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Turn back ! what dost thou?' he exclaimed in haste;

'See! Farinata rises to thy view;

Now mayst behold him upward from his waist.'

"Full in his face already I was gazing,

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While his front lowered, and his proud bosom
swelled,

As though even there, amid his burial blazing,
The infernal realm in high disdain he held."

In this scene, however, the radical defect of Dr. Parsons's work appears: it is unequal, and unsustained even in some of its best parts. It seems scarcely credible that the poet who could produce the grand lines just given, could also mar the whole effect of the father's frantic appeal to know if his son Guido be no longer alive, by putting in his mouth the melodramatic words,

Sayest thou, he had'? what mean ye! is he

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"Su la marina dove 'l Po descende

Per aver pace co' seguaci sui."

Indeed, we have to confess that the present is on the whole not a satisfactory translation of the episode of Francesca da Rimini. The inscription on the gate of hell,. also, is rendered in a manner scarcely to be called successful, and not bearing comparison with that of the other rhyming translators, Ford, Wright, and Cayley. As to the beginning of the seventh canto, we must think that Dr. Parsons was chiefly moved by the prevailing sentiment of mankind to translate

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These and other blemishes arrest the most casual glance. The merits of any work are harder to prove than its faults, though they are quite as deeply felt; and, as we have already intimated, it is the misfortune of Dr. Parsons that some of his greatest defects are in passages otherwise the most generally successful. There are probably few pages of the translation which do not offend by some lapse; but at the same time there is no page which will not command admiration by sublime and strikWe think the whole of the foling lines. lowing passage from the thirteenth canto (it is the well-known description of the sentient wood into which the self-violent are turned) has a peculiar strength and dignity:

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"Amid the branches of this dismal grove,

Their loathsome nests the brutal Harpies build, Who from the Strophades the Trojans drove With woful auguries erelong fulfilled. Huge wings they have, men's faces, human throats,

Feet armed with claws, vast bellies clothed with plumes:

From those strange trees they pour their doleful

notes.

'Now, ere thou further penetrate these glooms,' Said my good master, 'thou shouldst understand Thou 'rt in the second circlet, and shalt be, Until thou come upon the horrid sand. Give good heed then more wonders thou shalt

see,

Yea, to confirm all stories I have told.'

On every side I heard heart-rending cries,

But not a person could I there behold: Wherefore I stopped, bewildered with surprise. Methinks he thought I thought the voices came From some that, hiding, in the thicket lay: Because the Master said, 'If thou but maim One of these plants, yea, pluck a branch away, Then shall thy judgment be more just than now.' Therefore my hand I slightly forward reached; And while I wrenched away a little bough From a huge bush, Why mangle me?' it

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This picture, also, of the apparition of the angel who opens the gates of Dis is done with a hand as firm as it is free :

"As frogs before their enemy, the snake, Quick scattering through the pool in timid shoals,

On the dank ooze a huddling cluster make,
I saw above a thousand ruined souls
Flying from one who passed the Stygian bog,
With feet unmoistened by the sludgy wave;
Oft from his face his left hand brushed the fog
Whose weight alone, it seemed, annoyance gave.
At once the messenger of Heaven I kenned,

And toward my master turned, who made a sign
That hushed I should remain, and lowly bend.
Ah me, how full he looked of scorn divine !"

Ornithology and Oölogy of New England: containing full Descriptions of the Birds of New England, and adjoining States and Provinces, arranged by a long-approved Classification and Nomenclature; together with a complete History of their Habits, Times of Arrival and Departure, their Distribution, Food, Song, Time of Breeding, and a careful and accurate Description of their Nests and Eggs; with Illustrations of many Species of the Birds, and accurate Figures of their Eggs. By EDWARD A. SAMUELS, Curator of Zoology in the Massachusetts State Cabinet. Boston: Nichols and Noyes.

THE strong point of this book is, that it monopolizes the ground, and has no rivals. While no branch of natural history has called forth in America such arduous research as ornithology, or such eloquent writing, there has yet been for many years no popular manual in print. Audubon, Wilson, Nuttall, are all practically inaccessible to the ordinary purchaser. Moreover, there have been great advances in scientific classification, and also in field knowledge, since those earlier works appeared. There is therefore an admirable field for any new writer.

Mr. Samuels frankly acknowledges on his first page that he is mainly indebted to Professor Baird of the Smithsonian Institute for what is by far the most valuable portion of his book, - the classification, the nomenclature, and the generic and specific descriptions. He is only responsible for the popular descriptions; but even these consist so very largely of quotations that the whole book must evidently be judged rather as a compilation than as an original work.

