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right Bill. That these notes may be, and some- The second prejudice is based on the first. It times are, property of considerable value, is shown is the error which we have attacked again and by the fact that Mr. James Payn, whose weekly again, that publishing is a highly speculative and notes constitute one of the principal attractions of risky business. On the contrary, no publisher the paper in which they appear, has thought well to need even run any risk at all, and in point reprint them in a volume, which has been eagerly of fact very few publishers do. I have already taken up. It is also proved by the fact that Mr. proved this by an analysis of the advertising George Augustus Sala has done the same thing. columns, and I shall continue, from time to time, Now such notes ought certainly to be protected to prove the fact in the same way. and I hope this point will be borne in mind when the Bill goes into Committee.
Mr. J. M. Lely, Barrister-at-Law, and member Mr. Baker also suggests that at the Annual
of our Committee, has completed a popular Meeting members should discuss points rising out
analysis of the new Copyright Bill, with explanaof the Report. The Chairman did invite dis
tions of the clauses and their bearing. We have cussion at the last meeting, and there was some,
arranged with him to add this pamphlet to our list but such discussion can be only valuable when
of publications. It will therefore be accessible to none are allowed to speak except members who
members of the Society at the cost of is. 6d. have given due notice and have prepared themselves beforehand, and have followed the action of the committee, and so placed themselves in a position to judge the questions from many points of view. The following note may possibly have been sent Such discussions are apt to be desultory and to go to many other readers of this paper :away from the question before the meeting. For instance, at one of our meetings in Willis s Rooms,
“SIR,-I am collecting the opinions of men there a few years ago, when Lord Lytton invited eminent in the various departments of Art and discussion on the principles which should guide the
Science on the question, 'Is Life Worth Living ?' management of literary property, one man got up
and should esteem it a very great favour if you and asked the meeting if his publisher was a liar
would kindly send me a few lines, giving your for sending him certain accounts? As if such a opinion on the matter." very important question could be asked without
Nobody should take any notice of such coniexamining the accounts! Another got up to say munications as the above. If the writer is really that there was no such thing as a 5s. book. And a third rose to deny a statement made in the paper
desirous of finding out what the person addressed that had just been read that an ordinary 6s.
thinks on any subject, he should consult the
published works of that person. If, as is most novel could be produced, in numbers, at is. If, likely, he wants an autograph, or if he is only however, we were to lay down certain definite points trying to “ draw” the man, he should certainly for discussion, if these were announced before
be snubbed with silence. hand, such a conference, it is conceivable, might produce great good if only by clearing the air of prejudice and error.
People in the literary line mostly know other
people who are not. They also know young For instance, there are two prejudices which earnestly and urgently entreated and implored to
people who would like to be. They are, therefore, seem to defy any amount of argument. The first is the belief that the English people are not buyers spread abroad the following simple truths: of books, but that they get all their literature from 1. MSS. nust not be sent to literary people the circulating library. I confess to having held with a request that they will read them and write this view myself until recently. Now, we have an opinion. They really must not. recently undertaken a little investigation, as yet 2. Authors must not be asked to
use their incomplete, into the present condition of the book powerful influence” with publishers. They have no trade, which seems to dissipate this view pretty influence. If the best author in the world were to completely. The fact is that within certain limits kneel and supplicate the most friendly publisher in there are no greater buyers of books than the the world, he would not persuade that publisher to inhabitants of Great Britain and her colonies. issue unsaleable work.
In a certain secondhand bookshop where thereare letter, asking me to read his work, and in order to generally things worth seeing, there is now to be seen, save trouble, enclosed a letter of refusal for my nearly complete, a collection quite unique of its signature. This letter I subjoin as an example to kind. They have had the same book bound by all other young men and maidens who want to get all the best bookbinders in Europe, each in his their MSS. read. May one remind them that own best style. The result is a collection illustra
never hears of
young students, say
in ting the finest kinds of binding procurable at this mathematics, inviting a mathematician to teach time. When it is complete it will be exhibited them by correspondence? The letter is everything either in the shop or in some more public place. that could be desired. There will be various opinions on the various bindings : for my own part, I think that we can
London, February, 1891. hold our own in London. The book chosen is the SIR,—I have received your letter, but I must “Water Babies,” but of course it is not half good decline, though reluctantly, to entertain the applienough for such binding. One can picture the
cation. It would give me great pleasure to assist poet gazing in despair upon this work, and any worthy aspirant to literary honours, but the wondering in sadness whether he will ever be able many demands upon my time forbid me to comply to write up to such a binding.
with all requests of this kind, of which I receive many. In fact, I strongly advise you not to subscribe to a ticket in the literary lottery, for it offers
few prizes and many blanks, and especially is the Mr. Rider Haggard on his arrival in New York, department of poetry open to this objection. With was interviewed. He cannot escape the common
every hope for your success if you should persist lot. But he seems to have suffered more than is usual
in your endeavours, at the hands of his persecutors. Eight or ten news
I beg to remain, yours faithfully, paper men surrounded him and all asked him. questions at once. The following are selected by the New York Times as specimens of the interrogatory. The interview took place, it must be remembered, immediately after landing.
