Графични страници
PDF файл

for everything, it might be possible to adopted. How could you fairly compare determine that a perfect lobster patty the relative beauties of two glacier-views, should gain the same number of marks without deducting marks for the ugly desamong dishes which “ Peter Plymley's olation of moraine and mud in any glacier Letters " should receive in the rank of landscape in which the moraine was a conpolitical literature, or the late Henry spicuous feature? How could you esti. Drummond among successful members mate the beauty of a Surrey heath, withof the House of Commons, or “ Mrs. Lir- (out taking off a great deal for such a blot riper's Lodgings” amongst Charles Dick-upon it as a brick-field, with all its clay ens's works. Perhaps the information and hideous monotony of dull cubes? thus conveyed might not be very definite, How could you give marks to an English but then, as a very excellent examiner village, without large deductions for obsaid the other day in a learned body, trusive pigstyes and advertising-boards * Whenever I commit myself to a given covered with notices of all the papers number of marks as the exact equivalent that have the “largest circulation in the of any candidate's merit, I always feel I world," and all the four-post bedsteads am telling lies ;” and if it is useful to which are “sent free by post." No commit yourself to a misleading scale of doubt Mr. Boyce, who has an eccentric appreciation in judging of definite answers taste in pictorial art, is apt to introduce to questions, it may be useful to gener-ground" to let on building leases," with alize the information so gained, and com- all its litter, into his clever pictures, but pare the place at which one candidate we think he must have some notion that stands in one table of relative merit with painting should not deal by preference that at which another stands in a quite with the beautiful, but rather with the different table of relative merit.

imitable, and these things are certainly No doubt, in carrying out minutely in very easily imitable on canvas. Again, if practical life this fanciful mark system, ever marks should be applied, as they may the doubts which have already often oc- one day be, in case our examining tourists curred to puzzled examiners would repeat follow up their own precedent, by young themselves. For instance, examiners men to the qualities of young ladies, or have contended, we think justly, that it vice versâ, with the view of selecting as a would be only right to give negative partner for life the candidate who gains the marks for answers which not only show largest number of marks in a competitive ignorance, but betray so false a concep- examination for general companionability, tion of principles, that even the questions it will certainly be necessary to strike off answered rightly must be right more by marks very freely for what may be called accident than through any intelligentnegative qualities. If a thousand marks comprehension of the subject. Such a were the maximum that could be gained, principle, we think, should certainly be age, of course, being previously deterimported into the Cookery examination mined, a sagacious examiner would probat South Kensington. If any one there ably allow 100 marks for beauty, 50 for replied that a mutton-chop should be fried, elegance in dress, 400 for character the candidate making so radical a mistakes including sweetness of temper — 300 for of principle should not only gain no marks, activity of sympathy with the tastes and but should have, say fifty, deducted from pursuits of others, and 150 for a general any he or she might otherwise gain. Of margin of unenumerated graces. But what account would it be that he or she then, of course, under all these heads, it could write out a description of the would be necessary to have the right of proper way of making short-crust, or of making large positive deductions. If a serving up a dish of grilled mushrooms, 1 girl were not only plain, but vacant-faced, if, in the elementary fact of all cooking, and yet had the languishing airs of a the use and abuse of the frying-pan, gross particular class of beauties, it would be. ignorance were shown ? So, too, if any come necessary to make large positive candidate declared that in order to make deductions, both under some subordinate good tea, the tea should be allowed to division, such as “ Sincerity," of the head * brew" for five or ten minutes, there of “ Character," and also under the head should be no mercy shown to one so I of “ Beauty," on the distinct ground that grossly ignorant of the first great princi- such a characteristic both grievously ple of tea. Again, in the vacation rambles enhances every fault of feature and carof the enthusiasts för marks to whom we riage, and also gives an air of pinchbeck have referred, we have no doubt that a and falsehood to the character itself. corresponding principle must have been'So, too, if she not only did not dress well, but insisted on wearing a jeweller's shop and demerits by marks, even though he on her hands and arms and in her ears, has the range of the whole series of nuinbell-pulls on her head, and fifty pounds' bers ,between a negative infinity and a weight of flounces about her skirts,- or positive infinity, he must have had a very on the other hand, on making herself hid-careful training in the method, to apply eously neat in close-fitting brown holland, it with anything like justice. And perwithout any touch of relief to the mo- haps, on the whole, human arithmetic is notony of the dreary ensemble,- then, as yet hardly equal to the task of esticlearly, instead of allowing any marks formating by marks even the difference be. dress, a great many more should be de-tween a good cup of tea and a bad one, ducted than the maximum which might much less the difference between the have been gained. Again, if instead of beauty of Venice and the beauty of Rotbeing active in sympathy with the tastes terdam, or between the loveliness of a and pursuits of others, she could talk of rainbow on the sea, and the loveliness of nothing but servants and shopping, and a triumphal arch decorated with flags and regarded all the occupations and thoughts ribbons. of men as the kind of things which keep them “out of mischief," but have no meaning in themselves for the more rational sex, clearly a minus quantity of

