Page:The North American Review Volume 145.djvu/712

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page needs to be proofread.

"Whereas, Tan-Tin-Siang, already degraded from the office of Governor-General of Chih-Li, has been found not guilty of cowardice and desertion, but in that his operations were without plan or resource, his offense is not the less without excuse. Let him be banished to the frontier [confines of Siberia], there to redeem his guilt by his exertions."

The author has chosen for the representative battles of our civil war the engagement of the Monitor and Merrimac, battles of Gettysburg and of Five Points, and Lee's surrender. Sedan, Khiva, and Plevna, in the decade of 1870, are followed by the history of the Russian overthrow of the Tekke Turcomans in their fortified town of Geog Tepe, and the end of their barbarous alamans on the defenseless Persians.

Each of the twenty-five battles is so amply illustrated by maps, sketches of fortifications, and battle plans, that the lover of military tactics will find the book an interesting study.

VI. A SOCIALISTIC ROMANCE. IN " Marzio's Crucifix" * one hardly knows which most to admire, the creative talent which finds expression in the delineation of characters so true to life as the artist chisseler Marzio and his family, or the dramatic genius which glows in every page of the book. Marzio is a socialist at heart though an inimitable worker in silver, and a true artist. He is thoroughly imbued with anarchical prin- ciples, though he has made a fortune out of the Church which he would willingly annihilate. Moreover, he is a domestic tryant, and remains so till the close of the story ; but this feature of the man is brought out mainly through the manner in which he finds his purposes crossed and thwarted through the influence of a brother, a priest, who is the means of bringing him a succession of lucrative orders, but, of course, discountenances his revolutionary principles. A wife and daughter, and a young man in love with the latter, constitute the principal per- sonages, and the plot of the story extends over less than two days. It will be hard for any one to begin this book without finishing it at a sitting. The ways of a middle class Roman household are drawn to the life. The scene is constantly shifting, and the reader is kept on the qui-vive for some denouement or other which never happens. The mere plan of the story is slight, but it is woven together with consummate art. As it touches frequently upon socialistic questions it has an interest aside from its effect as a mere story, and we cannot forbear making one quotation from a conversation between the priest and his friend the Cardinal, in which the Cardinal thus expresses himself prophetically as many may think : "Your brother represents an idea, which is a subversion of all social principle. It is an idea which must spread because there is an enormous number of depraved men in the world who have a very great interest in the destruction of law. The watch word of that party will always be * there is no God,' because God is order and they desire disorder. They will, it is true, always be a minority because the greater part of mankind are determined that order shall not be destroyed. But those fellows will fight to the death, because they know that in that battle there will be no quarter for the vanquished. It will be a mighty struggle, and will last long, but it will be decisive, and will perhaps never be revived when it is once over. Men will kill each other wherever they meet, during months and years, before the end comes, for all men who say that there is a God in Heaven will be upon the one side, and all those who say there is no God will be upon the other."

  • " Marzio's Crucifix." By F. Marion Crawford. Macmillan & Co.