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the constant use of one tool has made it perhaps too fine for æsthetic usefulness. John V. A. Weaver's "A Sailor Gropes for Words" is at once typical and vigorous. Of the English group, William H. Davies, the Sitwells, and John Freeman deserve more than passing attention. On the whole, Mr. Moult's collection is admirable, and its format, with decorations by Philip Hagreen, is delicate and effective.
It is almost impossible to think of the brilliant Casanova as old, in poverty, uttering bitter things about old age; impossible, too, to think of him without a large group of beautiful women to adore him. The last twenty four years of his life were not included by him in his Memoirs and, until recently, have remained hidden. Mitchell S. Buck has written a supplement to the Memoirs presenting this period, in "The Life of Casanova from 1774-1798" (Frank-Maurice). From England Casanova went to Venice, where ironically he was guardian of public morals. Intimately associated with him at this period was a young seamstress, Francesca Buschini, his last Venetian love, whose letters throw much light upon Casanova's life at this time. The year before his death, in response to a letter from Cecilia Roggendorff, he wrote a brilliant and brief summary of his life beginning with: "My mother brought me into the world at Venice on the 2d April, Easter day of the year 1725. She had, the night before, a strong desire for crawfish. I am very fond of them. I was an idiot until I was eight and a half years old. After having had a hemorrhage for three months, I was taken to Padua, where, cured of my imbecility, I applied myself to study, and, at the age of sixteen years I was made a doctor and given the habit of a
priest so that I might go seek my fortune at Rome." And so he goes on through his amazing adventures.
Although Edward Shanks's "Bernard Shaw" (Holt) cannot truthfully be said to answer any pressing literary need or to cast much new light upon the by no means dim planet with which it deals, it serves nicely to carry on the attractive "Writers of the Day" series of pocket size critical biographies which contains such notable essays as those of Rebecca West on Henry James and Hugh Walpole on Joseph Conrad. Mr. Shanks takes up G. B. S. as novelist and critic, dramatist, writer of prefaces, and philosopher. He lays him down a trifle tritely as "a serious man with a real philosophy, in which he believes with all his heart". Incidentally, the study bristles with palpable hits. Mr. Shanks feels that Shaw is "essentially a man of the theatre" rather than a propagandist using the cart of Thespis for purely evangelistic ends. He is bold enough to point out Shaw's "peculiar weakness for cheap jokes", to describe a dramatic passage as "very trivial and a little vulgar", to repeat a malicious phrase about "the non sequitur, or Shavian method of reasoning", and to wager that "if we look at him in cold blood Mr. Shaw gives as much evidence of muddleheadedness as of common sense". In fact, "he is not an exceptionally reasonable man; and though his intellectual powers are great and flexible they are always completely at the service of his emotion and intuitions”. Mr. Shanks has performed for Shaw the service G. B. S. performed for Shakespeare. He has made him human. A negligible postscript on "Saint Joan" might have been omitted. Bibliographies add to the book's value as a handy reference work.
If one cares for letters, and there are many who do, a generous supply will be found in John Gardner Coolidge's "Random Letters from Many Countries" (Marshall Jones). Always an inveterate traveler, Mr. Coolidge was in the diplomatic service until a few years ago, and his letters, written from 1887 to 1908, bear the postmarks of such focal points as Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro, Manila, Pretoria, Peking, Mexico City, and Managua, Nicaragua. There is decided color in the pages of this stout volume; the author was in Cuba during the Spanish-American War, in the Philippines at the time of the Insurrection, had a taste of shell fire from the Boers in South Africa, and witnessed stirring events in China, Mexico, and Nicaragua, serving as minister to the last named country. Mr. Coolidge shares something of the spirit of all adventurers, and his letters, although gentle and unassuming by contrast, have a suggestion of the Richard Harding Davis flavor. They have also the value of continuity, achieved through being written to a single person.
Books by pedagogues not infrequently bore. Not so "From College Gates" (Houghton Mifflin) by Caroline Hazard, president of Wellesley College from 1900-1911. The book is a series of addresses delivered upon various public occasions, and is divided into three parts. The first, "Outside the Gates", is a contribution to the history of the past fifty years in the movement for the higher education of women. "Through the Gates" pays tribute to "the influence of that bright spirit who shed her lustre upon Wellesley College, whose memory is now enshrined in the Hall of Fame" Alice Freeman Palmer. "Within the Gates" is a survey of "the specific growth and devel
opment of Wellesley during the years of my administration". The book, in the main, is interesting and illuminating. It displays the fine ideals which actuated the leaders of the movement for higher education for women. It gives the layman an educational perspective.
