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THE ART MAGAZINES.
“THE STATELY EDEN.” WiTh the October number the Magazine of Art completes its present volume. Mr. E. Rimbault Dibdin has
ault Dibain has an article on the comparatively little known river Eden. Its proximity to the mountain region of Cumberland, he thinks, is one cause of its want of popularity, but he feels assured that there are few rivers whose scenery would better repay attention. He would not inquire too curiously into the origin of its name, lest the poetry should be taken out of it, so appropriate is it in its original Chaldean meaning to the rich and smiling valley through which the river takes its course :
Hemmed in on either side by the stern “forests” of the North, it is indeed "a place of pleasure and delight” which might fitly suggest to the folk of old time a likeness to the garden where there grew “every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food.”
As it is usual to travel to the Lakes by the London and North-Western Railway, tourists miss the beautiful upper valley of the Eden between Kirkby Stephen and Carlisle on the Midland route. Mr. Dibdin, however, follows the water on foot from the rise of the river at Mallerstang to Carlisle, and entertains us with stories connected with the places passed on the way--the church bells of Kirkby Stephen, the glass chalice of Edenhall, "Long Meg and Her Daughters,” “Merrie Carlisle " and the Border Ballads, etc. The cathedral, too, where Sir Walter Scott was married, comes in for brief description, and several illustrations of “The Stately Eden” are supplied by Mr. A. Fairfax Muckley. At Wetheral the prospect is truly enchanting:
A great railway bridge joins the steep banks. Wetheral, a charming place with a quaint old church, is perched on the left bank, while to the right are Corby Castle and grounds, the warm and delicate arrangement of which exceeds the power of description by pen or pencil.
On another page Mr. Clande Phillips writes of the sculpture of the year, but he is surely in error when he says that Mr. Hamo Thornycroft's recumbent bronze statue of Bishop Goodwin was destined for Durham Cathedral. Has it not been unveiled in the cathedral at Carlisle ?
THE ARCTIC AS A SKETCHING-GROUND. The Studio of September has an interesting notice of the etchings of Mr. D. Y. Cameron, Quebec is described as a sketching-ground by Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue, Mr. Arthur Fish has another word on the poster, and there is an interview with Mr. Frank Wilbert Stokes, who has been twice to the Arctic regions. Mr. Stokes says:
I do not think the Arctic is likely to become a popular sketching-ground for many reasons. I had peculiar opportunities. I was very far north, and from the circumstance of my longer stay there on the second visit I got to know my surroundings, and was able to wait for exceptional effects.
I did all the sketches in the open, but it was not an easy matter. The paint froze as it left the brush, and rolled off in dry pellets. Sometimes there was a driving storm of sleet all the time, so that I had literally to scrape the snow off my panel and drop the colour into its place. Of course, under such circumstances, I could only jot down the colours as quickly as possible out of doors, and get the sketches into shape, without altering anything, in my studio.
OTHER ART ARTICLES. The October number of the Art Journal has for frontispiece an etching after Mr. E. Blair Leighton's “How
Lisa Loved the King." The original picture is in the possession of Mr. Merton Russell Cotes, whose collection is described in the Journal. The account of the “Caillebotte Bequest" is continued ; Mrs. Bruce Clarke writes on the 666 the “Laces of Queen Margherita of Italy”; and Mr. George Montbard gives the first part of an article on the “Sacred Island of Philae.” The Art Annual, to appear in November, will deal with the life and work of Mr. Luke Fildes, the painter of “ The Doctor."
The September part of the Monthly Illustrator brings to a close the third quarter of the year with a special autumn number. Each number of the magazine is copiously illustrated-indeed, there is quite as much picture as letterpress.
The Artist, which is now published by Messrs. A. Constable and Co., is much improved since the present series was begun. The most important article in the September number is that on “The National Competition of Schools of Art," with thirty-four illustrations.
Atalanta begins a new volume with the October number. “Scenes from Tennyson," by Mr. J. Cuming Walters, promises to be an interesting series of articles. The subject of the first is “ The Lady of Shalott."
The Chautauquan is turning its attention to illustrations. The September number, which concludes the present volume, has an interesting article on notable inns round London, by Nettie Louese Beal.
