Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
This article displays in one automatically-generated column. View the full page to see article in its original form.

BOOKS AND BOOKMEN

A MAN AND HIS BOOK.* Tn the handsome volume before us, published bv Whit comb* and Tombs, we have the first vntnro of a. well-known New Zealander on the doubtful sea of Meratre. In tho British islands there are tew ■vwiths of a romantic or enterprising spirit who do not hear the call of the sea, which comes to many with such impelling force that no influences can turn them away from a sea life. Our author received .such a. call, and at the at;e of 11 years, with the consent but not the approbation of his parents iw, joired a \tssel m tho < tth ime DocA« oi Lordo i boxnd for BiUin and thereafter 1 r manv re is hj 1 d t statariut. Lite vi lMru mailv ill i the tirth and be-omint, a qminted \ th all acrta and conditi us of ptcpl 111 ij; bcinte i t 1 - hue*, it l ltl\ t< C tint our autho s n b tl t lommtic glamor ->t a teatainv li «iin " l! . oit lll<i tliat he stuck by the i-ea out of a strong de=ire to see he woi'd fui 1 m 'i tind become icrauuttd ill\ ith the •vinttica ot the hn n Tact Narratives of sea life are not. uncommon an Lnglibh htentt re but mo* t tht.ii J the toim oi ion in e sshi hj ut re id j i\ th aviditj bv tub of the us id t bo\s Bidvonth nd r> dount 1 'p to Icp \n i! upp 1 ! luii fii th >" ml nercintili li\icl l>tit such 000 l ado 3>t aim -t the truth r I <i) mt om\ to their itici i tho Jc t d< fl n1 to ii it l tie foicc t 1 isd ot Hi tiperercc! «t "\_n i n in th i t i L [ oit which th v tih 0i„ utlois \olum imsa« i tuo «»nd vnv mi led count o f a seirmnt. It mi nn? \ i i •, i* nanv tears ind will jlw tnatnit j hvrld t-v nu fiu ll' viuj to , i i tl se no d ie to t th ic*oi a » hit lu incut, tn l this ] thfie usihiwiili ot n U ml mth o pagvs ot int kit ul iuj t i tli it tint TMiiet piove Ive i hit n i *"> budchn., autho s. ani it in hj i r \ hx ' id | st rv fcr a do*, n nnc' Mr I nic« sb k d n lid i It i ra Iv t «.xtrat t j n i" (b pis dc ] woUci pm\i tin 1 i ft tl pi., oi a tew «\ ti ji d eh s ver ™ c'opement t sn 1 i i -> in win u " a ithor ph\ It. leidn u 1 n LI i h'pit Ou ihx i I ii ul r hal i i it Tit ea th sir pt hi to ei i' Inun ml here Jie -m vt ' Imt i - i t' ) i 'ume wl hj tntranuiu i ' i n t itst, and nun n nrrn nii nd le< ir. re-eiit the nam t *- )im hi s t th iea«er I ko m •» i u on uat r varied the inoi r nt n <- i Tiitl pel' <,n ihore tp<l t t >*! i i c«i in pt a,eo in hj b t ti > tm i n i hie in \u tn 1 i u I t t in t whi hj r> a v of tl t? idvti t n v\u r f 1 Jo- id th( ( d t t t' t \ hi i t i m aithor t> un i i n i\ i t co wha hr can t i > \ tn toi It oi f* 0111 llltifhdUt tvll i vm ' \ ' > i In n l nl in dt\ f m|* u In j.-lit. 360 hi, \ t! <i th dsl<■ 1 1 r m civn. 11 tr vLuA Buti hj i 1 icis aii hi 1 1 « hj 1 u 'f tzn.tr> t >Tic- res|X>r I>' In tno riot j'ace iiev hj \e I 011 d the 1 m lin in ii> 111 11 aole den-caupd i toi-cci rlt in ivhuh t'uu nvw ard dat_,niei uould m' phr tn 11 spaniel dc_* mi tvmJd in a \ phot, their 1 i~e m u'i qunt is Ho a' o dv<»te hijjhei \ , t■> Ith 11 11 ' otli r niproveinent all vhi b v >uld ttnd to popularise th *\i tn id t a m •tlcec lv be of a ! 111 i„ 1 hi I 1 ne nt 'arge. Tlieie i* r.<> dr>u!it tin-t Mr Bnieo' rchtinP' 1t n* ora Id 1 1 Nev\ Zt t _a"J lit-*mtii' l t and v ' p that 1* v 1" tt p-e-the ctuuhtni t'm t (It »m ird re<imre.'. Some Personal Recoillsctlons of a Remarkable Personality. ißy K. F>. Efor.E.v. in tho ' FCvcrinc; News.".. 1 had entered the gallen- of the New Zealand Parliament iull of youthlul enthusiasms as to public ini-:i and t'neir po'.vrxs aid but particuiail.y as to thi'ir oratorical powers, and it hud been my fate at tho outset to hear one indifferent spcak'-n' alter the othfii', and to recall often the simile of chf. fly in amht r. wore iHj/gical. ihay were unconvincing—yet they wen; there. thc> chosen itile-Ilecis and tribunes itf their people. An unmitiyated bore was speakm;; while 1 wns talking over the paradox with my ucv." colleagues, whoa?, knowledge extended to u!l parliamenTuri?ns and many se.-sioiis. Presently my ]iarticuiar mentor, that, hriliiant sjK'eiai, AHicrt Coh"ri. nf the Dunedin ' otnr.' took a glimpse tiirougli tho gallery door. and. returning, raid: "Here ymi are; here's a good speaker for you now." So J resinned my seat just as a tall, athletic-looking tiguro, .straight as a ramrod, rose from a hack bench on tho Opposition side, and with the hum that so often pervades tho House instantly hushed, rolled out a sono--IC4L3 "Mr Speaker," to t.he doyen of NewZealand Speakers. Sir Maurice. o'P.oi'ko. In a moment. I wa-s spell-bound. First there was the. man's presence-—" A fine figure of a man ' as the Celtic idiom has it—and the striking face tanned with life in the open, the atmosphere of which he seemed to bring in to the. close Chamber. Then, there was tho voice : it was a superb voice, fui! of masculinity and music; »here no straining, but it/ seemed to roll round the Hou*e. without undue loudness, yet with a tine, sonorous timbre that suggested tho declamation of a richly(Midowed singer—curiously enough 1 was to hear a similar quality in a tenor when j heard Paui Oufault. it was as the quality of a 'cello. Keallv musical speaking voices are rare, especially among public men, for so many of them have abused their voices. 1 was subsequently to discover) for myself that, as compared with tome other Parliament?, the New Zealand Parliament was exceptionally fortunate in its speakers, and. especially in the number of voices that were not displeasing to the ear, that had not a raucous or a grating effect, and that in the speaker I was then listening to and James Carroll it had two of the most beautiful voices that public, men were ever gifted with. Then there was the subject matter and its treatment. As I listened I realised whence came the peculiarly vibrant qualities of the voice. It was of the sea, and seemed to call up tho great blue spaces far from the dust of cities- For the speaker was talking of the lot of the sailors and the need for legislative ears of men upon whose calling the British Empire was built is maintained, and ho drew from a rich storehouse of memory of personal experiences aa a man before the mast in the days oi -which Dana wrote, arguments and conclusions that carried conviction with them. There- was not a word out of place, not a sign of either hesitation or haste, and the whole was clothed with a poetic imagery that made it an intellectual twist, and that held every miu on the benches- .to close attention vwid keen enjoyment —a very, very rare tribute in a Parliament House.