Considered as a compilation, it is valuable, though its title-page unfortunately promises more than any work on natural history ever yet performed, and so prepares

the way for disappointment. Mr. Samuels appears to be a zealous and accurate ornithologist, with plenty of field-knowledge, but very little descriptive power. Being apparently conscious of this, he is shy of delineating the rarer birds, because he does not personally know them, while he passes hastily over the more familiar, because "their habits are known to all." This last piece of abstinence is greatly to be regretted. For a local manual has two main objects, to furnish to young students the means of identifying species, and to give remote students the means of comparing species. For both purposes the commonest birds are most important, since everybody begins with these. A boy wishes, for instance, to identify the wood-thrush; or a Southern naturalist wishes to compare its traits with those of the mocking-bird. He finds that in this book the wood-thrush is dismissed with two pages, while there is a quotation from Wilson seven pages long upon the habits of the mocking-bird. When will naturalists learn that the first duty of each observer is to make a thorough study of his own locality, and meanwhile to let the rest of the world alone?

One looks in vain in these pages for any good description of the song-sparrow, the blue-bird, the blue-jay, the kingfisher, or the oriole. These birds are allowed but a page or two each, although, for some reason, more liberal space is given to the robin and the crow. But there is no bird so familiar that it does not offer subjects for interesting speculation and study. The pretty nocturnal trill of the hairbird; the remarkable change which civilization has wrought in the habits of the cliff-swallow; the disputed question whether the cat-bird is or is not a mocker; - these and a hundred similar points relate to very common birds, and are accordingly unnoticed by Mr. Samuels. Eggs really interest him, and his descriptions and measurements of these constitute the most original part of the book, and are highly valuable. On the other hand, the notes of birds are very inadequately described, and sometimes not at all; he does not mention that the loon has a voice.

Again, he does full justice to the chronology of bird biography, and gives ample dates as to their coming and going, nesting and hatching. But as to their geographical distribution the information is scanty, and not always quite reliable. Thus the snowyowl is described (p. 78) as occurring "principally on the sea-coast," whereas it is toler

ably abundant in the very heart of Massachusetts, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, etc.; the snow-bird is described as nesting in the White Mountains (p. 314), while the more remarkable fact that it nests on Monadnock is omitted; the meadow-lark is described as only remaining in New England through "mild winters" (p. 344), whereas near Newport it remains during the coldest seasons, more abundantly than any other conspicuous bird. These, however, are subordinate points, and there is no important matter in which we have seen any reason to impugn the author's accuracy.

The inequality which marks the internal execution of this book marks also its externals. The plates of eggs- -four in number, comprising thirty eggs - -are admirable; while the plates representing birds are of the most mediocre description, and do discredit to the work. With all these merits and demerits, the book is of much value, because an unsatisfactory manual is far better than none. It does not take the place of that revised edition of Nuttall, which is still the great desideratum, but we may use meanwhile an eminently ornithological proverb, and say that a Samuels in the hand is worth two Nuttalls in the bush.

Richmond during the War. Four Years of Personal Observation. By a Richmond Lady. New York: G. W. Carleton and Company.

MR. CURTIS, in his charming book, "Prue and I," speaks of the novel effect of landscape which Mr. Titbottom got by putting down his head, and regarding the prospect between his knees; and we suppose that most ingenious boys, young and old, have similarly contemplated nature, and will understand what we mean when we say that the world shows to much the same advantage through the books of Southern writers. Especially in Southern histories of the late war is the effect noticeable. The general outline is the same as when viewed in the more conventional manner, with ideas and principles right side up; the objects are the same, the events and results are the same; but there is a curious glamour over all, and the spectator has a mystical feeling of topsy-turvy, ending in vertigo and a disordered stomach.

The present book is in the spirit of all other subjugated literature concerning the war, a vainglorious and boastful spirit

as to events that led only to the destruction of the political power of the South; a wronged and forgiving, if not quite cheerful, spirit as to the end itself. Vivid and powerful presentation of facts would not perhaps be expected of an author who calls herself "A Richmond Lady," and there is nothing of the sort in the book. It contains sketches of public Rebels in civil and military station, washed in with the raw yellows, reds, and blues of Southern eulogy; and there is a great deal of gossip concerning private life in Richmond, where everybody appears to have spoken and acted during the four years of the war as if in the presence of the photographers and short-hand writers, and with an eye single to the impression upon posterity. It is an eloquent book, and- need we say? — a dull one.

