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New-York tribune. [volume] (New York [N.Y.]) 1866-1924, January 05, 1908, Image 21

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SHIRLEY Mi(><)KS.
i Bio^aphij of the Second Editor
of "Punch:'
rinni EY lUtOOKS OF PUNCH. His Life. Let
ters and Pianos. ISy George Somes Layard. ll
lurtraied. >>v<>. pp. 539. Henry Holt & Co.
A man of quick wit. who worked with enthu
siasm and as hard as ho played, who never
failed :n duty •..". in loyalty, a big-hearted man
wh<"se sympathy and kindness were inexhausti
t?n. a Jovial man who ne'er wanted .i friend nor
a bottle to givo him— *=ueh was Shirley Brooks,
F«cond editor of "Punch," th comrade, lieuten-
ar.t and successor of Mark Lomon. He was one
of tho group gathered, week by week, round the
T-mous mahogany tree — a group including
.imrng others Thackeray, John Leech. Tom Tay-
Irr. dv Maurier and Tennicl. If of that notable
company Mr. Layard has few new anecdotes to
teli vs — in truth its members have been pretty
well exploited already — he at least gossips with
grnial feeling about old friends and we need
net complain that the gossip is often a little
■yed and sometimes trivial. A great deal
of unimportant stuff is included; many of
rr>»)ks's letters are of trifling value. Severe
failing, in short, would have much improved this
-.itch of cue who was himself an uncommonly
competent editor.
It i? only in these i ag> - and in the reminis
,,-.-os of comrades of those clays that Shirley
Brooks will live. For this man ho was an in-
Comitabte toiler, driving his i>en incessantly,
lof; nothing which has wen cherishing remem
brance. His novels made no SHOO] as worth men
lioning; his plays. pr<Hluci-d by such actors as
Claries Matbews, the Keeleys, and Charles
Kfiir^ were temporarily amusing-, but had DO
'jl.~Vv qualities: 2;is clever verses turned off
with extraordinary facility were admirably
ijapud to the purposes of satirical journalism,
»>ut not to perpetuation as poetry. For "Punch,"
indeed he was an ideal eassisr and contributor,
writing an*3 guiding ::.• writing of others with
•.jtt and generally with excellent judgment. In
<3c raatt«r. however, that judgment certainly
fiilM. He was Mark Lemon's chief assistant in
the years d-ri"p which America was struggling
through the t'ivil War and "Punch** was stead
ily Tr.akinjr itself offensive toward the combat-
Shirley, it is chronicled, had been one of
•:,. worst offenders. Then came Lincoln's as-
Eassination. and "men's eyes ■ • ned to the real
tjUcnCar of the man's character, the difficulty
arc !T*'~'ry of his achievemeut,** In sackcloth
and ashes "Punch" knelt at that bier. Let it be
remembered always of Mark Lemon that he
prir-Vd the noble ■..■•' • of Taylor's from
which we take these lines:
v CT - vj fcac liv'd to shame me from niy sneer,
Tn lair.c my j»-n<il a.nd confute my pcn —
To n^Je me own t:^ laud of prince? peer.
Th:s rail-splitler a true-bora king of men.
Vt a 3uis^Trent I had learn'd to rue.
•»otra= how U» occaston't! height he rose,
How iis «u*int wit made home-truth set-in more
How,/feun-lJke, his temper grew by blows.
-.. avowal that we have been a bit mis
•.aierl" "sai-i Mark Lemon at the following
-Punch" dinner, "is manly and just." Brooks
wa? me of the members of tiM staff who did
ta& iurr-f- with ••. editor, protesting that
-Pun< h" had not been blind and shallow, and
even if it had they ought not to own it. An
. utry in his diary record? the utterance of this
roxest against the verses In which "Punch" was
not only made to eat 'enables pie, but swallow
dish and all." Oddiy enough these fine verses
were in many quarters attributed to Brooks
himself, and Mr My" has wasted much un
n-<ssary time and ink in showing how he
V^niutrfy discovered that they were the work of
Tom Taylor. The authorship was known here
I -:s ago — and should, for that matter, have been
p.*ocived by any one familiar with the poetical
; ■ forma of the two nun. We know of
:. uy.zig trasa Bro<jks's pen which sucg-sts the
uLilily to produce those verses on Lincoln.
