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of the lower middle class. If one would really form an estimate of what popularity signifies and what it is worth, he might discover a humiliating truth in the fact that the street entertainment of Punch and Judy is really more popular than "Hamlet" or "Macbeth," and that the most popular of all the songs still sung in England is one adapted to the old French melody of "Malbrook s'en va-t-en guerre," and that forms the bacchanalian chorus in circles where a spurious convivality still prevails:
We won't go home till morning,
Till daylight doth appear;
mental or comic, we might well come to the conclusion that the age of English song has passed. But this would be an error. The song worthy to be so called will continue to exist and be admired in literature and be enshrined in books, if it do not find a place in the music-stands of the boudoir and the drawing-room. Lyrical poetry will never die. It is the earliest form of poetry and in many respects the best, as has been proved from the days of the patriarchs, when Miriam sang her song of triumph on the overthrow of the hosts of Pharaoh, and of the later time when King David poured out his full soul in exultation or repentance, and when his
varied occasionally by another chant of a son, not so great as his father, because he similarly low order:
For he's a jolly good fellow,
And so say all of us;
with an extra powerful emphasis upon the final us.
Not quite so vulgar, but quite as popular, as these are the vapid sentimental songs which find favor with what may be considered the great majority of the fair sex, who possess a smattering of literary taste, and a still slighter smattering of musical appreciation that are issued in shoals by the musical publishers of the present day, to the almost complete displacement of the really good songs and the very excellent music of a bygone generation. As the literary reviews and other periodicals do not bestow much, if any, of their critical attention upon these slight and ephemeral productions, every publisher in league, it is to be supposed, with the author and composer - becomes his own critic and displays his appreciation of his own wares in the advertising columns of the penny press; calls them "lovely," "soul-entrancing," "awfully attractive," " "immensely successful," "pathetic and most perfect," "sentimental but sensible," "always certain of an encore," "most charming and descriptive," "the greatest success of the season,' 'always uproariously encored." Often, as if fearing that these encomia should fail of their effect, these enterprising tradespeople publish in extenso, as advertisements, what they call the "words" (words and nothing else) of these effusions, at a cost per line which possibly the writers of such songs would be only too glad to have in their pockets, if the music publishers would extend their liberality in that di
To judge by the ultra-popular songs of the present day, whether they be senti
had not been purified in the fires of adversity, sang "The Song of Songs, which is Solomon's." The days for the produc tion of new epic poems may have passed, never more to return, but the days of lyrical poetry will never pass as long as there are young and passionate hearts in the world, and cultivated intellects to ap preciate the noble, the pathetic, and the tender outpourings of affection and fancy which, in combination with the music of rhythm and rhyme, constitute lyrical poetry, and which only needs what it does not always obtain the music of the "human voice divine " to become "songs in the truest sense and in the highest meaning of the word.
From Macmillan's Magazine. BORROUGHDALE OF BORROUGHDALE. "For every man hath a talent if he do but find it." JOHN LOCKE.
A FEW days later, sitting again in the same place, he suddenly looked up, after a prolonged interval of silence, and inquired whether Farquart had returned his cousin's visit.
Farquart, who was painting, turned round, laughed, stared a little, and said no, he had not. All his friends knew, he declared, that he hadn't time to run about dropping those ridiculous bits of oblong paper, so didn't look for it. As for his cousin Katherine, it was useless going to see her, for there was only one sittingroom in the house she lived in, and the old woman, her aunt, was always sitting there too. Besides, poor Katherine was so immersed in her microscopic preparations and rubbish of various sorts that
one could only get a word in edgeways with her, and a visit reduced itself to discussing the Bayswater Chronicle with Mrs. Holland, who, as Borroughdale must have observed, had hardly an idea in her head, and was the most tedious old woman in the universe into the bargain.
To this explanation the latter responded with that large and massive silence of his which filled up so many of the vacant pauses of his life. Possibly there may have appeared to Farquart to be something less absolutely admiring in it upon this occasion than usual, for he presently added,
"You're always roaming about the town though, Borroughdale. Why shouldn't you call and leave my card and your own too at the same time? It would be immensely charitable of you if you would, and would save me a world of bother. Mrs. Holland, too, would go simply out of her wits with delight, and would probably send off straight for a framer and glazier, in order that yours might be duly set out over the mantelpiece!
This suggestion Borroughdale at first met also with absolute silence, and Farquart, who in fact had no idea of his agreeing to anything of the sort, and had rather thrown in the last suggestion by way of deciding him against it, had gone back to his work when he suddenly unsealed his lips to say,
"Wouldn't they think it cool?" "Cool! Who? The Hollands, do you mean? No at least of course not. They'd be delighted," Farquart replied, rather staggered however at finding his own suggestion so promptly and unexpectedly acted upon.
