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LITERARY NOTES.

•.•Mr Rider Haggard's story "The Wizard," after running socially in the African Review, will be published by Arrowsmith. Its keynote is that Faith can, and still does, work mlraclos. • . • The author of " Kissrfng-Cap's Race " has written a ballad for reoitatioo called "The Prince's Derby/ giving a stirring account of how in June 1896 that grand horse Persimmon won the Blue Ribbon for the Heir-Apparent in the shortest time on record.

•.•As many as 22,000 copies have been ordered in advance from Mesars Hntohinson and Co. of Marie Corelli'u new volume of stories untet the title of " Cameo"/ 1 whioh is to have a designed title and frontispiece by G H. B-lwards. •.• An enterprising journalist has been collecting opinions on too subjact of the most significant word in the language. Mr Marioa Crawford's opinion is that " life " is " the most vitally significant word to tho majority of mankind. Its meaning implies the whole history of human nature." He adds tbat a universe without life is a exception too gloomy and borrlb'e to be dwell up >n. ' • . • Everybody knows Keats's " Ode to AutumD," written in 1819, in the poet's twenty-Fourth year. Everybody reckons it among the master pieces o£ EDglish poetry; 11 in execution perhaps the completest " of all tbe six great odes, says Mr Oolvin ; and Mr Bridges too plac33 it " for its perfection " first of the six.— Speaker. • . • Penny libraries of f amou3 tooka are increasing. The latest publishers to enter the field are Mes»rs Morison Bros , 52 Ranfield street, Gltsgow, who have issued a "Pennyworth Series," No. 1 of which ia " A Pennyworth of Puns," by the Rev. Divid Maorae, the genial author of " Americans at Home " and other delightful volumes. The second number of the series will be " A Ponny wdrth of Parodies."

• . • When Tennyson wrote the poem of " The Lotos-Kafcerfl " he proved himself a musician, f«.r his words are really beautiful music, and sing in the ears if recited, in tho miad U only read, melodiouily as any combination of notes uttered by voices or by instruments. Had they no sense, no meaning, they would still be ex-quisltely-groupsd words, as delicately pure as the withdrawn cadences of distant .bells, or the far-away cry of a twilight sea. They even look beautiful upon the printed page, as do the words* of Rjssotti's " Blessed D*mozel."—World. : ' . •We sire not among those who think that Marryat's day is over. " Peter Simple/ •« Jacob Faithful," •' Percival Keene," " Frank Mildmay," "Midshipman Btsy/'and one or two more of bis novels are always likely to hold their own. However, the truth is that the majority of his books belong to that claw of works which will find readers where readers fiad them; as Johnson observed of the Giant's Causeway, it was worth seeing, but it was not worth going to see. Mach whioh he produced is mere trash. Who, for example, could now get through "Snaileyow" or " A Narrative of the Travels and Adventures of Monsieur Violet" or "The Settlers in Canada "?— Saturday Review., • . • The sfcory of " Weir of Hermiston " from the first page to the last broken sentence moves with a masterly firmness and preoiftion which show us Stevenson at his best. The interludes— such as the tale of the four brothers of Oauldstaneslap— are not inferior to anything that he did in his earlier days. No word is wasted in description ; dhleofc is uced so sparingly that it gives us but a blot of what Stevenson might have done if he had chosen to inflict; that dreary trick of mediocrity upon us; the men and women live and breathe, but we are not wearied with a catalogue of their dot hes or their look*. We need none. We know what they really were, -and can easily clothe them in raiment -or manners for ourselves.—

Speaker. ' • . ' In a letter to the Atbec&im,Hr Theodore Watts-Dunton explains the reasons tbat have for to long kept him from giving to the world the unpublished poems by Eawetti which are'inhin possession. Theso reasons are, of oourse, sufficient. Mr WattßDnnton, however, has now come to see that their publication should not be delayed further, and he make 3 this interesting announcement: "The rights of Bossetti's admirers can no longer be set at naught, and I am making arrangements to publtsh within the present year ( Jau Van Hunks' and the 'Sphinx Sonnets/ the former of which will show a n«w, and, I think, unexpected side of Rossettl's genia«." • . • Mrs Alioa Maynell, whose " Colour of Life" is deservedly attracting attention amongst an audience fit, though perhaps few, is regarded by high clasß critics as the greatest, woman poet of the time. Mr Rtukln said fcbat in three pieces of hers were some of the finest things be had ever seen or felt in modern verse. Dante Rossetti spoke of her sonnets with enthusiasm. In addition to her ooems Mrs Mejnell has published some essays styled "Tho Rbyfchm of Life." She writes not a little in the way of critique and essay for certain London organs, and does a good deal of the editorial work of the Catholic Weekly Register. • •.•The patrlothm that is fostered on" national literature is not likely to die out while the younger generation continues as loyal to Scotch writers as the youthful readers of a London weekly paper. From one of many letters describing " Some Books I Have- Read More Than Once," for a prize competition, we quote this passage:— "Hike to read poetry, and I have read Burns's • Tarn o' Shanter ' twice, and Scott's ' Lay of the Last Minstrel," Marmion,' and 'Lady of the Lake' mere than twice. I have read • Ivanhce' and 'The Talisman' twice each, 'Beside the Bonnie Brier Bash' and 'Auld Lang Syne ' lam now reading for the twentieth time, and they will stand reading other 20 times." *.' Looking over the ooet Longfellow*

