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plimentary to them. A comparison between our croton guardian and a thirsty, but thrifty, Boston alderman, would seem much more patible with general facts; yet Boutwell and Stephens have more qualities in common, and lack more qualities in common, than any two functionaries we know. True, one is a radical, and the other a democrat; it is also true that croton water and gold, or even paper money, are different things; but if some of the brokers of Wall street are interrogated confidentially, they will admit that the democrat and his croton can, sometimes -when bids are free and pipes cheap-be turned to as profitable account as the radical and his gold !
The Magnetiser. The Prodigal. Comedies in Prose. By LAUGHTON Os
BORN. New York: James Miller, 1869. While engaged in the effort of perusing this volume, we were repeatedly reminded of the story of the Italian culprit who chose to serve a term in the galleys rather than read through Guicciardini's bistory. It certainly ought to be classed among those books which are said to be more easily written than read. It is evident from the notes appended to each of the comedies that the author intended the latter both for representation on the stage and “ for the closet, that is, for the reading of literary men.” But any audience that could keep its attention fixed on either of these comedies, “ drawing its slow length along," would display most miraculous patience; and no literary man, except a reviewer would be likely to peruse the book faithfully to the end. The language is heavy and slip-shod, the characters destitute of individuality, the plots crude and improbable, and the wit (1) dry and clumsy.
In neither of the dramas can a single scene be pointed out containing a trace of the truly comic; what is meant for humor is always too dull and awkward. Two years ago, in reviewing a volume of Mr. Osborn's tragedies,* we expressed in the most friendly spirit the opinion that his forte was neither tragedy nor poetry in any form; but that he might possibly succeed in other branches of literature. Mr. Osborn thereupon honored us, so we understand, with an effusion after the style of “English bards and Scotch reviewers." We have never had the curiosity to read this, though we have no objection to its most careful perusal by those who have a taste for that sort of thing. Nur do we allow the circumstance to bave the slightest weight with us in forming our opinion of the volume now before us. However much of the comic there may be in his tragedies, that merit entirely fails to show itself just where it is wanted, unless, for example, the author regard it as comic for a young lady, supposed to be carefully
* No. XXXV, March, 1867.
brought up and well-educated, to make use of such words as deuse and devil, or for an old gentleman occupying a respectable position in society, to take particular delight in indecent innuendoes in the presence of the ladies. One personage in the “Magnetiser” intended to be both witty and refined, has no other means of showing those qualities than by indulging in common-place Italian phrases, snatches from operas, &c.
In one of the pieces a shallow attempt is made to conceal its barrennesss by giving the personages names suggestive of their individuality, A dishonest German bookkeeper is called Mr. Heiliger Shurk. Another clerk is poetically dubbed Henry Ledger. A faithful servant of Teutonic extraction receives the name of Hans Guterknecht, and an "enterprising" publisher that of Revise Proofsheet.
But the most puerile feature in either of the pieces is an attempted burlesque on Mr. Charles Dickens, who appears in the Prodigal under the name of “Buzz Pickins, an English author of note on a tour in America.” The speeches attributed to him are sometimes outlandish in the extreme. For instance, the following:
“Soho, trallala, &c. Devil, if I can get that fellow's song out of my head! wish I was on the lark with Stockton about it. But here comes some other Yankee. Ledger-a little stupid -but better than none. How are you, old hoss? as you say here in America. Let's have a spree. Oysters and fire-punch--or champagne and billiards-whatever you like. A row, then, with the Charlies, or a lark with the girls, or a roll into one of your coalholes among the niggers. I like your niggers ; they're the only wits, poets, and mimics you have in America. Come, (dancing and singing negro fashion :)
• We'll dance all night till de broad daylight,
And go hum wid de gals in de mornin.' I'm your man for anything, Ledge : I've got the devil in me; it can't be that poor half bottle of claret I've just swigged at Stockton's ; but damme, I'm up for something!” (p. 197.)
We wish the reader to consider nothing said in this notice as having reference to the general character of Mr. Miller's publications, for he has published books which we have taken pleasure in recommending for their merits. But the volume just reviewed would be a curiosity on the book shelves of any publisher.