"All right; give us the card and the address."
"You mean really to leave them?" "Yes, of course. I shan't go in, though. Not unless No, in any case I shan't go in."
had been to call upon him, also Mrs. Holland and Miss Katherine Holland.
'Did they ask if I was in? " he inquired of the servant who opened the door.
The man thought not. A lady had come alone in a four-wheel cab, and had handed in the cards, and had driven away again immediately.
Borroughdale had all the mind in the world to ask what this lady was like, but refrained, long habits of taciturnity stepping in amongst other things to hinder his doing so. He let a week elapse, and then, one afternoon about five o'clock, he called again at the house in Bayswater, and sent up his card.
This time the parlor maid returned smoothing down her spotless apron, and with a marked decrease of asperity announced that the ladies were at home, and would his lordship kindly walk up stairs.
Borroughdale obeyed, and was ushered into a fairly large-sized drawing-room, with the usual shining double doors and profuse exhibition of antimacassars, the only peculiarity in this case being an unusually large, square table, without cover of any sort, which was placed in one of the windows, and on which stood a number of small brass instruments amongst which a microscope rose conspicuous. Miss Holland, who was putting together some pieces of drawing-paper at this table, turned round as he entered, while her aunt, whose cap he noticed had got slightly awry, advanced hurriedly from the fireplace to greet him.
Evidently the poor lady was suffering from an intense attack of nervous embarrassment, so alarmingly did she stumble and shuffle over her greeting. So particularly kind of him, she said; really quite remarkably so. He had met her niece before, had he not? He must please positively allow her to call the professor, who would what chair would he take?
A few days later, accordingly, the cards, his own and Farquart's, were delivered Now oddly enough, Borroughdale, unby the Marquis of Borroughdale in per-like most shy people, became more instead son, who escaped as soon as he had de- of less at his ease when he encountered posited them in the hands of a prim-faced others similarly affected. Whether it was parlor maid with black ribbons in her cap, that there was something consoling in the who gazed, first at them, and then at him, sight of another suffering from his own with an air of the severest and most un- malady in an acute form, or whether the qualified scepticism. Apparently, how- latent instinct of a man born to fill a great ever, her employers were less incredu- sphere came to his rescue, certain it is lous, for a few days later, on returning that his usual asperities softened under from a solitary expedition down the river, these circumstances, and he became pohe found on his table three pieces of card- lite, and even, comparatively, what is board announcing that Professor Holland, called affable. He now responded to F.L.S., F.R.S., F.G.S., and other initials, | Mrs. Holland's agitated greetings with
good-natured civility, sitting down in the chair she tremblingly indicated to him, and plunging into a dissertation upon the weather, and the recent political events with an amount of fluency which would not a little have astonished some of his own intimates.
Apparently the poor lady's embarrassment was too profound, however, to be so easily dispersed, and, after a few abortive and disjointed attempts at conversation, she suddenly got up, saying that she really must inform the professor, who would never forgive her were she to allow Lord Borroughdale to go away without his seeing him, and so saying left the room.
Miss Holland, who up to this had remained somewhat aloof from the conver. sation, now necessarily took up the thread of it, continuing to speak upon the same topics which the guest himself had already started. Unfortunately the latter's own chronic complaint showed an immediate disposition to revive, and it was with a sort of despairing resolution to put an end to it at once or to perish in the attempt, that he suddenly leaped from his chair, and crossing over to the large table near which she was still sitting, begged to know what was the use of those little brass boxes, several of which he saw upon it.
"They are parts of a camera lucida," she answered, "for drawing microscopic objects, you know. I am helping my uncle to prepare some drawings for a monograph he is bringing out," she went on. "His eyes unfortunately are not at all strong, and he is ordered to take as much care of them as possible.
"What sort of things do you draw?" "These sort of things," she answered, placing before him some pieces of white paper, upon each of which was outlined in ink an eccentrically shaped object which appeared to Borroughdale's eyes to resemble some sort of jointed drainpipe, with a small flower or a flower-bud protruding erratically out of every joint.
"Why, what upon earth are they?" he inquired.
small cell upon the stage of the microscope before her.
"Now look," she said to Borroughdale. "Not there," she added, as that worthy youth began plunging his head energetically towards the base of the instrument. "And don't put your hands there either, or you will interfere with the focus. See, hold this little knob, and move it up and down till you get it arranged to your sight."
Under these instructions Lord Borroughdale at last got his eyes and his fingers into the right places; having done which he remained gazing for some minutes down the instrument. Suddenly he gave a tremendous jump.
"Hullo! it's alive!" he exclaimed.
