealers, down to the very lodging-house 
keepers, all are leagued against the one simple-hearted man and triumph at last. 
It is interesting to know that Cousin Pons's great collection, as described in the story, 
was actually Balzac's own, which M. Champfleury visited in 1848, and which, al- 
though seen for the first time, seemed strangely familiar to him until "the truth 
flashed upon me. I was in the gallery of Cousin Pons. Here were Cousin Pons's 
pictures, Cousin Pons's curios. I knew them now." The American translation is 
by Katherine Prescott Wormeley. 

COUSINE BETTE, by Honore* de Balzac (1846). This powerful story is a vivid 
picture of the tastes and vices of Parisian life in the middle of last century. Lisbeth 
Fischer, commonly called Cousin Bette, is an eccentric poor relation, a worker in 
gold and silver lace. The keynote of her character is jealousy, the special object 
of it her beautiful and noble-minded cousin Adeline, wife of Baron Hector Hulot. 
The chief interest of the story lies in the development of her character, of that of the 
unscrupulous beauty Madame Marneffe, and of the base and empty voluptuary 
Hulot. 'Les Parentes Pauvres/ including both 'Cousine Bette ' and 'Cousin 
Pons, ' are the last volumes of ' Scenes de la Vie Parisienne. ' Gloomy and despairing, 
they are yet terribly powerful. 

COVENTRY PLAYS, THE. Four complete sets of ancient English Mysteries, 
or Miracle Plays, have descended to modern times: the "Chester," the "Towneley, " 
the "York, "and the "Coventry "from these we derive nearly all our knowledge of 
the oarly English drama. Coventry was formerly famous for the performance of its 
Corpus Christi plays by the Gray Friars. These plays contained the story of the 
New Testament, composed in Old English rhythm. The earliest record of their 
performance is in 1392, the latest in 1589. There are 42 of these Coventry plays, 
published in a volume by the Shakspere Society in 1841, under such titles as 'The 
Creation,' ' The Fall of Man, ' 'Noah's Flood,' 'The Birth of Christ,' 'Adoration 
of the Magi,' 'Last Supper/ 'The Pilgrim of Emmatis/ 'The Resurrection/ 'The 
Ascension/ 'Doomsday/ The modern reader will require a glossary for the pro- 
per understanding of these queer old plays, written in early English. 

CRANFORD, by Mrs. Gaskell. Cranford is a village in England (identified as Knuts- 
ford); and the story of the quaint old ladies there who scorned the "vulgarity of 
wealth" and practiced "elegant economy" is told by Mary Smith, a sympathetic 
and discerning young person from the neighboring town of Drumble. During her 
first visits in the village stately Miss Deborah Jenkyns is alive; but afterwards she 
dies, leaving her gentle sister Miss Matty to battle with life and its problems alone. 
Miss Matty lives comfortably, and is able to entertain her friends in a genteel way, 
until the bank fails, and then she is obliged to keep a little shop and sell tea. In the 
end her long-lost brother Peter comes home from India with money enough to enable 
her to live as becomes a rector's daughter. The other characters are great-hearted 



192 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

Captain Brown, who is killed by the train while saving a child's life; Mr. Holbrook, 
Miss Matty's old lover; the Honorable Mrs. Jamieson and her sister-in-law Lady 
Glenmire, who afterwards marries Mr. Hoggins the 'doctor; Miss Betty Barker and 
her cow, famous for its suit of gray flannel; Miss Pole and Mrs. Forrester. Some of 
the chapters in ' Cranf ord ' tell of old love affairs and old letters, and others of the 
society and various incidents of village life. It holds its place as one of the best 
stories of its kind. Mrs. Gaskell was born in 1810; and ' Cranf ord ' was first published 
in 1853. 

CREATION, HISTORY OF (Naturliche Schopfungs-Geschichte), by Ernst Heinrich 
Haeckel (1868). A brilliantly written exposition of evolution theories in their most 
extreme form, of which Darwin said, " If this work had appeared before my essay 
had been written, I should probably never have completed it. " The acceptance of 
the work is shown by eight editions of the German original within ten years, and 
translation into twelve languages. Haeckel's * Evolution of Man, ' the English trans- 
lation of his 'Anthropogenic' (1874), is another widely popular exposition of his ex- 
treme tendencies in science. The immense labor which Haeckel performed in his 
monumental five-volume contribution to the Challenger Reports, and his lucid and 
brilliant 'Generate Morphologic, ' have placed him in the highest rank of living 
naturalists. He is especially unsurpassed among naturalists in his mastery of artistic 
execution. See Critical Essay in LIBRARY. 

CREATION, THE STORY OF: 'A Plain Account of Evolution/ by Edward Clodd 
(1888-89). An instructive study of what evolution means, and how it is supposed to 
have operated in the upward development from the lowest level of the two kingdoms 
of living things, animals and plants. The book is especially adapted to popular 
reading. In another work of the same general character, 'The Childhood of the 
World: A Simple Account of Man in Early Times' (1873), Mr. Clodd has in a most 
interesting manner dealt with the latest stage of the evolutionary creation, showing 
how the theory is supposed to explain the origin and early history of the human species. 
A third volume, on the same plan of popular exposition, 'The Childhood of Religions,' 
(1875), covers the ground of the earliest development of man in a spiritual direction, 
and especially explains the first origin and the growth of myths and legends. 

CREATIVE EVOLUTION (' L'Evolution cr^atrice '), a philosophical treatise by Henri 
Bergson, published in 1907 and in an English translation by Arthur Mitchell in 1911. 
Rejecting monism both idealistic and materialistic, the writer conceives of the uni- 
verse as neither all spirit nor all matter but as an eternal process, a becoming, which 
preserves the past and creates the future. The world is not fixed but eternally mov- 
ing, creating, evolving. Time as we ordinarily conceive it is a mere figment of our 
minds, borrowed from the idea of juxtaposition in space. Actual time is eternally 
present time. This conception solves the antinomies of instinct and intelligence, 
matter and spirit, freedom and determinism. Instead of being bound in iron fetters 
of necessity, the universe is ever moving forward, ever evolving in free, creative 
activity. A full summary and criticism of these views will be found in the introduc- 
tory essay to the extracts from Bergson in the LIBRARY. Bergson 's admirable exposi- 
tory gifts, his succes^ as a lecturer not only in France but in England and in America, 
and the agreement of his philosophy with strong tendencies in modern thought both 
practical and metaphysical, as expressed for example by William James, have won his 
philosophy an extraordinary popularity. 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 193 

CRETAN INSURRECTION OF 1866-8, THE, by William J. Stillman, United States 
consul to Greece during the period of which the book treats, was published in 1874, 
making a valuable contribution to the literature of the Eastern Question. Recount- 
ing the incidents of those years, the author does not attempt to conceal his sympathies 
with the Cretans. "I feel, " he writes in the Preface, "that the Hellenes are less re- 
sponsible for the vices of their body politic than are their guardian Powers, who inter- 
fere to misguide, control to pervert, and protect to enfeeble, every good impulse and 
quality of the race; while they foster the spirit of intrigue, themsehes enter into the 
domestic politics of Greece in order to be able to control her foreign, and each in turn, 
lest Greece should some day be an aid to some other of the contestants about the bed 
of the sick man, does all it can to prevent her from being able to help herself. " 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT, a Russian realistic novel by Fe"odor M. DostoeVsky, 
1866, is a subtle and powerful psychological study, revolving about one incident, 
the murder of an old woman, a money-lender, and her sister, by a student in St. 
Petersburg, Raskolnikoff. The circumstances leading to the murder are extreme 
poverty, and the resultant physical and mental depletion. Raskolnikoff is by nature 
generous, warm-hearted, and high-spirited; but when his body is weakened and his 
~nind depressed, the morbid desire takes possession of him to kill the greasy and repel- 
lent old woman, whose wealth seems as lawfully his as hers. From this desire he 
cannot escape. It terrifies yet fascinates him. His state of mind in this crisis is de- 
picted with admirable skill. The murder accomplished, he gains nothing by it: 
in the sudden awful confusion of mind that immediately follows the committal of the 
deed, he can form no definite idea of robbery, and escapes with no booty but the 
memory of one terrific scene which throws him into a delirious fever. At this junc- 
ture his mother and sister come to the city. His excited state is perceptible, but they 
can make nothing of it. By a singular chain of incidents he makes the acquaintance 
of a girl, Sonia, who has been driven to an evil life that she may save her family from 
starvation. Believing that her nature is intrinsically noble, Raskolnikoff compels her 
to read aloud to him the story of the raising of Lazarus. This she does in a manner 
which confirms his belief in her. His regeneration then begins. As he was impelled 
to murder, he is now impelled to confess the murder. His sentence is seven years' 
exile to Siberia; but he accepts it with joy, for at its expiration he will begin with 
iJonia, the woman he loves, a life of purity and nobility. They will progress together, 
out of the old order into the new. 

CRIME OF HENRY VANE, THE: ' A Study with a Moral/ by J. S. of Dale (F. J. 

Stimson) (1884). Henry Vane is a man whose youthful enthusiasm has been par- 
alyzed by successive misfortunes. He is a cynic before he is out of his teens. Dis- 
appointed and disillusioned, he never regains his natural poise. The moral of his 
life is, that he who swims continuously against the current will in time be overcome, 
and he who daily antagonizes the world will find his only peace in death. The events 
of the story might occur in any American city, and in any good social setting. It is 
vividly told, interesting, and good in craftsmanship; while the author's pictures of the 
crudities of American society and the unrestraint of American girls are well if piti- 
lessly drawn. 

CRIME OF SYLVESTRE BONNARD,THE, by Anatole France (188 1). This charm- 
ing story, by a distinguished critic and academician, not only pteints the literary life 
of Paris, but depicts the nobler human emotions with delicate humor and pathos* 
In a short prelude entitled 'The Log, ' the kindliness and simplicity of nature of the 



194 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

learned archaeologist Sylvestre Bonnard, member of the Institute, are revealed. It 
relates how he sends a Christmas log to a poor young mother, in the attic above him, 
on the birth of her boy; how, like a fairy gift, the log comes back to him on a later 
Christmas, hollowed out, and containing a precious manuscript of the ' Golden Le- 
gend, f for which he has journeyed to Sicily in vain ; and how the Princess Tr6pof , 
who is the gracious donor, turns out to be the poor attic-neighbor, whom he had be- 
friended years before. When the story opens, we find Sylvestre Bonnard at the chateau 
of a Monsieur de Gabry, for whom he is cataloguing old manuscripts. Here he meets 
a charming young girl named Jeanne, and discovers her to be the portionless daughter 
of his first and only love. He resolves to provide for and dower her; but she has 
already a guardian in a crafty notary, Maitre Mouche, who has placed her in a third- 
rate school near Paris. Here the good Bonnard visits her and gradually wins her 
filial affection; but unluckily at the same time arouses in the pretentious school- 
mistress, Mademoiselle Pref ere, the ambition of becoming the wife of a member of the 
Institute who is reputed wealthy. The defenseless savant, upon receiving a scarcely 
veiled offer of wedlock from the lady, cannot conceal his horror; upon which she 
turns him out of the house, and denies him all further intercourse with Jeanne. On 
the discovery that his protge*e is immured and cruelly treated, he is driven to commit 
his great crime, the abduction of a minor. This deed is effected by bribing the por- 
tress of the school and carrying away the willing victim in a cab to the shelter of 
Madame de Gabry 's house. Here he find? that he has committed a penal offense ; but 
escapes prosecution owing to Jeanne 's unworthy guardian's having decamped a week 
previous with the money of all his clients. Jeanne thus becomes the ward of her good 
old friend, who later sells his treasured library to secure her a marriage portion, and 
retires to a cottage in the country, where his declining days are brightened by the 
caresses of Jeanne and her child. 

CRIME OF THE BOULEVARD, THE, a novel, by Jules Claretie (1897), is the history 
of a crime which occurred in Paris, on the Boulevard de Clichy, in 1896. Pierre de 
Rovere is found murdered in his apartment. Bernadet, the police agent, who has a 
passion for photography, takes a picture of the retina of the dead man's eyes, and 
finds the image of a man whom he recognizes at the funeral. He arrests this person, 
who proves to be Rovere's dearest friend, Jacques Dantin. He is, however, not the 
real murderer. The mixture of pseudo-science and sensational detail in this novel is 
thoroughly French. 

CREPPS THE CARRIER, by R. D. Blackmore (1876). With one exception, this 
is the most sensational and the least probable of Blackmore's stories. The scene is 
laid in Kent, and the plot hinges on the disappearance of a young heiress, and her 
very strange experiences. Through an agreeable way of telling it, the book is much 
less startling and more attractive than a bare synopsis of the plan would make it 
sound. The interest is sustained, and the situations are ingeniously planned. 

CRISIS, THE, by Winston Churchill, was published in 1901, and, like its predecessor 
'Richard Carvel, ' met with overwhelming popularity. 

The story is of keen dramatic interest and has for its background the incidents of the 
Civil War. Its hero Stephen Brice, a young New England lawyer seeking his fortune 
in the Southern States, is naturally opposed to slavery and from his small capital 
purchases a young slave for the sole purpose of freeing her and restoring her to her 
mother. This episode brings him to the notice of Virginia Carvel, the heroine of the 
tale, an aristocratic beauty and descendant of Richard Carvel, whose heart is all with 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 195 

the South and whose attitude toward the abolitionists is most unrelenting. Stephen 
falls deeply in love with her, but she stifles her love for him on account of her pre- 
judices, and becomes engaged to her cousin Clarence Colfax, who joins the Southern 
army. Brice fights for the North and the reader is given many graphic pictures of his 
experiences, through all of which he shows great nobleness and courage, and, when he 
has the opportunity, saves the life of his rival. After many trials and tribulations 
Stephen and Virginia are at length united, at the moment when she is suing President 
Lincoln for the pardon of her cousin, who has been sentenced to death. The book 
has many dramatic situations and its characters are strongly drawn. Among the 
latter may be mentioned Eliphalit Hopper, who figures prominently in the book as an 
unscrupulous carpetbagger; Judge Whipple, an ardent abolitionist, who, in spite of his 
eccentricities, would sacrifice everything to his convictions; Colonel Carvel, a true 
Southern gentleman; and Mrs. Brice, whose charm and strength of character are felt 
by all who come in contact with her. The love-story is well told and the historical 
flavor is enhanced by the introduction of Lincoln and Grant. 

CRITIC, THE; or, A TRAGEDY REHEARSED, by R. B. Sheridan (1779). In 'The 
Critic* Sheridan dexterously pokes fun at the ridiculous foibles of patrons, authors, 
actors, critics, and audience all who make or support the stage. Sir Fretful Plagiary, 
who is "never so well pleased as when a judicious critic points out any defect " to him, 
but who is very irritable when anyone takes the hint, is the most diverting of butts. 
Dangle, "at the head [as he fancies] of a band of critics, who take upon them to 
decide for the whole town, whose opinion and patronage all writers solicit, and whose 
recommendation no manager dare refuse," finds his own keenest critic in his wife, 
who thinks that the public is the only tribunal that matters. Puff, who makes no 
secret of the trade he follows to advertise himself viva voce and to act as "a Prac- 
titioner in Panegyric or a Professor of the Art of Puffing," at anybody's service is an 
inimitable creation. The tragedy of "The Spanish Armada" inserted in the play is 
a roaring farce from first to last. "The Spanish Fleet thou canst not see" says the 
Governor to his daughter Tilburina ' ' because it is not yet in sight ! ' ' Don Ferolo 
Whiskerandos, in love with Tilburina whom he persuades to convey his proposal to her 
father, the governor, finds that "the Father softens, but the Governor's resolved." 

CRITICAL AND MISCELLANEOUS ESSAYS, see ESSAYS. 

CRITICAL PERIOD OF AMERICAN HISTORY, THE, 1783-1789, by John Fiske 
(1888). In this volume Mr. Fiske's powers are especially tested, and his success 
in a great task conspicuously shown. The study which he makes of the characters of 
the two contrasted originators of policies, Washington and Jefferson, of the economic 
problems of the time, of the way in which the Tories or Loyalists were dealt with at 
the close of the war, and of the course of events in Great Britain upon the close of the 
Revolution, conspicuously illustrates his method, and his mastery of the materials of 
a story second to none in our whole national history in both interest and importance. 

CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON, a philosophical treatise by Immanuel Kant, pub- 
lished in 1781, revised edition in 1787; with the 'Critique of Practical Reason* (1788) 
and the 'Critique of Judgment 7 (1790) it constitutes a complete statement of Kant's 
transcendental philosophy. This philosophy consists in the critical examination of 
the activities of human reason, which, it finds, transcend the materials furnished by 
sensation. The 'Critique of Pure Reason' is devoted to an analysis of knowledge or 
thought. The judgments of which knowledge consists are the result of intuition and 
understanding. Intuitions present us with perceptions of objects in space and time,- 



196 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

these ideas of space and time are not realities but modes of perceiving objects, they 
are instinctive habits of our minds. Hence our intuitions give us not things in them- 
selves but the appearances of things, "phenomena." Understanding is subdivided 
into Verstand, the faculty of connecting our intuitions to form judgments, and Ver- 
nunft, the combination of these judgments into universal ideas. The study of the 
first is called by Kant Transcendental Analytic, that of the second Transcendental 
Dialectic. In the former he reduces the categories or modes of judgment to four 
quantity, quality, relation, and modality, from which he deduces the laws of contin- 
uity and of causality. All these categories and principles, he says, are inherent in 
the mind itself and not derived from the external world. The connecting link between 
them and the phenomena conveyed by our intuition is the idea of time which inter- 
prets between the intuitions and the judgment. Thus our judgments of the external 
world are the products of our own mind and reveal to us phenomena not noumena or 
realities. Transcendental Dialectic is the analysis of those general ideas, such as the 
thing-in-itself, the absolute, the universe, the soul, and God, which result from the 
combination of our various concepts, judgments, and scientific propositions. These 
ideas, however, like space and time, and the categories, are not realities but the 
methods in which our minds operate. In other words, all knowledge is relative and 
limited by our minds. This leads to absolute scepticism as to the reality correspond- 
ing to these general ideas. It leads also to the demonstration of the antinomies or 
theories which, though contradicting one another, are equally capable of proof. It 
may be proved or disproved with equal cogency that the universe is limited or infinite, 
that matter is composed of atoms or infinitely divisible, that free will is possible or 
impossible, and that there is and is not a great first cause. We know only phenomena 
and the corresponding realities are unattainable by our minds, which are limited by 
their own modes of thinking. But in the * Critique of Practical Reason, ' in which he 
turns from knowledge to volition, Kant maintains that the sense of obligation, with 
its direct appeal to the will, brings a certitude in regard to the ultimate realities of the 
universe which pure reason cannot give. The reality of God, of free will, and of 
individual immortality are postulates of the practical reason, *. e. convictions in- 
capable of logical proof but deriving their certainty from their appeal to the will. 
The fact that they cannot be proved but must be accepted by an act of will strength- 
ens their appeal. Finally, in the * Critique of Judgment,* Kant passes from the 
realms of knowledge and of will to that of feeling, and considers the origin of the 
aesthetic and the teleological senses. These also he finds to be modes of operation 
of the human mind. The beautiful is that which pleases universally by a sense of 
harmony between the understanding and the imagination; the sublime is that which 
disturbs us by a sense of conflict between our imagination and our inability to under- 
stand infinity. The teleological sense is the feeling that certain things in nature are 
a result of adaptation. This feeling, an illusion to pure reason, is due to our concep- 
tion of time, which considers as successive phenomena which are really co-existent. 
The three Critiques form the most important and influential work of modern 
philosophy. They demolished the old dogmatic spiritualism and the old dogmatic 
materialism and set up foundations for a new idealism. Their conceptions have 
contributed to the development of all subsequent systems. 

'The Critique of Pure Reason' was translated into English by John P. Mahaffy 
and John H. Bernard, and also by F. Max Muller. 'The Critique of Practical Rea- 
son' was translated by T. K. Abbott; 'The Critique of Judgment' was translated by 
John H. Bernard. Another book of value for the English reader is 'The Critical 
Philosophy of Kant/ by Dr. Edward Caird. 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 197 

CROMWELL'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES: With Elucidations by Thomas 
Carlyle. These elucidations amount to an ex-parte favorable rearrangement of Oliver 
Cromwell's case before the world, supported by the documentary evidence of the 
Protector's public speeches and his correspondence of every sort, from communica- 
tions on formal State affairs to private and familiar letters to his family. For 
almost two hundred years, till Carlyle's work came out in 1845, tne memory of 
Cromwell had suffered under defamation cast upon it through the influence of Charles 
the Second's court. When the truncheon of the "Constable for the people of Eng- 
land" as Cromwell (deprecating the title of king) called himself proved too 
heavy for his son Richard after Oliver's death, and the Stuarts reascended the throne 
and assumed the old power, all means were used to destroy the good name of Crom- 
well. While to the present day opinion widely differs concerning Cromwell's actual 
conduct, and his character and motives, the prophetic zeal and enthusiasm of Carlyle 
has done much to reverse the judgment that had long been practically unanimous 
against him. 

CROMWELL'S PLACE IN mSTORY. Founded on Lectures delivered at Oxford. 
By Samuel Rawson Gardiner (1897). Among scholarly estimates of Cromwell's 
true rank as a statesman and stature as a man, Mr. Gardiner's may perhaps take the 
first place. It interprets him as the greatest of Englishmen, in respect especially of 
both the powers of his mind and the grandeur of his character: "in the world of action 
what Shakespeare was in the world of thought, the greatest because the most typical 
Englishman of all time," yet not "the masterful saint" of Carlyle's "peculiar Val- 
halla." It explains, but does not deny, "the errors of Cromwell in dealing with 
Ireland"; admits that "Ireland's evils were enormously increased by his drastic 
treatment, " and consents to a verdict of "guilty of the slaughters of Drogheda and 
Wexford. " But it refers the errors and the crime to "his profound ignorance of Irish 
social history prior to 1641, " "his hopeless ignorance of the past and the present" of 
Ireland. In this, and in every respect, the volume, though small, is of great weight 
for the study of a period of English history second in interest to no other. 

CROTCHET CASTLE, by Thomas Love Peacock (1831). Richard Garnett, in 
his recent edition of the book, says of it that it "displays Peacock at his zenith. 
Standing halfway between 'Headlong Hall 7 and 'Gryll Grange,' it is equally 
free from the errors of immaturity and the infirmities of senescence. " Like the au- 
thor's other works, 'Crotchet Castle' is less a novel than a cabinet of human curios 
which may be examined through the glass of Peacock's clear, cool intellect. It is 
the collection of a dilettante with a taste for the odd. Yet among these curios are one 
or two flesh-and-blood characters: Dr. Folliott, a delightful Church-of-England clergy- 
man of the old school, and Miss Susannah Touchandgo, who is very much alive. 
They are all the guests of Mr. Crotchet of Crotchet Castle. Their doings make only 
the ghost of a plot. Their sayings are for the delight of Epicureans in literature. 

CRUSADES, THE HISTORY AND LITERATURE OF THE. From tne German 
of Von Sybel, by Lady Duff -Gordon (1861). A concise but thoroughly learned and 
judicious study of the Crusades, by far the best historical sketch in English. 
Michaud's 'History of the Crusades' is badly translated, but it is the best compre- 
hensive book on the subject. Cox's 'The Crusades, ' in the 'Epochs of Modern His- 
tory, ' is an excellent summary. Sybel devotes the second part of his work to an 
account of the original and later authorities. An excellent history will be found in 
'The Age of the Crusades,' by James M. Ludlow (1896); a work which inquires into 



198 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

the conditions of life and thought which made the Crusades possible, conditions 
peculiar to the eleventh century, and then tells the story of eight Crusades, during 
the period from March, 1096, to August, 1270, together with the results of the period. 
The most recent work in English, 'The Crusaders in the East, ' by W. B. Stevenson, 
is excellent. 

CUD JO'S CAVE, by J. T. Trowbridge, an an ti -slavery novel, first published in 1863, 
was, like its predecessor 'Neighbor Jackwood, ' very widely read. The scene of the 
story is eastern Tennessee, at the outbreak of the rebellion. The State, though 
seceding, contained many Unionists; and their struggles against the persecution of 
their Confederate neighbors, slave-holders, and poor whites, form the plot of the book. 
The ostensible hero is Penn Hapgood, a young Quaker school-teacher, whose aboli- 
tionist doctrines get him into constant trouble; but the really heroic figure of the book 
is a gigantic full-blooded negro, Pomp, a runaway slave, living in the woods in a great 
cave with another runaway, Cudjo. Cudjo is dwarfish and utterly ignorant, a mix- 
ture of stupidity and craft; but Pomp is one of nature's noblemen. Cudjo's cave 
becomes a refuge for the persecuted abolitionists of the neighborhood, a basis of oper- 
ations for the Union sympathizers, and finally the seat of war in the region. The 
novel, though written with a strong ethical purpose, is interesting and effective simply 
as a story, containing much incident and some capital character-studies. 

CULTURE AND ANARCHY, an essay in social criticism by Matthew Arnold, first 
published in 1869. Its purpose is to define true culture and to show how it may over- 
come the unintelligent and anti-social tendencies of English life of the author's day. 
Culture he defines as a study of perfection, that is the harmonious expansion of all the 
powers of human nature. It is attained by a knowledge of the best that has been said 
and thought in the world, by the free play of the mind over the facts of life, and by a 
sympathetic attitude towards all that is beautiful. For a further definition of culture 
Arnold borrows a phrase from Swift. "Sweetness and light, " the first word indicat- 
ing the sense of beauty and the second the active intelligence. Against this ideal are 
arrayed all the undisciplined forces of the age prejudice, narrowness, the worship 
of liberty for liberty's sake, faith in machinery whether governmental, economic, or 
religious in short an unthinking individualism that leads to anarchy. English 
society may be divided into three classes Barbarians, Philistines, and Populace. 
The Barbarians or aristocracy have a superficial sweetness and light but are too 
much concerned with the maintenance and enjoyment of their privileges to attain a 
true sense of beauty and a free mental activity. The Philistines or middle classes are 
devoted to money-making and a narrow form of religion and are indifferent or hostile 
to beauty. The Populace are violent in their prejudices and brutal in their pleas- 
ures. All are agreed that "doing as one likes" is the chief end of man and all are 
self-satisfied. In a further analysis of this English preference of doing to thinking 
Arnold distinguishes two forces which he names Hebraism and Hellenism. Hebraism 
is concerned with resolute action and strict obedience to conscience; Hellenism with 
clear thinking and spontaneity of consciousness. Harmoniously combined they lead 
to that perfect balance of our nature which is the end of culture. The excessive 
development of one of them results in imperfection. Hebraism with its insistence on 
conduct is the more essential and it triumphed in the form of Christianity; but the 
reaction from the pagan revival of the sixteenth century led to its over-development 
into Puritanism, a discipline intolerant of beauty and free intelligence. The English 
middle class is still dominated by Puritanism, despising art and mental cultivation 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 199 

as an end in itself and adhering to a narrow and unenlightened religious and ethical 
standard as "the one thing needful " By a revival of the best in Hellenism Arnold 
would bring sweetness and light into the English middle classes; and he would over- 
come the unthinking individualism of all classes by developing the idea of right reason 
embodied in the State. By its power of telling phraseology and its pleasing expository 
method the book stimulated English society to thought and self-criticism. The evils 
it attacks and the remedies it proposes are by no means out of date. 

CULTURE DEMANDED BY MODERN LIFE. A Series of Addresses and Argu- 
ments on the Claims of Scientific Education. Edited by E. L. Youmans (1867). 
A book of importance as a landmark indicating the expansion of education to embrace 
science with literature, as both knowledge of highest value and a means of mental 
discipline not second to any other. Dr. Youmans, to whose service in this direction 
American culture owes a deep debt, supplied an Introduction to the volume, on mental 
discipline in education, and also an essay on the scientific study of human nature. 
Other essays on studies in science are: Tyndall on physics, Huxley on zoology, Dr. 
James Paget on physiology, Herbert Spencer on political education, Faraday on 
education of the judgment, Henfrey on botany, Dr. Barnard on early mental training, 
Whewell on science in educational history, and Hodgson on economic science. The 
wealth of suggestion, stimulus to study, and guidance of interest in these chapters, 
give the volume a permanent value both to the educator and to studious readers 
generally. It is a book, moreover, the counsels of which have been accepted ; and its 
prophecies, of advantage to follow from giving science an equal place with literature 
as a means of culture, have been abundantly fulfilled. 

CUORE, by Edmondo de Amicis (i5th ed. English translation, 1894). A series of 
delightfully written sketches, describing the school life of a boy of twelve, in the year 
1882, in the third grade of the public schools of Turin. They are said to be the gen- 
uine impressions of a boy, written each day of the eight months of actual school life; 
the father, in editing them, not altering the thought, and preserving as far as possible 
the words of the son. Interspersed are the monthly stories told by the schoolmaster, 
and letters from the father, mother, and sister, to the boy. The stories of the lives 
of the national heroes are given, as well as essays on The School, The Poor, Gratitude, 
Hope, etc. ; all inculcating the love of country, of one's fellow-beings, of honor, honesty, 
and generosity. The title, 'Cuore' (heart), well expresses the contents of the book 
actions caused by the best impulses of a noble heart. Although it is dedicated to 
children, older persons cannot read the book without pleasure and profit. 

CUREE, LA, see ROUGON-MACQUART. 

CURIOSITIES OF LITERATURE, by Isaac Disraeli. This work of "some liter- 
ary researches," as the author calls it, comprises three volumes, of which the first 
was published anonymously in 1791, the second two years later, while the third did 
not appear until 1817. Repeated editions were called for, and it was translated into 
various languages. A sentence from the preface explains the style and object of the 
book. "The design of this work is to stimulate the literary curiosity of those, who, 
with a taste for its tranquil pursuits, are impeded in their acquirement. " 

From every field the author has gathered interesting and recondite facts and anec- 
dotes on diverse literary and historical topics, and has grouped them under headings 
totally without sequence. The subjects vary from Cicero's puns to Queen Eliza- 
beth's lovers, and froth metempsychosis to waxwork figures. For example, it is 



200 THE READER'S DIGEST* OF BOOKS 

asserted that in the reign of Charles II. the prototype of the steam-engine and the 
telegraph had been invented. We learn the source of the extraordinary legends of 
the saints, the true story of the printer Faust, and the Venetian origin of newspapers. 
In short, the work is a library of the little known, and is as entertaining as it is instruc- 
tive. 

CURIOSITIES OF NATURAL HISTORY, by Francis Trevelyan Buckland, a series 
of descriptive essays published from 1857 to 1872. They embody the results of 
minute observation of common creatures like frogs, snakes, rats, fishes, and monkeys, 
written for the general reader and not for the specialist, in a lively and entertaining 
style. The author was an enthusiastic collector of live animals and a life-long fisher- 
man. He has many novel anecdotes to relate, which he does with the skill of a born 
raconteur. 