Turning to my nearest colleague, who happened to be'.Mr .Alec Burns, then of the Press Association, but now of the 4 Press,' I carried on the train of the gallery room discussion with the whispered" comment: "But that isn't_ merely a goad speaker; that id an orator." It was the first time I had heard Robert Cunningham Bruce, and to-day it is all recalled, for I have just laid down a book which, as ha says in tho preface, I had long urged him to write. I'hej book is 'Reminiscences of ft. ( ! . Bruce, A.8., tji-merly member for the Eangitikei.' It is a Tbovi: -"Jilike any other book, as original as the man who wrote it, just a gossip about one of the. most adventurous careers that ever fell to the lot of a roboy whose* imagination had been seized with the glamor of the sea and the wander-lust, seasoned with the philosophy d! a much-seeing man. Mr Bruce has not attempted to add any dramatic _or literary embeUkhaiwtoi to thee* sterias. Ha hsA just. TeH them, es I hav* 'hs*rd kirn tell then in eemmittee rwms »i rarliaic«i, in tho housas of friends, or when eu 4 * with him. en his own beautiful rtaiion of Ngaruru, on the Turakiua River, i few miles from the Main Trunk railway *t- Huntervillo. For I was destined to sen

••Reminiscences of a Wanderer.' By R. C. Bruce. A.B. (formerly M.H.R. for Eangitikei). Whit combe and Throbs, D^uiedj/'-

! much of tho man whoee speech had so impressed me, and whom I had discovered was a great personal favorite- with his fellow-members. One day | happened to be poring over a volume in the Parliamentary Library, when a strong hand was laid on "ray shoulder, and I was turned round. " Do you happen to be- the son of Captain Hoben?" said the owner of the hand.

