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subject is so much more easy. Gyp does not expect her heroes to be gentlemen; she expects them to behave like beings without honour or respect for any law, human or divine, and to take every advantage of ignorance or folly or incautious daring on the other side. It is a high testimony to the Englishman, though Madame Grand does not love him, that she is quite sure of him in this respect. The naughty husband of Evadne, whom that tremendously superior young woman treats with such highhanded absurdity, is a preux chevalier, full of honour and faithfulness to his promise. It is not intentional, but it is all the greater as a testimonial for that. by far the most high-minded, the most self-controlled person in the book, which would be such a clever book, with its queer touch of genius, if it were not so schoolgirlish and full of such superficial skipping and floating over the problems of mankind. But it is a curious feature of the times that a woman with such a programme gets a following-nay, even indeed forms a new Party, save the mark! to clear up along with other sages all the difficulties, political and otherwise, of the world. A new Party! which probably these visionaries think is one of the features of the Time, and shows what moral progress we are making, and will soon embrace all that is worth thinking of in the world. So Laurence Oliphant thought too, who was a man of the world, and knew better than all these wise men and women put together but who also, alas! was strong on the Sex-question, and thought it was the lever which should lift the universe. What a happy thing it is that Christianity knows no Sex-question, and that our religion, at least for those who are not too superior to believe

in it, is for men and women alike, and does not inquire which is which!

But the Woman-question, and the Sex-question, and all their details, are invaluable to the littérateur, using the word not in its highest sense; and again we are led to remark what an immense, what an incalculable audience of women the popularity of, at all events, the first of these questions involves. "I should like," said an eminent journalist who has now developed into a yet more eminent official and ruler of the world—“I should like the paper to be as popular with the ladies of the family as with the men,-I should like it to be looked for in the drawing-rooms, and to call forth as much interest there as the sporting news or the price of stocks do elsewhere." That eminent person has had his wish, we do not doubt. The paper which once was his care describes the toilets at every great social gathering, which is the other way of satisfying the women, besides and in competition with the Womanquestion. There is no particular fault to be found with this. It is just as elevating information to hear how the princesses were dressed, as to be told how many runs Mr Fry made, or what wickets fell to the incomparable bowling of Mr Bathurst. But it is more or less a new thing, and therefore more open to remark. And it leads to the conclusion, either that the feminine audience has much increased, or that it has grown so much in importance that its tastes must be consulted, and due provision made for them, which is, in its way, perhaps an even more curious sign of the times than the subjects themselves which are treated for its amusement or pleasure. It has often been said that it is wo

men who read (as well as so often write) the novels; but it is only within the last few years that the preponderance of the feminine reader has been acknowledged in the newspaper and the popular periodical. If this has advanIf this has advantages in occupying and interesting a very large audience, it certainly has its inconveniences and drawbacks too. But there are hopeful signs, we think, that the women are beginning to get sick of the Woman-question, which is a consummation most devoutly to be wished. That the other kind of women should ever be tired of the fashions is a thing not to be hoped for, perhaps not even to be desired, for the fashions are a great resource. They have their moral uses which are not to be despised.

A totally different kind of literature has lately been honoured in a most admirable and interesting way, and by a class perhaps not usually much addicted to paying honours of that kind, in the banquet given the other daynominally to the American fleet, really to the great American writer, of whom, to our shame be it spoken, a great many of us had never heard, until the depths of the two services were moved at his coming, and English soldiers and sailors arose as one man to welcome and applaud Captain Mahan. This was a very remarkable event, far more interesting than most of those mutual civilities between the two great Anglo-Saxon empires (to speak like the Press) which come to nothing, and so often mean nothing but claptrap, and an occasion for some clever speaker or writer to exhibit himself. It was pretty to see how the American admiral and officers took, with real or pretended naïveté, the compliment to themselves; and how the usual blast