CUSTOM AND MYTH, by Andrew Lang (1886). This book of fifteen sketches, 
ranging in subject from the Method of Folk-lore and Star Myths to the Art of Sav- 
ages, illustrates the author's conception of the inadequacy of the generally accepted 
methods of comparative mythology. He does not believe that "myths are the result 
of a disease of language, as the pearl is the result of a disease of the oyster. " The 
notion that proper names in the old myths hold the key to their explanation, as Max 
Muller, Kuhn, Bre*al, and many other eminent philologists maintain, Mr. Lang 
denies; declaring that the analysis of names, on which the whole edifice of philological 
"comparative mythology" rests, is a foundation of sifting sand. Stories are usually 
anonymous at first, he believes, names being added later, and adventures naturally 
grouping themselves around any famous personage, divine, heroic, or human. Thus 
what is called a Greek myth or a Hindu legend may be found current among a people 
who never heard of Greece or India. The story of Jason, for example, is told in Samoa, 
Finland, North America, Madagascar. Each of the myths presented here is made to 
serve a controversial purpose in so far as it supports the essayist's theory that ex- 
planations of comparative mythology do not explain. He believes that folk-lore 
contains the survivals of primitive ideas common to many peoples, as similar physical 
and social conditions tend to breed the same ideas. The hypothesis of a myth com- 
mon to several races rests on the assumption of a common intellectual condition 
among them. We may push back a god from Greece to Phoenicia, from Phoenicia; 
to Accadia, but at the end of the end, we reach a legend full of myths like those which 
Bushmen tell by the camp fire, Eskimo in their dark huts, and Australians in the shade 
of the "gunweh," myths cruel, puerile, obscure, like the fancies of the savage 
myth-makers from which they sprang. The book shows on every page the wide 
reading, the brilliant faculty of generalization, and the delightful popularity and the 
unfailing entertainingness of this literary "Universal Provider, " who modestly says 
that these essays are "only flint-like flakes from a neolithic workshop. " 

CYCLE OF CATHAY, A, by W. A. P. Martin (1896). A Chinese cycle, explains the 
author of this volume, is sixty years, the period covered in the sketches of China 
here included. Dr. Martin, whom forty-five years of residence qualify to speak with 
knowledge of that mysterious empire, describes the face of the country, the villages 
and cities, productions, commerce, language, institutions, beliefs, but above all, the 
every-day life of the people, and its significance in the general progress of mankind. 
History is made to explain the present, and the present to throw its light on the future. 
The tone is, indeed, that of the foreign observer, but an observer who honestly trios 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 201 

to disabuse his mind of Occidental prejudice, and to give an uncolored report. 'A 
Cycle of Cathay' ranks among the most interesting and valuable of modern books 
on China. 

CYMBELINE was written by Shakespeare late in his life, probably about 1609. 
A few facts about Cymbeline and his sons he took from Holinshed; but the story of 
Imogen forms the ninth novel of the second day of Boccaccio's ' Decameron. ' These 
two stories Shakespeare has interwoven ; and the atmosphere of the two is not dis- 
similar: there is a tonic moral quality in Imogen's unassailable virtue like the bracing 
mountain air in which the royal youths have been brought up. The beautiful song 
1 Fear No More the Heat o' the Sun ' was a great favorite with Tennyson. Cymbeline 
wanted his daughter Imogen to marry his stepson Cloten, a boorish lout and cruel 
villain, but she has secretly married a brave and loyal private gentleman, Posthumus 
Leonatus, and he is banished for it. In Italy one lachimo wagers him ten thousand 
ducats to his diamond ring that he can seduce the honor of Imogen. He miserably 
fails, even by the aid of lies as to the disloyalty of Posthumus, and then pretends he 
was but testing her virtue for her husband's sake. She pardons him, and receives 
into her chamber, for safe-keeping, a trunk, supposed to contain costly plate and 
jewels, but which really contains lachimo himself, who emerges from it in the dead of 
night; slips the bracelet from her arm; observes the mole, cinque-spotted with crimson 
on her breast; and notes down in his book the furniture and ornaments of the room. 
He returns to Italy. Posthumus despairingly yields himself beaten, and writes to his 
servant Pisanio to kill Imogen; to facilitate the deed, he sends her word to meet him 
at Milford Haven. Thither she flies with Pisanio, who discloses all, gets her to dis- 
guise herself in men's clothes and seek to enter the service of Lucius, the Roman 
ambassador. She loses her way, and arrives at the mountain cave in Wales where 
dwell, unknown to her, her two brothers, Guiderius and Arviragus, stolen in infancy. 
Imogen is hospitably received by them under the name of Fidele. While they are at 
the chase she partakes of a box of drugged medicine which the wicked queen had pre- 
pared, and sinks into a trance resembling death. Her brothers sing her requiem. 
In the end Cloten is killed, the paternity of the youths revealed, lachimo confesses his 
crime, and Imogen recovers both her husband and her brothers. 

CYRANO DE BERGERAC, by Edmond Rostand (1897). Cyrano de Bergerac, the 
hero of this popular romantic drama, was a poet, prince among wits, brave soldier 
and duellist of the time of Louis XIII. and Richelieu. The play opens in 1640 at a 
Parisian playhouse, where a perf ormarice is about to be given by a troupe of the King's 
players. Cyrano has forbidden one of the actors to appear. He drives him from the 
stage, and entertains the audience, including his cousin, Roxanne, whom he adores, 
by fighting a duel with a titled young fop who resents the interruption of the play and 
provokes a quarrel by mocking Cyrano's immense nose, which none may mention 
with impunity. Cyrano fights the duel with his pointed wit as well as his sword, 
improvising a brilliant ballade on his nose and marking each thrust at his opponent 
with a verse. This scene is quoted in the LIBRARY. Cyrano despairs of winning 
Roxanne because of his grotesque ugliness, but hopes she may love him for his valor 
when she seeks an interview with him after the duel. In his exuberance, he single- 
handed puts to flight a hundred men, who are waiting in ambush to attack his friend, 
The meeting of Cyrano and Roxanne is at the shop of the poetical pastry cook, who 
sells tarts for sonnets, and is finally reduced to the horrid necessity of wrapping up 
patties in a poem to Phyllis. 



202 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

Roxanne confesses that she loves one who loves her from afar, but it turns out to be 
not Cyrano but Christian, a stupid handsome youth about to become a member of 
Cyrano's company, the Gascon Cadets. Cyrano hides his heartbreak, promises his 
protection to Christian, and from that moment sacrifices himself to the lovers. 

The ugly Cyrano teaches gallantry to the dull Christian, writes the impassioned 
poetic letters which win his lady-love, and even impersonates him in the darkness, 
wliile Roxanne leans from her balcony. 

The Gascons go to the war, and Christian is killed. Roxanne retires to a convent 
where for fifteen years the faithful Cyrano pays her a weekly visit. As he is leaving 
his house some enemy lets fall a large piece of wood, which strikes his head and wounds 
him mortally. He goes on to the convent and in this last scene of his death, Roxanne, 
who had loved her hero first for his beauty and then for his soul, as shown in his letters, 
discovers the secret of the double wooing and laments, " I loved but once, yet twice I 
lose my love." 

DAISY MILLER, by Henry James, a novelette published in 1878, is one of his most 
famous stories. Its heroine is a young girl from Schenectady, "admirably pretty," 
who is traveling about Europe with her placid mother, and her dreadful little brother 
Randolph. Mrs. Miller never thinks of interfering with her children, and allows her 
daughter to go for moonlight drives with young men, and her son of ten to sit up eating 
candies in hotel parlors till one o'clock, with an occasional qualm, indeed, but with 
no consciousness of countenancing a social lapse, her code of etiquette being that of a 
rural American town, with no authoritv of long descent. From the constant incon- 
gruity between the Miller social standards and the Draconian code of behavior of the 
older European communities, come both the motive and the plot of the story, which 
is one of the most skillful and convincing of the very clever artist who wrote it. Upon 
its publication, however, American societ3 r at home and abroad was mightily indig- 
nant over what it pronounced Mr. James's base libel on the American young girl, and 
American social training. But when it came to be read more soberly, the reader 
perceived that the subtle painter of manners had really delineated a charming type 
of innocence and self-respect, a type so confident of its own rectitude as to be careless 
of external standards. It was seen to be the environment only that distorted and 
misrepresented this type, and that in the more primitive civilization which produced 
it, it would have been without flaw. In a word, the thoughtful reader discovered that 
Mr. James's sketch, so far as it had a bias at all, was a plea for justice to a new mani- 
festation of character, the product of new conditions, that can never hope to be under- 
stood when measured by standards wholly outside its experience. The book is one 
of the most brilliant, as it is one of the most subtle and artistic, of this author's pro- 
ductions. 

DAME CARE (*Frau Sorge'), a novel by Hermann Sudermann, was issued in 1888. 
The story follows the life of Paul Meyerhofer, a boy at whose cradle Care seemed to 
preside. He was born on the day his father's estate was sold at auction. His child- 
hood was spent in poverty, his boyhood and youth in hard work. He had always 
before him the spectacle of a cowed, suffering mother; of an overbearing, shiftless 
father, whose schemes for making money only plunged his family in deeper misfor- 
tune. His younger sisters, when they grow up, bring disgrace upon him. To save 
their honor he makes enormous sacrifices; in short, his whole career is one of misfor- 
tune. The one brightness of his life is his love for Elsbeth Douglas, the daughter of 
his godmother. At the close of the novel it is intimated that he will marry her, and 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 203 

that " Dame Care, " his foster-mother, will not trouble him again. The story, written 
with much pathos and beauty, is a peculiar blending of realism and romanticism. 

DAMNATION OF THERON WARE, THE, by Harold Frederic, appeared in 1896, 
and is a brilliant realistic study of modern American life. Theron Ware, a handsome 
and eloquent young preacher, is placed in charge of the Methodist church at Octavius, 
New York State. Needing money, thirsting for fame, and quite ignorant of his own 
limitations, he plans to write an epoch-making book upon Abraham. His damnation 
comes to him in the form of self-knowledge, through his acquaintance with a beautiful 
woman. The book belongs in the ranks of realism, but of the true realism that is in- 
terpreted through the imagination. 

DANIEL DERONDA (1876), George Eliot's last no\el, considered by some critics 
her greatest work, has repelled others by its careful analysis of Jewish character. It 
really has two separate parts, and two chief figures, each very unlike the other. 
Gwendolen Harleth, the heroine, and Daniel Deronda, the hero, first see each other at 
Baden, where Gwendolen tries her luck at the gaming-table. When they next meet, 
Gwendolen is the fiancee of Henleigh Grandcourt, nephew of young Deronda's 
guardian, Sir Hugh Mallinger. Grandcourt is a finished type of the selfish man of 
the world. He marries the beautiful, penniless Gwendolen, less for love than in a 
fit of obstinacy, as his confidant Mr. Lush puts it. - Gwendolen, as selfish as he, con- 
sents to marry him because only thus can she save her mother, her stepsisters, and 
herself, from the poverty which the sudden loss of their property is likely to bring 
them. The tragedy of her married life is told with dramatic force and profound 
insight. Deronda has been brought up by Sir Hugh in ignorance of his parentage. 
His fine education and great talents he is always ready to place at the service of 
others. By befriending a Jewish girl, Mirah Lapidoth, he comes in close contact with 
several Jewish families, grows deeply interested in Jewish history and religion, and 
when the secret of his birth is revealed to him is glad to cast in his lot with theirs. 
The influence of Deronda on Gwendolen is very marked, and the story closes with the 
prophecy of a lessening selfishness and egotism on her part. Gwendolen's mother, 
Mrs. Davilow; her uncle and aunt, Mr. and Mrs. Gascoigne, and their children; the 
wealthy Mr. and Mrs. Arrowsmith, whose daughter has the courage to marry the 
man she loves, a poor music teacher, one Herr Klesmer, are the chief minor char- 
acters. Other people appear, like Lord Brackenshaw and Mrs. Gadsby; but less care 
is given to the portrayal of these than to the noble Mordecai, the garrulous Cohens, 
and the other Jewish types, or even to Deronda's friend Mrs. Merrick, and her artist 
son Hans, 

In ' Daniel Deronda' George Eliot had three objects in view: i. To show the influ- 
ence of heredity; 2. To show that ideals and sentiments Heat the basis of religion; 
3. To contrast a social life founded on tradition (that of the Jews) with mere individ- 
ualism. As a plea for the Jews this book not only met the approval of the thoughtful 
men of that race, but also gave the world in general a just idea of this complex people. 

DANIELE CORTISS, see THE POLITICIAN. 

DANTE, A SHADOW OP: 'Being an Essay towards Studying Himself, his 
World, and his Pilgrimage'; by Maria Francesca Rossetti (4th ed. 1884). A 
volume of criticism and selections, designed to enable the reader to comprehend the 
poet and his great poem. The study begins with Dante's conception of the universe, 
and what autobiography and history show his life experience to have been. It then 



204 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

proceeds to expound the physical and moral theories on which the poet constructed 
his three worlds, and narrates the course of his pilgrimage through them. In this 
narration the main object is to read Dante's autobiography in the poem, to make out 
his character as self-revealed, and to enter into his inspiration or spiritual life. The 
extracts, of which there are many, are made with this view, many of the episodes 
being passed over. 

DANVERS JEWELS, THE, and SIR CHARLES DANVERS (1889), by Mary Choi- 
mondeley. These stories, first published anonymously, were so cleverly told that 
they excited much interest in the unknown author. In ' The Danvers Jewels ' Colonel 
Middleton relates the adventures of a bag of priceless jewels, which he is commissioned 
to carry from India to England, to Sir John Danvers's heir, Ralph Danvers. A 
professional thief named Carr attempts to rob him, but Colonel Middleton delivers 
the jewels safely at Stoke Moreton, the Danvers's country-seat. Private theatricals 
are in progress there, and another actor being necessary, the Colonel sends for Carr, 
whom unsuspectingly he considers his friend. Shortly after Carr's arrival the jewels 
disappear; suspicion falls on Sir Charles Danvers, Ralph's charming but unpopular 
brother. Sir Charles suspects Carr to be the thief; who, however, proves to be the 
beautiful and fascinating girl to whom Ralph is engaged. This young woman is 
really Carr's wife. On her way to London to sell the jewels a railroad accident occurs, 
and Sir Charles and Ralph find her dead, with the jewels concealed about her. Ralph 
marries his cousin Evelyn; and the Colonel's story comes to an end. 'Sir Charles 
Danvers' is written in the third person; Ruth Deyncourt is the heroine; a clever, 
attractive girl, who fancies that her duty lies in helping Alfred Dare, a poor foreigner 
to whom she becomes secretly engaged. Sir Charles wooes her, but although she 
loves him she remains true to Dare until a woman arrives who claims to be Dare's 
wife. Through Reymond Deyncourt, Ruth's good-for-nothing brother, Sir Charles 
discovers that the woman's claim is false, and generously tells Dare. Ruth realizes 
her mistaken self-sacrifice at last, and ends by marrying Sir Charles. Lady Mary, 
a worldly old woman, is a delightful character; while Molly Danvers, a queer little 
girl who alone would make the fortune of any story, is one of the most fascinating 
children in fiction. Sir Charles Danvers, with his gentleness and strength, his re- 
served but sympathetic nature, and his delightful sense of humor, is, however, rightly 
entitled to the place of hero. In ' The Danvers Jewels ' the interest centres in a well- 
told plot ; and in ' Sir Charles Danvers ' the charm lies in the character studies, and 
in the descriptions of English country life. 

DAPHMS AND CHLOE, by Longus. This charming pastoral romance was written 
in Greek during the fourth century of our era. It was first translated into a modern 
language by Amyot, who published a French version in 1559. Other renderings were 
soon made, and had great influence on European literature. Many English, French, 
and Italian pastorals were suggested by this work; but the one derived most directly 
from this source is Saint-Pierre's * Paul and Virginia, ' which is almost a parallel story, 
with Christian instead of pagan ethics. On the island of Lesbos, a goatherd named 
Lamon finds one of his goats suckling a fine baby boy, evidently exposed by his par- 
ents. The good man adopts him as his own child, calling him Daphnis, and brings 
him up to herd his goats. The year after he was found, a neighbor, Dryas, discovers 
a baby girl nourished by a ewe in the grotto of the nymphs. She is adopted under the 
name of Chloe, and trained to tend the sheep. The two young people pasture their 
herds in common, and are bound by an innocent and childlike affection. Eventually, 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 205 

this feeling ripens on both sides to something deeper; bat in their innocence they know 
not the meaning of love, even when they learn that the little god has them in his 
especial keeping. After a winter of forced separation, which only inflames their 
passion, Daphnis sues for the hand of Chloe. In spite of his humble station, he is 
accepted by her foster-parents; but the marriage is deferred till after the vintage, when 
Lamon's master is coming. On his arrival the goatherd describes the finding of the 
child, and exhibits the tokens found with him. Hereupon he is recognised as the son 
of the master of the estate, and restored to his real position. By the aid of Daphnis's 
parents, Chloe is soon identified as the daughter of a wealthy Lesbian, who in a time 
of poverty had intrusted her to the nymphs. The young people are married with 
great pomp, but return to their pastoral life, in which they find idyllic happiness. 

DARK FLOWER, THE, by John Galsworthy (1913), is the story of one man's love- 
affairs. We first see the hero, Mark Lennan, when he is a student at Oxford. During 
the Easter holidays, he goes to the Tyrol with his tutor, Harold Stormer. There he 
falls in love with Stormer's Austrian wife, Anna. When Mark is called home sud- 
denly to attend the wedding of his sister in Derbyshire, he makes Anna promise that 
she and her husband will come to visit him before the Oxford term begins. When he 
goes, Anna gives him a clove pink, the " dark flower" of passion which gives the book 
its title. The Stormers come down to Derbyshire. Anna notices something of which 
Mark himself is as yet unaware that he loves Sylvia, the pretty cousin who had been 
his sister's bridesmaid. Unable to remain and see the romance blossom, Anna hur- 
ries her husband back to Oxford. Mark's guardian has guessed Anna's secret, and 
arranges for Mark to go to Italy instead of to Oxford to study. Thus Mark's first 
flame passes out of his life. When the reader meets him eight years later Mark is in 
Rome. He is already a sculptor to be reckoned with. He is in love with Olive 
Cramier, a beautiful poetic creature yoked to an adoring but materialistic husband. 
When she returns to England, Mark follows. Cramier feels that his wife sees too 
much of the young sculptor and sends her to the country, to a pretty cottage on the 
river. There Olive struggles in vain against her passion. Finally she telegraphs 
Mark to come down, feigns a headache to deceive her kindly old aunt and uncle, meets 
Mark at the bank, and goes away with him in a canoe. When they return, hours 
after, they have formulated plans for an elopement. As they are getting out of the 
canoe, Olive's husband, who had come down from London to watch his wife, comes 
from behind a bush. He pushes the woman into the deep water, and though Mark 
struggles to save her, she is drowned. The truth about Olive's death is never known; 
there is report of "an accident." When we meet Lennan again, he is forty-six, 
married to the charming Sylvia, childless, and embarked upon another passion. 
This time he falls in love with a young girl, Nell Dromore, the natural daughter of an 
Oxford classmate. Unschooled in control, Nell finds it impossible to hide her passion 
from Mark. Unable to repulse a young girl who is devoted to him, although at first 
he has no more than a fatherly affection for her, Mark makes flimsy excuses to Sylvia, 
and visits the Dromores frequently. When he once realizes the true state of his feel- 
ings, Lennan confesses to his wife, secures her forgiveness, and goes with her to Italy, 
leaving Nell behind with her father and the adoring young cousin whom one assumes 
she will finally marry. 

DARK FOREST, THE, by Hugh Walpole (1916). The story opens with the depar- 
ture of a Red Cross unit from Petrograd. All are Russians except two Englishmen, 
Durward, of analytic temperament, who tells the story, and Trenchard, timid, blunder^ 



206 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

ing, inefficient, who is the chief character. Trenchard is seeking the sympathy and 
affection he has not found at home. Sister Marie, a young Russian girl, eager for 
life, becomes engaged to Trenchard in the excitement and exaltation of the last days 
of preparation. On the journey Trenchard is the butt of the party and especially 
of the efficient dominating male, Dr. Semyonov, who finally wins Marie from him. 
The narrative is the struggle of these two men for complete possession of Marie, since 
she has given something different of herself to each lover. She is killed by an Aus- 
trian bullet in the Dark Forest, but the duel between the two men continues, as each 
believes that the one who meets death first will find her. The war is the background 
and atmosphere for the story. The Forest is present as vividly as the War, perhaps 
typifying the War. It is uncanny with its thick bright foliage which seems to give no 
shade. The Dark Forest covers dead Austrians, villages of starving old people, 
cholera villages, trenches, and Red Cross shelters, where "the wounded were brought 
in without pause." Again the Forest, always green and glittering, is lovely in an 
early summer morning with the singing of birds. At night "the Forest was deep 
black, " the soldiers' hres gleaming here and there like beasts' eyes, " The stress and 
strain of the Red Cross service is continuous. Trenchard goes out with wagons to 
the "screaming Forest" and is "overwhelmed by the blind indifference of the place, 
listening still to the incredible birds." He is exhausted with "endless bandaging, 
cleaning of filthy wounds, paring away the ragged ends of flesh, smelling, breathing, 
drinking blood and dust and dirt." Death, which is as close as life, has a glamor and 
fascination. Trenchard and Dr. Semyonov covet death, because of their obsession of 
its reward of union with Marie. In his last diary, death to Trenchard has ceased to 
be the terror of his childhood; he had laughed at death under fire; he had cursed it 
when Marie died; face to face with it, he feels "one is simply face to face with one's 
self." A shell breaks overhead, and of the four it is Trenchard who is killed and the 
stronger character, Semyonov the realist, who is left. 

DARKEST ENGLAND, see IN DARKEST ENGLAND. 

DARLING AND OTHER STORIES, THE, by Anton Chekhov (1916). These short 
stories describe a variety of types of women. The title story, ' The Darling ' is a 
study of a woman, who lives only in her affections, and takes her opinions from others. 
Olinka is equally devoted to two husbands and a lover in succession. Losing her 
lover, she adopts his son, a schoolboy, whose world she lives in, perfectly satisfied. 
The transference of her affections is as automatic as the reflection of a chamelion to its 
surroundings. 'Ariadne' is a type of parasite, caring for nothing but attention and 
luxury. She travels about Europe with one lover until his money is exhausted, then 
calls another to her, and leaves him to marry a wealthy old prince. ' The Helpmate ' 
is also an ironical study of sex. In ' The Two Volodyas' the neurotic Sofya thinks 
she is in love with her elderly husband one day, and abandons herself to the other 
' Volodya,' his young friend, the next. Still another type ie Polinka, a deluded little 
dressmaker who loses her head over a student, and is bewitched away from the 
young salesman who loves her. 'Three Years' begins with the passionate love of 
Laptev for the indifferent Yulia. After three years she comes to love him, and his 
only feeling is that he is hungry for his lunch. ' The Princess ' is another satire on a 
woman who believes herself an angel beloved by everyone, but is shown to be a selfish 
egotist justly hated by those for whom she poses as benefactress. An exquisite old 
mother in 'The Trousseau,' spends her life making a wonderful trousseau for a 
daughter who never marries, and dies when they are two old women together. Th;s 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 207 

story is reprinted in the LIBRARY. Destiny plays with the happiness of all these people 
as a cat with mice, and they accept life, Russian fashion, as a thing to be patiently 
endured. 

DAUGHTER OF HETH, A, a novel, by William Black, was published in 1871. It 
is the story of a child of sunny France, transplanted into the bleak uncongenial 
atmosphere of Scotland. Catherine Cassilis, familiarly called Coquette, is the 
daughter of a Scotch father and French mother. On the death of her parents she is 
intrusted to her uncle, the minister of Airlie. There her unselfishness and eagerness 
to harmonize herself with her new surroundings win her universal love. Her story 
has, however, a tragic ending. From beginning to end the "dour" atmosphere of a 
Scotch hamlet is seen to darken the sunshine of Coquette's sunny disposition, and to 
prophesy a future of shadow. 

DAUGHTER OF JORIO (' La Figlia di lorio'), by Gabriele d'Annunzio (1904). The 
scene of this poetic drama is laid in the mountain land of the Abruzzi, primitive 
Italian people. Mila, the daughter of Jorio, a sorcerer, pursued by the brutal reapers 
who are crazed with heat and drunk with red wine, seeks sanctuary at the hearth of 
Aligi, a shepherd about to celebrate his espousal feast with the bride his mother has 
chosen for him. His mother and the women kindred, interrupted in the ceremony 
of the scattering the grain on the heads of the bridal pair, urge him to give up the 
woman, who brings sorrow and dark omen. Already Lazaro, his father, has fallen 
under her spell, and has been wounded in a fight for her. As the reapers tear down the 
iron-barred door to get their prey, Aligi lays the crucifix across the threshold, knowing 
that none dare pass the sacred emblem. 

In the second act Aligi and Mila are living together in innocence in his shepherd's 
cave in the mountains. See Scene quoted in the LIBRARY. Aligi hopes to join a 
band of pilgrims to go to Rome for permission to annul his marriage, never consum- 
mated, so that he may take Mila to his father's house. 

Ornella, the youngest sister of Aligi, comes to the cave to seek Mila's promise to 
give up Aligi and restore him to his home. She has hardly left when Lazaro, the 
father, comes in search of Mila. He has a rope on his arm like an ox driver to tie up 
his beast. The terrified girl calls for help and Aligi comes to her. He appeals in vain 
to the bestial Lazaro and finally in a terrible scene strikes his father dead. 

The third act is the funeral rites, half Pagan, half Catholic. Aligi has been given 
to the crude social justice of his tribe, and is to be barbarously killed, when Mila 
appears inspired with the noble lie with which her great love is to save him. Aligi, 
she asserts, is innocent; she Mila, killed Lazaro and blinded Aligi to her guilt with the 
secret herbs that her father, the sorcerer, taught her. 

The crowd turn on her and take her away in triumph of blood lust to be burned 
alive. Ev en Aligi, delirious with the ' ' cup of forgetfulness ' ' his mother has given him, 
calls down curses upon her. As she is carried to the flames only Ornella the youngest 
sister recognizes the sacrifice. 

DAVID BALFOUR; 'Being Memoirs of His Adventures at Home and Abroad/ 
by Robert Louis Stevenson (1893)* A sequel to 'Kidnapped,' this novel follows 
the further fortunes of David Balfour. When the story opens Da\id is about 
to attempt the escape of his friend, Alan Breck Stewart, from Scotland; and to aid 
Stewart's brother, unjustly imprisoned on a charge of murder. At this critical 
juncture he falls in love with Catriona Drummond, whose father, James More Drum- 
mond, is a plausible scoundrel. David's efforts to help Alan and his brother bring 



208 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

about his own imprisonment, but not until he has seen Alan safely into France, 
After his release he goes to Holland, where he lives with Catriona without marriage. 
Her father interfering, the two are separated; but by the intervention of Alan Stewart 
they meet again in Paris, where they are married. 

The novel throughout is in Stevenson's romantic vein, but written with simplicity 
and clearness, and artistic in construction. 

DAVID BLAIZE, a story of school-life, by E. F. Benson (1916). David Blaize, a 
pupil at Holmsworth Preparatory School, is with the other boys writing letters home 
on a Sunday afternoon. Mr. Button is the master in charge of this arduous task, 
to which twenty minutes is the time allotted. The Head of the School, Mr. Anscam, 
a man of rare qualities, who inspires his pupils with both terror and admiration, 
suddenly appears and detects Dutton reading under cover of his Bible and Prayer- 
book a yellow-covered volume of stories by de Maupassant. The Head tears the 
book apart, and excuses his assistant from the lessons to follow, taking charge himself, 
and finding a sad lack of knowledge on the part of the pupils. David is a genuine 
boy, full of spirit, love of mischief and of sport, with a lovable disposition which 
makes him a favorite with the best of his schoolmates. Everything that is beautiful, 
especially in poetry, attracts him, and he is so impressed by the Headmaster's 
reading of Keats that he longs to possess a volume of his poems. The great event 
of the year is the cricket-match with Eagles school. Although David belongs to the 
eleven he feels "beastly f> on the day of the match because his father, an archdeacon, 
comes to see the game. The boys make fun of the archdeacon's peculiarities in 
dress and manner, and this causes the son to feel so uncomfortable that he fails to do 
himself justice and loses the match, although he does some fine playing later in the 
day, after his staunch friend Bags has lured his father out of the way. The following 
week David goes to Marchester to take his examinations for a scholarship, and there 
he meets Frank Maddox, a fellow three years his senior, who becomes a great hero 
in his eyes. David's last days at Holmsworth pass in triumph, for although he loses 
the scholarship he wins the final cricket-match for the school. During the vacation 
at Baxminster, where his father and sister live, he meets Frank Maddox again and his 
admiration for him increases. When he goes to Marchester in the autumn he be- 
comes Maddox's fag and devoted slave. David still keeps up his interest in cricket 
and distinguishes himself in many matches which are described with great detail. 
When David has reached the sixth form, Maddox is at Cambridge. Just before the 
end of the summer term David is seriously injured in trying to stop a runaway horse. 
His life is despaired of. Maddox, who happens to have come at this juncture, suc- 
ceeds in soothing his restlessness, so that he falls into a long sleep at the critical 
moment and his life is saved. 

DAVID COPPERFIELD. "Of all my books," says Charles Dickens in his preface 
to this immortal novel, "I like this the best. . . . Like many fond parents, I have 
in my heart of hearts a favorite child. And his name is David Copperfield." When 
'David Copperfield 1 appeared in 1850, after 'Dombey and Son' and before 
'Bleak House/ it became so popular that its only rival was 'Pickwick.' Beneath 
the fiction lies much of the author's personal life, yet it is not an autobiography. 
The story treats of David's sad experiences as a child, his youth at school, 
and his struggles for a livelihood, and leaves him in early manhood, prosperous and 
happily married. Pathos, humor, and skill in delineation give vitality to this 
work; and nowhere has Dickens filled his canvas with more vivid and 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 209 

diversified characters. Forster says that the author's favorites were the Peggotty 
family, composed of David's nurse Peggotty, who was married to Barkis, the carrier; 
Dan'el Peggotty, her brother, a Yarmouth fisherman; Ham Peggotty, his nephew; 
the doleful Mrs. Gummidge; and Little Em'ly, ruined by David's schoolmate, 
Steerforth. " It has been their fate, " says Forster, " as with all the leading figures of 
his invention, to pass their names into the language and become types; and he has 
nowhere given happier embodiment to that purity of homely goodness, which, by the 
kindly and all-reconciling influences of humor, may exalt into comeliness and even 
grandeur the clumsiest forms of humanity." 

Miss Betsy Trotwood, David's aunt; the half-mad but mild Mr. Dick; Mrs. 
Copper-field, David's mother; Murdstone, his brutal stepfather; Miss Murdstone, 
that stepfather's sister; Mr. Spenlow and his daughter Dora, David's "child- 
wife"; Steerforth, Rosa Dartle, Mrs. Steerforth, Mr. Wickfield, his daughter 
Agnes (David's second wife), and the Micawber family, are the persons around whom 
the interest revolves. A host of minor characters, such as the comical little dwarf 
hair-dresser, Miss Mowcher, Mr. Mell, Mr. Creakle, Tommy Traddles, Uriah Heep, 
Dr. Strong, Mrs. Marldeham, and others, are portrayed with the same vivid strokes. 

DAVID GRIEVE, THE HISTORY OF, a novel by Mrs. Humphry Ward (1892). 
Like 'Robert Elsmere/ it takes greatly into account social and educational forces 
of contemporary life. It was written apparently under the influence of 'Amid's 
Journal/ as it embodies the same cheerless and somewhat negative philosophy. 

The hero, David Grieve, and his sister Louie, are the children of Sandy Grieve, 
a Scotch workingman, and of a Frenchwoman, a grisette, of depraved tendencies. 
The girl inherits the mother's nature, the boy the father's. David begins life as a 
country boy in Derbyshire, tending his uncle's sheep. His leisure moments are de- 
voted to reading and study. As a boy of sixteen he leaves the home that had become 
intolerable, and goes to Manchester, where he learns the bookseller's trade and 
educates himself further, becoming finally the head of a publishing-house well known 
for its publications of economic and political works. His life, however, is far from 
happy. His sister goes to the bad in Paris. He marries a woman unworthy of him. 
Throughout, he clings to a high ethical ideal as the only hope, the only faith open to a 
nineteenth century man. Conduct is for him the whole of life. On right-doing his 
soul rests and depends, in the stress of the tempest of passion and sin about him. 

The novel is well written, abounding in striking and dramatic scenes, and rich in 
delineation of character. 

