218 Works of Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
I heard this story in a farmhouse upon Dartmoor, and I give it in the words of the local doctor who told it. We were a reading-party of three undergraduates and a Christ Church don. The don had slipped on a boulder, two days before, while fishing the river Meavy, and sprained his ankle; hence [...]
I.–THE TALE OF SNORRI GAMLASON
In the early summer of 1358, with the breaking up of the ice, there came to Brattahlid, in Greenland, a merchant-ship from Norway, with provisions for the Christian settlements on the coast. The master’s name was Snorri Gamlason, and it happened that as he sailed into Eric’s Fiord and warped alongside [...]
“You will ruin his life,” said one of the two women. As the phrase escaped her she remembered, or seemed to remember, having met with it in half a dozen novels. She had nerved herself for the interview which up to this moment had been desperately real; but now she felt herself losing grip. [...]
A REPORTED TALE OF A DUTCHMAN AND A PRIVATEER
Yes, a heap of folks have admired that teapot. Hundreds of pounds we must have been offered for it, first and last, since the night my wife’s grandfather, Captain John Tackabird–or Cap’n Jacka, as he was always called–brought it into the family over the back-garden wall, and [...]
It was ten o’clock–a sunny, gusty morning in early September–when H.M.S. Berenice, second-class cruiser, left the Hamoaze and pushed slowly out into the Sound on her way to the China Seas.
From the Hoe, on a grassy slope below the great hotel, John Gilbart watched her as she thrust her long white side into view between [...]
REPORTED TALE OF A SMUGGLER, A REVENUE CUTTER, AND AN OFFICIOUS MINISTER.
You have heard tell, of course, of Captain John Carter, the famous smuggler of Prussia Cove, and his brothers Harry, Francis, and Charles, and Captain Will Richards, “Tummels,” Carpenter Hosking, Uncle Billy, and the rest of the Cove boys; likewise of old Nan Leggo [...]
If any one cares to buy the yawl Siren, he may have her for 200 pounds, or a trifle less than the worth of her ballast, as lead goes nowadays. For sufficient reasons–to be disclosed in the course of this narrative–I am unable to give her builder’s name, and for reasons quite as [...]
I ENTER THE CELLARS.
It happened on a broiling afternoon in July 1812, and midway in a fortnight of exquisite weather, during which Wellington and Marmont faced each other across the Douro before opening the beautiful series of evolutions–or, rather, of circumvolutions–which ended suddenly on the 22nd, and locked the two armies in the prettiest [...]
From Langona church tower you see nothing of the Atlantic but a wedge between two cliffs of a sandy creek. The cottages–thirty in all, perhaps–huddle in a semicircle of the hills about a spring of clear water, which overflows and leaps as from a platform into the hollow coombe, its conduit down to the [...]
Let those who know my affection for Troy consider what my feelings were, the other day, when on my return from a brief jaunt to London I alighted at the railway station amid all the tokens of a severe and general catastrophe. The porter who opened the door for me had a bandaged head. George [...]
“Yes,” said the Judge, “I ought by this time to know something of Cornish juries. They acquit oftener than other juries, to be sure; and the general notion is that they incline more towards mercy. Privately, I believe that mercy has very little to do with it.”
“Stupidity,” said the High Sheriff sententiously, and sipped his [...]
When the Grand Duke Ferdinand of Carinthia travelled in state to wed the Princess Sophia of Ysselmonde, he did so by land, and for two reasons; the first being that this was the shortest way, and the second that he possessed no ships. These, at any rate, were the reasons alleged by his Chancellor, to [...]
At Madeira seven of us were added to the first-class passengers of the Cambuscan, homeward bound from Cape Town; and even so the company made a poor muster in the saloon, which required a hundred and seventy feet of hurricane-deck for covering. Those were days–long before the South African War, before the Jameson Raid even–when [...]
In the kingdom of Illyria there lived, not long ago, a poor wood-cutter with three sons, who in time went forth to seek their fortunes. At the end of three years they returned by agreement, to compare their progress in the world. The eldest had become a lawyer, and the second a merchant, and each [...]
“Photograph all the prisoners? But why?” demanded Sir Felix Felix-Williams. Old Canon Kempe shrugged his shoulders; Admiral Trewbody turned the pages of the Home Secretary’s letter. They sat at the baize-covered table in the Magistrates’ Room–the last of the Visiting Justices who met, under the old regime, to receive the Governor’s report and look after [...]
It was in a purple twilight of May that I first saw the lamp shining. For me, a child of seven, the voyage had been a tiring one: it seemed many hours since, with a ringing of bells, and hearts adventurously throbbing with the screw of our small steamboat, we had backed and swung, casting [...]
He was a happy boy, for he lived beside a harbour, and just below the last bend where the river swept out of steep woodlands into view of the sea. A half-ruined castle, with a battery of antiquated guns, still made-believe to protect the entrance to the harbour, and looked across it upon a ridge [...]
There is at Oxford a small college, with a small bursar’s garden that in spring is ablaze with laburnum and scented with lilac; and in the old wall of this garden, just beneath the largest laburnum-tree, you may still find a stone with this inscription: “Jesus have mercy on Miles Tonken, Fellow. Anno 1545.”
This college, [...]
I daresay they never saw, and perhaps never will see, one another. I met them on separate railway journeys, and the dates are divided by five years almost. One boy was travelling third-class, the other first. The age of each when I made his very slight acquaintance (with the one I did not even exchange [...]
Sergeant David Wilkes, of the First (Royal) Regiment of Foot–third battalion, B Company–came trudging with a small fatigue party down the sandy slopes of Mount Olia, on the summit of which they had been toiling all day, helping the artillerymen to drag an extra 24-pounder into battery. They had brought it into position [...]
Under the green shore that faces the port, and at a point that, as the meeting-place of river and harbour, may be called indifferently by either name, lay a slim-waisted barque at anchor, with a sand-barge alongside. The time was a soft and sunny morning in early January– a day that was Nature’s breathing space [...]
[The story is told by Will Fleming, of the Inner Temple, Barrister-at-law, and sometime Cornet of the 32nd Troop of Horse in the Parliament Army, then (December, 1643) quartered at Farnham, on the Hants border.]
I dare say that, since the world began and men learned to fight, was never an army moderately [...]
[The scene is the kitchen of a small farm-house above the Walkham River, on the western edge of Dartmoor. The walls, originally of rough granite, have had their asperities smoothed down by many layers of whitewash. The floor is of lime-ash, nicely sanded. From the ceiling--formed of rude, unplaned beams and the planching of the [...]
[August, 1644. The Story is told by Ralph Medhope, Captain of the Twenty-second (or Gray-coat) Troop of Horse in the Parliament Army, then serving in Cornwall.]
We were eight men in the picket. My cornet, Ned Penkevill, rode beside me; our trumpeter, Israel Hutson, a pace or two behind; with five troopers following. I could tell [...]
In the first quarter of the nineteenth century there lived at Dolphin House, Troy, a Mr Samuel Pinsent, ship-chandler, who by general consent was the funniest fellow that ever took up his abode in the town. He came originally from somewhere in the South Hams, but this tells us nothing, for the folk of the [...]
[From the Memoirs of a Pierrot.]
I had come with high expectations, for Mr Felix, a bachelor of sixty-five, was reputed to have made for thirty years this particular cabinet his idol. Any nabob or millionaire can collect. Mr Felix, being moderately well to do, had selected. He would have none but the best; and the [...]
Outside the railway station Colonel Baigent handed his carpet-bag to the conductor of the hotel omnibus, and stood for a moment peering about in the dusk, as if to take his bearings.
‘For The Dragon, sir?’ asked the conductor.
‘The Dragon?’ Yes, certainly,’ echoed Colonel Baigent, aroused by the name from the beginnings of a brown study. [...]
Troy–not for the first time in its history–is consumed with laughter; laughter which I deprecate, while setting down as an impartial chronicler the occasion and the cause of it.
You must know that our venerable and excellent squire, Sir Felix Felix-Williams, has for some years felt our little town getting, as he puts it, ‘beyond him.’ [...]
Millionaire though he was, Mr Markham (nee Markheim) never let a small opportunity slip. To be sure the enforced idleness of Atlantic crossing bored him and kept him restless; it affected him with malaise to think that for these five days, while the solitude of ocean swallowed him, men on either shore, with [...]
