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Benson. I have seen heaps of English | dissyllables. But the Princess will define women quite ungraceful enough to be men
herself better by and by. Of course, in disguise for that matter. Their entry is Psyche finds out her brother, and of course beautifully described. They come into she is persuaded to give them a little
grace ; else how should they and we see and “A little street half garden and half house; But could not hear each other speak for noise hear any more of this Female University Of clocks and chimes, like silver hammers life? And here is some of what they saw falling
and heard :On silver anvils, and the splash and stir
“ And then we strolled Of fountains spouted up and showering down
From room to room :--in each we sat, we heard In meshes of the jasmine and the rose : And all about us peald the nightingale,
The grave Professor. On the lecture slate
The circle rounded under female hands Rapt in her song, and careless of the snare."
With flawless demonstration : follow'd then
A classic lecture, rich in sentiment,
With scraps of thundrous Epic lilted out Lady Psyche's side, as a Cantab would say, And quoted odes, and jewels five-words long, for she is the younger, prettier, and better That on the stretch'd forefinger of all Time tempered of the two tutors. So the Prince Sparkle forever : then we dipt in all
That treats of whatsoever is, the state, " sat down and wrote
The total chronicles of man, the mind, In such a hand as when a field of corn The morals, something of the frame, the rock, Bows all its ears before the roaring east: The star, the bird, the fish, the shell, the flower, * Three ladies of the Northern Empire pray Electric, chemic laws, and all the rest, Your highness would enroll them with your And whatsoever can be taught or known ;
Till like three horses that have broken fence, As Lady Psyche's pupils.””
And glutted all night long breast-deep in corn
We issued gorged with knowledge, and I spoke: And accordingly,
•Why, sirs, they do these things as well as we. * At break of day the College Portress came : Peters. And to be sure they might, if She brought us academic silks, in hue
they were only taught. The lilac, with a silken hood to each,
Benson. And so might most men sew And zoned with gold; and now when these and play the piano if they were only
were on, And ve as rich as moths from dusk cocoons,
But whether it would pay is She, courtseying her obeisance, let us know another question. Here is an after-dinner The Princess Ida waited."
picture: PETERS. Ah, now for the heroine !
Concluded, and we sought the gardens : there BENSON “ There at a board by tome and paper One walk'd reciting to herself, and one sat,
In this hand held a volume as to read, With two tame leopards couched beside her And smoothed a petted peacock down with throne,
that." All beauty compassed in a female form, The Princess : liker to the inhabitants
A most lady-like substitute for the small Of some clear planet close upon the sun,
terrier that a Cantab would be promenadThan our man's earth ; such eyes were in her ing about.
head, And so much grace and power, breathing down
“ Some to a low song oar'd a shallop by, From over her arch'd brows, with every turn
Or under arches of the marble bridge Lived through her to the tips of her long hands, Hung, shadow'd from the heat: some hid and And to her feet.”
In the orange thicket; others tost a ball How do you like her?
Above the fountain-jets and back again PETERS. The sketch is too shadowy me- With shrieks and laughter. thinks. Not definiteness enough of touch
So we sat; and now when day in it, and — surely one of those lines Droop'd, and the chapel tinkled, mixt with those
Six hundred maidens clad in purest white, balts ?
Before two streams of light from wall to wall, Bessox. Yes, it is one of Tennyson's While the great organ almost burst his pipes crotchets that flower and power are full | Groaning for power, and rolling thro' the court
" A solemn grace
A long, melodious thunder to the sound What! tho' your Prince's love were like a god's, Of solemn psalms and silver litanies,
Have we not made ourselves the sacrifice ? The work of Ida to call down from Heaven You are bold indeed: we are not talk'd to thus. A blessing on her labors for the world.” Yet will we say for children, would they grow
Like field-flowers everywhere! we like them You see the finest of these descriptions well. have an amusing double sense. They are
But children die; and let me tell you, girl, at once a parody on, and a description of Howe'er you babble
, great deeds cannot die. English University life.
