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Mulvaney, Learoyd, and Ortheris ? Robertson was timid, artificial, and “ 'Tis immortal fame the gentleman's conventional. Mr. Kipling is dashing, going to give us," predicted the first original, and bold. Tom Robertson named, and the prophecy bids fair to seeins hopelessly out of date. Mr. Kipcome true. Since the deathless Pick- ling is essentially dans le train. But wick and his faithful band desisted he must be a rare hand indeed at the from their wanderings, no group of splitting of a hair who can detect any personages has gained so well-assured a appreciable distinction or difference footing in the affections of the public between the tone and sentiment of as these same “ soldiers three.” Men “Ours” and those of “ The Big Drunk do not love them, perhaps, for their Draf',” or “ Only & Subaltern," or own sakes. As studies of character “ The Man Who Was,” or “ His Prithey count for comparatively little. vate Honor.” They are not discriminated with any T he rough classification which, for great nicety, and the marked difference convenience sake, we have made of Mr. in their speech dispenses with all neces- Kipling's short stories is not quite ex. sity for the finer and more delicate haustive. There remain a fair number strokes of the brush. We cannot pre- which are not tales of Anglo-Indian tend to look upon Mulvaney as a Mil- society, nor tales of native life, nor yet esian Prometheus, with the vultures of tales of the British army. There are, remorse preying upon his vitals ; nor for instance, what we may call the does Learoyd seem to be distinguishable tales of physical horror. Among these in any particular from our old friend are“ Bertran and Bimi,” “A Matter the Yorkshireman of the stage. The of Fact,” and “The Mark of the claim which the trio really have upon Beast ;' and, without embarking upon our undying gratitude and regard the general question whether such arises mainly from their being the topics as they deal with fall within the mouthpiece of the author for a series legitimate sphere of art, we confess of stories which hold their own with that we could have willingly spared any in our language in point of variety, them. The stories of the supernatural, humor, spirit, and power. It is un on the other hand, like “ At the End necessary to expatiate on their merits, of the Passage,” we could spare by no though we may call attention to the possibility whatever. Finally, there is extraordinary felicity and appropriate- a small class which stands by itself in ness of their respective settings, of virtue of possessing in an especial dewhich Mulvaney and his comrades are gree the characteristic excellences of pars magna. Nor is it possible to its creator's genius. “The Finest Story arrange them in order of excellence. in the World” will always stand out as Each seems the best until the next is perhaps the most striking illustration read. We should not quarrel seriously of Mr. Kipling's versatility. The with any one who indicated a special deeper problems it suggests may be put preference for “ The Courting of Dinah on one side ; what is of real moment Shadd” and “ With the Main Guard,” is the snatches from the galley-slave's the latter being Mr. Kipling's best experience. Here are the same matchwar-piece, with the exception of “ The less power of presenting a scene and Lost Legion.” But we cannot pass suggesting an atmosphere, the same from them without congratulating the realistic commemoration of minute deBritish private upon having at last tails, the same idealistic selection of found his vates sacer, and the army the relevant and the essential, which generally upon having fallen in with a distinguished the Indian narratives, writer who has taught the least imagi. and all applied to a state of facts long native of nations what manful work its since passed away. Yet even this soldiers are doing for it. There is a miracle of invention and artifice must fine healthy ring in all Mr. Kipling's give place to “ The Man who would be utterances about her Majesty's forces. King," which we venture to consider But his inspiration was curiously antic- Mr. Kipling's chef-d'ouvre in prose. ipated by a writer who in other re- The fable makes considerable drafts on spects is his very antithesis. Tom one's credulity at the outset ; but the
drafts are instantly honored, and the crude, jerky, flippant. The straining reader, falling more and more under after smartness and sensation is too the master's spell, is whirled along tri- evident, and the flash epigram is too umphantly to the close. No time to frequent and favorite an ornament take breath or to reflect, so impetuous That these faults have been to a great and irresistible is the torrent. Those extent corrected by the maturer taste to whom emotions are as daily bread and sounder discretion of advancing will find there a truly bounteous repast. years is perfectly true. But they aro
