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The Quaker Eirenicon The Quaker Eirenicon

The Quaker Eirenicon
In our late scramble to spend our own, or secure some other body's, money, a message of beauty, distinction and serene confidence in its own truth, has been overlooked by this distracted world. There is little wonder. As well might a blackbird flute on Margate Sands on a Bank Holiday as this Quaker message, "To all men," breathe love and goodwill among them just now. The effect has been much the same: to those who heeded it matter for tears that such heavenly balm should be within our hearing but out of our grasp; to the ravenous and the rabid a... Essays - Post by : dswanger - Date : November 2011 - Author : Maurice Hewlett - Read : 4149

The Commemoration The Commemoration

The Commemoration
Eleven o'clock in the morning found the village at its field and household affairs, with birds abroad and dogs at home assisting in various ways. The plovers wove black and white webs over the water-meadows, gulls were like drifting snow behind the plow. In a cottage garden the dog, high on his haunches at the length of his chain, cocked his ears towards the huswife in the wash-house, hoping against hope for a miracle. Luxuriously full, the cat slept on the window-ledge. Meantime a roadman was cleaning a gutter, a thatcher pegged down his yelm; a milkmaid, driving up the street... Essays - Post by : whoops - Date : November 2011 - Author : Maurice Hewlett - Read : 3395

A Commentary Upon Butler A Commentary Upon Butler

A Commentary Upon Butler
Mr. Festing Jones has written a large book about his friend, and written it very well.(A) It is candid, and it is sincere; the work of a lover at once of Butler and of truth; it neither extenuates the faults nor magnifies the virtues of its subject so far as the author could perceive them; and it makes it possible to understand why Butler was so underrated in his lifetime, though not at once why he was so overrated after his death. That remains a problem which cannot be resolved by saying that his friends trumpeted him into it, or that... Essays - Post by : yrrahxob - Date : November 2011 - Author : Maurice Hewlett - Read : 1413

Skeletons At A Feast Skeletons At A Feast

Skeletons At A Feast
The other day the village was celebrating the birthday of its Labourers' Union in a manner which used to be reserved for the coming of age of the Squire's son, or for the Harvest Festival, in which the farmer might give thanks for the harvest, and the peasant, perhaps, for having been allowed to assist in winning it. I take a sort of pride in recording a staidness in the observance which I believe to be peculiar to the countryside in which I live. There was a service, with a sermon, in church, all persuasions uniting; then a dinner with speeches;... Essays - Post by : empowerism-now - Date : November 2011 - Author : Maurice Hewlett - Read : 2278

Noctes Ambrosianae Noctes Ambrosianae

Noctes Ambrosianae
Weather has sent me indoors, chance to an old book. I have been reading Noctes Ambrosianæ again. Bad buffoonery as much of it is and full to the throttle of the warm-watery optimism induced by whisky, yet as fighting literature it is incalculably better than its modern substitute in Blackwood. The sniper who monthly tries to pinch out his adversaries there--Mrs. Partington's nephew, in fact--wants the one quality which will make that kind of thing intolerable--that is, high spirits. The Black Hussars of Maga both had them, and drank them, frequently neat. I judge that the Nephew has to be more... Essays - Post by : webbcomm - Date : November 2011 - Author : Maurice Hewlett - Read : 4097

The Crystal Vase The Crystal Vase

The Crystal Vase
I have often wished that I could write a novel in which, as mostly in life, thank goodness, nothing happens. Jane Austen, it has been objected, forestalled me there, and it is true that she very nearly did--but not quite. It was a point for her art to make that the novel should have form. Form involved plot, plot a logic of events; events--well, that means that there were collisions. They may have been mild shocks, but persons did knock their heads together, and there were stars to be seen by somebody. In life, in a majority of cases, there are... Essays - Post by : getsetgo4money - Date : November 2011 - Author : Maurice Hewlett - Read : 4175

A Footnote To Coleridge A Footnote To Coleridge

A Footnote To Coleridge
Coleridge is one of our great men who require many footnotes, for there are characteristics of his which need all the extenuation they can get. How comes it, for instance, that he could write, and not only write but publish, in the same decade, and sometimes in the same year, poetry which is of our very best, and some which for frozen inanity it would be hard to equal anywhere? How could a thinker of his power of brain cover leagues of letter-paper with windy nonsense and mawkish insincerity? And finally, of what quality was the talk of one whose social... Essays - Post by : passion72 - Date : November 2011 - Author : Maurice Hewlett - Read : 2522

