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and sharing in our literary diver- little heat mounting to his ears. sions, will doubt, for instance, of It is not permitted, even to a our attachment to our distinguished man of genius, to make his friends, contemporary, Mr Andrew Lang. even when they too are men of That delightful commentator upon genius, absurd. The world has books and men tells us that he nothing to do with these little and we had nearly or altogether endearments. It is an American come to blows

upon a recent fashion quite unworthy of imporoccasion. But no! our courteous tation, and, as English authors friend has deceived himself—0 may see, looking sadly ridiculous little differences of opinion are no when Mr Lowell, for instance, more than enough to give a little calls upon us to admire a number flavour to agreement. We applaud of men of Harvard by their names when his lance hurtles through which we never heard before. Perthe air, and nails an offender to haps it rather adds than takes the dust, knowing that any little away from the absurdity when winged shaft he may send in our they are names which we have own direction is benevolently in- heard. The most Christian critic tended as a stimulant, not as a can scarcely refrain from a chuckle weapon of offence.

But with all of delight when he sees his friend our love for him, we are conscious opposite branded as Prince of men. of a faint titillation in our throat What did the Venetian mirror con

a little excitement of the risible tinue to say when it reflected that muscles—when we hear him ad- bland image ? It would rather dressed in public as “Dear Andrew have had the Princess, we'll go of the brindled hair.”

bail. yield to no one in our regard for Let us address Mr Stevenson Mr Henry James. His fine if in a verse of his own, with all sometimes hesitating utterances

the force of affectionate remonare dear to us. When he leads strance : upon the stage a fantastic princess, though he takes a long time, Sing clearlier, Muse, or evermore be

still! a very long time, in describing her, Sing truer or no longer sing ! we listen to him, every word, with No more the voice of melancholy a gravity equal to his own. But Jaques, when we read in a printed book To wake a weeping echo in the hill. that the Venetian mirror at Skerry- But as the boy, the pirate of the spring, vore, which is not a lighthouse but

From the green elm a living linnet

takes, Mr Stevenson's house at Bourne

One natural verse recapture—then be mouth-waits, as the climax of an

still. existence which has seen many pretty things in its native palaces These are precisely our sentiand elsewhere,

ments, expressed in more admi“Until the door

rable language. We return the Open, and the Prince of men,

tuneful couplets to the author with Henry James, shall come again,”

a respectful salutation.

The following poem is still on we-well, not to put too fine a the inexhaustible subject of the aupoint upon it, we laugh. We pre- thor's own surroundings, being the sume Mr James laughed too; and house (as we presume—if we are we can scarcely doubt, though not wrong, that no doubt accounts in perhaps given to blushing, felt a some measure for the superiority

And we

of the poetry) in which the Vene- porary

friends. He describes how tian mirror hangs :

the life-work of that engineer father

has been devoted to the “lighting THE HOUSE BEAUTIFUL.

up of our wild coasts” “A naked house, a naked moor,

“ Not now obscure, since thou and A shivering pool before the door ;

thine are there, A garden bare of flowers and fruit,

And bright on the lone isle, the foundAnd poplars at the garden foot.

ered reef, Such is the place that I live in,

The long resounding headland - Pharos Bleak without and bare within.

stands. “Yet shall yon ragged moor receive

These are thy works, O father, these The incomparable pomp of eve,

thy crown; And the cold glories of the dawn

Whether on high the air be pure, they Behind yon shivering trees be drawn;

shine And when the wind from place to

Along the yellowing sunset, and all place

night Doth the unmoored cloud - galleons

Among the unnumbered stars of God chase,

they shine; Yon garden gloom and gleam again,

Or whether fogs arise, and far and With leaping sun, with glancing rain.

wide Here shall the wizard moon ascend

The low sea-level drown-each finds a The heavens, in the crimson end

tongue, Of day's declining splendour; here

And all night long the tolling bell reThe army of the stars appear.

sounds : The neighbour hollows, dry or wet,

So shine, so toll, till night be overpast, Spring shall with tender flowers beset;

Till the stars vanish, till the sun return, And oft the morning muser see

And in the haven rides the fleet secure. Larks rising from the broomy lea, And every fairy wheel and thread In the first hour the seaman in his Of co web dew-bediamonded,

skiff When daisies go shall winter time Moves through the unmoving bay, to Silver the simple grass with rime ;

where the town Autumnal frosts enchant the pool, Its earliest smoke into the air upAnd make the cart-ruts beautiful ;

breathes, And when snow - bright the moor ex- And the rough hazels climb along the

pands, How shall your children clap their To the tugg’d oar the distant echo hands!

speaks. To make this earth our hermitage, The ship lies resting where, by reef and A cheerful and a changeful page,

roost, God's bright and intricate device

Thou and thy lights have led her like a Of days and seasons doth suffice."

child. This

This hast thou done, and I—can I be is very charming and pretty, and sufficiently impersonal I must arise, O father, and to port

base ?