Frankness to the limit of indiscretion is, of course, essential to an autobiography. The Princesse de Montglyon leaves little to be desired, in this respect, in her record of her life as "The Last of a Race" (Doran), although the book does not belong to the sprightly family of the chroniques scandaleuses of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Born at the ancient castle of Argenteau, on the eighteenth of July, 1862, the girl child, de Mercy Argenteau, was a disappointment, since a male heir was wanted for a line that reached back ten centuries. grew up without the love of parents, was forced into a loveless marriage which ended in divorce, and was almost as unfortunate in her lover and in her son who abandoned her to go off with the elderly wife of his tutor. is a dismal tale, culminating, fittingly, with the destruction of the beautiful old castle which the Germans wrecked at the opening of the war. It holds much of anecdote concerning celebrities: Napoleon, the Prince of Wales of the Eighties, and many lesser lights. The volume is handsomely printed and liberally illustrated.
"The Land of the Pharaohs" (Revell) by Samuel Manning, edited by James Baikie, is genial and diverting. If Dr. Manning's tour appears a trifle rapid and insensitive, his account is tolerant and never tedious. He projects the natives vividly, by quotation. For he questioned them persistently, and
their answers were quaint and explicit. Take the Arab who replied amiably, when sounded on the vicissitudes of bigamy, "Oh dey bery good, I give dem much stick." It is an alluring Egypt. Unfortunately, Dr. Manning's explorations occurred in the last century. He records that in Cairo an American remarked to him, with firmness: "Cairo is a big place. It will stand a lot of improving." We fear that it has been improved since Dr. Manning's inspection. As an authoritative guide his book is not to be recommended. It is for reading only.
Charles-Augustin Sainte-Beuve once classed himself among the souls that espouse the illustrious and become the servants of their glory. He began his literary career as a poet and he achieved fame as a critic; he ardently took part in the romantic movement when it began but his renown rested on his taste for the classics; in his youth he was a conspirator and he died a pensioner of the Empire. His truly memorable works, the "Causeries de Lundi", were written under such conditions that only the quality of the performance makes the term "hackwork" inapplicable. With such a subject, it is hardly to be expected that Lewis Freeman Mott's "Sainte-Beuve" (Appleton) would read like a Strachey biography. Anatole France in an essay in "The Latin Genius" did indicate that the career of Sainte-Beuve offered material for such a biography. Certainly his friends, including Victor Hugo, Châteaubriand, Madame Récamier, Gautier, George Sand, and Renan would have offered a wonderful background for a Life that was intended to be a pointed up picture of the middle half of the nineteenth century in France. Mr. Mott has more soberly decided on an authorita
tive work, worthy of being the first complete biography of its subject.
A cathedral to be appreciated must be seen. All that one can enjoy in a written description of it is the quality of the writing or the personality of the writer. Both of these, unfortunately, are missing from "The World of Today" (Putnam), which, in four volumes, edited by Sir Harry Johnston and Dr. L. Haden Guest, describes "all countries and peoples of the world, its beauty spots and wonder places". It is not much more interesting to read than a guidebook; but it is indeed "sumptuously illustrated" and for this reason well worth having.
"With the advent of the new architecture", writes Alan Stapleton, "we have begun to build for a race of giants, and the old familiar London of courts and alleys and winding lanes is passing." Carefully then Mr. Stapleton has preserved the flavor of this old London in "London Alleys, Byways and Courts" (Dodd, Mead). Sixty odd pencil sketches with accompanying anecdotes comprise a delightful history of "courts and alleys of old London some of these places where men lived before the dawn of our ultracivilization; places where men still live". Mr. Stapleton is an excellent raconteur. He is neither pedantic nor pedagogical. He chats leisurely and intimately of Moll Cutpurse and Bet Flint, Ben Jonson and John Bunyan, Fetter Lane and Wardrobe Court, Paternoster Row and Chaucer's Tabard Inn. The sketches are excellent. Many of them are made in vignette, and Mr. Stapleton has combined a soft technique with the proper accent to give his work strength. His composition is good and there is a pleasing play of light and shade. The
book will endear London to Londoners, and strangers will heed the persistent call of the bowbells.
"Collected Poems" by Robert Underwood Johnson (Yale) represent (Yale) represent forty years of labor by one who has endeavored consistently to follow the best traditions of English poetry, and has been measurably successful in producing work of finish and beauty. There is no outstanding originality about Mr. Johnson's poems, there is no world ranging imagination or deep sounding, compelling blast of emotion; the author has reached no untrodden height and raised no call unheard before; and yet within the domain of simple music and unpretentious subject matter he has been not ineffective, and in handling the conventional themes of springtime and love, of aspiration, patriotism and war, he is neither more distinguished nor less distinguished than a majority of the traditionally minded poets of the time.