DAVID HARTJM, by Edward N. Westcott, was published in 1899 and met with a 
great success, which, however, its author did not live to see, as he died before *ts 
publication. The scene of the story is laid in central New York, where in a town 
called Homeville, lives David Harum, a country banker, dry, quaint, and somewhat 
illiterate, but possessing an amazing amount of knowledge not to be found in books. 
His quaint and original sayings ha\ e become household words and his cheerful belief 
that there is nothing wholly bad or useless in the world carries with it a strong lesson. 
The love story which is told in the book concerns John Lenox, a young man of 
education and refinement, brought up among conditions of wealth and luxury, who 
suddenly finds himself thrown upon his own resources and decides to accept a position 
under David Harum in his country bank. At first he is somewhat puzzled by the 
latter's bluff ways and the apparent hardness which he affects in order to try his new 
clerk, but he soon discovers that underneath the rough, exterior are sterling qualities 
14 



210 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

and a warm heart. Before going to Homeville, Lenox has had a delightful acquaint- 
ance with Mary Blake a charming New York girl, and has been on the point of 
declaring himself when a missent letter causes a misunderstanding which is not 
cleared away until the closing chapters of the story, when they meet in Europe five 
years later. Here Lenox at first labors under the delusion that she is married but 
when hs discovers his mistake he loses no time in winning her for his wife. David 
Harum who has become much attached to Lenox takes him into partnership and 
when he dies makes him his heir. The many amusing anecdotes related in David's 
quaint and original vernacular afford most entertaining reading and his horse trading, 
which is his favorite pastime is described in an inimitable manner. 

DAVID PENSTEPHEN, a novel by Richard Pryce (1915), begins when the boy is 
seven years old and covers a little more than ten years of his life; it deals with the 
affairs of grown-people from the angle of a boy's vision. David's father is a brilliant 
young writer of unorthodox convictions, and he and David's mother have never been 
married. The family live a wandering life on the Continent. Penstephen is a well- 
known name among the English aristocracy and unpleasant situations continually 
arise, which prey upon the mind of David's mother and eventually make her very ill. 
Finally, Betsy, the nurse, takes it upon herself to inform her master of her mistresses 's 
feelings which he has failed to realize; he hastens to atone for the wrong he has done, 
and the marriage takes place. Almost immediately a message comes from England 
telling of the drowning of two relatives who have stood between John Penstephen 
and a baronetcy. The family 'return to England, but Mary's happiness is clouded 
by the knowledge that her two children have no legal status. The birth of a son, a 
year later, who is made much of by the relatives who ignore the other children, does 
not lessen the mother's anxiety concerning her two eldest, though they grow up in 
blissful ignorance of the situation, David frequently wondering at things he cannot 
understand. During his school-days David's liking for the theatre crystallizes into 
the determination to become an actor. When an opportunity comes for him to take 
an important part in a play, he invites his mother to witness the performance; she is 
prepared to do so when she learns that Lady Harbington, who has already caused her 
much humiliation, is now in the neighborhood where David is visiting and she regrets 
not having enlightened David regarding his legal status. The disclosure, which is the 
climax of the story, comes in a highly dramatic fashion before the entire cast assembled 
for rehearsal. The result of this denouement is but to increase David's popularity, 
while his knowledge of his own position gives him an added impetus in seeking the 
stage as a permanent field, where he now resolves to "make a name for himself/' 

DAWN OF ASTRONOMY, THE, by Sir J. Norman Lockyer (1897). A popular 
study of the temple worship and mythology of the ancient Egyptians, designed to 
show that in the construction of their magnificent temples the Egyptians had an eye 
to astronomical facts, such as the rising or setting of the sun at a particular time in 
the year, or to the rising of certain stars; and so planned the long axis of a great 
temple as to permit a beam of light to pass at a particular moment the whole length 
of the central aisle into the Holy Place, and there illuminate the image of the deity, 
giving at once an exact note of time, and a manifestation of the god by the illumina- 
tion, which the people supposed to be miraculous. Mr. Lockyer 's clear discovery of 
these astronomical facts explains very interestingly the nature of the gods and 
goddesses, many of whom are found to be different aspects of the same object in 
nature. For both the science and the religion of Egypt the work is of great value. 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 211 

DAWN OF CIVILIZATION, THE; EGYPT AND CHALD-EA, by G. Maspero. 
Revised edition (1897). Translated by M. L. McClure. Introduction by A. H. 
Sayce. With map and over 470 illustrations. A work devoted to the earlier history 
of Egypt and Babylonia; especially full and valuable for the early history of Egypt, 
which Maspero puts before that of Babylonia. "Chaldsea" is a comparatively late 
name for Babylonia; and since Maspero wrote, new discoveries have carried the 
"dawn " very far back in Babylonia, to a date much earlier than that of the earliest 
known records of origins in Egypt. 

In a later volume, ' Egypt, Syria, and Assyria: The Struggle of the Nations,' 
M. Maspero has carried on the story of the early Oriental world, its remarkable 
civilization, its religious developments, and its wars of conquest and empire, down to 
a time in the last half of the ninth century B.C., when xAJhab was the King of Israel in 
northern Palestine. Babylon had risen and extended her influence westward as early 
as 2250 B.C.; and even this was 1500 years later than Sargon I., who had carried his 
arms from the Euphrates to the peninsula of Sinai on the confines of Egypt. As early 
at least as this, Asiatic conquerors had founded a "Hyksos" dominion in Egypt, 
which lasted more than six and a half centuries (66 1 years, to about 1600 B. C.). 
At this last date a remarkable civilization filled the region between the Euphrates 
and the Mediterranean; and to this, M. Maspero devotes an elaborate chapter, 
including a most interesting account of the Canaanites and their kindred the Phoeni- 
cians, whose commerce westward to Cyprus and North Africa and Greece was a not- 
able fact of the time. The conquest of the region by Egypt from the southwest, 
and again by the Hittites from the north, prepared the way for Israelite invasion and 
settlement; upon which followed the rise and domination of Assyria, under which 
Israel was destined to be blotted out. The story of all this, including the earliest rise, 
and the development for many centuries, of Hebrew power and culture, gives M. 
Maspero 's pages very great interest. The wealth of illustration, all of it strictly 
instructive, showing scenes in nature and ancient objects from photographs, adds 
very much to the reader's interest and to the value of the work. The twb superb 
volumes are virtually the story of the ancient Eastern world for 3000 years, or from 
3850 B. C. to 850 B. C. And the latest discoveries indicate that a record may be 
made out going back through an earlier 3000 years to about 7000 B. C. 

DAWN OF THE XIXTH CENTURY IN ENGLAND, THE: 'A Social Sketch of 
the Times,' by John Ashton (1890. 5th ed. 1906). With 116 illustrations, drawn 
by the author from contemporary engravings. Never in the history of the world has 
there been such a change in things social as since the beginning of the nineteenth 
century; and to those who are watching its close, already at the dawn of the twen- 
tieth, this work is one of invaluable reference and comparison. The arts, sciences, 
manufactures, customs, and manners, were then so widely divergent from those of 
to-day, that it seems hardly possible that they belong to the same era, or could have 
existed less than one hundred years ago. Steam was then in its infancy; locomotives 
and steamships just beginning to be heard of; gas a novel experiment; electricity a 
scientific plaything. Beginning with a slight retrospect of the eighteenth century, 
the author briefly outlines the influence of Bonaparte in matters political; follows 
with a description of the food riots in London; the union with Ireland; death of Lord 
Nelson; abolition of the slave trade; amusing photographs of the streets with their 
beggars, chimney-sweeps, dealers of small wares and great cries; then the postal 
drawbacks and stage-coach infelicities; the famous prisons, notably the Fleet; 
museums and museum gardens, theatres and operas; Tattersall's and Gretna Green 



212 THIS READER'S DIGP;ST OF BOOKS 

marriages; with innumerable extracts relating to people and places of note; all 
taken from original and authentic sources, newspapers being an authority of constant 
reference. The quaint illustrations add much to the interest of the work which 
extends a Htt!e over a decade. 

DAY OF DOOM, THE, by Michael WiggJesworlh. When this poem was published 
in 1662, Michael Wigglesworth was only thirty-one, young enough to have had 
greater compassion on the unbaptizecl infants and others whom he condemned to 
eternal punishment. 'The Day of Doom: or, A Poetical Description of the Great 
and Last Judgment, with a short Discourse about Eternity/ was the full title of this 
grim poem. The taste of our ancestors was strangely shown by their quickly buying 
up nine editions of this work in America, and two in England. Its narrow theology 
and severity of style gave it a charm for those inflexible Puritans, to find which, we of 
to-day look in vain. It is said to have been the most widely read book in America 
before the Revolution. The modern reader finds the verse mere sing-song, the 
metaphors forced, and the general tone decidedly unpleasant. Some of the passages 
meant to be most impressive have become merely ludicrous, and it seems incredible 
that it could ever have been taken seriously. It is merely a rhymed catalogue of the 
punishments to be visited on those whose ways of life, or whose theology, differed 
from the theology or ways of life of the bard. 

DAYS NEAR ROME, by Augustus J. C. Hare (1875). A very pleasant and instruc- 
tive record of excursions into the country around Rome. The book is supplementary 
to the author's 'Walks in Rome,' which supplies an excellent handbook of the city 
and environs of Rome. As that work treated, more fully and carefully than the 
usual guide-book, the most interesting aspects of the ancient city, and especially the 
latest discoveries of the recent explorers, so the 'Days' gives an interesting story of 
what can be seen in a variety of journeys away from the city. It is to a large extent 
a story of regions unknown to travel, and not reported upon in any of the guide- 
books. It is so written, moreover, as to serve the purpose of those who must travel 
only as readers. The author added to his ' Days ' a third work of like character and 
interest, on * Cities of Northern and Central Italy,' designed to be a companion to all 
those parts of Italy which lie between the Alps and the districts, described in the 
' Days.' The three works tell the present story of the city and of Italy, whether for 
the traveler or for the reader. 

DE JURE BELLI AC PACIS, see RIGHTS OF WAR AND PEACE* 

DEAD SOULS, by N. V. Gogol (1846). This panorama of Russian national life is 
the greatest humorous novel in the Russian language. In the days of serfdom, " serfs " 
were referred to as "souls," and the value of a man's estate was reckoned by the 
number of "souls" he owned. The government, to induce colonization in southern 
Russia, offered tracts of land to anyone who would go there with enough serfs to till 
the soil. The hero, Chichikov, conceives the plan of buying up on paper serfs who 
have died since the last decennial census and are therefore officially alive in the 
records. With his hundreds of "dead souls" he will obtain the land, and then raise 
money by mortgaging serfs and land. While engaged in the acquisition of this 
strange property, he travels through Russia, and has many ludicrous adventures. 
In one community it is rumored that he is Napoleon, escaped from St. Helena* 
traveling in disguise. The reader is introduced to every kind of ' Russian of every 
grade of society, officials, landed proprietors, Russians drunk and sober. The general 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 213 

Ignorance, dullness, and stupidity of the small town society is reflected in a comic 
mirror. At last he comes to grief through a scheme to forge a will. His former 
history of smuggling goods through the custom house, and his present transactions 
in dead souls are brought to light in the examination before the judge, and he is 
thrown into prison, just as he had acquired an estate, and repenting his crooked ways 
is about to turn his energies to living a respectable life. He escapes by spiriting away 
the witnesses, bribing the officials and involving prominent people in his scandalous 
affairs. He starts on his travels again, this time to find a wife and settle down, and 
after some misadventures he succeeds in his quest. After ten years of the life of a 
model country gentleman he is elected marshall for his district, in spite of rumors 
that he had once speculated in corpses to utilize their bones for commerce. He lives 
to a green old age with his wife and nine children, generally esteemed and respected. 
Gogol wrote a second part, but destroyed the manuscript. See the LIBRARY, 

DEATH AND THE FOOL (' Der Tor und der Tod),' by Hugo von Hofmannsthal 
(1893). In this type of symbolic drama, mood and sensation are represented rather 
than character or event. Claudio, alone at the window of his luxurious study, 
watching the sunset, broods over the melancholy thought that he has never been 
more than a spectator of life, that though he has had everything, nothing has brought 
him happiness or sorrow. The music of a violin enchants him and seems to stir his 
sluggish soul. He looks for the musician and sees it is Death come to claim his life. 
Claudio in terror makes the plea that he is not ready to die, because he has not yet 
really lived. Death summons his lost opportunities to teach him the lesson he has 
not learned in mortal life. First his mother appears to tell of the love he had not 
appreciated; then the woman he threw aside "unthinking, cruel, as a child, of playing 
wearied, drops his flowers"; last the man whose friendship he betrayed. Claudio 
sinks at Death's feet, asking death as a boon, since Death has given him in one little 
hour more of life than he has ever known. He reflects that at last he has lived 
"passed out of life's dreaming into death's awakening." 

DEATH OF IVAN ILYITCH, THE, AND OTHER STORIES, by Count Lyof N. 
Tolstoy (1886), contains a series of short stories which represent the latest phase in 
the evolution of the author's peculiar views. With the exception of 'The Death of 
Ivan Ilyitch,' a sombre and powerful study of the insidious progress of fatal disease, 
and a vehicle of religious philosophy, these tales were written as tracts for the people, 
illustrated in many cases with quaint wood-cuts; aiming to bring a word of cheer and 
comfort to the poorer classes oppressed by Russian despotism. The second story, 
'If You Neglect the Fire, You Don't Put It Out/ describes a trivial neighborhood 
quarrel resulting in ruin. 'Where Love Is, there God Is Also' is the study of a 
humble shoemaker who blames God for the death of his child, but reaches peace 
through the New Testament. 'A Candle' and 'Two Old Men,' told in a few pages, 
point a wide moral. 'Six Texts for Wood-Cuts,' the titles of which suggest the sub- 
ject of each cut, follow. Under the heading of 'Popular Legends 7 are the subjects 
'How the Little Devil Earned a Crust of Bread'; 'The Repentant Sinner'; 'A Seed 
s Big as a Hen's Egg ' ; and ' Does a Man Need Much Land? ' 

DEBACLE, LA, see ROUGON-MACQUART. 

DEBIT AND CREDIT ('Soil und Haben'), by Gustav Freytag (1855)* In this story 
are portrayed with rare keenness and fidelity the characteristics of German nation- 
<ility in its various classes. The honorable independence, patriotism, commercial 



214 THK READKR'S ninivsr OF BOOKS 

sagacity, and cultured commonsense of the middle industrial class, which forms the 
solid substratum of society, are well contrasted with the impassible exclusiveness and 
pecuniary irresponsibility of the nobility on the one hand, and the stolid ignorance 
of the peasant ry and the scheming of the Jews on the other. Written in the troublous 
times after '48, its avowed purpose was to arouse the German youth to a sense of their 
opportunities and responsibilities, a purpose in which it succeeded. Its truthful- 
ness to life, its delightful diction and variety of incident, assured its immediate 
popularity; and to-day it is regarded as the best German novel of the age. Most of 
the action is influenced by counting-house ethics; and it is emphatically the story of 
the old commercial house of Schroter. Yet with what an inferior artist would have 
found prosaic material, Freytag produces an intensely dramatic tale, its realism 
transfused and illuminated by a glowing imagination. The plot is intricate and 
exciting, but the value of the story lies in its strong studies of character, and the sense 
it conveys of inevitability, in its logical deduction of event from cause. An excellent 
English translation was published in 1874. 

DECAMERON, THE, written by Giovanni Boccaccio about 1349, is a collection of 
one hundred prose tales, enclosed in a clever and attractive framework. During the 
pestilence of 1348 seven ladies and three gentlemen of Florence take refuge in the 
country, traveling from one country-house to another and passing the time in games, 
reading, conversation, love-making, and the telling of stories. One of the number is 
appointed king or queen for each day, and under his or her direction each member of 
the company contributes one narrative each day, for ten days; after which they 
return to their homes. The various stories are adapted to their narrators, and are 
told in a natural sequence, one suggesting another; moreover the descriptions of the 
surroundings and occupations of the company and of the by-play between them make 
an effective and dramatic background. The stories taken as a whole cover almost 
every phase of human life, the pathetic, the humorous, the base, and the noble. 
Many are satirical tales of clerical misconduct or of feminine guile; others are humor- 
ous but indecent anecdotes of the French fabliau type. These classes spring from 
the revolt against asceticism. Other groups are elaborated from popular tales or 
romances like the story of Gilletta of Narbonne, the source of Shakespeare's 'All's 
Well that Ends Well.' Among the tragic love stories are those of Tancred and 
Ghismonda and Isabella and the Pot of Basil. Famous tales of an 'idealistic and 
moral character are the Jew's story of the three rings, used by Lessing in ' Nathan 
der Weise'; the story of the Knight and the Falcon, retold by Tennyson and Long- 
fellow; and an analogue of Chaucer's ' Franklin's Tale' of the rash promise; and the 
original of his story of Griselda. Boccaccio was supremely interested in humanity, 
was a consummate narrator, and, though overfond of involved classical periods, is 
the father of modern Italian prose style. 

DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE, THE, by Edward Gibbon. 
"It was at Rome, on the isth of October, 1764, as I sat musing amidst the ruins of 
the capitol, while the barefooted friars were singing vespers in the temple of Jupiter, 
that the idea of writing the decline and fall of the city first entered my mind," wrote 
Gibbon in his autobiography. In 1776 the first volume of the great work was 
finished. Its success was tremendous; and the reputation of the author was firmly 
established before the religious world could prepare itself for an attack on its famous 
1 5th and i6th chapters. The last volume was finished on the 27th of June, 1787, at 
Lausanne, whither he had retired for quiet and economy. In his 'Memoirs' he 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 215 

tells the hour of his release from those protracted labors between eleven o'clock 
and midnight; and records his first emotions of joy on the recovery of his freedom, 
and then the sober melancholy that succeeded it when he realized that his life's work 
was done. 

'The Decline and Pall 1 has been pronounced by many the greatest achievement 
of human thought and erudition in the department of history. The tremendous 
scope of the work is best explained by a brief citation from the author's preface to 
the first volume: "The memorable series of revolutions which, in the course of thir- 
teen centuries, gradually undermined, and at length destroyed, the solid fabric of 
human greatness, may, with some propriety, be divided into the three following 
periods: I. The first of these periods may be traced from the age of Trajan and the 
Antonines, when the Roman monarchy, having attained its full strength and matur- 
ity, began to verge toward its decline. ... II. The second may be supposed to 
begin with the reign of Justinian, who by his laws as well as his victories restored a 
transient splendor to the Eastern Empire. . . . III. The third from the revival of 
the Western Empire to the taking of Constantinople by the Turks." It is, then, a 
history of the civilized world for thirteen centuries, during which paganism was 
breaking down, and Christianity was superseding it; and so bridges over the chasm 
between the old world and the new. 

The great criticism of the work has always been upon the point of Gibbon's 
estimate of the nature and influence of Christianity. 

Aside from this, it can safely be said that modern scholarship finds very little 
that is essential to be changed in Gibbon's wonderful studies; while his noble dignity 
of style and his picturesqueness of narration make this still the most fascinating of 
histories. 

DEEMSTER, THE, by Hall Caine (1877). 'The Deemster' is a sensational novel, 
setting forth the righteousness of just retribution. The author calls it the story 
of the Prodigal Son. The scene is laid in the Isle of Man, in the latter part of the 
seventeenth century and the early part of the eighteenth. 

The Deemster is Thorkell Mylrea, whose brother Gilchrist is bishop of the island. 
These two brothers, with Ewan and Mona, the son and daughter of the Deemster, 
and Daniel, the son of the Bishop, are the chief actors in the story. Ewan is a young 
clergyman, but Dan is the prodigal who wastes his father's substance. He loves his 
cousin Mona deeply, but her brother considers this love dishonorable to her. The 
cousins engage in a duel, which results in the death of Ewan. Dan surrenders himself 
to justice, is declared guilty, and receives a sentence worse than death. He is declared 
cut off forever from Hs people. None shall speak to him or look upon him or give 
him aid. He shall live and die among the beasts in a remote corner of the island. 

At length a strange plague comes upon the people. Daniel obtains the privilege 
of taking the place of Father Dalby, the Irish priest. He effects many cures, and at 
last dies of the pestilence, after the office of deemster made vacant by his uncle's 
death has been offered to him as a reward for his services. Like all of Hall Caine 's 
work, it is sombre and oppressive, but its delineation of Manx character is striking 
and convincing. A dramatization has been produced by Wilson Barrett under 
the title 'Ben-Ma-Chree.' 

DEEPHA VEN, by Sarah Orne Jewett. Deephaven is an imaginary seaport town, 
famous for its shipping in the old days, like so many towns along the northern 
coast of New England, and now a sleepy, picturesque old place in which to dream 



2i6 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

away a summer. Kate Lancaster and Helen Denis, two bright, sympathetic girls, 
go to live in the Brandon house there; and the story tells of the glimpses they get 
into ICew England life, and the friendships they make, during that summer. Mrs. 
Kew, of the lighthouse, is the most delightful character in the book, although Mrs. 
Dockum and the alert "VTidow Jim" prove to be interesting neighbors. Mr. Lori- 
mcr the minister, his sister Miss Honora Carew and the members of her household, 
represent the gentlefolk of the town, and visionary Captain Sands, Isaac Horn, and 
hind-hearted Danny, the seafaring ones, not without JacofrLunt "condemned as 
unsea worthy." Old Mrs. Bonny lives in the woods beyond the town; and Miss 
Chauncey, a pathetic old lady who has lost her mind, live? alone in the village of 
East Parish. When the leaves have fallen and the sea looks rough and cold, the two 
heroines close the old house and return to their homes in the city, the inevitable 
end. This was one of the first books on New England life Miss Jewett wrote; and 
it was published in 1877, when she was only twenty years old. The book has done 
for the region it describes something of what Irving 's writing did for the Hudson 
River. 

DEERSLAYER, THE, a novel of frontier life, one of the ' Leatherstocking Tales 1 
by James Fenimore Cooper, published in 1841. The hero, Natty Bumppo, called 
Deerslayer in this novel, is represented as a young hunter brought up among the 
Dela wares and engaged in guerilla warfare with the Hurons in the wilderness of 
northern New York State between the years 1 740 and 1745. With a gigantic trapper, 
Henry March, nicknamed "Hurry Harry" he defends the family of a settler, Tom 
Hutter, who has built a wooden fortress in the midst of a lonely lake, which he also 
navigates in a kind of house-boat. After a series of exciting adventures in which a 
band of invading Hurons, a Delaware chief, Chingachgook, and a Delaware maiden, 
Wah-ta-wah, are involved, and in the course of which the hero is imprisoned by the 
redskins, the Hurons are driven off with the aid of the British troops. The love of 
Judith Hutter for Deerslayer is not reciprocated, and they part. The other sister, 
Hetty Hutter, who loves Hurry Harry is slain by a chance bullet in the assault by 
the soldiers. Although lacking humor, psychological subtlety, and delicacy of 
characterization this story is of absorbing narrative interest and preserves some 
excellent types of pioneer days. See also ' Leatherstocking Tales.' 

DEGENERATION, by Max Nordau (1895). A work which attracted great atten- 
tion, and provoked a storm of opposition and of argument. A product in equal 
parts of German profundity of learning and one-sidedness of outlook, it is an attempt 
at "scientific criticism" of those "degenerates" not upon the acknowledged lists of 
the criminal classes. The author in his dedication says: " Degenerates are not always 
criminals, prostitutes, anarchists, and pronounced lunatics; they are often authors 
and artists. These, however, manifest the same mental characteristics, and for the 
most part the same somatic features, as the members of the above-mentioned an- 
thropological family, who satisfy their unhealthy impulses with the knife of the 
assassin or the bomb of the dynamiter, instead of with pen and pencil. Some among 
these degenerates in literature, music, and painting, have in recent years come into 
extraordinary prominence. . . . Now I have undertaken the work of investigating 
the tendencies of the fashions in art and literature; of proving that they have their 
source in the degeneracy of their authors, and that the enthusiasm of their admirers 
is for manifestations of more or less pronounced moral insanity and dementia."- 
The author undertakes this large task with cheerfulness and assurance. In five 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 217 

subdivisions of his topic * 'Fin-de-Siecle/ 'Mysticism/ 'Ego-Mania/ 'Realism, 5 
and 'The Twentieth Century' he discusses those manifestations of modern 
thought and feeling in art and literature which he is pleased to term "degenerate." 
Scarcely a man of note in these departments escapes. Zola, Wagner, Tolstoy, 
Ibsen, Nietzsche, Rossetti,and the other pre-Raphaelites, are, so to speak, placed in 
strait-jackets and confined in padded cells. 

The book is an extraordinary manifestation of the philistine spirit of the close of 
the I gth century. For a time it had an enormous vogue; the calm judgment of 
science, however, tends to deny many of its propositions. 

DELECTABLE DUCHY, THE, by "Q" (Sir A. T. Quiller-Couch). A book of 
stories, studies, and sketches, some gay and some tragic, but all brief, concise, and 
dramatic. The scene of all is laid in Cornwall (the Delectable Duchy); they are 
full of folk-lore, local superstitions and expressions. Among the best are ' The Spin- 
ster's Maying/ where the old maid induces the twin brother of her dead lover to 
court her every year on May Day; ' When the Sap Rose/ full of the 303* of springtime; 
'The Plumpers'; 'Egg-Stealing'; 'The Regent's Wager/ a mistake which lost one 
man his life and another his reason; and 'The Conspiracy aboard the Midas/ to 
make a dying child's last days happy. These stories were published in 1893, and are 
the high-water mark of the writer's work, though he has won reputation as a critic 
and journalist as well as a story-teller. See the LIBRARY. 

DELIVERANCE, THE, by Ellen Glasgow (1904). This is a romance of the Virginia 
tobacco fields and has for its central figure Christopher Blake. He is the descendant 
of a rich and aristocratic family, and through reduced fortunes is obliged to work as a 
laborer on the estate which for generations had been owned by his forbears. Upon 
the death of his father, when he is only ten >ears old, he suddenly finds home and 
fortune snatched from him, and with a blind mother and two sisters to support he 
begins a life of toil. He foregoes education and drudges unceasingly that his mother 
may be kept in ignorance of her change of fortune and that his twin sister may not 
have to work. After fifteen years of this existence his nature becomes hardened and 
his heart is filled with hatred for Mr. Fletcher, the past manager of the estate, who 
is now its possessor. Fletcher, who is a vulgar and ugly tempered man, has gained 
his possessions by cheating and dishonesty, and Christopher's one thought from 
childhood has been a desire for revenge. He finds his opportunity in leading to ruin 
Fletcher's grandson, Will, a weak young fellow, who is idolized by his grandfather. 
Christopher leads him into dissipation and teaches him to despise his grandfather 
till finally in a moment of drunken frenzy he kills him. Then Christopher realizes 
the enormity of his sin, aids Will to escape, himself confesses to the crime, and takes 
the punishment. He goes to prison to serve out a five years' sentence, but after 
three years have passed is pardoned out through the efforts of Maria Wyndham, 
Fletcher's granddaughter, whom he has loved for years. Maria, who has returned 
his affection and is now the heir to the estate, is only too glad to restore it to its 
rightful owner, and the lovers, after their many years of unhappiness, are at last 
united. 

DELPHINE, by Madame de Stael, was her first romance; it was published in 1802, 
The heroine is an ideal creation. Madame d'Albemar (Delphine), a young widow, 
devotedly attached to her husband's memory, falls promptly in love with Leonce as 
soon as she meets him. The feeling is reciprocated, and Leonce bitterly repents his 
engagement to Delphine's cousin Mathilde. But Delphine's mother, Madame de 



2i8 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

Vernon, a treacherous, intriguing woman, determines to separate the lovers; and the 
story relates the progress of her machinations. 

Its bold imagery, keenness of observation, and power of impassioned description, 
perhaps justify 'Delphine's' position among the masterpieces of French literature. 
But neither situations nor characters are true to nature. The only real person in the 
book is Madame de Vemon, a mixture of pride, duplicity, ostentation, avarice, 
polished wickedness, and false good-nature. But the romance had a special interest 
for Madame de StaeTs contemporaries, for several of the great men and women of 
the time appear in it under the thinnest of disguises. M. de Lebense*e, the noble 
Protestant, is Benjamin Constant; the virtuous and accomplished Madame de 
Cerlebe is Madame de StaeTs mother; Delphine is of course Madame de Stael herself; 
and Madame de Vernon is Talleyrand: "So we are both," said he to her, "in your 
last book, I hear; I disguised as an old woman, and you as a young one. " The liberal 
ideas scattered through the story drew down on the author the anger of Napoleon, 
who ordered her to leave France. 

DELUGE, THE, by David Graham Phillips (1905). This is the story, given in his 
own words, of Matthew Blacklock, a hero of finance and a self-made man. He is 
endowed with brains, a powerful will, and striking personality and has worked his 
way from the foot of the ladder until he has become a conspicuous figure in Wall 
Street. While still 3'oung, he has amassed a fortune and has surrounded himself 
with all the luxuries of life, but is not admitted to the inner circles of society where he 
aspires to be. Blacklock, or Black Matt as he is familiarly called has men friends 
belonging to this exclusive class who have not scrupled to accept his business "tips " 
but who never entertain him socially. This is a source of great dissatisfaction to Matt 
who does not realize his lack of social training and feels his success in life has made 
him eligible for any company. He meets Anita Ellersly, the sister of one of his 
aristocratic friends, and in spite of her evident repugnance for him makes up his 
mind to win her for his wife. He secures his entree into their family circle by assisting 
Anita's father, who is financially involved, and when he proposes marriage is accepted 
by Anita who tells him she can never care for him as she loves someone else. The 
latter proves to be Mowray Langdon, an old lover of Anita's, who is unhappily 
married and who has had business dealings with Matt. After the engagement is 
made public Langdon does everything in his power to ruin Matt financially and 
almost succeeds. Mr. and Mrs. Ellersly hearing that Matt is ruined cast him off, 
but Anita disgusted at her parents' actions decides to marry him and does so im- 
mediately. Matt extricates himself from his financial embarrassment by a series of 
successful business coups which are graphically described in the story, and tries to 
win the affection of his wife who holds herself aloof from him. Finally Matt, who 
has never known the meaning of the word fail, succeeds in gaining Anita's love and 
she confesses that she has cared for him almost from the first but has been too proud 
to acknowledge it. 

DELUGE, by Henryk Sienkiewicz, see WITH FIRE AND SWORD. 

DEMOCRACY AND EDUCATION, a sociological and philosophical treatise by 
John Dewey, was published in 1916. It affords the clearest statement of the author's 
psychological, ethical, and educational views, which are here applied to the solution 
of educational problems in the modem democratic state. The book falls into four 
parts. Chapters I. to VII. outline the general nature of education and its function 
in society. Education is defined as "that reconstruction or reorganization of 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 219 

experience which adds to the meaning of experience, and which increases ability to 
direct the course of subsequent experience." This result is obtained by a process of 
transmission, partly spontaneous, partly deliberate, of the acquirements of society, 
with the aim of preserving social continuity. Democratic societies are those which 
afford equal opportunity for development and equal social privileges to all their 
members. To be adapted to a democratic society, education must give all individuals 
a personal interest in social relationships, and the power of effecting social changes 
without disorder. It must not trust merely to the force of custom, operating under 
the control of a superior class. 

In the second part of the book (Chapters VTII.-XVIL), coming down to particu- 
lar questions of subject-matter and method, the author shows that education aims 
at natural development, social efficiency, and mental enrichment; that discipline, or 
the presentation of a lesson to be learned as a task, must be united with interest, or 
the realization by the pupil of the relation of this task to his own activities and 
personal concerns; that thinking must be preceded by experience, mental instruc- 
tion by physical experiment; that the pupil must be encouraged to think for himself 
and to work out his own mental conclusions; and that the subject-matter of education 
must not be mere information, but information which he can apply in some way to 
some situation of his own. Occupational training, in order to be truly educath e, 
must require the pupil's judgment and admit the possibility of mistakes. Play is 
distinguished from work in that its aim is continued activity and not a definite 
result. Being a necessity of our nature, it must be provided for in every scheme of 
education. Geography and history enlarge the significance of the pupil's experience 
of nature and man; science broadens his horizon and cultivates the power of gen- 
eralized thinking. 

The third part (Chapters XVIIL-XXIII.) examines the hindrances to ideal 
democratic education which spring from the notion "that experience consists of a 
variety of segregated domains or interests, each having its own independent value, 
material, and method, each checking every other." This theory, which results 
from the division of society into rigidly-marked classes and groups, issues in certain 
dualisms or antitheses between culture and utility, leisure and labor, intellectual and 
practical studies, social and physical subjects, the individual and society, liberal and 
vocational training. All these contradictions Dewey would remove by rejecting 
the dualism which prompted them. All pupils are to have the opportunity of enjoy- 
ing both types of training, in preparation for serving the state as a whole. 

