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We now pass to a recent work of travel in South America. Mr. Hutchinson's work on the Paraná,* or, to speak more popularly, the river Plate, in the midst of a great mass of historical and political dissertation, has a thin thread of travel and adventure. The word means 'resembling the sea.' The other name, 'river of silver,' was given by Cabot because he here procured by barter a good deal of silver from the natives. Mr. Hutchinson can say, and tries to fire his readers with a like noble ambition, 'I've crossed the Cordilleras of the South American Andes and shot a condor.' We have, however, very rarely read a work of travel written by a man who knows the country so thoroughly, with so small an admixture of what is generally interesting. We are told a good deal about the native Indians, their manners and customs, concerning which it will only be necessary to quote the remark that their customs are barbarous, and as for their manners they haven't any. Twins are invariably put to death, as being an aberration from the normal order. They worship the tiger, or rather the jaguar. The husband never goes into mourning for his wife, but if a father dies, his grownup daughters are shut naked in a dark room, and have bits of flesh nipped out of their legs and arms. Thus much as specimens of the manners. He mentions that the Patagonians have very small feet, whereas the meaning of the name Magellan gave them is 'large clumsy foot.' He gives us a sketch of Monte Video, and of the carnival season there, and discusses the economic question, how the superabundant beef of South America, by Liebig's or any other method, may be utilized for our own superabundant population. Mr. Hutchinson's work has certainly a good deal of information, but it is a very dead-lively performance.

A scientific American gentleman has just published in this country

*The Paraná: with Incidents of the Paraguayan War, with South American Recollections, from 1861 to 1868. By Thomas T. Hutchinson. Edward Stanford.

a work of travel of very genuine and remarkable interest.* Mr. Bickmore is a conchologist, and he was sent out to Amboyua to re-collect the shells mentioned in Rumphius's 'Rariteit Kamer.' Extraordinary facilities were given to him by the authorities of the Netherlands India,' and he not only amply fulfilled his primary object, but has gathered up a thick volume of his experiences, and has ample materials for at least one other volume besides. His volume has a fair share of that sensationalism which is now invading province after province of literature; which having conquered fiction is now extending itself to science and to travel. We have accounts of volcanoes. pirates, cannibals, serpents, marriage, murder, hairbreadth escapes, and so on, with pictures to match. And yet Mr. Bickmore is a genuine man of science; one who could no doubt be learned enough to a circle of esoteric listeners, but who condescends to recount those marvels to suit weaker brethren of the book-buying species. The brilliant archipelago is a splendid empire, worth millions and millions to the Dutch, and it all belonged to ourselves until we were foolish enough to restore it to the Dutch at the end of the Napoleonic wars. We have only got Singapore left, and we may add Sarawak; both of them, happily, in a flourishing condition. To drive headlong on the brink of a precipice, to dodge about a volcano, to traverse a swinging bridge of rattan over a chasm, to be wrecked on a coral reef, to live an exciting life among earthquakes, to be tortured by bloodsuckers, to have a prolonged duel with a python, are incidents in the career of Mr. Bickmore, and alternate pleasingly with his shells and his descriptions of the flora and fauna of these islands. Mr. Bickmore has certainly done his best to season salutary instruction with the palatable condiment of adventure.

We certainly wonder what prin*Travels in the East India Archipe lago.' By Albert S. Bickmore, M.A. Murray.