The ten years' Retrospect of American Literature "How do you like New York ?”
noticed below may be supplemented by a reference to “Where are you going to when you leave here,
a new periodical issued by Mr. Edward Arnold, puband what for?”
lisher, of Warwick Square. It is a monthly list of " How old are you?
American and French books. The selected list “What is your opinion about the elevated rail
of American books published during the last
quarter is not very attractive. One would suggest “Were you born in Africa ? "
that such a work as “Our Early Presidents, their
Wives and Children," hardly appeals to the “Do you consider that you have exhausted Africa ?”
Englishman, to whom the past Presidents of the “How about Rudyard Kipling and India ?”
United States are mere names and shadows. The "Do you consider that Kipling has exhausted
Notes and Notices are very meagre. A list of India ? "
“Standard " American Literature includes, like the “How do you work? Dictate it? Work
selected list, a great quantity of work that can nights ? "
never be popular here, e.g., the biographies of “ Do you make your plots before you write your
American statesmen, books on the Civil War, &c.
It is curious to note when one passes from stories, or do you write your stories first?”
American to French literature how much broader The last question reminds one of the inquirer who asked the cook whether she made her pud
is the field of letters. We do not find Frenchmen dings first and boiled them afterwards, or whether occupying their time with lives of men or histories she boiled them first, and made them afterwards.
of places whose interest is purely local and It also reminds one of King George the Third's ephemeral
. There is the note of world-wide and difficulty about the apple dumpling.
human interest in a French list which is strangely absent from the American literature-perhaps also though in less degree, from our own. The first
number of the “ List” will doubtless be improved Many are the writers who send their MSS. for upon, as the editor enlarges his experience. It perusal by busy men. Few indeed are so con- should, however, fill a gap in the service of current siderate as the one who sent me the other day a literature.
The death is announced of Alice Brontë, sister
“IONICA." of Patrick Brontë, and aunt to the three Brontë girls. She was ninety-five years of age and was
HE question whether good verse can still never married. I have just seen a photograph of
become popular might be practically her, taken shortly before her death. The face
answered by the success or the failure of singularly reminds one of Charlotte, though Alice
"Ionica.” Rarely, indeed, does a volume of verses was, in her youth, a most beautiful girl, which, I
appear in which the workmanship is so delicate, fear, was never the case with any of her nieces.
the thought so refined, the phrases so subtle, the She was six feet high, as strong as any three men.
flow and ring of the lines so full of music. The and possessed all her faculties to the very end.
book, a dainty volume, is published by Mr. George The Rev. Dr. William Wright, of the Bible
Allen of Bell Court, beside the Inns of Court, at Society, who knew her well, is about to write a
the Sign of the Ruskin Arms. The song printed short account of her. She lived all her years in below, by permission of the author, is written for the North of Ireland.
Mendelssohn's music generally known as “O wert thou in the cauld, cauld blast ?”
In aster years, those happier years,
Far fewer tears- far softer tears.
Like tinkling chimes, in kinder times,
And I not there—and I not there.
Who would have dreamed that there would be living an ancient lady, the survivor of the generation before Charlotte, Emily and Anne? The three sisters were born in the years 1816, 1818 and 1820, respectively. Charlotte died at thirty-nine, her two sisters at thirty. They might all three be living still, old, but not so very old, and youthful, compared with Alice. What sort of work would they have done had they lived ? I think that one remembers “Shirley” with greater readiness than any other of the Brontë novels. Perhaps their works have been partly kept alive by the biography of Mrs. Gaskell, certainly one of the best and most life-like portraits ever drawn. The world was touched with the picture of the three girls in their far-off country parsonage close to the wild moor, with neither neighbours nor friends, with a morose father and a drunken brother. "Jane Eyre " and "Wuthering Heights” would have lived, I suppose, whether Mrs. Gaskell had written that book or not, but they would not have lived with a vitality so intense.
Their mirth shall be, so quick and free,
I shall not see—I may not see.
Those eyes shall shine, but not on mine,
The dead must rest, the dead shall rest.
