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she is a princess whom her friends have been trying to marry against her will, for at the bottom of the spring shines a golden crown which Mélisande has thrown there, declaring that she wants it no longer. Golaud becomes enamoured of this beautiful stranger ; he marries her, and carries her off to the castle of Allemonde. There dwells Golaud's youngest brother, Pélléas, as attractive and charming as the former's young wife. Mélisande and Pélléas meet one another daily, but, noble as they are beautiful, they struggle against their growing mutual attachment. In the meantime Golaud and his little son Yniold play the part of spy, and the father lifts the boy up to a window one day that he may learn the nature of the lovers' tete-à-tête. The fatal hour arrives at last. One evening, at a fountain's edge, where Mélisande and Pélléas had arranged to meet for a supreme farewell, they embrace one another passionately, in open defiance of Golaud, whom the two lovers have already perceived partly hidden in the shade. Golaud, emerging from his place of concealment, stabs his young brother, and pursues Mélisande, who escapes. In the last act we find the latter dying, forgiven and absolved from all blame by her husband, who has attempted his own life in his remorse, but who, nevertheless, tortures Mélisande to the end with heartrending questions as to how far he has been deceived. “The following, taken from one of the (clandestine meetings between Pélléas and Mélisande, will give an idea of the nature of the dialogue:— “PéLLÉAS : Hallo l Hallo “MéLISANDE : Who is there? “PéLLÉAs : I, myself! What are you doing there at the window, singing like a bird from another world? “MélisaNDE : I am doing up my hair for the night. “PéLLÉAs: Is that what I see on the wall? I thought you had a light. “Mélisa NDE : I have opened the window; it is too warm in the tower, and the night is fine. “PéLLÉAs : There are stars innumerable ; I have never before seen so many; but the moon is still on the sea. Don't stay there in the shadow, Mélisande ; lean over a bit and let me see your flowing hair. “Mélisa NDE : I look hideous like this. “PéLLÉAs : Ah! Ah Mélisande 1 You are beautiful ' You are beautiful like that. Ilean down lean down | Let me get nearer to you. “Mélisa NDE : I cannot get nearer to you. I am leaning down as far as I can.
“PÉLLÉAS : And I cannot reach any higher ; give me at least your hand to-night before I go. I leave to-morrow. ...
“MÉLISANDE: I shall not give you my hand if you leave.
“PÉLLÉAS : Where? I see nothing but the branches of the willow that hang over the wall.
“MÉLISANDE : Lower down in the garden ; there in the green shadow.
“PÉLLÉAS: That is not a rose. I will go and see directly, but give me your hand first ; first your hand.
“MÉLISANDE: Here, here! I cannot lean down any farther. “PÉLLÉAS : My lips cannot reach your hand.
“MÉLISANDE : I cannot lean down any farther. I am nearly falling. My hair is coming down.
[Her hair falls down as she leans over and covers Pelléas. “PÉLLÉAS: Ah! Ah! What is that? Your hair is coming down on me. All your hair, Mélisande, all your hair has rolled down; I hold it in my hands, I hold it in my mouth, I hold it in my arms, I lay it round my neck. I shall not open my hands this night.
“MÉLISANDE : Let me go ! Let me go ! You will make me fall !
“PÉLLÉAS : No, no, no! I have never seen hair like yours, Mélisande ! Look, look, look ! it comes from so high, and it flows over me down to my heart—it flows over me down to my knees. And it is sweet; it is sweet as if it fell from the skies! I can't see the sky through your hair. You see! You see! My two hands can hold it no longer, and some of it reaches to the branches of the willow. It lives in my hand like little birds. It loves me, it loves me better than you do !
“MÉLISANDE : Let me go ! Let me go ! Some one might come.”
This taste of Maeterlinck's quality made me curious to read the complete work. I have done so. I like it better than the “Sept Princesses,” not so well as the “Princesse Maleine." I do not think it seems very promising as a stage play. Still, I wish some manager would follow Mr. Beerbohm Tree's example, and give us another opportunity of seeing Maeterlinck on the stage.
JUSTIN HUNTLY MCCARTHY.
The VERNEYS. THE publication of a selection from the Verney Papers at Clay.
don, edited by the late Lady Verney,' introduces to the general reader, though scarcely to the historian, who has long been familiar with them, some members of a noble, gallant, and interesting family. Incidentally, too, it casts a strong light upon domestic institutions and social life in the period of Civil War. The extent to which families were divided by the struggle between King and Parliament is known : fathers and children, brothers and sisters, espousing opposite sides, and even meeting in unavoidable hostility. Among those who were thus divided were the Verneys. A Commonwealth man at heart, Sir Edmund Verney, through his personal feeling and his official position, rallied to the King, and lost his life defending the royal standard at Edgehill. Offered his life by those who knew and respected him, on the condition of resigning its custody, he answered that his life was his own, but the standard was his King's. According to popular legend his hand, cut off at the wrist, stiffened with the rigour of death on the fag-pole. His son, Sir Edmund, known as “Mun," one of the bravest officers in Ireland, was slain in cold blood after the surrender at Drogheda. Another son, Sir Ralph, the oldest, the most interesting of the family, a member of the Long Parliament, espoused the other side, but, refusing to take the covenant, was the object of persecution by both parties, and found his estates, ultimately sequestrated by the Parliament from which he was dismissed, in equal danger whichever side triumphed, and had himself to take refuge abroad. To students of history these facts have no novelty. What is new to most is the account of the straits to which he and his family were reduced. A commentary more exact and more vivid than is here afforded upon the miseries of civil war does not often see the light.