They with the sun and moon renew their light PETERS. Yes, I remember going to Trin- Children—that men may pluck them from our
Forever, blessing those that look on them. ity Chapel with you, and those five hun
hearts, dred young men in surplices. How inno- Kill us with pity, break us with ourselves. cent and virtuous they did look-at a dis- O children! there is nothing upon earth tance! I wonder if Princess Ida's girls More miserable than she that has a son tattled and gossipped as much when they And sees him err: nor would we work for fame, pretended to be kneeling at prayers. There
Tho' she perhaps might reap the applause of
Great were two youngsters just in front of us
Who learns the one Pou Sto whence afterthat night who were settling the next hands boat-race all service time. But certainly May move the world, though she herself effect there are many delightfully picturesque But little : wherefore up and act, nor shrink features in a Cantab's life. By the way,
For fear our solid aim be dissipated Carl, what has become of your sketches ? of frail successors. Would indeed we had been, Benson. Infandum jubes renovare. They Of giants
, living each a thousand years,
In lieu of many mortal flies, a race were so free-spoken that no one in this That we might see our own work out, and watch land of liberty dared publish them. But The sandy footprint harden into stone.” we live in hope. Do you recollect what Titmarsh says of the
After their philosophic equitation they Heraudee, how after having circumvented luxuriate in a tent, his enemies and made a great fortune, he
“ elaborately wrought “spent his money in publishing many great With fair Corinna’s triumph ; here she stood and immortal works?” That's what we
Engirt with many a florid maiden cheek, mean to do some day, so help us Puffer The bearded victor of ten thousand hymns,
The woman-conqueror; woman conquered there Hopkins !
And all the men mourned at his side." PETERS. Ominous invocation ! But how fares the Prince meanwhile ?
There is an instance, one out of many in Benson. He is invited to take a
the of the admirable
way logical ride with the Princess. You may all the adjuncts are artistically in keeping: be sure he seizes the opportunity to discuss Tennyson always seems to keep in mind the plan she had made for herself in con
Fuseli's rule “ that all accessories should trast with that which others had made for be allegorical,” and this makes him emiher, not forgetting to say a good word or nently the painter of poets. And now two for himself.
comes what all the critics consider the gem
of this work.
<-verse song about I prize his truth ; and then how vast a work
“the days that are no more ?” I rememTo assail this gray pre-eminence of man!
ber seeing that quoted in three London You grant me license; might I use it? Think Ere half be done perchance your life may fail; periodicals the same day. I bought them Then comes the feebler heiress of your plan, at the railway station. And takes and ruins all; and thus your pains
Benson. Even the same. There is a May only make that footprint upon sand unanimity of opinion about it, which it may Which old recurring waves of prejudice seem ridiculous to oppose, but I do canResmooth to nothing: might I dread that you, didly confess to you that I don't like it as With only Fame for spouse and your great deeds well as some other things in this very poem. For issue, yet may live in vain, and miss Meanwhile what every woman counts her due,
Perhaps it is from utter want of agreement Love, children, happiness ?'
with the sentiment. The past is for me a
And she exclaimed : sweet season, not a sad one at all-in con*Peace, you young savage of the northern wild. I sequence no doubt of my fearfully antiqua
ted conservative sympathies. I never could very garden wall the mėlée has taken feel, even though a great poet has sung it place, comes down with her maidens and before Tennyson,
opens her gates in pity to the wounded,
and so the women lose their cause in gainThat a sorrow's crown of sorrow is remember. ing happier things,”
ing it. You may imagine the catastrophe
-the Prince ill in bed, and the Princess and therefore
nursing him and reading to him, and what PETERS. That is the true critical fashion, must follow thence. But it is beautifully Carl, to dilate upon your own feelings and
worked out. He lies in delirium, until she neglect your author. Benson. Straightforward is the word mutterings, and casting sidelong looks at
from watching him, and listening to his then. In vino veritas. When they begin happy lovers heart in heart,” (what a to drink, the secret's let out and great is felicitous expression !) begins herself to the flutter. The Prince, scornfully expel- know what love is. At last he wakes, led, lights on the camp of his own father, who had heard of his danger, (it was a
sane but well nigh close to death,
For weakness; it was evening ; silent light capital offence for any male to infringe on
Slept on the painted walls, whereon were the University limits,) and marched down
wrought to rescue him. Poor Psyche is there ; | Two grand designs; for on one side arose she has lost herself and her child : hear The women up in wild revolt, and storm'd what a touching lament she makes for it : At the Oppian law. Titanic shapes, they
cramm'd " Ah me, my babe, my blossom, ab my child, The forum, and half crush'd among the rest My one sweet child whom I shall see no more! A little Cato cower'd. On the other side For now will cruel Ida keep her back; Hortensia spoke against the tax; behind And either she will die from want of care, A train of dames: by axe and eagle sat, Or sicken with ill usage, when they say With all their foreheads drawn in Roman scowls, The child is hers—for every little fault, And half the wolf's-milk curdled in their veins, The child is hers; and they will beat my girl, The fierce triumvirs, and before them paused Remembering her mother : O my flower! Hortensia pleading: angry was her face. Or they will take her, they will make her hard, And she will pass me by in after-life [dead. (How the lion-painters had had it all their With some cold reverence worse than she were own way! There is great humor in that Il mother that I was to leave her there,
picture, as well as artistic keeping.) To lag behind, scared by the cry they made, The horror of the shame among them all. I saw the forms ; I knew not where I was : But I will go and sit beside the doors, Sad phantoms conjured out of circumstance, And make a wild petition night and day, Ghosts of the fading brain they seem'd; nor Until they hate to hear me like a wind Wailing forever, till they open to me,
Sweet Ida ; palm to palm she sat; the dew And lay my little blossom at my feet,
Dwelt in her eyes, and softer all her shape My babe, my sweet Aglaia, my one child; And rounder 'show'd: I moved; I sighed; a And I will take her up and go my way,
touch And satisfy my soul with kissing her : Came round my wrist, and tears upon my
hand : Ah! what might that man not deserve of me Then all for languor and self-pity ran Who gave me back my child ?”
