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Fifth Series, Volume LXXIV.
No. 2450. – June 13, 1891.
CONTENTS. I. JOHN MURRAY AND HIS FRIENDS,
London Quarterly Review,
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A CHILD'S LAUGHTER.
The loiterer there, with musing eye, receives ALL the bells of heaven may ring,
A picture sweet as cloud-land ever spread, All the birds of heaven may sing,
Or wondering boyhood, half in doubt, believes All the wells on earth may spring,
From pastoral legends of an age long dead. All the winds on earth may bring All sweet sounds together;
And should, perchance, a laden barge draw Sweeter far than all things heard,
near, Hand of harper, tone of bird,
The silent boatman stationed at the helm, Sound of woods at sundawn stirred,
The slow horse, and the gliding hull, appear Welling water's winsome word,
Part of some pageant in that fairy realm. Wind in warm wan weather.
The sun himself there sheds a chastened ray, One thing yet there is that none
The sedges whisper of enduring peace, Hearing ere its chime be done
The roving zephyr hums a drowsier lay, Knows not well the sweetest one
The woodland carols hover round, and Heard of men beneath the sun,
Hoped in heaven hereafter; Soft and strong and loud and light, Then silence, or the lull of blending songs Very sound of very light
From winds and waters, rustling leaves and Heard from morning's rosiest height,
reeds; When the soul of all delight
From sylvan minstrels, and the gentler throngs Fills a child's clear laughter.
That chant the measures of our dreams;
succeeds. Golden bells of welcome rolled Never forth such notes, nor told
Till care of earthly things, the lapse of time, Hours so blithe in tones so bold,
The very pulse of being, in suspense; As the radiant mouth of gold
The soul alone is conscious, with sublime Here that rings forth heaven.
Serenity enfolding every sense. If the golden-crested wren
Gentleman's Magazine. HENRY Rose. Were a nightingale — why, then, Something seen and heard of men Might be half as sweet as when Laughs a child of seven. A. C. SWINBURNE.
HEARD IN HEAVEN. Church Quarterly Review.
I PACED the platform — body, and mind, and
brain, Dulled by the deadly cold — what time the
train, THE CANAL.
Too tardy, came not.
'Twas a darkening noon THE smooth canal, where level meads extend, In bleak December. Low i' the east, red
Lies with the sunlight glittering on its breast; Mars So softly on their way its waters wend Rose large and lurid; and a slender moon They hardly stir the rushes from their rest.
Lay, like a finger, on the lip of Night, The towing-path, a narrow strip of grey,
'Neath the silent stars Follows one curving bank; its further bound |(Perched on a bench, with wistful face, and A hedge of tangled rose and hawthorn-spray;
white, Beyond, a sweep of undulating ground.
With limbs a-tremble, bare legs red and raw, And past the pastures, where the placid herds And hands blue-nipt) a tiny child I saw, In undisturbed contentment graze or lie,
Who, thinly clad, sat blithe, and brave, and A wood - a very paradise for birds
bright, Unfolds its fluttering pennons to the sky.
Crooning some baby lay.
What song she sang, No cumbrous locks with clamorous sluices That little maid, the while her wee voice rang near,
So shy and low, Though far away, amid surrounding green,
Whether some childish chime, Dark gates and beams loom when the day's Olden and quaint, are clear
Of fairy and fay; a snatch of nursery rhyme, Break on the charm of that enthralling Or hymn, or prayer — I knew not, nor shall
But long ago A foot-bridge high above the current flung, One spake this word: Of wood-work still unstripped of bark, and “No sparrow falls, its dying cry unheard, slight,
Though feeble and faint; Looks like a forest-branch but newly swung, And I am sure that He who hears the bird, For sylphs to watch the waters from its Heard that sweet plaint. height
From Blackwood's Magazine. verdict; literary history teems with ex. JOHN MURRAY AND HIS FRIENDS.
amples of his fallibility and his rapacity. “METHINKS,” says George Heriot to The Curlls and the Griffithses have given Sir Mungo Malagrowther, in the “ For- a character to their craft which their more tunes of Nigel,” “it were unseemly that righteous successors have with difficulty I, who have furnished half the cupboards lived down. And even such a work as lies in broad Britain, should have my own covo before us — a plain tale of honorable and ered with paltry pewter.” It would have generous dealing in literary wares · will been equally unseemly if John Murray, only go a certain length in vindicating the who had in his lifetime published so many “trade " in the auctorial imagination. excellent biographies, should have been There is a good reason for it: the number denied a good memoir to himself. The of successful authors is small, very small; career of a man whom Lord Byron had the crowd of ambitious and disappointed dubbed the “Anax of Publishers, the writers is numberless as the sands on the Apak of Stationers," and whom his fel- seashore. The former may complaisantly low-publishers hailed with acclamation as allow the publisher to be a Mæcenas ; the the “ Emperor of the West,” must neces. latter will assuredly revile him as a Shysarily form animportant chapterin literary lock. history, full of interesting recollections of The position of a publisher, while it mighty authors, and recording the inner exposes him to extravagant and unreason. history of our closest friends, the standard able expectations, also lays upon him volumes on our library shelves.
