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mous quarrel, he has as little; his remi- | at a club, where, before you were born, I beniscences of Cockburn, Hill, Lord West. lieve, I and other gentlemen have been in the bury, Charles Reade, Grenville Murray, habit of talking without any idea that our con. and General Grant are mainly anecdotic; versation would supply paragraphs for profesthe latter half of his second volume is sional vendors of “ Literary Talk;" and I don't little more than a slight and rapid chron remember that out of that club I have ever exo
changed six words with you. Allow me to icle of his doings as a lecturer, a special inform you that the talk which you have heard correspondent, and a “society” editor. there is not intended for newspaper remark; Nowhere does he write with such gusto and to beg – as I have a right to do — that as at the beginning, and nowhere is his you will refrain from printing comments upon book so readable and useful. In the past my private conversations; that you will forego he is most at home, and it is in treating discussions, however blundering, upon my priof the past that he is most agreeable to
vate affairs; and that
will henceforth please his readers.
to consider any question of my personal truth It is fair to him to note, in telling his and sincerity as quite out of the province of
. quarrel with Thackeray, that he extenu
W. M. THACKERAY. ates nothing of his own conduct, nor sets E. Yates, Esq. down aught in malice concerning his opponent. The facts are clear. Mr. Yates
Mr. Yates confesses that this epistle was wrong in the beginning, and Thack.
came upon him with a sense of amazeeray was wrong in the end. Mr. Yates ment." Feeling that it afforded himn "a led off with an extremely impudent article legitimate opportunity for a tolerably on the great writer in a print called Town effective retort,” he at once prepared a Talk, and the great writer retaliated in document reminding Thackeray of certain a letter which, if only as a specimen of among his own intrusions on ihe privacy straight and brutal writing, we cannot do of his friends -of Arcedeckne exposed better than quote:
as Foker, the Athanasius Lardner and the
Lytton Bulwig of the “ Yellowplush Pa36 Onslow Square, S.W., June 14. Sir, - I have received two numbers of a mined to show to Albert Smith; but
pers, and so on. This Mr. Yates deter. little paper called Town Talk, containing notices respecting myself, of which, as I learn reflecting that Albert Smith had likewise from the best authority, you are the writer, to complain of Thackeray, he elected to In the first article of “Literary talk” you think communicate it to Dickens, under whose fit to publish an incorrect account of my private direction be suppressed his letter – it dealings with my publishers. In this week's was "too violent and too flippant,” Dicknumber appears a so-called “Sketch,” contain, eos thought- and wrote as follows: ing a description of my manners, person, and conversation, and an account of my literary
June 15th, 1858. works, which of course you are at liberty to
Sir, — I have to acknowledge the receipt of praise or condemn as a literary critic. But your letter of this day's date, referring to two you state, with regard to my conversation, that articles of which I am the writer. You will it is either “frankly cynical or affectionately excuse my pointing out to you that it is absurd benevolent and good-natured ;” and of my to suppose me bound to accept your angry works (lectures) that in some I showed ' understanding." of my “phrases." I do not extravagant adulation of rank and position,” accept it in the least : I altogether reject it. I which in other lectures (" as I know how to cannot characterize your letter in any other cut my coat according to my cloth”) became terms than those in which you characterized the object of my bitterest attack. As I un- the article which has given you so much derstand your phrases, you impute insincerity offence. If your letter to me were not both to me when I speak good-naturedly in private, “slanderous and untrue,” I should readily have assign dishonorable motives to me for senti- discussed its subject with you, and avowed my ments which I have delivered in public, and earnest and frank desire to set right anything charge me with advancing statements which I I may have left wrong. Your letter being have never delivered at all. Had your re. what it is, I have nothing to add to my present marks been written by a person unknown to reply. me, I should have noticed them no more than
