Hardcover , pages. Published May 1st by Palala Press first published June 1st More Details Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Gerardin , please sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. All Languages. More filters. Sort order. Salma marked it as to-read Jan 24, There are no discussion topics on this book yet. About George Saintsbury. George Saintsbury. George Edward Bateman Saintsbury was an English scholar, writer, literary historian and critic.
Books by George Saintsbury. Trivia About French Lyrics. No trivia or quizzes yet. Send up some deputies to convey your requests. I shall have nothing to do with a turbulent mob. He replies to a broken door with a broken window. Meantime a company of soldiers had arrived on double-quick, with a flourish of drums. The officer's word of command rang through the crowd, now grown suddenly quiet: "Fix bayonets! Three deputies, abashed and confused, appeared at Krafft's door and craved audience.
The merchant received them like a prince surrounded by his court, in the midst of his clerks, in the large counting-room. The spokesman commenced: "We ask your pardon, Herr Krafft, for what has happened. The Southwestern Railway must raise thirty millions. Double, treble that amount is offered it. Can I prevent [Pg ] the necessity of reducing the subscriptions? Who says so? It is not the first time that we have done business together.
You have a very snug little share in my workingmen's bank. Do I ever dun you for the installments of purchase money? I began in a smaller way than any of you; but I shall never forget that I am flesh of your flesh, blood of your blood. Facts have proved it. I will give you a fresh proof to-day. Go home and tell the people who have sent you, Hans Heinrich Krafft will give up the share which his house has subscribed to the Southwestern Railway, in favor of the less wealthy citizens of this city.
This sum of five hundred thousand thalers shall be divided up pro rata among the subscriptions under five hundred dollars. Krafft drew it back angrily. God bless you, gentlemen. You know my purpose. Make it known to the good people waiting outside, and see that I am rid of my billeting. Let the subscriptions be conducted quietly and in good order.
Adieu, children! A few minutes afterwards there was heard a thundering hurrah:—"Hurrah for Herr Krafft! Three cheers for Father Krafft! While the tumult was subsiding, Krafft and Roland retired into the private counting-room. The public expects an El Dorado in the Southwestern Railway, as it does in every new enterprise. The undertaking is a good one, it is true, or I should not have ventured upon it.
But one must be able to wait until the fruit is ripe. The small holders cannot do that; they sow today, and tomorrow they wish to reap. At the first payment their heart and their purse are all right. At the second or third, both are gone. Upon the least rise they will throw the paper, for which they were ready to break each other's necks, upon the market, and so depreciate their property.
But if some fortuitous circumstance should cause a pressure upon the money market, then they drop all that they have, in a perfect panic, for any price. I shall watch this moment, and buy. In a year or so, when the road is finished and its communications complete, the shares that were subscribed for at 90, and which I shall have bought at 60 to 70, will touch , or higher. Thus, our only general description of Greece at the close of the classical period is written by a man who describes many objects that he certainly did not see, who leaves unmentioned numberless things we wish explained, and who has a genius for so misplacing an adverb as to bring confusion into the most commonplace statement.renetducksato.cf/2466.php
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But not even to Pausanias do we proffer such grudging gratitude and such ungrateful objurgations as to Diogenes Laertius, our chief—often our sole—authority for the 'Lives and Sayings of the Philosophers. At second or third hand, from the compendiums of the schools rather than from the original works of the great masters themselves, Diogenes does give us a fairly intelligible sketch, as a rule, of the outward life lived by each sage. This slight frame is crammed with anecdotes, evidently culled with most eager and uncritical hand from miscellaneous collections.
Many of these stories are so fragmentary as to be pointless. Others are unquestionably attached to the wrong person. This method is at its maddest in the author's sketch of his namesake, the Recluse of the Tub. One of Ali Baba's jars , by the way, would give a better notion of the real hermitage. Since this "philosopher" had himself little character and no doctrines, the loose string of anecdotes, puns, and saucy answers suits all our needs. Throughout the work are scattered, apocryphal letters, and feeble poetic epigrams composed by the compiler himself.
The leaning of our most unphilosophic author was apparently toward Epicurus. The loss of that teacher's own works causes us to prize doubly the extensive fragments of them preserved in this relatively copious and serious study. The lover of the great Epicurean poem of Lucretius on the 'Nature of Things' will often be surprised to find here the source of many among the Roman poet's most striking doctrines and images.
The sketch of Zeno is also an important authority on Stoicism. Instruction in these particular chapters, then, and rich diversion elsewhere, await the reader of this most gossipy, formless, and uncritical volume. The English reader, by the [Pg ] way, ought to be provided with something better than the "Bohn" version. This adds a goodly harvest of ludicrous misprints and other errors of every kind to Diogenes's own mixture of borrowed wisdom and native silliness.
The classical student will prefer the Didot edition by Cobet, with the Latin version in parallel columns. It has been thought desirable to offer here a version, slightly abridged, of Diogenes's chapter on Socrates. The original sources, in Plato's and Xenophon's extant works, will almost always explain, or correct, the statements of Diogenes. Such wild shots as the assertion that the plague repeatedly visited Athens, striking down every inhabitant save the temperate Socrates, hardly need a serious rejoinder. We know, on the best authority, that it prophesied nothing, even proposed nothing, but only vetoed the rasher impulses of its human companion.
But to apply the tests of mere accuracy to Diogenes would be like criticizing Uncle Remus for his sins against English syntax. Of the author's life we know nothing. Our assignment of him to the third century is based merely on the fact that he quotes writers of the second, and is himself in turn cited by somewhat later authors.
He was believed to aid Euripides in composing his dramas. Hence Mnesimachus speaks thus:—. But Douris says he was a slave, and carried stones. Some say, too, that the Graces on the Acropolis are his; they are clothed figures. Hence, they say, Timon in his 'Silli' declares:—. For he was also clever in discussion. But the Thirty Tyrants, as Xenophon tells us, forbade him to teach the art of arguing.