‘In all his life he never engaged in a law suit. Reader, try if you can go so far and be so good a man.’
Thus concludes the epitaph of Doctor Unonius, upon a modest stone in the churchyard of Polpeor, in Cornwall, of which parish he was, during his life, the general friend, [...]
“Trust in good verses then:They only shall aspire,When pyramids, as menAre lost i’the funeral fire.”
As the tale is told by Plato, in the tenth book of his Republic, one Er the son of Arminius, a Pamphylian, was slain in battle; and ten days afterwards, when they collected the bodies for burial, his body alone showed [...]
A passage from the Memoirs of Manuel (or Manus) McNeill, agent in the Secret Service of Great Britain during the campaigns of the Peninsula (1808-1813). A Spanish subject by birth, and a Spaniard in all his up-bringing, he traces in the first chapter of his Memoirs his descent from an old Highland family through one [...]
From the Military Memoir of Capt. J. de Courcy, late of the North Wilts Regiment.
There were four of us on top of the coach that night–the driver, the guard, the corporal and I–all well muffled up and swathed about the throat against the northwest wind; and we carried but one inside passenger, though he snored [...]
Particulars concerning the end of Mistress Catherine Johnstone, late of Givens, in Ayrshire; from a private relation made by the young woman Kirstie Maclachlan to the Reverend James Souttar, A.M., Minister of the Parish of Wyliebank, and by him put into writing.
I had been placed in my parish of Wyliebank about a twelvemonth before making [...]
A PASSAGE FROM THE ORAL HISTORY OF ARDEVORA.
Woman Suffrage? It’s surprising to me how light some folks will talk– with a Providence, for all they know, waiting round the corner to take them at their word. I put my head in at the Working Man’s Institute last night, and there was the new Coastguard officer [...]
From the Memoirs of Joshua Frampton, Esq., late Honorary Physician to the Wells, and Surgeon.
I cannot pass this year 1790 without speaking of a ridiculous adventure which, but that it providentially happened at the close of our season, when the Spa was emptying and our fashionables talked more of packing their trunks than of the [...]
Cleeve Court, known now as Cleeve Old Court, sits deep in a valley beside a brook and a level meadow, across which it looks southward upon climbing woods and glades descending here and there between them like broad green rivers. Above, the valley narrows almost to a gorge, with scarps of limestone, grey and red-streaked, [...]
THE COMEDY THAT WROTE ITSELF AS RELATED BY G. A. RICHARDSON.
I. How pleasant it is to have money, heigho!How pleasant it is to have money!
Sings (I think) Clough. Well, I had money, and more of it than I felt any desire to spend; which is as much as any reasonable man can want. My age [...]
“All day within the dreamy houseThe doors upon their hinges creak’d,The blue fly sung in the pane; the mouseBehind the mouldering wainscot shrieked,Or from the crevice peer’d about,Old faces glimmer’d thro’ the doors,Old footsteps trod the upper floors,Old voices called her from without.”–MARIANA.
My eyes had been occupied with the grey chimneys below, among the Spanish [...]
I have thought fit in this story to alter all the names involved and disguise the actual scene of it: and have done this so carefully that, although the story has a key, the reader who should search for it would not only waste his time but miss even the poor satisfaction of having guessed [...]
A rough track–something between a footpath and a water course–led down the mountain-side through groves of evergreen oak, and reached the Plain of Jezreel at the point where the road from Samaria and the south divided into two–its main stem still climbing due north towards Nazareth, while the branch bent back eastward and by south [...]
Early last Fall there died in Troy an old man and his wife. The woman went first, and the husband took a chill at her grave’s edge, when he stood bareheaded in a lashing shower. The loose earth crumbled under his feet, trickled over, and dropped on her coffin-lid. Through two long nights he lay [...]
A Narrative of the sufferings of Mr. Obed Lanyon, of Vellingey-Saint Agnes, Cornwall; Margit Lanyon, his wife; and seventeen persons (mostly Americans) shipwrecked among the Quinaiult Tribes of the N.W. Coast of America, in the winter of 1807-8. With some remarkable Experiences of the said Margit Lanyon, formerly Pedersen. Written by the Survivor, Edom Lanyon, [...]
The scene was a street in the West End of London, a little south of Eaton Square: the hour just twenty-five minutes short of midnight.
A wind from the North Sea had been blowing all day across the Thames marshes, and collecting what it could carry; and the shop-keepers had scarcely drawn their iron shutters before [...]
“Item, of the Cognac 25 degrees above proof, according to sample in the little green flask, 144 ankers at 4 gallons per anker, at 5s. 6d. per gallon, the said ankers to be ready slung for horse-carriage.”
“Now may the mischief fly away with these English!” cried my father, to whom my mother was reading the [...]
A Jew, unfortunately slain on the sands of Sheba Cove, in the parish of Ruan Lanihale, August 15, 1810: or so much of it as is hereby related by the Rev. Endymion Trist, B.D., then vicar of that parish, in a letter to a friend.
My dear J–,–You are right, to be sure, in supposing that [...]
You’ve heard tell, I dare say, about Landlord Cummins and Billy Bosistow, and the great jealousy there was between them. No? Well, I see you going about Ardevora, and making a study of us; and I know you can read, because I’ve seen you doing it down to the Institute. But sometimes, when I ask [...]
A PENDANT TO THE FOREGOING
The returned Emigrant was not one of those who sometimes creep back to Tregarrick and scan the folk wistfully and the names over the shops till they bethink themselves of stepping up the hill to take a look at the cemetery, and there find all they sought. This man stood under [...]
My Dear Violet,–So you “gather from the tone of two or three recent letters that my spirit is creeping back to light and warmth again”? Well, after a fashion you are right. I shall never laugh again as I used to laugh before Harry’s death. The taste has gone out of that carelessness, and I [...]
In a one-roomed hut, high within the Arctic Circle, and only a little south of the eightieth parallel, six men were sitting–much as they had sat, evening after evening, for months. They had a clock, and by it they divided the hours into day and night. As a matter of fact, it was always night. [...]
A late hansom came swinging round the corner into Lennox Gardens, cutting it so fine that the near wheel ground against the kerb and jolted the driver in his little seat. The jingle of bells might have warned me; but the horse’s hoofs came noiselessly on the half-frozen snow, which lay just deep enough to [...]
“Yes,” said Miss Le Petyt, gazing into the deep fireplace and letting her hands and her knitting lie for the moment idle in her lap. “Oh, yes, I have seen a ghost. In fact I have lived in a house with one for quite a long time.”
“How you could–” began one of my host’s daughters; [...]
[Or so much as is told of her by Paschal Tonkin, steward and major-domo to the lamented John Milliton, of Pengersick Castle, in Cornwall: of her coming in the Portugal Ship, anno 1526; her marriage with the said Milliton and alleged sorceries; with particulars of the Barbary men wrecked in Mount's Bay and their entertainment [...]
On the outskirts of the village of Gantick stand two small semi-detached cottages, coloured with the same pale yellow wash, their front gardens descending to the high-road in parallel lines, their back gardens (which are somewhat longer) climbing to a little wood of secular elms, traditionally asserted to be the remnant of a mighty forest. [...]
Once upon a time there was born a man-child with a magic shadow.
His case was so rare that a number of doctors have been disputing over it ever since and picking his parents’ histories and genealogies to bits, to find the cause. Their inquiries do not help us much. The father drove a cab; the [...]
“See here, you’d best lose the bitch–till tomorrow, anyway. She ain’t the sight to please a strict man, like your dad, on the Sabbath day. What’s more, she won’t heal for a fortni’t, not to deceive a Croolty-to-Animals Inspector at fifty yards; an’ with any man but me she’ll take a month.”
My friend Yorkshire Dick [...]
I was fourteen that Christmas:–all Veryan parish knows the date of the famous “Black Winter,” when the Johann brig came ashore on Kibberick beach, with a dozen foreigners frozen stiff and staring on her fore-top, and Lawyer Job, up at Ruan, lost all his lambs but two. There was neither rhyme nor wit in the [...]
In the room of one of my friends hangs a mirror. It is an oblong sheet of glass, set in a frame of dark, highly varnished wood, carved in the worst taste of the Regency period, and relieved with faded gilt. Glancing at it from a distance, you would guess the thing a relic from [...]
