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Page:Notes and Queries - Series 10 - Volume 12.djvu/411

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io 8. xii. OCT. 23, 1909.] NOTES AND QUERIES.


writes most judiciously, and his word on literary criticism to-day is both just and necessary. He has, however, made a bad mistake in crediting Byron with writing in Blackwood against Keats. The words of Byron quoted are a comment on that article. See his ' Letters.' Among the historians Thirlwall should have been mentioned. He was at least as good as Mitford, and the merits of his ' History of Greece ' have been unduly obscured by the work of Grote.

A large amount of space is devoted to Tennyson, whose style is analyzed with considerable skill. Not unfairly, the limitations of the poet are the subject of keen strictures. We think, however, that the line of ' Enoch Arden ' criticized on p. 183 can be defended as true to nature, if not to the conceptions of the upper classes. ' Enoch Arden ' is not in any case among Tennyson's " early poems." For ourselves, we should have awarded special words of praise to the splendid Ode on the Duke of Wellington. Beddoes is treated at exces- sive length, and so is Mr. Stephen Phillips. Of Mark Pattison's 'Memoirs' it is said that they " have the curious value, more difficult to define than to appreciate, attaching to the literature of introspection." This is the kind of statement which is of little use, and surely it would have been possible to explain briefly why the ' Memoirs ' are important and pessimistic.

Mr. Magnus includes a certain amount of art and philosophy in his scheme, and though somewhat casual in his mention of living writers, may certainly claim to be up to date. For the first time in a short history we find Mr. F. C. S. Schiller, the champion of Pragmatism, included under 'Knowledge and Belief.'

It is remarked that Dickens founded no school, though the stories of Mr. W. W. Jacobs are men- tioned in this connexion ; but at least one popular novelist of to-day exaggerates all the Dickensian sentiment, and deals in strange disappearances, angel children, sudden conversion of villains, &c.

As for Mrs. Gaskell, we are told that 'Mary Barton ' and ' Sylvia's Lovers,' " significant at their time, are held in less account to-day, when Mrs. Gaskell is chiefly remembered as the author of

'Cranford' and further as the author of a ' Life

of Charlotte Bronte.' " The two novels mentioned still contribute substantially to Mrs. Gaskell's fame, as well as ' North and South,' which is a document on the conditions of labour more alive to-day than the frothy prophecies of Carlyle. 'North and South' might have been mentioned under the section of ' Capital and Labour,' in which Mr. Magnus says clever things about ' John Hali- fax, Gentleman.'

Great attention is devoted to Pater, and we are invited to note in some sentences quoted from

  • Marius ' " the rare appearance in English prose of

particles as supple as in Attic." This remark does not seem to us to be justified by the qiiotations made. At any rate we fail to understand it.

Throughout the book Mr. Magnus is obviously clever, to use the words he applies to Stevenson's style. The worst of -this sort of writing is that it leads to a display of the unessential and unnatural, and to exaggerations which distort the truth. We must say that we prefer the unforced epigram and simple statements of ' Hours in a Library.' Still many people nowadays like to read a style which is highly ornamented, and here is much that is both ingenious and thoughtful in the pages before us.

The Pageant of English Poetry : being 1,150 Poems and Extracts by 300 Authors (Frowde), is a highly successful collection. Seldom have we seen an anthology concerning which we were less inclined to indulge in the reviewer's privilege of grumbling at omissions. R. M. Leonard has, in fact, as the S^ote remarks, included " comparatively little of 3oor quality, and not a little that is unfamiliar to

he general reader." Nearly all the favourite pieces

f or which we have looked are included. Tennyson's Brook' is the only notable exception. Among .ess-known writers we are pleased to see extracts 'rom Chalkhill, Lord Herbert of Cherbury, William Cory, Darley, Lord Hough ton, Father Prout, Aubrey de Vere, C. J. Wells, and Woolner. Among larger poems we find ' Lycidas,' Keats's ' Ode to a Nightin- gale,' and Gray's ' Elegy.' We should have omitted altogether passages from drama. A few are given iinder Shakespeare, but other Elizabethans, e.g., Massinger, have as much claim to a place for their blank verse as Wells has for the insertion of two passages from ' Joseph and His Brethren.' In Shakespeare's case familiarity has naturally sug- gested most of the extracts, to which we should have been inclined to add some of the most beauti- ful lines of his early work those beginning

The current, that with gentle murmur glides, from 'The Two Gentlemen of Verona,' Act II., se. vii. American writers, such as Emerson and Poe, are not forgotten. Some poems are truncated in order to gain space, a principle of which we da not approve.

The name of the compiler is unknown to us, but we may congratulate him or her on the possession of unusual taste and knowledge. The volume and indexes are so arranged as to make its treasures available with the least possible trouble. Being sold at a very moderate price, it should have a wide ccess.

The Quarterly Review for this month is a mixture of signed and unsigned articles. It begins with 'The Nationalisation of British Railways,' by Mr. Edgar Crammond, which puts forcibly the objec- tions to any scheme for buying up the railways of this country. Mr. J. T. Morse, jun., writes with some humour and a judicious open-mindedness on 'The United States through Foreign Spectacles.' He does not, however, deal with the stumbling- block of Tammany, which is a main cause of offence to many English observers. He says that Americans are generous givers in private as well as in public. From a recent book, the 'Beggars' of Mr. W. H. Davies, it would appear that they are viciously and sentimentally generous, for the tramps of the United States expect to get hot meals out of houses and scorn the idea of any work to win bread. Dr. P. Toynbee has secured for his paper on * The Earliest English Illustrators of Dante' illustrations which strike us as a novelty in The Quarterly. ' Sport and Decadence,' an anonymous paper, is full of sound- sense, but not entirely fair, we think, in some of its. strictures. ' The English Conception of Police ' introduces us to foreign investigations of a system, generally regarded as admirable. It is a very interesting survey. There is a long article on ' Porfirio Diaz : Soldier and Statesman,' by Mr. Percy F. Martin ; and the number closes with a paper on ' The New Radicalism,' in which the Tory point of view is emphasized by quotations from Shakespeare and Virgil, which may be old-fashioned,, but strike us as very pleasant.