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rest in the sweet peace of love and hope, and to believe
"THE RIME OF THE ANCIENT MARINER."
The poem was written according to an agreement between Coleridge and Wordsworth by which each was to write a poem embodying his own philosophy. Wordsworth was to take subjects from ordinary life, adhering strictly to nature, Coleridge supernatural characters, giving them human interests. Wordsworth was a realist, Coleridge an idealist.
After this it had its origin in four sources. A young man, neighbor of Coleridge, had dreamed of a skeleton ship worked by a skeleton crew. The blessed spirits were suggested by Coleridge's reading of the Epistles of Paulinus, Bishop of Nola, and the symbolism was borrowed from Catholic theology. The shooting of the albatross was Wordsworth's suggestion, derived from "Shelvocke's Voyage Round the World." Shelvocke tells that he and
his companions had not, since passing the Straits of
the albatross from black to white, and made it friend
"A noise like of a hidden brook
That to the sleeping woods all night
GLADSTONE AS A BOOK EXPERT.
Mr. Quaritch had a high opinion of Mr. Gladstone's knowledge of antique books, and when the Grand Old Man visited, as he often did, the shop in Piccadilly he was invariably shown by the proprietor any curiosity that chanced to be in his possession. One day Mr. Quaritch handed Mr. Gladstone Sir Thomas Elyot's black-letter, "Castell of Helth," printed in 1534, and said, "Do you see anything wrong with it?" The old statesman fixed his pince-nez and scanned the title-page. Something excited his suspicion, so he picked up a magnifyingglass, and had a good look at the printing. "Facsimiled, and not a type impression, I fancy, Mr. He was Quaritch," was Mr. Gladstone's comment. The motif of the right; the title-page was missing, but it had been restored so ingeniously as to deceive anybody but an expert. Mr. Quaritch was wont to say, "In most points about a book Gladstone's just about as 'cute as I am myself!"
Singeth a quiet tune."
The Ancient Mariner lives to expiate his wrong, and to have joy again in fullness of life, but his companions are fatally punished because they consented to the crime deliberately and for selfish reasons, whereas the Ancient Mariner acted from a hasty impulse. Dante teaches the same lesson. Hell is the deliberate choice of evil. Not even God can save us from Inferno if we choose it.
The reader of the poem, if at all familiar with Coleridge's life, sees in it an expression of the craving of his own soul for rest from doubt in a "world gone wrong."
"He prayeth best who loveth best
"Alone, alone, all all alone
Like the mariner, he too came home at last to
-N. Y. Times.
A most interesting and historically valuable find was made by a priest the other day at Leamington, England. For the not very formidable sum of 4d. he purchased from a street bookseller a somewhat worn, but still excellent copy of an illuminated Missal of the seventeenth century. The covers of the book being damp with mold, he put the little volume before the fire. To his surprise and delight one of the covers split open and disclosed on the fly leaf the inscription: "Charles Edward: his Boke." It is indubitable that the book was the personal property of the Pretender, and that it was left behind him in some country house upon his retreat from Leamington.
BOOK ABOUT A NEW GAME.
A whist-player who imagined himself an authority on the game, after boring his friends with verbal comments, suggestions, and advice upon the methods of play, at last wrote and published a book. One copy was sent to a famous player for his opinion about it. In about a week the book was returned to him with the following letter: "MY DEAR SIR: Your favor of the inst., accompanied by your book, was duly received. I have read it very carefully. It seems to be a very good game, but I don't think it is as good a game as whist. Sincerely yours,
A ROMANCER'S LOVE STORY.
It is not always, nor often, that a great writer of romance has the sweetest romance in his own life. Every one knows of the terribly tragic shadow that hung over poor Thackery's wedded life; of the no less pitiful wretchedness of Dicken's home; of the hope
deferred which made the heart of Balzac sick with waiting, and which, when realized after many, many years, he lived but a few months to enjoy. Shy, plain little "old maid" Charlotte Bronte, who wrote with such passionateness of the woman heart that prudish Lady Eastlake assailed "Jane Eyre" as the work of a woman other than respectable, had a cold enough romance" when she was nearly forty; her "love letters," or letters about her engagement and marriage, are, perhaps, the chillingest things of their kind on record. Poor little woman! She couldn't have had a real romance, perhaps; all the joys of happy women seemed to be so determinedly denied her.
