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metropolis unless we take steps to make it other- instructed people, if ever so well-meaning, should wise. The difficulty in every movement of the kind not be intrusted with a task such as we have conis to find an energetic, influential, and disinterested sidered. Wealth is a good thing ; enterprise is a leader. There are enough people who would sym- good thing; public spirit is a good thing ; but these pathize with such a purpose, and liberally subscribe three good things have succeeded in disfiguring every money to further it, provided they believed it to rest corner of the land with architectural monstrosities, in the right hands. A suitable leader is obviously and in leaving their unhappy mark on every town therefore the first desideratum, and this leader should in which they have had unrestricted sway.
We be a man of influence, culture, and known responsi. trust there is in New York zeal enough of the right bility. We venture to suggest that the President of character to carry out a large, worthy, and approthe Metropolitan Museum of Art would be an appro- priate scheme of metropolitan adornment. priate selection for the purpose ; the President of the National Academy of Design would also be an appropriate choice; and, possibly, these two gentle. men would be glad to coöperate in the plan.
A CORRESPONDENT ON THE NUDE. New York needs an association of the kind, not only as an active but as a restrictive agent. It would APROPOS of our recent article on the nude in art, not fulfill its mission solely by the occasional erec- a correspondent writes as follows: tion of a monument or a fountain, if it did not educate public taste and promote public sentiment in Editor Appletons' Fournal. the direction of architectural adornment, and this it DEAR SIR: In perusing the article which appeared in would be sure to do. Every good piece of work “ Appletons' Journal" for October, entitled “The Nude put up would be a silent comment on every bad or
in Art once more," I can not refrain from calling your vulgar surrounding. Perhaps a Metropolitan Art attention to one thing which may possibly have escaped Association would prove a great promoter of clean your attention,
Very near the end of the article occurs this sentence : streets; for the dullest citizen would eventually dis
"To say that youthful imagination ought not to be sencover that beauty and foulness can not be appro- suously stirred by art of this kind is to require of it more priately conjoined ; and the discrimination thus than is possible in nature.” Very true, but might not awakened would see that an ugly, misshapen tele- other things harmless in themselves inflame the imaginagraph-pole standing against a handsome façade, or tion equally as much ? If the nude in art excites the crossing the lines of an artistic fountain, is an abomi. imagination to so great a degree, how much more will nation; and with the telegraph-pole would disappear the imagination of the young physician be excited by the many other things that now affront and amaze the nude in nature ! Must we on that account abolish the eyes of beholders. It is, indeed, just possible that practice of medicine, and the alleviation of diseases pecugood art in our streets would do more for general should be covered ? Would it be expecting too much to
liar to those parts of our body which custom demands art-education than galleries or museums, for pictures beg from you an answer to this letter? and sculptures inevitably are seen by only a small
M. D. part of the public, while everybody, from the mil. lionaire to the beggar, frequents the streets, and each In our first article on the subject, printed in the falls more or less, even if unconsciously, under the number for February last, we pointed out how, as it influence of the objects and the scenes that he daily seemed to us, the art student and the medical student, comes in contact with.
in their academic relations to the nude, so to speak, But while an association such as we have indi. fall under a different influence from that which affects cated would be a public boon, a society animated by persons who look upon it merely from a curious other than a high and severe art-ideal would simply or emotional point of view. With the student, a spedisgrace us. A lot of fussy, self-sufficient, innately cial and scholastic purpose may be supposed to domivulgar men, more bent upon parading themselves nate every other feeling. But, even if this were not than in rendering worthy public service, eager for so, the fact that a duty and a necessity are involved newspaper puffs and the applause of the idle, would separates the act from others; and then it does not soon hopelessly disfigure our parks and thorough- follow that, because one set of experiences is danfares. A noble fountain or monument is a thing gerous, we must therefore surrender ourselves to all of delight, but bits of cheap, flimsy, inartistic orna- other experiences. It is impossible in this world to mentation—of which there are instances enough al- avoid things which are seductive to the senses; but ready-we most distinctly do not want. Mean and assuredly we may try and reduce the number-we cheap art is a great deal worse than no art at all. may take care not to voluntarily and unnecessarily If, therefore, any set of people combine with the in- place ourselves under unwholesome influences. Be. tention of adorning the city, it ought to be looked cause the soldier must stand fire in battle, that is to that the organization is made up rightly, and com- no reason why he must submit to every musket that posed of persons of approved culture and taste. Un- may be idly opened upon him.
Books of the Day.