Captain Vancouver, after his first view of Puget Sound, wrote that "to describe the beauties of this region will... be a very grateful task to the pen of a skilful panegyrist". The late William Watson Woollen, of Indianapolis, has performed much of that "grateful task" and has greatly extended it in the two large, handsomely printed volumes entitled "The Inside Passage to Alaska" (Arthur H. Clark), the subtitle to which more accurately describes it as an "account of the North Pacific Coast from Cape Mendocino to Cook Inlet, from the accounts left by Vancouver and other early explorers and from the author's journals of exploration and travel in that region". Mr. Woollen was a distinguished lawyer who was also a born naturalist, not of the laboratory but of the school
of Muir. His interest in the northwest coast came late in life, beginning with a trip taken in 1912, but he devoted the remaining years until his death in 1921 to further travel and research in this region. region. The resultant material, as edited in these volumes by Paul L. Haworth, is best described as an "account": a composite of description and history, given unity by the fact that he follows, more or less, in the wake of Vancouver, digressing liberally however whenever he likes, as in the interesting chapters on the "trees and shrubs of the coast", on whales and the whale fisheries, and on the Indian natives. The book is well indexed: a valuable compendium of information and also a fluent narrative of travel among the myriad islands and waters of the region.
The Italian historian, Guglielmo Ferrero, in "The Women of the Cæsars" (Putnam) has written a work whose design is to bring into the foreground those feminine figures which in his own "Greatness and Decline of Rome" occupy a place of necessarily secondary importance. His intention has been to rescue such remnants of their realities as survive beneath the accumulated legends, misrepresentations, and slanders with which earlier historians have obscured them, and to present the facts in as truthful an aspect as the conclusions of his studies and researches warrant. The period he covers is that which begins with the marriage of Livia to the Emperor Augustus and ends with the death of Agrippina, mother of Nero, the last member of the line to reign.
After Alice Meynell's celebrated sonnet "Renouncement" had been praised by the great Victorians the poet held, until her death in 1922, a
unique place in English letters. The prophecy of her permanent place in literature may be guessed through the scholarly and humane study "Mrs. Meynell and Her Literary Generation" by Anne Kimball Tuell (Dutton). Miss Tuell reveals Mrs. Meynell against her distinguished backgrounds, identifies a quantity of her unsigned essays, and analyzes her rare poetic gift. The study is phrased with as scrupulous sense for the word as had Mrs. Meynell herself and shows, in the discovery of the paradox as the secret of Mrs. Meynell's swiftness of intellect and veritable mysticism, that Miss Tuell, too, possesses a "refined and immediate vision". An excellent introduction to Mrs. Meynell and her fin de siècle, Roman Catholic group, the book is perhaps rather intended for those who have previously enjoyed the poet. To them it is invaluable.
In his account of life in Russia during the war and the revolutions, "The Speckled Domes" (Scribner), Gerard Shelley at least attains the distinction of giving us a view of Rasputin quite unlike that usually presented. "At times", Mr. Shelley tells us, "Rasputin struck me as being very much like an Old Testament prophet. I think the secret of his power lay in the sense of calm, gentle strength and shining warmth of conviction." He does not believe any of the "wretched stories" of debauchery and evil doings told of Rasputin, all of which he considers calumnies of a sort characteristically Russian. For Mr. Shelley is sweeping in his condemnation both of the old aristocracy and of the intelligentsia - whom he stigmatizes as futile folk. Indeed, futility is the one label that nearly all observers, including the Russians themselves, agree upon as appropriate to the past ten years or more of Rus
sian life. ses of it from many angles. He was in Russia at the outbreak of the war and he went through both revolutions, landing finally in a Bolshevik prison, and escaping at last disguised as a woman. He had the entrée to aristocratic society, and even to the Empress, of whom he thinks highly. Other chroniclers have supplied us with a sufficiency of the horrors of the red revolution: this book is of value chiefly as an appraisal of the degeneracy and morbidity of the "educated" Russian. Doubtless something might be said on the other side, but Mr. Shelley's picture is impressive. He is fluent and skilful in making a highly readable narrative.
Mr. Shelley gives glimp
Major General Sir Frederick Maurice's study of "Robert E. Lee, the Soldier" (Houghton Mifflin) is a valuable contribution to the vast body of authoritative works devoted to the military career of the great Virginian. But the present volume is, happily, more than an unbiased valuation of Lee's campaigns and battles, for it contains as well a singularly eloquent conception of Lee, the man. In estimating Lee's martial genius, General Maurice justly finds a place for him among the supreme commanders of history, and at the same time succeeds in realizing for us the likeness of one whose achievement as a human being was even loftier.
Mr. Pepys appears to have a rival. The first volume of "The Farington Diary" (Doran) gave promise of this some time ago, and the three succeeding volumes have admirably fulfilled this promise. Volume IV brings this inimitable narrative up to the beginning of 1808. It takes us back to the quiet, graceful, pleasure loving days of Merrie England, when George IV was Prince