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the sun for two days; it was very thick, with a heavy "A few minutes more, and slowly, silently, in a sea, and dodging about as we had been among the ice, manner you could take no count of, its dusky hem at the heels of the steamer, our dead reckoning was not first deepened to a violet tinge, then gradually lifting, very much to be depended upon. The best plan, I displayed a long line of coast-in reality but the thought, would be to stretch away at once clear of the roots of Beerenberg-dyed of the darkest purple; ice, then run up into the latitude of Jan Mayen, and, while, obedient to a common impulse, the clouds that as soon as we should have reached the parallel of its wrapped its summit standing in all the magnificence of northern extremity, bear down on the land.'
his 6870 feet, girdled by a single zone of pearly vapour, The ship's course was shaped in accordance with from underneath whose floating folds seven enormous this view, and as about mid-day the weather began to glaciers rolled down into the sea! Nature seemed to moderate, there appeared a prospect of getting on for have turned scene-shifter, so artfully were the phases some time favourably. By four o'clock in the after of this glorious spectacle successively developed. noon, they were skimming along on a smooth sea with * Although—by reason of our having hit upon its all sails set; and this state of prosperity continued side instead of its narrow end—the outline of Mount for the next twenty-four hours. We had made,' says Beerenberg appeared to us more like a sugar-loaf his lordship, "about eighty knots since parting com- than a spire-broader at the base and rounder at the pany with the Frenchman, and it was now time to run top tlian I had imagined-in size, colour, and effect down west and pick up the land. Luckily, the sky was it far surpassed anything I had anticipated. The pretty clear, and as we sailed on through open water, glaciers were quite an unexpected element of beauty. I really began to think our prospects very brilliant. Imagine a mighty river of as great a volume as the But about three o'clock on the second day, specks of Thames, started down the side of a mountain, burstice began to flicker here and there on the horizon, ing over every impediment, whirled into a thousand then large bulks came floating by in forms as pictur- eddies, tumbling and raging from ledge to ledge in esque as ever-one, I particularly remember, a human quivering cataracts of foam, then suddenly struck hand thrust out of the water with outstretched fore- rigid by a power so instantaneous in its action, that finger, as if to warn us against proceeding further even the froth and fleeting wreaths of spray have until at last the whole sea became clouded with stiffened to the immutability of sculpture. Unless hummocks, that seemed to gather on our path in you had seen it, it would be almost impossible to magical multiplicity.
conceive the strangeness of the contrast between the Up to this time, we had seen nothing of the island, actual tranquillity of these silent crystal rivers and yet I knew we must be within a very few miles of the violent descending energy impressed upon their it; and now, to make things quite pleasant, there exterior. You must remember, too, all this is upon descended upon us a thicker fog than I should have a scale of such prodigious magnitude, that when we thought the atmosphere capable of sustaining: it succeeded, subsequently, in approaching the spotseemed to hang in solid festoons from the masts and where, with a leap like that of Niagara, one of these spars. To say that you could not see your hand, glaciers plunges down into the sea—the eye, no longer ceased almost to be any longer figurative; even the able to take in its fluvial character, was content to ice was hid-except those fragments immediately rest in simple astonishment at what then appeared a adjacent, whose ghastly brilliancy the mist itself lucent precipice of gray-green ice, rising to the height could not quite extinguish, as they glimmered round of several hundred feet above the masts of the vessel.' the vessel like a circle of luminous phantoms. The As soon as they had got a little over their first perfect stillness of the sea and sky added very much feelings of astonishment at the panorama thus sudto the solemnity of the scene; almost every breath of denly revealed by the lifting of the fog, Lord Dufferin wind had fallen; scarcely a ripple tinkled against the and his companions began to consider what would be copper sheathing as the solitary little schooner glided the best way of getting to the anchorage on the west along at the rate of half a knot or so an hour, and the side of the island. They were still seven or eight only sound we heard was a distant wash of waters ; miles from the shore, and the northern extremity of but whether on a great shore, or along a belt of solid the island, round which they would have to pass, lay ice, it was impossible to say. At last, about four in about five leagues off, bearing west by north, while the morning, I fancied some change was going to take between them and the land stretched a continuous place; the heavy wreaths of vapour seemed to be breadth of floating ice. We need not detail all the imperceptibly separating, and in a few minutes more elaborate manæuvrings by which they worked the the solid roof of gray suddenly split asunder, and I vessel among the hummocks; finding, more than once, beheld through the gap-thousands of feet overhead, as after making some little progress by arduous efforts, if suspended in the crystal sky—a cone of illuminated that there was 'no thoroughfare' in the direction
