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fore so august a company, might well seem mon in the library of Hawthornden, when Ben Jonson strous; but Sir Francis Bacon's judgment seems a paid his celebrated visit to Scotland; and the fact trifle overcharged. “The first and greatest sinne that Drummond received his august visitor in their that ever was committed,” said the mighty chan- midst, and that Ben himself possibly hooked some cellor, "was done in Heaven. The second was done of them off the shelf to verify a quotation or enin Paradise, being Heaven upon Earth, and truly force an argument, assuredly lends them an added I cannot chuse but place this in the third ranke." interest. For Ben Jonson's visit was the golden Even the obscure Selman, placed side by side with event of Drummond's life, and happily for us he has Lucifer and Eve, must have felt amazed; but he, left a full and particular account of the conversatoo, rose to the occasion, and his “last speech” re tions which were held across the table. The jourflects vast credit on his ingenuity or on the prison- ney itself is ever memorable, since Jonson made it chaplain's literary sense. “I am come (as you see)," on foot, for which the Lord Chancellor Bacon rehe murmured on the scaffold, “patiently to offer up proached him, saying that he “loved not to see the sweet and deare sacrifice of my life, a life which Poesy goe on other feet than poeticall dactylus and I have gracelessly abused, and by the unruly course spondaeus.” But the making of journeys was the thereof made my death a scandall to my kindred fashion of the time, and Taylor, the Water Poet, and acquaintance.” After this little masterpiece was not many months in advance of Jonson. InSamuel Rowland's "Humours Looking Glasse" deed, Jonson found him at Leith, and gave him two (1608) seems but sorry stuff and suggests that the guineas to drink his health withal. But that did not cheap jest-book was not much better then than hinder him from telling Drummond that “Taylor now. In the same category we must put “A Chrys was sent along here to scorn him." Yet nothing tall Glasse for Christian Women. Containing a could have been further from the truth, since Taylor most excellent Discourse of The Godly Life and tramped to Edinburgh, like a Yankee journalist, to Christian Death of Mistriss Katherine Stubs, who prove that he could cover four hundred miles withdeparted this life in Burton upon Trent in Stafford out money or beggary. shire, the fourteenth of December, 1625;" for de However, of Jonson's voyage we know but little, spite its pompous title it is but a specimen of popu except that at Darlington his boots were worn out, lar theology. Far more exhilarating in subject and that he purchased a new pair, and that he made it a treatment is the "Hymnus Tabaci" (1628), which is point of honor to make them last until he should certainly a dwarfish shrub in the forest of books. see Darlington again. Arrived at Hawthornden, Its author, one Raphael Thorius, modestly com he was met with the immortal “Welcome, welcome, pares his work to the famous "Syphilis" of Fra honest Ben," which he instantly countered with castorius, and appropriately illustrates the title "Thankee, thankee, Hawthornden.” And then bepage with Bacchus and his attendant satyrs en gan the unequal duel of wits. On the one side was circled with the fumes of tobacco. Moreover, being the Scots laird, by nature a gentle prig, by training a doctor, he declares that his work "non delectat an amiable pedant. On the other side gloomed the modo sed et docet,” and but for the slur cast by the careless swashbuckler, determined to fight the good book upon Drummond's loyalty, which should have fight of letters even in the Mermaid's mouth. Now, compelled agreement with his hero James, we Drummond was always tinged with the vices of the might congratulate him without reserve on the pos- petit maitre. Look at his portrait and you will see session of a rare and foolish work. However, it was that he was no fit antagonist for Jonson's sturdy not only by such fantastic books that he proved his wit. The lofty forehead, sure index of an overcuriosity. The colonies over sea also entertained grown intellectuality, the minarding moustache, the him, as is attested by Captain John Smith's “Vir- elegant ruff—all these prove that the laird of Hawginia and New England," and the treatise of Fer thornden was pleasantly absorbed in the frothy nando Cortes, “De Insulis nuper inventis.” And trifles of existence. Moreover, he was a dilettante that no human knowledge should seem amiss to who pursued literature not because he must or behim, he studied in French the art of growing mul cause his genius clamored for expression, but beberry trees and of making silk.
