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(Chapman & Hall) is by no means the first history of the buildings which have occupied the present site, it will find a ready welcome from a large class of readers. Modern research has not decided whether or not a temple to Diana originally stood on the spot, which a neighbouring stone declares to be the highest in the City of London. But without this fane as a starting-point Archdeacon Sinclair relates the extraordinary phases through which after the introduction of Christianity the Cathedral as we now call it has passed and how prior to the Reformation the uses of the building were largely secular. An interesting feature of this volume, which differentiates it from Dean Milman's, Dr. Sparrow Simpson's and other works on St. Paul's, is the epitome of its history during the Victorian period contained in the Diary of its venerable verger. And the most satisfactory point is the assurance that "St. Paul's may now be pronounced in as sound a condition as ever it was." It would be as well if before the standardisation of public education is carried out the history of our endowed schools were written by those competent to speak with knowledge of the particularist methods which have survived from earlier times. Mr. M. F. J. McDonnell's History of St. Paul's School (Chapman & Hall) in a measure carries out this aim, and explains the part which Dean Colet's foundation has played in a far wider field than the Cathedral and City with which it was associated. Mr. William Pierce has shown both diligence and caution in his Historical Introduction to the Marprelate Tracts (Constable). Although known by name to many, their contents are known to few; whilst the interesting question of their authorship has never been satisfactorily settled. They form in themselves an important chapter in the evolution of civil and religious liberty in this country, as throwing light upon the position assigned to English Nonconformity in the later years of Elizabeth's reign. Mr. Pierce, writing as a Nonconformist, naturally presents the story of the High Court of Commission, presided over by Archbishop Whitgift, from a hostile point of view. He ignores the efforts made by the Puritans to capture the Church and to mould it to their own view, and consequently the Tracts can hardly be regarded as vindicating religious liberty in its broadest sense.
The time had certainly come for A New History of Methodism (Hodder & Stoughton), and Dr. Townsend and Mr. Eayrs have reason to be satisfied with the work they have accomplished. At length unprejudiced people are beginning to recognise the debt which those who remained on the Church Establishment owe to the spiritualism of that section of Dissenters who, led by Wesley, attracted a large number of earnest and devout Churchmen. The most pressing need of the latter was a vivifying force, and this Wesley provided by his love of song, as a factor in religion. The spread of Methodism to other countries where the dead hand of the Established Church did not lie so heavy, is an interesting question which the authors of this work have kept in view. The success attendant upon its preaching in the United States brought about a crisis when the liberation of slaves became a burning question in the Southern States, and the way in which the difficulties were met and surmounted is not the least interesting chapter in this admirable work.
The importance of a more accurate knowledge of our over-seas Colonies and Dependencies is becoming generally recognised. The publication therefore of Sir C. P. Lucas' History of Canada (Clarendon Press), dealing with the first fifty years of its connection with Great Britain as recorded in the State papers of the Colonial Office, is most opportune. It was in 1763 that the French finally renounced their claim to the country, which was then handed over to us, notwithstanding Edmund Burke's opposition. It was the misfortune of Canada, of which the settlers were almost wholly French, to find itself administered by ignorant or incompetent rulers in London, even when able and farseeing men like Murray, Carleton, and the Swiss-born Haldemand were striving to make British rule prosperous and beneficent. To their efforts was due the loyalty of the French Canadians when in 1812 the war between Great Britain and the United States broke out. It is at this point that Sir Charles Lucas' volume ends, but he shows how the Colony was started upon lines which have, after many vicissitudes, led to its prosperity and its practical independence.
In this connection Mr. A. G. Bradley's Making of Canada (Archibald Constable) should also be mentioned, written from the point of view of one who knows the country and the people as they now are; and who in writing of the past is in harmony with the present. Mr. Bradley's book moreover includes the story of the war with the United States, and so reflects some of the prejudices still existing between the two sections of the North American people.
There is an interval of a hundred years between the events referred to in the foregoing volumes, and those with which Colonel George T. Denison deals in The Struggle for Imperial Unity (Macmillan). The problems which Canada has been called upon to face after a century of British Government, and the answer given by the spokesmen of continued union with the Mother Country, are clearly and openly discussed in this volume. Colonel Denison has achieved a position in his own country which entitles him to speak in the name of those who were foremost amongst the opponents of the invitation to union with the United States, so eagerly pressed by certain American politicians upon the Canadian people and their leaders.
