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sed upon this anothing can be heavy rifles alty of spherica,
head is nestalking
particula, ils or con simple
destruction was a boon to the villagers. All his stories are well told, and there is a vivacity in his descriptions, and a total absence of any attempt at fine writing which stamps all his pictures with the impression of truth.
The sportsman desirous of declaring war against heavy game will not neglect the practical advice given in Chapter XIV. upon the necessary battery, and the superiority of spherical bullets over conical projectiles for heavy rifles at short ranges as bone-smashers. Nothing can be better than the opinions expressed upon this all-important subject, upon which all theories have been completely exploded by undeniable experience. Drawings are given of the exact size of bullets, according to the calibre of various rifles. Diagrams are afforded of the elephant's skull, showing the true position of the brain, and the angles required to attain this mark according to the manner in which the head may be carried while in the act of charging. In fact, nothing is neglected in the shape of practical information in this most painstaking volume.
As Mr. Sanderson is particular in giving the actual measurements of all animals that he kills or captures, he is proportionately severe upon those writers who simply publish upon hearsay. There can be no question of the value of exactness, and all lovers of natural history should feel deeply indebted to any person who undertakes the personal trouble during the heat and fatigue of tropical hunting, of measuring and weighing the various animals.
The length and size of tigers have been carelessly stated by many authors, who would doubtless have shunned any wilful exaggeration. We frequently read of tigers that measured 12 feet from nose to tip of tail. Mr. Sanderson denies all such statements. He has had much experience, and his book relates his encounters with • Maneaters' and others of the tribe; he has sought for testimony from hunters of high reputation, and he has never proved to his own satisfaction that any tiger of such enormous dimensions as 12 feet exists in India. He quotes a well-known authority, Dr. Jerdon's · Mammals of India,' as thoroughly correct. He says : The average size of a full-grown male tiger is from 9 feet to 9 feet, but I fancy there is very little doubt that occasionally tigers are killed 10 feet in length, and perhaps a few inches over that.'
I know two noted Bengal sportsmen who can each count the tigers slain by them by hundreds, whose opinions entirely corroborate Jerdon. My own experience can only produce a tiger of 9 feet 6 inches, and a tigress of 8 feet 4 inches as my largest. *I have only weighed one tiger, a very bulky well-fed male. He
weighed by two different scales 349:} lbs., or 25 stone all but half a
In conclusion we can thoroughly recommend Thirteen Years with the Wild Beasts of India' as a sound and practical work, abounding in interest for all classes of readers. The illustrations are few, but superior to the average publications, and the pictures of the principal animals are from actual photographs of the living creatures. Mr. Sanderson has returned to his exciting profession in India ; and the readers of his first book will look forward with pleasure to the publication of his future experiences with the Wild Beasts of India.'
ART. IV.—Petrarch. By Henry Reeve. Edinburgh and
London, 1878. M HE true position of Petrarch in the history of modern culture
1 has recently been better understood, owing to a renewed and careful examination of his Latin works in prose and verse. Not very long ago he lived upon the lips of all educated people as the lover of Laura, the poet of the Canzoniere,' the hermit of Vaucluse, the founder of a school of sentimental sonneteers called Petrarchisti. This fame of Italy's first lyrist still belongs to Petrarch, and remains perhaps his highest title to immortality, seeing that the work of the artist outlives the memory of services rendered to civilization by the pioneer of learning. Yet we now know that Petrarch's poetry exhausted but a small portion of his intellectual energy, and was included in a vaster and far more universally important life-task. What he did for the modern world was not merely to bequeath to his Italian imitators masterpieces of lyrical art unrivalled for perfection of workmanship, but to open out for Europe a new sphere of mental activity. Petrarch is the founder of Humanism, the man of genius who, standing within the threshold of the middle ages, surveyed the kingdom of the modern spirit, and by his own inexhaustible industry in the field of study determined the future of the Renaissance. He not only divined but, so to speak, created an ideal of culture essentially different from that which satisfied the medieval world. By bringing the men of his own generation once more into sympathetic relation with antiquity, he gave a decisive impulse to that great European movement which restored freedom, self-consciousness, and the faculty of progress to the human intellect. To assert that without Petrarch this new direction could not have been taken by the nations at the close of the middle ages would be hazardous.
The warm reception which he met with in his lifetime and the extraordinary activity of his immediate successors prove that the age itself was ripe for a momentous change. Yet it is none the less certain that Petrarch did actually stamp his spirit on the time, and that the Renaissance continued to be what he first made it. He was in fact the Hero of the humanistic struggle; and so far-reaching were the interests controlled by him in this his world-historical capacity, that his achievement as an Italian lyrist seems by comparison insignificant.
It is Mr. Reeve's merit, while writing for the public rather than for scholars, to have kept this point of view before him. Petrarch, he says, 'foresaw in a large and liberal spirit a new phase of European culture, a revival of the studies and the arts which constitute the chief glory and dignity of man;' and there are some fine lines in his · Africa,' in which he predicts the advancement of knowledge as he discerned it from afar :
"To thee, perchance, if lengthened days are given,
A better age shall mark the grace of Heaven;
From ancient sources draw eternal youth.' With reference to Mr. Reeve's life of the poet-scholar it may be briefly said that none of the more interesting or important topics of Petrarch's biography have been omitted, and that the chief questions relating to his literary productions have been touched upon. The little book is clearly the product of longcontinued studies and close familiarity with the subject; it is, moreover, marked by unvarying moderation and good taste.
