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sorts - the active and the passive. Now miching mallecho.” Theinn at Burford we are conscious of a great command Bridge, with its arbors and green garden over our destiny; anon we are lifted up and silent, eddying river — though it is by circumstance, as by a breaking wave, known already as the place where Keats and dashed we know not how into the fus finished his Endymion” and Nelson ture. Now we are pleased by our conduct, parted from bis Emma — still seems to anon merely pleased by our surroundings. wait the coming of the appropriate legend. It would be hard to say which of these Within these ivied walls, behind these old modes of satisfaction is the more effec- green shutters, some further business tive, but the latter is surely the more sinoulders, waiting for its hour. The old constant. Conduct is three parts of life, Hawes Inn at the Queen's Ferry is anbut it is not all the four. There is a vast other. There it stands, apart from the deal in life and letters both which is not town, beside the pier, in a climate of its immoral, but simply a-moral; which either own, half inland, half marine — in front, does not regard the human will at all, or the ferry bubbling with the tide and the deals with it in obvious and healthy rela- guardship swinging to her anchor; betions; where the interest turns, not upon hind, the old garden with the trees. what a man shall choose to do, but on Americans seek it already for the sake of how he manages to do it; not on the pas- Lovel and Oldbuck, who dined there at sionate slips and hesitations of the con- the beginning of “ The Antiquary." But science, but on the problems of the body you need not tell me - that is not all; and of the practical intelligence, in clean, there is some story, unrecorded or not yet open-air adventure, the shock of arms, or complete, which must express the meanthe diplomacy of life. With such mate-ing of that inn more fully. So it is with rial as this it is impossible to build a play, names and faces; so it is with incidents for the serious theatre exists solely on that are idle and inconclusive in themmoral grounds, and is standing proof of selves, and yet seem like the beginning of the dissemination of the human con- some quaint romance, which the all-carescience. But it is possible to build, upon less author leaves untold. How many of this ground, the most joyous of verses, these romances have we not seen deterand the most lively, beautiful, and buoy. mine at their birth; how many people ant tales.
have met us with a look of meaning in One thing in life calls for another; there their eye, and sunk at once into idle acis a fitness in events and places. The quaintances; to how many places have sight of a pleasant arbor puts it in our we not drawn near, with express intimamind to sit there. One place suggests tions “here my destiny awaits me work, another idleness, a third early ris. and we have but dined there and passed ing and long rambles in the dew. The by! I have lived both at the Hawes and effect of night, of any flowing water, of Burford in a perpetual futter, on the heels, lighted cities, of the peep of day, of ships, as it seemed, of some adventure that of the open ocean, calls up in the mind an should justify the place; but though the army of anonymous desires and pleas- feeling had me to bed at night and called ures. Something, we feel, should hap: me again at morning in one unbroken pen; we know not what, yet we proceed round of pleasure and suspense, nothing in quest of it. And many of the happiest befell me in either worth remark. The hours of life fleet by us in this vain atten- man or the hour had not yet come; but dance on the genius of the place and mo- some day, I think, a boat shall put off ment. It is thus that tracts of young fir, from the Queen's Ferry, fraught with a and low rocks that reach into deep sound dear cargo, and some frosty night a ings, particularly torture and delight me. horseman, on a tragic errand, rattle with Something must have happened in such his whip upon the green shutters of the places, and perhaps ages back, to mem- inn at Burford. bers of my race; and when I was a child Now, this is one of the natural appeI tried in vain to invent appropriate games tites with which any lively literature has for them, as I still try, just as vainly, to to count. The desire for knowledge, I fit them with the proper story. Some had almost added the desire for meat, is places speak distinctly. Certain dank not more deeply seated than this demand gardens cry aloud for a murder; certain for fit and striking incident. The dullest old houses demand to be haunted; cer. of clowns tells, or tries to tell, bimself a tain coasts are set apart for shipwreck.story, as the feeblest of children uses inOther spots again seem to abide their vention in his play ; and even as the indestiny, suggestive and impenetrable, I aginative grown person, joining in the
