« 上一頁繼續 »
Foul Play. By CHARLES READE and Dion these society instincts and graces, which
BOUCICAULT. Boston : Ticknor and are made to harmonize rather than conflict
with the exhibitions of a woman's greatness
and self-devotion, when occasion calls forth PERHAPS if Robinson Crusoe had not those qualities. Helen's progress from lived, Miss Rolleston and Mr. Penfold prejudice to passion is tacit, and is always had never been born ; but this is not cer- confessed more by some last effort of the tain; and, on the other hand, it is very former than by any expression of the latter. clear that the plot of this bewitching novel When she suspects that Penfold is only is one of the freshest and most taking to making her comfortable on the island bebe imagined. If we had the very hardest cause he intends her to pass the rest of her heart for fiction, and were as exacting in days there, and furiously upbraids him, our novels as men are in their neighbors' she does his purpose a gross wrong, though morals, we think we could ask nothing she strikes at the heart of his unconscious better than that a young lady and gentle. desire, which nothing but her own love for man of this period should be cast away him could reveal to her. She makes him together upon a tropical island in the heart a sublime reparation when at last the of the Pacific Ocean, and there left for steamer appears which has come to seek several months to the mutual dependence, her, and she will not kindle the signal-fire the constant companionship, and the vicis- which he has built on the height, but which situdes of soul inevitable from the situation. he cannot himself reach for illness; and so If we could desire anything more, it would reveals that she dreads the rescue that be that this young lady should have been shall divide them. It is fortunate for the wrecked in going from Australia to be author's invention, no doubt, that her father married in London, and that this young arrives upon the steamer just at that time; gentleman should have been an escaped yet until the moment that her father takes ticket-of-leave man, refined, conscientious, her in his arms, nothing has soiled the puriand unjustly condemned to transportation ty of her dream of love. He finds in her for a crime committed by her betrothed ;- lover an escaped ticket-of-leave man, and and these blissful conditions we have ex- the shock of now beholding Penfold in this actly in “ Foul Play.” It seems almost too light for the first time naturally prompts great a happiness when we have added to those wild and most amusing reproaches them the fact that the Rev. Mr. Penfold has that Ilelen heaps upon him for winning her already quarrelled with Miss Rolleston, who heart under a false character ; but she is rejects his love, and believes him a slander- heroic and quite as womanly again when ous and wicked villain, because he has ac- she defends him against her father's blame, cused her betrothed, and that he is put pours out all her love upon him, and puts upon his most guarded behavior by this a vehement and tremendous faith in his circumstance, until she herself consents to declaration that he is not a felon, but a marbelieve him good and just, even while tyr. With the chambermaid of the Hollyclinging to her troth with his enemy. Tree Inn, witnessing the adieux of Mr. and
Being a character of Mr. Reade's creation, Mrs. Harry Walmers, Junior, through the it is not necessary to say that Helen Rolles- keyhole, the reader feels that "It's a shame ton is a very natural and lovable woman, to part 'em !” and does not care much for admirably illogical, cruel, sagacious, and the ingenious story after Mr. Penfold is left generous. Through all her terrible disasters alone on his island, though, of course, one and thrilling adventures she is always a reads on to the reunion of the lovers, and, young lady, and no more abandoned on that in a minor way, enjoys all the plotting and far-away island by her exquisite breeding punishment and reward that take place. and the pretty conventions of her English That part, however, Wilkie Collins could girlhood, than she would be upon her native have done, while the island and its people croquet - ground. A delicious charm is are solely Mr. Reade's. This novelist, at gained to the romance by the retention of all times brilliant and fascinating, has given
us of his best in "Foul Play,” and in a story who can read a sentence of that beautiful unburdened by the problem that crushed old language, or to whom the names of “the “Griffith Gaunt,” and, dealing simply with Greeks and of Troy town ” will be anything the play of character amid beautiful scenes but an abomination? It is a comfort to that give it the most novel and winning think that the tales of the world's youth relief, has produced a work of which noth- may take a new lease of life in these and ing but a superhuman dulness and obdu- other English rhymes, and so something of racy could resist the sorcery.
