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With the present interest in this discussion, and activity in these studies, we may reasonably hope before many years to know the truth. Just now, naturalists are nearly equally divided between the Neo-Darwinians, as the associates of Weismann have been called, and the NeoLamarckians, who believe that the "soma" and its experiences play some part in Heredity. The majority of English writers are now ranged upon the former side; while in America and France the Lamarckians are in the ascendency, and the same side has probably a numerical majority in Germany. Herbert Spencer observes:
"Considering the width and depth of the effects which the acceptance of one or the other of these hypotheses must have on our views of Life, Mind, Morals, and Politics, the question, Which of them is true? demauds beyond all other questions whatever the attention of scientific men."
The views of Weismann have been styled the "Gospel of Despair" by some of those who see the key to the elevation of the human race in the direct inheritance of the results of education, training, and ethical living. This does not, however, seem to me a just criticism. Whatever is true is true, and our philosophy must adjust itself to it. The gradual advance of higher types is a fact accomplished, whether it be through Natural Selection alone, or whether it be by the joint action of Natural Selection with the supposed more rapid process of inherited experience. The single agency would seem to demand longer time, but there is time enough in a universe in which "Time is as long as Space is wide." Civilization is not so much a change in human nature as a storing up of human achievements. It has been defined as "the sum of those contrivances which enable human beings to advance independent of Heredity."
The first essay in Weismann's second volume, "Retrogressive Development in Nature," is a popular account of the process of degeneration in Evolution from the Darwinian standpoint, the kiwi or wingless bird of New Zealand being taken as an illustration. The second essay, on the " Musical Sense in Animals and Men," is an attempt to explain the development of musical ability, without supposing the results of its cultivation to be inherited. The third essay, on "Certain Problems of the Day," is chiefly a defense of Weismann's own position against Lamarckian critics. The fourth essay, the longest and most important of the series, is devoted to the explanation of " Amphimixis,
or the essential meaning of Conjugation and Sexual Reproduction." This essay is a highly interesting resume of discoveries in the process of fertilization, and the bearing of these discoveries on Weismann's theory of heredity.
In general, this work cannot be too highly praised. It contains, however, some evidence of striving to make a point, by reasoning in what seems to lie a circle. It is evident that many phenomena here discussed do not yet admit of a satisfactory explanation. Professor H. F. Osborne, one of our highest American authorities on Heredity, has predicted that the publication of this essay will mark the decline of Weismann's influence on naturalists, and the consequent re-advance of the principle of Lamarck. Be this as it may, we recognize in Weismann's work the utterance of an honest, clear-headed, thoroughly trained worker, and his theory of Heredity marks an epoch in the history of Evolution.
David Starr Jordan.
Pictures From The Pacific*
Every now and then, some world-weary soul, tired of civilization and its restraining conventionalities, conscious of the resurgence of primitive instincts and no longer seeking to hold them in abeyance, chooses to take flight,
"Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife,"
and finds in the sea rightly called Pacific something of the peace that comes from communion with nature and association with the unspoiled types of humanity. Now it is Herman Melville or Charles Warren Stoddard; now it is "Pierre Loti" or Robert Louis Stevenson. And of the isles in which such wanderers find a haven we may say, as the poet says of the fancied isles of his imagination,
"Faithful reports of them have reached me oft,"
for these men have taken the world into the secret of their contest, and have told us, not "in charactery dim," how well they succeeded in that return to nature of which Rousseau and Wordsworth yearningly and eloquently wrote, but effected only imperfectly and in part.
High among the classics of the literature that records such experiences must be placed
* South Sea Idylls. By Charles Warren Stoddard. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons.
Typee. A Real Romance of the South Seas. By Herman Melville. New York: United States Book Co.
Omoo. By Herman Melville. New York: United States Book Co.
the romantic tales of the late Herman Melville and the idyllic sketches of Mr. Charles Warren Stoddard. These works, by a curious coincidence, have just found a simultaneous reproduction in tasteful editions, and make their appeal to a new generation of readers. While it can hardly be said that they have been forgotten, they have become dusty memories to many who once delighted in them, and to most younger readers they must come with all the charm of novelty.
