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customarily is. On the subject of over, when literary journalism is well Conrad he may be malicious, but on done, as if opinion mattered, literary the subject of Ford he is always quite journalism is read first for its own sake solemn. Moreover, like so many men and then for its recommendations. who emphasize their own qualities, he Crosland showed that there was somedoes this with some anxiety. Possibly
Possibly thing to criticize. He also showed that is one of the reasons which make that there was a mind engaged upon me suspect that Mr. Hueffer is not current literature which was alert, well an artist; for the writer who is not an informed, and merciless. If a book artist is invariably one who tries to was praised in "The Outlook”, there convince others of something which he was every prospect that it was a good does not himself believe.
a better state of things than that in vogue at present,
when a series of good reviews no longer Another brilliant journalist is just makes a reputation or draws attention dead, and he will be missed, although to an exceptional book, so free are reit is long since he did anything particu- viewers with praise of the "right" larly memorable. I refer to T. W. H. authors. Crosland left “The OutCrosland. When I first heard of look”, which continued the feature Crosland he was making “The Out- with less vigor, and presently dropped look" the most startlingly candid it. In the meantime Crosland had critical review in London. This must gone to the office of Grant Richards be something like twenty two or three (where one of his colleagues was John years ago. Crosland used to be the Masefield); and here, in the intervals literary editor of “The Outlook”, and of literary editorship and, I think, a he used to write a “First Glance at general control of that unsurpassed New Books” similar in scope to that series of reprints, "The World's Claswhich appears each week in “The sics”, he wrote several works of a Times Literary Supplement". Cros- sensational character, such as “The land's glance, however, was quite Unspeakable Scot" and "Lovely Womdifferent from the glance of any other an”. These books were of the type literary journalist of whom I ever known as “provocative", and they heard. It was a glance that took the admirably fulfilled their aim. They skin off a book. It blistered more caused much indignation, and were books than it blessed. It was pene- very widely read. At a later period, trating, and it was savage.
“The after he had started several periodicals Outlook" at that time had the habit such as “The Tiger”, the lives of of circulating this first glance to the which were brief, Crosland was asbooksellers in a single sheet. The sociated with Lord Alfred Douglas same thing used to be done, and for all in the control of “The Academy". I know is still done, by the Chicago Here the old trenchancy was again “Daily News”. Booksellers exhibited seen, but it was coarsened and noisy. the sheet issued by “The Outlook”, Never again did Crosland as a journaland it was a good advertisement for ist show the genius of his early days. books, because the books destroyed He remained a poet, and during the and the books maimed and the books war his collected poems were published extolled were made by Crosland's in a single volume. Strangely enough, process part of a live literature. More- and characteristically, this book bore upon its title page a Spanish motto, University Press, is still very much the wording of which I forget (having alive, contains a large number of books parted with my copy to a staunch ad- which are not otherwise obtainable mirer of the author), but the purport in so handy and simple a form. To of which was that “as fast as one door me, their plainness is an additional closes, another opens". The words charm, for I must admit that I do not might apply to any roving journalist care for the fancifully dressed books such as Crosland, but they were es- which are now the vogue. I have pecially applicable to him. He was recently acquired three volumes of what would be described as "improvi- “The World's Classics", and I already dent”, in that he took no heed for the possess between thirty and forty others. morrow. He had always loyal friends, While we all owe great debts to Bohn, who helped him in time of need, and I to "The Temple Classics", "The have seen it stated that when he was King's Classics", and "Everyman's thus supplied with ready money his Library”, I find in “The World's first thought (and act) was always to Classics" a practical and unpretenhurry to Monte Carlo or some other tious collection of great value. The gambling resort, armed with the money books range from Adam Smith's and an infallible system which infallibly “Wealth of Nations" and Hume's lost him his money. I think of Cros- “Essays", through a larger selection land's life as a wasted one, but only of Hazlitt's works than any other because it seems to me that he never series affords, to a six volume edition got the best out of his talent. He was of Burke, a nine volume Shakespeare, a poet and journalist of quite excep- delightful volumes of selections from tional power, whose command of the letters of Cowper and Southey, language - particularly the language a new edition of Tolstoy, an apparently of invective was out of the ordinary. complete Mrs. Gaskell and Sisters Yet he wasted these gifts upon books Brontë, to exceptional pieces like which are of no value and of no serious Nekrassov's "Who Can Be Happy and interest. The one monument to his Free in Russia", the three remarkable power is the volume of collected poems, autobiographical works of Aksakov, and even here, amid much that is ex- and so through ancient and modern cellent, there is such a quantity of classics to that venture which at this second and third rate stuff, and so moment is the cause of my particular much that is already out of date, that commendation. This is nothing less I do not feel confident of the lasting than the publication of several of the interest of the whole.
