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and classified in proper English by some one who is at once
an artist and capable of analyzing the operations of his art.
That some one is you, above all men living. I do wish you
would think of this, and confer a great benefit on letters.
I am.

Yours very truly,

Sidney Colvin.

British Museum,

June 17, 1887.
My Dear Patmore,

I am delighted that you think so kindly of my
Keats. But I should be dismayed if the effect of your
finding me in agreement with your own opinions about him

* Dr. J. J. Sylvester's " The Laws of Verse as exemplified in


were to put you from your purpose of writing apropos of
my little book in the St. James's. ^ I hope I do not rightly
understand you that it is so ? Your first letter had made
me look forward with the keenest interest to a criticism
from one whose work and judgment I value as highly as
those of any living man of letters.

Thanks, I did receive your final edition, and was grateful
to you for thinking of me. I should have acknowledged it
at once, but waited till I could do so in kind — a far un-
worthier kind, but since you like it I will be content. I
wish ... I could accept your invitation to Hastings, but
my occupations have not to be put aside.

Yours sincerely,

Sidney Colvin.

In my account of Patmore's later prose writings, I
have recorded (vol. i., pp. 319-332) his association
with Mr. Greenwood as editor of the "St. James's
Gazette." The following letters show in further
detail the connection between the writer and the

King's Head Hotel,
Richmond, Yorkshire,

My Dear Patmore,

If I can get up to town I most certainly

will. In many years I have not had much of talk so good
as yours at a certain hotel and a certain club. By good I
mean grateful and restful; a sort of quality in conversation
for which I have not got the right word.

Yours very truly,
F. Greenwood.

The articles alluded to in the following letter are
" Old English Architecture," " Ideal and Material
Greatness in Architecture," Oct. 12 and 18, 1886, and
** In the Sussex Marshes," Aug. 20, 1886. The inn
alluded to is that at Alfriston near Lewes.

^ Patmore's review of Mr. Colvin's " Keats " appeared in the
"St. James's Gazette," June 28, 1887, and was republished in
" Principle in Art."


Whitefriars, E.G., Oct. 14th,

My Dear Patmore,

Your first article on Architecture I thought good —
the second admirable : sound, true, convincing criticism,

Pve a boy who made the round of your Sussex

Marshes on the inspiration of your account of them, and now
I sha'nt be content till I've seen that inn in which a monarch
down on his luck might find a fitting abode.

Yours, F. G.

It is not possible to ascertain what was the article
alluded to in the following letter, which Mr. Green-
wood returned. The paper on " Dreams " appeared
on May 7th, 1887 ; that on the works of John Mar-
ston on May 28th, the same year.

May 7th,
My Dear Patmore,

This, then, I return. Of course I see its value ; but
at no time have there been many minds capable of moving
with intelligence and comfort amongst the mystical things
with which you deal either here or in " Dreams." It is not
only that your thoughts but that your experiences are
strange to all but a few in this region ; though you may not
be inclined to credit that.

With Marston, what you will. Neither had I read him
since I was twenty. But when I peeped at a page here and
there the other day again came back the thought of how
much the earth has cooled since Marston's time, how much
farther we are from the volcanic centre.

Ever yours,
F. Greenwood.

Patmore's article, " Courage in Politics," appeared
on May 19, 1888. This dates the following letter.
I do not know to what paper the second paragraph
alludes. The postscript evidently refers to Patmore's
letter, " The Revanche, Sedan or Waterloo," printed
vol. i., pp. 322-324.



[May 19, 1888.]

My Dear Patmore,

Your straightforward article on "Courage in Politics,"
appears to-day, and is sure to do good. You will see that I
have taken out one or two lines near the end. These I have
cut out not so much as Editor as friend. There will be
plenty of people to snarl at your paper, and I thought that
in the lines excised dishonesty might find enough of plaus-
ible occasion.

Herewith I send you back the paper which I don't call
" high-falutin," please observ^e, for that is what I don't think
it : too high, without any manner of falutin' is nearer the
estimate of F. G

In London here we are all being blizzarded again to-day,
and for Mrs. Patmore's sake especially I hope the scourge
is not flying round the Mansion. " Blizzarded." Don't you
think it would make a pretty winter oath or objuration ?
•'You be blizzarded!" "May I be blizzarded!" Tre-
mendously emphatic, and yet a lady might use it.