SOME FOREIGN ILLUSTRATED MAGAZINES. With the September number Velhagen enters upon its tenth year, and the publishers are glad to announce that they have secured Frau Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach's new story, “Bertram Vogelweid,” and other stories for its pages. As a supplement Dr. Conan Doyle's "Micah Clarke " is to be given in German. The biographies of artists are continued, Franz Skarbina being the first of the series in the new volume.
The monthly Ueber Land und Mecr begins the new volume with a new cover, but it has not yet taken up coloured illustrations as seriously as Velhagen has done. The monthly Vom Fels zum Meer was abandoned a year ago for a fortnightly publication, in which coloured illustrations are a prominent feature. The second volume of the new series has just been begun.
Another illustrated fortnightly is the Universum, which has just completed its eleventh volume. The Gartenlaube and the Daheim, which are also well illustrated, remain as popular as ever. In all these periodicals fiction and short stories are an important feature.
In the September number of the Monde Moderne. M. Julien Tiersot writes on Hector Berlioz and His Work. There are several descriptive articles, e.g., Montenegro, Archangel, Luxemburg and Sigmaringen. All are copiously illustrated. The Revue Encyclopédique is also well illustrated.
In the Gentleman's Mugazine Mr. E. O. Walker, of the Civil Service of India, describes life at “An Indian Station." His paper is brightly written and gives a vivid idea of the way in which our countrymen live while governing in our Oriental empire. Mr. James Cassidy in the same magazine gossips pleasantly concerning the manufacture of “Fishing Tackle.” Incidentally he mentions a fishing rod which had been in active use for fifty-two years and was still in good condition. It was well used, for its owner sometimes captured a thonsand trout in a season.
“HYMNS THAT HAVE HELPED ME.”
THE songs of the English-speaking people are for the
most part hymns. It is a significant illustration
of the deep, inbred seriousness of our race, that for each song that is sung from Sunday morning to Saturday night that deals with love, or war, or wine, or sport, there are one hundred sung relating to religion. Even those who may deplore this will not dispute the fact. The Englishman who does not sing hymns, as a rule sings nothing. This rule is even more invariable in the case of English women. Hence for the immense majority of our people to-day the only minstrelsy is that of the Hymn-book. And this is as true of our race beyond the sea as it is of our race at home.
THE PRINCIPLE OF THE COLLECTION. Of the making of collections of hymns there is no end. Almost every little sect has its own Hymnal, and some of the denominations have three or four. These collections have been made on almost every conceivable principle but that which seems to me to be the most obvious and the most natural. The compilers of hymnals have been guided by their sense of the poetic beauty of the sacred verse, or by the theological accuracy of the sentiments which they express. But so far as I have been able to discover, no collection of hymns has ever been made based upon the principle of including in it only those hymns which have been most helpful to the men and women who have most influenced their fellowmen. Yet surely those hymns which have most helped the greatest and best of our race are those which bear, as it were, the hall-mark of Heaven.
HYMNS WITH THE HALL-MARK OF HEAVEN. Hence, in preparing the “Penny Hymnal," which I hope shortly to publish as one of the numbers of the Masterpiece Library, I shall give it the title="Hymns that have Helped Me,” and I invite the co-operation of all my readers to make the collection as complete and as useful as possible. The root idea of the Hymnal is to allow the selection of the hymns to be made, not by the fine or finicky ear of the critic in the study, or even by the exalted judgment of the recluse in the cloister, but by the recorded experience of mankind. Here and thus did this hymn help me: that is the best of all possible arguments in favour of believing that it will prove helpful under similar circumstances to similar characters. The hymn may be doggerel poetry, it may contain heretical theology, its grammar may be faulty and its metaphors atrocious, but if that hymn proved itself a staff and a stay to some heroic soul in the darkest hours of his life's pilgrimage, then that hymn has won its right to a place in the “Penny Hymnal ” as one of the sacred songs through which God has spoken to the soul of man.
SOME HYMNS THAT HAVE HELPED. Take, for instance, the hymn beginning, “If you cannot, on the ocean," which worked itself into every fibre of the warp and woof of the life of Abraham Lincoln; the fact that it was his favourite hymn, and that it had such an influence upon the most typical American of this century, surely entitles it to a place in such a collection. It may not be properly a hymn at all, as the critics say, but its music helped to mould one of the greatest characters of our epoch. It was to him a veritable Psalm of Life, and as such, hymn or no hymn, into the “ Penny Hymnal” it must go.
