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of letting themselves be snared for life by the demon of • Juxtaposition,' as Clough puts it :

• Allah is great, no doubt, and Juxtaposition his prophet.' The girl's vulgar relatives, the steward of a large estate and his wife, who are instrumental in entrapping him, are painted with a truth and humour worthy of Shakespeare.

Other tales containing passages of great power must be passed over here; but some more lengthened notice is claimed by the narrative of The Elder Brother,' which may be said, perhaps, to be Crabbe's highest effort. It is hinted, from the first, that George, the elder brother, was a man with 'a past,' one who had enjoyed material success, had amassed wealth but never known happiness, and had taken refuge from stinging remembrances in an acted cynicism, through which his genuine feeling penetrates as he becomes more intimate with his new-found relative. The interchange of the history of their love affairs is led up to by a passage which will find an echo in many a heart among those who have had more than the average share of life's trials and disappointments. The younger brother speaks :““Can you not, brother, on adventures past A thought, as on a lively prospect, cast? On days of dear remembrancel days that seem, When past-nay, ev'n when present, like a dream; These white and blessed days, that softly shine On few, nor oft on them-have they been thine?"

George answered: "Yes! dear Richard, through the years
Long past, a day so white and mark'd appears;
As in the storm that pours destruction round
Is here and there a ship in safety found;
So in the storm of life some days appear

More blest and bright for the preceding fear."' A few more lines introduce Richard's story, the story of a happy day crowned by a happy engagement,just such a day as thousands of wedded lovers may look back upon. The whole is very simply told ; it is in its simplicity and reality, rising to a warm gush of sincere and unaffected emotion at the close, that the charm lies. This is succeeded by the very different story of the elder brother, prefaced by the observation• Who tells what thou shalt hear, esteems his hearer well'

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the history of a romantic and foolish passion, aroused by
a girl whom he had casually met, whose surname even
he did not know, and whom he lost sight of for years—a
passion which preyed upon him and weakened his mind
for any purpose in life, until in an equally casual way he
met her again as somebody's cast-off mistress and the in-
mate of a disorderly lodging-house. The meeting is told
in Crabbe's most incisive style. The narrator had been
commissioned by the head of his firm to ask an explana-
tion of another house as to an unsatisfactory document;
he was too late to catch the principal partner, but was
referred to an address where he might find him :-

'I found, though not with ease, this private seat
Of soothing quiet, wisdom's still retreat.

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The shutters half unclosed, the curtains fell
Half down, and rested on the window sill,
And thus, confusedly, made the room half visible.
Late as it was, the little parlour bore
Some tell-tale tokens of the night before;
There were strange sights and scents about the room,
Of food high-season'd, and of strong perfume;
Two unmatch'd sofas ample rents display'd,
Carpet and curtains were alike decay'd;
A large old mirror, with once gilded frame,
Reflected prints that I forbear to name,
Such as a youth might purchase--but, in truth,
Not a sedate or sober-minded youth:
The cinders yet were sleeping in the grate
Warm from the fire, continued large and late,
As left, by careless folk, in their neglected state;
The chairs in haste seem'd whirl'd about the room,
As when the sons of riot hurry home,

And leave the troubled place to solitude and gloom.'
The man of business was not forthcoming, but the lady
lodger had heard the old name, and enters hurriedly,
'speaking ere in sight':-

* But is it she? O! yes; the rose is dead,
All beauty, fragrance, freshness, glory fled :
But yet 'tis shemthe same and not the same-
Who to my bower a heavenly being came;
Who waked my soul's first thought of real bliss,
Whom long I sought, and now I find her-this.

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To the question whether his heart had been 'faithful' he
finds spirit enough to retort:-

*My faith must childish in your sight appear,
Who have been faithful-to how many, dear?'

