20 APRIL 1889, Page 22


The April number of the Universal _Review is not a specially interesting one, and the illustrations have a smudgy effect, a, fact, however, which may be peculiar to a single copy. There is a singularly interesting article on John Bright by the Right Hon. C. P. Villiers, in which that veteran opponent of the Corn Laws does full justice to his great colleague's character and powers, without ever falling into hysterics of eulogium. The article reveals what we fancy few suspected from Mr. Villiers's vote

against Mr. Gladstone's Bill, that he thought Mr. Bright went too far in opposition, and believes it possible to reconcile a regulated Home-rule with the full ascendency of an Imperial Par- liament. The Parnellites, we may be sure, do not.—The editor's paper on "English Art" is full of good criticism, especially on the dangerous dependence of Art on Fashion ; but he is needlessly severe on modern landscape-painting. He makes a real point when he animadverts on the national inclination to pay great sums for Italian pictures, while the best work of our own painters is left in a half-lighted cellar, and while, we may add, the mere suggestion of a grand price for a great English picture would reduce the House of Commons to an attitude of protesting melan- choly.—Mr. Greene's summary of Australian writers is, to our minds, unsatisfactory. Half his illustrations of Australian poetry are not poetry at all.