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his paraphernalia, his butt of sack that all verse written to order comes which enabled him to entertain Feste short of being poetry. But this is maniand other choice spirits if it seemed festly not the case with poets of very well to him within the precincts of the different degrees of power. TennyCourt-of course within hours not son and Longfellow, for instance, both proscribed by the presiding Major wrote some of their best poetry at the domo. For a poet to be a professional behest of public opinion. One feature in those days patronage of some sort ordinarily attending the production of was indispensable, and that of the such peotry is that the audience for it Court took this somewhat indefinite is artificially enlarged, and that the form. Nothing was probably fixed immediate judgment is apt to be very definitely and inalterably in regard to erratic—as in the case of Tennyson's the appointment, except that the pay- noble Ode on the Death of Wellington, ment was in a chronic state of arrears. which was adjudged by many egreBut the regular production of the gious critics to be on a level with scheduled odes postulated a certain notorious effusions by Rowe and amount of exhilaration which
Whitehead! It is noteworthy, perhaps, duly provided for, while the public that two of the best known poems of were adequately protected by the mu- our time-one of the best and one of sic and pageant in which the actual the worst-have been produced under utterance of all this periodical poetry somewhat similar conditions of popumust have invariably been smothered. lar commission and popular acclaQueen Victoria, who reverted in her mation by an unofficial laureate of the ideals to the Stuarts, revived a per- moment. sonal and sentimental attac ment to The wisdom or unwisdom of doing her Court poet. In the case of other away with the time-honored convenSovereigns of her Dynasty we may tions of the laureateship at the presperhaps take it for granted that the ent juncture is a question on which relationship was for the most part we do not feel ourselves called upon purely nominal. It is well known that
to pronounce judgment. It must be the late King was no very devoted admitted that the excessive purism of student of poetry. At a banquet upon some of the critics of the ancient office a semi-literary, semi-State, occasion and the sensitiveness of others on bewhen the names of the guests had to half of the sacred flame of poesy is be submitted for the King's personal not a little paradoxical at a time when inspection, that of an extremely well- the example of Tennyson in declining known poet was objected to on ac- to regard the acceptance of an honorcount, it is said, of its unfamiliar and ific title from the State as any degradaplebeian sound. Explanation led to tion to the fair fame of “Poetry and frank admission of the king's unfa- Polite Letters" is being so eagerly miliarity with some of the chief poetic followed on every hand. Still more reputations of the day. Yet the poet wasteful and paradoxical in our in question was one of the daintiest opinion would be the waste of skill and most accomplished writers of vers and connoisseurship in the matter of d'occasion that the country has pro- making a choice among a most opulent duced.
field. The perplexity and utter bewil. One of the implications of this not derment as to the canons which should very happily chosen synonym for vers rightly govern their choice might, in de société or vers de circonstanoe is that the case of such Premiers as Palmerssuch verse is cheap on the market and ton and Salisbury, be very well accounted a valid reason for suspending any appointment. But in the case of our present Prime Minister, as is well known, the situation is entirely reversed. Mr. Asquith, since the days when he rehearsed beneath the stars of midsummer in their nocturnal pomp
in the garden quad at Balliol, has been a regular devotee of the double-flute. He not only knows the young poets of the day, but he actually quotes their immortal works. Never, surely, since the institution of the office have the auguries been so favorable.
NEW MODELS FOR DANCERS.
One does not look for much brains they can be so danced as to refine in dancing boys or dancing girls, any away the essence of the dance; when more than in dancing dolls. There is it becomes pointless as well as ugly. nothing surprising in their accepting So far as we can make out, the dethe negroid importations from America fence of these Yankee novelties is with enthusiasm. It is a new toy: a that youth will be youth; boys and “fine lark," as precisely the same girls must have more boisterous amusequality of mind at the opposite end of ment than they have been able to get Society would say. To ask them to be from the waltz. Obviously then if critical of the new hops and trots as you refine away this romp element, æsthetic art is irrelevant. In the there is nothing left that is worth hands, or the feet, of a professional having. It is precisely the indignity dancing no doubt is a fine art; but the of the dance that appeals to the young amateur--well one does not look for blood. Sometimes, too, it appeals to art from Philistines. They want ex- old blood, to judge from a letter in citement, and the new dances offering the “Times” signed “Senex.” This new and more lively sensations, they frolicsome elder finds himself rejuve greedily take to them. Just what a nated as he watches his daughters, child left to itself always does. OP whom he is showing in the ballrooms, the origin of these dances or where trotting round with the boys, who rethey come from most dancers are no mind him of his golden youth. It is doubt gloriously unconscious. Some a pity he does not entertain the assemmay be too respectable to know, more bly by turkey-trotting himself. He are too ignorant; others prefer not to would be a truly delightful spectacle. ask. But it is rather the chaperons Well, if an old man can be fool enough who prefer not to ask. The various to like these things, one cannot be sur"trots” are drawing the men well. It prised if young fools do the same. would be a pity to spoil sport. But One must give up asking for dignity one cannot help being impatient at the and grace: that has gone with the silly hypocrisy which pretends to be
House of Lords. When there was a in doubt about the meaning of these
House of Lords and there was an arisnigger movements. (We are quite tocracy, we had grand manners, whatwilling on Sir Sydney Olivier's author- ever may
morals. ity to "concede" the "Boston” as not Whether morals are better or worse is negroid. We be not dancing masters.) difficult to say, but our manners are They are all sex dances, as everybody undoubtedly worse, so far as we have knows who will know. Obviously any manners now.
