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FOREIGN LITERARY NOTES.
CHRISTINA ROSSETTI, according to the Lon. ber of President Cleveland's Cabinet; “The don Athenceum, in its annual review of the lit Outlook for War in Europe," by Mr. Archierature of England and other countries, has bald Forbes ; “A Naval Union with Great published the book of the year in verse. Britain," by Sir G. 8. Clarke ; " Prisons in the
Old World and the New,'' by Major Griffiths ; DURING his life M. Renan wrote and circu
Dramatic Criticism," by Mr. Bram Stoker ; lated among his most intimate friends a little
Village Life in England,” by the Countess book entitled “Henriette Renan : Souvenir of Malmesbury ; and “The New Aspect of the pour ceux qui l'ont connue." Only a hundred
Woman Question," by Sarah Gradd. copies were printed ; but we learn that Madame Renan will give it to the public so soon as her THE VOCABULARY.—How many words are inson, M. Ary Renan, shall have completed five cluded in the vocabulary of ordinary persons ? pictures for its illustration. These pictures Professor Max Müller thinks a farm laborer will include the birthplace of Renan in Brit would not have more than three hundred words tany, and also one or two Syrian pictures. in actual use, and the same writer declares This charming little book of Renan's will not tbat a well-educated man, who has been at the only introduce his readers to a woman of fine University, and who reads the Bible, Shakestemperament, whose life was characteristic of peare, and the daily papers, together with cir. her race, but also contain some of those local culating library books, seldom uses more than descriptions and portraitures in which he is three or four hundred words in actual converalways felicitous. We are also informed that sation. A contributor to Cassell's Saturday a volume of M. Renan's philological memoirs Journal has been at considerable pains to check
these theories, and the conclusion he arrives
at is that the figures given are too small. The newest literary sensation in Paris is an
Farm hands, he finds, are able to name all the accusation of plagiarism against Sardou. It is
common objects of the farm, and to do this asserted that he has not only taken suggestions involves the use of more than the entire nuinfrom other pieces for his new play, “ Madame ber of three hundred words allotted to them. Sans-Gène, but has deliberately reproduced in Then, by going through a dictionary and exhis first act a little French piece written a half cluding compound words, or words not in century ago.
pretty constant use, he found that there were
under the letter "s" alone 1018 words that are ALMOST five hundred years after Chaucer
to be found in ordinary people's vocabulary. ceased to write we are promised the first com
It would be nearer the truth, we are told, to plete edition of his works in prose and verse.
say that the agricultural laborer uses 1500 Professor Skeat bas devoted to it the labor of words, and knows or can guess the meaning several years, and his first volume, containing of 1500 more, and that intelligent farm bands a life of Chaucer, a list of his works, the and artisans command 4000 words, while eda“Romaunt of the Rose," and the “ Minor
cated people have at call from 8000 to 10,000. Poems,” with full introductions and notes,
Journalists are credited with 12,000. will appear before long. The work will be completed in six volumes The Oxford One of the autograph sales of the last year Chaucer" will be published by the Clarendon was of an early ms. by Tennyson which was Press, and will match the standard edition of never published. It was written in 1823 and “Piers Plowman," by the same editor. was entitled “Mungo, the American : A Tale
by Alfred Tennyson.” Showing how he found SINCE Mr. Heinemann became the publisher a sword, and afterward how it came to the of the North American Review in this country, possession of the right owner, after the space - the interests of English readers seem to have
of two years. been more liberally consulted. In the programme of the forthcoming number we notice DR. STOPFORD BROOKE ON DECADENT POETRY, the following: The House of Representa - Dr. Stopford Brooke, who has been for some tives and the House of Commons," by a mem months delivering Sunday evening lectures on
Tennyson's poetry, came appropriately on De
value of these once-coveted editions of books cember 31st to the canto in " In Memoriam," seems to be declining. the farewell to the old year—"Ring out, wild bells." Dr. Brooke, though he is certainly no
The new volume of " The Canterbury Poets," laudator temporis acti, nevertheless thinks that which will be published toward the end of the pleasures, alike of rich and of poor, are
April, is to be an anthology of nature poems, less simple than they were twenty years ago.
