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MR. BAINTON ON HIMSELF.

To the Editor of THE AUTHOR. SIR,

I deeply regret I should have been the cause of so serious an amount of feeling and annoyance as the correspondence in your paper reveals-a correspondence which comes upon me as a most painful surprise. I must ask your correspondents to believe me when I say that my fault or folly, whichever it may be, was wholly unintentional; and that however carelessly I may appear to have acted in certain instances, I have had no other than the purest purpose in view, and have been moved by no mean or dishonourable motive. Unfortunately the book in question was quite an after-thought. When preparing my address I had no idea of so extended a compilation. I simply desired my lecture to be issued in pamphlet form, shouli it seem likely to answer the purpose for which it was designed. My fault has been in changing the form of publication without first acquainting all my generous correspondents of what I purposed doing. But I acted under the impression that this was not necessary after having solicited their consent to use their words in print. That in this I committed a serious over-ight I now learn to my bitter cost, and I deeply regret it should have happ ned. But that I have been guilty of the unfairness, the wilful discourtesy, and other outrageous sins which some of your correspondents—and especially yourself—are anxious to fasten upon me, I most earnestly and indignantly deny.

After the first portion of the address was given here in the Old Grammar School, to a united meeting of the Young Men's Associations of the City, and largely reproduced in the columns of our local papers, I was repeatedly urged to return to the subject, and put the matter I had already spoken into print. Through lack of time long delays intervened before I could make any attempt to compile a promised second part of the same address, or before I could do anything towards remoulding what I had roughly sketched out. When I did the contributions with which I had to deal were so many, and the interest attaching to them so great, that my MS. quickly exceeded the limits of an ordinary pamphlet. It was then, and not till then, the idea of the book occurred to me. Had I for a moment conceived that in this I was exceeding the bounds of a strict courtesy and integrity, I should most certainly have communicated again with the authors who had generously sent me the items of their experience. Indeed the book would have been at once abandoned had I known it would have given pain to any. I had no interest to serve by concealment, and nothing whatever to lead me to act in the spirit Mr. Hall Caine insinuates.

Some of your correspondents, and several critics outside the columns of The Author, have hung the ungenial sneer at my supposed sordid desire for gain. The imputation is most unjust, and does not speak well for the spirit of those by whom it is made. I have not received one penny from the book. When towards the close of last year I finished the MS. and submitted it to the publishers, I did not stipulate for any payment, I did not ask for any terms on my own behalf, but gladly accepted their suggestions, with the assurance I should be only tou pleased and grateful if the book repaid them the cost of pro luction, and proved of some real in erest and value to its readers. Should anything ever come to me from its sale it will be hea tily at the disposal of those who made the book possible. I prepared the book with a good motive, and it was not the motive of personal gain.

I notice in many of the letters you have reproduced your correspondents speak of their communications to me as private. They quite overlook the fact that I wrote to them upon a

matter for a public and not a private purpose. Letters sent expressly for use in illustrating a lecture can hardly be regarded as ordinary private correspondence. A lecture is not usually private and confidential. It is liable to be reported and reproduced in print, with or without the lecturer's consent; and as a matter of fact the lecture in question, which Mr. Hall Caine angrily insers was never given, was in great part printed in the columns of a local paper, * portions of the same appearing three successive weeks, with long extracts from the most interesting and useful letters, Mr. Hall Caine's not excepted. The communications were not sent to me as private, or for a private purpose ; they were not requested for any private aim, else they would have been treated strictly as such. A few of the most helpful letters I received and retain, were not used at all, because the writers expressly objected to their contents being made public.

You mention several persons and say they were all ignorant that I intended to print their remarks. That is not correct. I wrote to almost every person you name, to almost every correspondent in your columns, asking permission to use their words in print. Only in two instances am I uncertain of having done so. To Mr. Allen, then in Italy, I wrote twice, to make sure he should receive my request, and neither letter was returned. Several like Mr. Allen did not reply. Was I wrong in assuming that such silence meant either indifierence or consent ? If Mrs. Parr, Mr. Gilbert, and others had the opportunity to refuse and did not, where is the breach of faith of which they speak ? Surely if they had felt so serious an objection to the use of their words they would at least have given expression to it. But though opportunity was afforded they did nothing of the kind ; they left me, therefore, free to act as I thought best, and I interpreted silence as consent. The majority did reply, and gave the consent I asked. How then can they have been ignorant of my intention to print their remarks? One of the most eminent of your correspondents assures you I acted in his case with perfect frankness and consistency throughout. In no instance have I sought to be less open and frank. Why should I? What had I to gain by such concealment with one person more than another? Whatever you or others may affirm to the contrary I am at least guiltless of any intention to deceive.

