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Queen Victoria visited Leeds on 6th September, 1858 to open the new Town Hall. Robert Buchanan Snr. had connections with Leeds, having started a newspaper, the Leeds Express, with Lloyd Jones in December, 1857. Although that partnership was dissolved in July, 1858, Buchanan did not sell the paper until January, 1859 and the note at the end of the poem does suggest that Robert Jr. was in Leeds for the Queen’s visit.

The Glasgow Sentinel (25 September, 1858 - p.4)


WHEN Deity approved and blest
     That part of the eternal plan,
Which gave to Nature’s ample breast—
     Great gift—pure woman and true man!
When Deity in life and light
     First set this seal on Virtue’s brow,
No meaner beauty marked the night,
     And Day was fair as now.

Still roll and surge the restless years,
     Still brood the poet and the sage,
As when the Greek’s immortal tears
     Fell o’er a dead, yet deathless, age!
And, beautiful as then, the name
     Of woman crowns our inner life,
As dear to England and to fame—
     True monarch and true wife!

O strew ye, strew her path with flowers!
     Upon her forehead, in her eye,
Fair priestess of the pregnant hours,
     The Future shines like Destiny!
O true and tried! O pure and fair!
     O guerdon of the great right Hand,
Weighing the peace and the despair
     O’er the old Fatherland!

O strew her path with fears and joys!
     Purer than fair, ’tween Earth and Heaven
She moves, and in her people’s voice
     Finds thrice-told peace and gladness given.
Heart unto heart, and hand to hand,
     Our hymn unto the Pure be given,
The daughter of the grey old Land
     Who acts ’tween English hearts and Heaven!

O strew her path with orient flowers,
     O wreath her brow with love sublime—
Fair guardian of the gliding hours,
     Stern gazer in the eyes of Time!
Thus may the nation’s mighty heart
     To her in love-like worship lean,
Who, acting more than woman’s part,
     Smiles forth—true woman and true queen!

     Leeds, 12th September.                                                                               ROBT. W. BUCHANAN.



Robert Buchanan would edit an edition of Longfellow’s ‘Poetical Works’ for Moxon & Co in 1868. Reviews of that edition are available here.

The Glasgow Sentinel (9 October, 1858 - p.2)

By HENRY W. LONGFELLOW. London: Kent and Co.

DR JOHNSON, in more than a century and a half of English literary history, beginning with Cowley and ending with Gray, found less than threescore writers in verse whom he deemed worthy of a place in his biographical collection. Though, in his own line, and in cases where partiality did not disturb his judgment, a tolerably correct arbiter of literary reputation, the doctor would find it a task onerous indeed, to persuade any well-read individual of the present day that more than half the verse-writers whose lives he has composed have any claim to the character of poets, or even of men of distinguished talents. Perhaps the account might be balanced by the admission to his list of as many names as a modern judgment of the literary celebrities of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries would erase from it. We have learned to look for other qualities in those we honour with the name of poets than those which pleased the critics of Johnson’s age; or, at least, we have learned a different relative estimate of poetic gifts, and are used to flatter ourselves that ours is a truer and deeper view than the one held by our grandmothers. The result is that reputation has since that time both sunk and risen, forgotten writers have been dug up from the dust of oblivion, and others, who lived then peroravirum, in the gossip of Mrs Thale’s tea-table, and in the pages of the oracular doctor, are buried out of sight and of hearing, and silence covers them. This familiar fact of our literary history would seem to prove that, however common a certain degree of poetic faculty may be among men, the possession of this faculty in such perfection and strength, as to enable the possessor to produce genuine poems, is exceedingly rare. Why this is so, and whether the defect be one of nature or of training, an original vigour denied, or a due cultivation neglected, is a most interesting question, but one which would require us to diverge from our immediate route into phsychology and the science of education. We would merely point to the fact that poetic genius, capable of artistically manifesting itself, is, as a matter of experience, extremely rare. Yet at this moment we have ranged before us a set of volumes of American verse by not fewer than half as many authors as Johnson found poets in one hundred and fifty years, and these form but a fraction of those published in America during the past year. Not one of these volumes was published without a belief on the writer’s part that he or she was an exception to the general rule of poetic incapacity. Draw as we may upon our own candour, we cannot suppose that anybody but a lunatic at large would go to considerable expense to give the world testimony that he or she was the most despised of literary drudges—a verse maker without poetic genius.
     This is not exactly the place in which to enter into the subject of American literary progress, and moreover, the above statement furnishes its own conclusion. America is a young country, and when her grey hairs begin to appear among the brown and gold there may possibly be born to her a great poet. At present, the light-dance music of her own “go ahead” spirit must supply a solace in her quieter moments. She is very young, and has given us one or two very good poets indeed. If she does not rejoice in men of remarkable genius in this department of literature, she has at least produced some rose-cheeked, golden-haired firstlings, who might bid us dream of the autumn and harvest to come. She is a girl, light-headed and young-hearted now.
     The appearance of a fresh volume of poems by Mr Longfellow is an event to which we had a right to look forward with interest and hope. With the exception of Lowell alone, he is the only poet who seems to have any claim to the name of an original poet; and his writings are most valuable as the true and spontaneous suggestions of an imaginative American’s mind. For, with most laudable discrimination, he has, from the very commencement of his literary career, confined himself almost exclusively to the description of American scenery, the expression of American home-sympathy, and the delineation of American character.
     Theocritus or the Sicilians might have produced an idyl only half as good as this by Professor Longfellow. Yet “Miles Standish” is written in that English and German hexameter which has never been remarkably successful, which in dead Southey proved a very complete failure, and in living Kingsley is monotonous and very often unmusical. The English of to-day has no more the full round flavour of the ancient Hellenic tongue than the language of the modern Italian the sonorous profundity of the ancient Latin. All imitation of the Virgilian dactylic verse is impracticable in modern or Miltonian English. Voltaire or Racine might have exchanged the running, jingling measure of the French tragedy for English blank verse with a success fully as considerable. We should imagine that the recent attempts and failures of men who may be regarded as very good minor poets in this kind of composition will warn modern aspirants of its impracticability. Arbitrary accentuation is necessary to reduce Saxon syllables to the specified metre.
     “Miles Standish” is the little Marlborough or fighting-man of the Puritan settlers from the Mayflower—one of those hurly-burly legitimate fellows conventionally particularised as the “Pilgrim Fathers.” Iron-handed, strong headed old “foggies,” to use a pardonable vulgarism, like their own howitzers—

“Steady, straightforward, and strong, with irresistible logic
Orthodox, flashing conviction right into the heart of the heathen.”

     Like many worse individuals before and after him, Master Miles, who has buried Miss Rose, his first wife, begins to long, after all the trouble and turmoil of a fighting life, to repose in the arms of a second better half. Miss Priscilla something, the pretty girl and belle of Plymouth, comes under his especial consideration, and the staunch, straightforward soldier exclaims in a very tender strain—

                                                     “If ever
There were angels on earth as there are angels in Heaven,
Two have I seen and known; and the angel whose name is Priscilla,
Holds in my desolate life the place which the other abandoned.”

