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from her husband's house, which was perfectly suited to Browning's talent her prison.
and temperament. The life which Guido pursued the fugitives, and burns in every line of it gave his draovertook them at Castelnuovo. Had matic genius its best opportunity. he there and then wreaked his ven- Even those for whom, as for ourselves, geance upon them, he might have Browning's style is a thing of corners pleaded his outraged honor as an ex- and rough edges, cannot but admire cuse. But fear or hesitancy stayed the amazing vitality of "The Ring and his hand, and he permitted the law to the Book." Here we are confronted take its course. Caponsacchi was con- not so much with poetry as with life demned to three years at Civita Vec- itself. Guido and the Abate Paolo chia, and Pompilia was sent to a con- speak and move as they spoke and vent, a sentence which proves that the moved at Arezzo. The hapless and law took a more lepient view than did injured Pompilia suffers again the Guido of his wife's character. For the cruellest tortures. The characters moment quiescent, Guido yet medi- and incidents of the tragedy are alike tated revenge, and when a few months so real that you forget the words in afterwards Pompilia had been permit which they are clothed: you look upon ted to return to her parents' house, he them disembodied of their art. And went thither with a band of hirelings the comparison of the Yellow Book and took the vengeance of a savage. with the poem reveals most vividly the The Comparini were stabbed to death, poet's method. In many a passage he and Pompilia was left a-dying, with keeps so close to his original as to retwenty-two wounds upon her frail produce word for word the actual body. The case, which engrossed the speeches of the dead. Then by a flash gossips of Rome for many a day, of insight he shows you how little he ended in the just condemnation of is trammelled by the literal truth. Guido Franceschini and his accom- The characters of the drama are realplices, and the one word that can be ized with an understanding which will said in favor of Guido himself is that astonish all those who read the Yellow he died with courage. “When he Book, at once by its simplicity and had mounted the platform,” says the by its justice. The raw material is Yellow Book, "he asked pardon for his all there, to be sure, but how wondersins, and begged them to pray for his fully it is transformed by the magi. soul, adding that they should say a cian's wand! And in one respect the Pater, an Ave, and Salve Regina for poet gives us the same impression as him. When he had made the confessor the record in prose. He, too, like the announce that he was reconciled, he Yellow Book, turns the story this way adjusted his neck upon mannaia, and and that, looks at it from everyone's with the name of Jesus on his lips he point of view, and snatches the heart was beheaded. The head was then of truth from the body of discordant shown to the people by the execu- statement. On every page the strange tioner."
process of translation from prose to Thus died the infamous Guido Fran- verse is visible. But nowhere can ceschini, who, but for the accident of you judge better of the charity with the Yellow Book falling into the hands which Browning has put his case than of Robert Browning, would long ago in the two books entitled "Half-Rome" have been forgotten. The accident, and “The Other Half-Rome,” which which gave Guido immortality, was give in plain substance two pamphlets, happy for the poet. The theme was written, while the case was pending, "AN INSPIRED LITTLE CREATURE."
for and against the infamous Guido. Here, then, is a book which we may commend to all readers, which not only sets before the clear
outlines of an ancient and bitter tragedy, but lights up in a sudden flash the inward processes of a poet's brain.
The verses upon the Queen are exquisite, and tempt me to ask, though not without hesitation, that as Emmie has, I am told, such a fine feel. ing for music, she would make an attempt to fit the noble music of "God Save the King" with better and more appropriate words than are ordinarily joined with it. A request to this effect was made to myself, from a person high in office. I tried, but could not succeed—your inspired little creature may be more happy in her effort, and so I told my correspondent.
Emmeline tackled the Anthem. The mother sent it, and Wordsworth acknowledged it.
To the Editor of the Fortnightly Review.
Sir,-Since the publication in The Fortnightly Review 1 for last November of an article by me entitled ““An Inspired Little Creature' and the Poet Wordsworth," the missing National Anthem, written by the "Inspired Little Creature" at Wordsworth's instigation, has been discovered among some papers in the possession of a member of the Wordsworth family. I cannot refrain from sending it to you, because perhaps those of your readers who were interested in the story of Wordsworth's marvellous little poet cousin, may be further interested in reading her version of the National Anthem.
The facts, as told in my article, were briefly these: Mrs. Fisher, wife of the Rector of Poulshot in North Wilts, and a cousin of William Wordsworth's, had a little daughter who distinctly possessed that elusive but unmistakable quality that we call genius. When the child was but twelve years old, her mother sent some of her poems to Wordsworth, and the great man wrote back in amazed admiration.
It is impossible to foretell what may come in future time out of these promises, but I have met in the language of no age or country with things so extraordinary from so young a Person
all that can be desired, an observant eye, feeling, thought, fancy, and above all imagination .. in part of these last three is the very spirit of Milton himself.