EDMUND YATES. other calumnies; but as we have shaken hands more than once, and met hitherto on friendly the briefest possible terms. Thackeray
What followed need only be sketchedin terms (you may ask one of your employers; instantly put Mr. Yates into “ The VirginMr. of whether I did not speak of you very lately in the most friendly manner), 1 ians," as Tom Garbage, and laid the attair am obliged to take notice of articles which i before the Garrick committee; Mr. Yates, consider to be not offensive and unfriendly called upon to apologize or retire from merely, but slanderous and untrue. We meet the club, denied the competence of the
committee, declined to do either the one good. It was in connection with this
“How are you, Thack? I was at your show get heard, was wise enough to let the to-day at Willis's. What a lot of swells you matter drop. At the time, says Mr. Yates, had there — yes ! But I thought it was dull the dispute was regarded not as between devilish dull! I tell you what it is, Thack himself and Thackeray, but as between you want a piano ! ” Thackeray and Dickens. If this were so, Of the terrible O. Smith — vampire, there can be no doubt that Thackeray was demon, pirate, desperado; so often “in the victor. Dickens resigned his seat on the midst of fire " and "6 the Garrick committee, and afterwards down traps
going up and
» that “the life insurance wrote to “ My dear Thackeray” a private companies would only accept him at a letter in which he acknowledged his part hazardous' premium - Mr. Yates reas Mr. Yates's adviser, and suggested cords that in private life he was “ wellcompromise and mediation. To this read and well-informed, a clever watercominunication Thackeray not only re. color artist, with an air of old-fashioned turned a curt and rather unpleasant re-courtesy not detracted from by a slight fusal (** Yours, etc., W. M. Thackeray” is deafness ;” it stands to reason, though it the signature), but actually wrote about it is not here recorded, that he must inevitaand the proposal it embodied to the Gar: bly have played the flute and collected rick committee, to the effect that even if butterflies. he would be could not “make the dispute once more personal, or remove it out of the court to which he submitted it for arbitration.” This, as far as Mr. Yates was concerned, was the end of the affair.
From Chambers' Journal. With Dickens and Thackeray it was oth
A SOLITARY ISLAND. erwise. They had never been the great. The government of Iceland has comest friends imaginable, says Mr. Yates; missioned Mr. Thoroddsen to undertake and though John Forster (who was ex. systematic explorations of that island, ceeding wroth with Thackeray at the time) with a view to investigating its physical refers to the estrangement as "small” features and describing its natural history: and “hardly worth mention, even in a While on a visit to Grimsey, a small note,”our author declares it to have been island twenty-two miles due north of Ice. "complete and continuous,” and notes land, he found it inhabited by eighty-eight that Dickens and Thackeray “never ex. human beings, debarred from all commu• changed but the most casual conversation nication with the mainland, excepting afterwards.” At this distance of time it once or twice every year, when, at great is inpossible not to wish that Mr. Yates risk, the natives contrived to visit the had never been impudent to Thackeray, mainland in their small open boats. that Thackeray had never bullied Mr. After describing the flora and meteor. Yates, and that Dickens had never at- ology of this secluded islet, Mr. Tho. tempted to intervene between the comba. roddsen informs us that the “pastor of the tants at all, whether as Mr. Yates's ad. island, M. Pjetur Gudmundsson, has for viser or as Thackeray's rival, whether as many years been engaged in exceedingly Mr. Yates's champion before the com careful meteorological observations on mittee or as his advocate with Thackeray behalf of the Meteorological Institute of before Thackeray's better judgment. Copenhagen. This most worthy gentleStill, it's an ill wind that blows nobody man, living here in conspicuous poverty,
like a hermit divorced from the world, his comrades. This, as may readily be though he has the comfort of a good wife imagined, is a most dangerous undertakto be thankful for, is not only regarded as ing, and many a life has been lost over it a father by his primitive congregation, but in Grimsey from accidents occurring to enjoys, moreover, the reputation of being the rope. in the front rank among sacred poets in “For the pursuit of the fishery, the modern Iceland.