The story, not always edifying, of the establishment of British trading in China has been often told. Mr. J. B. Eames, however, has been able to throw some fresh light upon the methods of The English in China (Sir Isaac Pitman) in the "Factory Days" at Canton. Opium smoking and opium smuggling had been going on for more than a hundred years before the Treaty of Nanking was thought of, and much of the hostility to the importation of the drug arose from the desire of the Imperial Government to obtain a fair revenue from it. This antagonism was strengthened by the overbearing ways of English rulers and English traders, and, as Mr. Eames points out, a further irritant was introduced into the quarrel by the claims advanced on behalf of Christian missionaries. On these two points the policy of the Western Powers hinged for many years; and, as Mr. Eames asserts, afforded an insuperable barrier against a friendly understanding on equal terms between China and the rest of the world.
Mr. G. M. Trevelyan tells the story of Garibaldi and the Thousand (Longmans) with vivacity and sympathy, and he makes the success of the enterprise more miraculous than could be imagined by an ordinary historian. With a thousand half-clad and half-starved followers Garibaldi threw himself into Palermo which was held by at least four and twenty thousand trained soldiers. How success crowned this apparently forlorn hope is told in graphic language by Mr. Trevelyan. The fighting went on for three days, but the populace was inspired by the invaders, and in street-fighting untrained men ready to sacrifice their lives for liberty were more than a match for the badly led troops of King Bomba. The incompetence of his generals was only equalled by their ignorance of the course things were taking, and probably they were so afraid of their own troops and of the hatred engendered by years of misrule that they avoided striking a blow for their king.
In connection with the foregoing, the posthumous papers of Jessie White Mario, which Duca Litta-Visconti-Arese has edited under the title of The Birth of Modern Italy (Fisher Unwin), will be consulted with interest. Madame Mario played a prominent part in the struggle, and her intimate relations with the leaders of the movement, especially with Mazzini and Garibaldi, give additional interest to her chronicle of the events which from 1830 to 1864 were framing the destinies of Young Italy.
Politicians and students of contemporary history will find in Mr. Geoffrey Drage's Austria-Hungary (Murray) a storehouse of useful information as well as a keen appreciation of the elements of strength and weakness in the Dual Empire. His investigations have led him to its farthest limits, and he has studied on the spot the latest phase of Austro-Hungarian politics. The impression left by Mr. Drage's book is that for a long time to come the alliance between the two Empires of Central Europe will be effective, although in the probable course of events Austria will recognise her destiny to be the leader of the Southern Slav populations. The more immediate problem which awaits the next Emperor-King is how best to develop the federal idea without fostering the influence and prejudices of PanGermanism.
The sixth and concluding volume of "The Times "History of the War (Sampson Low) deals with the political aspect of affairs after the cessation of hostilities; and brings down the history of South Africa to the eve of the union of the four provinces. The tone of the volume edited by Mr. L. S. Amery differs, perhaps necessarily, from the impartiality observed in telling the story of the war. Mr. Amery writes, or rather compiles from the volumes of the newspaper he represents, strictly partisan views and opinions. This might be anticipated; but what is more surprising is to find that the fruits of the policy adopted by the Liberals, which that journal denounced in the strongest terms, are claimed by its opponents as the natural outcome of a far-seeing policy. The verdict of history cannot be thus manufactured, and the value of this unsurpassed history of the war in South Africa will be gauged by the earlier volumes rather than by the results as interpreted by Mr. Amery.
The story of our dealings with The Basutos (Hutchinson) as told by
Sir Godfrey Lagden is not very creditable either to British capacity or fixedness of purpose. Time after time the opportunity of drawing to our side an instinctively friendly people was thrown away, and the South African problem rendered doubly difficult of solution. The Basutos have a history which deserves writing, and it would be interesting to obtain from ethnographers some clearer clue as to their origin. A coloured race in a temperate climate is an anomaly which Sir Godfrey Lagden leaves to others to explain, whilst he traces the history of the people from the period when they first came into contact with Europeans. Their attitude towards the Boers was never friendly, and although they found themselves more than once opposed to the British, they never held out a helping hand to the Dutch faction, and under the guidance of their national hero Moshesh their aim was to obtain, with the least possible loss of independence, the advantages of civilisation and Christianity.
