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uni- in the shape of letters, visits and public form every time I put it on," he writes to dinners, that when the new Minister was Mrs. Stoddard. During all this time, with alone at last in his stateroom, he found his indefatigable energy, he found oppor- that he had barely escaped with his life. tunity to devote himself to his novel, It was no secret that Taylor wanted the “ Hannah Thurston," and also to various appointment in order to devote himself to poetical enterprises. His “ Poet's Jour- the preparation of his “Goethe." This nal,” published while he was in Russia, being so, President Hayes's choice was the was, to his mortification, interpreted as a most frank recognition of literature as a sort of transcript of his personal experi- motive in our diplomatic service ever ences. Cassius M. Clay, who had resigned shown an out-going diplomatist. Taylor this post before Cameron's appointment, enjoyed his duties—social and diplomatic; was again selected for Russia, and Taylor three months before his death he wrote at once resigned as secretary. Intellectu- gaily to a friend : “I shall wear a stoveally, if not politically, Russia had bene- pipe hat of twice the usual size (which infited Taylor.
dicates a foreign minister), a black velvet Between this experience and the last coat, embroidered with gold, blue satin and greatest of his life, Taylor worked in- vest, lemon-tinted pantaloons, pearly-gray credibly hard, but really against wind and gloves, patent-leather boots, with gilded tide. Ill health in various forms assailed tips, and a white cravat fastened with a him at times ; in spite of his toil, the need sapphire brooch, ... but I am not of money harassed him ; and worse than proud.” In December of the same year all, the higher quality of his literary per- he died, literally of over-work, not from formance failed to remunerate him, as had any special task, but from accumulated the earlier books to which he now looked years of remunerative drudgery. The back with something stronger than mis- “ stuff of life" for which he craved was givings. Lecturing, which he had never taken from him. He lived long enough to liked, ceased to be a satisfactory means of see a copy of his greatest single poem, making up his deficits. As if in anticipa- “Prince Deu kalion.” All his life a travtion of his last visit, Taylor went in 1872 eler, his last words were, “I must be to Germany to begin his lives of Schiller away.” Taylor was of extraordinary verand Goethe. On his return he again satility, but he lacked true philosophy, plunged into lecturing, and in six months else he would have lived more peacefully cleared eleven thousand dollars, but he and wisely on the ample sums which he so was so completely weary of thus knocking easily earned. Already he has ceased to about, that after a respite of twenty years be among the lasting names of our literary from newspaper work, he went back to a history. Yet he was essentially an desk in the Tribune office. He was rapidly American man of letters. As a journalist nearing some end, yet still toiling with his he is said not to have been popular, but he superhuman, but no longer buoyant, en- held the esteem of most of his contempoergy. In 1877 he writes to Lanier as raries, and the love of such men being “weary, fagged, with sore spots un- Whittier and Longfellow. In the pubder the collar bone, and all sorts of inde- lic mind he was, when he lived, a fascinscribable symptoms." Early in the next ating and eventful figure, too full of year Bayard Taylor received the appoint present force and vitality, of too little ment of Minister to Germany. So inces- persuasive calm and strength, not to be sant and pressing were the congratulations soon forgotten.
GEORGE HENRY BOKER
There were convincing reasons why George Henry Boker was a good man to send to Turkey in 1871 and in 1875 to Russia. He had had an excellent political training, and had been a loyal supporter of the Union cause during the Civil War. His reputation as a scholar and man of cultivation was soundly established. He was, moreover, a gentleman both in appearance and in fact-uneffusive if not reserved-one of the type, in short, which we like to call American." it was no wonder that the Union League of Philadelphia, of which he was one of the earliest members, sought to pay him distinguished honor on his departure in 1871. Boker had worked unremittingly to make the influence of the Union League powerful for loyalty. To the force and insight of his annual reports while secretary, Morton sion. Prince Gortchakof's regret at his McMichael paid an extended tribute. The departure is well known. Through this desire to honor Mr. Boker led his fellow statesman Boker was enabled to checkcitizens to outdo themselves. The banquet mate Spain in the “Virginius” affair, and room was a scene of bounteous splendor even to bring about an apology from her which has probably never been equalled to the United States. Of Boker, Ignatieff in Philadelphia.” Wayne MacVeagh, his said once: “He is a man composed of predecessor, touched on “his unfailing true diplomatic stuff.” courage," while Bayard Taylor, long his Born in 1823 and a graduate of Princefriend in literary paths, spoke for his as ton, he chose without much delay the sociates in letters:
career of letters. In 1856 his dramas Who, knowing him as man and poet long, and also his poems were brought out in As man and poet claim to love him best. two volumes, which in 1869 had passed to There is no continuous account of a third edition. His renown as a dramaBoker's diplomatic services. His friend, tist was practically at its height before Charles G. Leland, speaks of the cleanli the war broke out. R. H. Stoddard has ness of his political life abroad. While called him the “creator of our poetic they were in Egypt, Leland addressed drama.” With the war began a Boker as “Your Holiness," and replied to phase of his literary life—the writing of an astonished official who questioned him patriotic songs, of a popular, inspiriting as to the title, that all Americans were and yet not sensational type. “On Board appointed on the ground of their per the Cumberland,” “ The Black Regisonal piety. The official replied that ment” and “The Ballad of New OrBoker was the first convincing instance leans” had their day of influence, and of this practice which he had met. In deserve security from oblivion by an ocRussia he made a most favorable impres- casional reprinting in our patriotic an
thologies. There was an element of delib in American politics and statesmanship; eration in Boker's thus stepping aside literature seems to have been in many from his social fastnesses to enter the.
