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Sixth Series, Volume XIV.

No. 2763—June 19, 1897.

From Beginning,

Vol. CCXIII,

CONTENTS.

OF

THE

779

.

796

.

803

.

I. THE APOTHEOSIS

NOVEL
UNDER QUEEN VICTORIA. By Herbert
Paul,

Nineteenth Century,
II. IN KEDAR'S TENts. By Henry Seton

Merriman. Chaps. XXIII. and XXIV.,
III. SOME OLD GUIDE-Books. By Mrs. E.
T. Cook,

Good Words,
IV. THE BIRDS OF TENNYSON. By Edgar
Valdes,

Temple Bar,
V. THE TWENTIETH ITALIAN PARLIAMENT.
By “Cuida,"

Fortnightly Reriew,
VI. NELL: A BIOGRAPHICAL FRAGMENT, Macmillan's Magazine,
VII. BRAHMS AND THE CLASSICAL TRADI-
TION By W. H. Hadow,

Contemporary Review,
VIII. A PROVENCAL SKETCH. By E. H. B., Leisure Hour,
IX. THE USES OF DIRECTORS,

Spectator,

807

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And the white souls that need not chain The darkening streets about me lie,

or bar. The shame, the fret, the squalid jars:

l'ntiring, through its endless corridor But swallows' wings go flashing by

Thou rangest, and the clanking of thy And in the puddles there are stars.

key

Is music to the captives who would soar, FREDERICK LANGBRIDGE.

And only wait for thee

To draw the bolt, and whisper "Liberty!" HYMN TO DEATH. Lord of the land of darkness, thy do- Helmsman that sittest 'mid the lowering main

dark, Knows not the splendor of the awaken

Patiently stretching forth thy strong ing sun.

right hand O'er its wide fields there waves no yellow To those who fear thee and thy dusky grain,

bark, No lingering glory tells when day is Thou mayest not stay; a wind blows done;

from the land, But everywhere is quietness and peace:

The rushing keel pursues the ebbing A land of shadows as of wings out

wave, spread,

Thy trembling freight turn their sad Where strife, and hot desire, and anguish eyes on thine, cease,

That show not doubt or dread, intent and And, regnant in their stead,

grave, Broods the unbroken silence of the dead. For thee, for thee they shine,

Those lights that gleam beyond the hoShepherd that leanest pensive on thy rizon-line.

crook In the low valley of the gathered mist, Master of subtler harmonies than fill Watching with fixed unfathomable look

The upper air where roll the heavenly Yon smiling pastures which the sun hath

spheres, kissed,

Life strikes a thousand cords that soothe Lo! hither come the stragglers from the and thrillflocks

Love, hate, revenge, ambition, laughter, Weary stumbling down the rugged steep, tears; Torn by the briers, bruised by the cruel One note is thine, one note the heart of

rocks. Ah, shepherd, lead thy sheep

Yields to thy touch, then like a broken Gently unto the bourne of rest and sleep. string

Falls mute, but that clear strain beyond Healer of heart-ache, when beneath the

the span strain

Of short-lived time shall ring, Of toil and struggle the tired pulse beats Turning the anthems which the immortals low,

sing. Or the racked body writhes in throes of

pain, And weeping, round the house the Great Shadow, when in visions of the

night mourners go, Calmly thou enterest through the fast

Before our eyes unveiled, thy form hath closed door,

passed, Smiling on those poor souls who cower

And our proud hearts have paid in quick and shrink,

affright

Their tribute to thee, silent, sombre, Then standing by the sufferer, bendest

vast, o'er, And givest him to drink

Have we not seen through and beyond

thee riseA draught fresh-drawn from blessed Lethe's brink.

Between thee and the light that fires the Warder of this great dungeon-palace built The substance thou translatest to our eyes, By Him whose footstool is the farthest

The awful form of One star,

With whom have Time, and Life, and Here lie thy prisoners-spirits stained with

Death begun? guilt,

Speaker.

B. P. NEUMAN.

man

sun

From The Nineteenth Century. be worse than laughing in church, and

almost as bad as making a joke in really THE APOTHEOSIS OF THE NOVEL UNDER QUEEN VICTORIA.

respectable society. The responsibili

ties of intellect are now so widely felt Let us leave it to the reviewers to abuse such effusions of fancy at their leisure, that they weigh even where there is no and over every new novel to talk in ground for them. Imagination, if it exists, threadbare strains of the trash with which must be kept within bounds. Humor, or the press now groans. Let us not desert what passes for it, must be sparingly inone another; we are an injured body. Although our productions have afforded dulged. The foundations of belief, the fumore extensive and unaffected pleasure ture of the race, the freedom of the will, than those of any other literary corpora- the unity of history, thelimits of political tions in the world, no species of composi- economy, are among the subjects which tion has been so much decried. From haunt the mind without paralyzing the pride, ignorance, or fashion, our foes are

pen of the latter-day novelist. The almost as many as our readers; and while "smooth tale, generally of love," has the abilities of the nine-hundredth

been developed into a representation of abridger of the History of England, or of the man who collects and publishes in a

the higher life with episodes on ultimate volume some dozen lines of Milton, Pope, things. I dare say that it is all quite and Prior, with a paper from the Specta- right, and that to read for amusement is tor, and a chapter from Sterne, are eulo- a blunder as well as a sin. If people gized by a thousand pens there seems al

want comedy, they can go to the play. most a general wish of decrying the ca

If they want farce, they can turn to pacity and undervaluing the labor of the

politics. The serious novel is for novelist, and of slighting the performances which have only genius, wit and taste to graver moods. But those who love, like recommend them.

