stages of the war were fought out by armies mainly raised on the indenture system, by which captains and sub-captains contracted to enlist certain numbers of volunteers at stated rates of pay. But even these volunteers, we must remember, were raised from a nation roughly trained in arms and in discipline.

Nor did compulsory service damp volunteer energies in medieval England any more than it does in modern Switzerland. In the very year of Crécy the Scots poured into England, flattering themselves that they would find none but ploughmen and shepherds and feeble chaplains ’; but at Neville’s Cross they met the militia of the northern counties, which inflicted on them one of the most disastrous defeats in the Scottish annals. Among this militia were large numbers of volunteer parsons, whom the chronicler describes as marching forth from York and Beverley with litanies on their lips, but with sword and quiver on thigh, and the good bow under their arm. In 1360, again, we find parish priests turning out personally for the defence of the realm ; and in 1383 priests and monks were among the crusaders' whom Bishop Despenser led against the French.

It is a chapter of history interesting in itself, and doubly interesting in its modern application. We must beware of pressing historical analogies too closely, especially over an interval of five centuries. But when we hear our fellow-citizens talk glibly of the un-English system of compulsory service, let us remember that this was an essentially English institution during the century which is singled out by historians of all schools as specially important for the formation of our national character. During that century our own civic and political liberties grew by leaps and bounds, while non-conscripted France declined from servitude to servitude. The regulations under which Edward brought his conscripts to Crécy remained on the Statute Book until after the defeat of the Armada ; nor was the tradition altogether lost in the days of our own grandfathers. Trafalgar and Waterloo were won to a great extent by conscripted men; and, face to face with the stern realities of those times, few politicians dared to argue that the Briton was too free to bear his share of an imprescriptible national duty, or too brave to train in defence of the country which had given him birth.


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VERILY to be counted on the fingers of one hand among thousands are those who are fit to write the biography of another man, especially if that other man has once been a friend. Scrupulous accuracy, in so far as is possible, reticence, comprehension, generosity, are necessary concomitants of his outfit. Resentment, injustice, jealousy, must be carefully placed under lock and key. Harsh judgments as to his friend's behaviour to him personally, if it be reprehensible, must be refrained from. Change of opinion, transference of affection, must be passed over without criticism, for how can readers tell but that righteous cause was given for both ?

Dr. George Milbury Gould, whose book Concerning Lafcadio Hearn was published a short time ago, can hardly be said to have taken care that scrupulous accuracy, reticence, or comprehension accompanied him when he started on his task of putting together his reminiscences of the artist who honoured him with his intimacy.

‘His mind seemed to flush with religious or ethical enthusiasm while the Mosque of his real heart was only a chasm of gloomy negation.' This, his reticence.

‘Deprived by nature, by the necessities of his life, or by conscious intention, of religion, morality, scholarship ... and other constituents of personal greatness, it is more than folly to endeavour to place him as a great man before the world.' This is Dr. Gould's generosity and comprehension.

The dead die never utterly,' Hearn says in the conclusion of that prose poem, A Street Singer. “They sleep in the darkest cells of tired hearts and busy brains, to be startled at rarest moments only by the echo of some voice that recalls their past.'

To my heart and brain, as I read Gould's preface, came the fanciful idea that the dead artist might awake startled at the echo of this pitiless and discordant voice - he who, in his wonderful prose, has introduced us to Kimiko and Yoko, who has told us the pathetic tale of ‘Haru,' and the exquisite story of the 'Shirabycshi,' who has shown us the flushed splendour of the blossom bursts of spring, the rising of the sun behind the peaks, the dying crimson of autumn foliage, in the loved land of his adoption- he who, with noiseless tread,

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has led us into places of beauty, beyond the folding of the mists, up through vast green silences of temple gardens, deciphering strange inscriptions, expounding the mystery of the soul of a great nation.

As year by year Lafcadio Hearn achieved a higher position in the American Press, he was beset by people anxious to open a correspondence on religious and literary subjects. Shy as he was in personal intercourse, he would pour out his heart on paper. With the impulsive temper and undeniable lack of worldly wisdom inherited from his Irish ancestors, he endowed these friends whom he had never seen, or knew only by photograph, with every quality necessary to the closest communication. It is a way with poets and dreamers to think they hitch their wagon to a star, only to discover too late that the luminary is but a farthing dip!

Dr. Gould apparently was impressed with the idea that he had a great literary gift. Friendship with an author who would give him advice and assistance was all that he needed for the career of letters. He had heard of Hearn's defective sight-who had not in America at that time? Optics were his special branch of the medical profession. He wrote an ardently appreciative letter to New Orleans of a translation by Hearn of one of Gautier's tales. It is worthy of note that after his rupture with Hearn he alludes to these translations as showing the artist's 'ghoulish pleasure in the gruesome and sensualistic.'

In answer to this communication, Hearn expressed his sense of 'the value of literary encouragement from an evidently strong source.'

Thus was a correspondence opened. In one letter Hearn touches upon the question of his eyesight. ‘Had the best advice in London. Observe all the rules you suggest. Glasses strain the eye too much -part of the retina is gone. Other eye destroyed by a blow at collegeor, rather, by inflammation consequent upon blow. Can tell you more about myself when I see you, but the result will be more curious than pleasing.'

One summer morning the door of Gould's consulting room in Philadelphia opened, and Lafcadio entered.