The sketches included in Mr. Stoddard's "South Sea Idylls" were published in book form (some of them having previously appeared in the "Atlantic Monthly") in 1873. An English edition published at the same time was entitled " Summer Cruising in the South Seas." The American edition had no great success (a fact which Mr. Howells, in a letter now prefacing the sketches, attributes to the imminence of the panic of 1873), and the English edition was disfigured by hideous illustrations, grotesquely in contrast with the delicate taste of the text. The edition now published omits the preface and epilogue of the earlier one, substitutes a new sketch —" A Tropical Sequence "— for " The Last of the Great Navigators " (why could we not have both?), and adds a new sketch — " Kahele's Foreordination "— to the original group of three that conferred literary immortality upon the young Hawaiian of the title.
Mr. Howells, in the letter already mentioned, characterizes these idylls as " the lightest, sweetest, wildest, freshest things that ever were written about the life of that summer ocean," and adds that " no one need ever write of the South Seas again." This is high praise, but is hardly more than just. In their happy combination of humor and poetic feeling, in their graceful style, and in their simple human sympathy, the sketches are so satisfactory that we cannot imagine the thing being better done. In the author's original preface (here unpublished) he thus states what he has attempted to do: "The experiences recorded in this volume are the result of four summer cruises among the islands of the Pacific. The simple and natural life of the islander beguiles me ; I am at home with him; all the rites of savagedom find a responsive echo in my heart; it is as though I recollected something long forgotten ; it is like a dream dimly remembered, and at last realized — it must be that the untamed spirit of some aboriginal ancestor quickens my blood. I have sought to reproduce the atmosphere of a people
who are wonderfully imaginative and emotional; they nourish the first symptoms of an affinity, and revel in the freshness of an affection as brief and blissful as a honeymoon." Perhaps the best illustration of this text is offered by the sketch called "Chumming with a Savage," and its pathetic sequel illustrates the author's further observation that to these islanders " our civilization is a cross, the blessed promises of which are scarcely sufficient to compensate for the pain of bearing it, and they are inclined to look upon our backslidings with a spirit of profound forbearance." In the amusing new story of "Kahele's Foreordination," Mr. Stoddard describes his own book as " the chronicle of my emotional adolescence," and refers the reader to "the valedictory, which was written in the days of my enthusiasm, while the almond tree flourished, ere the stars were darkened, and before the grasshopper had become a burden and all the daughters of music were brought low." Since the "valedictory" referred to is provokingly absent from the new edition, we have a double pretext for quoting its closing words: "The night falls suddenly; the air grows cool and moist; a great golden star sails through the sky, leaving a wake of fire. O Island Home! made sacred with a birth and with a death! haunted with sweet and solemn memories! What if thy rocking palm boughs are as muffled music and thy reef a dirge? The joy bells that have rung in the happy past shall ring again in the hopeful future, and life grows rosy in the radiance of the Afterglow."
When Herman Melville died at his home in New York, a little more than a year ago, the feeling most widely aroused by the news was one of surprise that he had been so recently among the living. To most men of this generation his name is a memory of boyhood, of the time when the Islands of the Pacific first touched the youthful imagination in the pages of "Typee" and "Omoo," when the mystery of the "taboo" first sent a delightful shudder through the frame. The four novels that made Melville famous were published between 1846 and 1851, and, although his pen was at intervals active for a long time afterwards, he did nothing to attract any considerable share of attention during the last forty years of his life, becoming, during the latter period, more and more of a recluse. Mr. Arthur Stedman, who has edited the new edition of the four great novels, thus writes of his later years:
"His evenings were spent at home with his books, his pictures, and his family, and usually with them alone. . . . More and more, as he grew older, lie avoided every action on his part, and on the part of his family, that might tend to keep his name and writings before the public. His
novels, issued: are yet
favorite companions were his grandchildreu, with whom he delighted to pass his time, and his devoted wife, who was a constant assistant and adviser in his literary work, chiefly done at this period for his own amusement. . . Various efforts were made by the New York literary colony to draw him from his retirement, but without success."
Of the new edition of Melville's "Typee" and "Omoo" have been "Moby Dick " and « White Jacket' to come. These are the only ones of the author's books that are likely to live, and their vitality is due to the fact that they were written in the flush of youth, and largely relate the writer's own stirring experience. Dr. Titus M. Coan, of New York, states that his father, the Rev. Titus Coan, "personally visited the Marquesas group, found the Typee Valley, and verified in all respects the statements made in 'Typee' ". The fact is, we are for the most part reading real autobiography when we turn the pages of these fascinating South Sea romances, and knowledge of this may give them a charm that they did not have even for the boy. It is worth noting that the present edition of " Typee " restores certain passages, suppressed in earlier editions, relating to South Sea missionaries and their peculiar methods. While Melville's novels have always had a steady if moderate sale, both in this country and in England, it is fortunate that renewed attention should have been called to them by the present attractive issues. They are classics of their kind, and the world cannot afford to forget them. William Morton Payne.