In conclusion (Chapters XXIV.-XXVI.) the author states his philosophy of 
education in connection with the theory of knowledge and of conduct. As regards 
knowledge he is a pragmatist, or, as he prefers to call himself, an experimentalist, 
believing that truth is determined by the practical test of experience. In ethics he 
believes that the moral life of the individual is one, not separated into provinces of 
inner and outer, duty and interest, intelligence and character. 

The book abounds in helpful definitions, clear distinctions, and genuine reconcilia- 
tions of opposite ideas. The expository method is clear, and made even more lucid 
by the summaries appended to each chapter and by the plain, sometimes even 
colloquial diction. A reviewer has called this the most important educational treatise 
since Plato and Rousseau. 

DEMOCRACY AND LIBERTY, by W. E. H. Lecky (2 vols., 1896). A strong 
book "dealing with the present aspects and tendencies of the political world in 
many different countries," and with special reference to the fact that "the most 



220 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

remarkable political characteristic of the latter part of the nineteenth century- 
has unquestionably been the complete displacement of the centre of power in free 
governments, a profound and far-reaching revolution, over a great part of the 
civilized world." The work is not one of history, but one of "discussion of contem- 
porary questions, some of them lying in the very centre of party controversies," and 
one "expressing strong opinions on many much -contested party questions." Besides 
dealing with England, Ireland, America, and much of Europe, it also discusses 
socialism, Sunday and drink legislation, woman questions and labor questions, 
marriage and divorce, religious liberty, and Catholicism. It is a book of able dis- 
cussion and strong convictions, by a writer who has many doubts about modern 
democratic developments, but too competent and too just to be scouted. 

DEMOCRACY AND THE ORGANIZATION OF POLITICAL PARTIES, by M. 

Ostrogorski with a preface by Bryce (1902). As Lord Bryce well points out in the 
preface to this book there is room for a treatise which shall take Party Organization 
and Party Machinery for its specific subject, and shall endeavor to treat these 
phenomena of modern politics with a fulness commensurate to the importance of the 
part which they play to-day in popular governments. The author, a Frenchman of 
extraordinarily thorough and penetrating intellect, who has at the same time the 
clarity and impartiality of the best writers of his race, spares neither the Republicans 
nor the Democrats of the United 'States, neither the Tories nor the Liberals of Eng- 
land. He perhaps allows too much influence to the caucus in England and to the 
social pressure which has undoubtedly been exercised by landlords or other interested 
parties. After a most careful examination of the facts in both countries he reaches 
the conclusion that party organization in England is on the highway to becoming 
what it already is in the United States. " The democratization of the party system," 
he says, "was nothing but a change of form and could not cure the original defect, 
either of its principle, or of the methods by which it was carried out. Thenceforth 
the system could only produce effects which were the negation of democracy. In- 
capable of realizing its essence, the system reduced political relations to an external 
conformity, which warped their moral spring and ended by enslaving the mind of the 
citizens and opening the door to corruption. To the low types which the human race 
has produced, from Cain down to Tartuffe, the age of democracy has added a new 
one the politician . . . the motley soul of the politician is made up of innumerable 
pettinesses, with but one trait to give them unity cowardice." The remedy for 
these evils, in the opinion of M. Ostrogorski is, on the practical side, to discard the 
use of permanent parties whose aim is political power, and to establish a system of 
proportional representation. But obviously the victory over machine politics must 
first be won in the mind of the elector. " Men must be taught to use their judgment, 
and to act independently. It is on the accomplishment of this work of liberation 
that the whole future of democracy depends. Hitherto the victorious struggle which 
democracy has carried on in the world has been mainly, and necessarily, a struggle 
for material liberty; moral liberty, which consists in thinking and acting as free 
reason dictates, has yet to be achieved by it. It has carried the habeas corpus by 
force, but the decisive battle of democracy will be fought on the habeas animum." 

DEMOCRACY IN AMERICA, an account of the government and institutions of 
the United States by Alexis de Tocqueville, published in 1835. Fr a summary 
and estimate of this work see the introductory essay on De Tocqueville in the 
LIBRARY. 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS . 221 

DEMOCRACY IN EUROPE: 'A History,' by T. Erskine May (2 vols., 1877). 
A thoroughly learned and judicious study of popular power and political liberty 
throughout the history of Europe. Starting from an introduction on the causes of 
freedom, especially its close connection with civilization, the research deals with the 
marked absence of freedom in Oriental history, and then reviews the developments 
of popular power in Greece and Rome, and the vicissitudes of progress in the Dark 
Ages to the Revival of Learning. It then traces the new progress in the Italian 
republics, Switzerland, the Netherlands, France, and England. The work shows 
careful study of the inner life of republics, ancient and modern; of the most memor- 
able revolutions, and the greatest national struggles for civil and religious liberty; 
and of the -various degrees and conditions of democracy, considered as the sovereignty 
of the whole body of the people. The author regards popular power as an essential 
condition of the social advancement of nations, and writes as an ardent admirer of 
rational and enlightened political liberty. 

DEMONOLOGY AND DEVIL-LORE, by Moncure D. Conway (1879). In this 
scholarly history of a superstition, the author has set before himself the task of finding 
"the reason of unreason, the being and substance of unreality, the law of folly, and 
the logic of lunacy." His business is not alone to record certain dark vagaries of 
human intelligence, but to explain them ; to show them as the inevitable expression 
of a mental necessity, and as the index to some spiritual facts with large inclusions. 
He sees that primitive man has always personified his own thoughts in external 
personal forms ; and that these personifications survive as traditions long after a more 
educated intelligence surrenders them as facts. He sets himself, therefore, to seek 
in these immature and grotesque imaginings the soul of truth and reality that once 
inspired them. From anthropology, history, tradition, comparative mythology and 
philology; from every quarter of the globe; from periods which trail off into pre- 
historic time, and from periods almost within our own remembrance; from savage 
and from cultivated races; from extinct peoples and those now existing; from learned 
sources and the traditions of the unlearned, he has sought his material. This vast 
accumulation of facts he has so analyzed and synthesized as to make it yield its fine 
ore of truth concerning spiritual progress. Related beliefs he has grouped either in 
natural or historical association; migrations of beliefs he has followed, with a keen 
sense for their half -obliterated trail; through diversities his trained eye discovers 
likenesses. He finds that devils have always stood for the type of pure malignity; 
while demons are creatures driven by fate to prey upon mankind for the satisfaction 
of their needs, but not of necessity malevolent. The demon is an inference from the 
physical experience of mankind; the devil is a product of his moral consciousness. 
The dragon is a creature midway between the two. 

DESCENT OF MAN AND SELECTION IN RELATION TO SEX, THE, by Charles 
Darwin. The 'Descent of Man' was given to the world in 1871, eleven years after 
the appearance of the 'Origin of Species,' when Darwin was sixty-two years old. In 
spite of the opposition which the theories of the earlier work had met in some quarters, 
it had already given hfop a place as a leader of scientific thought, not only in England 
but in the whole world. "Darwinism" had in fact become a definite term, and the 
new book was received with interest. The evidences of the descent of man from some 
earlier, less-developed form, collected and marshaled by Darwin, consist of minute 
inferential proofs of similarity of structure; at certain stages of development, between 
man and the lower animals. This similarity is especially marked in the embryonic 



222 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

^tages; and taken with the existence in man of various rudimentary organs, seems to 
imply that he and the lower animals come from a common ancestor. From the 
evidences thus collected, Darwin reasons that the early ancestors of man must have 
been more or less monkey-like animals of the great anthropoid group, and related to 
the progenitors of the orang-outang, the chimpanzee, and the gorilla. They must 
have been hairy, with pointed, movable ears, and a movable tail. They probably lived 
in trees, and had a thumb-like great toe, ate fruit chiefly, and made their home in a 
warm forest land. Going back still farther, Darwin shows that the remotest ancestor 
of humanity must have been aquatic. As a partial proof of this, human lungs are 
said to be modified swim-bladders. The general descent is given by Darwin some- 
what in this fashion : From the jelly-like larva to the early fishes, such as the lancelet, 
then to the ganoids (as the mudfish), to the newt and other amphibians, then to the 
platypus and other mammals such as the kangaroo, and to the insectivorous animals 
such as the shrews and hedgehogs; after this by well-marked stages to the lemurs of 
Madagascar, and then to the monkeys, which branch into those of the Old and the 
Xew World, from the latter of which man is descended. Without entering here 
into the question as to whether all the steps were proved, it is enough to say that the 
4 Descent of Man ' was received with enthusiasm by scientific men, and that its 
immediate influence was even greater than that of the 'Origin of Species.' It had 
an effect not merely on physical and biological science, but it led to many new con- 
ceptions in ethics and religion. In the volumes containing the 'Descent of Man' 
Darwin placed his elaborate treatise on * Sexual Selection,' which indeed may be 
regarded as a part of the theory of man's descent. The theory of a common origin of 
man and the other vertebrates was not new; but he was the first to develop a tenable 
theory as to the process, 

DESTINY, by Susan Edmonston Ferrier. This story, published in 1831, is the last 
and best of the three novels by the Scotch authoress. The scene of action is the 
Highlands, and fashionable London society in the first part of the nineteenth century. 
Written in a clear, bright style, in spite of its length it is interesting throughout. Its 
tone is serious, but the gravity is brightened by a delightful humor, which reveals 
both the ludicrous and the sad side of a narrow-minded and conventional society. 
The reader laughs at the arrogant and haughty chief Glenroy, growing more child- 
ishly obstinate and bigoted as he grows older, and at his echo and retainer Benbowie; 
at the self-sufficient and uncouth pastor M'Dow; and at the supercilious Lady 
Elizabeth, who thinks herself always recherchee. 

The plot involves constant changes in the lot of the characters, the moral being 
that no man can escape his destiny. Somewhat old-fashioned, and much too long, 
the book is still agreeable reading. 

DESTINY OF MAN, THE, 'Viewed in the Light of his Origin/ by John Fiske. 
(1884. 9th ed. 1886). This argument, originally an address delivered before the 
Concord School of Philosophy, gives the simplest possible statement of the general 
theory not the particular processes of evolution, and openly endeavors to 
reconcile the spirit and teachings of modern science with those of the New Testament. 
While declaring that the brain of an Australian savage is many times further removed 
from Shakespeare's than from an orang-outang's, he yet shows that evolution, far 
from degrading man to the level of the beast, makes it evident that man is the chief 
object of the Divine care. Man is, after all, the center of the universe though 
not in the sense that the oppressors of Bruno and Galileo supposed. And before 



THE REAPER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 223 

man's reinstatement in his central and dominant position became possible, the limited 
and distorted hypothesis of theologians and poets had to be overthrown. Much 
stress is laid on the insignificance of physical in comparison with psychical phe- 
nomena : more amazing than the change from a fin to a fore-limb are the psychical 
variations that set in (almost to the exclusion of physical variations) after the 
beginnings of intelligence in the human species. The superiority of man lies not in 
perfection but in improvableness. The body is becoming a mere vehicle for that 
soul which for a long time was only an appendage to it. On scientific grounds there 
is no argument for immortality and none against it; but if the work of evolution does 
not culminate in immortality, then the universe is indeed reduced to a meaningless 
riddle. 

DEVIL ON TWO STICKS, THE, see ASMODEUS. 
DHAMMAPADA, see SACRED BOOKS OF THE EAST. 

DIALOGUES OF PLATO, a series of philosophical treatises in dramatic form, in 
which problems metaphysical, ethical, and political are discussed by Socrates, his 
friends and pupils. They were written between the death of Socrates in 399 B. C. and 
that of Plato in 347 B. C., mainly at the Academy, which Plato established just out- 
side of Athens in 387 B. C. Thirty-five extant dialogues are attributed to Plato, of 
which seven are now regarded as spurious. Of these the most noted are: the 'Laches/ 
'Charmides, 1 and 'Lysis' in which Socrates attempts to elicit by questions the de- 
finition of courage, temperance, and friendship respectively; ' Protagoras' and 'Meno ' 
discussing the question whether virtue can be taught and attacking the Sophists; 
' Ion, ' relating to poetical inspiration; 'Euthyphro,' 'Apologia,' 'Crito,' and 'Phaedo' 
all concerned with the trial and death of Socrates; the * Symposium,* 'PhaL-drus' and 
'Cratylus,' which develop fully the Platonic doctrine of ideas; the 'Gorgias/ a dis- 
cussion of justice; the 'Republic,' a description of an ideal state; the 'Euthydemus,' 
'Parmenides/ 'Theaetetus,' 'Sophist,' 'Statesman,' 'Philebus,' all dealing with the 
theory of knowledge; the 'Titnseus,' an account of the origin and nature of the 
external world; and the ' Laws,' a suggested code for a Greek state. For a statement 
of Plato's distinctive doctrines and an estimate of their worth and influence see Pro- 
fessor Shorey's article under ' Plato ' in the ' LIBRARY.' The best English translation 
of Plato is that by Benjamin Jowett (1871-1892). 

DIALOGUES OF THE DEAD, by Lucian. These dialogues, written at Athens 
during the latter half of the second century, are among the author's most popular and 
familiar works. They have been translated by many hands, from the days of Eras- 
mus to the present; an excellent modern translation being that by Howard Williams 
in Bonn's Classical Library. They are filled with satire, bitter or delicate according 
to the subject, and illustrate admirably Lucian's ready wit, and light, skillful touch. 
The scene is laid in Hades; and the only persons appearing to advantage are the 
Cynics Menippus and Diogenes, who are distinguished by their scorn of falsehood 
and 'pretense. The Sophists are mercilessly treated; and even Aristotle is accused 
of corrupting the youthful Alexander by his flatteries. Socrates is well spoken of, but 
is said to have dreaded death, the Cynics being the only ones to seek it willingly. 
The decadent Olympian religion and the old Homeric heroes are exposed to ridicule, 
and it is twice demonstrated that the conception of Destiny logically destroys moral 
responsibility. There are several dialogues that hold up to scorn the parasites and 
legacy-hunters so abundant at Athens and Rome; and Alexander and Crcesus make 



224 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

themselves ridiculous by boasting of their former prowess and wealth. The futility of 
riches and fame is shown in the dialogue of the boat-load of people who have to dis- 
card all their cherished belongings and attributes before Charon will give them pas- 
sage; only sterling moral qualities avail in the shadowy land of Hades, and only the 
Cynics are happy, for they have nothing left behind to regret, but have brought their 
treasure with them in an upright and fearless character. 

DIALOGUES OF THE DEAD, by George, Lord Lyttelton. Lord Lyttelton is a 
writer with whom only students of the English language and literature are likely to 
ho familiar. In fact, his only claims to recognition as a Iitt6rateur rest upon his 
'Observations on the Conversion and Apostleship of St. Paul,' and the 'Dialogues' 
here presented, which first appeared in 1760. The conversation of the 'Dialogues' 
shows how thoroughly versed the writer must have been in the history of all times. 
The ruthless Cortez sneers at the humanitarian efforts of William Perm; Cardinal 
Ximenes haughtily pulls to pieces the reputation of his rival Wolsey; Boileau and 
Pope, the satirists, hold a highly instructive conversation upon the merits of their 
respective literatures; and then comes Charles XII. of Sweden in hot haste to Alex- 
ander the Great, with a proposition that they two "turn all these insolent scribblers 
out of Elysium, and throw them down headlong to the bottom of Tartarus in spite 
of Pluto and all his guards, " because "an English poet, one Pope, has called us 'two 
madmen.'" Alexander demurs at this Draconic measure, and by a few leading 
questions, which he answers himself, soon shows the royal Swede that he was only a 
fool. In connection with this work, it is interesting to note the 'Dialogues des 
Morts,' by the French free-thinker Fontenelle, and the 'Imaginary Conversations,' 
by Walter Savage Landor. The first complete edition of Lord Lyttelton 's works was 
published in London in 1776. 

DIAMOND LENS, THE, a short story by Fitz- James O'Brien, which appeared 
originally in the Atlantic Monthly in 1858 and in a volume of his stories and essays 
collected and edited by William Winter in 1881. The narrator, Linley, becoming 
fascinated with microscopic study, determines to devote his life to its pursuit. His 
parents object, but being financially independent he goes to New York on the pre- 
tense of studying medicine, and buying the most expensive apparatus succeeds in one 
year in making himself an accomplished microscopist. Dissatisfied, however, with 
the revealing power of the best instruments he seeks the aid of a spiritualist medium, 
Madame Vulpes, who puts him into communication with the spirit of Leeuwenhoek, 
the father of microscopy. The great scientist informs him that the universal lens 
may be formed of a diamond of one hundred and forty carats, which must be sub- 
jected to electro-magnetic currents and pierced through its axis. On returning to 
the house on Fourth Avenue in which he has his rooms, an impulse leads Linley to 
visit a fellow-lodger, -a French Jew named Jules Simon, who hastily conceals some- 
thing on his friend's entrance and is greatly agitated when he learns of Lindley's 
desire for a diamond. The latter, by making Simon drunk, finds out that the Jew 
has a diamond of exactly one hundred and forty carats which he has stolen from a 
mine in Brazil and is unable to dispose of. Lindley promptly administers laudanum 
to the Frenchman and then stabs him to the heart, so arranging the room that every 
evidence points to suicide, and that this explanation is adopted in the inquiry which 
follows. Possessed of the diamond, Lindley now constructs the lens and on its 
completion tests it with a drop of water. A marvelous world of richly colored vegeta- 
tion and pure etherial radiance is revealed to his delighted gaze; and from the depths 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 225 

of these enchanted forests emerges a beautiful woman's form. With this being whom 
he christens Animula, the microscopist falls passionately in love; but as she inhabits 
a drop of water he can only spend hours in gazing at her beauty and in longing that 
he might enter her world. At length the water dries up, forests and lov ely form wither 
and die, and Lindley goes mad and wrecks his microscope. For the rest of his life he 
is an object of derision or pity as " Lindley the mad microscopist." This exceedingly 
clever tale is told with an artistry and technical skill worthy of high honor in the 
annals of the American short story. 

DIANA OF THE CROSSWAYS, a remarkable novel by George Meredith, appeared 
in 1885. It displays his power of drawing a living vibrant woman, in whom beauty 
and intellect and noble character are united. Diana is the centre of the book. In 
her light the other men and women live and move, and by her light they are judged. 
She is an Irishwoman of good family. As a girl she makes an unfortunate marriage 
with a Mr. Warwick, who so little knows her true character that he suspects her of 
an intrigue with a Lord Dannisburg, and begins proceedings against her. Diana's 
separation from her husband is the beginning of her picturesque but always honorable 
career, and the true initial point of the story. She is one of the most charming of 
Meredith's women. The famous incident of her betrayal of a political secret, as well 
as some traits of her character, was drawn from Lady Caroline Norton, Sheridan's 
granddaughter, famous for her beauty, her wit, and her independence of conventional 
opinion. It was later proved, however, that Lady Norton did not betray the secret; 
and this act remains to many readers an incomprehensible act on the part of Diana. 

DIANA TEMPEST, by Mary Cholmondeley (1893). The clever author of 'Sir 
Charles Danvers ' her e attempts a more elaborate novel. It is a story of good society, 
wherein the motives potent in bad society greed, envy, malice, and all unchari- 
tableness have "room and verge enough." The plot deals with many sensational 
incidents, but the novel is really not sensational but an interesting study of the history 
of a family through several generations. The children in the book are drawn with 
a loving hand, the characterization is as good as in 'Sir Charles Danvers,' the dialogue 
is clever, the general treatment brilliant, and in its charming refinement the story 
has a place apart. 

DIARY OF TWO PARLIAMENTS, by Sir H. W. Lucy (2 vols., 1885-86). A very 
graphic narrative of events as they passed in the Disraeli Parliament, 1874-80, and 
in the Gladstone Parliament, 1880-85. Mr. Lucy was the House of Commons 
reporter for the London Daily News, and as "Toby, M. P.," he supplied the Par- 
liamentary report published in Punch. His diary especially undertakes descriptions 
of the more remarkable scenes of the successive sessions of Parliament, and to give 
in skeleton form the story of Parliaments which are universally recognized as having 
been momentous and distinctive in recent English history. It includes full and 
minute descriptions of memorable episodes and notable men. 

DICKENS, THE LIFE OF CHARLES, by John Forster (3 vols., 1872-74). This 
book of many defects has the excellence of being entertaining. It follows the life of 
its subject from his birth in poverty and obscurity in 1812, to his death in riches and 
fame in 1870. It extenuates nothing, because the biographer was incapable of seeing 
a foible, much more a fault, in the character and conduct of the friend whom he 
admired even more than he loved him. The poverty and sensitiveness of the lad, his 
menial work and his sense of responsibility for his elders, his thirst for knowledge and 



226 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

for the graces of life, his training to be a reporter, his experience on a newspaper, his 
early sketches, his first success in 'Pickwick,' his sudden reputation and prosperity, 
his first visit to America and his disillusionment, the history of his novels, of his read- 
ings, of his friendships, of his home life, of his second triumphant journey in the 
United States, this time to read from his own books, his whimsical and fun- 
loving nature, his agreeableness as a father, a comrade, and a host, his generosity, his 
respect for his profession, the sum of the qualities that made him both by tempera- 
ment and performance a great actor, all these things are fully set forth in the 
elaborate tribute which the biographer pays to his friend. The books are interesting 
because the mass of material is interesting. But it must be admitted that they give 
an exaggerated impression of one side of the character of Dickens, his energetic, 
restless, insatiable activity, and fail to do justice to his less self-conscious and more 
lovable qualities. They are, however, to be reckoned among the important biogra- 
phies of the time. There are laser studies of Dickens by George Gissing and by G. 
K. Chesterton, but these are literary interpretations rather than biographies. 

DICTATOR, THE, by Justin McCarthy. When Justin McCarthy published 'The 
Dictator,' in 1893, he had been known to the novel-reading public for twenty-six 
years, and had written a score of books. 'The Dictator/ a story of contemporary 
life in England, gives scope to its author for the display of his knowledge of politics. 
The Dictator of the story, Ericson, when first introduced to the reader, has jus I 
been ejected by a revolution from his position as chief of the South American Republic, 
Gloria. Of mixed English and Spanish blood, he has a fearless and honest soul. The 
novel comes to a climax in a plot made against him by his enemies in Gloria. Besides 
the hero, 'The Dictator' introduces two or three other characters of especial interest: 
Captain Sarrasin, who has traveled and fought in many countries, and whose wife on 
occasion can don men's garments and handle a gun; Dolores Paulo; and the Duchess 
of Deptford, of American birth, a caricature rather than a true type. The plot 
involves the use of dynamite, and much mining and countermining; in spite of which 
the book remains an entertaining domestic story. 

DICTIONARY, HISTORICAL AND CRITICAL, by Pierre Bayle (1697. Second 
edition in 1702). A work of the boldest "new-departure" character, by one of the 
master spirits of new knowledge and free thought two hundred years since. Its 
author had filled various university positions from 1675 to 1693, and had been ejected 
at the latter date from the chair of philosophy and history at Rotterdam on account 
of Ms bold dealing with Maimbourg's ' History of Calvinism.' From 1684 for several 
years he had published with great success a kind of journal of literary criticism, 
entitled 'Nouvelles de la Re'publique des Lettres. 1 It was the first thoroughly 
successful attempt to popularize literature. Bayle was essentially a modern jour- 
nalist, whose extensive and curious information, fluent style, and literary breadth 
made him, and still make him, very interesting reading. He was a skeptic on many 
subjects, not so much from any skeptical system as from his large knowledge and his 
broadly modern spirit. His Dictionary is a masterpiece of fresh criticism, of inquiry 
conducted with great literary skill, and of emancipation of the human mind from the 
bonds of authority. Its influence on the thought of the eighteenth century was 
profound, and the student of culture may still profitably consult its stores of in- 
formation. 

DICTUNG UND WAHRHEIT, see GOETHE, AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF. 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 227 

DIDEROT AND THE ENCYCLOPEDISTS, by Viscount John Morley (1878). 
This examination of the life, the work, and the influence of "the most encyclopaedic 
head that ever existed" (as Grimm termed Diderot), and his fellow- workers, is an 
admirable monograph. Of all the literary preparation for the French Revolution the 
'Encyclopedic' was the symbol: it spread through the world a set of ideas that 
entered into vigorous conflict with the ancient scheme of authority. Diderot, as the 
head of the movement, D'Alembert his coadjutor, Voltaire, J. J. Rousseau, Buffon, 
Helve* tius, Holbach, Raynal, etc., with other famous persons of the day, as Goethe, 
Garrick, the Empress Catherine II., are here vividly depicted, with wide knowledge 
of books and of life, great skill in reading character, facility in disentangling causes 
and results, and broad philosophical perception of the historic position of the age. 
Anglo-Saxon readers find this work less one-sided than Taine's on the same subject. 
Appended to the book is a translation of the greater part of 'Rameau's Nephew,' 
Diderot's famous dialogue. 

DIEUX ONT SOIF, LES, see GODS ARE ATBDCRST. 

DISCIPLE, THE ('Le Disciple') by Paul Bourget (1889), in its eloquent preface, 
which is the best part of the book, calls upon the young men of the present to shake 
off the apathy that overcame the author's own generation after the disheartening 
siege of 1870. Without this preface, the reader would be likely to set the book down 
as unwholesome, and not grasp the idea that the character of the disciple is intended 
as a warning against the habit of analyzing and experimenting with the emotions. 
The boy's imagination, drawn out by the brilliant but often enervating literature 
that comes in the way of all university students, is further stimulated by the works 
of an agnostic philosopher, who treats exhaustively of the passions. The young man 
becomes his .devoted follower, and makes a practical application of his teachings. 
In a family where he becomes a tutor he experiments with the affection he inspires 
in a young girl, and is the direct cause of her death. The philosopher, recognizing 
the logical outcome of his theory that the scientific spirit demands impartial investi- 
gation, even in the things of the mind and heart, feels no small remorse. His disciple 
escapes the vengeance of the law, only to fall in a duel with the dead girl's brother. 
The recluse, who according to the journals was the original of the character of the 
philosopher, died in Paris in 1 896. Unlike the philosopher, he was a lifelong botanist, 
devoting all his energies to that science, so that the points of resemblance between the 
real and the fictitious professor are mostly external. Both lived near the Jardin des 
Plantes, their sole recreation consisting in looking at the animals. Both held aloof 
from society, never marrying, and practicing the severest economy. When an officer 
of the Legion of Honor sought the botanist to confer the red ribbon upon him, he 
found that member of the Institute on the point of cooking his dinner, and unwilling 
to admit him to his garret. In the story, the mice that overrun the garret, the ca- 
prices of Ferdinand, and a pet rooster kept by the concierge, are the only enlivening 
elements. But the holes and corners in the region of the Jardin des Plantes, and the 
exquisite vistas of the Observatory and Luxembourg Garden, have never been better 
described. 

DISCOURSES DELIVERED IN THE ROYAL ACADEMY (1769-1791), by Sir 
Joshua Reynolds. These, among the most famous of all discourses on art, are not so 
much based on the results of reading as on the author's own wide experience. They 
contain advice to students, to use the words of the ' Dictionary of National Biography,' 
" which is of permanent value, expressed in language which could scarcely be im- 



22$ THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

proved. His ideas and criticism were generally sound, and for the most part were 
accepted by later ages. 'Study the works of the great masters forever,' he tells 
his students. ' Study as nearly as you can, in the order, in the manner, and on the 
principles, on which they studied. Study nature attentively, but always with those 
masters in your company ; consider them as models which you are to imitate, and at 
the same time as rivals with whom you are to contend.' 'As our art is not a divine 
gift, so neither is it a mechanical trade. Its foundations are laid in solid science: 
and practice, though essential to perfection, can never attain that to which it aims, 
unless it works under the direction of principle.' " (Discourses VI. and VII.) 

The most frequent burden of the Discourses is that the only worthy motive in art 
is the attempt to attain ideal beauty of form. He never admitted that elegance and 
the pursuit of color could in themselves constitute a defensible motive. Nevertheless 
his own studies in Italy had brought him under the sway of the colorists whom he 
denounced so vigorously in his addresses. Ruskin ranks him among the seven su- 
preme colorists, and for a generation the works which he poured forth in such pro- 
fusion owed their charm and attractiveness to the sense of color, against which year 
by year in his addresses to the Academy he was to warn his students. Notwithstand- 
ing this inconsistency between theory and practice, the Discourses have been fre- 
quently reprinted and even at the present day cannot be neglected by any serious 
student of art criticism. 

DISCOURSES OF EPICTETUS, see MORALS. 

DISCOVERIES OF AMERICA to the year 1525, by Arthur James Weise (1884). 
A work of importance for its careful review and comparison of the various statements 
of historical writers concerning the voyages of the persons whom they believed to 
have been the discoverers of certain parts of the coast of America between Baffin's 
Bay and Terra del Fuego. The full statements are given, as well as a judgment 
upon them. "It appears, " says Mr. Weise, "that Columbus was not the discoverer 
of the continent, for it was seen in 1497 not only by Giovanni Caboto [or John Cabot, 
his English name], but by the commander of the Spanish fleet with whom Amerigo 
Vespucci sailed to the New World." The entire story of the discoveries of the con- 
tinental coasts, north and south, apart from the islands to which Columbus almost 
wholly confined his attention, is of very great interest. John Cabot was first, about 
June, 1497. Columbus saw continental coast land for the first time fourteen months 
later, August, 1498. It was wholly in relation to continental lands that the names 
New World and America were originally given; and at the time it was not considered 
as disturbing in any way the claims of Columbus, whose whole ambition was to have 
the credit of having reached "the isles of India beyond the Ganges " isles which 
were still 7000 miles distant, but which to the last he claimed to have found. The 
names "West Indies" and "Indians" (for native Americans) are monuments to 
Columbus, who did not at the time think it worth while to pay attention to the 
continents. It was by paying this attention, and by a remarkably opportune report, 
which had the fortune of being printed, that Vespucius came to the front in a way to 
suggest \o the editor and publisher of his report the use of the word "America " as a 
general New World name not including Columbus's "West Indies." That inclusion 
came later; and from first to last Vespucius had no more to do with it than Columbus 
himself. 

DISCOVERY OF AMERICA, THE, by John Fiske (2 vols., 1892). The initial 
work of Mr. Fiske, designed to serve as the first 'section of a complete History of 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 229 

America. It very fully and carefully covers the ground of aboriginal America in the 
light of recent research; and of the long and slow process through which the New 
World became fully known to the Old. The story of voyages before Columbus by 
the Portuguese, and of what Cabot accomplished, is given at length; the part also 
which Vespucius played, and the questions about it which have been so much dis- 
cussed. Mr. Fiske's estimate of Columbus does not depart very much from the 
popular view. He gives an account of ancient Mexico and Central America, and a 
full sketch of the conquest of Mexico and Peru. The work thus makes a complete 
Introduction to American history as most known to English readers: the history of 
the planting of North America in Virginia, New England, New York, Delaware, 
Pennsylvania, Maryland, and the Carolinas. 

DISRAELI, BENJAMIN, EARL OF BEACONSFIELD, THE LIFE OF, is an ex- 
haustive biography based on the letters and papers of Lord Beaconsfield. The first 
volume, narrating his ancestry, education, youthful authorship, political ventures, 
and entry into Parliament in 1837, is the work of William Flavelle Monypenny 
and was published in 1910; volume two, also by Monypenny, includes his early 
parliamentary career, marriage, success as a novelist, and contribution to the 
defeat of Peel in 1846. On the death of Monypenny in 1912 the work was 
continued by George Earle Buckle, who brought out the third volume in 1914 
and the fourth in 1916. These two volumes bring the story of Disraeli's public 
career down to 1855 and 1868 respectively, the latter volume concluding with 
his attainment of the premiership. Abundantly illustrated by portraits and by 
frequent extracts from the letters of Disraeli, and fully discussing and presenting 
the extraordinary and romantic events of his brilliant and meteoric progress 
to the highest position a subject could occupy, this is one of the most fascinating 
of biographies. 

