subject we have chosen to succeed our first book, and which will be followed by a similarstudy on the various aspects of Religious and Military Life.This work, devoted to the vivid and faithful description of the Manners and Customs of theMiddle Ages and Renaissance, answers fully to the requirements of contemporary times. Weare, in fact, no longer content with the chronological narration and simple nomenclatureswhich formerly were considered sufficient for education. We no longer imagine that the historyof our institutions has less interest than that of our wars, nor that the annals of the humblerclasses are irrelevant to those of the privileged orders. We go further still. What is above allsought for in historical works nowadays is the physiognomy, the inmost character of pastgenerations. "How did our fathers live?" is a daily question. "What institutions had they? Whatwere their political rights? Can you not place before us their pastimes, their hunting parties,their meals, and all sorts of scenes, sad or gay, which composed their home life? We shouldlike to follow them in public and private occupations, and to know their manner of livinghourly, as we know our own."In a high order of ideas, what great facts serve as a foundation to our history and that of themodern world! We have first royalty, which, weak and debased under the Merovingians, risesand establishes itself energetically under Pépin and Charlemagne, to degenerate under Louisle Débonnaire and Charles le Chauve. After having dared a second time to found the Empire of the Caesars, it quickly sees its sovereignty replaced by feudal rights, and all its rights usurpedby the nobles, and has to struggle for many centuries to recover its rights one by one.Feudalism, evidently of Germanic origin, will also attract our attention, and we shall draw arapid outline of this legislation, which, barbarian at the onset, becomes by degrees subject tothe rules of moral progress. We shall ascertain that military service is the essence itself of the"fief," and that thence springs feudal right. On our way we shall protest against civil wars, andshall welcome emancipation and the formation of the communes. Following the thousanddetails of the life of the people, we shall see the slave become serf, and the serf becomepeasant. We shall assist at the dispensation of justice by royalty and nobility, at the solemnsittings of parliaments, and we shall see the complicated details of a strict ceremonial, whichformed an integral part of the law, develop themselves before us. The counters of dealers,fairs and markets, manufactures, commerce, and industry, also merit our attention; we mustsearch deeply into corporations of workmen and tradesmen, examining their statutes, andinitiating ourselves into their business. Fashion and dress are also a manifestation of publicand private customs; for that reason we must give them particular attention.And to accomplish the work we have undertaken, we are lucky to have the conscientiousstudies of our old associates in the great work of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance toassist us: such as those of Emile Bégin, Elzéar Blaze, Depping, Benjamin Guérard, Le Roux deLincy, H. Martin, Mary-Lafon, Francisque Michel, A. Monteil, Rabutau, Ferdinand Séré, Horacede Viel-Castel, A. de la Villegille, Vallet de Viriville.As in the volume of the Arts of the Middle Ages, engraving and chromo-lithography will cometo our assistance by reproducing, by means of strict fac-similes, the rarest engravings of thefifteenth and sixteenth centuries, and the most precious miniatures of the manuscriptspreserved in the principal libraries of France and Europe. Here again we have the aid of theeminent artist, M. Kellerhoven, who quite recently found means of reproducing with so muchfidelity the gems of Italian painting.Paul Lacroix(Bibliophile Jacob).