the ideal world be preserved for our grandchildren, as well as Herbert Spencer, and
Greeley's “ American Conflict.” The Earthly Paradise : A Poen. By Wil- Such themes are far more congenial to
LIAM MORRIS, Author of “ The Life and Morris than to Swinburne ; for Greek poDeath of Jason.” Boston: Roberts Broth- etry is at once simple and sensuous, and ers. 1868.
we come nearer to it when put on short
allowance of the sensuous than when it runs THE trouvère, as distinct from the trouba- riot and becomes unpleasantly conscious of dour, seemed almost disappearing from lit- its own nudity. Morris is also wiser in not erature, when Mr. Morris revived the ancient attempting any imitation of the antique line, or, to speak more exactly, the ancient forms. Indeed, his poems belong in a thousand lines. He brings back to us the world of their own, neither ancient nor almost forgotten charm of mere narrative. modern, and touching remotely on all huWe have lyric poets, and, while Browning man interests. The lyrical poems interlives, a dramatic poet; it is a comfort if we spersed between the legends are the only can have also a minstrel who can tell a modern things, and even those are tender story:
little bits of English landscape-painting that It is true, as Keats said, that there is a might have been executed centuries ago. peculiar pleasure in a long poem, as in a His story-tellers and his listeners dwell-formeadow where one can wander about and ever in a summer land, where youths and pick flowers. One should cultivate a hope- maidens may sit beneath their own vines ful faith, like that of George Dyer, who and fig trees, and even a poem of seven bought a bulky volume of verse by an un- hundred pages cannot molest them nor known writer, in the belief (so records make them afraid. Charles Lamb) that "there must be some good things in a poem of three thousand lines.” That kindly critic would have The Layman's Breviary, from the German found a true Elysium in the “Earthly Par- of Leopold Schefer. Translated by adise.”
CHARLES T. BROOKS. Boston : Roberts If not so crowded as “ Jason " with sweet, Brothers. 1868. fresh, Chaucerian passages, it has more breadth and more maturity, and briefer in- A German critic declares that the “ Laytervals of dulness. Yet the word “Chau- man's Breviary” has helped more souls to cerian" must be used with reluctance, and the understanding of themselves than any only to express a certain freshness of qual- other book of German poetry. What is ity that no other phrase can indicate. Im- more remarkable for a devotional work in itative these poems certainly are not; their that language, no other book is needed to simplicity is simple, whereas the simplicity help souls to understand it. It is simple, of some poets is the last climax of their as varied, and as attractive as if it were not affectation. The atmosphere of Morris's in three hundred and sixty-five parts, and poems is really healthy, though limited; and in blank verse from beginning to end. their mental action is direct and placid, not Leopold Schefer, after wandering through constrained.
the world with Prince Pickler Muskau, and The old legends of Cupid and Psyche, writing seventy-three novels of musical and Atalanta, Alcestis and Pygmalion, are here Oriental life, returned at last to Germany, rendered with new sweetness, interspersed and found in his home, his wife, and his with tales more modern. It is pleasant to child the true sources of inspiration. The see these immortal Greek stories repro- novels are yet untranslated, perhaps unduced in English verse ; for, at the present translatable, but this volume of poetic rate of disappearance, who knows that there meditations, after passing through twelve will be an American a hundred years hence editions in the original, has already entered in a new career of favor in this new land. travel, carrying the reader through regions Nothing can be more remote from all the where almost the only new thing to be distechnicalities of the creeds; but there is covered and described is the traveller himcondensed into every meditation so much self. Mr. Swift, therefore, makes a narrative of practical wisdom, such simple feeling, of almost purely personal adventure, and such appreciation of life's daily blessings, lets us off with very little information. such fresh and delicate poetic beauties, as What he does give is again of personal must make it dearer to the reader with ev- character, and relates chiefly to interviews ery day. It fell, fortunately, into the hands with President Adams of the American of one who has, perhaps, no equal among colony at Jaffa, with Abd-el-Kader and us, save Mr. Longfellow, in the translator's Lady Hester Stanhope, and is acceptable peculiar gifts, and who evades the quarrel enough if you set aside some questions of between the literal and the poetic methods, taste. "Eothen” has pitched the pipe for by uniting them in one. In rendering these all sarcastic travellers visiting the Holy meditations, he has put into them the beau- Places, but Mr. Swift arranges the old air ty of his own spirit and the sympathy of with much originality, and makes his readhis own poetic mind. In such literary ser er laugh with a new though somewhat guilty vice laborare est orare.