It was a fortunate coincidence which sent Mr. E. F. Knight to the Near East just at the moment of The Awakening of Turkey (John Milne), for his previous work had shown him to be not only a brilliant correspondent, but also an attentive student of national characteristics. He has, moreover, an acquaintance with the Turks dating back for thirty years, and has been admitted to the intimacy of those who through long and anxious years were endeavouring to revive the best traditions of the Ottoman Empire. Mr. Knight's book therefore throws light upon much that was obscure in the Young Turks movement. Mr. Knight was present throughout the closing scenes of Turkish misrule; he tells the story vividly, and clearly marks its moral.
In the same connection may be mentioned Sir W. M. Ramsay's The Revolution in Constantinople and Turkey (Hodder & Stoughton), which is in fact the author's diary kept during his stay in the capital from a few days prior to the deposition of Abdul Hamid and continued whilst travelling in Asia Minor. Sir William Ramsay's reputation as an explorer and Biblical critic is well established, and his powers of observation have not failed him on the present occasion. He does not hold a favourable opinion of the line adopted by the British Foreign Office during the crisis, thinking that the German was either better informed or more astutely directed. The most interesting side of his narrative is that which deals with popular feeling in the capital and in the provinces through which he subsequently travelled.
It might reasonably have been anticipated that the aftermath of an abundant harvest would show signs of exhaustion, but though the Last Poems by George Meredith (Constable) lack some of the music of his earlier work, they are as full of hopefulness and belief in Earth's call upon her children. To the end of his long life he retained a freshness of heart and a love of nature which gave a tone of perennial youth to all he wrote. In his poetry this was even more discernible than in his prose, and as he himself believed, it will be by his poetry that posterity will decide his place in our literature. Neither his prose nor his poetry is easy reading, not because his meaning is obscure, but because its expres
sion is either involved or over-condensed. These last poems show that this habit never forsook him, nor did his joy in the world's eternal youth. They read like the parting message of the seer who looking back calls to those who come after him to love their country for its beauty and to defend it for its greatness.
It will surprise many of Mr. Thomas Hardy's admirers to find that many years before his powers as a novelist became known and appreciated he had been writing verse. It was, however, comparatively recently that he came into the poets' arena with his long epic, "The Dynasts," showing delicate fancy in the lyrical interludes as well as dramatic force in the ever-shifting scenes of the narrative. Time's Laughing-Stocks (Macmillan) is a more varied volume, and shows the versatility of Mr. Hardy's powers, as well as his growth in poetic expression. Ranging over a period of nearly five and thirty years, we learn from this volume he has tried his hand on Sonnets, Love Lyrics and Country Ballads. In the two first the influences of his predecessors are distinctly visible, but even under these Mr. Hardy retains his own individuality. It is, however, in his Wayside Poems that he is to be found at his best, and the sympathetic analyst of Wessex life shows that his mastery over metre is scarcely less convincing than was George Meredith's, of whom Mr. Hardy confesses himself to be the devout disciple.
Another poet whom Meredith inspired or encouraged was Mr. Alfred Noyes, and the Enchanted Island (Blackwood) shows qualities which will commend him to many readers. To many, however, the shorter poems in this volume will appeal more directly, alike by their melody as by the sentiments expressed. At times, as in "Lucifer's Feast," Mr. Noyes rises to the height of passion, whilst at others he shows that in his hand the whip of satire can be made to sting.
If Mr. Winthrop Young's volume of verse, Wind and Hill (Smith, Elder), is to be taken as an indication, it would seem that the tendency of the twentieth century in poetry is not towards introspection or philosophic analysis. Mr. Young tries to represent the delights of mountain, stream and field as they appear to the eye of the lover of nature. He reflects in easy flowing verse the healthful mind in a healthful body, yet his poetry, even when most musical and passionate, never loses touch with common sense.
Mr. William Watson's volume of New Poems (Lane) are chiefly noteworthy for the tone of optimism which has come upon the writer in recent times. As a sonneteer he has proved his worth on previous occasions, and his admirers will recognise no falling away from his earlier achievement in this direction. The more fastidious will be gratified by the fact that musical cadence in Mr. Watson's verse is more in evidence than the purple patches by which his earlier work was marked or marred.
Mr. Laurence Binyon's new volume England (Elkin Mathews) contains many poems which have been printed in periodicals. They were well worthy of being garnered, for the majority of them are marked by delicacy of feeling and sobriety of expression, qualities rarely mingled by recent writers of verse. His patriotism is of the high order