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tablish brutal congregations on the edges the first, or even of the second, order. of towns and villages, in which, from the But then he has never apparently claimed universality of crime, there is neither con- such a position. There is no more modest, science nor law.
no less self-assertive writer. About each and all of his lyrics there is a prevalent
delicacy and absence of personal obtrusion. From The London Review, 20 June.
He neither forces `his emotions on you, nor
strives to disclose himself harrowed with MR. LONGFELLOW.
| profound griefs, loves, or distraction. In THE arrival of Mr. Longfellow from some measure this constant, finical reserve America and the appropriate compliment detracts from his merits, while, at the same paid to him at Cambridge suggest a review time, it suits admirably the wide audience of his popularity. He has decidedly gained which he addresses. They are not subject a place of honour amongst poets, and that to thrills or throes of passion which are not without possessing any one qualification of concerned with every-day joys and griefs. a great poet. He is a living illustration of They can feel in such matters as the loss of the truth that to write profoundly or deeply a child. Mr. Longfellow speaks home to is not the way to win contemporary fame them of the “vacant chair" and other relor repute. The average understanding of ics. That misfortunes are blessings in dispeople is low enough, and we have a proof guise, that good comes of evil, are trite that in literature the largest sale for a book beliefs, out of which Mr. Longferlow has may be obtained for a work 'of amazing made many pleasant verses ; indeed, so dulness and stupidity. Mr. Longfellow, universal is his optimism that he tells that however, has the power of touching delicate even the Devil himself has some good in and homely instincts and sympathies. The him, if we only knew it. This amiability is fact of his being an American, with a love especially pleasing to the gregarious minds; for the old country, warmed and cultivated this domestic sweetness appeals with sucby travel, gives to his writings a certain cess to thousands who would shrink from charm and glow of enthusiasm altogether the analytical doubts and questionings of different from that which we meet in the Mr. Browning, and sometimes even of Mr. spirit of English writers. This is not so Tennyson. Mr. Longfellow also underimmediately perceptible, but still it is pres- stands the value of Biblical language and ent, and comes home to our minds in the the use of texts in composition. Good perend, when reading “ Hyperion” for in- sons of both sexes attach an affectionate stance. No Englishman, with a conscious- importance to the words in which Chrisness that he could in a comparatively few tianity was revealed and preached ; and the hours go to the Rhine, could have written Puritan traditions of America have aided that book. It has the enthusiasm of a Mr. Longfellow in acquiring a taste and stranger for the realization of things which facility for the introduction of those pashad hitherto been dreams and fancies to sages in the Scriptures which stir the relihim. Every page is instinct with a solem-gious heart most effectually. nity and reverence for the old ground which Together with a simplicity which somehad reared poets and had a picturesque histo- times appears almost affected, Mr. Longry, whose relics were still standing over the fellow combines a certain play of fancy river which the Germans love. And even which is not at all of the finest or best in those verses which have become house- quality, but which is eminently calculated hold words it is possible to detect a mood to win the admiration of the general reader. of feeling which is more or less derived Very often those fancies are neither more from the nationality of the writer. “Excel- nor less than gaudy conceits, which occasior" and the songs of work, while they sion no sentiment beyond that of a rude typify the energetic impulses of the whole and ignorant surprise. There are poems English-speaking race, appeared at a time of Mr. Longfellow in which the subject is when the “Lotos Eaters” was fashionable sadly tricked out with paste jewels, but then, amongst us. Then, again, take Mr. Long- on the other hand, he has inclosed a beautifellow's “Golden Legend." Few English ful idea in snow-white expression, with perstudents would have so studied the mediæ- | baps one grand diamond ornament to set it val stories and quaint customs of Europe off. His mind has a great bias towards the for the purposes of poetic treatment. They picturesque aspect of things, and he has a appear all the more attractive to Mr. Long- tendency to allow this inclination to carry fellow from his distance from them.