game, at once enriches it with many de- English people of the present day are lightful circumstances, the great creative apt, I know not why, to look somewhat writer shows us the realization and the down on incident, and reserve their ad. apotheosis of the daydreanis of common miration for the clink of tea-spoons and
His stories may be nourished with the accents of the curate. It is thought the realities of life, but their true mark is clever to write a novel with no story at to satisfy the nameless longings of the all, or at least with a very dull one. Rereader and to obey the ideal laws of the duced even to the lowest terms, a certain daydream. The right kind of thing interest can be communicated by the art should fall out in the right kind of place; of narrative; a sense of human kinship the right kind of thing should follow; and stirred; and a kind of monotonous fitness, not only the characters talk aptly and comparable to the words and air of “San. think naturally, but all the circumstances dy's Mull," preserved among the infinites. in a tale answer one to another like notes imal occurrences recorded. Some people in music. The threads of a story come work, in this manner, with even a strong from time to time together and make a touch. Mr. Trollope's inimitable clergy. picture in the web; the characters fall men naturally arise to the mind in this from time to time into some attitude to connection. But even Mr. Trollope does each other or to nature, which stamps the not confine himself to chronicling small story home like an illustration. Crusoe beer. Mr. Crawley's collision with the recoiling from the footprint, Achilles bishop's wife, Mr. Melnotte dallying in shouting over against the Trojans, the deserted banquet-room, are typical Ulysses bending the great bow, Christian incidents, epically conceived, fitls em. running with his fingers in his ears, these bodying a crisis. If Rawdon Crawley's are each culminating moments in the blow were not delivered, “Vanity Fair" legend, and each has been printed on the would cease to be a work of art
. That mind's eye forever. Other things we scene is the chief ganglion of the tale; may forget; we may forget the words, and the discharge of energy from Rawalthough they are beautiful; we may for- don's fist is the reward and consolation of get the author's comment, although per- the reader. The end of “Esmond” is a haps it was ingenious and true; but these yet wider excursion from the author's epoch-making scenes, which put the last customary fields; the scene at Castlewood mark of truth upon a story and fill up, is pure Dumas; the great and wily Enat one blow, our capacity for sympathetic glish borrower has here borrowed from pleasure, we so adopt into the very bosom the great, unblushing French thief; as of our mind that neither time nor tide can usual, he has borrowed admirably well, efface or weaken the impression. This, and the breaking of the sword rounds off then, is the plastic part of literature: to the best of all his books with a manly, embody character, thought, or emotion in martial note. But perhaps nothing can some act or attitude that shall be remark more strongly illustrate the necessity for ably striking to the mind's eye. This is marking incident than to compare the livthe highest and hardest thing to do in ing fame of "Robinson Crusoe” with the words; the thing which, once accom- discredit of “Clarissa Harlowe.” “Cla. plished, equally delights the schoolboy rissa” is a book of a far more startling and the sage, and makes, in its own import, worked out, on a great canvas, right, the quality of epics. Compared with inimitable courage and unflagging with this, all other purposes in litera. art; it contains wit, character, passion, ture, except the purely lyrical or the plot, conversations full of spirit and inpurely philosophic, are bastard in na sight, letters sparkling with unstrained ture, facile of execution, and feeble in humanity; and if the death of the heroine resuit. It is one thing to write about the be