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dence in the meanwhile. Partly by economy of the most rigid kind, partly by the helping hand of friendly neighbors, the Hawthornes managed to keep the "wolf from the door" till the novel was completed. The evening it was finished, the author, feverish, excited, and emaciated, closeted himself with his wife, and read her the MS. She listened intently, the interest becoming painful, her breath came and went, her color faded gradually, and, at the climax of the wonderful story, fell at his feet almost in convulsions, exclaiming, "For God's sake, do not read further; I cannot bear it." Next morning, he sent the novel to a friend of his, a sound judge and unsparing critic in the literary world. The friend raced through the MS., enthralled by its powerful word-imagery, and came himself with his answer. Meeting the author's little boy, Julian, in the garden in front of the house, he caught him up in his arms, exclaiming "Child! child! do you know what a father you have?" and rushed into the house, fairly storming the newly revealed genius with congratulations. Thus was the Scarlet Letter produced and Hawthorne's name made. After that, his success was rapid, and literature proved a sufficient support for her gifted votary.

Another American genius was less fortunate. In Baltimore, a periodical entitled the Saturday Visitor offerced a prize for the best poem and sto

ry (the amount we cannot precisely recollect). When the candidates' MSS. were examined, one of them proved to be a collection of clever poems and a story written almost in "copper-plate" hand. The editors look

ed no further, but said, in joke, "Let us give the prize to the first of geniuses who has written legibly." The name of the young author was Edgar Allan Poe.

These facts are chiefly gathered from an article on Hawthorne by Mr. Stoddard; but this anecdote is from a weekly publication, to which we are also indebted for the incident in the life of Edgar A. Poe.

"He came just as he was," says his biographer," the prize-money not having yet been sent him, with a seedy coat buttoned up to conceal the total absence of linen, but with shoes whose gaping crevices could not be made to hide the absence of socks." Mr. Kennedy (the editor) took him to the tailor, and fitted him out as comfortably and completely as possible, after which he was installed as an inmate of his house, and for a little time employed on the staff of the Saturday Visitor. This was in 1833. The vicissitudes of fortune were perpetual, though to his terrible propensity to intemperancemuch of his constant distress was. due. A gentleman despite the squa lor of his appearance, a genius despite his uncontrolled vices, he was. one of the most unfortunate of men. A few years later, he writes to a friend : "Can you not send me five dollars? I am sick, and Virginia (his wife) is. almost gone." In 1839, his prospects. were for the moment not so hopeless,. and one who often visited him testified to his home in Philadelphia,. "though slightly and cheaply fur nished," being yet "so tasteful and refined, so fitly disposed, that it seemed altogether suitable for a man of genius." Again, his biographer speaks of him as "always in pecuniary difficulties, and his sick wife frequently in want of the merest necessities of life." For his poem “The Raven," first published in the Whig Review, and since become the pedestal of his world-wide fame, he received the sum of ten dollars; and in 1848, while writing for the Southern Literary Messenger, he was content to work for two dollars a page. And yet, so

far as fame was concerned, Poe's name and talent were known beyond the seas, admired by two continents; and when, upon entering an office in New York, he would mention who he was, men turned round to stare at the gifted poet who, all starving as he was, was already enrolled among the great men of America.

The philosopher, Jean Jacques Rousseau, had equal occasion to put his philosophy to the same universal test of patience. Finding a mercantile clerkship ill-adapted to his poetic and vagrant humor, he left Geneva and went to Lausanne, where he tried music as a profession. His experiences were curious. He tried to teach music, but, as he says himself, "The scholars did not crowd, and two or three German boys, luckily as stupid as I was ignorant of my business, were my only pupils. Under my tuition they did not become great croquenotes. One day, I was sent for to a house to teach a little 'serpent of a girl,' to whom it gave infinite pleasure to show me a quantity of music I did not know, and then to play one piece for me, 'just to show the master how it should go.' knew absolutely so little of reading that I could not follow a note of my -own composition in such a manner as to be able to regulate its execution." It may be supposed the poor man did not thrive on these means of livelihood; his fare was meagre enough, and he paid only thirty francs a month for his board and lodging in the little inn where he made his home. For his dinner, he had but one dish of soup, with some thing a little more substantial for his supper at night. Notwithstanding his desire for independence and freedom from the personal thraldom (assujettissement) of a fixed and sedentary occupation, he found out that "one must live." So he took to


copying music at a small remuner ation, and so fond did he become of his self-chosen trade (for with him it was not art) that in later life, when in comfortable circumstances, he took to it again. But his musical mania went yet further. He composed an operetta entitled Le Devin du Vilage-"The Village Astrologer, or Fortune-teller "-and had it executed at Lausanne. He says of its first performance "that it was such a charivari as could not be surpassed; that every one shut their ears and opened wide their eyes; that it was a witch's sabbath, a devilish hubbub, insupportable and monstrous." The tide turned one day, and the same play was performed in the court theatre at Versailles, the family and courtiers of Louis XVI. calling the music dream-like, divine, entrancing! This sounds like an anticipation of the diversity of opinion now observable concerning Wagner and Liszt