In a subsequent letter, the future Poet Laureate handed on an "order" to little Emmeline :1 "The Living Age," .
I now thank you most sincerely
especially for the Anthem, undertaken upon my suggestion. When I made the vain attempt myself, my wish was to steal into the subject by using as much of the first stanza of the old song as possible-but I found the name Victoria as a substitute for Great George utterly unmanageable. And this discouraged me so that, tho' I did compose 2 stanzas in place of the vulgar stuff about "knavish tricks," &c., I did not think it worth while to write them, and they are now forgotten. My young Cousin, for I love to call her so, found, I suppose, the same difficulty unsurmountable; and has given me an entirely new thing, with which we are not a little pleased; and perhaps I may forward it, with your permission, to my friend Mary Spring Rice (who, as you know, is one of her Majesty's. Maids of Honor).
But, though the young Queen Victoria evidently did receive the Anthem (a gracious proof of this remains
-a little silver ink-stand with the ACCESSION OF QUEEN VICTORIA. Royal Arms and “Emmeline" engraved Oh, God of might and Love, on it), no copy of the verses themselves Look from Thy throne above, was discoverable when I wrote the
God save our Queen.
Be Thou a Pillar bright, article for The Fortnightly Review, and
The paths of life to light, this to me was a matter of surprise;
And guide her steps aright, and also of deep regret, for I could pre
God save the Queen! sent only the setting, without the
May she a planet rise, jewel.
Serene amid the skies, One thing that stood out very clearly
Ocean's fair Queen. in the whole story of the "Inspired Lit- Guide Thou her ships afar, tle Creature"-and that perhaps ex- Shield her in rightful war, plained why there were no carefully
Our bright and Western Star, kept copies of the Anthem and of all
God save the Queen! the poems that were sent to Words- Be hers a glorious name, worth and that he read and eulogized Hers be a deathless fame, -was that Wordsworth, though he
God save the Queen. was so charmed by the poetic gift of
Save her from foreign guile,
Open foes, secret wile, his "little Cousin," and wrote so gen
Pride of the Ocean Isleerously and highly of her work, yet
God save the Queen! saw, in such powers when possessed
May her reign peaceful be; by a woman, only the necessity for
Lands far across the sea repression.
Bless England's Queen. And now it re-appears, this Anthem,
Increase our inland stores, seventy-five years since the little slender While commerce freely pours anxious fingers penned it; and Words. Wealth on our prosperous shores. worth has been dead for over half a
God save the Queen! century, and the poetess lies beneath
It was never sung in honor of the the grass of an English graveyard; and Queen to whom it was written-the we are on the eve of another Corona- "vulgar stuff about 'knavish tricks'" tion, and again all our minds are busy has continued to be vociferated by with loyal thoughts and wishes. And loyal voices through the years; but is so I venture to think that this discov- not the Anthem of the "Inspired Little ered Anthem, which pleased Words- Creature” not only beautiful and digworth “not a little," will be read now, nified and thoughtful, but even proin this Coronation year, with peculiar phetic? "Ships afar"-"rightful war" interest.
-"deathless fame"-all these we assoIs it not wonderful, when one re- ciate with the name of Victoria the members it was written by a little Good; and the fourth verse-well, maid of twelve—twelve summers spent might it not almost be said to forein a happy English rectory? Is it not shadow "Thinking Imperially," if not, descriptive of Queen Victoria's reign? indeed, Preference within the Empire? The Fortnightly Review.
THE EMPIRE OF OIL.
It is not without significance that the two articles of commerce which have recently held the first position in
the public mind, oil and rubber, should also hold the record for sensationalism in the modern romance of trade,
The misdeeds which redden the career rapidly forging to the front, and abof rubber in Africa and Mexico have, sorbing more and more of the profitin large part at any rate, been laid able business. The organizing mind bare to the public eye. The story of was that of Mr. John D. Rockefeller the great Oil Trust of America has who, starting in Cleveland first as a been told perhaps in more intimate de- book-keeper and small partner in a tail than that of any other business en- country store, soon plunged into the oil terprise, and Mr. Lowes Dickinson business as a small refiner and mermade it the obvious subject of his pow- chant. He was not a discoverer or erful play, "Business." But the very inventor. He "struck" no oil, intricacy of its tortuous and criminal methods of refining owed nothing to career has served in some measure as bim, the pipe-line, tank-car, and other a protective cloak. Some of the more improvements which have helped to sensational charges have sounded so build the fortune of the Company were incredible as to be discounted heavily all due to outsiders. His was the by sober-minded persons, while other business mind without fear or scruple. incidents have demanded for their ap- Corrupt and illegal bargains with railpreciation a more exact understand- way officials were the foundations of ing of business methods than most success. Starting in a comparatively readers possess.
