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Increased activity pervades every branch of the Government. In the Navy Department, besides the vessels building, nearly 200 have been purehased or chartered to aid in the blockade.—The army, under the command of General M'Clellan, is rapidly advancing in discipline, a large number of incompetent officers resigning or being dismissed. Several attempts at insubordination have been promptly
put down. The Departments at Washington
have been freed of clerks in favor of secession; and numerous arrests have been made of persons charged with aiding and assisting the enemy. The persons arrested are mostly confined at Fort Lafayette in New York Harbor. Among the prisoners are the Baltimore Police Commissioners, Mr. Berrett, Mayor of Washington, who refused to take the oath of allegiance, and Pierce Butler, of Philadelphia. Mr. Faulkner, late Minister to France, has also been placed under arrest at Washington. In New York the Grand Jury made a presentment against several newspapers, charging them with publishing treasonable articles; their transmission through the mails has been prohibited. Among these was the Daily News, edited by Benjamin Wood, a member of Congress from that city, and the Journal of Commeree, ono of the oldest papers in New York; the prohibition has been rescinded in the case of this latter paper. On the 16th of August the President issued
a proclamation declaring the seceding States to be in a state of insurrection, prohibiting all commercial intercourse between them and the other parts of the Union without special permission from the Government, under penalty of the confiscation of all goods dispatched either way, and of the vessels or vehicles conveying them; and declaring that all vessels belonging wholly or in part to any citizen of the insurgent States found at sea or in a port of the United States after fifteen days from the date of the proclamation forfeited to the United States. A large number of vessels remaining in our ports contrary to
this notice have been seized. Banks in New York,
Philadelphia, and Boston agreed, on the 15th of August, to take at par $50,000,000 of Treasury Notes, bearing 7-3 per cent, interest, with the privilege, in case the money was not raised by a national loan, or negotiated abroad, of taking $50,000,000 at the expiration of 60 days, and another $50,000,000 in 120 days; the Government agreeing to issue no bonds or notes other than those payable on demand, within a specified time; reserving, however, the right to negotiate its bonds abroad, and to receive subscriptions for a national loan. The Secretary of the Treasury has issued an appeal to the people, pointing out the advantages, in point of profit and security, of this loan, and announcing that subscription books would be opened at once in the principal towns and cities. The interest amounts to one cent per day for every
fifty dollars. The Secretary of State has issued
an order directing that no person shall leave the country for any foreign port without a passport countersigned by the Secretary of State; nor shall any person be permitted to land from abroad unless provided with the proper passport, after a reasonable time has been given for the fact of such requirement to be known in the country from which such persons come. The Convention of Western Virginia has passed an ordinance, to bo submitted to the people on the 24th of October, cutting off about 40 counties from Virginia, and forming them into a new State, to be called Kanawha. These counties comprise about one quarter of the white population of Virginia, but have only a small proportion of slaves. Several important Acts have been passed by the
Confederate Congress at Richmond. The President is directed to issue a proclamation ordering all male citizeus of the United States, above the age of 14 years, to leave the Confederate States within forty days. If they remain longer, they are liable to arrest and imprisonment as alien enemies.—The President is empowered to accept the services of 400,000 men for a period not less than one year or more than three.—A Treasury and Tax Act has been passed, authorizing the issue of Treasury notes to the amount of $100,000,000, redeemable six months after the close of the war; these are to be received in payment of all Government dues, except the export duty on cotton. Besides this, $100,000,000 of bonds are to be issued, bearing interest at the rate of 8 per cent., and redeemable in twenty years. A war tax is also levied of fifty cents in the hundred dollars upon all persous whoso property amounts to more than $500. The proposition to sell cotton to the Government, taking payment in Confederate bonds, seems to meet with much favor. It is said that cotton to the amount of $50,000,000 is already subscribed. The cotton brokers in the principal ports
have issued Circulars urging planters not to forward cotton to the sea-ports until the blockade is raised. Privateering has been very actively carried on. Nearly a hundred vessels are known to have been captured. The Jeff Davis, the most daring and successful of the Confederate privateers, was wrecked on the 18th of August while attempting to cross the bar at St. Augustine, Florida. The vessel was a total loss, but the crew escaped and have reached Charleston.
