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Such a singular contrast of profound philosophy-more of intuition than of analysis-combined with the variety and prodigality of an Eastern story-teller, expressed in a copious and brilliant language, frequently degenerating into the violence or rising into the ostentation of positive insanity, I have never met with. Balzac was seated in an elegant apartment, situated at the very extremity of this side of Paris, which he took because from some whim or strange reason the house is called "La Fabrique de l'Absolu." To this Fabrique we found our way, and, at the end of a long, low room, as it were, between a study and a boudoir, we found the Magician himself, surrounded by proofs and manuscripts, which he was correcting and composing with a rapidity that sets all the printers of Paris at naught. He talked chiefly of himself, with the most boisterous and fantastical self-acclamation, for it was more than approbation. . . .
There are many glimpses of famous people up and down these volumes. Of Sydney Smith, for instance, we have the following anecdote:
We got Sydney on the overpowering topic of Macaulay. Macaulay is laying waste society with his waterspout of talk; people in his company burst for want of an opportunity of dropping in a word; he confounds soliloquy and colloquy. Nothing could equal my diversion at seeing T. B. M. go to the Council the other day in a fine laced coat, neat green bodied glass chariot, and a feather in his hat. Sydney S. had said to Lord Melbourne that Macaulay was a book in breeches. Lord M. told the Queen; so whenever she sees her new Secretary of War, she goes into fits of laughter. I said that the worst feature in Macaulay's character was his appalling memory; he has a weapon more than anyone else in the world's tournament. "Aye, indeed," said S. S., "why, he could repeat the whole History of the Virtuous Blue Coat Boy, in three vols., post 8vo, without a slip. He should take two tablespoonfuls of the waters of Lethe every morning to correct his retentive powers."
Bulwer Lytton, Landor, Macaulay, and Sheridan Knowles are names that occur frequently in the memoirs. "Dinner at Proctor's with Harriet Martineau, Carlyle and his wife, Thackeray, and Kinglake"-is one of the entries in Reeve's diary. "Carlyle was so offensive I never made it up with him." The circumstances of the breach with Carlyle are not related, but it is known to have occurred through Carlyle remarking softly, when Reeve had the temerity to differ with him. in discussion, "You're a puir creature, you're a puir creature." Of Landor this is related:
Landor, you know, is quite as vain of not be ing read as Bulwer is of being the most popular writer of the day. Nothing can equal the contempt with which he treats anybody who has more than six readers and three admirers, unless it be that saying of Hegel's, when he declared that nobody understood his writings but himself, and that not always.
Reeve was perfectly sensible of his own value, In his fifteen years' connection with the Times (1840-1855), he tells us, he wrote about 2482 full
paid articles, and received upwards of £13,000 for them. "Its circulation rose in fifteen years from about 13.000 when I joined it to 62,000 when I left it, and although I do not take to myself any peculiar share in this result, for many other contributors wrote as well as I did, and the editor was usually judicious and always active, yet I doubt whether any other writer had occasion to do as much." And on a subsequent occasion he wrote: "The Review suffers when I am too busy to write in it." There is much of interest in these volumes regarding the publication of the Memoirs of Greville, for whom Reeve was, of course, literary trustee. Journalist of the old school, and holding in high regard the moral responsibility of the journalist, Reeve was opposed to anything in the nature of "log-rolling" and on that ground was a firm believer in anonymity. Writing to Mr. T. N. Longman on Dec. 26, 1891, he says:
I thought it best to tell Froude frankly that the review of his book ("The Divorce of Catharine of Aragon") in the Edinburgh would be an unfavorable one. At the same time I disclaimed in the strongest language any disposition to make a personal attack on himself. Unfortunately he seems to ascribe adverse criticism of his works to personal animosity, which in his case, is entirely wanting.
It is a painful necessity. Froude and his book are too important to be passed over in silence. But the judicial character and consistency, and I may say, honor of the Review absolutely require that the truth should be told about the book. I should consider it a derogation to my duty to the Review if, from personal motives or affection, I suppressed an adverse criticism of a work which imperatively demands an answer. . . . I have modified as far as possible any expressions which appeared to be of too censorious a character. but it is impossible to avoid condemning a mistaken book because the author is a personal friend. Judex damnatur si nocens absolvitur is our motto.
