Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 21.djvu/871

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LITERARY NOTICES.

takes no delight in the 'march of civilization,' the axe and the plow are to him symbols of barbarism, and the reclaiming of waste lands and opening up of his favorite haunts to cultivation he instinctively denounces as acts of vandalism." Yet we may add, the botanist himself is no vandal, but his humble labors do contribute to the onward march of civilization. The humblest flower or coarsest weed may contain lessons of wisdom the most profound, and botany is particularly adapted to combine science and culture.

We can not close our brief notice without a mention of his defense of the herbarium as an instrument of scientific culture. It is a collection of natural objects, scientifically classified and ever present for inspection; an herbarium is a library to be consulted, studied, and read. It is a library filled with volumes written by Nature, and which those who have learned the language of Nature can read and enjoy with a satisfaction as much keener than anything that man-made books can give as it is nearer to the source of all truth.

Reminiscences chiefly of Oriel College and the Oxford Movement. By Rev. T. Mozely, M. A., formerly Fellow of Oriel. In 2 vols. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Co. Pp. 900. Price, $3.

These volumes belong to a popular class of works, and have attracted a good deal of attention as being quite unique in their line. They are gossipy, sketchy, spicy, and readable, and, although dealing with characters that figured and events that occurred half a century ago, and across the ocean, they will be read with interest and by many with avidity in this country. The interest in Oxford University, as a great seat of learning, is not confined to England, and everybody has heard of the Oxford movement, an ecclesiastical fermentation in the university which greatly disturbed the English Church, and involved the secession of many of her theologians to the Church of Rome. The work is thus characterized by a writer in the "Quarterly Review":

"It is, in great measure, a gallery of portraits, vividly and even brilliantly sketched, of the remarkable body of men who were connected with Oriel College for about half a century of its most famous period. The book is a succession of short chapters, each about the length of a leading article, most of them depicting the appearance, the habits, the capacities, and characters of a number of men who, for two generations, have played a leading part in English thought and life. Nothing but intimate daily association could have enabled even a genius like that of Mr. Mozely to hit them off with such distinctness and accuracy. But he and they were, for the most part, fellows or gentlemen commoners, or undergraduates of the same college; even if of different colleges, they lived in the same university, under similar conditions. He saw them going out and coming in; he dined with them; spent the evenings with them; worked side by side with them; managed business with them for years. All their characteristic and tell-tale traits fell under his daily observation, and he came to know them as well as, or perhaps better than, himself. If we had no other occasion for welcoming this book, we could not but rejoice to have such a vivid picture of a kind of life which has played so large a part in English society, drawn at the very time and in the very college where, perhaps, it reached its culmination. Mr. Mozely depicts it, not only with very rare powers of observation and of description, but with the keen appreciation of sympathy and of close attachment. As we read his pages we live in the Oxford and the Oriel of his day; we fellow all its social politics, slight as they may seem, with the interest of real human life; we discern how all the little details developed characters and determined careers, and see before us, in scores of instances, that constant action and reaction of individuals and circumstances out of which the drama of life is developed."

In a book of so many details, and relating mainly to distant personal experiences, we might naturally expect a good percentage of error, and our pages this month bear testimony to Mr. Mozely's fallibility in this respect. He was a pupil in Derby of Mr. George Spencer, father of Herbert Spencer, and some of his reminiscences of his early teacher have proved so misleading as to require particular correction.