SOUTHEEN AMERICA There is no improvement in the condition of Mexico; in fact all accounts concur in representing it as worse than ever. The Juarez Government appears to be powerlass, and Marquez, the most dashing of Miramon's officers, is at the head of a strong force. The French and English representatives have suspended diplomatic relations with the Mexican Government. Some months ago the Spanish Government took possession of the Dominican republic, the southern portion of the lsland of Hayti, which has since been formally annexed to the Spanish dominions, Spain pledging itself not tore-establish slavery
there. In New Granada the desultory war which
has been waged for more than a year has been brought to a close by the capture of Bogota, the capital, by the revolutionary forces under General Mosqucra, who has assumed the office of Provisional President. He proposes a reconstruction of the old Republic of Colombia, by the re-union of New Granada, Venezuela, and Ecuador. Civil war has
again broken out between the different provinces of the Argentine Confederation. At the latest dates from Buenos Ayres, which are of July 15, that province had sent an army into the field against the National Government The army of the Confederation is stated to amount to 20,000 men, with 12,000 in reserve. The Congress has declared Buenos Ayres to be in a state of insurrection. EUROPE.
The American difficulties, in their commercial relations, form the staple of our European intelligence. In Great Britain especially the attention of the manufacturers and of Government is turned toward the opening of new sources for the supply of cotton. They hope that a considerable part of the present deficiency from America will be supplied from other quarters, India being the principal; and that in a year or two they will cease to be dependent upon America for this article.
ATIME of war gives profound interest to all stories of wars. There is no book so interesting this summer as the history of our Revolution. You lay down the morning paper—which overflows with news of military movements, of battles, of camp life, of heroism, of hardship, of patriotic enthusiasm—and turning to the pages of Hildreth, or Irving, or Bancroft, or Lossing, or Marshall, you find yourself reading the same tale—but a little farther off, and in another costume.
The history of the American Revolution never tires and constantly surprises. The other day an English gentleman said, good-humoredly,'' Ah, yes, Mr. Easy Chair, your revolution was all very well; but it was its success that justified it."
Mr. Easy Chair demurred entirely to such a view. Success can no more justify national than individual action. The American revolution would have been just as right if it had utterly failed. The only proper criticism then would have been that the moment for action was unwisely chosen. And as it was, the peculiar champion and Colossus of American independence, John Adams, said, in the midst of the war, that he would be thankful if things could be put back where they were at tho begiuning of the armed resistance.
If Burgoync could have made his junction with Sir Henry Clinton, and by occupying the Hudson had broken the back-bone of our military operations, and if, in consequence, Washington had surrendered and the Continental Congress had sued for peace, and the foolish King of England and his mad ministry had resumed their authority over the colonies, tho principle of the American Revolution would have remained as true as ever; it would have survived the temporary failure, and have been the harbinger and justification of final success.
It is as foolish to say that a state or nation can do no wrong as to say the same thing of an individual. Any man may be unjust, and a nation is only many men. If the nation is strong enough to persist in injustice unchecked, it is no more to be excused than the continued crime of a powerful criminal. If Arnold had succeeded in betraying the key of the Hudson to the enemies of America, would ho have been any better man, or his act any worthier?
