7 JULY 1894, Page 34

Thoughts and Reflections on Modern Society. By A. Featherman. (Kegan

Paul and Co.)—This book, we are gravely assured at the outset, is the result of thirty years' observation, experience, and reflection. We took it up, accordingly, with becoming docility and reverence, especially as we found it professed to throw light. on the " gradual social evolution of primitive man." We found that it consisted of a bewildering array of brief paragraphs, on. all kinds of subjects, grave and gay, linked together by no con- tinuity of thought. At length, baffled in our search for a clue to the argument, we turned back to the preface, in search of further light on the author's intentions, to find ourselves confronted with the modest assurance that the book was " literary in purity of expres- sion, classical in style, philosophical in its mode of reasoning, and strictly logical in its conclusions." We fled back in terror to the text, and delved once more for its meaning, only to discover that our original judgment was confirmed. At length we put down the book with a sigh over the fact that the lifetime of a genera- tion should have been devoted to nothing more enduring than the fashioning of a wilderness of platitudes and crude school-boy reflections on science, morals, modern society, and almost every other topic under the sun. We have not encountered for many a. day a more perfect example of much ado about nothing. The philosophy of the volume is conspicuous by its absence, and its logic is hardly more apparent.