Finally, there is the following interesting reference to Reeve's literary advice to the Messrs. Longman, whose "reader" he was for many
Books in French, German, or Italian, offered for translation, MSS. in English offered for publication -whatever there was of grave, serious, or important, as well as a good deal that was not, was sent to him for a first or a revised opinion. And this opinion was given very frankly, and most commonly in the fewest possible words: "My advice is that you have nothing to do with it" was a not unfrequent formula. Another, less frequent, was: "He-the aspirant to literary fame and emolument-can neither write nor spell English"; "I wish they wouldn't send their trash to me" was an occasional prayer. "Seems to me sheer nonsense"; "What a waste of time and labor!" "It's very provoking that people should attempt to write books who cannot write English," were occasional reports. Of course many of his judgments were very different: "A work of great interest, which must have a large sale"; "Secure this if you possibly can"; "A most able work, but will
Two BOOK LOVERS!
scarcely command a remunerative sale." was with printed books and larger MSS., so it was with articles submitted for the Review; but he did not encourage casual contributions, and seldomperhaps never accepted any without some previous understanding. The political articles and the reviews of important books were almost invariably written in response to a direct invitation; but whether the articles sent in were invited or offered, he equally reserved the right to express his approval or disapproval or disagreement, and to insist, if necessary, on the article being remodeled or withdrawn.
KEATS AND HOMER.
The enthusiasm set aflame in Keats by Chapman's Homer has been recorded in the noblest of his sonnets. Most readers, moreover, will have probably seen a direct allusion to Chapman, or at least an unconscious reminiscence of him, in Keats' account of Thea almost at the beginning of "Hyperion."
"She would have ta'en Achilles by the hair and bent his neck," so mighty she was and so supreme in stature. "She stood behind, and took Achilles by the yellow curls," is Chapman's version-and it is literal enough-of the rather thrilling passage where Minerva intervenes in the first book of the Iliad; and it is evident that in one way or another Keats must have had these words in his mind. But what is interesting is this. In "Endymion" there is the manifestly unconscious and almost absolute reproduction of a line from another of the translators of Homer. Keats' hero is described as standing
Like old Ducalion mountained o'er the flood, Or blind Orion hungry for the morn. Now in a sequence of articles called "Homer and his translators" Christopher North has occasion to quote four lines from a version of Homer's description of the shield of Achilles, and they are these:
All the stars, which round about
As with a radiant frontlet bind the skies-
I am writing without access to many books at present, so I cannot say who is the author of this version, but that Keats should have a line almost identical with one of his is interesting, and there it is. It may serve as a fresh illustration of Keats' passion for Homer and of how he turned to him in every accessible version of any merit. Of course it will be understood that I am not raising the silly charge of plagiarism against one of the most original as he was one of the greatest of poets. Every writer, great or small, unless he can clearly and definitely remember or absolutely and entirely forget all that he has ever read must sometimes use the phrases of other people,
A. C. H.
I see the dying Cardinal
Mope midst the tomes our book worms cherish How can I quit ye, best of boons?
Should these exist while man must perish? Gems I relinquish! leave, with grief,
Gold, pictures, busts-to be a rover Where books are not! 'Tis past belief!" Ah, Mazarin was true book lover!
I see great Garrick's book-lined room, Shelves bend 'neath bibliophilic treasure; Editions faultless-faulty, too!
Founts of rare type, and rarer pleasure! And Johnson, sympathetic, says:
As, fond he turns dear volumes over: "Lo! loving these gives death its pang!" Ay, here again the true book-lover!
H. L. WILLIAMS.
THE BRONTE SISTERS.
