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Christian community, and is only withheld from embracing the faith of the latter by the knowledge of the impediment which it would be in his career. Yet, at the height of his fame, when courted by the haughty Queen Berenice, buoyed up with the prophecies of the Egyptian Circe, the bearer of an embassy to the divine Nero, he is not content. The image of the thorn-crowned Saviour, as he saw it on Veronica's holy veil, rises up to reproach him, and with it the remembrance of the pure-souled Jewish maiden, Thamar, whom he rescued, and who, in turn, saved him from death. However, during his stay in Rome he is imprisoned for having warned the Christians against an ambush, which Tigellinus was laying for them, and for aiding his sister to fly from the horrors of Nero's court, and is cast into the same dungeon as St. Paul. Here he has the happiness of being baptized. When released from prison on Nero's death, he returns to Jerusalem, where he heroically endures many hardships for his new faith, and shows how thoroughly his mind is permeated by the spirit of Christianity with its great lessons of charity and meekness. By his heroic conduct he regains the confidence and esteem of Titus. We leave him married happily to Thamar, Prefect of the Praetorian guard, the honou red friend not only of the Emperor Titus, but of Linus, the successor of St. Peter to the Pontificate.
Thamar is the daughter of Rabbi Ben Sadoc, a rich merchant of Antioch, an honourable, upright man and a learned expounder of Jewish law, who comes to Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover with his little son Benjamin, a daring, outspoken, engaging little fellow, and his daughter, whom he is about to betroth to Eleazar, captain of the Temple guard. Lucius is instrumental in saving them from falling into the hands of the notorious Ben Gioras, chief of the Sicarii of the desert. We cannot enter into any further particulars. Suffice it to say that, after many strange adventures, all three become Christians.
These are, then, the chief characters of the story; but the interest of the book does not centre in them. Their fate is but a thread which guides us through the labyrinth of historical events. The great merit of the book lies in the skill with which the author has grasped and made his own an important crisis in the history of the world, in the insight which he has gained into the spirit of the past, and in the vivifying power which enables him to bring to life for us great historical personages and to create characters, nothing inferior in interest, perfectly true to nature and to the time in which they are supposed to have lived. Events, which many of us read of without taking the trouble to realise what they must have meant to those who were concerned with them, gain in force and vividness by being told by those who either took part in them or witnessed them. Thus Veronica tells the history of the holy veil— Eusebius, how he was present at the scourging of our Lord, and how he joined in the cry against Him. We are in the house of Mary, in the Cenacle, where our Lord instituted the sacrament of the Blessed Eucharist; with St. Paul in his dungeon in Rome; with St. Peter on his rounds among the rich and poor.
We are living amongst people who knew our Lord personally, and who speak of the incidents of His life as of events which came within the range of their personal experience. We meet Caiaphas and many
Jews, who cried, “Away with Him! Crucify Him !” and we get to understand the bitter hatred which they bore to Jesus and His followers, and to the Romans, who had just reduced them to the position of a subject race. We are in many Jewish households, and we see Jews of every type. Jerusalem is described in its glory, with its Temple and its palace; it is described during the horrors of famine, and it is described when, as our Lord prophesied, not one stone of the Temple is left standing upon another. Then we have Romans of every type, good and bad, Nero and Titus, Gessius Florus and Gallus, and apostate Jews like Herod and Berenice, and the historian, Josephus, whose work has been largely used by our author.
It would be impossible to give any idea of the number of characters who appear during the course of the story, and each one of them is carefully and graphically delineated. The books contain an enormous amount of matter, yet the reader never wearies. The author has fused into one whole, and given unity to the Roman and Jewish histories of the time, Christian, Pagan and Jewish beliefs and a pleasing romance, keeping clearly before us throughout that all things are directed by Divine Providence, and that men are but agents of the Divine Will We do not know any book which gives in a pleasing and interesting form so clear and accurate an account of the momentous events of these years.
As True as Gold. By Mary G. Mannix. Benziger Bros.