It was not as in certain toy houses that foretell the weather by means of a man-doll and a woman-doll–the man going in as the woman comes out, and vice versa. In this case both man and woman stepped out, the man half a minute behind; so that the woman was almost at the street-corner [...]
To a Lady who had asked for a Fairy Tale.
You thought it natural, my dear lady, to lay this command on me at the dance last night. We had parted, two months ago, in London, and we met, unexpectedly and to music, in this corner of the land where (they say) the piskies still keep. [...]
One of these days I hope to write a treatise on the Mayors of Cornwall–dignitaries whose pleasant fame is now night, remembered only in some neat by-word or saying of the country people. Thus you may hear, now and again, of “the Mayor of Falmouth, who thanked God when the town gaol was enlarged,” “the [...]
There are said to be many vipers on the Downs above the sea; but it was so pleasant to find a breeze up there allaying the fervid afternoon, that I risked the consequences and stretched myself at full length, tilting my straw hat well over my nose.
Presently, above the tic-a-tic-tick of the grasshoppers, and the [...]
It is just six years ago that I first travelled the coast from Gorrans Haven to Zoze Point.
Since then I have visited it in fair weather and foul; and in time, perhaps, shall rival the coastguardsmen, who can walk it blindfold. But to this day it remains in my recollection the coast I trod, without [...]
” Among these million Suns how shall the strayed Soul find her way back to earth? “
The man was an engine-driver, thick-set and heavy, with a short beard grizzled at the edge, and eyes perpetually screwed up, because his life had run for the most part in the teeth of the wind. The lashes, too, [...]
Few rivers in England are without their “Lovers’ Leap”; but the tradition of this one is singular, I believe. It overhangs a dark pool, midway down a west country valley–a sheer escarpment of granite, its lip lying but a stone’s throw from the high-road, that here finds its descent broken by a stiff knoll, over [...]
I.–A HAPPY VOYAGE.
The cottage that I have inhabited these six years looks down on the one quiet creek in a harbour full of business. The vessels that enter beneath Battery Point move up past the grey walls and green quay-doors of the port to the jetties where their cargoes lie. All day long I can [...]
Judge between me and my guest, the stranger within my gates, the man whom in his extremity I clothed and fed.
I remember well the time of his coming, for it happened at the end of five days and nights during which the year passed from strength to age; in the interval between the swallow’s departure [...]
I.–THE AFFAIR OF BLEAKIRK-ON-SANDS.
[ The events, which took place on November 23, 186-, are narrated by Reuben Cartwright, Esq., of Bleakirk Hall, Bleakirk-on-Sands, in the North Riding of Yorkshire.]
A rough, unfrequented bridle-road rising and dipping towards the coast, with here and there a glimpse of sea beyond the sad-coloured moors: straight overhead, a red and [...]
It was not so much a day as a burning, fiery furnace. The roar of London’s traffic reverberated under a sky of coppery blue; the pavements threw out waves of heat, thickened with the reek of restaurants and perfumery shops; and dust became cinders, and the wearing of flesh a weariness. Streams of sweat ran [...]
At Tregarrick Fair they cook a goose in twenty-two different ways; and as no one who comes to the fair would dream of eating any other food, you may fancy what a reek of cooking fills the narrow grey street soon after mid-day.
As a boy, I was always given a holiday to go to the [...]
A mile beyond the fishing village, as you follow the road that climbs inland towards Tregarrick, the two tall hills to right and left of the coombe diverge to make room for a third, set like a wedge in the throat of the vale. Here the road branches into two, with a sign-post at the [...]
The jury re-entered the court after half an hour’s consultation.
It all comes back to me as vividly as though I stood in the dock at this very moment. The dense fog that hung over the well of the court; the barristers’ wigs that bobbed up through it, and were drowned again in that seething cauldron; [...]
High and low, rich and poor, in Troy Town there are seventy-three maiden ladies. Under this term, of course, I include only those who may reasonably be supposed to have forsworn matrimony. And of the seventy-three, the two Misses Lefanu stand first, as well from their age and extraction (their father was an Admiral of [...]
A REPORTED TALE OF TWO FRIGATES AND TWO LUGGERS
I dare say you’ve never heard tell of my wife’s grandfather, Captain John Tackabird–or Cap’n Jacka, as he was always called. He was a remarkable man altogether, and he died of a seizure in the Waterloo year; an earnest Methody all his days, and towards the end [...]
We were four in the patio. And the patio was magnificent, with a terrace of marble running round its four sides, and in the middle a fountain splashing in a marble basin. I will not swear to the marble; for I was a boy of ten at the time, and that is a long while [...]
The Story is Told by Dom Bartholomew Perestrello, Governor of the Island of Porto Santo.
It was on the fifteenth day of August, 1428, and about six o’clock in the morning, that while taking the air on the seaward side of my house at Porto Santo, as my custom was after breaking fast, I caught sight [...]
A Story of 1644
I pray God to deal gently with my sister Margery Lantine; that the blood of her twin-brother Mark, though it cry out, may not prevail against her on the Day of Judgment.
We three were all the children of Ephraim Lantine, a widower, who owned and farmed (as I do to-day) the little [...]
I had the honour of commanding my Regiment, the Moray Highlanders, on the 16th of June, 1815, when the late Ensign David Marie Joseph Mackenzie met his end in the bloody struggle of Quatre Bras (his first engagement). He fell beside the colours, and I gladly bear witness that he had not only borne himself [...]
“God! of whom musicAnd song and blood are pure,The day is never darkenedThat had thee here obscure.”
Early in 1897 a landslip on the tall cliffs of Halzaphron–which face upon Mount’s Bay, Cornwall, and the Gulf Stream of the Atlantic–brought to light a curiosity. The slip occurred during the night of January 7th to 8th, breaking [...]
You enter the village of Gantick between two round-houses set one on each side of the high road where it dips steeply towards the valley bottom. On the west of the opposite hill the road passes out between another pair of round-houses. And down in the heart of the village among the elms facing the [...]
Chapters from the Memoirs of Manuel (or Manus) McNeill, an agent in the Secret Service of Great Britain during the campaigns of the Peninsula (1808-1813). A Spanish subject by birth, and a Spaniard in all his upbringing, he traces in the first chapter of his Memoirs his descent from an old Highland family through one [...]
In the course of an eventful life John Penaluna did three very rash things.
To begin with, at seventeen, he ran away to sea.
He had asked his father’s permission. But for fifty years the small estate had been going from bad to worse. John’s grandfather in the piping days of agriculture had drunk the profits and [...]
He who has not seen Ambialet, in the Albigeois, has missed a wonder of the world. The village rests in a saddle of crystalline rock between two rushing streams, which are yet one and the same river; for the Tarn (as it is called), pouring down from the Cevennes, is met and turned by this [...]
Beside the Plymouth road, as it plunges down-hill past Ruan Lanihale church towards Ruan Cove, and ten paces beyond the lych-gate–where the graves lie level with the coping, and the horseman can decipher their inscriptions in passing, at the risk of a twisted neck–the base of the churchyard wall is pierced with a low archway, [...]
I. HOW I DINED AT THE “INDIAN QUEENS.”
The sensation was odd; for I could have made affidavit I had never visited the place in my life, nor come within fifty miles of it. Yet every furlong of the drive was earmarked for me, as it were, by some detail perfectly familiar. The high-road ran straight [...]
Extract from the Memoirs of Gabriel Foot, Highwayman.
I will say this–speaking as accurately as a man may, so long afterwards–that when first I spied the house it put no desire in me but just to give thanks.
For conceive my case. It was near mid-night, and ever since dusk I had been tramping the naked moors, [...]
AN EPISODE IN THE HISTORY OF THE LOOE DIE-HARDS.
Maybe you have never heard of the East and West Looe Volunteer Artillery– the famous Looe Die-hards? “The iniquity of oblivion,” says Sir Thomas Browne, “blindly scattereth her poppy, and deals with the memory of men without distinction to merit of perpetuity.”
“Time,” writes Dr. Isaac Watts–
“Time, like [...]
“So you reckon I’ve got to die?”
The room was mean, but not without distinction. The meanness lay in lime-washed walls, scant fittings, and uncovered boards; the distinction came of ample proportions and something of durability in the furniture. Rooms, like human faces, reflect their histories; and that generation after generation of the same family had [...]
