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TRAVELS.

Across AMERICA AND Asia.*— Among the many points of interest which are discussed in this meritorious and successful nar. rative of a journey around the world, it is not easy to select the most worthy of note. The writer has obviously been trained, by his scientific pursuits, to discrimination and quickness of observation, but he has not failed to keep up a live interest in all that pertains to human society, as well as in all the phenomena of nature; and he does not employ technical language when the phrases of every-day life serve his purpose better. There are occasional indications that he is indifferent or inattentive to the details of lite rary finish; but this gives no serious blemish to his work, which is an honest, spirited, instructive, and sensible recital of the more remarkable adventures and experiences of the author in the newest “diggings" of the new world, and among the most secluded and ancient seats of empire in the old. As a whole, then, we have heartily enjoyed and profited by this volume, as one of the most recent and most trustworthy, as well as one of the most entertaining books of travel in Arizona, Japan, China, and Siberia.

The profession of the author is that of a Mining Engineer. In this capacity he first went to our mountainous West, and under the most barbarous circumstances of border life, abounding in thrilling excitements, took charge, for several months, of a silver mine. Released from this engagement he pursued his journey through dreary routes in the wilderness to California, and was there engaged by an agent of the government of Japan - to go and examine some of the deposits of coal in that empire. On this trip he was accompanied by Prof. William P. Blake. The Japanese explorations were soon impeded and brought to a close, Mr. Pumpelly then went to China, where his services were sought for by the Imperial Government of that country, and where again, after a brief period, a change of policy put an end to his official inquiries. The overland route from Pekin to Moscow introduced the author to still new phases of adventure, and this portion of his narrative is among the most fresh and entertaining. The scientific results of his investigations in China and in Japan were printed some little time since among the publications of the Smith

* Across America and Asia. Notes of a Five Years' Journey Around the World, and of residence in Arizona, Japan, and China. By RAPHAEL PUMPELLY. New York: Leypoldt & Holt. pp. 404. 8vo. 1870.

sonian Institution, so that in his present volume the writer has not felt called upon to enter into detail respecting them, but has been free to comment on society and institutions, and the illustrations of manners and customs which attracted his eye. The comments made by Mr. Pumpelly, in respect to the treatment bestowed by western nations, and especially by the English and the Americans, on the Chinese, and the light he throws upon the modern progress of the imperial government, will be of special interest to those of our readers who have read the instructive Articles of Dr. Martin, already printed in these pages. The chapters on the Chinese as Emigrants and Colonizers," and on “Western Policy in China," abound in suggestions which should be read with attention by all who are studying the Chinese question. Mr. Pumpelly in an advocate of fair-play for the Chinaman, both in his own land and in ours. With us, he thinks the danger most to be guarded against is the enactment or continuance of special legislation with regard to Mongolians. Everything which tends to exclude them from the rest of the community in the United States not only injures the character of the aliens, but produces among our own citizens " those moral evils which were the worst results of slavery with us." These manly and righteous sentiments in respect to the Chinese among us have their counterpart in those brought forward in respect to the procedure of the representatives of this country. “The co-operative policy," of wbich Sir Frederick Bruce and Mr. Burlingame were the enlightened framers, is that which Mr. Pumpelly regards as most favorable to the interests both of China and the outside world. The extension of our intercourse with the Chinese race depends, in his opinion, on the policy by which western powers shall regulate the actions of their subjects. “Both the people and the government must learn that foreign ideas and improvements are not intended to overthrow the national independence and the imperial authority.” This is a very imperfect outline of Mr. Pumpelly's volume, and a meagre representation of his spirit, but we trust it is sufficient to attract many of our readers to the book. They will find in it many laughable stories, many pithy reflections, occasional allusions to well-know friends (like Dr. Martin, Mr. Blodget, Drs. S. Wells Williams, Yung Wing, etc.), some interesting cuts and route maps, a critical essay by Mr. J. Lafarge on Japanese Art, and a photo-lithographic representation of a wonderful bronze image of Buddha in Nirvana, which stands near Yokohama in Japan. VOL. XXIX.

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RuskIN'S “QUEEN OF THE AIR."*-Mr. Ruskin's peculiarities of thought and expression are so familiar by this time to most readers, that we might perhaps discharge our duty to them by saying that this book has the same merits and the same defects which have marked its author's works heretofore. They would then know that it must contain many generous and noble thoughts, many original and valuable remarks on art, some visionary political economy, many hasty inferences with a good deal of dogmatizing, and all expressed in a style which here and there breaks out into more genuine and glowing poetry than it is given to any other living writer to put into prose sentences. This would be a correct idea of the book ; yet, because its subject takes the autbor into a new field, in which we believe he has done no work for the public eye before, it seems worth while to speak more particularly of it.

