24 JUNE 1899, Page 14

Studies in Foreign Literature. By Vir g inia M. Crawford. (Duckworth and

Co. 5s.)-Miss Crawford introduces English readers to a variety of authors, some of whom will certainly be strange to many. Most of us have heard of Maeterlinck and admired him, though we may not regard him as a " Belgian Shakespeare" ; Daudet is also well known on this side, but Gabriele d'Annunzio and Antonio Fogazzaro are somewhat less familiar names. Most readers will find a difficulty in following Miss Crawford from being unacquainted with the conditions of the literature of which she speaks. 0/54 thing is fairly plain. What- ever fault we may find with our Nitatfateurs, they are not so morbid as those to whom we are here introduced, One of those whose tone is most highly praised (Fogazzaro) actually makes the plot of a tale out of this repulsive fancy,-a man, attracted by the fancied resemblance of a prostitute to his dead wife, is fascinated by her, and coming to himself, strangles her with a tress of the dead woman's hair ! Miss Crawford is surely a little unjust when she accuses English readers of rebuking the indecency of French fiction, and "feasting in private on its pruriency." Of whom does she speak ? In another matter she is somewhat mistaken. The literary world would be taken by surprise," she says, "if Mr. H. A. Jones were to undertake to instruct us in the philosophy of life." Why, it is just what Mr. Jones did in a certain "lay sermon," which we well remember. Yes, he posed as a teacher !