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ing it is almost utterly wasted. But the gravest fault of harmless books of this class, is that they unfit the mind for the enjoyment and intelligent appreciation of really first-rate works, and, like a continued diet of thin gruel, so relax the mental fibre that the digestion and assimilation of really nourishing food are no longer possible.
W. H. B.
The Greatest Plague of Life, or the Adventures of a Lady in Search of
a Good Servant. By One who has been almost Worried to Death.
Philadelphia: T. B. Peterson & Bros. It no doubt betokens disgraceful ignorance on our part that we do not know the author of this work; but such, we regret to say, is the case. We ought to know it, for certainly a more entertaining book of the kind has rarely been published. The writer in his minute description of manners, character, tricks of action and speech, shows an observation and sense of humor quite worthy of Dickens. The faults of the master and mistress, as well as of the servants, are shown; and a sound moral purpose underlies all the wit and drollery. Although the household is English, the various types of "aggravation” are not unknown in American domestic circles ; and now that the “Servant question " has become a more formidable problem here than elsewhere in the world, we should think that multitudes could be found, who, if they did not reap profitable instruction from the book, would at least find some comfort in seeing their annoyances so graphically and amusingly described.
Man-Woman; or the Temple, the Hearth, and the Street. From
"L'Homme Femme" of A. Dumas, Fils. Translated by George
Vandenhoff. (No Publisher.) 1873. What shall we say of this rather remarkable book? It certainly contains things which require considerable audacity to say, and things which had, in our opinion, much better be left unsaid. There is a certain moral shock" felt when one finds matters which the general sense of civilised mankind has always agreed to leave unspoken, or only mentioned in a veiled manner, treated of openly in a book meant for the public. We can see no good likely to come from such discussions.
But we would not be unjust. This book is in no sense written with the intent of pandering to vicious tastes, nor has it about it any of the disgusting prurient sentimentality which taints the well-known works of Michelet. The author is grave, earnest, sincere. His aims are certainly moral ; though we must doubt whether he has hit the right way of promoting them.
M. Dumas the Younger, taking for his starting-point a rather celebrated trial of one Dubourg for wife-murder, which led to considerable discussion through the press as to how far unfaithfulness on the part of a wife excused her husband for killing her,- gives us here a treatise on love and marriage, with his peculiar views concerning them. Bad marriages and good marriages are discussed; the faults of husbands, the faults of wives, and of the unmarried of either sex, have judgment passed upon them. For the evils which result from bad marriages when these evils are extreme, he would provide a remedy by divorce a vinculo, not known, we believe, to the French code. How he would limit this freedom of divorce, to prevent its becoming the shame and scandal it is in some parts of this country, he has not told us.
The author's queer hypothesis, announced with the utmost gravity, that the children of Cain were creatures bearing the human form, but without a soul, that their descendants were and are still an important part of the human race, and that the Cainites had quite obtained the domination of the earth when the Saviour came to restore the descendants of Eve by Christianity,- is the most fantastical thing in the book, and all the more fantastical that it is argued with a profound conviction, and almost religious solemnity.
On the whole we can not but think it would have been as well if the author had preserved this treatise in manuscript for the instruction of that son to whom he offers some very grave, and in part sound counsel at the end, and whom he tells us he has not.
W. H. B.
THE GREEN TABLE.
'HE Honorable Caleb Cushing is once more at the footlights. Not Tribunal, in a position which made every right-minded American blush for shame, he must needs write a book, to prevent himself and the disgrace of it all from being forgotten by the world. The work is called “The Treaty of Washington, its Negotiation, Execution, and the Discussions relating thereto,” but its main and obvious purpose is to afford the author an opportunity of vilifying Sir Alexander Cockburn, the Lord Chief- Justice of England, who was the arbitrator on behalf of his country.
Mr. Cushing assails the Chief Justice in every conceivable way — depreciates his intellect, scolds at his temper, caricatures his manners and behavior, quarrels with his stomach, impugns his motives and integrity, sneers at his law and learning, says unpleasant things generally about him and his uncle, and twaddles painfully about the rest of the Cockburn family. In fact, nothing is left unsaid that could be expected, in such a connection, from the breeding of a gentleman whose sense of decency did not shrink from asserting the claim for “ indirect damages.” We shall probably take occasion to notice the book in more detail hereafter. Our present purpose is only to say a few words, which we think ought to be said, contemporaneously with, and to explain the appearance of so disreputable a production.
