29 JULY 1905, Page 23


[Under this heading we notice such Books of the week as have not been reserved for review in other forms.] London to the Nore. Painted and Described by W. L. and M. A. Wyllie. (A. and C. Black. 20s. net.)—Neither artist nor chronicler can complain of any want of material in the sixty miles of riverside that intervene between Westminster Bridge and the Nore. There are dreary intervals, and there are seasons when all wears a dismal look; but, on the other hand, there are atmospheric effects which it would not be easy to match elsewhere, and there is a succession of objects of interest, some of them survivals from the past, and some eminently modern in their purpose,—with not a few uniting in a happy way past and present, as when, for instance, the hulk of an old fighting ship is made a training place for the sailors of the future. And every now and then there are curiously significant contrasts, such as the collocation of the "Tower and the Tower Bridge." Never did the old and the new meet more strangely together. It is a most interesting journey, but it is one where a guide is needed. Some old battered hulk comes in sight; one might easily pass it over with a casual glance. But hear its name, and the mind is filled -with memories. There is the' Cornwall,' for instance, off Purfleet, a teak-built veteran of some ninety years,—the word " teak-built " is full of significance itself. It does not go back as far as the great days of Nelson. We have to be content with Kurrachee, Chusan, and Amoy. But these affairs were not child's play. "In the capture of Amoy she attacked a heavy granite fort, firing from both broadsides at once, the men furling_ the top-sails in the meanwhile." Now she is a Reformatory. A little further down we come to the 'Worcester '—every one knows what the 'Worcester' is—and next to it the Exmouth.' This suggests the name of Captain Bourchier, and his name again that of the Goliath,' with the story of the great fire, an affair in which more than one hero, great and small, came to the front. The ' Exmouth ' makes a fine picture, as do these old-time battleships. What will posterity do when the ironclads take their places as hulks ? The drawings are delightful. Perhaps we should like to have had more of the "Tilbury Fort" type. One might express the complaint by saying that we want more foregrounds. But it is ungracious to grumble at what is in every way a most delightful book.