Aristophanes also brings him on in comedy, making the Worse Argument seem the better. He was likewise the first who conversed about life, and the first of the philosophers who came to his end by being condemned to death. We are also told that he lent out money. At least, investing it, he would collect what was due, and then after spending it invest again. But Demetrius the Byzantine says it was Crito who, struck by the charm of his character, took him out of the workshop and educated him. Realizing that natural philosophy was of no interest to men, it is said, he discussed ethics, in the workshops and in the agora, and used to say he was seeking.
And very often, we are told, when in these discussions he conversed too violently, he was beaten or had his hair pulled out, and was usually laughed to scorn. So once when he was kicked, and bore it patiently, some one expressed surprise; but he said, "If an ass had kicked me, would I bring an action against him? Foreign travel he did not require, as most men do, except when he had to serve in the army. At other times, remaining in Athens, he disputed in argumentative fashion with those who conversed with him, not so as to deprive them of their belief, but to strive for the ascertainment of truth.
They say Euripides gave him the work of Heraclitus, and asked him, "What do you think of it? Moreover, he went on the expedition to Amphipolis, and when Xenophon had fallen from his horse in the battle of Delium he picked him up and saved him. Indeed, when all the other Athenians were fleeing he retreated slowly, turning about calmly, and on the lookout to defend himself if attacked.
There too, it is said, he was pre-eminent in valor, but gave up the prize to Alcibiades, of whom he is stated to have been very fond. Ion of Chios says moreover that when young he visited Samos with Archelaus, and Aristotle states that he went to Delphi. Favorinus again, in the first book of his 'Commentaries' says he went to the Isthmus. He was also very firm in his convictions and devoted to the democracy, as was evident from his not yielding to Critias and his associates when they bade him bring Leon of Salamis, a wealthy man, to them to be put to death.
He was also the only one who opposed the condemnation of the ten generals. When he could have escaped from prison, too, he would not. The friends who wept at his fate he reproved, and while in prison he composed those beautiful discourses. He was also temperate and austere. Once, as Pamphila tells us in the seventh book of her 'Commentaries,' Alcibiades offered him a great estate, on which to build a house; and he said, "If I needed sandals, and you offered me a hide from which to make them for myself, I should be laughed at if I took it. He disdained the tyrants,—Archelaus of Macedon, Scopas of Crannon, Eurylochus of Melissa,—not accepting gifts from them nor visiting them.
He was so regular in his way of living that he was frequently the only one not ill when Athens was attacked by the plague. Aristotle says he wedded two wives, the first Xanthippe, who bore him Lamprocles, and the second Myrto, daughter of [Pg ] Aristides the Just, whom he received without dowry and by whom he had Sophroniscus and Menexenus. Some however say he married Myrto first; and some again that he had them both at once, as the Athenians on account of scarcity of men passed a law to increase the population, permitting any one to marry one Athenian woman and have children by another; so Socrates did this.
He was a man also able to disdain those who mocked him. He prided himself on his simple manner of living, and never exacted any pay. He used to say he who ate with best appetite had least need of delicacies, and he who drank with best appetite had least need to seek a draught not at hand; and that he who had fewest needs was nearest the gods.
This indeed we may learn from the comic poets, who in their very ridicule covertly praise him. Thus Aristophanes says:—. And yet sometimes, suiting himself to the occasion, he dressed finely; as when for instance in Plato's 'Symposium' he goes to Agathon's. Again, when Euthyphron had indicted his own father for manslaughter, by conversing with him on piety Socrates turned him from his purpose. Lysis also by his exhortations he rendered a most moral man. He was moreover skillful in fitting his arguments to the circumstances. He changed the feeling of his son Lamprocles when he was enraged with his mother, as Xenophon somewhere relates.
Plato's brother Glaucon, who wished to be active in politics, he dissuaded because of his inexperience, as Xenophon states; but Charmides on the other hand, who was well fitted, he urged on. He roused the spirit of Iphicrates the general also, pointing out to him the cocks of Midias the barber fighting those of Callias. He said it was strange that every man could tell easily how many sheep he had, but could not call by name the friends whom he had acquired, so negligent were men in that regard.
Once seeing Euclid devoting great pains to captious arguments, he said, "O Euclid, you will be able to manage sophists—but men, never! When Glaucon offered him some slaves, so that he might make a profit on them, he did not take them. He praised leisure as the best of possessions, as Xenophon also says in his 'Symposium.
Wealth and birth, he said, had no value, but were on the contrary wholly an evil. So when some one told him Antisthenes's mother was a Thracian, "Did you think," quoth he, "so fine a man must be the child of two Athenians? He also learned, when already an old man, to play the lyre, saying there was no absurdity in learning what one did not know. He used to dance frequently, too, thinking this exercise helpful to health. This Xenophon tells us in the 'Symposium. Those who bought at a great price what was out of season, he said, had no hope of living till the season came around.
Once being asked what was virtue in a young man, he said, [Pg ] "To avoid excess in all things. When his advice was asked whether to marry or not, he said, "Whichever you do, you will regret it! He thought it proper for the young to look constantly in the mirror, so that if they had beauty they might prove themselves worthy of it, and if they were ugly, that they might conceal their ugliness by their accomplishments.
When he had invited rich friends to dinner, and Xanthippe was ashamed, he said, "Do not be troubled. If they are sensible, they will bear with us. If not, we shall care nothing for them. As to those who showed regard for the opinions of the ignoble multitude, he said it was as if a man should reject one tetradrachm [coin] as worthless, but accept a heap of such coins as good. When his wife exclaimed, "You die innocent! When Xanthippe had first reviled him, then drenched him with water, "Didn't I tell you," said he, "it was thundering and would soon rain?
And you," he added, "endure the cackling of geese. It was for such words and acts as this that the Delphic priestess bore witness in his honor, giving to Chairephon that famous response:—. He became extremely unpopular on account of this oracle; but also because he convicted of ignorance those who had a great opinion of themselves, particularly Anytus, as Plato also says in the 'Meno.