My opinion as to the fading vitality of certain writers mentioned in the last number of the Author, has been disputed in various quarters. Yet I adhere to my opinion. We may reprint
RECENT AMERICAN LITERATURE. Hogg, and we may put him on our shelves, but we have ceased to read him in the sense in which we
HE very few Englishmen who read the read Browning ; we look at him sometimes for
literary papers of the United States have curiosity, or we may seek out favourite pieces, but
long been aware that the output of original he is no longer a poet of our time, or of all time.
literature of all kinds has become almost as great Scholars and students, of course, will read all the
there as in this country, and that in spite of the writers whom I named-has not Mr. Saintsbury competition with cheap reprints of British books. made a book about them ? Yet, they no longer
A short analysis of the last ten years' American attract the omnivorous young, which is a very literature, published in the New York Critic of good and fair test of vitality and their best things January 17th, presents an instructive and extremely are in the Anthologies and Golden Treasuries.
interesting view of the whole subject. Death his WALTER BESANT. removed the great figures of Emerson, Longfellow, and Bancroft, while the surviving leaders, Holmes, and Edward Eggleston ; Georgia, Johnston's Whittier, Whitman, and Lowell, have passed into Dukesborough stories; the negroes, Harris, more or less complete retirement. The loss of Nelson Page, and Edwards; Kansas, Howe; leaders has not yet been replaced. In America, New England, Miss Williams and Miss Jewett; as everywhere else, there is a lack of acknowledged the Cape Cod folk, Miss McLean; the Jews of leaders; the general standard has been greatly New York, Henry Harland; the Western boy, raised; the number of those who write has been Mark Twain. Considering that all this is the largely increased-never have there been so many outcome of ten years, the advance seems very writers able to write well-but those who used to remarkable. dominate the literary world hardly exist any Then there are books which are successful, one longer.
knows not why, such as Wallace's “Ben Hur, a Tale În poetry, the total disappearance of the first of the Christ”; which are successful, one does know rank is especially deplored. There have been why, such as “Mr. Barnes of New York”; which published during the last decade, verses from are successful because they deal with questions of Lowell
, Holmes, Whittier, Stoddard, W. W. Story, the day, such as “John Ward, Preacher," and William Winter, and Aldrich, names all known to “Looking Backward”; which are successful beEnglish readers. In addition, the names are cause they appeal to serious and common-place mentioned of Edgar Fawcett, Francis Saltus, people who understand nothing but calmly moving George Woodberry, Richard Gilder, Mrs. Whitney, stories with a happy ending. Mrs. Deland, Edith Thompson, Mrs. Moulton (a The spirit of Thoreau is continued by John head and shoulders above most of those enumerated), Burroughs, Dr. C. C. Abbott, Theodore Roosevelt, H. B. Carpenter, S. H. Nichol, Mrs. Jackson, E. and Mrs. Custer, while Lufcadic Hearn's “Two R. Sill, Miss Dickenson, Emma Lazarus, Sydney Years in the French West Indies" is spoken of Lanier, H. C. Bunner, Edward Martin, Herbert with the highest praise. Nurse, F. D. Newman, and Clinton Scollard, Reminiscence and biography are plentifully called the best of the younger men. Now of these represented by the names of Grant, Sheridan, Shertwenty minor poets there are three names—Mrs. man, Jefferson Davis, Hugh McCullock, Blaine, Moulton, Sydney Lanier, and Emma Lazarus- by the lives of Lincoln, Emerson, Longfellow, whose verses are known in this country. Would Bryant, Molley, Hawthorne, Poe, Dana, Garrison, it not be well if some of our critics would make a Agassiz, Ericsen, Henry Ward Beecher, and voyage of discovery in this land of sweet singers others. and bring home some of their songs? And would In history the last ten years show the completion it be possible to make so long a list of minor poets of Bancroft-Parkman's “Montcalm and Wolfe," in this country ?
McMaster's “History of the People," and other It is in fiction, however, that the emotion and works. Let us pass over political economy, literary thought of the time have in America, as every- criticism, art criticism, philosophy, law, education, where, found adequate expression. Democracy, and science. Enough has been said to show becoming self-conscious, has felt ever-increasing what we are too ready to forget, or to ignore, that interest in familiar human life. The growth of the there exists across the Atlantic a literature which sentiment of sympathy has stimulated curiosity and is comparable with our own in every respect. If interest in the daily lives of our neighbours. The they have no poets who can stand beside Tennyscientific spirit of the day has popularized the son, Browning, or Swinburne ; if they have no love of accurate description. The great Russian novelists in the same line with Thackeray, Dickens, novelists have moved some and the French school George Eliot, George Meredith ; they have many has moved others. There is an enormous demand who can meet the novelists who come after these. for short stories in papers and magazines, par- great names. If they have no historian who can ticularly such stories as those on phases in be ranked with Stubbs, Green, or Freeman, they American life. We know the names that come have many who are equal to those who stand in first in such a list—Howells and James. Besides the second line, while in science and philosophy these are mentioned as in the same line, Fawcett, they are rapidly stepping to the front. One branch Mrs. Burnett, and Miss Baylor.