Memory does not serve some of your correspondents with any great fidelity. Miss Yonge may perhaps recall her assurance that I could make the use I asked of what she had written, when I remind her that such consent was given upon condition that no mention should be made of a statement concerning a recent writer. I was careful to respect her wish. Mr. Blackmore too was asked and consented to the use of his letter in print ; and only a few weeks since, May 3rd, 1890, wrote in acknowledgment of a copy of his printed letter, “ Am glad to hear of the appearance of your book, which I hope to procure at the first oppo tunity. With all good wishes for its success, &c." Yet this gentleman

objects to the use Mr. Bainton has made of the reply procured through the good will due to a clergyman, and for clerical purposes.”

Mrs. Kennard also joins in the protest that she did not know, though her letter was printed with her consent ; while writing on May 5th, 1890, she says,

My poor remarks scarcely deserved such prominence as you have been good enough to give them. Thanking you for the compliment you have paid me, &c.” To Mr. Rider Haggaid I owe a special word of explanation and apology. The proof he requested when consenting to my use of his letter would have been submi'ted, but for a statement I saw at the time that he was travelling in the East. I trust he will accept the expression of my sincere regret that for this reason his desire was not complied with.

Coventry Times.

If so

Permit me to add in conclusion that only this week have I

To the Editor of THE AUTHOR. learned, and that quite casually, of this painful corres- SIR, pondence. No copy of The Author was sent me, and no Mr. Bainton has only himself to thank for our change of intimation was given that you were endeavouring so seriously tone towards him. to injure my good name. Is it fair dealing to stab a man in Many may have wished him success—as I did-through the dark ?' Is it fair dealing to seek to destroy a man's misconception of his purpose. Who could foretel! from a reputation without a word of warning, and without so much

page

of his book what the nature of the volume was to be? as a hint of the course of action you have taken? Is this the It proves to be a piece of patchwork, collected from fifty spirit in which the Society of Authors is conducted ?

quarters ; and the patches, though not exactly pilfered, were it is the spirit of a ruthless cruelly. I do not for a moment procurea for a very different use. doubt that your purpose is just and your motive pure ; but If Mr. Bainton had said at first—“I am writing to all the surely before seeking fataliy to injure the reputation and English authors I have heard of, to ask them how they do character of another, you might at least have had sufficient their work ; I shall use their replies for my own pupils first, considerate feeling to give him a chance to vindicate himself and then (if I see my way) make a book out of them”-how and explain his conduct in the same issue of the journal in many answers would he have got ? which you have printed your hard and harsh judgment. You Later on, when he had obtained replies (by writing to have not done so, and I now claim the right that my letter scores of authors, as if to each exclusively and for a benevolent shall appear in the following number of the paper, the purpose), in fairness he should have explained to each the columns of which have been used to do me so grievous a character of his forthcoming volume, instead of describing it wrong.

as a mere expansion of his lecture. In that case, how many

GEORGE BAINTON. would have allowed him to pour on the literary world Coventry, June 26th, 1890.

(instead of his Coventry class) their off-handed replies ?

Faithfully yours,

R. D. BLACKMORE. P.S.- When writing the above letter more than a week since, I could discover scarcely any of the replies I had received from authors giving me permission to use their (Mr. Bainton's letter only shows the justice of those who communications in print. I can now put my hands upon complained of his conduct. He asked certain questions, several, and I may even yet find others. Unfortunately I the answers to be used for a lecture. That he admits. He did not conceive the matter would ever be called in question, then used them for a book. That he also admits. If a man and, therefore, never thought it necessary to preserve them. prints a communication for one purpose which was intended But it would have been strange had I been so punctilious for another it is not enough io write for permission-he must about the consent of some, and so careless about that of others