cause, being a squire delicately tinctured with polite Such were the books which Drummond pre- learning, he found in the Muses a fashionable digsented to the University of Edinburgh with dignity nity. The great names which were bandied up and and circumstance. He gave them at several times, down Grub Street had been vaguely echoed in his and he fitted them with varying inscriptions. On ears; his curiosity had tempted him to the purchase the title-page of one is written in a bold and elegant of Shakespeare, Heywood and Drayton as they hand, "Ego donatus sum Academiae Edinburgenae reached Scotland from the booksellers; and he exa Guilielmo Drummond.” Others bear his name pected the arrival of Jonson as the Eastern Jew alone, almost faded to illegibility, and now, alas! looks toward sunrise for the fulfillment of proall are cut and bound afresh. But there they were phecy. His timid respect for the professors of lit
erature reduced him to silence, and he was prepared of letters will seldom meet the polished amateur to listen with reverential awe to the man who had without distressing him by what appears (yet is not) shaken the hand of Shakespeare, and had presided a common blasphemy. And when Jonson, having in his arrogance over the parliament of poets. And blackguarded all his friends, took up his cudgel Jonson appeared, burly and travel-stained, with no again and went upon the tramp, poor Drummond glow of fear or reverence left in him, and prepared, sat down in the reaction which naturally followed after the first greeting was over, to demolish the this debauch of Rhenish and talk, to give his pretensions of every poet, excepting one, that ever opinion of Jonson. Why not? True, Jonson had climbed the slope of Parnassus.
spoken in the excitement of hot blood, while DrumHow, then, should the two men have understood mond wrote in the composure of reminiscence; but one another? Possibly Jonson was not supremely Drummond was dealing with material which he interested in Drummond, but Drummond could not only half understood, and it is easy and just to find help listening with open mouth to him who had fre excuses for him. quented the Mermaid Tavern. And Jonson, after Hitherto he had known none more intimately the second bottle, was ever eager to disparage all connected with literature than Andrew Hart, the his contemporaries. “What do you think of Edinburgh printer, and Alexander, the Edinburgh Shakespeare?” lisped Drummond in wholesome poet, so that Jonson's prond condemnation of all fear. "Shakespeare wanted arte," reported honest the world inflamed him to anger. “Jonson," he Ben, though he would not have endured a hostile complained, "is a great lover and praiser of himself, word levelled by another at his friend and master. a contemner and scorner of others; given rather Thereafter Ben, in his light and genial arrogance, to lose a friend than a jest; jealous of every word led Drummond over the wide battlefield of litera and action of those about him, especially after drink, ture, and showed him the heaps of slain and which is one of the elements in which he liveth ; a wounded. Sharpham, Day and Dekker were all dissembler of ill parts, which reign in him; a bragrogues; Donne (whom, by the way, he worshipped), ger of some good that he wanteth; thinketh noth"for not keeping of accent, deserved hanging"; ing well but what either he himself or some of his "Daniel was an honest man, but no poet"; "Dray- friends and countrymen hath said or done; he is ton (Drummond's especial idol) feared him, and he passionately kind and angry; careless either to esteemed not of him"; "he beat Marston and took gain or keep; vindictive, but, if he be well answered, his pistol from him.” So Jonson repeated the at himself.” There you see the true man of letters gossip of the Coffee House, and Drummond (no sketched by the amateur. "Given rather to lose a doubt) trembled at his insolence. How should he friend than a jesť”—there is Ben Jonson's charstomach the violation of all his shrines? To Jonson acter, and the character of many a poet who lived the recklessness of criticism was nothing; he knew either before or since. “Jealous after drink”-and all the gods, and knew, moreover, that their feet, if you may be sure that the most of Ben Jonson's dognot their heads, were made of clay. And then the matic opinions were delivered a very long way great man thought little enough of Drummond's after drink. Indeed, Drummond's offended vanity own exercises : "they smelled too much of the is, in spite of itself, truthful and sincere. Old Ben Schooles, and were not after the fancie of the time: would never have taken his host seriously. The for a child (says he) may writte after the fashion of memory of Hawthornden possibly vanished with the Greek and Latine verses in running." Then, the taste of the last stoup; for Ben most properly after dinner, he turned to scandal, told intimate took up a far larger space in Drummond's imaginanecdotes of Gloriana herself, covered with shame ation than Drummond could ever take up in his. So the most of his contemporaries, and probably left that we readily forgive the asperation as Jonson Drummond gaping with terrified amazement. himself would have forgiven it--with a hearty laugh.