somewhat frigid and artificial, the last inn at Burford, or to describe scenery days of the hero strike the only note of with the word-painters; it is quite another what we now call Byronism, between the to seize on the heart of the suggestion Elizabethans and Byron himself. And and make a country famous with a legend. yet a little story of a shipwrecked sailor, It is one thing to remark and to dissect, with not a tenth part of the style nor a with the most cutting logic, the complica- thousandth part of the wisdom, exploring tions of life, and of the human spirit; it none of the arcana of humanity and deis quite another to give them body and prived of the perennial interest of love, blood in the story of Ajax or of Hamlet. goes on from edition to edition, ever The first is literature, but the second is young, while “Clarissa” lies upon the something besides, for it is likewise art. shelves unread. A friend of mine, a
Welsh blacksmith, was twenty-five years I breathed who shared these moving inciold, and could neither read nor write, dents without a tremor; and yet Faria is when he heard a chapter of “Robinson a thing of packthread and Dantès little read aloud in a farm kitchen. Up to that more than a name. The sequel is one moment he had sat content, huddled in long-drawn error, gloomy, bloody, unnathis ignorance; but he left that farm an- ural, and dull; but as for these early chapother man. There were daydreams, it ters, I do not believe there is another appeared, divine daydreams, written and volume extant where you can breathe the printed and bound, and to be bought for same unmingled atmosphere of romance. money and enjoyed at pleasure. Down It is very thin and light, to be sure, as on he sat that day, painfully learned to read a high mountain ; but it is brisk and clear Welsh, and returned to borrow the book. and sunny in proportion. I saw the other It had been lost, nor could he find another day, with envy, an old and a very clever copy but one that was in English. Down lacy setting forth on a second or third he sat once more, learned English, and at voyage into “ Monte Christo.” Here are length, and with entire delight, read stories, which powerfully affect the reader, "Robinson.” It is like the story of a which can be reperused at any age, and love-chase. If he had heard a letter where the characters are no more than fron "Clarissa,” would he have been fired puppets. The bony fist of the showman with the same chivalrous ardor? I won- visibly propels them; their springs are an der. Yet “Clarissa ” has every quality open secret; their faces are of wood, their that can be shown in prose, one alone bellies filled with bran; and yet we thrillexcepted: pictorial, or picture making ro- ingly partake of their adventures. And
While “Robinson” depends, for the point may be illustrated still further. the most part and with the overwhelming The last interview between Lucy and majority of its readers, on the charm of Richard Feverell is pure drama; more circumstance.
than that, it is the strongest scene, since In the highest achievements of the art Shakespeare, in the English tongue. of words, the dramatic and the pictorial, Their first meeting by the river, on the the moral and romantic interest rise and other hand, is pure roinance; it has nothfall together by a common and organic ing to do with character; it might happen law. Situation is animated with passion, to any other boy and maiden, and be none passion clothed upon with situation. the less delightful for the change. And Neither exists for itself, but each inheres yet I think he would be a bold man who indissolubly with the other. This is high should choose between these passages. art; and not only the highest art possible Thus, in the same book, we may have two in words, but the highest art of all, since scenes, each capital in its order: in the it combines the greatest mass and diver- one, human passion, deep calling unto sity of the elements of truth and pleas. deep, shall utter its genuine voice; in the
Such are epics, and the few prose second, according circumstances, like in. tales that have the epic weight. But as struments in tune, shall build up a trivial from a school of works, aping the crea- but desirable incident, such as we love to tive, incident and romance are ruthlessly prefigure for ourselves; and in the end, discarded, so may character and drama be in spite of the critics, we may hesitate to omitted or subordinated romance. give the preference to either.
