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essence, sounding their depths with
From The Speaker. ease; or, to change the illustration, he
OLD FICTION. seized the kernel, and let the shell and
No disputes or altercations are more its fragments alone. There was
foolish and vexatious than those about wonderful simplicity allied to his clear
books and styles and methods, literary vision and his strength. He was more
fashions, old and new. The ancients child-like than the majority of his con
and the moderns, the classical and the temporaries; and, along with this, romantic, the realistic and the fanciful there was-what I have already men
-about these let professors rage in tioned—a great reserve of power.. His
their lecture rooms. Your wise reader appreciation of other workers belong- is a non-combatant; he will enter no ing to his time was remarkable. lists, flourish no flag, call no man his Neither he nor Browning disparaged master. His only enemies are vulgartheir contemporaries, as Carlyle so ity, blatant rhetoric, sham sentiment, often did, when he spotted their weak- the vanity that protrudes itself withnesses, and put them in the pillory. out amusing, and the egotism that From first to last, Tennyson seemed to crows without pleasing. These things look sympathetically on all good work; he would gladly kill if he could; but and he had a special veneration for the knowing he cannot, he is content to strong silent thinkers and workers. leave them to the contempt and neglect He was an idealist at heart. Under- which ultimately await them. All is neath the realism of his nature, this fish that comes to the wise reader's other feature rose above it.
net, provided it is edible, and if it is not so much of a Platonist as a Berke- not he pitches it overboard; for, after leyan, but faith in the great Kantian all, the reader is the judge. One grows triad (God, Duty, Immortality) domi- just a little sick of talk about authors, nated his life_God being to him both their works and ways. They are bepersonal and impersonal, duty being ginning to magnify their office merci. continuous unselfish devotion to the lessly. They are assuming pontifical good of all, and immortality the sur- airs, and speak gracious words. They vival not only of the race, but of all the seem half to expect that you should units in it. If in "In Memoriam” the rise when they enter the room. And "wild unrest,” as well as the “honest yet they only exist to please us, to doubt” of our nineteenth century is tickle our fancies, to while away our embodied, a partial solution of the leisure; and for these purposes the great enigma is, at the same time, of dead author may equally serve fered; and while the intellectual form turn with the living ones. of his theism found expression in such equally, for I hate the affectation that lines as
pretends that no book is worth read
ing unless it is a hundred years old. He, they, one, all, within, without, The Power in darkness which we guess,
And so, too, to try to make out, as
some do, that they have no time to its practical outcome was the attitude read “Robert Elsmere” because “Trisof trust and worship.
tram Shandy" is so fascinating is all Tennyson appreciated the work of
affectation. Anybody, however busy, Darwin and of Spencer far more than
who has really formed the habit of Carlyle did, and many of the ideas and reading can easily read, or try to read, conclusions of modern science are to all the novels likely to come his way. be found in his poetry. Nevertheless
Nobody's life is more choked with dehe knew the limitations of science, and tail than a bishop's, and get all the he held that it was the noble office of
more intelligent bishops great poetry, philosophy, and religion
novel-readers, and this because they bined to supplement and finally to
A great, a very transcend it.
great, number of persons have never WILLIAN KNIGHT. formed the habit of reading. They
can read if put to it, but they would orator can really move a popular asnever do it for the mere fun of the sembly unless he lets them see his thing. They have other pastimes. The boots. He must not sneak into a pulplace of books in the providential order pit, or cower behind a reading-desk, or of the world has been grossly exagger- mix himself up with a table-cloth, but ated by book-makers. Look out at boldly come out on to the open platlarge upon the whole world, pry into form and let the people see him, from men's lives, examine their banker's the crown of his head to the sole of his pass-book, travel in our self-governing feet. Now it is very difficult to see the colonies, talk to your next-door neigh- boots of an Elizabethan. There is albor, go to the oval, pay gate-money at ways something a little puzzling in the a football match, and you will have no point of view of an old writer that puts mind to manuder about books, their you off. Tennyson would have been ministry,
and their mission. But very angry if anybody had told him though exaggeration and exaltation outright that he was a greater poet should be avoided, books, none the less than Milton, and yet many a sorrowful do play a part, though not the leading heart has found a pleasure in reading part, in the human comedy. There are “In Memoriam" which “Lycidas” many who, having formed this reading could never have given them. Shakehabit, are seldom less unhappy than speare is supreme for his poetry, his when they have settled themselves in passion, and his worldly wisdom, but their chairs with a real live book in it will hardly be pretended that his their hands; and, provided the book be method of characterization satisfies alive, it does not matter a tinker's the year 1897. Ibsen is more interestcurse though the author be dead. ing to the man of the hour.
