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surprised that an unusual product has most nearly approximates the form and emerged. That absorbed application to the substance of a veritable drama. It scientific study need not prevent the par has greater unity of action, and a more tial development of a preëxistent literary effective climax. Its verse is more pregfaculty is abundantly proved by this ex nant and stately: one might have said periment.
more studied, if the author had not asWe say "partial development,” be- sured us to the contrary. One finds cause it is evident that Mr. Shaler's nat- it, indeed, not a little difficult to read a ural faculty for poetic expression might speech like this of Elizabeth's as the imhave been further developed by conscious provisation of a person unskilled in the and continued effort. In structure it poetic craft, unaware of any resemblance is evident that this study does not pro- between his manner and that of the great ceed from the hand of a writer practiced period of English poetic drama : in dramatic composition. The parts of
" But he's a man the romance, though they are given the
With noble gentleness to move all hearts. five-act form, cannot be called in any He strides not with his fellows, for his feet strict sense plays. They lack the com Are winged with eager thoughts. The ancient pactness of dialogue, the rapidity of ac
The common mount with panting, are to him tion, and, what is more important, the
But stepping stones which space unnoticed voids organic structure, of real drama. Mr.
That part him from his goals. So on he goes, Shaler has, he tells us, omitted something An Atlas seeking for some world that waits like one third of his material as it stood His might to stay its fall, or else to hurl in the original manuscript. What re
Some blessed orb to ruin. For such will
There is no place within this balanced realm mains might still, under the influence of
Where might needs ward of reason." a controlled as well as spontaneous creative faculty, be advantageously subjected Of the lyrics with which the dialogue is to further compression. Much of his po interspersed it can only be said that they etic matter is yet in solution, and would betray more readily than the blank verse be greatly more effective if, by that right that method of improvisation which the touch which only experience can confer, author has not hesitated to avow, even it had been fairly precipitated. But the to insist upon. As a most interesting experimenter does not profess to be an exercise in a somewhat irregular form accomplished poet, and is right in sup- of dramatic composition, this work can posing that his work possesses, though hardly fail to be read with attention ; not a supreme, a genuine poetic quality. and more than this its author does not The fourth part, The Death of Essex, ask of us.
H. W. B.
SOME BOOKS ABOUT CITIES.
It is no longer a national virtue to Dan and Beersheba, but in their little mind one's own business. The globe- domestic privacies. Yet with this introtter, it seems, has not trotted for no quisitiveness as to the holes and corners thing, nor the white man carried his bur of creation, our main interest is reserved den in vain. We feel a neighborly con for the typical cities. Expansion is a cern not only in the earthquakes and beautiful word, but the force which we famines, the wars and rumors of wars of actually count upon to advance the spe
cies is centripetal. A great city, more has so often shown in another kind of over, cannot long be a congregation with work. And in seizing upon the salient out becoming a personality. That con- element of appeal in his chosen cities, noisseur in subtle emotions, Mr. Arthur he by no means confines himself to a reSymons, is among other things a collector cord of vague emotions. “Everything in of cities, and has just brought together a Rome,” he says, for example, " impresses series of papers ? dealing with the more by its height, by an amplitude of adjusted important treasures of his collection. proportions, which is far more than the His standard of choice has been personal mere equivalent of vast space covered, and exacting. “I have come upon many as in London, invisible for its very size. cities," he says, “which have left me The pride of looking down, the pride of indifferent, perhaps through some acci- having something to look up to, are alike dent in my way of approach ; at any rate, satisfied for the Romans, by what nature they had nothing to say to me: Madrid, and art have done for Rome.” The chapfor instance, and Vienna, and St. Peters- ters on Rome, Venice, and Seville, records burg, and Berlin. It would be impossible of fond enthusiasms, are, in the nature of for me to write about these cities: I should things, pleasanter to read than the rest; have nothing to say. But certain other they are, perhaps, more profitable, as love cities, Rome, Venice, Seville, how I have is more profitable than hatred. A senloved them, what a delight it was to me to tence or two from the paper on Moscow be alive, and living in them!... Moscow, will serve to suggest the pictorial quality Naples, how I have hated them, how I of the author's descriptions, and the acute have suffered in them, merely because I discomfort to which his sensitiveness was there ; and how clearly I see them makes him liable: “ Colours shriek and still, with that sharp memory of discom- flame; the Muscovite eye sees only by fort!” The writer of these sentences emphasis and by contrast; red is comis not quite an English D'Annunzio, but pleted either by another red or by bright one cannot deny that he possesses that blue. There are no shades, no reticences, abnormal form of susceptibility which is no modulations. The restaurants are always on the fearful edge of satiety. filled with the din of vast mechanical orTo such a nature even a city may be gans, with drums and cymbals ; a great an object of voluptuous pursuit, and the bell clashes against a chain on all the record of its adventures will not be free trams, to clear the road; the music which from an element of almost pathological one hears is a ferocity of brass. The interest.