DIVERSIONS OF PURLEY, THE, by John Home (Tooke) (1786-1805). The 

author, a political writer and grammarian, was a supporter of Wilkes, whom he aided 
in founding a Society for supporting the Bill of Rights, 1769. Starting a subscription 
for the widows and orphans of the Americans "murdered by the king's troops at 
Lexington and Concord, " he was tried and found guilty of libel and sentenced to a 
year's imprisonment. While in prison he began to write 'The Diversions of Purley/ 
so called from the country-seat of William Tooke, who made the author his heir, 
and whose name Home added to his own. 

The work is a treatise on etymology: the author contending that in all languages 
there are but two sorts of words necessary for the communication of thought, viz., 
nouns and verbs; that all the other so-called parts of speech are but abbreviations of 
these, and are "the wheels of the vehicle language/' 

He asserts also that there are no indefinable words, but that every word, in all 
languages, has a meaning of its own. To prove this, he traces many conjunctions, 
prepositions, adverbs, etc., back to their source as comparisons or contractions; 
accounting for their present form by the assertion that "abbreviation and corrup- 
tion are always busiest with the words most frequently in use; letters, like soldiers, 
being very apt to desert and drop off in a long march." 

Throughout the work, the author constantly refers to his imprisonment and trial, 
introducing sentences for dissection which express his political opinions, and words 
to be treated etymologically which describe the moral or physical defects of his 
enemies. The book had an immense popularity in its own day. 



230 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

DIVERSITY OF CREATURES, A, by Rudyard Kipling (1917)- Fourteen stories, 
each followed by a poem on the theme of the story. ' As Easy as A. B. C.' is a strange 
tale of the future, A.D. 2065, when the planet is under the benevolent rule of an Aerial 
Board of Control. The disease of crowds and democracy has ceased, and a small 
outbreak of democratic agitation makes it necessary to deal with the American dis- 
trict of Illinois through aerial artillery of sound vibrations and withering rays of light. 
Stalky and Beetle reappear in the 'Honors of War' hazing a priggish cad who is 
converted from the error of his ways. 'Regulus' is a schoolboy comedy having to 
do with the teaching of Latin, the connection of classic learning and everyday boy 
life. There are thi^e psychical stories. The phantom dog who haunts a man is the 
real dog "Harvey," owned by the woman he subconsciously loves. 'Swept and 
Garnished ' is a grirn war story, in which the ghosts of murdered children appear to a 
complacent German woman making it impossible for her to disbelieve comfortably. 
'Mary Postgate ' deals with the effect of resentment for the slaughter of the innocents 
in the European war on one woman in England. She has an unexpected opportunity 
to be judge and executioner. 'The Edge of the Evening* tells of an encounter with 
spies who descend from an aeroplane on the lawn of a country house just before dinner. 
There are stories of the British peasant in real possession of the land whether its 
nominal ownership is Roman or English. 'The Village that Voted the Earth was 
Flat ' is a comic extravaganza, the revenge of a party of motorists upon the magis- 
trate who fines them unjustly for speeding. One of the group is a producer of opera, 
one a member of parliament, one a journalist, and all are brilliantly equipped in 
different ways for the confounding of their enemy. 

DIVINE COMEDY, THE, by Dante Alighieri, was written between his exile in 1302 
and his death in 1321, although the events of the poem are supposed to occur in 
1300, Dante's thirty-fifth year. The Divine Comedy is at once a vision of the other 
world, an allegory of the Christian life, a spiritual autobiography, and a cyclopaedic 
embodiment of all the knowledge of its day. Dante sets forth as though from per- 
sonal experience the Catholic beliefs as to the nature of Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise; 
he makes his imaginary journey through these realms a symbol of the Christian's 
struggle through repentance and purification towards the beatific vision; he intro- 
duces also his own redemption from sensuality through the influence of his ideal 
devotion to Beatrice, who became for him the medium of divine grace; and in ade- 
quately explaining and adorning these great conceptions he employs all the learning, 
all the science, and all the literary devices, mythological figures, and poetic machinery 
which could be furnished by the best learning of the time. Of this learning the figure 
of Virgil, his guide through Hell and Purgatory, is the representative. Noteworthy is 
the symmetry of the poem and the exact correspondence of its arrangement to the 
scientific preciseness with which the other world is conceived and depicted. There are 
three divisions, Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise, the first including thirty-four cantos, 
and the two last, thirty-three cantos each, making one hundred in all. Each canto 
is of approximately the same length; and the three realms are described in symmetrical 
order and proportion. The metre is the terza rima, consisting of lo-syllabled or n- 
syllabled lines which fall into groups of three with interlacing rhymes the first and 
third lines rhyming, and the second rhyming with the first and third of the next 
group, thus: aba, bcb, cdc, etc. The sustained music of this measure, the con- 
centration and intensity of the style, its wealth of brief and pointed allusion, its 
pictorial vividness, and its austere beauty are the distinctive marks of the Divine 
Comedy as poetry. 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 231 

DIVINE FANCIES, see EMBLEMS. 

DIVINE FIRE, THE, by May Sinclair (1905). This novel is the record of the career 
of Keith Rickman, a Cockney poet, and son of a sordid London bookseller, in whose 
soul dwells "the divine fire." Rickman finds his feminine ideal in the aristocratic 
and high-minded Lucia Harden, whose library he has been sent to catalogue. Lucia 
is on the point of becoming betrothed to her cousin Horace Jewdwine, the deteriora- 
tion of whose character is outlined in contrast to the development of that of Rickman, 
who triumphs over his disadvantages of birth and breeding and over the temptations 
which arise in connection with his business and journalistic life. Jewdwine, the 
priggisn and refined Oxford don, comes to London to edit the Museion, a progres- 
sive literary journal, with idealistic aims; through his association with the embryo 
poet the latter becomes acquainted with Lucia Harden; she, while repelled by the 
young poet's crudeness and lack of breeding, nevertheless discerns his genius and is 
gradually more and more strongly drawn towards him. Lucia's cousin, for whom 
she feels no genuine sentiment, finds it to his advantage to defer any immediate 
matrimonial project and in the meantime she learns to love Rickman, who adores 
her at a distance. Many complications spring from the disposition of the Harden 
library, which contains priceless volumes and falls a prey to sharpers. Rickman 
passes through many vicissitudes, social, financial, and literary, and his connec- 
tion with editors and magazines gives the writer of the book an ample oppor- 
tunity, which she improves, to discourse upon the varying types of editors and 
reviewers. 

DIVINE POEMS, see EMBLEMS. 

DMITRI ROUDIN, a story by Turgeneff. This great novel was first published in 
1860. The action passes in the country, some distance from Moscow, at the country- 
seat of Daria Mikhailovna, a great lady who protects literature and art and is deter- 
mined to have a salon. She has one in embryo already, made up of an old French 
governess, a young Circassian secretary, and a Cossack. The advent of Dmitri, a 
vainglorious creature who thinks himself a great man, completes it. He has retained 
a few scraps from the books he has read, some ideas borrowed from the German 
transcendentalists, and a number of keen aphorisms; and so he imagines he is able to 
pull down and set up everything. He dazzles and fascinates the women by his 
expressive looks and serene self-confidence; and being treated as a genius, he naturally 
believes himself one. He speaks of his immense labors; but all his literary baggage 
consists of newspaper aii.d magazine articles which he intends to write. He is soon 
found out, however; and from Dana's salon passes into that of an affected old lady, a 
bluestocking also, who takes him even more seriously than Daria did at first. She 
believes she can understand Hegel's metaphysics when he explains them; so sh^ 
lodges and boards him, lends him money, and insists that all her visitors shall ac- 
knowledge his superiority. Unfortunately, her daughter, a proud beauty, hears so 
much of this superiority that she believes in it, becomes smitten with the great man, 
and wishes to marry him. This is too much for the old lady, and Dmitri is shown the 
door. He is at last forced to quit Russia, and dies defending a barricade at Paris. 
In the character of Dmitri, Turgeneff satirizes a class common enough in every 
country as well as Russia, especially among the young, the class of people who 
mistake words, in which they abound, for ideas, in which they are lacking. And 
yet, such is Turgeneff's fine and delicate skill in the analysis of feeling that he 
interests us in this poor boaster; he excites our pity for him, and it is a singular 



232 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

fact that the lower Dmitri falls, the more interesting he becomes. He is a 
mixture of pride and weakness; and his good faith and harmlessness somewhat 
palliate his faults. 

DOCTEUR PASCAL, LE, see ROTTGON-MAC QUART. 

DOCTOR, THE, a ponderous romance by Robert Southey, appeared anonymously 
in 1834, though Vols. vi. and vii. were not published until after his death in 1847* 
It records the observations, philosophizing, and experiences of a quaint physician, 
"Dr. Love, of Doncaster," who, with his faithful horse "Nobbs," travels the country 
over and ministers to the needs of men. While little read in present days, it has 
generally received the moderate praise of scholars. In form it is a peculiar medley of 
essay, colloquy, and criticism, lacking coherence; a vast accumulation of curious 
erudition, meditative wisdom, and somewhat labored humor. Southey manifested 
much pride in the book, from whose pure English, freshness of innovation, and 
brilliant though mechanical diorama of thought, he expected a larger meed of praise 
than has ever been accorded it, by either critics or the public. 

DOCTOR, THE, a tale of the Rockies, by Ralph Connor (1906). This narrati\e 
deals with the lives of two brothers, Barney and Richard Boyle, who are of Scotch- 
Irish parentage, but are Canadian born. The father is a respectable miller, but the 
sons, who are endowed with good intellect and strong characters, are ambitious to 
make something of themselves. The younger boy, Dick, is sent to college to study 
for the ministry and this is the first separation that has come between the two 
brothers, who are absolutely devoted to each other. Barney fits himself for his 
chosen profession of medicine, and later on works his way through the medical school, 
there being only enough money for the education of one son. Before leaving home 
Barney has won the affection of an attractive young girl named lola Lane, who has 
taught school in his nativ e town and who has a beautiful voice. lola goes to the city 
to study music as she is anxious for a career. This ambition causes a break between 
herself and Barney and he goes to a distant city to teach in a university. During 
his absence Dick and lola are much together though Dick has been for years in 
love with Margaret Robertson, a childhood's friend and neighbor. Margaret how- 
ever loves Barney and rejects his brother's advances. Dick when finishing his theo- 
logical course is refused his degree on account of opinions which the Presbytery 
consider heretical. He goes into journalism and becomes reckless in many ways. 
He is tempted on one occasion to kiss lola and Barney suddenly appearing at the 
crucial moment casts him off forever. Later Dick goes west as a missionary and 
works among men in the mountain camps. Barney also practices his profession 
among these same people, but avoids meeting his brother who is ignorant of his 
proximity. Margaret, who has become a nurse, is made matron of a hospital in 
connection with Dick's work. Barney saves Dick's life and the brothers are re-united, 
and then learning that lola is sick in Scotland Barney goes to her, reaching her just 
before her death. Heart-broken he returns to his work and dies a sacrifice to his 
profession. Margaret and Dick, sharing a common loss, are brought together and 
happiness comes after sorrow. 

DOCTOR ANTONIO, by Giovanni Ruffini (1856), is a novel of modern life, the 
scene of which is laid mainly in Italy, the political troubles there being made the 
source of the story's action. The chief characters are Sir John Davenne, an English- 
man traveling in Italy, his daughter Lucy, and Doctor Antonio, a Sicilian exile. 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 233 

The personality of the Doctor is one of singular charm, and holds interest throughout 
the book. When published this novel became a universal favorite, and it is still read 
with pleasure. 

DR. CLAUDIUS, by F. Marion Crawford (1883), was the second of Mr. Crawford's 
novels, following a year after its predecessor 'Mr. Isaacs.' Unlike the latter, it 
contains no element of the supernatural, and is merely a love story of contemporary 
life. Dr. Claudius, himself, when first introduced, is a privatdocent at Heidelberg, 
living simply, in a state of philosophical content. He plans no change in his life 
when the news comes to him that he has inherited more than a million dollars by the 
death of his uncle Gustavus Lindstrand, who had made a fortune in New York. 
The son of his partner, Silas B. Barker, soon arrives in Heidelberg to see what manner 
of man Dr. Claudius may be, and persuades the blond, stalwart Scandinavian to go 
with him to America; securing an invitation for the two on the private yacht of an 
English duke, whom he knows well. Before leaving Heidelberg, Claudius has fallen 
in love with a beautiful woman met by chance in the ruins of the Schloss. Since she 
is also a friend of the Duke, Barker is able to introduce Claudius to her. This Coun- 
tess Margaret, with her companion, Miss Skeat, is asked to cross the Atlantic with 
the Duke, his sister Lady Victoria, Barker, and Claudius. Margaret, though an 
American, is the widow of a Russian count. Claudius is not wholly disheartened, 
when, on the yacht, she refuses to marry him. But in America, she succumbs to the 
romantic surroundings of the Cliff Walk at Newport, and admits that she loves the 
philosophical millionaire. Claudius then starts off on a hasty journey to St. Peters- 
burg, where he obtains from the government the return of Margaret's estates con- 
fiscated on account of her brother-in-law's republicanism. Just what the secret is of 
Dr. Claudius's power with Russia, we are not told; but Mr. Crawford lets us infer 
that he is the posthumous son of some European potentate. The Duke and the 
courteous Horace Bellingham know who he is, but the reader's curiosity is not 
gratified. 

DOCTOR FAUSTUS, by Christopher Marlowe. This play, written about the 
year 1589, is remarkable both as the chief work of the founder of English tragedy, 
and as the first play based on the Faust legend. At the time of the Reformation, 
when chemistry was in its infancy, any skill in this science was attributed to a com- 
pact with the Evil One.. Hence wandering scholars who performed tricks and wonders 
were considered magicians, their achievements were grossly exaggerated, and they 
were supposed to have surrendered their souls to the Devil. The last of these travel- 
ing magicians to gain notoriety was John Faustus, whose public career lasted from 
1510 to 1540; and to him were ascribed all the feats of his predecessors. In 1587 the 
'Faustbuch ' was printed, giving the story of his life and exploits. An English trans- 
lation, made soon after, was doubtless the source of Marlowe's plot. The theme was 
afterwards variously elaborated in Germany, and there were many puppet plays on 
the subject; but it remained for Goethe's master-hand to ennoble the popular legend, 
and make it symbolic of the struggles and aspirations of the whole human race. 
Marlowe's 'Doctor Faustus ' is rather a tragic poem than a drama, consisting of only 
fourteen scenes without any grouping into acts. It is remarkable for singleness of 
aim and simplicity of construction, though there is plenty of variety and incident. 
The passionate and solemn scenes are very impressive, and the final tremendous 
monologue before Lucifer seizes Faustus's soul is unsurpassed in all the range of 
tragedy. Faustus, dissatisfied with philosophy, resolves to enlarge his sphere by 



234 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

cultivating magic. He conjures up Mephistopheles and bids him be his servant, 
The spirit, however, replies that Lucifer's permission must first be gained. Faustus 
then voluntarily offers to surrender his soul after four-and-twenty years, if during 
that time Mephistopheles shall be his slave. Lucifer agrees, and demands a promise 
written in Faustus's blood. Then Faustus sets out in search of knowledge and 
pleasure, traveling about invisible. He provides grapes in midwinter, and calls up 
the spirits of Alexander and Thais to please the emperor. At the request of his 
scholars he summons Helen of Troy, and impressed by her beauty, exclaims: 

" Was this the face that launched a thousand ships. 
And burnt the topless towers of Ilium? 
Sweet Helen, make me immortal with a kiss! " 

At times the desire for repentance seizes him; but the exhilaration of pleasure is too 
great, and the powers of ^evil are too strong. Finally the time expires, and Faustus in 
agony awaits the coming of Lucifer. He appeals to God and Christ, but has forfeited 
the right to pray; and at the stroke of twelve Lucifer bears him away to everlasting 
doom. 

DR JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE, by Robert Louis Stevenson (1886), is a psychologic 
romance illustrating the complex quality of man's nature. The scene is London. 
Dr. Jekyll is a physician of position and good character, a portly, kindly man. In 
his youth, however, he showed that he had strong capacities for evil, which he 
succeeded in suppressing for years. His professional tastes lead him to experiment 
in drugs, and he hits on one whereby he is changed physically so that his lower nature 
receives external dress. He becomes Air. Hyde, a pale, misshapen, repulsive creature 
of evil and violent passions. Again and again Dr. Jekyll effects this change, and gives 
his bad side more and more power. His friend Utterson, a lawyer, is puzzled by 
JekylTs will in favor of Hyde, and seeks to unravel the mystery. The brutal murder 
of Sir Danvers Carew, which is traced to Hyde, who of course disappears, adds to the 
mystery and horror. At last, by the aid of letters left by Dr. Lanyon, another of 
Dr. Jekyll f s lawyer friends, to whom he has revealed the secret and who is killed by 
the shock of the discovery, the strange facts are exposed. Utterson breaks into 
Jekyll's laboratory, only to find Hyde, who has just taken his own life; and Jekyll is 
gone forever. 

DR. LATIMER, by Clara Louise Burnham (1893). This is called "A Story of 
Casco Bay"; and it contains many charming pictures of that beautiful Maine coast 
and its fascinating islands. Dr. Latimer, a man of fine character and position, 
beloved by all who know him, becomes interested in three orphan girls, Josephine, 
Helen, and Vernon Ivison, who come to Boston to support themselves by teaching 
and music. He falls in love with Josephine, the eldest, who returns his affection; 
and he invites the three girls to his island home for the summer. He has hesitated to 
avow his love for Josephine on account of the difference of age between them, and 
also on account of a former unhappy marriage made in early youth with a woman 
who had first disgraced and then deserted him, and whom he has long supposed 
dead. Her sudden reappearance destroys his newly found happiness; he leaves the 
island, bidding Josephine a final farewell. Recalled by the news that his wife has 
drowned herself and that he is at last free/ he marries Josephine. Helen and Vernon 
are mated to the men of their choice: the former to Mr. Brush, a German teacher; 
the latter to Olin Randolph, a society youth of much charm and character, whose 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 235 

aunts, Miss Charlotte and Miss Agnes Norman, are characters of interest, as is also 
Persis Applebee, the doctor's old-fashioned housekeeper. 

DR. SEVIER, by George W. Cable (1882), is one of the author's group of stories of 
life in New Orleans. The time of the action is just before the war, when the city 
was at the height of its prosperity. Dr. Sevier, the brusque, laconic, skillful, kind- 
hearted physician, is less the central figure than his young beneficiary, John Richling, 
the son of a rich planter, who having estranged his family by marrying a Northern 
girl, has come to the metropolis of the South to earn his living. The struggle of the 
Richlings, unequipped for the battle of life, against poverty and sickness, forms the 
plot of the story, which is glowing with local color and filled with personages peculiar 
to the place and time. There is no plot in the sense of a complicated play of forces, 
or labyrinth of events; but the interest lies in the development of character under 
conditions supplied by an untried environment. The scope of the book is wide and 
the detail extremely minute. 

DR. SYNTAX, THE THREE TOURS OF, by William Combe. This famous book, 
or rather series of three books, was first devised by its author at the suggestion of the 
publisher, Mr. Ackennann, who desired some amusing text to accompany a series 
of caricatures which he had engaged from the celebrated Rowlandson. 

William Combe, then past sixty-five years of age, had already produced a large 
number of volumes, of which all had appeared anonymously. The first part of ' Dr. 
Syntax, 7 which was published in 1809, describes the adventures of a certain Dr. 
Syntax, clergyman and teacher, who, on his horse Grizzle, deliberately sets out in 
search of adventures which he might make material for a book. His plan, as he gives 
it to his wife Dolly, is as follows : 

*' You well know what my pen can do, 
And I'll employ my pencil too; 
I'll ride and write and sketch and print, 
And thus create a real mint; 
111 prose it here and verse it there, 
And picturesque it everywhere." 

In this long series of eight-foot iambic couplets with the real Hudibras swing, 
Combe tells the story of the travels of the clerical Don Quixote. The author endows 
him with much of his own sense of humor and Horatian philosophy; and even though 
the adventures are not always thrilling, the account of them, and the accompany- 
ing reflections, are extremely entertaining. Pleasure, Wealth, Content, Ambition, 
Riches, are among the abstractions of which the author or his hero discourses; and 
many of the passages are undoubtedly intended by Combe as autobiographic. 

In the course of his travels Dr. Syntax meets various persons whom the author 
makes food for his mild satire, the merchant, the critic, the bookseller, the country 
squire, the Oxford don, and other well-marked types. The descriptions of rural 
scenery and of the cities visited by Dr. Syntax are often clever, and even today are 
agreeable to read. The very great popularity of the first tour of Dr. Syntax "in 
search of the picturesque'* encouraged author and publisher to follow it with a 
second and a third series. 

DOCTOR THORNE, by Anthony Trollope (1858). 'Doctor Thorne' is a story of 
quiet country life; and the interest of the book lies in the character studies, rather 
than in the plot. The scene is laid in the west of England about 1 854. The heroine, 



236 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

Man- Thome, is a sweet, modest girl, living with her kind uncle Doctor Thome, in 
the village of Greshambury, where Frank Gresham, the young heir of Greshambury 
Park, falls in love with her. The estate is incumbered; and as it is necessary that 
Frank should many for money, his mother, Lady Arabella, banishes Mary from the 
society of her daughters, and sends Frank to Courcy Castle, where he is expected to 
win the affections of Miss Dunstable, a wealthy heiress. He remains true to Mary, 
however; and after a year of enforced absence abroad, he returns and claims her for 
his wife in the face of every opposition. Roger Scatcherd, the brother of Mary's 
unfortunate mother, is creditor to Mr. Gresham for a sum of money amounting to 
the value of the entire estate. After his death his entire fortune falls to Mary Thorne; 
and the story concludes with the marriage of Frank and Mary, and a return of pros- 
perity to Greshambury Park. 

The character of Doctor Thorne stands out vividly in the book as an independent, 
honest Englishman, offering a pleasing contrast to Lady Arabella with her conven- 
tionality and worldliness and the coarse vulgarity of Roger Scatcherd and his son. 

DOLL'S HOUSE, A, one of the best-known plays of Henrik Ibsen, was published in 
1879. It is the drama of the Woman, the product of man's fostering care through 
centuries, his doll, from whom nature has kindly removed the unused faculties 
which produce clear thinking and business-like action. Nora, the particular doll in 
question, adorns a little home with her pretty dresses, her pretty i lanner, her sweet, 
childish ignorance. She must bring up her babies, love her husband, and have well- 
cooked dinners. For the sake of this husband, she ventures once beyond the limit 
of the nest. He is ill, and she forges her rich father's name to obtain money to send 
him abroad. The disclosure of her guilt, the guilt of a baby, a doll who did not know 
better, brings her face to face with the realities of the world and of life. The puppet 
becomes vitalized, changed into a suffering woman who realizes that there is "some- 
thing wrong" in the state of women as wives. She leaves her husband's house, "a 
moth flying towards a star." She will not return until she is different, or marriage 
is different, or she knows not what. 'A Doll's House ' is the most striking embodi- 
ment in the range of modern drama, of the new awakening of Eve. The last scene of 
the play is given in the LIBRARY. 

DOMBEY AND SON, by Charles Dickens. The story opens with the death of 
Mrs. Dombey, who has left her husband the proud possessor of a baby son and heir. 
He neglects his daughter Florence and loves Paul, in whom all his ambitions and 
worldly hopes are centred; but the boy dies. Mr. Dombey marries a beautiful 
woman, who is as cold and proud as he, and who has sold herself to him to escape 
from a designing mother. She grows fond of Florenpe, and this friendship is so dis- 
pleasing to Mr. Dombey that he tries to humble her by remonstrating through Mr. 
Carker, his business manager and friend. This crafty villain, realizing his power, 
goads her beyond endurance, and she demands a separation from Mr. Dombey, but is 
refused. After an angry interview, she determines upon a bold stroke and disgraces 
her husband by pretending to elope with Carker to France, where she meets him once, 
shames and defies him and escapes. Mr. Dombey, after spurning Florence, whom he 
considers the cause of his trouble, follows Carker in hot haste. They encounter each 
other without warning at a railway station, and as Carker is crossing the tracks he 
falls and is instantly killed by an express train. Florence seeks refuge with an old 
sea-captain whom her little brother, Paul, has been fond of, marries Walter Gay, 
the friend of her childhood, and they go to sea. After the failure of Dombey and 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 237 

Son, when Mr. Dombey's pride is humbled and he is left desolate, Florence returns 
and takes care of him. The characters in the book not immediately concerned in the 
plot, but famous for their peculiar qualities, are Captain Cuttle, Florence's kind 
protector, who has a nautical manner of expression; Sol Gills, Walter's uncle; Mr. 
Toots, who suffers from shyness and love; and Joe Bagstock, the major. The scene 
is laid in England at the time the novel was published, in 1848. 

DON JOHN, a novel by Jean Ingelow, was published in 1881. The story turns on 
the well-worn incident of the changing of two children in their cradles. The plot 
follows their development, the gradual manifestation through character of their true 
origin. ' Don John ' is admirably written, bearing about it the same atmosphere of 
simplicity and nobility that surrounds this author's poems. Though a mere mention 
of the chief incident implies a poverty of invention, the book is really one of unusual 
freshness of imagination. The delineation of character is delightfully delicate and 
exact; and the skill with which the puzzle of identity is treated leaves the reader in 
the desired mood of doubt to the end of the excellent story. 

DON JOAN, a narrative and satirical poem in eight-line stanzas by George Gordon, 
Lord Byron. Cantos I and II were published in 1819, III to V in 1821, VT-XIV at 
different times in 1823, and XV and XVI in 1824. The poem is unfinished. Its 
theme is the Spanish legend of Don Juan, a libertine who killed the father of a girl 
he had seduced and while on a mocking visit to his victim's tomb was swallowed up 
in Hell along with the statue of the man he had killed. Byron's Juan is also a liber- 
tine; but the poet is more interested in the varied amors of his hero and the oppor- 
tunity afforded by them for pictures and reflections cynical, sentimental, and 
realistic of life and human nature, particularly the numerous aspects of love and 
passion than in drawing an edifying moral or providing for the punishment of the 
culprit. He had not decided, he said, whether to make him end in Hell or in an 
unhappy marriage. Don Juan a Spanish grandee of Seville is forced into exile at the 
age of sixteen through being detected in an intrigue with Donna Julia, the beautiful 
young wife of the elderly Don Alfonso. Embarking from Cadiz for Leghorn he is 
shipwrecked, and after enduring dreadful privations in an open boat is cast, the sole 
survivor, upon an island in the JEgean. Here he is secretly nursed back to life by 
Haidee, the lo\ ely seventeen-year-old daughter of the pirate-chieftain, Lambro, and 
they become lovers. On a report that her father has died while absent on a piratical 
expedition, Haidee with Juan assumes the sovereignty of the island. But Lambro 
returns during a feast, surprises the lovers, disarms Juan, and sells him for a slave. 
While Haidee dies of a broken heart, Juan is taken to Constantinople, where he is 
purchased by the Sultana, Guyalbez, who lias fallen in love with him and introduces 
him, disguised as a woman, into the seraglio. Enraged at his rejection of her, and at 
a subsequent escapade with one of the women of the seraglio she orders Juan to be 
drowned. But he makes his escape to the Russian army, then fighting the Turks, 
distinguishes himself at a siege under General Souwaroff, and is sent as a special 
messenger to the notorious Empress Catherine at St. Petersburg. He becomes the 
reigning favorite and is then sent to England on a special diplomatic mission. Here 
Byron introduces the reader to a group of English aristocrats at a country house, 
where Juan is a guest; and ends in the midst of another amatory adventure, in which 
the Duchess of Fite-Fulke, masquerading as the ghost of a friar, seeks a midnight 
interview with the hero. The poem exhibits Byron's full power as a creative poet 
and a satirist. Perhaps the finest part is the account of the shipwreck, many details 



238 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

of which are taken from the autobiography of his grandfather, Admiral John Byron, 
and the ensuing episode of the love of Haidee and Juan. 

DON ORSINO, by F. Marion Crawford (1892). This book gives a good idea of 
Rome after the unification of Italy, as the author's purpose is to describe a young 
man of the transition period. It will probably never attain the popularity of the 
two earlier Saracinesca stories, because many readers find the plot unpleasant and 
the ending unsatisfactory. In analysis and development of character, however, and 
in sparkling dialogue, it far surpasses its predecessors. 

Orsino Saracinesca longs for a career, and being rebuffed at home, is attracted 
by the sympathetic womanliness of Madame Maria Consuelo d'Aranjuez, whose 
antecedents are mysterious. With the aid of Del Ferice he undertakes some building 
operations, mortgaging his house in advance. One day he makes love to Madame 
d'Aranjuez, but soon realizes the shallowness of his emotions. Subsequently constant 
intercourse renews his affection on a firmer basis, and he wishes to marry her. Though 
she loves him she leaves Rome, soon writing that a stain on her birth prevents her 
marrying him. On the day of her refusal he learns that his business is ruined; but 
Del Ferice renews the contract in terms to which Orsino submits, only to avoid an 
appeal to his father. Thus he gets more and more into Del Ferice's power, until the 
united fortunes of the Saracinesca could hardly save him. At this crisis he receives 
from Maria Consuelo a friendly letter, asking merely that he tell her about himself. 
This he gladly does, writing freely of his business difficulties. Finally the bank re- 
leases him from his obligations, an action inexplicable until the announcement of 
Consuelo 's marriage to Del Ferice. Then Orsino guesses, what he afterwards learns, 
that she has sold herself to save him. The story moves rapidly, the atmosphere is 

strikingly Italian, and the various complications are well managed and interesting. 

* 

DON QUIXOTE DE LA MANCHA, THE HISTORY OF, a satirical romance by 
Miguel Cervantes, the first part of which appeared in 1605 and the second in 1615. 
A kindly and simple-minded country gentleman has read the romances of chivalry 
until they have turned his brain. Clad in a suit of old armor and mounted on a 
broken-down hack which he christens Rozinante, he sets out on a career of knight- 
errantry, assuming the name of Don Quixote de la Mancha. For the object of his 
devotion he chooses a village girl, whom he names Dulcinea del Toboso and as squire 
he takes an ignorant but faithful peasant, Sancho Panza. The ordinary wayfarers 
of the Spanish roads of the seventeenth century are transformed by the knight's 
disordered imagination into warriors, distressed damsels, giants, and monsters. 
For instance, he tilts on one occasion, at the sails of a group of wind-mills, thinking 
them living creatures, and his attempts to right fictitious wrongs and win chivalric 
honor among them lead him and his squire into ludicrous and painful situations. 
Yet amidst their discomfitures Don Quixote retains a dignity, a certain nobility, and 
a pathetic idealism, and Sancho a natural shrewdness and popular humor which 
endear them to the reader. In the second part the interest is fully sustained, and 
variety is introduced by the sojourn of the pair with a duke and duchess and Sancho's 
appointment as governor of the imaginary island of Baratoria. At the end, Don 
Quixote, as the result of a dangerous illness, recovers his senses, renounces all books 
of chivalry, and dies penitent. The book was begun as an attack on the absurdities 
of the late chivalric romances, not on the essential chivalric ideals. As the work 
progresses it becomes a picture of human nature, its absurdities and its aspirations, 
its coarse materialism and lofty enthusiasm. The best English translations are 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 239 

Shelton's (1612-1620) reprinted with an introduction by J. Fitzmaurice- Kelly in the 
'Tudor Translations,' 4 vols., 1896, and that by John Ormsby, 1885, reprinted with 
critical introduction and notes by J. Fitzmaurice-Kelly in 1901. 

DONA LUZ, by Juan Valera. The scene of this brilliant emotional story is laid in 
Spain, during the seventies. Dona Luz, at the death of her father, the dissipated 
Marquis of Villaf ria, takes up her abode with his old steward Don Ascisclo, into whose 
hands a large part of the estate of the marquis has fallen. High-strung and sensitive, 
with a rare beauty of mind and person, and entertaining no hope of marrying accord- 
ing to her inclinations, she gently repulses all admirers. Among her friends she counts 
Don Miguel, the parish priest; Don Anselmo, a skillful physician but a fierce mate- 
rialist; and his daughter Dona Manolita, a charming brunette, capricious and merry, 
loyal and affectionate. Into this circle comes the missionary, Father Enrique, 
nephew of Don Ascisclo, a man of great wisdom and elevation of thought; and last of 
all, the hero, Don Jaime Pimental. Around this group the movement of the story 
takes place. The dominant motives spring from avarice and ambition; and the action 
is complicated by religious animosities. 'Dona Luz' was published in Madrid in 
1891, and its English translation by Mrs. Serrano came out in 1894. 