2s. RAMONA lives with her grandmother, the Senora Almirante, in distant California. She leads rather a lonely life, as her grandmother, who has all the Spanish pride of birth, does not associate with the people around, nevertheless she is quite happy and content. However, some strangers come to live in a house near the Casa Almirante, and the Senora is persuaded to call on them. The fact of their being good Catholics reconciles her a little to their being Americans ; besides she sees that Ramona should have companions of her own age. A friendly intercourse soon springs up between the two houses. Ramona becomes attached to the Gordon girls, who in their turn are attracted by the sweetness and amiability of the beautiful Spanish-Californian girl. She visits the Indian school with her new friends, and the children perform before the guests. A bright, intelligent, little fellow sings for them, and all are struck by his likeness to Ramona, who feels strangely drawn to him. His name too, he tells her, is Almirante.
She thinks very little of the coincidence at the time, but that very evening she finds out that this child is really her brother, and that her mother was an Indian. As her grandmother has to leave home to be present at the deathbed of her eldest daughter, Ramona does not distress her further by confessing that she has discovered the secret, which has been so carefully kept from her, but resolves to do all in her power at a more fitting time to get her to recognise and adopt her young brother. Her wish is granted at last, and the patient Indian mother heroically renounces all claim to
The chief motive which induced the Senora to relent and adopt the little Alejandro was Ramona's noble conduct during her absence from home, when she really showed herself as true as gold.” The story is interesting and well written. We hope that it
find favour with many young readers.
Recruit Tommy Collins. By Mary G. BONESTEEL. Benziger Brothers.
Price 2s. Many a boyish heart will beat in envious admiration of little Tommy, who has the good fortune to be the son of Colour-Sergeant Dennis Collins, and " Molly,” a fine, sensible Cork woman, who mothers the whole regiment. Tommy's early years are passed among soldiers, and are certainly rather adventurous. When he is only five years old he becomes famous as " the bird who helped to capture Pete Newell.” The frontispiece represents the young hero in his unique ride across the plains. Then he has many games with his little playmate, Annie ; we don't know what the author of the immortal “ Commedia think of their impersonations of the parts of Beatrice and Dante. His chief delight is, however, his pony, Nig, which old Mike Flannigan - who, by the way, is rather a character-gave him as a reward for his bravery. Tommy is on many occasions the good genius of the soldiers, and warns them of several dangers. As his father remarks,
" I don't see what is left, Mrs. Collins, fur yer son to go through.” He is made happy by a visit to Chicago, and still more so by seeing his father take part in a public function—the presenting of new colours to the regiment by the President. The blowing up of the “ Maine ” seems to promise something more exciting for the troops than skirmishing with Indians or freebooters. When war is declared, the thirty-first is ordered south. Tommy dons regimentals and joins the forces as a bugler, but he only reaches the summit of his bliss when he finds himself on board a transport en route for Cuba. The reader is only permitted to wish him « bon voyage.”
The Berkleys. By Emma HOWARD WRIGHT. Benziger Brothers. 2s. The characterisation in “The Berkleys” is distinctly good. We all know whatchubby-faced Teddy is—a thorough boy, fullof mischief, and ready for all kinds of fun, but quite ashamed of showing the least sign of affection towards his brothers and sisters. Like him, we feel ready to give vent to our pent-up feelings in tears, when we learn that little Bernie is no longer blind, not so much from joy at his recovery as from the thought of Dora's delight. From the very beginning she wins the reader's heart, which is entirely captivated by her gentleness and unselfishness. She is not beautiful like Pauline, but she is loveable and helpful. The two sisters form a strong contrast, Dora thinking always of others; Pauline, or “ Miss Conceit,” as Teddy calls her, always of herself. Vain, affected, and selfish, she poses continually for the benefit of strangers, but is a very different girl in the privacy of her own home. When the crash comes, and Mr. Berkley loses all his money, it is Dora and not Pauline who is the comfort of her parents, and who, by her shy, winning ways, gains the affections of Mr. Malcolm and his invalid daughter, Ruth. There is many a sad page in the book, but then “ sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.” It cannot fail to exercise a refining and ennobling influence on juvenile readers.
Bob O’Link. By Mary T. WAGGAMAN. Benziger Bros.