So, upon our side, if the revolution which aimed to establish by foree a new government, and consequently to destroy the old one, among the English colonies here, had been hastily undertaken, and upon frivolous or false pretenses, or without long and patient appeal to every peaceful means of redress—if it had been an insurrection against human rights, instead of a struggle for their protection—it ought to have failed, and its success would not have endued it with dignity or worth. A new government might have been established. Succeeding generations might have flourished under it. The causes and circumstances of its origin might have been forgotten. But whenever tho student turned up tho stream of its history to study its sources, his uublinded moral sense would have been aghast at the springs of our prosperity, although he might himself be one of us, as the virtuous descendants of rich ancestry would burn with manly shame if they discovered that the hereditary fortune they enjoyed had heen made in the slave-trade.
For there are such things as well as such words as honor, truth, justice, and right. And they are to bo read in national as in individual action. Of
course men may honestly differ as to the measures and methods by which to secure justice in human affairs. One man may sincerely suppose that the irresponsible despotism of a single person will more surely promote the general welfare than the wish of the majority of the people. But when that man takes up arms to establish that despotism against the wishes of the majority, regardless of peaceful means provided, and without pretense that great wrong is done, then human nature declares either for or against that man; and by the canons of human conscience and reason, by which Arnold and Washington are equally judged, that man will also be tried.
No, Mr. Bull; Mr. Easy Chair is not of opinion that our success justified our revolution, but that the wrongs we suffered, and the increasing dangers of the system under which those wrongs were done—the exhaustion of every peaceful method of remedy— the palpable fact that the possible disadvantages of foreible redress could not be greater than the certain annihilation of the liberty of the people—and that the success of the revolution would be the political enfranchisement of a people, and the establishment of juster principles of government—these are the justification of our revolution. Our success was a gain for civil liberty. It increased the sum of human happiness. It gave more men a chance; and therefore its success was justified: it did not justify.
The best tonic for the times is our own history. Not every man can tell why his grandfather, who fought in the days of '76, did not deserve to be hung as a rebel. Let him read the history, and ponder as he reads, and he will perceive the essential difference between a wicked rebellion and a justifiable revolution. There may be a mutiny on a ship. If the captain is a pirate, the crew have a right to save themselves even at the cost of the captain's life; if the crew are pirates, they have the power also to take the captain's life, but they are not justificd.
There are not many new books for the autumnal evenings; and a man who is in the habit of reading feels, in these days, as if he might really keep pace with current literature. The difficulty, of course, always is to know what books to read. In every library an intelligent man knows that a few books hold all the knowledge. If he could only know those he would hold tho key of the position. There is a savage satisfaction now in looking at the long row of Rollin's Ancient History, for instance. That is virtually a spiked battery, if only the reader has the good fortune to know it. So all Roman and Greek history, unless a man is pursuing a particular study of details, may be read in their great results in no very cumbrous form.
It is so also with Science; the difficult point always being to find a man who can tell you what is superfluous, and where you can find the latest news.
But in the literature of the imagination, of course individual taste must determine. Whether you will have Pope or Bailey, whether you will read Bacon or Tupper, is a question for your individual answering. And yet even here there are certain books that every accomplished and cultivated person will have read, or at least he will know something of them. Shakespeare, for instance, and Milton belong to this class. Walter Scott also. Tho Pilgrim's Progress, and Robinson Crusoe, and the Arabian Nights, and Gulliver's Travels are of it.
Then, of current literature, the same person must have read certain books; and among them, upon this principle, perhaps the works of Dickens might be first named. He is the great living novelist. In genius he is unsurpassed by any novelist of any time or country. His opulence of creation is marvelous. Scott does not equal it. There is nothing like it since Shakespeare. His sympathy, in its depth and variety, is also Shakespearian—but it is not Shakespeare's. He loved as heartily, and could draw as skillfully, a technical lady and gentleman as a clown or a villain, a trader or a clerk. Dickens is always less powerful in that direction.
His latest work, in the sense of creation, is Joe Gargery, in'' Great Expectations." The Easy Chair has mentioned it before, but the book is now completed, and, with the exception of the London Spectator, it is hailed by the papers with more enthusiasm than any late novel, and much more than any novel of Dickens's since "David Copperficld." And it is said to shine peculiarly by contrast with his last story, the "Tale of Two Cities."