DONA PERFECTA, by Benito Perez Gald6s. This exquisite romance, the transla- 
tion of which was published in 1880, is a vivid description of life in a Spanish pro- 
vincial town, just before the Carlist war. Dona Perfecta Rey de Polentinos is a 
wealthy widow, just in all her dealings, kind and charitable, but a perfect type of the 
narrow-minded and even cruel spirit of old Spain. The Spanish hate the national 
government, but have a peculiar local patriotism, which in this case turns an appar- 
ently kind and honorable woman against her own nephew, because he dislikes the 
customs of her beloved town. 

This nephew, Don Jose" Rey, handsome, generous, and rich, is the hero of the 
story, whose incidents are the outgrowth of old prejudice religious and political. 

The author endeavors to show that the offenses of Dona Perfecta are the result 
of her position and surroundings rather than inherent in her character. In this book 
he begins to exploit the modern Spain and its clashing interests. He brings "the new 
and the old face to face," to use the words of Professor Marsh: "the new in the form 
of a highly-trained, clear-thinking, frank-speaking modern man; the old in the guise 
of a whole community so remote from the current of things that its religious intoler- 
ance, its social jealousy, its undisturbed confidence and pride in itself, must of 
necessity declare instant war upon that which comes from without, unsympathetic 
and critical. The inevitable result is ruin for the party whose physical force is less, 
the single individual; yet hardly less complete ruin for those whom intolerance and 
hate have driven to the annihilation of their adversary." The story was published 
in 1876, and reached its ninth edition in 1896. 

DONAL GRANT, a novel by George Macdonald, was published in 1883, when he was 
fifty-nine. It is a modern story; the hero, Donal Grant, being one of the muscular 
and intellectual young Scotchmen whom Macdonald loves to describe. Introduced 
as a poor student seeking a situation, he reaches the town of Auchars, where he meets 
a spiritually minded cobbler and his wife with whom he lodges. In Auchars he finds 
a field of work, and the story deals with the effect produced on careless and selfish 
characters by contact with an upright and generous nature. The plot involves a 
forced marriage, and other well-known incidents; but the book shows all Macdonald's 
familiar qualities, though it is less eventful and more didactic than many of his stories. 



240 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

DONOVAN, a novel of modern English life, by Edna Lyall (1882), has for its sub- 
ject a man's spiritual struggles from doubt to faith. The hero, Donovan Farrant, is 
well drawn, if somewhat conventional in character. The book obtained great popu- 
larity and still enjoys it, especially in England. 'We Two' is> sequel to 'Donovan.' 

DOSIA, by Henri GreviJle (Madame Durand) (1877), is a vivacious story of Russian 
life. The heroine, Lodocia Zaptine, is a frolicsome young madcap, with the kindest 
heart, who is always getting into scrapes. Grief-stricken because of well-deserved 
scoldings, she decides to elope with her cousin Pierre Mourief, a young lieutenant 
staying in the house; but thinks better of it when they are but a mile or two from 
home, and returns to the paternal roof. After this escapade, Dosia is taken in hand 
by the young widow Princess Sophie Koutsky, the sister of Pierre's comrade in arms 
Count Platon Sourof. Dosia and Pierre make the mutual discovery that they are 
not in the least in love with each other; and the headlong, generous Pierre wins the 
Princess Sophie, while her gra\ e brother Platon loves and marries the naughty Dosia. 
The story is agreeably told, and is a good specimen of the best type of domestic novel. 

DOSTOEVSKY, LETTERS OF, see LETTERS. 

DOUBTING HEART, A, by Annie Keary. The scene of the story is laid in England, 
although there are some charming and picturesque descriptions of the Riviera, where 
the author passed the last months of her life. Published in 1 879, it was left unfinished, 
the last chapters being written by Mrs. Macquoid. The story principally concerns 
itself with the love affairs of two cousins, Emmie West and Alma Rivers; and the 
moral of it is that tribulation worketh patience, and patience godliness. Lady Rivers, 
Sir Francis, and charming Madame de Florimel, are cleverly sketched characters. 
The story, which is very simple, is so natural and homely, and its psychology is so 
faithful, that it became at once a favorite, and is still one of the most popular domestic 
novels. 

DOWNFALL, THE, see ROUGON-MACQUART. 
DRAM SHOP, THE, see ROUGON-MACQUART. 

DRAPIER LETTERS, THE, by Jonathan Swift. These famous letters took their 
name from their signature, "M. B. Drapier." They were written to protest against 
an unjust aggression of the Crown, which, at a time of great scarcity of copper coin 
in Ireland, had granted a patent to furnish this to one William Wood, who was to 
share his profits with the Duchess of Kendal, the king's mistress, through whose 
influence the patent had been obtained. These profits were to be derived from the 
difference between the real and the nominal value of the halfpence, which was forty 
t>er cent. The Irish were bitterly enraged, became turbulent, and every effort was 
made to conciliate them. A report sustaining Wood, which had been drawn up by Sir 
Robert Walpole, was answered by Swift in these letters. Swift, who viewed Wood's 
patent as a death-blow to Irish independence, asserts that the English Parliament 
cannot, without usurpation, maintain the power of binding Ireland by laws to which 
it does not consent. This assertion led to the arrest of the printer of the letters; but 
the grand jury refused to find a true bill. Swift triumphed, and Wood's patent was 
revoked. The 'Letters' were published in 1724; the sub-title being, "very proper to 
be kept in every family." 

DREAM, THE, see ROUGON-MACQUART. 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 241 

DREAM CHILDREN, by Horace E. Scudder (1863), is a collection of "Once-Upon- 
a-Time" stories, in which memory and imagination combine to preserve the fleeting 
fancies of childhood; some of them merely fantastic; others with a lesson of life hidden 
under a semblance of adventure as in 'The Pot of Gold,' where Chief is always 
seeking, always unsuccessful, because just at the moment of capture of the coveted 
treasure, his attention is distracted by the vision of his adoring and forsaken Rhoda; 
or in the last charming sketch entitled 'The Prince's Visit,' where weak Job loses the 
sight of a grand procession while he is succoring the lame boy, a sacrifice rewarded 
by the vision of a "pageant such as poor mortals may but whisper of." The offspring 
of dreams, the * Dream Children, 1 pass before the mind's eye, a charming company of 
unrealities, with ordinary attributes, but invested with supernatural excellence. 
Who can tell when the realities begin and the dreams end? Who can separate, in the 
cyclorama of existence, the painted canvas from the real objects in the foreground? 
It is into this borderland of doubt the author takes us, with the children who hear the 
birds and beasts talk: where inanimate objects borrow attributes of humanity; where 
fact masquerades as fancy and fancy as fact; where the young and old meet together 
in a childish unconsciousness of awakenings. 

DREAMTHORPE: 'a Book of Essays Written in the Country,' by Alexander 
Smith. A collection of twelve essays, which appeared in 1863, the first prose work of 
their author. The title is that of the first essay, and is the name of the imaginary 
village in which they were written: "An inland English village where everything 
around one is unhurried, quiet, moss-grown and orderly. On Dreamthorpe centuries 
have fallen, and have left no more trace than last winter's snowflakes. Battles have 
been fought, kings have died, history has transacted itself, but all unheeding and 
untouched, Dreamthorpe has watched apple-trees redden, and wheat ripen, and 
smoked its pipe, and rejoiced over its newborn children, and with proper solemnity 
carried its dead to the church-yard. 

"The library is a kind of Greenwich Hospital for disabled novels and romances. 
Each of the books has been in the wars. The heroes and heroines are of another 
generation. Lovers, warriors, and villains as dead to the present generation as 
Cambyses are weeping, fighting, and intriguing. It is with a certain feeling of 
tenderness that I look upon these books: I think of the dead fingers that have turned 
over the leaves, of the dead eyes that have traveled along the lines. 

"Here I can live as I please, here I can throw the reins on the neck of nay whim. 
Here I play with my own thoughts; here I ripen for the grave." 

Perhaps no better idea can be given of the rest of the essays than by these quota- 
tions. Drearnthorpe the \illage of dreams casts its spell over all of them. 
The love of quiet, of old books, and reverence for the past, finds its place in them, 
and if they be dreams, the reader does not care to be awakened. 

The titles of the other essays are: 'On the Writing of Essays'; 'Of Death and the 
Fear of Dying'; ' William Dunbar'; 'A Lark's Flight'; 'Christmas'; 'Men of Letters'; 
'On the Importance of Man to Himself'; 'A Shelf in my Bookcase'; 'Geoffrey Chau- 
cer'; 'Books and Gardens'; 'On Vagabonds.' 

D'RI AND I, by Irving Bacheller, was published in 1901, and like the author's first 
book, 'Eben Holden,' met with popular favor. Darius Olin, nicknamed "D'ri," 
is a brawny, raw-boned Northwoodsman, who goes out to fight the soldiers of King 
George in the War of 1812, accompanying Ramon Bell, the son of Ms employer. 
The opening of the tale shows Mr. Bell and his family leaving their Vermont home and 



242 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

working their way over rough trails to the valley of the St. Lawrence. Ramon, then a 
sturdy boy of ten, and D'ri, the hired man, are the central figures of the story. They 
settle in their new home in the North, and the years pass quickly till Ramon becomes 
a man and the second war with Great Britain breaks out. D'ri and Ramon enlist 
and enter the service of Commodore Perry, where they get more than their share of 
the blows and have many perilous adventures and hairbreadth escapes. Young Bell 
becomes a frequent visitor at the house of a French nobleman, a refugee from the 
Reign of Terror, and falls in love with his two lovely daughters, Louise and Louison 
de Lambert. This is quite a predicament, but he finally extricates himself and with 
unerring judgment chooses the sister who has the finer character of the two. An 
interesting scene is the rescue of Ramon, on the night before his execution, by Lord 
Rowley, whom Mile. Lambert has promised to marry, but she is subsequently 
released from him, and her romantic roadside marriage with Ramon follows. The 
loyal and brave D'ri is always ready to lend his strong arm for Ramon's aid or pro- 
tection, and his surprise at receiving the medal for bravery in the terrible sea-fight 
on board the Lawrence on Lake Erie is characteristic of his simple and unassuming 
nature. His quaint sayings enliven the pages and add to the interest of the tale. 

DUCHESS OF MALFI, THE, by John Webster (acted 1616, published, 1623). 
1 ' The Duchess of Malfi," says Mr. Edmund Gosse "has finer elements of tragedy than 
exist elsewhere outside the works of Shakespeare." The Duchess of Malfi, a widow, 
falls in love with and marries Antonio Bologna, steward of her household. Her 
brothers, the Cardinal and Ferdinand, Duke of Calabria, incensed at her for thus 
dishonoring the family, pursue her with every form of vindictiveness. They cause 
her to be banished from Ancona, where she and her husband and children had taken 
sanctuary at the shrine of our Lady of Loretto. Daniel de Bosola, the Duchess's own 
gentleman of the horse, who is used as a spy and tool by her brothers, is sent to tell 
her that she must be parted from her husband. The fourth act is a crescendo of 
horrors. Ferdinand gives to the Duchess the hand of her dead husband, wearing 
the ring she gave him. Eight madmen are let loose to dance round her without 
shaking her resolution. "I am Duchess of Malfi still, " she proudly says to the tool 
Bosola. Preparations for her own violent death are made in her presence, her coffin 
brought in and a dirge sung before she is strangled. Her children, and Cariola, her 
faithful servant and confidante, suffer a like fate. Even Ferdinand, who with dia- 
bolic cruelty had ordered her death is seized with penitent horror. " Cover her face: 
mine eyes dazzle: she died young, " he cries. Ferdinand goes mad, Bosola stabs the 
Cardinal, and Bosola receives his death wound from Ferdinand, but kills his assailant. 
The last words of Ferdinand were: 

" Whether we fall by ambition, blood, or lust 
Like diamonds we are cut with our own dust." 

DUCHESS OF WREXE, THE; HER DECLINE AND DEATH: a romantic com-, 
mentary by Hugh Walpole (1914). This novel pictures the- social system of the* 
Victorian era, which ended with the South African war. The duchess and her class 
believed England's greatness depended on government by a few blue-blooded auto- 
crats, the clear-headed despots managing the muddle-headed majority. As head of 
the Beaminster clan, the last of the autocrats, she ruled by the power of tra'dition, 
and by continual ceremony, pomp, and circumstance. For thirty years the duchess, 
had not left her room; invisible to the world, she sat in magnificence in her Oriental' 
chair, flanked by two Chinese dragons, and tyrannized over her family and friends^ 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 243 

the Beaminster clan. The enemies within her gates were the rising generation, her 
two grandchildren, both children of misalliances, in whom the Beaminster tradition is 
at war with a freer spirit. Rachel, her hated granddaughter, feels the terrible old lady's 
power and fears her, but still refuses to be dominated and insists on thinking for 
herself. To gain freedom she marries her friend Sir Roderick, one of the Beaminster 
circle, and a favorite of her grandmother's. Soon after their marriage his flirtation 
with one of her guests brings about their estrangement. The fascination of her 
forbidden friendship with her cousin, Francis, the outcast grandson, almost brings 
her to disaster. She is about to leave her husband to go to him, when Sir Roderick 
is thrown from his horse and laid on his back for life. It has been a marriage of 
convenience on both sides, but Sir Roderick has fallen in love with his wife, and his 
illness and the expectation of a child awakes her love for him. As Rachel's happiness 
is assured, and the grandson, Francis Beaminster, is recognized by the family without 
the knowledge of the duchess, the guns of the South African war mark the beginning 
of democracy, and the duchess dies as her world slips from her dominion. 

DUCHESSE DE LANGEAIS, THE, by Balzac (1834), analyzes carefully the Fau- 
bourg Saint-Germain, or the aristocracy of Paris under the Restoration. In a most 
logical and impartial way, Balzac explains how the patrician class loses its natural 
ascendency when it does not produce the results its advantage of birth and training 
warrant. After learning that the "Great Lady" had no influence on the morals of 
the time, that she was hypocritical and artificially educated, it is not to be expected 
that the heroine of the story, the Duchesse de Langeais, will prove an anomaly of 
virtue. Parisian to the core, the young duchess lives in the luxury of the boudoir 
and the fickle gayety of the ball-room. She is characterized as "supremely a woman 
and supremely a coquette." Unhampered by her husband, who lives his military 
life apart, the duchess feels free to attach to her suite numberless young men, whom 
she encourages and repulses by turns. In Armand de Montriveau, however, she 
finds at last a man of pride and strong will, as well as an ardent lover. He no sooner 
discovers that Madame is trifling with his affection than he resolves to have his 
revenge. He arranges an interview, brings the duchess face to face with herself, and 
denounces her as a murderer, on the ground that she has slain his happiness and his 
faith and bids her farewell. The duchess immediately falls in love with him, 
sends him repentant letters which receive no response, and after a desperate attempt 
to see him in his own house, leaves Paris just as Monsieur is hastening to call upon her. 
Armand de Montriveau searches five years for his lady, finding her at last immured 
in a convent in Spain. Determined to rescue her from such an imprisonment, he 
succeeds in penetrating to the cell of her who was called by the nuns "Sister The"rese," 
only to find the dead body of the Duchesse de Langeais. This is one of the most 
famous of Balzac's novels. .The story is told with all his vigor and minuteness, and 
the characters impress themselves on the memory as persons actually known. 

DUEL, THE, by A. Kuprin (1905). The novel is a depressing revelation of the 
degradation and misery of garrison life in a frontier town. The officers are brutal, 
drunken beasts, unmercifully cruel to the soldiers, who Hve in a slavish state of 
abject terror. The central character, i sub-lieutenant Romashov, is the typical 
Russian hero of the Russian novel, a talker, a sentimental dreamer with high ideals^ 
but without will-power. In day-dreams he sees himself performing glorious deeds of 
valor before an admiring world. At the review, the great official event of the year, 
while he loses himself in romantic visions of promotion, his company is thrown into 



244 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

hopeless confusion by his absent-minded blunders, and he is subjected to a public 
reprimand. Nasanki, a drunken officer who is the mouthpiece of the author, bitterly 
arraigns militarism which makes men low-minded debauchees, "ready for every 
villainy and cruelty. " Romashov longs to escape from this dreary society with its 
petty intrigue, petty jealousy, and petty social ambition. He had a liaison with a 
vulgar married woman, but eventually falls genuinely in love with the beautiful, 
heartless Shurochka, married to a stupid husband whose advancement through the staff 
examinations is her great ambition. She is willing to amuse herself with the boyish 
sub-lieutenant's chivalrous devotion, but the time comes when she must choose and 
she sacrifices him to her ambition. The woman whom he has left for Shurochka's 
sake spreads scandal about them until there is open enemity between Shurochka's 
husband and Romashov, and a duel is arranged. Shurochka tells Romashov that 
the duel must be without risk to either of them. He assents, and is killed by her 
husband as she planned, in order that the affair may not be a stumbling-block in the 
way of her husband's future, which is her own hope of escape from the odious pro- 
vincial town. The story was translated in an abridged version in 1907 with the title 
'In Honor's Name,' and newly translated in 1916. 

DUFF-GORDON, LADY, see LETTERS FROM. 

DUKE'S CHILDREN, THE, see PARLIAMENTARY NOVELS. 

DUNCIAD, THE, by Alexander Pope. This mock-heroic poem, the Iliad of the 
Dunces, was written in 1727, to gratify the spite of the author against the enemies 
his success and his malice had aroused. It contains some of the bitterest satire in the 
language, and as Pope foresaw, has rescued from oblivion the very names that he 
vituperates. The poem is divided into four books, in the first of which Dulness, 
daughter of chaos and eternal night, chooses a favorite to reign over her kingdom. 
In the early editions this prominence is assigned to Theobald, but in 1743 Pope substi- 
tuted Colley Gibber. In the second book, which contains passages as virulent and 
as nauseating as anything of Swift, the goddess institutes a series of games in honor 
of the new monarch. First the booksellers race for a phantom poet, and then the 
poets contend in tickling and in braying, and end by diving into the mud of Fleet 
Ditch. Lastly there is a trial of patience, in which all have to listen to the works of 
two voluminous writers, and are overcome by slumber. In the third book the goddess 
transports the sleeping king to the Elysian shades, where he beholds the past, present, 
and future triumphs of Dulness, and especially her coming conquest of Great Britain. 
The fourth book represents the goddess coming with majesty to establish her universal 
dominion. Arts and sciences are led captive, and the youth drinks of the cup of 
Magus, which causes oblivion of all moral or intellectual obligations. Finally the 
goddess gives a mighty yawn, which paralyzes mental activity everywhere, and 
restores the reign of night and chaos over all the earth. The poem underwent various 
revisions and its dates of publication of its different editions extend from 1728 to 
1742. Lewis Theobald, the Shakespearian scholar, was originally the hero, but he 
was deposed by Pope and Colley Gibber substituted in his stead. 

DURABLE SATISFACTIONS OF LIFE, THE, a volume of essays and addresses by 
Charles William Eliot, sometime president of Harvard University. The book, 
which was published in 1910, includes besides the title-essay, 'The Happy Life,' 
1 John Gilley/ ' Great Riches/ and ' The Religion of the Future.' The purpose of the 
book is to show that the happy life, being dependent on simple and wholesome 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 245 

pleasures within the reach of everyone, is a readily attainable ideal. The satisfac- 
tions of sense, of intellect, of the domestic affections and social sympathies and of 
moral effort are reviewed; and a plea is made for a normal enjoyment of all of these 
pleasures, the lower being duly subordinated to the higher. The point of view is an 
enlightened hedonism, a sane optimism which is convinced of the preponderance of 
good over evil, and a belief in the essential goodness of human nature. President 
Eliot prophesies -that the religion of the future will be free from dogmatism, other- 
worldliness, asceticism, vindictiveness, and emphasis on the salvation of the 
individual through propitiatory sacrifice, but characterized by a belief in the 
immanence of God, His love for man, and the duty of man to love and serve his 
fellows. An interesting illustration of the view of life here set forth is the essay 
on 'John Gilley/ an extremely interesting biography of a humble Maine fisher- 
man, who through industry, intelligence, a wholesome outdoor occupation, family 
affection, and resolute adherence to duty lived a truly happy life. 

DUTCH REPUBLIC, see RISE OF THE. 

EARLY HISTORY OF INSTITUTIONS, LECTURES ON THE, by H. S. Maine, see 
ANCIENT LAW. 

EARLY HISTORY OF MANKIND, RESEARCHES INTO THE, by Edward B. 
Tylor (1865). A volume of investigation into the earliest origins of culture, which 
at the time gave the author distinction as an authority in anthropology. The same 
author's 'Primitive Culture: Researches into the Development of Mythology, 
Philosophy, Religion, Language, Art and Custom/ 1871, carried on the investigation 
into other branches of thought and belief, art and custom. The problems discussed 
are those of animism or spiritism, as a universal development in early culture; the 
origin of rites and ceremonies; the extent to which myths play a part in the early 
history of mankind; the early use of numerals and of directly expressive language; 
and survivals in culture which bring old ideas far down into later periods. 

EARLY INSTITUTIONS, see ANCIENT LAW. 
EARLY LAW AND CUSTOM, see ANCIENT LAW. 

EARTH AND MAN, THE, by Arnold Guyot (1849). This fascinating book was 
the first word upon its subject, comparative physical geography and its relation to 
mankind, which had ever been addressed to a popular American audience. The 
substance of these pages was first given in the form of lectures before the Lowell 
Institute of Boston. Professor Guyot contends that geography means not a mere 
description of the earth's surface, but an interpretation of the phenomena which it 
describes; an endeavor to seize the incessant mutual action of the different portions 
of physical nature upon each other, of inorganic nature upon organized beings 
upon man in particular and upon the successive development of human societies. 
In a word, says the author, it must explain the perpetual play of forces that con- 
stitutes what might be called the life of the globe, its physiology. Understood other- 
wise, geography loses its vital principle, and becomes a mere collection of partial, 
unmeaning facts. He then goes on to explain how the contours of mountains, their 
position, their direction, their height, the length and direction of rivers, the configura- 
tion of coasts, the slope of plateaus, the neighborhood of islands, and in a word, all 
physical conditions, have modified profoundly the life of man. He explains in detail 
the relief of the continents, the characteristics of the oceans, the gradual formation of 



246 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

the continents, the effects of winds, rains, and marine currents on vegetable and 
animal life, the causes of likenesses and of differences, and finally, the people and the 
life of the future. Foretold by their physical condition, the long waiting of the 
southern continents for their evolution has been inevitable; but the scientist fore- 
sees for them a full development when the industrious and skillful men of the northern 
continents shall join with the men of the tropics to establish a movement of universal 
progress and improvement. 

EARTH AS MODIFIED BY HUMAN ACTION, THE, see MAN AND NATURE. 

EARTHLY PARADISE, THE (1868-79), a poem by William Morris. One of the 
most beautiful of nineteenth-century romances, it was written, as the author says, 
to furnish a doorway into the world of enchantment, that land beyond the "utmost 
purple rim" of earth, for which many are homesick. Yet 'The Earthly Paradise' 
has about it the melancholy which pervades the pre-Raphaelite literature, and seems 
the fruit of unfulfilled desire, of the state of those who must create their romance, 
in an age unproductive of such food of the soul. The poem is a collection of the tales 
of Golden Greece, and of the dim, rich, mediaeval time. Certain gentlemen and 
mariners of Norway having considered all that they had heard of the Earthly Paradise 
set sail to find it. They come at last, world-weary old men, to a strange Western 
land, and to a "strange people," descendants of the Greeks, the elders among whom 
receive them graciously. They agree to feast together twice a month, and to ex- 
change stories: the Norwegians telling tales of "the altered world" of the Middle 
Ages; the Greeks, of their own bright time when men were young in heart. For a 
year they tell their tales: in March, Atalanta's Race, and The Man born to be King; 
in April, The Doom of King Acrisius, and The Proud Kine;; in May, The Story of 
Cupid and Psyche, and The Writing on the Image; in June, The Love of Alcestis, 
and The Lady of the Land; in July, The Son of Croesus, and The Watching of the 
Falcon; in August, Pygmalion and the Image, and Ogier the Dane; in September, The 
Death of Paris, and The Land East of the Sun and West of the Moon; in October, 
The Story of Accontius and Cydippe, and The Man who Never Laughed Again; in 
November, The Story of Rhodope, and The Lovers of Gudrun; in December, The 
Golden Apples, and The Fostering of Aslaug; in January, Bellerophon at Argos, and 
The Ring Given to Venus; in February, Bellerophon in Lycia, and The Hill of Venus. 
In these tales the author draws upon Greek mythology, upon the 'Gesta Romano- 
rum,' the Nibelungenlied, the Eddas; indeed, upon the greatest story-books of the 
world. He has woven them all together in one beautiful Gothic tapestry of verse, in 
which the colors are dimmed a little. From "his master," Geoffrey Chaucer, the 
poet has borrowed the three styles of his metre, the heroic, sestina, and octosyllabic. 
The music of the verse is low and sweet, well adapted to tales of "old, unhappy, far- 
off things, and battles long ago. " His Prologue and Epilogue are especially beautiful. 

EAST ANGELS, a novel, by Constance Fenimore Woolson (1888). Its setting is 
"Gracias-a-Dios, a little town lying half asleep on the southern coast of the United 
States, under a sky of .almost changeless blue." The heroine, Edgarda Thome, the 
child of a New England mother, but with Spanish blood in her veins, who has lived 
all her life in the South^is^ just ripening into womanhood when the story opens. The 
plot is concerned chiefly: with her love-affairs, men of totally different types being 
thus brought into juxtaposition. Like the author's other novels, 'East Angels' lacks 
the romantic and ideal elements, but it is strong in the delineation of everyday char- 
acter and incident. 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 247 

EAST LYNNE, by Mrs. Henry Wood, appeared in 1861. Its scene is laid in con- 
temporary England. Lady Isabel Vane, early orphaned by the death of a bankrupt 
father, who has been compelled to sell East Lynne, his ancestral home, is loved by 
both Archibald Carlyle and Francis Levison; the former as noble as the latter is base. 
She marries Carlyle, but is persuaded by Levison that her husband is unfaithful to 
her. His insidious slanders so work upon her mind that she presently elopes with 
him; but being at heart a good woman, she leaves him, and after a few years obtains 
an engagement as nurse to her own children. She returns disguised to her old home, 
where her husband has married again, and where she becomes the devoted attendant 
of the young Carlyles. The denouement clears up her husband's apparent infidelity, 
reveals Levison to be a murderer, and discloses to Carlyle the identity of Isabel, 
whom he has thought dead. Her sufferings break her heart, and upon her death-bed 
she receives his full forgiveness. The plot, though impossible, is well managed and 
made to seem credible, and there are several strong and touching situations. The 
dominant tone of the book is distinctly minor. Although it has little literary merit, it 
secured immediate popularity, has been through many editions on two continents, and 
proved extremely successful as an emotional drama. 

EBEN HOLDEN, by Irving Bacheller, published in 1900, was the author's first book 
and met with great success. It is a simple and homely tale of the life and sayings of 
"Eben Holden," a "hired man," whose affectionate and honest nature endears him 
to all who know him. In the opening chapters a description is given of his long and 
hard journey on foot carrying the orphaned boy of his late employer to some place 
where he can find a home for them both. At last a shelter is found at the farm of 
David Brower in the "northern countrv, " where they obtain a permanent abiding- 
place. David and his wife Elizabeth, who are good and kindly people, become greatly 
attached to the orphan boy; they eventually adopt him and he is called William 
Brower. He grows up with Hope Brower, the daughter of the house, a charming 
girl who is his early sweetheart and later his wife. William goes to college, works for 
Horace Greeley on the Tribune, and fights in the Civil War, where he is severely 
wounded and wins commendation for his bravery. Through all his experiences Eben 
Holden is his staunch friend and does everything in his power to bring about his 
happiness and prosperity, his unselfishness and kindliness being shown on every 
occasion. Eben is also instrumental in bringing about the union of David Brower 
and his son Nehemiah, who had left his home in his youth and had been mourned as 
dead for many years; he returns to his parents a rich man, able to make them com- 
fortable in their declining years. The quaint and original stories and sayings of 
Eben Holden make up a large part of the book, and the creation of his character is a 
distinct contribution to American fiction. 

ECCE HOMO, by John Robert Seeley (1865), was a consideration of the life of Christ 
as a human being. In the preface the author writes: 

"Those who feel dissatisfied with the current conception of Christ, if they cannot 
rest content without a definite opinion, may find it necessary to do what to persons 
not so dissatisfied it seems audacious and perilous to do. They may be obliged to 
reconsider the whole subject from the beginning, and placing themselves in imagina- 
tion at the time when he whom we call Christ bore no such name, to trace his biog- 
raphy from point to point, and accept those conclusions about him, not which church 
doctors, or even apostles, have sealed with their authority, but which the facts them- 
selves, critically weighed, appear to warrant. This is what the present writer under- 
took to do," 



248 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

The result of this undertaking was a portrait of Christ as a man, which, whether 
accurate or not, is singularly luminous and suggestive. The author brought to his 
task scholarship, historical acumen, above all the power to trace the original diversi- 
ties and irregularities in a surface long since worn smooth . He takes into account the 
Zeitgeist of the age in which Christ lived; the thousand and one political and social 
forces by which he was surrounded ; and the national inheritances that were his on his 
human side, with special reference to his office of Messiah. Thereby he throws light 
upon a character "so little comprehended " as a man. He makes many astute obser- 
vations, such as this on the source of the Jews' antagonism to Christ: "They laid 
information against him before the Roman government as a dangerous character; 
their real complaint against him was precisely this, that he was not dangerous. 
Pilate executed him on the ground that his kingdom was of this world; the Jews 
procured his execution precisely because it was not. In other words, they could not 
forgive him for claiming royalty, and at the same time rejecting the use of physical 
force. . . . They did not object to the king, they did not object to the philosopher; 
but they objected to the king in the garb of the philosopher." The 'Ecce Homo' 
produced a great sensation in England and America. Its boldness, its scientific 
character, combined with its spirituality and reverence for the life of Christ, made of 
it a work which could not be overlooked. Newman, Dean Stanley, Gladstone, and 
others high in authority, hastened to reply to it. The vitality of the work still remains. 

ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY OF BRITAIN, by Bseda or Bede. A work doubly 
monumental (i) in the extent, faithfulness, care in statement, love of truth, and 
pleasant style, of its report from all trustworthy sources of the history (not merely 
ecclesiastical) of Britain, and especially of England, down to the eighth century; and 
(2) in its being the only authority for important church and other origins and de- 
velopments through the whole period. Bseda was by far the most learned Englishman 
of his time; one of the greatest writers known to English literature; in a very high 
sense "the Father of English History"; an extensive compiler for English use from 
the writings of the Fathers of the Church; an author of treatises representing the 
existing knowledge of science; and a famous English translator of Scripture. In high 
qualities of genius and rare graces of character, he was in the line of Shakespeare. 
From one of his young scholars, Cuthbert, we have a singularly beautiful story of the 
venerable master's death, which befell about 735 A. D., when he was putting the last 
touches to his translation of the Fourth Gospel. From his seventh year, 680, to the 
day of his death, May 26, 735, he passed his life in the Benedictine abbey, first at 
Wearmouth and then at Jarrow; but it was a life of immense scholarly and educational 
activity. Green's ' History ' says of him : ' ' First among English scholars, first among 
English theologians, first among English historians, it is in the monk of Jarrow that 
English literature strikes its roots. In the six hundred scholars who gathered round 
him for instruction, he is the father of our national education." It was in point of 
view and name only that Baeda's great work was an ecclesiastical history. It covered 
all the facts drawn from Roman writers, from native chronicles and biographies, 
from records and public documents, and from oral and written accounts by his con- 
temporaries. It was written in Latin; first printed at Strasburg about 1473; King 
Alfred translated it into Anglo-Saxon; and it has had several editions and English 
versions in recent times. The whole body of Baeda's writings, some forty in number, 
show his unwearied industry in learning, teaching, and writing, his gentle and culti- 
vated feelings, his kindly sympathies, and the singular freshness of mind which gave 
life and beauty to so many pages of his story of England's past. 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 549 

ECCLESIASTICAL POLITY, see LAWS OF. 

