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Thou ill-conditioned wretch! Dare you to say,
By me declined-for honour and my son-
MORAY. Do you deny your mating with his slayer?
The forceful mating-well you know the truth—
To think the rebel ever was my friend!
"The nation's scorn," quo' Traitor Morton then.
"Rhadaman" is a forced contraction for Rhadamanthus, still more so is "har'st" for harvest. Elsewhere Mr. Chanson has the abbreviations "lotted" for allotted, "tentive" for attentive, and tent" for attention. He also affects Scotticisms, and uses strange words, such as "dule," "timeous," and "timeously." Occasionally, too, he throws the accent on the wrong syllable of a word, as on the first in "fanatic," and on the second in " panacea."
These blemishes would mar the effect of a greater work than Mr. Chanson's, which, though so far successful as not to be tedious, has no claim to skill in construction, stirring incident, startling situation, masterly portraiture of character, or powerful expression of feeling. What interest there is centres in Mary and Bothwell, rather than the nominal hero of the play.
Weather Charts and Storm Warnings. By R. H. Scott, M.A. H. S. King and Co. London, 1876.-An important addition has lately been. made to the intelligence communicated by our daily newspapers, in the shape of the weather charts, which, even with the aid of the explanatory remarks appended, are still far from easy to understand properly without some further information.
The special object of Mr. Scott's work is to supply this information. As Director of the Meteorological Office, he must be considered to possess special qualifications for the useful task he has undertaken. Avoiding theoretical discussion, except so far as is necessary for his purpose, he confines himself to a simple description of the various instruments and methods of weather observation now in use, pointing
out some of the imperfections in only one at eight A.m., from most our meterological information, and of our stations, and at best we only confirming his statements by refer- get additional reports at two P.M. ences to facts. Nothing can be and at six P.m. from a few places. clearer than his explanations and As regards Sunday mornings, our descriptions, with the numerous information does not reach us till illustrations by which they are ac- next day.” companied. To ensure a perfect It is only by knowing the mecomprehension and recollection of teorological condition of districts his remarks, he takes the trouble around us that we can calculate to recapitulate what he has said, with any approach to certainty as not only at the end of separate to the kind of weather we are chapters, but also the substance of likely to have; yet this indispensseveral chapters forming a division able knowledge is not attainable of the subject. Hence, no one by readers of newspapers, or even can read his work without learn. subscribers to the Daily Weather ing the full meaning and value of Report, till several hours, and often weather charts, and at the same a whole day, after its arrival. If time getting a correct idea of the reports cannot be obtained more present state of our weather know- than once a day, it would seem ledge.
more convenient to fix eight P.M. Mr. Scott exposes the error of for their reception than 8 A.M. supposing that sufficiently trust- They would then be only about worthy indications of weather twelve hours old by the time they change can be obtained from any reached the public eye, which single barometer, and insists on would often make all the difference. the necessity of comparing the The information supplied by the readings of barometers at numer- weather reports is necessarily meaous distant stations, the differences gre; many important particulars, between which, like differences in cspecially with regard to the clouds level, are denoted by gradients. and the sky, being omitted. Nor These gradients" are expressed in are the instruments always so perhundredths of an inch of mercury fect, or the observers so well qualiper one degree of sixty nautical fied, as could be wished. The miles.” They afford about the best instruments, Mr. Scott says, ought available means of learning the to be automatic, showing at a glance approach of storms. Even sudden the movements that have taken changes in a single baroineter can. place since the last preceding obnot be taken as safe guides. It servation. The observers should is necessary to compare several, be persons of out-door occupations, spread over a large surface, and to practised in noting the changes of do this often. Mr. Scott complains weather and the preceding meteorthat the reports received at the ological conditions, such as coastMeteorological Office are far from guards, &c. frequent enough.
