Page:Notes and Queries - Series 12 - Volume 6.djvu/98

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NOTES AND QUERIES. [12 s. vr. MARCH, 1920.


of the sort America now produces so freely. Compared with O. Henry, he is nowhere in point and smartness, in carefully engineering and revealing at the right moment a surprise, or even a double surprise. He lacks the restless vivacity and slang of modern America. He is not great at depicting incident as such. His bandits are nothing like so great, for instance, as Luigi Vampa in ' Monte Cristo.' ' The Adventure of -the Little Antiquary ' seems rather tame, and ' Governor Manco and the Soldier ' a little too obvious, though redeemed by the spirited touch of its last words. Irving knew that " the author must be continually piquant," and hardly reached that difficult goal. But the very smoothness and excellence of his style may serve as a new recom- mendation nowadays. He does not write tele- graphese, or pepper his narrative with dashes, like some formless purveyors of fiction in the twentieth century. He needed for his best work

a story ready made for him, a legend he could

embroider. His is not only a style recalling Addison, but also the sly wit of that master, excellently shown, as the Introduction points out, in the satirical medievalism of ' The Widow's Ordeal.' It is in touches of character that he excels, as in ' The Adventure of the Englishman ' accused of insensibility by the fair Venetian. ' The Stout Gentleman ' is justly described as a '"flawless episode." There is nothing of unusual in- cident in it, and the title-character never justifies himself by revealing to the reader in detail the figure of John Bull. He is seen only in a partial glimpse at the end. The piece is a success of style and, for once of imagination, for this was the quality which Irving lacked, or did not in- dulge, let us say, as freely as he might have.

We think it quite likely that the present age, tired of excessive and devastating cleverness, may return to such writing as Irving's. Any- way, a judicious reader should find pleasure in this collection. It recalls what Dr. Saintsbury has described as " the Peace of the Augustans." We may not return exactly to that kind of peace : uut we can appreciate the intellectual curiosity and social good sense of the eighteenth century as something more desirable than the world of franzied fashion and vulgar advertisement which produces such inferior and snobbish journalism for eager readers to-day.

The British Academy : Seals and Documents. By Reginald L. Poole. (Published for the Academy by Humphrey Milford, 2s. 6d. net.)

THIS little paper booklet should not be over- ooked on account of its modest appearance, for it is the work of a master in diplomatics who compresses into a short space the results of abundant erudition. The path of the student of seals is strewn with difficulties and forgeries ; and some curious gaps in our knowledge still require to be filled up. Mr. Poole shows the abundant interest of the- subject and dwells briefly on the various forms which the seal has taken, not the least important of which is the Papal bull. England, however, can claim de- velopments of her own as well as the use of foreign introductions.

We are glad to see monographs of this kind : they are the best justification for the existence of an Academy, an institution which the average student of letters in this country does not regard great favour


A. H. BULLEN.

MB. ARTHUR HENRY BULLEN who was laid to rest at Lullington on March 5 last had a well- deserved reputation as a scholar, especially in the Elizabethan period. Indeed, he doubled for many years the parts of scholar and publisher, and his bluff, hearty personality fired the imagina- tion of more than one rising writer to Whom, he gave help and encouragement. We believe he figures, for instance, in Mr. Albert Kinross's novel ' The Way Out,' and in one of Major A. J. Dawson's earlier books. His first activities as a publisher were connected with the firm of Lawrence & Bullen, and in 1904 he established the Shakespeare Head Press at Stratford-on- Avon, whence he issued his fine " Stratford Town Shakespeare " in several volumes, a work which reveals his mastery of Elizabethan drama. That indeed, was known to the expert from his ex- cellent editions of Marlowe, Middleton, Marston, Peele and Campion. The last-named, a lyrist of the first quality, he may be said to have discovered when he was looking for songs in the Elizabethan music-books in 1887. He collected Campion's poems, the best of which have since figured in all good anthologies, but characteris- tically, as Mr. Gosse has recently written, warned admirers in 1903 against making Campion " the object of uncritical adulation." His first pub- lication, an edition of the works of John Day, 1881, reveals that careful and measured erudition which is characteristic of all his work, and which will preserve it as of permanent value.


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WILL the writer of a query on Charles Marshall kindly forward his name and address which has become detached from the copy ?

CORRIGENDA. Owing to the late return of proofs some errors appear in the article on Statues and Memorials ante. pp. 5-7. On p. 5 for Skin- ner's" read Skinners and for " Sept." read Sep. ; on p. 6 for " Tunerelli " read Tumerelli, for ' Ronwold" read Romwo.d, for "Irelane" read Ireland, for "the" read their, from Berkeley Square onwards for "George II" read George III. The inscription on statue of George III (p. 7) on back of pedestal should read

Hugoni Percy

Northumb. comiti

Hib. Pro-Regi

Grato animi

Hoc qualecunque Testimonium Civit Duhl

A.D. M.DCOLXXXVH.

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