My grand-uncle pushed the decanter of brown sherry: a stout old-fashioned decanter, with shoulders almost as square as his own, and a silver chain about them bearing a silver label–not unlike the badge and collar which he himself wore on full ceremonial occasions.
“Three times round the world,” he said, “and as yet only twice around [...]
My mother’s grandfather, Dan’l Leggo, was the piousest man that ever went smuggling, and one of the peaceablest, and scrupulous to an extent you wouldn’t believe. He learnt his business among the Cove boys at Porthleah–or Prussia Cove as it came to be called, after John Carter, the head of the gang, that was nicknamed [...]
In Ardevora, a fishing-town on the Cornish coast not far from the Land’s End, lived a merchant whom everybody called ‘Elder’ Penno, or ‘The Elder’–not because he had any right, or laid any claim, to that title. His father and grandfather had worn it as office-bearers in a local religious sect known as the Advent [...]
Sept. 21, 1895. Stevenson’s Testimony.
In his chapter of “Personal Memories,” printed in the Century Magazine of July last, Mr. Gosse speaks of the peculiar esteem in which Mr. Frank R. Stockton’s stories were held by Robert Louis Stevenson. “When I was going to America to lecture, he was particularly anxious that I should lay at [...]
August 26, 1893. Dauntless Anthology.
It is really very difficult to know what to say to Mr. Maynard Leonard, editor of The Dog in British Poetry (London: David Nutt). His case is something the same as Archdeacon Farrar’s. The critic who desires amendment in the Archdeacon’s prose, and suggests that something might be done by a [...]
A Baconian Essay
Dec. 26, 1891.
That was a Wittie Invective made by Montaigny upon the Antipodean, Who said they must be Thieves that pulled on their breeches when Honest Folk were scarce abed. So is it Obnoxious to them that purvey Christmas Numbers, Annuals, and the like, that they commonly write under Sirius his star as [...]
Beside a winding creek of the Lynher River, and not far from the Cornish borough of Saltash, you may find a roofless building so closely backed with cherry-orchards that the trees seem by their slow pressure to be thrusting the mud-walls down to the river’s brink, there to topple and fall into the tide. The [...]
Just outside the small country station of M—- in Cornwall, a viaduct carries the Great Western Railway line across a coombe, or narrow valley, through which a tributary trout-stream runs southward to meet the tides of the L—- River. From the carriage-window as you pass you look down the coombe for half a mile perhaps, [...]
June 1, 1895. Björnson’s First Manner.
I see that the stories promised in Mr. Heinemann’s new series of translations of Björnson are Synnövé Solbakken, Arne, A Happy Boy, The Fisher Maiden, The Bridal March, Magnhild, and Captain Mansana. The first, Synnövé Solbakken, appeared in 1857. The others are dated thus:–Arne in 1858, A Happy Boy in [...]
March 31, 1894. “Esther Waters.”
It is good, after all, to come across a novel written by a man who can write a novel. We have been much in the company of the Amateur of late, and I for one am very weary of him–weary of his preposterous goings-out and comings-in, of his smart ineptitudes, of [...]
Nov. 28, 1891. “Esther Vanhomrigh.”
Among considerable novelists who have handled historical subjects–that is to say, who have brought into their story men and women who really lived and events which have really taken place–you will find one rule strictly observed, and no single infringement of it that has been followed by success. This rule is [...]
August 11, 1894. “The Manxman.”
Mr. Hall Caine’s new novel The Manxman (London: William Heinemann) is a big piece of work altogether. But, on finishing the tale, I turned back to the beginning and read the first 125 pages over again, and then came to a stop. I wish that portion of the book could be [...]
Oct. 7, 1892. A Masterpiece.
“Peer Gynt takes its place, as we hold, on the summits of literature precisely because it means so much more than the poet consciously intended. Is not this one of the characteristics of the masterpiece, that everyone can read in it his own secret? In the material world (though Nature is [...]
Oct. 27, 1894. “The God in the Car” and “The Indiscretion of the Duchess.”
As I set down the titles of these two new stories by Mr. Anthony Hope, it occurs to me that combined they would make an excellent title for a third story yet to be written. For Mr. Hope’s duchess, if by any [...]
Sept. 14, 1895. Hypnotic Fiction.
A number of people–and I am one–cannot “abide” hypnotism in fiction. In my own case the dislike has been merely instinctive, and I have never yet found time to examine the instinct and discover whether or not it is just and reasonable. The appearance of a one-volume edition of Trilby–undoubtedly the [...]
May 5, 1894. Aloofness of Mr. Swinburne’s Muse.
There was a time–let us say, in the early seventies–when many young men tried to write like Mr. Swinburne. Remarkably small success waited on their efforts. Still their numbers and their youth and (for a while also) their persistency seemed to promise a new school of poesy, with [...]
April 29, 1893. Hazlitt’s Stipulation.“Food, warmth, sleep, and a book; these are all I at present ask–the Ultima Thule of my wandering desires. Do you not then wish for–
a friend in your retreatWhom you may whisper, ‘Solitude is sweet’?
Expected, well enough: gone, still better. Such attractions are strengthened by distance.”
So Hazlitt wrote in his Farewell [...]
April 7, 1894. His Plays.
For some weeks now I have been meaning to write about Mr. John Davidson’s “Plays” (Elkin Mathews and John Lane), and always shirking the task at the last moment. The book is an exceedingly difficult one to write about, and I am not at all sure that after a few sentences [...]
Nov. 5, 1892. An Itinerary.
Besides the glorious exclusiveness of it, there is a solid advantage just now, in not being an aspirant for the Laureateship. You can go out into the wilderness for a week without troubling to leave an address. A week or so back I found with some difficulty a friend who even [...]
June 24, 1893. March 4, 1804. In what respect Remarkable.
What seems to me chiefly remarkable in the popular conception of a Poet is its unlikeness to the truth. Misconception in this case has been flattered, I fear, by the poets themselves:–
“The poet in a golden Clime was born,With golden stars above;Dowered with the hate of [...]
May 11, 1895. A Prelude to Poetry.
“To those who love the poets most, who care most for their ideals, this little book ought to be the one indispensable book of devotion, the credo of the poetic faith.” “This little book” is the volume with which Mr. Ernest Rhys prefaces the pretty series of Lyrical Poets [...]
Sept. 29, 1894. The “Great Heart” of the Public.
I observe that our hoary friend, the Great Heart of the Public, has been taking his annual outing in September. Thanks to the German Emperor and the new head of the House of Orleans, he has had the opportunity of a stroll through the public press arm [...]
March 16, 1895. The “Woman Who Did,” and Mr. Eason who wouldn’t.
“In the romantic little town of ‘Ighbury,My father kept a Succulating Libary….”
–and, I regret to say, gave himself airs on the strength of it.
The persons in my instructive little story are–
H.H. Prince Francis of Teck.
Mr. Grant Allen, author of The Woman Who Did.
Mr. W.T. [...]
Oct. 5, 1895. Our “Crusaders.”
The poor little Penny Dreadful has been catching it once more. Oncemore the British Press has stripped to its massive waist and solemnlysquared up to this hardened young offender. It calls this remarkableperformance a “Crusade.”
I like these Crusades. They remind one of that merry passage inPickwick (p. 254 in the first [...]
April 15, 1893. The “Island Nights’ Entertainments.”
I wish Mr. Stevenson had given this book another title. It covers but two out of the three stories in the volume; and, even so, it has the ill-luck to be completely spoilt by its predecessor, the New Arabian Nights.
The New Arabian Nights was in many respects a parody [...]
Sept. 23, 1892. La Déb�cle.
To what different issues two men will work the same notion! Imagine this world to be a flat board accurately parcelled out into squares, and you have the basis at once of Alice through the Looking-Glass and of Les Rougon-Macquart. But for the mere fluke that the Englishman happened to be [...]
May 4, 1895. Hazlitt.
“Coming forward and seating himself on the ground in his white dress and tightened turban, the chief of the Indian jugglers begins with tossing up two brass balls, which is what any of us could do, and concludes with keeping up four at the same time, which is what none of us [...]
Nov. 18, 1893. Story and Anecdote.