Take another instance. When Henry Martyn, one of the earliest and most saintly of the early Protestant missionaries, was threatened with torture and death in Persia because he would not forswear the Christian faith, he found constant consolation by repeating in his tent, amid the revilings of his enraged persecutors :
If on my face, for Thy dear Name
Shame and reproaches be,
If Thou remember me. The mere fact that such a hero-saint as Henry Martyn found that verse a stand-by when in the direst extremity, franks the hymn to which it belongs, altogether irrespective of its poetic merits or its theological accuracy. Circumstances sometimes consecrate. After the brilliant victory of Dunbar, when “the Scotch army, shivered to utter ruin, rushes in tumultuous wreck." “ the Lord General made a halt, and sang the hundred and seventeenth psalm, till our horse could gather for the chase." Whatever might have been the fate of Rous's version of this psalm, after that memorable day, no collection of Hymns that have Helped can be complete without the verses which on that supremely fateful moment sprang spontaneously from the war-wearied veterans who rode with Cromwell. “Hundred and seventeenth psalm,” says Mr. Carlyle. " at the foot of the Doon Hill; there we uplift it, to the tune of Bangor, or some still higher score, and roll it strong and great against the sky :
O give ye praise unto the Lord,
All nati-ons that be;
His name to magnify." Doggerel, no doubt; but who would exchange that rugged verse, sung from the lips of the victors of Dunbar while the smoke of their powder was still lying low over the dead, for the most mellifluous verse whose melody charmed the ear of the critic, but never stirred the mighty hearts of heroes?
THE MAGIC MINSTRELSY OF THE HYMN. Who is there among the men and women of this generation who has not, at some time or other, experienced the strange and subtle influence of sacred song? Hymns
have rung in the ears of some of us while still wandering idly in the streets of the City of Destruction, stern and shrill as the bugle-blast that rouses the sleeping camp to prepare for the onslaught of the foe. Their melody has haunted the ear amid the murmur of the mart and the roar of the street. In the storm and stress of life's battle the echo of their sweet refrain has renewed our strongth and dispelled our fears. They have been, as it were, the voices of the angels of God, and when we have heard them we could hear no 'other sound, neither the growling of the lions in the path nor the curses and threatenings of the fiends from the pit. Around the hymn and the hymn tune how many associations gather from the earliest days, when, as infants, we were hushed to sleep on our mother's lap by their monotonous chant! At this moment, on the slope of the Rockies, or in the sweltering jungles of India, in crowded Australian city or secluded English hamlet, the sound of some simple hymn tune will, as by mere magic spell, call from the silent grave the shadowy forms of the unforgotten dead, and transport the listener, involuntarily, over land and sea to the scene of his childhood's years, to the village school, to the parish church. In our pilgrimage through life we discover the hymns which help. We come out of trials and temptations with hymns clinging to our memory like burrs. Some of us could almost use the hymn-book as the key to our autobiography. Hymns, like angels and other ministers of grace, often help us and disappear into the void. It is not often that the hymn of our youth is the hymn of our old age. Experience of life is the natural selector of the truly human hymnal.
SELF-EXCLUSION FROM THE SACRAMENTS OF LIFE. There is a curious and not a very creditable shrinking on the part of many to testify as to their experience in the deeper matters of the soul. It is an inverted egotism-selfishness masquerading in disguise of reluctance to speak of self. Wanderers across the wilderness of life ought not to be chary of telling their fellowtravellers where they found the green oasis, the healing spring, or the shadow of a great rock in a desert land It is not regarded as egotism when the passing steamer signals across the Atlantic wave news of her escape from perils of iceberg or fog, or welcome news of good cheer. Yet individuals shrink into themselves, repressing rigorously the fraternal instinct which bids them communicate the fruits of their experience to their fellows. Therein they deprive themselves of a share in the communion of saints, and refuse to partake with their brother of the sacramental cup of human sympathy, or to break the sacred bread of the deeper experiences..
