Page images
PDF
EPUB

BY

on

Such an innocent passion, so kind without art, A VISIT TO ARTHUR HALLAM'S TOMB.
I fear I have wronged her. I hope she may be
So full of true love to be jealous of nie.

ANTON BERTRAM.
And then 'tis I think that no joys are above
The pleasures of love,”

Tbe Danube to the Severn gave

The darkened heart that beat no more; With the advent of the Guelphs the output of

They laid him by the pleasant shore, royal poetry ceased. It is known that the first

And in the hearing of the wave. three Georges "hated poetry," and the fourth

A pleasant shore, indeed, it is, breathing all the certainly preferred millinery. George the Sec

sweetness and repose so typical of the West counond, it is recorded, once corrected the proofs of a

try. And perhaps there is no more sacred spot pamphlet against the Jacobites, but that was the

the coasts of these islands than that where chef d'æuvre of his literary career. At all events, Arthur Hallam, the only begetter" of "In Memofor two centuries royalty has remained mute.

riam," is laid at rest, in the south transept of the Perhaps that is a wise choice ; for, as a certain

"Old Church," a mile or so from the little town of great man said, comparisons are odious.

Clevedon, in Somerset.

The church itself with its thick set stone walls, FAMOUS ENGLISH PRIVATE LIBRARIES.

and its plain square tower, looks grim and masCommenting on the sale of the remarkable Ash

sive in the midst of the graves around it. It reburnham collection (the 4,075 lots brought a total

minds one of another church in the "Passing of of £62,712 7s 6d), a writer in the Bulletin of Biblio

Arthur,"

That stood on a dark strait of barren land: lography notes that "there are four other magnifi

On one side lay the ocean, and on one cent collections of printed books, dispersed during

Lay a great water, and the moon was full. the present century, to which, with certain reser

The neck of land on which the Old Church of vations, the Ashburnham Library may be com: Clevedon stands is not barren, but is green turf, pared. The earliest, that of the Duke of Rox

studded with flowers. On one side lies the Sevburghe, produced in forty-five days, in 1812, the

ern, and on one lies a small estuary, and therein total of £23,341 for 10,121 lots (for which the

the wreck of a barque, stranded in the mud close Duke is said to have paid not more than £5,000); to the shore. the Heber sale, 1834-36, with its 52.000 lots, which

The churchyard contains no old yew, grasping realized £57,000; the Sunderland Library, 1881 83

at "the stones that name the underlying dead," with its 13,858 lots, produced in fifty-one days

nor does Arthur Hallam lie in the churchyard. £56,581; whilst in 1882-83 the Berkford collection,

When his body was on its way from Italy across in fifty eight days, showed the record total of "the placid ocean plains,” Tennyson seems to £73,551."

have imagined that this was to be its resting The Ashburnham Library was one of the last of

place the really great private libraries in England.

'Tis well; 'tis something; we may stand There yet remain the splendid collections of Mr.

Where he in English earth is laid, Huth, at Kensington, and of the late Mr. Christie

And from his ashes may he made

The violet of his native land. Miller, at Britwell Court; but apart from this, the

If it was not "to rest beneath the clover sod," private libraries of the country are now small in size and special in character.

then, at any rate, it would lie in the chancel,

Where the kneeling hamlet draits
*

The chalice of the grapes of God.
THE CONFESSION.

As a matter of fact it lies in neither, but in the Wbo loves to grope in corners divi

south transept, beneath the famous tablet. In Of musty shops where books are sold?

the earlier editions Tennyson placed the tablet Who knows the new editions trim,

incorrectly in the chancel, the last lines of poem Yet values volumes foxed and old?

LXVII. reading--
Whio recks not though his wife may rage,

And in the chancel like a ghost,
And lets the dinner-hour go by,

Thy tablet glimmers to the dawn.
When he can turn the yellowed page

"Chancel" was subsequently altered to "dark Where Blakes or Bewicks feast the eye?

church," and so the lines stand now. Who squanders time he ill can spare

The church within has been restored, complete. And dollars that he should conserve,

ly but plainly, and still retains its original charAnd purchases editions rare

acter. Its pews, its lofty, old-fashioned pulpit At prices that should make him swerve.

and its still more old-fashioned square lectern, are And loads his shelves with more to read

all of old carved oak. One walks to the narrow Than he can even crudely scan, But checks not nor repents his greed?

little transept on the south side, and there one sees I own my sin-I am that man!

on the wall the tablet immortalized in the lines of -John GOADBY GREGORY.

