28 APRIL 1894, Page 39


Essays in Idleness. By Agnes Repplier. (Gay and Bird.),-Here is another province wrested from man by the growing powers of his rival ! Whatever woman could do, we had thought that she could not write essays. With essays of a sort, indeed, it was too easy to credit her, but the true literary essay seemed to be e masculine speciality. This belief must be given up. These " Essays in Idleness" have all the lightness of touch, all the fullness of matter and grace of manner, that go to make up the beat work of the kind. Miss Repplier has read widely—frequent and felicitous allusion is one of the essayist's qualifications—but she uses her reading with delicacy and taste ; she is humorous with-- out effort ; she has pathos at her command, but is properly sparing in her use of it,—in fact, she writes admirable essays. What more need we say ? Miss Repplier—if any one wants further proof of her excellences—loves cats, but with a quite clear-sighted love; and she admires Pope's " Homer's Iliad."