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not to be worthy of the perusal even of the most zealous anti-popery people. But let us first give an extract from the preface, which will serve as the “argument” of the piece:
“There are but three scenes ; one in a school-room, one by the bank of a river, and one in an Indian wigwam. The drama is founded on fact, the saving of the white settlers along the Illinois river by Shabnaye during the Black Hawk war. Ellie Laura is a fictitious character, and a representative of the sufferings, the vicissitudes, and the combinations that have taken place in settling our vast Western country. The plot, the characters, and the moral of this drama, are remitted to the judgment of the public, and may be found to possess a living interest for the inhabitants of Illinois along the Illinois river. The songs have been set to music by a Sister of St. Joseph's Academy.”
We place in italics one remark, because we think that the drama has, or at least ought to have, a living interest for the inhabitants of the shores of rivers much nearer home than the Illinois—for those of the shores of the Hudson, for example.
We are sincerely glad to learn that the songs have been set to music by a sister of St. Joseph's Academy, Brooklyn. If the St. Joseph's Academy means the Brooklyn Academy of the Visitation, we know that there are sisters at that institution eminently capable of performing an intellectual task much more difficult than setting those really pretty lyrics to music. The first scene opens with a soliloquy by the heroine, from which we snatch a fragment or two:
“Am I alone?
“But how know I what is, or is to be,
Away in that impenetrable void ?
“ Ye virgin leas,
We admit that we do not do justice to the author in thus breaking up the soliloquy of “Ellie Laura ;” but we have done so only because we have not room for the whole. Sister Teresa does what she can to cheer Ellie. Knowing that pleasant exercise in the open air is good for her, she urges the advantages of an excursion trip. We can only make room for a line or two :
“ The air abroad no murky aspect wears,
But a serenely sweet bewitching smile
Laughs on the face of nature” (p. 11). In Scene II., on the banks of the Illinois, the baneful consequences of intemperance are discussed; and Sister Stanislaus denounces, as follows, those who, in order to secure the good will, or the money, of the poor Indian, give him intoxicating drink :
“ It is a shame,
They speak to him of God and liberty !” (p. 24). We have had the pleasure and the advantage of discussing educa. tional topics with more than one Sister Stanislaus possessed of sufficient talent and culture to improvise lines quite as good as these; nor do we mean by this to gainsay the appropriateness and force of the passage just quoted.
We should be glad to transfer to our pages several of the lyrics, but we can only make room for one. Ellie Laura being still more pensive and sad than usual Black Gown asks what is the matter. Sister Stanislaus suggests that she may explain the cause in verse, and the result is as follows:
"To know is mine, but to assuage in vain.
And I am sad as few :
That skirts sweet Avondhu.
And wander to the West,
To find one spot of rest.
“No fields, no flowers, no streams, no skies,
Can paint or bless the view,
My home by Avondhu.
Or moulders by the main ;
Unless my hope is vain.
And I am sad as few;
That skirts sweet Avondhu” (pp. 25, 26). These stanzas alone would fully justify our estimate of “Ellie Laura ;" we think, moreover, that they will prove a sufficient passport into many a Protestant household, as well as into inany a Protestant educational institution. Yet it is for female Catholic institutions, like those of Manhattanville and Mount St. Vincent, that we would particu. larly recommend the sprightly and pretty drama, because we think it a much better and more suitable book in the hands of innocent young ladies than catechisms setting forth the amonrs of Jupiter, Mars, Juno, Venus, Circe, etc.
HISTORY AND BIOGRAPHY. Encyclopædia of Chronology, Historical and Biographical. By B.
B. WOODWARD, B.A., late Librarian to the Queen, and WILLIAM L. R. CATEs, Editor of the “ Dictionary of General Biography." 8vo., pp. 496. Boston: Lee & Shepard ; New York : Lee, Shepard
& Dillingbam. 1872. So far as number and variety are conce
cerned, there is no lack of works on chronology whether they be called encyclopædias, dictionaries or hand-books. We have at least a dozen in our own library, in. cluding English, American, French, and German, and among the num. ber are the best hitherto published. Our readers are aware that the babit of recommending an inferior work as superior, is not one of our faults; and we think we may also claim that it is not our habit to recommend any book, or to give our opinion of it in any form until we have first carefully examined it.
We certainly have not done so in the present instance, although, had we permitted ourselves to be satisfied with circumstantial evidence, we had excellent reasons for regarding the work before us, at least, as belonging to the best class of its kind. The great London house of Longmans, Green & Co. are not likely to be the publishers of a second-rate work of reference—a work that undertakes to enlighten the author, the scholar, the scientist, the orator, the teacher, the editor. But had there been no imprint on the new Encyclopædia, the high prestige of each of its compilers as a scholar and investigator would have been regarded by any intelligent person as presumptive evidence of its worth.