I suppose I am no more favored than most people who write stories in receiving from unknown correspondents a variety of suggestions, outlines of plots, sketches of situations, characters, and so forth. One cannot but feel grateful for all this spontaneous beneficence. The mischief is that in ninety-nine cases out [...]
Dec. 9, 1893. Scott’s Letters.
“All Balzac’s novels occupy one shelf. The new edition fifty volumes long”
–says Bishop Blougram. But for Scott the student will soon have to hire a room. The novels and poems alone stretch away into just sixty volumes in Cadell’s edition; and this is only the beginning. At this very moment two [...]
March 10, 1894. “The Cloister and the Hearth.”
There is a venerable proposition–I never heard who invented it–that an author is finally judged by his best work. This would be comforting to authors if true: but is it true? A day or two ago I picked up on a railway bookstall a copy of Messrs. Chatto [...]
Nov. 12, 1892. Mr. Gilbert Parker.
Mr. Gilbert Parker’s book of Canadian tales, “Pierre and His People” (Methuen and Co.), is delightful for more than one reason. To begin with, the tales themselves are remarkable, and the language in which they are told, though at times it overshoots the mark by a long way and offends [...]
Feb. 9, 1895. Henry Kingsley.
Mr. Shorter begins his Memoir of the author of Ravenshoe with this paragraph:–
“The story of Henry Kingsley’s life may well be told in a few words, because that life was on the whole a failure. The world will not listen very tolerantly to a narrative of failure unaccompanied by the halo [...]
January 10, 1891. His Life.
Alexander William Kinglake was born in 1812, the son of a country gentleman–Mr. W. Kinglake, of Wilton House, Taunton–and received a country gentleman’s education at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge. From college he went to Lincoln’s Inn, and in 1837 was called to the Chancery Bar, where he practised with fair [...]
August 25, 1894. Shakespeare’s Lyrics.
In their re-issue of The Aldine Poets, Messrs. George Bell & Sons have made a number of concessions to public taste. The new binding is far more pleasing than the old; and in some cases, where the notes and introductory memoirs had fallen out of date, new editors have been set [...]
February 24, 1894. Samuel Daniel.
The writings of Samuel Daniel and the circumstances of his life are of course well enough known to all serious students of English poetry. And, though I cannot speak on this point with any certainty, I imagine that our younger singers hold to the tradition of all their fathers, and that [...]
Dec. 5, 1891. Cambridge Baras.
What I am about to say will, no doubt, be set down to tribal malevolence; but I confess that if Cambridge men appeal to me less at one time than another it is when they begin to talk about their poets. The grievance is an old one, of course–at least as [...]
April 21, 1894. William Browne of Tavistock.
It has been objected to the author of Britannia’s Pastorals that their perusal sends you to sleep. It had been subtler criticism, as well as more amiable, to observe that you can wake up again and, starting anew at the precise point where you dropped off, continue the perusal [...]
July 28, 1894. A Note on his Name.
Even as there is an M alike in Macedon and Monmouth, so Thomas Carew and I have a common grievance–that our names are constantly mispronounced. It is their own fault, of course; on the face of it they ought to rhyme with “few” and “vouch.” And if it [...]
April 13, 1895. Robinson Crusoe.
Many a book has produced a wide and beneficent effect and won a great reputation, and yet this effect and this reputation have been altogether wide of its author’s aim. Swift’s Gulliver is one example. As Mr. Birrell put it the other day, “Swift’s gospel of hatred, his testament of woe–his [...]
Dec. 10, 1891. Sterne and Thackeray.
It is told by those who write scraps of Thackeray’s biography that a youth once ventured to speak disrespectfully of Scott in his presence. “You and I, sir,” said the great man, cutting him short, “should lift our hats at the mention of that great name.”
An admirable rebuke!–if only Thackeray [...]
March 17, 1894. Professor Skeat’s Chaucer.
After twenty-five years of close toil, Professor Skeat has completed his great edition of Chaucer.[A] It is obviously easier to be dithyrambic than critical in chronicling this event; to which indeed dithyrambs are more appropriate than criticism. For when a man writes Opus vitæ meæ at the conclusion of such [...]
January 5, 1805. “The Passionate Pilgrim.”
The Passionate Pilgrim (1599). Reprinted with a Note about the Book, by Arthur L. Humphreys. London: Privately Printed by Arthur L. Humphreys, of 187, Piccadilly. MDCCCXCIV.
I was about to congratulate Mr. Humphreys on his printing when, upon turning to the end of this dainty little volume, I discovered the well-known [...]
Designed to show that the practice of lying is not confined to children.
By the late W. W. (of H.M. Inland Revenue Service).
And is it so? Can Folly stalkAnd aim her unrespecting dartsIn shades where grave Professors walkAnd Bachelors of Arts?
I have a boy, not six years old,A sprite of birth and lineage high:His birth I [...]
Unity Put QuarterlyBy A. C. S.
The Centuries kiss and commingle,Cling, clasp, and are knit in a chain;No cycle but scorns to be single,No two but demur to be twain,‘Till the land of the lute and the love-taleBe bride of the boreal breast,And the dawn with the darkness shall dovetail,The East with the West.
The desire of [...]
By Sir W. S.
Written on the occasion of the visit of the United Fire Brigades to Oxford, 1887.
St. Giles’s street is fair and wide,St. Giles’s street is long;But long or wide, may naught abideTherein of guile or wrong;For through St. Giles’s, to and fro,The mild ecclesiastics goFrom prime to evensong.It were a fearsome task, perdie!To [...]
Plain Language from truthful James.
Do I sleep? Do I dream?Am I hoaxed by a scout?Are things what they seem,Or is Sophists about?Is our “to ti en einai” a failure, or is Robert Browning playedout?
Which expressions like theseMay be fairly appliedBy a party who seesA Society skiedUpon tea that the Warden of Keble had biled with [...]
By E. A. P.
In the sad and sodden street,To and fro,Flit the fever-stricken feetOf the freshers as they meet,Come and go,Ever buying, buying, buyingWhere the shopmen stand supplying,Vying, vyingAll they know,While the Autumn lies a-dyingSad and lowAs the price of summer suitings when the winter breezes blow,Of the summer, summer suitings that are standing in [...]
O waly, waly, my bonnie crewGin ye maun bumpit be!And waly, waly, my Stroke sae true,Ye leuk unpleasauntlie!
O hae ye suppit the sad sherrieThat gars the wind gae soon;Or hae ye pud o’ the braw bird’s-e’e,Ye be sae stricken doun?
I hae na suppit the sad sherrie,For a’ my heart is sair;For Keiller’s still i’ the [...]
Adown the torturing mile of streetI mark him come and go,Thread in and out with tireless feetThe crossings to and fro;A soul that treads without retreatA labyrinth of woe.
Palsied with awe of such despair,All living things give room,They flit before his sightless glareAs horrid shapes, that loomAnd shriek the curse that bids him bearThe symbol [...]
Caliban Upon Rudiments Or Autoschediastic Theology In A Hole.
Rudiments, Rudiments, and Rudiments!‘Thinketh one made them i’ the fit o’ the blues.
‘Thinketh one made them with the ‘tips’ to match,But not the answers; ‘doubteth there be none,Only Guides, Helps, Analyses, such as that:Also this Beast, that groweth sleek thereon,And snow-white bands that round the neck o’ [...]
My Juggins, see: the pasture green,Obeying Nature’s kindly law,Renews its mantle; there has beenA thaw.
The frost-bound earth is free at last,That lay ‘neath Winter’s sullen yoke‘Till people felt it getting pastA joke.
Now forth again the Freshers fare,And get them tasty summer suitsWherein they flaunt afield and scareThe brutes.
Again the stream suspects the keel;Again the shrieking [...]
(From ‘Troy Town’.)
Toiling love, loose your pack,All your sighs and tears unbind:Care’s a ware will break a back,Will not bend a maiden’s mind.
In this State a man shall needNeither priest nor law giver:Those same lips that are his creedShall confess their worshipper.
All the laws he must obey,Now in force and now repeal’d,Shift in eyes that [...]
By Lord T-n.
So bluff Sir Leolin gave the bride away:And when they married her, the little churchHad seldom seen a costlier ritual.The coach and pair alone were two-pound-ten,And two-pound-ten apiece the wedding-cakes;–Three wedding-cakes. A Cupid poised a-topOf each hung shivering to the frosted lovesOf two fond cushats on a field of ice,As who should say [...]