also obtain permission. A letter is a private document, of my correspondents. An impartial judge would surely unless the contrary is stipulated expressly. As for the spirit admit the strong probability that what was done in so many in which this Society is conducted, it is one of continued cases was hardly neglected in the bulk of the others. When 'hostility to all who invade or attack the rights of authors. I have used no more than a sentence or two I did not trouble Having printed Mr. Bainton's reply, we can now leave the the writers with a note of request ; but if I missed any others matter as between Mr. Bainton and his correspondents and the omission was purely accidental. My complaint of the between him and The Author to be judged by our readers. lady who opened this painful controversy is, that she printed -EDITOR.) two of my letters, and said not a word about the letter in which I responded to and thanked her for her communication. It was in that I asked her to do me the kindness to

* consent to the use of her letter.

Much has been made of the fact that I used in many cases the same form of request. After writing to the first author I

AT WORK. retained a rough copy of the letter sent, and used it whenever its terms made it possible, or altered it as the circumstances This column is reserved entirely for Members of the Society, of the case required. This was done to save unnecessary who are invited to keep the Editor acquainted with their trouble, and I cannot think in doing so I did wrong. I spoke

work and engagements. in some of those letters of the author's books as having given me very special pleasure and help. After twenty-five years R. J. NORMAN LOCKYER, F.R.S., is editing constant reading, man may well have very many pleasant companions amongst the authors of the day-it would be strange if he had not. In my own case I think the book Mr. J. E. Gore, F.R.A.S., has presented to the Royal itself will sufficiently show I hardly deserve the suspicious Irish Academy a “Catalogue of Binary Stars for which comments you have made. It is easy for a critic to indicate orbits have been computed.' The Catalogue, which will be a special point in the speech or conduct of another, and then published by the Academy, contains the elements of all the draw from it a general adverse conclusion.

orbits hitherto calculated, the magnitudes and colours of the At first I only purposed securing the aid of a few favourite components, spectra, “hypothetical,” and measured parellax, authors, and wrote to that end. The words, which I fain the relative brightness of each compared with a standard star, hope were not often used, to which you so seriously and and data for computing the velocity in the line of sight, for justly object, formed part of the draft of the earliest commu- use in the spectroscopic method of measuring the star's nication sent out, and were not written with any attempt to

distance from the earth. The Catalogue is followed by a mislead.

series of notes giving further details and the most recent All the correspondence I hold relating to the matter in measures of position of the component stars. question is freely open to the inspection of anyone concerned

There has been a change in the Editorship of the in it.

Publishers' Circular; Mr. J. A. Steuart is the new Editor. GEORGE BAINTON.

Mr. Steuart has in the press a work of Criticism and a

novel, both of which will be published in the autumn by July 5th, 1890.

Messrs. Sampson Low, Marston & Co.

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Mr. Charles Leland is now preparing a work on Gypsy Sorcery and Fortune Telling." There will be an Edition de Luxe, 150 copies only, and all numbered. The publisher, Mr. Fisher Unwin, receives names of intending subscribers.

Mrs. Cashel Hoey has this year written the summer number for Household Words. It is a complete story called “His Match and More.

In last month's “At Work,” two mistakes were left uncorrected. The name of William Westall appeared as "William Werlah,” and Mr. Watt was announced as the agent for The Author under the heading of Mr. W. F. Smith's new version of “Rabelais." The author should not be in italics. It refers to the translation of “Rabelais,” not the Journal.

Mr. E. M. Edmonds will contribute an English edition of the “ Autobiography of Koloko Kenes," with an historical introduction on the Klephts for Mr. Fisher Unwin's “Adventure Series." His biography of Klugas, the Protomartyr of Greece (Longman), has already shown his knowledge of kindred subjects.

Mr. Oscar Wilde's story, “ The Picture of Dorrin Grey," which constituted the July number of Lippincott's Magazine, will shortly be issued as a one volume novel by Messrs. Ward and Lock.

Mr. Robert Louis Stevenson will shortly issue, through Messrs. Chatto and Windus, “Father Damien : an open letter to the Rev. Dr. Ande."

