Puslapio vaizdai

One of these women is Miss Elizabeth Moors, Rajputs, or Arabs. The author, Dejeans, and the men in her story of a member of a Greek family resident "The Winning Chance" treat the type- in Constantinople for centuries, and writing heroine as if she were necessa- holding high office there, was reared in rily a light woman. The author makes the society of Turkish girls and boys, her, in order to save her mother's life, and after leaving the country for a accept a home and support from her few years returned to renew her acmarried employer, and then presents a quaintance with old friends of both respectable young man perfectly ac- sexes and to refresh her recollections quainted with her story as anxious to as to customs and habits of thought. marry her.

Neither morality nor art She found that there really is a small is served by such a tale, and in its most group of noisy, discontented women, sentimental passages a wicked impulse under the presidency of a leader who to laugh obtrudes itself. It is not pos- has divorced two husbands, and eager, sible to weep over the woes of a mar- as Mrs. Brown unkindly phrases it, to ried man when a girl tells him that she talk “tomfoolery about their souls,” but loves another. Why should she not? she found all other women, first, secJ. B. Lippincott Co.

ond, third, or fourth wives, or slaves,

or petted daughters, contented, with In spite of all that has been written the exception of the very few who were and printed about Turkey during the jealous. Also, she discovered that inyears which have passed since the Cri- stead of being struck dumb by Chrismean war, the popular conception of tian and occidental views of marriage, the Turk is a blended Othello and Nana and other social usages, they were ready Sabib with a dash of Haroun al Ra- to dispose of them by ridicule; and were schid. The popular fancy figures this convinced that truth and happiness pleasing creature as surrounded by an were the possession of the Mussulmans Ashanti Emperor's allowance of wives, and especially of the Turks. This was and wearing a very large turban, or, as the state of mind of women acquainted ferociously butchering innocent Chris- with the language and light literature tians and tossing babies on pikes, ob- of three, four, or five Christian nations tained the Djinns only know where in and also with the poetry of Turkey. the present state of European armo- They were about as conscious of needries. Now and then, a consul or an ing enlightenment from foreigners as a ambassador, and at rarer intervals, a group of married graduates of Vassar missionary, ventures to correct a line and Radcliffe. This is equivalent, inor two in this portrait, but nobody asmuch as Turkish boys are reared by minded such officiousness until the their mothers, to saying that the Young Young Turks flamed into action, and Turks are about as much disposed to now there is a demand for knowledge; accept the guidance of foreigners as and those who seek may find some the Kaiser was immediately after his in “Haremlik," Mrs. Kenneth Brown's accession, or as George Washington book of stories about Turkish wives was after more than seven years of and husbands. It by no means takes ruling a republic. Mrs. Brown is althe place of formal handbooks or his. ways interesting, but the student of tories, but it supplements and vivifies national traits, and the observer of Euthem with its pictures of home-life, its ropean politics will find her worth acreports of home-talk, and it should at tual study. The harem life is the once and forever dissipate the belief source of the Turk's feelings and sentithat well-educated, well-bred Turks are ment. Houghton Mifflin Co.

No. 3396 August 7, 1909.


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The Poetry of George Meredith. By John Bailey.

The Eisteddfod in London. By Ernest Rhys

Hardy-on-the-Hill Book II. Chapters IV and V. By M. F. Francis

(Mrs. Francis Blundell). (To be continued.)
The Extinction of the Upper Classes. By W. C. D. Whetham,
The Lady of the Manor. By Katharine Tynan

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Mirahuano. By R. B. Cunninghame Graham ENGLISH REVIEW 361
The Imperial Press Conference.

The Prisoner. By John Galsworthy

The Quarrel.

The Bright Side of Bad Weather.

"Damnable Iteration."


The Pageant. By S. S. .