ciple it is in the human mind which makes people delight in reading descriptions of things with which they are perfectly familiar, or which they have heard described a hundred times before. We suppose that we should best describe it as 'realism,' the same sort of thing that makes a theatrical audience go wild when they see a real Hansom on the stage, or a skilful imitation of a train full of passengers. Now here is the Rev. Alfred Charles Smith positively adding to our literature another work on Nile travel,* a subject which has been treated already by dozens of writers in a way exhaustive to the subject and exhausting to the reader. We have had some difficulty in satisfying our mind as to what may be the 'final cause' in the nature of things of Mr. Smith's publication. We think, however, that we have found a little niche of their own for Mr. Smith's volumes. People go out to the Nile much oftener than they used to do. The doctors very commonly send out patients there for the winter. The dry air is beneficial to those who do not mind having their juices dried up by the excessive sunshine. Mr. Smith, by the way, is a regular salamander, and exults in heat. He went out for his health, and we are glad to hear that his health was all the better. For such people, under such conditions, Mr. Smith's work is likely to prove very useful. It abounds in judicious hints. Better send out a lot of books from Southampton to Alexandria; it will not cost much, and you will want them all on your' dahabeah,' or Nile boat; better get up all you can about the Coptic church; better go in heavy for shooting, and by all means keep the skins; better hire the dragoman and the boat separately; better not flog the Arab sailors too much-these and similar hints will have a practical value to the intending tourist. The style is pleasant and readable, and to those unversed in Ægyptology will form

The Nile and its Banks: a Journal of Travels in Egypt and Nubia,' &c. By Rev. Albert Charles Smith. Two vols. Murray.

VOL. XV.-NO. LXXXVI.

an excellent introduction to a large literature.

A very pleasant volume of Spanish travel is La Corte.'t It is especially interesting as read in the light of the French Revolution. We have a full account of an unsuccessful pronunciamento, which enables us to understand in what way the last successful one was got up. We have some lively sketches of the tertulias and the pollos. The writer notes the almost insulting coldness with which Queen Isabella used to be received in her own capital. Hardly a hat would be raised, and halfjeering, half-growling remarks would be heard. There is a funny scandal of her going to a masked ball and taking an active part in the revels. Again, they tell a story about her going about once in the disguise of an officer, with a military favourite of the day, and getting into a dispute with a watchman, which ended by her striking him. The man arrested her, and she was obliged to discover herself to avoid being led off to the police station. Yet the poor queen is described as having great charm and graciousness of manner. There is a life-like de-. scription of the cholera at Madrid, and altogether the work is very well worth perusing.

A few other books may be briefly noticed. Mr. R. Arthur Arnold's 'From the Levant,' resembles Mr. Smith's work in conducting us over ground which has been uncommonly well traversed already. His description of a sojourn in old Euboea is, however, very fresh and natural. That indefatigable traveller and writer of travels, Mr. Richard Burton, gives us his 'Highlands of Brazil.' Sir Samuel Baker, having exhausted facts, has had recourse to fiction; his 'Cast up by the Sea' is perhaps as creditable as many travels. Finally, the Cruise of H.M.S. Galatea' is a pleasant record where a loyal personal interest in the Duke of Edinburgh- lends an additional charm to the literature of travel.

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THE BYRON MEMOIRS.* There can be but little doubt that this work was written by the Countess Guiccioli, or at least edited by her. We entertain a strong suspicion, grounded on internal evidence, that some litterateur has at least compiled the materials in printable order under the direction of this well-known Anglo-Italic-Gallic lady. We must say, however, that the English title is altogether erroneous and misleading. It is a pretentious title, with little or no foundation in facts, and calculated to puzzle and disappoint the reader. The title of the French work, 'Lord Byron jugé par les témoins de sa Vie,' is a perfectly legitimate title, and exactly describes the nature of the work. 'My Recollections of Lord Byron' is an illegitimate title, and gives no conception whatever of its real contents. It is simply a collection, from various sources, of all that has been written concerning Lord Byron by those who have had any personal knowledge of him. We are very far from saying that nothing has been written by the Countess Guiccioli; for we think we can detect some separate passages in which she rather indistinctly proffers some slight evidence of her own, but the amount of original matter is infinitesimally small. One reason why the work was so much expected, and why it will prove so disappointing is, that it was felt that no adequate memoirs of Lord Byron had as yet appeared. The Memoirs he himself wrote were destroyed, to the great comfort of many who would have found themselves unpleasantly immortalized, but to the permanent depreciation of his own character. His Journal was also destroyed in Greece. His Life, by Moore, is altogether inadequate. Moore was a man of essentially little mind, a man lacking in moral courage, a man who courted noble society and who would omit or modify at will, that he might not give offence; and the 'Life of Byron' 18 an emasculated performance,

*My Recollections of Lord Byron, and those of Eye-Witnesses of his Life.' Two vols. Bentley.

