30 DECEMBER 1882, Page 22



Such formidable rivalry as that of the Magazine of Art and of Art and Letters has evidently had an inspiriting„ rather than depressing offee t upon the Art Journal (Virtue and Co.), the annual volume of which is now before us. It may not show the strenuous effort manifested in the former magazine to bring literary excellence of a particular kind to the aid of art ; nor does it, like the other, perpetually suggest the idea of an ddition de lure. It may seem soberer, if not tamer and more old-fashioned, but it has an artistic character and a literary " line" of its own, and both are highly to bo commended. The letterpress is dis- tinguished by carefulness of judgment, freedom from " fad " or bias, and variety. In one way or another, by special articles on this or that artist or school of artists, by notes, and by criticisms and illustrations of recent Exhibitions, this volume of the Art Journal is very complete as an history of the year's art. Its chief attractions, however, are the etchings and engravings, which present all sorts of subjects and repre- sent all classes of artists, from "Old Cheyne Walk " (Severn) and "St. Mary-le-Strand" (Brunet Debaines), to Mr. Perugini's " Siesta," Mr. Burgess's "Student in Disgrace," and Mr. Frank Topham's "Home after Service." The first of the etchings, " Carlyle in his Garden," by C. D. Murray, after Mrs. Allingham, makes a singularly pleasant picture. Carlyle is represented as sitting, book in hand, in a hard- bottomed chair, as becomes an old Puritan, and on his face the placid "near port look of the octogenarian. Almost as notable, certainly as well drawn a figure as Carlyle's, is that of a magnificent eat, his favourite'• Tib," into whose eyes Mrs. Allingham has managed very cleverly to throw a fierce "Latter-day Pamphlet" look.

Mr. W. Chambers Lefroy has, in The Ruined Abbeys of Yorkshire (Seeley, Jackson, and Halliday), found an admirable subject for a series of papers which, though of the historiccearehmologioal char- acter, are thoroughly readable. The letterpress is exquisitely illustrated by the competent hands of M. Brunet Debaines and M. Toussaint, who undoubtedly succeed in making Rievaulx, Fountains, Kirkstall, Jervaux, and Whitby live again. This is a book which should be read by optimists whose aims are mainly materialistic. It may certainly be doubted if ever any class of men had at once such sur- roundings of magnificence, and gaols facilities for retiring into the subjective and the spiritual, as the monks of the middle ages.

Sir Noel Paton's Designs from Shelley and Shakespeare.—We should have hardly expected that Sir Noel Paton would have republished at this period of his life such early work as that which is contained in these compositions from Shakespeare and Shelley. That it is the artist who is responsible for their reproduction we may infer, from the absence of any publisher's name upon the title-page. Whenever an artist has become great, even if it be only great in the sense of greatly popular, an interest attaches to his early work which does not arise from its intrinsic merit alone. And for this reason we are glad to see what was the form and value of Sir Noel Paton's genius in the early days of his art. It was very much a reproduction of Flaxman's outlines, though the young Scotch painter possessed an inventiveness and a luxuriance of fancy of which the older artist could never boast. That liking for beautiful strangeness which was afterwards to characterise Noel Paton's painting is very evident here,—even his imps and devils are beautiful, in their way. Of the drawing itself, perhaps the less said the better, but there is no doubt that the form of printing adopted has taken away a good deal of its attractiveness. Many mannerisms, which afterwards in a great measure disappeared from his draughtsmanship, are to be found here ; and a peculiar delight is evident in drawing faces in which the eyes are set low in a face in which the chin and lower part are feeble, small, and pointed, while the upper portion is exaggerated in size and domed in shape. We do not care to dwell upon these and many similar defects. The book recalls to us painfully a time when book illustration was perhaps at its lowest ebb in England (1845), and these feebly-marked outlines, strengthened here and there exactly after the manner of Flaxman, are perhaps the least admirable of all possible methods of drawing the human figure.

We have even this year come across no more beautiful ddition de luxe than Selections from the Poetry of Robert Herrick, with drawings by Edwin A. Abbey. (S. Low.) To so satisfactory a result, the pub- lishers have contributed most beautiful paper and type ; and Mr. Austin Dobson, in the form of a preface, one of the most charming essays he has over written. The selection from Herrick has been very carefully made, and it is none the worse for being condensed. The chief attraction of the volume, however, is, it is unnecessary to say, the remarkable illustrations of the American artist, Mr. E. A. Abbey, who is so enamoured of Herrick that he has taken the utmost pains to reproduce Devonshire scenery and rural life by studying it, and has made himself master of the life and customs of the Stuart period. His labour has been rewarded with a signal success. It may be ques- tioned if there is any living English artist who could have given snob sketches, at once faithful and beautiful, as those we have here, illus- trating " A Cavalier," " Delight in Disorder," and " The Mad Maid's Song." How, by, the way, has such a blurred picture as that repre- senting " The Short Hymn to Venus " crept into so admirable a collection ? We cannot leave Mr. Abbey's work without saying that there are poets more in need of his powers of illustration, and perhaps even more deserving of them, than even Herrick.