And so one could go through the list of those who have made the world hold its breath over the passionate portrayal of love, and of most of the authors we should find it true out of the uttermost depths of their longing for what was not theirs they drew their pictures of great love made manifest. But this is not so apparently odd or perverse as the fact that many of those writers who enjoyed in their own lives the supremest happiness of love are they who gave to the world the darkest tragedies and profoundest soul-stirrings of unhallowed or unrequited love. Perhaps the two sweetest, noblest love-stories in modern literary life are those of the Brownings and the Hawthornes; yet no other men of their generation wrote so powerfully of the darker, baser passions of the human soul, especially those which are awakened by unholy love. The standard of love these men knew in their own lives was so exalted, so pure, so ennobling that their minds seem to have been drawn by the world-old fascination of opposites to zealous, intense examination into all the causes, all the baseness and meanness that make men and women fall short of the supreme blessing in love.
Nathaniel Hawthorne was thirty-two in 1836. He was living in Herbert street, Salem, with his mother and sisters in a tall, ugly frame tenement, at which pilgrims by the thousand gaze reverently every year, pitying the beauty-loving soul that for years endured so mean habitation.
Hawthorne's father, a sea captain, died when Nathaniel was only four years old, and the bereavement was so crushing a blow to Mrs. Hawthorne that she practically never rallied from it, but kept her room in solitude nearly all the rest of her lifeor for more than forty years of widowhood. The family was poor and proud, and the obloquy of the "witch Judge," who was their ancestor, and whom
condemned Rebecca Nurse had cursed to generations unborn, weighed heavily on them, as they faniced it set them apart, in the estimation of their townsfolk, as reminders of a period which Salem is only too anxious to forget.
Nathaniel, the only son, had been out of college for more than ten years, but gave little promise, as yet, of being more than a dreamer, an idler, a proud solitary, who would not debase his dreams by understating them, yet who could find no favor for his best visions. He was writing, more or less, all the time, sometimes under his own name; but oftener under a pen name; but so little difference did it make to the world then, that when Miss Elizabeth Peabody, of Charter street, Salem, summoned courage to go to Herbert street and inquire for the author, of whose faint fame she had heard, she asked for Miss Hawthorne, because she felt sure there was no brother in the family.
Now, the Peabodys represented the most charming element in Salem society. They were a family of exquisite souls, and they attracted to themselves the choicest, rarest friendships of their day and their vicinity. The comfortably ample gray house; hard by the little Charter street burying-ground where Hawthorne's accursed ancestor lies buried, was the rallying point for much that was best in Salem life, and thither came many visitors whose fame was just beginning to be noised abroad, though it hardly promised to be so world-wide, so deathless as, in many instances, it did eventually become.
It was a gracious courtesy, then, though quite without flavor or feeling of condescension on the part of Elizabeth Peabody, to present herself, unasked, at the inhospitable Herbert street door to seek out the young writer resident there.
Miss Louisa Hawthorne presented herself in answer to Miss Peabody's request, and the caller broke forth into eloquent praises of "your sister's genius."
"My brother, you mean," said Miss Louisa. And that was the first intimation the Peabodys had that in their near neighborhood there lived a man named Nathaniel Hawthorne.
One can imagine Miss Louisa repeating the scene for her brother at a supper table, to which their mother and older sister never came, and, perhaps, going later to her mother's room, where she ate always in heart-stricken solitude, to tell the story of Nathaniel's discovery as a genius and as a person!
And, doubtless, when Elizabeth Peabody returned to the charming home circle on Charter street she enjoyed the surprise of her family when she announced that the member of the Hawthorne family who had been writing the admired things was a brother-perhaps only occasionally incarnate, Elizabeth might have been tempted to add, so dearly did that family love a suggestion of the spiritually unusual.