•' Yes," I replied, and then the hand -came down from the shoulder and was extended with the invitation and intimation : " Put your 'hand there, my boy. Your fathers son is my friend for life,"* and I discovered that my father had been a- paesenger on a Jong voyage in a ship on which Bruee_was rears before. He had not seen him since, but they had been drawn together by a mutual love of physical prowess and a mutual love of the Celt, and though they w»io tiUd nevti to mu' he had ntvei lot his 1 id ind now reco nised tho unborn son from the father whom ho hj d I sown "0 cau 1* foit 1 shiknit, o\ rmru ot hi 111 nm\ I hat v\ is th> pr ludt to mam Dlei^n l - txpenenco with r t Piuc 11 hi ou 11 phoe ind in main it itboi ind to th mm «hoat 1 1 n hh tin bod Ueaun to me a v<i\ ml pei t alitv 111 1 it wis 01 v to 1 ih 0 tho donun nee 1 n us*- h-nc had 111 the fo 1< ml tho iiillu 1100 u i\oul 1 11 \c hj 1 en tho ioiu,h ntti he 11 t licit id bote V man of tiong mtdlectu ihtv and „i«.at laihtv. he had vet 11 \ti cut I tt 11 ss ft 1 hi <t c u ci wiioiaint 1 to th tjinitu dt 1 He hj d induced hitpnents 11m hj 12111 ti en mh t>] i\ 1 riennum iti him i n mnntift it *lt t-c ot 14 or 1 nii bond 'Ol t'e Dutch Judi ird li d- 1 to l tun -j Jut lid lent him than., iu i r on lip to up * 1 \ u tid ht had compi s d the _M)t ai 1 mailed into manv and many a weird corner Bui in pi e 01 his lo v u the im nl foi aiki-s in pitt ot th f(t xtid in kill if 1 ' man n»t 1 1 m athb hj i<l mule him i ihnmpion hij ift 1 lip m th) ■sf-ven -st 1 ut' oi eot th" hnc t quu 4 1 mi teit on the Nn hj Ythntu 11 pitt of hi kn wle 1 t t luiiitui ind 1 sc 1 t ho hj d „hi ). 1 hi- d to the stitn ut V 1 1 tin 11 (lh tl 1- ht nd ii in "ti 1 11 m tl % i 1 1 v ic 11 rd n )-1 1r t 1 ht la ui 1 otl c tin [ 1 1 nut i r then ci " to r 1 I Ud 1 t'l nrlllt 01 I i irh \ n 1 n In th b"I -»< it a' 11 1 ->\i 1 J ' I 111 e 1 Km, on ul 1 1 N IHI 11 \tn°n 1 tit 1 t <i W1 11 li th J u ii H# +tc <t 1 v 1 ii) m\ f' on t 1 id rl h->rh\ ti in ell J 1 tvtn 1 1 ' T Jnt 1 u hj \ b n< \ t 10 1r \ < ti it 11 tit md

1 <! hj md t 11 1 11 1 nl 1h i 1 11 111 nll n hj m d It 1 1 ti 1 hj hj 01 er t 1 in< t 1 in il 11 i 11 in 1 his s 1 1 i 1 H s hj li il L o 1 ltirit 1 ti\ t li 11 it t tl t t 1 1 'in et 1 tt lens 1 1 111 n (,1k loir 11 1 t n 11 it i t pect--lii I ul hj it 1 11 lb 11 u H I 1 1a a si * hj 1 1 th Vi t 1 1 ,_t >n I* l 111 1 iti ui it t tun Tt th 1 1r V 11 Ihut 1 tt t tit vtt dl nit 1 tbv 11 p1 d 11 tt 1 IJI \ 1 1 II 1 1 and \ni t\ 1 vw dhi b 1111I 1 { t ti 111 t fin i i 1 i) 11 t ti d hot iht- t ibi it in. h1 1 id it KIV

