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SOME BOOKS OF THE MONTH. Characteristics. By ANTHONY, EARL OF SIIAFTESBURY. Edited by Rev.
WALTER M. HATCH. Vol. I. Longmans. 14s. THE first of three volumes of a new and very handsome edition of Shaftesbury's acute, sensible, and suggestive Characteristics, containing the Letter concerning Enthusiasm, the “Sensus Communis, or Essay on the Freedom of Wit and Humour,” and the “Soliloquy, or Advice to an Author.” The editor's notes are both too numerous and too long. Little essays by the way at the foot of each page are of the nature of a nuisance. It would have been much better to limit the notes to illustrations from other writers, with very terse remarks from Mr. Hatch, if specially called for by something in the text. The marginal analysis is both useful and well done. The Magyars : their Country and Institutions. By ARTHUR J. PATTERSON.
With Maps. Two vols. Smith, Elder, & Co. 188. A PARTICULARLY instructive account of the geography, society, politics, and history of Hungary. Mr. Patterson is much more than the ordinary traveller; in the first place, he has spent a great deal of time, some three years in all, in close intercourse with the people of the country, and in the second, he possesses both an adequate knowledge of European history and a just appreciation of the permanent importance of social and political movements. This book is not amusing nor lively for superficial people, but it is very valuable to persons who want to know something about the forces that have been and are at work in this most important part of eastern Europe. Hereditary Genius : an Inquiry into its Laws and Consequences. By F. GALTON,
F.R.S. Macmillan. 12s. An attempt to show experimentally and deductively the derivation of natural abilities by inheritance, under the same limitations and conditions as the physical form of crganic growths. The author's general plan is to take high reputation as a tolerably accurate test of special ability; then to examine the relationships of a large body of men of high repute—judges, statesmen, ministers; from them to obtain some general laws of heredity; then to test them by further examining the kin of illustrious captains, poets, musicians, painters, &c. The writer takes in various grades of ability. And by way of comparison between heredity in physical and in mental quality he has a chapter upon the relationship of certain sorts of oarsmen and wrestlers. The Claims of Classical Studies, whether as Information or as Training. By A
SCOTCH GRADUATE. London: Simpkin, Marshall, & Co. It is remarked by Auguste Comte, in his review of the development of modern thought, that the publication of Sir William Temple's “Essay on Ancient and Modern Learning” was an indication that the European mind, after centuries of classical nursing, began to feel as if it could walk alone. Nearly two more centuries have elapsed, and we are still under the care of our venerable nurse. A change is now coming rapidly over the spirit of this dream. The end of every year leaves a great number of people in a different state of opinion in the question. The pretensions of classics are sifted more and more carefully, and the residuum of independent worth, found to belong to them, is becoming beautifully less.
The pamphlet above-named is a well-condensed and systematic view of all the arguments that have at any time been brought forward, in favour of continuing the present system of classical education. They are reviewed one by one with unsparing vigour; and it will be a matter of some difficulty to reinstate any of them in their former plausibility after the handling that they are here subjected to. A History of the San Juan Water Boundary Question. By VISCOUNT MILTON,
M.P. Cassell, Petter, and Galpin. A VERY fuil and painstaking account, with copious illustratious from the official documents and despatches, of the disputes between the British and American Governments relative to the San Juan Boundary—one of the most troublesome of the questions which menace the future relations of the two countries.