lesser known works of Anthony Trollope. The Barsetshire novels we can
get in various editions, but the notion I spoke just now of "The World's of reprinting Trollope's Autobiography, Classics” as being under the editorship and such novels as “The Belton Esof Crosland. I am not sure that this tate" and "The Claverings", is diswas ever the case, and Mr. Richards tinctly good and original. I hope the may correct me. The editorship, after support given to these books will enall, is a small matter to the book lover. courage the publishers to go on with What is much more to the point is that the excellent work. At present the this series, which, in the hands of only edition of Trollope which contains Humphrey Milford and the Oxford any books of less fame than the Barset
shire series is that which was so bravely would be a loss to the community, but begun some years ago by John Lane Archer was much more than a dramatic in his “New Pocket Library". In critic. His activities were immense. that edition were published eleven He had translated and established volumes, including, besides the obvious Ibsen in this country; he had done as selection, “Castle Richmond” and much as any man
except Mr. Shaw “The MacDermotts of Ballycloran”. himself - to establish Shaw in the (The latter is now unfortunately out of modern theatre. He had entered upon print.) What I want to get hold of is schemes for the practical improvement a readable edition of the political novels of the theatre, had done good work in of Trollope - "Phineas Finn", "Can connection with the determining of the You Forgive Her?”, “Phineas Redux”, nature of the Elizabethan stage, had and “The Prime Minister".
been a prominent member of the Rationalist Press Association, and
contributed to the number of its The death recently of William Archer publications; and he had found time means a loss to the theatre. He was to write many plays, of which one only, at all times a devoted servant of the “The Green Goddess”, as far as I theatre; and although he had been know, was ever produced. The sura dramatic critic for so many years prising thing about "The Green Godhe never lost interest in going to dess" is that nobody expected such see plays. He went to see them when a play from Archer. Yet it appears he had not to do so. I cannot imagine that, like so many more of us, he had any greater sign of devotion to the a passion for detective stories, and the stage than this. I was myself at one wild play of sensation was as natural time a dramatic critic, and although to him as the translation of Ibsen or the length of my service was not above the writing of replies to H. G. Wells two or three years at the utmost, it is upon the nature of God, or the composinow with the greatest difficulty that tion of serious works upon the probI drag myself to the theatre. Archer, lems engaging the attention of the on the other hand, was a devotee. American people. It is a fact that When I saw him about ten days before when the notion of “The Green Godhis death, he was looking forward dess" occurred to Archer he applied eagerly to a visit that same afternoon to both Sir Arthur Pinero and Mr. to “Fratricide Punished”, the old Shaw with the suggestion that they German play upon the theme of should collaborate with him in writing Hamlet which has recently been given the play. Both declined. He underin London for a few matinée perform- took the task himself, with the results ances. He was full of interest in this that are well known. All his friends play, and during a part of our lunch rejoiced at the comparative affluence talked about it with a freshness and which this play assured to Archer for vigor which gave no hint of his illness. the rest of his life. He immediately Any dramatic critic of Archer's keen- gave up writing dramatic criticism, ness and integrity - H. G. Wells at stating that a dramatist should not one time committed himself to the
express in print his views upon the description of Archer's integrity as works of other dramatists. The de"unscrupulous", so terribly immanent cision was characteristic. I believe he was it in his every act and speech - refused to accept any royalties upon
his translations of Ibsen when they have.
