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value in this country has received a share of the leaders. The purpose of the men whom Mr. Howprofits accruing from his books. Nearly the entire ard admires has always from the first been to keep body of English scientific writers are here put on the down the people and extend the power of the state. same footing that American authors are, and every There are only two things that the concerted wisnovelist of recognized place has received a price dom of rulers has ever been called upon to give the for early sheets of his books. Within the last year world, and these two things their united intellect the prices paid to English novel-writers have been has never been able to grasp-one being to let the considerably reduced on account of cheap opposition people alone in their faiths and their industries, and editions ; but so far the graver writers, the scientists the other to establish a police that will maintain and historians, have not suffered from this cause, order. The great men whose names shed so much Had Mr. Howard thought proper to acquaint him- luster on the past have disdained a simple task like self with the facts before sneering about our “re- this ; they have preferred to restlessly intrigue for formed and suddenly upright publishers,” he would the extension of boundaries, and so have plunged have discovered that the opposition to international the nations into disastrous wars ; they have encopyright here has not arisen from any unwillingness deavored to establish or overthrow faiths, and in so to pay royalties to foreign authors—this being com- doing have bestowed upon the world a heritage of monly done—but from the apprehension that such a wrong and oppression ; they have schemed to auglaw would largely transfer book-making from our ment their own resources by every possible device in own country to England. The most strenuous op- taxation, and so impoverished the commonalty. They position to international copyright has come from have done these things in the past, and are busy paper-makers, printers, stereotypers, and bookbind- doing them to-day. The only countries that are ers, and many publishers have united with these peaceful and prosperous are those in which the peoclasses, not because they wished to defraud English ple have bound down their brilliant leaders, and authors, but for the reason that they did not desire succeeded in controlling affairs by an
aggregate of to enrich English publishers. An international copy- commonplace opinions,” while the supreme wisdom right law without qualification or conditions would of Bismarck has filled Germany with discontent, and soon show us all books by English writers designed the administrative talents of the Czar have given to for this market manufactured in England. The Eng- Russia a choice crop of conspiracies and assassina. lish author would not sell a duplicate of his manu- tions. Ten thousand evils have sprung from the uscript here as now ; it is the English publisher who meddling wisdom of statesmen, but not one genuine would place editions of the author's writings in this good. The blessings that have come upon mankind market. That American publishers have not in all have been the elevation of common life, the growth instances paid royalties to foreign authors is true; of the arts, and the spread of education, and these that, like other men, including authors, they are some things the men in high places have resisted with all times selfish and sometimes short-sighted, is also true; their power. “Of one thing we may be sure,” says but foreign authors whose books can be reprinted with a writer in a recent English magazine, " that the profit are tolerably sure in the competition that en- world has been too much governed by persons whose sues to find publishers who will pay them. It was talent has lain chiefly in taking care of themselves. incumbent upon Mr. Howard as an American, if There have always been too many people ready to not as a man actuated by the spirit of fairness, to regulate society in their own interests, whereas the ascertain these facts before taking occasion to defame welfare of the world lies in the direction of selfhis countrymen. But Mr. Howard is not alone. government. Humanity has been too much sat The assumption always with his high-minded and upon by rulers, heaven-born and devil-born—the latpatriotic class is, that in any given condition of things ter class chiefly prevailing. What is wanted is inin America the wrong and not the right is inevitably crease in the general capacity of self-government. chosen.
The far-seeing prayer of Robert Browning should
be put up in all the churches, THE WISDOM OF LEADERS.
