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From The Athenæum: “Our Library Table”

Rosalind: the Story of Three Parrots, by
E. M. Harris (Redway), is of the company
of books that are often said, by the lover of
sensational writing, to have “nothing in them.”
Admirers of delicate imaginings and pleasant
vagaries about nothing in particular may think
differently, and find ‘Rosalind’ to their taste.
It is only a whimsical sketch of a little girl’s
quaint fancies and odd dreams. The style of
writing is vague and cloudy, too ingeniously,
and yet possibly unconssciously obscure. The
notion of a child falling alseep and dreaming
strange things has beem the matter of many a
story, celebrated or unknown. The author of
‘Rosalind’ manages the old trick prettily enough.
The three parrots who repeat their various
experiences in the ear of the sleeping child use
curiousand often entertaining language. The
dream is rather too elaborate, perhaps, and is
in some ways far beyond all the probable
thoughts and aspirations of an eleven-year-old
child, however thoughtful and imaginative ill-
ness and an uncommon upbringing may have
made her. In spite of a little rather weak
diction and over-much digression, there is
grace and charm in the personality of the
child herself, and in most of the pople and
places introduced. Rosalind’s own household
is too lengthily described, perhaps, yet it forms
a pleasamt and not unskilful prologue. As for
the tales of the old Hampton Court parrots,
especially the one that tells of two little
maidens, Laurella and Meliora, it is all de-
lightfully quaint and unostentiously moving.
The birds are endowed with a far deeper under-
standing of their keepers than they are usually
credited with possessing; but the character of
their little listener must not be forgotten. The
book is delicately tinged with the humour
and sadness of child-life and human existence
generally, and is in every way an uncommon

THE booksellers are evidently going to be
inundated with a Burns literature provoked by
the centenary of his decease, and an early speci-
men is before us. Mr. Jacks, the late member
for Stirlingshire, who beguiled his attendance in
the House of Commons by turning ‘Nathan the
Wise’ into English, has written a pleasant
volume on Robert Burns in other Tongues
(Glasgow, MacLehose), in which he ranges
our translations of Burns’s lyrics into many
languages. Of these the best are those into
Teutoniclanguages, while those into the Romance
languages are less successful. Those into Latin
are abominably bad; but this is Mr. Jacks’s
fault. Is it patriotism that has led him to con-
fine his attention to two incompetent Scotsmen?
Mr. Jacks thinks Dr. Kennedy’s rendering of
‘John Anderson my jo, John’ too classical.
Certainly “Pamphile, noster amor primo mihi
notus in aevo” is quite different from the stuff
printed in this volume for Latin verse.

The Pirate has appeared in Messrs. Con-
stable’s reprint of the “Author’s Favourite
Edition” of the “Waverley Novela.”

WE have received a copy of the graceful
eulogium pronounced by the Duc d’Aumale
upon Henry Reeve in the sitting of the Académie
des Sciences Morales et Politiques of Novem-
ber 16th.—We have also on our table a dis-
course by Prof. P. Bellezza on Guglielmo Glad-
stone ed i suoi studi di Litteratura Italiana
(Florence, Office of the Rassegua Nazionale).

THE Daily News has celebrated its jubilee by
publishing a facsimile of its first number and a
history of its own meritorious and useful career
during the fifty years that have elapsed since
it first appeared under the sditorshi[ of Charles
Dickens. The progress it has made since it be-
came a penny paper is especially remarkable. The
facsimile is extremely interesting, as reminding
us of what a newspsper was in the days when
railways were only half developed and the use
of the electric telegraph was but the beginning. It
was the time when Mr. Hudson was in his glory,
and numberless railways were projected. The
South-Western Railway was proposing to ad-
vance from Nine Elms to London Bridge, and
at a meeting reported in the facsimile the chair-
man declared that the termini of the South-
Western were said to be the worst in existence:
a remark that still remains true.

THE Savoy (Smithers) declines to be con-
sidered an offshoot of the Yellow Book, and
although many of the contributors are the same,
it is free from some of the offences of the older
periodical. The cover of the cover is ugly,
but the quarto page is handsome, and the volume
is light. The chief feature is the first instal-
ment of a story by Mr. Aubrey Beardsley
accompanied by some exceedingly clever illus-
trations by the writer. Mr. Yeats’s lines are
characteristic of that notable writer. Mr. Symons
contributes a clever article on Dieppe and a
pleasant translation from Verlaine. Mr.
Shaw’s article, which opens the number, sins
from want of taste, and Mr. Wedmore’s tale is
much ado about nothing. Mr. Pennell’s sketch
of the Quadrant is happy; however his article,
though brightly written, deals with what may
be new to him, but is familiar to those interested
in woodcuts.

WE reviewed some time ago an interesting
and evidently truthful account given by the
Marquis de Dreux-Brézé of the attempted
restoration of te Comte de Chambord to the
throneof France in 1873. His history of the
Royalist party—1872 to 1883—was, it will be
remembered, published under the title ‘Notes
et Souvenirs’ by the Librairie Académique
Perrin, of Paris. M. de Dreux-Brézé, whose
work has gone through several editions, has now
published through the same firm his reply to
criticisms, which has considerable historical im-
portance, and generally speaking, may be said
to prove amply the truth of his previous
assertations. The little book is sold for a few
pence—less evidently than it cost—and the
author’s example may be commended to all
those who are dealing with points of modern
history. It often happens that a book on
modern history will produce a controversy, and
nothing is more difficult for the historian than
afterwards to find the various items in the corre-
spondence, and the important newspaper articles
in which new points are elucidated. If the
example here pursued were generalized, it would
be a gain to history. The controversy turns
partly on the offer to the Prince de Joinville of
the Lieutenant-Generalship by General Chan-
garnier, in the name of a group of Royalist
deputies, on November 1st, 1873. The Prince
de Joinville also has published ‘Souvenirs’
since that time, and there is something amusing
in the present recollection of the bearing of his
book and internal opinions on the subject. The
rest of the book turns on the reason of the
Comte de Chambord for making public his real
view about the white flag, and for thus blowing
to pieces the arrangements of his friends. The
reason has been pretty clear all along. It is
that the Comte de Chambord was essentially an
honest man, and that he did not think the pro-
ceedings of the Royalist deputies entirely, as
we should say, straight.

MLA citation:

“Our Library Table” Review of The Yellow Book, vol. 8, January 1896, and The Savoy, vol. 1, January 1896, The Athenaeum 25 January 1896, pp. 116-117. Yellow Nineties 2.0, Edited by Lorraine Janzen Kooistra, Ryerson University Centre for Digital Humanities, 2019.