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bars crash into space. A few minutes sufficed to open up a gap sufficiently large to admit one of their number, and much to the man's astonishment, when pushing his head through the breach in the wall thus formed, he discovered that below him lay quite a considerable chamber, unknown at least to any of the then occupiers of the house. The little room or "priest's hole" thus discovered was partly above and partly below the floor-level of the room in which the workmen stood. About nine feet in height and perhaps five feet six in length, the chamber ihus disclosed was of sufficient size to have accommodated without discomfort one or two people. Its sole contents at the time of the sudden breaking into it were a wooden platter of Elizabethan make, a wooden fork, a few bones, and a little silver crucifix placed on a narrow shelf, on which also was an illustrated manuscript volume which dated from the early part of the fifteenth century. Fortunately the owner
of the house came upon the scene soon after the workmen had discovered the little chamber, and the book and crucifix were promptly seized by him; otherwise it is more than possible that the former might have been considerably damaged at the hands of its discoverers. In a well-known saleroom this same little volume eventually brought, under the hammer, a sum of upwards of three hundred and fifty pounds. A lucky find indeed for the owner of the house!
Though such finds are by no means common nowadays, those who know the subject of the romance of books and the extraordinary places in which early printed and beautifully illuminated works are frequently found, are agreed that many inestimable treasures must still lie concealed in the manor-houses and cottages of various countries, in which examples of the beautiful work of the monks of long ago are even nowadays occasionally discovered.
TO THE MEN OF PORT ARTHUR.
Holders of harbor and hill,
You, the heroes that fell,
Hark to the world's farewell!
Fair be your fame who fought
Right or wrong means nought
Here where the brave lie slain.
Just?—was the cause not just?
How could you know? Let be!
Laid by the Eastern sea.
Now in your shattered hold,
Where the pit like a shambles reeks.
Wide upon wings of gold
Hear how the silence speaks
Long by harbor and hill
Men of your deeds shall tell,—
And men that have wished you 'well.
The spectator. Laurence Housman.
BOOKS AND AUTHORS.
Punch's annual index, which discloses many interesting secrets, reveals Mr. E. V. Lucas as the author of the very clever series, "Life's Little Difficulties."
George Gissing's last book, "Veranilda" is published in this country by E. P. Button & Co. At the time of Mr. Gissing's death the book was finished with the exception of two or three chapters. Mr. Frederic Harrison, his friend, read the proof and contributes an introduction to the book, leaving the story exactly as the author had written it. The story itself deals with the subject which was nearest the author's heart, Rome, Central and Southern Italy, where the author had spent his last and happiest years. Mr. Harrison believes that it is in this field, rather than in the trials and tragedies of middle class life, that Mr. Gissing had at last found his true sphere.
The issue and reissue of the writings of standard authors in every conceivable form and at all prices is a cheering sign that the taste for real literature is not dying out. The Chicago Dial truthfully says:
Carlyle is as staple a product as
corn or cotton; Thackeray is no less steady an object of consumption than tobacco or tea. The publisher of these editions takes no more risk than the farmer who raises his crop; his product is subject to the usual market fluctuations, but is reasonably assured of yielding a return of the cost of production. The output, moreover. Increases from year to year with the increase of population. Just as the production of wheat increases, thus verifying the saying that man shall not live by bread alone.
Studies and sketches of "Old Florence and Modern Tuscany" are grouped in a delightful volume by Janet Ross, of which E. P. Dutton & Co. are the American publishers. Quaint customs, old traditions and bits of history are mingled with sketches of Tuscan peasant life as seen to-day. Mrs, Ross has the rare gift of writing of humble folk without condescension and with fine insight. The chapters on "Vin- taging in Tuscany" and "Popular Songs in Tuscany" show these qualities at their best, but where the whole volume is so charming It Is difficult to discriminate. The frontispiece is a picture of the Florentine "Brotherhood of Pity" on its merciful errand, described in the opening chapter. There are four or five other photogravure illustrations from drawings by Miss Nelly Erichsen and Miss Adelaide March!.
Among some Ibsen letters recently published in Germany is one which was written to the King in 1800 soon after the publication of "Brand." The letter is a frank appeal for aid. The author tells the King that "Brand" has aroused great interest outside the borders of his fatherland, but, he adds, "I cannot live on the expressions of thanks I have received," and he pleads for a special grant of four hundred tbalers In order "to afford me the possibility of living my life ns a poet." He continues in this wise: "I nra not fighting for a future free from care, but for my life's work, which, I firmly believe and know, God has provided for me, a work which seems to me the most important and needful for Norway—to awaken the people nnd to teach them to think largely. It rests with your majesty If I must quit the battlefield, where, as I know, the weapons have been granted to me for the conflict, and this would be the hardest of all for me, for until this day I have never left the field."
