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some of the results of his observations and labors. It is full of information to the managers of railways and to the owners or proprietors of shares or bonds, on all the topics which belong to this branch of business. He commences with the subject of obtaining the right of way for a railway, and then follow chapters on the location of the line and mode of building, in which he expresses himself strongly against the common mode of embracing all the work in one large contract. Then follow remarks on grading, the building of bridges and culverts, and everything which pertains to the construction of a railway. Ile here gives an interesting account of the early history of the truck system, now so generally used for locomotive engines, and of which he claims to be the originator. A second general head is that of operating the railway, under which the subject of freight and passenger business is discussed, the repairs of the track and of the machinery, the duties of the several officers, with some valuable chapters on the running of trains, competition and financial management. No one who reads this book will doubt why so many railways in this country have proved so expensive in construction, and so little profitable to the stockholders.
The Five GATEWAYS OF KNOWLEDGE.* _We are glad to sec a new edition of this fascinating little work on “The Five Senses,” which we praised at some length in Vol. XVI, page 210. We there gave a quotation from the chapter on the nose, over which prominent organ, oddly enough as it might at first seem to some, the author becomes quite eloquent. It would seem to be altogether his favorite sense! We cannot do better, in order to interest our readers in the book, than give another quotation, for which we will revert to a part of the same chapter where a description is given of the abundant use which the ancient nations made of perfumes in their religious worship.
* It is difficult for us to realize the immense difference between ancient and modern feeling and practice in reference to this; but we may imagine the emotions with which a Hebrew of the days of Aaron, or Solomon, or Herod, would Forship in one of our Protestant churches. It would startle him to find that the ear had become the most religious of the senses; that the eye was scarcely
The Fire Sensez ; or Gateways of Knowledge. By George Wilson, M. D. Rerius Professor in the University of Edinburgh. 1860. Philadelphia: Lindsay & Blabiston. 18mo. pp. 139.
appealed to except to guide the ear; and that the nostril was not invited to take any part whatever in the service. He would be inclined to apply to the worshipers the words which one of his great poets applies to the gods of the heathen'Noses have they, but they smell not;' till, looking round, he chanced to observe that though the priest bore no censer, many of the female worshipers carried in their hands certain misshapen crystal vessels, which from time to time they offered to their nostrils, with the effect of rousing them to an animation such as the most eloquent passages of the preacher often failed to provoke. Yes, that is the only religious use the moderns make of perfumes! And I leave you to picture to yourselves the contrast between the Hebrew altar of incense sending its rolling clouds of fragrant smoke to heaven, and a modern church smelling bottle or snuffbox passed from hand to hand along a row of sleepy worshipers in a drowsy summer afternoon." pp. 90–92.
THE RECREATIONS OF A COUNTRY Parson.*_This delightful volume fitly accompanies the “Guesses at Truth," not because it is like them in its themes or in the manner of treatment, but because of its eminently humane, cheerful, and Christian spirit. There is no mistake in the title. The author must be a Christian pastor, else how could he write so feelingly about the trials and joys of the pastor's life; and from what other position could he have been able to enter into all the joys and sorrows, the trials and comforts of men and families of such varied conditions, and to learn to sympathize with those whose lot in life is lowly. He must be a Country Parson, otherwise he could not write so out of the heart, and with such fond particularizing of the objects, employments, and sports of the country. Nothing short of an actual residence in the country could enable him to write with such minuteness and enthusiasm. No man whose experience of the country had not been actual, and whose sympathies with countrylife had not been most genuine, could write of it so charmingly. His portraitures remind us of Cowper on every page. They are Recreations, too, written in the spirit of one who is at his ease, almost in dishabille, and throws off his effusions without studied method or drawing out beforehand his scheme of thought. He apparently gives himself up to the stream of his suggestions, letting it run as it will, and he pours it out in the most charming English, which flows as smoothly and as freely as if he were talking to us at his fire-side. His rambles into tho field of literature are all made with the same free and springy step with which he takes his pre-prandial constitutional, or his day-long excursion. His allusions to authors old and new are made with naturalness; his criticisms are just ; his tone of literary appreciation and judgment is altogether healthy; and yet all that he says of authors or of men, of scenery or of life, is brought with no forced effort to the great end of severe busy Christian living.
* The Recreations of a Country Parson. Boston: Ticknor & Fields. 1861. 16mo. pp. 442. [For sale in New Haven by T. H. Pease. Price $1.25.]
It is divided by the following Chapters: 1. Concerning the Country Parson's life. 2. Concerning the art of putting things; being thoughts on representation and misrepresentation. 3. Concerning Two Blisters of Humanity; being thoughts on petty Malignity and petty Trickery. 4. Concerning Work and Play. 5. Concerning country houses and country life. 6. Concerning Tidiness; being thoughts upon an overlooked source of human content. 7. How I mused on the Railway Train; being thoughts on rising by candle light; on nervous fears; and on vaporing. 8. Concerning the moral influence of the dwelling. 9. Concerning hurry and leisure. 10. Concerning the worries of life and how to meet them. 11. Concerning giving up and coming down. 12. Concerning the dignity of dulness. 13. Concerning growing old. Conclusion.