edited by Mrs. E. Wingate Rinder. Unlike There is, he says, an efflorescence of sensuality most compilations of the kind, it is to consist, in amusements, in literature, and in art ; and
not of a series of merely descriptive pieces, even in religion there is a sensuousness which
but of complete poems, interpretative rather is itself the child of excitement. Dr. Brooke than descriptive. Mrs. Wingate Rinder's idea declaimed, in his gentle way, against a world has been favorably received, and she has “ which believes that man is half beast and already secured the assistance of many writers half fool.” He is specially severe on the de
of note. The selections are to be from the cadent poets. Their verse he characterized as
writings of living poets only, as the aim of the “mean bowlings and cypic chillness," and anthology is to exemplify the nature poetry added that the poetry that liked to sing of de
of “the later Victorians." cay carried its doom within itself. He was confident, however, that great poets would
MR. FREDERICK DOUGLASS, the negro orator, and late United States minister in San Do.
mingo, has, it seems, written an introduction “SELF-HELP" has been translated into every for a translation of the life of Toussaint European language, including Czech, Croatian, L'Ouverture by the late M Victor Schoelcher. and Turkish, and also into Japanese. In The translation will be by Mr. Theodore StanEngland alone about 180,000 copies of the ton, an American journalist in Paris. book have been sold.
The famous story-writers of to-day, except CARLYLE'S BIRTHPLACE AT ECCLEFECHAN. the women, began life in other walks than lit. The house at Ecclefechan, and the room in erature. It is significant that most of them which Thomas Carlyle was born on December started in journalism-Kipling, Howells, 4th, 1795, are tended with pious care. The Black, Matthews, Sullivan, Stockton, French, furnishings of the tiny rooms, the bric-à-brac, Farjeon, Barrie, and David Christie Murray. and prints-to which there has recently been Conan Doyle was a doctor. Stevenson was an added a portrait group, consisting of Carlyle, engineer. Walter Besant was a college prohis brother Robert, and his lifelong friend, fessor. Thomas Hardy and Hall Caine were Provost Swan, of Kirkaldy-enhance the old architects. Jerome K. Jerome was a plain world aspect of the interior, which reinains every-day clerk. almost exactly in the condition it was a century ago. During the twelvemonth ending Ar a sale at Messrs. Pattick & Simpson's the September 16th, as many as 580 persons have five volumes of the first edition of Mr. Rusvisited the place of Carlyle's birth. Of that kin's “Modern Painters' fetched £8 15s. ; number, two were Chinese, two Germans, one * Missale ad Usum Sarum” (Paris, 1515), £23 ; Frenchman, two Australians, and fourteen Savage Landor’s “Poems” (1795) and “SiAmericans. The house at Cheyne Row, Chel- monidea” (1806), first editions, £16 78, 6d. ; a sea, where he lived so long, has a tablet on ms, collection of poems by Thomas, Lord Fairthe outside to mark it.
fax (about 1670), £558. ; Clarendon's "Rebel.
lion," 4 vols., large paper, illustrated with 400 “MARCELLA," Mrs. Humphry Ward's new portraits, £21 ; Allot's England's Parnasstory, which is to be published in England by sus" (1600), £10 15s. ; and a vellum Latin Ms. Messrs. Smith & Elder, and in New York by Bible, written in a minute and clear hand Messrs. Macmillan, will be a shorter novel (1400), £9 58. than “ David Grieve," although, like it, it will be divided into four books,
Count TOLSTOI, the novelist and philanthro
pist, recently said he is now able to live on five A COPY of Dickens's works, the de luxe edi. copecks, or two cents per day. When he ate tion in thirty volumes, was sold under the meat the daily cost was $1.50, but now that he hammer last week for £11 10s. The auction is a vegetarian his wants of the stomach are
abundantly supplied at one seventy-fifth of his The general physical qualities of the diaformer extravagance.
