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cessful fight. A monk named Eremus, for example, in Edward the Confessor's time is said to have flown by means of wings from the top of a tower for a dis. tance of over a furlong. Another bold
spirit is recorded to have fown from
THE EDITION DE LUXE.
"We shan't have room for it,” I said. a genius will visit us, and at the end of
"But it will look very well,” said my that time he'll stay with us for ever." wife. "Thirty-six volumes in that “But you'll get tired of him. When handsome red binding would set off any the three years are over you'll store library."
him away in an attic. You'll never "There isn't a spare foot of room look at him. He'll get covered with now," I insisted.
dust. I don't like geniuses when "But we always meant to clear away they're covered with dust. I'm not some of the rubbishy books."
sure I like tbem when they're quite "There are no rubbishy books. tidy." That's why we've never cleared any. "That,” said my wife, “is absurd. I thing away. Besides, I'm not sure I shall fill up the form." care for every little word the great “Thirty-six pounds," I pleaded. man has written."
"I've filled it up with your name," she "Every little word,” said my wife se said. verely-"every little word written by a "Forgery," I hinted. man of genlus ought to be preserved." "You should have thought of that."
"So it will be," I said, "by those who she retorted, "when you married me. print this edition and those who buy "With all my worldly goods I thee enit; but that's no reason for my buying dow'--you can't deny it."
"But I didn't mean it. It was duresse. "That's flippant," said my wife, "and Besides, there's another bit about obeysilly."
"Of course, if you begin to be abu "Fiddlesticks," said she. “I've put a sive "
stamp on it, and I'm going to post it at "How like a man!" said my wife. once." "When he's beaten in argument”-she And she did. pronounced these words very impres- All this happened two years and a sively-"he always says he's being half ago. Summer is now approaching abused."
for the third time, and through all the "Thirty-six fat volumes," said l. changing seasons, month by month, "But only a pound apiece."
with the impressiveness and regularity "That's thirty-six pounds," I said, of one of nature's immutable ordi"and for thirty-six pounds we could nances, the stout red volumnes have go to the seaside."
made their formidable appearances. "But we shall get one volume a Thirty of them stand in a thick red month, and that spreads it over three line on the loaded shelves. On a rough years. Once a month for three years calculation there are more than seven
feet of them-and there are six more stroyer of happiness. While the parvolumes to come.
cel lies thus my wife avoids my eye. I Now, to buy a book casually, to buy believe she goes down in the dead hours thirty books at odd times and without of the night to open it and stow it away. previous arrangement, these are easy She has even gone so far as to assert and light-hearted things that any man that she had told me how it would be, may do without impairing the springs adding that she had long since realized of his strength or adding a single gray how useless it was to dissuade a wilful hair to his head. But to be under a man from any purpose he had set his permanent irrevocable contract to pur mind on. The thirty-six-volumed genchase a certain sort of book once in ius who was to have been a joy to us every month, to take delivery of it and has brought us a curse. We have never to pay for it, saps the vitality of the dared to read him in his new edition. most vigorous being that ever trodil Last night I caught my wife with a country road. To know that at some thin and handy volume in her hand, time within the first week of every It belonged to an earlier edition of our month a heavy postal parcel will be destroying genius. When she saw that dumped down as if by magic on the I had observed her she had the grace ball table and will lie there pleading to to look uncomfortable and to lay the have its string cut and its brown-paper book down under the concealment of an unfolded-there's nothing in the whole illustrated paper. And there are six range of experience to compete with more volumes still to come. that as a shatterer of nerves and a de
NATURE AND THE SENTIMENTALISTS.
Of the making of nature-books of the In the days before Richard Jefferies feebly sentimental kind there appears set the familiar things of the countryto be no end, but if the study thereof side to his own inimitable music, the result in much weariness to the public year's output of natural-history books mind, the public has only itself to could safely be placed in one category, blame. The remedy, or rather the pre- It was the era of the scientific botanist, vention, lies in its own hand. Though when a hedgerow blossom, however a short-sighted legislature has failed to beautiful, was merely an umbelliferum set any limit to the publication of these or dicotyledon, or some equally outgreen-boarded volumes of ill-digested rageous, dispiriting thing; and the love. odds and ends, there is happily no law liness of a kingfisher, as he glittered to compel their persual by the man in down stream like a flying fragment of the street. Only upon the unlucky re- rainbow, was of less importance than viewer has this irritating necessity the strict ascertainment of his scientific been laid; and it is small wonder if, name. But, for good or for evil, Jetat the end of a long period of such low feries changed all that. Now the nadiet, his old faith in the saving grace ture-writer has thrown away his blue of green leaves vanishes, and he finds spectacles and taken unto himself Parhimself actually revelling in his work-a. nassian wings. And whereas formerly day smoke and paving-stones, and the it was impossible to write of field or reek and roar of London's busy streets, woodland life unequipped by at least a
smattering of gardener's Latin, now scious fair. It is true Jefferies continany suburban poeticule with an itch ually went back from this position, and for country loafing can lift his scrannel imported the jarring human note into pipe at the odd street corners in news- much of his finest work, but his most paper-town, or air his motley ignorance ardent admirer must concede that the between covers of green art-linen, gen. work was all the worse for it. Yet erally at his own expense.