is unnoticed by the reviewer of this decade. It is There has been an especially noteworthy the branch of scholarship. In that department development in the direction of local colour and Great Britain still seems to hold her own. Meanlocal types. Some of the works of this kind we while, as an unexpected record of unexampled know, others are not familiar to us. For instance, development, this little paper in the Critic, from Louisiana has George Cable; Tennessee, Miss which we have taken these remarks, is instructive Murfill; the hill folk of Virginia, Miss Baylor and suggestive.
It suggests, especially, this very important fact. conduct. It became a positive scandal. We With the enormous development of their own were advised, I remember, to wash our dirty linen literature it will become increasingly rare for the at home, and though I have often wondered Americans to want the new books of our produc- why the press should act as a voluntary laundress tion. When, if ever, an International Copyright on such occasions, I suppose the remark is a just Bill is passed, those fortunate authors, American or British, who are in demand on both sides, will be There came a day when we took the advice of few indeed. It will be mortifying when we have the press, and from then until now science and got all we have clamoured for to be told that our art have gone hand in hand at the University wares are not wanted. But this seems quite likely of Oxbridge. How the breach was healed to happen.
forms the subject of the present leaf from my memoir.
America, it has been wisely said, is the great land of fraud. It is the Egypt of the modern world. From America came spiritualists, from America bogus goods, cheap ideas and pirated
editions, and from America, I have every reason HOW WE LOST THE BOOK OF to believe, came Dr. Groschen. It is true that JASHER.
he spoke American with an English accent at times, at others, English with a German. But
if his ancestors came from the Rhine, that he VERYONE who knows anything about received his education on the other side of the
art, archæology, or science has heard of Atlantic I have no doubt. Why he came to the famous FitzTaylor Museum at Ox- Oxbridge I cannot say.
He appeared quite bridge. And even outsiders who care for none suddenly, like a comet. He brought introducof these things have heard of the quarrels and in- tions from various parts of the world, from the ternal dissensions that have, from time to time, English embassy at Constantinople, from the disturbed that academic calm which ought to British and German Schools of Archæology at reign within the walls of a museum. The il- Athens, from certain French Egyptologists at lustrious founder, to whose munificence we owe Alexandria, and a holograph letter from Archthis justly famous institution, provided in his will bishop Sarpedon, Patriarch of Hermaphroditopolis, for the support of four curators, who were to govern Curator of the MSS. in the monastery of St. the two separate departments of science and art, Basil, at Mount Olympus. It was this last that and the University has been in the habit of making endeared him, I believe, to the High Church party grants of money from time to time to these separate in Oxbridge. Dr. Groschen was already the talk departments for the acquisition of scientific or of the University, the lion of the hour, before I archæological curiosities and MSS. I suppose met him, and there was already a rumour of an there was something wrong in the system, but honorary degree before I even saw him in the whatever it may be it led to those notorious flesh, at the high table of my college, as guest of jealousies and disputes. At the time I am writing the Master. If Dr. Groschen did not inspire the principal curators of the art section were me with any confidence, I cannot say that he Professor Girdelstone and Mr. Monteagle, of excited any feeling of distrust. He was a small, Princes College, while I myself looked after the blond, commonplace looking little man, very neat scientific welfare of the museum with Lowestoft as in his attire, without the alchemical look of most my understudy-he was practically a nonenity, but archæologists. Had I known then, as I know an authority on lepidoptera. Now whenever a now, that he presented his first credentials to grant was made to the left wing of the building, as Professor Girdelstone, I might have suspected him. I call it, I always used to say that science was Of course I took it for granted they were friends. being sacrificed to archæology. I mocked at the When the University was ringing with praises of illuminated MSS. over which Girdelstone grew en- the generosity of Dr. Groschen in transferring his thusiastic and the musty theological folios which splendid collection of Greek inscriptions to the Monteagle had purchased. They heaped abuse FitzTaylor Museum, I rejoiced; the next grant upon me, of course, when my turn came, and would be devoted to science, in consideration of cracked many a quip on my splendid skeleton of the already crowded galleries of the Art and the ichthyosaurus, the only known specimen from Archæology section. I only pitied the fatuity of Greenland. At one time the strife broke into print the authorities for being grateful. Dr. Groschen and the London press animadverted on had now wound himself into everybody's good