Plato in the 'Apology' says there were three accusers,—Anytus, Lycon, and Meletus: Anytus being incensed at him in behalf of the artisans and politicians, Lycon for the orators, and Meletus for the poets, all of whom Socrates pulled to pieces. The sworn statement of the plaintiffs ran as follows; for it is still recorded, Favorinus says, in the State archives:—"Socrates is guilty, not honoring the gods whom the State honors, but introducing other strange divinities; and he is further guilty of corrupting the young.
Penalty, death. When Lysias wrote a speech for his defense, he read it, and said, "A fine speech, Lysias, but not suited to me;" for indeed [Pg ] it was rather a lawyer's plea than a philosopher's. Lysias said, "But why, if the speech is a fine one, should it not be suitable for you? While he was on trial, it is stated that Plato ascended the bema and began, "Being the youngest, O men of Athens, of all who ever came upon the bema"—but at this point the judges cried out, "Come down!
Euboulides says he agreed to pay a hundred, but when the judges expressed their indignation aloud, he said, "For what I have done, I consider the proper return to be support at the public expense in the town hall. So he passed from among men; but straightway the Athenians repented of their action, so that they closed the gymnasia, and exiling the other accusers, put Meletus to death. Socrates they honored with a statue of bronze, the work of Lysippus, which was set up in the Pompeion.
Anytus in exile, entering Heraclea, was warned out of town that very day. The Athenians have had the same experience not only in Socrates's case, but with many others. Euripides reproves them in the 'Palamedes,' saying:—. It appears to me, too, that Socrates did talk on natural philosophy. In fact, Xenophon says so, though he states that Socrates held discourse only upon moral questions.
Plato indeed, in the 'Apology,' mentioning Anaxagoras and other natural philosophers, himself says of them things whereof Socrates denies any knowledge; yet it is all ascribed to Socrates. Aristotle states that a certain mage from Syria came to Athens, and among other prophecies concerning Socrates foretold that his death would be a violent one. Once he was on a voyage with some impious men. The vessel was overtaken by a storm, and they began to call upon the gods for aid.
But Bias said, "Be silent, so they may not discover that you are aboard our ship! He declared it was pleasanter to decide a dispute between his enemies than between friends. It is said Socrates, in a dream, seemed to be holding on his knees a cygnet, which suddenly grew wings and flew aloft, singing sweetly. Next day Plato came to him; and Socrates said he was the bird. It is told that Plato, once seeing a man playing at dice, reproved him. Once when Xenocrates came into Plato's house, the latter bade him scourge his slave for him, explaining that he could not [Pg ] do it himself, because he was angry.
Again, he said to one of his slaves, "You would have had a beating if I were not angry. Dionysius once asked him why it is that the philosophers are seen at rich men's doors, not the rich men at the doors of the sages. Aristippus replied, "Because the wise realize what they lack, but the rich do not.
Balzac, Literary Sociologist
Once when overtaken by a storm on a voyage to Corinth, he was badly frightened. Somebody said to him, "We ordinary folk are not afraid, but you philosophers play the coward. Some one reproached him for his extravagance in food. He answered, "If you could buy these same things for threepence, wouldn't you do it? When asked, "What is Hope? Some one asked him why we spend much time in the society of the beautiful. Emerson's 'Rhodora. Once being asked how we should treat our friends, he said, "As we would wish them to treat us. To a man who at a feast was persistently silent, he remarked, "If you are ignorant, you are acting wisely; if you are intelligent, you are behaving foolishly.
It was a saying of his that to friends in prosperity we should go when invited, but to those in misfortune unbidden. When told that the Athenians had thrown down his statues, he answered, "But not my character, for which they erected them. Some one asked him what he gained from philosophy. He replied, "The power to converse with myself. He advised the Athenians to pass a vote that asses were horses.
1845 - 1933
When they thought that irrational, he said, "But certainly, your generals are not such because they have learned anything, but simply because you have elected them! He used to say that when in the course of his life he saw pilots, and physicians, and philosophers, he thought man the most sensible of animals; but when he saw interpreters of dreams, and soothsayers, and those who paid attention to them, and those puffed up by fame or wealth, he believed no creature was sillier than man.
Some said to him, "You are an old man. Take life easy now. When he saw a child drink out of his hands, he took the cup out of his wallet and flung it away, saying, "A child has beaten me in simplicity. He used to argue thus, "All things belong to the gods. The wise are the friends of the gods. The goods of friends are common property. Therefore all things belong to the wise. To one who argued that motion was impossible, he made no answer, but rose and walked away. Plato made the definition "Man is a two-footed featherless animal," and was much praised for it. Diogenes plucked a fowl and brought it into his school, saying "This is Plato's man!
When a man asked him what was the proper hour for lunch, he said, "If you are rich, when you please; if you are poor, when you can get it. He used often to shout aloud that an easy life had been given by the gods to men, but they had covered it from sight in their search for honey-cakes and perfumes and such things.
The musician who was always left alone by his hearers he greeted with "Good morning, cock! When an exceedingly superstitious man said to him, "With one blow I will break your head! When asked what animal had the worst bite, he said, "Of wild beasts, the sycophant; and of tame creatures, the flatterer. Being asked when was the proper time to marry, he responded, "For young men, not yet; and for old men, not at all.
When he was asked what sort of wine he enjoyed drinking, he answered, "Another man's. Some one advised him to hunt up his runaway slave. But he replied, "It is ridiculous if Manes lives without Diogenes, but Diogenes cannot without Manes. When asked why men give to beggars, but not to philosophers, he said, "Because they expect themselves to become lame and blind; but philosophers, never! When a comic actor apologized for having ridiculed him from the stage, he answered gently, "It would be preposterous, when [Pg ] Bacchus and Hercules bear the raillery of the poets without showing any anger, if I should be indignant when I chance to be attacked.