gether hold on to the tail of the first golden youth that, if they must have and pull. There is generally much yellmore sensation in their dancing, they ing. The tails of the men's evening go to the dark places of America for coats would serve as the monkeys' it. The dancing mind is not inventive, tails perfectly well, and the effect we can well believe, but almost at would be wondrously similar. The their gates they can find better models. spectacle would be most diverting. A single visit to the Zoo will show There would be vast amusement and them many more excellent ways. much noise; just what is wanted now. Consider the apes. Why not an Ape's And there might be a Midges' Maze. Antic instead of a turkey-trot? Let Midges obviously dance, the salient the boys and girls practise the move- movement being a vertical leap, the ments of the orang, the chimpanzee, midge going up and coming down apor, best of all, the agile gibbon, and parently in an absolutely perpendicuthey would provide plenty of sensa- lar line. A squad of boys and girls tion for the onlookers and more exer- doing this would have an extremely cise than they want for themselves. inane ridiculous effect, and it would Boy facing girl, each on all fours on be very vigorous exercise. Also it the floor; each turns back on the other would make a considerable row. The and scales the wall opposite; then they flapping of the garments would add approach depending on all fours from to the absurdity of the effect. There the ceiling, and face each other just are some birds, we believe, which inas they started from the floor. The dulge (the cock-birds at any rate) in figure could be multiplied indefinitely. a very similar antic in the breeding Half-a-dozen boys and half-a-dozen season, flapping their wings in their girls on all fours on the ground, heads finest nuptial plumage) as they jump. convergent in the centre of the circle, This could be imitated very successcould go through the same evolution, fully by dancing youths; the girls meeting on the ceiling. Only a little playing the part of the admiring hens. scaffolding would be needed for them And why not a Fleas' Frolic? Nothto hang from. Hostesses would be de- ing can exceed the agility of a flea. A lighted to provide that for such musical arrangement of leaps could sbow.
easily be devised. One dancer could Or a Monkey Tug. Why not a leap into the arms of another or on monkey tug? Everybody must have another's back. And if it were wanted watched with delight one monkey to be realistic, one could give the other seize the tail of another, and the third a little bite, scarcely harder than a seize his, and a fourth his, and so on kiss. It would be a most popular dance. until you have a long chain of mon- If only our devotees of the negroid keys, every one hauling at the tail of dances would condescend to learn the one in front. Another variety of from the “bugs” and apes! They the tug is when several monkeys to- should not find it difficult.
The Saturday Review.