     John Alden is one of Miles Standish’s very particular acquaintances, but a man of totally different calibre. He is blest with good looks, bright eyes, and woman’s ringlets, moreover; is as young as he is handsome; and, to be brief, entertains himself a secret passion for the damsel. Poor John is thunder-struck when Standish deputes him to propose to this pretty young lady on his (Standish’s) behalf. Friendship overcomes passion, however, and Master Alden undertakes the mission. A pretty picture is drawn of the beauty in the following lines:—

Seated beside her wheel, and the carded wool like a snow-drift
Piled at her knee, her white hands feeding the ravenous spindle,
While with her foot on the treadle she guided the wheel in its motion.
Open wide on her lap lay the well-worn psalm-book of Ainsworth,
Printed in Amsterdam, the words and the music together.
Rough-hewn angular notes, like stones in the wall of a churchyard,
Darkened and overhung by the running vine of the verses.
Such was the book from whose pages she sang the old Puritan anthem,
She, the Puritan maiden, in the solitude of the forest,
Making the humble house and the modest apparel of home-spun
Beautiful with her beauty, and rich with the wealth of her being!

     Entering the house with a heavy heart, Alden delivers the message of the captain of Plymouth, and receives the following very sensible rebuke:—

“If the great captain of Plymouth is so very eager to wed me,
Why does he not come himself, and take the trouble to woo me?
If I am not worth the wooing, I surely am not worth the winning.”

     The affair proves a failure, and the friends quarrel. A false report of the death of Miles Standish being circulated shortly after this, John takes Priscilla to himself. The resuscitated and redoubtable hero is, of course, brought again upon the scene alive and well, and, much to everybody’s satisfaction, extends to the bridegroom his forgiveness. The poem winds up with the following quaint but very beautiful lines:—

Onward the bridal procession now moved to their new habitation,
Happy husband and wife, and friends conversing together.
Pleasantly murmured the brook, as they crossed the ford in the forest,
Pleased with the image that passed, like a dream of love through its bosom,
Tremulous, floating in air, o’er the depths of the azure abysses.
Down through the golden leaves the sun was pouring his splendours,
Gleaming on purple grapes, that, from branches above them suspended,
Mingled their odorous breath with the balm of the pine and the fir-tree,
Wild and sweet as the clusters that grew in the valley of Eshcol.
Like a picture it seemed of the primitive pastoral ages,
Fresh with the youth of the world, and recalling Rebecca and Isaac,
Old and yet ever new, and simple and beautiful always,
Love immortal and young in the endless succession of lovers,
So through the Plymouth woods passed onward the bridal procession.

     In one among the miscellaneous poems contained in this volume, Professor Longfellow has developed a great, and, with him, somewhat unusual faculty—suggestive power. Among the greatest poets this exists in the greatest degree; for this it is which casts over the whole face of nature the “consecration and the dream.” Shakspere is full of it. So is Gœthe. So are the epics of Coleridge. So are Wordsworth’s great odes, some of his sonnets, many of his minor pieces. So is the poetry of Mr Tennyson. And for this reason all subjective poets are invariably popular. They know the limits of human thought, and how, when it is reached, to turn the mind in upon itself. They know by their own experience the tenderest chords of the heart, and that, as with a harp, a delicate touch will make them vibrate longer and more melodiously than the rude sweep of unskilled fingers, which certainly awakens the emotions, but only to jar them together and agitate them painfully. Moreover, without suggestive power it is impossible to produce romantic feeling. We may gratify the admirer of Professor Longfellow by making an extract or two from the poem to which we allude:—


Often I think of the beautiful town
     That is seated by the sea;
Often in thought go up and down
The pleasant streets of that dear old town,
     And my youth comes back to me.
         And a verse of a Lapland song
         Is haunting my memory still:
         “A boy’s will is the wind’s will,
And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.”

I can see the shadowy lines of its trees,
     And catch, in sudden gleams,
The sheen of the far-surrounding seas,
And islands that were in the Hesperides
     Of all my boyish dreams.
         And the burden of that old song,
         It murmurs and whispers still:
         “A boy’s will is the wind’s will,
And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.”

I can see the breezy dome of groves,
     The shadows of Deering’s Woods;
And the friendships old and the early loves
Come back with a Sabbath sound, as of doves
     In quiet neighbourhoods.
         And the voice of that sweet old song,
         It flutters and murmurs still:
         “A boy’s will is the wind’s will,
And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.”

I remember the gleams and glooms that dart
     Across the schoolboy’s brain;
The song and the silence in the heart,
That in part are prophecies, and in part
     Are longings wild and vain.
         And the voice of that fitful song
         Sings on, and is never still:
         “A boy’s will is the wind’s will,
And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.”

There are things of which I may not speak;
     There are dreams that cannot die;
There are thoughts that make the strong heart weak
And bring a pallor into the cheek,
     And a mist before the eye.
         And the words of that fatal song
         Come over me like a chill:
         “A boy’s will is the wind’s will,
And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.”

And Deering’s Woods are fresh and fair,
     And with joy that is almost pain
My heart goes back to wander there,
And among the dreams of the days that were,
     I find my lost youth again.
         And the strange and beautiful song,
         The groves are repeating it still:
         “A boy’s thoughts are the wind’s will,
And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.”

     Professor Longfellow, we hardly need remark, is a linguist, and in every respect an educated man. Moreover, he has gained a very great deal of indirect knowledge through the medium of books. Every one of his productions has gained something, either in form or in sentiment, from the influence of intellectual culture. The right always lies between extremes; and he possesses in an eminent degree the graceful “knack” of associating nature conveniently with art. A pure and beautiful feeling is delivered by him with a refinement and grace almost entirely suggested by learning. If there is sameness and want of variety in his mind, by spending his life in constant intercourse with nature and his fellow-men he has been enabled to express, in admirable and beautiful language, several of their more remarkable features. He very often associates things of true imaginative interest with the pure outpouring of subjective emotion. Self-meditation is said to be often the vice of modern poets; a habit of dwelling upon and fondling their mental diseases, and of making the infirmities they have encouraged by their weakness an excuse for quarrelling with the nature which God has given them, and the world in which God has placed them. But there is no humbug of this kind about Mr Longfellow. He seems to live to be good and happy, and to teach others to be good and happy with him. By him the modern rule of “ars est nescire artem” is cast aside with contempt, and the good old rule regarded. If sentimental young ladies and gentlemen like his poetry, very sensible people may also find a sensible kind of pleasure in its perusal. It is of good flavour now and then, if we knew how to appreciate its best qualities. Some cultivation of taste is required to appreciate the beauty of the following lines. In them there is nothing artificial, nothing elaborate, but they are verses which a much greater poet might have produced:—


In the Valley of the Vire
     Still is seen an ancient mill,
With its gables quaint and queer,
     And beneath the window sill,
         On the stone,
         These words alone:
“Oliver Basselin lived here.”

Far above it, on the steep,
     Ruined stands the old Chateau;
Nothing but the donjon keep
     Left for shelter or for show.
         In vacant eyes
         Stare at the skies,
Stare at the valley green and deep.

Once a convent, old and brown,
     Looked, but ah! it looks no more,
From the neighbouring hill-side down
     On the rushing and the roar
         Of the stream
         Whose sunny gleam
Cheers the little Norman town.

In that darksome mill of stone,
     To the water’s dash and din,
Careless, humble, and unknown
     Sang the poet Basselin
         Songs that fill
         That ancient mill
With a splendour of its own.

Never feeling of unrest
     Broke the pleasant dream he dreamed
Only made to be his nest,
     All the lovely valley seemed;
         No desire
         Of soaring higher
Stirred or fluttered in his breast.

True, his songs were not divine;
     Were not songs of that high art,
Which, as winds do in the pine,
     Find an answer in each breast;
         But the mirth
         Of this green earth
Laughed and revelled in the line.

From the alehouse and the inn,
     Opening on the narrow street,
Came the loud, convivial din,
     Singing and applause of feet,
         The laughing lays
         That in those days
Sang the poet Basselin.