Make no more giants, God,
But elevate the race at once !'” “The concerted wisdom of a few brilliant lead. ers" is Mr. Howard's ideal of government. He is This writer's phrases are strong, if not elegant. not alone in the notion that great men are necessary “Humanity has been too much sat upon by rulers” for the prosperity and safety of a community. And is as terse and good as a proverb. But we suspect yet since the world began what has the concerted that it is not so much“ an increase in the general wisdom of brilliant leaders done for mankind ? The capacity of self-government” that is wanted as an prosperity, and even largely the safety, of nations increase of opportunity to exhibit the capacity that has actually been wrested from those brilliant lead- exists. The main difficulty with the people is that ers whose wisdom, concerted or otherwise, is so ra- they are still partially afflicted with the ruling notion diant in many people's eyes. The simple right to in high places that government is indispensable in enjoy in security the products of one's own labor regulating industrial, commercial, educational
, and has been acquired solely by the stubborn courage social affairs ; that the state must still exercise some and persistent purpose of the people, in the face degree of military mastery and paternal coddling. of monarchs, statesmen, priests, and other brilliant The supreme public concern is not to gain “ bril
liant leaders,” but to suppress the class altogether; · ton that we have copied. The delight in poetical to subordinate government just so far as it can be distance may be rather an animal exaltation than a done, to permit the great body of affairs to be self- spiritual aspiration ; it may be nothing more than a acting, with just supervision enough to see that the thrill of the nerves that comes from a sense of space full freedom of self-acting is maintained ; and for this and vastness, but it is as common as human nature duty the steady, clear common sense of the com- itself. Wherever there are mountains the tops of munity is wholly adequate.
which are accessible, or high places that command extended views, we find throngs of people making pil
grimages to them. There is no better-known scene in THE POETRY, OF DISTANCE.
America than the view from the plateau in front of
the Catskill Mountain House, a prospect described MR. HAMERTON thinks that susceptibility to the by Cooper's Leatherstocking, before hotels were poetry of distance in landscape is a faculty not pos- known in that region, in a passage that sessed by minds of a common order. In his “Life is familiar with, and which expresses the sentiments of Turner" he devotes several pages to this theme, commonly awakened by the vast panorama unfolded from which we quote the subjoined :
there. To see the sun rise or set from a mountainThe fascination of the remote for minds which and one which every summer induces many people
top is a pleasure that every one promises himself, have any imaginative faculty at all is so universal and unfailing that it must be due to some cause in to undergo great labor and fatigue to accomplish, the depths of man's spiritual nature. It may be We can hardly assume that American people are due to a religious instinct, which makes him forget more sensitive to this kind of beauty than the com. the meanness and triviality of common life in this munities with which Mr. Hamerton is acquainted, world to look as far beyond it as he can to a mys- but, unless this is the case, the distinguished art critic terious infinity of glory where earth itself seems to pass easily into heaven. It may be due to a progres
in this matter assuredly has not evinced his usual sive instinct, which draws men to the future and the accuracy of observation. unknown, leading them ever to fix their gaze on the far horizon, like mariners looking for some visionary Atlantis across the space of the wearisome sea. Be this as it may, the enchantments of landscape dis
THE OBJECTIVE NOVEL. tance are certainly due far more to the imagination of the beholder than to any tangible or explicable
“I AM told,” says Mr. Frederic Harrison, in his beauty of their own. It is probable that minds of a recent essay on “The Choice of Books," " that the common order, which see with the bodily eyes only, last discovery of modern culture is that Scott's prose and have no imaginative perception, receive no im- is commonplace ; that the young men at our univerpressions of the kind which affected Turner ; but sities are far too critical to care for his artless sen. the conditions of modern life have developed a great sensitiveness to such impressions in minds tences and flowing descriptions." In keeping with of a higher class. It would be difficult, if not im- this discovery is the notion with us in America that possible, to name any important imaginative work Cooper's tales of the sea and the woods are of an inin literature produced during the present century inferior order of composition ; that stories depicting which there is not some expression of the author's the throes of heated passion, or the perturbations of sensitiveness to the poetry of distance.
