Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub
[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][merged small][graphic][graphic]

VOL. XIX.—No. 309.
JUNE 18TH, 1884.

PRICE 6d.
GEORGE ELIOT'S POEMS.

effort. This is perhaps the first thought that strikes

a reader of George Eliot's poems. The words often Few of the prose writers of this century have

rise into the imagination of poetry no doubt, but the attended to Carlyle's advice that “all those who can

writing seems strained and laborious; there is but peak their thought should never sing it," and his

little pure inspiration ; she overloads her poems maledictions upon “rhyme that had no inward

with heavy striking lines, of the kind which a reader necessity to be rhymed, pieces of prose cramped into

instinctively marks in the margin with his pencil jingling lines, to the great injury of the grammar, to

out of a feeling of pure gratitude for the laborious the great grief of the reader.” Most prose writers

compression which has concentrated a recondite idea have begun with poetry, and only a small percentage

tersely and epigrammatically into the scant space of have had the persistence to avoid all kind of writing

a few short lines. but that in which their special vocation lay.

Such lines as Emerson is the chief among these prose-writers who

Day is but Number to the darkened sight, Fenture into the realms of verse, and after him II or,

Know that true heaven, the recovered past, perhaps the next in importance is the writer with

The dear small Known amid the Unknown vast, which this article proposes to deal. George Eliot's

or these four lines : poems are certainly far less widely known than her

The soul of man is widening towards the past. novels; but anyone who is as much interested in

No longer hanging at the breast of life,

He spells the record of his long descent, the novelist as he is in the books cannot afford to

More largely conscious of the life that was. pass over the most valuable guides to her character are innumerable throughout her poems. They make and the works in which she discloses herself with it striking and original, but at the same time somefar less reserve than in any others.

what heavy, forced, and unnatural, and create a Perhaps the leading characteristic of her poems general impression of want of ease. Perhaps this is is their want of spontaneity. There are no signs of more especially the case in the prelude to the the natural flow of great poetry; there is a want of Spanish Gypsy. the fortuitous cadences and the true melody which It is not only in the diction that the somewhat the poets seem to attain naturally and without prosaic character of the poems makes its appear

rather they appea" to be due to the occasional desire for a more sublimated form of expression than prose could afford, when the writer was under the influence of unusually elevated ideas. What that impulse was must be obvious to every reader. She chose to throw into the form of poetry the writings in which she wished to disclose without reserve or disguise the religious ideas which underlie the novels. Throughout all her poems especially perhaps in the fine legend of Jubal the religious idea is the dominant note of the whole, and finds its culminating point in the lines beginning “O may I join the choir invisible,” the most elevated and purest piece of true poetry that its authoress ever wrote. It might perhaps be said that there are more fine pieces of poetry in the novels than in the poems, but nowhere, not even in the recently published articles, does she display more of those direct ideas, which in most of her prose writings are ingeniously dressed out and disguised, until they are scarcely recognized at all by a casual reader. As revealers of her character and exponents of her philosophy the poems cannot be passed over but we do not think them very valuablo additions to the poetical literature of the century.