the poem

When on my bed the moonlight falls,

was not only to become one of the greatest works I know that in thy place of rest

of genius of the century, but, what is far more, By that broad water of the west,

was for all time to come to consolethe afflicted, to There comes a glory on the walls:

support the feeble, to dissipate doubts, to kindle Thy marble bright in dark appears,

ideals, to make duty more easy and faith more As slowly steals a silver flame Along the letters of thy name,

credible, and to inspire in men and nations a deAnd o'er the number of thy years.

sire for higher lives, nobler manners, purer laws The inscription of the tablet is worthy of the

Nor did he see that the man whose early loss he spirit whose departure it records. It refers to he de plored, him as "Arthur Henry Hallam, of Trinity College,

So many worlds, so much to do,

So little done, such things to be, Cainbridge, B. A.," aná tells of his early death at

How know I what had need of thee, Vienna at the age of twenty-two:

For thou wert strong as thou wert true?And now in this obscure and solitary church repose though “the fame was quenched” that he forsaw, the mortal remains of one too early lost for pub.

and though his head had “missed an earthly lic fame, but already conspicuous among his con

wreath," was destined, through the instrumentemporaries for the brightness of his genius, the depth of his understanding, the nobleness of his

tality of his friend, to perform more noble and lastdisposition, the fervour of his piety, and the ing work in the world than any single man-be his purity of his life.

qualities ever so transcendent, and his sphere ever Vale, dulcissme,

so exalted-could have accomplished in the narVale, dilectissime, desideratissime.

row span of mortal life. Requiescat in pace.

The all-assuming months and years
Pater ac Mater Hic Posthac Requiescamus

Can take no part away from this.
Tecum

Hallam might irdeed have said, in the words of

Horace, though in a higher sense than Horace Usque ad turbam.

intendedAround this tablet are those of his family. His

Non omnis moriar, multaque pars niei brother, Henry Fitzmaurice Hallam, died at Siena

Vitabit Libitinamin 1850, at the age of twenty-six, "in wliose clear

“I shall not wholly die, and a great part of me and vivid understanding, sweetness of disposition shall escape oblivion." and purity of life, an image of his elder brother

We left the dim transept, and ascended to the like him cut off by a short illness in a foreign land. highest point of the neighboring cliffs.

It was His father deeply sensible of the blessing which

evening, and the tide was coming up from the he enjoyed in possessing such children as are commemorated in these tablets, submits to the

There twice a day the Severn fills; righteous will of Heaven, which has ordained him

The salt sea water rushes by. to be their survivor.” Hallam's younger sister, Below us lay the church on the neck of the little after his death, also died young, in 1857, at the promontory that stretched beyond it. On the age of twenty-one. His mother died in 1840; his other side, the hulk of the stranded barque looked father, the historian, in 1859. One sister, "Julia much as though it had chosen the quiet creek for Maria Francis, wife of Sir John Farnaby Lennard, its last repose rather than as though it had been Bart.,"lived on to 1888, when she died at the ripe wrecked there by the storms of the channel out.. age of eighty. All their tablets are on the tran side. Ibland was a typical English landscape, sept wall, grouped around that of Arthur Hallam. ringed by an amphitheatre of low and distant

Who among Arthur Hallan's sorrowing family hills. The fields were white with daisies, the could have foreseen, when this simple tablet was hedges with hawthorn, “and o'er the sky, the silset up "in this obscure and solitary church," that very haze of summer drawn." Standing here, his friend Alfred Tennyson was destined to raise one “long and populous city pent," as his eye to his memory a monument more durable than wanders marble, which should make his name a house Among the pleasant villages and farnis hold' word among generations then unborn? Lit Adjoined, from each thing niet conceives delight, tle too can Tennyson himself have imagined, as

The smell of grain, or tedded grass, or kine,

Or daisy, each rural sight, each rural sound. he stood by the grave of his friend, that the poem

To the left of the picture the grey boarding house whose dim first beginnings he had just committed

blocks of Clevedon, and a staring red brickyard to paper to still the unquiet of his own heart,

with cottages of the same color around, were the The sad mechanic exercise, Like dull narcotics, numbing pain,

only things which marred the harmonious beauty

of the scene. Across the Channel, their bases iFarewell, sweetest one. Farewell, most beloved, most desired. Rest in peace. May we thy father and mother,

hidden by the evening mists, stretched the tender in after time rest with thee here until the trumpet

and delicate outlines of the welsh hills, rising sounds,

here and there, as over Abergavenny, into coni

sea

you this ?