The Easy Chair need make no comparisons; but certainly that story is a very great work. In epical unity, in power of imagination, in breathless and tragic interest, in masterly delineation of the inward and outward aspect of national life in an utterly gloomy period, and in the portraiture of the noblest self-sacrifice, rising into sublimity at last, it would not be easy to find a parallel to the "Tale of Two Cities." The last Idyl of Tennyson's "Idyls of the King" and the conclusion of the '4 Tale of Two Cities" strike the highest and sweetest note in moder n literature, and, in the opinion of one Easy Chair, in all English literature. That is to say, that, in the poem, King Arthur is depicted as a man fulfilling the requirements of the Christian ideal of human character, without forfeiting perfect respect for his manliness; and, in the novel, Sydney Carton offers his life, with the most utter self-renunciation, for the happiness of the woman he loves. Many have gladly died for love, indeed, but not as Sydney Carton dies. "Great Expectations" is a book which adds another leaf to the thick-clustering laurels of its author. But the new leaf does not shade or dim the last that opened there.
Thk French Prince who comes to see us this year has a much quieter time than the English Prince who was our visitor a year ago. If we remember the enthusiasm with which the Prince of Wales was hailed, and reflect that the secret of it was not mere curiosity, but the persuasion that he represented a nation which was truly a friendly power through sympathy and intelligence, we can not but feel how entirely we were mistaken.
The French Prince is of a nation which is our hereditary ally. His own family has risen, indeed, upon the ruins of the regime which favored our early struggle. The Bourbons, hating England, helped us. The Bonapartes, hating England, sold us Louisiana. The help during the Revolution and the sale afterward were of the most signal service to this nation. But it is curious that both services were inspired not by love of us but by jealousy of England. In the great game of the world at that time we and our affairs were but episodical. If we could be used against the enemy, it was lucky for the power that wanted to aid us. But we were not a dangerous political power. We were not worth consideration as a political influence. England did not cease to despise and annoy us after sho had
made peace. France outraged us more in the early days of her revolution than she had honored us during our own.
The reason is obvious and simple enough. We were not a compact nation, with power to compel respect. As Mr. Motley truly describes our condition, we were "a mere dissolving league of jarring provinces."
But since the days when the soldiers of Rochambeau danced upon the Newport green with the rustic belles of Narragansett Bay, and the officers of his army scrawled with diamond rings the name of Polly Lawton upon the windows of his head-quarters; since the days when tho Count de Grasso with his stately fleet came feeling in at the mouth of the Chesapeake, while Washington and Lafayette drew closer from the land around Cornwallis; since the days when "Citizen Genet" appealed from the Government of the United States to the people of the United States—for demagogues in every age and land are exactly the same kind of men; since the days when Talleyrand would not receive our ministers or treat upon any terms, until he had received a bribe of a quarter of a million of dollars—the United States have risen from a dissolving league of provinces into a mighty nation. Its flag floats round the globe. It covers a continent. Alone among nations, it stretches from one of the great oceans to the other. All climates and soils; all great natural features of the earth; all productions and manufactures; all the rich results of art and science; all the splendors of a complex civilization are counted within its undivided domain. And tho peoplo of this nation, secure, by hereditary lawof their own making, in the protection of every human right, in the speedy relief and correction of wrong and injustice, enjoying " that form and substance of government whose leading object is, to clevato the condition of men; to lift artificial weights from all shoulders; to clear the paths of laudable pursuit for all; to afford all an unfettered start and a fair chance in the race of life," are also of a higher average prosperity in every relation of human life than has heretofore been the lot of nations.
This is what the French Prince sees. The spectacle can not but be edifying. He sees also clouds, indeed, and learns anew that human society, however prosperous, has yet to contend with difficulties. We do not assume that we have already lifted all artificial weights from all shoulders. We do not claim that the great argument of our destiny is fulfilled, but we do claim that it is in process of fulfillment. We do believe that the Prince himself will yet see the principle which has created the marvelous nation he beholds triumphant, and holy Peace, with a surer benediction for the future, healing our wild discord.
