6 JULY 1867, Page 22


--s— A Dictionary of Science, Literature, and Art. Edited by W. T. Brande and the Rev. George W. Cox. 3 vols. (Longmans.)—For the space they cover these volumes are a complete encyclopedia, and it is only by narrowing their field of action that they could be compressed into their existing limits. It is true that the separate articles are not in themselves exhaustive, and the subjects are not treated as fully and at as groat a length as in the Encyclopcedia Britannica. But it must be evident to all who consult those larger works that their fullness is merely comparative, and that while their size and price exclude them from humble shelves they do not replace a library. The present dictionary is more of a handy book for reference, not for study, a guide rather than a teacher. As such we think it perfectly successful. The definitions of scientific and artistic terms are terse and clear. The names of the writers on each special branch will command confidence. Many books have been consulted and their pith extracted for some short paragraph, while articles such as that on "Historical Credibility " are evidently the result of years of thought and study. It is this result which all books of reference aim at securing, but they often have to pat up with a colourable imitation of it, and sometimes when they secure it, it is un- readable.