F all the work which he did in various depart- ment at the injustice of present opinion, he always
Bayard Taylor would doubtless prefer to be known the verdict of that posterity which should bring to and judged, is that which his friend Mr. Boker has the inquisition calmer feelings and larger views. brought together in "The Poetical Works of Bayard Our own opinion coincides with his, to this extent, Taylor." *
“Poetry,” says Mr. Boker, in the pref- at least, that his poetry will be relatively more ace which he has contributed to the volume, “ was highly esteemed hereafter than it was during the the literary element in which Taylor lived and author's life. One of the most deeply rooted and moved and had his being; to which all other efforts widely prevalent of human instincts appears to be and all other ambitions were subjected, as vassals to that which holds intellectual versatility and intela sovereign ; and to success in which he gave more lectual depth to be incompatible qualities; and there thoughtful labor, and held its fruits in higher esteem, can be no doubt that the variety and copiousness of than all the world and all the other glories thereof. Mr. Taylor's literary work did more than anything He traveled pen in hand; he delivered course after else to divert attention from his achievements in that course of lectures in the brief nightly pauses of his field whose fruits he himself esteemed most highly. long winter journeys; he wrote novels, he wrote The reputation which he earned as traveler, novelist, editorials, criticisms, letters, and miscellaneous arti- critic, essayist, and lecturer, tended to confuse the cles for the magazines and the newspapers ; he toiled impression which his poetry alone might have made ; as few men have toiled at any profession or for any and the generally accepted idea of him was that he end, and he wore himself out and perished prema- attempted too many things to win the highest sucturely of hard and sometimes bitter work.” His cess in any. Longfellow's “Hyperion” and “Outresolace, we are assured, during all this wearing and Mer" are left entirely out of account in the coinmon soul-hardening toil, was his pursuit of an art for estimate of his literary standing; and it can hardly which his reverence was boundless. “To him," be doubted that, if his productiveness as a novelist continues Mr. Boker, “poetry was a second religion, had kept pace with his work as a poet, he would or an intellectual continuation of that natural, moral have failed to attain that undisputed primacy which sentiment which lifts man above himself and his for. he now holds in American literature. It is said of tunes in his aspiration after immortality and super- Macaulay that the only criticism that ever really nal life. He held that no achievement of man was touched him was the implication that such opulence comparable to the creation of a living poem. He of knowledge and brilliancy of style were inevitably saw, with other thinking men, that the work of the linked with superficiality of thought; and, whether poet is more like the work of God than any other it was correct in his case or not, a wellnigh univerearthly thing, since it is the only product of art that sal truth is embodied in the proposition that excelis assured of perpetuity, by the safety with which it lence in any pursuit so exacting as poetry can be can be transmitted from generation to generation. reached only by according to it an unreserved and He believed himself to be a poet-of what stature undivided allegiance. and quality it is now for the world to decide-and For this reason, we think, as Mr. Taylor's work in that faith he wrought at his vocation with an in other fields is gradually forgotten, his work as a assiduity, and a careful husbanding of his time and poet will be more highly esteemed; but whether opportunities for mental and for written poetical any portion of that work is “assured of perpetuity” composition, that was wonderful as an exhibition of seems to us a matter of very grave doubt. The human industry, and in its many and varied results, fatal defect of Mr. Taylor's poetry seems to us to when we take into consideration his wandering life be clearly implied even in Mr. Boker's touching deand his diversified and exacting employments." scription of the circumstances and sentiments which
That the author should place a high estimate controlled its production. To him poetry was a upon work produced under such difficulties, and as manufacture or a fabric rather than an inspiration ; the result of such exalted aspirations, was natural and his art was too conscious—with too much of and perhaps inevitable; and Mr. Taylor made no what the Germans call intention-to reach those attempt to conceal the fact that he set a greater celestial harmonies which are the irrepressible utvalue upon his poetry than the public seemed dis- terance of spontaneous singing. His literary method posed to concede to it. As we pointed out on a appears to have borne too close a resemblance to previous occasion, the burden of many of his later that of Southey — another Protean worker- who poems was the somewhat querulous complaint of would write the history of Brazil before breakfast, unappreciated genius ; but, amid all his disappoint- an ode after breakfast, then the history of the Penin
sular War till dinner, and an article for the “Quar* The Poetical Works of Bayard Taylor. With a terly Review” in the evening; and the fate of the Preface by George H. Boker. Household edition. Bos- one poet is only too likely to be the fate of the ton: Houghton, Osgood & Co. 12mo, pp. 341.