chosen, and nothing was left them but to return back, • You can imagine my delight. It was really that and try their fortune through some other passage. of an anchorite catching a glimpse of the seventh They could effect no landing on the western coast; heaven. There at last was the long-sought-for they put about and tried the eastern, and had no mountain actually tumbling down upon our heads. better success. Worse than this, on attempting to Columbus could not have been more pleased when, retrace their course, they found themselves in danger after nights of watching, he saw the first fires of a of being ice-locked. The wind having shifted, it was new hemisphere dance upon the water; nor, indeed, now blowing right down the path along which they scarcely less disappointed at their sudden disappear- had picked their way; and in order to return, it would ance than I was, when, after having gone below to be necessary to work the ship to windward 'through a wake Sigudr, and tell him we had seen bonâ-fide terra sea as thickly crammed with ice as a lady's boudoir is firma, I found, on returning upon deck, that the with furniture.' 'Moreover,' says the noble navigator, roof of mist had closed again, and shut out all trace it had become evident, from the obvious closing of of the transient vision. At last the hour of liberation the open spaces, that some considerable pressure was came: a purer light seemed gradually to penetrate acting upon the outside of the field; but whether the atmosphere ; brown turned to gray, and gray originating in a current or the change of wind, or to white, and white to transparent blue, until the another field being driven down upon it, I could not lost horizon entirely reappeared, except where in one tell. Be that as it might, out we must get, unless we direction an impenetrable veil of haze still hung wanted to be cracked like a walnut-shell between the suspended from the zenith to the sea. Behind that drifting ice and the solid belt to leeward ; 80, sending a veil I knew must lie Jan Mayen.
steady hand to the helm--for these unusual phenomena
had begun to make some of my people lose their The reader who has followed us thus far will know heads a little, no one on board having ever seen a bit as much of Jan Mayen and its history as is known by of ice before-I stationed myself in the bows, while anybody who has not visited the island. As Lord Mr Wyse [the sailing-master) conned the vessel from Dufferin himself only knew of its existence four years the square-yard. Then there began one of the prettiest before he went in search of it, there can be no reason and inost exciting pieces of nautical manæuvring that why anybody should blush for the deficiency of his can be imagined. Every single soul on board was geographical knowledge, should this be the first time summoned upon deck; to all, their several stations and he may have heard of it. Though one of the curiosiduties were assigned, 'always excepting the cook, who ties of the world, Jan Mayen has been so rarely was merely directed to make himself generally useful. visited, that few persons, even among arctic mariners, As soon as everybody was ready, down went the could render any account of it; and the belief has helm, about came the ship, and the critical part of been current in some quarters that for many years the business commenced. Of course, in order to wind it has been wholly inaccessible. M. Babinet, of the and twist the schooner in and out among the devious French Institute, made a statement to this effect in channels left between the hummocks, it was necessary the Journal des Débats, as lately as the 30th of Decemshe should have considerable way on her; at the same ber 1856–he, apparently, having not then received time, so narrow. were some of the passages, and so intelligence of Lord Dufferin's exploit in the previous sharp their turnings, that unless she had been the summer. It is now, however, an established fact that most handy vessel in the world, she would have had the island can be reached ; and it is not unlikely that a very narrow squeak for it. I never saw anything other spirited yachtsmen, emulating his lordship's bold 80 beautiful as her behaviour. Had she been a living example, will seek a new excitement in making it creature, she could not have dodged, and wound, and the object of some of their seafaring excursions. doubled with more conscious cunning and dexterity ; and it was quite amusing to hear the endearing way
A CHEAP TRAIN in which the people spoke to her, each time the nimble creature contrived to elude some more than usually WELL, Fred., and where are you going to? You 're threatening tongue of ice.