Transformation. By Claud Field
Above the Timber Line. By M..
Calycanthus Flower. By C. Cranmer-Byng

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ACADEMY 322 SPECTATOR 322 322 NATION 322 383


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See how Life moves, a cunning-fash

ioned mask, A tale unfold, quaint and full of mean

ing, Where some look on and of each other

ask What new surprise the masquer Time

is screening:

And others at his prompting play their

parts Of tragical dismay or April gladness; Fate comes like June with roses to

their hearts, Or wraps them in a winding-sheet of


Below, the winding path lies broad and

green, With cool, tree-shadowed spaces

flecked with light; Chirpings of birds deep-hidden from

the sight, Whose fledgling-laden nests the

branches screen, And murmuring brooks and morning

air serene, Speak pleasant days and gentle, soft

delight. But now the way grows narrow, and

a blight The thinning trees reveal; the rugged

mien Of the bare mountain-side looms sharp

in view, Daring the lofty-souled to brave its

steep. There, where the keen-eyed eagles

vigil keep, And ice-glazed trails

reflect the heaven's blue, The worn and eager climber sees un

furled A vision of God's meaning of the world.

M. The Pall Mall Magazine.

'When music sounds be ready for a

measure; Muster up all your grace, and you may

win Rewards that fall not unto every

wight: Nor question why some watch and

laugh at leisure, Nor why all evermore come newly in, And evermore go out into the night.

S. S. The Academy,


(From the Persian of Jalaluddin

Rumi.) For a stone, so Eastern legends run, Wooed by unwearied patience of the

sun l'iercing its dense opacity. has grown From a mere pebble to a precious stone. Its tintiness impermeable and crass "Turned crystalline to let the sunlight

pass; So hearts long years impassive and

opaque Whom terror could not crush nor sor

row break, Yielding at last to love's refining ray Transforming and transmuting, day by

day. From dull grown clear, from earthly

grown divine. Flash back to God the light that made them shine.

Claud Field. "The Spectator.


(From the Chinese.) Robed in pale yellow gown, she leans

apart, Guarding her secret trust in violate; With mouth that, scarce unclosed, but

faintly breathes. Its fragrance, like a tender grief, re

mains Half-told, half-treasured still. See

how she droops From delicate stem; while her close

petals keep Their shy demeanor. Think not that

the fear Of great cold winds can hinder her

from bloom, Who hides the rarest wonders of the

spring To vie with all the flowers of Kiang Nan.

C. Cranmer-Bymg. The Nation.


The other day a subscriber to the London Library was told, on asking for Meredith's works, that the novels were all out, and that of the ten or dozen volumes of poems only two or three were in. Probably that represents the high-water mark of a demand for Meredith. For the moment, death is supreme, and the whole of that not very large world that cares for books is thinking and talking about

ge Meredith. The thinking and talking turn principally round the nov. els.

The dominance of the novel in modern literature is so complete that many people are scarcely aware that the writer of The Egoist and Richard Feverel was also a poet. And of those who are, there is no question that few place the poet on at all the same level as the novelist. There they are very probably right. At any rate, there is no point of view from which any sane critic would pretend that Meredith was the greatest of our poets, while there is one from which he may be regarded as the greatest English novelist, perhaps the greatest novelist of any time or country. Whatever the defects of the novels, there are none to the making of which much fundamental brainwork has been given. The novel has always suffered from lack of brains: but nobody can say that of a poetry which stretches from Shakespeare and Milton to Wordsworth and Shelley; to say nothing of the great Victorians. It was in the nature of Meredith to intellectualize whatever he touched. and that is as plain in the poems as id the novels. But the process which was so imperative in the one case may have been not far from superfluous in the other.