Bhikfs Ox New Books.
stud H the The question of the study of the
dairies inj meam classics through translations is one
of translations. 1 • , , , 1
which scholarg can no longer ignore. It is forced upon them by the educational conditions of an age which imperatively demands the culture of Greek literature but has no room for philological niceties on the programmes of its secondary schools. If Greek scholars will not show the public how to use the translations, the University Extension lecturer and the Hegelian allegorist will, and the last state of the '• college fetich" will be worse than the first. In recognition of this demand, Mr. Walter Leaf, favorably known to Homer students as the author of the best edition of the Iliad, has prepared under the title of "A Companion to the Iliad" ( Maemillan) a selection of exegetic notes which will enable the English reader to study his "Lang. Leaf, and Myer" with something of the critical attention which the scholar bestows on the original. The notes are mainly devoted to the elucida
tion of the plot and structure of the Iliad, and illustrations of the life and manners depicted in the Homeric poems. The archaeological notes are admirably succinct and simple, and are brought down to date by frequent references to Schuchhardt's Schliemann, Helbig, Miss Agnes Clerke's "Familiar Studies in Homer," and other recent aids. But we think that too much space has been given to the critical discussion of the plot. Matthew Arnold wisely advises the translator of Homer to have nothing to do with the "Homeric question " which has been discussed with learning, with acumen, with genius even, but labors under the insuperable difficulty that there really exist no data for deciding it. This advice may well be extended to the readers of translations of Homer. Mr. Leaf is confident that he can distinguish three "Strata" in the Iliad and demonstrate the conditions under which each was—deposited. But he has not convinced Andrew Lang or the Provost of Oriel, who are quite as good Homerids as himself. He urges that a working theory of the plot will in any case stimulate interest in the study of the poem. This is unfortunately only too true. But it is the wrong kind of interest—an interest like that awakened by reconstructions of Macbeth as a Greek play, for example. It will not help the English reader to a joyous appreciation of the supreme poetic beauty of the Iliad, to the emotional uplifting which Keats, himself a student of translations, felt and compared to the thrill that stirs the watcher of the skies when a new planet swims into his ken. Mr. Leaf, like many other scholars, believes that this cannot be taught, and somewhat inconsistently argues that it is an insult to the reader's intelligence to point out to him beauties which he can discern for himself. But this is a. serious error. The majority of us in our unregenerate state, with the natural man's taste for bathos still strong within us, are almost wholly wanting in the sense for distinctive literary beauty. But the development of this sense can be fostered by the right kind of teaching and interpretation of a great classic, as it can be checked and suppressed by the wrong. A companion to the Iliad should omit the Homeric question and fill up the space so gained with poetry.
Neohellenica (Maemillan), an in
A norel intro- . \ '.