mond are so well known that we may be very STATISTICS prepared in Paris show that the brief in their description. The figure of the proportion of novels to serious works read in stone varies considerably; but most com. the public libraries of the municipality is less monly it is a hexagonal prism, terminated by than fifty-two per hundred. Of 1,583.000 vol. a six-sided pyramid. When pure it is colorless uines circulated from the district library rooms, and transparent. In its natural state it is covonly 817,000 were novels. Among the authors ered with a dullish crust, often of a muddy color, in popularity, Alexandre Dumas ranks first on the removal of which the brilliant jewel
beneath flashes forth in all its characteristic lusand Emile Zola eleventh.
tre. Its specific gravity is from 3.44 to 3.55. MR. WILLIAM HEINEMANN is going to bring It is one of the hardest substances in nature, out two volumes of short stories, one by the and as it is not affected by a considerable beat, author of "The Heavenly Twins," the other it was for many ages considered incombusti. by Mr. Zangwill. The former is to bear ble. Pliny says, if laid on an anvil and struck the title “Our Manifold Lives," the latter with a hammer, the anvil will inevitably split, “The King of Schnorrers : Grotesques and and in many instances the diamond has been Fantasies."
known to indent the steel. Sir Isaac Newton, As instances of swiftness in literary produc- observing that combustibles refracted light tion, it may be mentioned that Mr. Haggard more powerfully than other bodies, and that does his 4000 words at a sitting ; Mr. David the diamond possessed this property in great Christie Murray thinks nothing of writing a perfection, suspected from that circumstance three-volume novel in five weeks, and Mr. that it was capable of combustion at a very Henty has just been confessing to an inter- high temperature. This singular conjecture viewer that he produces his stories at the rate was verified in 1694, by the Florentine acad. of 6500 words a day.
emicians, in the presence of Cosmo III., Grand Duke of Tuscany. By means of a pow. erful burning-glass they were able to destroy
several diamonds. Singularly enough, Sir H. MISCELLANY.
Davy employed the same lens many years after. CURIOSITIES OF DIAMONDS.—Since it was dis- ward to effect the same purpose, directing the covered that diamonds consist of pure carbon rays upon a diamond placed in a jar of oxygen there is hardly any chemist who has not per- gas. Francis I., Emperor of Germany, wit. formed more or less extensive experiments and nessed the destruction of several large diainvestigations into the nature and origin of monds by means of the burning-glass; and this most highly valued of precious stones. these experiments were repeated by Rouelle, These researches, however, have gone on in Macquer, and D'Arcet, who proved conclusecret, and the common ear has seldom heard sively that the stone was not merely evapo. that there have been—and, for aught we know rated, but actually burned, and that if air was to the contrary, are yet-diamond seekers in excluded it underwent no change. Diamonds the modern laboratory. That the results of are not all the pure unsullied gems which glitsuch experiments have been published by few ter in our jewels; they appear in a variety of is no proof that few experiments have been colors, some of which enhance, while others made, for human nature and vanity prefer detract from, their value. Sometimes it is silence to publicity, where investigations have tinged with blue, yellow, green, or a beautiful failed and hopes been disappointed. It was rose color, and frequently it is brown, or dull not only the incomparable splendor of this yellow, king of gems, and its being of such enormous As usual upon disputed points, speculation value, that led chemists anxiously to experi. has been busy about the origin of the diamentalize upon the origin of the diamond; mond, and a large number of theories, all more but its isolation from every other substance in or less probable, have been propounded to set many other respects rendered the inquiry & the matter at rest. The two most reasonable peculiarly fascinating undertaking. The expositions are, perhaps, the explanations put anomalous composition of the gem, the singu- forward by M. Parrot and Baron Liebig. The lar localities in which it is discovered, and its former scientist, who has laboriously investi. unique physical characters, all seemed to set gated the perplexing subject, is of opinion speculation in activity and at defiance, that the diamond arises from the operation of