In youth I dreamed, as other youths have dreamt,Of love, and thrummed an amateur guitarTo verses of my own,–a stout attemptTo hold communion with the Evening StarI wrote a sonnet, rhymed it, made it scan.Ah me! how trippingly those last lines ran.–
O Hesperus! O happy star! to bendO’er Helen’s bosom in the tranced west,To match [...]
(From ‘Troy Town’)
Be aisy an’ list to a chuneThat’s sung of bowld Tim the Dragoon–Sure, ’twas he’d niver missTo be stalin’ a kiss,Or a brace, by the light of the moon–Aroon–Wid a wink at the Man in the Moon!
Rest his sowl where the daisies grow thick;For he’s gone from the land of the quick:But he’s [...]
‘Tis pretty to be in Ballinderry,‘Tis pretty to be in Ballindoon,But ’tis prettier far in County KerryCoortin’ under the bran’ new moon,Aroon, Aroon!
‘Twas there by the bosom of blue KillarneyThey came by the hundther’ a-coortin’ me;Sure I was the one to give back their blarney,An’ merry was I to be fancy-free.
But niver a step in [...]
Down the green hill-side fro’ the castle windowLady Jane spied Bill Amaranth a-workin’;Day by day watched him go about his ampleNursery garden.
Cabbages thriv’d there, wi’ a mort o’ green-stuff–Kidney beans, broad beans, onions, tomatoes,Artichokes, seakale, vegetable marrows,Early potatoes.
Lady Jane cared not very much for all these:What she cared much for was a glimpse o’ WillumStrippin’ [...]
To commemorate the virtue of Homoeopathy in restoring one apparently drowned.
Love, that in a tear was drown’d,Lives revived by a tear.Stella heard them mourn aroundLove that in a tear was drown’d,Came and coax’d his dripping swound,Wept ‘The fault was mine, my dear!‘Love, that in a tear was drown’d,Lives, revived by a tear.
(From ‘Troy Town’.)
A month ago Lysander pray’dTo Jove, to Cupid, and to Venus,That he might die if he betray’dA single vow that pass’d between us.
Ah, careless gods, to hear so illAnd cheat a maid on you relying!For false Lysander’s thriving still,And ’tis Corinna lies a-dying.
(From ‘Troy Town’.)
When as abroad, to greet the morn,I mark my Graciosa walk,In homage bends the whisp’ring corn,Yet to confessIts awkwardnessMust hang its head upon the stalk.
And when she talks, her lips do healThe wounds her lightest glances give:–In pity then be harsh, and dealSuch wounds that IMay hourly die,And, by a word restored, live.
TO A MOTHER, ON SEEING HER SMILE REPEATED IN HER DAUGHTER’S EYES
A thousand songs I might have madeOf You, and only You;A thousand thousand tongues of fireThat trembled down a golden wireTo lamp the night with stars, to braidThe morning bough with dew.
Within the greenwood girl and boyHad loiter’d to their lure,And men in cities [...]
Senex. Saye, cushat, callynge from the brake,What ayles thee soe to pyne?Thy carefulle heart shall cease to akeWhen dayes be fyneAnd greene thynges twyne:Saye, cushat, what thy griefe to myne?
Turtur. Naye, gossyp, loyterynge soe late,What ayles thee thus to chyde?My love is fled by garden-gate;Since Lammas-tydeI wayte my bryde.Saye, gossyp, whom dost thou [...]
Not on the neck of prince or hound,Nor on a woman’s finger twin’d,May gold from the deriding groundKeep sacred that we sacred bind:Only the heelOf splendid steelShall stand secure on sliding fate,When golden navies weep their freight.
The scarlet hat, the laurell’d staveAre measures, not the springs, of worth;In a wife’s lap, as in a grave,Man’s [...]
If a leaf rustled, she would start:And yet she died, a year ago.How had so frail a thing the heartTo journey where she trembled so?And do they turn and turn in fright,Those little feet, in so much night?
The light above the poet’s headStreamed on the page and on the cloth,And twice and thrice there buffetedOn [...]
Deep, Love, yea, very deep.And in the dark exiled,I have no sense of light but still to creepAnd know the breast, but not the eyes. Thy childSaw ne’er his mother near, nor if she smiled;But only feels her weep.
Yet clouds and branches greenThere be aloft, somewhere,And winds, and angel birds that build between,As I believe–and [...]
Nay, more than violetsThese thoughts of thine, friend!Rather thy reedy brook–Taw’s tributary–At midnight murmuring,Descried them, the delicateDark-eyed goddesses,There by his cressy bedDissolved and dreamingDreams that distilled into dewAll the purple of night,All the shine of a planet.
Whereat he whispered;And they arising–
Of day’s forget-me-notsThe duskier sisters–Descended, relinquishedThe orchard, the trout-pool,Torridge and Tamar,The Druid circles,Sheepfolds of Dartmoor,Granite [...]
OF THREE CHILDREN CHOOSING A CHAPLET OF VERSE
You and I and Burd so blithe–Burd so blithe, and you, and I–The Mower he would whet his scytheBefore the dew was dry.
And he woke soon, but we woke soonAnd drew the nursery blind,All wondering at the waning moonWith the small June roses twined:Low in her cradle swung [...]
Down in the street the last late hansoms goStill westward, but with backward eyes of redThe harlot shuffles to her lonely bed;The tall policeman pauses but to throwA flash into the empty portico;Then he too passes, and his lonely treadLinks all the long-drawn gas-lights on a threadAnd ties them to one planet swinging low.
O Hesperus! [...]
Who lives in suit of armour pentAnd hides himself behind a wall,For him is not the great event,The garland nor the Capitol.And is God’s guerdon less than they?Nay, moral man, I tell thee Nay:Nor shall the flaming forts be wonBy sneaking negatives alone,By Lenten fast or Ramazan;But by the challenge proudly thrown–Virtue is that becrowns [...]
Tune–Luther’s Chorale“Ein’ feste burg ist unser Gott”
Of old our City hath renown.Of God are her foundations,Wherein this day a King we crownElate among the nations.Acknowledge, then, thou King–And you, ye people, sing–What deeds His arm hath wrought:Yea, let their tale be taughtTo endless generations.
So long, so far, Jehovah guidesHis people’s path attending,By pastures green and [...]
E. W. B.
Archbishop of Canterbury: sometime the First Bishopof Truro. October 1896
The Church’s outpost on a neck of land–By ebb of faith the foremost left the last–Dull, starved of hope, we watched the driven sandBlown through the hour-glass, covering our past,Counting no hours to our relief–no hailAcross the hills, and on the sea no sail!
Know you her secret none can utter?Hers of the Book, the tripled Crown?Still on the spire the pigeons flutter,Still by the gateway flits the gown;Still on the street, from corbel and gutter,Faces of stone look down.
Faces of stone, and stonier faces–Some from library windows wanForth on her gardens, her green spaces,Peer and turn to their [...]
Before Vittoria, June 20, 1813
O Mary Leslie, blithe and shrillThe bugles blew for Spain:And you below the Castle HillStood in the crowd your lane.Then hearts were wild to watch us pass,Yet laith to let us go!While mine said, “Fare-ye-well, my lass!”And yours, “God keep my Jo!”
Here by the bivouac fire, aboveThese fields of savage play,I’ll [...]
Small is my secret–let it pass–Small in your life the share I had,Who sat beside you in the class,Awed by the bright superior lad:Whom yet with hot and eager faceI prompted when he missed his place.
For you the call came swift and soon:But sometimes in your holidaysYou meet me trudging home at noonTo dinner through [...]
From “Arion,” an unpublished Masque
He. Aglai-a! Aglai-a!Sweet, awaken and be glad.She. Who is this that calls Aglaia?Is it thou, my dearest lad?He.‘Tis Arion, ’tis Arion,Who calls thee from sleep–From slumber who bids theeTo follow and numberHis kids and his sheep.She. Nay, leave to entreat me!If mother should spy onUs twain, she would beat me.He. Then [...]
All night a fountain pleads,Telling her beads,Her tinkling beads monotonous ‘neath the moon;And where she springs atween,Two statues lean–Two Kings, their marble beards with moonlightstrewn.
Till hate had frozen speech,Each hated each,Hated and died, and went unto his place:And still inveterateThey lean and hateWith glare of stone implacable, face to face.