“Hymns that have Helped Me.” What hymns have helped you? And if they have helped you, how can you better repay the debt you owe to your helper than by setting them forth, stamped with the tribute of your gratitude, to help other mortals in like straits to yourself? "I am not worthy," you say. “I am not a hero or a saint. Why should you ask me?" Heroes and saints,
alas! are few. But all of us have our moments when we are near to the mood of the hero and the saint, and it is something to know what hymns help most to take us there and keep us at that higher pitch.
A PERSONAL TESTIMONY. For my own part, I will gladly take my turn with the rest in testifying, conscious though I am that the hymn which helped me most can lay no claim to preeminent merit as poetry. It is Newton's hymn, which begins, “ Begone, unbelief.” I can remember my mother singing it when I was a tiny boy, barely able to see over the book-ledge in the minister's pew; and to this day, whenever I am in doleful dumps, and the stars in their courses appear to be fighting against me, that one doggerel verse comes back clear as a blackbird's note through the morning mist :
His love in time past
To help me quite through. The rhyme is atrocious, no doubt, the logic may or may not be rational; but the verse as it is, with all its shortcomings, has been as á lifebuoy, keeping my head above the waves when the sea raged and was tempestuous, and when all else failed. What that verse has been to me, other verses have been to other men and other women. And what I want to do in this “ Penny Hymnal” is, to collate from the multitudinous record of diversified human experience the hymns which have helped most, in order to present them with some record of how, and where, and when and whom they have helped, as a compendious collection for the use of every one.
AN APPEAL FOR CO-OPERATION. But for this I need help the voluntary co-operation of a multitude of willing workers. I want their own experience in the first place, and in the second the wellauthenticated record of how this or that hymn has helped those "whose lives sublime shed undimmed splendour over unmeasured time;" in the third place, brief note of instances in which hymns have altered human lives; and fourthly, reference to circumstances or incidents such as that of the victor psalm at Dunbar, where a hymn has figured conspicuously in some notable episode of human history.
Out of the materials thus accumulated I hope I may get together a Hymnal which, although it may not have any claim to supreme literary merit, will have a unique value as containing none but the hymns which have a well-attested value as having been the channel through which mortal man has heard the voice of God, or which have enabled him to commune with his Maker. Some day, I hope, if I may be spared, to edit a commentary on the Bible on similar principles. But for the present, I content myself with submitting this suggestion for a People's Hymnal to my readers, and soliciting their co-operation.
“POEMS TO BE LEARNT BY HEART.” It has been suggested to me by Mr. C. E. Theodosius, of the North London Collegiate School for Boys, that it might be very useful for teachers if one number of the Masterpiece Library were to be specially devoted to a collection of poems which every one ought to know by heart. I am afraid Mr. Theodosias's idea of poems which every one should commit to memory is something like Macaulay's conception of what every schoolboy knows; but the idea of compressing into a penny number the cream of the cream of English poetry, so as to render it more easily accessible for those who wish to commit it to memory, is a good one. So I asked Mr. Theodosius if he would be so kind as to draw me up his list of the poetry that should be learnt by heart, in order that I might submit it to other authorities, scholastic or otherwise. This he has done, and the following list is the result. Mr. Theodosius considered that most of the poems selected should be lyrical, and that the total number of lines should not exceed 2,500. If any one were therefore to commit to memory eight lines a day, excluding Sundays, he would in one year have enriched his mind with the most precious freight our literature can furnish. I shall be glad of suggestions as to the improvement of the list from readers interested in the subject. A SUGGESTED LIST.
No. of lines. 1. Come live with me and be my love (Marlowe.) 2. Blow, blow, thou winter wind (Shakespeare.) 20 3. Come away, come away, death (Shakespeare.) 4. Fear no more the heat o' the sun (Shakespeare.) 5. Full fathom five thy father lies (Shakespeare.) 6. Tell me where is fancy bred (Shakespeare.) 7. The quality of mercy (Shakespeare.) 8. To be, or not to be (Shakespeare.) 9. How happy is he born and taught (Wotton.) 10. Queen and huntress chaste and fair (B. Jonson.) 11. Drink to me only with thine eyes (B. Jonson ) 12. Gather ye rosebuds while ye may (Herrick.) 13. Bid me to live (Herrick.)
24 14. Tell me not, sweet, I am unkind (Lovelace.) 15. Go, lovely rose (Waller.)
20 16. L'Allégro (Milton.)