D'Israeli was of Jewish origin, his ancestors having fled from the Spanish persecutions of the fifteenth century to find a home in Venice, whence a younger branch migrated to England. At the time of his birth his family had stood for generations among the foremost English Jews, his father having been made a citizen by special legislation. The boy, however, did not inherit the commercial spirit which had established his house. He was a lover of books and a dreamer of dreams, and so early developed literary tendencies that his frightened father sent him off to Amsterdam to school, in the hope of curing proclivities so dangerous.
On returning to England in his nineteenth year, he replied to his father's proposition that he should enter a commercial house at Bordeaux, by a long poem in which he passionately inveighed against the commercial spirit, and avowed himself a student of philosophy and letters. His father's reluctant acquiescence was obtained at last through the good offices of the laureate Pye, to whom the youth had already dedicated his first book, 'A Defence of Poetry.
At the outset of his career he found himself received with consideration by the men whose acquaintance he most desired. Following the fashion of the day, and inspired by the books of anecdotes so successfully published by his friend Douce, D'Israeli in produced anonymously a small volume entitled 'Curiosities of Literature,' the copyright of which he magnanimously presented to his publisher.
The extraordinary success of this book can be accounted for only by the curious taste of the time, which still reflected the more unworthy traditions of the Addisonian era. It was an age of clubs and tea-tables, of society scandal-mongering and fireside gossip; [Pg ] and the reading public welcomed a contribution whose refined dilettantism so well matched its own. The mysteries of Eleusis and the origin of wigs received the same grave attention. This popularity induced D'Israeli to buy back the copyright at a generous valuation; he enlarged the work to five volumes, which passed through twelve in his own lifetime, and still serves to illustrate a curious literary phase.
Other compilations of similar nature met the same success: 'The Calamities of Authors,' 'Quarrels of Authors,' and 'Literary Recollections'; but the 'Amenities of Literature,' his last work, is the most purely literary in form, and affords perhaps the best index to D'Israeli's abilities as a writer. The reader of to-day, however, is struck by the ephemeral nature of this criticism, which yet by a curious literary experience is keeping a place among the permanent productions of its age. The reader is everywhere impressed by the human sympathy, by the wide if rather superficial knowledge, and by innumerable felicities of expression and style, which betray the cultivated mind.
To lovers of the curious the books still appeal, and they will continue to hold an honorable place among the bric-a-brac of literature. The spirit of curiosity which characterized the mind of D'Israeli assumed its most dignified concrete form in the 'Commentaries on the Reign of Charles I. D'Israeli's romances were tedious tales, but his hold upon the public was secure, and the vast amount of miscellaneous matter which he published always found a delighted audience. He designed a history of English literature, for which he had gathered much material, but increasing blindness forced him to abandon it.
Much of D'Israeli's popularity was unquestionably due to his qualities of heart. His nature was fine; he was an affectionate and devoted friend, and held an enviable position in the literary circles of the day. Campbell, Byron, Rogers, and Scott alike admired and loved him, while a host of lesser men eagerly sought his friendship. Although brought up in the Jewish faith, D'Israeli affiliated early in life with the Church of England, in which his three sons and one daughter were baptized. He died in , and was buried at Brandenham.
Twenty years later his daughter-in-law, the Countess of Beaconsfield, erected at Hughenden a monument to his memory. An example of title-page, typography, and spelling a hundred years after the introduction of printing into England. The Old English, Gothic, or Black-letter type was being superseded by the modern "Roman;" and on this title page both forms were used.
Accident has frequently occasioned the most eminent geniuses to display their powers. It was at Rome, says Gibbon, on the fifteenth of October, , as I sat musing amidst the ruins of the Capitol, while the barefooted friars were singing vespers in the Temple of Jupiter, that the idea of writing the decline and fall of the city first started to my mind. Father Malebranche, having completed his studies in philosophy and theology without any other intention than devoting himself to some religious order, little expected the celebrity his works acquired for him.
Loitering in an idle hour in the shop of a bookseller, and turning over a parcel of books, 'L'Homme de Descartes' fell into his hands. Having dipt into some parts, he read with such delight that the palpitations of his heart compelled him to lay the volume down. It was this circumstance that produced those profound contemplations which made him the Plato of his age. Cowley became a poet by accident. In his mother's apartment he found, when very young, Spenser's 'Fairy Queen,' and by a continual study of poetry he became so enchanted of the Muse that he grew irrecoverably a poet.
Johnson informs us that Sir Joshua Reynolds had the first fondness of his art excited by the perusal of Richardson's Treatise. Vaucanson displayed an uncommon genius for mechanics. His taste was first determined by an accident: when young, he frequently attended his mother to the residence of her confessor; and while she wept with repentance, he wept with weariness! In this state of disagreeable vacation, says Helvetius, he was struck with the uniform motion of the pendulum of the clock in the hall. His curiosity was roused; he approached the clock-case, and studied its mechanism; what he could not discover he guessed at.
He then projected a similar machine, and gradually his genius produced a clock. Encouraged by this first success, he proceeded in his various attempts; and the genius which thus could form a clock, in time formed a fluting automaton. If Shakespeare's imprudence had not obliged him to quit his wool trade and his town; if he had not engaged with a company [Pg ] of actors, and at length, disgusted with being an indifferent performer, he had not turned author, the prudent wool-seller had never been the celebrated poet.
His grandfather loved the theatre, and frequently carried him there. The young man lived in dissipation; the father, observing it, asked in anger if his son was to be made an actor. The discreet Corneille had remained a lawyer. Thus it is that the devotion of a mother, the death of Cromwell, deer-stealing, the exclamation of an old man, and the beauty of a woman, have given five illustrious characters to Europe. We owe the great discovery of Newton to a very trivial accident. When a student at Cambridge, he had retired during the time of the plague into the country.