never very locomotive, I know; but you 're surely It had become very cold; so cold, indeed, that Mr never intending to run yourself to seed here all the Wyse—no longer able to keep a clutch of the rigging autumn, browsing, Nebuchadnezzarlike, among the -had a severe tumble from the yard on which he was grass crops of modern Babylon, in September.' standing. The wind was freshening, and the ice was The speaker was my friend Mr Spooner; the occaevidently still in motion ; but although very anxious sion, an evening visit with which he favoured me, in to get back again into open water, we thought it Pumphandle Court, in the early part of the present would not do to go away without landing, even if it month. The air of quiet self-complacency with which were only for an hour. So having laid the schooner this rather flippant address was associated, induced me right under the cliff, and putting in the gig our old to surmise that its object was rather to elicit some discarded figure-head, a white ensign, a flag-staff, and evidence of curiosity on my part as to his own plans, a tin biscuit-box, containing a paper on which I had than to obtain information in regard to mine; and I hastily written the schooner's name, the date of her rejoined, therefore, in the true spirit of friendship, by arrival, and the names of all those who sailed on a similar inquiry. board, we pulled ashore. A ribbon of beach, not more Well, do you know, I rather think of cutting over than fifteen yards wide, composed of iron sand, augite, to Paris by " the cheap train,”' was the reply, enunand pyroxene, running along under the basaltic preci- ciated with a glibness which agreeably confirmed my pice-upwards of a thousand feet high-which serves impression of my own sagacity. It's too late for as a kind of plinth to the mountain, was the only Scotland'—this was a piece of gentle swagger, Mr standing-room this part of the island afforded. With Spooner's foot never having pressed the native hills' considerable difficulty, and after a good hour's climb, of the grouse in his life, and his acquaintance with we succeeded in dragging the figure-head we had that bird being exclusively a dinner-table one-'and brought on shore with us, up a sloping patch of snow, too early for Brighton; and I've got an odd ten-pound which lay in a crevice of the cliff, and thence a little note, with which I calculate—with management and higher, to a natural pedestal formed by a broken shaft economy, and that's the true secret of enjoyment, of rock; where, after having tied the tin box round mind you-I shall be able to knock out a fortnight her neck, and duly planted the white ensign of St very jolly.' George beside her, we left the superseded damsel, Never having had the good fortune to perceive in somewhat grimly smiling across the frozen ocean at my acquaintance with my friend, any particular her feet, until some Bacchi of a bear shall come to evidence that management and economy were bis relieve the loneliness of my wooden Ariadne.'
peculiar forte, my curiosity as to his plans was rather Meeting with nothing of interest, they soon deter- awakened. mined to return to the vessel ; " but—so rapidly was “Yes, I've got a return-ticket-two pound there and the ice drifting down upon the island—we found it had back, or something of that sort; third class and a already become doubtful whether we should not have to carpet-bag, you know. Nobody knows me; and I'm carry the boat over the patch which, during the couple not proud,' he continued—rather defiantly, it struck of hours we had spent on shore, had almost cut her off me, for so true a philosopher. 'Bedroom in the marais. from access to the water. If this was the case with Breakfast, a cup of coffee and some fried potatoes. the gig, it was very evident the quicker we got the Palais Royal dinner, two francs fifty, with half a bottle schooner out to sea again the better. So immediately of “Macon vieux," eh! and the thing's done, you know. we returned on board, having first fired a gun in As for amusement, bless you, I shan't want any knocktoken of adieu to the desolate land we should never ing about. They translate so close up in England again set foot on, the ship was put about, and our now-a-days, that there 'll be nothing at the theatres I task of working out towards the open water recom- shan't be able to see here between now and January, menced. It was a difficult matter to get extricated with the advantage of understanding it; and there's from the ice; but after many hours' struggling, the the Louvre and the singing cafés, and lots of fun to be little Foam got free from it, and went spanking away had in Paris for nothing.' at the rate of eight knots an hour in a direct line for A recollection of an amiable weakness on my Hammerfest-a port which was gained after eight friend's part for little dinners, and the relaxations, not days' sailing, at the rate of 100 miles a day,
always inexpensive, of Cremorne and M. Laurent's
conversazioni, induced me the more highly to appreciate the next of the courier and lady's-maid. Besides, the self-denial with which he proposed to associate the upon consideration, I thought it better not to fatigue enjoyment of foreign travel; and after I had inspected myself. There's no economy, you know, in a fellow his passport, which, embellished and ratified as it was fatiguing himself; and as they charge extra for luggage, by two engraved coats of arms, and the signature of and allow you precious little in the third class, that, Lord Clarendon's private secretary, he appeared to you see, would have made a difference.' regard as a sort of pocket palladium-our colloquy "To the family who were going to winter at Rome, terminated.