Sheridan As Maniac Sheridan As Maniac

Sheridan As Maniac
All allowances made for the near alliance of great wits--"the lunatic, the lover, and the poet"--there comes a point where the vagaries of temperament overlap and are confounded, and where the historian, at least, must take a line. None of Sheridan's biographers, and he has had, as I think, more than his share, refer to an eclipse of his rational self which he undoubtedly suffered; probably because it was not made public until the other day. Yet there have always been indications of the truth, as when, on his death-bed, he told Lady Bessborough that his eyes would be looking at... Essays - Post by : Paula - Date : November 2011 - Author : Maurice Hewlett - Read : 3405

A Fool Of Quality A Fool Of Quality

A Fool Of Quality
Tom Coryat, the "single-soled, single-souled and single-shirted observer of Odcombe," having finally bored his neighbours in the country past bearing, was volleyed off upon a tempest of their yawns to London. Exactly when that was I can't find out, but I suppose it to have been in the region of 1605. In London he set up for a wit, was enrolled in "The Right Worshipful Fraternity of Sireniacal Gentlemen," who met at "The Sign of the Mere-maide in Bread Streete"; had John Donne and Ben Jonson among his convives, and may well have seen Shakespeare and heard him talk, if he... Essays - Post by : Peter_Kacarski - Date : November 2011 - Author : Maurice Hewlett - Read : 3914

La Petite Personne La Petite Personne

La Petite Personne
No letter-writer's stage can at any time be called empty, because upon it you necessarily have at all times two persons at least: the mover of the figures and the audience, the puppeteer and the puppetee, the letter-writer and the letter-reader. The play presented is, therefore, a play within a play: like the Mousetrap in Hamlet, like Pyramus and Thisbe in A Midsummer Night's Dream, like the romantic drama of Gayferos and Melisandra which Don Quixote witnessed with a select company of acquaintance at an inn. The temperament of this presented spectator, himself or herself a person of the scene, is... Essays - Post by : doum3 - Date : November 2011 - Author : Maurice Hewlett - Read : 2581

Under The Harvest Moon Under The Harvest Moon

Under The Harvest Moon
She is at her full, and even as I write rising red and heavy in the south-west. All night long she will look down upon at least one corner of the earth satiate with the good things of life. I don't remember such a September as this has been for many years past. Misty, gossamered mornings, a day all blue and pale gold, bees in the ivy bloom, sprawling overblown flowers, red apples, purpling vine-clusters, clear evenings: then this smouldering moon to go to bed by! It is all like a great Veronese wall-picture, or the Masque in The Tempest--"Rich scarf... Essays - Post by : katym - Date : November 2011 - Author : Maurice Hewlett - Read : 4044

Flower Of The Field Flower Of The Field

Flower Of The Field
A county inquiry took me, one day last summer, deeply into the Plain, up and over a rutty track which my driver will have cause to remember. An uncommonly large hawk soaring over his prey, and so near the ground that I could see the light through his ragged plumes, a hare limping through the bents, further off a crawling flock bustling after shepherd and dog, were all the living things I saw. The ground was iron, the colour of what had once been herbage a glaring brown. Of the flowers none but the hardiest had outlived the visitation of the... Essays - Post by : Faizal - Date : November 2011 - Author : Maurice Hewlett - Read : 1872

The English Hesiod The English Hesiod

The English Hesiod
Now for Tusser, whom I feel that I belittled in the last Essay in order to make a point for the Boeotian. "Five Hundreth Points of Good Husbandry United to as Many of Good Huswifery" was the sixth edition in twenty years of a book which that fact alone proves to have been a power in its day. It was indeed more lasting than that, for it had twenty editions between 1557, when it began with a modest "Hundreth Pointes," and 1692, when the black-letter quartos ended. Thomas Tusser, the author of it, was a gentleman-farmer and had the education of... Essays - Post by : JoeKumar - Date : November 2011 - Author : Maurice Hewlett - Read : 3532