obligations from which all other classes of The history of literature from the pub. traders are happily exempt. We may dislisher's that is, from the practical - miss the idea that it is his duty to recog. point of view, has been much less illus- nize genius in the germ, and to nurse it as. trated than is advantageous. The life of in a hothouse through the bud and blosthe author is a debt claimed by the world, som until the fruit is ripe. In literature, and only too readily paid even when the as in horticulture, forcing is not always obligation is not overwhelming. Natu- attended by success. But we may justly rally in such a record the publisher, in demand that the publisher shall be able to dispensable as are his functions, does not recognize a work of genius when it is always figure in the best light. It is he brought to him, and that he shall aid the who subjects genius to base mechanical author in placing it before the public. But measurement; who keeps the key of the here comes in the publisher's difficulty. gate between it and a public eager to greet He may be quite alive to the merits and it with open arms; and who will by no worth of a work, but he is also aware means allow it to pass without taking toll that these will not appeal to public opinion of its effects. The publisher is the sharp and public taste, which make up the gauge point of contact which the author or the that he has to go by. We have a very poet first encounters in his descent from good instance of this in Murray's dealing the spiritual ether to the grosser mundane with Carlyle and “Sartor Resartus.” atmosphere. Mind is confronted with Carlyle came up from Craigenputtock matter; sordid realities are weighed with the MS. of “ Sartor Resartus," and against intellectual ideas, and the lead with a letter of introduction from Lord almost shakes the quicksilver out of the Jeffrey to Mr. Murray. Some delay ocbalance; there is a shock and a disillu- curred in examining the work, and Jeffrey sion. The publisher arrogates to himself called and induced the publisher to venthe attributes of justice, and we willingly ture upon an edition of seven hundred and concede him the bandage. We have only fifty on a “half-profits too many precedents for impugning his liberal enough offer, considering that Car
lyle was only known as the author of . A Publisher and his Friends: Memoir and Corre" Schiller "and the translator of “ Wilhelm spondence of the late John Murray. By Samuel Smiles, LL.D.
Meister," and the contributor of some
London: Murray, 1891.
review articles. But Carlyle had mean
while taken his MS. round the Row, with tensive in import. The shop he went into very indifferent success; and when Mur. was the “Ship,” opposite St. Dunstan's ray heard of other refusals, he was natu- Church; and here for twenty-five years be rally unwilling to proceed with the book carried on a solid business, publishing a upon trust. The MS. was read, evidently number of works of which scarcely the by Lockhart, whose opinion, in quasi- names linger in our literature, except irony, has been since permanently ap- Isaac D’Israeli's “Curiosities of Liter. pended to the work. “He thought itature,” Whitaker's Manchester,” Mitmight be a translation. The work dis- ford's “Greece,” and Lavater's “ Physiog played, here and there, some felicity of nomy,” his last and worst enterprise, over thought and expression, with considerable whic., he lost £3,900 for the engraving of fancy and knowledge, but whether or not the plates. He also made some essays in it would take with the public seemed periodical publication, an annual London doubtful.” It is not to be wondered at, Mercury, written mostly by himself, and under the circumstances, that Murray was the English Review, in which he bad the indisposed to give Carlyle the benefit of doubtful assistance for some time of the the doubt, and that the work had to be notorious and unfortunate Gilbert Stuart. taken back to Craigenputtock, and find its Lieutenant Murray was still a young man way to the publicin course of time through when he died, and his son, who was to the pages of Fraser." But as Dr. Smiles succeed him in the business, was only truly observes, “ Carlyle himself created fifteen at the time. the taste to appreciate • Sartor Resartus.'” Although the heir to an established Had it then been published, it would house, John Murray II. was far from findprobably have proved a blank in the litering smooth water under him when he was ary lottery ; Carlyle would perhaps have launched into business. He had a partner, been discouraged from further work in his Mr. Highley, whom he felt to be an innative vein, and Murray would most prob. cubus upon his views, and he early showed ably have lost his money. It requires the his
pness an decision by getting rid of cumulative force of Carlyle's books to en- him. His earlier letters indicate a remarkable us to appreciate them individually, able grasp of business, enterprise, deterand it is the publisher's daily experience mination, and great consistency of purpose to meet with works holding out a promise and principle, which were the dominant that is never justified.