1 S-ocfcs is siid to have been more humorous in
his talk than in his writing. "Indeed, so much
rtcre did he lay upon his reputation as a
talker." says Mr. Layard, "that before a dinner
j Liny Le would shut himself up for an hour in
.; study and prepare ... conversational
fray. Arid well be was rewarded, for he it was
■.\ r. k*-jit the tabl-^ in a roar, and with bis hand
.s-^:r.'? face and charming voice every one in
a sood humor." "vVe w ill not say that the witti
ci-.-rr; which his biographer quotes smell of the
s'-=jcy lamp, but they are certainly not of the
brUliart sort that will b*ar the ordeal of repeti
tica in <%»ld type. At the moment they ser\-ed
: o doubt. He had the art of blithe nonsense,
!1* -:arkl:r-s froth upon the cup of gayety, ana
this we ire slad t<> credit without looking for
illustrative anecdotes. He had a ■wonderful
■ ■•■•:'-.yry, •:•- for English poetry — the pick
• f :t, we are told, from Chaucer to Tennyson
*i!- his tonjrue's end One who knew him
» '■.] says that as a test of memory he would
- ;«<J a pa^e of printed maltt-r backward ajid
■ ■ in immediately r* > > at it forwards.
};:s caracity fur Lurd work was a.- remarka
i • as his m«-mory. Not content with copious
' I ro^uiar contributions to several periodicals
v. ould have on hand a burlesque or a melo
■ .Tii and a Inrjsr sej-jaJ novel in addition; and
-.-.as pr^ud, it is said, of having written six
■•~- in one day at three puineas apiece. As to
his :::rar\- methods hJs DTorraphtr quotes the
m:\y-youk daily tribune; Sunday, jam ary 5, i9ea
reminiscences of a "Punch" contemporary who
dice heard Thackeray and Brooks comparing
notes about their writing:
Thackeray was now editing the "Cornhill" an.'.
contributing to it "Hi. Roundabout Papers." "It
takes mi a couple of days to choose a subject for
a Roundabout. " be said, 'then a day to write it,
and I earn ■ hundred pounds. When 1 get my nose
down to the desk tii, thoughts rome pretty freelj "'
" " do mm.-.- sad Shirley, "but I haven't got a
<l<-sk. and I never think of a subject beforehand.
The words fast enough, but not In a flux like
pome folks."
That was just where Shirley failed and Thacke
ray succeeded. Thackeray thought out and di
gested his i(l*-as beft»re he put pen to paper. Shir
ley scratched away at his paper until the effects
me. There was just the same difference between
their work ac there was between the black-and
white work of two others of the great "Punch"
brotherhood, t'haries Kecne n»'ver laid a line down
without beinc; su-o thai it. conveyed his v Tact
meanintr. I>u Maurier laid down a dozen lines
Ikefore be discovered th* 1 exact meaning he wished
to <<>uvev. As ( ••.;.•;...■ Ke. i. left nothinc so did
T'-i.Vir: i leave nothing, to phancc. . . . Shirley
left evervthinir tO change, trusting to his cl*>v« mess
tn Mill him thwwHfh. with »He rmutt th'it his "casv
w-ritin:- ■- fenced what Sheridan called "cursed
hard read're."
In one particular the» pages arc v.-inning — in
tl-.at they portray a man who had a genius for
friendship and for sympathy. The him jit I Illiim
ing and sJEectioaate generosity with which he
nishfd t> thr r<sr-,ie of those disabled by illness
and po\<rty. the delicacy with which he hid his
ministrations the reader cannot note unmoved.
The remembrance of countless kindnesses still
Ms in the dust that is thickening upon his
• admired -writings.
rnr nor. ait collect jos.
An Interesting Somrcnir of Corot in /7i<- Old
A <"\
There has just been sold in Paris a collection
• four 1 - ore paintings and drawings be
longing to If. Alfred Bobant, the friend of
Corot. who. with M. Moreau-Nelaton, compiled
the Invaluable work on the paintings of the
French master. From the catalogue of the
sale, which w« have received from M. Durand
• s api rent that the owner of this col
ion enjoyed sonu rare opportunities. With
irks of Corot and Delacroix he was espe
. ia'.ly fortunate. One picture by the former,
•The Belfry of Douai," ■which we reproduce,
has a notable persona] significance.
In 1871, during the Commune, the painter was
_- for a time with M. Robaut, at Douai.
]]• was then m his seventy-fifth year, but still
-.-•d ali that gayety of spirit of which his
'.•rs have had so much to say. He
: over this picture v Itfa great care, giving
"stances** to Its completion and then, as
a furthei expn i of Interest, he introduced
n j...rti-ait into the scene. He painted
himself In the blue blouse he wore wl^n at
work, standing in ta:k with a woman placed
roregj .A. It is a tiny figure, but the
auth< r of the preface to M. lioljaufs catalogue
states that th«> resemV.lance is exact, giving a
I idea of the old painter. For this rea
.- well as for the beauty of the picture,
which is one of the finest studies Corot ever
i:.a.:e outside his familiar province of landscape,
It would be pleasant to hear that "The Belfry
of Douai" had been bought by an Americas
collector.