We would fain hope that the perusal of these titles, and what we have written concerning this volume, may induce many of our readers to purchase and peruse this book. Especially would we recommend it to our clerical friends who have the happiness to live in the country. No man with a healthy tone of mind can read it without unfeigned satisfaction. No man with a morbid disposition can fail to be illumined by some gleams of its sunshine. We give an extract almost from the opening page.
" This is Monday morning. It is a beautiful morning early in July. I am sitting on the steps that lead to my door, somewhat tired by the duty of yesterday, bat feeling very restful and thankful. Before me there is a little expanse of the brightest grass, too little to be called a lawn, very soft and mossy, and very carefully mown. It is shaded by three noble beeches, about two hundred years old. The sunshine around has a green tinge from the reflection of the leaves. Double hedges, thick and tall, the inner one of gleaming beech, shut out all sight of a country lane that runs hard by; a lane into which this graveled sweep of would-be avenue enters, after winding deftly through evergreens, rich and old, so as to make the utmost of its little length. On the side furthest from the lane, the miniature lawn opens into a garden of no great extent, and beyond the garden you see a green field sloping upwards to a wood which bounds the view. One-half of the front of the house is covered to the roof by a climbing rose tree,
so rich now with cluster roses that you see only the white soft masses of fragrance. Crimson roses and fuchias cover half-way up the remainder of the front wall; and the sides of the flight of steps are green with large-laurel ivy. If ever there was a dwelling embosomed in great trees and evergreens, it is here. Everything grows beautifully; oaks, horse chestnuts, beeches; laurels, yews, hollies ; lilacs and hawthorn trees. Off a little way on the right, graceful in stem, in branches, in the pale bark, in the light green leaves, I see my especial pet, a fair acacia. This is the true country; not the poor shadow of it which you have near great and smoky towns. That sapphire air is polluted by no factory chimney. Smoke is a beauty here, there is so little of it, rising thin and blue from the cottage; hospitable and friendly-looking from the rare mansion. The town is five miles distant; there is not even a village near. Green fields are all about; hawthorn hedges and rich hedge-rows; great masses of wood everywhere. But this is Scotland; and there is no lack of hills and rocks, of little streams and waterfalls; and two hundred yards off winding round that church-yard whose white stones you see by glimpses through old oak branches, a large river glides swiftly by.
" It is a quiet, beautiful scene.”
Mrs. JAMESON's LEGENDS OF THE MADONNA.*_Mrs. Jameson has done a service for all true lovers of art, in the preparation of this book, for which they will be sincerely grateful.
It is not necessary to remind those who take real enjoyment in the study of a fine painting, how essential it is to understand the object which the artist had in his mind, and the feelings with which he commenced and prosecuted his work. Copies of many of the most celebrated paintings of the Madonna are now everywhere common in this Protestant land. But what is the number of persons who remember that they grew slowly under the hands of men who never began their labors till they were rapt in the highest state of poetic and religious excitement! There were painters in the mediæval times who worked for gold and were unbelieving and prosaic enough, no doubt; but their paintings have disappeared with them, or else hang on the walls of old galleries only to be despised and serve as warnings for those who would profane art. Fra Bartolomeo, and Raphael, and Guido, and a host of others, before and in later years, wrought with as true a religious and poetic spirit as Milton himself, when
* Legends of the Madonna, as represented in the Fine Arts. By Mrs. JAMEsox. Corrected and enlarged edition. Boston: Ticknor & Fields. 1861, 24mo. Blue and Gold. pp. 483. [For sale in New Haven by T. H. Pease. Price 75 cents.]
he addressed himself to his high argument; and they sought and obtained their inspiration from the same source.
how many persons that make the tour of Europe and look at their chef d'ouvres, see only a handsome face, and say, with all coolness, “I like this,” and “I don't like that,” and, “This, after all, is rather pretty,” and never give a thought to the ideal character which was in the mind of the painter, or the high religious enthusiasm that filled his soul !
What would have been the feelings of those great masters who never commenced their labors till they had kneeled in worship, had they known that the most successful efforts of their genius were to be judged by the standard of mere physical beauty? Some persons there are who rise a step higher, and derive a real pleasure in tracing the lovely and amiable traits of character which are displayed on the canvas. A few learn that it is only by long acquaintance with paintings, as it is with friends, that they can be properly appreciated; that a painting must be seen again and again, and when the fortunate beholder is in different frames of mind, before he can learn how much there is in it of beauty and power.
Mrs. Jameson tells us that the idea which the mediaval painters sought to develop in their representations of the Madonna was “an impersonation in the feminine character of beneficence, purity, and power, standing between an offended Deity and poor sinning and suffering humanity, and clothed in the visible form of Mary, the mother of our Lord.” The conception was erroneous, to be sure; but, as a matter of fact, it prevailed through all the Christian and civilized world for nearly a thousand years. The Madonna was an object of worship, and this is the reason that by far the largest and most beautiful part of the paintings in the public and private galleries of Europe have reference to her character, her person, her history. Hence it is perfectly idle for any one to attempt to judge of these great works of art till he has in some measure learned to " comprehend the dominant idea lying behind and beyond the mere representation.”
Mrs. Jameson, in a very interesting introductory chapter, traces the history of the worship of the Madonna from A. D. 431, when the Council of Ephesus condemned Nestorius, and the Monophysite party in the Church triumphed and obtained a ratification of the dogma that Mary was indeed the “mother of