well-bred lovers in drawing-rooms, are of a higher Now, the fascination of landscape distance seems intellectual character than narratives of adventure to us more generally felt than any other form of natu- and exploit. Let us admit that analysis of characral beauty. Instead of being exclusively the posses- ter is a very high and subtile phase of the novelist's sion of imaginative or cultivated minds, it is with art, but then it has not absolute possession of the the multitude almost the very beginning and end of whole field. There are not only other worthy things their sense of poetry or beauty in landscape. Trav- than the study of emotions and motives, but psychoeling once with an artist in search of the pictu- logical probing is very apt when pushed too far to resque, we discovered that everywhere the prevalent become a great bore, and with many writers is simidea of landscape beauty was that of an extended ply stimulative of an unhealthful and morbid passion prospect. In every flat or merely undulating dis- for introspection. It is not a good thing to be al. trict we were directed to the top of some high build- ways looking into our own minds or into the minds ing for the fine view afforded therefrom, and in hilly of our neighbors. The subjective novel within due sections there was always a rock or hill-top that was limits is proper enough to read and study, but when famous for the beautiful prospect it commanded. made too large a part of our intellectual food the Foreground scenes never seemed to enter the minds result is morally and mentally hurtful. In this case of the people we commonly met as legitimately with- the breezy, out-of-door, objective novel affords an in the meaning of landscape beauty. With this ex- excellent counter-current of sensation, and for this perience in view, Mr. Hamerton's assumption that reason alone it ought to be sandwiched between the the beauty of distance is not appreciated by minds highly seasoned preparations of the modern school. of a common order surprises us. Whatever may be The objective novel, however, is something more the cause, one encounters everywhere-in this coun- than a mere antidote to sentimental poison. Its try at least-a sensitiveness to the fascinations so place in art is not an inferior one. The reasons that admirably described in the extract from Mr. Hamer- make us cherish the epic poets, that lead us to ad.
mire the temples and statues of the ancients, that imagination he would have embodied the melancholy, give to form and color so much fascination, are the the beauty, and the spirit of the woods, just as the elementary foundations of the objective novel. If it is German sprite Undine does of the waters. He would a fine thing to be sensitive to the beauties of nature, have figured in endless statues and paintings, and it must be a fine thing to be sensitive to pictures of have fired the fancy of innumerable poets. But life that are closely related to those open aspects of born close to us, being our very own, we have lacked the world around us; and, if architecture stands the faculty of seeing in him the exquisite poetical high in the æsthetic world, if color in painting is conditions that three thousand years ago would have entitled to our admiration, if the lines of sculpture made him immortal. We think we appreciate the are worthy of our study, then romances which deal heroes of Greek story because we have been indusprominently with color and form are candidates for triously instructed how to admire them, but we have an equal appreciation. The novel of action is an shown an utter lack of ability to seize for ourselves epic in prose; the novel of picturesque situation is upon a singularly beautiful figure of our own land and like a stirring painting on canvas; and the novel time, which as a type of a splendid young savage is that gives us heroes and heroines of ideal grace and unique and artistically perfect. He is filled with beauty awakens in us some of the same sensations the very breath of poetry, and yet neither our paint. that higher sculpture does. The arts generally deal ers, our poets, nor our sculptors have discovered with the objective, appealing exclusively to the him. It may some day be thought that this Adonis senses ; and it is therefore certainly not a wrong of the woods is as worthy of attention as diseased or an improper thing for the novelist to appeal to studies in spiritual anatomy, and we may be sure the same sensibilities that painters and sculptors do. that our tastes will not be healthful, robust, strong,
It is only by realizing the really high place in or sweet until this time comes about. There are othart that novels of description and action may oc- er striking poetic figures in Cooper's romances which cupy when the performance is equal to the plan, that remain largely unheeded to our dull imagination. one is prepared to form a just estimate of romances How full of poetic associations the waters that girt like Cooper's. One must put himself in some such New York ought to be with recollections of “the lady relation to them as he would if they were ancient of the sea-green mantle,” at the bowsprit of the classics. Let us imagine, for instance, the figure of Water-Witch gliding phantom-like through them! young Uncas, in “The Last of the Mohicans,” com- Cooper has, in truth, peopled our waters and our ing down to us from the remote past. As he incar- woods with figures that are as full of strange beauty nates the three special qualities of the hero-youth, as those that animate the shores of the Ægean Sea, grace, and daring—neither Hector, nor Paris, nor but we cherish every detail of Greek tradition and Perseus has greater fascinations than that strange neglect every phase of our own. Our romance is and almost mystic figure would have possessed for us not so copious as the ancient, but it has a choice under such circumstances. As a product of Greek flavor of its own that ought to make it dear to us.