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written rather to please the living than to do justice to the dead. The result is that any genuine Recollections of Lord Byron,' would be a great boon; but the simple fact is, that here we have nothing of the kind. The work, moreover, is utterly wanting in discrimination. It is one unvarying eulogium, from the first page to the last. The Countess will not even allow that he had any real defect in his foot. She has, indeed, a chapter devoted to his faults, but the chapter is very brief, and the faults are made closely to resemble virtues.

He has

Lord Byron's intimacy with the Countess Guiccioli, though not defensible on moral grounds, was, as Macaulay says, not unproductive of good. At Ravenna,' writes the authoress of this book, 'he frequented all the salons where he was introduced; and at the request of Count G-, became the cavalière servente of the countess. According to the custom of the country, he accompanied her to assemblies or theatres or spent his evenings in her family circle.' Shelley wrote to Mrs. Shelley Lord Byron has made great progress in all respects. His intimacy with the Countess G▬▬ has been of inestimable benefit to him. A fourth part of his revenue is devoted to beneficence. conquered his passions, and become, what Nature meant him to be, a virtuous man.' All this select group, Byron, the obliging Count Gthe charming Countess, and the illustrious lover of Mary Godwin, seem to have constructed their own peculiar theory of virtue. When we think of the Byronic viciousness, we are cut short by the Countess's terse remark, 'Lord Byron has no vices.' The lady does not think it necessary to discuss his habits of intoxication. There are just one or two passages which may be called autobiographic. Byron said that if he could have married the Countess, he might have secured the happiness he had missed in this world and was never likely to regain. 'Some days before setting out for Genoa, while walking in the garden with the Countess G-, he went into a retrospective view of his

mode of life in England. She, on hearing how he passed his time in London, perceiving what an animated existence it was, so full of variety and occupation, showed some fears lest his stay in Italy, leading such a peaceful, retired, concentrated sort of life, away from the political arena, presented by his own country, might entail too great a sacrifice offered on the altar of affection. "Oh no," said, he; "I regret nothing belonging to that great world, where all is artificial; where one cannot live to oneself; where one is obliged to be too much occupied with what others think, and too little with what we ought to think ourselves. What should I have done there? Made some opposition speeches in the House of Lords that would not have produced any good, since the prevailing policy is not mine. Been obliged to frequent, without pleasure or profit, society that suits me not. Have had more trouble in keeping and expressing my independent opinions. I should not have met you. ... Ah, well! I am much better pleased to know you. What is there in the world worth a true affection? Nothing. And if I had to begin over again, I would still do what I have done." When Lord Byron thus unfolded the treasures concealed in his heart, his countenance spoke quite as much as his words.'

We naturally turn with some interest to see what the Marquise de Boissy has got to say about Lord Byron's marriage. We certainly think the poor old Marquis had some reason for his Anglophobia. We never expected that the Countess would show Lady Byron, and our opinion is completely verified. To the Italian lady the English wife is naturally the most odious being who could have crept the earth. We don't mind this, for, like Dr. Johnson, we love a good hater. While Byron's quarrel with his wife has been a standing enigma of literary history, he himself truly said that the causes were too simple to be easily conjectured. He could not at this time give her all the luxuries and comforts to

which she had been accustomed. His time of meals and rest did not suit her. There was a thorough incompatibility of mind and temper. She wanted to know when her husband would give up his versifying habits.' She had no joy in his glory, no sympathy with his genius; too cold and conventional to understand that daring intellect and that passionate heart. The cruel silence she so persistently retained has inflicted an undying, unhealed wound on his reputation.