Th' forthcoming work of Mr Cj^orge Bernard
Shaw is an essay or: religion, an amplification of
a series of lectures recently given by him These
lectures aroused much controversy — a.nd adver
tij inc.
ANATOLE FRANCE.
A New Portrait mid Same (rlimpsts
of His Home.
In tht current number of ' L'Art el tea Ar
tistes." there is an Interesting paper by M
Camille ftfanclair on the paintings m oil and
th.- pastel draw Ini;^ which a young artist of
Pa-is has recently dedicated t. the personality
and home of m. Anatole France This artist,
M. Pierre Calsoettes, \ .v-- made not only the por
trait of the distinguish* d writer reproduced on
this page but a number of studies of the dif
ferent r-mms in the Villa Said. From these it if
apparent that the author of "T/Onne «"J Mai!"
is as much the man of tast" in his surroundings
as in his b«.»oks. His house is full of exquisite
treasoreq, relics of al ! titnes arid of all countries.
Th' centra! effect of the collection ii 1-'1 -' evidently
rich i*nd even sombre, but we gather from M.
Mauciair that a peculiar delicacy of feeling in
the collector is everywhere discerned. He hints
that one might divine in foni" literary passage
written by M. France his pleasure in this or
that work of art within hi? walls, the beauty of
a bibelot reacting upon the author's mind. It
•TTIE BELFKY OF DOUAI.''
(From ihe painting by Corot.)
is ir.terestirg to note that among the novelist's
porsessions the art of Ingres is represented.
The -reader of M. Vrnnce can well understand
how he would be one of those to delight in the
consummately pure and beautiful draftsman
ship of the creator of "La Source."
More than one new book may. by the way.
soon be expected from the pen of the most be-
ANATOLE FRANCE
(Froni the portrait by Pierre Calmettea )
gTjiling of living Fi.nch writers. He ha.s in
press a collection of literary, philosophical and
religious essays, gathered together under th
odd title of "Penguins." and he is finishing a
new novel. Of the latter book it is said that
it is understood to b< mon realistk in method
than anything he has yet written Then, too,
we may have before long th< work on Jeanne
d'Arc which for thirty years ot more has b<»en
always in the thoughts Bf M. France.
LITERARY NOTES.
A voluminous work on Emerson, written hy
the Messrs. Dugard. has ju^t appearei! in
France. Its title is "Ralpta Waldo EUnerson, .«a
Vie. bod CEuvre."
English subscriptions to the K*iit i Tin 11>y
memorial in Rom«» are not rctninß in as rapidly
as it was h«>ped th'-y wooM. Th. y n^w amount
t' 15,006; Americana have contributed 112,5*9.
The Third International Congress for the His
tory of Religions la to be held in Oxford next
September. The meetings of sections for the
reading of papers and discussions will deal with
these subjects:
I—"The1 — "The Lower Culture" (Including Mexico and
Peru). 2 — "The Chinese and Japanese." — "The
Egyptians." 4 — "The mites. — "India and
Iran." 6 — "Greeks and Romans." 7 — "Germans,
Celts an.l Slavs." ! — '•Christianity." English.
French, German and Italian will be. recognized a3
official languages.
The aim of the congress is to elucidate the
history of religions.
Edward Lc-ar. the author of the inimitable
"Nonsi-nsr- Book." had, we are told, a great
gift for "(Id sew words and compounds. In
the volume of his letters lately publish*-,] he
speaks, says "The London Spectator." <>f cars
bumbling into his room: he is filled with pride
and confiatulation; he likes nnonn lanrnnn let
ters; his osbervations are triumphiliginous.
Mrs. Schimmelpennick (Lear might hay.- in
vented this name, which he translates into
Skimmywiggle) confuses enthusiasm and
Bplombonglified religion; he cannot write e.in
secutively for pbits of coffin; bis life goes <-n
sUombionbiously; the situation is sklimsiin
fious; and so forth. Finally, here is a stanza
"with a record nonsense word in it:
But if you are not corning now
Just write ;i line to Bay so—
And I shall still consider how
Ajosky boskybayso.
It is remembered that at the sale in London
last year of items Cram an American's library a.
fine copy of the first edition of "The Compleat
Angler"' brought the turn of 9C45t. Not long
ago an imperfect copy wa.« sold for something
over $1,000; and the other day -one still more
imperfect brought $500.