Destiny never planned a more amusing situation, Now Gifford, Jonson's biographer, was less hapand most worthily did Hawthornden take advan pily inspired, and he has rated Drummond like the tage of it. He wrote down the heads of Jonson's pendant that he was. He has also been betrayed by converse, and so left us a priceless document, which his partisanship into manifestly false statements. bears upon itself the vivid marks of truth. For He declares that Drummond decoyed Jonson into Drummond had a glimmering of Boswell's genius, the house that he might jot down notes which he which gave immortality to another Johnson, and he never intended to publish, and which were not understood, better than most, the importance of printed until seventy years after Jonson's death. trifles. So he jotted down the splendid trivialities The charge is too foolish to court refutation, and of his guest, and the result is that we can get a clean Jonson would be the first to flout the crazy loyalty and clear glimpse into the great age of English of his biographer. Jonson, who had the humor literature. That he understood Jonson is unlikely; which Gifford lacked, would have known that you that he disliked him is certain; the professed man cannot chain the opinion of a host, and that Drum
mond had a perfect right to confide to his common In thought it is but an echo of the prevailing Platplace book whatever wayward and casual views he onism; in expression it is vastly better than the chose to entertain. For our part we may respect most of contemporary prose, and there are passages him because he has shown us an admirable comedy at least in which Drummond forgot that English played in the seventeenth century by the poet and was not the vernacular, and that his style was masthe amateur-a comedy the more admirable, be querading in fancy dress. Take, for instance, the cause the amateur that jotted it down guessed not following passage: "If thou dost complain that of its excellence.
there shall be a time in the which thou shalt not be, This, then, was the supreme event which passed why dost thou not too grieve that there was a time in Drummond's library, and which throws a lustre in the which thou wast not, and so that thou art not upon the books now treasured in the University of as old as that enlifening Planet of Time? For not Edinburgh. But the books have another interest, to have been a thousand years before this moment because Drummond, above all writers that ever held is as much to be deplored as not to be a thousand a pen, was the product of his library. He wrote years after it, the effect of them both being one: English as he wrote Latin, as he might have writ that will be after us which long long ere we were, ten French or Italian, like a foreign tongue. His was." Or again, this other passage: "One year is very correctness proves the want of habit, and sug sufficient to behold all the Magnificence of Nature; gests that his language proceeded straight from his nay, even one day and night; for more is but the books. His verses leave us cold, because they are same brought round again. This Sun, that Moon, with few exceptions exercises upon a given theme. these Stars, the varying dance of the spring, sumWhen he writes a sonnet, he thinks of Shakespeare, mer, autumn, winter, is that very same which the from whom also he borrowed his boldest images. Golden Age did see.” That is prose, not too sternly The comparison of night to a reeling drunkard, for subdued to the fashion of the ancients, yet stately instance, might suggest a touch with life did we not and dignified. And then again, when he tells you remember that “Romeo and Juliet” was before him. that "life is a journey on a dusty way; the furthest In fact, he was a perfect decadent, who played the rest is Death,” you have a momentary impression game of a past age rather more elaborately than that he is writing his own language; but when he any of those to whom the game was a natural proceeds that "swift and active Pilgrims come to heritage. He was, in fact, like his library, an Eliza the end of it in the morning, or at noon, which bethan who had strayed into the age of Charles; tortoise-paced wretches, clogged with the fraghe was prepared to fit the commonest idea with a mentary rubbidge of this world, scarce with great symbol and to turn the plain facts of life into meta travel crawl into at midnight,” you are brought physical conceits. To say that he was a bad poet back to the library, and you remember that after all is more than any durst; he suffers rather by being Drummond was the child of the printed page. too good—by smelling, in Ben Jonson's immortal Yet to be the child of a library is no mean heriphrase, "too much of the Schooles." He wrote few tage, since it assures the one supreme comfort of verses that you can criticise; fewer still that quicken this life. Drummond shows us what it is to be born your admiration. To say of Phillis, "Her hand of books; but infinitely worse is his plight who is seemed milk in milk, it was so white," was to play born without books. For books are the friends the tune of the time without expression; and it is
which can inflict neither failure nor disappointment. perchance a bitter indictment of his verse to say They grow old with our blood, and buckle their that such a line as “The stately comeliness of forests friendship to us with the passing years. Of our ola" strikes an odd note of freshness and sincerity. nearest intimates we may say what Montaigne said But the truth is, Drummond was merely a poet in of Plutarch: "He is so universall and so full, that the sense that they are poets who dabble in Pindaric upon all occasions, and whatsoever extravagant Greek. As we have said, he wrote a foreign lan- subject you have undertaken, he intrudeth himself guage with all the ease and circumspection that an into your work, and gently reacheth you a helpeacquired knowledge demands. And for all that, he affording hand, fraught with rare embellishments, was an accomplished versifier, and as good a speci- and inexhaustible of precious riches.” So it is that men of the symbolist as our literature affords. when men speak of taste, we may disregard their
Now and again he attempted the austerer me argument, and cling close to those well-covered dium of prose, and strangely enough it is in prose friends, who have become ours by industry and that this bookish gentleman won his real triumph. usage. So, like Montaigne, we can never "travel His “Cypress Grove,” in fact, is touched here and without books, nor in peace nor in war.” So, like thereby the rare quality of distinction. The obvious Montaigne, we can isolate ourselves in the tower praise, which must be bestowed upon it, is none the of our library, and defy the world of fashion or disless because it is obvious. It suggests and antici- pleasure. For books are the one solid solace of our pates the sounding prose of Sir Thomas Browne. life, which knows neither malice nor treachery.