It is more than half a century since was printed the first volume of the work of Currer, Acton, and Ellis Bell, the pen names chosen respectively by Charlotte, Anne, and Emily Bronte. The little volume contained a selection of verses written by the three sisters, and its final publication after much delay and discouragment seems to have been accomplished finally only through the persistence of Charlotte Bronte, the oldest sister. In her estimation the poems of Ellis Bell were alone worthy of much consideration, and in their unusual merits she herself had firm faith, but her opinion has had limited confirmation, and the book is comparatively little known. Its appearance, however, was only the first public sign of ambition for literary achievement, and undiscouraged by its ill success, the sisters began at once on three prose tales. On terms somewhat impoverishing to their authors, "Wuthering Heights" by Ellis Bell and "Agnes Grey" by Acton Bell were accepted for publication, and in 1847 made their appearance. But Currer Bell's book, to which later was given the title of "The Professor," found neither acceptance nor encouragement. At last by some happy chance the manuscript was sent to Messrs. Smith, Elder & Co.; they indeed refused it, but with their refusal wrote such kindly words of appreciation and criticism that within three weeks Charlotte Bronte, still hidden behind her pseudonym, completed and sent to them the manuscript of a second novel, the famous "Jane Eyre." The book was promptly accepted, and by a trick of fortune came out to seize popular approval while "Wuthering Heights" and "Agnes Grey" were still lingering in press. With the wonderful success of "Jane Eyre" the work of the Bronte sisters made
its first step to its present place in English litera
For some time the identity of Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell was much confused, and it was even thought that the three names were blinds for but ope pen. Their seclusion in their Yorkshire home helped to veil their personalities in mystery; but when "Shirley" was published in 1849, the secret of its authorship became known and Charlotte Bronte's visit to London brought about a more accurate knowledge of the parsonage at Haworth and its remarkable family. Intellectual, frail, precocious, the children of the Rev. Patrick Bronte were brought up in a fashion that emphasized their eccentricities and neglected their physical disabilities. When she was only eight years old Charlotte with three sisters was sent away to a school whose hardships furnished in later years many of the incidents in "Jane Eyre." From disease contracted in this school two of the sisters died, and for some years after this misfortune Charlotte and Emily lived and studied at home. After some further experience in the schools of others both as pupils and teachers the three sisters attempted to open at Haworth a school of their own, but their encouragment took the form of words, not pupils. The effort was soon abandoned, and the sisters settled down at home to divide their time between writing and household duties. The great grief of their life was their only brother's dissipation, and for this there was even in other things little compensation. Poverty, ill-health, uncongenial occupation, and unsympathetic treatment are experiences that even cheerful natures find it hard to meet; and the Bronte sisters, able as they proved themselves to endure, were not endowed with the dispositions that can find joy in a life intrinsically sad in its circumstances. For each of them, however, this life proved short. In 1848 Emily Bronte died of consumption at the age of thirty; five months later Anne Bronte, younger by a year, yielded to the same disease. To Charlotte Bronte was given a greater measure of years and enjoyment, but the happiness promised by her marriage to the Rev. Arthur Nicholls had only a few months duration, and in 1855 she too died, in the thirty-ninth year of her age, leaving behind her the mark of a noble, self-sacrificing life and a distinct literary genius.
mous "Jane Eyre," but seven novels in all bear its imprint. "Shirley" and "Villette" followed "Jane Eyre" and won equal interest and praise; and after Charlotte Bronte's death were published "The Professor," her first tale, and several chapters of "Emma," an unfinished novel. Besides her share in "Poems," "Wuthering Heights" was Emily Bronte's only published work; but to "Agnes Grey," Anne Bronte added "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall" and in it showed improvement over her earlier book. The Thornton Edition of the "Novels of the Sisters Bronte" is edited by Temple Scott, and contains Charlotte Bronte's memoir of her sister. The first volume, Anne Bronte's story of "Agnes Grey," is now at hand, and with its beautiful type, heavy paper, uncut edges, and plain buckram covers is a pledge of an attractive and servicable edition.--Literary World.
Thus within the short space of nine years was accomplished the work of the Bronte sisters is that is now being brought afresh to attention. through a new English edition. The quality of this work is inconsiderable, but in its marked individuality it demands an important place, and this handsome edition should prove a timely and successful experiment. Many there are who know the name of Bronte only through the fa
WHEN A BOOKMAN DIES.
Of an old book stall,
In our atmosphere Till he knows the fate Of his volumes dear?
A kindred soul
Does he joy to see Acquire the whole
Of his library? New life begun,
Does he wince with pain If it goes to one
Of the Tribe of Gain?
Does he wax irate
In his heavenly home At the hapless fate
Of a favorite tome, When its plates are filched
By a sordid wretch And sold for more
Than the book would fetch?
If books he bought
But a song command, Does the bookman squirm In the spirit land?
When you've found a prize
And your heart might mellow
If you heard of the fellow
-John Goadby Gregory.
THREE GRAVES IN ITALY.