Jefferies' human interest was always It is not, however, the ordinary na reverent and unassuming, if a trifle inture-article in the daily Press with nocent; while that of the great tribe of which we have our present quarrel. fantastic dullards hobbling slip-shod in Editors, at least those of the more im his train has an insufferable 'air of portant journals, have of late years be- patronage and self-importance. In the come both wiser and warier, and it is mind of the reader the same picture seldom nowadays that these meretri- is continually and inevitably risingcious gentry get past the careful watch that of the lord of creation, with long set at the redactorial gate. There is hair and a note-book, throned on the no doubt, also, that the bulk of the wild-thyme bank, and receiving in turn genuine publishing trade presents an and at his own majestic pleasure the equally impassable barrier to these homage of the birds and flowers and singers of sick fancies about dande- creeping things and the deep obeisance lions, and newts, and such small deer. of the forest trees; while, in a respectIt is the private publisher, the man of fully distant circle without, the little mammoth printing bills and micro. hills hop their delightful appreciation, scopic sales department, who is alike and from afar the great mountains bow the joy of the pseudo-poet-naturalist their acknowledgments of his gracious and the chief support of the remainder- presence. dealer. Turning over a heap of these Londoners have long been accredited derelicts, these still-born children of with an insatiable appetite for this the literary shipyards, one is struck at kind of philandering, and, no doubt, it first glance by their prevailing insensi. is a pleasant thing to imagine the jaded tiveness, their self-complacency, and city worker, cooped up all day long in their utter superficiality of vision amid his stuffy office, refreshing himself at wild natural things. But what chiefly eventide with a story of blue hills and impresses the town-sick looker-on at country breeezs, unattainable in Bristhis exasperating game is the constant ton or Shepherd's Bush. There is litstraining after a human interest on tle question that any book on the free every page. Either writer or reader, natural life of field and hedgerow-an or both, are being eternally dragged by earnest record of things seen and of neck and heels through every daisy- thoughts arising spontaneously out of field or briar-patch that lies in the a loving study of the great primæval way. It was a favorite doctrine with underflow of creation-must always be Jefferies that no unity or sympathy like a cup of water in the desert to the was discoverable between man and enforced dweller in the town. It is wild-nature-from nature's standpoint. very high and worthy art indeed to He constantly taught that the life of bring the delectable mountains in fancy the field and the forest went on irre- to poor Pilgrim, stuck for the time bespective of, and often antagonistic to, ing in his slough of bricks and mortar the human life that traversed it at in default of fifty shillings a week. every step. Man was the hopeless But, unluckily for the city worker, the lover, nature the indifferent, the uncon otherwise adverse conditions of his life tend to breed in him an amazing in- wanderer in the wilderness seems never tuition for the verities-at least, in re- to stir abroad without taking with him gard to this kind of literature; and it his entire professional equipment. is much to be questioned if the expo- And here we tread on the fringe of a nents of the new natural history have rather delicate matter. A certain monany following at all in the towns. umental work on ornithology, consistThey have been found out long ago. ing of a dozen or more volumes of the The fleeting twenty minutes in the greatest interest and value, is rendered train, and the quiet fireside evenings practically useless to the busy student, are too precious to be frittered away solely because its reverend author feels on such an obvious counterfeit. The himself constrained to lay down his first taste reveals its true quality; it is pen in the middle of almost every parasawdust, dyed, it is true, in various graph, and lift hands in fervent thank. rich and appetizing colors, but sawdust fulness for the whole creation genernevertheless.
ally, and in particular for whatever Perhaps--and, be it said, with sincere fowl of the air he happens to be decondolences to the few brilliant excep- scribing. And the poet-naturalist-partions-it is the parson amidst wild na- son has the same unhappy knack of ture who presents to the latter-day re- counterpointing the all-sufficient music viewer of country books the most dis- of the open air with the thudding melquieting spectacle of all. The uneccle- ody of the church organ. We cannot siastic sentimentalist is an incongruous help the inclination to pray, like the figure enough in a woodland glade of old French courtier, that the proposi. primroses, yet at least he comes sound- tion in theology may not have the effect ing a pæan that is frankly based upon of killing the king. the scenes about him. But the clerical
The County Gentleman.
