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forty-seven “sonnets" printed on the Explain to him that it will be better other side of the world, of which this for him (and incidentally for other peois the sixty-seventh:

ple) to tear up everything he writes The sonnet's the thing to you I declare

for the space of a couple of years or so, To vehicle verse in musical air,

and he would smile scornfully, imaginTo broaden the stave, make octaves ing possibly that you were envious of count ten,

his achievement. He deflowers the When issues from brain sweet sounds

lyric, mauls the sonnet, with a light through my pen.

heart, never having known their seIf you are my muse, then music to you

cret or perceived their beauty. Through translucid air in airs which

Hardly ever does the “poet" who has are true.

thus been taken captive by the SpuriMy heart it must sing or else it will break:

ous Muse reform, or rather escape; and I'll sing to thee, love, so lovingly take here we must explain that no reference My pæons of song for love's own sweet is made in this article to the glorious sake.

company of minor poets, praiseworthy It would be easy to comment waggishly students and workers many of them, on this; but what is the state of mind whose efforts often reach the appeal of of a man who can produce over a hun- print in various journals and magadred such stanzas, many of them far zines. It is the hopelessly inglorious worse than this, imagining that they ones, ever scribbling vainly and illiterare poetry of the most notable descrip- ately, without form and void, whom we tion? What has he read, that he should have in mind just now; those who can come to this, and what vague phantas- write such fearsome lines, for instance, magoria of unapprehended beauty floats as these: before his eyes? Why should be, and

Bacchus is the God of Wine, thousands like him, rush to the pen im

Antony much wine doth love: mediately the need for expression over

Mars the God of War above, comes them; why strive to write a

Thinketh Antony a soldier fine; poem rather than to paint a picture or Minerva for Antony gives no sign. to compose a symphony? The fact is Venus with Cupid doth compact that the materials for the written word That Antony see Helen that had Troy are to hand at almost any moment, and

sacked. the average unlearned man-clever fel.

These seven lines constitute the “OClow though he may be in other than lit

tave" of something which is entitled a erary matters-somehow holds the opin. “Sonnet,” and which, to keep up the ion that although the artist and the

originality, has seven lines also in the musician have to pass through long and

"sestet." Here is a man who has evisevere periods of training before their

dently read one of the world's great works are of a worthy quality, anyone stories, who has some slight acquaintwho can hold a pen and concoct a de

ance with mythology, and yet produces cent letter is fully equipped for Par

an effect which is simply terrible. nassus by the road of poesy. Bid him

Again, let us look at the closing stanza devote a spare fortnight to the com

of a "lyric" in praise of books:position of a chant royal or a sestina;

Such sweet companionship I'll find bid him pack his too bulky muse into

In books for company, some definite form, where she may at

While loneliness within my heart least be a shapely dummy, whether she

They'll not allow to be; have the breath of life or not, and he Unless they bring a longing for would gaze at you in astonishment. The joys of which they tell,

And then life's cup may not seem

filled, Which does not seem so well.

.

There is no doubt at all as to the genuine feeling here; the tragedy only happened when the author came within reach of pen and ink. The measure is the ordinary "common metre” of the hymn-books-the measure of "While shepherds watched their flocks by night,” of the immortal "St. Agnes' Eve":Deep on the convent-roof the snows

Are sparkling to the moon:
My breath to heaven like vapor goes:

May my soul follow soon.
Make thou my spirit pure and clear

As are the frosty skies,
Or this first snowdrop of the year

That in my bosom lies. Yet what leagues of thought, what uncrossed oceans, separate the two!

Much is accounted for, perbaps, by the fact that no critics are at hand to warn the immature rhymster of the error of his ways. Most of his friends have stood round him in open-mouthed astonishment while he reads or exhibits his latest production, staggered at such evidence of genius in unexpected quarters; and when they have recovered their breath, have extolled him to the

The Academy.

uttermost extent of a limited vocabulary until he hears the wavelets of the sea of fame already lapping round his feet. They have gurgled, “It's lovely!-which is not true; they have said, "It's simply wonderful how you can do it!"—which is strictly true, though not in the sense in which the words are spoken. But in no way are such expressions of opinion judgments or criticisms of the remotest value. Nor does the broken-winged flutterer gain any knowledge when, as frequently happens (alas, how well we know it!), he submits his efforts to the chilly editorial glance; for editors have no time to criticize rejected manuscripts. Thus he goes on writing, his friends go on admiring, and occasionally the “poems" are printed-at his own expense.

There is no remedy for this; for human nature, strongly moved, is bound to express itself somehow. The blame must be laid upon those exquisite goddesses of song whose beauty first tempted others to don the mask and essay the same glorious deeds. But if, reproaching the immortal Spurious Muse for her hapless, prosaic ways, we discover in her some faint glimmer of the true poetic flame, it is matter for a notable thanksgiving.

Wilfrid L. Randell.

BOOKS AND AUTHORS.