SCIENCE AND EDUCATION,
Histoire Naturelle du Jura, et des departments voisins, Ouvrage couronné par
trois médailles d'or et deux médailles de vermeil. Tome 1er, Géologie, 1er Fascicule. Géographie physique, Hydrographie, Météorologie, Agriculture, Minérale, Minéralogie, Pétrologie, et Paléontologie. Par Le FRERE OGERIEN, Directeur de l'école chrétienne de Lons-Le-Saunier, Membre titulaire de l'Institut des provinces de France, de la Société géologique de France, de plusieurs Académies et Sociétiés
savantes. Paris : Victor Masson et Fils, Octavo, pp. 570. Among the many books which we have to examine, from time to time,
it is but seldom we meet with a work at once so interesting and instructive, as the series of four volumes, of which that whose title we give above, is the first. Two volumes are devoted to geology; one to zoology; and one to botany. In the complete work, now before us, the natural history of the Jura, and neighboring departments, is not only fully exhibited, in its various branches, but each of the sciences which it embraces, is invested with an attractiveness which is well calculated to encourage the youthful mind to the study of nature. Indeed, this happy faculty, on the part of the author, of clothing even abstract facts in a garb which gives them an air of novelty, is one of the principal reasons why we take up the work at this time; for we should be glad that some of our own scientific authors would profit by its graphic, lucid, yet perfectly easy style, as well as by its admirable arrangement of topics.
We always expect much in natural history from the country that has produced Buffon, Cuvier, Gay-Lussac, De Saussure, &c. Precisely because such men have slied lustre on the investigation of nature, in France, an inferior work, on any branch of natural history, has no chance in that country of receiving the fiat of its scientific societies, if it does not possess genuine merit. There it does not do for those ambitious to be authors, merely to take up the works of others, and transpose them with more or less skill. Such writers there are in France, as well as elsewhere, but they are not recognised as authors, or even as thinkers. In order to obtain admission to the guild of scientific authors, in France, the candidate must exhibit original research ; it is not sufficient that he is an investigator; he must show that his investigations have produced some fruits—that, in fact, they have added, more or less, to the general stock of knowledge. Those unacquainted with the canons of merit in France, may be able to form an idea from this of the significance of the medals conferred on the author, for each of these volumes.
But without any knowledge of his medals, or of any other bonors of which he has been the recipient, we should have inferred, before opening his book, from his having devoted twenty years of his life to the study of geology, chemistry, and zoology, that he must have been capable of writing instructively on those sciences. But we have still stronger presumptive evidence of the qualifications of Frère Ogérien ; for we learn that he occupied, for twelve years, the chair of geology and mineralogy in a well-known college at Lyons. But any intelligent, competent person who examines the volumes before us, needs no further evidence of the status of the author, either as a scientific man or as an educator; after this examination has been duly made, there is no need to be informed that M. Ogérien numbers among liis personal friends, the most eminent scientific men in Europe.
The title page of the first volume, which we have placed at the head of this notice, shows the wide range which it takes in its discussions. In the second volume, is treated geology properly, so called,* as ap
* Géologie proprement dite, appliquée aux Arts, à l'Industrie et surtout à l'Agriculture.
plied to the arts, to industry, and, above all, to agriculture. These two volumes are called, by the author, first fascicule and second fascicule, and not volumes or tomes, although each is an octavo separately and substantially bound, both containing nearly 1,000 pages. We mention this fact as illustrative of the author's modesty, the term "fascicule” merely signifying a small bundle of grass, or a bunch of flowers. The first volume contains a meteorological map of the Jura, divided into five zones; the second contains a geological map of the same department, each drawn and colored by the author.
The third volume (tome ii.) devoted to Botany,* is chiefly the work of M. E Michalet, who was the assistant of Frère Ogérien, but died before the work was finished. Our author pays a fine tribute to his memory; it is evident that he gives him at least all the credit to which he is entitled.