As he was reading under an apple-tree, one of the fruit fell, and struck him a smart blow on the head. When he observed the smallness of the apple, he was surprised at the force of the stroke. This led him to consider the accelerating motion of falling bodies; from whence he deduced the principle of gravity, and laid the foundation of his philosophy. Ignatius Loyola was a Spanish gentleman who was dangerously wounded at the siege of Pampeluna. Having heated his imagination by reading the Lives of the Saints, which were brought to him in his illness instead of a romance, he conceived a strong ambition to be the founder of a religious order; whence originated the celebrated society of the Jesuits.
Rousseau found his eccentric powers first awakened by the advertisement of the singular annual subject which the Academy of Dijon proposed for that year, in which he wrote his celebrated Declamation against the arts and sciences; a circumstance which determined his future literary efforts. La Fontaine, at the age of twenty-two, had not taken any profession or devoted himself to any pursuit.
Having accidentally heard some verses of Malherbe, he felt a sudden impulse, which [Pg ] directed his future life. He immediately bought a Malherbe, and was so exquisitely delighted with this poet that after passing the nights in treasuring his verses in his memory, he would run in the daytime to the woods, where, concealing himself, he would recite his verses to the surrounding dryads. Flamsteed was an astronomer by accident.
Pennant's first propensity to natural history was the pleasure he received from an accidental perusal of Willoughby's work on birds; the same accident, of finding on the table of his professor Reaumur's 'History of Insects,'—of which he read more than he attended to the lecture. Its possession gave an unalterable direction to his future life: this naturalist indeed lost the use of his sight by his devotion to the microscope.
Franklin attributes the cast of his genius to a similar accident. I shall add the incident which occasioned Roger Ascham to write his 'Schoolmaster,' one of the most curious and useful treatises among our elder writers. At a dinner given by Sir William Cecil during the plague in , at his apartments at Windsor, where the Queen had taken refuge, a number of ingenious men were invited.
Secretary Cecil communicated the news of the morning, that several scholars at Eton had run away on account of their master's severity, which he condemned as a great error in the education of youth. Sir William Petre maintained the contrary; severe in his own temper, he pleaded warmly in defense of hard flogging. Wootton, in softer tones, sided with the Secretary. Sir John Mason, adopting no side, bantered both.
Haddon seconded the hard-hearted Sir William Petre, and adduced as an evidence that the best schoolmaster then in England was the hardest flogger. Then was it that Roger Ascham indignantly exclaimed that if such a master had an able scholar it was owing to the boy's genius and not the preceptor's rod. Secretary Cecil and [Pg ] others were pleased with Ascham's notions.
Sir Richard Sackville was silent; but when Ascham after dinner went to the Queen to read one of the orations of Demosthenes, he took him aside, and frankly told him that though he had taken no part in the debate he would not have been absent from that conversation for a great deal; that he knew to his cost the truth Ascham had supported, for it was the perpetual flogging of such a schoolmaster that had given him an unconquerable aversion to study. And as he wished to remedy this defect in his own children, he earnestly exhorted Ascham to write his observations on so interesting a topic.
Such was the circumstance which produced the admirable treatise of Roger Ascham. At Whitehall a repast had been prepared. The religious emotions of Charles had consecrated the sacrament, which he refused to mingle with human food. The Bishop, whose mind was unequal to conceive the intrepid spirit of the King, dreading lest the magnanimous monarch, overcome by the severity of the cold, might faint on the scaffold, prevailed on him to eat half a manchet of bread and taste some claret.
But the more consolatory refreshment of Charles had been just imparted to him in that singular testimony from his son, who had sent a carte blanche to save the life of his father at any price. This was a thought on which his affections could dwell in face of the scaffold which he was now to ascend. Charles had arrived at Whitehall about ten o'clock, and was not led to the scaffold till past one. It was said that the scaffold was not completed; it might have been more truly said that the conspirators were not ready. There was a mystery in this delay.
The fate of Charles the First to the very last moment was in suspense. Fairfax, though at the time in the palace, inquired of Herbert how the King was, when the King was no more! This extraordinary simplicity and abstraction from the present scene of affairs has been imputed to the General as an act of refined dissimulation, yet this seems uncertain.
The Prince's carte blanche had been that morning confided to his [Pg ] hands, and he surely must have laid it before the "Grandees of the Army," as this new order of the rulers of England was called. Fairfax, whose personal feelings respecting the King were congenial with those his lady had so memorably evinced, labored to defer for a few days the terrible catastrophe; not without the hope of being able, by his own regiment and others in the army, to prevent the deed altogether.
It is probable—inexplicable as it may seem to us—that the execution of Charles the First really took place unknown to the General. Fairfax was not unaccustomed to discover that his colleagues first acted, and afterwards trusted to his own discernment. Secret history has not revealed all that passed in those three awful hours. We know, however, that the warrant for the execution was not signed till within a few minutes before the King was led to the scaffold.
In an apartment in the Palace, Ireton and Harrison were in bed together, and Cromwell, with four colonels, assembled in it. Colonel Huncks refused to sign the warrant. Cromwell would have no further delay, reproaching the Colonel as "a peevish, cowardly fellow," and Colonel Axtell declared that he was ashamed for his friend Huncks, remonstrating with him, that "the ship is coming into the harbor, and now would he strike sail before we come to anchor? At the fatal summons Charles rose with alacrity. The King passed through the long gallery by a line of soldiers. Awe and sorrow seem now to have mingled in their countenances.
Their barbarous commanders were intent on their own triumph, and no farther required the forced cry of "Justice and Execution. Charles came forward with the same indifference as "he would have entered Whitehall on a masque night," as an intelligent observer described.
The King looked towards St. James's and smiled.
Curious eyes were watchful of his slightest motions; and the Commonwealth papers of the day express their surprise, perhaps their vexation, at the unaltered aspect and the firm step of the Monarch. These mean spirits had flattered themselves that he who had been cradled in royalty, who had lived years in the fields of honor, and was now, they presumed, a recreant in [Pg ] imprisonment,—"the grand Delinquent of England,"—as they called him, would start in horror at the block. This last triumph at least was not reserved for them,—it was for the King.
