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near it , with , orders to let no one go oat , and sent for large glasses , and gave ea « h of them three or four bumpers , as a sign that he meant to do them honour . Addison , writing from Paris , complained that he had not seen a blush since he came among the French people . Possibly he might have admired the shyness of the Czar . . We scarcely know whafc to think of Stepneys " passion as declared to Leibnitz : — Herewith is a specimen of oar English , stage . The piece is not -vdthout wit , but it might pass for rather too libertine , and that is why I dare not have it sent to Berlin ; but you will do , sir , with it as you pleaae , and perhaps the morality of " Plato" will hare the better of the licentiousness of a fashionable author . I entreat you to cast me at the feet of our adorable Electress , and to believe me , with much passion . and esteem , &c . So Berlin would not tolerate what was fashionable in London .
It would not be easy to show , by extracts , how valuable or how entertaining this volume is . The parts are so connected by allusion and by the intermediate passages of biography , that they must be read together . The editor , however , might have spared himself any apology for the publication . His work is oae which must be consulted by every student of European history during the period referred to , and as that period is the important one prior to the grand alliance against Louis XIV , it is obvious that letters and papers like these , instead of being superfluous , are essential , not ¦ only to the historian , but to those critical readers by whom the historian's accuracy ia tested .
GOSSE'S MARINE ZOOLOGY . A Manual of Marine Zoology far the British Isles . By Philip Henry Go 3 se . Van Voorst . Mb . Gosse has ' deserved well of the Republic of Letters ; ' and in point of direct service he has done nothing so admirable as the compilation of this excellent Manual ^ for which every naturalist and every amateur at the seaside will thank him . It as distinctively a book to be used , not a book to be read . Its purpose is to enable the student to identify any animal he may find , on the sea-shore , or in the rock-pools ; and thus it Ells the place of a glossary of technical terras in one of Nature ' s most interesting btooks . Many a man finds his interest tepid till it is warmed by the satisfaction of naming the objects brought before him ; there is a delight in naming for its
own sake ; and when this process of naming is the pselinainary step -to acquiring all otier knowledge of the object , we may understand the interest it excites . Now suppose you have been rambling among the rocks , and your attention is arrested by a little creature , bright in colour , elegant in form , creeping along the dark underside of an overhanging ledge , evidently not -a fish , evidently not a crab , evidently not a worm , yet wholly unknown to you . If your ignorance finds no resource in the knowledge of some better-instructed companion , you must continue your ramble , content to be ignorant of tie name * the nature , and the habits of this animal . If , on the contrary , you have Mr . Gosse ' s Manual at home , you carry the creature away with you , and turning over Mr . Gosse ' s pages soon ascertain its name , or at least the genus to which it belongs ; having thus found the place of the
animal m _ the great animal kingdom , you can then turn to any work on natural history to learn about the structure and habits of your new acquaintance . Such is the sort of service rendered by this Manual to the uninstructed ; And not less useful is the service rendered to the naturalist , for few naturalists can carry in their memories the burden of all the generic distinctions between marine animals . In the first part of this Manual there are given all the genera of Radtata and Annul osa , in the second all the Mollusca and Vertebrata . Besides the clear , succinct description of each genus , a woodcut illustration of each renders the eye familiar with the form . It turns out curiously enough that the number of illustrations in each part as the
flame , namely , three hundred and thirty-nine ; that is to say , there are exactly as many genera now recognized of Radiate and Annulose animals as there « re of Molluscs and Vertebrates . This is , of course ^ a mere accident , since the division into genera is arbitrary , and no one pretends teat all genera are known . Be that as it may , this little book , Vhich may conveniently find r place in the pocket , contains six hundred and seventy-eight woodcut illustrations , the greater part of them original drawings by Mr . Gosse himself ; so that if it possessed no other merit this would alone suffice to render it indispensable to the naturalist . Happily the book has other merits , in the shape of information carefully compiled and clearly stated , and many useful references to authorities .
Mr . GosBe adopts the idea , now pretty general , that the Polyzoa belong to the Molluscous division , in spite of their external resemblances to the Polypes , and he boldly places them among the Molluscs . In this , perhaps , he has thought more of systematic views on classification , than of the student s convenience . To any one already familiar with the Polyzoa there will « f course bo no hesitation as to where the genus is to be sought in Mr . Goase s pages ; but to the student atixtouB to identify the " polyp" lie has found , and not already aware that thi 3 " polyp" is a mollusc , and must be sought for in the second volume of tfce Marmal , there will probably be some contusion and difficulty in this arrangement . It seemB to ua quite clear that Without adopting De BlainviuVs principle of classifying animals according to their envelope as the best principle of scientific classi 6 cation , we should adopt it m works of reference like the present ,, since the external characters are necessarily those most immediately recognized b y the student ¦ and in the case of the Polyzoa , they are so remarkably similar in external characteristics to the hydtoid polypes , that they were alwava classed with * . ii « m
until the profbunder investigations of Vaa Veneden , Allman , and othors , revealed the xesemblanoes between the internal characteristics of theso polyssoa and those of molluscs . The objection , however , is ot no great weight ; a little familiarity with the Manual will suffice to set the student right . Meanwhile , every reader can understand tho value of a book which will inform him of the genua of every crab , fish , worm , or polype He may find on the sea-shore .