Messrs. Cassell, Potter, and Galpin have chosen this season for the publication of the first volume of a carefully edited and richly illus- trated Royal Shakespeare. Before we have the pout himself, we have nearly 150 pages of introduction from Mr. Fnrnivall, which, it is quite unnecessary to say, are crammed with learning—and theories. The text is that of Professor Dennis of Bonn, who is surely an editor after Mr. Furnivall's heart, for he hag opinions of his own, especially in the matter of chronological arrangement, and acts up to them in a startling way by breaking up King Henry VI,, and placing the Sonnets, "Romeo and Juliet" and "Love's Labour's Lost" between the second and third parts of that play. The illustrations by Richter, Frank Dicksee, Watson, Green, &c., are deserving of high praise. We should say that this will be a very valuable edition of Shakespeare, but also a somewhat " faddy" one.—Seine Wel i-knotun Sugar's/ Sonnets, by William Shakespeare, 1?,esugar'd (Henry Setheran and Co.), designed by Edwin J. Ellis, and etched by Tristram J, Ellis, is evidently considered by the anthers as a good frolic. Certainly the idea of representing the lovers in Shakespeare's Sonnets as so many baby boys and girls in a state of natural innocence, "playing at getting married," is a new one. Whether it was worth bestowing so much pains upon is another question, although itundoubtoclly lends it- self to humorous effects. We shall only say that the artists show so much skill here, that we hope to see it yet used to better purpose.

There is in Highways of Literature (Nimmo, Edinburgh), by David Pryde, LL.D., much wholesome advice, sound criticism, and healthy morality, of the breezy, Blaokie type. Dr. Pryde, who is evidently a staunch Carlylian, is, indeed, rather given to italics, marks of ex- clamation, and other literary gesticulations; and when he gets among "pearly dew-drops," "daisies that dapple the grass," and the like, his enthusiasm is prone to lose itself in mazes of rhetoric. His views, however, on the way in which travellers on such "highways of literature" as poetry, history-, the drama, and mental philosophy should walk, are excellent. He holds that it is better to master a few classical writers thoroughly, than to scamper through a whole literature ; and he is right. Some of Dr. Pryde's minor judgments may be objected to. Thus, it will be well to rectify his description of Napoleon I. as " the most portentous, the most sublime

sham ever developed by the ages," by reading what his own favourites, Carlyle and Emerson, have to say on the same subject. We confess, too, to being a little alarmed at Dr. Pryde's proscription of a course of Thackeray to our modern Pendennises and Pokers, as a fortification against the Bloundells and Costigans and Blanche Amorys whom they may meet. Would there not be a danger of "Farewell, Thackeray, whom I bated so ?" Every father had better be his own Thackeray. Besides, is not the "strong band of Calvinistic purity" as powerful in Scotland as it was when Wordsworth wrote, even if-the palm of persuasion be now used rather than the knuckles of coercion