And it is for this that we love old Drummond, who of St. Finnan, which had been lately placed in the has not only left us a library that is unique in his Episcopal Cathedral. Meeting with a churlish retory, but who also found the best source of his in fusal, he stole into the church night after night, spiration in those very books which are the kindest until he had the whole copied. When Molaise companions which man can encounter.
learned the trick that had been played on him, he CHARLES WHIBLEY, in
fell into a terrible rage, demanded the copy, and, Blackwood's Magazine. on Columba's refusal, appealed to King Diarmuid,
then in residence in Tara. After hearing both par
ties, Diarmuid sought for precedents in all the The Most Beautiful Book in the World. libraries in Erin, but there never before had been a
case in which the rights of an author or transcriber According to the distinguished English archae in his work were involved. However, there had ologist, Dr. Westwood, the Book of Kells, now in been any number of cases dealing with the ownerthe library of the Dublin University, "is the most ship of cattle, and on these was the King's judgbeautiful book in the world." He is not alone in his ment based. "The calf," he said, "belongs to the opinion. Not only poetical historians, like Henri owner of the cow, and the little book to the owner Martin, but grave scholars like Wyatt, Waagen, of the big book.” Le cah boin a boineen agaus le Keller, Zimmer and others, grow almost lyrical cah lebar a lebraun; literally: To each cow her litwhen describing this marvel of art. "In delicacy of tle cow and to each book her little book. As to handling, and minute but faultless execution, the the terrible calamities that followed the enforcement whole range of palaeography offers nothing com of this novel and unjust copyright law, are they not parable to these early Irish manuscripts, and the written in the chronicles of the wars of the Gael? most marvelous of all is the Book of Kells, some The text of the Book of Kells is written in the of the ornaments of which I attempted to copy, noble semi-uncial characters adopted by all the but broke down in despair," says Mr. Digby Wyart. Irish scribes of the period, but it is the illustrations, Waagen tells us that "the ornamental pages, borders, initial letters, etc., that render it a perfect borders and initial letters exhibit such a rich variety treasure-house of artistic wealth. No wonder of beautiful and peculiar designs, so admirable a Giraldus Cambrensis, who was sent by Henry II., taste in the arrangement of the colors, and such un on an embassy to Ireland in 1185, should have incommon perfection and finish, that one is absolutely sisted that it could have been written only by lost in amazement."
argels. Fancy what seems a mere colored dot to The Book of Kells is an illuminated manuscript the naked eye becoming, under the power of the of the Four Gospels in Latin. It contains also pre- microscope, a conventional bunch of foliage with a faces, explanations of the meaning of Hebrew conventional bird among the branches ! In speaknames, summaries, and the tables of the Eusebian ing of the minuteness and almost miraculous corCanon.
rectness of the drawing, Professor Westwood menIt was formerly believed to have been composed tions that, with the aid of a powerful lens, le by St. Columba, in the second half of the sixth cen counted within the space of one inch, one hundred tury. Conservative archaeologists are pretty gen and fifty-eight interlacements of bands or ribands, erally agreed at present that it was produced during each riband composed of a strip of white, bordered the second half of the seventh. It cannot well be on each side by a black strip! later; the saints in it are represented with the Celtic “No words,” says Dr. Middleton, professor of tonsure, which consisted in shaving the front of the Fine Arts in Cambridge University, in his adhead from ear to ear. As the Roman tonsure, mirable work on Illuminated Manuscripts, "can dewhich is entirely different, was universally accepted scribe the intricate delicacy of the ornamentation of by the Irish Church several years before the close this book, lavishly decorated as it is with all the of the century, it seems a natural conclusion that different varieties of ingeniously intricate patterns these saints would have had the Roman tonsure, if formed by interlaced and knotted lines of color, the manuscript had been composed after the year plaited in and out, with such complicated interlace700.
ment that one cannot look at the page without asThe real manuscript of St. Columba, or what is tonishment at the combined taste, patience, unleft of it, is in the library of the Irish Academy. It faltering certainty of touch and imaginative inhas a somewhat curious interest in connection with genuity of the artist. With regard to the intricate an incident which may be regarded as the first at interlaced ornaments in which (with the aid of a tempted enforcement of a law of copyright. We are lens) each line can be followed out in its windings told in an Irish manuscript of the eleventh century, and never found to break off or lead to an impossipublished by Windische, that Columba requested ble loop of knotting, it is evident that the artist permission of Bishop Molaise to copy the Gospels must have enjoyed not only an aesthetic pleasure in
the invention of his pattern, but must also have had is finding time in the intervals of lecturing expedia distinct intellectual enjoyment of his work, such as tions to bring together many individually interesta skillful mathematician feels in the working out of ing copies of books. a complicated mathematical problem.”