Horace, the golden mean may look back

with fondness to the beginning of her So wrote Miss Austen, a woman of

Majesty's reign, when novelists had spirit as well as a woman of genius, at ceased to be pariahs and had not bethe commencement of the expiring cen

come prigs. tury. Nobody could write so now. The

Perhaps few of us realize the extent eighty years which have elapsed since to which the novel itself is a growth of Jane Austen was laid to rest in Win- the present reign. If we put aside the chester Cathedral have brought no in

great and conspicuous instances of tellectual or moral revolution more

Defoe, Richardson, and Fielding, of complete than the apotheosis of the Fanny Burney, Jane Austen, and novel. Sir Walter Scott seriously, and Walter Scott, there is scarcely an Enwith good reason, believed that if he glish novelist now read who died before had put his name to “Waverley” and her Majesty's accession to the throne. “Guy Mannering" he would have in

I am told that superfine people, when jured his reputation as a poet, and even they wish to disparage art, or literature, his character as a gentleman.

or furniture, or individuals, describe novel is published anonymously now- the objects of their contempt as “Early adays, it is in order that the public may Victorian.” In other words, they conbe subsequently informed whose iden

sign them to the same category as tity it is which has been artfully, and Dickens, Thackeray, and Charlotte but for a moment, concealed. The Brontë. The immense and almost unnovel threatens to supersede the pulpit, paralleled popularity of Dickens has, as as the motor-car will supersede the was inevitable, suffered some diminuomnibus. We have a new class of nov- tion. The social abuses which he elists who take themselves very satirized are for the most part extinct. seriously, and well they may. Their The social habits which he chronicled works are seldom intended to raise a have largely disappeared. The taste for smile. They are designed less for “wallowing naked in the pathetic" is amusement than for instruction, so that not what it was. A generation has to read them in a spirit of levity would arisen which can be charitable without

If a

waiting for Christmas, and cheerful strange to realize that “Pickwick" and without drinking to excess. But these “Oliver Twist" were actually coming out are small points, and it is impossible to at the same time. "Oliver Twist" beimagine a time when Dickens will not gan to run in January, 1837, and conbe regarded as one of the great masters tinued till March, 1839. “Oliver Twist," of English fiction. The late Master of again, was overlapped by "Nicholas Balliol, a keen and fastidious critic, a Nickleby," which lasted from April, refined and delicate scholar, regarded 1838, to October, 1839. Three such Dickens as beyond comparison the first books in little more than three years is writer of his time. When the queen a feat which no other British novelist came to the throne, “Pickwick” was ap- has achieved, except Sir Walter Scott. pearing in monthly parts. The first They proved to the benighted “Early number was issued in April, 1836, the Victorians” that in the days of effete last in November, 1837. It is a curious Whiggery and Bedchamber plots a coincidence that in June, 1837, when the genius of the highest order had apcrown actually passed from William the peared. Miss Martineau could never Fourth to Victoria, the death of the forgive Dickens for having in “Oliver author's sister-in-law suspended the Twist" confounded the new Poor-law publication. “Pickwick” had burst with the old. That is not literary critupon the world as an entire novelty. icism. But it must be admitted that No other English novelist who was then Dickens, though not intellectually a writing survives now except Disraeli Socialist, was a very sentimental poliand Bulwer, as different from Dickens, tician. He hated political economy, to say nothing of their inferiority, as and he coupled with it the name of Sir chalk from cheese.

Robert Peel. A gushing and impulsive The imitators of Dickens, so numer- benevolence, which in Dickens's case ous and so tiresome, are apt, illogically was thoroughly genuine, is often enough, to make people forget that he offended by the cold-blooded temper and was among the most original of all cautious methods of parliamentary writers. It is the language of compli- statesmanship. When Dickens began ment and not of detraction to call him to write, public affairs were on rather a the Cockney's Shakespeare. In Shake- low level, and were conducted on rather speare he was steeped. His favorite a small scale. Dickens's early work novelist was Smollett. But his art was was a more or less conscious revolt all his own. He was the Hogarth of against fashionable lethargy and conliterature, painting with a broad brush, ventional shams. His novels, unlike never ashamed of caricature, but al. Thackeray's, were in a sense a part of ways an artist, and not a dauber. politics. They were meant to affect, There is little or no resemblance be- and they did affect, the political temper tween Falstaff and Sam Weller. But of the nation. I sometimes wonder that they are the two comic figures which the Independent Labor Party do not have most thoroughly seized upon the make more of Dickens. For Dickens, English mind. Touchstone and Mr. though he did not trouble himself much Micawber may be each a tiner specimen about abstract propositions, was posof his creator's powers. They are not, sessed with the idea that both political however, quite so much to the taste of parties were engaged in preying upon all readers. They require a little more the public. fineness of palate. Sam Weller is, and To Dickens as an historical novelist seems likely to remain, the ideal Lon- imperfect justice has been done. The doner. We cannot hear his pronuncia- “Tale of Two Cities" is said to be most tion. We get his humor without its admired by those who admire Dickens drawbacks. The defects are absent the least. A similar remark has been from his qualities. He has not even the made of “Esmond.” The “Tale of Two appalling gluttony which distinguishes Cities" is founded upon Carlyle's M". Pickwick and his friends. It seems "French Revolution.” It has no humor,

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