ance. Coleridge remarks in one of his works that wherever you find a sentence musically worded there is something deep and great in the meaning besides. Except in a few isolated cases there is little of this musical depth and passion in George Eliot's poems. Most of her subjects seem to us scarcely better fitted for poetry than for prose. The intentional homeliness of Agatha and Armgart would have read better, for instance, in the scene of some novel; and it is an open question, we think, whether the Spanish Gypsyher longest piece of dramatic writing, where she tells the story how Fedalma led the gypsies out from Spanish bondage-would not have been better written simply in prose; after all it is but a novel in verse, and the elaborate preludes, interludes of description, and stage directions constantly serve to remind a reader of the fact. There is but one scene where the rhythm and modulation of the blank verse is distinctly needed—the scene where Fedalma consents to leave her lover and join her father's enterprise. This passage is indeed the centrepoint of the whole drama and its elevation and grandeur was, we suppose, the reason for translating the whole verse. But in the early portions of the book the verse is really not required and spoils we think to great extent the effect of the descriptions of the scenes in the tavern. In the same way we prefer the first volume of the “Mill on the Floss" describing the childhood of Tom and Maggie Tulliver to the scenes of the eleven sonnets called Brother and Sister, dealing with the same kind of subject. One feels instinctively that the writer is at home in the novel, but strained and ill at ease with the verse. Perhaps this feeling is least distinct in the lines called a Minor Prophet, where the writer approaches most closely to the language of prose, and drops into the sarcastic vein prominent throughout her novels in describing the prophetic rhapsodies of the vegetarian seer, by name Elias Baptist Butterworth' and his visions of the perfection of men and animals that is to come through' diet vegetariau.'

Somewhat forced and unnatural writing is then the dominant characteristic of her poem. Wordsworth said of Goethe's poetry that it was difficult to believe it was inevitable.' However true the remark may have been in his case, it is certainly applicable to George Eliot. It is difficult to believe that her poems were the natural outpourings of lier miud;

SILCHESTER. Unnamed, unannaled city! like a ghost

From history's grave thou risest, in whose train Throng evanescent spectres, with a host

Of thoughts that leave light impress on the brain ; Now liest like some black and bare-ribbed holl,

That shivers at the warm touch of the day, And seem'st to hate the hand that seeks to call

Mementoes from thy winding-sheet of clay. Even as a wreck submerged, that long has wept,

In watery solitude, her state forlorn, Until the silent-ebbing tide has swept

Far back, and left an eyesore and a scorn; So to the saddened and distempered brain,

Thou seem'st a spirit struggling for release, An image of the death that waits in vain

Its consummation and its goal of peace. Away with such sick fancies ! we have eyes

Can clothe these bones with re-created grace, Can bid the spirit of the past arise,

And draw her veil and look upon her face. What tho’ these cold and crumbling relics show

A shrunken skeleton of wasted wealth ? Tho' all the sap be drained that long ago

Ran pulsing in the veins of vigorous health ?
Tho' on the drama of this city's fame

Fate's black inpenetrable curtain falls,
And not a wandering whisper breathes the name

Of those who lived and wrought within these walls! What tho' the heavy hand of time has shorn

All good, all evil, weeds alike and flowers ; And night that wrapt thee heralded no morn

To rain fresh lustre on thy rnined towers ?

Yet is there life in death; for standing here

appropriated to the Sunday and daily services until By these memorials of a vanished day, We feel a power evoked that brings us near

the new Chapel is finished. To sympathies we fancied far away;

The boys who have used the Upper School as a A power that makes a present of the past, Lends feeble echoes a more ample tone,

day room and for preparation will be accommodated Colours each fading shadow, binds it fast,

in an iron building to be erected in the Court. With something of the warmth that is our own.

As the Upper School will be thus occupied, the Bound to the letter, o'er our books we pore, To realise the dream the poet dreamed, .

usual observance of Prize Day will be dropped for Fathom the treasures of the thinker's lore,

this year, and the School will go home on Monday, Rebuild the system that the statesman schemed ; In books it may be, which we spell with toil,

July 28th.
The words engross us while the life escapes;
Not here ; here fancy ranges on free soil,
Peoples this city with a thousand shapes ;

EXPEDITION TO SILCHESTER.
Erects once more the sculptured capital
Upon the column wrought with simple grace ;

On Thursday, June 12th, by the invitation of W. B.
Stands by the banker's or the merchant's stall,
And joins the traffic of the market-place;

Hall, Esq., the father of a member of the school, the Again rears up the judgment-hall, and sees

VIth visited the interesting Roman remains at Rome's Right and Law impersonated there, Plead with the pleaders, hears the stern decrees