In the castle, cased in steel,
     Knight, who fought at Agincourt,
Watched and waited, spur on heel;
     But the poet sang for sport
         Songs that rang
         Another clang,
Songs that lowlier hearts could feel.

In the convent, clad in gray,
     Sat the monks in lonely cells,
Paced the cloisters, knelt to pray,
     And the poet heard their bells;
     But his rhymes
     Found other chimes,
Nearer to the earth than they.

Gone are all the barons bold,
     Gone are all the knights and squires,
Gone the abbot stern and cold,
     And the brotherhood of friars
         Not a name
         Remains to fame;
From those mouldering days of old

But the poet’s memory here
     Of the landscape makes a part;
Like the river, swift and clear,
     Flows his song through many a heart;
         Haunting still
         That ancient mill
In the Valley of the Vire.

     In these, as in some other of the poet’s verses, we detect the advantages to be acquired by the study of good continental poetry. Beranger might have written them, in our opinion.
     On the whole, the public will look with favour upon these last efforts of the Professor’s muse. We trace nothing great in them, but they are the work of a man of some genius, and a great deal more refinement and taste. Mr Longfellow may thank the stars which made his path to learning a so very smoother one, for his present enviable place in the public estimation. Again, we cannot regard him as a man of remarkable genius. There is more of talent in his composition, which, as every schoolboy knows, is a very difficult patrimony. But he has gone into the pursuit of poetry heart and soul, and has come forth victor to a certain degree. It is impossible for any sensible person to regard him in the character of a great poet; but he is at least one of the greatest young America has produced. Understanding the mission entrusted by God to the poet, he has fulfilled its stipulations to the extent of his intellectual powers. He has instructed and made lofty the minds of one or two, without a doubt; and if he is as good an individual as he is a real poet, which we believe, he has passed through something of the fight of life, which is intellect, with honourable scars.

                                                                                                     ROBT. W. BUCHANAN.



This advert for Robert Buchanan’s second book of poetry, Mary, and Other Poems, first appeared in The Glasgow Sentinel of 9th October, 1858 and was repeated until the end of the year.

The Glasgow Sentinel (9 October, 1858 - p.8)


The Glasgow Sentinel (16 October, 1858 - p.2)

Original Poetry.

[From “Mary, and Other Poems,” a new volume in the course
of publication, by ROBERT W. BUCHANAN, author of “Love Lyrics.”]


IF I do simply sing thee, and rehearse
     Thy many charms with all my little powers,
Think that some beauty decks my humblest verse;



Think that the memory of loving hours
     Maketh regret dear as a day in June,
When all the earth is eloquent with flowers.



For O! the dear old world were out of tune,
     Did not the sighing heart of love retain
Something of that which makes poor flowers a boon.



And there is something beautiful in pain—
     When lulled by its own voice, it may become
Perfect and happy as the golden grain.



I lay this lowly wreath upon thy tomb,
     And think that it must needs be fresh and fair,
When only thou hast taught it how to bloom.



We wend together; and I sometimes dare
     To think or hope that sympathetic eyes,
Beholding through thy loveliness, shall share
Some little of the lore that made us wise
In our own bosoms’ loving mysteries.



The Glasgow Sentinel (20 November, 1858 - p.2)

(From “Mary, and other Poems,” a new volume in the course
of publication, by Robert W. Buchanan, author of “Love Lyrics).”

BEAUTY, at once the mother and the child
     Of visible things, within the woods lay praying;
Like any lamb the young Spring frisked and smiled,
     And all the wholesome hours had gone a-maying.
Joy threw her ringlets to the laughing wind;
Love with his own delightful self was straying—
Love, the wise owner of a thoughtless mind;
And larklets learnt the sage things he was saying.
Then, with my better heart, from idle noon
To eve, one lazy elbow on the grass,
I watched a train of recollections pass;
And till the night fell down, an hour too soon,
I found me still my human fortunes weighing.
But when, the beauty in her hundred eyes,
The mellow dark came wading through the dew,
I felt my life run o’er with innocent blisses;
Now said my heart:—“Take up thy grief and rise!
Give to thy present and thy past their due—
Thou could’st not hope so wisely if thou ne’er
Had’st learnt to heave a sigh or shed a tear.—
Time cannot change so calm an hour as this is!”



The Glasgow Sentinel (18 December, 1858 - p.2)

Selected Poetry.

(From “Mary, and Other Poems,” by ROBT W. BUCHANAN).

WHAT makes me gather as I go
     My wrongs about me, I would fain,
O, once beloved one, have thee know,
     It is not fear, it is not pain—
I act a better, wiser part,
     And would not have the idle sneer,
Or cast one shadow on a heart
     That once was dear.
I almost think it were enough
     If I could show thee less than wise,
That men are made of sterner stuff
     Than light that melts in ladies’ eyes.
I would not have thee note a tear,
     One sigh, but bid thee thus depart,
With not a hope, with not a fear—
     At peace with all thy better heart!



Perhaps the strangest of Robert Buchanan’s pieces in The Glasgow Sentinel of 1858 is this early foray into fiction. Mainly strange because this is a continuation of the ‘story’ and I have been unable to find the earlier part. There is nothing in the other issues of 1858 and I doubt it would have appeared in the previous year. I would suggest that it is some kind of printer’s error, although no explanation, or apology, is given in the following edition.

The Glasgow Sentinel (18 December, 1858 - p.7)


CONTINUATION of Jones’s story—


     When Karl returned home, he found a delicate little billet awaiting him. It ran thus:—
     “Monsieur,—I have at length discovered that you are the gentleman who resented the assault made upon me the other night.
     “Be kind enough to accept my most sincere gratitude, so far as I can express it. Although I have never seen you, except in the theatre, I feel that we are acquaintances, almost friends.
     “The pen is a difficult instrument for me to wield, and in order that you may not mistake this brief writing for an expression of feeble sentiment of obligation, I beg of you to call upon me here, No. 8 Kaiserube Place, that I may thank you more earnestly.        “BIANCA CARRAZZA.”
     A sudden tremour seized Karl on reading this note.
     His happiness seemed so near at hand—almost within his grasp—that he was fairly intoxicated with joy; and had he obeyed his first impulse, he would have flown to the danseuse, and—and—but no.
     He doubted not but she loved him. He had believed it for some time; and her seizing upon this first opportunity of seeing him, was additional proof.
     That he loved her, was only too painfully evident to him by day and night.
     Yet there was the hideous reptile of impurity coiled at her door, and the young poet stopped, lest he should be stung.
     What his friend Gustav would have designated “sweet little indiscretions,” “delicate little rose-coloured sins,” were black as Erebus to Karl, who, as the reader has already seen, was a sentimentalist of the purest school.
     Both these friends were wrong, beyond denial; for they stood at the extremes of morality, and the right always lies between extremes.
     A hundred times was Karl on the point of braving the danger, and going to see the Signora Carrazza, yet when he thought of their love, mutual and unbounded, he saw the inevitable result of their meeting must be that he should in spite of himself, after a short period be either the abandoner or the abandoned.
     The day after writing this note, Signora Carrazza sat in her boudoir, in the old baronial mansion she occupied, listlessly gazing out of the window across the spacious court, and wondering why Karl had taken no notice of her invitation.
     As she sat there, she observed that a room exactly opposite her own was being cleaned and arranged for occupancy. Trunks, books, and other articles were being brought in, and it was evident from their nature that the new tenant was a young man.
     That afternoon, while watering some camelias in the window, she again looked across, and saw in the opposite room a face which filled her with indescribable emotion.
     The new comer was Karl Ehrundlin.
     It was for this that he had waited and followed her from the theatre on the night when he had punished the ruffian at the stage-door. He dared not meet her, yet he could not live without seeing her. Thus had he discovered her habitation, and hired a lodging that commanded a view of her window.
     A cool, brief note, stating that he required no further thanks, as he was happy to have served her, was all the answer she ever received to her invitation; yet day after day, evening after evening, she saw him gazing across the court toward her windows, as if he drew life from the mere sight of her.
     His love was so evident, and it was told so unmistakeably twenty times a week by his looks and gesture, that the danseuse was at a loss to divine how he should avoid her.
     She gave him chance after chance to meet her, but as he eluded them all, she saw that he was determined, and her passion began to devour him like a secret rage.


