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with daring originality, nor thrill us with gusts of lyrical passion :
yet they fill us with a certain restful pleasure,—a sense as of some-
thing subduing, healing, comforting. And this they owe, no doubt,
to a combination of excellent qualities—to their good sense, their
sincerity, their unaffected simplicity, their deep religiousness; to the
sweet and tender feeling which animates them, and to the graceful
melody of their versification. It is truly refreshing in these days to
meet with poems, professedly religious, that really breathe the pure
spirit of Christian devotion, altogether free, on the one hand, from
self-complacent dogmatising, and, on the other, from feeble maunder-
ing pietism. There are several in this volume that answer to this
description, and that will find a ready welcome in Christian hearts.
One, the “Hymn to Christ as the Revealer of Life,” is especially
sweet and beautiful. Where there is so much that is excellent, defects
are the more striking and painful. These poems are not without
them. Here and there we meet with a needless ambiguity, and such
odd phrases as sheeted bowers ” and clouds that have “tumbled
from the height.” The frequent use of the word still as a sub-
stantive, in the sense of quietude, though not quite without precedent,
jars unpleasantly from its strangeness. Again, what is meant by
“ Past for ever lives' poor slips," p. 83? And is there any warrant
for the use of the word “dote" in the sense in which it seems to be
employed in the lines—“Dare we pluck our dote from this most
melodious dying,” p. 85. The word was anciently used only in the
sense of dotard, but has long become obsolete. Now and then, too,
we are disappointed by the feeble and affected ending of otherwise
fine verses. An instance of this we have in the poem called “ Our
Cottage." Short poems should always finish well. The closing verse,
and especially the final line, should be marked by strength and com-
pleteness, and leave upon the mind a sense of satisfaction. “Rain
at Night,” is a strong and thoughtful poem, spoilt, to our mind, by a
sort of varying refrain, such as Dripping and dashing of rain, '

· Pouring and running of rain,” at the end of each stanza. The
difficulty, it seems to us, in the use of this, or any kind of refrain, is
to avoid the appearance of mere artificiality, quaintness, or conceit-
to make the refrain seem to be the necessary complement, not of the
sense or metre, but of the feeling of the poem. To effect this requires
the most judicious and delicate management, especially in the
case of serious or passionate 'poetry; and we must say that the
instances of the successful use of refrains are very rare.

These poems need a little careful pruning. They would have been improved had the author submitted them to the revision of some friend with a keen eye and a delicate ear. On the whole, Mr. Robinson's poetry wants more thorough and careful workmanship. Marks of carelessness and haste would be painful drawbacks in works of highest genius, but are well nigh fatal in works of less pretension. It is from no spirit of fault-finding that we have stayed to point out defects, but because we are anxious that any future work of so true a

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poet as Mr. Robinson has proved himself to be, should come before us free from even those slight and superficial faults which mar the full effect of some of the best poems in this charming volume.

It is far pleasanter to turn once more to what is excellent, and cannot fail to please, in these poems—their good sense, genuine piety, and unaffected sweetness. It is no easy task to single out any for special mention. But among those which we have read with greatest satisfaction, are the sonnets, and those respectively headed, " I said of Laughter;'

" ov In the Evening; “ In the Dawn;" “ The Maid of his Dreams;" and " Lines to the Rev. Robert Moffat."

Aspects of Authorship; or, Book-Marks and Book-Makers.

By Francis Jacox. London: Hodder and Stoughton.

1872.