From The Spectator. 300 would not be an inadequate appreciation of so formidable a demerit. Just as

MR. LOCKER'S “LONDON LYRICS.” • a cook who sent up a potato in a sodden The number of editions which this condition should hardly be allowed to little book has reached, - aided, we adtake credit at all, even for a chef d'æuvre mit, by periodical accessions, often of in the shape of a mayonnaise; just as a some of the best things in the volume to man who wore a blue coat with brass but each edition, — shows sufficiently in itself tons should be plucked for dress without that Mr. Locker has managed to hit the even glancing at his hat, his tie, or his tone of the society for which he writes, shirt-front; just so a girl who could only and to give a delicate expression in verse gossip or giggle with girls, and not feel to the eddies of hope and fear, of ambithe least interest in any subject that men tion and humiliation, of laughter and understand, should be rejected at once tears, of pathos and persiflage, by which in an examination for companionability in turn the drawing-rooms of London are as a wife, without even weighing any of agitated. We should like Mr. Locker's the per contras.

poems even better than we do — and we But these are great subjects. Instead never take them up without being at. of flying so high, - though even this tracted to read on — if there were a little would hardly be so audacious as giving less of the persiflage of polite society, marks to woodland, mountain, and lake, and rather more of those under-curren to glacier and tempest, to dawn and sun of true feeling which he so well knows at set, - we would suggest to those enthu- times how to sing for us, - but then we siasts for the mark system to take a hint quite admit that if it were so, he would from the Cookery School at South Ken- be less the poet of society, and more of sington, and begin with more humble at the poet of feeling than he is. The couple tempts. They inight try giving marks to of lyrics “ On an Old Muff,” the lines on the various parties of the season, and “ An Old Buffer," even the piece called publishing the estimates of the different “ At Hurlingham," but most of all the bit examiners in the Morning Post, for the headed “Mr. Placid's Flirtation," and sake of ultimate comparison ; or estimat- perhaps one or two others, are to our ing in the same way the various orators / minds almost unworthy of the society in at Exeter Hall, giving a negative quantity which they find themselves. They reprefor every sign of Pecksniffian ostenta-sent, no doubt, something more than true tiousness and pretence. In that fashion phases, perhaps the most common of all they might gradually feel their way to the phases, of life in society ; but then they more elaborate use of marks for appre. represent that element of life in society ciating the character of an omelette or a which makes one feel the frivolity and sunrise on the plan now adopted at Ken- the dross of society, without conveying, sington and by the enthusiasts of the even by an undertone, that that frivolity University. But at present, the attempt has becn too sudden for success. If the London Lyrics. By Frederick Locker. Seventh Recording Angel estimates our merits Edition. London: Isbister and Co.

and dross are painful and wearisome ; ; lineating Rose's childhood, and thus proand this, lyrics, however light and unpre- ceeds :tending, are almost bound, we think, in the name of poetry, to bring home to us.

