26 APRIL 1890, Page 21


The place of honour in the Universal Review for this month is given to a vivid and painful account of the sufferings of Russian exiles doomed to slow torture or to death by "Administrative Order." A sensational illustration of the flogging of Madame Sihida might have been spared with advantage, since it is a fancy picture ; but the horrible facts recorded in this article cannot be too widely circulated. What the writer calls "the record of Siberian martyrdom" is assuredly the blackest page of modern European history. Set in a graceful framework, the editor has a discriminative article on poor Amy Levy, of whom he writes, but not from personal knowledge, as interesting, beautiful, and lovely. We think that the first adjective describes her appearance most accurately. Beauty, in the ordinary sense of the word, she had not, but there was a pathetic charm in her face not readily to be forgotten. Miss Levy was astonished that her people rejected with such bitterness the one-sided view of them given in "Reuben Sachs ;" but Mr. Quilter is not far wrong in the remark, though the blame might have been expressed more gently, when he says that there was "something positively inhuman" in the detachment of mind which allowed the young Jewish author to write "with such absolute indifference about the national and social characteristics and peculiarities of her own people." May it not be possible that Amy Levy's deafness con- tributed to this detachment? Mr. Alfred East writes with an artist's sympathy for "the gentlest and sweetest people of the earth" in the Land of the Rising Sun. He thinks highly, too, of Japanese art, narrow though its range may be. "Their art work in all things," he says, "no matter how rude, is never vulgar it is always interesting, if not always great." Unfortunately, the invasion of European ideas and customs is doing no small injury to Japan, from an artist's point of view. "The Dead- lock in Darwinism" is a title indicative of an attack on Darwin, about whom the writer, Mr. Samuel Butler, does not scruple to use strong language. He was " fatuous " in claiming the theory of evolution; he "played fast and loose with his distinctive feature ;" his system is left in an "inextricable muddle," of which no one can "make head or tail," and so on. The writer does but open his attack in the present number, and promises to carry on the fight in the next. "Prince Bismarck's Socialism," a short but significant paper by the editor of the St. James's Gazette, is likely to attract readers; and when in a lighter mood, they will be amused with the lines on "Science and Poetry," written as an answer to Mr. Barlow's clever verses in the last number. Is it due to his matter or to his faculty as a verse- man that Mr. Cotsford Dick is the less successful of the two poets ? Perhaps the following stanza is the best :— "I'd rather choose with happy feet to follow Where Darwin nobly pioneers the way, Than it among the Lakes, and try to swallow

The artless sentiment of 'Lucy Gray."