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MR. Jacox claims to be a book-maker, not an author, but he does not belong to the race of gentlemen to whom that term is generally applied. He is a lover of books, on whom Dibdin would have smiled, whom Isaac Disraeli would not have disowned as a brother. Not that he belongs to the order of black-letter knights, or exhibits the curious scholarship of the older book-worms, but his passion for books is evidently genuine, and a literary anecdote is to him the best of anecdotes. We confess to a weakness for gossipy, bookish books, without much sequence or continuity, books that raise the ghost of bye-gone literary ages and give one pleasant familiar insight into the life of authors. A book of this kind should not be a mere string of anecdotes, nor yet a formal treatise. There is a happy medium of style and method which Mr. Jacox hits, and the result is a thoroughly pleasant, and, to many readers, a really instructive book. He has traversed a wide and curious range of reading, and puts together in general sympathetic manner numberless illustrations of the habits of authors and of literary modes of life, a contribution in fact toward the natural history of books and book-writers. The classification of subjects is not always accurate,—we do not see how it could be,—but it is intelligible, and prevents that "scrappiness" which proves wearisome, however good the anecdote may be. The author speaks of this work as carried on in the retirement of invalid life.' We wish him speedy recovery, and meanwhile congratulate him on tastes and pursuits which must be very valuable to him, and have given us a very pleasant and readable book.

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Stray Thoughts and Short Essays. By John R. Prettyman,

M.A. London: Longmans, Green and Company. The preface to this book consists of a “Dialogue between the Author and a Candid Friend.” Into his mouth is put the following supposition. “Your medley may have been well received in successive portions. Homoeopathic doses of threo or four pages at a time

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may have gone down,' but patience may object to swallow the whole mass at once." If they are of our mind, they will go further. They will neither "swallow it at once," nor at any number of times. We would strongly dissuade any one, unless he have no reasonable occupation within reach, from reading Stray Thoughts. The book is neither wise nor witty; neither fresh in style nor new in matter. The editor of Colburn's New Monthly Magazine, in which the greater part first appeared, must have had some reason for going so far afield for padding ; but we were not aware that such a dearth of this kind of thing existed in the United States. No restriction will be placed on its exportation from this country. But we are puzzled to know what will be done with it on the other side. The Life of the Venerable Hugh Bourne. By William Antliff,

D.D. London: George Lamb. 1872. This is a record of the life of a man who, with very little else that is human besides sincere religious earnestness, indefatigable toil and ready self-sacrifice, became the founder and apostolic servant of a religious community, known as the Primitive Methodists, which at the time of his death, twenty years ago, numbered more than 100,000 members. Dr. Antliff, while minutely chronieling the personal history of Mr. Bourne, gives a clear account of the origin and spread of “The Primitive Methodist Connexion.” He records the labours, the great labours, of some of its first evangelists, and states the circumstances under which the name was adopted, fairly vindicating the use of it. The book is written in a calm and dispassionate spirit, and with a freedom and ease of diction which will probably make it all the more acceptable to those who are most likely to read it. Occasional expressions, however, will be as unintelligible to some readers as they will be objectionable to others. We recommend the book, not only to the several sections of the Methodists, but to all who desire to know by what means it is possible for a few carnest and good men to bring tens of thousands of their fellows under the power of Chris. tian teaching and to the practice of the Christian religion. The Home and the Synagogue of the Modern Jew. Sketches of

Modern Jewish Life and Ceremonies. London: Religious

Tract Society. We have any number of works on Jewish Antiquities, but few of an accurate and trustworthy sort on Modern Judaism. The consequence is that most readers know more about the Jews of our Lord's time than about the real life of their descendants now among us. Few know how great is the difference between the Jewish religion of the present day and that of the past. The volume before us describes in a very interesting manner the customs and ritual of the present Jewish Church, and gives an account of the principal Jewish Communities throughout the world.

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An appendix contains the Creed of Maimonides and the six hundred and thirteen Precepts which are the compendium of the Law that is taught to Jewish children. Tales of lIeroes and Great Men of ou. London: Religious

Tract Society. The best stories both of Greek mythology and history are here well told. We hope that children will never be deprived of their birthright in the shape of heroic romance. They have a vested interest in the Golden Fleece, the labours of Hercules, and the wanderings of Ulysses; and we should protest against any interference with it. This charming little volume deserves a place along with Mr. Kingsley's Greek Fairy Tales in every child's library. The Romance of the Streets. By a London Rambler. London:

Hodder and Stoughton. 1872. This title scarcely does justice to the character of the book. It is a contribution to our knowledge of the sins and sorrows of London and of the work that is done, chiefly in connection with the London City Mission, for the bodies and souls of some of our most miserable fellow-creatures. It is impossible to read without deep emotion the stories of ruin, wrong-doing, misery, and degradation with which the book abounds; but the record is brightened with the successes that never fail to reward those who seek the lost. We commend it to all who are interested in Home Missions, and even more strongly to those whose sympathy in this direction needs to be quickened. Blind Olive ; or, Dr. Greyvill's Infatuation. By Sarson.