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a shrewd hit which turns the lady to explanation and excuse, rounded off with a song in which her easy philosophy of life is set to a sweet sad music :

• Buried be all that has been done,

Or say that nought is done amiss,
For who the dangerous path can shun

In such bewildering world as this?
But love can every fault forgive,

Or with a tender look reprove;
And now let naught in memory live,

But that we meet, and that we love.'
Penitence, half sincere in intent, wholly pathetic in ex-
pression, is the next move in this moral duel, till the man
is worked upon to accept the position of Armand in • Les
Faux Ménages,' and promise to cast the marriage garment
of social righteousness over the sinner, if she will turn
entirely from the error of her ways. But, with whatever
sincerity of intent, she was too far gone into the slough,
too morally weakened to reform-

• She looked for idle vice the time to kill,

And subtle, strong apologies for ill’:
and the former lover saw her no more till summoned to
console her on her deathbed, so far as consolation might
be possible. The lines in response to his question whether
there was any one thing he could do to relieve her mind,
are a remarkable example of Crabbe's power of what may
be called the pathos of intense simplicity :

“Yes! there was yet a female friend, an old
And grieving nurse, to whom it should be told-
If I would tell—that she, her child, had fail'd,

And turn'd from truth! Yet truth at length prevail'd.' The man's sorrow, at once over this poor lost though finally repentant creature, and over the wreck of the best years of his own life on her account_his lapse into commercial greed and speculation as some kind of object for living, and his final revulsion from so low an end of exist

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ence, are briefly but powerfully described in the remaining portion of the narrative, which the speaker sums up in the following lines :

'Yet much is lost, and not yet much is found,
But what remains, I would believe, is sound;
That first wild passion, that last mean desire,
Are felt no more; but holier hopes require
A mind prepared and steady-my reform
Has fears like his, who, suffering in a storm,
Is on a rich but unknown country cast,
The future fearing, while he feels the past;
But whose more cheerful mind, with hope imbued,
Sees through receding clouds the rising good.'

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Although the human interest is always paramount with Crabbe, he has an eye to the scenic setting of his drama, and even where there is no lengthened or detailed description we seem to be conscious of the background. The influence of the flat dreary landscape of the Suffolk seacoast, with its marshy tracts and its miles of shingle beach, seems indeed to have got into his blood, and colours his scenes almost unawares to the reader and perhaps to himself. Where he gives special attention to the landscape he is, as already observed, essentially a realist; he brings it before us by a series of minute touches, as in the description of the fen country in The Lover's Journey,' and the admirable painting of the melancholy morning landscape which Tennyson so much admired in ‘Delay has Danger.' In less detailed descriptions he has nevertheless very real touches; in the section on ‘Prisons' in . The Borough,' the walk through the lane and over the cliffs down to the bay is sketched so that we seem to accompany the party on their route ; in everything concerning the sea (for which he had a passion) he is truthful and observant; we see on a calm hot day the

Faint lazy waves o'er-creep the ridgy sand,

Or tap the tarry boat with gentle blow';
the long stretch of coast where all is pebbly length of
shore'; the strong ebb-tide running out between the
stakes and seaweed withering on the mud,'

* And higher up, a ridge of all things base,
Which some strong tide has rolled upon the place.'




Occasionally, though rarely, he can give us one of those igati true poetic generalisations which seem to sum up the spirit bent of the scene in a single line, as in the calm where we see

Ships softly sinking in the sleepy sea,'

or the bright fresh incident in the morning scene in Tales of the Hall,

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The morning breeze had urged the quickening mill'

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recalling one element of the picturesque which is now all add for but swept away from English landscape.

Reference ought to be made, before concluding, to three still a poems of Crabbe's which are exceptional among his works! In both in form and feeling— Sir Eustace Grey,'«The Hall of them at Justice,' and The World of Dreams,'; all comparatively poder as early poems, in which a rather free stanza form takes the side place of the rhymed couplet, and which contain passages si rich of great power and pathos, though they are somewhat el misp crude in form and expression.

These are of specialist in interest as indicating that Crabbe, had he devoted himself entirely to poetry, might have proved that he possessed higher imaginative power and greater versatility in literary handling than would be surmised from the realistic tendency and the uniformity of style which characterise the bulk of his poems. It is by these latter, however-by his studies of human nature, character, and passion, drawn from direct observation of life-that he is mainly to be judged ; it is in these that his peculiar powers are displayed; and the reader will, we hope, admit that even the inadequate illustration furnished by the foregoing remarks and quotations is sufficient to justify the question already propounded—what have our literary critics been about, that they have suffered such a writer to drop into neglect and oblivion ?

In conclusion, let it be added that we do not think any real good has been done for Crabbe's reputation by the well-intended efforts of Fitzgerald and of Mr Holland to reintroduce him to the public by selections and extracts. Fitzgerald indeed took what, considering that he had a real and enthusiastic admiration for Crabbe, must be called the reprehensible course of partially re-writing and altering passages, to get rid of what he considered to be the

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