LADY BULWER'S LAST . Very Successful ! By Lady Bulwer Lyiton . 3 vols . Whittaker and Co . Somiwhebe near the Strand , if we believe Lady Bulwer , is aden infes ted by a conspiracy of critics . These persons form a sect , with a chief , a regular organization , a plan of action , passwords , and ceremonies of initiation . Their general object is to guard the growth of literary reputations , so that none may prosper who is not obsequiously , soul and heart , their slave , while their particular object , at present , is to persecute Lady Bulwer . They have their temples and their idols , tbese mercenary savages , who write corrosion with poisoned pens . From , their impure clocua flows the stream of criticism , blistering the hand of the young artist , feeding with noxious flattery the egotism of the impostor , and diurnally circulating an insinuation against the good name of the lady who sketches the picture . Let us beg her to cast away this illusion of her wincing eyes ; let us assure ber that the malignant concert she supposes to exist among reviewers is . a mere fancy of her own ; she is not the female Rousseau of our literary world ; nor is the class of
writers she alludes to governed in general by any other law than the law of conscience and of self-respect . It may seem very ingenious , when one is in a bitter mood , to accuse half the human race of corruption ; but asperity of this kind is apt to degenerate into a monomania . If Lady Bulwer . means to write any more novels , we warn her that the public will be tired of hearing her repeat , each time with , tenfold virulence , the story of her wrongs , real and imaginary . How much better would have been her positioa had she maintained a dignified and delicate silence , instead of harshly wailing , upbraiding , and reviling for ever , exposing all "her wounds , and asking every passer-by to be Interested in the agony of hate . Nothing more melancholy has ever been written than the preface to Very Successful—a confusion of ghastly invective , and of sarcasms which are not always decently uttered . We will make no quotations from this unhappy prelude , though it is thrust into each of the three Volumes , that the reader may , without fail , observe to what grossness and folly Lady Bulwer can descend .
Of the novel itself , had . personalities been excluded , it might have been said that Lady Bulwer is a inistress of misquotation ; but the personalities , pressed into almost every page , not only render it painful , "but interfere materially with its interest . J £ ven in this respect Lady Bulwer must stand in her own light ; she will continually break off her narrative and fall into hysterics of acrimony , mocking her enemies , persecutors , and slanderers , and dragging to remembrance anecdotes of private life , the relation of which is nowhere so scandalous as in an ecclesiastical court , unless it be in a novel . Sympathy the public might have felt for Lady Bulwer ; but what trace of womanly self-respect is exhibited in her portrait of the successful literary baronet , popular at railway stalls , with " the head of a goat on the body of a grasshopper ?" Bat It's the expression of the face that 13 so horrible ; the lines in it make it look like an intersected map of vice , bounded on one side by the Black Sea of Hypocrisy , and on the other by Falsehood Mountains .
This pestilential tone pervades Lady Bulwer ' s novel —her picture of the " Literary Inquisition , '' which is a phantasy of her own , of " the fearful sewer of iniquity" flowing through the newspapers and critical publications , of the " infamous association" and ' * infernal ordinary ' where reviewers meet and compound their malicious misrepresentations for the Saturday following , and of the ever-recurring baronet with * ' hideous horse teeth" who is the demon of the melodrama . If Lady Bulwer can still control her own mind , we entreat her not to produce another book like this—a book that humiliates the author , and repels the reader .
THE MILDMAYES . The Mildinayes ; or , the Clergyman ' s Secret : a iStoi' y of Twenty Years Ago . By Danby North . 3 vols . Chapman and Hall . Another novel with an earnest purpose . How long is our patience to be abused by these insults to our taste and understanding ? We have no objection to find sermons in stones , or to see such a book as this at the bottom of a running brook , but we protest against this perverse desecration of light literature . Works of fiction are aio longer a pleasing recreation after the toils and occupations of the day . They have become a positive and wearisome labour . . Every monomaniac who wishes to force his one idea upon his neighbours now wiites a tale , and thus under false pretences induces the public to listen to his nonsense . Another one aims at acquiring a tea-table
reputation for great research , but finds it easior to produce a flashy romance than au historical memoir . Were this tlie worst , development of the principle of making things pleasant , it might be endured if it could not be commended . The names at least may thence bio learned of the great men who lived in the days of yore , aad some idea may be formed of the manners and customs of our ancestors . It is certainly a slovenly and inaccurate mode of gathering knowledge , but the sickly appetite must sometimes' bo stimulated by high-seasoned delicacies . And an historical romance gives one fair warning "beforehand . The title prepares you for a distortion of facts , and you arc , therefore , not surprised to discover that the most startling incidents in the career of a Woolsey or a Cromwell wero subservient to the progress of John Smith ' s courtship of
Anna Brown . The nuisance , however , becomes intolerable when , expecting to be amused with a lively picture of social follies and absurdities , you find yourself suddenly plunged head foremost into a polemical controversy , or the discussion of some knotty point in church doctrine and discipline . Novels of this stamp are a literary swindle . Their writers know full well that not one man in a million would give a straw for their opinions -on any subject whatsoever . Tho public does not care one iota for their thoughts : it only seeks to bo amused in the old-fashioned , way . It demands that every one adhere to his specialty and bo true to his colours . For history , it looks to the man of patient research ; for philosophy , to the profound thinker ; for theology , to one who loves to lie upon thorns ; for amusement , to the witty but goodnatured satirist . A novel should bo something of a satire , but have nothing in common , with a sermon . The admixture of the sacred and the profane constitutes a . picture aa disagreeable to behold as tho monstor
THE LE 1 DEE . . ; _ [ Nx >_ . J ^_ S ^ PUKDAr , ¦ JLO . - ^ ^ . ¦ - — -. ^ r ^ rrz r—_^ —— ' ———————^^^^^^—
Leader (1850-1860), Jan. 3, 1857, page 18, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/l/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2174/page/18/