Whether a writer of short stories can not wholly eradicated, and Mr. Kipwrite long ones and vice versâ has often ling has still to vindicate his title to be been acrimoniously debated ; but one considered as a model of English style. thing is plain, that Mr. Kipling has That he could make it good if he not yet proved the affirmative. “The pleased, we have not the least doubt. Light that Failed” and “ The Naulah- À descriptive passage like the followka" bave their moments. They are ing proves that he has little to learn :much more readable than most con- « Over our heads burned the wonderful temporary novels, and the latter is as Indian stars, which are not all pricked in thrilling as “ Treasure Island." But on one plane, but, preserving an orderly to compare them with, say, “The perspective, draw the eye through the velvet Drums of the Fore and Aft” would be
darkness of the void up to the barred doors
of heaven itself. The earth was a gray ridiculous. Perhaps one reason of
shadow, more unreal than the sky. We their failure is the thoroughly uninter
could hear her breathing lightly in the esting character of the hero and pauses between the howling of the jackals, heroine. Who cares much for Dick the movement of the wind in the tamarand Maisie ? Who for Nicholas Tar
isks, and the fitful mutter of musketry
fire, leagues away to the left. A native vin and Kate Sheriff? Better by far
woman from some unseen hut began to the society of Mowgli and the wolves sing, the mail-train thundered past on its than whom indeed more agreeable com way to Delhi, and a roosting crow cawed pany is not to be found without much drowsily. Then there was a belt-loosening seeking. None of Mr. Kipling's works
silence about the fires, and the even breathhave the same graciousness and charm
ing of the crowded earth took up the story." as “ The Jungle Books," none are so There is no doubt about that as a wise, so considerate, so kindly. If, piece of English ; but the great bulk before trying them yourself, you follow of Mr. Kipling's most vigorous and the old maxim and “try them on the successful prose-work is not in ordinary dog," the result is certain to be satis- English but in dialect. It is in the factory. Children adore them, and lingo of the Cockney, the Irishman, or add the animals to that menagerie the Yorkshireman; or it is in a tongue which Robin, Dickie, Flapsy, and specially invented for the use of birds Pecksy used to adorn. And if, forti- and beasts ; or it is in a language defied by the success of your experiment, signed to reproduce the characteristic you try them on yourself, you will nuances of oriental thought and feelthenceforth use no others. The reader ing. It is through such a medium that will perhaps forgive an uncontrollable Mr. Kipling's genius seems to find its lapse into the dignified phraseology of most ample and fitting expression ; and latter-day criticism.
perhaps it is on that account that his The peculiar attraction of Mr. Kip- long stories are disappointing. They ling's prose work lies much less in any are necessarily in more or less literary solicitude for style than in his unique English, for dialect cannot be mainfertility of imagination. IIe need tained beyond a certain length of time never beat about the bush, for it dis- without fatiguing the reader. gorges a hare every two minutes ; nor That Mr. Kipling has performed has he time to be fastidious in his prodigies of ingenuity, and of more than choice of words. In some of his ingenuity, with dialect in verse as well earlier pieces his manner is almost as in prose, is no more than the truth. vicious. It is like “ the picture-writ. He has indeed accomplished what, pering of a half.civilized people," to bor. haps, was never achieved before. IIe row an apt metaphor of his own,- has selected a patois the associations of which were wholly mean, common- bleness of wit or mechanical dexterity, place, ludicrous, and degrading, and His highest flights are high indeed, has made it the vehicle of poetry char- and it is true of his best work, as of all acterized by qualities the very reverse the world's greatest poetry, that it can of these. But his verse, whether in be read and re-read without losing its plain English or in dialect, is superior freshness. New beauties are ever to to his prose in plain English, because be discovered, and the old ones shine poetry is more exacting than prose. It with brighter lustre. His record as a is the paradox of poetry that it permits poet is one of steady and rapid progress. no synonyms. The poet is in perpetual His very earliest efforts are perhaps quest of the one inevitable word, and scarcely superior to the best verse in only the true poet can find it. Now “Punch," when the letterpress of that in Mr. Kipling's poetry the right word journal was worth reading. Among emerges at the right moment, and no all the “ Departmental Ditties" there one can doubt that it is the right word. is but one—“ Possibilities'' - whose “ So it's knock out your pipes an’ follow original flavor and half-pathetic, halfme!
cynical humor indicates something An' it's finish off your swipes an' follow transcending extreme cleverness. “The me!