Indeed, farewell to bygone years ; Mr. Locker is very skilful in condensing

How wonderful the change appears! the sneer, and the shallow mirth, and the

For curates now, and cavaliers,

In turn perplex you: shallower regrets of society into his

The last are birds of feather gay, verses ; but then he usually shows that

Who swear the first are birds of prey; he can do so much more, that he can put I'd scare them all had I my way, so true, though delicate, a note of pathos,

But that might vex you. so tender a gleam of affection, and so wholesome a touch of scorn, into his

At times I've envied, it is true, verse, that one is a little impatient of

That hero, joyous twenty-two, stanzas in which the polished vulgarities

Who sent bouquets and billets doux,

And wore a sabre. of the world are delineated in a tone of

The rogue ! how close his arm he wound even half-sympathy. It seems to us that About her waist, who never frown'd. Mr. Locker's humour is at its best when He loves you, Child. Now, is he bound there is a touch of depth in it, as in the

To love my neighbour ? charming verses on “The Old Oak-tree at Hatfield Broadoak" and on “ Bramble- / The happy expression of fanciful jealrise." or the very happy ones on “ A Hu-lousy, the humorous play on the command man Skull.” “ 'The Housemaid.” “ The / to love your neighbour as yourself, and Jester's Móral.” “ To Lina Oswald,” and complaint that that is not equivalent to most others : 'not but what his chiefly loving somebody else's neighbour, is in playful and bantering ones are often ex. Mr. Locker's quaintest manner, — just tremely good, such as “To my Grand- the same manner in which, addressin mother," " My Mistress's Boots,' or

the picture of his late grandmother, he “ The Castle in the Air” which so grace

declares in reference to that other and fully introduces the volume. But the better world in which she now is, with a finest of all Mr. Locker's poems, to our

grotesque realism that no one has ever taste, are those in which the jest passes

been able to borrow from Mr. Locker, into earnest, and the smile dies away in

I fain would meet you there ;an emotion that is higher and keener,

If, witching as you were, like the lines on “The Unrealized Ideal,"

Grandmamma, “ It might have been,” “The Widow's · This nether world agrees Mite," and “ • Her quiet resting place is That the better you must please far away."" The only poems we do not

Grandpapa. like, and which seem to us unworthy of Mr. Locker, are those, comparatively few

These are the turns which give the diswe admit, in which the levity of society

tinctive, macaroon-like flavour to Mr.

Locker's humour, and make us read the gives the key-note not only to the picture

playful poems with a zest which humor(for that it must do), but to the back

ous poetry, since Hood died, has seldom ground of the picture also. Nor do we

i provoked in us. And how pleasantly care much for the merely sentimental

14 Mr. Locker praises and chaffs children. ones, such as those on “Gerty's Glove".

There is nothing in the poems tenderer and “Gerty's Necklace," where the sen

and livelier than the lines to little Geraltiment strikes us as too superficial for

dine's boots, or the description of the the serious manner, or the manner as too

child who wears them, – little tempered with playfulness for the superficial character of the sentiment.

What soles to charm an elf ! We have said too much, however, of Had Crusoe, sick of self, the few exceptions to the easy and grace

Chanced to view ful pleasantry or pathos of this attractive One printed near the tide, volume, and will now give some illustra

Oh, how hard he would have tried tions of Mr. Locker's success in different

For the two ! manners. We will take the first, from

For Gerry's debonair, “ My Neighbour Rose," a playful little

And innocent and fair poem, for the whole of which we have

As a rose : hardly room, but two verses of which will

She's an angel in a frock, bear, without injury, separation from the With a fascinating cock, happy context. Mr. Locker has been de- !

To her nose,

- except, indeed, it be the second set of And while she toild for daily fare, lines to Lina Oswald, in which she is A little crutch upon the stair rallied so gaily on the great age of ten

Was music to her. years, which she has attained, and so

I saw her then, - and now I see happy a transition is made from mirth to

That, though resign'd and cheerful, she deeper sentiment:

Has sorrow'd much :

She has, He gave it tenderly, Your Sun is in brightest apparel,

Much faith ; and, carefully laid by,
Your birds and your blossoms are gay,

A little crutch.
But where is my jubilant carol
To welcome so joyous a day?

