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Mr. Guyot Cameron, of the Sheffield Scientific School, has just added another to the already numerous editions of Prosper Merimée's charming little classic, Columba.* The large number of books of this kind which every college instructor seems to consider it his duty to publish is increasing every day. Many of them are good and timely, while the only purpose that others seem to serve is to add to the financial resources of the editors and publishers. This book seems to belong to the latter class, for there are plenty of good editions of this novel, and hundreds of books of a similar kind which still remain unsold. The form in which the book is published is acceptable enough, but the student world is becoming tired of buying an unnecessary number of books simply because they are unfortunate enough to be under an instructor who possesses a prolific pen. We would like to see a slight cessation of encroachments on the students' pocket books by college professors.
Without doubt the most important contemporary writing is done by the French people. Zola and Daudet in the various forms of the realistic novel, Bourget in literary criticism, Guy de Maupassant and a host of others in the short story, to say nothing of Taine and Ernest Renan in philosophy and science, have been the writers whose every word has been anxiously awaited and conscientiously considered in both the old and the new world. The main difficulty which confronts the student in the study of this present day literature, much of which is so valuable, is the enormous amount of it. To meet this embarrassment, Mlle. Rosine Melle, who has long been known as a discriminating student of the writings of her native land, has prepared a little volume, which considers the literary style and principal characteristics of the most prominent French writers of to-day, together with a large number of selections from their works. The painstaking care which is displayed in the preparation of the book and the dainty form in which it is issued should recommend it to all who have occasion to teach French in our public institutions.
Theodor Storm's Geschichten aus der Tonnet is one of those simple tales of which the German people are so fond. And the other stories in the volume are good examples of that style of literature which, while it comes into life mostly on the other side of the water and is consequently chiefly appreciated there, nevertheless has much charm for the more practical people on this side of the Atlantic. While the style of the author is excellent and gives the student a good idea of German literary art, the notes are so good throughout that even those who know but little of the language can peruse this volume with considerable pleasure. The editor has performed his work conscientiously, and has produced a volume which will doubtless be read widely in American schools and colleges.
*Columba: By Prosper Merimée. Edited by A. Guyot Cameron, Ph.D. Pp. 266. New York: Henry Holt & Company.
+Contemporary French Writers. By Mlle. Rosine Melle. Pp. 212. Ginn and Company.
Geschichten aus der Tonne. By Theodor Storm. Edited with introduction and notes by Charles F. Bruisie. Pp. 127. Boston: Ginn & Co.
Mr. William Lyon Phelps, of this University, has edited a students' edition of Irving's Tales of a Traveller,* which will be useful to the beginner in the study of American literature, especially to those who read Irving before entering college. Mr. Phelps has supplied an adequate and interesting introduction which deals with the life and character of the author. The notes explain many things which seem obvious but this renders them all the more valuable for the purpose in view. The volume is issued in neat and serviceable form.
Professor Perrin, of Yale, has just added another to that valuable college series of Greek authors, edited by Professors Seymour and White. The success of the editor's first volume of the Odyssey has naturally encouraged him to issue a second. The present volume comprises Books V-VIII, and is edited on the basis of the Amies-Hentze edition. The text is that of Dindot with one or two variations. It is unnecessary to say that the work is an unusual example of scholarly and literary effort.
Mr. Edwin J. Houston, the author of numerous electrical works, has conceived the idea of publishing A Dictionary of Electrical Words, Terms and Phrases. The idea is a good and novel one, and the book has met with such success that it is now in its third edition, which has been greatly enlarged. The dictionary seems very complete, and is neatly and compactly bound.
Mr. Du Maurier's charming novel Trilby, published by Harper and Brothers, is noticed in the body of the LIT.
TO BE REVIEWED.
Two Strings to his Bow. By Walter Mitchell. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Company.
My Paris Note Book. By the author of An Englishman in Paris. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Company.
An Altar of Earth. By Thymol Monk. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons.
No Enemy (But Himself.) By Elbert Hubbard. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons.
Cicero, and the Fall of the Roman Republic. By J. L. Strachan-Davidson M. A. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons.
*Tales of a Traveller. By Washington Irving. Students' Edition. Edited by William Lyon Phelps, M.A., Ph.D. Pp. 558. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons.
Homer's Odyssey. Books V-VIII. Edited by B. Perrin, Professor in Yale University. Pp. 186. Boston: Ginn & Company.
A Dictionary of Electrical Words, Terms and Phrases. By Edwin J. Houston, A.M., Ph.D. Pp. 667, New York: The W. J. Johnston Company.
TO BE REVIEWED-(Continued.)
The Flute Player, and other Poems. By Francis Howard Williams. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons.