I dare say; but you were only going to take a carpetA few days ago, I chanced to encounter Mr Spooner bag, weren't you? at a popular dining establishment on the confines Well, I was; but I thought, upon consideration, of Westendia, and was gratified to observe, from a I had better go comfortable, and a fellow must have downy moustache, and a new scarf-pin of unmistakably clothes wherever he is; so I got some new toggery, Parisian origin, that the proposed trip had been duly and a box or two of cigars—for there's no standing accomplished.
those five sous weeds in Paris-so that what with one *Ah, Fred.,' he observed, when he saw me, shady thing and what with another, I had rather more place this, after Vefour's and the Café de Paris. Pretty luggage than I had intended.' notions we have of dining in England. Waiter ! look "And Amiens cathedral ?' here-get m
some more saddle of mutton, and the Oh! I was obliged to cut that, and got into Paris currant jelly, and a pint of Bordeaux.'
about six o'clock, after a remarkably pleasant day 'It's ill talking,' says the proverb, between a full with the remarkably pleasant family. Pater familias man and a fasting;' so having completed my own very civil, and said they should be happy to renew the modest two shillings' worth, I proposed hearing the acquaintance. Uncommon nice connection, mind you, details of my friend's excursion when he had com- and worth the difference between first and third class pleted his, and adjourned to the smoking-room, fare any day.' whither he soon followed me.
Perhaps so, if the family had been going to * By Jove, Fred., this won't do, mind ye, after winter in London instead of Rome. As it was, the Philippe's: I can't stand this two-shilling business investment was perhaps hardly so good. However, now; as for the Bordeaux, it's not drinkable. Bona- get on.' parte, Hannibal, or whoever it was, might have cut When I got to Paris, I cut 'em, and determined through Mont St Bernard with it. It's as sour as then to begin doing the economical. By the way, they vinegar, I give you my honour; it's only fit to make were no end of civil at Boulogne about the cigars. salad dressing or sauce piquante.'
Depend upon it, if I had not been travelling like a I hinted that the choice vintages of France, of which gentleman, I should have had nobody knows what he seemed to have acquired so keen an appreciation, duty to pay for 'em at the custom-house, and there were not as yet attainable in this country at three would have been a further expense. True economy, shillings a bottle ; and then inquired the particulars my dear Fred., must be discriminating.' of his trip, the economy of which impressed me the I yielded my fullest concurrence to this proposition. more from the valuable experiences in re prandiaria "Well, sir, I soon routed out a cheap hotel; and thus which, notwithstanding, he appeared to have derived ended my second day.' from it. I give them, to do him justice, in his own Mr Spooner now fell to his Bordeaux, the demerits words.
of which he had apparently forgotten, and then "Well, sir, I started the morning after I saw you, continued: and got down to Boulogne very jolly by the middle 'I was up pretty early the next morning, and paid of the day.'
my hotel bill. I had thought the cheap train' went by the Dieppe 'Cheap ?' or Newhaven route.
Well, to say the truth, it wasn't. I suspect, if you Well, yes. But you see, when it came to the point, are vagabondising for only a night at an hotel, the best I thought, you know, that what with the time it would is the best ; but one must
carry out one's principles.' take on the journey, and the additional eating and With discrimination,' I ventured to suggest. drinking-we must consider all these things—I 'Quite so. With discrimination, of course. Well, shouldn't save much; so I sold my ticket to Tom Wye the next day I devoted to lodging-hunting, and á or Wake for a pound, and concluded to go down pretty turn I had of it, for I was resolved now to comfortable.'
begin to economise, and secure the right thing cheap, 'I see. First class-express.'
you know. At length, I hit upon it; and after nearly Yes. I wanted, besides, to see Amiens cathedral, losing the thing by sticking out for attendance included, which I should have missed by the other routes.' found myself the proprietor of an apartment with a
Mr Spooner, I feel bound to remark, had never sloping roof, a cracked glass over the chimney-piece, a before evinced, to my knowledge, the most remote cracked marble table, a cracked marble washing-stand, interest in or desire to make himself acquainted with a bed with a game leg, and a chiffonnier that wouldn't the mysteries of church architecture.
shut--for seven francs a week. Not bad that, I think.' "Well,' he continued, 'I got down very well, and, 'Economical enough, in all conscience. What then?' mind you, it's much the pleasantest way of doing the Why, then, I went off to the Palais Royal to get thing, put up at the Hôtel des Bains, and had a some dinner.' stunning fricandeau and a bottle of Burgundy. Better 'I see: two francs fifty!' for a fellow to begin with Burgundy before he gets "Well, I had intended; but it was rather late for on to claret; and Beaune's a good half-way house Richard's, and having unluckily to pass the Trois between sherry and Château Lafitte.'