"Alive! Oh yes, quite alive," she answered, laughing. "You couldn't draw them, in fact, at all, if they weren't, as they go back then into their tubes."
Borroughdale said no more, but continued to gaze down the instrument, with his head tightly glued to the top of it. At last, however, he lifted the latter, and, turning round, stared hard instead at his companion, as though he thought she had been performing some act of legerdemain for his benefit.
"Well, what did you see?" she said, smiling.
"The most extraordinary thing happened. I've looked through microscopes often before, but never seen anything the least bit like this. There was a little lump of jelly fastened to a bit of stick, and I was wondering why you should have told me to look at it, when all at once it stretched until it became as big as a glass chandelier, all covered over with little bobbing bells, and all the bells began nodding, and curtseying, and dancing, and jumping about together, as if they'd suddenly gone mad, and then all at once, crack! the whole thing rolled up into a lump of jelly again."
Oh, yes, I know what that was," Miss Holland said. 66 These were not the polyzoa, though; the glass must have got moved. I forget their names, but they "They are called polyzoa, I believe. are very common things, though very Should you like to see some? I have sev-curious. I have often been amused by eral here in this little glass; I was draw them myself." ing them when you came in. My uncle's monograph has to be ready by the end of this month, so I do as many of them now in the day as I can."
While speaking, Miss Holland had been carefully extracting some nearly invisible object out of a glass at her elbow by means of a tube, and was now placing them in a
"Curious? they're the most extraordi. nary things I ever saw in the whole course of my life! And you say they are common. Could one get them for oneself?"
"Oh yes, I should think so. There are almost always some amongst the seaweed and other things that are sent to my uncle."
At this moment the professor entered, accompanied by Mrs. Holland, who, under his wing, appeared in some degree to regain self-possession. He was a small, thin, bloodless-looking man, with that extreme lankiness of jaw which one has come to associate with the citizens of the great republic, but with a feebler mouth and chin than generally accompanies the type. His forehead, on the other hand, was remarkably large and fine, and the same contradiction seemed to some degree to run through the whole person and bearing. His eyes, which were evidently weak, were protected by large spectacles, and his head partially covered with a small black skull-cap.
"Ah! my niece, I perceive, is showing you some of our new forms," he said to Borroughdale, when the first greetings had been exchanged. "Your lordship, I presume, takes an interest in marine zoology?" he added in a tone of confidence.
Not I," said Borroughdale; "at least I never thought at all about it before, but what Miss Holland has just been showing me is the most extraordinary thing I ever saw; things, you know, that are all over glass balls, and bob out at you like a jack-in-the-box. I could go on looking at them all day."
"Ah! the little Carchesium. True, those compound Vorticellaceæ form a singularly striking group, do they not? Professor Wurst of Munich has recently been publishing the results of a series of investigations upon their structural development which promises to be of considerable value. No doubt, though, Gellenshaft is still the great authority upon the whole order. Your lordship is acquainted probably with the writings of Professor Gellenshaft?"
"Not I; I know nothing, I tell you, about them, or about science or natural history, or anything of the sort. I almost wish I did; at least, if there are many things as curious as those," he added, glancing ingenuously over to the table.
"Why do you not take to it then?" Miss Holland inquired, who, with the orderliness of habit, was mechanically put ting the things there back into their places again. "You really ought to do so when it interests you so much," she added, turning round to look at him, and speaking with some insistance.
Borroughdale reddened, shuffled his feet about a little on the carpet. "I shouldn't so much mind if you'd help me!" he exclaimed, with a sudden burst of audacity. Then, with an equally rapid lapse into despondency, "I never could
learn anything in my life, though!" he added gloomily; "so there would not be any sort of use in my trying."
The end of it was, however, that when a quarter of an hour later Lord Borroughdale took his leave, he carried off with him a pocket microscope and a bottle containing a pinch of green stuff. Half that night he sat up trying to puzzle out those unaccountable aberrations which unfolded themselves to his eyes, and two days later he reappeared at the professor's clamor. ing to know where he could get some more. Under these auspices he was not long in making friends with the purveyors of the tanks at the Zoological Gardens, and in duly setting himself up with a microscope and a regulation supply of "objects." It was the genuine outbreak of a hitherto unsuspected faculty, which but for some such accident as this might have lain comfortably perdue under the surface for the rest of his days. Now, however, that it had proclaimed itself, it did not seem likely to be allowed much rest; one thing inevitably leading to another, and that other, as inevitably, to the one immediately beyond.