II km hi tivoi *c poet lioni <n\ r t-o cover, aiict had entered into their ver heart Riding ovi»r th hill on 1 1 tin 01 TDout tti shoits ot the c\(pii ite \"T lam hit th it 1 it glorv—nm o*" th most beautiful small lakes in the world }i(iiabh —11 as stout to ittite them tt hims b bit nevei did I it ah e whit a run > \ crnld do o mmclH is rit tl while riding with him. We were referrinc; to the effect of any injury 01- deformity on thiittt 1 an 1 hit til I 1 kcrl hil '1 lot 1 li ed th t tin f\i t 1 and I'm oe\ilt v ot Btiin—a gi at t out among his pet poets—were the direct outcome of his ciub-foot and his determination that he would show that ;ii spite of it lie could outdo other men whether as swordsman, athlete, or gallant, which led to the s-.vimming of the Hellespont, the experiences oi Don Juan, and the fatal Greek adventure? And I instanced other famous cases, and other individual cases known lo both of us. And then Bruce, with the remark,

''That had not struck nw before" began to quote passage after passage from Byron's works illustrating the point, pre.-_ cisely as tho.igh ho had spent weeks in searching and marking; them out, and was reading thorn from the book itself. I have never before or since had such an example of memory, to which such feats as the historic, journalistic one which made the late .Bli/.vit;; 'Times' Paris correspondent—the reporting of an entire speech iiv Gam'opttn from memory —was child's play. And Bi'uce's quotations are always letter perfect. Well, I must close this, as 1 have just closed the book, with the story only half told. In the book you will" find* little pictures of many lands, of New Zealand and American and Australian gold rushes, of Frame in the days of the previous German war, of wild times in the Islands and hi the China seas. You will find a rich store of observations of nature by a man who loved it, and was a natural historian. You will jind Celtic reminiscences and speculations by a man who is above and beyond all things a. fervid Celt. Yon will find original observations ou life by a man who has seen much of it, and was richly endowed for it physically and mentally. I have always been wit'i those who hold that Cervantes in the. Knight of do Ja Mancha. symbolised not a. more eccentric filter at windmills, but the finest and most poetic soul and the truest gentleman, of knight errantry; and in this sense you will find in the reminiscences of R. C. Bruce, A.8.. told with the inconsequence of a sailor's yarn the reflection of another Don Quixote brought down to the twentieth century from the nineteenth, and bringing with it the spirit of the seventeenth. 'War in the Pacific' By Ambrose Pratt. Australia : Critchley Parker. The above, is what its title implies, and a; it came to hand before the Christmas holidavs. and covers the seizure of New Guinea and Samoa, and some of the doings of tho Emden and Scharahorst, it is appatent that .Mr Pratt has lost no time. But the story suffers, as it is necessarily incomplete, and therefore leaves the reader nowhere. Neither the. fate of Tsing-tao nor of the. Jmiden. Scharnhorst. etc., was known when the author sent his story to the publisher, and while these facts do not affect the main thread of the tale, their fa.r-roaeb.ing effects materially qualify tho reader's anxiety Mr Pratt writes vigorously, and is not afraid to make his hero a coward and a murderer, nor to select as hi« heroine, a half-caste iSamoan girl who da* no moral sense as Christian whites understand the term. As a stirring record of possible happenings in the opening days of the war by one who knows the places and peoples whereof he tells .Mr Pratt's story is interesting. 'The Three. Kings, and Other Verse?.' By Will Lav/sou. London : Angus and Robertson. This is a collection of some 70 short poems or verses tho majority of which originally appeared in flic 'Bulletin,' and the others in various Australian and Now Zealand journals. The subject matter 'u the greater number treats of ships and engine rooms and dauber and storm and gnus and soldiers and love and death. Mr Lawson varies his metre with thh theme, and, being blessed with a sympathetic touch and ability to express his thoughts dramatically, his verses have a swing and "go" about them that are hard to resist.

This article text was automatically generated and may include errors. View the full page to see article in its original form.
Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD19150123.2.87

Bibliographic details

BOOKS AND BOOKMEN, Evening Star, Issue 15708, 23 January 1915

Word Count
3,180

BOOKS AND BOOKMEN Evening Star, Issue 15708, 23 January 1915

Working