There is one aspect, however, of this conscious hundred years, and is now so great, that it may be and methodical wooing of the Muses which has re- justly said that the necessity of increasing the store ceived less cordial recognition than it seems to us to is no longer so pressing as the necessity of learning deserve. In what we may call technical proficiency how to use the instruments that have already been -in workmanlike mastery of his art-Bayard Tay- provided. Much of that aimless, unsystematic, and lor is in our opinion superior to any other American frivolous reading, which cur public libraries have poet. His skill and facility in versification are truly fostered rather than restrained, is no doubt due to extraordinary ; and, though he tried a much wider the utter inability of the great majority of readers range of forms and combinations than almost any to select for themselves those books which are best of his rivals, there will be found, even in the most worth attention; and it should be regarded as not difficult ones, remarkably few of those strained mean. the least important of the regular duties of a libra. ings, limping lines, and imperfectly expressed ideas, rian to furnish such readers with advice, guidance, which so often disfigure the work even of the great and assistance. Under this guidance, wisely and dismasters of the art. We have reread a considerable creetly applied by properly accredited persons, it is portion of the collected poems with attention directed not unreasonable to believe that a large part of the especially to this point; and the result is that we are time and energy now wasted in dawdling over books more profoundly impressed than ever with Mr. Tay- of mere amusement might be diverted to studies lor's wonderful dexterity in the art of verse-making. which would widen the mental horizon of the indi.
It is due chiefly to this exceptional skill in ver- vidual reader, and which could hardly fail to elevate sification that Mr. Taylor's translations from other the general standard of culture in the community. poets are in general so satisfactory. We imagine Fortunately, some of the most influential of our that his translation of Goethe's “Faust” is the work librarians are beginning to take this view of their by which Mr. Taylor will be longest kept in remem- functions. Mr. Justin Winsor, the able and accombrance; and in it the skill of which we have spoken plished Superintendent for many years of the Boston is exhibited in its highest and richest development. Public Library and now of the Harvard University The translation is not only verbally literal in its ex- Library, has lent to it the weight of his name, and actness, but it reproduces the meter, the rhythm, the what is more, of his example ; and there are indicavery movement and music of the original verse in all tions of a speedy conversion on the part of others. its varied and intricate forms. The sufficiency of the “I believe it to be," says Mr. Winsor, “ a part of English language to all possible demands that can the duty of a public librarian to induce reading and be made upon it has seldom or never been more gently to guide it, as far as he can, because I know signally demonstrated ; and the translations of the that as a rule there is much need of such inducement selected passages with which he embellished his lec- and guidance. I am no great advocate of courses tures on German literature are only less remarkable, of reading.' It often matters little what the line of For this reason, too, his imitations of other poets one's reading is, provided it is pursued, as sciences were good in a quite unusual degree. The parodies are most satisfactorily pursued, in a comparative which he introduced into his “ Diversions of the way. The reciprocal influences, the broadening efEcho Club" are the best of the kind with which we fect, the quickened interest arising from a compariare acquainted—reproducing not merely the external son of sources and authorities, I hold to be marked forms (which is a comparatively simple matter), but benefits from such a habit of reading. It is at once the dominant moods and tendencies of feeling in the wholesome and instructive, gratifying in the pursuit, authors chosen for experimenting upon.
and satisfactory in the results." These translations and parodies are omitted from As a specimen of the way in which such assistance Mr. Boker's collection, and so are the drama of “The may best be rendered, Mr. Winsor has compiled a Prophet" and the dramatic poems of the “ Masque little book, which is a monument of patient industry of the Gods” and “Prince Deukalion.” With these and extensive knowledge. In 1875, when the first exceptions, the volume contains the entire poetical fervor of the centennial period impelled many readworks of Bayard Taylor, including all the poems ers at the Boston Public Library to follow the hispublished in a collected or separate form during the tory of our Revolutionary struggle, Mr. Winsor, then author's life, and also “a not inconsiderable number Superintendent of the Library, prepared some notes of heretofore unpublished poems, which were found which should aid them in their researches. These among his manuscripts, in a more or less finished notes admirably subserved their immediate purpose ; state." In arranging the contents of the volume, no but they were rightly regarded as too valuable to be particular scheme seems to have been followed, the confined to one library or to answer the requirements poems being neither grouped according to subjects of a merely transient interest, and he has accordingand treatment nor placed in their chronological se- ly expanded them into “The Reader's Handbook of quence. This seems to us a disadvantage.
the American Revolution.”* The book may be described with tolerable accuracy as a sort of index to the entire literature of the Revolutionary period,
THE accumulation of the instruments of knowl.