pleasure, at fun which hardly stops short of sacred memories, and is at other times too
lawless. Going to Jericho: or Sketches of Travel in The best chapters in his book are those
Spain and the East. By John FRANK- sketching some episodes of Spanish travel. LIN Swift. New York and San Fran. The account of the bull-fight at Madrid is cisco: A. Roman & Co.
one of the most surprising of these, - it is
both graphic and interesting, and thus difThere are many reasons why California, fers from most efforts upon that shameif she gives us literature at all, should give lessly tattered old topic, in reading which us something very racy and distinctive. you always regret that some one of the The violent contrasts and extraordinary jux: bulls had not made it a point to get at tapositions of the most unassorted persons and gore the tourist intending to celebrate and people which mark her history were not the spectacle. “My first step in Crime,” circumstances which, according to received in which our traveller recounts his advenideas, invited to early literary production; tures in ridding himself of the bad money but since books have been therein produced, passed upon him in Spain, is very amusing, it was scarcely possible that they should not with occasional excess and abandon which in some way reflect the mental characteris- does not seem quite necessary to the extics of that anomalous civilization on the pression of humor, but which seems again Pacific. And, in fact, they have done so quite Californian. with a singular vividness and strength, and Romantic and Scriptural scenes are genare so far all marked by that fantastic spirit erally looked at from the same point of view, of drollery which is the predominant mood and discussed in the light of San Francisco of the popular American mind, in the face associations, — sometimes with a delightful of great novelties and emergencies. The mock newspaper-seriousness, and a habit of author of the John Phænix papers first made unexpected allusion to American politics known to us the peculiar flavor of the Pacific and society. No one could enjoy the shams literature, and he still remains at the head and absurdities of travel so keenly as Mr. of the California school of humorists. Next Swist does, without also appreciating its to him is Mr. IIarte, of whose “ Condensed other aspects; and in spite of the levity Novelists” we have heretofore spoken in of the book we are aware, not only of this place, and whose humor has more re- sound common sense, but of sympathy cently found expression in a volume of very with much that is fine and good in the amusing verse: performances betraying things seen. Still, the latter faculty is greater consciousness, and having less subordinated, and so we have a book originality of form than the sole Phenix's, in which the disposition to droll not only but imbued with the same unmistakable betrays the author into passages of very Californianism. In Mr. Swift, like quaint- questionable taste, but at last fatigues the ness and extravagance appear in a book of reader.
A Magasine of Literature, Science, Art,
VOL. XXII. - SEPTEMBER, 1868. — NO. CXXXI.
ONE at all. Understand that, all acquainted with one another; the
please, to begin with. That you day was bright, and Harrie did not faint will at once, and distinctly, recall Dr. nor cry. There were a couple of bridesSharpe and his wife, I make no maids, — Pauline Dallas, and a Miss — doubt. Indeed, it is because the histo- Jones, I think, — besides Harrie's little ry is a familiar one, some of the unfa- sisters; and the people were well dressed miliar incidents of which have come and well looking, but everybody was into my possession, that I undertake to thoroughly at home, comfortable, and tell it.
on a level. There was no annihilating My relation to the Doctor, his wife, of little country friends in gray alpacas and their friend, has been in many re- by city cousins in point and pearls, no spects peculiar. Without entering into crowding and no crush, and, I believe, explanations which I am not at liberty not a single “front breadth” spoiled to make, let me say, that those portions by the ices. of their story which concern our pres- Harrie is not called exactly pretty, ent purpose, whether or not they fell but she must be a very plain woman under my personal observation, are who is not pleasant to see upon her wedaccurately, and to the best of my judg. ding day. Harrie's eyes shone, I ment impartially, related.
