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smaller ones), and this without knowing the water. The experiment should be made, not with the mayfly, but with gaudy quills and brilliant duns, cast over shy and cautiously rising trout.

From many quarters we hear, nowadays, jeremiads over the present position and the future prospects of our salmon rivers. Whether salmon are really and seriously diminishing in numbers I cannot say, for I do not know; but I fear there is much truth in the assertion. This, however, may be said by way of consolation, that if salmon are going to the dogs now, they were equally supposed to be going to the dogs any time this past seventy years or more. Whether it be Davy, Scrope, or St. John, 'good sport' is spoken of in the past sense ; it was even then, as Sir Humphry Davy puts it, a case of 'fuit.'

But whatever be the truth in regard to salmon, this I do knowit is within my own personal observation and experience that the rapacity of some of the London Water Companies has of late years told severely on the trout streams of Hertfordshire and Essex. The springs have been tapped, and the flow and scour of the streams have been seriously diminished.

I sincerely hope—I speak here as a fisherman merely—that the much talked of, long postponed supply of water to come from Wales to meet the needs of London will soon take a concrete shape. If it be much further delayed the Hertfordshire trout will be in the same predicament as the East Londoners—and will like it even less. Already the shallows, where they freely and securely wallowed of yore, no longer cover their broad backs and dorsal fins. And, if no check be put to the reckless action of the Water Companies, the prophecy of Isaiah will assuredly be fulfilled : * The rivers shall be wasted and dried

up. “The paper reeds by the brooks, by the mouth of the brooks, and everything sown by the brooks, shall wither, be driven away, and be

no more.

* The fishers also shall mourn, and all they that cast angle into the brooks shall lament.'

SYDNEY BUXTON.

SOME RECOLLECTIONS OF

SIR EDWARD BURNE-JONES

I FIRST knew Sir (then Mr.) Edward Burne-Jones in 1881, and it soon came about that I was honoured by his friendship. The bond between us was a common love of books and an interest in various lines of research, such as the migration of fables, the history of geographical discovery, and the origin of mediaval romance. I had at that time published nothing on any of these subjects, but Sir Edward from the beginning encouraged me to hope that I might be able to do something in these and other directions. We often had talks on my work and on subjects of common interest, and it grew to be a custom that when I called at The Grange I spent an hour or so with him in his studio if no model was present. I thus gradually got to know and appreciate his great powers on a side of which the world knows but little-his serious and thorough scholarship in all matters that interested him.

Sir Edward possessed many of the qualities that would make even a great scholar. He had a sense of thoroughness; if he were interested in a subject, he would make a point of getting all the books he could find on it, for, as he remarked, 'no book is so bad that you may not learn something from it. He had, too, remarkable powers of memory, especially of the verbal kind. I have heard him repeat line after line of such an out of the way book as the Thornton Romances, originally published in the Camden Society's publications, but afterwards reprinted by Mr. Morris. Once I remember recommending to him Professor Bury's new edition of Gibbon, and asked him whether he cared for Gibbon, for I could quite understand that there would be sides of the historian which would be antipathetic to him. In reply he rolled off from memory several of the most striking and characteristic of Gibbon's inimitable notes. This knowledge of his subjects made it at times a formidable task to talk to him about them, especially for one who has a poor verbal memory. As I used to put the contrast, he knew the subjects, whereas I only knew about them.

But Sir Edward combined with this thorough knowledge a critical and comparative power which is equally the mark of the scholar. He brought his sound sense and knowledge of the world to bear upon critical problems, often with the happiest results. Thus with regard to the problem of dating of documents in the Bible and Oriental literature generally, he remarked : 'There are always two tendencies in such things; one set of men will try and make them as early as possible, and others as late as may be. It is the fellows without imagination that try and drag down dates. As was perhaps natural, he attributed great importance to the possession of imagination even by a critic.

He had the finest literary tact and taste, and it is not to be wondered at that before he was at all known to the world Mr. Swinburne dedicated to him his Poems and Ballads. Even in quite minor things or subjects outside his own sphere he could select with unerring tact. I used to send him all I wrote, among them a volume entitled Jewish Ideals. When he had read it he at once picked out as the best bit an éloge of the Jewish mediæval poet Jehudah Halevi, in which I had put most of my own heart. He had also a scholar's sense of the suitable problem to be investigated. Thus he pointed out the large predominance of the Perseus myth in Greek astronomy. Cassiopeia, Cepheus, Perseus, Andromeda fill up a much larger portion of the heavens than could be accounted for by their prominence in Greek myth. Here, then, was a problem for the scholar to solve. So, too, he saw the importance of physical changes of the earth-e.g. the disappearance of the sea from the Sahara in determining the course of civilisation. The problem of origins attracted him like all his contemporaries, and he was eloquent on the remarkable artistic power shown by the primitive peoples in their drawings found on mammoth tusks and the like. There again was a problem which he would have liked to have seen worked out.