BOOK on the life and works of one great nov- egotism on the part of Mr. Trollope, but from the
elist by another almost equally eminent in the fact that he has used his own knowledge of life and same field could hardly fail to be deeply interesting; experience as a novelist in interpreting Thackeray, and Mr. Anthony Trollope's monograph on Thack- and has written throughout in the first person instead eray * not only possesses all the interest which natu- of with that objectiveness and formality which is apt rally pertains to such a work, but the additional at- to accompany the impersonal “we.” The whole tractiveness which comes from the fact that he has tone of the work is eminently sincere, candid, and not confined himself to the mere study of Thacke- unpretentious—impartial in judgment and keen in ray, but has made his work the vehicle for imparting criticism, but with that sympathetic feeling and corhis own ideas upon men and things, upon literature dial appreciativeness which a biographer may propand morality, and in particular upon the objects and erly extend to one who was both a friend and a methods of his own art. In fact, there is nearly as co-worker in kindred pursuits. The reader will distinct a flavor of Trollope in the book as of Thack- probably agree with us that Mr. Trollope has seldom eray, and the reader learns nearly as much about the given a more favorable impression than he gives in character, ideas, and habits of the former as of the this book of his character as a man and his power as latter. This comes, however, not from any obtrusive a writer; and we think it is owing, at least in part,
to the strict limitations as to space under which it * English Men of Letters. Edited by John Morley. was written. Had the book been twice as long it Thackeray. By Anthony Trollope. New York: Har- would probably have been much less than half as per & Brothers. 12mo, pp. 206.
good, and had it been spun out to the customary
length of Mr. Trollope's later novels it would doubt. cism is the one most commonly brought against Thack. less have had the same tepid flavor of toast-and-tea. eray's writings; and it is, of course, highly important It is something to know that so voluble and volumi- to know clearly how far it is true and in what respect nous an author can be concise and vigorous where it is unjust or mistaken. Mr. Trollope recurs to the these qualities are indispensable ; and it is more sat- subject several times; and, in summing up what he isfactory still to know that he can be concise and has to say about it, points out that, in considering vigorous without losing that ease of manner and fe- the charge, it is necessary to discriminate between licity of style which we have come to regard as his the author and the man. A public man, he admits, most striking characteristics as a writer.
should be judged from his public work. If he who Only the first chapter of the book is avowedly is to be known as a writer writes as a cynic, it is fair biographical, and even here the minute personal de- that he should be so called. Upon the question tails of which biography usually consists are but whether the nature of Thackeray's writings entitle scantily introduced. The truth is, as Mr. Trollope him to be called a cynic, he says: notifies to his readers at the outset, there is not suffi
The word is one which is always used in a bad cient material available for a formal biography of
sense. “Of a dog, currish,” is the definition which Thackeray: “Of Thackeray no lise has been writ- we get from Johnson-quite correctly and in accord. ten; and though they who knew him-and possibly ance with its etymology. .. That Thackeray's na. many who did not-are conversant with anecdotes of ture was soft and kindly-gentle almost to a faultthe man, who was one so well known in society as
has been shown elsewhere ; but they who have called
him a cynic have spoken of him merely as a writer, to have created many anecdotes, yet there has been and as a writer he has certainly taken upon himself no memoir of his life sufficient to supply the wants the special task of barking at the vices and follies of of even so small a work as this purports to be. For the world around him. Any satirist might in the this the reason may simply be told. Thackeray, not
same way be called a cynic in so far as his satire long before his death, had had his taste offended by goes., Swift was a cynic, certainly. Pope was cyni.