Real artists, like Mozart, were hardly more fortunate in their domain of legitimate art than was Rousseau in his queer attempts at music. Although his name was known, his music extolled to the skies, and his person retained as a priceless cour: treasure at Vienna, Wolfgang Mozar hardly made a competency by his unrivalled and acknowledged genius, His early death was mainly the result of continual anxiety on the score of personal necessities. When the mysterious stranger came and gave the order for the requiem, Mozar was already ill, worn, and exhausted. The stranger's opportune gift, or fragment in advance, came too late, though it was sorely needed at the time; and, before the order was com pleted, the great musician was on bis death-bed, his wife Constance by bis side, his friends rehearsing the finish ed part of the requiem at the foot of his bed, while his haggard features

were lit up to the last by the feverish enthusiasm so soon to be quenched in death.

department in which it must be confessed she does not excel-poetry), Alphonse de Lamartine, was both in his youth and in his old age the victim of poverty. Though in his childhood his poverty was not absolutely sordid, like that of many a scholar as talented and even as well born, still it was such that his mother had to exercise the strictest economy on her small property, to help her peasant-servants in many a lowly household task, and was in such straits that the failure or success of her slender vintage was to her the chief event of the year. A noble woman, a Christian Cornelia, she knew how to turn these troubles into lessons for her son; and a more genial, lovable "great man" than Lamartine has seldom claimed our homage, notwithstanding the foibles which necessarily quali fy our admiration. Political and diplomatic success gave him far different prospects in middle life. His poems were the first heralds, the joy-bells, of a new school; his name was a talisman. But the shadow of genius

relentless poverty-fell upon him again, and his last days were little better than a pauper's.

It would seem as though the greater the genius, the greater the destitution. Hardly one has escaped the furnace of poverty. Curran, the great Irish lawyer and orator, was stranded early in life, without friends, connections, or fortune, conscious of talent above the crowd that elbowed him, and sensitive to a painful degree. He himself thus tells the story of the first fee of any consequence which he received in his profession: "I then lived upon Hog Hill, Dublin; my wife and children were the chief furniture of my apartments; as to my rent, it stood much the same chance of its liquidation with the national debt. Mrs. Curran, however, was a barrister's lady, and what was wanting in wealth she was well determined should be supplied by dignity. The landlady, on the other hand, had no idea of any other gradation except that of pounds, shillings, and pence. I walked out one morning, in order to avoid the perpetual altercations on this subject, with my mind, you may imagine, in no very enviable temperament. I fell into gloom, to which from my infancy I had been occasionally subject. I had a family, for whom I had no dinner, and a landlady, for whom I had no rent. I had gone abroad in despondence; I returned home almost in desperation. When I opened the door of my study the first object that presented itself was an immense folio of a brief, twenty golden guineas wrapped up beside it, and the name of old Bob Lyons marked on the back of it. I paid my landlady, bought a good dinner, gave Bob Lyons a share of it, and that dinner was the date of my prosperity!"

One of the most Christian and sympathetic authors of France (in a

The literary world of Paris presents the acme of this combination-squalor and talent. Dramatists, poets, painters, musicians, the smaller fry of the daily press, the heavier authors of yellow-covered romans, all mingled in one inextricable bohemia of distress, of recklessness, of generosity, of self-sacrifice. Good and bad are strangely interwoven; the starv ing writer stints himself to help the dying artist, or the swaggering play wright repudiates his debts to gamble away in one night the rare remuneration of months of toil; and amid the confusion, the din of this assemblage, amid this fellowship of misery, remains the seemingly eternal truth that the path of scho

larship, or even its counterfeit, is not ing the dishes after the refectory the legitimate path of success. meal when the Papal deputation came to offer him the cardinal's hat! So she taught herself to do "disgusting things without feeling disgust; as, for instance, blackening her hands in the kitchen." Another time she makes a hasty note of her affection for her brother and her unconquerable longing after solitude, but adds that she has no time for it now, "as there are ducks to be plucked, a pie to be prepared, a little carnival-dinner got up; in a word, because the parish priest was coming, and her help was anxiously waited for in the kitchen"; while another day she is mending old houselinen. On the other hand, she was reading S. Augustine, S. Jerome, S. Teresa, Bossuet, Fénélon, Plutarch, books of theology and philosophy, mysticism and morals, the works of great thinkers; she was writing poems of more exquisite purity and wealth of imagery than the famous young brother whom Sainte-Beuve and George Sand declared one of the foremost poets of the day: she was a child in her simplicity, a saint in her abnegation-a woman in a thousand. We have dwelt with the greater emphasis and satisfaction on this last reference for the reason that the modern world, in its haste to find countenance for its license in thought and morals, has brought into prominence only the less worthy specimens of French genius, to the neglect of the many admirable writers who are now for the first time, becoming familiar to English readers.