Charles, dauntless, strode "the floor of Death," to use Fuller's peculiar but expressive phraseology. He looked on the block with the axe lying upon it, with attention; his only anxiety was that the block seemed not sufficiently raised, and that the edge of the axe might be turned by being swept by the flappings of cloaks, or blunted by the feet of some moving about the scaffold. With that sedate thoughtfulness which was in all his actions, he only looked at the business of the hour. One circumstance Charles observed with a smile.
They had a notion that the King would resist the executioner; on the suggestion of Hugh Peters, it is said, they had driven iron staples and ropes into the scaffold, that their victim, if necessary, might be bound down upon the block. The King's speech has many remarkable points, but certainly nothing so remarkable as the place where it was delivered. This was the first "King's Speech" spoken from a scaffold. Time shall confirm, as history has demonstrated, his principle that "They mistook the nature of government; for people are free under a government, not by being sharers in it, but by the due administration of the laws.
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If I could have given way to an arbitrary sway, for to have all laws changed according to the power of the sword, I need not have come here; and therefore I tell you that I am the Martyr of the People! His parents, both persons of strong individuality, believed in home training, and not one of their eight children went either to school or to university. They belonged to the Broad Church Community founded by Sydney's maternal grandfather, Samuel Thompson; a church intended to recall in its principles the primitive Christian ages.
The parents looked upon Sydney, their eldest-born, as destined to become the apostle of this creed. He grew up in a kind of religious fervor, with his precocious mind unnaturally stimulated; a course of conduct which materially weakened his constitution, and made him a chronic invalid at the early age of thirty-three. He read whatever books came to hand, many of them far beyond his years.
At the age of eight he filled his diary with theological discussions. Entering his father's counting-house as a mere lad, he remained to the end of his life a business man of great energy. Notwithstanding his rare poetic endowments, he never seems to have entertained a single-minded purpose to be a poet and nothing more.
On the contrary, he thought the ideal and the practical life perfectly compatible, and he strove to unite in himself the poet and the man of affairs. He wrote habitually until , when regular literary work was forbidden by his physicians. With characteristic energy he now turned his thoughts into other channels; identified himself with the affairs of Gloucester, where he was living, looked after his business, and was one of the first to adopt the system of industrial co-operation. The last four years of his life, a period of suffering and helplessness, he spent at Barton-End House, above the Stroud valley, where he died in the spring of In the work of Dobell it is curious to find so few traces of the influences under which he grew up.
He had every encouragement to become a writer of religious poetry; yet much of his work is philosophic and recondite. His delicate health is in a measure responsible for his failure to achieve the success which his natural endowments promised. All his literary work was done between the ages of twenty-three and thirty-three. Dedicated to the Italian struggle for liberty, it showed his breadth of sympathy. In 'Balder,' finished in , [Pg ] Dobell is at his best both as thinker and as poet. Yet its many fine passages, its wealth of metaphor, and the exquisite songs of Amy, hardly counterbalance the remoteness of its theme, and its over-subtle analysis of morbid psychic states.
It is a poem to be read in fragments, and has aptly been called a mine for poets. With Alexander Smith he published in a series of sonnets inspired by the Crimean War. This was followed in by 'England in War Time,' a collection of Dobell's lyrical and descriptive poems, which possess more general human interest than any other of his books. After continuous work was interdicted, he still contributed verse and prose to the periodicals. Poetry of this kind is marked by an excess of metaphor which darkens rather than illustrates, and by a general extravagance of language.
On the other hand, it manifests freshness and originality, and a rich natural beauty. His senses were abnormally acute, like those of a savage, a condition which intensified his appreciation of natural beauty. Possessing a vivid imagination and wide sympathies, he was often over-subtle and obscure. He strove to realize in himself his ideal of a poet, and during his years of ill-health gave himself up to promoting the welfare of his fellow-men; but of his seventeen years of inactivity he says:—"The keen perception of all that should be done, and that so bitterly cries for doing, accompanies the consciousness of all that I might but cannot do.
A careful study of his verse reveals the fact that the Georgian era, seen through the vista of his poetic imagination, is divested of all that is coarse, dark, gross, and prosaic. The mental atmosphere and the types and characters that he gives, express only beauty and charm. One approaches the poems of Austin Dobson as one stands before a rare collection of enamels, fan-mounts, jeweled snuff-boxes, and delicate carvings in ivory and silver; and after delighting in the beauty and finish of these graceful curios, passes into a gallery of paintings and water-colors, suggesting Watteau, Fragonard, Boucher, Meissonier, and Greuze.
We also wander among trim box-hedges and quaint gardens of roses and bright hollyhocks; lean by sun-dials to watch the shadow of Time; and enjoy the sight of gay belles, patched and powdered and dressed in brocaded gowns and gypsy hats. Gallant beaux, such as are associated with Reynolds's portraits, appear, and hand them into sedan-chairs or lead them through stately minuets to the notes of Rameau, Couperin, and Arne.
Just as the scent of rose-leaves, lavender, and musk rises from antique Chinese jars, so Dobson's delicate verse reconstructs a life. He is equally at home in France. He blends so many qualities that he deserves the praise of T. Aldrich, who says, "Austin Dobson has the grace of Suckling and the finish of Herrick, and is easily master of both in metrical art. Henry Austin Dobson, the son of Mr. His early years were spent in Anglesea, and after receiving his education in Beaumaris, Coventry, and Strasburg, he returned to England to become a civil engineer.
In he entered the civil service of Great Britain, and ever since that date he has held offices in the Board of Trade. His leisure was devoted to literature, and when Anthony Trollope first issued his magazine St. Paul's in , he introduced to the public the verse of Austin Dobson. Dobson's original essays are contained in three volumes: 'Four Frenchwomen,' studies of Charlotte Corday, Madame Roland, the Princess de Lamballe, and Madame de Genlis , and 'Eighteenth-Century Vignettes' first series , second series , which touch upon a host of picturesque and fascinating themes.