London: S. W. Partridge and Co. The spirit and tendency of this simple story are unexceptionable, and the style, albeit sometimes a little gushing and conventional, is bright and full of energy. Considerable insight and ability, too, are shown in the delineation of character. On the whole, this little volume gives unmistakable promise that, with deeper study of actual character and life, and somewhat more careful handling of style and detail, the author will be able to produce a really good and successful novel. Premiums Paid to Experience. Incidents in my Business

Life. By Edward Garrett, Author of " Occupations of a Retired Life," etc. Two Vols. London: Strahan

and Co. 1872. With only common-place materials, our author has constructed a touching and instructive story. It is wanting in strength and vigour of style, and is not free from other imperfections; yet it is a true and pure tale, easily and freely told. There are occasional touches of epigrammatic and pathetic writing of not a little merit. It is reprinted from the pages of the Sunday Magazine.

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We have also received the following :

The New Cyclopædia of Illustrative Anecdote (Stock).-We cannot read books of this kind, nor are they meant to be read as other books are. But those who want illustrations “to point a moral or adorn a tale,” will find a large and well-arranged assortment here. Dr. Donald Macleod furnishes a short introduction, in which, by-the-bye, he uses the word objectivise, against which both eye and ear protest.

From Ol to New; a Sketch of the Present Religious Position. By Reginald Statham (Longmans).- This is a melancholy book. The writer is one of those to whom Christianity appears to be dying, or rather dead. He cannot let it go without a certain uneasiness, and a fear lest nothing should be found to take its place, and occupy the religious side of man's nature: "the man who once drew to himself some hope and beauty by believing the old religious creeds which are now passing away, but who now rather boasts of his knowledge of the coarse and common-place materials of which, perhaps, some of them have been originally composed, cannot be regarded as having advanced — cannot but be regarded as in extreme danger of retrogression.” This is a timely admission. How does Mr. Statham meet the danger he foresees? He admits that, “ to most persons now living around us, the belief in a personal God is a belief to give up which would be to do themselves a serious injury. . . . But the necessity that, in order to avoid loss of hope and earnestness, we should believe in a personal God, is only an apparent necessity.” Instead of faith and hope as a moral inheritance, Mr. Statham gloomily invites his readers to accept of doubt and uncertainty, as better in themselves, even if they make us somewhat forlorn. “Doubt gives zest to life; the feeling of uncertainty it is that makes us heroes." The book closes with a dreary stanza, appropriate enough to the death's banquet to which we are bidden :-

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pledge you in this cup of grief,
Where floats the fennel's bitter leaf.
The battle of our life is brief,
The alarm, the struggle, the relief -

Then sleep we side by side."
This is to have looked Christianity in the face and then go back to the
Pagans.

The Brotherhood of Men (Stock). Sensible utterances on matters physical, social, and religious that concern humanity. We are strongly persuaded that Christian ministers should not let social topics entirely get out of their hands. Mr. Unsworth has done good service in handling some questions not generally introduced into the pulpit.

Mr. Burton's Addresses to Working Men are just what such things should be, clear, racy, and straightforward. They were delivered to working men in Lincoln, and it is both to his credit and that of his hearers that the little volume has passed into a second edition.

The Training of Young Children (Longmans) is a sort of handbook for mothers, containing all manner of hints on physical and moral training. It is written in kindly, Christian manner.

END OF VOL. XXXIX.

BEVENWGE AND FRASER, PRINTERS, FULLWOOD'S RENTS, LONDON.

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