"Much Ado About Nothing," edited now nearly one half advanced toward by Professor William W. Lawrence of completion. Columbia University and "The Tragedy of King Lear,” edited by Dr. Vir- When an insignificant-appearing but ginia C. Gildersleeve, Dean of Barnard deadly German swordsman is gratuiCollege, are the latest additions to the tously insulted in the year 1643 by a pretty Tudor Shakespeare. (The Mac- young Englishman, and the young Eng. millan Co.) Each is furnished with an lishman's little sister hotheadedly Introduction, notes, glossary and a list starts off, in a suit of her fiancé's of textual variants. The volumes in clothes, to dissuade the German from this charming edition have followed killing her brother, you have a situaeach other so rapidly that the series is tion that promises well for an adven

а

turesome and romantic novel. What Court. Frances Jennings is the beaufurther develops in the course of the tiful young heroine, in love with an unstory of “The Fighting Blade," by titled gentleman of depleted fortune, Benlah Marie Dix, is told with a spirit who, for her sake, reforms his way of and dramatic control that hold the living, and becomes an active enemy reader completely. One finds, more- of Charles. She comes to Whitehall over, not only the charm of adventure as Maid of Honor, in order to make a but firm character drawing and a vivid wealthy marriage, and save the forrealism characteristic of the author's tunes of her family. How she resists work. The book is in many respects the corruptions of the court life, is a a grimly accurate transcript of life in party to the sale of Dunkirk by King seventeenth century England, but it is Charles, and succeeds in marrying the perhaps by contrast the more joyous man of her choice, is related in the pera tale for that. Henry Holt & Co. son of her cousin, Baron Clyde. The

latter gentleman also withstands most In "Alexander's Bridge,” her first

of the contamination of court circles, novel, Willa S. Cather has given the

and marries below his station, wholly world an exceedingly finished piece of

for love. Were it not for the liveliwork, and a story which haunts the

ness of style, and a certain charm of memory. Bartley Alexander was builder of bridges and a man of power.

character drawing, the book would lack He was one of those men who are des

interest, for the loose moral standards tined to hear two distinct and separate

of the time make a setting which is

far from attractive. Macmillan Co. calls in their lives, and to be forever uncertain which of two paths they should have taken. The situation is

After many years upon the lecture

platform Garrett P. Serviss has given treated with subtlety, in a manner at the same time restrained and penetrat

to the world his experience as an aid

to beginners in that or kindred proing. The descriptions of Alexander's

fessions. He calls his book “Eloquence" home in Boston and the London of his visits remind one of fine engravings

and points out rational, clever, and

suggestive methods for securing the at. and possess a charming atmosphere. It

tention of listeners. With the "feel" is unusual to find a book with so vital

of the platform habitue for his audiand intense a theme, handled with such refinement and distinction. Strug

ence he breaks up his philosophy and

the even flow of his argument with ilgle and tragedy are always near the surface, but there is no hint of sordid

lustrations, attempting to show how to

do the trick by showing the trick at ness, and the pathos is never unre

work. His selections are a valuable strained. The story does not startle the reader into new lanes of thought,

part of the book and are admirably

chosen. but awakens him gradually to the con

The author prefers the older sciousness of a new possession. Hough- style of Webster, of Phillips, of the imton Mifflin Company.

mortal Greeks, to the familiar and

slangy speech of a modern platformCharles Major has written another speaker; but his choice of examples is historical novel, “The Touchstone of nevertheless catholic in its range. He Fortune," full of the same romantic starts with the "Instinct," which is the swing and vigor which characterized poet's, goes on to the "Preparation," his earlier work. The time of the and the "Practice,” adding a chapter of story is the reign of Charles II., and the very best illustrations obtainable. most of the scenes are at Whitehall

Ilarper & Bros.

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NINETEENTH CENTURY AND AFTER 195
NATIONAL REVIEW

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II. The Badger. By Miss Frances Pitt.
Ill. Fortuna Chance. Chapter XXVIII. R. I. P. By James Prior.
(To be continued.)

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IV. Poetry and the Modern Novel. By Compton Mackenzie.

207

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ENGLISH REVIEW 220

V. At the Salon and the Royal Academy. By H. Heathcote Statham. NINETEENTH CENTURY AND AFTER 228

VI. Sanderson's Venus. By St. John Lucas. (Concluded.)

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Chesterton.

VII. The Bewilderer.
VIII. The Shakespeare Memorial. By G. K. Chesterton.
IX. The American Political Situation:

The Real Fight in America.
The Presidential Candidates.
Party Prospects in America.

Dr. Woodrow Wilson's Task.

A PAGE OF VERSE.

X. Our Lady of Grey Days. By Rosalind Murray.
XI. The Inn of Dreams. By Olive Custance.

XII. Sheep. By W. H. Davies.

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NATION 246

ECONOMIST 248

SATURDAY REVIEW 249

. NATION 252

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194 254

BOOKS AND AUTHORS

PUBLISHED EVERY SATURDAY BY

THE LIVING AGE COMPANY,

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Sweet Laughter! Sweet Delight! My heart is like a lighted Inn that

waits Your swift approach

and at the open gates Wbite Beauty stands and listens like

a flower.

.

They sniffed, poor things, for their

green fields, They cried so loud I could not sleep: For fifty thousand shillings down I would not sail again with sheep.

W. H. Davies,

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