It will be remembered that the late Mr. Levi LinIt would be impossible, in our limited space, to coln Thaxter did more than any one else to introenter on an analysis of the different classes of orna duce FitzGerald's Omar Khayyam into the United ment in this, the most wonderful example of human States; and among those who shared his interest workmanship the world has ever produced. One of was his friend, Mr. James G. Clarke, who was, like the most noteworthy is formed by bands or diapers him, a member of the Harvard class of 1844. Mr. of steplike lines surrounding minute spaces of en Clarke, when traveling in the West Indies, once trancingly brilliant color, a sort of cloisonne inlay found himself in an open boat with an Englishman suggested evidently by the inlay with bits of trans who was a stranger to him. Some peril occurred parent carbuncle employed by the Irish jewelers in and the Englishman said meditatively "He knows gold jewelry. Another prominent feature is the use about it all.” Mr. Clarke said "That sounds like of spirals imitated from the application of gold wire Omar Khayyam.” “Do you know Omar Khayto flat surfaces. It may be as well to state that the yam?" said the other in great surprise. This was scribes of the Irish manuscripts were evidently soon after the time of the publication of the third much indebted to the goldsmith's art, which, judg- edition (1872) and before Omar became known to ing by the specimens that have come down to us, the world generally. The Englishman turned out now in the museum of the Royal Irish Academy, to be a friend of FitzGerald's, and, after Mr. Clarke must have attained an unapproachable delicacy and had told him of Thaxter's ardent advocacy of the beauty in Ireland during the first centuries of the book, the Englishman told Fitzgerald of it, who Christian era.
sent Thaxter a copy of each of the first two editions, In his “Bilder und Schriftzuge in den Irischen both now very rare. Manuscripten," Dr. Keller considers the spirals This first edition (1859) doubtless came to the most difficult part of the patterns. “They are,” Thaxter in its original pamphlet form, which, as we he says, "real masterpieces, which furnish mag know, was published at five shillings and was finally nificent evidence of the extraordinary firmness of sold off, as Mr. Swinburne assures us, at a penny. hand of the artist.” The beautiful trumpet pattern, The volume contains no inscription by FitzGerald, of which so much has been written, is the expansion but there is a correction in red ink, probably by the of the spiral into something in the form of a translator himself, of a single typographical error. trurnpet.
Thaxter afterwards had it bound in white vellum, The Dublin University has a priceless collection with the Persian title in gilt letters on the cover, of manuscripts dating from the sixth to the four and this is the copy now in possession of Mr. Miller. teenth century. One of them, the Book of Dur Thaxter himself imported for his friends many row-a century older than the Book of Kells-is copies of the third edition and prepared for me but little inferior to it in beauty.
(January, 1877) one of these in which he had laboriSome years ago a Dublin publishing house ously written, doubtless from the copies given him issued a series of photographic reproductions of the by FitzGerald, all the various readings of the two principal pages and most striking initials, under the earliest ones. This book I still possess. The varititle “Celtic Ornaments From the Book of Kells,” ant phrases from the first edition are in blue ink, a copy of which is in the Boston Public Library. of the second in black; and it is a work of patient But it was found utterly impossible to reproduce, by industry worthy of that true friend and most loyal any mechanical process, the colors, which are as He himself always preferred the second edifresh and brilliant to-day as when the artist laid tion, thinking that FitzGerald had fid
fidgetted over them on twelve hundred years ago. Consequently his own work a little too much when it came to the the work, though interesting, is but a pale, almost third; an impression in which I agree with him. ghostly reflection of the splendid manuscript that is
THOMAS WENTWORTH HIGGINSON, in a living witness to the civilization and culture of the
Book Culture. century which gave it birth. JAMES A. CLARKSON, in Book Culture,
Each life of man is but a page A First Copy of FitzGerald's Omar.
In God's great diary; each age There lately passed through my hands an ex
A separate volume and each race tremely interesting book, on its way to that remark
A chapter. For a little space
We write, and, childlike, cry our powers, able library now being formed by the well-known
Nor deem His hand is guiding ours. collector, Mr. DeWitt Miller of Philadelphia, who