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lisli writers, a man who applied to his own works the same severe standards that he set up for others. As a result his writings have become one of the standards of purity and taste in style.
The story of Sohrab and Rustum pleased him, and he enjoyed writing the poem, as may be seen from a letter to his mother, written in 1853. He says:
"All my spare time ha.s been spent on a poem which I have just finished, and which I think by far the best thing I have yet done, and I think it will be generally liked; though one can never be sure of this. I have had the greatest pleasure in composing it, a rare thing with me, and, as I think, a good test of the pleasure what you write is likely to afford to others. But the story is a very noble and excellent one."
Two men, both competent to judge, have given at length their opinion of Matthew Arnold's character. So admirable a man deserves to be known by the young, although most of his writings will be understood and appreciated only by persons of some maturity in years. Mr. John Morley says:
"He was incapable of sacrificing the smallest interest of anybody to his own; he had not a spark of envy or jealousy; he stood well aloof from all the hustlings and jostlings by which selfish men push on; he bore life's disappointments—and he was disappointed in some reasonable hopes—with good nature and fortitude; he cast no burden upon others, and never shrank from bearing his own share of the daily load to the last ounce of it; he took the deepest, sincerest, and most active interest in the well-being of his country and his countrymen."
Mr. George E. Woodbury in an essay on Arnold remarks concerning the man as shown in his private letters:
"A nature warm to its own, kindly to all, cheerful, fond of sport and fun, and always fed from pure fountains, and with it a character so founded upon the rock, so humbly serviceable, so continuing in power and grace, must wake in all the responses of happy appreciation and leave the charm of memory."
THE POET AND THE PEASANT
FROM THE FRENCH OF EMILE SOUVESTRE
YOUNG man was walking through a forest, and in spite of the approach of night, in spite of the mist that grew denser every moment, he was walking slowly, paying no heed either to the weather or to the hour.
His dress of green cloth, his buckskin gaiters, and the gun slung across his shoulder might have caused him to be taken for a sportsman, had not the book that half protruded from his gamebag betrayed the dreamer, and proved that Arnold de Munster was less occupied with observing the track of wild game than in communing with himself. For some moments his mind had been filled with thoughts of his family and of the friends he had left in Paris. He remembered the studio that he had adorned with fantastic engravings, strange paintings, curious statuettes; the German songs that his sister had sung, the melancholy verses that he had repeated in the subdued light of the evening lamps, and the long talks in which every one confessed his inmost feelings, in which all the mysteries of thought were discussed and translated into impassioned or graceful words! Why had he abandoned these choice pleasures to bury himself in the country?
He was aroused at last from his meditations by the consciousness that the mist had changed into rain and was beginning to penetrate his shooting-coat. He was about to quicken his steps, but in looking around him he saw that he had lost his way, and he tried vainly to determine the direction he must take. A first attempt only succeeded in bewildering him still more. The daylight faded, the rain fell more heavily, and he continued to plunge at random into unknown paths.
He had begun to be discouraged, when the sound of bells reached him through the leafless trees. A cart driven by a big man in a blouse had appeared at an intersecting road and was coming toward the one that Arnold had just reached.
Arnold stopped to wait for the man and asked him if he were far from Sersberg.
"Sersberg!" repeated the carter; "you don't expect to sleep there to-night?"
"Pardon me, but I do," answered the young man.
"At Sersberg?" went on.his interlocutor; "you'll have to go by train, then! It is six good leagues from here to the gate; and considering the weather and the roads, they are equal to twelve."
The young man uttered an exclamation. He had left the chateau that morning and did not think that he had wandered so far; but he had been on the wrong path for hours, and in thinking to take the road to Sersberg he had continued to turn his back upon it. It was too late to make good such an error; so he was forced to accept the shelter offered by his new companion, whose farm was fortunately within gunshot.
He accordingly regulated his pace to the carter's and attempted to enter into conversation with him; but Moser was not a talkative man and was appar