cal when he was a satirist. Juvenal was all cynic, some fulsome biography. Paragraphs, of which the
because he was all satirist. If that be what is meant, eulogy seemed to have been the produce rather of Thackeray was certainly a cynic. But that is not all personal love than of inquiry or judgment, disgusted that the word implies. It intends to go back beyond him, and he begged of his girls that when he should the work of the man, and to describe his heart. It have gone there should nothing of the sort be done says of any satirist so described that he has given with his name. . . . Acting upon these instructions, evil, but because he himself has been evil. Hamlet
himself up to satire, not because things have been his daughters—while there were two living, and since is a satirist, whereas Thersites is a cynic. If Thack. that the one surviving—have carried out the order cray be judged after this fashion, the word is as inwhich has appeared to them to be sacred.” Such appropriate to the writer as to the man. being the case, even if there were materials for it, allow his intellect to be too thoroughly saturated with
But it has to be confessed that Thackeray did one who like Mr. Trollope stood in the relation of a personal friend could not undertake to write what the operation of his mind from his earliest days,
the aspect of the ill side of things. We can trace might properly be called a life of Thackeray; and when he commenced his parodies at school ; when all that the present work professes to do is to give he brought out “The Snob" at Cambridge ; when he such an outline or sketch of Thackeray's career and
sent “ Yellowplush " out upon the world as a satirist character as will enable the reader to catch the true
on the doings of gentlemen generally; when he wrote significance of his writings. After all, however, the what he would have called Newgate literature ; and
his “Catherine," to show the vileness of the taste for published works of a really great author furnish the “The Hoggarty Diamond,” to attack bubble comvery best materials for a biography of him, because panies; and “ Barry Lyndon," to expose the pride these, when properly understood, reveal the inmost which a rascal may take in his rascality. “Becky workings of his mind and heart ; and in interpreting Sharp,” “Major Pendennis,” “Beatrix," both as a the writings of Thackeray, not by the cold light of young and as an old woman, were written with the
same purpose. There is a touch of satire in every analytical criticism but with the aid derived from per- drawing that he made. A jeer is needed for somesonal association and the performance of similar la- thing that is ridiculous, scorn has to be thrown on bors, Mr. Trollope has rendered the highest possible something that is vile. The same feeling is to be service to both author and readers. The fuller nar.
found in every line of every ballad. . . . He was rative and ampler details which we may hope for in crying his sermon," hoping, if it might be so, to do time to come will be received with their due meed of him. We all preach our sermon, but not always with
something toward lessening the evils he saw around appreciation ; but we think it very doubtful if any the same earnestness. He had become so urgent in future biographer will succeed in conveying to the the cause, so loud in his denunciations, that he did average reader a truer, juster, or more vivid concep- him. Now and again he paused and blessed amid
not stop often to speak of the good things around tion of Thackeray as man and author.
the torrent of his anathemas. There are Dobbin" Among the points to which Mr. Trollope devotes and “Esmond” and “Colonel Newcome." But his most attention-after telling briefly how Thackeray anathemas are the loudest. It has been so, I think, became an author, how he first worked and strug- nearly always with the eloquent preachers.(Page gled, and then worked and prospered until he be. 203.) came a household word in English literature—is an
As to the accuracy with which the term "cynic" explanation of the sense in which Thackeray can and can be applied to Thackeray's personal character as can not be called a “cynic.” This charge of cyni- a man, Mr. Trollope says:
I protest that it would be hard to find an in- those misfortunes on which the works of literary men dividual further removed from the character. Over are shipwrecked. Though he was aware of his own and outside his fancy, which was the gift which made power, he always, to the last, was afraid that his own him so remarkable, a certain feminine softness was deficiencies should be too strong against him. It was the most remarkable trait about him. To give some his nature to be idle-to put off his work-and then immediate pleasure was the great delight of his life to be angry with himself for putting it off. Ginger -a sovereign to a schoolboy, gloves to a girl, a was hot in the mouth with him, and all the alluredinner to a man, a compliment to a woman. His ments of the world were strong upon him. To find charity was overflowing, his generosity excessive. I on Monday morning an excuse why he should not on heard once a story of woe from a man who was the Monday do Monday's work was, at the time, an indear friend of both of us. The gentleman wanted a expressible relief to him, but had become a deep large sum of money instantly-something under two regret-almost a remorse-before the Monday was thousand pounds—had no natural friends who could To such a one it was not given to believe provide it
, but must go utterly to the wall without in himself with that sturdy, rock-bound foundation it. Pondering over this sad condition of things just which we see to have belonged to some men from revealed to me, I met Thackeray between the two the earliest struggles of their career.—(Page 15.) mounted heroes at the Horse Guards, and told him the story. “Do you mean to say that I am to find This suggests a comparison, or rather contrast, two thousand pounds ?" he said angrily, with some between Thackeray and Dickens—a comparison, not expletives. I explained that I had not even suggested as to their literary merits, but as to their dominant the doing of anything, only that we might discuss the characteristics as authors. Dickens, though a year
Then there came over his face a peculiar smile, and a wink in his eye, and he whispered liis younger than Thackeray, had reached almost the suggestion, as though half ashamed of his meanness. zenith of his reputation before the latter's name had "I'll go half," he said, “if anybody will do the rest.” been heard at all. Why, asks Mr. Trollope, was And he did go half, at a day or two's notice, though Dickens already a great man when Thackeray was the gentleman was no more than simply a friend. I still a literary Bohemian? am glad to be able to add that the money was quickly repaid. I could tell various stories of the same The answer is to be found not in the extent or kind, only that I lack space, and that they, if simply in the nature of the genius of either man, but in the added one to the other, would lack interest.