It is certain, then, that the poet occupies no such place in the history of our poetry as the creator of The Egoist

must always occupy in the history of the novel. And so, perhaps, the mein. bers of the London Library were wise in preferring the novels to the poetry when they made their combined rush at Meredith's works. Yet, after all, poetry has a way of out-llving prose, and it is quite possible, that, two or three centuries hence, The Lark Ascending, Love in the Valley, and the great French odes will be remembered and the novels forgotten. No prose fails so completely as bad poetry; but then, on the other hand, when poetry succeeds, it has about it an imperishable quality never attained even by the best prose. And that for two plain reasons. It is form that preserves matter, and it is in poetry that the matter of human speech is most completely and perfectly under the mastery of form. That is one thing, and the other is that poetry is an utterance of the highest moods of the human mind, and it is these moods that most easily rise superior to the changes of times and manners. Nothing transcends time like the imagination. Job and Homer, Dante and Chaucer, Shakes. peare and Milton, speak a language which is of all time, which can never seem old-fashioned or odd. On the other hand, it is impossible to read the prose, even of the latest of them, the majestic chaos of Milton's pamphlets, without feeling at once that it is separated from us by two hundred years. The only poetry that ages as fast or faster than its contemporary prose is that which resigns its highest privileges in order to compete with prose. So long as it remains a thing made up of spirit and imagination even more than of intellect it is necessarily less tainted than prose by the subtle corruption of temporary and transient manners. So it may be with the work

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of George Meredith. The fashion of country, you cannot give a very clear this generation, as of all others, passes account of the wood. The fact is, that away, and may well become eccentric Meredith treated both thought and or wearisome in the ears of the next. language as a tyrant rather than as a How much that was once brilliant in lawful sovereign. And not even the Thackeray is now insipid or absurd, greatest can do that with impunity. because its life lay in its reflection of It is as true of language as it is, in soine folly of the season, a folly which Bacon's famous phrase, of Nature, that has now ceased to be amusing or even you can only conquer it by obeying. It credible! Time only can show how is vain to run a-tilt against the necesmuch Victorian alloy is mingled with sary limitations of the human mind. the imperishable gold of Meredith's The rules of grammar, which require prose. But there is no alloy in the the use of relatives and conjunctions, song of “The Lark Ascending."

are not arbitrary things: they exist in Unluckily, however, the poems are response to the mind's demands. We very far from all being of that fine cannot think in shorthand, as we are quality. There is no use in denying

required to do in such verse as:that their gold has only too much al

Rejoice ye to know not shame, loy in it. It is not the alloy of mat

Not a dread, not a doubt; to have ter, of the fashions and fancies of a

done past generation; it is something more

With the tortures of thought in the fatal, an alloy of style and of essence.

throes, No honest reader can deny that the Our animal tangle, and grass large majority of Meredith's poems Very sap of the vital in this: are, to a greater or less degree, harsh,

That from flesh unto spirit man grows difficult, and obscure. Some of them

Even here on the sod under sun;

That she of the wanton's kiss have scarcely a line that yields its

Broken through with the bite of an meaning at once, and at least a few

asp, lines that never yield their meaning is Mother of simple truth. at all. How many people can make Relentless quencher of lies. anything whatever of such passages as

The general idea of this is plain A woman who is wife despotic lords

enough, at any rate to a Meredithian, Count faggot at the question, Shall she

from the first; but the details in which live?

it expresses itself? Some of them do Who is quite sure of what the story of not get into clear daylight till the Archduchess Anne and Count Louis is third or fourth reading, and one or two meant to be? Who could paraphrase perhaps never. The fact is that in "The List Contention" with any con- such writing as this we are still in the fidence of accuracy? Who does not stage which may be described in its find reading "The Empty Purse" some- own words, "the tortures of thought thing like trying to find one's way, in the throes,” the stage we sometimes without a path, through a thick wood

in Shakespeare, sometimes in on a dark night, in the midst of a ter- Shelley, rarely in any other really great rific storm of thunder and lightning? poet. Poetry can never do its proper The result is a rather complex expe. work when it is thrown at us in the rience, at once alarming, exhausting, shapeless shape of a succession of linstimulating, and, occasionally, when guistic, or logical, or pictorial conunthe flashes come, illuminating; but, drums, Such a state of things is alwhen you reach daylight and the open together fatal to the harmonious union


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