The Christmas Atlantic is replete with good things. Among other excellent articles, one that will be sure to interest Harvard men is one on "The Modern Art of Painting in France" by Professor Charles H. Moore, the Assistant Professor in Fine Arts. Mr. Moore thinks that the modern school with all its merits, has failed thus far to fulfill the promise of the earlier ages, that the springs of inspiration are exhausted because the light of the spirit no longer guides the imagination in its conseptions of forms of beauty, and that the qualities of the modern school are not those fundamental ones which make the art of a nation truly great. Mr. Moore regrets that students and amateurs at home find so little help toward suitable preparation for foreign study and urges upon the would-be Parisian student a thorough mastering of that preliminary knowledge which should give them a basis of judgement as to what may be most profitably studied in Europe; for in the Parisian shool itself, one meets with few enlightening and broadening influences.
Another article of unusual interest is an essay on Richard III. by the late James Russell Lowell, which is but another evidence of the great loss American letters sustained in Mr. Lowell's death. This essay, it will be remembered, was read some years ago at Chicago, but has never before been printed. It is written in Mr. Lowell's incomparable style and is unusually valuable for the student of Shakspere.
Another interesting paper is one on "Joseph Severn and his Correspondents." The correspondents are Richard Westmacott, the painter, George Richmond, the painter, and others; but the most interesting letter of the series is from John Ruskin, giving his first impressions of Venice. One quotation is characteristic and not without truth: "I saw," says Mr. Ruskin, "what the world is coming to. We shall put it into a chain armor of railroad, and then everybody will go everywhere every day, until every place is like every other place; and then when they are tired of changing stations and police they will congregate in knots in great cities, which will consist of club-houses, coffee-houses and newspaper offices; the churches will be turned into assembly rooms; and people will eat, sleep and gamble to their graves."
In "Recent Dante Literature," there is an excellent criticism of Professor Norton's translation of the Inferno.