As for the Prince himself—Plon Plan, as he is called in Paris—ho has done nothing which distinguishes him from other princely personages. It is impossible not to look with interest upon the nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte, as upon tho son of Burns or the grand-niece of Goldsmith. The interest in the case of the Prince is enhanced by his singular personal resemblance to his uncle. One evening at the theatre in Paris, when Rachel was playing, the Easy Chair, raising his eyes suddenly to the stage-box, saw what seemed Napoleon Bonaparte standing with folded arms and gazing down upon the stage. It was the face, and figure, and attitude of the Emperor more perfect than the subtlest art could reproduce them.
When the present Emperor was President, his cousin, the present Prince, sat in the assembly with the "Mountain," or the radical members. When the empire was restored, the Prince still cherished liberal views. But he has not yet distinguished himself either as statesman, soldier, or scholar. His position as possible heir to the Emperor gives him another interest. But his chief distinctions are thus far derived more from his accidental association with others than from his own talents or achievements.
Still another interest in him arises from his marriage with the daughter of the re gdUmtuomo, Victor Emanuel of Sardinia. The Princess Clotilde is a daughter of the house of Savoy, one of the most ancient of the regal families of Europe; and her father has written his name with his sword in the history of Italy.
The conduct of Prince Napoleon in this country has been that of a quiet gentleman. He has wisely dispensed with all ceremony, and has gone about to see what he wishes in his own way, and not what Mayors and Common Councils wish, in their way. What he thinks of our difficulties, and what report he is likely to make to the Emperor, no one can say. But it may be very readily imagined that no great power is seriously sorry to see another in trouble, unless itself is immediately involved. If Louis Napoleon thinks it for the interest of France, and consequently of his own dynasty, that there should be a third great maritime nation, he will be very firm in his friendship for the Government of the United States. If he supposes that his interest requires division, he will very readily acknowledge the independence of the Southern Confederacy.
The Committee upon the National Hymn reported that among twelve hundred contributions they found none of such striking excellence that it should receive the premium. The "newspaper press" have, upon the whole, treated the Committee very gently. When the proposition was first announced the gentlemen of the Committee might have been supposed peculiarly destitute of common sense. "Write hymns to order! A price for inspiration! A paid muse!" was the general outburst; "the gentlemen of this Committee must be singularly ignorant if they are not aware that a national song is the offspring of an emotion that can not be summoned for a price. They may call songs from the heart of a people, but they will come at no sound of chinking gold. The lyric music is no venal prostitute, but shows her face and awards her favors," etc., etc., etc.
The "newspaper press" was eloquent upon the theme that great songs could not, and were not, and are not, and, indeed, should not, be written to order. Somebody, or something, seemed to have been outraged or slighted, by the suggestion that if before a certain time a poem should be sent to certain gentlemen which seemed to them worthy to be a national hymn, they were authorized to give the author a certain sum of money.
To suppose that those gentlemen imagined that the money would necessarily produce the hymn was supposing a great deal more than the occasion warranted. But there are probably very few gentlemen who, if they were asked to do so simple a favor as the serving upon such a jury, would refuse. There is sure to be a great deal of fun in the performance of the duties; and there can be little doubt that, if the Committee could honorably have published a
volume of the most extraordinary contributions sent to them, it would have been one of the drollest and most entertaining books of the season—sure to secure a considerable sum for the Patriotic Fund. And if some heart glowing with patriotic fire had flamed into song, where is the harm of giving the writer a chance to send the song to a committee and get money for it? It was not necessary that the hymn should have been written at the call of the Committee, but only that it should be written. Let it spring, as the "newspaper press" says such lyries must spring, out of the heart swept by a passion of patriotism that can not be hired. All right. That is the way such songs generally come. Is the author, therefore, to be deprived of any reward? Is there any immorality or impropriety in offering a good dinner to a man who has written a good poem?