In spite, however, of the imper"The signal office at Washington fections attaching to the weather receives three reports every day charts and reports, Mr. Scott mainfrom each of its stations; but, as is tains that they may be of service, well known, that office is most if properly used. liberally supplied with funds by Congress. Our
“These charts are therefore useful logical Office, however, can afford helps to the local observer, and will be
say so little.'
found so by those who stuly them The Immortals ; or, Glimpses of regularly, and combine with that study Paradise. A Poem. London in careful and systematic observations of
Light and Darkness; with all the their own instruments, and of local
Author's shorter poems. weather; but for the purpose of judging
las Michell. W. Tegg and Co.whether a particular afternoon will be wet or fine, which is all that the public
Having in our August number generally care to know about weather,
described three volumes of Mr. it is obvious that charts which are in Michell's, we need not dwell at any many places necessarily twenty-four great length on those before us hours old cannot be of much service. We have not found anything in Moreover the phenomena, which we in- them to alter the opinion we then clude under the general term weather,' often depend in great measure
expressed, or to require much addi
tion to our observations. It is true the nature and conformation of the ground in the neighbourhood of the
we have four additional volumes of observer, so that one place will be
Mr. Michell's work to judge from, more liable to rain during disturbed but there is great saneness-and weather than another, while not much else-in all that be writes. second will exhibit a greater tendency The wonder to us is, how to the formation of fog at a calm period
can manage to write so much, and than an adjacent district might show. As, therefore, such exceptional ten.
Mr. Micbell writes on a variety of dency is confined to each special locality, and does not belong to the
topics, and in varied forms. “Sibyl phenomena produced at all stations by
of Cornwall,” is an attempt at sen. the system of circulation prevailing at sational story in verse.
In “ The the time, it is necessary that the Heart's Great Rulers," we have a observer who endeavours to forecast series of sketches illustrative of probable weather should seek to ascer- the passions. “ Pleasure" contains tain under what conditions such pecu
similar illustrations of the various liarities manifest themselves, as it would be useless to apply merely
objects, pursuits, and passions from general rules in order to see the mean
which pleasure is derived, intering of phenomena of a purely local ningled, however, with painful character. :
scenes which do not add to the “On the whole it must be said that our harmony of the general effect. insular and exposed position precludes Mr. Michell attempts a higher us, in the present state of our know
“ The Immortals ; or, ledge, from the possibility of issuing Glimpses of Paradise." Here, as
. forecasts of future weather sufficiently trustworthy to be worth publication,
in his “ Poetry of the Creation,” he excepting occasionally, and then priu
rashly rushes in where wiser men cipally for the south-east of England."
fear to tread, and the result is any
thing but satisfactory. The last As to the storm warnings,'Mr. volume is a miscellaneous collection Scott shows by a tabular statement, of sentimental pieces, without freshthat, in the years 1873 and 1874, ness of thought or depth of feeling. about 80 per cent. of those issued In all these varied lines Mr. proved correct, which is a tolerably Michell acquits himself respectably, satisfactory result.
so far as the versification is concerned, which, though not remarkable for melodious smoothness,
is free from glaring faults. His Sibyl of Cornwall ; and the composition is, with occasional exHeart's Great Rulers. l'oems. ceptions, correct, if not elegant. Pleasure: a. Poem in seren parts.
He is not often guilty of gross error
in point of taste, and is always well- 'Tis not the thunderings from those meaning in sentiment. The misfor- depths profound, tune is, that a vein of rhetorical Convulsing air, and shaking rocks
aroundcommonplace runs through all he
Not these whelm sense, or thrill the writes. It matters not how lofty or
soul with fear, how touching may be his theme, he
'Tis the dread power that mocks our does not rise above the dead level
frailty here; of prosaic artificiality, or give utter- Resistless power displayed by that wild ance to strains that even arouse the mass attention, much less move the heart. Of living waters, maddening as they In short, the essentials of true pass ; poetry are not to be found in his
Power like a rushing would's, un
Not urged for days, for years, but dateThe following lines on the Falls less time. of Niagara are as favourable a speci- No moment, since the flood, whose men of his descriptive writing as waves have slept, we have met with
But on unresting plunged, and sound
ing leapt; “We stand below the falls; this And now they dash through air, as smooth, broad rock
these poor eyes Is wet with spray, yet safe amidst the Their grandeur view, and awe finds shock,
in sighs : Goat Isle half hung in air, its cliffs And when our turf-wrapped breast moss-brown,
shall throb no more, And tall black pines, all shivering, Race following race entombed gazing down,
yonder shore, As though they shrank, but still, by Still shall their mighty voice to heaven some strong spell,
&scend, Would peer below, and watch the tor- While earth's new children o'er their rents swell
glories bend, Watch the mad billows plunging, The final echoes of that voice at last seething white,
Mingling, and lost, in Judgment's The water-flakes thrown out, like bars
trumpet-blast.” of light; Down, down in gulfs where maelstroms 'round are flashing;
The writer evidently wants to be Down, heavily down, as waves turned
impressive. His painful straining rocks while dashing.