* The Reader's Handbook of the American Revoluedge in our public and private libraries and in minor tion-1761-1783. By Justin Winsor. Boston: Houghcollections of books has been so rapid during the last ton, Osgood & Co. 16mo, pp. 328.
pointing out all the original sources, and including It is a pleasure to be able to say that these remost of the second-hand authorities. Taken as a quirements are fully met in the new Riverside Ediwhole, it covers with completeness the leading events tion,* which may be pronounced unqualifiedly the from 1761 to 1783 ; but it is also subdivided into best edition of Chaucer in existence. The editorial topics which, arranged in their chronological order, work of Mr. Gilman is admirably adapted to the enable the reader to confine his researches to any needs of the general reader, while furnishing at the particular period or event in which he may happen same time a complete and carefully collated version to feel an especial interest. A citation of a few of for students. The body of the text is that of the the topics at the beginning of the book will convey Ellesmere manuscript, which has long been regarded an idea of its arrangement: “In Massachusetts, by scholars as the best, but which has only recently 1761-1765—Writs of Assistance"; "In the South, been rendered accessible to the public ; and for com1761-1765 ” ; “Stamp Act, 1765-1766" ; "In Gen. parison and correction the great Six-Text edition of eral, 1767-1775"; Boston Massacre, March 5, the “Canterbury Tales” has been utilized for the first 1770” ; “The Tea Party, December, 1773"; " Bos- time. The chronological order of the poems adopted ton Port Bill, 1774"; "Continental Congress, 1774,” by the Chaucer Society is followed, and also Mr. etc., etc. In order to indicate the method of treat- Furnivall's arrangement of the “Canterbury Tales.” ment in detail, we will describe the section under The poems of doubtful authenticity, which have al"Bunker Hill, June 17, 1775." Its contents are ways hitherto been printed with the others with no classified as follows: “Earliest Accounts," “ British indication of their possibly spurious character, are Accounts,” “ Later Special Accounts,” “ Accounts in placed at the end in a group by themselves. An exGeneral Histories,' ;" " In Biographies,"
,” “New Hamp- tended introduction comprises a sketch of “The shire Troops," “ Connecticut Troops," "Who com- Times and the Poet,” a brief essay on “ Astrological manded ?" " Death of Warren,” “ Plans and Maps,” Terms and Divisions of Time," another on “ Biblical “Views, etc.,'
,” “ The Monument," “ In Fiction.” References," and a valuable section on “Reading The references are not merely by title to a par- Chaucer,” containing simple and comprehensive rules ticular book or pamphlet, but to the chapter and for pronunciation, based upon the researches of Propage; and a word or two of descriptive analysis fessor Child and the elaborate work of Mr. A. J. usually indicates what may be found there. The Ellis on “Early English Pronunciation.” An espeusefulness of the book to students of the Revolu- cially commendable feature of the work is the plan tionary history can hardly be over-estimated ; and it adopted by Mr. Gilman of placing the notes and exis to be hoped that Mr. Winsor will be encouraged planations of difficult words at the bottom of each to prepare those other handbooks on themes of his- page, thus saving the reader the perpetually recurtory, biography, travel, philosophy, science, literature, ring annoyance of turning to a glossary, where he and art, which he promises should the present vol. must often distinguish the different parts of speech ume succeed.
and choose between conflicting definitions. If the explanations seem at times inadequate, the reader
must bear in mind the editor's pertinent suggestion SINCE Dryden attempted to substitute for the that a good edition of Webster or Worcester is as genuine poems of Chaucer a translation of them into useful in reading Chaucer as in reading Shakespeare, what he considered better English, various efforts and is often necessary to the intelligent reading of have been made to “modernize" and otherwise ren- much more modern writers. der them acceptable to the general reading public; Lovers of that “sacred and happy spirit " who but, fortunately, in this as in many similar cases, the led the morning choir of English song will be genusane instincts of literary taste have refused to toler- inely grateful to both editor and publishers for this ate such tampering with the work of a great master, beautiful edition of his work. In mechanical execuand those who really love poetry and care to read tion, nothing more tasteful could be desired, while Chaucer at all, prefer to drink directly from that
as regards scholarly excellence it is sufficient to say "well of English pure and undefiled.” To the of it that it will take rank at once with Professor average reader, however, who can not be expected Child's unrivaled edition of Spenser, by the side of to possess a special knowledge of early English, which it is to stand in this noble edition of the Chaucer's poems present unquestionable difficulties. “ British Poets." The obsolete words, the antiquated spelling and grammatical forms, and the unusual meters, discourage and repel; and, for lack of a little scholarly Of the group of "Holiday Books” whịch we knowledge which would impart to these seeming find upon our table this season, the most unique, barbarisms a flavor and a fragrance of their own, he perhaps, and certainly one of the most pleasing, is is cut off from one of the richest and freshest sources
“In Berkshire with the Wild Flowers,” † by the of poetical enjoyment in our language. A popular
* The Poetical Works of Geoffrey Chaucer. edition of Chaucer's poems must, therefore, not only which are appended Poems attributed to Chaucer. Edpresent a pure and complete text, but must also be ited by Arthur Gilman, M. A. Riverside Edition. Bosfurnished with such aids in the way of notes and
ton: Houghton, Osgood & Co. Three Volumes. Svo, interpretative comments as will render the reading pp. cxxvi.-598, 691, 708. of the original text comparatively easy.