Where the living author most feels Turning particularly to the old novthe competition with his dead brother els, what do we find? First this—that is that the dead authors have all they are nearly all dead. To say that undergone, or are quickly undergoing, nobody reads them all would be danthe painful process of being “weeded gerous; for there is always somebody out," whereas the living authors (God in some odd corner of the world readbless them!) are all alive together, bob- ing, or pretending to read, everything. bing and smiling, the good and the bad, I do not believe any book is ever absothose destined to live and those fore- lutely forgotten. There is still a sale doomed to die there they all are, for these old things. People buy them flaunting their vanities, vending their out of the catalogues, where they crop wares; in short, living authors from up under the title "Old Novels"-forwhom you must pick and choose. Con lorn creatures with sentimental titles, sequently, whilst it seldom happens to in odorous calf. They still beckon one a “general” reader to read a bad read with a withered finger to come and author, he must frequently read a bad share their solitude and make love to living one; and he thus learns to asso- them after the fashions of 1750.
But ciate grip and style and humor, and it cannot be done, and when they tum. all the unspeakable delights of litera- bie out of their parcel you speedily ture, with the past, and is apt hastily perceive you have bought so much to assume that no one is fit to compare lumber. To draw up a list of eighwith the dead but sceptred sovereigns teenth-century novelists that are still who rule us from their urns. This is alive would be to invite censure. uut, a terribly unfair test to which to sub- roughly speaking, when you have mit the living author. On the other named Defoe, Richardson, Fielding, hand, to be alive counts for something. Smollet, Sterne, Goldsmith and Let us never forget that. Nor do the Madame D'Arblay, you cannot be very dead have it all their own way. It is severely handled. If you are fond of an advantage to be near your audience. classification, you might make another I orce heard John Bright say that no list and include Mrs. Charlotte Lennox, Mrs. Frances Sheridan, Mrs. Clara have we to nang beside it? Of all Reeve, Mrs. Ann Radcliffe, Godwin, George Eliot's novels, “Middlemarch,” whose novel “Caleb Williams” ap- perhaps, has the best life. There is peared in 1794, and-well, others could room to turn round in it. It has homes be added, but it would be an empty pa- and houses, parsons and doctors, aucrade, anu I might be tempted to name tioneers and veterinary surgeonsauthors whose works I had never so there is a certain movement and much as held in my } înds. If you are bustle, the stir of existence—the hum a great reader of book catalogues, it is of life. Lord Lytton essayed the same hard to distinguish between the books high thing in “My Novel,” but I fear you have read and the books you have he failed. Smollett is an author one not.
