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under the dominion of the ideal, lived upon political justice and alluring theories, and asserted that a pudding was a prejudice, had yet, under the pressure of hunger, to acknowledge the terrible power of the material. There are other interesting cases where Shelley's dominant idealism was forgotten under the pressure of a quite natural and excusable hunger. When he aroused Mrs. Southey's ire by despising the tea cakes her husband was enjoying with so much relish, Shelley did not really know how good they were. After he himself had devoured plate after plate of these same cakes he had to return home and tell Harriet with a burst of enthusiasm that they must have tea cakes in their menage forever. Could Mrs. Southey have foreseen how this act of Shelley's was to render famous her housewifely skill, she might have been less angry with the poor, blundering poet.
Once Shelley so far forgot Pythagoras as to partake largely of eggs and bacon at a country inn, after a long tramp over the hills. At first he refused to taste the dish ordered by his companion, but the delectable aroma penetrated his senses and he began with a small portion held on the end of his fork. He found it good, and so he attacked the plate, then called in the waiter and ordered more. He repeated this till the despondent waiter had to inform him that there remained no more bacon in the house. Thereupon the poet left in haste, informing Harriet on his return home that they must have eggs and bacon henceforth forever.
In 1813 Shelley published that eloquent plea on behalf of "Vegetarianism, — A Vindication of Natural Diet."
It is just to remember that Shelley was very impractical. He totally disregarded times and seasons, for he took no thought of dinner-hours, would eat only when he was hungry, and then, as Trelawny says, would eat much as the birds do, if he saw something edible lying about. Shelley's individual case cannot, therefore, be cited as an argument either for or against vegetarianism. His case proves only that when he yielded to natural impulses and indulged in a liberal mixed diet, his health certainly improved. He wrote to Godwin that his physical condition was such that he could not hope for a
long life. He spoke of his nervousness, of his being at the age of nineteen affected by any slight fatigue, and so he said he must husband his powers. But he really seemed to have very little wisdom in his care of his personal welfare. A few years afterward he wrote to Leigh Hunt that he suffered as much as ever from the pain in his side; " but do not mention this," he said, "for the advocate of a new system of diet is held bound to be invulnerable by disease."
It would be, of course, absurd to attribute the sensitiveness of Shelley's imagination to the fact that he was a vegetarian and a waterdrinker. But a careful study of his biography will show that his natural sensitiveness was much intensified by his disregard of the simplest laws of hygiene; that he was the freest from strange delusions and thrilling fancies when his friends took him in hand and reminded him of the claims of his physical nature. When he started out on that famous excursion to explore the source of the Thames, Shelley was weak and pale, but after he had been for some time on the water Charles Clairemont wrote to his sister that there was a remarkable change in the manner and in the appearance of the poet. "He has now the ruddy, healthy complexion of the autumn upon his countenance, and he is twice as fat as he used to be." Peacock attributed the change to the fact that he became Shelley's physician for the time and prescribed a salutary change in his diet. “He had been living chiefly on tea and bread and butter, drinking occasionally a sort of spurious lemonade, made of some powder in a box, which, as he was reading at the time The Tale of a Tub,' he called the powder of pimperlimpimp." Shelley seemed quite willing to take what Peacock told him to three mutton chops, well peppered. Other good things followed in the wake of these honest, well-disposed chops, and he began to be quite a different man.
We see the fine result of Shelley's restored health and of the manifold impressions derived from the beautiful scenery he witnessed during this wonderful journey in that great poem "Alastor." Here Shelley, for the first time, showed the hand of the master.
In the last year of his life Shelley appeared to Trelawny to be strong and vigorous. But
Trelawny, as well as Hogg, bore witness to the fact that the poet forgot his physical claims in his devotion to books, in his zeal, his enthusiasm.
"I called on him one morning at ten," says Trelawny. "He was in his study with a folio open, resting on the broad mantelpiece. He had promised to go with me, but now he begged to be let off. I then rode to Leghorn, and returned in the evening to dine with the Shelleys. I went into the poet's room and found him in exactly the same position in which I had left him in the morning, but looking pale and exhausted.
"Well,' I said, 'have you found it?' "Shutting the book, he replied with a deep sigh, 'No, I have lost it, I have lost a day.' "Cheer up, my lad, and come to dinner,' said I.
"Putting his long fingers through his masses of hair, he answered faintly, 'You go; I have dined, late eating does n't do for me.'
my dinner. It's very foolish. I thought that I had eaten it.'"
It is, therefore, not surprising that with such habitual carelessness, taken in connection with his peculiar temperament and frail constitution, the poet should have been afflicted during those last days at Casa Magni with especially frightful visions when asleep, and strange fancies of impending doom, even in his waking hours.
It is said that Tennyson once tried to follow in the footsteps of Shelley, but his enthusiasm for the potato gospel quickly passed away. For ten weeks, he said, he tried Edward Fitzgerald's "table of Pythagoras, but felt so chilled. on the half-spiritual height to which he had been exalted that he was glad to get down and taste flesh again."