Frères Provençaux'I admired my friend's perspicacity; told him so, and You very naturally turned in there.' he continued.
Why, to confess the truth, I did, for having, you • Well, sir, I started for Paris the next morning.' see, made such a cheap arrangement for my lodging, I "Third class ?'
thought I might indulge a little.' Why, no. I had fully intended now to have begun "Exactly: bisque and a cutlet à la Provençale.' economising; but the fact is, I travelled from London Well, something of the kind, I must admit.' with some remarkably nice people, who were going to And a plomberie, perhaps, with a little dry Silleri.' winter at Rome; and after passing one day with the Well, I had a little ice-pudding and some champagne, family, I couldn't make up my mind to the society for certainly.'
"To be sure. And then ?'
as a prelude to L.3000 a year instead of L.300; and *Nothing else, upon my honour, except a little appliances for the adornment and glorification of “The Chambertin to top up with, and some black coffee and Hermitage, Kensington Gravel Pits,' which would not maraschino. Home to bed, and spoiled a new hat, by discredit the splendid family mansion, adapted to a the way, against the ceiling going in.'
nobleman or gentleman,' in Palace Gardens, to which "So much for the economy of a mansarde at seven they are not without hopes—for these are days of francs a week; but the principle is the thing.' ambition-of some day attaining, and which they are
The further detail of Mr Spooner's experiences, inaugurating a system of life so ingeniously calculated though interesting to me, might scarcely prove as to secure. Alas! the twelvemonth is not over before entertaining to the world at large. Suffice it to say, Angelina, with modes enough in her trousseau to furthat they all exhibited more or less the same dispro- nish a shop, is sighing over the labours of a home-made portionate mixture of the mean and the magnificent; bassinet ; and Edwin, regardless of the delight of the the same cheap train' of idea, and profusion in Hermitage, is converting that bower of bliss into a practice, with which he seemed to have initiated them. pandemonium to himself and everybody else, because His home for the day had cost him a franc; his dinner, butcher's meat is ninepence a pound instead of seventen! He had economised, by avoiding the Italian pence. With ten years more experience, we shall find Opera, to spend twice the saving in bouquets and the gentle pair developing the more matured views pistol-shots at the Salle Valentino! He had expended of the same system of domestic economy, by giving as much in overproof brandy, which made him ill, to careful dinners, which you and I who eat them know see nothing of life, at a dingy wine-shop in the Rue they cannot afford, and saving to make up for them Traversine, as would have given him a very fair by the educational establishments of Monsieur Patois glimpse of its reality at the Variétés ! He had not and Madame Paillon, Rue des Enfants Trouvés, been able to join three English friends at an excursion Boulogne-sur-Mer, where there are no extras, few to Versailles, because he had treated as many French- holidays, and the living is as light as the terms, for men, whom he knew and cared nothing about, to Frank and Fanny, While further still, could we supper and rum-punch the night before at the Bal penetrate the mists of half a century, we might see Bullien.
them, though How Mr Spooner wrote home for some more money
Soon that year maun come on the Friday of his first week, fasting that day, and
Will bring 'em to their last, indeed the following, with a severity which would doubtless have infinitely gratified the ecclesiastical developing further fruits of the seed originally sown authorities of the district, it is painful to me to after its kind,' as full of project for the little time record; how, upon his 'resumption of cash-payremaining for practice, as when they were first ments,' he revelled afterwards, I need not detail. acquent'-— just beginning to suspect, perhaps, like Suffice it to say, that he arrived at London Bridge on Mr Spooner, when the mischief is done, that they had the tenth day from that on which he had taken leave got wrong at the beginning, and were unable someof it, with only a twenty centime piece in his pocket, how to work round again ;' surmising their want of and disturbed the parental home ungracefully at two wisdom; resolving and re-resolving to end as they o'clock in the morning for the payment of his cab. commenced.