ECHO OF PASSION, AN, by George Parsons Lathrop (1882), is one of Lathrop's 
earliest works. The interest of the story revolves around an accomplished and fas- 
cinating Southern widow, Mrs. Eulow; a trusting wife, Ethel Fenn; and a husband, 
Benjamin Fenn, whose chemical information is more exact than his moral principles. 
There is nothing intangible or echo-like about the passion depicted, which attains its 
zenith during the idle days of a summer outing amid the Massachusetts hills. The 
theme is not new; but in his treatment of it the author presents some interesting 
ethical arguments, by which the husband seeks to blind himself to his own short- 
comings, and some touching examples of the young wife's self-control and abnegation. 
Interspersed are amusing semi-caricatures of the typical boarding-house "guest, " the 
flotsam and jetsam of vacation life. 

ECOLE DES FEMMES, L J (' The School for Wives'), by Moliere, produced in 1662, is 
a companion piece to 'L'Ecole des Mans' ('The School for Husbands'). They have 
essentially the same plot; treated, however, with great dramatic dexterity, to clothe 
a different idea in each. In this comedy, Arnolphe, a typical middle-aged jealous 
guardian of Agnes, has educated his ward for his future model wife by carefully 
excluding from her mind all knowledge of good or evil; her little world is circumscribed 
by the grilled windows and strong doors of Arnolphe's house. Returning from a 
journey, he finds her sweet and tranquil in her ignorance as before. But soon meeting 
Horace, a son of his old friend Oronte, he learns by the ingenuous confession of the 
young fellow that, madly in love with " a young creature in that house, " he intends to 
use the money just borrowed from his father's friend to carry her off. Frantic at this 
disclosure, Arnolphe rushes to the imprisoned Agnes, from whom by ingenious ques- 
tioning he extracts a candid avowal of her affection for her lover, and an account of a 
visit from him. By a clever series of intrigues, the guardian is made the willing, 
unwitting go-between of the two young people; until at last Agnes, having deter- 
mined to run away from her hated suitor, braves his anger. Then it is that Arnolphe 
displays a depth of real passion and tenderness, tragic in its intensity, in pleading 
'with her to revoke her decision; a scene that remains unrivaled among the many fine 
scenes in Moliere. When fiercest in denunciation, the guardian yields to a gentle 
glance and word. "Little traitress," he cries, "I pardon you all. I give you back 
my love. That word, that look, disarms my wrath. " A pair of conventional stage 
fathers now appear, who, by revealing the fact that their children, the lovers, have 
been betrothed from their cradles, unite the two with their blessings; and the desolate 
Arnolphe receives the penalty of a selfish meddler with youthful affection. Obdurate 
and rigid in his theories, Arnolphe yet wins esteem by the strength of his character 
that dominates, even in defeat, the close of the play. Agnes, a type of maiden inno- 
cence, far from being colorless or insipid, is a living, glowing portrait of a genuinely 
interesting ingtnue, using artifice naturally foreign to her disposition at the 
service of love only. Outside of the real merit of the play, and the curious 
sidelight it throws on the dramatist's opinions (married at this time at forty 
years of age to a girl of seventeen), it opened an attack upon him for suspected 
religious latitude; contemporary criticism being leveled at the scene in the third 
act, where a treatise, 'The Maxims of Marriage, 1 is presented by the guardian-lover 
p his ward. 

ECOLE DES MARIS, L', see L'ECOLE DES FEMMES. 



250 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

ECONOMIC INTERPRETATION OF HISTORY, by J. E. Thorold Rogers (1888). 
A volume of Oxford lectures, covering a wide range of important topics, with the 
general aim of showing how economic questions have come up in English history, and 
have powerfully influenced its development. The questions of labor, money, pro- 
tection, distribution of wealth, social effect of religious movements, pauperism and 
taxation, are among those which are carefully dealt with. In a posthumously pub- 
lished volume, 'The Industrial and Commercial History of England,' 1892, anothei 
series of Professor Rogers's Oxford lectures appeared, completing the author's view 
both of the historical facts and of method of study. 

EDDA, ELDER: EDDA, YOUNGER, see HEIMSKRINGLA. 

EDUCATION, by Herbert Spencer (1860). It is the highest praise that can be 
bestowed upon this treatise, that it seems now a book of obvious if not of common- 
place philosophy, whereas, when it was published, it was recognized as revolutionary 
in the extreme. So rapidly has its wisdom become incarnated in methods if not in 
systems. The book opens with an examination of what knowledge is of most worth: 
it show r s that in the mental world as in the bodily, the ornamental comes before the 
useful; that we do not seek to develop our own individual capacities to their utmost, 
but to learn what will enable us to make the most show, or accomplish the greatest 
material successes. But if the important thing in life is to know how to live, in the 
widest sense, then education should be made to afford us that knowledge; and the 
knowledge is hence of most value which informs and develops the whole man. Mathe- 
matics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, the Science of Society, all these are important; 
but an education which teaches youth how to become fit for parentage is indispens- 
able. Too many fathers and mothers are totally unfit to develop either the bodies, 
the souls, or the minds of their children. From the duty of preparation on the part 
of the parent, it is a short step to the duty of preparation on the part of the citizen. 
And still another division of human life, that which includes the relaxations and 
pleasures of existence, should be made a matter of intelligent study; for this com- 
prehends the whole field of the fine arts, the whole aesthetic organization of society. 
The essayist now considers in detail, Intellectual Education, Moral Education, and 
Physical Education. He shows not only an unreasoned and unreasonable existing 
state of things, but he discloses the true philosophy underlying the question, and 
points out the true methods of reasonableness and rightness. Each chapter is 
enriched with a wealth of illustration drawn from history, literature, or life; and the 
argument, although closely reasoned, is very entertaining from first to last. Few 
books of the age have had a more direct and permanent effect upon the general 
thought than this; many parents and teachers who know Herbert Spencer only as 
a name follow the suggestions which are now a part of the common intellectual air. 

EDUCATION, SOME THOUGHTS CONCERNING, see THOUGHTS, ETC. 
EDUCATION, TRACTATE ON, see TRACTATE, ETC. 

EDWARD n., an historical play, by Christopher Marlowe acted in 1592?, first pub- 
lished in 1594, is generally regarded as the author's masterpiece. The scene opens in 
London. Gaveston, Edward's favorite, is invited by the King to come and share his 
kingdom. Earl Lancaster and the elder and younger Mortimer are incensed at 
Edward's infatuation for his favorite. In spite of the displeasure of his nobles, Ed- 
ward bestows upon Gaveston the castle and rents of the Bishop of Coventry, who 
had previously been the chief cause of Gaveston's being sent into exile. The Arch- 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 251 

bishop of Canterbury and the nobles, the counsellors of the King, force Edward to 
banish Gaveston. Edward in pique becomes estranged from his Queen, Isabella, 
whom he accuses of familiarity with Mortimer, but sends Gaveston to be governor of 
Ireland. The Queen, anxious to win back the favor of the King, induces the nobles 
to consent to the repeal of Gaveston's banishment; but when Gaveston returns, he is 
received with satirical greetings by the nobles, headed by \Varwick and the younger 
Mortimer, who seize him and keep him under arrest. In the meantime the King of 
France had seized Normandy, and Isabella and her son, who were sent to France on a 
mission of appeasement, returned without having accomplished their ends. In 
their absence the Spencers had come to the aid of Edward, who captured certain of 
the nobles. Others joined the Queen on her return and Edward was forced to resign 
his crown. The growing horror and pathos of the closing scenes which describe the 
events leading up to the king's assassination won the enthusiastic eulogy of Charles 
Lamb. The young prince who comes to the throne orders the death of Mortimer and 
the imprisonment of the Queen. 

EGOIST, THE, by George Meredith (1879), is a fine illustration of a complete 
novel without a plot. It is a study of egotism. The egoist is Sir Willoughby 
Patterne, of Patterne Hall, a consummate young gentleman of fortune and rank, 
whose disposition and breeding make him only too well aware of his perfections, 
and of his value in the matrimonial market. He determines to choose his wife 
prudently and deliberately, as befits the selection of the rare creature worthy to 
receive the gift of his incomparable self. In describing the successive courtships by 
which the egotism of the egoist is thrown into high light, Meredith presents a most 
natural group of fair women: the brilliant Constantia Durham, Clara Middleton the 
"dainty rogue in porcelain," and Lsetitia Dale with "romances on her eyelashes." 
The curtain falls on the dreary deadness of Sir Willoughby's incurable self-satis- 
faction. 

EGYPT, A HISTORY OF, from the Earliest Times to the Persian Conquest, by J. H. 
Breasted (1905). A history for the general reader based on the results of archaeologi- 
cal research. Professor Breasted has published his historical material in four 
volumes 'Ancient Records of Egypt' (1906), texts and translations of the inscriptions 
on the monuments in the museums of Europe and Cairo, and in the valley of the 
Nile. The period covered is from 4241 B. C., "the earliest fixed date in the history 
of the world/' to 525 B. C. The most interesting discoveries of recent years come 
within the scope of the first two books on the prehistoric period, the pyramid builders 
and their ancestors. Book i gives a preliminary survey of the chronology and the 
documentary sources, and the facts known about the predynastic Egyptians. Book 
2 is a picture of the Old Kingdom, the first known civilization, its politics, religion, 
industry, art, and customs. This early kingdom of the North declined and Book 3 
discusses the feudal age of the Middle Kingdom of internal struggle between king 
and nobles. In Book 4 comes the century of Hyksos invasion and expulsion. Book 
5 deals with the rise of the Empire, and its dissolution with the fall of Ikhnaton, 
"the first individual in human history, " a dreamer and idealist, who lost his empire 
while he was composing hymns to the sun and establishing a new religion. Book 6 
is the story of the triumph of Amon and the reorganization of the Empire, the wars of 
Rameses I. and II. and the final decline of the Empire with the reign of Rameses 
III. Book 7 is the fall of the Empire and the supremacy first of the Libyans, then the 
Ethiopians, and finally of Assyria. Book 8, "The Restoration and the End 1 ' traces 



252 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

the history of the final struggle with Babylon and Persia to the creation in the East 
of the great Empire of Persia. The decline of Egypt was caused by the rise to power 
of the priests of Amon. Professor Breasted has written a modern readable scholarly 
history instead of a lifeless chronicle of Pharaohs and dynasties, making the people of 
this remote age as real as the Greeks and Romans. 

EGYPT, A HISTORY OF (Mew ed., 6 vols., 1905). Vol. i., from the Earliest Times 
to the Sixteenth Dynasty. Vol. ii., During the Seventeenth and Eighteenth dynasties. 
Vol. iii., The Nineteenth to the Thirtieth Dynasty, by W. M. Flinders Petrie. 
Vol. iv., Ptolemaic Dynasty, by J. P. Mahaffy. Vol. v., Egypt under Roman rule, 
by J. G. Milne. Vol. vi., Egypt in the Middle Ages, by Stanley Lane-Poole. These 
volumes embrace the whole history cf Egypt down to modern times. The design of 
the whole work is to supply a book of reference which shall suffice for all ordinary pur- 
poses, but with special attention to facts and illustrations which are new, and with 
the utmost care to throw as much light as possible upon Egyptian dates. There is no 
intention of including a history of art, civilization, or literature; the one purpose of 
the work is to get into as accurate shape as possible the history and chronology of 
the successive dynasties. The figures settled upon by Professor Petrie, in his first 
volume, show seventeen dynasties ruling from 4777 B. C. to 1587 B. C., and Dynasty 
XVIIT. carrying on the history to 1327 B. C. It is thus the story of 3450 years which 
he tells in the two volumes. The history of the seventeenth dynasty (1738-1587 
B. C.), and of the eighteenth, told in Vol. ii., are especially important; and for these, 
no record or monument has been left unnoticed. 

EGYPT AND CHALD^EA, see DAWN OF CIVILIZATION. 

EGYPTIAN ARCHEOLOGY, MANUAL OF, and Guide to the Study of Antiquities 
in Egypt, by Gaston Maspero. Translated by Amelia B. Edwards (Fourth Revised 
Edition: 1895). One of the most picturesque, original, and readable volumes in the 
immense literature to which our vast new knowledge of the long-buried Egypt has 
given rise. With its many new facts and new views and interpretations, gleaned by 
M. Maspero with his unrivaled facilities as director of the great Boulak Museum at 
Cairo, the volume is, for the general reader and the student, the most adequate of 
text-books and handbooks of its subject. 

EGYPTIAN PRINCESS, AN, a German historical romance by Georg Ebers, was 
published in 1864. Its scenes are laid in Egypt and Persia, toward the close of the 
sixth century B. C. The narrative follows the fates of the royal families of the two 
nations, tracing the career of the headstrong, passionate Cambyses, from the days 
of his marriage with the Egyptian princess Nitetis, whom he was deceived into 
accepting as the daughter of Amasis, King of Egypt, down to the times when, his 
ill-fated bride taking poison, he himself humbles the arms of Egypt in punishment 
for their deception; and, dissipated, violent, capricious, the haughty monarch meets 
his death, Darius the Mede reigning in his stead. A figure of infinite pathos is the 
gentle Nitetis; with pitiful patience meeting the cruel suspicions of Cambyses, and 
content to kiss his hand in her death agonies, the result of his intemperate anger. 

Another interesting character is Bartja, the handsome and chivalrous younger 
brother of Cambyses, of whom the Bang is so unjustly jealous. His love for Sappho, 
granddaughter of the far-famed Rhodopis, is one of the most genuine conceptions in 
literature. Several historic characters are introduced and placed in natural settings, 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 253 

notably Croesus, mentor of the unhappy Cambyses; and Darius, whose future great- 
ness is foreshadowed in an early youth of discretion and prowess. 

EGYPTIANS, RELIGIONS OF THE ANCIENT, see RELIGIONS, ETC. 

EUCON BASELIKE: 'The True Portraiture of his Sacred Majestic in his Soli- 
tudes and Sufferings/ by John Gauden, February 9th, 1649. One of the most 
worthless yet most effective and famous literary forgeries ever attempted. Its 
author was a Presbyterian divine, bishop of Exeter and Worcester under Charles II. 
"It got Parson Gauden a bishopric," Carlyle wrote November 26th, 1840. On 
Thursday, January 4th, 1649, the change of England from a monarchy to a republic, 
or commonwealth, had been made by the passage in the Commons House of Parlia- 
ment of three resolutions: (i) That the people are the original of all just power in the 
State; (2) That the Commons represent that power; and (3) That their enactments 
needed no consent of king or peers to have the force of law. On Tuesday, January 
30th, between two and three P.M., the execution of Charles I. had taken place. Ten 
days later, February 9th, there was published with great secrecy, and in very mys- 
terious fashion, the small octavo volume of 269 pages, the title of which is given 
above. The frontispiece to the volume was an elaborate study in symbols and 
mottoes, in a picture of the king on his knees in his cell looking for a crown of glory. 
The twenty-eight chapters purporting to have been written by Charles, and to tell the 
spiritual side of the later story of his life, each began with a fragment of narrative, or 
of meditation on some fact of his life, and then gave a prayer suited to the supposed 
circumstances. Not only was the whole scheme of the book a grotesque fiction, but 
the execution was cheap, pointless, "vapid falsity and cant," Carlyle said, and a 
vulgar imitation of the liturgy; yet fifty editions in a year did not meet the demand 
for it ; and it created almost a worship of the dead king. It remains a singular example 
of what a literary forgery can accomplish. 

EKXEHAJRD, by Joseph Victor von Scheffel (1857) is a story told by one who 
believed in the "union of poetry and fiction." To him "the characters of the past 
arose from out the mist of years, and bade him clothe them anew in living form to 
please his own and succeeding generations." The time is the tenth century, the 
century of King Canute's conquest of England. The hero, Ekkehard, is a young 
Benedictine monk of the holy house of St. Gall, in Suabia, a house whose abbot is an 
old man named Cralo. The abbot is a distant cousin to Hadwig, countess of Suabia, 
whose deceased lord, Burkhard, had been a tyrannical old nobleman who in his 
dotage wedded Hadwig, a fair daughter of Bavaria, who had entered into the alliance 
to please her father. At Burkhard's death the emperor has declared that the countess 
shall hold her husband's fiefs so long as she does not marry again. But the countess, 
young, beautiful, rich, and idle, in a moment of recklessness decides to visit 
the monastery of St. Gall, which has a rule that woman's foot must never step across 
its threshold; and while the countess waits without, and Cralo and his monks discuss 
what should be done, the ready-witted young Ekkehard suggests that some one carry 
the countess across the portal. He is deputed to do so, and from the hour when he 
takes her into his arms, the poet-monk loves the Countess Hadwig. Later, when he is 
sent to be her tutor, despite his self-restraint he reveals his love to her. He is as 
"the moth fluttering around a candle." Fleeing love's temptations, Ekkehard goes 
far up into the mountains with his lyre, and amid the snow-capped peaks, sings his 
master-song. This he transcribes, and tying it to an arrow, he shoots it so that it 
falls at the countess's feet. It is his parting gift. He journeys into the world, his 



;>54 THE RKADER S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

songs making a welcome for him everywhere; and in her halls the countess keeps his 
memory to fill her lonely hours. In 1885 the story had reached its eighty-sixth 
editinn in the original German, while innumerable translations have been made into 
English. Though SchefTel gave the world other volumes of prose and poetry, none is 
so well known, or considered so good. 

ELEANOR, by Mrs. Humphry Ward, was published in 1900. The real interest of 
this book is not so much in its plot as in the development of the character of its heroine 
Eleanor Bargoyne, a woman of rare charm and of supreme intellectual endowment, 
who comes to Rome for the benefit of her health. She has had a brief and unhappy 
married life which has ended with the death of husband and child, since when she has 
for eight years been absorbed in the world of books. In Rome, she is brought into 
close companionship with her cousin Edward Manisty, with whom she falls devotedly 
in love. He is thoroughly self-centred and egotistical, moody and taciturn, and 
possesses insufferable manners. Despite her frail health, Eleanor throws herself body 
and soul into the endeavor to aid Manisty in the production of a successful book; she 
spends long and exhausting hours discussing, copying, and advising, and acts as an 
intellectual stimulus for his powers and perceptions. The introduction of Lucy 
Foster upon the scene, and an adverse criticism upon his book, bring about a change 
in Manisty f s attitude towards Eleanor; he falls in love with the pretty young Ameri- 
can girl and his cousin realizes that he has not a thought for her. She at first attempts 
to separate the lovers, and Lucy, loyal to the older woman, and true to the prompt- 
ings of her Puritan conscience, rejects the advances of Manisty, and leaves Rome 
with Eleanor, whose health, impaired by the emotional and physical strain she has 
experienced, is gradually failing. After much suffering and a violent mental struggle, 
Eleanor rises above her own feelings and exerts her influence to bring about the union 
of the lovers, whose marriage she survives but by a few months. 

ELECTIVE AFFINITIES (' Wahlverwandschaften ') by Goethe, was published in 1809. 
The novel has four principal characters: Edward, a wealthy nobleman, and his wife 
Charlotte; her niece Ottilie; and a friend of Edward, known as the Captain. These 
four being together at Edward's country-seat, Ottilie falls in love with Edward, 
Charlotte with the Captain. The wife, however, remains faithful to her husband; 
but Ottilie yields to her passion, expiating her sin only with her death. The tragedy 
of the book seems designed to show that "elective affinities" may be fraught with 
danger and sorrow; that duty may have even a higher claim than the claim of the soul. 
The novel is throughout of the highest interest in the delineation of character and of 
the effects of passion. 

ELEGANT! LATINJE SERMONIS ('Elegancies of Latin Speech'), by Laurentius 
Valla (Lorenzo della Valla), 1444; 59th ed, 1536. A standard work on Latin style, 
written in the days of the earlier Italian Renaissance, when the Latin Middle Ages 
were coming to a close. It is notable as the latest example of Latin used as a living 
tongue. Valla was a thoroughly Pagan Humanist. His 'De Voluptate,' written at 
Rome about 1443, was a scholarly and philosophical apology for sensual pleasure; the 
first important word of the new paganism. The 'Elegancies' followed, and the two 
works gave their author the highest reputation as a brilliant writer and critic of 
Latin composition. At an earlier date (1440) Valla had published a work designed to 
show that the papal claim of a grant made to the papacy by Constantine had no valid 
historical foundation. This was the first effort of skepticism in that direction; yet 
the successor of Eugenius IV., Nicholas V., invited Valla, as one of the chief scholars 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 255 

of the age, to take the post of apostolic secretary at Rome, and paid him munificently 
for a translation of Thucydides into Latin. Valla further did pre-Reformation work 
by his 'Adnotationes' on the New Testament, in which for the first time the Latin 
Vulgate version was subjected to comparison with the Greek original. Erasmus re- 
edited this work, and Ulrich von Hutten republished the attack on the papal claims. 
The permanent interest of Valla is that of an able initiator of criticism, linguistic, 
historical, and ethical. 

ELIA, see ESSAYS OF ELIA. 

ELINE VERB, see FOOTSTEPS OF FATE. 

ELIZABETH; or, THE EXILES OF SIBERIA, by Sophie Cottin (1805), is regarded 
in the English-speaking world as her best work; though in France her 'Mathilde,' 
founded on incidents in the life of Richard Cceur-de-Lion's sister, is more highly 
esteemed. The picturesque story of Elizabeth was founded on fact; its theme 
the successful attempt of a Polish maiden of high birth to obtain the pardon of her 
exiled parents from the Emperor Alexander, at his coronation in 1801 is so exalted 
that one cannot help wishing it had been told with more simplicity and fewer com- 
ments. The descriptions of nature and of remote corners of Russia are done with 
much fidelity not to mention Elizabeth's peasant costume: her short red petticoat, 
reindeer trousers, squirrel-skin boots, and fur bonnet. A less virile writer than 
Madame de Stael, Madame Cottin nevertheless helped to pave the way for the 
romantic school in France. 

ELIZABETH AND HER GERMAN GARDEN, by Countess Von Arnim (later 
Countess Russell) appeared anonymously in 1898, Elizabeth, a young married 
woman, tired of city life, persuades her husband to move into the country where 
they have an old family estate, which is rapidly going to decay. ' The opening pages 
describe in a most breezy and delightful way her first experience in bringing order out 
of chaos. She goes in advance of her family to the old house, accompanied by a 
housekeeper and a servant, and oversees the workman and gardeners, who are making 
the place habitable. Elizabeth who is a true lover of nature, finds perfect enjoyment 
in her out-of-door life, and her ecstasy and delight over her garden forms the motive 
of the tale. After some weeks spent entirely in communing with nature, she is joined 
by her family, and her journal then depicts their idyllic home life in the country. Her 
husband, whom she laughingly calls the "Alan of Wrath," and her three children, 
designated severally as the "April," " May/' and "June" babies, figure frequently in 
the pages of her journal. The trials she endures from unwelcome guests, stupid 
servants, and a disagreeable governess, are amusingly described, as are the minute 
details of her experimental gardening. The author's enthusiasm for nature, and keen 
knowledge of humanity makes the book both entertaining and agreeable reading. 
It is delightful in style, and Elizabeth muses, laughs, and moralizes over her garden, 
her husband, her babies, and her acquaintances in a peculiarly feminine way in which 
is blended humor, simplicity, shrewdness, and philosophy. 

ELLE ET LUI, by George Sand (1859). A novel based on the author's relations 
twenty-five years before, in 1834, with Alfred de Musset, whose death occurred in 
1857. As the story was one to which there could be no reply by the person most 
concerned, an indignant brother, Paul de Musset, wrote 'Ltd et Elle' to alter the 
lights on the picture. At the entrance of the woman known in literature as George 
Sund upon the bohemian freedom in Paris, she shared her life with Jules Sandeau, 



256 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

and first used the pen-name Jules Sand, when he and she worked together and brought 
out a novel entitled 'Rose ct Blanche.' Enabled shortly after to get a publisher for 
1 Indiana,' which was wholly her own work, she changed her pen-name to George 
Sand. But Sandeau and she did not continue together. Alfred de Musset and she 
entered upon a relationship of life and literary labor which took them to Italy at the 
end of 1833, gave them a short experience of harmony in 1834, but came to an end by 
estrangement between them in 1835. Her side of this estrangement is reflected in 
'Elle et Lui,' and his in Paul de Musset's 'Lui et Elle.' 

ELM-TREE ON THE MALL, THE, see L'HISTOIRE CONTEMPORAINE. 

ELSIE VENNER, by Oliver Wendell Holmes, was first published serially, in 1859- 
60, under the name of 'The Professor's Story. 1 The romance is a study in heredity, 
introducing a peculiar series of phenomena closely allied to such dualism of nature 
as may best be described by the word "ophianthropy." Delineations of the charac- 
ters, social functions, and religious peculiarities of a New England village, form a 
setting for the story. Elsie Venner is a young girl whose physical and psychical 
peculiarities occasion much grief and perplexity to her father, a widower of gentle 
nature and exceptional culture. The victim of some pre-natal casualty, Elsie shows 
from infancy unmistakable traces of a serpent-nature intermingling with her higher 
self. This nature dies within her only when she yields to an absorbing love. Like all 
the work of Dr. Holmes, the story is brilliantly written and full of epigrammatic 
sayings; it is acute though harsh in dissection of New England life, and distinguished 
by psychological insight and the richest humor. 

EMANXJEL QUINT, see FOOL IN" CHRIST. 

EMBLEMS, by Francis Quarles (1635). A book of grotesque engravings, borrowed 
from Hermann Hugo's 'Pia Desideria,' and fitted with crudely fanciful, studiously 
quaint, and sometimes happily dramatic, religious poems, such as Quarles had earlier 
published as 'Divine Poems' (a collected volume, 1630, representing ten years), and 
* Divine Fancies' (1632). They mingle something of the sublime with a great deal of 
the commonplace; and only lend themselves to admiration if we are prepared to 
make the best of conceits and oddities along with some elevated thoughts. They 
have come into favor of late as antique and curious, rather than upon any original 
merit in respect either of poetry or of picture. The engravings, however, were by 
Marshall. 

EMILE, by Jean Jacques Rousseau, the most famous of pedagogic romances, was 
composed in 1762. Its immediate effect was to call down on his head the denuncia- 
tions of the Archbishop of Paris, who found him animated "by a spirit of insubordi- 
nation and revolt," and to exile him for some years from France. Its lasting effect 
was to lay the foundation of modern pedagogy. Due to the suggestion of a mother 
who asked advice as to the training of a child, it was the expansion of his opinions 
and counsels;^ the framework of a story sustaining an elaborate system of elementary 
education. Emile, its diminutive hero, is reared apart from other children under a 
tutor, by a long series of experiments conducted by the child himself, often with 
painful consequences. Little by little, his childish understanding comes to compre- 
hend at first-hand the principles of physics, mechanics, gardening, property, and 
morals. At last the loosely woven plot leads to the marriage of Emile with Sophie, a 
girl who has been educated in a similar fashion. Arbitrary, but always ingenious 
and stimulating, the experiments introduced are veritable steps of knowledge. As 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 257 

object-lessons, the altercation with the gardener and the visit to the mountebank are 
unsurpassed in the simplicity with which the complex ideas of property and magne- 
tism are presented to a developing intelligence. From the hints contained in ' Emile,' 
Basedow, Pestalozzi, and Froebel drew their inspiration and laid the broad founda- 
tions of modern elementary education. Unsystematic, sometimes impracticable, 
full of suggestion, it invests the revolutionary ideas of its author with his customary 
literary charm. 

EMINENT AUTHORS OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY, translated from the 
Danish of Brandes by Rasmus B. Anderson (1882), is a collection of nine critical 
essays, "literary portraits," from the German, Danish, English, French, Swedish, 
and Norwegian literatures. "In all of them," says the author, "the characteristics 
of the individual are so chosen as to bring out the most important features of the 
author's life and works." In a close and brilliant analysis, influenced by Taine's 
method of reference to race, environment, and moment, Brandes develops what was 
most individual in the production of each. His subjects are all men whose maturest 
productions appeared during the middle or earlier half of the century, and exercised 
a formative influence upon modern literature. He shows the German poet Heyse 
abandoning traditional methods of thought to follow "the voice of instinct," and 
thus inaugurating the reign of individuality. 

Hans Christian Andersen is the discoverer of the child in Northern literature, 
the man with the rare gift of viewing nature with childlike eyes; John Stuart Mill is 
the strong yet insular Englishman with a "matter-of-fact mind" which made him 
intolerant of German mysticism, yet wearing an "invisible nimbus of exalted love of 
truth"; Renan is the patient philosopher, hater of the commonplace, lover of the 
unfindable ideal, "a spectator in the universe"; Tegne"r is the humanistic lyrist of 
the North; Flaubert the painful seeker after perfection of form; the Danish Paludan- 
Muller, a poet, who with a satiric realization of earthly discords, clings to orthodox 
religious ideals; Bjornson, the poet-novelist of Norway, is the cheerful practical 
patriot, loving and serving his people in daily life; while his fellow-countryman Henrik 
Ibsen is the literary pathologist of the North, who diagnoses social evils without 
attempting to offer a remedy. The fact that they were all modern in spirit, all longed 
to express what is vital or of universal application has made their work as valuable to 
foreign readers as to their own countrymen. Its local color and feeling endeared it at 
home, and heightened its charm abroad. 

EMMA, by Jane Austen. The story of 'Emma' is perhaps one of the simplest in all 
fiction, but the genius of Miss Austen manifests itself throughout. All her books 
show keen insight into human nature; but in 'Emma' the characters are so true to 
life, and the descriptions so vivid, that for the time one positively lives in the village 
of Highbury, the scene of the tale. At the opening of the story, Emma Woodhouse, 
the heroine, "handsome, clever, and rich," and somewhat spoilt by a weak fussy 
father, lives alone with him. Her married sister's brother-in-law, Mr. Knightley, is 
a frequent visitor at their house; as is Mrs. Weston, Emma's former governess. Mr. 
Knighttey is a quiet, sensible English gentleman, the only one who tells Emma her 
faults. Finding life dull, Emma makes friends with Harriet Smith, an amiable, 
weak-minded young girl, and tries to arrange a match between her and Mr. Elton, the 
clergyman, but fails. Frank Churchill Mrs. Weston's stepson arrives in the 
village, pays marked attention to Emma, and supplies the town with gayety and 
gossip. Shortly after his departure, a letter brings the news of Hs rich, aunt's death, 
17 



2.S* THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

and his own secret engagement to Jane Fairfax, a beautiful girl in Highbury: Emma 
suspects Harriet of being in love with Mr. Churchill, but discovers that she cherishes 
instead a hidden affection for Mr. Knightley. The disclosure fills Emma with alarm, 
and she realizes for the first time that no one but herself must marry him. Fortun- 
ately he has long loved her; and the story ends with her marriage to him, that of 
Harriet to Mr. Martin, her rejected lover, and of Jane to Frank Churchill. 

The gradual evolution of her better self in Emma, and her unconscious admiration 
for Mr. Knightley *s quiet strength of character, changing from admiration to love 
as she herself grows, is exceedingly interesting. Chief among the other characters 
are Mr. Woodhouse, a nervous invalid with a permanent fear of colds, and a taste 
for thin gruel; and talkative Miss Bates, who flits from one topic of conversation to 
another like a distracted butterfly. Less brilliant than 'Pride and Prejudice/ 
'Emma' is equally rich in humor, in the vivid portraiture of character, and a never- 
ending delight in human absurdities, which the fascinated reader shares from chapter 
to chapter. It was published in 1816, when Jane Austen was forty-one. 

EN MENAGE, by J. K. Huysman, see EN ROUTE. 