The publication of the Oxford University Press collotype facsimile of the autograph manuscript of Keats's "Hyperion" was postponed until January, in order to allow other manuscripts which have only recently come to light to be included in the volume. The chief new discovery contains the altered version of the same poem which the poet composed in the autumn of 1819, under the title of "The Fall of Hyperion: A Vision," a copy of which came into the possession of the late Lord Houghton, who appears to have reeopied it for the printer when he
first published the poem in the "Philobiblon" in 1856. No autograph of "The Fall of Hyperion" is known to exist, and the present manuscript was lost for many years, but was lately found by the Earl of Crewe, who has given permission for its publication. It contains twenty-one hitherto unpublished lines, and supplies many important corrections of the printed text. It is now printed in full, with an introduction by Mr. de Selincourt, throwing light on the relation of the two poems, "Hyperion" and "The Fall of Hyperion."
The Nobel prize for Literature has again been carried off by a Frenchman. On the first occasion, M. SullyPrudhomme was the winner. In the recent award, it goes to M. Mistral. M. Mistral is a native of Maillane (Bouches-du-RhOne), where he was born in September, 1830. He has decided to devote the sum he receives to the purchase of the old Palais d'Arles, which is to receive the Provengal Museum he himself founded there. Another Nobel laureate is Don Jose Echegaray, the eminent Spanish mathematician and dramatic author. Don Echegaray, who was born in Madrid in 1835, is generally regarded as the greatest living dramatist in Spain. Three of his plays were translated into English about ten years ago; two—"the Great Galeoto" and "Folly or Saintliness"—were rendered in prose by the late Hannah Lynch and published together (1895), while in the same year was published Mr. James Graham's translation of Echegaray's three-act drama, "The Son of Don Juan." The latter book, which included a very useful biographical sketch of the poet, formed one of the well-known Cameo Series.
Shut now those slumber-haunted eyes,
Stir not thy hands! The wind that goes To breathe the sweetness of the rose,
Sighs softly through;
Fold thy bright lips! The voice that wails Is the far-echoing nightingale's,
Lone to the moon;
Walter de la Mare.
Pall Mall Magazine.
"As musingly, with idle pace,
Did sea-ward gales, with quickening force. Loose thee, and drive across the main? Then, swift in their returning course. Whirl thee, light wanderer, home again?
Or did yon scarce invisible land
Nought hath been made, by land or sea,
Whose lightness any word of man's
Now risen upon some mounting gust,
Oh, thus abroad so wildly faring!—
For this it was the delving root Through darksome earth did push and press;
And up the dauntless stem did shoot Its well-defended comeliness.
For this the breathing leaves did spread;
And flowers, with purple passion rife, Upgathered in one royal head, Bestowed, received the dust of life!
So wast thou given to sun and shower: That e'en from thee,—white, drifting thing.
Wlth root and stem and leaf and flower, A thistle of the race might spring!" Florence Uayllar.
'"SURGE, ET AMBULA.'
'Arise and walk'—the One Voice said; And lo! the sinews shrunk and dry Loosed, and the cripple leaped ou high.
Wondering, and bare aloft his bed.
The Age of Miracle is fled:
Who to the halt to-day shall cry—
Yet though the Power to raise the dead
The greatest excitement has prevailed in Russia for the last few weeks since it became known that representatives of the Zemstvos of thirty-four provinces of the Empire were going to meet at St. Petersburg in order to discuss the necessary reforms in the general political organization of the country. The very fact that such an authorization had been granted was equivalent to an invitation to discuss a scheme of a Constitution; and so it was understood everywhere. When the Zemstvo delegates were leaving their respective provincial towns they were sent off by groups of enthusiastic friends, whose parting words were: "Return with a Constitution!"
Their original intention was to make of their conference a solemn official gathering which would speak to the Government in its official capacity, but at the last moment the Minister of the Interior refused to grant the necessary authorization; and as the Zemstvo delegates declared that they were decided to meet nevertheless, they
were informed that they could do so only in private, and that their conference would be treated as a private gathering, but that their resolutions could be handed by a few delegates to the Minister of the Interior, and through his Intermediacy to the Emperor. This is how this Conference, which surely will become an important historical date, took place on the 19th. 20th, and 21st of November at St. Petersburg.
The decisions of the Conference were expressed in eleven resolutions, which, as will be seen presently, are now becoming the programme of an agitation which is gradually spreading all over Russia. Moreover, in contrast with all the petitions addressed to the Tsar on previous occasions by certain Zemstvos, the present memorandum is couched in far more dignified language and in definite terms. It begins by mentioning "the abnormal character of State government which has developed since the beginning of the eighties , and consists in a complete es