him too far. Another imperfection in his Mr. Longfellow has never been accepted verses must be noted in his habit of almost in his own country or in this as a poet of dissolving the central idea by the quantity
of words and the various ways in which he sincerely trust he will be met with a cordial turns it over and over again. Many people hospitality and welcome. Whatever faults rather like this. They prefer to have the a critic may find in the completeness of his good thing shown them in many lights and poetry, no one can question the sincere and in various colours.' Condensed poetry is noble spirit and the beauty of the mental not at all in favour with the million. They impulses his verses are calculated to give. require, as Dr. Whately said, a fair pro- He has been the advocate of abolition at a portion of chaff with their oats. Too much time when to abuse slavery was more than nutriment at once is bad for weak stomachs. hazardous; his pen has been used to There is one work of Mr.' Longfellow's furnish the inmates of quiet komes with which is not half popular enough, and we thoughts which they would keep in preferbelieve it is because it is artistically, per- ence perhaps to views of greater breadth haps, the best he has produced. “Kay- and grasp; and we trust that when he reanagh" is a delightful story, and worth a turns to the other side of the Atlantic it will dozen “Golden Legends," “Hiawathas," be with pleasant memories of the manner in or “Evangelines.” Besides being a fine which a poet was personally recognised in a specimen of illuminated prose, it contains country where he has been known and some touches of genuine humour, that rarest respected so long and so widely from his of all qualities, and an unforced pathos books. which is the more effective from its simplicity. Reading it one feels an agreeable sense of contact with a mind of perhaps
From The London Review. greater culture than force, but still with no mean power of reducing its impressions
POULTRY. to an harmonious and distinct shape. Here, THERE is a great deal of ignorance and as in his other productions, Mr. Longfellow of consequent cruelty displayed in the ordiis essentially reserved, and, so to speak,
nary management of the poultry-yard. In bashful. He never apparently puts out bis country places, where the taste of the lady full strength.
of the house in her drawing-room and garden In descriptions of natural scenery Mr. is unquestionable, it is not unusual to find, Longfellow has a very felicitous style. No even where there is a feminine pretence to one ever succeeds in bringing a landscape seeing after such matters, that the fowl are or a sunset before us who limits his picture sadly neglected. Unless they are taken up to mere details, dry and topographical as a “fancy" this is very frequently the points. To reproduce some notion of the case. The little book which “G.P." offers feelings stirred up by the locality should be on the subject, without exhausting the the main object of an artist. Now, a painter theme, gives sound practical advice on it, may do this by the sentiment of atmosphere and if its contents are perused with attenand shadows, by perspective, by colours. tion, the reader can scarcely have an excuse A writer has only words at his disposal, and for want of definite and distinct information. to have them serve him faithfully in this “G. P.” does not approve of “pets." purpose he must in a measure charge them She is going to teach us to make chickenwith colour. Then they become picturesque pie, and thinks it would not be a good prepin the proper sense of that term. Efforts aration to engage our sentimental affecto do this sometimes result in what Mr. tions for its proposed contents. This is Ruskin terms the pathetic fallacy. In both eminently a practical view, and all through prose and verse Mr. Longfellow is most for the book the same tone prevails. The bird tunate in this respect. Woods, rivers, and that is best to eat is the best bird with G. mountains are depicted in phrases which not P."; "a neat, round, small-boned sort." only recall the places, but which character- she terms it. The Bramah is recommended ize them, conferring the distinctive quality as good for hatching. The Dorking is unand effect in them which are most striking. fortunately delicate in constitution. The And those phrases are not limited to inclos-White Dorking, however, appears to posing but one suggestion. They possess the sess the finest qualities to be expected from power of summing up as it were the scents a fowl. It performs the maternal duties as well as the sights of the fields and of the with perseverance and discretion, and also sea. We could find many examples in Mr. makes a capital dish. The bird is someLongfellow's prose and verse books to prove what deficient in courage, but the defect this statement—so many that we should not may be remedied by crossing it with the have room to quote them. Mr. Longfellow has reason to expect ano
I G. P.. Author of “Home Nursing." "Dinner and vel Housekeeping."' &c. London: Routledge & Son.