island possesses fourteen small open “ The inhabitants derive their livelihood | boats, in which the men will venture out for the most part from bird-catching, best- as far as four to six miles cod-fishing; but robbing, and deep-sea fisheries. The this is a most hazardous industry, owing precipices that forin the eastern face of both to the sudden manner in which the the island are crowded with myriads of sea will rise, sometimes even a long time various kinds of sea-fowl. On every ledge in advance of travelling storms, and to the the birds are seen thickly packed together; difficulty of effectiog a landing on the the rocks are white with guano, or green-barborless island. tufted with scurvy-grass; here everything “ Now and then the monotony of the is in ceaseless movement, stir, and Áutter, life of the inhabitants is broken by visits accompanied by a myriad-voiced concert from foreigners, mostly Icelandic' shark. from screamers on the wing, from chat. fishers, or English or French fishermen, terers on domestic affairs in the rock. • Of domestic animals the islanders now ledges, and from brawlers at the parlia. possess only a few sheep. Formerly there ment of love out at sea, the surface of were five cows in the island; but the hard which beneath the rocks is literally winter of 1860 necessitated their exterthatched at this time of the year with the mination, and since that time, for twentywooing multitudes of this bappy common four years, the people have had to do wealth. If the peace is broken by a stone without a cow. Of horses there are only rolled over the precipice or by the report two at present(1884) in the island. Strange of a gunshot, the air is suddenly darkened to say, the health of the people seems on by the rising clouds of the disturbed birds, the whole to bear a fair comparison with which, viewed from the rocks, resemble more favored localities. Scurvy, which what might be taken for gigantic swarms formerly was very prevalent, has now of bees or midges.
almost disappeared, as has also a disease " The method adopted for collecting peculiar to children, which, in the form of eggs is the following: Provided with a spasm or convulsive fit, used to be very strong rope, some nine or ten stalwart fatal to infant life in former years. men go to the precipice, where it is some Inexpressibly solitary must be the three hundred feet high, and one of the life of these people in winter, shut out number volunteers or is singled out by from all communication with the outer the rest for the perilous sig, that is, “sink ” world, and having in view, as far as the or "drop," over the edge of the rocks. eye can reach, nothing but arctic ice. The Round his thighs and waist, thickly padded existence of generation after generation generally with bags stuffed with feathers here seems to be spent in one continuous or bay, the sigamadr, "sinkman" or and unavailing arctic expedition. The
. “dropman,” adjusts the rope in such a only diversion afforded by nature consists manner that he may hang, when dropped, in the shifting colors of the Hickering in a sitting posture. He is also dressed aurora borealis, in the twinkling of the in a wide sinock or sack of coarse calico, stars in the heavens, and the fantastic open at the breast, and tied round the forms of wandering icebergs. No wonder waist with a belt, in the ample folds of that such surroundings should serve to which he slips the eggs he gathers, the produce a quiet, serious, devout, and capacity of the smock affording accommo: down-hearted race, in which respect the dation to from one hundred to one bundred Grimsey men may perhaps be said to and fifty eggs at a time. In one hand the constitute a typical group among their sinkman holds a pole, sixteen feet long, compatriots. However, to dispel the heavy with a ladle tied to one end, and by this tedium of the long winter days, they seek means scoops the eggs out of nests which their amusements in the reading of the are beyond the reach of his own hands. Sagas, in chess-playing, and in such mild When the purpose of this “breath-fetch- dissipations at muiual entertainments at ing” sink is accomplished, on a given Christmas-time as their splendid poverty sign the dropman is hauled up again by I will allow.”
Fifth Series, Volume XLVIII.
No. 2114. – December 27, 1884.