Systems of Land Tenure in Various Countries. Macmillan & Co. 12s. A SERIES of essays from independent hands upon the national systems of land tenure in Ireland, England, India, Belgium and Holland, Prussia; France, Russia, and the United States. As each writer possesses special competence for the country whose system he hasundertaken, like M. de Laveleye, Mr. George Campbell, and Dr. Faucher, for instance, the book must be regarded as of exceptional authority and value. Letters and Life of Lord Bacon. By JAMES SPEDDING. Vol. V. Longmans. 12s. THE fifth volume of Mr. Spedding's very thorough work, not quite covering the period during which Bacon was Attorney-General. It opens with the preparations for the Parliament in the beginning of 1613, and closes with the war between the Court of Chancery and the King's Bench in the Præmunire case in 1616; and includes among other memorable transactions the Peacham case, the murder of Sir Thomas Overbury, the experiment of an Irish Parliament, and the very important doings in connection with our own Parliament in 1614. If Mr. Spedding takes us rather slowly over the ground, at least his labour has the rare merit in these days that the work will never have to be done over again. The Military Forces of the Crown : their Administration and Government. By C.
M. CLODE. Vol. II. Murray: Albemarle Street. THE chapters in the second and concluding volume of this important work of information include the Recruiting, Enlistment, and Discharge of Men, the Appointment and Dismissal of Officers, the Action of the Military in aid of the Civil Power, a History of the late Board of Ordnance, the offices of Secretary at War, Commander-in-Chief, Judge Advocate-General, Chaplain-General, &c. The book is a very complete history of the administration of the army, and furnishes a detailed account of one of the most important chapters in our constitutional and administrative history. Flowers from Fatherland, Transplanted into English Soil. W. Blackwood and
Sons. 6s. TRANSLATIONS by three hands of some of the most familiar German ballads and songs into English verse—from Bürger, Schiller, Heine, Körner, and Uhland. The translators have sought to keep as faithfully as possible to the original, and to preserve both the rhyme and rhythm of the German. They are most successful with Schiller, as would be the case probably with the majority of people attempting renderings from German poetry. Bürger demands a male vigour, and Heine a fineness, beyond the ordinary reach.
No. XXXIX. NEW SERIES.- MARCH 1, 1870.
HEINRICH HEINE'S LAST POEMS AND THOUGHTS.
A NEW book by Heinrich Heine! How does this announcement affect us? It is not so many years ago since such an announcement would have excited to the utmost the whole reading public of Europe. With what hungry eagerness, and feverish impetuosity, has each new book of Heine's been received by his contemporaries ever since the publication of the Reisebilder! Why, then, do we shrink, and pause, and hesitate to open the volume which now comes to us in Heine's name? Alas! between this volume and all the others there is a grave. Ay, and something sadder than the grave -a long, long dying agony.
When we have once taken leave of a man for life, his unexpected reappearance cannot but disconcert us. Time, in the interval, has changed the conditions of intercourse between us and him. Heine is still, par excellence, the poet of the nineteenth century. But the century is already older than its poet. And if, in this, his latest volume, fresh from the Hamburg printing-press, we find again the man we remember—the poet of the Buch der Liede and the Romanzero, hardly will he find in us the public which we also remember—the public to which those poems were addressed.
It is impossible to read without a feeling of profound melancholy the book now set before us by Mr. Strodtmann, Heine's literary executor. It is like reading an inventory of the personal effects of a dead friend; a list methodically arranged for public inspection of the furniture of the dead man's most private and secret chambers, to which, during his lifetime, not even his intimates were admitted. It is from the hand of a corpse that this book has been taken by those
(1) LETZTE GEDICHTE UND GEDANKEN VON HEINRICH HEINE. Aus dem Nachlasse des Dichters, zum ersten Male veroeffentlicht. Hamburg : Hoffman und Campe, 1869.
VOL. VII. N.S.
who place it in our own. So long as he was yet alive, Heine withheld the gift. Let us, therefore, bear in mind the circumstances in which we receive it, and duly respect the reticence of the departed.
