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LITERATURE AND THE ARTS. --+- M. WIERTZ, the Belgian artist who has recently died, has decreed that his boy should be embalmed, and dressed in the costume he usually wore, amd his heart inclosed in a casket, and handed over to his residuary legatee, who has transferred it to the cus- tody of the Burgomaster of Dinant, in which town M. Wiertz was born. THE Albert Gold Medal of the Society of Arts has been awarded this year to the Emperor of the French for distinguished merit in promoting in many ways, by his personal exertions, the international progress of arts, manufactures, and commerce. The Prince of Wales, president, communicated this decision to the Emperor, by whom it has been most graciously ac- cepted. ME. G. SYKES has designed a cover for Domesday Book, to be executed in enamel and gold, with subjects on the respective sides representing, in relief, Wil- liam the Conquersr," and Queen Victoria;" the latter at the opening of the Great Exhibition. This design is said to have been well received by her Ma- jesty. OF books appearing or advertised during the last few days, we should mention Adventures among the Dyaks of Borneo," by Frederick Boyle; Ballads and Songs of Lancashire, chiefly older than the Nineteenth Century," collected, compiled, and edited, with Notes, by 3ohn Harland; A Vindication of the Marquis of Dalhousie's Indian Administration," by Sir Charles Jackson; Essays on the Trees and Shrubs of the Ancients: being the substance of four lectures delivered before the University of Oxford, intended to be supplementary to those on Roman Husbandry, already published." By C. Daubeny, M.D.; "A Course of Lectures on the Third or Transition Period of Musical History, deli- vered at the Royal Institution of Great Britain." By John Hullah. But one of the most useful works pub. lished for a lengthened period has been brought out by Messrs. Cassell, Petter, and Galpin, entitled, The North-West Passage by Land; being the Nar- rative of an Expedition from the Atlantic to the Pacific, undertaken with the view of exploring a Route across the Continent to British Columbia through British Territory, by one of the Northern Passes in the Rocky Mountains." By Viscount Milton and W. B. Cheadle, M.A., M.D. In re- ference to this work the Saturday Review says:— The title of this very remarkable ioint description of a really notable adventure is not without its signi- ficance. In exploring a practicable route across British North America, which may hereafter connect the gold fields of British Columbia with the settled territories to the east of the Rocky Mountains, Lord Milton and Dr. Cheadle have performed a far more valuable and practicable feat than if they had climbed and crawled over a dozen new Alpine Cols and they are wise in pointing the moral of their tale on the back of the volume. The individual heroism, and the national expenditure of wealth, skill, and lives, which have given a vi vid interest to the discovery of the North- West Passage by sea, have but succeeded in showing that it must necessarily be useless as a line of commercial communication. Until the .conditions of the globe are altered, European merchantmen will never steer for China and Japan through the Straits of Davis and Behring. But when the pioneering feet of Lord Milton and Dr. Cheadle have been followed across the Rocky Mountains by the surveyor and the navy, and a railway is constructed from Halifax to some point on the coast of British Columbia, the whole distance from Hong-Kong to Southampton will be capable of accomplishment (according to Lord Milton's calculation) in thirty-six days, or from fifteen to twenty days less than by the present overland route by Suez.. The pluck and energy which characterised the carrying out of this highly adventurous expedition were as creditable as the practical spirit in which it was conceived, and as the graceful and modest humour with which it is told in the volume before us." For full details of the journey we may safelv recommend I our readers to consult t he letterpress and sketches of Lord Milton and Dr. Cheadle. The same firm have also two other works wuich arethus mentioned in the Athen&umThe Children s Garden, and what they made of it." By Agnes and Maria E. Catlow. Illus- trated by Mrs. Harry Criddle. Divided into twelve chapters, each of which is named after one of the twelve months, this prose tale by two experienced -writers explains to children the processes and mys- teries of horticultural art. The book has several good ■points and qualities; and it will not be less at- tractive to little readers because an ornate page proclaims that it is dedicated by the Queen's 1 gracious permission to her Royal Highness tho Prin. cess Beatrice." « 0 "THE Boy Crusaders: a Story of the Days of St. Louis." By J. G. Edgar. With Illustrations by R. Dudley. (Cassell, Petter, and Galpin.) Another posthumous story from a sound and popular writer of history for children. In his preface, Mr. Edgar says, In this volume I have related the adventures of two striplings, who, after serving their apprenticeship to chivalry in a. feudal castle in the north of England, assumed the cross, embarked for the East, took part in the Crusade headed by the saint-king of France, and participated in the glory and disaster which attended the Christian army, after landing at Damietta, including the carnage of Mansourah, and the massacre of Minieh." The tale is not unworthy of its writer, and that is no slight praise.




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