Those who have no leisure for studying the more comprehensive biographies of De Sade and Koerting, or for quarrying for themselves in the rich mine of Signor Fracassetti's edition of the poet's letters, will find it a serviceable guide. One general criticism must here be added. Mr. Reeve is not always particularly happy in the choice of his translations. He quotes, for example, not without approval, Macgregor's version of the Canzone to Rienzi, which renders the opening lines by this inconceivable clumsiness of phrase :
Spirit heroic ! who with fire divine
On earth a Chieftain, gracious, wise, and bold.'
It might also be parenthetically questioned why he prefers to call the river Sorgues, which in Italian is Sorga, by its Latin name of Sorgia. But these are matters of detail. The book itself is sound. Taking this volume of Foreign Classics for English Readers' in our hand, we shall traverse a portion of the ground over which Mr. Reeve has passed, using such opportunities as offer themselves for expressing disagreement upon minor points with his conclusions.
The materials for a comprehensive life of Petrarch are afforded in rich abundance by his letters, collected by himself and prepared for publication under his own eye. Petrarch was an indefatigable epistolographer, carrying on a lively correspondence with his private friends, and also addressing the dignitaries of his age upon topics of public importance. Selfconscious and self-occupied, he loved to pour himself out on paper to a sympathetic audience, indulging his egotism in written monologues, and finding nothing that concerned himself too trivial for regard. His letters have, therefore, a first-rate biographical importance. They not only yield precise information concerning the chief affairs of his life; but they are also valuable for the illustration of his character, modes of feeling, and personal habits. The most interesting of the series is addressed to posterity, and is nothing less than the fragment of an autobiography begun in the poet's old age. Of this remarkable document Mr. Reeve has printed a translation into English. Next in importance to the letters rank the Epistles and Eclogues in Latin verse and the Italian poems; while apart from all other materials, as furnishing a full confession of Petrarch's passions, weaknesses, and impulses, stand the Dialogues upon the Contempt of the World. The preoccupation with self which led Petrarch to the production of so many autobiographical works, marks him out as a man of the modern rather than the medieval age. He was not content to remain the member of a class, or to conform his opinions to authorised standards, but strove at all costs to realise his own particular type. This impulse was not exactly egotism, nor yet vanity; though Petrarch had a good share of both qualities. It proceeded from a conviction that personality is infinitely precious as the central fact and force of human nature. The Machiavellian doctrine of self-conscious character and selfdependent virtù, so vitally important in the Renaissance, was anticipated by the poet-scholar of Vaucluse, who believed, moreover, that high conditions of culture can only be attained by the free evolution and interaction of self-developed intellects. Nature, besides, had formed him for introspection, gifting him
with the sensibilities that distinguish men like Rousseau. Subjectivity was the main feature of his genius, as a poet, as an essayist, as a thinker, as a social being. By surrendering himself to this control, and by finding fit scope for this temperament, he emancipated himself from the conditions of the middle ages, which had kept men cooped in guilds, castes, cloisters. Determined to be the best that God had made him, to form himself according to his ideal of excellence, he divested his mind of superstition and pedantry, refused such offices of worldly importance as might have hampered him in his development, and sought his comrades among the great men of antiquity, who, like himself, had lived for the perfection of their own ideal.
After the materials afforded to the biographer by Petrarch's own works, may be placed, but at a vast distance below them, the documents furnished by the Abbé de Sade in his bulky Life. These chiefly concern Laura, and go to prove that she was a lady of noble birth, married to Hugh de Sade, and the mother of eleven children. It would hardly be necessary to refer to these papers, unless Mr.· Reeve had expressed a too unqualified reliance on their authority. He says (p. 33) . These facts are attested beyond all doubt by documents in the archives of the De Sade family. Yet it is still an open question, in the absence of the deeds which the Abbé professed to have copied and printed, whether he was not either the fabricator of a historical romance very flattering to his family vanity, or else the dupe of some earlier impostor. It is true that he submitted the supposed originals to certain burghers of Avignon, who pronounced them genuine; but we may remember with what avidity Barrett and Burgon of Bristol swallowed Chatterton's forgeries about the same period : nor, even were we convinced of the Abbé's trustworthiness, is there much beyond an old tradition at Avignon to justify the identification of Petrarch's Laura with his Laure de Sade. Mr. Reeve is therefore hardly warranted in asserting that it is useless to follow the speculations which have been published as to the person of Laura, and, indeed, as to her existence.'
Petrarch was born at the moment when the old order of medievalism had begun to break up in Italy, but not before the main ideas of that age had been expressed in an epic which remains one of the three or four monumental poems of the world. Between the date 1302, when Dante and Petrarch's father were exiled on one day from Florence, and when Petrarch himself was born at Arezzo, and the year 1321, when Dante died, and when the younger poet was prosecuting his early 2 0 2