Less wholesome-minded folk than the Peabodys -less gentle to "make allowances" and overlook apparent slights-might have thought the Hawthornes unappreciative of Miss Elizabeth's call and discovery, for some months passed and there was no further intercourse between Herbert and Charter streets.
But early in 1837 Hawthorne, aided by his college friend, Horatio Bridge, published "Twice-Told Tales," and a prettily bound copy was sent to Miss Peabody, who hastened to reply, and there ensued a correspondence in which she enlisted the favor of the new author for the Democratic Review, then about to be started; and, having made a safe beginning on this basis, she followed up her slight advantage by asking Mr. Hawthorne and his two sisters to spend the evening at Charter street.
To her astonishment, they all came. Miss Peabody was prepared to receive a bashful youth, but when she opened the door and confronted the noblelooking man of splendid presence, "handsomer than Lord Byron," as she said, her astonishment knew no bounds.
Miss Elizabeth entertained her guests with looking at pictures and simple conversation. She went upstairs once and tried to coax her sister Sophia to come down, but Sophia, who was a great invalid, refused. Perhaps because he found it so easy to "get on with" Miss Peabody, Hawthorne was emboldened to call again soon. This time the invalid came down stairs, in her simple white wrapper, and sat on the sofa.
"My sister, Sophia," said Miss Elizabeth, who, describing the scene afterward, remarked that as Hawthorne rose to acknowledge the introduction he looked at Sophia intently. "He did not guess how intently. As we went on talking she would frequently interpose a remark in her low, sweet voice. Every time she did so he would look at her again, with the same piercing, indrawing gaze. I was struck with it, and thought, 'What if he should fall in love with her!' And the thought troubled me; for she had often told me that nothing would ever tempt her to marry and inflict on a husband the care of an invalid."
If the frail, lovely Sophia strongly impressed Hawthorne at first sight, no less did the splendid, luminous "Apollo," as she afterwards called him, impress her. She told her children many years afterward, that from the very beginning Hawthorne had for her a magnetic attraction so strong that she instinctively drew back from it, in self-defense, as 'twere. But there was no drawing back possible; the great, the irretrievable thing was done. They both made every test of it, for years, to see if it were true, if it could be "downed," but it would not. Hawthorne was wretchedly poor and terribly despondent over his prospects; and Sophia Peabody had been an invalid from childhood, with no reason
able hope of recovery, as she was then well out of her girlhood.
About the time that Elizabeth Peabody presented herself at Herbert street, Hawthorne had received from his dear friend, Horatio Bridge, a letter which suggests only too well to what kind of an outburst it must have been to reply, and makes plain for us the condition of mind into which love entered.
"DEAR HATH"-the letter ran, "I have just received your last, and do not like its tone at all. There is a kind of desperate coolness about it that seems dangerous. I fear you are too good a subject for suicide, and that some day you will end your mortal woes on your own responsibility."
Hawthorne had complained that at best he did not see his way clear to make more than $300 a year by his writings, and the cheery, hopeful Bridge returns in substance,
"What of it? you can, with economy, live upon that," he says, "though it will be a tight squeeze. You have no family dependent upon you, and why should you borrow trouble? It seems to
me that you never look at the bright side with any It is not the philosophy to hope or confidence. make one happy."
Mr. Bridge stood guarantor for the publication of "Twice-Told Tales," out of which, in the first eight years of its existence in print, Hawthorne realized the sum of about $100. But it brought him a princely appreciation from Longfellow, his college mate, in the North American Review, and in many quarters helped to establish his fame.
Still, it must have been with a heavy heart that he awoke to the realization that he loved frail Sophia Peabody. Poverty was bad enough before, but when it promised to shut him out from what suddenly loomed up before him as the crowning blessing of life, it was indeed a hard sentence.
It must have been in one of his sad moods, when only renunciation seemed required of him, that he wrote to Elizabeth Peabody in Boston.