characteristics of his successful life. He The publishing house of Murray dates had had a fair education at Dr. Burney's back to the year 1768, and its contempo- and other good private schools; and he rary head is John Murray III. of that had that discriminative literary instinct
The business began coevally with and taste which, whether the product of a great change in the profession of litera- education or a natural gift, is the note of ture, of which Johnson's indignant denun. all great publishers. His correspondence ciations of the patron, and Goldsmith's from the beginning proves how readily he vindication of the craft of letters in his had mastered his position. The author “ Enquiry into Polite Learning," were looks to his publisher for a plain, matter. certain keynotes. With this change the of-fact, sepsible opinion; he will not tol. establishment of the house of Murray was erate the language of superior criticism; coincident, and it is to its renown that it and while welcoming genuine and sponhas done much
to elevate taneous appreciation, he resents nothiog the literary calling to dignity and indepen. more than flattery from such a source. dence. In that year a Scotch lieutenant Murray understood this well, and his letof marines, thrown out of active service ters were undoubtedly as pleasant as valby the peace, and despairing of promotion, uable to the recipients. Writing to him quitted Chatham for Fleet Street and be on one occasion, Isaac D'Israeli ihus comcame a “ bookseller.” We have an affec-pliments him :tionate liking for this ancient term, for its Your letter is one of the repeated speci. more modern substitute is often not coex- mens I have seen of your happy art of giving
interest even to conimonplace correspondence; | Dr. Smiles has been able to make out in and I, who am so feelingly alive to the pains his elaborate work. and penalties of postage, must acknowledge We have now the counterpart of this that such letters, ten times repeated, would
correspondence presented to us in many please me as often.
of Murray's own letters; and while they Lord Byron's appreciation of Murray's do not present us with many fresh facts, letters had long ago made us familiar with they strongly confirm our previous opinion their merits, and in the volumes before us that it was a piece of rare good fortune for we find even fair and fashionable dames Byron to have Murray for his publisher like Lady Caroline Lamb and Mrs. Norton and literary adviser. in a letter which we hanging on his accents, or rather on his do not find quoted by Dr. Smiles, Byron pen.
mentions that he had never met but three The two great facts in John Murray's men who would have held out a finger to career, which, by their importance and him, and of these Murray was the only wide-spreading consequences, throw into one who offered it while he really wanted the shade all his other literary acts, im- it. The memoir before us renders Mur. portant as they are intrinsically when ray's good offices and Byron's gratitude viewed by themselves, were his associa- quite intelligible. tion with Byron and his publication of the The connection began with “ Childe Quarterly Review; and naturally both Harold.” Dallas, to whom Byron had these subjects occupy a large portion of presented the MS., brought it to Murray Dr. Smiles's volumes. Those who ex- after Miller had refused it on account of pected important additions to our “ By- its sceptical views and an attack on Lord roniana” will, however, feel considerable Elgin in the original. Murray consulted disappointment. We are merely again led Gifford, wliose opinion was favorable, and over the same old ground that we have six hundred guineas were given for the already traversed with Moore. This is not copyright. surprising; for the great bulk of Moore's materials, including all the letters from That Mr. Murray was quick in recognizing poet to publisher, were supplied by Mur- [says Dr. Smiles] the just value of poetical
works and the merits of Lord Byron's poem, ray, who, in a jocular balancing of accounts with Moore, credits himself with that Miller declined to publish “Childe Har
is evident from the fact that at the very time £2,000 for “contributing one-half of the
old,” he accepted a poem by Rosa Matilda work myself by Lord Byron's letters to (Temple) which Murray had refused to pubbis publisher.” It is in these letters –
lish, and that it was sold the year after as the frankest of all Byron's outpourings, waste-paper, whilst Murray jumped at the whimsical, riotous, querulous, biting, and offer of publishing Lord Byron's poem, and affectionate, a delightful medley of mixed did not hesitate to purchase the copyright for feelings — that we like to find the “ dear a large price. Mr. Murray,” who was
From the first Murray was a critic as In a d-d hurry
well as publisher of Byron's poetry; and To set up this ultimate canto;
fortified by the opinion of Gifford, against and to whose account it was laid that
which his lordship was at first disposed to For Orford and for Waldegrave
rebel, although he afterwards came to reYou gave much more than me you gave, gard Gifford as an oracle, Murray is often Which is not fairly to behave,
found applauding, deprecating, and sug. My Murray.
gesting, as the sheets passed through the Because if a live dog, 'tis said,
press. We quote at length from the first Be worth a lion fairly sped,
letter to Lord Byron given in these volA live lord should be worth two dead,
umes, as it gives the keynote to Murray's My Murray.
intercourse with his noble author, and may The Murray who is the interlocutor in the serve as an excellent sample of numerous Byron correspondence has a better charter other admirable letters which want of of immortality granted to him than even space prevents us from even referring to.