The one There is one book, for example, more may ask more genius – I do not say it generally loved than Shakespeare, that does; but at least the other dwells as captivates in childhood, and still delights clearly in the memory. in age - I mean the “ Arabian Nights” True romantic art, again, makes a ro
- where you shall look in vain for moral | mance of all things. It reaches into the or for intellectual interest. No human highest abstraction of the ideal; it does face or voice greets us among that wooden not refuse the most pedestrian realism. crowd of kings and genies, sorcerers and
"Robinson Crusoe" is as realistic as it is begyarmen. Adventure, on the most romantic; both qualities are pushed to an naked terms, furnishes forth the entertain extreme, and neither suffers. Nor does ment and is found enough. Dumas ap- romance depend upon the material imporproaches perhaps nearest of any modern tance of the incidents. To deal with to these Arabian authors in the purely strong and deadly elements, banditti, pi. material charm of his romances. The rates, war, and murder, is to conjure with early part of " Monte Christo,” down to great names, and, in the event of failure, the finding of the treasure, is a piece of to double the disgrace. The arrival of perfect story - telling; the never | Haydn and Consuelo at the Canon's villa
is a very triling incident; yet we mayor virtue. But the characters are still read a dozen boisterous stories from themselves; they are not us; the more beginning to end, and not receive so fresh clearly they are depicted, the more widely and stirring an impression of adventure. do they stand away from us, the more It was the scene of Crusoe at the wreck, imperiously do they thrust us back into if I remember rightly, that so bewitched our place as a spectator. I cannot idenmy blacksmith. Nor is the fact surpris- tify myself with Rawdon Crawley or with ing. Every single article the castaway Eugene de Rastignac, for I have scarce a recovers from the hulk is “a joy forever" hope or fear in common with them. liis to the man who reads of them. They are not character, but incident, that wooes us the things he ought to find, and the bare out of our reserve. Something happens, enumeration stirs the blood. I found a as we desire to have it happen to ourglimmer of the same interest the other selves; some situation, that we have long day in a new book, "The Sailor's Sweet dallied with in fancy, is realized in the heart," by Mr. Clark Russell. The whole story with enticing and appropriate de. business of the brig “ Morning Star" is tails. Then we forget the characters; very rightly felt and spiritedly written; then we push the hero aside; then we but the clothes, the books, and the money plunge into the tale in our own person satisfy the reader's mind like things to and bathe in fresh experience; and then, eat. We are dealing liere with the old and then only, do we say we have been cut-and-dry, legitimate interest of treasure reading a romance. It is not only pleas. trove. But even treasure trove can be urable things that we imagine in our das: made dull. There are few people who dreams; there are lights in which we are have not groaned under the plethora of willing to contemplate even the idea of goods that fell to the lot of the Swiss our own death; ways in which it seems Family Robinson, that dreary family. as if it would amuse us to be cheated, They found article after article, creature wounded, or calumniated. It is thus pos. after creature, from milk kine to pieces of sible to construct a story, even of tragic ordnance, a whole consignment; but no import, in which every incident, detal, informing taste had presided over the se. and trick of circumstance shall be wel. lection, there was no smack or relish in come to the reader's thoughts. Fiction the invoice; and all these riches left the is to the grown man what play is to the fancy cold. The box of goods in Verne's child. It is there that he changes the “ Mysterious Island” is another case in atmosphere and tenor of his life. And point: there was no gusto and no glamor when the game so chimes with his fancy about that; it might have come from a that he can join in it with all his heart, shop. But the two hundred and seventy. when it pleases him with every turn, when eight Australian sovereigns on board the he loves to recall it and dwells upon its
Morning Star” fell upon me like a sur- recollection with entire delight, fiction is prise that I had expected; whole vistas called romance. of secondary stories, besides the one in Walter Scott is out and away the king hand, radiated forth from that discovery, of the romantics. “The Lady of the as they radiate from a striking particular Lake” has no indisputable claim to be a in life; and I was made for the moment poem beyond the inherent fitness and as happy as a reader has the right to be. desirability of the tale. It is just such a