The Poultry.vard: its Pleasure and Profit. By
hardy barn-door. The latter, too, is also reigned afterwards “ the beaten cock's own improved, gaining in flesh and form. The hens flouted him. They despised the poor Poland fowl excels as a layer. It derives creature, and he hung his tail feathers and its name not from Poland, but from Holland, went about nervously and as an object of the designation being simply a vulgar ren- contempt.” A good bird, “G. P.” thinks, dering of Poulet Hollandois. For eggs, will be able to take care of a dozen hens. the Black Spanish birds are to be com- A walled-in yard is the best place to keep mended. “Those that are tinged of a rich fowls in. It possesses the advantages of brownish colour, not too dark, are beautiful enabling the birds to take exercise and move for breakfast, the colour being a great ad-about. Furnish it plentifully with water. dition to the effect of the table.” With re- Sink a tub in the ground as a tank, and gard to cocks, “G. P." thinks that a cock nail rough sticks across it like the bars of a ought to die after three years old. At that ladder. The hens will go to drink by this time his temper becomes jealous and irri- means, but if two cocks are kept it would table, he plagues all the hens, and when be well to have a couple of ways to the you come to eat him you find him tough. water. “A quarrel,” remarks our author, In reference to his points - he ought to be “ once begun between two cocks is a neverhandsome in the first place. “G. P." says ending grief. To forget and forgive forms emphatically “there is not a known instance no part of a cock's virtues." Supply the in which appearances go for more than in place with lime generously. If you do not the case of a cock.” He ought also to pos- the hen draws on her own resources for the sess the faculty or accomplishment of crow-necessary encasement of the egg, and the ing fully and clearly. None of your gurg- result is that she becomes sickly and spiritling spasms or cart-wheel shrieks, but a less. This is a fact often forgotten in poulfine clear note. You should be careful also try yards. Charcoal is also requisite.* Air that he does not make music at unseemly should be allowed to circulate freely. If it hours. "A cock who crows in an aimless is not feasible to keep a yard, and you are manner at all hours and under no provoca- limited to a coop, be careful to let the fowls tion, is growing old or losing his character, out in the morning, “if you would not be or he has never had any character to lose.” cruelly disturbed by the cock crowing. It His deportment should be proud, and he is his business the first thing in the morning should have no feathers on his legs. Eccrn- to collect his hens, and to take them out on tricity of demeanour is a proof of incompe- their first excursion after food. A shut-up tence. “A cock who hurries about, be- cock, poor creature, goes on crowing, and travs agitation at slight circumstances, goes crows all the more because it is the only here and there as if taking care of no one one of his morning duties that the shut-up but himself, and carries his head depressed coop permits him to perform.” The fowlas if he were driven, is a bad cock.” In house should be as free as possible from size be ought to be small and compact also, noises. If the birds are disturbed at night “ quick to form an opinion, or to act on his the eggs will turn out badly. Your cook perceptions.” A red comb and wattles of will complain of failures with omelettes. the same colour are desirable. Observe his This may be due to the “ persistent yelping manners and customs carefully. “A cock of a tiresome dog, or the disturbance of the who looks well, works well, crows well, and hen-roost by perhaps the idle cracking of a collects his hens well together in the even- whip in the late hours of the evening, or ing," is perfection. If you keep two in a the night-long banging of an unfastened yard, you must be careful that there is no door." The roosting-place ought to be rivalry. To avoid constant bickering and from wall to wall. The bars to form it fighting one bird should be younger and should never be made of smooth or polished smaller than the other. Thus an absolute wood, but of rough and enduring material despotism is secured, and peace is to be — in fact, branches of trees with the bark had on no other terms. “G. P." once had left on will be found the best. The habit a couple of young cocks of equal size and of putting up ornamental perches results in beauty in the poultry yard. There was con- disease to the hens, which often causes them stant war between them, the bens were to get up from the nests when sitting. “G. ** beaten and unhappy," and the eggs were | P." tells a story of a hen which became so often addled. "G. P." consulted with an attached to a cook that whenever it had an experienced man, who made the cocks enter egg to lay it ran into the kitchen and into a tremendous combat, in which the dropped it as a token of esteem into the lap claim to eminence was made decisive, one of its patron, who held out her apron to rewinning