, to command the general sympathy

Some lost complaining seaman pilot of all who have houses and live

home.” therein, and find their homely roofs glorified with sunrisings and sun


indicate here, as worth settings every day. We are temp- the reader's while, a striking little ted also to quote an address to poem called “The Celestial Surthe poet's father, in which there geon,” an address to a mother, “It is all the honest pride of a good is not yours, O Mother, to comlineage and a personal feeling more plain,” and if he is polemically justifiable than that which shines minded, “Our Lady of the Snows, through his addresses to contem- and sundry of the poems called


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Skerryvore "_but advise him to or woman either, will find in these leave out the more purely per- poetical exercises anything but faint sonal part, unless he happens to echoes of have a stronger interest in Mr

“Him who walked in glory and in joy, Louis Stevenson than in poetry: in

Following his plough along the mounwhich case he will probably like to tain-side"? know what that gentleman thinks of the onion, that it is the

Let us not lose our temper with

this rash young man.
“Rose among roots, the maiden fair,
Wine-scented, and poetic soul,

plause has, we fear, turned his Of the capacious salad-bowl,”

head. Having nothing in the

world to say in “Lallan and various other oddish things. he could not say better in his All this, however, is but the half ordinary fine speech (pleasantly of the volume. The second part breathing a Scotticism here and is taken up with verses- -in Scots.

there, we are glad to say, much Now be it far from us to


characteristic than the no man is to write in Scots, or

“Scots”), he has framed his what Mr Stevenson calls 56 Lallan,”

verses very nicely, and brought because Burns has made that lan

out the different ow's and ou's and guage classic; but we do feel that o's in a manner which does credit there is a rashness almost blasphe

to his breeding. But Mr Stevenmous in the proceeding, when a new

son is no rival of Burns, who rhymester takes up the measure of the “Second Epistle to Davie," spoke his natural tongue, and had and puts some very commonplace and delightful things to say in it;

a great many of the most lovely sentiments into it, with a little

and when he speaks of his little lecture on the pronunciation of vowels before it, and a fear in the world which has the works of

pipings as likely to perplex a middle of it that somebody may that great poet before it, he says take up the book in after-ages

a very silly thing, quite unworthy “May find an' read me, an' be sair of any good sense he may happen Perplexed, puir brither !

to possess, and highly injurious to

his unquestionable genius. Let What tongue does yon auld bookie

us be done with this foolish selfspeak? He'll speir, and I, his mou' to steik,

opinion and disrespect. To be No bein' fit to write in Greek,

pious about the lighthouse is I wrote in Lallan; pretty, to be impious about the Dear to my heart as the peat-reek,

fathers of one's tongue and Auld as Tantallon. thoughts is detestable. The hapless Few spak’ it then, and noo there's youth even challenges comparison, nane”—

and writes about three bewildered

men and the moon as if — we Does Mr Stevenson really sup- shudder at the thought !—he had pose that his address of

“ The forgotten how Willie once brewed Maker to Posterity” will survive a peck o'maut. "Maga'is merciful. to puzzle the antiquaries when she regards the erring and foolthe works of that ploughman hardy singer as

Oh, whose life we are aware he does Louis of the awful cheek! not approve of, have disappeared has been addressed, we believe, into the dust of ages ? Does he in more familiar strains. But we believe that any man in his senses, hope he will not do it any more.

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It is America that is the cause deal which the profane call twadof it all-America which thrusts dle. But on the other side of in her little reputations upon us,

the Atlantic it is Addison with and so swears they are of the first whom they compare Dr Holmes, rank, that with a gasp, and for the and other writers of the first sake of peace, yet with wonderful rank, and we are asked to bow searchings of heart, we give a feeble down as to a planet, when we assent. A living dog is better— should be delighted to own the that big continent thinks—than a pleasant rays of a little twinkling dead lion; and if Longfellow is as star. This transposition of magworthy of Westminster as Shake- nitudes is doing serious harm in speare himself—or at least as Dry- England. Society, it is true, den and Pope and Coleridge—why avenges itself in its usual heartless should not Mr Robert Louis Ste- and irresponsible way by seizing venson be better than Robert upon the Honourable Will Cody, Burns ? Mr Ruskin calls a bit of otherwise Buffalo Bill, and raising Shakespeare a “Willy quotation"

