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TOPICS OF THE DAY.

Wβ -were tmdet the impression Oakf** did not talk Mank rom & *W Ufe, aad that when tbey met for »#»-* friendly conrewe they *«>»•» .β-j language of trope and metapWr. hyperbolic 'rtuioa and courtly menfc, which taey may be « xcu ®f employing in their books. * h * f^ , appears, is all a mistake. Edwin iLtnold. antlxor of -»• **J of Aeift " and fer many years editor **»» 2>a% paid a visit to tat 1» Laureate at hie secluded home aiRO»3? t! Z game clad Surrey HiUa at Aldirorl*»»» H«lemera Sir Edwin ha* an account of the interviovr to tho ***• The article ia without doubt invested »• much mtere*t, at giving a glimp* ol ** daily life of the great poet, of **««. ittle Is known except m wealed »» »«a works. At the .ame as we do both poetic ire »to a little for their own eakee that it has > It wiU not raise them higher ia U» - & \ mation of *he pubUo than thai* m have done. Imju> TiKNTaoN, was takiflg a nap whin Sir Edwin Arnold « * ife wm not tUTftftor lunoh that Mr HaM» Tennyaon reported that hi» , ap, W 4i»piUilbe glad to ec-a ™* TC io h» »*», "f

appearance Iα the following; . minute pen and ink portrait :— P „ " r & man he is—surely a beautiful tf everX adjective could be applied Siascoline features, «id aever more beautifol in any stage of Ufe no ff , rten «c h» tad «*• fiae/ features, Sβ ««ial, raassive. and commandmir Oi-poefc his e£fatySond birthday. Lord Tennyson's figure, Eonly weakened, not broken, by age. Bis ik preserves much of its old, dark colour, md, exceDting in places, is hardly more Sw^Sble-Swrei , His spirit is as alert, his glance as keen and alight, aa "ver. Though he does not rise npoD our entrance, making no ceremony witb ftUds, he leads at once an animated h ie c summer day,_ or rather early autumn; but the weather Zβ been chilly, and the muds jure Mowing from that dismal quarter the ZgL u> that the poet w wearing aloose wrapper, and around hu seek a white eilk hanokerchiet loosely kaotted. By the way, on the left side of hie neck there lodges a small brown birthcharacteristic, as if a drop of dark wine bad dropped there and had etained the skin. His handa are manly and powerful in outline, but delicate and fiaely formed, aa those of a poet should be. On his head, as an additional protection from the caprices of the English, weather, he wears a small black velvet tap. These precautions are the more necessary because not long ago he was goffering sadly from rheumatism and bronchitis, which at one time indeed filled all his friends with anxiety, and became for weeks together a national concern. £{wi*y be ie quite recovered, bat must still be gttardea against any chill." /What our readers will be most interested to learn, however, will be the kind of conversation in .which these two great ©en indulged. For ourselves, we should sot hays.been surprised if they had confined ibemeeivee to the weather, the Hsgneti£ Lady, and a little abuse of the {Dories. We were not prepared for the croate language, and almost Eastern .exaber&nce of compliiuent, in which r t&ey, indulged. At the same time, i jt ie quite evident each has a perfectly good opinion of himself. Sir Edwin was courtly, not to say courtier* like, in his conversation with the laureate, '.but in the most delicate manner possible snaaagee to convey to us the impression that tie latter was a most self-willed, aot ■ to say obstinate and conceited old gentler ) taan. They agreed in praise of the English language aa an instrument, almost perfect, "Jtos the uses of the oxaior, the philosopher I and the poet. Sir Edwin, thought with 1 'thehelpof America it would .bicoine.ths gammon speech of the world* whereupon fioed Tennyson laughingly shook hie head jknisaid " Tuafc ;s very bad for us." [-'gp explained that what he meant was that when a language died out like Latin and Gieek the : literary monuments contained, in it were preserved, and remained standards for future genera} feioßs. "JBufc whea a language enduree ifc gradually changes/ be added "and the time will come, Arnold, when $6vl and I -will be as difficult for Englishmen and Americaas to read and under-1 stand ad CJoauoer is to-day." Sir Sdwin trenturedto demur to this view; suggest* : fog that Shakspeare and the great Siis»Jbetbaiiß had fixed the classic standard lof 4he laaguage, but Lord Teßnysoa would ; eot have it. "There is indeed about shim/ , hia interviewer slily remarks, I should call a. spft arrogance, a gentle despotism of will and word, which is very characteristic of, and indeed ber coining to, a man whose position in letters and the education of human thought is s> unquestionably established. He does no; readily admit contradiction, nor easily accept views notsfittiag ip witfr'his own."! shown when the conversation turned t|> the Japanese, among "wbontj W"it remeni Ed win, had. been lining fojr some tisili' X 4f really etekciouii ||tt|e colloquy in fuU:— u^147 ,1, "What colour are the Japanese people ? " "Btown, my lord,""I said. " Oh,* noneense! brown ? answered. " I am brown. Look at my hands and face and rnßsokl;Bufc> ? (drawingup hia ooatH^eeve «ad*fai«, he bared a large white fore*arm) it*'W%" ne said, "I« am as white aa a }!****&£ my body." "Well, then/ , -1 • <M&, t Lord call thgm ftulbes." This concession the Poet Laureate graciously tbnsent&i to make. «• Ah! " he said, " now I comprehend. No doubt that is the Japanese hue." Uext he he shpuld dearly like to visit America, an|l* especiaUy wished to see Niaeara. " Jlot/, he went oa, "that that is the proper wa£ to pronounce the word, for there ia a line jagsmpbeU which was ' "Great Niagara thundering o'er ite edge;! V'> fierffTtoayaoa fttriher informed hie visitor tbafcthe name means •'father of watertj' •Hhough he naively added "but whi<4i aewts father and which ia seated 4- aip W&S itkiay.¥ wp,, have only to remaik that great as is ouk, wapect and love Job. the poets, if we ace J to accept them as guides <m pronunciation v Wβt efceJi sometimes be in a Star veswttpie, our great patriotio eong tells. «'Twas in Trafalgar Bay." ether hand, another jjoet—we, believe it ia Campbell—would make us e&y Ttftfalgor. ' f ; fa is'toiexably well known thai Lord Tenis fond of reeding bis own works" t ll »2oad. •' Sir Edwin Arnold tella us in > ftwtty plam words that the Poet .Laureate f full conviction that n^ody ? knoire how to read them, in equally tenae, however, h» vs to understand fli&fc if anybody can read: S&WJtea'a works A* (Bα Edwin) ia the. ma *»no exception being made in aje aathor. The way in «liicn : good.. i ; JEte eyf 7 t—■: _** We naturally spoke ojf ysownVotke. reads them with admirable ex-' j** B3lo,l *° d power of interpretation, and 5 ■■■•«•»•• private opinion nobody els© can give them proper utterance, especially »» puna of 'Slked/i I fcbiale, I tatter audftcip»ely, combated one view, and recited severaiof his versa?,. witu the result of wringing fxom. him a wnfeeeiqn that I also knew toWiwi^ft ■ Teanyeam:*- '■" '- '' ; !S -- : • i < toother f&veurite amnsement of Uie Po^fc' i*ttrt»fe, i we learn, is to tell stories in thb iialect of "The Northern Farmer/ , .#*Bei#|g hia f to make 4a|ttt »»» aU about. Of course Sir Edwin—thp '' % pnfened himseif «*iatee than fSShy&tib to t*ke up the we more suspect ac was afraid'tn^' ?ery deternOiMd port would have kept wabarding him with dialect etoriee until <