gloriously while the other gave up.ceive the contribution, and then there Curious enough, though peace and order would come quite a dignified descent and a stately strut round the kitchen, with the while the violins keep up a sort of tender hen's triumphant chuck, chuck, chuck, and tugging and gasping as an accompaniment then the high note of rejoicing which always to the gruesome business of the stage. announces the fact of a new-laid egg." That this is effective there can be no doubt, Here is another story of the same kind: otherwise it would not be done. The cus“A dove living at this present moment has tom violates realistic propriety altogether, frequently laid its eggs in a lady's lap, in and requires a stronger concession of bethe folds of a black silk apron, while the lady lief from us than even the footlights or the works; sitting very still, winking up with paint on the faces of the actresses. But, its wondering, questioning, sly-looking eyes, as it were, to prove that there must be as much as to say, “Do you guess what I some special leaning in human nature for am accomplishing?' The dove remains moving scenes and moving music at the till a loud self-satisfied coo announces the same time, there is the opera. Here indeed accomplished fact, when she gets up, and the heart-strings and the fiddle-strings are walks off with the absurdest airs of satisfac- played upon together all the evening. By tion.” From this it may be seen that the this means the opera becomes the most modest handy hen-book of “G. P." is not emotional of entertainments. Faust and only useful, but interesting. There is a Marguerite are not more distinctly swearing fair amount of quaint observation and prac-eternal constancy while the Devil growls in tical experience in the little work set out the corner than the gentlemen under Mr. in a neat and unaffected style.
Costa's management are blowing and sawing a similar idea into your ears. Marguerite changes her key with her feelings,
and necessitates a fresh crook for the corFrom The London Review. nopean. Our good friend Mephistophiles HEART-STRINGS AND FIDDLE-STRINGS.
owes a great deal of his diabolical character
to the hoarse bray with which his sentiments In one of Douglas Jerrold's novels, “ St. I are echoed and supported by the band. In Giles's and St. James's," an amusing dis- the last scene of all, when the fair saint is pute takes place between the performers in wound up by machinery into the opposite a band employed for electioneering purposes. direction from that taken by M. Petit and The subject of the quarrel turns upon the Signor Naudin, if we want to forget the abamount of enthusiasm which each instrument surdity of the finish, we must lend our ears is capable of exciting in order to send a again to Mr. Costa and his assistants. The member to the House of Commons, and as apotheosis does not seem to be so unnatural well as we can recollect the drum has the when taken as illustrative of the music. best of the argument, the player strongly Do mothers ever think of the mischief insisting that but for his exertions many a done at flower-shows by Godfrey's band ? politician then serving his 'country would A waltz or a dainty selection may send to have been condemned to a private and ob- the winds the experiences of a brace of scure life. The notion has more than a seasons. There are men who calculate mere satirical value; there is a certain their chances with women by the keen susamount of truth in it. Anything that can ceptibility of some of the latter to the softbe helped by sentiment can be helped by ening intluences of well-played music, and music, and often with such effect that we who can bring to their aid in real courtship are inclined to excuse the fanciful saying of the unreal courtship on the boards of the Thomas Hood—“Heaven reward the man opera-house, or the suggestive harmonies who first hit upon the very original notion of the promenade. Those Italians apparof sawing the inside of a cat with the tail of ently singing their souls out to each other, a horse." If you refer to the poets you will with such beautiful languor or passionate find with what perseverance they work out energy, often make or mar the prospects of this idea. Whether they sing of sun, moon, careful mothers of daughters. The flowerstars, women, flowers, or men, they are cer- show bands are not, of course, so effective, tain to illustrate their thoughts with phrases the players do not embrace each other, and and images taken from this art. In thea- if they did the effect would not be very rotres, what could be done without the or- mantic; but still they may dispose towards chestra ? The agony-point of the drama is that sense of luxurious emotion which is not scored in the books of the trombone, the unfavourable for sighing lovers. Thus a flute, and the fiddle. In the thrilling situa- kettle-drum may boast of having sent a tions — the ghost scene in the “ Corsican couple to St. George's, and it may be that Brothers” for example - the gas is lowered, the couple may owe a debt of gratitude or and the cornet-à-piston shut