Perhaps there is something about its surroundings, something about the influence of Romethe Eternal City-which makes its little Protestant cemetery, where the graves of Keats and Shelley are, so peculiarly impressive. It is impressive. Everybody finds it so, and one can almost fancy that the birds sing less blithely there than beyond the wall, where the graves are less those of men than of peoples, and the dead are centuries old, not years.
You have a long drive to get to it, passing the remnants of much of the glory that was Rome's, seeing crumbling marble and shattered granite, the ruins of the bridge where brave Horatius stood, and you get to thinking-foolishly enough -about how short-lived human effort is, even courage, cunning, and skill. And then suddenly you turn into a tree-bordered lane and stop at the gate of the cemetery. Here is not only "love among the ruins," but that love which has been through deep waters and come forth pity and grief- softened and hallowed as men are after such
One might have no special fondness for Shelley or Keats, and yet it is conceivable that one would be touched on entering this little cemetery, just as he would be in Florence, or Dresden, or Nice, or wherever English-speaking people have laid away their own loved ones to rest among strangers in the last long sleep. There is nothing that proves the reality of the Anglo-American cousinship like this quick, spontaneous sympathy which they feel when they meet by a grave.
When a girl swings open the great iron gate one of the prettiest views, I think, in Italy is disclosed. It is that of a little garden, sown in heartache, but planted in love, that it may seem nearer home, and watered, you know, by tears. The ground rises steadily from the entrance to the further wall, so that it is all laid before you at once, but the distant city wall is so ivy-covered and tree-hidden that you hardly know the garden stops there. From your feet straight up to the wall leads the broad central path of the garden, with cypress trees on either side throwing it into shadow. A southern sun gleams on the white stones and flowers that are beyond the trees, and the May morning I was there the azaleas were veritable shrubs and bushes of blossoms, and the air, already sweet with box, was sweeter still with
Shelley's grave lies at the further side of the cemetery. One goes up the central path, and at the end turns to the left for a few yards. A welldefined path leads to it and the inscription on the stone is clear. Beside it is the grave of his best friend, and the bunches of flowers that are dying on the poet's stone have their duplicate on the
stone of his friend. An unholy thought obtrudes itself that publishers should be told how kindly the world thinks of those who are poets' friends.
The grave of Keats is not near Shelley's, and it is with quite a pang of disappointment that one learns that it is outside the garden. You may recall all the circumstances, but they never impressed you as now-when you see how sweet the garden is, of which Shelley himself said, "It might make one in love with death to think that one should be buried in so sweet a place," and think how dear these flowers should have been to Keats. Steps must be retraced and the entrance passed again. Then it is a walk along the dusty road beyond the wall. At At the right of the little cemetery one enters a field, where the grass has grown high and which the wild flowers deck in nature's free-hand gardening. The only path is that which has been worn by the seekers of the unnamed grave; but it goes direct and sure, and far in the distant corner, "close to the city wall," it stops before the stone with that inscription of which one phrase is so often quoted. The words complete are:
"This grave contains all that was mortal of a young English poet, who on his deathbed, in the bitterness of his heart at the malicious power of his enemies, desired these words to be engraven on his tombstone: 'Here lies one whose name was writ in water.' Feb. 24, 1821."
Where does the world make pilgrimage to other words as pitiful as these? But right beside the grave of Keats, again in testimony of the faithfulness and permanent loveliness of friendship, is buried a dear friend, and on his stone, erected through the interest and help of many famous men on both sides of the sea, there is cut an explanation which names, with friendship's right and in friendship's proud loyalty, the poet whose name was not to be written on his own stone. It is as beautiful an example of love's triumph over death as could be found, and makes a little poem itself. On the other side of Keats' grave, and more conspicuously placed than is his friend's, there is another stone which answers the poet's sad and discouraged epitaph with these fine words: "Keats, if thy cherished name be 'writ in water,' Each drop has fallen from some mourner's cheek;
A sacred tribute: Such as heroes seek,
Though oft in vain, for dazzing deeds of slaugh
Sleep on! Not honored less for epitaph so meek!"
And so, after all, the grave of Keats is nobly marked, and as you turn to go back by the little field path, you think that perhaps it is as well that he lies beyond the garden cemetery and where few graves are near, for carved on those stones is the outline of a tragedy. It all ends well, if human life be not counted too dearly, and the sun shines into the little corner where at first
the shadow was so deep; but the pictured struggle would not be in keeping with the spirit. of the garden, where every rose throws love into the air-that love which does not count human life so dearly. In death as in life the world is beyond a closed gate, and there are only a few friends around him.