masons who build the houses build in Mr. Symons has not been unconscious top-boots, red shirts, and pink trousers ; of the perilousness of his chosen method. the houses are painted red or green or He has “ tried to do more than write a blue ; the churches are like the temples kind of subjective diary, in which the of savage idols, tortured into every uncity should be an excuse for his own sen- natural shape and coloured every glaring sations.” In this attempt he has suc- colour." ceeded quite as well as we should care to have him, for he is, at best and at The other books about cities which worst, an individuality. Moreover, he is have recently come to hand happen to not at all a person of die-away intelli- deal with material altogether different gence. The present book has plenty of from that with which Mr. Symons convigorous passages, the product of that cerns himself. Their method is less persound critical sense which Mr. Symons sonal, therefore less literary; it ranges
1 Cities. By ARTHUR SYMONS. New York: all the way from the journalistic to the James Pott & Co. 1903.
sociological, and from the sociological to
the historical. Mr. London's latest book mark, somewhat wearily but not resenthas to do professedly with one of the ug- fully, that there was only one American liest results of the centripetal tendency. in the Boston Symphony Orchestra. We His picture of London slum life is ap- do not understand that the organization palling enough, painted with plenty of of musical labor which has just advervigor and not a little coarseness; but it is tised itself so widely has made a distincnot strikingly fresh. There is something tion against the immigrant; it could ill needlessly exacerbated in the perennial afford to do so. Yet in Dr. Klein's book astonishment with which students of so we find so prominent a man as Sir Arciology rediscover the horrors of urban thur Sullivan gravely protesting against vice and poverty. The evils are there, the appointment of Hans Richter as conand we ought never to cease hearing of ductor of the Birmingham Festival: “I them ; but not seldom the social Jere think,” he says, in a letter to the author, miah seems to have insufficiently assimi “all this musical education for the Englated the facts with which his somewhat lish is vain and idle, as they are not alhasty observation has acquainted him. lowed the opportunity of earning their The indignation with which he speaks is living in their own country. Foreigners more savage than righteous ; the book is are thrust in everywhere, and the press unfortunately deficient in the firmness supports this injustice.” As Richter and dignity of mood and touch which was one of the great conductors of the might have made it literature. One is day, the point of injustice does not seem likely to lay it down with the feeling that quite clear. Sir Arthur Sullivan was, acone has been reading a long and reason- cording to Dr. Klein, “ England's greatably sensational newspaper story. est musician ; " yet how little he stands Thirty Years of Musical Life in Lon- for in world
music! The present volume don? ignores the "submerged” society owes its interest largely to the foreign of the East End no more thoroughly than composers, conductors, and players who the commercial and drawing-room circles have been inevitably in the foreground of of the West End. Its busy professional English musical life. Nevertheless, it is air is not tempered by amenities, literary an important phase of life in nineteenthor other. It has to give, in a simple and century London which the book records. personally modest way, certain reminis- And the treatment of special phases is, cences of the London experience of many apart from the personal literary method, of the greatest musicians of the nine- the only fresh method of dealing with teenth century. The book contains much metropolitan life to be hoped for. good anecdote and not a little interesting People who are fond of “fashnable criticism. A fact which it makes sur fax and polite annygoats" will find it prisingly clear is that Englishmen have worth while to glance, at least, into the persisted in resenting the preference for latest book which is made up of this sort foreign musicians which the English public of material. It is always a relief to come has unmistakably felt. One imagines that upon an English book about Paris which in America the preëminence of European succeeds in keeping clear of the boulemusicians, whether composers or players, vards and the Latin Quarter. These is pretty generally recognized. The pre- letters were written during the Second sent reviewer recalls hearing, some years Empire by a French attaché. The fact ago, an American violinist of merit re that they were originally contributed to
1 The People of the Abyss. By Jack Lon
New York: The Macmillan Co. 1903. 2 Thirty Years of Musical Life in London. By H. KLEIN. New York: The Century Co. 1903.
8 Gossip from Paris. Selected and Arranged by A. R. WALLER. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 1903.
an English newspaper would be more torical in substance, but literary in treatsurprising if one did not see at once that ment. They do not profess to be based the political allusions are of the most upon original research, but rather to pregeneral nature. In fact, the writer is all sent a readable and reliable interpretafor high life. He has no end of sprightly tion of material which has been accumugossip about court functions; he bas an lated by other hands. The comparaexcellently. light touch in the description tively recent work of such writers as Mr. of places and persons; and there is much Fiske has done much to deepen our sense amiable chatter about the pedigree, social of the value of the historical interpreter achievements, matrimonial concerns, of as distinguished from the historical inthe fashionable set in which he moves. vestigator. He writes always with grace and anima For variety, for picturesqueness, for tion, but superficially, as a talented cor richness in the elements of romance, the respondent rather than a person who annals of Old Boston can hardly rival wishes to produce literature. The let those of Old Quebec. The present narters are perishable stuff ; they yield at rative begins and continues in a style of best a suggestion of faded elegance, an
pace.” Its character as a odor of forgotten trifles; they are not alive, story is never compromised by the inthey have simply been restored for a mo troduction of minor, or, rather, insig. ment to the light. It is fortunate that the nificant detail. It is no small triumph editor has retained only one twelfth of for the authors to have succeeded in prothe material at his disposal ; and it is ducing an
assimilation of the generous doubtful if even that deserves more than data” as to the history of Quebec which a momentary audience at this time. So have now become common property. much it does deserve.
