2 NOVEMBER 1907, Page 13


Montaigne: The Essays. Translated by John Florio. Selected and Edited by Adolphe Cohn. ' French Classics for English Readers." (G. P. Putnam's Sons. $2 net.)—This is the second volume in a series of six, of which four are yet unpublished. The idea is to give the "best possible translation" of large selections from the greatest French authors, with a biographical and critical introduction, and the whole series is in the charge of Professor Cohn and Professor Page, of Columbia University. To judge by the present volume, the series will be of real value. The essay on Montaigne, his life, character, and writings, is an excellent piece of work. We have never met with a better or fairer appreciation of the essayist and his peculiar character istics, or a clearer explanation of the various events of his life. Florio's translation is always welcome, and the few notes here supplied are often useful and seldom irritating. Now and then, as is the manner of such notes, they presume a little too much on a reader's lack of general education. But this may be a fault on the right side. Twenty-five essays are given hero selected from the first and second books of the complete edition. A long and careful bibliography adds to the value of the book.