The fourth volume (tome iii.), which extends to nearly a thousand pages, is devoted to Zoology.† This by itself would have entitled Frère Ogérien to take high rank as a naturalist. It embraces brief but remarkably graphic and faithful descriptions of all living animals to be found in the Jura, including birds, reptiles, worms, mollusks, &c. The volume is copiously illustrated, and besides an extensive “Table des Matiers," it has the advantage of a full alphabetical index, which embraces both the scientific and common names of all animals treated in the work.
We confess that intrinsically valuable as the lIistoire Naturelle du Jura, &c., is, we should not have taken so much pains with it as we have, not considering it likely that it will be translated in this country, had we not been informed that, in future, American education is to have the benefit of his extensive learning and versatile talents. As the title page we have copied above implies, Frère Ogérien is a member of the educational Roman catholic order of the Christian Brothers—a fraternity well and favorably known in this country, by protestants as well as catholics, for their zealous and unwcaried efforts for the advancement of education of every grade, from the highest to the lowest.
Our readers may remember that we have taken the liberty of comparing those of the Christian Brothers, in charge of colleges in this country, to the Jesuits in charge of similar institutions. There was no reason why we should have any prejudice against the latter, which would induce us to · depreciate their labors as educators, as compared with those of the former; if we had any bias in regard to the Jesuits, it was one in their favor, for it had been our privilege to have met many learned and able men, both in Europe and America, belonging to the society, and by no men had we been more kindly, or more liberally treated. The Christian Brothers,
*Botanique, par M. B. Michalet, Magistrat, membre de la société botanique de France et de plusieurs autres sociétés savantes, revue et achevée Par M. Grenier, professeur à la faculté des sciences de besançon.
Zoologie vivante, par Le Frére Ogérien, directeur de l'école chrétienne de Lons-Le-Saupier, membre de plusieurs Academies et Sociétés savantes.
upon the other hand, we knew but little about, until an educational friend induced us to visit Manhattan College. Having previously had opportunities of forming an opinion of the Jesuit colleges of New York, we felt convinced from what we saw at the Christian Brothers' college, of the superiority of the latter ; and, we did not hesitate to say so in our journal.
We have never made any criticism on the Fathers, either as clergymen or moralists; but it seems they would have forgiven us much more readily for having found fault both with their religion and morals, than for having proclaimed that the Christian Brothers give a more thorough education at their college than the Jesuits of either Fordham or New York. The latter felt instinctively that this was true; and there are occasions when nothing is more provoking, even to pious men, than the truth. We fear we shall have less chance to be forgiven now than ever, when we remark, by way of explanation for the difference just pointed out, that while the superiors of the Christian Brothers send their most learned and eminent men to their college in New York*—the superiors of the Jesuits seem to think that their most incompetent men are good enough for New York and Fordham.
Be this as it may, we congratulate Manhattan on the accession of Frère Ogérien to its staff of scientific professors. It is worthy of remark, that those who had charge of the latter institution, as president and vice-president, seven years ago, when we were requested to examine its classes, have still charge of it as provincial and president, respectively; both having been worthily promoted for their abilities, zeal and success ;t whereas during the same period, we do not know how many presidents, vice-presidents, provincials, &c., have had charge of St. Xavier's and St. John's colleges. It is very weli to remove incompetent men, and we readily admit that not one has been sent away from New York or Fordham, who was not utterly unqualified for his position; but the misfortune is that, as far as we have seen or heard, thus far, the successor is still more incompetent than the predecessor, although, as already remarked, there are still great educators in America as well as in Europe, among the Jesuits.
Comparisons, we are quite aware, are "odious; ” at the same time, we hold that they are not only perfectly legitimate in criticism, but highly useful, and especially in cases of this kind. Hence we say that the Christian Brothers are modest and unassuming men, who devote themselves to teaching, and to no other worldly affairs; and who, far from being bigoted or prejudiced, are justly distinguished for their gen
* The Christian Brothers have several other colleges in this country; they have one at St. Louis 80 ably and Judiciously managed that it is scarcely inferior to Manhattan.
Another evidence of the enlightened views of these gentlemen may be found in a very creditable and useful magazine, entitled De La Salle Monthly, started at their suggestion, by the students of Manhattan, and regularly published in this city, with, we believe, a good prospect of permanency and success,