of trumpets about the advantage of drawing the bonds of kindred closer was received demurely on all sides: though everybody knew very well that admiral and fleets and the great Columbia had nothing to do with the matter, but only a book and its author. Literature does not get very much credit in our day-perhaps it rarely has in any days, except as a useful sycophant, important occasionally for the services it could render in an emergency. But the respect paid to Captain Mahan was purely a homage to literature, more than any amount of busts or memorials. We think better of the men who gave that unadulterated homage, that being no students for the most part, or specially given to reading, it was in them so to appreciate and so to honour a great book. book. We do not know anything like it as an evidence of respect to the writer. The tribute got up last year to Zola, in the dull season, when the cat was away, so to speak, and the mice were free to gambol at their will, was a very feeble as well as absurd performance, rousing more wonder than sympathy, and more laughter than either. Captain Mahan was a very different kind of hero, and very different were they who carried his name to the skies-men who were not given to literature, of many of whom a superficial looker-on would have been tempted to say that they never opened a book; yet here for a book they stood up in enthusiasm, proclaiming it to all the echoes. Our respected Commander-in-Chief is not a literary character, but he was there in genuine admiration for a literary production. We do not know when we have seen all round such an admirable demonstration of what true fame is— fame, we add with a blush, not

given by us of the literary craft, who assume to ourselves in general the right of dispensing it, but by practical men, not great readers, not writers at all. It is significant that no literary honours, properly so called, were given to Captain Mahan. The Society of Incorporated Authors did not send him a deputation, nor did the dignified Athenæum elect him an honorary member. No tribute was offered to him (as perhaps was natural) by the worshippers of Zola. We were silent, we who love to represent ourselves as the chief trumpeters of Fame. Perhaps he was all the better pleased.


We freely forgive Captain Mahan for being an American -nay, we like it: it is pleasant to find in a more or less antagonist force a man whose book can rouse our honest sailors and soldiers, not much given that way, to enthusiasm; but for a great deal of the Americanism which is now current we have little patience. For instance, London and Paris, with perhaps a limited extension in favour of Vienna, are the capitals of the world. permit geographical details in respect to these cities. There is no harm in speaking of the Boulevards, and of Piccadilly, or even of the Bois and the Row, in books; but if Liverpool, Manchester, and Glasgow were to parade their streets in literature as if anybody cared!—we should quickly inform these presumptuous towns that they were assuming an importance that did not belong to them. But we are expected to listen complacently while we are told within what limits of ridiculous streets New York gentility may dwell, and whereabouts in Boston it is permitted to a man who respects himself to take a house. What can any man (or woman) in his

senses care for East Sixty-fifth Street? We allow the mention of Broadway, or perhaps of Beacon Street; they are symbols, the one of noise and traffic, the other of that exclusiveness which the true American loves. Otherwise, what are these unknown localities to English readers? Yet a clever writer has lately been discoursing upon them in a clever evening paper, for our instruction, as if they were a subject of universal human interest.

American novels are a different matter: they are, of course, intended for their own native audience in the first place, and we hear of the dangers which exist at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Twenty-third Street with an unblenching brow; but we are insulted by such details in an English paper-as if, we repeat, anybody cared! There are some wonderful things in these same American novels about the grandeur of the upper classes, which fill us with amaze and admiration. We have dukes, &c., of our own, on whose pretensions (in a general way very mild and modest to the common eye) our American friends comment very angrily; but these are nothing to the pretensions of that aristocracy which dwells between

Alas! the Lookeron has not the best of memories, and forgets exactly what are the numbers of the streets between which fashion ordains that the New-Yorker should dwell. How fine, how admirably fine, that aristocracy is, may be seen in Mr Marion Crawford's book, 'Katherine Lauderdale.' The hero of that work, an extremely unfortunate young man, cannot possibly marry because all he has to reckon upon is about £1500 a year. His mother has an income of £3000; but she could not maintain herself

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as a lady and retain her little luxuries if his young wife was added to her household, so she divides the income with her son, in order that if the young lady can make up her mind to face starvation she may do so at her own risk. We wish all our sons and daughters had £1500 a-year to begin upon; but then we are only modest English folk. Mr Crawford, by the way, is far happier and better (in art of course we mean, not in fact) when he is not upon American soil.

What a good thing it is for the Looker-on that 'Marcella,' and the 'Rubicon,' and a number of other highly popular works, came out before the season! He can only report how rueful those persons look who have been learning political economy and the social question from the first work, and how indignant those who have been deluded into the other. "No, no," says one friend, shaking his head; "when I want to study these subjects the British Museum is open, and there are all manner of text-books;" and we have heard a lady impertinently ask concerning the second, of which sex the author wore the costume? whether, in short, not to put too fine a point upon it, he was in petticoats, or the other things? We pause, We pause, however, to note that in Marcella' there is one admirable piece of description, which, in discussion of the very different objects of the book, among which the art of literature is not included, seems to have escaped notice. It is the description of a winter night in cold white moonlight and black shadow, and a poacher setting his traps. It is so fine as to induce this Looker-on to believe that if Mrs Humphry Ward would shut all her books and forget all her philosophies, she might do some

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thing worthy of a real reputation in literary art.