RECOVERED PAPERS OF Victor Hugo. IT is a little uncomfortable to think of the hands into which 1 private papers and correspondence may come. Not many
i "Memoirs of the Verney Family during the Civil War.” London : Longmans. years have elapsed since letters of my own, of no special import, but dealing with matters of private interest, were returned me by a secondhand bookseller, who had purchased as waste paper the entire correspondence of a man of some note who had died. Such a circumstance may, of course, happen to any one ; nor is any lesson to be drawn from it except that private letters should, when of no literary importance, be destroyed by the recipient. Positively astounding, however, is it to find that what are practically the papers of Victor Hugo were treated in similar fashion. In the company of M. Octave Uzanne, and at the invitation of Mr. Samuel Davey, of Great Russell Street, I glanced over what M. Uzanne calls “Les Propos de Table de Victor Hugo à Guernesey.” The three large octavo volumes in which these appear were, preposterous as such an idea may seem, sold after the death of the poet as waste paper. Their contents are in the handwriting of the son of the poet and the translator of Shakespeare. That a collection of this description should, in the case of a man whose connections and descendants are literary, and who is the object of a cult, have escaped observation and run most serious risk of destruction, is simply inconceivable.
“LE JOURNAL DE L'Exil."
'ALL'S well that ends well.” And now that the “Journal
A de l'Exil,” as the MSS. are headed, is recovered, the world will be satisfied, and the only persons entitled to complain are those who, having bought what purports to be the entire work of Hugo, know that another and more authoritative edition will in time supplant their own. For the value of the find I take the opinion of M. Uzanne, who, in his admirable publication “ L'Art et l'Idée,” has given an anaiysis or résumé of the journal. The conversations in which the poet and his surroundings participate are still “in the rough.” Had they been polished, as M. François-Victor Hugo must have purposed, we might have had, M. Uzanne holds, a supplement to the “Banquet of Plato." On all sorts of subjects the poet expands—upon literature, politics, philosophy, art, drama, and upon most of the principal Frenchmen of his time : Louis Bonaparte, Changarnier, Saint-Arnaud, Émile de Girardin, Lamartine, Chateaubriand, Frédéric Lemâitre. What adds even higher value is the matter of personal and autobiographical interest constantly introduced, the announcement of schemes conceived and abandoned. Sometimes we find opinions upon the older drama, as that Molière would have done better to call his play "Le Convive de Pierre" instead of “Le Festin
de Pierre," a title the sense of which is not very easily comprehended. The journal thus saved from destruction covers the five years following the Coup d'État. That it will be printed in full may safely be foretold. At present the treasure reposes in England.
GEMS OF SPORTING LITERATURE. A FEW gems of the literature of “sport” have lately been gathered A by Ouida, and I gladly quote her proofs how terrible is the demoralisation which so-called sport produces. I give the passages as they are supplied by Ouida, with her comments. The italics also are hers. “Resting my rifle on the ground, I took the easier shot. There was no excuse for missing, and as the bullet made the wellknown sound dear to the heart of the sportsman, I saw that it had broken the shoulder, and the animal, staggering a yard or two, fell over seaward and was lost."" The animal in question was an oris nivicola. The same sportsman comes upon a fine old ram of the fifth or sixth year. “I fired almost before I was conscious of it, but not a moment too soon, for the beast was in the act of turning as I touched the trigger. It was his last voluntary movement, and the next instant he was rolling down the precipice.
... The fun was not yet over, for perched upon a bare pinnacle stood another of our quarry. The animal had been driven into a corner by some of our party on the cliff above. The next instant, after a vain but desperate effort to save himself, he was whirling through four hundred feet of space. .... On going up to him I found one of the massive horns broken short off and the whole of the hind quarters shattered into a mass of bleeding pulp. ... Our decks were like a butcher's shop on Boxing Day.'” I will not spoil the effect of this by comment.
A CALIFORNIAN “COLONEL NEWCOME.” THE hand of Bret Harte has lost none of its cunning. Vol. VII.
of his Collected Works contains a further series of his “Tales of the Pacific Slope,” and is accompanied by a reproduction of Mr. John Pettie's fine portrait. Not a whit inferior to the preceding tales in the same series are those now edited, and the humour of “A Sappho of Green Springs” and the tenderness of “A Ward of the Golden Gate ” command equally my admiration. To praise the local colour with which all the tales abound, or the vigorous drawing of character, is mere banalité. Before all things Bret Harte is original ; I cannot help thinking, however, that in his “A Ward of the Golden Gate” he has been influenced by a laudable design to enter into competition with Thackeray. In his “Colonel Pendleton"