Heinrich Heine was the first-born of his century. He used to say, “I am the first man of my time;" for he was born in the year 1800, and we are all of his family. But the little ones who, half frightened by Heine's audacity, half reassured by his success, so timidly and wonderingly followed his madcap pursuit of modern ideas across their grandfathers' fences and ditches, are now grown up, have finished their education, and entered into their inheritance. The most perceptive and discriminating of English critics? (himself a poet as well as thinker) has, with his usual felicitous accuracy, distinguished Heine from all other poets of his time as a soldier, and (since Goethe's death) the most brilliant soldier, in the war of the liberation of humanity. Yes, but if Heine could now, like his own great master, Mephistopheles, slip back unawares into the chair of doctrine from which the timid and blushing disciple of Doctor Faust was encouraged by that notable autograph, Eritis sicut Deos scientes bonum et malum, would not Heine also be as abashed and disconcerted as Mephistopheles himself by the astonishing progress of his former pupils? Mr. Tennyson has complained that,
* All can raise his flower now,
For all have got the seed.
Call the flower a weed.”. But Mr. Tennyson's flower is a flower of language. Heine's is a flower of thought; and the seed of it has been carried farther and wider, and borne fruit more abundantly, than could possibly have been the case had it not contained
“That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.” Heine himself declares that in poetry form is everything. But the ultimate value of that everything is determined by what also determines the form of it. Every form of genius is imitable. It is the genius of the form which remains unique. Heine's verse, highly spiced and richly flavoured though it be, is yet a sauce of which many inferior cooks now know the receipt. And, if they knew it not already, they would easily learn it from this little book, which is a complete culinary manual by the inventor himself of the cuisine à la Heine. It smells of the kitchen ; and the worst of it is, that before opening it we have tasted and relished to the full the daintiest and choicest viands that ever left that kitchen ; and the savoury odour, which whets the appetite of the still hungry, somewhat sickens the nostrils of the already full. No writer was ever more deliberate and reticent than Heine in regard to publication. The
(1) Mr. Matthew Arnold.
négligé in which it was his pleasure to present himself before the public was a studied négligé, carefully arranged in private. His immense naturalness is never naïf. He possessed in the highest degree the art of being natural. What if we now find his writingdesk open ? Before looking into it, let us, at least, remember that he himself kept it locked. He never set his least work in our sight before it was highly finished ; and who can suppose that he would willingly have suffered us to look over his shoulder while he was about it, and so detect the secret of its manipulation ? Not much of what is here exposed of Heine's work has the appearance of having been destined to leave his workshop in its present state. The editor of these fragments avers that Heine was only prevented by death from putting the finishing touch to them. But it is precisely the finishing touch which determines the effect of all work; and it is to finishing touches that Heine's work especially owes its peculiar elegance. Be that as it may, however, even Heine's unfinished work is well worth contemplating. We are thankful for the sight of it. His beauties, though only half dressed, are beauties still; and we, who have so often been bewildered by the charm of their elder sisters, since those enchanting coquettes first came out, can easily imagine with what matchless grace of movement these pretty orphans would have worn the grande toilette which they will never now receive. Some few of them, however, are full grown, full dressed, and fully equipped for conquest.
“Last Poems and Thoughts of Heinrich Heine" is the title of the little volume just published at Hamburg by Heine's old publishers, Messrs. Hoffman and Campe. But this title can hardly be true of all the verse and prose to which it is prefixed. Mr. Strodtmann, the editor, observes that Heine never dated his manuscripts; and many of those which he has now printed have the appearance of being the discarded (or perhaps, rather, the thriftily swept together and preserved) remains of work previously completed, chips, in short, and shavings, which are, indeed, the produce of work, but not the parts belonging to any work. A careful hand has strung together these scattered, glittering particles of Heine's genius—a hundred and more of them on a single string—and here they are. What shall we do with them? I know of no Aves which may be told to the beads of such a rosary. They will help none of us to say our prayers comfortably. I advise all pious souls to avoid the sight of them. They sparkle and flash with such a diabolical twinkle, and yet withal so playfully, so prettily!
Heine is the poet of the profane vulgar; and it is the exceptional merit of him to have uplifted into the sacred sphere of poesy the consciousness of what is vulgar and profane in our experience of ourselves. He did not withhold his pearls from the swine's snout; for