"As Natural as Life." Studies of the Inner Kingdom. By Charles G. Ames. Boston: James H. West.
In Love with Love. By James H. West. Boston: James H. West.
Lourdes. By Emil Zola. Chicago: F. Tennyson Neely.
Venice. By Alethea Wiel. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons.
Tacitus, Dialogus de Oratoribus. Edited by C. E. Bennett. Boston: Ginn & Company.
The Roman Pronunciation of Lutin. By Francis E. Lord. Boston Ginn & Company.
The sharp rap of a walking stick sounded on the door upon the usual none too courteous invitation to enter, the door opened and the Editor saw good Saint Elihu standing in the passage-way, dimly illuminated by the glow of his halo.
"Greeting, young friend" he said, and his accents waxed sarcastic," is this the office of the Yale Literary Magazine? I didn't know, you know. I haven't been invited. Perhaps I am not to be useful to you in your new affluence."
The Editor tried to express the grief and embarrassment of the Board that the Saint should so misunderstand their intention not to receive him in the new office until it was fully ready to do honor to his presence. Somewhat mollified, he entered. Carefully withdrawing a jewelled hookah from the flap pocket of his buff coat the Saint comfortably disposed himself on the lounge and discoursed as follows, while the hookah chuckled merrily upon the desk over his head.
"At the dissolution of the schools last June, young friend, there was a certain outcry against the present governors as regards a leaning to encourage luxury, especially in the providing of lodgings for those who from time to time submit themselves to the educational influence of the place. The problem has caused me sore stress of mind.
"The college must go on. The salaries of the instructors must be paid; and there are other neccessary disbursements. The aggregate of the tuition taxes is altogether insufficient; though the wise and benevolent have showered rich gifts upon the institution ever since I earned fame and canonization, as you doubtless remember, by presenting books to the value of one hundred pounds, the lack is not made good. If the tuition tax be increased inevitable hardship is worked upon those who are even now put to hard straits to pay that levied at present. Apparently the best resource of the administration was to graduate the tax. To make the student of larger means responsible for a proportionate share of the expenses of the institution; but since families are usually rich because they have been thrifty, and since it would be most tyrannical to pretend to decide arbitrarily who are able to pay a larger and who a smaller tax it was decided to let the matter settle itself; to give to such men as would pay an increased tax certain additional comforts and luxuries in their lodgings. Practically and financially, the immediate difficulty of the governors was overcome-and a precedent has been established for meeting future exigencies.
'But, young friend, there is yet another difficulty. One which is not likely to force itself into the learned deliberations of the faculty or into the financial councils of those who shape the material welfare of the college, except, too late by its irremediable results.
Those who can pay the increased tax are, ipso facto, well supplied with the goods of this world and so the new and more expensive buildings are occupied altogether by men of comparative affluence. A man's financial status may soon be known by the building in which he lives. Perhaps this
state of affairs is not in itself more than sentimentally criminal but it lends opportunity for investigation on deeper charges. Good without limit has been done in the past when the rich man has visited his poor neighbor next door to borrow matches or the poor neighbor has visited the rich man to recover a loaned text book. Acquaintances and though it may seem ridiculous to say so-friendships and life lessons are so learned. None of those who come among us out of Andover-where the mischief has already been done -wants to see Yale develop any such faction as a "Commons crowd." But the crowning evil in the sentimental and impractical mind of the undergraduate and the alumnus is the removal of the old cheap rooms to beautify and make way for the higher priced dormitories. Surely "love of the campus is too good to be coined into money," and just so surely as it is coined it will die-God forbid.
"And now as patron saint and conserver of all good traditions and of everything which the faculty is apt to overlook, let me offer a poor simple suggestion. Let there be a few cheap rooms with a nominal rent in all the buildings. Make up for this reduction if neccessary by raising the price of other rooms in the same dormitory. It is not that the rents are too high -they might be higher without injustice-but high and low should be mixed in the same building. Then if a poor man drew an early choice he would have something like as good an opportunity as his better provided classmate to walk out of his entry door into a campus ball game or to lean out of his window and hear the glee club sing-advantages trivial in the mentioning but weighty in the consideration as the sum of all that Yale means in the way of manly democracy."
The Saint pulled hard at his pipe but it had gone out. "Ah" he said, regretfully regarding the hookah, "James, I have out-talked thee;" and he vanished into his halo.
The Editor turned to the exchanges and hunted college verse. The Saint's problem is too deep for him.
Happy who saith: Enough.
Soft is Aurora's touch that breaks his slumber;
For life, ne'er roamed his shade;
He lives with time, nor are the sands that number
How bountiful is Love!
When hope is fled, he comes with wings of blessing:
His pleasure is to give
His all, and poor to live;
But he grows rich, the treasure twice possessing
Himself he robbeth of.