We should be sorry if the false impression created by the title of the English version should make us indifferent to a certain kind of merit which the work possesses. It has a full share of crudities, exaggerations, inconsequential reasonings, marred quotations, unreasoning feelings. When she says that Byron is not equalled in directions by Plato or Augustine, we have a suspicion that neither she, nor her editor, nor her translator, are qualified to appraise Plato and Augustine. We are glad that the Countess thoroughly endorses the semi-biography of Byron given by Mr. Disraeli in his 'Venetia.' It may be necessary for some to put in a warning word against the false gloss which is here given to Byron's character. The writer of these lines some time past made inquiries at that Armenian convent at Venice which Byron so much frequented, and where he was so greatly liked, and found still lingering there the deep tradition of his immorality. The value of the work consists in the analysis, which might have been deeper, of the autobiographic passages of Byron's poetry, and the accumulative evidence respecting character which has been gathered from so many sources. If we know that in some temptations he yielded, we also know that there were many which he resisted, and that he possessed many great and heroic virtues. The general impression left by Moore is, that there is a wonderful littleness of character belonging to Lord Byron, but a larger induction of testimony goes far to correct this misapprehension. The public has too much confounded Lord Byron

with his own heroes; but his own affectation, amounting frequently to positive silliness, was chiefly the cause of this. Lord Byron possessed to the full the literary ability of projecting himself into a character, and of working it out, not for the sake of self-delineation, but according to dramatic exigencies. It appears probable that even 'Don Juan' was simply an ill-judged adaptation of a bad Italian model, and that its chief aim was merely satirical on the state of letters and society. Certainly the being who in these volumes is brought before us under so many concentrated lights; who on so many occasions was so truthful, so temperate, so self-denying, so simply and deeply affectionate, so courteous, cheerful, and lighthearted, so generous, magnanimous, and heroic, is very different to the popular notion of Lord Byron at the time when outraged British decency raged most fiercely against him, and of which the tradition has lasted till the present time.

EARNEST LITERATURE.

Not many years ago, when Mr. Carlyle's writings were studied perhaps more extensively than is at present the case, 'Earnestness' was very much the fashion with intellectual, or, for the matter of that, non-intellectual young men. It was

a fashionable cant. Just as in the Byronic days young men used to have withered hearts and turneddown collars, so Carlylian youth used to go about calling every stranger brother,' and making the valuable remark that life was earnest, life was real.' It was to be regretted that their hatred of sham did not extend to themselves, and that a portion of the energy with which they reformed the universe was not devoted to reforming their tailors' bills. It so happened that at this time there was almost a complete divorce between religious and secular literature. The former was represented by a few newspapers of strong ecclesiastical and political opinions, and by comparatively few books of broad sympathies and much original thought.

It was a time for pulpit literature and for popular preachers, the inportance of which has been remarkably dwarfed since the diffusion of cheap literature. A sharp line of demarcation was drawn by the newspapers between the world and the church, and they almost entirely ignored the religious life of the nation.

A remarkable change has now passed over the intellectual heavens. Every ecclesiastical appointment is chronicled or criticised; the 'Times' comes out with ecclesiastical articles which they had better let alone, and will almost at any time admit a long letter from Dr. Pusey. Religious periodicals have an enormous circulation, and more publications are issued in the province of theology than in any other department of human thought. People and publications, apparently of the most secular description, will discuss, with the utmost freedom and earnestness, the deepest problems of our existence. From time to time earnest books are written, which have required laborious thought in the writing, and demand some thought in the reading. These in the best sense constitute ' earnest literature,' although the bygone slang of 'earnestness' is not in existence, and the word, with its associated mockery, is almost eliminated. A few brief words may be given to some important new works of this description, where religious subjects are treated with reference to subjects of the evident secular interest.

In the department of history we have the commencement of a bulky historical work on the English Reformation.* This is written from the strictly Anglican or High Church point of view. Those who have followed the numerous recent histories of this period will feel a little impatient at another big work, where, at the most, we can only hope for a few new readings of facts, and another arrangement of them in support of an ecclesiastical theory.

*The Reformation of the Church c. England its History, Principles, and esults.' By Rev. John Henry Blunt, M.A. Rivingtons.

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