cal peaks. Far to the east, but outside the scope Here of the view, was the mouth of the "babbling A grimy little book of Latin songs; Paris, 1637 ; Wye,” up which the "salt sea-water" was now price, six sous (“How much better," says my fliprushing. Newport, right opposite, Carleon, on pant companion, “to be sans-souci than sans six the Usk, four miles behind it, were wholly blotted sous"). You will have noticed, in your acute out; but to the west, just seen through the haze way, that the little volume is redolent of the past. that hung over the water, glimmered the dim This odor, faint and yet penetrating, is worth a ghost of Cardiff. Like a mirage in the desert, dozen booksellers' pedigrees. Youth sang out of only descried by being a deeper gray tban the it in the long ago, beating time on the winegray mists around them, the tall shafts of the stained table of some old tavern in the Rue Dowlais works poured forth their volumes of Mouffetard, or some Cafe Procope of the day; smoke, typifying the tumultuous industrial world and, since there are love-songs, a pour-pointed of South Wales, so different from the calm English gallant may have conned it by moonlight. Here sweetness of the Somerset coast.

on page 34 is a stain of coffee left by a negligent When Arthur Hallam was buried in the "Old student, who summoned the bacchanal past in Church," Cardiff was a paltry place of some 6000 these monkish songs. What pedigree could give inhabitants. Newport was only known for the riots that had just made it notorious. Clevedon Six sous—it is getting one's sensations cheap. had no pier, no lodging house blocks, no asphalted There was a history of the Greek stage in seven promenade. Railways, steamships, telegraphs, volumes at fifteen sous the volume. Cheap enough, were almost wholly things of the future. The you would say. I fluttered the pages thoughtgreat Reforın Bill had just been passed, and the fully. The bookseller, a stout old man in a shortpeople were thronging "the chairs and thrones of skirted greenish coat, paid no attention to me. civil power.” Mr. Gladstone, Hallam's old school He looked out across the river as though it were fellow, had just been elected for Newark, and al bis only business in life to study the facade of the ready promised to become "a potent voice in Par Institute. liament." The Queen was still a simple girl, liv

"At fifteen sous a volume," I thought, "they ing with her mother in Kensington Palace. The will come to a dollar and five cents. It's a great British Empire, as we conceive it, was yet to be. deal of money. Now that pript of Rowlandson Australia was almost unexplored. New Zealand near the Pont des Arts was only a dollar." was absolutely uncolonized. Canada and the I went back to look at the print. It was cerCape were torn asunder by the feuds of turbu tainly very wonderful, in its brutal, old-fashioned lent and hostile races. Since 1833 a new world English manner. And then I like Rowlandson as has come into being. The old order has changed, well as Hogarth. He has a-a sort of Britishness giving place to new, but the message which

about him that is unique. And this scene in a Arthur Hallam's life and character inspired was barber shop is in his grimest, most grotesque, and never more relevant than to-day,and never more strenuous manner. But where could I hang itdeeply or devoutly believed. Indeed he lives except on the little sapling in the garden! I more truly and more effectually in these modern hesitated. times than in the days ere

I started to go back for another comparative in Vienna's fated walls

look at tbe history of the Greek stage, in German, God's finger touched him and he slept.

by the way. The woman who kept the stall, and presumably owned the Rowlandson, saw that the

moment was crucial. She was a square-built THE HOSPICE OF OLD BOOKS.

young woman with a look of Auvergne about her.

“Mossieu,” she said, smiling pleasantly, but BY VANCE THOMPSON.

with all there was a look of determination in her The greatest library in the world is that of the gray eyes that I did not like it was the sort of quays of Paris. Hour after hour and mile after look I have seen in the eyes of a young woman mile, you may wander, if you will, past treasure returning from her dressmaker-that calm, conboxes of old books—books so delightfully old that centrated, victorious feminine look before which though you should purify them with fire and man is helpless as a child. water, they would never quite lose their musty “I won't buy it,” I said to myself, “not even if odor of antiquity. One must have a little of Syl- she comes down twenty sous in price." vestre Bonnard in him to love that odor. It is at She must have known; she took down the once acrid and sweet. It hints of dusty book .

print. closets-of forgotten cedar-chests-of neglected “What a color!” she exclaimed, contemptuously, garrets. In its way it is a certificate of authen and indeed the color-scheme was very British. ticity.