violent volcanic heat on small particles of car- in Golconda and Visapore ; and good samples bon contained in the rock, or on a substance of this precious gem have now and again been comprised of a large proportion of carbon and found in the district of Banjar, in the East India & smaller quantity of hydrogen. By this Island of Borneo, some of wonderful lustre and theory, as he conceives, we are best able to size, and very superior quality. An enormous account for the cracks and flaws so often no diamond found in this island, weighing 367 ticed in the gem, and the frequent occurrence carats, is said to be now in the possession of of included particles of black carbonaceous the Rajah of Mattan. Considerable quantities matter. Baron Liebig, on the other hand, of diamonds of all sizes and values have, dur. claims the credit of offering a simple explana ing the last hundred and fifty years, been ob. tion of the probable process which actually tained from the Brazils. The diamond mines takes place in the formation of the diamond, are situated due north of the Rio Janeiro; and His contention is that science can point to no great numbers are also collected from the river process capable of accounting for the origin Jigitenbona, the waters of which being turned and production of diamonds, except the pow. aside, or dammed ovt, the mud at the bottom ers of decay. If we suppose decay to proceed is first removed, under which is a stratum of in a liquid containing carbon and hydrogen, rounded pebbles and gravel. In this gravel then a compound with still more carbon must the diamonds are found, and separated by be fornied; and if the compound thus formed washing them with great care. The system were itself to undergo further decay, the final of diamond-washing adopted in Brazil is bor. result, says this eminent authority, must be rowed from the methods employed in Hindo. the separation of carbon in a crystalline form, stan, and is an interesting and exhaustive
Some very fine specimens of the diamond operation. The washing begins with the crystal have long been found near the town of rains, about November. The upper parts of Purnaor Pannah, in Bundelcund. The mines the troughs are charged with cascalbs (diaproducing them are situated in a range of hills, mond earth), and a man, standing before the called Bund-Ahill by the natives, extending open end or at the side, dashes water upon the about twenty miles in length by between two contents; he then stirs the mass with his and three in breadth, and are said to be par. fingers to relieve it of the worthless earth, titioned into twenty-one divisions ; but we do dust and clay, and when the water runs clear not know that the whole belonged to Bundel- the washing is repeated. A pocket of diacund. Of these, the mines of Rajepoor, Ma- monds may thus sometimes, but very rarely, harajepoor, Kimmerah, and Guddaseah con. be hit upon; but often after the gravel has tain the best diamonds ; and one dug from the received as many as twelve separate washings, last-mentioned mine has been reputed one diamonds, although of diminutive size, will of the largest in the world. It was kept in the still be found in it. A good washer takes from fort of Callinger, among other treasures of half an hour to three quarters of an hour in Rajah Himmut Bahadur, A number of rajahs order to exhaust a single pan-full. Someare proprietors of the mines, each having a times, to encourage the other laborers, a slave charge of his own, without any interest in the who is fortunate enough to find a stone weighproduce of the rest. A superintendent is ap- ing more than an oitava and a half receives pointed to inspect the produce, and every dia his freedom, but the discovery of diamonds of mond as soon as found is registered, valued, this size is few and far between. Magnifying and, if the rajah does not choose to keep it, is glasses are not yet in use, although they would offered for sale. When sold he receives two save much trouble and prevent loss. The thirds of its value. In the reign of the Em- present rude system is very severe upon the peror Ackbar, the mines of Pannah produced sight, which soon fails, and past twenty-five to the amount of £100,000 annually, and were years of age few eyes can be trusted. In fact, then a considerable source of revenue ; but for children are always the best washers. It is many years they have not been so profitable, during this operation that robberies are mostly although some diamonds of exceptional size effected. The civilized thief pretends to be and value are discovered occasionally in the short-sighted, and picks up the plunder with Guddaseah mine.
his tongue, but most of the stones disappear Diamonds are also found in the ferruginous by being tilted or thrown over the lip of the sand and gravel which forms the beds or banks pan during the washing, and are picked up at of rivers in various parts of the Indian penin. leisure. In India the miner has been seen to sula, from Bengal to Cape Comorin, especially jerk the stone into his mouth, or stick it in
the corner of his eye ; and so clever, indeed, celebration of Christmas Day has become sterare some of these diamond thieves that from eotyped. For children, of course, its charm twelve to fifteen overseers are required per remain , for children have not yet become too gang of fifty light-fingered men.