But there is still a word to say upon the general subject. It is not true that the greatest works of art may not bo producrd by commission. Mr. Pye, the Poet Laureate of George Third, certainly did not sweep the lyre to make the world resound for his pipe of canary. But the Pickwick Papers of Dickens, the Vatican frescoes of Raphael, and the Requiem of Mozart, are all works of the highest genins and were produced to order.
"I was a young man of three-and-twenty," says Mr. Dickens, "when the present publishers (Chapman and Hall), attracted by some pieces I was at that time writing in the Morning Chronicle newspaper," came to him and asked him to write a "monthly something" which "should be a vehicle for certain plates to be executed by Mr. Seymour;" and the idea of a "Nimrod Club" was suggested. Dickens preferred not to have a sporting club; but he says, "I connected Mr. Pickwick with a club because of the original suggestion."
If the publishers had issued a public advertisement that they wished a work of that general character to be written, how the public would have informed them that great works in literature were not written to order; that you couldn't buy inspiration by the page as you bought ribbon by the yard; that great works sprang out of great experience, and that Pegasus was not a livery horse. Neither the publishers nor Dickens seem to have thought of those excellent things. They issued a private advertisement, and the result was Pickwick, for which the genial writer has been paid many a rose-noble; and many more may he receive and enjoy!
As for Mozart, ho did not even begin to write the Requiem until ho had received part of the payment in advance.
There was, then, certainly no harm in inviting poets to send their songs, whether old or new, so they bad not been published, to the Committee. It was the Committee really that was upon trial. They did not undertake to say what should be the National Hymn, for that only the favor of the people could determine. But if they awarded the prize, they did by that act declare that, in their opinion, the prize poem was worthy to be such a hymn. With great prudence, however, they reserved the right of refusing the premium to all, if none seemed to correspond to the conditions. We must allow that they were a tolerably shrewd committee. They gave themselves the largest liberty. They did not mean to decide upon abstract poetic merit. They probably did not anticipate very signal success, and they ore, unquestionably, not very much disappointed.
There is, however, a book of contributions to be issued, with the consent of the authors; and the Court of Last Appeal, the Public, will have the opportunity of reversing the verdict of the lower Court, the Committee.
The Easy Chair lately called upon an old acquaintance, or, more properly, the scion of a family which he had known upon the banks of the Kile. It is an ancient African family of wide repute and of the most solid and weighty character. The younger representatives have an extraordinary personal resemblance, so marked that, although the one upon which I called in this city was individually unknown, the general likeness and traits were so unmistakable that we had the most delightful interview. The family is not loquacious, and the family manners are languid even to laziness. But the purity and innocence of expression in the broad face are very winning, and there are a great many whom we all meet in society who talk more but are little wiser.
One curious habit which I remarked in the member of the family abroad I did not observe in the friend here. The foreign one used to bathe in milk. A tank, in fact, was filled with milk, and the scion of the old family descended into it incontinently and disappeared. It was an eccentricity, also, that he did not stay to undress himself; but, to state it candidly, went in as he was. After the lapse of some minutes his bald, benignant head and face emerged, he breathed long and heavily as if sighing, and after beaming around in token of content and amity with all mankind, he dipped again and left the world to the spectator.
Afterward I met the distinguished stranger in London. The Nepaulese embassadors were also there, but their greatness and importance did not overshadow the claims of the African. The nobility and gentry thronged to visit him. The London Timet, most obsequious of snobs, courted him, and entertained its friends with endless twaddle about him. The town in the height of the season was in a flutter of delight. But the illustrious stranger was perfectly undisturbed. He took his milk bath with the greatest equanimity before the eyes of the loveliest ladies in the land, and beamed about, upon rising, with a depth of stolidity which might have made a prime minister frantic with envy.
