Reminiscences

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PREFATORY NOTE


AUTHORS, like fond mothers, dearly love to see their offspring in a new dress, and I trust that the cheaper edition of my Reminiscences will be as cordially received as the first.

    Memory carries me so far back that these pictures of rural England imprinted on the unerring, unforgetting mind of childhood may claim an historic interest.  I describe indeed a condition of things completely passed away, customs, speech, dress, and modes of thought as obsolete as if my pen had been occupied with historic periods.  The lord of the harvest no longer heads his reapers in the corn field, Biblical idiom no longer characterises rustic oratory, pastoral regions are invaded by light railways and motor cars, and the halfpenny newspaper has proved a potent social leveller.  If to the poet such transformation is exasperating in the extreme, to the social reformer and the practical idealist it is full of promise.  The Golden Age is before us, not behind, wrote the French dreamer of a perfected state, and farm-labourers of to-day enjoy comforts undreamed of by tenant-farmers two generations ago.

    Concerning those pages dealing with later years I will only emphasise what I have written on the value of friendships, especially of international friendships.  Again and again, when musing on this subject, the words of Spenser come into my mind.  No more beautiful apotheosis of friendship has surely ever been penned in any language.


"Hard is the doubt, and difficult to deeme,
 When all three kinds of love together meet
 And doe dispart the hart with powre extreme,
 Whether shall weigh the balance downe; to weet,
 The deare affection unto kindred sweet,
 Or raging fire of love to womankind,
 Or zeale of friends combynd with vertues meet,
 But of them all the band of vertues mind,
 Me seemes, the gentle hart should most assured bind.
 For naturall affection soone doth cesse
 And quenched is with Cupid's greater flame;
 But faithfull friendship doth them both suppresse,
 And them with maystring discipline doth tame,
 Through thoughts aspyring to eternall fame:
 For as the soule doth rule the earthly masse,
 And all the service of the bodie frame;
 So love of soule doth love of bodie passe,
 No lesse then perfect gold surmounts the meanest brasse."


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CONTENTS
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I. CHILDHOOD
A BABY TAKING NOTES.  THE VANISHING PIES.  A VILLAGE MYSTERY. EUGENE SUE.  A CHILD SUICIDE

II. OUR RECTOR
PULPIT AMENITIES.  WHAT'S IN A NAME ?  "ONLY ONE D—D DROP!"  BURIAL FEES.  PLAINTS OF A POOR RECTOR'S WIFE.  GIRLS OF THE PERIOD.  "WHO HAD THE PARSON'S WINE?"

III. OUR VILLAGE
TYPES AND FEATS.  A VESTAL VIRGIN.  MANETTA AND THE GHOST.  OUR SAPPHO

IV. THE SONS OF THE SOIL
NOTIONS GEOGRAPHICAL AND COSMOGRAPHICAL.  MORAL STANDARDS. CHIVALROUS FEELING.  A PLOUGHMAN'S CAREER.  ONE-EYED DICK. PHARISEES IN THE PULPIT.  PHOTOGRAPHY.  TURTLE AND HIS GANG. SCHOOLS.  STEWED PRUNES.  PRISON FARE.  THE "HOUSE"

V. LADY FARMERS AND OTHERS
LADY FARMERS.  GIGS, TOLL-BARS, AND MATRIMONY.  PIGS AND PIANOS. BALLS.  THE COST OF PULLING A NEIGHBOUR'S NOSE.  CONTRASTS.  A LOOK AHEAD

VI. THE WORLD OF BOOKS
THE TRIUNE SPLENDOUR.  WILL WIMBLE.  NURSERY SAINTS.  THE DEVIL'S STORYBOOK.  MRS. FORSDYKE AND HER DONKEY-CART

VII. THE SOCIAL MEDIUM
THE GRANDE CHARTREUSE.  LOT'S WIFE.  A PRODIGAL SON.  A CATASTROPHE AND A COINCIDENCE.  THE REV. J. C. RYLE AND HIS WAYSIDE BLESSINGS.  "YOU'VE THE WRONG COLOURS, MY DEARS.  GO AND CHANGE THEM!"

VIII. THE SOCIAL MEDIUM (CONTINUED)
A QUAKER WORLD.  A YOUNG QUAKERESS'S PIN-MONEY.  CONTRASTS.  THE STRUGGLE FOR GENTILITY: "ANYTHING TO PASS THE TIME AWAY."  JULES R―: A KEY TO FRENCH CHARACTER

IX. MIMOSA HOUSE
A COMPARISON.  ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN THE FIFTIES.  MORALS.  REBECCA H― AND HER GUARDIAN ANGEL.  A SCHOOL-GIRL'S RELIGIOUS NOTIONS

X. THE TWO DROMIAS
AMELIA B. EDWARDS.  DAMP FIREWORKS.  THE ORGANIST OF WOOD GREEN. MY UNCLE.  STERLING COIN.  A TWELVEMONTH'S READ AT A BOOKSTALL. AN AUTODIDACTS