2s. Bob O’LINK, otherwise Miss Mary Barbara Lynn, lives alone with her old grandfather, a retired colonel, in a tumbledown house in the depths of the country. She is only fourteen years of age, yet she has certainly got a 6 liberal” education. She can “ride, shoot, and swim like a young barbarian,” is besides a fair Latin scholar, and has some knowledge of mathematics and the English classics. Her dearly-loved “Dad, and old Major Dobbs are responsible for these accomplishments, but Bob, wild as she is, has been her own instructress in another branch of education. Knowing that she was baptised a Catholic at her mother's death bed, she has devoted herself to reading the latter's prayer books, and with rare single-heartedness and determination always does her best to hold fast to her faith. She carries a little note book about with her, in which she writes down every sin she commits, to have them ready for some distant day, when she may be able to go to Confession; for, we must remember, she has never even seen a church. However, the good angels must have had a special care of Bob, for circumstances bring her into contact with the very priest who attended her dying mother, Three happy years she spends at school, and comes home “ with the sweet grace of the convent girl added to her older charm, her free, glad, fearless nature unchanged, but all its energies roused to noble aims and purposes."
We have not touched on the plot of the book, which chiefly consists in the schemes of Bob's uncle Jim, the villain of the story, against the old colonel, who is fortunately saved by Bob herself. The little tale is well told, bright, interesting and amusing.
Summula Philosophice Scholasticae. · Vol. I. Dublin : Browne & Nolan,
Price 6s. This summary of scholastic philosophy has been compiled, as the title page tells us, for the use of the students of the Seminary of Mount Melleray. It will serve its purpose as a handy text-book excellently. It is obviously intended for beginners. The principles of Logic and Metaphysics are summarised within the compass of 400 pages. In this space it is not possible to enter into the minuter details of the questions discussed. But the general principles are set forth clearly and methodically, and the student who follows this text-book will be able to lay a solid and trustworthy foundation on which to build in his more advanced studies. Lecturers who would adopt it as a handbook would find it convenient as a compendium of the theses on which they might enlarge. The Strategy of Nature. By MARSHALL BRUCE WILLIAMS. London:
R. Brimley Johnson. In the short space of fifty-three pages Mr. Williams furnishes us with a complete philosophy of the universe. This multum in parvo is destined, its author informs us, for the special use of the “Anglo-Saxon based world-power whose first duty will be the policing of the planet.” We much fear that the police code which he suggests will serve but indifferently as a guide to the planetary force. For one thing, it is vague to the limits of incoherence. What, for instance, will the ordinary Anglo-Saxon globe policeman make of the following explanation of "the ex-foliating destiny of conscious life” :-“ Ascending through the degrees of Nature, the seeding line of conscious life on the sphere, exfoliates on the spirals of least resistance, to the predestined end of the common genius of Nature”? We confess ourselves unable to forecast the details of the police code which will be established on formulas of this kind, and we must leave to the posterity for which Mr. Williams writes the task of elucidating the problem.
NEW IRELAND REVIEW.
ORARLBERG is the most westerly province of the Austro
Hungarian Empire. It separates Switzerland from Bavaria, dwindling to a narrow strip as it runs westward till it reaches the shore of Lake Constance. The natural features of the country closely resemble those of the neighbouring Swiss cantons; in this respect, as also in its social and economic conditions, it might be regarded as merely an extension north wards of the German-speaking cantons of Thurgau and St. Gall. A network of lofty mountain ranges spreads through the country in every direction. Here and there the ridges of the mountains are broken by piles of rock naked or snowcovered, under which in many places glaciers pile their ice stores in winter, and in summer pour forth their torrents of “glacier milk” to swell the bluish-gray waters of the Ill, and feed the flood which that river pours into the Upper Rhine, a short way above its entrance into Lake Constance.
Below the region of bare rock, of glaciers, and perpetual snow, the distended sides of the mountains are clothed with pine forests, broken occasionally by a patch of green meadow where the detritus of the rocks has formed a small area of fruitful soil. On the lower table-lands, and in the valleys the land is fertile. Most of it is given uver to meadow; for cattleraising and dairying are the crief industries of the Vorarlberg farmer, and to provide food for his cattle is his first concern. Small strips of the arable land are devoted to potatoes, maize, wheat, and oats. The crops thus raised supply food to the
VOL. XVIII.No. 3.