Those who know anything of the public men of England, do not require to be told that Sir Alexander Cockburn ranks high among the able and vigorous lawyers who have occupied the chief seat upon the Queen's Bench. His reputation as a forensic and parliamentary orator was unusually brilliant, and his promotion to his high office was universally regarded as fairly and honorably won. His selection as arbitrator at Geneva on the part of Great Britain, is the best evidence that could be given of the estimation in which he is held at home ; and the dissenting opinion which he filed, when the award was rendered, is a monument of learning, labor, intellectual sturdiness, and force. It would be difficult to find in any paper of like character a wider scope of thought, a more accurate and thorough familiarity with principles and their application, or a more remarkable and versatile capacity for dealing with questions of law and fact. To compare with it, in these particulars, any of the statements or arguments of the other members of the Tribunal, justly distinguished as they are, is entirely out of the question. As to the correctness of the conclusions reached by the British arbitrator, there are, of course, differences of opinion. He had to meet the difficulty created by the Treaty of Washington, in which his Government absurdly conceded, for the purposes of arbitration, the existence of certain controverted neutral obligations, and thereby furnished a test of neutral good faith and diligence, not recognised, nor really existing, at the time of the events which were to be judged. Whether he succeeded, notwithstanding this, in maintaining his positions, may be disputed, but there can be no honest dispute as to the consummate ability which distinguished his presentation of the subject. Nor can there be any candid doubt of the manliness and impartiality with which he formed and expressed his opinions, for his award was adverse to the pretensions of his country in many and most important particulars, involving deeply the national sensibility and pride. Any pooh-poohing, by Mr. Cushing, of such a man and such an argument is therefore simply ridiculous.
There is one point, however, and only one, so far as we have heard, upon which the Lord Chief Justice is said to be vulnerable. If gossip and rumor are to be believed, he has not selected as the model of his private morality, the patriarch whose coat of many colors has so long been the pride and treasure of Mr. Cushing's political wardrobe. Some frailties of Sir Alexander are reputed to have been the only obstacles in his way to the Woolsack, and to these is commonly attributed the fact, which Mr. Cushing so mysteriously alludes to, of his not having been raised to the peerage. Whether such irregularities of life, if truly reported, are properly the subject of allusion, no matter how remote, in connection with the Treaty of Washington and the Geneva Arbitration, and especially on the part of a gentleman who bore the public relation of Mr. Cushing to them both, we shall not stop to consider. We congratulate ourselves and the country heartily, that they were not set forth at length in the “American case,'' where they might have appeared quite as creditably as many other things which are found in that wonderful legal paper. The tu quoque is not a very forcible argument, but, if it were, and the countrymen of the Chief Justice were disposed to apply it, they might possibly be satisfied with saying, on the authority of the “ Biglow Papers," as far back as the war with Mexico, that
“Caleb haint no monopoly to court the seenoreetas." For such a book as we have described, it is impossible to suggest a reputable motive, but those who have read the dissenting opinion of Sir Alexander Cockburn will find no difficulty in comprehending the animus of Mr. Cushing. The learned judge is remarkable, among other things, for the force and directness of his expressions. He is as far as possible from euphemism. If he thinks that an argument is dishonest and pettifogging, or that a statement is false, he is not apt to be circumlocutory in his mode of saying so. He has the admirable habit, so universal with English judges (and unfortunately so rare with ours) of treating bombast and flourish with contempt, and refusing to make terms with Bunkum and nonsense. For the first time in his life, he was brought face to face with elaborate and exaggerated demagogism in the shape of a legal argument. The "American case
was the concentration of all that stump oratory and loyal fury had been able to conceive or invent to beard the British lion. It was grossly offensive in its forms, wretched in taste, absurd in its pretensions, and stuffed with all manner of falsehood, vituperation and spread-eagleism. Those who have not read it may judge of it by the single fact that it gravely referred, for historical data, to “ McPherson's History of the Rebellion”! It was repudiated, as we know, by the whole intelligence and integrity of the country, and the discredit of presenting it has very far outweighed the millions secured by the award. When Sir Alexander Cockburn came to deal with some of its astounding propositions and assertions, his observations were naturally not complimentary. In one place he says :
Sitting on this Tribunal as, in some sense, the representative of Great Britain, I cannot allow these statements to go forth to the world, without giving them the most positive and unqualified contradiction.
But it is not only that these observations are ungenerous and unjust. There is, in this extraordinary series of propositions, the most singular confusion of ideas, misrepresentation of facts, and ignorance both of law and history, which were perhaps ever crowded into the same space; and for my part, I cannot help expressing my sense, not only of the gross injustice done to my country, but also of the affront offered to this Tribunal, by such an attempt to practise on our supposed credulity or ignorance."