auction to traduction to modern Greek in the
form of dialogues arranged in parallel columns, Greek and English, by Professor Michael Constantinides and Major-General H. T. Rogers, is very interesting reading. Incidentally it will convince any Greek student who undertakes its perusal of the truth of the assertion made in the preface that one who has a competent knowledge of ancient Greek can learn the modern language in a month. But let no rasli disciple of Professor Blackie imagine that the reverse relation holds good. The dialogues are cast in the form of a continued conversation, on a journey from London to Athens, between a hypothetical Professor of Greek whose progress in the modern idiom is astounding, and a cultivated modern Greek who is the fortunate possessor of a phenomenal memory and a well-filled note-book. The obliging Greek beguiles the tedium of the journey by producing from the storehouse of his memory or note-book selections that illustrate the gradual evolution of the language from the third century B. C. to our own day. Gibbon has told us how even •' In their lowest depression the subjects of the Byzantine throne were still possessed of a musical and prolific language that gives a soul to the objects of sense and a body to the abstractions of philosophy." And Mrs. Browning has said many beautiful things of the "language that lived so long and died so hard,— pang by pang, each with a dolphin color,— yielding reluctantly to that doom of death and silence which must come at last to the speaker and the speech." But the mere titles of the extracts in this book are more impressive than the eloquence of the historian and the poetess. Here is the first chapter of Genesis in the version made by the Seventy for King Ptolemy and the students of Alexandria, and also in the version which American Protestant missionaries distribute in the barracks of the Greek army today. Here is a letter of the Emperor Julian describing the Latin Quarter of Paris and the Island of the Seine as they appeared 1500 years ago; here is aletter from the great modern Greek scholar Corais, describing as an eye witness the events of the "days of October" in the French Revolution ; and here a letter of Cardinal Bessarion written thirteen years after the capture of Constantinople by the Turks, concerning the education in Italy of the nephews of the last Constantino. Specimens are also given of an old translation of Guarini's "Pastor Fido" with the Italian text for comparison; of a translation of Dante by Constantine Musurus, sometime Turkish embassador at London; of Byron's "Giaour" and of ''Hamlet" in the versions which are still meditated by ingenious aspirants for literary glory at the University of Athens; and passages of the " Odyssey " are presented in the original, in modern Greek and in Butcher and Lang's English. There are Greek songs which are still sung among the peasantry of Greece, songs collected and transliterated by Italian savants among the surviving Greek population of Calabria, ballads and satires of the Middle Ages, ballads of the Greek War of Independence, and modern lyrics composed on the approved Byronic models by the sophisticated young Greeks of to-day. And accompanying all these are copious historic extracts from the chronicles of every age, in which the experiences of the Greek people, in ancient Greece, under the domination of the Romans and of the Turks, in modern Italy, and in the liberated Greece of our time, are recounted by themselves. And all this is written in a dead language which the thoroughly trained American student of Demosthenes and Plato can learn to read in a week.
... ... Charles Augustus Stoddard's
Life and Art , . .
in the land of "Spanish Uities (Scribner) is a
the Aihambra. pleasantly-written narrative, with an epistolary flavor, of the author's recent trip to leading Spanish cities and points of interest. Gibraltar and Tangier were included. Mr. Stoddard has interlarded the record of his personal experience with apposite historical and descriptive citations, so that his book, aside from its general readableness, makes a fair guide-book to the route traversed. Spain is justly becoming a point of increased interest to European tourists desirous of getting away from the beaten track. Its picturesque civilization, retaining through the conservatism of its people so much of the atmosphere and the material shell or exuvi» of the past, its fine natural scenery, and, above all, its art treasures, amply repay tourists willing to brave the rather primitive arrangements of Spanish hotels and railroads; and these, as our author testifies, are not so black as they have been painted. The gallery at Madrid is perhaps the finest in the world, and has the important distinction that its gems are undoubtedly authentic, the most important of them haying been painted by special order for the palaces of Spain, whose inventories designate them unmistakably by number and description. The Madrid gallery boasts forty-six paintings by Murillo, sixty-four by Velasquez, fifty-eight by Ribera, ten by Raphael, forty-three by Titian, twenty-five by Veronese, sixty by Rubens, fifty by Teniers, and twenty-two by Van Dyck. . The Raphaels are all noteworthy, and Titian is nowhere more characteristically represented. Our author's notion of a bullfight is amusing, and probably not wide of the mark: "I have no special sympathy for the bull as an animal; but if I cared to see him dextrously killed, I would choose a brawny Chicago butcher, who hits the bull with his club, and kills him in a minute, in preference to the splendidly decorated iron-incased blackguards, called picadores and espadas, who worry the unfortunate animal for twenty minutes, allow him to disembowel a dozen horses, and then plunge a rapier into his heart, all for the amusement of a crowd of cowards, who, if the bull leaps the railing, as he sometimes does, run shrieking from the onset." The descriptions of street incidents, palaces, cathedrals, and picture galleries, the Escorial and the Alhambra, are lightly yet graphically done, and there are several fair illustrations from photographs. The book makes a good supplement to Mr. Finck's "Spain and Morocco."