“What a color! And yet, Mosșieu, people buy

*

[ocr errors]

these things. What betise! Of course, it is old- ing of the prerevolutionary past, when bankers very old-but stupid."

and traders were not gentlemen, and good blood “Only a fool would buy it at that price." I and dignity went together. All this seems very said. I felt that I had won my victory.

strange in a Paris where the government is made "Pardon, Mossieu," she said, calmly, "ora up of attorneys and the led captains of finance, stranger."

and has for allies the street-rufflers and avowed When I got home with it I hid it in a drawer of anarchists. It seems, I say, very strange that my writing-table ; it is there now to prove this is France should have ever been the home of the no parable ; it is beastly-the Rowlandson.

grand seigneur, who fought and danced, wrote Now, it is this very uncertainty about what one Latin sonnets to Phyllis, and conned his Ovid. will bring home that lends seven-tenths (to be Of that old world there is left only a dusty mass precise) of its pleasure to haunting the quays. of books-here under the elms beside the Seine, You go out to buy a history of the Greek stage, that goes seaward, oily, shining, yellow-gray. an old edition of Juvenal with the Dutch plates There is an old man whoin I have known by or a bundle of new French novels, all joyously sight for years, for he, too, is a haunter of the yellow-and you come home with a guide-book or quays and a hunter of the soul of the past. I an engraving of Ninon de l'Enclos. It is a lot was not surprised when I saw him to day. He is tery of the most fascinating kind. You see, there as much a part of the quays as my taciturn stallis only the vaguest sort of classification. Foreign keeper in the short-skirted coat of faded green. books—and that means Arab or English, Mexican And, as usual, he was delving in a box of dusty or Russian-are grouped together; so are the romances of the seventeenth century. Such a text-books, the classics, scientific works, and the gentle old man, polisbed, gallant-with the grand like. Then there is a general distribution, accord air, he might have stepped out of the yellowing ing to prices. In this box, for instance, all the pages of “Estelle." I fancy he must have come books are a cent apiece, in the vext two cents, or up to Paris in his own coach-and-four--at worst in three, or four, and so on up to a dollar or more. a diligence, the old big-bellied, yellow diligence But every day these books are tuinbled over by that used to go swinging over the white roads of book-lovers, idlers, passers-by, and gradually they France. After he has savoured the odor of the are mixed up into the prettiest chaos imaginable. old pages--absorbed faint hints and instigations of Jostled by the fathers of the church, you may find the past—he will mount into the narrow coupe of the faded memoirs of some marquise of the long the diligence, draw the leathern curtains, and be ago. In a box of cook-books at eight sous you trundled away into the anachronism of some misty may discover the missing third volume of your chateau in Normandy. 12mo edition of Voltaire.

As he lifts his hat-we are courteous, he and Although the banks of the river are lined, as I I-I notice that it has a curious three-cornered have said, with books, you will find the richest look. hunting-ground between Notre Dame and the Ah! these old feuilletons, cut from the daily Tuileries—surely a broad enough direction. And newspapers, bound into impromptu volumes-love, of all the quays those on the Rive Gauche are romance, and adventure at a penny the pound. richest in old books, odd books, books that have

Ponson du Terrail, Richembourg --and many come from distant days and far-away lands. They another Laura Jean Libby and Albert Ross of have been bought-and sold—by the students ; France. What would you not give, my young they come from the collections--dispersed by confrere, seeking for immortality, to have written death--of many an unregarded Cousin Pons. And the feuilleton--for, you see, there is only one, and here they lie in the tumult of Paris, souvenirs of it is imperishable. It is always new and always the studious past. Who reads Latin ? Now that old, always fresh and always the same--the story the universities are turning it out of doors, now that of the kind eyes and the drooping moustache, the it is no longer the parole of well-bred men the story of the Prince Cophetua of Faerie and the world over, as it was in Dr. Jolinson's day, the milliner's prentice, the story of the pine and the stately folios have found their last hospice, here palm. And to tell this story again in Albatrocious on the quays. And who reads Latin ? You and prose—it is for the writer the great triumph. I I, flaneurs of the quays, who pause for a moment,

have not written that story, my young confrere. turn the pages of Tacitus, and filch an epigram But will the dimity girls ever circle and chirp against the Germans; some reviewer who filches about the bookstall where the rubbish of our obscure cynicisms from Propertius; some poet books lie, as they do about these tattered pages, who filches an adjective from the arbiter elegan- wherein is writ large the eternal romance of sertiarum. And you may buy them for a song--a vant-galism? Do not believe it. Your poem, tag of balladry. Imposing volumes, very stately, mon ami, on the soul-even my story of “The with coats of arms and antique book-plates, hint Porcelain Pipe and the Taffeta Night-cap"-will