he fairly had to give in and confess himself vanquished.

The most dignified language and the most 1 courtly interchange of compliments was \ naturaiJjr reserved till the last. Lord Tennyson complained that for eight months he had suffered sometimes to the point of despair from rheumatism and iroachilae < , 'lconldnot/ , remarksSir Edwin, bat express my indignation, at this common lot of suffering, saying "My lord, it is a treason of nature that you should bear auoh grief s. When your time arrived, and not till then, the three queens in the "barge should come for y<>u, and waft yon down to <Ja«nelot In the barge of King Arthur." At this the Laureate laughed and shook his head, and soon after he retaliated in kind. ;•" Eallam/ , he said, "have you a pencil i I want to hear that Terse that Sir Edwin wrote trader the /window in St. Margaret's Church, Westminster, since I myself was obliged to compose the first of the six." '•Ob, my lord/ answered the blushing Sir Edwin, "yon made the task very difficult for those who came after , -, wards. Archdeacon JFarrar insisted that L should subscribe something under the last of the six windows, •which is dedicated to the memory of Edward Lloyd, the great printer and newspaper man"—••' What on earth did you make of that ?" said Lord Tennyson. So Sir Edwin coyly repeated, the four lines he had composed :-— "'A. master printer of the press, he spake By mouth of many thousand tongues. He swayed The pens thao break the sceptres. Good Lord, make Thy strong ones faithful, and thy bold atraiu/" Lord Teanysou repeated twice, "'The pens that break the sceptres! the pens that break the sceptres/ I like that, Sir .Edwinl—Writei that down, HaJlam." We have received the following letter from the Countess of Meath, who is now visiting Christchurch:— Christohurcb, January 28th, 1892. Sir, —Will you kindly allow mc todraw the attention of those who are interested in charitable undertakings, to a Society which was started in London just seven years* ago, I allude to the Ministering Children's League. The object of the Association is train up young people in unselfish ways, and to accustom them to take an interest in the needs of the poor, in the hope that in years to come they may be minis-; tering ■' men ■ and -women. Through the instrumentality 6f the League* two homes for destitute children have been opened in England, a small hospital has been founded in tJanaTta?*whilstrin the United States.-a; chapel, has been built for the i&ed Indiana. Besides these, numbers of local cbaritiea have been aseißted in places; where - this wnon' for work .'and , prayer- for the young has been founded. The poor have consequently. TJeen* greatly helped Hγ the League, bin; those who have toe»efif>ed most are undanbtedly the little ones, who are taught jtha iseoret of true and laetingr happiaega by being trained not to let a eingle day go by iWithort the performance of at least one loving deed, 'lhe Society now numbers about 40,000 -associates and. members, and I 'it has been introduced into all $uglisb-apeaking lands. The, Hon. OrgaSecretary for iNfew Zealand is'-Mrs Menzies, Moleaworth street, Wellington. Cards ot membership and papers can be obtained on application to Messrs Bock, Brandon-street; Wellington. ■* Yours yery l aithf uUy, : ? ; . , M. j. Mbath,

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/CHP18920129.2.23

Bibliographic details

TOPICS OF THE DAY., Press, Volume XLIX, Issue 8084, 29 January 1892

Word Count
1,798

TOPICS OF THE DAY. Press, Volume XLIX, Issue 8084, 29 January 1892

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