Silchester. The majority of the VIth availed them. From high tribunal and from curule chair ;

selves of Mr. Hall's kindness; and the party left Or wanders where beneath the massive wall

Marlborough at 12.30, accompanied by the Bursar The legionary stands beside the gate, Keeping his watch, and listens for the fall

and Mr. Upcott, and graced by the presence of Mrs. Of steps along the roadway, broad and straight;

Bell and other ladies. The dietance from Marlborough Or where the British Colisseum plays

to Aldermaston is under 30 miles, and by the arrangeIts parody of sport, Rome's worst disgrace ; Or if Serapis draws the crowd to gaze

ment of the G.W.R. the party were enabled to cover Upon the sculptured mildness of his face;

this distance in two hours, as well as to enjoy the Or seeks the shrine of some forgotten god, Circle enclosing circle in its bound,

beauty of Savernake Station for half-an-hour. But Where reverential steps whilom have trod

when we did arrive, Mr. Hall's kindly welcome And hushed their footfall on the hallowed ground ;And ever, 'mid this change of sight and sound,

made us forget the journey, and packing into breaks Like mingled melodies that rise unsought,

we drove into the village of Aldermaston, and sat And sink, and shift, and eddy round and round, There rings the constant burden of this thought ;

down to luncheon. While thus pleasantly engaged His work is best who sacrifices fame

we were joined by Mr. Raynor and other adventurous To fixity of purpose, and ensures This nobler epitaph than any name,

spirits, who were not to be deterred by the tremendous “None knows the workman, but his work endures." heat from riding over on their bicycles. Then

Y.E.W.

entering the breaks again we drove to Silchester

through scenery, which was looking its loveliest on THE CHAPEL.

this perfect sammer's day. The first part of the In the last number of the Marlburian it was city we were shown was the amphitheatre. The sides announced that the last Sunday services in the

of this amphitheatre were not cut into seats as is present Chapel would be held on June 29th. Since often the case, but Mr. Ferguson, the eminent then several Old Marlburians have expressed their

antiquary, told us the seats were in this case of wood, wish that the demolition of the old Chapel might be

built up tier on tier. From the amphitheatre the deferred till after the O.M. Cricket Match, when a

party proceeded to view the excavation of a villa, good many are likely to be present.

the most noticeable feature of which was the system As the architects and builders consider that their

of fues, both horizontal and vertical used for warming work will not be materially hindered by such delay,

the house and bath. Close to this villa a museum it has been arranged that the last services shall take

has been erected in which the antiquities discovered place on Sunday, July 6th.

are deposited. Prominent among these are two iron The Holy Communion will be celebrated and the

rings described as having adorned the aerarium, or sermon will be preached by the Bursar.

treasury. We also noticed with attention the The seats and other furniture of the Chapel will drawing of a very fine specimen of tesselated pavebe transferred to the Upper School, which will bell ment, the original of which is in the possession of the

The Rev. H. A. Sherington, Vicar of St. Peter's, Great Windmill Street, has been appointed Priest-in-ordinary to the Queen.

The Rev. Thomas Leslie Papillon, Fellow, Dean, and Lecturer of New College, Oxford, has been appointed Vicar of Writtle.

Occasioual Notes.

Duke of Wellington. Leaving this very interesting excavation we passed on to visit the Forum. Round this ran four streets, and outside these last, houses. On the west side lay the curia and south of it the aerarium. Some capitals of the pillars of the caria are lying on the ground: they are wonderfully well preserved, and the carving is exceedingly beautiful. The houses on the east were butchers' and poulterers' shops. In the south west corner a Roman eagle had been found among the rafters of a burnt house, in which it had been concealed by the standard bearer to preserve it from capture. The south gate was next visited, to inspect the walls some 20 feet high. At the present time it is completely overgrown with trees and bushes, that is where it is visible at all, as in places it has entirely disappeared. The last part of the old city we visited was the Thermae. The party then returned to Aldermaston for tea, after which the Master expressed the thanks of the party to Mr. Hall, and we started for the station with loud cheers for our kind entertainer.

