16 NOVEMBER 1867, Page 22

Theiitre Francais Moderns. A Selection of Modern French Plays. Edited

by the Rev. P. H. Ernest Brett°, B.D., Charles Cassall, LL.D., and Theodore Karcher, LL.B. (Triibner and Co.)—Modern French plays for young English readers ! What, people will say, is the world coming to, if these abominations of the nineteenth century are to replace classic authors? However, the first series is published already, and therefore it is too late for a protest. We must take the world as we find it and we must say that the world of French language and literature presented to us in this volume has peculiar attractions. It is impossible to read the notes which illustrate the second play without seeing that there is quite as much to learn in French as in Greek and Latin, and that the niceties of the modern language (while they have the disadvantage of being useful) are quite as subtle as those of the aorista and particles. As to the respective morality of the two literatures, we need only say that there is nothing unfit for a child to read in the plays of the present selection. There is much, however, that will interest young learners, and as the difficulties are not insuper- able, the charm of conquest will replace the humiliation and subsequent pain of defeat.