The subjects which interested him were very wide, and often removed from what would naturally be supposed congenial. Thus the more romantic sides of Oriental life attracted him greatly. He knew well the vast collection of anecdotage in D'Herbelot's Bibliothèque Orientale. He possessed Silvestre de Sacy's Chrestomathie Arabe, which is almost equally full of romantic episodes in early Arabic civilisation. His love of Oriental subjects may be connected with his interest in the history of geographical discovery as part of the tale how the world came to be. It was mainly the mediæval travellers that attracted his notice, like Marco Polo and the early pilgrims. Perhaps it was this that led to his friendship with Sir Henry Yule, and for some time he was a member of council of the Hakluyt Society, and up to the last he cared to know what was being done in this direction, though he refused to concern himself with the history of the New World.

The early history of cartography thus became one of his hobbies.

He had been much struck by Nordenskiold's contrast between the merely symbolic representation of the world given in the ordinary mediæval maps, as compared with the accurate coastline drawn in the seamen's portulani. He had views about map-making himself, and declared in favour of the picturesque ornamentation of the earlier maps for educational purposes.

A map, he thought, ought to show roads and towns, and ships and sea monsters, so as to rouse the imagination of the little ones. Mediæval tales and fables had great attraction for him, and the story of their travels he followed very often into minute detail. I am something of a specialist on this subject myself, but often he would come out with a mediæval tale or fable with which I had been previously unacquainted, and he would tell the tale himself with manifest enjoyment. Thus I remember his reciting for my instruction the fine fable of 'the Man, the Lion, and the other Animals' found in some versions of the Arabian Nights.

But it was chiefly, of course, with regard to the development of romance, and especially of Celtic romance, that he cared to know all that was being done. • Whatever I do in art,' he said once, 'even if I deal with Greek or Norse legends, I treat it in the spirit of a Celt.' Here he was quite the specialist; he knew his Campbell's West Highland Tales as well as a professed folklorist. He could roll out pages from the Morte d'Arthur at almost any length. Such out-of-the-way books as Keating's History of Ireland, with its early legends, or Joyce's Place Names of Ireland, were among the books he possessed, and when he possessed a book he retained all that was romantic and imaginative in it. He followed with the greatest interest Mr. Nutt's investigations into the history of the Holy Grail, while bits of Matthew Arnold's Celtic Literature were often on his lips. He was glad to get and study M. Gaston Paris's elaborate work on the romances in the thirtieth volume of the Histoire Littéraire de la France.

This side of his preparation for his life-work deserves to have greater attention bestowed upon it than has been shown in any of the notices that have appeared about him. The fine imaginative qualities shown in his treatment of the romantic legends of Greeks and Celts were not based on mere vague outlines of the original stories. He possessed in his tenacious memory just those details needed to fire the imagination of an artist. I asked him once whether his pictures came to him in the first instance as ideas or as visions. His answer was that it was mainly as illustrations of something he had read that the majority of his designs came to him. He has been called a literary artist,' and those who gave him that name spoke more truly than they knew. Once, when I compared the creative impulse of the artist to that of the divine creation, he replied : • That may be, but the Powers have their revenge for our presumption when they see our vain struggles to realise our own ideals.'

" I am not quite sure of the form of this reply.

There were of course other sides of history and literature in which Sir Edward was interested, but I rarely had occasion to speak to him about them, since I could not profess any acquaintance with them. These were mainly in connection with art. I used now and then to send him at his request postcards recommending new books which had come out upon his own subjects. He once gave me, as a kind of list, * Anything about Celtic things, or upon Byzantine or Etrurian art. On the social, ecclesiastical, and military life of the mediæval peoples in its external aspects, he was very keen to know about pictorial representations, and he made a most valuable collection of monographs dealing with these subjects. France as the country of romance chiefly attracted him in this regard, though perhaps his ignorance of German, which he deplored, may have had something to do with the selection. In connection with the Grail study, he was anxious to have the best book on the iconographic history of the Mass, and a somewhat laughable incident occurred with regard to this wish. As I was working at the South Kensington Library at the time, I looked up the subject for him, and recommended the colossal work of Rohault de Fleury, which I assured him was obviously the book he wanted. Without making further inquiries he ordered it from his bookseller, who sent in the work with a bill for something like 201., which the book was fully worth. For a long time afterwards he used to chaff me and tell the story against himself.

For Sir Edward was full of fun and humour in his treatment of the ordinary affairs of life. When glancing at the daily paper he would often pick out some ludicrous incident, perhaps in the lawcourts, or in any other of the various spheres of life, with which he would amuse the friendly circle which met him at the luncheon table. His laugh was of the 'Ho-ho' kind, and he would join in with that cheerful chorus at his own as well as other men's jokes. It was, perhaps, the greatest surprise to those who knew him solely by his art to find him so full of humour with regard to the common affairs of life. There are, I believe, proofs of this in humorous sketches which he would dash off in his letters or to amuse youngsters. I remember once holding forth on the paradox that the comic artist is greater than the serious one, because a really great humorist in art is rarer than the other kind. His answer to that was simply: 'The man who can do serious work could also do comic work if he cared ; but he does not care.'

A few miscellaneous recollections may here be put on record. On being told of an American theory explaining the superior refinement of American girls by the influence of the dry American atmosphere, he remarked quietly, Perhaps the author had better prove the superior refinement first. He told me he never cared for Euclid till he got into the eleventh book, which deals with tridimensional geometry, but it is not every boy who does not care for Euclid who

VOL. XLV-No. 263

K.

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