Mrs. Browning's grave in the little English cemetery at Florence does not impress one as strongly—or, rather, it raises emotions less deep and sad. Everything is beauty and love, the sun gleams on the finely cut marble, the graves of English speaking people are gathered close around her. English flowers lie at the base of the short pillars that support the sarcophagus, and the wide central path of the cemetery leads directly past it-only a stone's throw from the rose-arched entrance. The little monument is on the left of the path as you come from the gate, and the plainly cut "E. B. B." is inscription enough to draw each visitor.
There are other notable English graves in Florence, and in Rome for that matter; but Keats, Shelley, Mrs. Browning-is not Italy rich enough in having these, and does not English poesy pay sufficient tribute to the inspiration of Italian scenes? In the cemetery just out of Dresden there is a grave connected with American literature. The place is reached in scarcely ten minutes by the trolley, but I wonder how many out of all the Americans who are in Dresden every year think of going there, or know that it contains the grave of Wolcott Balestier. Without any natural beauty, such as would make the Protestant cemetery at Rome lovely without any care, the flower-loving Germans have made a vast flower-bed of this plot of ground, so that it is worthy of a visit for itself alone, and offers as fair a resting place as tenderest love could wish. Some Americans must go there, for the warder knows well where the grave of the young author is, and does not seem surprised when you lay upon it a bunch of flowers brought from outside the gate. C, M. R.
Florence, May 6, 1899.
THE ROMANCE OF BOOK-COLLECTING. Book-collecting, as Carthew's butler used to say of philately, "makes all collectors kin. It's a bond, Sir; it creates a bond." From the millionaire who walks into Mr. Quaritch's shop with a liberal check-book, down to the impecunious book-hunter for whom the ardour of the chase has to be its own reward, all devotees of the Goddess whom Dibdin worshiped will take an interest in the very readable little book in which Mr. Slater has found a recreation from his severer bibliographical labors. Mr. Slater begins with a
dissertation on the utility of catalogues, and goes on to a subject with which no man should be better qualified to deal-a comparison of the modern. prices of various classes of books with those shown in historic book sales. One's mouth waters as one reads his chapter of lucky finds; how one envies, for instance, that Melbourne gentleman, mentioned in the book.
Only a few months ago he picked out of a box labelled "Four-pence each" a first edition of "Sordello," with an inscription in the handwriting of the author himself. Browning had written on the fly-leaf, "To my dear friend, R. H. Horne, from, R. B.," which, though certainly autographically less important than if he had signed his name in full, is yet a very pretty and cheap souvenir of an eminent poet.
All the same, it was not very nice of the once famous farthing epic to leave his "Sordello" behind him "to the mercies of the Melbourne
streets." Are we to gather that he could not understand it? Perhaps the most interesting of Mr. Slater's chapters is that which describes the "Forgotten Lore Society," of which he was a member while it lasted. This was an association formed among bibliophiles "to search the country for neglected books in the hope that something at least might be discovered among the heaps of ancestral rubbish that time and the elements are fast
bringing to decay." Each member was assigned a certain portion of the country in which to hunt, with the funds of the society at his back, on the understanding that "any advantage was to accrue to the benefit of the members as a whole." It is interesting to note that the society was an entire failure, and had to be abolished. On "the rules of the chase" and "the vagaries of book-hunters" Mr. Slater writes in a very entertaining manner. Bibliomania, which often shows itself in exceedingly Philistine and illiterate manifestations, has no better justification than in the case of books with a history attached to them, like the shabby copy of "The Eve of St. Agnes," which the luckless half-immortal thrust into his pocket as the Don Juan was sent to the bottom of the Gulf of Genoa." The book which Charles Lamb "made a perfect wreck," would be dearer to many collectors than the cleanest and tallest of untouched copies. Finally, one reads with a shiver that it is a "most usual thing" for Mr. Slater to receive "a bundle of title-pages as samples of the volumes to which they belong," with a request for information as to their value. And yet people try to persuade us that this is an age of general civilization! J. H. SLATER.
THE GUIDE BOOK.
Murray and Baedeker share equal fame
As guide books over this terrestrial ball; But if you'd know the worst one of this name, Tupper's Philosophy's the worst-guyed book of all.