Ballad of East and West " was the first Oh, 'ark to the fifes a-cravolin'!
plain manifestation of genius ; while Follow me-follow me 'ome!”
in his subsequent volumes—in the Does not the word we have italicized - Barrack-room Ballads” and in “The almost make one catch one's breath by Seven Seas"- there are poems whose its startling appropriateness? But we authorship not even the greatest of must not begin to quote, or this article England's singers need be eager to diswould never end.
avow. “ The Flag of England,” “A The technical difficulties of poetry Song of the English," * The Last have no terrors for Mr. Kipling. * Chantey,” “M’Andrew's Hymn,”His command of rhythm and metre is these are strains that dwell in the absolute. No measure is too intricate memory and stir the blood. They have for him to master, and some of the a richness and fulness of note very difpleasure with which his verse is read is ferent from the shrill and reedy utterdue to the apparent facility with which ance of many who have attempted to he handles a complicated scheme of tune their pipe to the pitch of courage versification. We think we can detect and of patriotism. Yet even they sink that Mr. Swinburne engaged some por- into comparative insignificance beside tion of Mr. Kipling's youth ; but the that “ Recessional ” which fifteen influence of that master is not obtru- months ago took England by storm, sive in his later productions. For pure and which seemed to concentrate in itpoetical prestidigitation we never read self the glowing patriotism of a Shakeanything to compare with the stan za speare, the solemn piety of a Milton, prefixed to chapter vii. of “ The Nau- and the measured stateliness of a Dry. lahka.”+ Even Mr. Gilbert, in the den. For sheer ingenuity and lighthappiest hours of his plenary Aristo- ness of touch, indeed, “ The Song of phanic inspiration, never equalled that the Banjo" cannot be matched. (Why, But luckily there is infinitely more in by the bye, has the fate of “the Mr. Kipling's poetry than mere nim- younger son” such a fascination for
Mr. Kipling's muse?) But we are not * It is the more provoking that he fre- prepared to put it in the same rank as quently indulges in Cockney rhymes, such
The best of the “ Barrack-room Balas abroad and Lord. The final verse of " The Last Chantey” is disgraced by a
lads,” though what the best are we false assonance of this sort, and so is the shall not be rash enough to say. Let closing couplet of “ W'Andrew's Hymn," the reader make his own selection. where, of course, it is peculiarly out of place.
To frame a concise yet exhaustive † It is interesting to note that Mr. Kipling has scattered some of his best poetry
judgment upon Mr. Kipling is imposamong his prose with a prodigality that re
sible, so various are his gifts, so rich minds one of Sir Walter Scott.
his endowment. A glowing imagina
tion, an inexhaustible invention, a pro- course of providence we should be found knowledge of the human heart spared to survey Mr. Kipling's work —these are three of his choicest posses- thirty years hence, we make no doubt sions. Yet how inadequately does so that much of priceless value will have bald a statement sum up the rich pro- been added to its tale. For the confusion of his talents ! How beggarly stant burden of his song teaches the and feeble seem the resources of lan- lesson which it most behoves the guage to do justice to his great achieve younger generation to learn. “ Law, ments ! It is good to think that in all Orrder, Duty, an' Restraint, Obedihuman probability he will be long with ence, Discipline !" — these are the us to continue his work and to enhance foundations of a prosperous State. his fame. There will never be want The Laws of the Jungle are the Laws ing persons to dissuade from patriotism, of the Universe, and we shall be forand to point out how expensive the tunate indeed if, when times of stress exercise of that virtue is apt to be. It and peril arrive, we have realized what is well for us that a great writer should our fathers learned in sorrow and tribube in our midst strengthening the weak lation and what their sons are too hands and confirming the feeble knees. prone to forget, Much as he has accomplished in the “But the bead and the hoof of the Law past, there remains much for him to And the haunch and the hump is-Obey!'' accomplish in the future, and if in the
- Blackwood's Magazine.
GREAT MEN: THEIR SIMPLICITY AND IGNORANCE.
BY MICHAEL MACDONAGH.
The study of the characteristics of begged him, with tears in his eyes, to notable personages, past and present, take him back, at reduced wages or yields nothing more surprising-cer- none at all. Lord Seaford asked, tainly nothing more humorous—than “ Has the Duke been finding fau experiences of how frequently simplic “Oh, no-he is the kindest and most ity is closely allied to genius, and how liberal of masters ; but I serve him a often ignorance of the commonest dinner that would have made Ude or things goes hand-in-hand with pro- Francatelli burst with envy, and he found learning. The Duke of Well- say nothing! I go out and leave him ington was largely endowed with that to dine on a dinner badly dressed by modesty or simplicity which makes a my cook maid, and he say nothing. great man almost unconscious of his Dat hurt my feelings, my lord !” greatness. He met a lady friend who There is a story also told of Mr. was going to see a model of the battle Gladstone which would show that the of Waterloo, and remarked to her. true meaning of the old saying " Do “Ah, you're going to see Waterloo ! not inix your drinks" was unknown to It's a very good model ; I was at the the great statesman. It is said to have battle, you know.” Surveying a field been his habit to let the wines which of battle, he could detect almost at a were served in the course of dinner glance the weak points in the disposi- mobilize at his elbow, and during a tion of the contending forces, but he pause in the conversation seize the could never tell whether his dinner was glass that happened to be nearest. On cooked well or ill. A first-rate chef one occasion Mr. Gladstone, who had was in the employment of Lord Sea- refreshed himself as usual in this hapford, who, not being able to afford to hazard way, inveighed against the keep the man, prevailed on the Duke practice of mixing wines. It was reof Wellington to engage him. Shortly spectfully pointed out to him that he after entering the Duke's service the had been guilty of this very act; but chef returned to his former master and he explained, to his own satisfaction,
that to mix wines was to fill up half a take some measures that would put an end glass of champagne from the port de to the work, as I don't think there is 2 canter !