O.M.'s.

MARRIAGES. May 15th, at Rudby Church, Hubert Edward Braddyll, only son of the late E. S. R. G. Braddyll, Esq., Scansbrick House, Southport, to Mary, ouly daughter of J. M. Lennard, Esq., Leven House, Hutton Rudby,

On the 28th instant, at Holy Trinity, Paddington, by the Reverend Daniel Moore, Vicar, Chaplain in ordinary to the Queen, assisted by the Reverend Henry George Baily, Vicar of Swindon, Wiltshire, father of the bridegroom, Cornwall Stuart Baily, of Glenside, St. Leonard's on Sea, to Marion, younger daughter of John Underwood, M.D., of Hastings.

ARMY. Royal Artillery-Brevet Lieut.-Col. Henry de Grey Warter, to be Lieutenant-Colonel.

Capt. Robert S. 0. Hewitt, to be Major.

Liverpool Regiment - Lieut.-Col. A. A. Le Mesurier, to be Colonel.

The Essex Regiment-Major T. E. Stephenson has been seconded for service on the staff.

Staff in India—Lieut.-Col. D. M. Strong, to be an Assistant Quartermaster-General, Bengal Establishment.

CAMBRIDGE. Classical Tripos-2nd class A. W. Yeatman, Pembroke, D. Tait, Trinity Hal

Natural Science Tripos—Third class-H. M. Leaf, Trinity
College.
PASSED THE PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION OF THE

INCORPORATED LAW SOCIETY
Hugh George Goodacre.
Archer Moresby White.

To be Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George :

George Smyth Baden-Powell, Esq., one of H.M.'s Commissioners appointed to inquire into the Revenue and Expenditure, &c., of certain of the West Indian Colonies.

ECCLESIASTICAL PREFERMENTS. Rev. E. Forward, Vicar of Longparish, Hants.

House Matches came to an end on Wednesday, June the 13th. In the semi-final ties Gould's (Star) beat Way's (Crescent) by a total of 20 runs after a good match ; and themselves succumbed to Ford's (Maltese Cross) in the final game after a most exciting finish. Gould's headed their opponents on the first innings by 16 runs, and got them out on their second trial for 40, and finally when the game seemed theirs, collapsed for a total of 20 and were beaten by only 4 runs.

This was quite the closest Cock House match that we can remember here. The game was further remarkable for two bowling analyses ; Bere, for Ford's, took eight wickets for 10 runs in the second innings; and perhaps a still better performance, Hayburst took 18 wickets for 50 runs in the two innings of Ford's; and it must be remembered that he had no “ rot" to help him.

The School Eleven has not as yet met with wonderful success. Three matches have been played op to the present date; two lost, and the one that was drawn would have been probably a tremendous beating if it had been finished. In the Liverpool match, played on Whit-Monday and Tuesday, we scored 165 against 208 and 351 compiled by the visitors, the game not being played out.

Last Saturday June the 14th, we played East Somerset and were beaten by 30 runs, the visitors making 175 to our score of 145. There seems to be a grievous want of good bowling; there are plenty of fair bowlers, but no one nearly equal to Backland of last year's eleven.

The ties of House Ground Matches, the only games which now remain to be decided, have been drawn for; in the first ties Way's (Crescent) play Gould's (Star). Preshute play Cotton House. Baker's (Fleur de Lys) play Hart-Smith's (Mitre). Ford's (Maltese Cross) play Littlefield.