ROCHESTER, N. Y.
A PLEA FOR THE NEGLECTED RHETORICAL POOR.
Great men and great issues always receive their share of attention, and do not need to have their rights upheld by others; while small matters may have to go begging for want of a friend to point out their neglected condition. This is true not only in social and moral life, but also in grammatical and rhetorical regions. Nouns and verbs, plots and characterization, are always sure of polite consideration; but small parts of speech, and the small assistants of speech, are not so likely to be respected. Hence I would utter a plea for the more commonly neglected rhetorical poor.
The first class of these is that of conjunctions. Writers do not realize what a work these small creatures could do if they were only encouraged. Emerson usually forgot their existence, and the holes in his essays which ought to have been
filled by them must always be encountered. More commonly the wrong ones are called upon, and have to fill posts the duties of which they cannot perform. How often a dark paragraph would be illuminated if the "buts," and "ands," and "fors" might exchange places! When the careful reader comes to a "but," he takes a mental jump to the other side of the road which he has been travelling, and if, when he has reached it, he finds that he is on the opposite side from the train of thought, he is likely not only to be disgusted, but frequently to miss the train altogether.
Of a still lower social order, and far more flagrantly neglected, is the race of punctuation marks. Here the poor printers have to make sure that there are no blank spaces, but frequently the selection of officiating marks is left.
to them, and when it is not, the result may be no better. No one who reads many letters or manuscripts fails to observe that the average penman has one or (when unusually extravagant) two mysterious hieroglyphics at his command, which are brought out whenever a punctuation mark is called for, and warranted to defy investigation as to which particular point they represent. It is the intellectual connection of these neglected creatures which makes them of importance; and it is hard to see how a writer can have proper commas and semi-colons in his brains, if they do not demand to be represented on paper. Just as a good reader will take a mental jump at sight of a "but," so he will assume the proper attitude when commanded by a punctuation mark. A comma tells him to keep moving, but if he finds no adjoining phrase whither he can move, the sensation is the same as when one tries in the dark to step up to an extra stair which is not there. Nearly allied to these families of the neglected poor are the Paragraphs, and (in technical works) the paragraph numbers and headings.
One cannot help thinking that these matters also are left largely to the compositor or proofreader, when he considers the dismembered ideas, mutilated arguments, and cruelly separated families of sentences which lie pitifully scattered on the pages of literature. These things are not unimportant; these neglected poor, like all neglected poor, throw curses after those who pass them by. Every one knows what an effect Dickens could produce by the sudden use of a capital letter, and how De Maupassant's paragraphing sometimes tells more than his words. Every student, at least, knows how he is forced to go through textbooks and make for himself abstracts of their contents, because the authors seem blissfully ignorant of the fact that their ideas have lawful and orderly connection with one another.
The moral whereof is this: All ye who write, think on the poor, whom ye have always with you in dictionary and grammar, ready to give help in return for consideration, and to bring rhetorical blessings to their friends.
THE "DAYS OF CHILDOCRACY" IN LITERATURE.
In one of those pleasant New England stories by Miss Sedgwick, whose village sketches delighted readers of a past generation, the crisis for which lovers of the romantic are looking is assisted by the comments and criticisms of a little girl. Alice is what it is now fashionable to call in French, un enfant terrible, - better known in New England vernacular as a hateful child." The author says: "F. was evidently becoming annoyed with the little girl's sallies, - I dare not say impertinences, and who dares to check a child in these days of childocracy?"
Presumably a word of the author's own coining, and open to criticism as not formed according to the acknowledged rules of word building, perhaps never used again, "childocracy" is yet
the expressive name of a form of authority well known as far back as the days of Themistocles.
The lament over the follies of children and the errors of parents is nothing new, lovers of the old times (always the "good" old times) did, and do, and will grieve over the want of judgment and the decay of discipline; but these are questions for educators, the writer may look with interest on the "days of childocracy" in literature.
In ancient writings, children make but small appearance. Virgil gives them no place in the Elysian Fields, but the first sounds that reached the ear of Eneas in his visit to the under-world were the wail of little children, and next-suggestive order arose the cries of those condemned here to an unjust death.
Occasionally those "human buds of promise are mentioned in letters or epitaph in loving words, but it was reserved for Christianity to give them a place and a character.
In modern days, till recently, the "grownups" had literature generally to themselves; but now children, from the baby, ignorant of letters, to those standing
"Where the brook and river meet,"
all have their own books, their history, their poetry, their magazines, their novels. The stiff little mortals of the juvenile books of an earlier generation have gone, passed on to the "Land of the Hereafter," following their grown-up friends in hoop-skirts and wigs, and in the nursery literature of to-day we have many of the genuine children of modern time, the slangy, the fun-loving, the careless, and the thoughtful; and although the former type, "too good for this world," does now and then appear, it is not, of necessity, destined to an early grave. But the precocious child of to-day's stories usually appears in the guise of a preternaturally sharp business character, all whose ventures prosper, and who, by the mysterious exercise of some talent hitherto unsuspected by unobservant relatives, lifts mortgages from the homestead, and surprises care-worn relatives and perplexed guardians with bank books and government bonds.