Mine down my face, and with what life I had,
And like a flower that cannot all unfold, The medley is true to its name. After So drench'd it is with tempest, to the sun, this pathos we have some fighting, for Yet, as it may, turns toward him, I on her there are three brothers of the Princess, Fixt my faint eyes, and utter'd whisperingly : tall fellows all, and one, Arac, a tremen If you be what I think you, some sweet dream, dous champion. He bullies the Prince, and I would but ask you to fulfil yourself ;
But if you be that Ida whom I knew, thereupon the North and South
I ask you nothing; only if a dream, fight it out, fifty to fifty. I am sure Ten
Sweet dream, be perfect. I shall die to-night. nyson had the Ivanhoe tournament in his
Stoop down and seem to kiss me ere I die 3 » head when he wrote this. Arac knocks over every one, ending with the Prince ; Do you remember a somewhat similar but nobody is killed, though there is much appearance in Miss Barrett, where the staving in of iron plate and bruising of Lady Geraldine visits her poet-lover, and heads. Then the Princess, under whose he takes her for a vision ?
“Said he, wake me by no gesture, sound of ornaments of the goddess more than on breath, or stir of vesture
her native charms. But now for our
Prince and Princess again. He has slept, PETERS. Excuse me, but I never yet undertook to admire Miss Barrett, and “Filld thro' and thro’ with Love, a happy would much rather you should read
sleep," straight on.
and is awaked by her reading a sort of serBenson. It is a pity to interrupt so fine enade to him, and a beautiful one it is. a passage.
Listen :“ I could no more, but lay like one in trance
“ Now sleeps the crimson petal, now the white ; That hears his burial talked of by his friends,
Nor waves the cypress in the palace walk; And cannot speak, nor move, nor make one sign, Nor winks the gold fin in the porphyry font : But lies and dreads his doom. She turned; she The fire-fly wakens ; waken thou with me. paused ;
Now droops the milk-white peacock like a She stoop’d; and with a great shock of the
And like a ghost she glimmers on to me. Our mouths met; out of languor leapt a cry,
the Earth all Danaë to the stars, Crown’d passion from the brinks of death, and up
And all thy heart lies open unto me.
Now slides the silent meteor on and leaves Along the shuddering senses struck the soul, And closed on fire with Ida's at the lips;
A shining furrow, as thy thought in me. Till back I fell, and from mine arms she rose,
Now folds the lily all her sweetness up, Glowing all over noble shame, and all
And slips into the bosom of the lake, Her falser self slipt from her like a robe,
So fold thyself, my dearest, thou, and slip And left her woman, lovelier in her mood
Into my bosom and be lost in me.” Than in her mould that other, when she came By-and-by they come to an explanation. From barren deeps to conquer all with love,
He makes an admirable confession of his And down the streaming crystal dropt, and she
faith, and a more admirable explanation Far-fleeted by the purple island-tides Naked, a double light in air and wave,
and history of it, even thus :To meet her graces where they decked her out
" Alone,' I said, ' from earlier than I know, For worship without end, nor end of mine, Immersed in rich foreshadowings of the world, Stateliest, for thee !"
I loved the woman : he that doth not, lives
A drowning life, besotted in sweet self, Peters. I suppose our classical poet had Or pines in sad experience, worse than death, one of the Homeric hymns to Venus in his or keeps his wing' affections clipt with crime; mind, when he sketched that comparison. Yet was there one thro' whom I loved her, one Benson. Possibly, but there is no ver
Not learned, save in gracious household ways, bal resemblance that I recollect.
Not perfect, nay, but full of tender wants,
No angel, but a dearer being, all dipt dite. You shall have it word for word :
Interpreter between the gods and men,
Who look'd all native to her place, and yet “Fair Aphrodité, goddess golden-crowned, Majestic in her beauty will I sing,
On tiptoe seemed to touch upon a sphere Inheritress of all the crowning heights
Too gross to tread; and all male minds perforce Of sea-beat Cyprus, whence the wat’ry breath Sway'd to her from their orbits as they moved
And girdled her with music. Happy he Of Zephyr bore her lapped in softest foam
With such a mother ! faith in womankind Across the loud-resounding ocean wave.