. And what's the dreariest part of the whole thing, Here I was awakened from my day-dreaming by the Fred.,' my friend concluded, 'I don't think somehow, waiter putting the gas out; and upon calling for my upon my honour, that I really enjoyed myself. I don't bill, discovered that while moralising upon the falliknow how it was, but I suspect that I got wrong at bility of resolution of Mr Spooner and humanity in the beginning, and was never able somehow to work general, I had extended the single cigar, to which I round again. It's a bad plan, mark ye, for a fellow had vowed to confine myself, into a plurality, upon the to alter his arrangements when he has once made precise extent of which, as I am giving up smoking, I them. I do believe-I give you my word—that if it refrain from expatiating; and my modest cup of coffee hadn't been for the going down first class, in the first into more of the agreeable summer beverage which my instance, I should have done the thing as I told you friend had so emphatically denounced, than, unless I with the ten pounds, and jolly too!'
develop my own 'cheap trains' of idea a little more During the enjoyment of the solitary half hour practically, the wisdom arising from them is erer which succeeded the conversation I have detailed, I likely to pay for. endeavoured to reduce Mr Spooner's experiences to something like a principle, which resolved itself finally into this: that nothing in life is easier than a 'cheap ALEXANDER SMITH'S CITY POEMS.'* train' of ideas, but that its development into the When a poet's first book has been very successful, his desirable results which are its ultimate object, can second is hárdly likely to get justice done to it. He only be secured by as much careful forethought and is held responsible for all the exaggeration of enthusipractical self-denial as are required for other things. astic admirers, who inevitably lead the way for disap, Sure it seemed to me that the best designs for economy pointed purchasers. His claims are sternly challenged on the occasion of an autumn tour or any other, if not by all those whose dissenting voices were drowned in carried out practically ab initio, are scarcely likely to the general applause, and who have been lying in wait develop themselves subsequently, such operations of for any turn of the tide. Then, each of the various nature, like most others, bearing fruit of the seed sections of the public, who supported the new author originally sown after its kind.'
for the promise they found in his book, expects as a Mr Spooner, though not wiser than his neighbours matter of course that he will fulfil his promise in their and there was probably no reason why he should be so special direction, and according to their personal choice; -was perhaps, after all, not much less wise than many whereas he must go his own way, and if he has made of them. Half the world of us wlio do claim to see a progress, and does not repeat himself
, it will be in a little beyond our noses, are as prolific in 'cheap trains' new direction. The result is certain; his new strain of idea born to die, as that honest but unsuccessful will be responded to by a chorus of disappointment, young philosopher. Edwin and Angelina, for instance, and the author will be abused for not doing what he agreeing that it is not worth while to wait any longer- was expected to do, rather than fairly judged by what and quite right too-make their start in life with 'cheap trains' illimitable of ideal economy; commencing with a wedding which, for luxury of detail, might serve & Co. "1857.
* City Poems. By Alexander Smith. Cambridge: Macmilan
he has done. Mr Smith's second venture was espe- belong to those poets, having been used by others cially perilous, he had so large an amount of success before them, and become a sort of common property of to answer for. A poet whose first volume sold 10,000 thought, a portion of that stock which, when we meet copies at home, and 30,000 abroad, is not likely to with it, we recognise it as being somewhat the worse come off scot-free a second time. Nevertheless, we for wear; but we do not call in a detective, or start on believe that in the minds of all calm judges and fair any Quixotic crusade in search of the original possessor. dealers, these City Poems will be considered far supe- Of course, we are now speaking only of that which has rior to the Life Drama, and will win for their author been ground down into the undistinguishable diamondmore real honour. The detraction they have drawn dust of thought, and not of those gems which every down upon him will work less harm than did the poet perfects as his own, and which will be identified loud folly of the injudicious and unskilled critics of as his wherever they are found. If a writer reprohis earlier effort.