152 17. Il Penseroso (Milton)
178 18. O say what is that thing called light (Cibber.) 19. 'Twas on a lofty vase's side (Gray.)
42 20. Elegy written in a country churchyard (Gray.) 128 21. Ye distant spires, ye antique towers (Gray.) 100 22. Rule Britannia (Thomson.) 23. Toll for the brave (Cowper.) 24. If doughty deeds my lady please (Graham of
Gartmort.) 25. John Anderson (Burns.) 26. The Land o' the Leal (Lady Nairn.) 27. I am monarch of all I survey (Cow per.) 28. O Brignall banks are wild and fair (Scott.) 29, Where shall the lover rest ? (Scott.) 30. She was a phantom of delight (Wordsworth.) 31. Stern daughter of the voice of God (Wordsworth.) 56 32. Three years she grew (Wordsworth.)
42 33. Ode on Intimations of Immortality (Wordsworth.) 200 34. Coronach (Scott.) 35. She walks in beauty like the night (Byron.) 36. When we two parted (Byron.) 37, There's not a joy the world can give (Byron.) 38. The Assyrian came down (Byron.) 39. The Isles of Greece (Byron.) 40. A chieftain to the Highlands bound (Campbell.) 41. Ye mariners of England (Campbell.) 42. On Linden when the sun was low (Campbell.) 43. The Soldier's Dream (Campbell.)
24 44. In a drear-nighted December (Keats.) 45. To a Nightingale (Keats.)
No. of lines. 46. To Autumn (Keats.) 47. A wet sheet and a flowing sea (Cunningham.) 48. After Blenheim (Southey.)
66 49. Not a drum was heard (Wolfe.) 50. I remember, I remember (Hood.) 51. Oft in the stilly night (Moore.) 52. Swiftly walk over the western wave (Shelley.) 53. When the lamp is shattered (Shelley.) 54. Rarely, rarely comest thou (Shelley.) 55. To a Skylark (Shelley.) 56. To the West Wind (Shelley.) 57. Music when soft voices die (Shelley.)
Total . .. . .. .. 2,500 THE POPULARITY OF THE “PENNY POETS.”
I continue to receive most gratifying communications from all parts of the country concerning the “Penny Poets."
· The Right Rev. Primus of Scotland writes to me as follows:
I think your scheme of the Masterpiece Library a very admirable one, and have brought it under the notice both of my own Diocesan Synod and of our Education Board for Scotland, by whom it has been very favourably received..
Now I wish to bring it forward at our Representative Church Council in Edinburgh next month, and for this purpose shall be glad to have a few hundred prospectuses to distribute, and one hundred copies of No. 1 to give away.
The Bishop of Wakefield writes not less cordially. He says:
I do not think it is a rash prophecy to say that the next generation will owe you an enormous debt of gratitude for importing into their educational resources a knowledge of poetry, which except for your happy venture they would have found it difficult to acquire, and which is a refining and purifying, as well as a delightful element in all education.*
“A Girl Secretary," who does not send her name and address, writes :
I must add one more letter to the number you are sure to have received with regard to the “ Penny Poets.” I think you are a “brick!” I can't help saying it I really do. The REVIEW OF REViews alone is enough to make one enthusiastic about you, but now the publication of the “Masterpiece Library” is enough to send one about saying, “Stead for ever
—for ever, Stead.” To be able, when running for one's daily train, to rush to the bookstall, 'throw down a penny and snatch up the poet one wants without demur at price or binding is-is grand! And when one lives in a house like I do, where there are books — books, any amount "up in the library,” but inaccessible, staring at one through glass doors, locked! the owner having bought them with the other household fittings, wholesale, the necessity of their appearance being indisputable but to read ! is it wicked if one swarms the said house with the little orange-coloured pennyworths and-and glories in it? I don't think there are many of those kind of people left existing here, the species are dying out, but there are a few. So three cheers for the “Penny Poets," hoping you will never stop until you have published-in this way every thing that is worth reading under the sun..