BOOKS AND AUTHORS.
“Plant-Breeding," by Prof. Hugo de on one branch of their subject. Open Vries, is a review of the experiments of Court Publishing Co. Mr. Luther Burbank and Dr. Hjalmar Nilsson and is intended for botanists Mr. Alfred Tressider Shepard's "Runand those interested in botany rather ning Horse Inn" is a story of rural than for the farmer or the amateur, England at the unhappy moment when but it includes many interesting de. the glow of the contest with Naposcriptions and comparisons and parts of leon had departed and the refreshment it may be read with pleasure by any of peace had not yet been felt; the days one whose attention has been attracted when the drain of death, duties and by recent magazine articles on Mr. Bur. taxation had not ceased, yet there was bank's work. Its pictures are chiefly no certainty anywhere except in the scientific, but among them are a few minds of those who despaired. Two showing the products of Mr. Burbank's brothers, sons of an innkeeper, the skill and portraits of him and of Dr. wife of one of them, and her father, a Nilsson. Students of the Darwinian man of good family deeply angered by theories will here find the latest word her marriage, divide the action of the story among them. The soldier brother built at the cost of the ruin of the conreturns from the wars the very morn- tractor. But it was a happy thought ing of his brother's wedding to the girl to cause the young son of the ruthless whom he has regarded as his own capitalist to bring his father to repentsweetheart, but the bridegroom is un- ance by reproducing his qualities in conscious of the position and urges him miniature. to remain in his old home. Little by little, the soldier yields to his affection Edinburgh, both the Old Town. "mine for his sister-in-law, and, fancying that own romantic," and the New, so comshe is unhappy, begs her to elope with pletely belongs to Scott that one can him. Almost at the same time, the hardly see why "Edinburgh under Sir inn ceases to prosper, and foreclosure Walter Scott" has waited so long for impends over both brothers and the Mr. W. T. Fyfe to write it. Perhaps tale moves swiftly to the final tragedy. the reason may be that every ScottThe book is admirably written and its lover has a similar work in his imagiquiet excellence should make it a favor nation and wanders happily through ite for many seasons to come. J. B. the ancient burgh, in fancy following Lippincott Co.
the kindly ghost of the Great Unknown,
but there are few who will not find Mr. In Edwin Asa Dix's “Prophet's Fyfe a welcome companion in such a Landing" (Charles Scribner's Sons), pilgrimage.He has used not only the attempt is made to apply certain Scott and Lockhart, but many a conprocesses of combination and high fi. temporary of the Shirra in turning the nance to business as carried on in a stones of the streets into bread for the small town. The central figure in the imagination, and Edinburgh looms bestory is 'a village merchant with un. fore the inward eye as a realm of such usual initiative who adds department originality and individuality as the after department to his store, regard. three kingdoms could not equal. What less of the consequences to more hum with the real persons, the extraordible competitors; becomes in a small nary dignitaries of bench, and bar, and way a railway promoter; uses his se. session, and the equally real companies cret information to buy up land; gets from the Minstrelsy, and the novels, special rates on his freight; and ma. the half real and half imaginary beings nipulates the stock of a small local rail. who flock from the house of Ambrose, road after the most approved Wall- and from the abode of the Blue and street methods. The story is told with Yellow, Edinburgh is as populous as simplicity and directness; but the char. Pekin. Mr. R. S. Rait, who has given acters and even the slender love story the book a wisely appreciative introwhich runs through the book are sub- duction, says that even those who read ordinate to the author's main purpose the “Letters” and the “Journals" once of exhibiting the essential selfishness a year may learn something from the of the processes described. At points, work, and this is true, but even greater there is a confusion of standards, prac. is its value to those to whom it introtises which are quite legitimate being duces Scott, and at once compels them classed with those which are clearly to perceive his sovereignty. Lockhart wrong; and there is now and then a himself is not so good a herald, not so touch of the melodramatic, as when a clear voiced in proclaiming the great stroke of lightning during a December deeds of the monarch of the pen and thunder storm destroys the new house the permanence of his glory. E. P. which the successful speculator has Dutton & Co.