He has written also several biographies: of Hogarth, of Fielding, of Steele , of Goldsmith , and a 'Memoir of Horace Walpole' He has also written felicitous critical introductions to many new editions of the eighteenth-century classics. Austin Dobson has been most happy in breathing English life into the old poems of French verse, such as ballades, villanelles, roundels, and rondeaux; and he has also written clever and satirical fables, cast in the form and temper of Gay and Prior, with quaint obsolete affectations, redolent of the classic age of Anne. So serious is his attitude towards art, and so large his audience, that the hope expressed in the following rondeau will certainly be realized:—.
A tender wife, a loving daughter, and a loyal friend,—shall we not here lay down upon the grave of Marie de Lamballe our reverential tribute, our little chaplet of immortelles , in the name of all good women, wives, and daughters? It is a transition from the stately figure of a marble Agrippina to the breathing, feeling woman at your side; it is the transition from the statuesque Rachelesque heroines of a David to the "small sweet idyl" of a Greuze.
And, we confess it, we were not wholly at ease with those tragic, majestic figures. We shuddered at the dagger and the bowl which suited them so well. We marveled at their bloodless serenity, their superhuman self-sufficiency; inly we questioned if they breathed and felt. Or was their circulation a matter of machinery—a mere dead-beat escapement? With Madame de Lamballe the case is otherwise.
Not grand like this one, not heroic like that one, " elle est mieux femme que les autres. She at least is woman—after a fairer fashion—after a truer type. Not intellectually strong like Manon Philipon, not Spartan-souled like Marie de Corday, she has still a rare intelligence, a courage of affection. She has that clairvoyance of the heart which supersedes all the stimulants of mottoes from Reynel or maxims from Rousseau; she has that "angel instinct" which is a juster lawgiver than Justinian. It was thought praise to say of the Girondist lady that she was a greater man than her husband; it is praise to say of this queen's friend that she was more woman than Madame Roland.
Not so grand, not so great, we like the princess best. Elle est mieux femme que les autres. Its author, born in New York, is a daughter of Professor James Jay Mapes, an eminent chemist and inventor, an accomplished writer and brilliant talker. In a household where music, art, and literature were cultivated, and where the most agreeable society came, talents were not likely to be overlooked. Dodge, very early widowed, began writing before she was twenty, publishing short stories, sketches, and poems in various periodicals. Of this book Mr.
Frank R. Stockton says:—. There are adventures, startling and surprising, there are mysteries of buried gold, there are the machinations of the wicked, there is the heroism of the good, and the gay humor of happy souls. More than these, there is love—that sentiment which glides into a good story as naturally as into a human life; and whether the story be for old or young, this element gives it an ever-welcome charm. Strange fortune and good fortune come to Hans and to Gretel, and to many other deserving characters in the tale, but there is nothing selfish about these heroes and heroines.
As soon as [Pg ] a new generation of young people grows up to be old enough to enjoy this perennial story, all these characters return to the days of their youth, and are ready to act their parts again to the very end, and to feel in their own souls, as everybody else feels, that their story is just as new and interesting as when it was first told. Besides this book, Mrs. Dodge has published several volumes of juvenile verse, such as 'Rhymes and Jingles,' and 'When Life was Young'; a volume of serious verse, 'Along the Way'; a volume of satirical and humorous sketches, 'Theophilus and Others'; a second successful story for young people, 'Donald and Dorothy,' and a number of other works.
Her stories evince an unusual faculty of construction and marked inventiveness,—inherited perhaps from her father,—truthful characterization, literary feeling, a strong sense of humor, and a high ethical standard. Her whimsical character sketch, 'Miss Maloney on the Chinese Question,' which has been reprinted thousands of times and repeated by every elocutionist in the land, is in its way as searching a satire as Bret Harte's 'Heathen Chinee.
Since its beginning in , Mrs. Dodge has edited the St. Nicholas Magazine, whose pages bear witness to her enormous industry. The 20th of December came at last, bringing with it the perfection of winter weather. All over the level landscape lay the warm sunlight. It tried its power on lake, canal, and river; but the ice flashed defiance, and showed no sign of melting. The very weathercocks stood still to enjoy the sight. This gave the windmills a holiday. Nearly all the past week they had been whirling briskly; now, being rather out of breath, they rocked lazily in the clear still air.
Catch a windmill working when the weathercocks have nothing to do! There was an end to grinding, crushing, and sawing for that day. It was a good thing for the millers near Broek. Long before noon, they concluded to take in their sails and go to the race. Everybody would be there. Already the north side of the frozen Y was bordered with eager spectators; the news of the great skating-match had traveled far and wide. Men, women, and children, in holiday attire, were flocking toward the spot.
Some wore furs and wintry cloaks or shawls; but many, [Pg ] consulting their feelings rather than the almanac, were dressed as for an October day. The site selected for the race was a faultless plain of ice near Amsterdam, on that great arm of the Zuyder Zee, which Dutchmen of course must call the Eye.
The townspeople turned out in large numbers. Strangers in the city deemed it a fine chance to see what was to be seen. Many a peasant from the northward had wisely chosen the 20th as the day for the next city-trading. It seemed that everybody, young and old, who had wheels, skates, or feet at command, had hastened to the scene. There were the gentry in their coaches, dressed like Parisians fresh from the Boulevards; Amsterdam children in charity uniforms; girls from the Roman Catholic Orphan House, in sable gowns and white head-bands; boys from the Burgher Asylum, with their black tights and short-skirted harlequin coats.