fain would love, but he has almost How do the great names compare made it impossible. People who can with the novelists of the last few dec. really enjoy “Peregrine Pickle” will ades? There is “Tom Jones;" shall we never need their fingers to hold their compare
him with Mrs. Gaskell's noses. But if you compare him with “Ruth”? What a gulf between them! Captain Marryat, you see at once what The truculence of Thomas, his frank, a big man he was. And what a writer four-footed indecency, the simple char- of verse! As for Sterne, simply to acterization of Squire Western and think of “Tristram Shandy" is to be Blifil, the transcendent charms of So full of laughter and golden-eyed dephia, who, knowing-no one better, lights. It does for humor what Pickthe beastliness of man, finds her hap- wick does for fun. These two books piness and her religion in forgiving are the most laughter-provoking in the him and throwing her snowy arms library. But from all imitations of round his bull-neck. What a tale it is! Sterne may Heaven deliver us! But What movement, what spirit, what Heaven, I am afraid, is not a holder of noise! How all these contrast with Sterne stock, yet one would not willMrs. Gaskell's pretty, timorous, dress- ingly address a prayer elsewhere. With maker's apprentice, her sorrows and the “Vicar of Wakefield” no one will her fall. Tom Jones-honest Thomas! pick a quarrel, and in these days of —would have seduced fifty Ruths in women novelists who can grudge little half the time and without any of the Miss Burney her fast-fading laurels. fuss. “Tom Jones” is often called a Of Defoe there is no time to speak. healthy book; if it is, it is the health of The modern novelist cannot fairly the body, not the soul. Mrs. Gaskell complain of having unduly to compete was a great writer, and in all her with the dead. The annual output of books we see the spirit of her time. novels is about half as great as the The great pieces of Richardson-his whole number of novels by dead men “Clarissa,” his “Grandison"--are them- which are still largely read. Nor is it selves as much a contrast to Fielding customary to thrust the merits of the as any modern can be. Richardson is dead novelist offensively into the faces unsurpassable. His touch is certain, of the living. The great Sir Walter though his thumb is coarse. He is the knew no jealousy whilst alive, nor has most courageous novelist that ever his posthumous reputation been used lived in England. His great length is, as a stick for chastisement. Indeed, I no doubt, a barrier in his path, but doubt whether full justice has ever been were I asked to name the one English done in print to the dozen great novels novel I would back against all time as of Sir Walter Scott. Ruskin has once the one most likely to maintain its rep- or twice begun to do it, Mr. Gladstone utation and secure a constant supply has had his say about it; but criticism of readers—though not necessarily a has, for the most part, been content great number at any particular mo- with generalities, and to write of the ment, I should unhesitatingly name “Waverley Novels” very much “Clarissa.” What other large canvass penny-a-liner on a newspaper will de.
scribe a new hotel furnished from top curacy of his statements, neither of to bottom by Messrs. Maple, of the these gentlemen knows the materials Tottenham Court Road. There is no employed to produce the effects that feud between the old fiction and the have been shown. Mankind will always love a
In briefly dealing with this subject I good story well told. It will never
am bound to give a few words to its quarrel with a Tolstoi or neglect a Wil- earlier history, but will confine my surkie Collins; it can read both "Emma” vey entirely to the direct or purely and the “Massarenes,” though no doubt photographic methods. The indirect or it will go on reading "Emma” after it three-color method, by analysis and sub
sequent synthesis of the light-color has forgotten the “Massarenes." Cocky is good—very good—but he (per effects, is well known as a practical and
commercial success. The earliest rehaps) is not good enough to live; that
corded observations of photography in was his own opinion, and it is mine.
natural colors are of much earlier date But, for all that, he is good-very good than the invention of photography it-and if people are found reading the self, for while the Daguerreotype was “Massarenes” a hundred years hence, not announced until 1839, the principle if I can then be pleased I will be.
of direct color photography was made There is no room in the republic of public by Scheele and Senebier (1777-letters for “chuckers-out.” Old Father 1782). Time is the only "chucker-out" allowed These workers discovered that chloupon the premises. No other is needed. ride of silver deposited on a smooth surHe has a ruthless besom; but till he face was darkened by the action of spies us out and sweeps us away as light; but they also went much further, does an angry housemaid a cobweb, let and found that if the light-colored us chirp merrily over our cups and give chloride were exposed to a spectrum of everybody his chance of winning the white light the coloring of the silver favors of that good-natured idiot—the salt bore considerable resemblance to reading public.
the colors of the spectrum by which it AUGUSTINE BIRRELL.
was produced. From that day to this the selective coloring of silver chloride has been the basis of many attempts to perfect photography in natural colors.