-,. ... .,„ The "Life and Letters of Charles
The 1%/e and letteri
of an illustrator Samuel Keene, whilom illustrator
of "Punch." of upund,," is the title of a work
prepared by Mr. George Somes Layard, and published (Macmillan) in a royal octavo volume of marked beauty. The illustrations are very numerous, and here do the artist more credit than their publication in "Punch," for the natural reason that much of their character was lost in the process of wood-engraving. In this volume they are photographically reproduced from the original pen-andink drawings, and in one case the woodcut is printed upon the opposite page for comparison. Mr. Layard's text is made up mostly of Keene's letters, but he draws also upon the reminiscences of friends, and supplies not a little connective tissue of his own. Keene knew a great many interesting people in the course of his life, and the book is filled with interesting personalia. The following anecdote about Edward Fitz Gerald relates to a subject that Keene was urged to put into a drawing, but refused to handle on the score that it might be thought painful. The story is told by one of the artist's oldest friends. "While yachting one day with my brother and myself, Fitz Gerald was jerked overboard by a sudden 'jibe,' a mishap which he had been warned might very likely happen. He was calmly reading a Greek play at the time, and when we fished him inboard the book was held still in his hand, and he quietly resumed his reading. I fear I may have hinted that reading a Greek play was deemed rather dry work, but was hardly so in his case; and I remember he declined a proffered change of clothes, saying no harm could be done by a ducking in salt water." This anecdote must stand for the many with which these charming pages are filled. Mr. Layard's memoir is sympathetic ; we extract from it two or three of the closing sentences. "To the public his work was so 'easy ' and so 'coarse' that there seemed to them nothing wonderful in it at all. It would have astonished them, and does indeed now astonish them, to be told that there is not, nor indeed has been, according to the opinion of some competent to judge, since the days of the elder Holbein, another who could give us work equal in delicacy to that of Charles Keene." His " was a plain, unvarnished life, and in these pages it has been the endeavor to tell a plain, unvarnished tale in keeping therewith. The keynotes to his character seem to have been his unaffected love of all that was true, and honest, and pure, as he saw it, combined with what Mr. George Meredith, in writing to me of him, has aptly called 'his transparent frankness.'"
Dan«uan .ccnry F- D- Millet's " The Danube From pictured by the Black Forest to the Black Sea"
;" pen ^ Harper) is the literary and artistic
result of a Danubiaii canoe trip planned by Mr. Poultney Bigelow (author of "Paddles and Politics," reviewed in our last number,) and Messrs. Alfred Parsons and F. D. Millet, the well-known artists. According to the original design, Mr. Bigelow was to have supplied the text of the volume, and Messrs. Parsons and Millet the drawings — the former doing the landscape and the latter the figures ; but Mr. Bigelow leaving the party after passing the Iron Gates, the literary task devolved upon Mr. Millet, who has acquitted himself thereof with much credit. The narrative is fuller and the treatment more serious than in Mr. Bigelow's sketchy
book, and it is perhaps needless to say that the illustrations possess an artistic value rare in publications of the kind. Mr. Millet's drawings are spirited and graphic, and many of Mr. Parsons's bits of landscape and waterscape recall his charming illustrations to Wordsworth. The trip was made in three canoes as nearly alike in dimensions and finish as the skill of a famous East River builder could make them. They measured fifteen feet in length, thirty inches in width, and about eighteen inches in extreme depth, and the whole weight in cruising trim is placed by the author at two hundred pounds. The party embarked at Donaueschiiigen, and Mr. Millet gives a detailed account of the voyage, which was accomplished, happily, without any more serious mishap than the ignominious " blowing-up" and severe humiliation of Mr. Bigelow (the self-constituted cook of the party) by a coffee-machine of his own invention. Mr. Bigelow has, we think, modestly passed over this incident in his own book.
_. „.,, It is something of a novelty to deal
a study in with chapters from the Bible solely
EnnluhproKriyle. fts masterpiece8 0£ literature and to
consider them exclusively as examples of literarystyle. Such, however, is the point of view of Prof. Albert S. Cook in "The Bible and English Prose Style" (Heath); and the work has been exceedingly well done. In the Introduction, Prof. Cook claims that one of the chief agencies in the continually growing enrichment and ennoblement of the English language has been and is the influence, direct and indirect, of the Bible. This has been accomplished not only through the employment of its passages in direct quotation and allusion, but through the model it presents of a style of noble naturalness. It appeals to human nature in all its divisions,— to sensibility, to intellect, to the imagination, to the will. The best English prose style to-day is the one which presents most of the Biblical qualities in modern guise. Following the Introduction are illustrative comments consisting of citations from numerous authors on such subjects as Rhythm of the Bible, Rhetorical Features of the Biblical Language, its English Imitators, etc. The Biblical Selections occupy sixty pages, being just half the number in the little volume, and consist of the twenty-six chapters which the mother of John Ruskin required him to learn by heart, and by which he feels that she •' established his soul in life."