off as it were, la curse to the kettle-drum all their lives afterwards. We know what the piano has its own. Is instrumental music altogether brought about in this respect. Messrs. inarticulate ? Collard and Erard are perhaps the greatest To return to the social aspect of our match makers in the country. Think of theme, what was a shepherd without his what must lie on the musical conscience of flageolet? He wooed his Chloe or Phyllis an instrument which has been flirted over with tunes. The custom bas dropped off by a whole family of daughters, whose notes in our day, but survives, to some degree, have been fired off to drown the whispers in another shape, as we have tried to show. of numberless assistants, or to aid the pro- There are, indeed, a few left who remind cess of landing a nervous fish! · We are us of the tradition. Amateur tenors are to almost afraid to touch the subject of music be found in society who manage to fascinate in churches, and hint of the responsibilities with their good notes, as Corydon did with incurred by an organ, or by a musical cler- his pastoral straw; and there are young gyman who sets up an amateur choir of the gentlemen who, as Mr. Punch says this best tenor, soprano, and bass voices to be week, perform on the “comb," or somefound among the most respectable of his thing else. But, as a rule, the fashion now parishioners. The “ Village Blacksmith "prevails vicariously. The light serenade is of Mr. Longfellow is represented as feeling no longer in vogue. The concertina, with more or less refreshed at the sound of his which some misguided artisans now and daughter's voice as she trills and quavers then interfere with the cats in order to comthe hymns on Sundays. If she was a village pliment the young women with whom they beauty we may be sure the young lady's travel in penny steamers, puts an end to performance attracted the notice of younger amorous caterwauling on the part of gentlemen in the congregation than her father. men, if there was ever much of it in Eng
We have heard a clever novelist ask to land. In Spain, the cavaliers did not genhave an air played to him over and over erally strum a single guitar, but engaged again, out of which, when questioned, he a band to come under the lattice of the confessed he had been constructing a story adored, and perform to please her. We - a complete and rounded story, which be- can effect the same object easier, and withcame more and more definite in its propor- out so much danger of the young lady catchtions and mechanism every time that he ing cold, by means of the opera or concert. listened to the tune, until at last it could be These gigantic concerts at the Crystal written down. Now, there was one spe- Palace afford us another example of the cially odd circumstance about this fact. The power of fiddle-strings to touch the heart. melody was a very old melody, and from People have been known to shed tears at time immemorial had been attached to a love the great sobs of sound which burst from legend. The story-spinner did not know time to time from the orchestra. But here this legend, and yet he very nearly guessed the emotion is something more than' romanit in forming his own conception; not only tic, it is real and sincere enough at least to guessed it generally, the mere idea of it, put little notions of love-thoughts out of the but matters in it of sentimental detail. We way. Our country cousins, who managed do not claim for this remarkable coincidence to procure comfortable places, and who any more value than it is worth, but still it were not oppressed with the heat, no matter is not beneath notice in an essay like the how well disposed for the amusement, propresent. A Scotch gentleman (Dr. Hay) bably (if they were fairly susceptible to went close enough to undertake to build a musical impressions) postponed flirting until house on a musical basis, and he mentioned they had forgotten the agitation and subsethe fact of his having tested the Parthenon quent melancholy and loneliness which enin connection with his theory, when the re- sues after the hearing of those wonderful cbosult corresponded favourably with his appar- ruses. And this brings us to the use of the ently eccentric idea. Music is not a fully fiddle-strings. Music has magnificent edudeveloped art, and we may get more from cational possibilities which have been as yet it yet more than the poets have given us. but partially released by its masters and
There is something very striking in a frag- professors. It can do more than teach pasment of a letter of Mendelssohn, in which sion. We know it can aid religion, but unthe musician described Goethe as listening fortunately it can be degraded to ignoble to him playing from twilight into the dark. purposes, almost as painting may be when Other great minds, too, have fed themselves painting is at its lowest, and is the pimp of at times upon music. The great question vice. is, whether it bas only the power of starting The sort of heart-strings vibrating to the ideas, or whether it sends new notions of song of Therese, vibrating to the tunes of