XI. IDYLLIC AND BIBLIOGRAPHICAL
REACTION.  DRIFTS AND PIGHTLES.  LORD OF THE HARVEST.  BAIT AND BEVER.  THE LAST WAGGON.  THE BIOGRAPHY OF A BOOK, PUBLISHING OLD AND NEW

XII. OLD GERMANY
LIFE IN A WURTEMBERG SCHLOSS.  AN ENGLISH ABBESS.  THE GENESIS OF A NOVEL.  FRANKFORT AS A FREE CITY

XIII. OLD VIENNA
THE PRIVATE PHYSICIAN OF PRINCE METTERNICH.  A PUPIL OF JENNY LIND. CONTRASTED SPLENDOUR AND BARBARISM.  POLITICAL STAGNATION. THE EXODUS.  FAREWELL

XIV. MIGHT HAVE BEENS
DAVID SWAN.  SHADOWS OF DEATH.  LOVE.  WEALTH.  THE DROMIAS IN CONFERENCE.  MY MISS BROWNE

XV. SEMI-BOHEMIAN PARIS
MLLE EUGÉNIE AND HER THURSDAYS.  A WOULD-BE "INGÉNUE" IN WHITE MUSLIN.  THE SENTIMENTAL TRIO.  PARIS UNDER THE EMPIRE.  PARISIAN LIFE A LA BALZAC

XVI. A GIRL FARMER
"IL FAUT BIEN CHOISIR SES PARENTS."  SUFFOLK WAGS AND WAYS.  A HOMERIC PARALLEL.  SWEDE TURNIPS AND SWEDENBORG

XVII. THE WORLD OF LETTERS, ART, AND SCIENCE
OLD KENSINGTON.  REV. W. E. CHANNING.  PROFESSOR SYLVESTER. CHARLES BRADLAUGH

XVIII. MORE LONDON SOUVENIRS
DR. KARL MARX AND THE INTERNATIONAL.  JOHN STUART MILL.  LOUIS BLANC.  "THE CAMELS."  FLOWERS IN FINSBURY.  A WITTICISM

XIX. GEORGE ELIOT AND MADAME BODICHON
"THE OVERTURE TO 'FIDELIO,' MY DEAR!"  "MARIAN" AND "BARBARA." REMBRANDT AND BORDONE.  THE PARTING OF THE WAYS.  "OH, BARBARA, BARBARA, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?"  A DINNER PARTY

XX. GEORGE ELIOT AND MADAME BODICHON (CONTINUED)
SUNDAY AFTERNOONS AT THE PRIORY.  GRACE AND AMELIA.  BROWNING. "SINGING BIRDS."  TURGENEFF.  WILLIAM ALLINGHAM.  THE ISLE OF WIGHT. BEETHOVEN.  TALKS OF "POLLY."  SHANKLIN.  "A SERIOUS TEA."  A CHRISTMAS DINNER.  "I ALWAYS DO THAT SORT OF THING!"

XXI. GEORGE ELIOT'S "BARBARA"
GEORGE ELIOT AT HIGH MASS.  DAUBIGNY.  OLD HASTINGS.  "POOR LITTLE PRISCILLA."  PORTMAN HALL SCHOOL.  ALGERIAN SOCIETY.  UNDER THE THIRD EMPIRE.  AFFORESTING.  GIRTON COLLEGE.  DR. BODICHON

XXII. LEIPZIG
DR. B— AND HIS BIBLES.  A STRANGE COMRADESHIP.  AUERBACH'S CELLAR. THE HEAD OF THE HOUSE OF TAUCHNITZ.  INTERNATIONAL BOOK-SELLING.  A COMPROMISING VISITOR.  THE PRICE OF GLORY

XXIII. THE GOETHES AT WEIMAR
FIRST IMPRESSIONS OTTILIE VON GOETHE AND HER SONS.  "DER VATER."  A MELANCHOLY JACQUES.  A GOETHE ON TROLLOPS

XXIV. THE ABBA LISZT
A PHENOMENAL FOURTH FINGER.  A TABLE D'HÔTE GROUP.  TAUSIG. FRÄULEIN CONSTANCE.  AN HISTORIC GLASS OF CHAMPAGNE

XXV. THE ABBÉ LISZT (CONTINUED)
AVE MARIE STELLA.  LISZT IMPROVISING.  A PICNIC. " KEINE FORELLEN!"  A TICKLISH CHARGE.  A TRAGIC LOVE STORY

XXVI. DR. THOMAS WILSON
SOUVENIRS OF GEORGE ELIOT AND CARLYLE.  SKETCH OF A CAREER. MIRAGE.  NOZRANI IN EGYPT.  "THE CLEMENTINE HOMILIES"

XXVII. A GROUP OF FRIENDS
MY CAPUCIN BROTHER.  HIS ANTIPODES, POVERTY, CHASTITY, OBEDIENCE, AND NOVEL-READING.  TWO EX-PRIESTS.  EX-PRIEST PASTOR B.  EX-PRIEST THE COMMISSION AGENT.  A SPANISH CONVERT TO PROTESTANTISM


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