CONTENTS. I. JOHN DE WITT,
author of "Citoyenne Jacqueline,” “ Lady
Fortnightly Review, IV. A FAITHLESS WORLD,
Contemporary Review, . V. MR. FAWCETT AND THE BLIND,
Saturday Review, VI. AN INLAND SEA FOR AFRICA,
All The Year Round, VII. THACKERAY'S AUTOGRAPHS,
Saturday Review, ** Title and Index to Volume CLXIII.
786 803 807 816 818 822
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Single Numbers of The LIVING AGE, 18 cents.
A DAY IN EARLY SUMMER.
Hope on, hope ever. Let not toil or sorrow A LITTLE wood, wherein with silver sound
Still the sweet music of Hope's leavenly
voice. A brooklet whispers all the sunny day, And on its banks all flow'rets which abound
From every dawn some ray of comfort borrow, In the bright circle of the charmed May:
That in the evening you may still rejoice. Primroses, whose faint fragrance you may Hope on, hope ever — words beyond comparknow
Dear to the hearts that nameless woes have From other blooms; the oxlips, whose sweet
riven; breath Is kissed by windflowers star-like
To all that mourn, sweet consolation bearing.
gems which blow
Oh, may they prove the Christian's guide to
heaven! Beside pale sorrel, in whose veins is death; Larch-trees are there, with plumes of palest
Chambers' Journal. green; And cherry, dropping leaves of scented
white; While happy birds, amid the verdant screen,
Warble their songs of innocent delight. Hours, weeks, and days bring round the Surely they err who say life is not blest;
golden moon; Hither may come the weary and have rest. While I still wait: I 'mid these solemn firs, Chambers' Journal.
J. C. H.
Late-flowering meadows and grey mountain
spurs, Watch summer fade and russet hues im.
The stern sad hills. All while thy smooth HOPE ON, HOPE EVER.
Jagoon HOPE on, hope ever. Though dead leaves are
Invites me ; like a murmured spell recurs, lying
When south winds breathe and the cloud. In mournful clusters 'neath your wandering landscape stirs, feet;
One sombre sweet Venetian slumberous Though wintry winds through naked boughs tune. are sighing
Arise : ere autumn's penury be spent ; The flowers are dead; yet is the memory
Ere winter in a snow-shroud wrap the year ;
Ere the last oleanders droop and die; Of summer winds and countless roses glowing Take we the rugged ways that southward lie; 'Neath the warm kisses of the generous sun.
Seek by the sea those wide eyes sapphire. Hope on, hope ever. Why should tears be clear, flowing?
Those softened stars, that larger firmament. In every season is some victory won.
J. A. SYMONDS. Hope on, hope ever, though you deck loved
tresses With trembling fingers for the silent grave; Though cold the cheek beneath your fond
THE CHORISTER. caresses, Look up, true Christian soul; be calm, be Snow on the high-pitched minster roof and brave!
spire : Hope on, hope ever. Though your hearts be Snow on the boughs of leafless linden-trees : breaking,
Snow on the silent streets and squares that Let flowers of resignation wreathe your
Under night's wing down-drooping nigh and Deep in your heart some heavenly wisdom nigher. waking,
Inside the church, within the shadowy choir, For mortal life is full of change and loss. Dim burn the lamps like lights on vaporous
seas; Hope on, hope ever, for long-vanished faces Drowsed are the voices of droned litanies ;
Watch for your coming on the golden shore, Blurred as in dreams the face of priest and E’en while you whisper in their vacant places
friar. The blessed words, “Not lost, but gone be- Cold hath numbed sense to slumber here! fore !"
But bark, Hope on, hope ever, let your hearts keep sing. One swift soprano, soaring like a lark, ing,
Startles the stillness; throbs that soul of When low you bend above the churchyard tire, sod,
Beats around arch and aisle, floods echoing And fervent prayers your chastened thoughts dark are winging,
With exquisite aspiration; higher, higher, Through sighs and tears, to the bright throne Yearns in sharp anguish of untold desire. of God!
J. A. SYMONDS.