The two men were both nearly of an age, entering the forties. The closest communion began between them. Hearn stayed at the Goulds' house, mixed with the Gould family on the most familiar terms. He did his proof-reading and correcting in a room especially set aside for him, and wrote long letters, as was his shy way, for Gould's perusal.

'Let me pray you,' he says in one of these letters, 'not to make mention of anything written to you thus, even incidentally to newspaper folk, or to any literary folk who would not be intimate friends.'

On reading these lines we poer out as the proprietor of the china shop may have peered out trembling, after the breakage of his wares.

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What letters of poor Lafcadio's may not this Philadelphian doctor still hold in reserve ?

With that love of the American for 'blowing the trumpet and beating the drum,' before fame of any sort, Gould arrogates to himself the effecting of a complete change in Hearn's character at this time. “He learnt the sense of duty, in short, I gave him a soul!' The Stern Daughter of the Gods' seems continually to act as prompter at Dr. Gould's elbow-one marvels that she never inculcated duty to a friend !

“I succeeded in bringing to his recognition,' Gould also tells us, 'that human beings are not always, and may never be wholly, the slaves of the senses and the dupes of desire.'

In 1885 Hearn, in a letter to Krehbiel, makes a confession of faith owning a spiritual dignity and breadth which I do not think Gould was capable of improving upon.

What matter creeds, myths, traditions, to you or me who perceive in all Faiths one vast truth--one phase of the universal life? Why trouble ourselves about detailed comparisons, while we know there is an Infinite which all thinkers are striving to reach by different ways, and an Infinite Invisible, of which all things visible are emanations ? Worlds are but dreams of God and evanescent ; the galaxies of suns burn out, the heavens wither, even time and space are only relative; and the civilisation of a planet but an incident of its growth.

But let us take Gould's statements and examine and disprove each as we go along.

At the very outset I protest at the inaccuracy of his insinuation that ' mystery and uncertainty surrounds Lafcadio's birth.' On the first

page of a Bible, given to Charles Hearn by his grandmother, are entries relating to the date of marriage, and the birth of each of his children. There we read the announcement of the birth of Patricio Lafcadio in the month of August 1850, and of Daniel James in 1854.

The Hearn family pedigree runs back for well over 200 years. Daniel James, the first member that floats into our ken, figures as private chaplain to Lionel Cranfield Sackville, Duke of Dorset, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, coming apparently with him from England. We conclude that a slice of Irish land was bestowed upon Daniel James for the efficient manner in which he supervised the moralities and conventionalities of the viceregal Court, for we find his successors and heirs as ' of Corieagh,' in the County of West Meath. The Archdeacon married twice (both wives were Irish) and had six children, all of whom again married into the Protestant Irish squirearchy, contributing to that Hibernian and Anglo-Saxon stock that has produced so remarkable a number of eminent artists and poets. The characteristics of this hybrid race, its humour, its enjoyment of histrionic situations, its imagination, its eccentricity, so amply demonstrated in Lafcadio Hearn's case, seemed to be entirely unknown to his biographer, Dr. Gould.

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For three generations the Hearns appear in collegiate, military, and county annals as honourable and well-conducted country gentlemen.

Lafcadio's grandfather, Colonel of the 43rd Regiment, married Elizabeth, daughter of Richard Holmes. In one of her offspring we see the first manifestation of the peculiarities of the racial type.

Charles Hearn was a gallant officer and chivalrous gentleman, but showed no artistic bent.

In Richard Hearn, Charles's brother, we find the variation so startling, owning so many characteristics in common with his famous nephew, that a few words about him may not seem out of place.

When quite a youth he astonished the family circle by declaring his intention of going to Paris to make his living as an artist. Beautiful are some of his pictures done in the Millet style-peasant women carrying wood, charcoal burners, little children driving geese, all that one might see on a summer day in Fontainebleau Forest. With his apostolic beard, kindly brown eyes, and extremely subversive views on the subject of institutions which most men look upon as sacred, “L'artiste Irlandais' was quite a personality in Paris, much beloved of the American and French circle of artists at Barbizon.

Satanically proud like his nephew, he once, I remember, sent me over some pictures, which I induced the then President of the Royal Academy to find a place for on the Academy walls. They were hung sky-high, but an appreciative purchaser was found. Wounded at the position in which they had been placed, he would not hear of any acceptance of the money. Does not this recall his nephew's rupture with Harpers, the publishers, when on board ship, going to Japan, he found that the artist who was being sent out to illustrate his letterpress was receiving double his emolument ? Not only did Lafcadio repudiate his contract, but refused to receive the royalties from books already written. Harpers were obliged henceforward to transmit the money through a friend.

The tragedy of Charles Hearn's marriage was enhanced by the fact that when he went to Corfu he was in love with another womanthe one indeed who subsequently became his second wife. 'Fire soon lights on a warm hearth’is an old saying. The beautiful Greek girl caught his fancy for the moment, but how could enduring love be built on such a basis ? Different mode of thought, different nationality, different religion soon made a rift in the ill-advised union, ending in separation after a few years of marriage. When Patricio Lafcadio was but two or three years

his father's regiment was ordered from Corfu to the West Indies. It is not improbable that his wife and child accompanied him, and that Lafcadio's ‘memories of a place and a magical time, in which the sun and the moon were larger and brighter than now, a time that was softly ruled by One who thought only of ways to make me happy,'

of age,


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