But after all, though Mr. Locker knows, I sang for you when you were smaller,

as every mocking poet should, how to As fair as a fawn, and as wild :

write without the laugh or the scornful Now, Lina, you're ten and you're taller —

igleam of something bright and bitter You elderly child !

in his verse, when he is expressing a I knew you in shadowless hours,

mood of pure, grave feeling, his most When thought never came with a smart;

characteristic mood is that in which the You then were the pet of your flowers,

jest and the kindlier emotions are equally And joy was the child of your heart.

mingled, and we hardly know whether it I ever shall love you, and dearly!

is the feeling which we like the better for I think when you're even thirteen

the sarcasm with which it is blended and You'll still have a heart, and not merely by which it is veiled, or the taunt which A flirting machine!

we appreciate the more for the tender

ness by which it is half betrayed. It is And when time shall have spoil'd you of pas- the mixed feelings by which the surface

sion, Discrown'd what you now think sublime,

of society is agitated which Mr. Locker Oh, I swear that you'll still be the fashion,

has the greatest skill in embodying in his And laugh at the antics of time.

verse. We like his pure pathos to the To love you will then be no duty;

full as well as his sadder banter, but it is But happiness nothing can buy

possibly the less difficult to write of the There's a bud in your garland, my beauty, two, and probably the less unique when it That never can die !

is written. Mr. Locker closed some very

graceful verses, which appeared in conA heart may be bruised and not broken, junction with other literary contributions A soul may despair and still reck;

in aid of the operatives who suffered by I send you, dear child, a poor token

the cotton famine of 1862, with these two Of love, for your dear little neck.

verses, which exactly describe the satiric The heart that will beat just below it Is open and pure as your brow

tenderness of the best things in this volMay that heart, when you come to bestow it,

ume. Nothing we could quote would Be happy as now.

illustrate better the character of the

singer, or the polished warmth of symOr to pass to poems with a more pathetic pathy which so often underlies the smil. turn in them, what can be tenderer in ing levity of the song:its raillery than “ The Old Government Clerk"? or what more genuinely pa

I do not wish to see the slaves

Of party stirring passion, thetic, in the restrained and reticent fash

Or psalms quite superseding staves, ion which suits the great world, than

Or piety " the fashion." these simple verses on “ The Widow's

I bless the Hearts where pity glows, Mite"?

Who, here together banded,

Are holding out a hand to those
A Widow - she had only one !

That wait so empty-handed !
A puny and decrepit son ;
But, day and night,

Masters ! may one in motley clad,
Though fretful oft, and weak and small,

A Jester by confession, A loving child, he was her all

Scarce noticed join, half gay, half sad, The Widow's Mite.

The close of your procession ?

This garment here seems out of place The Widow's Mite - ay, so sustained,

With graver robes to mingle,
She battled onward, nor complain'd

But if one tear bedews his face,
Tho' friends were fewer :

Forgive the bells their jingle.

Fifth Series, ?
Volume VII.S

No. 1573. - August 1, 1874.

From Beginning,


[ocr errors][merged small]


Barnett Smith, . . . . . . New Quarterly Review,
II. The COUNTRY Cousin,. . . . . All The Year Round, .
III. THE POETS AT PLAY, . . . . . Blackwood's Magazine,

Thomas Hardy, author of “Under the
Greenwood Tree,” “ A Pair of Blue Eyes,”

etc. Part VIII., . . . . . . Cornhill Magazine, . V. THE CONVENT OF SAN MARCO. I. — The

Painter, . . . . . . . Macmillan's Magazine,
VI. “Josh BILLINGS” IN ENGLISH, . . . Spectator, . . .


VIGNI, . . . . . . 258 SONNET, . . . . .
BALLAD, . . . . . . . 2581

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]


TERMS OF SUBSCRIPTION. For EIGHT DOLLARS, remitted directly to the Publishers, the LIVING AGE will be punctually forwarded for a year, free of postage. But we do not prepay postage on less than a year, nor when we have to pay commission for forwarding the money; nor when we club the LIVING Age with another periodical.

An extra copy of The LIVING Age is sent gratis to any one getting up a club of Five New Subscribers.

Remittances should be made by bank draft or check, or by post-office money-order, if possible. If neither of these can be procured, the money should be sent in a registered letter. All postmasters are obliged to register letters when requested to do so. Drafts, checks and money-orders should be made payable to the order of LITTELL & Gay.

« ПредишнаНапред »