'works And Days' "works And Days"

'works And Days'
Some time or another, Apollo my helper, I would choose to write a new Works and Days wherein the land-lore of our own Boeotia should be recorded and enshrined for a season. There should be less practice than Tusser gives you, less art than the Georgics, but rather more of each than Hesiod finds occasion for. Though it is long since I read the Georgics, I seem to remember that the poem was overloaded with spicy merchandise. You might die of it in aromatic pain. As for Tusser, certainly he is the complete Elizabethan farmer; sooner than leave anything out he... Essays - Post by : candy - Date : November 2011 - Author : Maurice Hewlett - Read : 4042

Landnama Landnama

I have been reading in Landnama Book the records of the settlement of Iceland and can now realise how lately in our history it is that the world has become small. At the beginning of the last century it was roughly of the size which it had been at the end of the last millennium. It then took seven days to sail from Norway to Iceland, and if it was foggy, or blew hard, you were likely not to hit it off at all, but to fetch up at Cape Wharf in Greenland. It was some such accident, in fact, which... Essays - Post by : cbshop2 - Date : November 2011 - Author : Maurice Hewlett - Read : 3779

Catnachery Catnachery

Catnach was a dealer in ballads. His stock line was the murderer's confession, and his standard price half a crown. I don't know that there is a Catnach now, or a market for Catnachery, but people collect the old ones. You find them in county anthologies, with one of which "The Kentish Garland, Vol. II., edited by Julia H.L. de Voynes, Hertford: Stephen Austin and Sons, 1882," I lately spent a pleasant morning in a friend's house. I should have liked Volume I., though it could not by any possibility have contained worse matter. That is my only consolation for missing... Essays - Post by : bushman - Date : November 2011 - Author : Maurice Hewlett - Read : 3612

The Welter The Welter

The Welter
Soused still to the ears in the lees of war, I win a rueful reminder from a stray volume of Hours in a Library. Was the world regenerated between 1848 and 1855? Were English labourers all properly fed, housed and taught? Had the sanctity of domestic life acquired a new charm in the interval, and was the old quarrel between rich and poor definitely settled? Charles Kingsley (of whom the moralist was writing) seems really to have believed it, and attributed the exulting affirmative to--the Crimean War! The Crimean War, after our five years of colossal nightmare, looks to us like... Essays - Post by : bobbyred02 - Date : November 2011 - Author : Maurice Hewlett - Read : 2925

Polyolbion Polyolbion

How precisely does the Englishman love England? I remember saying some years ago that he was not patriotic in the ordinary sense, because though he loved the land, he had very little feeling for the political entity called England--whereas both will be loved by the true patriot. On recent consideration of the matter I am beginning to ask whether he does, after all, love the land itself, as the Irishman loves his, the Scot his, the Switzer his, and the Greek his. I must say that I doubt it. There is this, I think, to be noted of fervent patriots, that... Essays - Post by : blazza - Date : November 2011 - Author : Maurice Hewlett - Read : 1958

Poetry And The Mode Poetry And The Mode

Poetry And The Mode
A good friend of mine, poet and scholar, was recently approached by the President, or other kind of head of a Working Men's Association, for a paper. A party of them was to visit Oxford , after an inspection, there should be a feast, and after the feast, it was hoped, a paper from my friend--upon Addison. The occasion was not to be denied: I don't doubt that he was equal to it. I wish that I had heard him; I wish also that I had seen him; for he had determined on a happy way of illustrating and pointing his... Essays - Post by : gm1234 - Date : November 2011 - Author : Maurice Hewlett - Read : 3073

The Maids The Maids

The Maids
They tell me that a respectable and ancient profession, and one always honoured by literature, is dying out; and if that is true, then two more clauses of the tenth Commandment will lose their meaning. For a long time to come we shall go on grudging our neighbour his house--there's no doubt about that; but even as his ox and ass have ceased to enter into practical ethics because our average neighbour doesn't possess either, so we hear it is to be with his servant and his maid. They have had their day. There are no domestic servants at the registries;... Essays - Post by : cyclone - Date : November 2011 - Author : Maurice Hewlett - Read : 2654