Catholics in Ireland that are not Ribbon
men.' “ Heckling," or the cross-examina
“Mr. Hobhouse writes with this to Mr. tion of candidates for Parliamentary Gregory: honors, is a favorite pastime in Scot "I am directed by Lord Sidmouth to land during election contests. Mr. transmit to you the enclosed copy of a let. John Morley was asked at one of his
ter from a person giving information of
an intended rising of the Ribbon Weavers meetings during his wooing of the con
near Ballycastle, and who, he states, hold stituency of Montrose, “ Are you in nightly meetings on the Hills, and I am favor of the abolition of cess and to desire that you will submit the same for stent ?' He elevated his eyebrows, the information of the Lord Lieutenant.' looked perplexed for a moment, and
“Mr. Gregory sends the letters to Mr.
Peel, and says: then came out, amid general laughter,
"Pray read these letters, and explain to with the whimsical confession, “Really, Mr. Hobhouse that Ribbon Work in Ireland gentlemen, I don't know whether I am is a very different manufacture from weavor not.” A few moments later the ing of Ribbons in England.'” right hon. gentleman had to make the ITere is another instance, also from dire admission that he did not know Ireland, of official betrayal of colossal the difference between white and yellow ignorance. In October, 1845, when trout. The meeting was rather pained.
the country was getting alarmed about Another well-known M.P., addressing
the failure of the potato crop—which a political meeting some time ago, ultimately led to the awful famine of hoping thereby to create a little enthu- 1847—Sir Robert Peel, the Prime Minsiasm among the working men, ex- ister, wrote to Lord Heytesbury, the claimed, “ When the polling-day comes, Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, a letter on you good fellows must stick to me like the situation, which he thus concluded : bricks !” A hardy son of toil, who " At what period will the pressure be knew from experience that bricks had felt? Will it be immediate if the re
. adhesive property, rose in the ports of the full extent of the evil are middle of the hall and said, “ You
confirmed, or is there a stock of old mean like mortar, don't you, sir ?".
potatoes sufficient to last for a certain Roars of laughter greeted this correc- time?” The Viceroy replied that he tion of the ignorance of the candidate.
was assured “there is no stock whatThe following amusing extract from ever of last year's potatoes in the coun. the lately published work, “Mr. Greg
try.” So little did the Prime Minister ory's Letter Box” - which contains of England (who had been Chief Secrethe correspondence of a gentleman who
a gentleman who tary for Ireland) and the Lord-Lieuwas for many years Under-Secretary tenant of Ireland know of the nature for Ireland-shows that the Ministers and cultivation of the potato-upon responsible for the good government of which, at the time, the lives of milIreland early in the century were so lions of the Irish people dependedignorant of the social condition of the
that they imagined it was possible to country that they confounded the Rib
keep them in stock for years, like bon Society—a widespread agrarian conspiracy-with the weavers of ribbon Absent-mindedness also seems to be a in England :
common failing among great men. An "An amateur and somewhat officious in- amusing story is told of the late Louis former writes to Lord Sidmouth, the Home Pasteur, who so distinguished himself Secretary, February 19, 1818:
by his discoveries in regard to bacteria. “'I am an inhabitant of Ballycastle,
While dining at his son-in-law's one where there is a great deal of Ribbon world carrying on; there is not a night but they
evening, it was noticed that he dipped are met on the hills; and, as a good and his cherries in his glass of water, and loyal subject of His Majesty, I warn you then carefully wiped them before eatthat if some measures don't take place soon
ing them. As this caused some amuseso as to quell them, I am afraid they'll mur
ment, he held forth at length on the der us all in a short time. They are talking a great deal about rising all through Ire dangers of the microbes with which the land before Easter, so would advise you to cherries were covered. Then he leaned