     One morning, just a year after Karl had taken his new apartment, he missed the Signora at her window.
     She had suffered, doubtless, more tortures than you or I know of. Day by day had she stood at the casement, gazing across at her lover—longing, yearning for some sign—some expression of the affection she well knew he bore for her; yet it came not.
     She might as well have loved the Apollo Belvidere like the poor girl in the story, who was found dead at the feet of the statue.
     The public had noticed that for several months she had been growing thinner and paler than of old. Her eyes seemed deeper, and her movements more languidly graceful. Karl, too, had seen this, and he saw what no one else did—that the glances she cast towards his box, when he threw his usual bouquet, were imploringly beseeching ones.
     Her eyes seemed to plead with him for her life—to say that he was killing her, and to beg that he would spare and save her.
     Gustav Wohlmachen knew the whole story, as, indeed, did many others, except that they knew not the motive of Karl’s self-imposed misery.
     The young artist had tried his best to bring the two together, by reasoning and strategy, but had always failed.
     “Why should I meet her?” asked Karl. “I love her new, and I am happy in that love. If we came together, it would no longer be a pure sentiment, and I feel that it would be fleeting.”
     “But I seriously think that this philosophy of yours will end in taking her life!”
     “I am not to blame for that. If I love the Signora Carrazza, I most certainly love purity and virtue more.”
     “You are a monster.”
     “You wish to make me a libertine?”
     “I wish to save the life of a human being.”
     “Yes, at the expense of the honour of two.”
     “Where is the dishonour?”
     “Is it honourable to confess and consumate a passion for a woman who has a husband and a love already? I think not.”
     And so the argument generally terminated, without any change of opinion on either side.
     On the morning above mentioned, Karl watched for his lady-love for some hours, but in vain. It was the first time in the year that he had not seen her.
     In the afternoon there was a great crowd in her reception room, the windows of which were also commanded by Karl’s chamber.
     The young man had a terrible curiosity to know what was going on, but a secret dread kept him in his room. He did not even venture out in the street.
     Towards the evening, a letter was brought him. He opened it and read these words:— 
     “Karl,—I do not know the reason of your coldness. I love you enough, however, to believe that it is a good and a just one, although it has killed me. When you read this, I shall be dead, and by my own hand. I cannot live on as I have lived for a year. Adieu.
     The man who brought this note told Karl that the Carrazza had been found dead in her boudoir, leaning against the windows, as if looking out. No one knew why she had killed herself, but it was plain she had—for her hand still clasped the little jewelled stiletto, which had penetrated her boddice and made such an invidious wound in the beautiful snowy bosom.
     “Does the letter I brought explain the cause of the deed in any way?” he asked.
     “No,” said Karl, “it is merely a business affair.”

         .          .         .          .         .          .         .          .

     Gustav Wohlmachen was absent from Lieblicht when all this happened, and heard nothing of it in Paris, where he was then sojourning. When he returned, he learned the sad story, and called at once upon Karl.
     The poet was sitting at his desk, writing with a rapt, unconscious air. When Gustav spoke, he hardly noticed him, and acted so strangely that his friend thought him crazed.
     “My poor Karl,” he said, “the blow has been too heavy for you.”
     “Oh, no. I bear it well. Gustav, she often comes to me in my dreams, and I do not suffer much while I make use of this.”
     And he held up a little silver box, full of dark brown pills.
     “What is that?” asked Gustav.
     “Opium,” said Karl.

     Everybody looked serious when Jones concluded. We are not bad fellows, and have hearts of our own. Egremont broke the ice first.
     “Poor Karl!” said he, with a sort of prima donna shake, “his was an unfortunate career. I cannot help thinking, however, that he was a bit of a fool. The idea of a fellow digging his own grave is preposterous.”
     “The Carrazza comes in for a tolerable share of my consideration,” remarked Jones. “Poor thing! she was to be pitied. Venus! had I been placed in Karl Ehrundlin’s shoes. If the first sectaries had founded their Neo-Platonic republic in Lieblicht, as Sallien permitted Plotin to make the attempt at Campagna, Karl could not have acted more extraordinarily. Egremont—the eau de vie.”
     “This fellow was a Plato with the head of a La Fontaine,” observed Brown. “What a pity he was not made one of the dragons in the gardens of Hesperides, who did not permit the young to pass the gates until they could touch the fruit without spoiling it. Karl was a politician as well as a poet, take my word for it. The despotic rogue. He suspended the habeas corpus in liberty of person as well as in liberty of thought.
     I broke in here rather hotly—
     “You talk like puppies; but I own you feel as men. In my opinion Karl was a better man than our forefather Adam. Passion is quite as fleeting as Egremont’s hope of pounds, shillings, and pence. Morality is permanent, because she proceeds from immutable order. She is like a song of Ben Jonson’s—durable in one sense, and unendurable in another.”
     “Let us say no more about the matter,” broke in Jones. “I have told you my story, and Egremont must now give us a song.”
     “With the greatest pleasure,” said the chairman, “so here goes”—


The stars are looking the love I bear thee,
The flowers are breathing our secret, fairy—
Queen of the flowers and the starlight, Mary,
     Steal to my bosom, my own, my love!

The stars may shine not, the flowers may fade, dear,
The world pass by us in tears and shade, dear,
Sweet in the summer the moon has made, dear,
     Steal to my bosom, my own, my love!

Oh, the cheek of Time, it is wreathed in smiling—
The ballad of love is the sage beguiling!
Flower of flowers the flowery isle in,
     Steal to my bosom, my own, my love!

Come! in the light of affection shriven,
Dear crown, by the dearest Immortal given,
Fair as the visions we dream of Heaven,
     Steal to my bosom, my own, my love!

Fortune, fair flower maiden, smiles approving—
Roses and lilies, sweet, bless our roving!
Closer, yet closer, my loved, my loving,
     Steal to my bosom, my own, my love!

     Egremont wound up his ditty, and the clock warned us that it was time to part.
     Nay, wipe thine eyes, dear reader—we shall meet again.

                                                                                                                                   R. W. BUCHANAN.



2. Robert Buchanan - The Literary Lounger

‘The Literary Lounger’ only appeared in three editions of The Glasgow Sentinel in 1858 and his identity is more speculative. The first is unsigned, but the inclusion of the poem by David Gray suggests Robert Buchanan Jr. is the writer, as do the initial comments about ‘Young America’ which mimic those in his Longfellow review. The next two articles were signed ‘R. B.’ The absence of the ‘W.’ might indicate Buchanan Snr., who, as well as being a journalist, essayist and polemicist, was also a poet. Two years later, after the collapse of The Glasgow Sentinel, at the first of Buchanan Snr.’s bankruptcy hearings (reported in The Glasgow Herald of 2nd June, 1860) he did make this statement:

“For upwards of twelve months before my sequestration, I did not contribute regularly to the literary department of the paper, that being supplied by the sub-editor and other parties who were paid for their contributions. This was occasioned because my mind was taken up by financial matters, and planning to meet my pecuniary engagements. I, however, took a general supervision of that department, and suggested the topics to be written for the papers.”