after effect is only too apparent. Behold! but speak not; wor's may
He seems to think success is to be rarely be
reached by worn-out rhetorical artiInterpreters of mind's intensi'y : fices, instead of by vividly realizing When most we feel, then mutest grows the scene in all its grandeur, and .
the tongue, The goddess Silence from pale Wonder
being deeply stirred with the various
enotions it is calculated to excite. sprung. 'Tis not the whirl, the bound of raging -especially of such an object as
No one can write good description waves, Hurled from above, to dive in earth's Niagara—who has not an eye to deep caves;
see, or an imagination to conceive, 'Tis not the mountain clouds where and a heart to feel; and whoever
foam-bows shine, Like rubies dropping from some sky
possesses these requisites will dis
dain the use of any other art than deep mine, While eagles o'er the abyss in terror
the simple transcript of his mind scream,
and the spontaneous utterance of To see those waters toss, and boil, and his feeling. Stage trickery will be gleam;
an abomination to him.
In "The Immortals " Mr. Michell gets quite beyond his depth, mixing up astronomy, philosophical speculation, and religion in strange confusion. Enchanted with the idea that the Pleiades contain the central sun, round which not only the solar system but the whole universe turns, he thinks it not improbable that "near these glorious worlds, of among them, lies' the paradise or angels and of souls." He indulges in all sorts of fanciful theories, explains the nature and form of angels, without hesitation or reserve, and describes the circumstances of their creation, with a daring familiarity and minuteness of detail amounting to positive profanity. Of angels and spirits he tells us without, however, stating where he got his information from-that
"They haunt each silvery moon, they
haunt the sun,
Pass and repass on beams, like bridges thrown
Across the blue, from luminous star to star."
Mr. Michell would be wise to confine himself to terrestrial topics and actual life, even if he cannot avoid triteness and superficiality in his treatment of them. As long as he keeps to the terra firma of reality he is safe from giddiness; and sober truth, however dull, is at any rate better than the wild vagaries of a disordered fancy. If Mr. Michell must write verse-though we cannot see why he should-let him at least avoid subjects beyond his
A Norse Love Story. The Pilot and his Wife. By Jonas Lie. Translated by Mrs. Ole Bull. London, Trübner and Co. 1876.— Two previous publications have won
for Mr. Lie an honourable position among Scandinavian writers. It was desirable that he should be introduced to English readers, who, from what they already know of Norse literature, through Andersen's admirable writings, may naturally be expected to welcome an opportunity of renewing and extending their acquaintance with it. This has been satisfactorily accomplished by Mrs. Bull, whose translation, though bearing unmistakable traces of its American origin, has the great merit of reading like an original work.
Mr. Lie having spent many years in the nothern regions as deputy of a judge, has had ample opportunity of becoming familiar with the mode of life there, some glimpses of which are to be found in his present work. Something of the stern gloom of the harsh climate seems to per vade his pages, which, though every. where instinct with vigour, sometimes striking, and at others touching, are nowhere lighted up with sparkling wit or playful humour.
We look in vain for "quips and cranks and wanton wiles." Life in those cold dark regions seems terribly real and earnest, or dreadfully dull. Such a thing as a joke appears scarcely ever to be heard or thought of. Fun is forbidden fruit, if we may judge from Mr. Lie's tale. The absence of graceful gaiety is a fatal flaw which must interfere with its success, especially as it contains little exciting adventure or startling incident, and has nothing of the sensational novel about it. Neither languishing young ladies nor fast young men are likely to find here the sort of reading they want.
Most love stories, after describing in detail the various persons and events that prevent the smooth flow of the course of true lovethe intrigues, the difficulties, and