sophisticated to enjoy eating too much, and The diamonds are invariably valued by the presents inseparable from the occasion are their weight in carats, a carat being equal to not likely to pall with repetition. But to the four grains. The value increases as the givers of the feasts and the arrangers of the squares of their respective weights ; thus, if Christmas-trees the sport is somewhat stale a diamond of one carat be worth £8, one of and the wheels somewhat run down, as in the two carats will be worth £32.
Kingsley ballad. And if for the givers of About one half the weight of the diamond Christmas parties and the parents of the risis cut away by the lapidary, and the quantity ing generation Christmas Day is a rather of diamond powder used in polishing a very labored kind of festivity, much worse is it for large diamond has sometimes cost a thousand the lonely and the bachelor. In the same way pounds sterling. One of the most interesting the typical Christmas weather has been settled objects in Amsterdam is the diamond-mill, for all time. It very seldom comes off ; but where all the great diamonds are sent to be when it does there is a general chorus of apcut and polished and prepared for setting. proval. There should be a hard white frost, It belongs to a Jew, and a very large staff of all the land should look white, and the sun skilled men are employed in the various proc. shine red through the faint morning mist. esses through which the stones have to go The ponds should be frozen hard, and skating before they are ready for mounting. Four by daylight and torchlight should dispel the horses turn a wheel, which sels in motion a fiend Indigestion which dogs the steps of turnumber of smaller wheels in the room above, key and plum pudding. So deeply is this picwhose cogs, acting on circular metal plates, ture engraved on our minds, so often is it prekeep them in continued revolution. Pulver. sented to us on cards and in almanacs, in colized diamond is placed upon these, and the ored supplements and in picture books, that stone to be polished, fastened at the end of a it seems quite unnatural to the healthy Engpiece of wood by means of an amalgam of zinc lish mind that Christmas Day should ever and quicksilver, is submitted to the friction dawn otherwise than glittering white with of the adamantine particles. This is the only snow or hoar frost, and in the Antipodes our mode of acting on diamond, which can be brothers are inclined to resent the brilliant ground, or even cut, by particles of the same sunsbine and balmy air as a sort of desecrasubstance. In the latter operation diamond tion of the national feast-day. They eat their dust is fixed on a metal wire which moves plum pudding with its sprig of holly with a rapidly backward and forward over the stone sense of injury, as something whose mere presto be cut. The largest diamonds are usually ence ought to have been enough to cause a reserved for roses, which always rise in the change in the weather, and they complain centre to an angle, and the smaller are used as bitterly that it is impossible to “feel like brilliants and have a flat octagon on the up. Christmas” without Christmas weather. per surface. There is, of course, a marked It is human to grumble and not unpleasant. distinction between rose diamond and a brill. Otherwise it would be difficult to understand iant. The one is entire and set vertically, how any one can take exception to warmth and while the other is divided and set hori. sunlight in place of those December fogs which zontally. The diamond has always enjoyed we know so well. And much may be done at an undisputed pre-eminence among precious Christmas time in the East which is impossistones, not only on account of its rarity, but ble in the West. Let us take a typical Christ. also from its unequalled brilliancy. Some of mas Day in Calcutta, and spend it as it should these stones have been sold for almost fabulous be spent undeterred by the fetich of English prices, and many of the most celebrated dia- Christmas traditions. Let us take the Victo. monds known to exist have changed hands ria and drive down to Garden Reach, a few from time to time under strange and roman. miles down the Hooghly, and picnic. Our way tic circumstances.-" Curiosities of Diamonds," lies across the Maidan, and a paternal Admin. Gentleman's Magazine.
istration has sent out legions of coolies, each
with his leathern water-bottle, to shake water CHRISTMAS IN CALCUTTA.—In England. the over the road and lay the dust. The sun