Sophia is a flower to be worn in no man's bosom, but lent from Heaven to show the possibilities of the human soul."
He little dreamed, then, to what glorious degree she had been "lent by Heaven" to show him and to all the world the possibilities of his soul!
So things went on for about two years; then Hawthorne, casting all "prudence" to the winds declared his love for Sophia and was rewarded with a return declaration and a kind of engagement, contingent upon her recovery from her twenty years' illness.
"If God intends us to marry," she said to him, "He will let me be cured; if not, it will be a sign that it is not best."
This was a faint hope to hold to, for a cure would be little less than a miracle. But Hawthorne clung
In the spring of '41, Hawthorne's custom-house employment came to an end with the change in administration, and he thought he saw an opportunity to make a home for himself and Sophia by joining the (now famous) Brook Farm community. So he invested his little capital of one thousand dollars in the communal undertaking, but left at the end of the first year, poorer by all his thousand dollars, but richer by the knowledge that communal life was not the life for him, and by the experience that eventually fructified in his great novel, "The Blithedale Romance."
Before he left Brook Farm the Peabodys had removed to Boston to live, and Sophia had been, more than once, the short distance to Brook Farm to see her stalwart, princely-looking lover in ploughman's dress and about ploughman's occupation.
She was as glad as he, in spite of the sore financial loss, when he decided that the Brook Farm life was not the life for him, in spite of its luminous associations, including Margaret Fuller, George William Curtis, Charles A. Dana and occasionally Emerson.
On leaving, however, Hawthorne was so much the richer by a better sense of his abilities-an effect of rare friendship. It was Emerson who said that our friends are those who make us do what we can, and the friendships of that circle of which Emerson was the rare, sweet center and light, added to such love as Sophia gave him, constantly raising him to the level of her matchless ideals, enabled Hawthorne to face the prospect of a literary life with some hopefulness, perhaps augmented to a certain Divine faith by the fact that Sophia was vastly improved in health-the miraculous sign she had asked of Heaven in approval of her marriage.
In Concord, where Emerson and Thoreau and Alcott and Elizabeth Hoar and Channing and other rare spirits lived, there was then vacant a house known as "The Old Manse." Emerson was born in it, and all its traditions were brave and full of inspiration. It was isolated, even for Concord, and ideally situated in good grounds, near the river-a place in ten thousand for a honeymoon. So, brave of heart and full of hope and the courage of love, Hawthorne rented it and set about the few simple preparations of getting ready for his bride. They were going to take the future into their hands, so to speak, and trust supremely in their love and their labor to bless their union.
The rapture with which they approached the consumation of their hopes is hinted at (words can do only so much!) in a letter Hawthorne wrote to Sophia on June 8th, '42, just a month before the day set for their wedding:
"We can already measure the interval by days and hours," he says. "What happiness! And what awe is intermingled with it! No fear, no doubt, but a holy awe as when an immortal spirit is drawing near to the gates of Heaven."
Now if this were a novel it would probably end with that rapt ecstacy of foretaste-as if that were the climax, and to add to it were to be guilty of that gross mistake of art, an anti-climax. But in the real story, as it is written in their letters and told by their children and friends, only begins here, really. Their courtship days were sweet, but the superlative sweetness and beauty, the radiant, ecstatic happiness and blessedness of the Hawthorne love-story practically has no culminating point on earth. For twenty-two years they lived together, in unrelenting poverty and many distresses of circumstance, and then he passed out of her immediate presence into an eternity of love, and in the hour of her widowhood she wrote such a pæan of thanksgiving as must support every woman who reads it in crushing sorrow of tbereavement. Nothing could take
him from her, she asserted; nothing could rob her of the past nor of the future.
"I have no more to ask," she writes, "but that I may be able to comfort all who mourn as I am comforted. If I could bear all sorrow, I would be glad, because God has turned for me the silver lining, and for me the darkest cloud has broken into ten thousand singing birds as I saw in my dream that I told you. So in another dream long ago, God showed me a gold thread passing through each mesh of a black pall that seemed to shut out the sun. I can comprehend all now. Before I did not doubt. Now God says in soft thunders 'Even so.'