One, who bade set them hereIn [...]
Hush! and again the chatter of the starlingAthwart the lawn!Lean your head close and closer. O my darling!–It is the dawn.Dawn in the dusk of her dream,Dream in the hush of her bosom, unclose!Bathed in the eye-bright beam,Blush to her cheek, be a blossom, a rose!
Go, nuptial night! the floor of Ocean tressingWith moon and [...]
Over the rim of the Moor,And under the starry sky,Two men came to my doorAnd rested them thereby.
Beneath the bough and the star,In a whispering foreign tongue,They talked of a land afarAnd the merry days so young!
Beneath the dawn and the boughI heard them arise and go:And my heart it is aching nowFor the more [...]
From my farm, from her farmFurtively we came.In either home a hearth was warm:We nursed a hungrier flame.
Our feet were foul with mire,Our faces blind with mist;But all the night was naked fireAbout us where we kiss’d.
To her farm, to my farm,Loathing we returned;Pale beneath a gallow’s armThe planet Saturn burned.
O’er the tears that we shed, dearThe bitter vines twist,And the hawk and the red deerThey keep where we kiss’d:All broken lies the shielingThat sheltered from rain,With a star to pierce the ceiling,And the dawn an empty pane.
Thro’ the mist, up the moorway,Fade hunters and pack;From the ridge to thy doorwayHappy voices float back …O, [...]
When winter trees bestrew the path,Still to the twig a leaf or twainWill cling and weep, not Winter’s wrath,But that foreknown forlorner pain–To fall when green leaves come again.
I watch’d him sleep by the furrow–The first that fell in the fight.His grave they would dig to-morrow:The battle called them to-night.
They bore him aside to the [...]
The bold Marine comes back from war,So kind:The bold Marine comes back from war,So kind:With a raggety coat and a worn-out shoe.“Now, poor Marine, say, whence come you,All so kind?”
I travel back from the war, madame,So kind:I travel back from the war, madame,So kind:For a glass of wine and a bowl of whey,‘Tis I will [...]
HEWLETT! as ship to shipLet us the ensign dip.There may be who despiseFor dross our merchandise,Our balladries, our balesOf woven tales;Yet, Hewlett, the glad galesFavonian! And what sprayOur dolphins toss’d in play,Full in old Triton’s beard, on Iris’ shimmering veils!
Scant tho’ the freight of goldCommercial in our hold,Paestum, EridanusPerchance have barter’d us‘Bove chrematistic care
The Pervigilium Veneris–of unknown authorship, but clearly belonging to the late literature of the Roman Empire–has survived in two MSS., both preserved at Paris in the Bibliotheque Nationale.
Of these two MSS. the better written may be assigned (at earliest) to the close of the seventh century; the other (again at earliest) to the close of [...]
By W. W.
Behold! I am not one that goes to Lectures or the pow-wow of Professors.
The elementary laws never apologise: neither do I apologise.
I find letters from the Dean dropt on my table–and every one is signed by the Dean’s name–
And I leave them where they are; for I know that as long as I [...]
Extract from the Memoirs of GABRIEL FOOT, Highwayman.
Our plan of attack upon Nanscarne House was a simple one.
The old baronet, Sir Harry Dinnis, took a just pride in his silver-ware. Some of it dated from Elizabeth: for Sir Harry’s great-great-grandfather, as the unhappy alternative of melting it down for King Charles, had taken arms against [...]
A LIGHTSHIP IDYLL.
When first the Trinity Brothers put a light out yonder by the Gunnel Rocks, it was just a trifling makeshift affair for the time–none of your proper lightships with a crew of twelve or fourteen hands; and my father and I used to tend it, taking turn and turn with two other fellows [...]
ADDRESSED TO RASSELAS, PRINCE OF ABBYSSINIA.
I.–THE FIRST PARISH MEETING.
Troy Town,5 December, 1894.
My Dear Prince,–I feel sure that you, as a sympathetic student of western politics and manners, must be impatient to hear about our first Parish Meeting in Troy; and so I am catching the earliest post to inform you that from a convivial point [...]
A puff of north-east wind shot over the hill, detached a late December leaf from the sycamore on its summit, and swooped like a wave upon the roofs and chimney-stacks below. It caught the smoke midway in the chimneys, drove it back with showers of soot and wood-ash, and set the townsmen sneezing who lingered [...]
Master Simon’s inn, the “Flowing Source”–”Good Entertainment for Man and Beast”–leant over the riverside by the ferry, a mile and a half above Ponteglos town. The fresh water of Cuckoo River met the salt Channel tide right under its windows, by the wooden ladder where Master Simon chained his ferry-boat. Fourteen miles inland, a brown [...]
Monday, Sept. 7th, 189-. I am one year old to-day.
I imagine that most people regard their first birthday as something of an event; a harvest-home of innocence, touched with I know not how delicate a bloom of virginal anticipation; of emotion too volatile for analysis, or perhaps eluding analysis by its very simplicity. But whatever [...]
Captain Pond, of the East and West Looe Volunteer Artillery (familiarly known as the Looe Die-hards), put his air-cushion to his lips and blew. This gave his face a very choleric and martial expression.
Nevertheless, above his suffused and distended cheeks his eyes preserved a pensive melancholy as they dwelt upon his Die-hards gathered in the [...]
‘Tis the nicest miss in the world that I was born grandson of my own father’s father, and not of another man altogether. Hendry Watty was the name of my grandfather that might have been; and he always maintained that to all intents and purposes he was my grandfather, and made me call him [...]
As Boutigo’s Van (officially styled the “Vivid”) slackened its already inconsiderable pace at the top of the street, to slide precipitately down into Troy upon a heated skid, the one outside passenger began to stare about him with the air of a man who compares present impressions with old memories. His eyes travelled down the [...]
A DOCTOR’S STORY.
“O toiling hands of mortals! O unwearied feet, travelling ye know not whither! Soon, soon, it seems to you, you must come forth on some conspicuous hill-top, and but a little way further, against the setting sun, descry the spires of El Dorado. Little do ye know your own blessedness; for to travel [...]
Once upon a time there was a small farmer living in Wendron parish, not far from the church-town. ‘Thaniel Teague was his name. This Teague happened to walk into Helston on a Furry-day, when the Mayor and townspeople dance through the streets to the Furry-tune. In the evening there was a grand ball given [...]
The old fish-market at Troy was just a sagged lean-to roof on the northern side of the Town Quay, resting against the dead wall of the harbour-master’s house, and propped in front by four squat granite columns. This roof often let in rain enough to fill the pits worn in the paving-stones by the feet [...]
Boutigo’s van–officially styled The Vivid–had just issued from the Packhorse Yard, Tregarrick, a leisurely three-quarters of an hour behind its advertised time, and was scaling the acclivity of St. Fimbar’s Street in a series of short tacks. Now and then it halted to take up a passenger or a parcel; and on these occasions Boutigo [...]
The house known as Vellan’s Rents stands in the Chy-pons over the waterside, a stone’s throw beyond the ferry and the archway where the toll-keeper used to live. You may know it by its exceeding dilapidation and by the clouds of steam that issue on the street from one of its windows. The sill of [...]
From Algernon Dexter, writer of Vers de Societe, London, to Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia.
My dear prince,–Our correspondence has dwindled of late. Indeed, I do not remember to have heard from you since I wrote to acknowledge your kindness in standing godfather to my boy Jack (now rising two), and the receipt of the beautiful [...]
“Yes, sir,” said my host the quarryman, reaching down the relics from their hook in the wall over the chimney-piece; “they’ve hung there all my time, and most of my father’s. The women won’t touch ‘em; they’re afraid of the story. So here they’ll dangle, and gather dust and smoke, till another tenant comes and [...]
On the very spot which the railway station has usurped, with its long slate roof, wooden signal-box, and advertisements in blue and white enamel, I can recall a still pool shining between beds of the flowering rush; and to this day, as I wait for the train, the whir of a vanished water-wheel comes up [...]
“What ho, there!”
At this feudal summons I turned, and spied the Bashaw elbowing his way towards me through the Fleet Street crowd, his hat and tie askew and his big face a red beacon of goodwill. He fell on my neck, and we embraced.
“Is me recreant child returned? Is he tired at last av annihilatin’ [...]