never saw such eyes! and she threw Nobody, I think, who was at the wed- her head back like a queen whom they ding, dreamed that there would ever be were crowning such a story to tell. It was such a Her father married them. Old Mr. pretty, peaceful wedding! If you were Bird was an odd man, with odd notions there, you remember it as you remem- of many things, of which marriage was ber a rare sunrise, or a peculiarly del- one. The service was his own. I aficate May-flower, or that strain in a terwards asked him for a copy of it, simple old song which is like orioles which I have preserved. The Covenant and butterflies and dew-drops.
ran thus: There were not many of us ; we were “ Appealing to your Father who is
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1868, by Ticknor and Fields, in the Clerk's Office
of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts VOL. XXII. — NO. 131.
in heaven to witness your sincerity, than the end of it. The readiness you .... do now take this woman with which young girls will fit out of whose band you hold — choosing her a tried, proved, happy home into the alone from all the world - to be your sole care and keeping of a man whom lawfully wedded wife. You trust her they have known three months, six, as your best earthly friend. You prom- twelve, I do not profess to understand. ise to love, to cherish, and to protect Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; her ; to be considerate of her happiness it is high, I cannot attain unto it. But in your plans of life; to cultivate for that may be because I am fifty-five, an her sake all manly virtues; and in all old maid, and have spent twenty years: things to seek her welfare as you seek in boarding-houses. your own. You pledge yourself thus A woman reads the graces of a man honorably to her, to be her husband in at sight. His faults she cannot thorgood faith, so long as the providence oughly detect till she has been for years of God shall spare you to each other. his wise. And his faults are so much
“In like manner, looking to your more serious a matter to her than hers Heavenly Father for his blessing, to him ! you .... do now receive this man, I was thinking of this the day before whose hand you hold, to be your law- the wedding. I had stepped in from fully wedded husband. You choose the kitchen to ask Mrs. Bird about the him from all the world as he has chosen salad, when I came abruptly, at the you. You pledge your trust to him as door of the sitting-room, upon as choice your best earthly friend. You promise a picture as one is likely to see. to love, to comfort, and to honor him ; The doors were open through the to cultivate for his sake all womanly house, and the wind swept in and out. graces ; to guard his reputation, and A scarlet woodbine swung lazily back assist him in his life's work ; and in all and forth beyond the window. Dimples things to esteem his happiness as your of light burned through it, dotting the own. You give yourself thus trustfully carpet and the black-and-white marbled to him, to be his wife in good faith, so oilcloth of the hall. Beyond, in the litlong as the providence of God shall tle front parlor, framed in by the series. spare you to each other."
of doorways, was Harrie, all in a cloud When Harrie lifted her shining eyes of white. It floated about her with an to say, “I do!!” the two little happy idle, wavelike motion. She had a veil words rang through the silent room like like fretted pearls through which her a silver bell; they would have tinkled tinted arm shone faintly, and the shadin your ears for weeks to come if you ow of a single scarlet leaf trembled had heard them.
through a curtain upon her forehead. I have been thus particular in noting Her mother, crying a little, as moththe words of the service, partly because ers will cry the day before the wedding, they pleased me, partly because I have was smoothing with tender touch a tiny since had some occasion to recall them, crease upon the cloud ; a bridesmaid and par:ly because I remember having or two sat chattering on the floor ; wondered, at the time, how many mar- gloves, and favors, and flowers, and bits ried men and women of your and my ac- of lace like hoar-frost, lay scattered quaintance, if honestly subjecting their about; and the whole was repictured union to the test and full interpreta- and reflected and reshaded in the great tions and remotest bearing of such vows old-fashioned mirrors before which Haras these, could live in the sight of God rie turned herself about. and man as “lawfully wedded” hus- It seemed a pity that Myron Sharpe band and wife.
should miss that, so I called him in Weddings are always very sad things from the porch where he sat reading to me; as much sadder than burials as Stuart Mill on Liberty. the beginning of life should be sadder If you form your own opinion of a