have. He is said to have possessed were performed. Had he accepted the power of going to sleep in any stall such royalties he would have been a in any theatre, and of waking up rich man; but he preferred to go his infallibly whenever anything of mohonorable way, doing for what he ment was said upon the stage. In the regarded as the truth's sake such work intervals of the play, instead of leaving as appealed to him. In person very his stall and as so many dramatic austere, unaffected, and reserved, Ar- critics do — going to see what all the cher was never what would be called other dramatic critics think of the a lively companion; but he was always play (this is one explanation of the ready to talk and to listen with pa- unanimity of the London press retience and gravity. He was also very garding all plays), Archer used to pull sweet tempered. When I last saw a book out of his pocket and read it him he was speaking about the ex- until the curtain rose again. The book, periments which only recently have it is alleged, was always a detective been attracting so much attention in story. I do not believe this. But it England, although they have long serves to show that Archer was one of been known by those who were those who waste not a minute of the abreast of such matters, in the course day. of which Professor Gilbert Murray, from his place in another room, was able to repeat a large proportion of Two months ago I spoke here of the test speeches or allusions made by his discovery of a “lost” work by Charles friends in secret conclave. As is now
Lamb. At that time I had not seen known, Professor Murray disliked and the book, and I was unaware that dislikes giving these performances, but E. V. Lucas questioned its authenthey have interest and importance for ticity. I learn now that Mr. Lucas is all who care for various aspects of still unconvinced that this book is by psychology, telepathy, and other mat- Lamb. From every other source, ters of which I have no understanding. moreover, although I have had no Professor Murray attributes his gift opportunity of examining the book for to hyperæsthesia. Lord Balfour says myself, I hear that there is no trace this is absurd. A scientist who wrote whatever of Lamb's hand in the proto the “Times" alleged that an ex- duction. I think some reference to planation was to be found in the these facts is due, because, as far as I transmission of sound waves; and was can tell, Mr. Shorter, the literary promptly contradicted by a fellow sponsor of the book, stands somewhat scientist. Whatever the explanation, alone in attributing it to Lamb. It it would seem that Professor Murray is still believed by several experts, is a very dangerous fellow to have in including T. J. Wise, that Lamb wrote the next room if one is discussing se- such a book, and it is to be hoped that crets. Archer would not commit him- if this is not the one the real Simon self to any explanation. He was con- Pure will presently turn up. Meantent, with his cautious mind, to await while, the new book of “Ranks and developments. Meanwhile, there is Dignities" will not oust “The King and some reason to suppose that Archer Queen of Hearts" as the prime authenhimself had a gift — perhaps the most tic find among missing Lamb treasures. valuable gift a dramatic critic could
THE GOLDEN AGE
By Arthur Corning White
S the American undergraduate being who castigated him for the “Lyrical
corrupted by the moral tone of Ballads” when the collection was first English literature as taught by young issued in 1798, felt that Wordsworth instructors in our colleges? The Presi- was a menace to good taste. And in dent of Middlebury College seems to this year of his centenary shall we forthink so.
As an instructor of English get Byron? They ran him out of Engin an American college, I take this land. Yet today every hidebound opportunity of disagreeing with him. denominational college in America In “The Age of Lawlessness” in the includes Byron among the poets a January BOOKMAN he says in effect: moral maiden should know. The teaching of the problems of con- Now I think we should look with temporary life, as they are found in sympathy into the life and literature sociology or psychology or political about us, not uncritically accepting economy, is dangerous; but the teach- things as desirable merely because they ing of the thought, manners, and as- are here, nor rejecting them because pirations of the world we live in, as they are modern, but sincerely trying these are presented in literature, is as best we may to understand, and to more than dangerous. It is fatal. discriminate, and to give encourageFrom his essay I gather he believes ment to what in all this chaos of concontemporary literature, especially temporary civilization seems to us to be English and American, could not have genuinely good. passed a censorship in Sodom.
The great trouble with the academic It is my belief that there never has cast of mind is that it insists on trying been, and is never likely to be, evidence to pigeonhole culture. It divides and for a belief in a past golden age in any subdivides. It catalogues types of field of human activity. For example, literature and differentiates periods. consider a moment the comic role of It isolates French drama, or German this illusion of a past golden age in drama, or the drama of Spain. Such literary history. At the dawn of the classifications, I admit, are convenient Elizabethan period in English poetry for the purposes of discussion, but they Sir Philip Sidney complained that the can be easily overdone. It is concountry was given over to the vulgarvenient to speak of the Queen Anne interests of money making and political satire or the Victorian novel, but it is aggrandizement, that the Muses were folly to assume that good satire ended neglected, that the halcyon days of art with the accession of George I, or that were done. And, earlier, the critics of the writing of commendable novels the Age of Chaucer felt that the litera- ceased at the coronation of Victoria's ture of real worth ended with Horace. capable son. Dr. Moody would include Wordsworth Dr. Moody would eliminate conamong the respectables, but the critics temporary literature from the curricu