Again, he says :
“While I see how likely statements of this sort are to produce an effect on the minds of persons not familiar with the constitutional law of Great Britain, I am at a loss to understand how Counsel, familiar with English law, can take upon themselves to make them.”
Strong as is this language, it is within the limits of strictest moderation, in view of the unmannerly clap-trap to which it is applied. We should be glad, if space permitted, to insert at length, with other passages, the burst of manly indignation with which the Chief Justice repels the application to Great Britain of the slavish doctrine of the Whitings and Binneys and Parkers, that the Executive, in time of war, may suspend the Habeas Corpus at his pleasure. He peremptorily denies that the Royal Prerogative has any such despotic sweep, and pronounces the assertion to the contrary by the counsel of the United States as “ equally unfounded and surprising, whether looked at in an historical or a legal point of view.” It astounds him the more, he says, in his innocence, coming from the quarter from which it proceeds the Government of a great Republic — where all Executive power, I should have imagined, was clearly defined by law, and exercised in subordination to it.”
Mr. Cushing is not thin-skinned. He has been too long at Washington, and has gone too often through the hardening process of serving new masters, to have much trouble with his nerves of sensibility. Nor can he have any very great or sincere solicitude about his reputation as a lawyer, having long since adopted his motto from Dr. Donne that
_" with the sworded Switzer, he can say, The best of causes is the best of pay."
A learned publicist who was not ashamed to write an opinion, in the Trent case, to establish the legality of the capture of Messrs. Mason and Slidell, cannot be readily put out by trifles. A patriot, who could pass through Maryland in April 1861, with loud and open expression of Southern principles and sympathies, and yet make a speech in Boston against “the Rebellion” within perhaps a fortnight, is certainly not the prey of a morbid self-respect. Nevertheless Mr. Cushing has perceptions, if he has not sensibilities. He may not care about being wrong, but he finds it inconvenient to be exposed. He might not have minded criticism - no matter how just and able — from an humbler hand; but to be historically pilloried, as an ignoramus or a trickster, by the Chief Justice of England, is disadvanta
and hence these tears !
A RECENT act of munificence, by a citizen of Baltimore, is of such unusual liberality, and of so large-minded a character, as to demand more than local recognition. Mr. Johns Hopkins, who for a long series of years has stood at the head of the mercantile interests of this city, has recently deeded to a body of trustees nominated by him for the purpose, a tract of thirteen acres within the city limits, and valued at two hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars, upon which is to be erected a free hospital, to bear the name of its founder, who endows it with two millions of dollars. For the guidance of the trustees in the administration of this valuable trust, the donor has written them a letter of instructions which shows him to be a man of the most enlightened views, and will make his noble charity rank among the most distinguished of modern times. The building committee are to make a tour of observation through the United States and Europe, so that the buildings shall in all respects be equal to any in the world. A separate building is to be devoted to negroes ; the grounds are to be handsomely adorned; the attendance of the very best medical advisers is to be secured; a training school for nurses is to be attached — a provision of inestimable value ; a country place with a pleasant sanitarium for the use of convalescent patients form part of the scheme; and the whole, though freed from sectarian control, is by the express wish of the founder to be under Christian influences. When this magnificent project is realised, it is to become part of a still grander scheme and to form a portion of the medical department of the Hopkins University, for which Mr. Hopkins has set apart his countryseat, one of the handsomest in the United States, and an additional sum of several millions. We know of no single act of recorded charity that equals this ; and if the large conception of Mr. Hopkins is fully carried out by those to whom he has confided this delicate trust, he will have left a monument that will survive him for ages to come, and confer inestimable and lasting benefits upon the successive generations of his fellow-citizens. We trust such a noble example will stimulate wealthy men here and everywhere to like deeds of Christian philanthropy.
While on the subject of universities, an extract relating to this subject, from the letter of Professor Henry to the Committee of the Tyndall banquet at New York, may be of interest. “ Three things,” he says,
are essential to a well-constituted college or university: 1. An unencumbered, free endowment, which shall liberally provide for the support of the faculty, and defray all the expenses of the operations of the establishment; 2. A faculty consisting of men of profound learning and powers of original thought and Auent expression; and, 3. A full supply of all objects and implements of instruction and research. ... The faculty should be men of intrinsic worth, chosen, not on account of influential connections, social position, denominational predilections, nor for any vague popular reputation, but, especially in the line of science, from having given evidence of their power in the way of original research. A man of this class must be possessed of enthusiasm, which in a measure he can scarcely fail to impart to his pupils. The latter, by a reflex action, will stimulate the teacher to new efforts. Furthermore, the reputation of the teacher is shared by his pupils ; and to have sat under