Then another circumstance well calculated to inspire confidence in its favor is the character of the American house which has undertaken its introduction into this country. As the Messrs Leg & Shepard publish no monthly or weekly pamphlets for their own glorification, but depend on the ordinary legitimate means of communicating with the public, they are not so widely known as other publishers; but there are few of the readers of standard books who are not aware that they are men of education and culture, who know how to cater, precisely for the classes for which works like that before us are intended. We may remark, incidentally, that if there be any of our readers who are not aware of this fact, we can assure them that what the highly honorable and justly famous house of Ticknor & Fields was under the guidance of Mr. Ticknor, that of Lee & Shepard is at the present day, and that, as in the case of Marcellus in the olden time, the fame of the new Modern Athens house grows imperceptibly, like a healthy tree in rich soil, for the good reason that, as honest Boileau has it
" Dans le monde il n'est rien de beau que l'equité
Sans elle la valeur, la force, la bouté
Ne sont que faux brillants et que morceaux de verre." Although we had a right to expect much from all this, we have not been the less careful in our examination of the “Encyclopædia of Chronology." We will first extract a passage from the preface in order that our readers may see what they are promised :
l' It contains the dates of the events which mark the rise, progress, decline, and fall of states, and the changes in the fortunes of nations. Alliances, wars, battles, sieges, and treaties of peace, geographical discoveries, the settlement of colonies and their subsequent story, with all occurrences of general historic interest, are recorded in it. It further includes the dates of discoveries in every department of science, and of inventions and improvements, mechanical, social, domestic, and economical. In addition to these, and forming a prominent feature of the work, are notices of eminent men, with the leading incidents of their lives, and the principal works, literary, scientific, and artistic, by which they have obtained distinction. This portion of the work will, it is hoped, be found to meet the want long felt of a copious and accurate biographical date-book.”
It is high praise, we know, to say that all this is fully justified by the multifarious contents of the work; but not to acknowledge the fact would be unjust. We find interesting instances at almost every page of the strict impartiality of the compilers. Even when the relative prowess of the British and the French is the topic the characteristic British love of "fair play” is admirably illustrated. Take for example the following:
“Sebastopol, Sevastopol, in the Crimea,-founded by Catherine II., 1786–invested by allied fleets, 28 Sep. 1854-bombardment commenced, 18 Oct.—the fleets damaged by hurricane, 14 Nov.- sortie repulsed, night of 22 Mar., 1855--second bombardment commenced, 9 Apr.--third, 6 Jun.the Quarries before the Redan stormed by British, and the Mamelon captured by French, 7 Jun.--unsuccessful attack on the Redan, 18 Jun.-last bombardment, 5 Sep.--capture of the Malakhoff by French, 8 Sep.-unsuccessful attack on Great Redan by British, 8 Sep.-south side of the city evacuated and defences blown up, 8-9 Sep.-restoration of fortifications prohibited by Treaty of Paris, Mar. 1856.”
If an English writer of the present day were partial, or prejudiced on any subject, it might well be supposed that he would be so on the. "Alabama and Alabama Claims. Accordingly we transcribe the two following paragraphs, which speak for themselves :
“Alabama, Confederate corvette, -built at Liverpool, sails before 29 Jul. 1862-government orders to prevent her sailing, sent, 29 Jul.---18 Federal vessels fitted out for capture of, close of 1862—sunk by the Kearsage, off Cherbourg, 19 Jun. 1864.
“Alabama Claims, diplomatic discussion of, between United States and Great Britain, begins, summer 1865—convention for settlement of, signed at London, 10 Nov. 1868-rejected by U. S. Senate, before 30 Nov.--second convention, signed, 14 Jan, 1869-rejected by Senate, 13 Apr. 1869."
We cannot more satisfactorily show the freedom of the compilers from sectarian prejudice, and at the same time give an idea of their thoroughness of research and accuracy of statement than by copying the article on the great Italian discoverer:
“Galilei, Galileo, astronomer, natural philosopher,—b. at Pisa, 18 Feb. 1564-enters the Univ. of Pisa, 5 Nov. 1581-discovers isochronism of the vibrations of the pendulum, about 1582-lecturer on Mathematics, Pisa, 1589 --Prof. Mathematics, Padua, Sep. 1592—his friendship with Kepler begins, 1597-invents the thermometer, about 1603-constructs his first telescope, 1609-named Prof, at Padua for life, 1609—discovers satellites of Jupiter, 7 Jan. 1610-discovers spots on the sun, probably Apr.," Mar. 1611-mathematician to the Grand Duke of Tuscany, removes to Florence, 1611--visits Rome, early in 1611--appears there to answer charges of the Inquisition, 1615–has audience of the Pope (Paul V.,) Mar. 1616--visits Rome, has