In the long preponderance of the domestic and philosophical novel, and especially in the new development of Sex-literature, with its manifold indecencies, there has arisen a great desire among many highly superior persons, as well as others of a humbler kind, for adventure and incidentnay, for Gaboriau and Boisgobey as an antidote. These readers now do not require to go so far afield. We need not say anything of our heaven-born detective, who is always sure of his audience, and who sometimes is as good as the Frenchmen, though sometimes much the reverse; but the new brand of historical adventures is startling, and in some cases good as they are new. Mr Stanley Weyman is a great gain to literature. He has a few faults, which the Looker-on has no space to indicate; but for a wholesome story, full of the picturesque, of interest, and excitement, and life, there have been few things better than that episode in the life of the Sieur de Marsac, which he has published under the excellent title of 'A Gentleman of France.' Neither Quentin Durward nor D'Artagnan need be ashamed of their successor, though he is a graver man than either, and less of the usual hero of romance. We reserve our judgment upon the 'Raiders,' though it is more a book of the season than any of the others, and has made a great impression upon the world of readers. We think, and are sorry to think, that if Kidnapped' had not been written, this very clever book would probably never have come into existence. One curious thing let us note in this connection, and that is that the very broadest and most obstinate of Scotch in no

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way seems to hinder the English reader nowadays. Sir Walter's Scotch was very different from Mr Crockett's, and even from Mr Barrie's, and indeed afforded but few occasions for stumbling. Both these young writers are fond of dialect, and think, we presume, that it gives piquancy to say e'e instead of eye, and awa' instead of away-which, after all, is not Scotch, but simply dialect-with many things much more objectionable. It is not, however, with this peculiarity that we are at are at present concerned, but with the much more curious fact that it is in England that these books have attained their reputation. Mr Barrie is a man of genius of whom every Scotsman has a right to be proud. But, strange to say, it is only Scotsmen, generally so keen to appropriate every honour, whom we have heard to doubt this fact. There is no doubt on the question on the other side of the Tweed among those who have any right to express an opinion; but his countrymen hesitate, nay, sometimes declare that they see little in him. It is just Thrums, they say, and not Mr Barrie-delightful conclusion! And we have remarked that Mr Barrie does not appear on the bookstalls in his own country-which are consecrated to Miss Annie S. Swan: one of the queerest instances we know. These are things which perhaps do not call for solemn notice, but fill the soul of the Looker-on with admiration and amaze. We wonder if anything of the kind occurred with Sir Walter-if the Edinburgh audience hesitated while the London one leaped to the feet of the Great Magician! We think not, from all we have heard, but only a contemporary would know.

said of the theatre: it has set up a new way of instructing the world, which, after all, is not a new way, but one largely adopted at all times in that peculiar college of morals, and almost necessary, indeed, to its broad and sudden effects, the method of teaching people to be good by showing them how bad some people can be. It has come to be a foregone conclusion, not to be wondered at when France is the origin of so many of our dramas, that the badness must necessarily be of one kind, and that a woman with a guilty secret, or an evil past, or an almost overwhelming temptation to transgress her marriage vows, is the only heroine possible. Shakespeare, we remember, did not find it so, nor even, we think, at the other end of the scale, does Ibsen, though he has now become the tutelary genius of the English stage. Nora of the 'Doll's House,' if we remember rightly, had no lover. Her guilt, which developed her soul, and showed her for how little she counted personally in the ideas of her husband and other belongings, had nothing to say to the seventh commandment. But the seventh commandment has a perennial charm for the theatre. is all the decalogue for the French; it means everything, the only active interest that is in life. The curious thing is, that while we have heard some excellent persons demur and regret that they had taken a daughter to see "Faust," that most universally known of stories, they should cheerfully-or rather, mournfully and sympathetically-attend upon the "Second Mrs Tanqueray." We by no means demand that a play should have a moral object and meaning; but this is a play solThere is not very much to be emnly introduced to the world on


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