cases a natural avenue to service abroad. lists as a writer of war songs. Someone The career of John L. Stevens was proin the Atlantic Monthly points out that gressive from the desk of a Maine newsBoker sedulously tried to show that one paper to the filling of two important might observe all social usages and yet
foreign missions. Ill health compelled devote himself earnestly to literature. him to give up his duties as a clergyHe recognized, doubtless, the old antag man and at thirty-five years of age he onism between “society" and the life of was associated with James G. Blaine in the imagination. Excellent as some of his the editing of the Kennebec Journal. work has been, especially in his sonnets, Later he became editor-in-chief, and held it is undeniable that Boker's work has not the position for many years. In 1870 he been taken with entire seriousness; the was sent as minister resident to Uruguay division of his abilities between two such and Paraguay. His political abilities were divergent exactions explains in part his of the persuasive order, and enabled him lack of a fast reputation. He was versa
to bring about peaceful relations in disaftile beyond question, even attaining to a fected portions of South America, to the high degree of skill as a mechanic. distinct advantage of American interests
His personal appearance had something in that troublous portion of the earth. to do with his successes. Early in his life One is reminded here of the earlier Willis had declared him “the handsomest yet important services rendered in Spanman in America." He was six feet in ish-American disputes by Squier and the height, and Leland calls him“ distingué," other John L. Stephens, whose valuable and, again, “the American Sidney of his lives are necessarily excluded by the time.” Modesty was characteristic of him, limitations of the present sketches. He and he never was first to allude to his remained only until 1873, though he writings. In his shyness he has been might have remained longer had he compared to Hawthorne.
chosen to do so. From 1877 to 1883 he During his missions he found little time was minister resident to Sweden and Norfor literature. In 1882, three years after way; and during this period he wrote his his return from Russia, he issued a vol History of Gustavus Adolphus." On ume of sonnets, his latest work. He had this single volume rests Mr. Stevens's in his prime, according to Stoddard, the claim to be here introduced, but it by no essentials of great ability, “ fecundity of means represents the sum of his intellecconception and rapidity of execution." tual attainments. He was a ready master As a representative American abroad he
of languages, a diligent student of literawas irreproachable, and in attainments ture, pure and applied, and left at his death and social training he has been favorably in 1895 an excellent historical library. compared with Motley. “Respectabil- The “Gustavus Adolphus” was received ity” may have proved his bane in litera with commendation, even by the Nation, ture, though it was the mainspring of his with the qualification that Mr. Stevens bad social and political life.
succeeded better as a biographer than as a
historian. It was a creditable work, and preJOHN LEAVITT STEVENS served the traditions of our representatives
who have wisely brought back from abroad Law has been the main road to success some intellectual fruit of their labors.
Six years later, in 1889, Mr. Stevens priation for the Greek legation. Wherewas sent by President Harrison to Hono upon, for almost two years General Read lulu as minister resident to the Hawaiian paid his own bills, and the doors of the Kingdom ; & year later his office was legation at Athens remained open. Public raised to the next grade in the American life was an inheritance to him, for he was diplomatic service, that of minister pleni- the great-grandson of a “Signer,” grandpotentiary. During the Hawaiian revolu son of a Pennsylvania lawyer, and the son tion of 1893 Minister Stevens established of a Chief Justice of the same State. A a protectorate over the islands, and in his graduate of Brown University in 1858, despatch to the State Department said: he became in the Civil War Adjutant-Gen“the Hawaiian pear is now fully ripe, and eral of New York. He was made in 1869 this is the golden hour for the United Consul-General for France and Algeria, States to pluck it." Secretary of State and represented during the Franco-GerFoster in part disavowed his minister's man war the consular interests of Ger
The incoming Cleveland many, yet retained and increased his administration immediately sent forth popularity in France itself. Commissioner Blount to investigate the He was early interested in historical situation. As one result of this inquiry, matters and as a young man had published Mr. Stevens was recalled and Mr. Blount a “Historical Inquiry Concerning Henry was appointed minister in his place. After Hudson.” He was connected with nuthis Mr. Stevens took little part in public merous historical bodies and was a collecaffairs, and died in 1895.