A second edition is ready of Mr. Eustace A. R. Ball's “Mediterranean Winter Resorts." It is a handbook to the principal health and pleasure resorts on the shores of the Mediterranean (London, L. Upcott Gill, 170, Strand; and Paris, The Galignani Library, 224, Rue de Rivoli).

The article on "Alexandria,” in Nos. 9 and 10 of Cassell's “Picturesque Mediterranean,” is by Mr. Eustace A. R. Ball, who is also the author, under the pseudonym of Evelyn Ballantyne, of the article called “The Pit and Its Critic."

Rev. James J. Hillock has issued the third edition of his “ Hard Battles for Life and Usefulness" (Houlston and Sons). Crown 8vo.

Miss Frances Armstrong begins a story for the young called “Changed Lots; or, Nobody Cares,” in the July Number of Newbery House Magazine.

Miss Blyth's new story is entitled “ Adolphus Etherton ; or, the Boy who was Always Amused."

Mr. Edric Vredenburg has recently completed a new story which will be published in the Weekly Times and Echo, beginning January 3rd of next year.

Mrs. Elizabeth Harcourt Mitchell's book on Palestine, called “ Forty Days in Holy Land,” is in the press, and will be published by Messrs. Kegan Paul & Co.

A new edition of Mr. Justin McCarthy's “ History of the Four Georges” is being issued by the same publishers. Volumes I and II are now ready.

Esmé Stuart commences a new serial tale in the July number of the Newbery House Magazine.

It is now stated that Mr. Christie Murray is not lost at all. He has sailed for Samoa vid Sydney with the intention of joining Mr. Robert Louis Stevenson.

The author of “ Thoth (Blackwood), and of “Toxar (Longman) is Professor Nicholson of Edinburgh, a member of this Society.

23.

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COLLINS, M. The Blossom and Fruit : A True Story of a

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man and Hall. FARRAR, F. W. The Passion Play at Oberammergau, 1890. W. Heinemann. 4to.

25. 6d. JAMES, C. T. C. The New Faith. 3 vols. 315. 6.

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25. 6d. Lange, F., Ph. D. Elementary German Reader : A Gra

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Rivington. 25. 6d. ROBINSON, F. W. The Keeper of the Keys. Hurst and

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This pamphlet is a reply to the invitation issued by the Publication Committee of the Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge in their Report of last year, for any suggestions, which they “ will gladly receive," on the best way of making " the Venerable Society the most efficient literary handmaid of the Church of England throughout the world."

The suggestions offered in these pages contain, first, some of the elementary principles which guide honourable men in the administration of literary property. The writer next advances three cases, as illustrating the methods adopted by the Society. A copy of this pamphlet will be sent to any member of the Society by application to the Office, including two postage stamps.

THE METHODS OF PUBLICATION.

BY S. S. SPRIGGE,

B.A.

READY IN OCTOBER.

This book, compiled mainly from documents in the office of the Society of Authors, is intended to show a complete conspectus of all the various methods of publication with the meaning of each; that is to say, the exact concessions to publishers and the reservation of the owner and author of the work. The different frauds which arise out of these methods form a necessary part of the book. Nothing is advanced which has not been proved by the experience of the Society.

NEW BOOKS.

A New Translation. By W. F. SMITH, M.A., Fellow and Lecturer of Saint John's College, Cambridge. Issued to Subscribers in a limited Edition of 750 copies, all numbered, of which 500 copies are for this country and 250 for America. In two handsome 8vo vols. Price 255 the set. The aim of the above translation has been to render more accessible, to explain and illustrate a book which has exercised a wide influence on the French language as well as on European literature. A system of marginal reference has been

introduced. Great attention has been paid RABELAIS.

to the historical aspect of the book, and points bearing on the political and religious affairs of the times have been carefully noticed. As the work must be presented as a whole, and as certain passages and parts can no longer be presented in English, these have been left in the original old French, where they can be read by such as desire it. The work will be accompanied by a life of Rabelais, a notice of the translators, Urquhart, and Motteux, a map of the environs of Chinon, the part of France where Rabelais was brought up, notes on the language and style, and on other points. It will be, in fact, an entirely new and complete presentation of the great French master. Prospectus giving full details and all information to be had on

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* Supplies a long-felt want by connecting in a popular and vivid manner the work which has been done by the Society with the Bible narrative."

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