I.–THE FAMILY BIBLE
There lived a young man at Tregarrick called Robert Haydon. His father was not a native of the town, but had settled there early in life and became the leading solicitor of the place. At the age of thirty-seven he married the daughter of a county magistrate, and by this step bettered his [...]
MY DEAR YOUNG LADY,–
Our postman here does not deliver parcels until the afternoon–which nobody grumbles at, because of his infirmity and his long and useful career. The manuscript, therefore, of your novel, Sunshine and Shadow, has not yet reached me. But your letter–in which, you beg me to send an opinion upon the work, with [...]
It wanted less than an hour to high water when Miss Marty Lear heard her brother’s boat take ground on the narrow beach below the garden, and set the knives and glasses straight while she listened for the click of the garden-latch.
A line of stunted hazels ran along the foot of the garden and hid [...]
It was on a cold and drenching afternoon in October that I spent an hour at Woon Gate: for in all the homeless landscape this little round-house offers the only shelter, its windows looking east and west along the high-road and abroad upon miles of moorland, hedgeless, dotted with peat-ricks, inhabited only by flocks of [...]
I.–THE MOURNER’S HORSE.
The Board Schoolmaster and I are not friends. He is something of a zealot, and conceives it his mission to weed out the small superstitions of the countryside and plant exact information in their stead. He comes from up the country–a thin, clean-shaven town-bred man, whose black habit and tall hat, though considerably [...]
Silver trumpets sounded a flourish, and the javelin-men came pacing down Tregarrick Fore Street, with the sheriff’s coach swinging behind them, its panels splendid with fresh blue paint and florid blazonry. Its wheels were picked out with yellow, and this scheme of colour extended to the coachman and the two lackeys, who held on at [...]
[Greek: ou men gar tou ge kreisson kai areion, ae hoth homophroneonte noaemasin oikon echaeton anaer aede gunae.]
Round the skirts of the plantation, and half-way down the hill, there runs a thick fringe of wild cherry-trees. Their white blossom makes, for three weeks in the year, a pretty contrast with the larches and Scotch firs [...]
This century was still young and ardent when ruin fell upon Cuckoo Valley. Its head rested on the slope of a high and sombre moorland, scattered with granite and china-clay; and by the small town of Ponteglos, where it widened out into arable and grey pasture-land, the Cuckoo river grew deep enough to float up [...]
“Are you going home to England? So am I. I’m Johnny; and I’ve never been to England before, but I know all about it. There’s great palaces of gold and ivory–that’s for the lords and bishops–and there’s Windsor Castle, the biggest of all, carved out of a single diamond–that’s for the queen. And she’s the [...]
I.–SAINT PIRAN AND THE MILLSTONE.
Should you visit the Blackmore tin-streamers on their feast-day, which falls on Friday-in-Lide (that is to say, the first Friday in March), you may note a truly Celtic ceremony. On that day the tinners pick out the sleepiest boy in the neighbourhood and send him up to the highest bound in [...]
A STORY FROM A CHIMNEY-CORNER.
A good song, and thank’ ee, Sir, for singing it! Time was, you’d never miss hearing it in these parts, whether ’twas feast or harvest-supper or Saturday night at the public. A virtuous good song, too; and the merry fellow that made it won’t need to cast about and excuse himself [...]
A REPORTED TALE.
Frenchman’s Creek runs up between overhanging woods from the western shore of Helford River, which flows down through an earthly paradise and meets the sea midway between Falmouth and the dreadful Manacles–a river of gradual golden sunsets such as Wilson painted; broad-bosomed, holding here and there a village as in an arm maternally [...]
“The fields breathe sweet, the daisies kiss our feet,Young lovers meet, old wives a-sunning sit;In every street these tunes our ears do greet–Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-wee, to-witta-woo!Spring, the sweet Spring.”
At two o’clock on May morning a fishing-boat, with a small row-boat in tow, stole up the harbour between the lights of the vessels that lay at [...]
Has olim exuvias mihi perfidus ille reliquit,Pignora cara sui: quae nunc ego limine in ipso,Terra, tibi mando; debent haec pignora Daphnin–Ducite ab urbe domum, mea, carmina, ducite Daphnin.
I knew the superstition lingered along the country-side: and I was sworn to find it. But the labourers and their wives smoothed all intelligence out of their faces [...]
An old yellow van–the Comet–came jolting along the edge of the downs and shaking its occupants together like peas in a bladder. The bride and bridegroom did not mind this much; but the Registrar of Births, Deaths, and Marriages, who had bound them in wedlock at the Bible Christian Chapel two hours before, was discomforted [...]
In the days of my childhood, and up to the year 1886, the Justices of the Peace for the Gantick Division of Hundred of Powder, in the county of Cornwall, held their Petty Sessions at Scawns, a bleak, foursquare building set on the knap of a windy hill, close beside the high road that leads [...]
“‘Erbert ‘Enery Bates!”
It was the morning of Speech-day on board the Industrial Training Ship Egeria–July the 31st, to be precise. At 3 p.m. Sir Felix Felix-Williams, Baronet, would arrive to distribute the prizes. He would be attended by a crowd of ladies and gentlemen; and the speeches, delivered beneath an awning on the upper [...]
The night-porter at the Admiralty had been sleeping in his chair. He was red-eyed and wore his livery coat buttoned at random. He grumbled to himself as he opened the great door.
He carried a glass-screened candle, and held it somewhat above the level of his forehead–which was protuberant and heavily pock-marked. Under the light he [...]
RUM FOR BOND.
At the head of a diminutive creek of the Tamar River, a little above Saltash on the Cornish shore, stands the village of Botusfleming; and in early summer, when its cherry-orchards come into bloom, you will search far before finding a prettier.
The years have dealt gently with Botusfleming. As it is to-day, so– [...]
“A great nation!” said the little Cure. “But yes, indeed, the English are a very great nation. And now I have seen them at home! But it passes expression, monsieur, what a traveller I find myself!”
We stood together on the deck of the steamer, watching–after an eight hours’ passage from Plymouth–the Breton coast as it [...]
Early on St. Stephen’s Day–which is the day after Christmas–young John Cara, son of old John Cara, the smith of Porthennis, took down his gun and went forth to kill small birds. He was not a sportsman; it hurt him to kill any living creature. But all the young men in the parish went [...]
A CHRISTMAS STORY HEARD AT MIDSUMMER.
We sat and talked in the Vicarage garden overlooking Mount’s Bay. The long summer day lingered out its departure, although the full moon was up and already touching with a faint radiance the towers on St. Michael’s Mount–’the guarded Mount’–that rested as though at anchor in the silver-grey offing. The [...]
I hardly can bring myself to part with this story, it has been such a private joy to me. Moreover, that I have lain awake in the night to laugh over it is no guarantee of your being passably amused. Yourselves, I dare say, have known what it is to awake in irrepressible mirth from [...]
“Mary, mother, well thou be!Mary, mother, think on me;Sweete Lady, maiden clean,Shield me from ill, shame, and teen;Shield me, Lady, from villainyAnd from all wicked company!”
Here is a little story I found one day among the legends of the Cornish Saints, like a chip in porridge. If you love simplicity, I think it may [...]
Pilot Matthey came down to the little fishing-quay at five p.m. or thereabouts. He is an elderly man, tall and sizable, with a grizzled beard and eyes innocent-tender as a child’s, but set in deep crow’s-feet at the corners, as all seamen’s eyes are. It comes of facing the wind.
Pilot Matthey spent the fore-half of [...]
I have a sincere respect and liking for the Vicar of Gantick–”th’ old Parson Kendall,” as we call him–but have somewhat avoided his hospitality since Mrs. Kendall took up with the teetotal craze. I say nothing against the lady’s renouncing, an she choose, the light dinner claret, the cider, the port (pale with long maturing [...]
CARL’ANTONIO, Duke of Adria
TONINO, his young son
LUCIO; Count of Vallescura, brother to the Duchess
CESARIO, Captain of the Guard
GAMBA, a Fool
OTTILIA, Duchess and Regent of Adria
LUCETTA, a Lady-in-Waiting
FULVIA, a Lady of the Court
Courtiers, Priests, Choristers, Soldiers, Mariners, Townsfolk, etc.
The Scene is the Ducal Palace of Adria, in the N. Adriatic
The Date, 1571