The Glasgow Sentinel (23 October, 1858 - p.2)


TRULY, Young America is a clever boy, and one who likes his books. At the semi-annual book sale, held in New York recently, the amount sold by auction was rising 200,000 dollars. But he stands in much the same relation to literature as Master Jones, the young hopeful of such and such an honest fellow’s family, to his volume of “Fairy Tales.” The rogue likes to read, but he must be provided with something which he can regard as interesting. He prefers Don Juan to Anacreon, and Tennyson to Puritan John. Heigho! Box his ears, and you will find Jonathan a stubborn lad indeed; but give him the open fields, with full permission to read when he will, and what he will, and you will find him in the ultimate a very talented little fellow. He wont study in a pair of stays, depend upon it. He likes so and so’s writing, and tells you so. He follows impulsively the promptings of his own spirit, and will candidly inform you that his head is hardly old enough to contain the soundest material; that he loves the birds, the flowers, and the sunshine, the voice of Spring, and the little sober path through the wood much better than the bowers of classic Accademus and the society of Plato dux philosophorum; and that his feelings are those of a boy he can give you as his reason why. He is as loving as he is impulsive, and “Love knows no order,” said St Jerome. In the meantime, we may watch his gambols with the Peripatetics and his dallying at the foot of the Holy Hill advisedly; we may wait, in the meantime, for his grey hairs.
     The “Household Book of Poetry” has been issued by the Messrs Appleton, of New York. It is a volume comprising somewhere about 800 pages, edited, as we understand, by Dana, who has himself given some very tame effusions, and one good poem, “The Buccaneer,” to the world. We have one blunder to grumble at—a very heinous one in our opinion, and in that of American literary circles. The writings of one individual will live when those of all other living Americans, with three or four exceptions, perhaps, are forgotten. The poems of Alice Carey possess refinement, esprit, and are remarkable for honest, affectionate pathos. They are eminently womanly—candid, loving delineations of a candid, loving female’s heart. She has not written a line which a stout soul should be ashamed to weep over internally. Her pen is characteristic of Christian gentleness, and views the infinite—which is the beautiful—through Christian smiles and tears. It is poetry with body and soul in it. It has some of the finish of Longfellow, much of Bryant’s susceptibility to the beautiful in nature and art, and a great deal of Lowell’s subjective power. Yet is the name and fame of this lady, who is a true poetess, passed without comment by Master Dana. This is not well. No wonder that such-a-one, who is an honest admirer of Miss Carey, grumbles over the book; or that so-and-so, whose little ones have probably learned to sing some of her sweetest and simplest lilts, casts it aside with contempt. Miss Carey is not known half well enough on this side of the Atlantic, by the way. O seceum insipiens et inficitum!
     Mr Wilkie Collins’ new drama, the “Red Vial,” while brimful of the horrible—which is Mr Collins’ element—is well written; but the success of a play with the public depends very much upon its direct influence on their feelings and sympathies. The uncritical part of an audience look to the theme instead of the treatment of a drama. In the “Red Vial” the most dreadful emotions are jarred painfully together for the sake of artistic effect. It does not partake sufficiently of the pathetic spirit, and acts indirectly upon the senses through the medium of the most alarming situations. It is characterised by power and excellent good taste, but disappoints the mass. Its title, by the bye, is a true indication of its outre plot. The component parts are thus subdivided: “Act I. Fourth of June Act II. The Physician’s Secrets!! Act III. The Alarm Clock!!!” High praise has been accorded to Mrs Stirling for her exquisite impersonation of the principal female character.
     Mr G. P. R. James, late her Majesty’s Consul at Richmond, Virginia, is making a short sojourn in the metropolis. This gentleman is the most prolific of the novelists now amongst us, and what is more remarkable, has never produced anything absolutely bad. Many of his tales are very popular, and some are excellent in their way. His “Forest Days” is a novel beautifully written, full of the spirit of the olden time—sparkling as Burgundy—summoning up visions delightful of stout Sir Launcilots, of bold Robin Hood and his dulcinea, the fair maid Marian, famous in many a good song, of stout Friar Tuck and the outlaw’s merry men! Mr James is on his way to Venice, to which place he has been appointed consul, at an increased income. His wife, daughter, and youngest son accompany him.
     The progress of a healthy journalism has been satisfactorily traced by Lord Brougham in his address before the Liverpool meeting of the assembly for the promotion of social science. His lordship went into statistics of the enormous sale of some of our penny publications, and commented in limine upon the good they have effected. His speech was eloquent and energetic, reminding one of the old inspired fire—that bright Edinburgh Review fire, which has not yet died out in the bosom of the grand old man. What one among his hearers did not dream of dear Sir Walter, dead and gone, and of Abbotsford; of Jeffrey, keen-cutting as the diamond, yet as good and precious, and of Craigerook; of Henry Cockburn and Co., and the Lesser Court? It was delightful. Every politician of note appears to regard the subject discussed by the noble lord—that of popular education—as a very important one indeed; and Brougham spoke upon a subject which he has studied conscientiously. The great schoolmaster and founder of the Useful Knowledge Society handled his arguments with the air of a warm thinker. Popular preachers and teachers who regard the London Journal, with other journals of its class, as nothing more or less than a weekly pennyworth of moral evil, would do well to mark his words. Depend upon it, every syllable was weighed with precision internally ere made use of in speech. He recognised the fact as regards the poor which the rich have recognised all along as regards themselves—that amusement is fully as necessary to the healthful mind as instruction. Let the Janus-headed fellows who privily read Bulwer, Brogden Brown, Sir Walter Scott, Balsac, and Monsieur Eugene Sue, and support at the same time in externo the Multiplication Table and the driest of dry science, weigh his expressions well. As for conviction, God speed the mark, cry we!
     We have received the following for publication:—


A LADY, pale faced in her lore of dreams,
Soft eyne blue deep as lipping Tivoli,
Sat silent by a painted oriel
Burnished with sunset. A white finger pressed
Two rose-leaf lips of dewy splendidness;
And one fair hand, streak’d delicately blue
As a spring blossom, or those wondrous hands
On Vandyke’s canvas ever beautiful,
Lay in her satin lap in snowy rest.
About the window played the panting breeze,
Stirring the tangled verdant drapery
Of rose flowers blushing thro’ the green of leaves.
Her belted lord was very far away
Across the valley with his merry men,
His long-ear’d hounds, of old and gentle breed,
Chasing the red deer in the forest maze.

A noble grand was gallant Lord Moraine,
The proudest in the many-acred shire;
And, in the hey-day of his manhood, he
Led to his bosom a fair Saxon bride,
With all her lands and towers and grand domains.
When he leapt down all clanking from his steed
At the hall door, he patted her fine cheek
In wanton tenderness. O she was all;
A grand wee plaything for his sunny hours,
A little luxury he lifted up
Sometimes upon a quiet palfrey brown.

So now sat she, a tear-drop in her eye
A shadow on her soul. Poor little thing!
Came evening in her drapery of gloom,
And like a spirit from the great unknown,
A white star rose in the grey-clouded east.
He came not. Sure, the chase this summer day
Had been prolonged beyond the custom’d hour.
The deer had mounted the hillside afar
Swift as the shadow of a falcon-cloud,
And there sat she, still as the marble form
Of pale Diana in her chastest dream.