Borroughdale, whom all his masters with one consent had proclaimed too stupid or too stubborn to learn anything, for whom the magnificent educational resources of England had hitherto been ransacked in vain, having apparently at the eleventh hour discovered something about which he did care to be informed, seemed bent upon making up for lost time. He sat hours at a time over his forceps and pliers, plunged into the most uninviting of primers and manuals, attended lectures, and spent days amongst the bewildering mazes of the British museums. Of course all this sudden intellectual activity necessitated, it will be understood, a pretty constant recurrence to the house in Bayswater, and to those sources of encouragement for which he had there stipulated. Poets from the beginning of things have sung the provoca tions and incitements which lead to the romantic passion, but perhaps a community of hobbies- little romantic as that may sound-is not one of the least effective or the least stimulating of these. So at any rate it was in this case. Borroughdale's brain and heart, despite the immeasurable antagonism which is supposed to exist between the two organs, awoke both of them into conscious activity, both of them, as it happened, precisely at the same moment.
Although in his eyes she appeared to
which seemed to carry a sort of aristocratic effulgence in its very syllables -sitting hour after hour in his own front parlor, imbibing the first syllables of zoological lore from his own inspired lips, was eminently soothing to his amour propre; not the less that he naturally set down the whole of Lord Borroughdale's sudden enthusiasm to the score of that scientific radiance which emanated so conspicuously from his own person.
To some of that important young man's own friends this sudden transformation of incorrigible idler into ardent and indefatigable learner, was less a source of jubilation, however, than of perplexity, and even of a somewhat irritated mystification. Farquart, who had heard something of the new mania, but who for more than a fortnight past had seen nothing of Borroughdale, walked over to his house in Portman Square one morning towards luncheon time, and was informed by the servant who opened the door that his lordship was up-stairs in the drawing-room.
be a perfect prodigy of learning (which, in | gauge or appreciate the labors of their truth, the poor girl was very far from intellectual betters. To have, therefore, being), he was not at all the more alarmed the owner of so shining a name one of Miss Holland upon that account. It was not the cleverness or even the brilliancy of other women, so much as their fine clothes and their irresponsible chatter, which had made them so mortally terrifying in his eyes. Katherine Holland had apparently no fine clothes, and she had, equally apparently, no disposition for irresponsible chattering, or, if she had, the early severity of circumstances had effectually taken it from her. This premature gravity, which would have made her fatally wanting in charm to most young men, was only, as it happened, an additional attraction to this one. Deep down at the bottom of all Borroughdale's sullenness and all his disinclination for soci ety lay two very distinct qualities: an intense morbidly intense sensitiveness to the good opinion of others, and a pride which shrank from being indebted either to his money or his position for suffrages, which it seemed to him hopeless to expect to claim upon more personal grounds. Miss Holland's gravity, her incapacity for small talk, and her absorption whether real or sympathetic in larger interests, was as soothing to him as the low notes of a wood-pigeon to ears long teased by the pertinacious twittering of sparrows. He began by talking to her about his various zoological difficulties; he went on to talk to her about some of those other less impersonal stumbling blocks of which he had all his life been more or less dumbly conscious; and before the end of their first three weeks of intercourse he had ended by becoming as thoroughly, heartily, and irrecoverably in love with her as the most ardent enthu siast upon the subject could possible desire.
To the other two members of her little circle he was a source in some degree of awe, in some degree of perplexity, but also and chiefly, it must be said, of profound pride and gratification, the professor espe cially being inspired with something very like a positive enthusiasm for this latest and most ardent, if not most promising, of recruits to the great army of scientific workers. Despite his own pre-eminently respectable standing in that sphere, the good man had all his life been strangely pricked and tormented by vague hankerings after another and a less attainable one, generally disguised from himself by slighting references to the incapacity of men of rank and position to adequately 2498
Wondering rather at this unwonted change of habit he walked up-stairs, and found the owner of the house gazing enthralled into a small glass phial, a pot of canada balsam simmering upon a tripod at his side, a quantity of pots and pans containing "objects" scattered about the floor, and a very perceptible aroma of what, by a delicate periphrase, may be called extinct marine organisms.
Hearing steps, the investigator looked up his eyes still alight with the fires of discovery and stretched out a hand wet with salt water to his guest. "What the deuce have you got hold of there?" the other inquired, in a tone of some disgust.
"Amphipoda - such extraordinary little beggars!"
"And what may their names be in the ordinary language of civilization?"
"Well, they're a sort of crab- at least no, not crabs exactly, either. You never went in for zoology, Farquart, amongst the multitude of things you know, did you? Why was that, I wonder? You can form no idea what a tremendously interesting thing it is."
"Very likely; but you see I happen to have a particular dislike to handling slimy messes," his friend replied, wiping his hand leisurely upon his pocket handkerchief. "Why, Borroughdale, I had no conception you had such a good ceiling