EN ROUTE, a novel, by J. K. Huysman (1895), * s translated by Kegan Paul. The 
author, whose literary career began in 1875, nas devoted himself largely to what may 
be termed a kind of brutal mysticism. His works 'Marthe, ' 'Les Sceurs Vatard,' 
and 'En Menage, 1 deal largely with themes that are sordid and scarred with hatred 
and ugliness, as if his mission were mainly to portray "la btise de I'humaniteV' 
A morbid delight in what is corrupt leads to a corrupt mysticism. What is known 
as Satanism finds its extreme expression in his novel 'La-Bas.' It is a "surfeit of 
supernaturalism producing a mental nausea." 'En Route' depicts the "religious" 
conversion of a young debauche* of Paris, Dartal by name, a character who first 
appears in 'La-Bas. 1 He is blase, empty of motives of capacity for pleasure or 
endeavor. He takes to visiting the churches; feels a certain spell produced by the 
ritual and music; and at length, drawn into the monastic retreat of La Trappe, he 
becomes a convert to religion, and dwells with delight and much fine analysis on his 
experience of a land of ecstasy of restraints, a "frenzy of chastity." The story is 
autobiographic: "the history of a soul." It abounds in passages of great brilliancy 
and beauty; and in some of the meditations on the inner meaning of the ritual, and 
the effect of the music of the church, his interpretations will meet with a very sym- 
pathetic response from many readers. His description of the Breviary is a splendid 
piece of writing. The book may be called a faithful account of the "ritualistic 
disease, " as it affects the French mind. " It was not so much himself advancing into 
the unknown, as the unknown surrounding, penetrating, possessing him little by 
little. ' ' He closes suddenly with his entering into the ' ' night obscure ' ' of the mystics . 
11 It is inexpressible. Nothing can reveal the anguish necessary to pass through to 
enter this mystic knowledge." The soul of the writer seems to think aloud in the 
pages of his book; he frankly portrays his condition: "too much writer to become a 
monk; too much monk to remain a writer." The reader remains in doubt, after all, 
as to whither the hero of the book is en route. 'En Route' is a perfect guide-book 
to the churches of Paris, their exteriors and interiors, their clergy, and the daily life 
of each church. 

ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA, THE. The First Edition of the Encyclopedia 
Britannica was begun in 1768 and completed in 1771 in three volumes, containing 



THK RRADKR'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 259 

2670 pages. Colin Macfarquar, an Edinburgh printer, and Andrew Bell, the 
principal Scottish engraver of that day, were the proprietors. The work was 
edited and in great part written by William Smellie, another Edinburgh printer. 
This work, "by a society of gentlemen in Scotland," according to the title- 
page, was compiled on a new plan. Instead of dismembering the sciences by 
attempting to treat them under a multitude of technical terms, they digested the 
principles of every science in the form of distinct treatises, and explained the terms 
as they occurred in order of the alphabet. The merits and novelty of this plan 
consist first in keeping important related subjects together, and secondly 
in facilitating references by numerous separate articles arranged in alphabetical 
order. 

The Second Edition, 10 volumes containing 8595 pages, was issued from 1777 to 
1784. The plan of the work was enlarged by the addition of history and biography, 
which encyclopaedias in general had hitherto omitted. It was henceforth "an en- 
cyclopaedia not solely of arts and sciences but of the whole wide circle of general 
learning and miscellaneous information. " (Quarterly Review, cxiii., 362.) These 
first two editions of the Encyclopaedia Britannica were made chiefly by compilation. 
They were produced by two or three men who took the whole realm of human 
knowledge for their province. In the Third Edition, however, a plan was adopted of 
seeking contributions on special and technical subjects from specialists a plan 
which has since been followed and has won for the Encyclopaedia Britannica a unique 
reputation. The Third Edition, in eighteen volumes, containing 14,579 pages, 
was issued from 1788 to 1797. 

In the Fourth Edition, which came out from 1801 to 1810, in twenty volumes 
containing 16,033 P a ges, the principle of specialist contributions was considerably 
extended. The copyright was purchased in 1812 by Archibald Constable, who 
brought out the Fifth and Sixth Editions, each in twenty volumes, from 1815 to 1817 
and from 1823 to 1824, respectively. These editions were little more than reprints 
and corrections of the Fourth. But Constable lavished his money and energy on a 
six volume Supplement (to the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Editions) which appeared 
from 1816 to 1824. 

The publication of the Ninth Edition was commenced by A. and C. Black, pub- 
lishers of the Seventh and Eighth Editions, in 1875, under the editorship of Thomas 
Spencer Baynes until 1880 and subsequently of W. Robertson Smith, and was 
completed in 1889. It consisted of twenty-five volumes (one being an index) con- 
taining 21,572 pages. The preparation of this edition had been undertaken on a 
scale which Adam Black considered so hazardous that he refused to have any part 
in the enterprise, and accordingly retired from the firm; indeed over one million 
dollars was spent in the editorial preparation alone; but the ultimate sale showed that 
his fears were groundless. It was the great success of this edition that led to the 
publication by The Times (London) in 1902 of an elaborate supplement in eleven 
volumes to form the Tenth Edition. 

After eight years of diligent preparation the Eleventh Edition was completed. 
It was published, 1910-191 1 , in twenty-nine volumes (one a separate index containing 
over 500,000 references) by the Cambridge University Press, to which the copyright 
and control of the Encyclopaedia Britannica had passed in 1909. The Eleventh 
Edition is particularly rich in maps and illustrations. There are 569 maps, and over 
7000 illustrations, including 450 full-page plates. The Encyclopaedia Britannica in 
the Eleventh Edition is the most comprehensive reference work in the world, con- 
taining over 44,000,000 words. 



2Go THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

ENCYCLOPEDEE, THE. An Encyclopaedia of Arts and Sciences, which, in its 
character, its significance, and its results, was the most startling and striking pro- 
duction of its time, an outburst of ideas, of intellectual audacity, of freedom, and 
a great passion for knowledge and of the sympathy of humanity, labor, and progress. 
X<> encyclopaedia ever made compares with it in respect of its political influence and 
its commanding place in the civil and literary history of its own century. It grew out 
of a plan for a French translation of an early 'Chambers'^ Cyclopaedia.' Diderot, to 
whom the glory of the colossal enterprise belongs, took occasion from this plan to 
conceive and to secure the execution of a thorough work, summarizing human 
knowledge, putting the sciences into the place -which tradition had given to religion, 
and aiming at the service of humanity instead of the service of the church. The 
Titans of intelligence and of literature, says M. Martin's graphic sketch, had de- 
veloped an excess of energy and boldness. Voltaire, bringing Locke's ideas into 
France, had changed Christian deism into Epicureanism, and prepared the way for 
Condillac's pushing the philosophy of sensation to an extreme beyond Locke; and for 
Helvetius to press the moral consequences of the system, justifying all the vices and 
all the crimes. Buffon, magnificent in knowledge, and in a noble style, had made 
Nature take the place of God, and the love of humanity do duty as religion. In 
sequel to such moral skepticism or naturalist pantheism came Diderot, with auda- 
cious repugnance to any limitations upon liberty, and impetuous passion for knowl- 
edge, for human progress. With D'Alembert drawing together a society of men of 
science and of letters, he launched a Prospectus in November, 1750, for an Encyclo- 
pedic or Dictionary of Arts and Sciences, and in 1751 began with 2 volumes, to finish 
in 1765 with 17 volumes; then to add n volumes of plates (1762-72), and 5 volumes 
of supplements (1776-77) ; and thus make, with 2 volumes of Index (1780), 35 volumes 
(1751-80), with 23,135 pages and 3132 plates. Not only information was given in 
these volumes, but opinions of the most radical character, hostile to the church, sub- 
versive of religion, intensely antagonistic towards everything in the old order of 
things. The clergy and the court had fought the work, had even broken into it with 
alterations secretly made at the printers', and left no stone unturned to prevent its 
circulation. Yet Europe was filled with it, and shaken with the effects of it. It was 
an immense burst of everything which journalism to-day means; a fierce prophecy of 
changes which are still hanging; a wild proclamation of the problems of human aspira- 
tion and desire. Not only were the sciences pushed to the utmost by Diderot, but 
he made industry, labor, human toil in the shop, an interest unceasingly cherished. 
It was an explosion heralding the Revolution a quarter of a century later. 

ENDYMION, by Benjamin Disraeli, later Earl of Beaconsfield (1835). This is one 
of a series of political portraits under the form of a novel, which for a time attained 
great popularity among the English people, but for obvious reasons was less interest- 
ing to foreigners. 'Coningsby' and 'Endymion' are hardly more than descriptions 
of the rival political parties in England at the opening of the Reform Bill agitation, 
and of the Poor Law and "Protection" controversies, colored with the pale 
glimmer of a passion cooled by shrewdness, and of a romance carefully trimmed to 
suit the stiff conventionalisms of English society, and spiced with revenge on the 
author's foes. 

'Endymion' relates the fortunes of a youth so named, and his sister Myra; 
children of one William Ferrars, who from humble life has won his way'to a candidacy 
for the Speakership of the House of Commons, when suddenly, by a change 'of politi- 
cal sentiment in the boroughs, the administration is overthrown, and'tne'aitfbitious 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 261 

and flattered leader finds himself both deserted and bankrupt. To retrieve their 
social and political position is the steady ambition and never-yielding effort of the 
son and daughter; and to Endymion's advancement Myra makes every sacrifice 
that a sister's devotion can devise. Through personal influence as well as his own 
fascinating personality and brilliant gifts, Endymion finds an entry with the winning 
side; and being untroubled by any scrupulous motive of consistency to principle, 
keeps himself at the front in popular favor. Myra marries the Prime Minister, and at 
his death she takes for her husband the king of a small Continental State. Endy- 
mion crowns her aspirations by marrying a widow in high station, who has long been 
his admirer, and whose husband dies at a convenient moment in the narrative. At 
the close of the story he sees, by a happy combination of political influence, the door 
opened to his own appointment as Premier of England. The story moves along in the 
stately monotonous measure of English high life, with not even any pronounced 
villainy to heighten the uniform color effect of the characters and incidents. There 
is a noticeable absence of anything like high patriotic motive associated with that of 
personal advancement: it is difficult to conceive of such personages living without 
some political predilection. Over all is the subdued glow of an intensely selfish 
culture and refinement. Nigel, Endymion's student friend at Oxford, is the easily 
recognized type of the Puseyite of the Tractarian religious movement, if not a per- 
sonal portraiture of Cardinal Newman. Other characters are doubtless drawn from 
life more or less plainly, but none more vividly than Endymion himself, in whose 
career the reader sees outlined very clearly the character and political fortunes of the 
author. 

ENGLAND, CONSTITUTIONAL HISTORY OF, in its Origin and Development, by 
William Stubbs (1875-78). A work of the highest authority on, not merely the 
recognized developments of fundamental law, but the whole state of things constitut- 
ing the nation, and giving it life, character, and growth. The three volumes cover 
the respective periods from the first Germanic origins to 1215, when King John was 
forced to grant the Great Charter; from 1215 to the deposition of Richard II., 1399; 
and from 1399 to the close of the mediaeval period, marked by the fall of Richard III. 
at Bosworth, August 22d, 1485, and the accession of Henry of Richmond. The full 
and exact learning of the author, his judgment and insight, and his power of clear 
exposition, have made the work at once very instructive to students and very in- 
teresting to readers. The fine spirit in which it discusses parties and relates the 
story of bitter struggles, may be seen in the fact that its last word commends to the 
reader "that highest justice which is found in the deepest sympathy with erring and 
straying men." 

An additional volume of great importance is Professor Stubbs's 'Select Char- 
ters and Other Illustrations of English Constitutional History, from the earliest 
times to the Reign of Edward the First/ 1876. It is designed to serve as a 
treasury of reference and an outline manual for teachers and scholars. It follows the 
history for a sufficiently long period to bring into view all the origins of constitutional 
principle or polity on which politics have since built. 

ENGLAND, CONSTITUTIONAL HISTORY OF, since the accession of George III.: 
1760-1871. By Sir Thomas Erskine May, Baron Farnborqugh (1861-63). The 
history of the British Constitution for a hundred years, showing its progress and 
development, and illustrating every material change, whether of legislation, custom, 
or policy, by which institutions have been improved and abuses in the government 



2h2 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

corrected. The work deals also with the history of party; of the press, and political 
agitation; nf the church; and of civil and religious liberty. It concludes with a general 
review of the legislation of the hundred years, its policy and results. 

ENGLAND IN THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY, HISTORY OF, by W. E. H. 

l>c*ky ('8 vols., 1878-90). A work of thorough research and great literary excel- 
lence, the object of which is to disengage from the great mass of facts those which are 
of significance for the life and progress of the nation, and which reveal enduring 
characteristics. It deals with the growth or decline of the monarchy, the aristocracy, 
and the democracy; of the Church and of Dissent; of the agricultural, the manufactur- 
ing, and the commercial interests; the increasing power of Parliament and of the 
press; the history of political ideas, of art, of manners, and of belief; the changes that 
have taken place in the social and economical condition of the people; the influences 
that have modified national character; the relations of the mother country to its 
dependencies; and the causes that have accelerated or retarded the advancement of 
the latter. In its earliest form the work dealt with Ireland in certain sections, as the 
general course of the history required. But on its completion, Mr. Lecky made a 
separation, so as to bring all the Irish sections into a continuous work on Ireland in the 
eighteenth century, and leave the other parts to stand as England in the eighteenth 
century. In a new edition of twelve volumes, seven were given to England and five 
to Ireland. Mr. Lecky writes as a Liberal, but as a Unionist rather than Home 
Ruler. 

ENGLAND, ITS PEOPLE, POLITY, AND PURSUITS, by T. H. S. Escott (2 vols., 
1879). A work designed to present a comprehensive and faithful picture of the 
social and political condition of the England of the nineteenth century, the England 
of to-day. No attempt at historical retrospect is made, except in so far as it is 
necessary for understanding things as they are now. The author spent much time 
in visiting different parts of England, conversing with and living amongst the many 
varieties of people, which variety is a remarkable fact of English society. He made 
also a large collection of materials, to have at his command exact knowledge of the 
entire world of English facts. His general conception is that certain central ideas, 
which he explains in his introductory chapter, and around which he attempts to 
group his facts and descriptions, will enable him closely and logically to connect his 
chapters, and show a pervading unity of purpose throughout the work. The land and 
its occupation, the cities and towns, commerce, industries and the working classes, 
pauperism, co-operation, crime, travel and hotels, education, society, politics, the 
Crown, the crowd, official personages, the Commons, the Lords, the law courts, the 
public services, religion, philosophy, literature, professions, amusements, and imperial 
expansion, are his special themes. 

ENGLAND WITHOUT AND WITHIN, by Richard Grant White (1881). Most of 
the chapters of this book appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, but were intended from 
the first as a presentation in book form of the subject indicated by its title. The 
author has put England, its people and their ways, before his readers just as he saw 
them: their skies; their methods of daily life; their men and women, to the latter of 
whom he pays a charming tribute; their nobility and gentry; parks and palaces; 
national virtues and vices. He has told only what anyone might have seen, though 
without the power of explicit description and photographic language. It is, says he, 
"the commonplaces of Hfe that show what a people, what a country is; what all the 
influences, political, moral, and telluric, that have been there for centuries, have 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 263 

produced " ; and it is of these commonplaces he treats. He saw England in an informal, 
unbusinesslike, untourist-like way, not stopping every moment to take notes, but 
relying on his memory to preserve everything of importance. There is a noticeable 
lack of descriptions of literary people in England, a lapse intentional, not acciden- 
tal; he believing that it is an "altogether erroneous notion that similarity in occupa- 
tion, or admiration on one side, must produce liking in personal intercourse": but 
this disappointment if it be a disappointment to the reader is more than atoned 
for by the review of journeyings to Oxford and Cambridge, Warwick, Stratford-upon- 
Avon, Kenilworth, where, as his acquaintance of a railway compartment says, 
"every American goes"; rural England; pilgrimage to Canterbury, etc. However 
severe his criticism of national faults and individual blunderings, however caustic 
the sarcasms directed against the foibles of the "British Philistines, " one is conscious 
of the author's underlying admiration for the home of his kindred; and the sincerity 
of his dictum "England is not perfect, for it is upon the earth, and it is peopled 
by human beings; but I do not envy the man who, being able to earn enough to get 
bread and cheese and beer, a whole coat and a tight roof over his head, cannot be 
happy there." 

ENGLISH AND SCOTTISH POPULAR BALLADS, see BALLADS. 

ENGLISH CONSTITUTION, THE, AND OTHER ESSAYS. By Walter Bagehol 
(1867, 1885). A very interesting discussion of the underlying principles of the 
English Constitution, by a thoroughly independent and suggestive thinker. The 
central feature of the work is its proof that the House of Commons stands supreme 
as the seat of English law and that the throne and the Lords are of use to balance and 
check the Commons not directly, but indirectly through their action on public 
opinion, of which the action of the Commons should be the expression. By means of 
the cabinet, the executive government and the legislative Commons are a very close 
unity, and are the governmental machine, to which the Crown and the Lords are 
related only as seats of influence through which the public mind can be formed and 
can operate. He also shows that the function of the monarchy is not now that of a 
governing power, as once, but to. gain public confidence and support for the real 
government, that of Parliament. "It [the monarchy] raises the army, though it does 
not win the battle." The lower orders suppose they are being governed by their old 
kingship, and obey it loyally: if they knew that they were being ruled by men of their 
own sort and choice they might not. Bagehot T s work is a text-book at Oxford, and is 
used as such in American universities. See also his * Parliamentary Reform/ 

ENGLISH CONSTITUTION, HISTORY OF THE, by Dr. Rudolf Gneist. Trans- 
lated by Philip A. Ashworth (2 vols., 1886). A history covering a full thousand 
years from the Anglo-Saxon foundation to the present. Hallam's ' Constitutional 
History' only comes down to the last century, Stubbs's only to Henry VII.; and even 
for the periods they cover, or that of Sir ErsMne May's supplement, Dr. Gneist's 
work, though primarily designed only for the German public, is eminently worthy 
of a high place beside them among authorities accessible to English students. The 
same author's. ' Student's History of the English Parliament r is a specially valuable 
handbook. 

ENGLISH HUMORISTS OF THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY, THE, by William 
Makepeace Thackeray, is a collection of lectures, delivered in England in 1851, in 
America during 1852-53, and published in 1853. Studying these pages, the reader 



264 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

finds himself living in the society of the poets, essayists, and novelists of the eighteenth 
century, as a friend conversant with their faults and signal merits. As twelve authors 
are packed into six lectures, a characteristic disproportion is manifest. Swift is 
belittled in forty pages; a like space suffices to hit off in a rapid touch-and-go manner 
the qualities of Prior, Gay, and Pope. A page and a half disposes of Smollett to make 
room for Hogarth and Fielding; Addison, Steele, Sterne, Congreve, and Goldsmith, 
receive about equal attention. These papers are the record of impressions made 
upon a mind exceptionally sensitive to literary values, and reacting invariably with 
original force and suggestiveness. Written for popular presentation, they are con- 
versational in tone, and lighted up with swift flashes of poignant wit and humor. 
Some of their characterizations are very striking: as that of Gay, helplessly dependent 
upon the good offices of the Duke and Duchess of Queensberry, to a pampered lap- 
dog, fat and indolent; and that of Steele, whose happy-go-lucky ups and downs and 
general lovableness constituted a temperament after Thackeray's own heart. His 
admiration for Fielding, his acknowledged master in the art of fiction, is very in- 
teresting. 'The English Humorists' will long remain the most inviting sketch in 
literature of the period and the writers considered. 

ENGLISH JUDGES, by Sir Francis Galton, see HEREDITARY GENIUS. 

ENGLISH LANGUAGE, HISTORY OFTHE, by T. R. Lounsbury (1879). This brief 
manual states in a broad and clear manner the important facts in the growth of 
the language, as considered apart from literature, and explains its history with de- 
lightful easy-going common-sense. " No speech can do more, " says Prof. Lounsbury, 
" than express the ideas of those who employ it at the time. It cannot live upon 
its past meanings, or upon the past conceptions of great men which have been 
recorded in it, any more than the race which uses it can live upon its past glory 
or its past achievements. Proud therefore as we may now well be of our tongue, 
we may rest assured that if it ever attains to universal sovereignty, it will do so 
only because the ideas of the men who speak it are fit to become the ruling ideas of 
the world, and the men themselves are strong enough to carry them over the 
world; and that, in the last analysis, depends, like everything else, upon the devel- 
opment of the individual, depends not upon the territory we buy or steal, not 
upon the gold we mine or the grain we grow, but upon the men we produce. If we 
fail there, no national greatness, however splendid to outward view, can be anything 
but temporary and illusory; and when once national greatness disappears, no past 
achievements in literature, however glorious, will perpetuate our language as a living 
speech, though they may help for a time to retard its decay. " 

ENGLISH LITERATURE, HISTORY OF, by Hippolyte Adolphe Taine. (French 
original, 5 vols., 1863-64. English Translation by Henri Van Laun, 4 vols., 1872- 
74.) An admirably written, sympathetic, and penetrating account of the aspects 
of English culture and the English race as revealed in English literature. To no 
small extent it misses exact knowledge of English genius and of the finer aspects of 
English literary culture; but it is a masterly study to come from the pen of a foreigner, 
and rich in interest and suggestion to the thoughtful reader. The strength of the 
work is in its study of race and civilization; but this is also its weakness, as to some 
extent the view taken of literary production is too much colored by the author's 
theory of race, which wholly fails in any such case as that of Shakespeare. "Just 
as astronorriy is at bottom a problem in mechanics, and physiology a problem in 
chemistry, so history at bottom is a problem in psychology "; and he aims here to give 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 265 

a view, more or less complete, of the English intellect, illustrated by literary examples, 
and not a history at all, if by history is meant a record of books produced or of facts 
gathered together. The defects of the book are many and obvious; but when all 
abatement is made, it remains to the English reader a most stimulating intellectual 
performance. "In its powerful, though arbitrary, unity of composition, in its sus- 
tained aesthetic temper, its brilliancy, variety, and sympathy, it is a really monumen- 
tal accession to a literature, which, whatever its limitations in the range of its ideas, 
is a splendid series of masterly compositions. " 

ENGLISH NATION, see LETTERS CONCERNING THE. 

ENGLISH NOTEBOOKS, by Nathaniel Hawthorne (1870), was published by his 
wife after his death. During his residence as consul at Liverpool, he kept a close 
record of all that struck him as novel and important in the United Kingdom. Much 
of this material he afterwards developed in a series of sketches entitled 'Our Old 
Home.' The remaining notes, given to the public in their original form of dis- 
connected impressions, are interesting for their animation and vigorous bits of de- 
scription. They are a striking revelation of Hawthorne's personality, and show the 
cheerful side of a man usually considered gloomy. In spite of the shyness which 
made after-dinner speeches a trial to him, he formed many delightful friendships. 
With his wife and children he roamed about Liverpool and London, visited many 
cathedral towns, and lingered at Oxford and among the lakes. He speaks of himself 
as not observant, but if he missed detail, he had the rare faculty of seizing the salient 
features of what he saw, and conveying them to others. His constant preoccupation 
was with the unusual or fantastic in human experience, and this led him to observe 
much that most spectators would have failed to see. 

ENGLISH NOVEL, THE: 'A Study in the Development of Personality,' by- 
Sidney Lanier (1883. Revised Edition, 1897). A volume of singularly rich criti- 
cism, based on a course of twelve lectures at Johns Hopkins University, 1881. It 
was almost the last work of a writer whose death was a heavy loss to American letters. 
The full title given by Lanier to his course was, 'From JEschylus to George Eliot: 
The Development of Personality,' The idea suggesting -this title was that in Greek 
tragedy, represented by ^Eschylus, the expression of personality is faint and crude, 
while in George Eliot it reached the clearness and strength of high literary art. The 
earlier work of Lanier on 'The Science of English Verse/ and the later study of the 
novel, were designed to serve as parts of a comprehensive philosophy of the form and 
substance of beauty in literature; and the execution of the plan, as far as he had 
proceeded, was of a quality rarely found in literary criticism. In the second edition 
of the work, the last six of the twelve chapters are devoted to George Eliot. The 
earlier six range over a wide field, and show wealth of knowledge with remarkable 
insight and felicity of expression. 

ENGLISH PEOPLE, A SHORT HISTORY OF THE, see SHORT HISTORY. 

ENGLISH POETRY, HISTORY OF, by William John Courthope (6 vols., 1895- 
1909). The work which in their day both Pope and Gray contemplated writing on 
the history of English poetry, and which Warton began but never finished, was taken 
up anew but with a far different scope by the professor of poetry at Oxford. His plan 
embraces a history of the art of English poetry epic, dramatic, lyrical, and didactic 
from the time of Chaucer to that of Scott, as well as "an appreciation ^of the mo- 
tives by which each individual poet seems to have been consciously inspired." He 



-66 THE READER S DIGEST OF ROOKS 

also inquires into "those general causes which have unconsciously directed imagina- 
tion in England into the various channels of metrical composition." Courthope 
believes that in spite of the different sources from which the English national con- 
sciousness is derived, there is an essential unity and consistency, so that both the 
technic of poetical production and the national genius the common thought, 
imagination, and sentiment may be traced in its evolution. He shows with great 
fullness the "progressive stages in the formation of the mediaeval stream of thought, 
which feeds the literatures of England, France, and Italy," and tries to connect it 
with the great system of Grseco-Roman cultures so prominent before the death of 
Bocthius. He also explores the course of the national language, to show the changes 
produced by Saxon and Norman influences on the art of metrical expression before 
Chaucer. To Chaucer himself are devoted less than fifty octavo pages, and this 
chapter does not appear in the first volume until it is more than half finished. The 
history closes with a careful account of the rise of the drama. Dry as the subject in its 
earlier stages threatens to be, Mr. Courthope's brilliant style and his wealth of 
illustration make it absorbingly interesting to the student. The second volume, 
after surveying the influence of European thought in the sixteenth century, and the 
effects of the Renaissance and Reformation, goes into a careful study of the works of 
Wyatt and Surrey, the court poets and the Euphuists, Spenser and the early drama- 
tists with all the various types of versifiers who were famous in that period. The 
third volume begins with the successors of Spenser, and takes up the intellectual 
conflict of the seventeenth century, the decadent influence of the feudal monarch, the 
various schools of poetical "wit," and the growth of the national genius, and dis- 
cusses Milton and Dryden. The fourth volume surveys the development and decline 
of the poetic drama, and the influence of the court and the people, Shakespeare, 
Ben Jonson, and Dryden. The fifth volume deals with the classical renaissance, its 
effect on modern European poetry, and the early romantic renaissance, and closes 
with a survey of English poetry in the eighteenth century. The sixth volume de- 
scribes the romantic movement in English poetry and the effects produced on the 
English imagination by the French Revolution. It has been the design of the author, 
"not to furnish an exhaustive list of the English poets as individuals, but rather to 
describe the general movements of English poetry, as an art illustrating the evolution 
of national taste." Courthope's broad and generous spirit, his keenness of analysis, 
his wide learning, and his clearness of vision make his work one of standard reference 
for the history of English poetry. 

ENGLISH POETS, see LIVES OF THE. 

ENGLISH THOUGHT IN THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY, HISTORY OF, in 

two volumes, by Sir Leslie Stephen (1876). The scope of this important book is 
hardly so broad as the title would indicate, for the subject treated with the greatest 
fullness is theology. The first volume, indeed, is given almost entirely to the famous 
deist controversy with which the names of Hume, Warburton, Chubb, Sherlock, 
Johnson, and the rest of the great disputants of the time names only to the modern 
reader are associated. The ground covered extends from the milestones planted 
by Descartes by means of his doctrine of innate ideas, to the removal of the boun- 
daries of the fathers by the "constructive" infidelity of Thomas Paine. This review 
weighs with care the philosophical significance of the gradual change of thought, a 
Knowledge of which is conveyed through an examination of the representative books 
upon theology and metaphysics. The historian's criticism upon these is fair-minded, 



THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 267 

illuminative, and always interesting, by means of its wide knowledge and wealth of 
illustration. So broad is it that it seems to bring up for judgment all the pressing 
social, moral, and religious questions of the present time. Leslie Stephen points out 
that the deist controversy was only one form of that appeal from tradition and au- 
thority to reason, which was the special characteristic of the eighteenth century. 
In his method of dealing with the "body of divinity," which he explains to the 
worldly modem reader, he shows himself both the philosophic historian and the 
philosophic critic. He belongs to the Spencerian school, which regards society as an 
organism, and history as the record of its growth and development. The stream 
of tendency is so vividly indicated, that the analysis of the movement of the last 
century might almost be a statement of certain phases of thought and morals of to- 
day. If the terms of the problems discussed are obsolete, their discussion has a 
constant reference to the most modern theories. 

Leslie Stephen is never the detached observer. These questions mean a great 
deal to him; and therefore the reader also, whether he approve or disapprove the bias 
of his guide, is compelled to find them important." In studying such books as this, 
and the admirable discussions of Lecky on European morals, and Rationalism in 
Europe, it is difficult to escape from a certain sense of the inevitableness of the 
opinions held by mankind at every stage of their development; so that the question 
of the importance of the truth of these opinions is apt to seem secondary. But Leslie 
Stephen does not belittle the duty of arriving at true opinions, nor does he assume that 
his side and he takes sides is the right side, and the question closed. 

Volume ii. discusses moral philosophy, political theories, social economics, and 
literary developments. It gives with great fullness and fairness the position of the 
intuitional school of morals, and of the latest utilitarians, who now declare that 
society must be regulated not by the welfare of the individual, but by the well-being 
of that organism which is called the human race. " To understand the laws of growth 
and equilibrium, both of the individual and the race, we must therefore acquire a 
conception of society as a complex organism, instead of a mere aggregate of indi- 
viduals." To Leslie Stephen history witnesses that the world can be improved, and 
that it cannot be improved suddenly. Of the value of the theory that society is an 
organism, this book is a conspicuous illustration. Its candor, its learning, its honest 
partisanship, its impartiality, with its excellent art of stating things, and its brilliant 
criticism, make it a most stimulating as well as a most informing book, while it is 
always entertaining. 

ENGLISH TRAITS, by Ralph Waldo Emerson (1856), comprises an account of his 
English visits in 1833 and 1847, and a series of general observations on national 
character. It is the note-book of a philosophic traveler. In the earlier chapters, the 
sketches of his visits to Coleridge, Carlyle, and Wordsworth, while personal in some 
degree, reveal Emerson's character and humor in a delightful way. The trend of his 
mind to generalization is evident in the titles given to the chapters. With the excep- 
tion of 'Stonehenge' and 'The Times/ they are all abstract, 'Race/ 'Ability/ 
'Character/ 'Wealth/ or 'Religion/ Far removed from provincialism, the tone is 
that of a beholder, kindred in race, who, while paying due respect to the stock from 
which he sprang, feels his own eyes purged of certain illusions still cherished by the 
Old World. These playthings, as it were, of a full-grown people, the court and 
church ceremonial, thrones, mitres, bewigged officials, Lord Mayor's shows, 
amused the observer. "Every one of these islanders is an island himself, safe, tran- 
quil, incommunicable." This work remains unique as a searching analysis, full of 



268 THE READER'S DIGEST OF BOOKS 

generous admiration, of a foreign nation's racial temperament, by a strongly original 
individuality. 

ENGLISH VILLAGE COMMUNITY, THE, by F. Seebohm (1883). The question 
propounded in this book is whether English Economic History began with the free- 
dom or the serfdom of the masses of the people, whether the village communities 
were free or lived in serfdom under a manorial lordship. The problem is of wider 
interest than might appear on the surface because (i) the English and German land 
systems were the same, and there are also fundamental analogies between the village 
communities of the Eastern and the Western worlds, and (2) because on the answer 
to the question ma} r depend the attitude of modern statesmen to the solution of 
present-day problems of social and political freedom. After a careful examination 
of the available evidence Mr. Seebohm is of the opinion that "the manorial system 
grew up in Britain as it grew up in Gaul and Germany, as the compound product of 
barbarian and Roman institutions mixing together during the periods first of Roman 
provincial rule, and secondly of German conquest." Throughout the whole period 
from pre-Roman to modern times there were in Britain two parallel systems of rural 
economy, the village community in the east, the tribal in the west, each of which were 
distinguished by the characteristics of community and equality, though their systems 
of open or common fields were different. Neither the village nor the tribal com- 
munity can have been introduced later than 2000 years ago. The village community 
lived in settled serfdom under a lordship, though this serfdom was to the masses of the 
people, not a degradation, but a step upward out of a once more