To come at all at the nature of this story as a man would make up for himquality of romance, we must bear in mind self, walking, in the best health and temthe peculiarity of our attitude to any art. per, through just such scenes as it is laid No art produces illusion; in the theatre, in. Hence it is that a charm dwells undewe never forget that we are in the theatre; finable among these slovenly verses, as and while we read a story, we sit wavering the unseen cuckoo fills the mountains between two minds, now merely clapping with his note; hence, even after we have our hands at the merit of the persormance, Aung the book aside, the scenery and now condescending to take an active part adventures remain present to the mind, a in fancy with the characters. This last new and green possession, not unworthy is the triumph of story-telling: when the of that beautiful name, " The Lady of the reader consciously plays at being the hero, Lake,” or that direct, romantic opening the scene is a yood scene. Now in char. - one of the most spirited and poetical acter studies the pleasure that we take is in literature -“The stag at eve had critical; we watch, we approve, we smile drunk bis fill.” The same strength and at incongruities, we are moved to sudden the same weaknesses adorn and disfigure heats of sympathy with courage, suffering, the novels. In that ill-written, ragged
book, "The Pirate,” the figure of Clevel with his omission, instead of trying back land, cast up by the sea on the resound- and starting fair, crams all this matter, ing, foreland of Dunrossness, moving, tail foremost, into a single shambling with the blood on his hands and the Span- sentence. It is not merely bad English, ish words on his tongue, among the sim- or bad style; it is abominably bad narraple islanders, singing a serenade under tive besides. the window of his Shetland mistress, is Certainly the contrast is remarkable; conceived in the very highest manner of and it is one that throws a strong light romantic invention. The words of his upon the subject of this paper. For here song, “Through groves of palm," sung we have a man, of the finest creative inin such a scene and by such a lover, stinct, touching with perfect certainty and clench, as in a nutshell, the emphatic con- charm the romantic junctures of his sto. trast upon which the tale is built. In ry; and we find him utterly careless, “Guy Mannering,” again, every incident almost, it would seem, incapable, in the is delightful to the imagination, and the technical matter of style; and not only scene when Harry Bertram lands at El. frequently weak, but frequently wrong, in langowan is a model instance of romantic points of drama. In character parts, inmethod.
deed, and particularly in the Scotch, he “I remember the tune well,”” he says, was delicate, strong, and truthful; but the “though I cannot guess what should at trite, obliterated features of too many of present so strongly recall it to my mem- his heroes have already wearied two genory.'
He took his flageolet from bis erations of readers. At times, his charpocket and played a simple melody. Ap. acters will speak with something far parently the tune aivoke the correspond beyond propriety, with a true heroic note; ing associations of a damsel. .. She but on the next page they will be wading immediately took up the song:
wearily forward with an ungrammatical
and undramatic rigmarole of words. The Are these the links of Forth, she said;
man who could conceive and write the Or are they the crooks of Dee,
character of Elspeth of the CraigburnOr the bonny woods of Warroch Head That I so fain would see?
foot, as Scott has conceived and written it,
had not only splendid romantic, but splenBy heaven !' said Bertram, 'it the did tragic gifts. How comes it, then,
that he could so often fob us off with On this quotation two remarks fall to languid, inarticulate twaddle ? be made. First, as an instance of mod. It seems to me that the explanation is ern feeling for romance, this famous touch to be found in the very quality of his surof the flageolet and the old song is se- prising merits. As his books are play to lected by Miss Braddon for omission. the reader, so were they play to him. He Miss Braddon's idea of a story, like Mrs. conjured up the beautiful with delight, Todgers's idea of a wooden leg, were but he had hardly patience to describe it. something strange to have expounded. He was a great daydreamer, a seeër of fit As a matter of personal experience, Meg's and beautiful and humorous visions; but appearance to old Mr. Bertram on the hardly a great artist; hardly, in the manroad, the ruins of Derncleugh, the scene ful sense, an artist at all. He pleased of the flageolet, and the Dominie's recoy. himself, and so he pleases us. Of the nition of Harry, are the four strong notes pleasures of his art he tasted fully; but that continue to ring in the mind after the of its toils and vigils and distresses never book is laid aside. The second point is man knew less. A great romantic - an still inore curious. The reader will ob- idle child.
R. L. STEVENSON. serve a mark of excision in the passage as quoted by me. Well, here is how it runs in the original: “a damsel, who, close behind a fine spring about half-way
From Blackwood's Magazine. down the descent, and which had once
THE STORY OF JAMES BARKER: supplied the castle with water, was engaged in bleaching linen.” A man who gave in such copy would be discharged from the staff of a daily paper. Scott has forgotten to prepare the reader for The sound was the rattle of the dice, the presence of the “damsel;" he has and M'Gibbon and the Portuguese were forgotten to mention the spring and its the gamblers. For some time the pair relation to the ruin; and now, face to face continued to throw — the Portuguese al
A TALE OF THE CONGO COAST.