It was undeniable that the stranger was a Pythagorean. He ate no meat. The costliest viands, the most sumptuous banquets, were unheeded by him. He desired only farinaceous food prepared in the simplest manner. Wine, also, he seemed to bo principled against; yet he never said that he was a teetotaler, nor was he once heard to inquire about Father Mathew among the distinguished people of the British empire. In truth, ho confined himself in drinking to milk and water; in eating, to the plainest grains and greens. And ho throve upon it wonderfully. He was certainly much tho largest stranger in London. His complexion was even more tawny than that of the Nepaulese embassadors, and his Princely placidity was much more profound than theirs. They were sometimes guilty of betraying curiosity or surprise, but he never. You might have supposed him to bo born in London, so entirely did he adjust himself to what he saw and heard. You might have believed him of the highest /on, so utterly indifferent were his manners. There are few kings or queens in the world who have such serenity of deportment as he. Like the Pope, he took his meals entirely alone. Others assisted: indeed, I have seen countesses and other fine ladies present, but they were there only as the Cardinals and Mon
signori surround the Pope; they were only princely servitors. The placid stranger revived the habit which used to prevail in medieval courts, of admitting spectators to the daily repast. But I never ceased to wonder at the change which had been wrought. I left him in Cairo a hippopotamus; I found him in London a lion.
It is said, indeed, that the one which has been recently in the city is the identical marvel and seusation of London ten years ago, and, indeed, he limped, as if it were possible. But I am inclined to see in his infirmity a sore foot and not age. No uubiased eyes could look in that artless face and call it old. Time, if indeed he has been at work upon the old friend of the Easy Chair, writes no wrinkles upon his leather brow.
Of all amorpheus mousters the hippopotamus is the most engaging. He is a beatified rhinoceros. He bears no horn, indeed, but then he needs no horn, except of milk and water. Innocent himself, he is the friend of little children. If he is still here when you read this line, take the children, indulgent parents, and treat them to hippopotamus.
No English poet had ever such an enthusiastic welcome as Alexander Smith when he published his first poem, seven or eight years ago. The Reviews exhausted superlatives and surprise; and while many critics declared that they did not exactly know, and could not precisely see, they were borne down by the loud cry of welcome and delight which greeted the new singer. It was hardly possible that the enthusiasm should not cool. Of course the critics presently began to call the poet to account for the ardor with which he had been received; and now that he has sent out his third venture upon the sea of public opinion, the critical journals find that there is "promise," and so forth, but that he is still crnde and imitative.
Long ago, when the Easy Chair was a mere bench, or stool, he was once speaking to a philosopher about a new poet. The young Chair thought that the singer was wonderfully wise. "I don't care about his wisdom," said the philosopher; "has he music? do his lines ring? A poet who begins with jingling nouseuse begius well." Alexander Smith began with more than that. And his last poem, "Edwin of Deira," which is printed entire in this number of the Magazine, shows that, despite the wild praise and the sharp sneering which have surrounded him, and which might well have sadly affected a man who had not a clear brain and a calm heart, he has quietly pushed on, cultivating and concentrating his powers, until he has produced a poem which is so much stronger and matured than any he has yet written that no one can feel that his flower was not to grow into fruit.
That it should be called Tennysonian: that we sheuld hear that the poem would never have been written but for the "Idyls of the King:" that it should be charged with conceit and high color, is only natural, because it is a poem of this time: and every poem of to-day has, and must have, a certain interior resemblance to every other. The spirit of tho age as surely makes its mark upon every work of the age as the sunlight steals into every valley, I as well as pours upon the mountaius. The poetry > of Tennyson is typical of the poetry of the age. That Alexander Smith's may remind you of it is not nce'essarily more surprising than that Marlowe, or Ben Jouson, or Beaumont and Fletcher should remind I you of Shakespeare. It certainly does not show that