Horner's (Cross Arrows) a bye, The Shooting eight has shot off three matches already : The first, a simultaneous match against

Glenalmond ended in our defeat by two points, our

preached in the College chapel by the Rev. I. Gregory eigbt being handicapped by bad weather. On May

Smith. Text Matthew xxv. xi. the 31st we beat Rossall in a simultaneous match by

The Sub-Librarian of the sixth form begs to 68 points; and on June 5th at Reading, we defeated

acknowledge the receipt of “ Paley's Complete Winchester by 14 points, and Wellington by 65, and

Works,” presented to the sixth form library. thus won the Hunter Cup, which we are glad to see

We are glad to notice that the sixth and last series once more in the Adderley Library. Marlborough has

of Artists' Proofs of Doré's pictures was received in won the cap 14 times to Winchester's 6.

the Easter holidays, and that the complete series now

hangs in the Reading Room. We are indebted for At a recent Council meeting it was decided to use

these to the liberality of Major Mesham, O.M., who Upper School for religious services while the new

is also the giver of the Science prizes. chapel is being built. To supply its place an iron

We are requested to repeat our notice that the shed will be erected in front of Hall. We have also

annual ball of the Marlborough Nomads will be held to note that at the request of several Old Marl

at the Kensington Town Hall, on the evening of burians it has been decided that the last service in

June the 30th next (the first day of the Oxford and the present chapel will take place, not on June the

Cambridge Cricket Match). Marlburians who wish 29th as was originally announced, but on July the

to attend should apply for tickets before June the 6th, the Sunday after the O.M's match, in order to

20th, to any of the following :enable as many Old Marlbarians as possible to attend.

London-C.M. Wilkins, Esq., 76 Belgrave Road, S.W. As Upper School will be devoted to the uses of a

Oxford—W. M. Tatham, Esq., Vincent's Club. chapel, the arrangements for Prize-day are com Cambridge—H. M. Leaf, Esq., Trinity College. pletely dislocated. The School, it is said, will break Marlborough-J. A. Bourdillon, Esq., Manton Grange. up on Monday, as no suitable room can be found Prout's band will be in attendance. Single tickets either for Mr. Corney Grain's entertainment or for price 10s. 6d. each; sets of six price £2 10s. Prize giving; we shall not be very sorry to dispense We publish in another column a letter giving with the forms of the latter ceremony.

notice that the Old Marlburian Triennial Dinner is Two novelties have lately made their appearance fixed to take place at Willis' Rooms, King Street, St. in court, Upper School seats have been restored, no James's, on Wednesday, the 30th July (the first day longer in front of the new buildings, but round the of the Rugby Match). The Rev. Dr. Wace, trees in court ; they have already become very Principal of King's College, will act as chairman. popular. B. House has received an addition of two Tickets price 21s. each. handsome iron gates, as substitutes at night for its On Thursday, June the 12th, the greater part of the wooden doors; they are in admirable harmony with sixth form under the auspices of some of the Common the prison-like air of the rest of the building.

Room made a most successful trip to Silchester, and A Lecture on “Manitoba and life in the far West” spent a very enjoyable afternoon in seeing the was to have been given on Saturday, June the 14th, remnants of the old Roman settlement. The expediby Canon Cooper, of the S.P.G. ; unfortunately the tion was owing to the kind invitation of W. B. Hall, lecturer missed his train and did not put in an Esq., to whose kindness and energy the thanks of the appearance; the lecture had therefore to be given up whole party are due. at the last moment.

We have to record the fact that S. T. Fisher, Esq., The examination for the various June scholarships O.M., who has served Marlborough College with a was held last week on Tuesday, Wednesday, and devotion which few can claim to equal, has suceeded Thursday; the names of successful candidates will H.R.H. the Duke of Albany on the Council. be found in another column.

The match against M. P. Lucas' eleven has fallen Toe only Penny Reading of the term will be given through; in its place a game will be played on on Saturday, June the 21st; we understand that Thursday and Friday of this week against the one of the scenes in “Henry the Fourth” is to Hampshire gentlemen. be acted.

We understand that the team to represent M.C.C. LAST Sunday, June the 15th, the sermon was II and Ground against us on the 25th and 26th of

« VorigeDoorgaan »