The golden stair by which the sun went down
Changed from a purple to an orange hue,
Then to a weary grey. The crescent moon,
Like light gondola, on a placid lake
Venetian, stood by a shore of cloud,
Waiting a freight of souls. He came not yet;
And from her heart there came these longing words
In tinkling tones most ravishingly clear
And sonorous as pearls rolling down
A silver basin—
                               “Sooth, I like him well!
The oak-tree of my ivy-love! Ah me!
He will come soon. Hush! was not that full note,
Sheathing its clearness in the damp of night,
The sound of my lord’s horn? Fie on my little faith!
I mind one time he came not till the dawn,
With all the panting dogs about his feet;
And as he stalked up the ancestral stair,
And caught me playing Niobe at the top,
He laid my wet cheek to his manly breast—
Saying I was a tender-hearted thing
That should have been in bed. Well, well; but, but—
Methinks there is an omen in the air.
Ah! how the tall pine wrestles with the winds,
As I do with my thoughts. Heaven help me well!
But I will out and meet him in the wood,
Tho’ the grey night should fashion spirit forms
To haunt me as did Comus long ago!”

         *          *         *          *         *

     Mr David Gray, the author of the poem transcribed above has contributed some very beautiful effusions to the local press; but his head has evidently been turned a little by Percy Bysshe Shelley and Master John Keats. He is capable of producing good poems, but we would warn him against putting his muse in a pair of stays. She is young and delicate now—far too delicate and young to be tampered with, we should think. Lollipops and bon-bons are well enough in their way, no doubt, but good honest bread and butter must form her staple article of diet now-a-days. Did time and space permit, we would take our young poet most lovingly by the button-hole, and discourse to him “most excellent advice.” The divine faculty is at bud within him, but he must nurse it well. We consider “Lord Moraine” exceedingly creditable to Mr Gray’s head and heart; but he will give us something better one day. A volume of his poems, now in the press, and to a view of which we have been treated privately, contains some effusions of sterling worth.
     Messrs Longman state that Mr Crowe’s “History of France”—at least the first volume—will be published at the end of the present month. Mrs Jameson makes appearance shortly, with the fourth and concluding series of her “Sacred and Legendary Art.” The specific subject is “The History of Our Lord and of His Precursor, St John the Baptist,” with the personages and typical subjects of the Old Testament, as represented in Christian art. Messrs Longman announce various other publications, among them the third and concluding volume of Brialmont’s “Life of the Duke of Wellington.” Mr Murray announces the publication of the Marquis Cornwallis’s correspondence relating to India, America, the Union with Ireland, and the peace of Amiens. Sir Howard Douglas is about to publish a work on naval warfare with steam. Mr Murray also announces the third and fourth volumes of Rawlinson’s translation of Herodotus, which will complete the work.
     The world has fallen into the “sere and yellow leaf,” and the reading season has set in with a furore. The poet is brooding over coming “epics,” the novellist over novels that are to create a sensation by and by; and enterprising publishers are ever busy conning well-thumbed M.S. The summer has gone back to the unknown whence she came, and taken the emotions which it is given her to awaken to lands not far away. Farther south, perhaps, Miss Philomel varies the monotony of affairs a little now and then, but our Scotch woods lie silent, solemn, and neglected. Let us seek our own hearth with a good book. People like Mr Dickens better than Mr Tennyson now, in much the same way as they prefer a cosy fire within doors to a rouse in the open air.



The Glasgow Sentinel (6 November, 1858 - p.2)


