Adventures in Criticism eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 236 pages of information about Adventures in Criticism.
da Gama a piloto by whom his fleet shall be deftly (sabiamente) conducted across the Indian Ocean.  In the following century (1520-30) Sebastian Cabot, then in the service of Spain, commanded a squadron which was to pass through the Straits of Magellan to the Moluccas, having been appointed by Charles V. Grand Pilot of Castile.  The French still call the mates of merchant vessels—­that is, the officers who watch about, take charge of the deck—­pilotes, and this designation is not impossibly reserved to them as representing the pilote hauturier of former times, the scientific guide of ships dans la haute mer, as distinguished from the pilote cotier, who simply hugged the shore.  The last class of pilot, it is almost superfluous to observe, is still with us and does take our ships, inwards or outwards, across the bar, if there be one, and does no more.  The hauturier has long been replaced in all countries by the captain, and it must be within the experience of some of us that when outward bound the captain as often as not has been the last man to come on board.  We did not meet him until the ship, which until his arrival was in the hands of the cotier, was well out of harbour.  Then our cotier left us.”

Prodigious!

FOOTNOTES: 

[A] Note, Oct. 21, 1893.—­The nuisance revived again when Mr. Nettleship the younger perished on Mont Blanc.  And again, the friend of Lowe and Nettleship, the great Master of Balliol, had hardly gone to his grave before a dispute arose, not only concerning his parentage (about which any man might have certified himself at the smallest expense of time and trouble), but over an unusually pointless epigram that was made at Cambridge many years ago, and neither on him, nor on his father, but on an entirely different Jowett, Semper ego auditor tantum?—­

     If a funny “Cantab” write a dozen funny rhymes,
     Need a dozen “Cantabs” write about it to the Times
     Need they write, at any rate, a generation after,
     Stating cause and date of joke and reasons for their laughter?

THE POPULAR CONCEPTION OF A POET

June 24, 1893.  March 4, 1804.  In what respect Remarkable.

What seems to me chiefly remarkable in the popular conception of a Poet is its unlikeness to the truth.  Misconception in this case has been flattered, I fear, by the poets themselves:—­

    “The poet in a golden Clime was born,
       With golden stars above;
     Dowered with the hate of hate, the scorn of scorn,
       The love of love. 
     He saw thro’ life and death, thro’ good and ill;
       He saw thro’ his own soul. 
     The marvel of the Everlasting Will,
       An open scroll,
     Before him lay....”

I should be sorry to vex any poet’s mind with my shallow wit; but this passage always reminds me of the delusions of the respectable Glendower:—­

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Adventures in Criticism from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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