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MAIWA'S REVENGE: By H. RIDER HAGGARD. :
Longmans, Green and Co. (Price two shil- lings.)
In " Maiwa's Revenge " we have yet another story from the graphic pen of Mr. Rider Haggard; a pen which imparts to a tale
such a circumstantial air as to give the reader
some - difficulty in distinguishing; where fact breaks off and fiction begins. . .._
As in all his books the scene is laid in South
Africa, and the story is told by Allan Quater main, surrounded by .om* old friends, to whom the author so long ago introduced us, Sir Henry Curtis and Captain Good of the "beautiful white legs." The old hunter, egged on by an extremely improb
GEORGE DURHAM, Esq.
(Founder of the Livingstone Lectureship).
able yarn, told by this latter gentleman, of his shooting exploits, commences to relate ex- periences of his own in the killing of big .game, whichreaches the climax in the slaughter, single- handed, of three enormous elephants, after a series of adventures, into which Mr. Haggard has managed, in his usual style, to throw a con- siderable amount of quiet humour, at the same time keeping the reader's interest centred in the points at'issue.
Scarcely is this feat accomplished when the heroine makes her appearance; appealing to Quatermain for vengeance upon her husband Wambe, chief of the Matukus, [ who had niur .dered his son and her.only child.! She was then in full flight to her father, Nala, ihead^of the Butianas, taking, with her, as a ghastly ¿token, the hand of the little dead infant. She bore to Quatermain news of an old friend, named Every, who had been imprisoned by Wambe for six years, suffering unutterable tortures, and who appealed to him by means of a letter written on the back of a leaf. This was only in accord with the hunter's inclination, and he at once escorted Maiwa to her father's kraal, which' they reached after having to beat off an impi sent by Wambe to capture them.
The girl's appeal to her father for revenge, and his to Quatermain for assistance, follow almost as a matter of course. A deep laid scheme is prepared, by which the hunter and a woman resembling Maiwa are escorted by an armed force numbering, two hundred Bútiánas as cap- tives to -Yainbe's capital, to be returned at his request; whilst the' whole remaining regi- ments under Nala, and guided by his daughter, take their way to the same point by another route, with the ; intention of attacking the town in a weak x>oint. Quaterniain and his division,' as agreed upon, arrived first, and rushing an. outlying fortification, proceed to defend it. The diversion thus caused is taken advantage of by Nala, and after a terrific fight, accompanied by varying success, such as Mr. Haggard seems fairly to revel in, the place is taken by assault. Wambe is caught in the very act of trying to torture the unhappy Every, and dies miserably. Quaterinain and his; friend then make for the coast, loaded up with ivory, realizing a small fortune by its sale. Maiwa becomes the chieftainess of the conquered tribe, and all ends happily.
There is a good deal of sameness in all Mr. Haggard's works, but they possess a vitality that ?never palls, and " Maiwa's Revenge" is no exception to this rule. There are the exciting chase of big game, the laconic Zulu, the beautiful dark hued woman, the gallant and drily humorous hunter, and the savage cruel chief, all these components ending with the wild burly-burly of the barbaric battle, with all its waving plumes, and gigantic athletic figures. And even if this, his latest gift to fame, is somewhat of a reflex of his former works, it still bears the stamp of his originality, and the tale is . told in English which it does one good to read,
and which leaves a gracious flavor of something satisfying to^the imagination.
The second number of the new. magazine, the Centennial, is perhaps hardly as good as the first issue. The opening chapters of " A Sydney Side Saxon," by Rolf Boldrewood, are first-rate reading. The numerous admirers of Miss Essie Jenyns will welcome a sympathetic article from the pen of -Mr. Mark-Thompson. No less tha'n 15,000 photo . graphs of ".our leading actress/' have, it seems, been sold during the last three years. As regards the début in London early next year, Mr. Thompson says " her friends and critics on this side of the world may have misgivings as to the outcome of this step, but they will hardly dispute its wisdom. It is not good for a young artist to enjoy for long the unique position of unrivalled excellence as the
exponent of Shakespearian comedy. The con- tinuous din of popular applause soon dulls the ears to the fairy calls of imagination, and clogs the ambition that should ever aspire towards the ideal. There have not been wanting occasional signs of late that success, the subtle flatterer, was drawing the attention of the artist from Juliet to Miss Essie Jenyns. . . The first cold breath of England will set all right however, and the self effacement which no city effects so completely as London will be salutary," an opinion which we are inclined to endorse. Three portraits illustrate the article and show Miss Jenyns at threé years of age, in the days when she could " eat any thing from bread and butter to doughnuts," and in one of her most popular roles.
Dr. Carroll continues his notes on "The Carved and Painted Rocks of Australia," and Mr. Sutherland, his chatty paper on the Tarra. Professor Spencer enlightens the unscientific on " Some Curious eyes," including the " pineal eye," a structure which is apparently the remains of an eye once highly developed. Mr. Anderson con- tributes a thoughtful article on the . poetry of Matthew Arnold. The portrait scarcely does justice to the exponent of "Sweetness and Light." Sainte Beuve and his letters are treated of by Mr. Coleman, and Mr. Shell gives a résumé of the different methods of book illustration. The fron- tispiece is from the picture by Mr. Julian Ashton, " Give 'em Bacca Boss," recently purchased by the Trustees of the National Gallery. Altogether this is an excellent number, and the Centennial promises to take a leading place amongst monthly periodicals.
The second number of Light appeared appro- priately at the time of the first annual meeting of the Australasian Association for the Advance- ment of Science. It leads off with a résumé of the doings of the Association, and full space is naturally alloted to its various meet- ings. There are numerous papers on popular subjects. Mr. R. Titherington disourses pleasantly on " Early Australian Discovery ;" Mr. Angus Mackay contributes a useful paper, showing "How Milk, Cream, and Butter are Made," and gives many hints invaluable to cow-keepers. Mr. Mackay recommends dairymen, and all interested in feeding stock, to get them- selves acquainted with the anatomy and internal arrangement of cows. " Bacteria," a subject which the enquiries and discoveries of Pasteur and others have brought forward, are treated of, and most interesting facts are given as to the mode of multiplication of Bac- teria. It is shown how necessary it is to boil all water for drinking pur puses. Thc "Hints to Whist Learners," and " Easy Science for Little Heads," arc con- tinued. A careful review of the Rev. J. E. Tenison-Wood's " Anatomy and Life History of Australian Mollusca," full reports of meetings, abstracts of popular science lectures, and some well compiled Art Notes are amongst the other leading features. Perhaps the raciest article, however, is the account given by Mr. P. J. Edmunds of " A Private Mesmeric Seance," which, though it does not pronounce definite opinions regarding thc phenomena of hypnotism, is intensely interesting. Altogether the second number of Light is an improvement on the first, and with an equal variety of subjects, popularly treated, Light cannot fail to commend itself to all who are interested in scientific subjects.