Only the elect of Love shall say what is the culmination of this love story which began in the darkness of pain and poverty and self-distrust, but spread wings and dared to fly, like the soaring lark toward the sun, straight into the awesome radiance of the Eternal.
CLARA E. LAUGHLIN in The Delineator.
In viewing the final disposition of Washington's worldly goods it is interesting to recall the occasion when the larger part of his library, through the generosity of public-spirited citizens, became the property of the Boston Athenaeum. There the bulk of Washington's private library is now kept, carefully catalogued, snugly shelved, and jealously guarded by stone walls.
The collection includes 455 volumes and about 750 pamphlets. Of these 354 volumes (including 36 made up of pamphlets bound together) and several hundred unbound pamphlets may be assigned to Gen. Washington's library, the large majority of them without question. The remaining 80 bound volumes and the rest of the pamphlets belonged to Judge Bushrod Washington, or to other members of the Washington family.
The library committee of the Athenaeum trustees in January, 1849, when it reported on the invaluable addition to the library, said:
"The greater number of these books contain Gen. Washington's autograph. All of which, so distinguished, and, next after them, those which were presentation copies to him, and, next to them, those which contain his book-plate, or can in any other way be proved to have been in his possession, would have been regarded, even in Europe, as curiosities of great interest and value, and would command prices which might seem incredible to one unacquainted with the sums given for objects associated with the memory of highly distinguished men."
By the will of Gen. Washington, this library of some 900 volumes, became the property of his nephew, Judge Bushrod. In 1826, he left all the papers and letter-books devised to him by Gen. Washington, as well as his own books, to his own.
nephew, George C. Washington. These numbered 658 volumes of miscellaneous works and 1,125 numbers of miscellaneous pamphlets. Four hundred and sixty-eight volumes of miscellaneous works went to John A. Washington, another nephew.
Mount Vernon was next occupied by John A. Washington, and the books bequeathed to George C. Washington remained there many years. But in 1847 or 1848, a considerable portion of them, perhaps all that remained, was sold to Henry Stevens, a bookseller. He announced his intention of sending them over to the British Museum. To prevent this and to secure them for Boston, a number of Boston and Cambridge men undertook to solicit subscriptions, and raise the $5,000 which Stevens demanded for them, a sum which he afterwards reduced to $3,800.
This amount, and $450 besides, was collected, the Athenaeum itself contributing $500. At a meeting of the subscribers it was voted to place the books permanently in the Boston Athenaeum, of which a majority of the subscribers were proprietors.
On the 15th of October fifty-two years ago Bernard Quaritch, then a young man of twenty-eight, set himself up as a bookseller in a small shop at 16 Castle street, Liecester Square, London, with a cash capital of less than fifty dollars, and died in London on December 17th, last. What he lacked in ready money he more than made up in industry, ambition, and confidence in his own success, and it is little wonder, therefore, that in time he made good the boast that he meant to become "the first bookseller in Europe." Not only has he become that, but, were a poll of the old booksellers of the world taken, Bernard Quaritch would, undoubtedly, be returned as captain of the clan. A man of iron energy and ceaseless industry, he has, in the course of half a century, made for himself a name that will be remembered so long as the hammer resounds in the auction-room-a name that will live to be honored while a copy of his remarkable catalogues is in existence.
Bernard Quaritch was born April 23, 1819, in Worbis, Prussia. When nine years of age he lost his father, a Prussian military officer, and after that was obliged to struggle slowly upwards, unaided by friends or relatives. Having served five years with a dealer in modern books in Nordhausen, Prussiafrom 1834 to 1839-Quaritch in the latter year went to Berlin, where he was engaged in a publishing house. But being determined to enter into the oldbook trade, he went to London in April, 1842, and succeeded in finding employment with Henry George Bohn. There he made the acquaintance of Lowndes, who is said to have expired in young Quaritch's arms. He remained with Bohn for two