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strolls on Whitney Avenue! This autumn weather is fine if you strike it right. The purple asters and the golden-rod are out, and the leaves are turning, each one different from its neighbor and each one its own peculiar combination of colors. We go out past Winchester's, sleeping from its week's slavery, down a back street or two, across the single track of the Valley Road with its two trains a day, over some dumps, and behold! the city lies behind us, Winchester's chimneys rising like yellow pencils. The land before us is bare and flat. Beyond, East and West Rocks crouch like watch-dogs with fangs of red stone; and a low range stretches between them, the leash, if you will. It is hot. A thin mist covers the hills and lowlands. We make our way across the half-cultivated fields, blotched here and there with thin patches of lettuce and parsley, threading among the dead stalks of corn; small boys, in a gang so common to New England Sabbaths, hoot at us as we pass; and soon, dripping grandly with perspiration, we approach the central range.
I said that we should find adventure. It towers before us now, a tall quarry of grey granite, fierce and magnificent. At its foot is a curious machine, much like a bottle in shape, which, in its active moments, crunches and spews forth this crushed rock we see strewn everywhere. It is quiet now, with other observers of the Sabbath, and emits a gasp of steam from time to time. Pipes, in which run wires that detonate the dynamite, wriggle in snaky lengths upon the cleaved surface of the cliff, taking advantage of numerous ledges and crevices. Half way up they cease; and the face rises, seamed with crannies and chimneys, or smooth where the blasted rock has fallen away. At the summit faint grasses wave against the sky. We are in an assaulting mood. One of us is a mountaineer from childhood, the other a mariner. Not good, you will say, the latter, for scaling cliffs. But wait! Think of the top-gallants or the royal-tops in a stiff breeze, when the ship is rising bravely, a bone in her mouth! Think of the unsteady heaving of the shrouds, and the dizzy shinny to the topmast! And remember it were well to have a steady head before you go aloft.
The first few feet are simple enough; we take them on the run. Now, more slowly, please; and mind the stones! The rocks are scurrying like rats down the slope behind us. We pass the limit
of the pipes. The drop below has become longer, the crunching machine looks like an inkwell, and the loosened stones take three gigantic leaps to reach the bottom. The grasses above are nearer, and wave valiant encouragement. The mariner is making heavy weather of it, progressing more upon his belly than upon his feet; but that is the way of mariners. An unsteady moment. The grasses are almost within our reach, but there is a smooth surface it would take the coefficient of friction of a fly to stick on. Are we flies? Heaven knows; at least we are passed, a squirm and a wriggle, and both are up, clutching the good friendly grasses. And then......
Down the sheer of the cliff the crunching machine has almost vanished, and on the flat-lands the patches of parsley and lettuce are dark blotches, the corn is a blotch of a different consistency. The chimneys of Winchester's have disappeared below the skyline. Away to the right is that crouching bull-dog, West Rock, his red-rock ferocity softened by the grey mist, and his autumn brilliancy dimmed. The mariner says Corot would have painted such a scene. I do not object. Near us the purple asters are in glorious profusion, golden-rod, splendid in their dusky raiment, and sumac, with reddest of red leaves and tassels. In the distance the hills are a miracle of color, reds, browns, and yellows, slashes of old green. The world seen from the heights is like a painter's palette, the tapestry of a king, a pageant... Would this not entice you to walk out when your motor-cycle breaks next week. the garage man, put on your oldest clothes, and set out across country. The autumn is passing fast; but winter comes soon, and brings more beauty and adventure than even this time of year. John W. Andrews.
some time? Let it Leave the fixing to
I have left thee, ocean, I have left thee,
I have found this leaving thee, bereft me
Of something vaster than thy wind-blown sprays.
I have left thee, ocean, left to wander
But thy depths, O ocean, depths to ponder,
I have left thee, ocean, left thy roaring,
I have left-ah, left too soon my ocean,
I have left thee, ocean, but I find thee
And though thy piercing suns and sunlight blind me,
Maxwell E. Foster.
The Kiltartan Poetry Book. By Lady Gregory. (G. P. Putnam's Sons. $1.75.)
The Kiltartan Poetry Book is a threshold over which to peer into the fertile field of Erin's folk-lore. Lady Gregory's translations are clear, unforced, and often melodious, executed with a simplicity which does much to recreate the green freshness of the originals. Old Ireland was a land of song and fable, intoned by deep-chested farmers and their great-hearted wives over peat fires in the thatched huts on their rocky native hillsides. The poetry of Erin is that of the people, direct and naïve as they, with the tang of the cool meadow winds and the quaint fancies of a pastoral folk. The bold old legends—not so old, either, to these bards of early Ireland-of heroes battling for libertytoo often, alas, to end in martyred death, or flight and exile— caught the groping imagination of the Celt as he made his songs, elaborate with quaint imagery and a whimsical irony as light as air. Frail, wistful, generous, and irresponsible-the same adjectives may be applied alike to the people and their songs. And over all, the dull shadow of oppression, turning lyricism to lamentation. Lady Gregory has preserved much in her skillful adaptation of the dialect she has mastered, retaining the rich tones and calm optimism of the Gaelic through the wail of the bereaved and the solemn hymn of the faithful. The spirit of Ireland's song is well typified by "Raftery the Poet, full of hope and love," his "back to a wall, playing to empty pockets," and his calm eye on a star-the heroic star of liberty.
But as sheer poetry, we hardly feel inclined to advise one uninterested in the Emerald Isle for its own romance, to brave the tediousness of Lady Gregory's introduction and reach the poems it presents. And, anyway, we may be grateful for the sake of modern literature that the hot Gaelic temperament took a different or is it only a more sophisticated?-phase in the great figures of modern Ireland-in Yeats, Dunsany, and Synge.
J. A. T.
Saint's Progress. By John Galsworthy. (Charles Scribner's Sons, New York: 1919.)
Easily the most-talked-of book since the "Education of Henry Adams" is John Galsworthy's novel of last summer. By reviewers it was met with almost universal praise. And yet certainly it is not a great book; and, the New York World to the contrary, it is not Galsworthy at his best.
The love scene in the abbey is very fine, Says the Atlantic Monthly: "Cyril Morland has been unexpectedly called to rejoin his regiment; the Reverend Edward Pierson, Noel's father, has managed to delay the hasty marriage for which they had pleaded; the stage is set. Rarely is the absolute beauty of vital passion so perfectly realized as by Galsworthy in the whole delicately couched and subtly symbolic episode. In the recurrent mention of the girl's strange fixed stillness, as if she were expecting something, we find a touch beyond the most adeptly tinted waxwork of our modern realism, and wholly beyond the technique that has built it.”
This, we say, is a scene which reveals the master workman, and so, too, are bits of characterization such as of the saint: "The blend of authority and humility, cleric with dreamer, monk with artist, mystic with man of action, excited in him an interested but often irritated wonder."
Nevertheless, the book seems to fail on two counts. First, the story is not gripping. Life may be humdrum; but in a book something must be happening either physically or intellectually. Great novels whether they be after the manner of David Copperfield or "The Buttery Sees It Through" are interesting page by page. "Saint's Progress" is interesting in spots. (Of course reviewers are generally supposed to read by spots, not pages.) The incidents in the book are few, the struggles (diovo) are not climactical, the book is certainly neither romantic nor dramatic. Neither does very much happen intellectually. Say what you will of Mr. Wells' more recent books, they do hold the interest because of the Herculean adventures into which the heroes' minds are driven. The mental or spiritual progress of the Saint is scarcely perceptible. He seems merely to grow older and to be finally kicked out to Egypt by circumstance. Secondly, the