JiSS:"with Samuel Longfellow, says Mi? Haweis in his new book "Travel and Talk/ I observed that they were all written in panoil. There I saw the rough draft of "Excelsior." In coming upon the first embryo opening of "Evangeline" It was interesting to see how the poet had wavered over the first line— This is the forest primeval. He had written — Slill *tands the— • Here is the— — and scratched both oub, and at; last decided on--This ib the forest to open with, and used Still stands the forest primeval at the conclusion of the whole poem. • . • ".I have a vivid recollection of my first introduction to Gsorge Eliot, and have ever retained a most pleasing impression of her," says Mrs Catherine S. Macquoidia the course of an illnstrated interview which appeared in the Young Woman for July. "My husband and I," she continued, "were at Millais's studio at a private view in 1875, and I noticed a lady and gentleman with something about them which, distinguished them from tbe other visitor?, although their dress was rather shabby, intently looking at the pictures ; their backs werd turned towards me, so thai; I. did not recognise who they were until a rather shrill voice aaid closeby, « That's Mrs Macquoid ' ; and there stood Mr George Henry Lewes,' whom I had not seen for some years, but who had been a most valuable adviser iv my early literary days. He at once took me up and introduced mo to Ghorge Eliot, wbo struck raa as being very shy in her manner, but most affable and pleasant. She said, ' I have been much interested in watching the progress of your son.' This was my eldest pon Percy, who was tliea an exhibitor at tbe Royal Academy, and I thought it showed beautiful tact and kindnens on her pait to make suoh an apposite remark." *.• Many people have wondered that Georgo Eliot was so much attracted by* L^wes. "It was the attraction of oppot-ites," says Mrtf Macquoid. "Mr L^wes had a roving, unsteady nature, as unlike G-eoirga Eliot'fl calm, powerful personality as one can imagine. There is no doubt in my mind that be stood for Will Laditlaw in ' Middlemarob,' bnfi his admiration for George Eliot and everything she wrote was beyond expression. I should say ha was devoted to her. He came to see u», although she never paid visits (that was an understood thing am.org her friends); but Mr L wen and I were old correspondents ; he used to say that he took a speoial Interest in me because my start in literature had been similar to George E!iot's> I mean in obediecoe to my husband's suggestion. Mr Lewes told u&shedidnot attempt fiction until she was well on in life, andthetiitwas'at hU»ugge«tion that she wrote 'The Sad Fortunes of Amos Barton.' When he read the first part of the story ho was delighted, and «ald to her, 'You can manage humour, now it remains to be seen whether you can write p»tho»/ After ib waft completed, with that pathetio scene of Milly's death, he was satisfied that she had ability for writing flofcion of the first order, and he watched her progress from the ' Scenes of Clerical Life ' on to ' Adam Bede ' with intense entbu*i»nm. He was always talking about her ; he told us that when they were travelling he could not persuade her to make notes of things she saw or people she met. When he bqgged her to do so, fche would cay, • No, no; I am taking it all in.'And so she was ; it was stuffed away at the back of that great brain of hers."

•— "It is very kind of you, madam," said the tramp, "to give' me such a fine dinner." "Don't mention it, poor man," slid the kindly-bearted woman. " But I will repay you," said the tramp gratefully. "I'll tell all my pals that you are a flinty-hearted termagant that ain't never known how to cook nothin' deoent, so'a they'll give your house the go-by and won't never bother you."

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/OW18960827.2.170

Bibliographic details

LITERARY NOTES., Otago Witness, Issue 2217, 27 August 1896

Word Count
1,643

LITERARY NOTES. Otago Witness, Issue 2217, 27 August 1896

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