+ In Berkshire with the Wild Flowers. By Elaine
authors of “Apple Blossoms." The conception Cooke, near Philadelphia : “ Lochiel," the home of
com's text shows both familiarity and sympathy with More substantial viands are provided for the pub. her subject, and is made the vehicle for some of the lic appetite in " The Homes of America,"
,"'* edited choicest morsels of descriptive poetry to be found in by Mrs. Martha J. Lamb, and elaborately illustrated American (or in any) literature. In the volume, as with upward of a hundred engravings, presenting in
a whole, Art and Poetry are very gracefully wedded, one connected view a sort of picturesque history of and seem destined to live a long and happy life toAmerican domestic architecture. The first section, gether. covering the “Colonial Period,” includes views of Still another book in which utility and beauty the Philipse manor-house at Yonkers, of the Roger are very happily combined is “Art in America,” | by Morris house, of “Beverley,” of the Van Rensse. S. G. W. Benjamin. In it the author has aimed to laer manor - house, and the Schuyler mansion at give an historical outline of the rise and growth of Albany, of Sir William Pepperell's house at Kit- American painting and sculpture, and, by a critical tery Point, Maine, of “Hobgoblin Hall" at Med- comparison of the work of the leading artists, to in. ford, Massachusetts, of the old Bryant homestead dicate the characteristic qualities of each. He has, at Cummington, of Washington's headquarters at
as is usual with him, brought together many facts Morristown, New Jersey, of the home of John which the student of art will find it convenient to Howard Payne, of nine mansions in Virginia, in- know; but his text is chiefly important as furnishing cluding Mount Vernon, and of many others in vari- the vehicle for a series of woodcuts whose execution ous parts of the country. The second section, cn
is a marvel of delicacy and beauty. It would really titled “Later Period,” contains views of the resi. seem that the art of engraving on wood could be dences of General Worth, the Hon. John Jay, and carried to no higher point than is attained in some Alexander Hamilton ; several views of “Old Mor- of them. These pictures were much and justly adrisania"; the Adams homestead; “Cedarmere," mired as they appeared originally in the pages of the residence of William Cullen Bryant ; the homes “Harper's Magazine," but, as here printed on thick, of Longfellow and Lowell at Cambridge ; and the laid and tinted paper, one gets a new sense of their residences of Ralph Waldo Emerson and A. Bron. excellence. son Alcott. The Modern Period” is more copi- Strictly speaking, Colonel Waring's “ Tyrol and ously illustrated, comprising no less than fifty-two the Skirt of the Alps ” | does not belong in the list views, among which are nearly all the more noteworthy mansions and villas along the Hudson River
* Landscape in American Poetry. By Lucy Larcom. and at Newport; “ Armsmear," the famous Colt With Illustrations on Wood from Drawings by J. Applemansion ; "Cedarcroft,” the home of the late Bay
ton Brown. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Large ard Taylor; “Ogontz,” the former residence of Jay
Evo, pp. 128.
+ Art in America, A Critical and Historical Sketch. and Dora Read Goodale, authors of “ Apple Blossoms." By S. G. W. Benjamin. Illustrated. New York: Har. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. 4to, pp. 92.
per & Brothers. 4to, pp. 214. * The Homes of America. With One Hundred and | Tyrol and the Skirt of the Alps. By George E. Three Illustrations. Edited by Mrs. Martha J. Lamb. Waring, Jr. New York: Harper & Brothers. 4to, New York: D. Appleton & Co. 4to, pp. 256.