In France, where the intellect is so fertile that it is almost the only land where literature is a profession, not a pastime, we may turn to one figure more, a sweet and angelic one, very different from the stormy and erratic geniuses among whom we have been wandering-Eugénie de Guérin, the Catholic poetess, the devoted type of sisterly love. She was poor, though not to destitution. The family, once famous among the Languedoc Crusaders, and owning a great feudal estate, had dwindled down to the possession of a patrimony hardly so large and not half so rich as a modern farm. The woman now known throughout Europe and America by her exquisite Journal and Lettersthe starting-point of a new class of domestic literature-tells us simply and playfully enough in those writingswhich during life she never dreamed of giving to the public-of her humble avocations in her father's household. Now we see her, having cooked the supper with her sister's aid while the servants were all gone to an instruction for confirmation, sitting by the huge fire in the kitchen, because it was warm there, and making a hearty meal of coarse soup, boiled potatoes, and a cake baked by herself, "with the dogs and cats to wait upon us," as she says. She did not like these household cares, however; they were a cross to her, and her good sister "Mimi" took much of this cross off her hands. Another day she has been washing, but she consoles herself with the thought of Homer's Nausicaa washing her brother's tunics. Once, when she was lifting a heavy cauldron from the kitchen fire, her father tenderly said he did not like to see her doing such work; but she answered with a smile that S. Bonaventure was found wash

This strangely mingled thread of life which we have illustrated in these pages has its pathetic as well as its ludicrous aspect. Men are constantly complaining of the "injus tice" of God in making inequalities among them; if they looked a little deeper, they would see that what

they call inequalities are compensations. The world has to be ballasted like a ship; the heaviest merchandise is not always the most precious, but it is none the less necessary. It would be preposterous to expect all men to be rich, good, and clever; gifts balance each other in God's plan, and, since men sigh so for riches, the wise Distributor of earthly prizes has answered many men literally, and given them riches alone, leaving their brains a blank. To discuss this vexed question is not, however, our intention; a few examples, such as we have drawn from real life, speak for themselves, and facts are ever more tolerated than disquisitions. We may learn from those facts a new interest in books; we may remember, when we read a new work, that a human being's life is sewed in with those pages; that

what we carelessly toss aside after a moment's perusal has cost hours of trouble, of research, probably of privation; that the pathos that draws tears from our eyes is often transcribed and softened down from the actual experience of the writer; while the humor we approve of and the piquancy we admire are rather born of bitter defiance against an adverse fate than grown from the natural soil of a healthy sense of fun. A book is often the hot-pressed fruit of an unhappy life rather than the product of elegant leisure, and one cannot help feeling a tender but far from disparaging pity for the thousands of educated men and women whose very talent, in a sense, compels them, through circumstances of privation, to write in haste and anxiety books that are inadequate representatives of that talent.


THE S. AUGUSTINE SERIES: I. On the Trinity; II. Harmony of the Evange lists, and the Sermon on the Mount. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark. (New York: Sold by The Catholic Publication Society.)

These two volumes continue the series of patristic translations edited so carefully and published in such splendid style by the firm of Clark, at Edinburgh. The publication and perusal of long and entire works of the fathers, especially S. Augustine, must have a most happy effect in promoting the cause of the Catholic faith. We notice with especial pleasure the volume on the Trinity. This is one of the greatest works of S. Augustine. His argument is wonderfully exhaustive and conclusive, wonderfully sublime and devout, wonderfully rich in the exposition of Holy Scripture. It is also very plain and intelligible to a patient and attentive reader when the peculiar difficulties of the Latin style have been overcome. In

this translation, the structure and meaning of the sentences and phrases are made very plain, and one reads with a pleasure and facility much enhanced by the clearness and beauty of the page. We recommend this translation to all who wish for a very valuable help to the rendering of S. Augustine in the original, as well as to those who desire to become acquainted with his doctrine, and can only do so through the medium of their own language.

A LIFE OF S. WALBURGE; WITH THE ITINERARY OF S. WILLIBALD. By the Rev. Thomas Meyrick, S.J. London: Burns & Oates. 1573. (New York: Sold by The Catholic Publication Society.)

All who love the medieval saints, and particularly those of once Catholic England, will find a delicious treat in this simple story. Besides the life and death of S. Walburge, an account is given of

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