THE snows of eight-and-eighty winters are piled on Alexander von Humboldt’s honoured head. He is old, very old, but the bright impassioned intellect has not died out yet within him. He prosecutes his literary labours quite as assiduously as ever—toiling, thinking, writing, morning, noon, and night. His glorious colleagues are dead and gone; he stood with Varnhagen von Ense in the mighty Presence only a day or two ago, yet he lingers with us still, engaged in the production of the two last volumes of his Cosmos, probably the last study which God will spare him to complete. A long life, and one, indeed, well spent, has been that of Alexander von Humboldt; and this very day the resources of his wonderful intellect appear as manifold and as unimpaired as they were twenty years ago. Friends of his say that he continues as great an enthusiast as ever. Farseeing and prophetic as a man of genius, he is earnest, simple, and light-hearted as a child.
     Lord Byron, than whom no man was more different from his idol in range of style and intellect, worshipped Pope, and another noble lord, now with us, has been silly enough to follow his example. Lord Carlisle has cultivated a style almost exclusively used by school boys and the authors of prize poems, and published in decasyllabic verse, a paraphrase of the eighth chapter of Daniel. We are so constantly disgusted at the affectation and priggishness of our modern lovers of simplicity, and are so often led to regret the wonderful weight, condensation, and manliness, which Pope alone put into such verses, that it is well we should occasionally be reminded that the imitation of Pope was perhaps a drearier employment than the imitation of Mr Tennyson.
     We regret to announce the death of Mrs Hope Scott, granddaughter of Sir Walter, and daughter of the late John Lockhart. She expired in the Clarendon Hotel, Edinburgh, a day or two ago. The Border Advertiser, commenting on the amiable lady’s decease, observes:—“Mrs Hope Scott had never rightly recovered strength after her last confinement, about five weeks ago, although the seeds of the malady which proved fatal had evidently been sown previous to that event. She was removed lately to the Clarendon Hotel, Edinburgh, in order that she might be under the special medical attention of Dr Simpson. Here she gradually sank. She was attended to the last by her devoted husband. Not to dwell upon the prostrating effects of the bereavement on the strong mind of him who was her doating partner in life, we know that in the hearts of the domestics at Abbotsford, from faithful old Swanston down to the youngest and latest arrived member of the household, there has fallen a gloom and a sadness that are altogether unequalled on ordinary occasions of death. Mrs Hope Scott was equally beloved for her unobtrusive kindness and amiability among all classes; and particularly in the cottages of the poor many an eye will be wetted at the news of her death. The last link may almost be said to be now severed that bound the name of Sir Walter Scott to the present and living generation. The deceased Charlotte Harriet Jane Lockhart was—at the time of her union, in 1847, to James R. Hope Scott, Esq., Q.C.—the only surviving daughter of Mr Lockhart, the critic, and biographer of Sir Walter, by his marriage with Sophia, Scott’s eldest daughter. Her father died at Abbotsford, in the presence of his daughter and her husband, on the 25th December, 1851, and his dust reposes by the side of the poet, under the ivy-clasped arches of Dryburgh, where a fitting monument was lately erected to his memory. Her mother Mrs Lockhart, died in her house in London in June, 1837, and is interred in the new cemetery, Harrow Road, beside her sister Anne, who died in 1833. In the same spot also was interred, by his mother’s side, the ashes of that frail but noble boy, John Hugh Lockhart—the Hugh Littlejohn of the ‘Tales of a Grandfather,’ so well known in fancy to the boyish years of the youth of Scotland. He died in 1831. Walter Scott Lockhart Scott, the once heir to the name and estates of Abbotsford, and brother of the present departed lady, died about fourteen years ago abroad, and is interred in the cemetery of Versailles. Thus, one by one, the off-shoots of that family tree which Sir Walter Scott had such an ambition to found on our border have fallen. Let us hope that the still remaining distant and slender link that Mrs Hope Scott leaves behind her may be spared to re-establish the name and build up the house of Abbotsford. Mr Hope Scott’s family consists of a daughter, Mary Monica, about four years of age; Walter Michael, a boy about 18 months old; and the fruit of the late confinement, a daughter, only a few weeks entered into life. We understand that Mrs Hope Scott’s remains will be interred for the present in the burying-ground, Edinburgh, belonging to the congregation of Bishop Gillies; the space in Dryburgh Abbey, where her father and grandfather are interred, being as yet unsuitable. The deceased lady was said, by those who were able to form a correct opinion, to bear in her features some traces of the lineaments of her distinguished ancestor, whose facial characteristics were still more apparent and strongly marked in his daughter, her late mother.”
     Students in England as well as in Germany will remember a charming little book, in which Lessing attempted to give definiteness and force to certain propositions as to the relations of Humanity and Christianity—propositions which had been set up some time previously in the famous “Wolfebuttel Fragments.” Readers ignorant of German will be delighted with a very excellent translation of the work to which we allude, just published by Smith, Elder and Co., of London. Die Erziehung des Menschengeschlects (The Education of the Human Race)—appeared, if we remember correctly, in the year 1781, and immediately exercised a remarkable influence on thought and opinion in Germany. Gotthold Ephraim Lessing stands at the head of the critical rationalistic school of continental theology; and his name has now an historical significancy.
     The first New York sale for the season took place, Sept. 1st, at the auction rooms of G. A. Leavitt and Co., and terminated on the 18th. The total amount was about £40,000, the largest invoice, that of D. Appleton and Co., having yielded £4,000; that of Phillips, Sampson, and Co., £3,000; and that of Derby and Jackson over £2,500. The attendance has been numerous, and the prices good, some books being in excellent demand. Of the “Jubilee,” a music-book published by Mason Brothers, over 1,000 copies were sold. Appletons disposed of 700 Bryant’s Poems, and 3,000 Cornell’s educational works. Derby and Jackson sold over 4,000 volumes of the Library of Standard Fiction; Childs and Peterson, 350 copies of Dr Kane’s Arctic Explorations, which has already had a circulation of 70,000. H. W. Beecher’s “Life Thoughts” was bought to the extent of 4,000, and Captain Mayne Reid’s writings had the same fortune. J. W. Bradley, of Philadelphia, sold 620 “Livingstone’s Travels,” and Hickling, Swan, and Brewer, 1,300 of “Worcester’s Pronouncing Speller,” as well as 600 “Goodrich’s History of the United States.” An offer was made and refused for 200,000 Webster’s “Elementary Speller,” at one-eighth cent less than the regular price. The largest amount sold of any one book was £750 for about 800 Coppee’s “Gallery of Famous English and American Poets,” published by E. H. Butler and Co.
     Exactly seven-and-thirty years ago the maiden essay of Mr Thomas De Quincey appeared in the columns of the London Magazine. Poor Hazlitt’s “Table Talk,” and Charles Lamb’s “Essays of Elia,” were models of literary excellence then, and the “Confessions of an English Opium Eater” was at once acknowledged by all and sundry as fit to range side by side with theses in originality and esprit. A scholar, after years of toil, and study, and literary discipline, he came to the measuring-bar quite as boldly as the best, and was not found wanting. Since then, for seven-and-thirty years, he has poured forth the treasures of an inexhaustible intellect, and more than justified the position, the success, his first production gained him. During this interval, under hardships which must make the human heart ache even to imagine, he has exerted his imaginative resources in unintermittent contributions to periodical works of high status. We have recognised him as an accurate scholar, a subtle reasoner, a philosophic thinker, and an accomplished historian. He is the “Admirable Crichton” of modern literature. We know not to what extent the “selection” issued by Mr Hogg, of Edinburgh, have yet to be continued, but this we do know, that the series improves as gradually as it advances. Nine desirable volumes have already been issued, and we trace the slow growth of a great and original mind from one to one. His last productions are as much superior to the “Confessions” as the “Confessions” are superior to anything else of their kind in the whole range of English literature. Originality and progress identify genius; and in the subtle intellect of De Quincey we must recognise genius in its sublimest form. Some amongst his later essays—as the papers on “Homer and the Homerioæ,” on the “Republic of Plato,” and the “Philosophy of Herodotus,” are examples of that familiarity with the literature of Greece which was one of Mr De Quincey’s school honours; and some, again—as that on the “Pagan Oracles”—are full of marvellous acuteness and curious lore. We find a source of inexhaustible pleasure in these happy alternations of the “grave and gay.”
     In a very beautifully got-up little volume of verse, by a Miss Young of this city, we find many indications of poetic talent. One or two of the poems are little, if at all, above mediocrity, but many on the other hand are something more than mere vers de societie. More than once do we meet with beautiful thoughts beautifully expressed. Our authoress possesses a sound, loving, appreciative heart; and her effusions are now and then characterised by tone and power. She looks upon the beautiful through woman’s smiles and tears, bringing her soul into her song. She thinks no evil, apprehending none; and her verses are as innocent and good as the bosom which fostered and encouraged the emotions they are written to represent. Hers is just such a book as we would desire to find in the possession of our “sweethearts and wives.” One little song, written in the honest, pathetic Doric, has already assumed for itself a position in Scotch ballad literature; and we shall confer a favour, both upon the reader and ourselves, by its reproduction in these columns:—


Oh! sad wails the norlan’s wind round my lane sheiling;
     The snaw-drift an’ sleet wrastle hard in the air,
An’ cauld is my hamestead, but caulder my bosom,
     An’ thowless my heart, for my Jeanie’s nae mair.
The pride o’ my heart, an’ the joy o’ my bosom,
     She kept my auld days free o’ sorrow an’ care,
But she’s gane frae my sicht like a frost-nipp’t blossom,
     And gane are my joys since noo she’s nae mair.

I hear nae her silvery voice ring through the hallan
     Wi’ music as sweet as the saft simmer air,
Nor hear her licht fit-fa’ steal round in the gloamin’,
     Aud ilk thing looks cheerless since Jeanie’s nae mair.
It’s no that the warld’s grown darker or drearier—
     It’s no that its flowers are bloomin’ less fair,
But my life’s sun’s gane down, an’ nae mair can they cheer me—
     It’s aye gloamin’s round me since Jeanie’s nae mair.

The sunbeams shoot over the ocean’s dark bosom,
     Like glints o’ the glory that’s shinin’ on high,
An’ the ebb o’ the wave comes like sabs o’ emotion,
     Betiding the time I maun heave my last sigh.
Like a storm-rifted tree to the grave I maun daunner,
     Nae kind heart to cheer or my sorrow to share,
But my thochts ever dwell on the warld that’s aboon us,
     An’ I ken that my Jeanie will welcome me there.

An open-hearted and innocent girl might be even less profitably employed than in the production of verses as meritorious as these.
     Now that we approach the wise and merry Christmas time, illustrated books begin to come out in goodly number. There is, first, Mr John Murray, who announces Lockhart’s “Spanish Ballads,” splendidly bound in quarto, and illustrated with coloured borders, and illuminated titles and initial letters; and likewise “Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage,” with seventy illustrations, from original drawings and sketches by Percival Skelton. There are, next, Messrs Longman, who promise Moore’s “Lalla Rookh,” in like magnificent quarto dress; and Messrs Nisbet, who announce Thomson’s “Seasons,” illustrated by Pickersgill. And there is Mr Routledge, who has some Christmas books in hand surpassing anything he has hitherto published. They are Wordsworth’s “Deserted Cottage,” illustrated by Gilbert and Wolf; and Goldsmith’s Poems, illustrated by designs of Birket Foster and printed in colours from woodblocks.