*

have gone to the lining of trunks and the wrap- domesticity. And perhaps one's best excuse for ping-up of inconsidered trifles of cheese, while living in Paris (and life anywhere demands an still the weeping girls “wake” the love of Made- apology, if not an excuse) is that it is the city of leine Montmorency and Adolphus Howard. There old books—the hospice for the homeless, vagrom are two books-and only two--that I should care books of all the world.--The Criterion. to write. One would be a History of Vagabondage in many volumes, written in the unclassical

BOOK-LOVERS' BOOKS. Latin wbich is at my command ; it should be printed on vellum, and Eugene Grivaz should

Those Mr. W. L. Andrews Produces—Their Charm and illustrate it with marvelous aquarelles, depicting all the glorious vagabonds from Ishmael to Jean

Their Rising Values. Richepin's chemineau; and the other? The other There is a small class of books which, while would be a novel, published anonymously, and it

almost unknown to the general reader, yet appeal should be such a joy to the heart of servant-galism very strongly to and are intended for those who that no one could say whether it was written by appreciate all the details of fine bookmaking. Of Richembourg or Richard Harding Davis. And this class no better examples can be found than then, when the world was all agog, I would come

the dainty volumes written by William Loring boldly forward and claim it as my own, and the

Andrews of New York. There are two very good critics--perhaps even Harry Thurston Peck reasons why the possession of Mr. Andrews' books would call me a new Miss Libby. Fame-a futile should be restricted, one being the very limited dream of fame.

edition in which they are issued, and the other, I watch the little girls bearing away the tattered

their somewhat prohibitive price. Then, too, fragments of romance. I imagine, hardily, to what some of Mr. Andrews' books have been issued enshabby mansardes they mount with their treas. tirely for private distribution, and were not really ures, and see them-each in a gilt halo of candle. published at all. light-reading, reading--until, with a little shiver The first book Mr. Andrews issued, that on the of regret, they tuck romance under the pillow, Aldine Presses, was made in an edition of fifty blow out the candles, and drift away into dreams copies only—all of which were for presentation, of an Adolphus who looks singularly like the brav and the only way in which it is obtainable now is garcon at the cafe on the corner. (To be young when it happens to be offered at auction or, as a to be a shopgirl--to read old feuilltons--is that result of such auction, gets into the hands of some not the best of life ?)

good bookseller. “Among My Books,” another The evening darkens; over the bookstalls the not offered for sale in the regular way, was also petroleum torches shine and flicker; as you stroll made in an edition of fifty copies. It is the one along the quays you catch the titles of books that Andrews book above all others which the present never should be read-never should have been writer has always wished to own, and has never written ; they are displayed for the noctambulists, even had a chance to see. The largest edition of night-errants; those who love--but not books, any one book Mr. Andrews has issued is one of The pictures in front of the print-stalls have taken 200 copies, and that occurred in two instances on a new air. In the flickering light they seem only. Even before the editions are quite sold out, to beckon you from their frames. Here the pic. small as they are, the subscription price of Mr. ture of some Fanny Ellsler--saltavit et placuit-- Andrews' book has been often increased. Such mimes an invitation. There glooms a head of the

was the
case with

“ New Amsterdam, New great Napoleon. (“He was a great man," you Orange, and New York," the more ordinary copies say, "he almost undid the revolution, with its of which increased in value from $15 to $20 im'immortal principles' of discord and disorder- mediately after publication. with its latter-day fruit of Waldeckism.")

Indeed, one of the marked features of recent A few steps more

book auctions in New York has been the great Here is the Rue de Rivoli, with its tawdry little advance upon subscription price of most, if not all, shops, tawdry big hotels for Uitlanders, the new of the Andrews books so sold, the only parallel Paris. You bail a passing omnibus; it is complete. instance being the increased valuation of the So you deposit yourself and your purchases in a Kelmscott Press books. Mr. Andrews' books are cab and ride home, in quasi-royalty, for thirty-five all fine specimens of the best work of the De

Vinne and Gillis Presses, and are beautifully But to-morrow, and the next day and the next illustrated. E. D. North, in the current Book you will find yourself wandering the quays, tast Buyer, says: "Perhaps no individual has done ing the vague, implacable joy of book-hunting. more for the cultivation of the public taste in the It is a passion like any other--like love for Ire line of perfectly made books than William Lorland—like tippling or patriotism-like dice or ing Andrews. The high prices these books have

sous.

« PreviousContinue »