The prices of first or early editions are mat
ters of record which always have a fascination
for the booklover. Htre are some of those re
cently noted: First comes the "Vicar of Wake
field"" of 1766, held at $600 — twice as rr^ich as
Goldsmith got for writing the book. The Ben
Jonson of 1616 cannot be purchased for less than
$1,500. The first edition of Keats is, like that
of the immortal "Vicar." held at $600: and
Chapman's "Homer" of 1508 at $1,025. One may
buy the first edition of Shelley's play. "The
Cenci," for $480: and the 1851 edition of Mr.
George Meredith's poems for $ISO.
Manuscripts of celebrities bring high prices
in these days. Shelley's "Proposal for Putting
Reform to the Vote" is priced at $2,625; Brown
ing's manuscript note on his "Pauline" at $1,375.
We are not told how much is asked for an auto
graph note by Lady Hamilton found in an odd
volume of Moliere which she had given to a
Miss Knight. This note informs the reader that
Miss Knight is "dirty, ill-bred, ungrateful, bad
manard, false and deceiving. But my heart
takes a nobler vengeance. I forgive her."
At the end of this month a work left by the
late Joris Karl Huysmans will be published
in Paris, under the title of "Trois Eglises ft
Trois Prlmitifs." At the same time will be
Issued a volume by MM. Henry Ccard and
Jean de Caldain, entitled "J. K. Huysmans, in
time, I'Artiste et le Chretien. '
The blunders made by schoolboys under ex
amination are sometimes of a most engaging
comicality. Witness these, reported by "Tho
University Correspondent":
"The Complete Angler" is cnother name for Eu
clid, because he wrote all about angles.
Sir Arthur Wellesloy, son of Pitt, founded the
WeUeaieyan chapel people.
During the Information »very clergyman was
compelled to receive thirty-nine articles.
The masculine of heroine is kipper.
A problem is a figure which you do things with
which are absurd, and then you prove it.
Opus est maturato — a middle-aged man wanted.
-liquo atque parato anlmo rriorlar--! shall di* in
prepared spirits and water
Un chef d*fleuvre— -A clerk of the works.
Les bora d'oeuvres — The unemployed.
Caerutea puppis— A Sky terrier.
Amatory verses are those composed by amateurs.
Income is a yearly tax.
The dodo is a bird that is nearly decent now.
Three hundred and forty years ago Darniey
— "the intolerable Darnley." Mr. Lang calls him
was cruelly murdered at Kirk-o- Field. The
anniversary of the deed falls on February 11
Had Mary Stuart guilty knowledge of the crime?
— it is a Question which will probably he dis
cussed to the end of time. It is one which is
so full of interest that we rrrnst tot fail to quote
what Mr. Lang — who would certainly prefer to
hold the Queen blameless— lately written:
I admit that her guilt is "not proven," and can
not be proven, but, to tell the truth, the matter is
almost not doubtful. It dot rut follow that the
woman who was goaded into this great crime by
long years of treachery, Insult and ingratitude, and
by a passion as overmastering as that of Pha'flra.
in Euripides, had not. before and after the deed :i
heart grateful and loyal, brave, tender, magnani
mous and generous. Mary was of that natui if
history Is slowly advancing to the moral certainty
of her crime, she none the less is to be admired for
her excellencies and pitied in her many years .if
cruel expiation. Certainly her death by steel was
better, as Mrs. Arbuthnot says, than the horror
haunted deathbed of Elizabeth. All this is true.
but to blink the evidence, which only fails short of
legal demonstration of Mary's i rime, is to be a
mere sentimentalist. Mary's loyal servant Lor. l
Herri*-!", was not only unconvinced of her inno
cence but showed her that he was doubtful In a
letter to herself. A let ■■- of Lesley, her representa
tive in England, is equally dubious. 1 >;> Cros. t>»*»
French Ambassador, wrote: "The unhappy fact;
are only too well Droved." To Ignore all this ami
produce testimonials in Mary's f.ivor from "those
who loved her" is not to write history. Very many
people very naturally loved her. ar<l she .Wrrve.l
to be loved. Her opponents Englishmen who '»..'.<•
to deal with her in Elizabeth's interests, Knolivß.
for example, and Throckmorton. bear honorable
testimony to her noble qualities and amiable char
acteristics. Tint al l . thus does not affect the ques
tion of her love of Botl w< i awl beT share in the
death of the Intolerable DarnJey.
Australia ha* come to the front in a legisla
tive action which is. we believe, without prece
dent. There has been established an "Austral
ian Men of letters Fund" to which the com
monwealth voted durinf the last session $2.. r .o'>.
Another vote of a similar sum !s expected dur
ing the preront session
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