duce these, so much the worse for him, for they will The vagueness of the Life Drama became in the tend to throw suspicion on whatsoever is really his minds of many synonymous with vastness, and with own. Young authors whose memory is apt to play such the present poems will appear poor in comparison, false, cannot be too jealously watchful in scrutinising precisely because they are more within bounds. Those whatever arises in their mind, and canvassing its claims who overrated the one, will underrate the other. to originality. Mr Smith's second book is far more
But vagueness is not necessarily vastness, and law original than was the first; and it would be a cruel is a far higher thing than lawlessness. Similes, images, discouragement if full credit were not given to him for and jewels might have been gathered from the Life an effort so entirely right. There are fewer startlingly Drama as the Carthaginians gathered rings from the fine things, but this we do not regret, the finest battle-field of Cannæ, by the bushelful, so great was things are so apt not to be original. Generally, fine their profusion. These are used more sparingly in the things only arrive at their perfection by passing City Poems, but with a far truer effect. The manner through many minds, being touched by each; and of the writer is much less spasmodic, by which we when these come very thickly, they have more the mean less sudden in transition from thouglit to look of being gathered than of being grown. Instead thought, and from thing to thing. There is more of these, there is more maturity, and often a quiet homogeneity of style; greater mastery has rendered it continuity of thought, and one or two touches of malleable. And instead of our being so often blinded pathos, which give more certain sign of power than with a whirlwind of gold-dust, we see the gold flowing anything in the previous work. For example: into form, calm, and sometimes strong, and often
The past is very tender at my heart ; splendid. The author comes nigher to the business
Full, as the memory of an ancient friend and the bosoms of men who think and suffer. The
When once again we stand beside his grave. heat of passion is more covered in, and breaks out less
Raking amongst old papers thrown in haste in fancies of fire. Throughout, the poems impress us as 'Mid useless lumber, unawares I came being the work of a man who is honestly trying to do On a forgotten poem of my youth. his best in all matters wherein he has any choice. He I went aside and read each faded page las pruned his lavish leafage and rank overgrowth, Warm with dead passion, sweet with buried Junes, checked many extravagant tendencies, curbed his Filled with the light of suns that are no more, Pegasus when wantonly wayward or in a voluptuous I stood like one who finds a golden tress vein; and for these things he is to be commended and Given by loving hands no more on earth, encouraged. Many of his earlier admirers will desert And starts, beholding how the dust of years, him because he has not out-lieroded Herod in the Which dims all else, has never touched its light. spasmodic sublime. They have yet to learn what Mr Then, again, we are reminded that few things can Smith appears to have learned, that the subtlest and be finer than the conclusion of the following lines, deepest things in poetry do not leave us blinded, but although it does not startle us with surprise, but illumined—not breathlessly startled so much as quietly satisfies us with its sweetness : content. He can afford to forego their cheers, having
Love, unreturned, chosen the worthier way to fame, to be followed by
Hath gracious uses; the keen pang departs, the approbation of the wiser few. The great want of
The sweetness never. Sorrow's touch doth ope the new book is the want of new and varied experience of life. This is unfortunate, but no personal fault. A
A mingled fount of sweet and bitter tears,
No summer's heat can dry, no winter's cold man who is not yet twenty-seven, and who is only
Lock up in ice. When music grieves, the past just married, is not expected to reproduce the whole
Returns in tears. round of human experience. What we urge is, that he has done the best he could do for the time being, when he describes the mother, who in her mortal
And surely the author sounds the deeps of feeling acquired more knowledge, purified his thinking, chastened his expression, and altogether improved his agony presses her dead child with more than the living
loveart; so that, when the new experience comes, as come it will with coming years, he can transmute it And pours more passionate kisses on the lips into song with a perfecter freedom, and a larger
Than when they kissed again. power.
Here is true thought admirably expressed ; musical With regard to the cry of plagiarism wliich has been in its movement, and beautiful in its repose : raised, we have only to say, that it might be raised
We sit together at a rich man's feast, against the most original poet that ever lived. All
When, as if beckoned by an unseen hand, young poets reproduce, more or less, the thoughts
The man whose laugh is loudest in his cups and images of others. Mr Smith has done this not
Rises with a wild face, and goes away more than many others, only his private eating' has
From mirth into a shroud without a word. been obvious. The young writer does not consciously With what pale faces, and how still they go! take possession of the thoughts of others, so much as What visions see they, and what voices hear? they unconsciously take possession of him, and compel We only know this buried root of life him to reproduce them, in the faith that they are his own. Holds still, it knows not why, within its heart Ile has so thoroughly felt them that they become, in A vague tradition of an upper light, fact, his own. Still, many of the thoughts and images To which it strives, and, dying, spent and foiled, in the Life Drama, which have been attributed to It feebly feels it should have borne a flower Wordsworth, Keats, and Tennyson, do not specially 'Neath some propitious heaven.