There were old-fashioned gentlemen in cocked hats and velvet knee-breeches; old-fashioned ladies too, in stiff quilted skirts and bodices of dazzling brocade. These were accompanied by servants bearing foot-stoves and cloaks. There were the peasant folk, arrayed in every possible Dutch costume,—shy young rustics in brazen buckles; simple village maidens concealing their flaxen hair under fillets of gold; women whose long narrow aprons were stiff with embroidery; women with short corkscrew curls hanging over their foreheads; women with shaved heads and close-fitting caps, and women in striped skirts and windmill bonnets; men in leather, in homespun, in velvet and broadcloth; burghers in modern European attire, and burghers in short jackets, wide trousers, and steeple-crowned hats.
There were beautiful Friesland girls in wooden shoes and coarse petticoats, with solid gold crescents encircling their heads, finished at each temple with a golden rosette, and hung with lace a century old. Some wore necklaces, pendants, and earrings of the purest gold. Many were content with gilt, or even with brass; but it is not an uncommon thing for a Friesland woman to have all the family treasure in her headgear. More than one rustic lass displayed the value of two thousand guilders upon her head that day.
Scattered throughout the crowd were peasants from the Island of Marken, with sabots, black stockings, and the widest of breeches; also women from Marken, with short blue petticoats, and black jackets gayly figured in front. They wore red sleeves, [Pg ] white aprons, and a cap like a bishop's mitre over their golden hair.
The children often were as quaint and odd-looking as their elders. In short, one-third of the crowd seemed to have stepped bodily from a collection of Dutch paintings. Everywhere could be seen tall women and stumpy men, lively-faced girls, and youths whose expressions never changed from sunrise to sunset. There seemed to be at least one specimen from every known town in Holland. There were Utrecht water-bearers, Gouda cheese-makers, Delft pottery-men, Schiedam distillers, Amsterdam diamond-cutters, Rotterdam merchants, dried-up herring-packers, and two sleepy-eyed shepherds from Texel.
Every man of them had his pipe and tobacco pouch. Some carried what might be called the smoker's complete outfit,—a pipe, tobacco, a pricker with which to clean the tube, a silver net for protecting the bowl, and a box of the strongest of brimstone matches. A true Dutchman, you must remember, is rarely without his pipe on any possible occasion. He may for a moment neglect to breathe; but when the pipe is forgotten, he must be dying indeed.
There were no such sad cases here. Wreaths of smoke were rising from every possible quarter. The more fantastic the smoke-wreath, the more placid and solemn the smoker. Look at those boys and girls on stilts! That is a good idea. They can look over the heads of the tallest. It is strange to see those little bodies high in the air, carried about on mysterious legs. They have such a resolute look on their round faces, what wonder that nervous old gentlemen with tender feet wince and tremble while the long-legged little monsters stride past them!
You will read in certain books that the Dutch are a quiet people. So they are, generally. But listen! All made up of human voices—no, the horses are helping somewhat, and the fiddles are squeaking pitifully; how it must pain fiddles to be tuned! That queer little dwarf, going about with a heavy basket, winding in and out among the people, helps not a little. You can hear his shrill cry above all other sounds, "Pypen en tabac! Pypen en tabac! Another, his big brother, though evidently some years younger, is selling doughnuts and bonbons.
He is calling on all pretty [Pg ] children, far and near, to come quickly or the cakes will be gone. You know quite a number among the spectators. High up in yonder pavilion, erected upon the border of the ice, are some persons whom you have seen very lately. In the centre is Madame Van Gleck.
It is her birthday, you remember; she has the post of honor. There is Mynheer Van Gleck, whose meerschaum has not really grown fast to his lips; it only appears so. There are Grandfather and Grandmother, whom you met at the St.
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All the children are with them. It is so mild, they have brought even the baby. The poor little creature is swaddled very much after the manner of an Egyptian mummy; but it can crow with delight, and when the band is playing, open and shut its animated mittens in perfect time to the music. Grandfather, with his pipe and spectacles and fur cap, makes quite a picture as he holds Baby upon his knee. Perched high upon their canopied platforms, the party can see all that is going on. No wonder the ladies look complacently at the glassy ice; with a stove for a footstool, one might sit cosily beside the North Pole.
There is a gentleman with them, who somewhat resembles St. Nicholas as he appeared to the young Van Glecks on the fifth of December. But the Saint had a flowing white beard, and this face is as smooth as a pippin. His Saintship was larger round the body too, and between ourselves he had a pair of thimbles in his mouth, which this gentleman certainly has not. It cannot be St. Nicholas, after all. Peter's sister is not one to forget her promises. She has brought bouquets of exquisite hot-house flowers for the winners. These pavilions,—and there are others beside,—have all been erected since daylight.
That semicircular one, containing Mynheer Korbes's family, is very pretty, and proves that the Hollanders are quite skilled at tentmaking; but I like the Van Glecks' best,—the centre one, striped red and white, and hung with evergreens. The one with the blue flags contains the musicians. Those pagoda-like affairs, decked with sea-shells and streamers of every possible hue, are the judges' stands; and those columns and flagstaffs upon the ice mark the limit of the race-course. The two [Pg ] white columns twined with green, connected at the top by that long floating strip of drapery, form the starting point.
Those flagstaffs, half a mile off, stand at each end of the boundary line, cut sufficiently deep to be distinct to the skaters, though not deep enough to trip them when they turn to come back to the starting-point. The air is so clear, it seems scarcely possible that the columns and flagstaffs are so far apart. Of course the judges' stands are but little nearer together. Half a mile on the ice, when the atmosphere is like this, is but a short distance after all, especially when fenced with a living chain of spectators.
The music has commenced. How melody seems to enjoy itself in the open air! The fiddles have forgotten their agony, and everything is harmonious. Until you look at the blue tent, it seems that the music springs from the sunshine, it is so boundless, so joyous. Only the musicians are solemn. Where are the racers? All assembled together near the white columns. It is a beautiful sight,—forty boys and girls in picturesque attire, darting with electric swiftness in and out among each other, or sailing in pairs and triplets, beckoning, chatting, whispering, in the fullness of youthful glee.
Related French lyrics, selected and annotated by George Saintsbury, with illus. by A. Gérardin
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