Kathrina: her Life and mine, in a Poem. By J. G. HOLLAND, Author of "BitterSweet." New York: Charles Scribner

and Company.

LET us tell without any caricature of ours, in prose that shall be just if not generous, the story of Mr. Holland's hero as we have gathered it from the work which the author, for reasons of his own, calls a poem.

The petted son of a rich widow in Northampton, Massachusetts, whose father has killed himself in a moment of insanity, reaches the age of fourteen years without great event, when his mother takes him to visit a lady friend living on the other side of the Connecticut River. In this lady's door-yard the hero finds a little lamb tethered in the grass, and decked with a necklace of scarlet ribbon, and, having a mind for a frolic with the pretty animal, the boy unties it. Instantly it slips its tether from his hand, leaps the fence, and runs to the top of the nearest mountain, whither he follows it, and where, exalted by the magnificence of the landscape, he is for the first time conscious of being a poet. Returning to his anxious mother, she too is aware of some wondrous change in him, and says: "My Paul has climbed the noblest mountain height In all his little world, and gazed on scenes As beautiful as rest beneath the sun.

I trust he will remember all his life
That to his best achievement, and the spot
Nearest to heaven his youthful feet have trod,
He has been guided by a guileless lamb.
It is an omen which his mother's heart
Will treasure with her jewels."

Resolved to give him the best education

al advantages, his mother sends him to Mr. Bancroft's school; or, as Mr. Holland sings, permits him

"To climb the goodly eminence where he In whose profound and stately pages live His country's annals, ruled his little realm." Here the hero surpasses all the other boys in everything, and but repeats his triumphs later when he goes to Amherst College. His mother lives upon the victories which he despises; but at last she yields to the taint which was in her own blood as well as her husband's, and destroys herself. The son, who was aware of her suicidal tendency, and had once overheard her combating it in prayer, curses the God who would not listen to her and help her, and rejects Him from his scheme of life.

In due time he falls in love with Kathrina, a young lady whom he first sees on the occasion of her public reception into the Congregational Church at Hadley. Later he learns that she is staying with the lady whose pet lamb led him such a chase,

that she is in fact her niece, and that she has seen better days. We must say that this good lady does everything in her power to make a match between the young people; and she is more pleased than surprised at the success of her efforts. It has been the hero's idea that human love will fill up the void left in his life by the rejection of God and religion; but he soon finds himself vaguely unhappy and unsatisfied, and he determines to glut his heart with literary fame. He goes, therefore, to New York, and succeeds as a poet beyond all his dreams of success. For ten years he is the most popular of authors; but he sickens of his facile triumph, and imagines that to be happy he must write to please himself, and not the multitude. He writes with this idea, but pleases nobody, and is as unhappy as ever.

Meanwhile, Kathrina has fallen into a decline. On her death-bed she tells him that it is religion alone which can appease and satisfy him; but she pleads with him in vain, till one day, when he enters her room, and is startled by a strange coincidence the lamb, which led him to the mountain-top and the consciousness of poetic power, had a scarlet ribbon on its neck, and now he finds this ribbon 46 at her throat

:

Repeated in a bright geranium-flower!" Then Kathrina tells him that his mother's spirit has talked with her, and bidden her say to him this:

"The lamb has slipped the leash by which his hand Held her in thrall, and seeks the mountain-height; And he, if he reclaim her to his grasp,

Must follow where she leads, and kneel at last
Upon the summit by her side. And more,
Give him my promise that, if he do this,
He shall receive from that fair altitude
Such vision of the realm that lies around,
Cleft by the river of immortal life,
As shall so lift him from his selfishness,
And so enlarge his soul, that he shall stand
Redeemed from all unworthiness, and saved
To happiness and heaven."

Whereupon, having delivered her message, Kathrina bids him kneel. It is the supreme moment of her life. He hears his mother's voice, and the voice of the innumerable heavenly host, and even the voice, of God repeating her mandate. He kneels, and she bids him pray, and, as before, all the celestial voices repeat her bidding. He prays and is saved.

Such is the story of Kathrina, or rather of Kathrina's husband, for she is herself scarcely other than a name for a series of arguments, with little of the flesh and blood of a womanly personality. We have too much reverence for high purposes in literature not to applaud Mr. Holland's good intent in this work, and we accept fully his theory of letters and of life. Both are meagre and unsatisfactory as long as their motive is low; both must yield unhappiness and self-despite till religion inform them. This is the common experience of man; this is the burden of the sayings of the sage from the time of Solomon to the time of Mr. Holland; and we can all acknowledge its truth, however we may differ as to the essence of religion itself. But we conceive that repetition of this truth in a long poem demands of the author an excellence, or of the reader a patience, all but superhuman.