This book, then, consists of a discussion of the myths about Athena, the “Queen of the Air;" or, more exactly, a rambling talk about the functions of the air in the sky and on the earth with which are in woven all the myths which can in any way be connected with the name of Athena, so as to serve the whim of the paragraph. This is followed by a chapter entitled " Athena in the Heart," wherein is discussed the influence of what the author considers right principles upon the life of nations and indi. viduals, and here he brings in more fully his theories of art, political economy, and morals. How much Athena has to do with this discussion may be seen from the fact that her name occurs on only six of the sixty-one pages it occupies. After this, a few words on Greek art, having for text a figure of Herakles on an ancient coin, finish the book.

Mr. Ruskin does one thing that might be considered a device of cowardice in any one who had not established as he has a reputation for sublime indifference to adverse criticism. He deliberately rejects and refuses beforehand the opinion about his book of the only class of men who are qualified to pass judgment upon the greater part of it. He says that scholars cannot be expected to understand myths—it is only the men of creative and artistic genius who can enter into and explain them. The great creative minds will of course endorse his views; for, if any one ventures

The Queen of the Air; being a study of the Greek Myths of Cloud and Storm. By John Ruskin, LL.D. New York: Wiley & Son. 1869.

to criticise them on philological grounds, the very act of doing so proves his unfitness, on this principle, for the undertaking. However, at the risk of this self-conviction, we propose to notice some of the many errors, inaccuracies, and groundless assumptions of the book.

His definition of a myth is as follows (p. 2): “A myth is a story with a meaning attached to it, other than it seems to have at first.” What, then, is a parable? What is an allegory? What is a fable? The specific difference of the myth-that it is a story of gods and heroes, believed by all who know it to have been true in the remote past, and generally stating some natural phenomenon in personal form-has no place in this definition. Again, further on (p. 71) he uses “myth” in the sense of “ type' apparently, for he speaks of natural myths as distinguished from human myths, and gives the bird and the serpent as examples, representing, the one the clothed power of the air," the other “ the clothed power of the dust.” It would be difficult to find anywhere a more beautiful or more powerful passage than those in which he reproduces the impression made upon his sensitive nature by the bird and the serpent (pp. 70-77); yet when one reads on and tries to find out what these animals have to do with the myth of Athena, he finds that Mr. Ruskin teaches him nothing on this point. One sentence (p. 78) may be quoted to show that what is new is not always true in his explanations. “The bird power is soon made entirely human by the Greeks in their flying angel of victory; and thenceforward (?) it associates itself with the Hebrew Cherubim, and has had the most singular influence on the Christian religion by giving its wings to render the conception of angels mysterious and untenable, and check rational endeavor to determine the nature of subordinate spiritual agency."

But we are convicting ourselves of pedantry. Let us rather seek to give the general impression of the book upon us. For the scientific understanding of myths, it is worthless. Those who can judge it as they read, will learn almost nothing from it; those who cannot will only be confused and misled. It is like reading the visions of a hasheesh-eater. There is a throng and whirl of strange disconnected ideas and myths, etymologies and botany, modern science and ancient fables, art, history, political economy, architecture, morals, and absurdly quoted texts from the Bible, in one glorious jumble. The same name or figure need only occur in any two places to warrant Mr. Ruskin in putting them side by

side and drawing his inference. Athena represents the air, the wind, the rain, the life of plant and animal, color, the spirit of creation and volition, modesty, fortitude, the Holy Spirit, and several other things. If any one will read § 38, he will get a fair idea of the author's conception of method in the treatment of his subject. But for exquisite beauty of style, for warm sympathy with suffering men, and indignation at folly and wrong, for delicate sense of the beautiful in art and nature, for manly avowal of faith in moral principles, this book has its value, as has everything that Mr. Ruskin writes.

THE POPE AND THE COUNcil.*_Every one remembers the famous scene in the novel of Ivanhoe, when, in the midst of the tournament, a stalwart knight, clad in black armor, with his face concealed behind his visor, rode into the lists and bore down the stoutest adversaries by the weight of his arm. The appearance of this anonymous volume, on the eve of the assembling of the Roman Council,-a volume in which the usurpations of the Bishop of Rome are powerfully and effectually assailed, and the new dogma of Papal Infallibility is smitten with heavy strokes, has recalled the pages of Scott's romance. Whether the book be written, as it purports to be, by liberal Catholics, or by Protestants—for its authorship is plural,—the writers are men who are fully armed, and fully and justly confident in the work which they have undertaken. There may be occasional mistakes, in the multitude of literary and historical references, which are interwoven in the discussion. But, in general, the learning is as accurate as it is ample. There may be another point of view from which the Papacy might be seen to be an institution having its temporary uses and its important office in developing European civilization, But the mistakes and iniquities of Popes and the Papal Court; the frauds and forgeries by which the Papal authority was built up; the robbery of the liberties of the church by which this consummation has been reached, are here depicted with a truthful and unsparing hand. The revival of Gallicanism is a hopeful sign of the times. It would seem as if nothing could have produced this awakening of a free spirit short of the monstrous attempt of the Jesuits and their auxiliaries to foist in the already overburdened

* The Pope and the Council. By Janus. Authorized Translation from the German. Boston: Roberts Brothers. 1870. 16mo. Pp. xxvij., 346.

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