Over two hundred years ago power of even the most maladroit French diplomatist, M. Louis Rous- British representative in Washington, seau de Chamoy, wrote a treatise on and certainly impossible for any Amerhis profession which he entitled ican Ambassador in London, to de"L'Idee du Parfait Ambassadeur": flect the general current of Angloand it is interesting to be reminded American relations. But the accredited by this brochure, which has only just emissaries of both countries may do come to light, how little the problems something to retard, and may also do of conduct and hospitality and bearing a great deal to strengthen and forwhich beset Ambassadors to-day have ward, that mutual recognition by the altered since the seventeenth century, two peoples of all that they have in and how static are the qualities which common, which is the surest basis of go to make a successful diplomatist. political sympathy. This is particuM. de Chamoy discusses the advan- larly true of the British Ambassador tages and drawbacks of a lavish ex- to the United States. His opportunipenditure and an imposing presence, ties for going wrong and creating fricand the pros and cons, of having "une tion and bringing about one of those ambassadrice" by one's side, much as "personal incidents" which the an Ambassador of to-day might be American press delights to batten, are conceived as resolving such questions;
almost endless. So, too, are bis opporand the main conclusion he comes to is tunities for acting as interpreter of the that, after all, it is brains and person
best that there is in Great Britain to ality that count. It would be, per- the intelligence of America. It is haps, a little cruel to apply that test quite a mistake to imagine that Sic to the service at large, and there may Cecil Spring-Rice has entered upon eren be posts where it would not apply either an easy or an uninfluential at all, and where decorous stupidity office. The conditions impose on him would be as useful as any other quali- an unusual degree of wariness. For fication. But in at least two offices, one thing, he has to carry on his work the British Embassy at Washington in a glare of publicity that in Europe and the American Embassy in London is not only unknown but unimaginable. -brains and personality are not only
For another, there is always a party desirable but absolutely essential; and
in the United States anxious to score it is a suggestive coincidence that both a point against Great Britain, and these appointments should have fallen there are always votes to be wonvacant almost simultaneously, and that though not many, happily, in these each should have been filled by the ob- days-by an anti-British campaign. viously right man. Two happier selec- Our Ambassador, therefore, has need tions could hardly be conceived than of all his tact, level-headedness, and those which last month sent Sir Cecil discrimination. He must be ever Spring-Rice to Washington and a few ready to make allowances; he must days ago brought Mr. Walter H. Page constantly remember that America is to London.
the exception; he must know what to Friendship between Great Britain discount; above all, he must have the and the United States may be taken instinct for taking Americans in the as the settled policy of both countries,
right way. and it would probably be beyond the "A wife may be of the greatest as
sistance to an Ambassador," is one gallery, its society is small, exceedof M. de Chamoy's somewhat indefinite ingly intimate, and enjoys a highly contributions to the problem of diplo- specialized code of etiquette that is all macy. In Washington, certainly, it is its own, and a mistake, especially a all but impossible to dissociate the mistake on the part of the British AmBritish Ambassador's wife from bassador's wife, becomes public propher husband's failure or success. The erty at once. prestige of the British Embassy may It ought to be written up often, indeed, depend more on her so- every mantelpiece in the Foreign cial flexibility than on his official Office that the type of man to repremerits. There are probably very few sent Great Britain in the United English women who are really happy States is the type of man who for a or popular in the United States, or can generation or more has represented help being jarred—and, what is worse, the United States in Great Britain. showing that they are jarred—by the Washington is the last city in the thousand and one little differences world where an Ambassador of the rebetween English and American social served and angular species, all stiffstandards and ways of doing things. ness and conventions, can make any The wife of a British Ambassador has headway. So far indisputably the to accommodate herself to a social en- best representative that this or any vironment that is all the more difficult other country has sent to America was to gauge because of its similarity in Mr. Bryce. He possessed, of course, general outline to what she is used to many advantages that none of his at home or in the capitals of Europe, successors is ever likely to command. and its dissimilarity in detail. She has But at bottom, the real reason why he to master the art of accepting persons achieved so remarkable a triumph was and things as they come without com- that in his instincts and his interment or surprise, and of recognizing ests he was as far removed as could that what might be counted easygoing- be from the ordinary professional diness or curiosity in London may in plomatist, and approximated very Washington be merely a novel token closely to the sort of man that the of friendliness and interest. She has United States has been accustomed to to bear in mind that in matters of so- send to London, From Adams down cial usage the lish and Ame ans, to Mr. Walter Page, whose advent it is while aiming at the saine mark and a pleasure to welcome, all the Amerimeaning essentially the same thing, can Ambassadors have been men of often behave, and express themselves distinction, cultivation, literary aptiin opposite senses. Not every British tude, and wide democratic
symAmbassador at Washington has had a pathies. They have done as Mr. Page wife who possessed these qualities of will doubtless do: they have gone perception; and more than one hostess everywhere and met everyone; they at the Embassy on Connecticut Ave- have delivered addresses at meetings nue has passed her time, like Lady and universities and before philosoBarberina in Mr. Henry James's in- phical and literary societies; they have comparable tale, in a state of hopeless made themselves an intimate part of alienation from, and misunderstanding the public life of the country to which of, her new surroundings. When this they were accredited; they have been is the case, the result is apt to be dis- as emphatically Ambassadors to the astrous, because Washington resem- people as to the Court or Whitehall or bles nothing so much as a whispering the West End. A great and unique