Many children's books are written too obviously with a purpose. A writer on education recommends that a desire for the comfort and welfare of the children of a family should underlie all the arrangements made by the adults. Only those guests should be invited whose manners would furnish worthy example, whose conversation would be instructive. No books unsuitable to the young should be brought into the house, whatever may be the temptation to the elders, yet, though this thought should be the moving spring of action, the children themselves should never be allowed to suspect that they were of so much importance. The first object of thought, the mainspring by which all the domestic machinery is moved, is to be perfectly ignorant of the moving influence! Apparently the writer is not familiar with little men and women," at least it is evi
dent that, though she may not over-rate their importance, she at least undervalues their intelligence.
But, however it may be in life, whether they are, or are not, the first object of thought, it is often in books not written for them, but where they take a subordinate place, that the most interesting children are found. To mention a few among many: who more interesting among Sir Charles Danvers' friends than little Molly, who sympathized so tenderly with the disappointed uncle's aching heart? - she had felt just so herself "it was the little green pears." Who would willingly part with Mary Fenwick's little friends? How the light of the story goes out with Gill's short life!
What delightful children appear in Howells' stories. In his "Indian Summer" is either Imogen or her rival as charming as Effie? I suspect many a reader is better pleased with the autumnal romance as securing to Effie the father she would so gladly have chosen, than as giving back the old lover to her mother.
But no hand is more skilful in depicting children than that of Hawthorne. Witness the tender touches of little Annie's ramble, of the gentle boy, the living flowers of Tanglewood, listening to those old tales that have charmed the Earth since the days of her own babyhood. The children of his books are genuine flesh and blood, full of childhood's pranks and capers, yet not devoid of that insight which belongs of right to those who had not
"Forgot the glories he hath known,
And that imperial palace whence he came." What an idea he suggests of the grim lives of the adults when he shows us the little Bostonians disporting themselves in the street, "playing at scourging Quakers, scalping Indians, or in freaks of imitative witchcraft." Enthusiastic admirers of the olden time have questioned the probability of such amusements, but we are told in the sober pages of history that when the heresies of Mistress Hutchinson had shaken all the colony, the children entered with a zeal worthy of their elders into the contest, and squabbled with their comrades over the questions of works and faith. Small wonder if in play they imitated the most impressive scenes of the time.
Poor Miss Pyncheon's voracious customer, Ned Higgins, who made his own small person a menagerie of gingerbread animals, is a child of prose, a sharp urchin of the street. But none excels the portraiture of little Pearl, sweet as the rose, changeable as the wind, now loving and consoling, now probing with her
baby-touch the darkest and deepest mysteries of her mother's heart, charming, but weird and uncanny, as befitted one who "owed her existence to a broken law."
Pamela McArthur Cole.
EAST BRIDGEwater, Mass.
ARE EDITORS TO BLAME?
"Well, why should he?" a more experienced contributor might ask. Of course, it is generally understood that he can use unsolicited manuscripts if they are good, and is willing to have them sent to him for examination; but did he ever ask you to send him anything, or promise to read everything that he might receive? Some periodicals, the Forum, for example, are made up almost altogether of contributions ordered from specialists by the editor on subjects selected by him, and seldom print unsolicited contributions of any kind. Why should the editor of the Forum, then, be expected to read a given manuscript sent to him without solicitation, when a mere glance at the title of it shows him that he does not want it, or, in case the title is attractive, if perusal of the first page gives evidence that the treatment of the subject is inadequate?"
The salaries of manuscript readers are an important item in the expenses of every large publishing-house or periodical. The Century, for example, receives nearly 10,000 manuscripts every year, and the cost, as well as the labor of caring for them, is inevitably large. The limita tions of the magazine are such that only a very few of these manuscripts can be used in any <case. Is it reasonable, then, to say that the
editor of the Century or his assistants should read religiously through every one of these 10,000 manuscripts to make absolutely sure that no obscure gem is overlooked or that no injustice to the author may be done? Is it not manifest that the editor is called upon only to give such examination to unsolicited manuscripts as may be consistent with his own interests, and that if he should try to do more than that, out of regard for the feelings of his contributors, his own interests would seriously suffer?
It is a mistaken idea that an editor has any responsibility toward the unsolicited contributor, beyond that of caring for his manuscript while it is in his possession and of returning it, in case the necessary stamps are sent with it, as soon as he has decided that it is unsuitable for his purpose.
Some editors may encourage young genius, and most editors do give to their contributors much gratuitous assistance and advice, but no writer has a right to expect any editor to do anything of the kind. As for patiently reading all the manuscripts that are submitted to him, if any editor should do it, he would have no time left in which to do his proper work.
In a word, when an editor is overstocked, or sees at a glance that an article submitted is not likely to be what he wants, it is simply unreasonable for the author of it to expect that he should read it through.
BROOKLYN, N. Y.
Edward L. White.