Due credit is of course given to Parkman, Some years ago a book on Egypt was the only American who both as investipublished which has proved to be suffi- gator and as interpreter stands in the ciently important to deserve revision. first rank among historians. The writer's aim is simple. He does not The style of Mr. Howe's Boston is attempt, he says, “to solve the riddle of less fluent, more anecdotal and descripthe Sphinx,” but merely to furnish “ tive. It possesses some of the qualities discursive budget of information and com of a hand book ; all of them, if we give ment, social, political, economic, and the word its best possible sense. For the administrative.” He is successful in do- general reader it is the best compact work ing just this. The book has no literary on Boston which has yet been produced. graces, but those who wish to know some Professedly historical as these books thing about the irrigation, women, ciga- are, it is plain that neither writer has rettes, bazaars, and rulers of Egypt may failed to develop a sense of intimate acfind, as Mr. Penfield says, “something quaintance with one city or the other as and not too much” in this well-made, a living personality. “The venerable well-illustrated, and pleasantly written fortress on the tidal water,” say the auvolume.
thors of Old Quebec, in drawing to a
close, ever was, and still remains, the The two books ? among our number noblest city of the American continent. which deal with American cities are his. There still works the antique spirit which
1 Present Day Egypt. By FREDERIC C. PEN Old Quebec: The Fortress of New France. FIELD. New York: The Century Co. 1903. By GILBERT PARKER and CLAUDE G. BRYAN.
? Boston : The Place and the People. By New York: The Macmillan Co. 1903. M. A. DEWOLFE HOWE. New York: The Macmillan Co. 1903.
cherishes culture and piety and domestic the public schools, the social settlements, virtue as the crown of a nation's deeds the organization of charities, secular and and worth. ... Apart from the hot winds religious, designed to meet every conof politics — civic, provincial, and na ceivable need of the unfortunate, but in tional - wbich blow across the temper- such a way as to create citizens as well ate plains of their daily existence, the as paupers.” Perhaps we have not been people of the city and the province live sufficiently ready to think of Boston as as simply, and with as little greedy am an abode of citizens ; we feel more at bition, as they did a hundred years ago." home with “ the critical attitude” and
Mr. Howe, accepting the definition of “the good principle of rebellion,” which Boston as a state of mind,” finds that Mr. Howe presently mentions as comstate made up largely of “a keen sense ponents of the Boston state of mind. of civic responsibility.” He is not trou There are other and subtler ingredients, bled by the fact, which he records, that one feels, — they are all
ent in the the Boston government is largely in the character and work of the Autocrat. hands of foreign-born persons. "The One
be in a state of mind about attempt to amalgamate the diverse ele things; Boston has always been that: ments into a common citizenship goes for- but to be a state of mind is a horse of ward through hundreds of agencies, – another color.
H. W. B.
THE CONTRIBUTORS' CLUB.
In the vocabulary of criticism the word trolled by an ideal. He might seem to An Ideallstic “realism ” has been soiled insist
the sordid side of life, but he Realist.
with all ignoble use, and one had a passionate love of beauty. Conwould hate to apply it unconditionally to sequently, in his analysis of the ugly the work of a writer whom one admired. there was always an implied contrast George Gissing, whose death is a loss with the beautiful. This idealizing tento English literature none the less actual dency grew upon him as he wrote. The because he never won a wide circle of Crown of Life, one of his last books, is readers, would no doubt be called a real far richer in spiritual nourishment than ist by those who fancy that when once The Unclassed, one of his first. they have attached a label to a man there Yet even in The Unclassed, and in is nothing more to be said about him; Demos, and Workers in the Dawn, the but such a characterization cannot be ac difference between his method and that cepted if it is meant to put him in the of others who have dealt with the under same category with Émile Zola, Flau- side of human existence was sufficiently bert, Mr. George Moore, and Mr. How marked. It was no doubt a fault in his ells, who are all realists in their differ art that he emphasized things evil un
With them it is the fact, and duly ; but he did not fail to see the soul the fact only, which seems to count. of goodness in them. He was not morBut it is the fact transfigured by the bid and he was not indecent. He did imagination that one seeks in a work not
the dark touches necessary to art; and the finest realism is not found complete the picture, but he did not put in the record, but in the interpretation them there simply because they were of the record. Gissing was a realist con dark. One feels that Zola gloated over