Willy quotation” him to the same honours; but after condoning which we must the literary world has not that for ever applaud the Frenchman's safety-valve, and nobody can doubt - divine Williams.” Where do we that there is much less literary all expect to go to, after such irre- discrimination than there used to verences and blasphemies? The be before Longfellow secured that answer is but too pat and ready- inappropriate position in the Abto America ! from whence we are bey. Why should he be there? always receiving some notability Not because we think him a great whom we are requested to place poet, but to please America, for immediately on a level with our which end we are day by day getgreatest names. The last of these ting more and more confused in distinguished visitors is Dr Oliver our minds, no longer able to disWendell Holmes, whose claim is criminate what is great from what of such long standing that we do is small. not grudge to take him individu- Dr Wendell Holmes's recollecally on his own word and on that tions 1

tions are gentle reading, not of his friends, and who sends us likely to excite or exhaust. He back, in return for our hospitali- has outlived those enthusiasms on ties, a book of old-gentlemanly re- which his countrymen pique themminiscences, with which there is selves, and indulges in no superno particular fault to find. “So- latives about the things he saw. ciety” received the old doctor Westminster Abbey produced only meekly, and asked him everywhere, upon him “ a distinct sense of beasking also from one puzzled host ing overcrowded." to another, “What has he written?

There are, however, “It appears too much like a lapigood many people, chiefly out

out dary's store-room. Look up at the of society, who have read the lofty roof which we willingly pardon

Philosopher of the Breakfast for shutting out the heaven above us Table,” and to whom the author look down at the floor and think of

—at least in an average London day; was interesting for many pretty what precious relics it covers ; but things he has said, amid a good do not look round you with the hope


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1 A Hundred Days in Europe. By Oliver Wendell Holmes. London : Sampson Low & Co.


of getting any clear concentrated satis- personal experience. As we drove fying effect from this great museum of over the barren plain, one of the party gigantic funereal bric-a-brac.”

suddenly exclaimed, 'Look, look! see

the lark rising.' I looked up with It is rather, on the whole, we

the rest. There was the bright blue allow, a satisfaction to hear an

sky, but not a speck upon it which American haver in this

way. my eyes could distinguish. Again They are generally apt to put on one called out, 'Hark, hark! hear quite a superior esthetic appreci- him singing.', I listened, but not a ation beyond anything the poor sound reached my ear. Was it strange Britisher is capable of, just as the

that I felt a momentary pang ? Those

that look out at the windows are darGerman sets up for knowing our

kened, and all the daughters of music Shakespeare better than we do. Dr are laid low. Was I never to hear or Holmes speaks with not much more see again the soaring songster at reverence of Windsor; but then he heaven's gate, unless-unless, if our bursts forth into tender enthusiasm mild humanised theology promises over the hawthorns in the park, not truly, I may perhaps hereafter listen knowing what the lovely “May

to him singing far below me? For

in whatever world I may find myself, was till then, and over the cuckoo

I hope I shall always love our poor in the sky, which he had never little spheroid, so long my home” heard. Strange to think of these familiar delights as unknown! We break off abruptly here, out And if he is contemptuous of of love and kindness, to spare this Westminster he does full justice pretty passage a metaphor which to Salisbury, and to nature gen- floats after it.

Gentle reader, you erally and the trees everywhere. would not like to hear that metaHis excitement while measuring phor any more than you would an elm in Magdalen grounds, in wish to read in the passage about the hope that it may not prove the cuckoo that Dr Wendell bigger (which it did) than one at Holmes could not help thinking Springfield, is amusing, and his how well the bird imitated the mingled candour and regret to find cuckoo-clock at home! On second himself vanquished. The spirit thoughts, however, to satisfy your of rivalry is not, we fear, so strong curiosity, you shall have the metain the English bosom. However, phor dissociated from the text, Dr Holmes, after pointing our that the touching little fragment moral about our American visitors above may not be spoiled. in general, writes himself into our a gilded globule swimming in the favour in particular as he goes sunlight," is what Dr Wendell

Here and there is a bit of Holmes says. What matter ? The nature which makes us truly kin. kind old gentleman is a doctor as And we think few readers will well as an American ! refuse to be touched by the fol- It may be said that all these lowing pathetic bit of personal little records of persons are flimsy experience :

productions with which to fill a “One incident of our excursion to library table.

And so they are. Stonehenge had a significance for me

Next time our courteous reader which renders it memorable in my

shall have more substantial fare.

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