A correspondent at Plumstead sends me a letter which may be commended to the attention of those publishers who imagine that the publication of the “ Penny Poets" will ruin the sale of the more expensive editions :
Thanks heartily for the “Penny Poets," which are a "boon and a blessing” to my home. My wife and I have enjoyed them very much, especially that of Mrs. E. B. Browning, whom we feel has a message for us, and who has become a regular member of our home. This particular number has awakened a desire in us to know more of Mrs. Browning; and it is in this particular that I think the “Penny Poets” would have
been of even greater service than they now are if they had contained a few words informing us what are the best books to continue the study, with their price, and publisher. However, they are really grand, and thanks very much. The suggestion is a good one, and I shall act upon it in future issues.
Another correspondent, in ordering a Poets' Corner box, says:
Enclosed is 5s. to pay for a bookcase for the “ Penny Poets.” My little girl has a birthday on the 23rd inst., and as she has of her own accord purchasnd all your "Penny Poets” up to date, and devoured them, I wish to give her a receptacle for them.
The Poets have not obtained the same apprecia
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 tion in Ireland as in “ the adjacent island of Great Britain.” But per contra it is from Ireland that I have received one of the most promising suggestions which have yet been made for increasing the circulation of the poets. A director of one of the most important railways in Ireland has written to me saying that the idea has occurred to him of trying an experiment in the stations on his line where there are no bookstalls. It would be necessary for him to obtain the assent of his brother directors, but if they agree what he proposes is this: Bookstalls exist at only very few of the Irish railway stations, and travellers waiting for trains are left without any literary resources at a great majority of stopping places. My correspondent proposes that we should send a certain supply of all the numbers which have been published and entrust them to the station
PENNY POETS master, who would sell them as he now sells the time tables of the local railway company. A small card would announce that the “Penny Poets” could be had from the station-master. It would entail little or no extra work on the railway officials, and would supply à means of meeting the needs of the travelling public for something to read in a simpler fashion than any that has yet been suggested. I need not say how cordially I welcome the suggestion, and should any station-master on any line where there is at present no existing agency for supplying reading matter to travellers, communicate with me, I shall be delighted to arrange with him for supplying the “ Penny Poets." The principle is a sound one, and may be adopted by others besides station-masters. I had hoped that it would have been possible to have secured the distribution of the “Poets” by the method of a penny-in-the-slot
machine, but on consultation with the engineers who make the machines, the idea was abandoned as impracticable.
I am glad to know that tho“ Penny Poets” have been received as enthusiastically in Australia as in any part of the old country. The press notices as yet come to hand are very enthusiastic.
It is always interesting to see one's self as others see us, and a writer in the Gizsgow Evening News says that I have never been a boy, that I was born an old man, bald and toothless, and therefore cannot possibly have an
opinion worth having as to boys' literature. As & further proof of my in
capacity to form an 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
intelligent judgment upon this subject, the fact that I referred to the success of the “Penny Poets" as indicating a demand for good literature at a cheap price, the writer says :
We have Mr. Stead-very, very old and Atlas-ladendelivering himself of opinions upon Boys' Books! Comically enough, he finds that the sale of two million copies of his " Penny Poets" has a bearing on the situation. Has the intelligent reader observed the butcher's apprenticeengrossed in the orange-coloured paper poets as he takes round the day's gigot to the area? Has. he seen the extracts from Milton or Wm. Morris peeping out of the jacket pockets of the tramway trace boys? L haven't. So far as I can discover, the more gorgeously bound penny dreadful still holds the field unchallenged.
Oddly enough, I had not laid the Glasgow Evening News down for three minutes before I took up a letter from a correspondent in Liverpool, which runs thus:-
A further record of social' service in Liverpool would beinadequate without mention of the progress of the “ Permy
Poets" in our midst. It is cheering to see these beneficent guides to purer tastes in reading in the hands of the artisan and the errand boy-in whose interests you brought them out—in place of a sporting paper and a flimsy sheet of wretched, socalled boys' tales. As my work takes mo a-journeying daily by road, and rail, and river, I have observed that a “ Penny Poet” is quite as indispensable a companion on a journey as a penny paper-not for Demos alone, but for all kinds and conditions of travellers. Indeed, something akin to a literary revival-an appreciation of the earlier makers of English-has occurred in the neighbourhood.
I don't for a moment profess to say that the “Penny Poets ” have solved the question of boys' literature, but I do venture to think that Scott and Macaulay, to mention no others, do supply reading which the youngest boys can appreciate. The "bald and toothless" conception of