                                                                                                                                                     R. B.



The Glasgow Sentinel (13 November, 1858 - p.2)


LET us take a hasty glance at one or two of the monthlies. First and foremost in the list comes our sober, straightforward, honest old friend, Blackwood, discussing yesterday and to-day in the same sober, straightforward, honest manner. “What will he do with it?” progresses favourably enough. Mr Buckle and his “History of Civilisation” came under notice, and the reviewer appears to regard Mr Buckle as a builder of tangible theories based on unsubstantial foundations, and a man of genius at the same time. He touches that gentleman on the most sensitive point—in the most delicate manner possible; and, admirabile dictu, appears to look upon him all along as a very clever fellow who has made a very great fool of himself. “Cherbourg” is a topic exhausted weeks ago, but Blackwood will have its say about it. The author of the article on Edward Irving talks a good deal of nonsense—nonsense that we have heard from the lips of nonsensical people over and over again. He appears to regard the Scottish clergy in general and Edward Irving in particular (all honour to whom, however) as neither more nor less than angels in flannel waistcoats and pantaloons. He estimates the preacher by an erroneous standard, and magnifies his intellectual powers to bring them to the stipulated calibre. The direct popularity of Edward Irving, instead of resulting from his mental powers, might be traced to causes different indeed.
     Titan comes nest in our category—firstly, because it has been and is a favourite of ours; and secondly, because the number for this month is more than ordinarily clever and entertaining. The author of “At Munich” pays a visit to the celebrated Bavarian Residenz and handles the topics suggested by such a visit like a genuine lover of the arts. We have enjoyed his company, and you, my dear reader, cannot do better than seek him out, and enjoy it too. “Marriage as in France” is a good translation of M. Chas. Reybaud’s admirable story, “Faustine et Sydonie.” “Two Millions” and “Nothing to Wear” are from a Transatlantic source. practical people will enjoy the chapter on “Art and Science Abroad.” Here is a paragraph for extract:—


     The work of tunnelling the Alps has been commenced some months. The spot chosen for this undertaking is beneath Mount Cenis, the part of the Alpine chain which separates France from Piedmont. Although the ridge here is high, it is one of the narrowest portions of the chain anywhere hereabouts. The tunnel is to begin at Modane on the north side, and terminate at Bardoneche on the south, these two points being, within a little, on the same level. The convenience of this position for a tunnel was pointed out by M. Medoil, more than 20 years ago, and has often attracted the attention of engineers. The tunnel will be very near eight miles in length, and is designed in the same vertical plane; but, to facilitate drainage, is rather higher in the middle than at the ends, so as to form a slope on each side. The crest of the mountain is about a mile higher than the highest point of the tunnel; hence the sinking of shafts was practically impossible, and the tunnel can only be worked at its extremities. By the ordinary method of tunnelling, the work would occupy 36 years; and by an ingenious mechanical contrivance to be applied, this time will be greatly shortened. . . . The perforating apparatus, set in motion by the compressed air, is so compact and powerful, that in a space barely sufficient for three couples of miners to work, 18 perforators may be employed, so that it will be possible to complete the work in six years instead of 36. The inventors calculate upon being able to advance three metres per day at each end, or six metres per day altogether. The air, after working the perforators, is still available for ventilation. When this work is completed and connected with the Victor Emanuel Railway, it will form one of the finest, if not the finest, road on the continent of Europe; and the journey from Paris to Turin will occupy only 22 hours, and from Paris to Milan only 27 hours.

     Fraser opens with a chatty piece de resistance, “Our Failures.” Here we are seized as with an ague. Failures, failers—dupers, dupes—humbugs and shams of all sorts—there they stand in miserable array beneath the comprehensive eye of “A Manchester Man.” Havoc upon the flock, cried he—and no sooner said than done. He ships a director or two to Norfolk Island, pour encourager les autres, and kicks very heartily a few other kite-flyers of the class gregarious. The author of Headlong Hall contributes a curious notice of some translations from the Sanscrit into ancient Greek, by Demetrius Galanus, a Greek settler in Benares towards the end of the last century, which have been recently edited by G. K. Lypallus, Superintendent of the Royal Library at Athens. Mr Lever’s “Davenport Dunn” is continued with vigour. The following exhibits to some extent, the abilities attributed to the man in his varied capacities:—


     “I am now coming to myself—to my own case, my Lord,” said Dunn, with the very slightest tremor in his voice. “Need I say that I wish it were in the hands of any other advocacy? I am so far fortunate, however, that I address one fully conversant with my claims on his party. For five-and-twenty years I have been the careful guardian of their interests in a country where, except in mere name, they never possessed any real popularity. Your Lordship smiles a dissent; may I enter upon the question?” “Heaven forbid!” broke in the Minister, smiling good-humouredly. “Well, my Lord, were I to reduce my services to a mere monetary estimate, and furnish you with a bill of costs, for what a goodly sum should I stand in the estimates! I have mainly sustained the charge of seven county elections, hardly contested. I have paid the entire charges on twenty-two borough contests. I have subsided the provincial press in your favour at a cost of several thousand pounds out of my own pocket. I have compromised three grave actions about to be brought against the Government. Of the vast sums I have contributed to local charities, schools, nunneries, societies of various denominations, all in the interest of your party, I take no account. I have spent in these and like objects a princely fortune; and yet these hundreds of thousands of pounds are as nothing—mere nothing—to the actual personal services I have rendered to your party. In the great revolution effected by the sale of encumbered estates, I have so watchfully guarded your interests that I have replaced the old rampant Toryism of the land by a gentry at once manageable and practicable—men intent less upon party than personal objects, consequently available to the Minister, always accessible by an offer of direct advantage. I have, with all this, so thrown a Whig light over all the rising prosperity of the country that it might seem the result of your wise rule that stimulated men to the higher civilisation they have attained to, and that a more forbearing charity and a more liberal spirit went hand in hand with improved agriculture and higher farming. To identify a party with the great march of this prosperity—to make of your policy a cause of these noble results, was the grand conception, which, for a quarter of a century, I have carried out. When Mr O’Connell kept your predecessors in power, his price was the bit-by-bit surrender of what in your hearts you believed to be the bulwarks of the constitution. In return for my support what have I got? Some patronage; be it so; for my own dependants and followers, no doubt! Show me one man of my name, one man of my convictions, holding place under the Crown. No, my Lord; my power to serve your party was based on this dure foundation, that I was open to no imputation; I was the distributor of your patronage to the men best worthy to receive it—no more.”

     Our old friend Punch has sprung his Christmas rattle before all his rivals and issued his illustrated ephemeras for 1859. The “Pocket Book” is a repertoire of honest, good-natured fun. “A pic-nic is a drawing-room,” drawn by John Leech, makes a capital frontispiece. The artist has shown us how to get up a real rus in urbe, free from insects, flaring hot sun, or charge for waiters. The comic translations from Horace are decidedly clever; and the classico-comical cut of Demosthenes haranguing the waves, supposed to typify his sublime serenity the Speaker of the House of Commons, is among the best of the kind we have ever seen.

                                                                                                                                                 R. B.



I also came across two reviews of poetry, both unsigned, which struck me as possibly the work of Buchanan Jr., but I have no evidence to support the feeling, so I’ve just added the scans below.


‘A Gush of Song’
The Glasgow Sentinel (10 April, 1858 - p.6)


The Glasgow Sentinel (25 December, 1858 - p.2)

Robert Buchanan and The Glasgow Sentinel - continued








The Fleshly School Controversy
Buchanan and the Press
Buchanan and the Law


The Critical Response
Harriett Jay


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