How Mr. Holland has met the extraordinary demand upon his powers is partly evident from the outline of the poem as we have given it. It must be owned that it is rather a feeble fancy which unites two vital epochs by the incident of the truant lambkin, and that the plot of the poem does not in any way reveal a great faculty of invention. A parable, moreover, teaches only so far as it is true to life; and in a tale professing to deal with persons of our own day and country, we have a right to expect some fidelity to our contemporaries and neighbors. But we find nothing of this in "Kathrina,”—not even in the incident of a young gentleman of fourteen sporting with a lambkin; or in the talk of young people who make love in long arguments concern

ably abundant in the very heart of Massachusetts, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, etc.; the snow-bird is described as nesting in the White Mountains (p. 314), while the more remarkable fact that it nests on Monadnock is omitted; the meadow-lark is described as only remaining in New England through "mild winters" (p. 344), whereas near Newport it remains during the coldest seasons, more abundantly than any other conspicuous bird. These, however, are subordinate points, and there is no important matter in which we have seen any reason to impugn the author's accuracy.

-

The inequality which marks the internal execution of this book marks also its externals. The plates of eggs - four in number, comprising thirty eggsare admirable; while the plates representing birds are of the most mediocre description, and do discredit to the work. With all these merits and demerits, the book is of much value, because an unsatisfactory manual is far better than none. It does not take the place of that revised edition of Nuttall, which is still the great desideratum, but we may use meanwhile an eminently ornithological proverb, and say that a Samuels in the hand is worth two Nuttalls in the bush.

Richmond during the War. Four Years of Personal Observation. By a Richmond Lady. New York: G. W. Carleton and Company.

MR. CURTIS, in his charming book," Prue and I," speaks of the novel effect of landscape which Mr. Titbottom got by putting down his head, and regarding the prospect between his knees; and we suppose that most ingenious boys, young and old, have similarly contemplated nature, and will understand what we mean when we say that the world shows to much the same advantage through the books of Southern writers. Especially in Southern histories of the late war is the effect noticeable. The general outline is the same as when viewed in the more conventional manner, with ideas and principles right side up; the objects are the same, the events and results are the same; but there is a curious glamour over all, and the spectator has a mystical feeling of topsy-turvy, ending in vertigo and a disordered stomach.

The present book is in the spirit of all other subjugated literature concerning the war, a vainglorious and boastful spirit

as to events that led only to the destruction of the political power of the South; a wronged and forgiving, if not quite cheerful, spirit as to the end itself. Vivid and powerful presentation of facts would not perhaps be expected of an author who calls herself "A Richmond Lady," and there is nothing of the sort in the book. It contains sketches of public Rebels in civil and military station, washed in with the raw yellows, reds, and blues of Southern eulogy; and there is a great deal of gossip concerning private life in Richmond, where everybody appears to have spoken and acted during the four years of the war as if in the presence of the photographers and short-hand writers, and with an eye single to the impression upon posterity. It is an eloquent book, and need we say? — a

dull one.

Kathrina: her Life and mine, in a Poem. By J. G. HOLLAND, Author of "BitterSweet." New York: Charles Scribner

and Company.

LET us tell without any caricature of ours, in prose that shall be just if not generous, the story of Mr. Holland's hero as we have gathered it from the work which the author, for reasons of his own, calls a poem.

The petted son of a rich widow in Northampton, Massachusetts, whose father has killed himself in a moment of insanity, reaches the age of fourteen years without great event, when his mother takes him to visit a lady friend living on the other side of the Connecticut River. In this lady's door-yard the hero finds a little lamb tethered in the grass, and decked with a necklace of scarlet ribbon, and, having a mind for a frolic with the pretty animal, the boy unties it. Instantly it slips its tether from his hand, leaps the fence, and runs to the top of the nearest mountain, whither he follows it, and where, exalted by the magnificence of the landscape, he is for the first time conscious of being a poet. Returning to his anxious mother, she too is aware of some wondrous change in him, and says: "My Paul has climbed the noblest mountain height In all his little world, and gazed on scenes As beautiful as rest beneath the sun.

I trust he will remember all his life
That to his best achievement, and the spot
Nearest to heaven his youthful feet have trod,
He has been guided by a guileless lamb.
It is an omen which his mother's heart
Will treasure with her jewels."

Resolved to give him the best education

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