The Wit and Wisdom of Edward Bulwer, Lord Lytton (Routledge), is a handsome volume, and the contents have been, on the whole, judiciously selected by Mr. Charles Kent. Thaokeray's judgment of " Bullwig " was, perhaps, too harsh ; yet not a few of what are presented here as diamonds are paste, and warranted to flash only before the footlights. What is there in this,—" Honour is to justice as the flower to the plant, its efflorescence, its bloom, its consummation;" or, "Every sod on which we tread is the grave of some former being ?" There is at least Arnoldian truth as well as smartness, however, in the definition of religion as " poetry with a stronger wing," and the rendering of Are longs, vita brevis, as "slow work, before one fags one's way to a brief," is not unworthy of Lytton's old friend Fonblanquo. Mr. Kent has arranged his selec- tions in strict chronological order, and this shows how Lord Lytton's wisdom, such as it was, mellowed and softened, as he himself advanced in years. Why did not Mr. Kent, however, extract a little more of Augustus Tomlinson's philosophy from "Paul Clifford," and why did he not remind us—though it be not always true—that "the worst possible use you can put a man to is to hang him P" Vanity Fair Album for 1882 presents all the attractions of former years, and gives the promise of a new one in the future. Ladies are now to be included in it ; but the female portraits aro to tell the graceful truth, while the male ones are, as hitherto, we pre- sume, to tell the grotesque truth. We have here the first of this now series in a portrait of the " Princess of Wales," which is nearly all that could be desired, although, owing to the peculiar colouring in all these " works," her Royal Highness's hair appears fairer than it really is. There seems, indeed, a growing tendency in Vanity Fair to fall back from caricatures of the style of "Ape's" on actual portraits. Thus " T.'s" representations of "Lord Walsingham," "Lord Wimborne," and "Mr. Errington" look more like coloured photographs, very carefully executed, than anything else. Even some by "Spy," on whom Mr. Pellegrini's mantle has fallen, have little or nothing of the caricature about them,—e.g., those of " Mr. Mello& " and "George Fordham." "'General' Booth," "Lord Robartes," "Lord Penrhyn," " Lord Foley," and " Sir Robert Mowbray " are excellent examples of the remarkable power of this artist—who is every year taking more pains with his work—to develope with- out unduly exaggerating the ridiculous side of a portrait, and to make it:a representation of some weakness or eccentricity. The gem of this collection, however, is the portrait of Mr. Smiles as " Self-help." It is a perfect incarnation of Scotch " pawkiness" and geniality in combination and balancing each other, and it is all the better for being absolutely good-natured. Some of these portraits, indeed, particularly those of Mr. Lecky and Mr. W. H. Gladstone, are spoiled by the spice of malevolence which seems to have found its way into the drawing of them. The letterpress of "Jehu Junior" is cleverer and more pungent than ever, A Birthday-book (Chapman and Hall), illustrated and compiled by Lady Guendolen Ramsden, certainly surpasses anything of the kind we have recently seen, in point both of illustrations and of the poetical quotations. In the latter, indeed, Lady Guendolen has ransacked our literature with great care, and if she shows too great a preference for certain authors like Praed, that is a small matter. Many, if not most, of the illustrations are truly delightful bits of landscape in Italy, Scotland, the North of England, &a.

We much regret that considerations of space compel us to give only a brief notice of Anyhow Stories, Morat and Otherwise, by Mrs.

W. K. Clifford. (Macmillan and Co.) They are unique among tales intended for children, alike for their quaintness of humour, their gentle pathos, and the subtlety with which lessons, "moral and otherwise," are conveyed to children, and perhaps to their seniors as well. They are so varied in character, that different classes of readers cannot fail to find delights specially suited to them. While

130M0 may take "The Three Ragamuffins" to their hearts, or linger

over the moral so delicately, yet so pathetically, conveyed in " The .Cobbler's Children," or be charmed by "The Story of Willie and Fancy," who, when she "heard the sad news" that he was to be a lawyer, "fled away from him swiftly and for ever," we prefer poor Turkey and Blue Eyes, in " The New Mother," and their desperate

attempts to be naughty enough to please the sorceress that has be- witched them. Mrs. Clifford's verse, as in " The Paper Ship," is, at least, equal to her prose, and great success may be anticipated, should she elect to write poetry for children, or rather, for their

elders through them. We cannot resist quoting this pretty conceit from the "Lullaby," with which the volume closes ;-

"And while you sleep, the roses May think your cheeks so fair, That, in the early morning, You'll find thorn resting there."

Brothers of Pity, and other Tales of Beasts and Men, by Juliana, Horatia Ewing (S.P.O.K.), is altogether worthy of this authoress's high reputation. Many of our renders must know them already, from their having appeared in Aunt judy's Magazine. There is not only humour, but wisdom in "Father Hedgehog and his Neighbours." There must be few readers, indeed, who will not sympathise with "Poor Toots" in his efforts, on losing a comfortable home, to find another with a good-natured bachelor, although they may also rejoice at his failure to destroy the pot mouse, his rival in the affections of his now master.

Among reprints especially deserving of notice is a fee-simile of the first edition of Defoe's Robinson. Crusoe (Elliot Stook), published in 1719. Not only connoisseurs in editions, but ordinary readers. will, unless we are much mistaken, be grateful for this stout, old- fashioned paper, and this bold type. Mr. Austin Dobson supplies an excellent introduction, in which he is just to Robinson Crusoe and generous to Defoe, He says, both happily and truly, that "there can be little doubt that in his practical character, his fortitude, his perseverance, and most of the qualities which have endeared him and his adventures to so many generations of Englishmen, there are manifest affinities between Robinson Crusoe and his creator, Daniel Defoo."—A very different kind of reprint, though also very serviceable, being in one volume, is that of Rollin's Ancient History. (Ward and Lock.) We observe here some illustrations that have done duty in other works.