Seebeck, of Jena, brought the subject
From Knowledge. prominently before the public in 1810; PHOTOGRAPHY IN NATURAL COLORS. while Ritter, Wollaston, (Sir) Humphry
Like the cry of "Wolf! wolf!" raised Davy, and Thomas Wedgwood, all by the thoughtless shepherd, the an- worked upon and reported their experinouncement that "photography in ments in 1801–2. The four last named natural colors” is at last discovered has applied their energies mainly, if not enbeen so often made that all men who tirely, to the darkening effect, without know aught of photography are apt to regard to color; but the difficulties were shake their heads in graver doubt when the same in regard to both branches of each new claimant comes. Like "psy- the subject, and the main difference is chic” photography, the photography of that although the fundamental difficolor has been so largely the subject of culty of "fixing" the image has been fraud and misrepresentation that even overcome in ordinary photography, it an honest worker must expect to be met has remained insurmountable in the with scepticism-especially when he color work. When once it had been makes a mystery of his methods, and found that silver chloride was changed talk of largely capitalized syndicates is from (practically) white to (practically) in the air. This is the case with the black by the action of light, it was a latest discoverers; and though one of simple matter to see that by shielding a them has succeeded in inducing Sir portion of the surface behind a stencil, Henry Trueman Wood and Captain a silhouette portrait, or a fern-leaf, a Abney to vouch for the apparent ac- picture of the shield in white upon
black, would be obtained. Working jects-brightly dressed dolls, etc. This with leaves, it would soon be apparent worker is said to have rendered some of that great delicacy and gradation of the his "heliochromes" permanent, but I darkening effect was obtainable, for can find no trace of his having claimed Wuile the ribs and veins of the leaf so much; no permanent works are would be represented by white, its thin- known to exist, and it is known that ner parts were distinctly but faintly many of his pictures were very fleeting. tinted. Here was the germ of a very Poitevin, in 1868, stated that the colored beautiful decorative art, even before the image could be "fixed” by means of sulcamera method was suggested; but the phuric acid; and I believe he gave to the difficulty remained that if the picture late J. Traill Taylor certain of these colwere examined or exposed in daylight ored pictures, which, “kept in a drawer the fainter portions at once began to be without any special precautions,” retinted, until gradually the whole sheet tained their colors for (at least) several became one color, and the picture was years. But Mr. Taylor found it imposlost. For a long time no method of pre- sible to fix similar impressions by any venting this was discovered, but event application of sulphuric acid that he ually a solvent was found which would could make, and I believe that all other attack and dissolve the silver chloride, experimenters have been equally unsucbut which would not affect the salt in cessful. the dark state to which it was reduced In March, 1890, Franz Veresc, of by the light's action. Hence, after Klausenberg, exhibited at the Photoprinting under a leaf, the uncolored graphic Institute, Vienna, results on silver chloride could be dissolved out both glass and paper, which and the picture remained as a perma- highly praised at the time, and believed nent silhouette.
to be of great promise. The newsIt might seem as if this method ought papers of the whole world rang with his to apply to the colored as fully as to the fame, but nothing further has been monochrome image, but this is not heard on the subject. found possible in practice. In one case The next important announcement, there is a definite chemical change, re- and one that has been fully justified, ducing the silver from the chloride to was made in June, 1891, when Alphonse the metallic state. In the other there is Berget published, "Photographie des a change too subtle for our present Couleurs par la Méthode interférentielle chemical and physical knowledge, so de M. Lippmann.” A preliminary anthat we cannot expect success by this nouncement had been made in March method until science has progressed of the same year by M. Lippmann himconsiderably. By far the most exhaus- self. The process is totally different, in tive scientific work upon the photo-sen- theory nd in practice, from all others, sitive salts of silver, especially upon and from the scientific point of view is their colors, is that carried on by the perfect. It has, however, certain serilate M. Carey Lea, who saw no prospect ous practical disadvantages, which I of success as a result.
shall shortly mention. The method is To return to the earlier days: Sir John based on the “interference" of light Herschel made reports upon his work waves, and depends upon the idea that in 1819, and in 1841 he expressed if light waves are reflected back along before the British Association the their original path in such a way that opinion that his experiments might they twice pass through a sensitive film, lead to the production of naturally the silver will be deposited in lamina colored photograms. Robert Hunt, in the thickness of the film; the distance working from 1840-43, published between the laminæ being governed by his results in 1844, under the title of the wave-length of the light. Thus, “Researches on Light.”. In 1848, Ed- every portion of the film has an arrangemond Becquerel produced some exceed- ment of its silver particles in definitely ingly sensitive silver surfaces, on which placed strata, and forms, after develophe made pictures in color, not only of ment and fixation, a light-filter allowing the spectrum, but also of natural ob- only light of the same wave-length