Beats with his blood, and trust in all things high Her lovingly the golden Hours received And clad in robes immortal; and they set
Comes easy to him.'' Upon her head divine a golden crown
And this is his satisfactory conclusion :Well wrought, and fair to look on; in her ears The flower of mountain-brass and precious gold; My wife, my life, 0 we will walk this world,
“My bride, And they decked out with necklaces of gold Her tender neck and silver-shining breasts.
Yoked in all exercise of noble end, With such the golden Hours themselves bedeck And so thro' those dark gates across the wild When they betake them to the pleasant dance
That no man knows. Indeed I love thee; come, Of deities, and to their father's home.
Yield thyself up: my hopes and thine are one : So having all her person thus adorned Accomplish thou my manhood and thyself, They brought her to th’ Immortals, who rejoiced Lay thy sweet hands in mine and trust to me." To see her.”
Enter the General. Homer, as you perceive, dwells upon the THE GENERAL. Well, Carl, what's on
the tapis now? One of the nine male Now we have a particular right to animuses of Boston, eh?
madvert upon these things in Tennyson, PETERS. No, indeed! but Tennyson's because his harmony of versification is Princess, which our friend is well nigh en- always insisted upon (and in many cases I chanted with.
admit with all justice) by his admirers. The General. It is two years or more Here, then, he fails upon his own ground. since I heard Carl talking of that poem. And it cannot be from haste, for we know The literati in England must have been ex
that the Princess has been some years in pecting its appearance for a long time. preparation ; it must be either from wilful And it seems to me surprising that they carelessness, or some perversity of theory. have not shown more disappointment—that So much for the first charge. is, if, as seems perfectly natural, they meant Next, there is to be found in this poem to judge it by the standard of the author's a superabundance of quaint and harsh exformer works.
pressions. I do not refer to the affectation Benson. Then you are greatly disap- of dragging in antiquated words, such as pointed ?
"tilth,” and “thorpe,” and “enringed;" Tue General. Not greatly, for I never but to such phrases as these :was a violent Tennysonian, But I shall be
" And then we past an arch surprised if you are not dissatisfied.
Inscribed too dark for legible." PETERS. Carl looks incredulous: he
“On some dark shore just seen that it was rich.” wants your reasons, General.
“ Seldom she spoke, but oft THE GENERAL. He shall have them. Clomb to the roofs, and gazed alone for hours First, let us begin with the vehicle and On that disastrous leaguer, swarms of men dress of the ideas, the mere structure of Darkening her female field; void was her use," the verse. Knowing that you all agree meaning that “her occupation was gone, with me in the importance of this, I have I suppose; but it is not easy to get that
' no fear of being thought hypercritical.
sense, or any sense out of the words. Every one must see on reading the poem,
The next fault I have to find is a very that much of the versification is on the
serious one. Italian model. Now this may be a perfectly ribly gross
, repeatedly and unnecessarily
Your pet poet, Carl, is terproper innovation. It is possible that
so. There, don't make such large eyes,
but listen. The Princess "O swallow, swallow if I could follow and light,"
“Was proxy-wedded with a bootless calf,” is as natural and suitable a line in the one
to the Prince. Where was the need of language as
allusion or reference to this barbarous and Molto egli opro con senno e con la mano” disgusting custom of a dark age? You
can't say it was introduced to preserve is in the other; so I will not dwell on this
historical point, though it certainly admits of dispute, cal or chronological keeping in the poem.
for there is no historiBut there are many lines built on no model The Princess talks geology and nebular at all, in short, not verse at all. What do
hypotheses, and the Prince draws his simiyou say to this?
les from fossil remains. Then, again, the “Strove to buffet to land in vain : a tree;"
break at the close of the innkeeper's
speech—why, the suggestion conveyed by or this
it would be low for Punch, and only in “ Timorously and as the leader of the herd.” | place in the columns of a Sunday news
paper. And why the Prince's question And there are plenty not quite so lame about the want of anatomic schools in the as these, but very faulty, such as— female University, but for the indiscreet
inuendo which it conveys ? “ Albeit so mask'd, madam, I love the truth.” “Of open metal in which the old hunter rued.”
Benson. You grow over nice, General. "I did but shear a feather, and life and love."
THE GENERAL. Nay, if I did, you ** Life. And again sighinğ she spoke, 'A would hear me objecting to the whole dream.'"
scene of the three young gentlemen's dis