But to those who small way as shippers of oil, the comdesire to know what modern business at pany induced the freight managers of its very worst may mean, we commend all the railroads passing through the a perusal of “The Great Oil Octopus" oil regions to cheat their shareholders (Fisher Unwin), republishing a series by a system of rebates and other disof articles which recently appeared in criminative methods. The South Im“Truth.” Most of the material, here provement Company, their early name, presented in portable shape, has been was to pay the same freight-rates as already made public in Henry D. their competitors, but there was to be Lloyd's “Wealth against Common- a secret rebate upon all the traffic done wealth," and in the more erudite "His- by the Company or its competitors, tory of the Standard Oil Trust," by which was to be divided between the Miss Tarbell. Drawn chiefly from conniving officials and the Company. records of the Law Courts, and other This rebate with other modes of dispublic documents, its accuracy is unim- crimination and "terminal facilities" peachable. The Oil Kings are far too were simply bludgeons with which Mr. astute to court more publicity than has Rockefeller and his confederates struck fallen to their lot.
down their competitors or forced them This in the main is the story. Oil to sell their businesses to the South came on in a rush in the 'sixties and Improvement Company for stock or early 'seventies. The valleys of Penn- cash at the latter's valuation. sylvania suddenly blossomed with By 1872 Mr. Rockefeller had sucbusy towns and oil fields. Wells were ceeded in bringing four-fifths of the bunk, refineries sprang up, hundreds of refining firms into a National Refiners' business men were on their way to Association, with himself as President. fortunes, and high wages brought pros- This organization lasted long enough perity to whole communities.
to break the Oil Producers' Union, and an age of enterprise and speculation. then collapsed, leaving Mr. Rockefeller Upon a brief era of this prosperity col- free to carry out his more durable prolapse supervened, and out of the ruin ject, the formation of the Standard Oil emerged one little group of oilmen Trust, in 1874. Under the pressure of the rebate and the discriminating rates, man could be found writing to the competing refiners were forced one by Governor of a great State in the folone into selling themselves to the lowing terms to urge an appointment Standard Oil Company for Stock in to the Supreme Court Bench is a really that Company, retaining in many amazing glimpse into the relations beinstances the semblance of independ- tween business and politics in Amerence in order to deceive the public.
ica: Such was the nucleus of this first and
My dear Governor.-I am sure you most powerful of American Trusts,
will pardon any seeming presumption which for a whole generation has held
on my part in writing you on a subject a virtual monopoly in the United States
in which, both personally and on be of an article that is almost a necessary half of my Company, I am greatly inof life, and has of recent years terested. It is to urge the appointstretched out its tentacles into the re
ment, if at all consistent, of Judge motest villages of the civilized and un
Morrison, of McKean, to the Supreme civilized earth. Beyond all doubt
Court Bench, vice Mitchell, deceased.
Judge Morrison's character for ability the largest and most profitable business
and integrity needs no words at my in the world, its central company has
hands, but aside from these great consettled its legal 'home in the com
siderations, his familiarity with all that placent State of New Jersey, This pertains to the great industries of oil company controls nine other refining and gas, in the important relations they companies in various States, a group
bear to the interests of the Western of lubricating oil companies, crude oil
part of the State, makes him especially producing companies, pipe-line and
desirable as a member of the Court
from that section. tank-car companies, natural gas companies, and a large number of com- To such business men nothing comes mercial companies in the United States amiss. The pages of their history are and abroad.
strewn with attempted or successful The supreme interest in this history bribing of employees in rival firms, of consists in the fact that it furnishes inspectors, law officers, with espionage the most complete and varied refuta- and threats to ruin purchasers of comtion of the maxim that “Honesty is the peting oil. The famous charge of inbest policy.” At every step in its citement to the blowing up of a rival successful
the Standard Oil refinery, for which their agents were Company has shown an utter disre- condemned, is once more re-told; and gard for legal obligations, private we have the whole complicated story honor, and the public interest. Sum- of the complete failure of the forces of moned before Commissions or the Law law and order to compel obedience to Courts, its principals have persistently the law, or to punish infractions, ending refused to answer, or have falsified the with the formal infliction of the five facts, uttering direct lies in the wit- million dollars fine four years ago. ness-box whenever it was necessary.
The Standard Oil Company is above The famous Archbold letters, pub- law and morality. As it can defy the lished three years ago, convict them law, so it can square the forces of moof paying hard cash to senators to de- rality. This can be done through the feat anti-trust legislation, and of bring- Churches. For Mr. Rockefeller is deing influence to bear on high politi- scribed as “an excellent Baptist,” and cians for the appointment of Judges he has applied to religion his clean-cut and Attorney-Generals favorable to the business principles. “According as oil interests. That a great business you put something into the Church or