condition of mind-which indeed may be read plainHe was no cynic, but a satirist, and could now ly in their works by those who have eyes to see. The and then be a satirist in conversation, hitting very one was steadfast, industrious, full of purpose, never hard when he did hit. When he was in America, he doubting of himself, always putting his best foot met at dinner a literary gentlemen of high character, foremost and standing firmly on it when he got it middle-aged, and most dignified deportment. The there ; with no inward trepidation, with no moments gentleman was one whose character and acquirements in which he was half inclined to think that this race stood very high-deservedly so—but who, in society, was not for his winning, this goal not to be reached had that air of wrapping his toga around him which by his struggles. The sympathy of friends was good adds, or is supposed to add, many cubits to a man's to him, but he could have done without it. The good height. But he had a broken nose. At dinner he opinion which he had of himself was never shaken talked much of the tender passion, and did so in a by adverse criticism; and the criticism on the other manner which stirred up Thackeray's feeling of the side, by which it was exalted, came from the enumer. ridiculous. “What has the world come to," said ation of the number of copies sold. He was a firm, Thackeray, out loud to the table, “when two broken- reliant man, very little prone to change, who, when nosed old fogies like you and me sit talking about he had discovered the nature of his own talent, knew love to each other!” The gentleman was astounded, how to do the very best with it. and could only sit wrapping his toga in silent dismay It may almost be said that Thackeray was the for the rest of the evening. Thackeray then, as at very opposite of this. Unsteadfast, idle, changeable other similar times, had no idea of giving pain; but, of purpose, aware of his own intellect but not trustwhen he saw a foible, he put his foot upon it and ing it, no man ever failed more generally than he tried to stamp it out.-(Page 59.)
to put his best foot foremost. Full as his works are
of pathos, full of humor, full of love and charity, Besides the discussions on general topics there tending, as they always do, to truth and honor, and are many interesting circumstantial details concern- manly worth and womanly modesty, excelling, as ing the origin, purpose, and methods of each of they seem to me to do, most other written precepts Thackeray's more important works, the composition might have been there.
that I know, they always seem to lack something that
There is a touch of vagueof his ballads and burlesques, and the founding of
ness which indicates that his pen was not firm while the “Cornhill Magazine," of which Thackeray was he was using it. He seems to me to have been editor, and to which Trollope was one of the earliest dreaming ever of some high flight, and then to have and most valued contributors. Intermingled with told himself
, with a half-broken heart, that it was the general narrative, there are also numerous pas- gions. I can fancy, as the sheets went from him
beyond his power to soar up into those bright resages of a more personal interest, such as the follow- every day, he told himself, in regard to every sheet, ing about Thackeray's habits of work:
that it was a failure. Dickens was quite sure of his
sheets.(Page 18.) I think that at no time did Thackeray doubt the sufficiency of his own mental qualification for the Perhaps as piquant as any other portions of the work he had taken in hand; but he doubted all book are those in which Mr. Trollope takes a quotaelse. He doubted the appreciation of the world; tion from or an anecdote about Thackeray as a text he doubted his fitness for turning his intellect to for his own lucubrations. Here is an example which valuable account; he doubted his physical capacity -dreading his own lack of industry; he doubted his is worth reproducing on account of the importance luck; he doubted the continual absence of some of of the subject with which it deals. Thackeray held