tor of documents and archives, among If he had the sense of humor which is them the letter-books of Robert Morris. promised in his shrewd, kindly face, of an His inspiration for these serious tastes unmistakable “Yankee ” type, John L. came to him as a mere boy, when he fell Stevens probably spent no uncomfortable under the fascinations of Edward Gibbon hours at the close of life, mourning over the and his immortal “ Decline and Fall." sudden ending of his Hawaiian mission. He never forgot the early passion. When
at the close of his Greek mission Read JOHN MEREDITH READ
was in Switzerland, he came upon the
veritable descendants of Gibbon's "set" It was in our annals the unique dis at Lausanne, and more than that, he distinction of General Meredith Read to covered in Gibbon's former châtean, La have gone a diplomatic mission at his own Grotte, immense treasures recalling a past charges. When he was minister to Greece, of burning interest to him. Here then he a post to which he was appointed in 1873, staid and buried himself in these mouldy he gained promptly the release of the archives. He died in 1896, and the fruit American ship“America,” and was nation of his labors appeared in two stout octavo ally thanked for it. He had the business volumes the next year under the title sagacity, during the Turko-Russian war, “Historic Studies in Vaud, Berne, and to suggest the increase of the wheat ex Savoy.” In spite of the sentimental conport of this country to Europe by the sideration which inspired it, this monutidy sum of $73,000,000 in one year. Not ment to Read's industry is not of luminous withstanding these and other activities, interest, though the style is informal and Congress, in 1878, then suffering from an written to interest more than to inform. acute attack of economy, made no appro.
THE LITERARY NEWS IN ENGLAND
\HE success of THE
our arms in South and is the work of Mr. Sidney Lee, who Africa, after many lamentable mis has been associated with the enterprise takes, has been a blessing to the book from first to last, and has been sole editor shops, which are now beginning to wake since 1891. The Prince of Wales honored up after many months of dire dullness; this great monument to our patriotic whilst the crisis in China against an enemy pride in an almost unique way by dining that is the foe of all the West, by remov with the publishers and the editorial staff ing a certain feeling of isolation which on a recent occasion in the Carlton Hotel, had come over us, is a help in the same the “smartest” restaurant in town. The direction. The publishers have started description of Smith-Elder as “a highwarily, it is true, with novels for summer class, sleepy old firm” is singularly inapconsumption and books more or less bear- propriate in view of this achievement. It ing on the crises of the day; but there was the Smiths who gave us Thackeray are signs that the worst has been passed, and Charlotte Brontë, and who started and the autumn will bring forth its due the Cornhill Magazine and the Pall Mall quota of new books.
The literature on Gazette, over the latter of which they the South African war has been immensely spent £158,000. Of recent years Mr. overdone. Much of it should never have Smith made a little fortune over a minbeen put into book form at all, for it ap eral water. By the way, it is rumored peared while the war was yet in full swing; that Mr. Astor wants to sell the Pall Mall and, even at that, it was not particularly Magazine, and Lord Frederick Hamilton well done. Probably the only two books has resigned the editorship. that will survive out of it all are Mr. Stee Among the many sadnesses of the South vens's and Mr. Winston Churchill's. African war, Miss Mary Kingsley's death
The sixty-third and last volume of the has been universally mourned, for she had “ Dictionary of National Biography” has made her mark not only as a writer, but appeared, and brings to a close for the as a good citizen. She was very popular time being one of the most remarkable among the Boer prisoners at the Cape enterprises of publishing in our annals. whom she went to nurse. Curiously' It was in 1882 that Mr. George Smith, the enough at the very time of her death a chief of Smith, Elder & Co., resolved to monument was unveiled at Wilton, Salisstart a cyclopædia of biography on an un bury, by Mr. A. J. Balfour, in memory of exampled scale. On the advice of Mr. the Earl of Pembroke, who traveled a Leslie Stephen he resolved to limit it to great deal in his early life with her father, British and Irish biography (to the exclu Dr. Kingsley, and wrote a book with him, sion of Americans even), and the first entitled “ South Sea Bubbles.” Lord volume appeared, under Mr. Stephens's Pembroke, who was very much interested editorship, on January 1, 1885. Once in the South Seas, and did not a little to every quarter since that date a volume introduce Mr. Louis Becke to English has appeared with unfailing punctuality. readers, represented the famous Herbert No fewer than 29,120 men and women family. He died five years ago, to be suchave been dealt with by 653 writers (in ceeded by his brother, the present (the 29,108 pages). The longest biography is fourteenth) Earl, whose Christian name of that devoted to Shakespeare (49 pages), Sidney recalls the fact that the second