Truly yours, F. GREENWOOD.

Lots of people are now talking of our danger from France.
I was about a good deal yesterday, and was addressed a
dozen times on the subject of C. P.'s letter.

Patmore wrote but little for the " St. James's
Gazette" after Midsummer 1888. An article of his
on Clough, reprinted in " Principle in Art " appeared
on Aug. 10, 1888.

Whitefriars, July 12th, 1888.

My Dear Patmore,

There is a whisper in your letter that I musn't ex-
pect any more matter from you. If that is so, I shall be
very sorry indeed. Such help as yours is too considerable
not to be missed ; and I have missed it. But I'm not with-
out understanding of your feeling, and know that lack of
friendship and helpfulness is not to be imagined. You have
a world of your own to live in, from which I can well believe
you are never willingly withdrawn. So I suppose I must
give up the notion of seeing Patmore on Clough or on Lamb


in the " St. James's " ; and yet shall I keep an expectant eye
open for your MSS. too. Occasion will prompt ; the mood

will sometime return

Ever yours,

F. Greenwood.

July 20,
My Dear Patmore,

A new edition of Clough's prose and verse has lately
been issued. I send you a copy of it, with downright satis-
faction that you may be able to write something about that
author. The letter in which you give me permission to send
the book is a relief to me as Editor, and a vast deal more
as friend. Fll most certainly try to get down to you between
now and the middle of September ; and though Mr. Dykes
Campbell is a man I like very much, I shall find at the
Mansion light enough of a sort that is sweetness too, even if
he does not bring in his candle. It will be a blessing indeed
to get out of this place for a while. For a year I have not
had a clear twenty-four hours holiday — (yes, one ;) and at
the end of it Pm working, not like one man, but a man and
a boy : not to go the length of two grown-ups exactly. I
suppose, if I come down, there is no chance of my seeing
Piffie in br — ches ? If so prepare me for the shock. . . .

Faithfully yours,
F. Greenwood.

19, Argyll Road, Kensington, W.,

June 28th, '90.

My Dear Patmore,

Your little book ^ came yesterday. I've been looking
into it this evening pretty closely, and find what I have read
quite beyond my recollection of its merits. There is more
in it than I expected to find, — more in every way ; and I
looked for a good deal. In short, it's no overstraining of
compliment to call it a truly first-rate book of criticism —
close, plentiful, and the real thing, of which there is less in
the world than of poetry, so far as I am able to judge. . .

Thine, F. G.

' " Principle in Art."


I have recorded in vol. i., pp. 386-387, Patmore's
idea of founding a newspaper which was to deal
ironically with political, social and other questions.
Mr. Greenwood was one of the few who were con-
sulted about this project, and the following letter is
the only written allusion to it which comes to hand.


[1891 or 1892 ?]
My Dear Patmore,

.... These political disintegrations and dissolutions,
and the very evident way in which we are losing our own in
the world without the home-island, do suggest indeed that
it is time to get a few sure voices into harmony again.
" Tom o' Bedlam " appears more appropriate to the time
than when you started the idea ; and I see clearly that what
you intend, and what you could do in making good the in-
tent, would be just the thing that is wanted. I wonder how
many spirits could be got together to keep up the game
well ? Five or six men, true brethren, are needed, and I de-
clare that looking about, I cannot see as many. What I
must do is to run down to see you presently and talk over

these things at large and deep Thine,

F. G.

" Garrick Club,"

June 10, 1893.
My Dear Patmore,

Your new book ' by your kind direction, came to me
a week ago or thereabout ; to my great pleasure. Though
I must have seen much of it before, it comes as quite new ;
and — one at a time — I read each essay as we view an
entirely new scene. As you found out long ago, some of the
matter is above me : I have to strive to it. With just flight
enough to get to the gate, I stand there and look in at the
lower heaven of your meanings without ability to enter and
partake as liberally as you intend. . . . But that is only as
to some, or some part of these little essays, which I am
inclined to think a better volume than the last.

Ever yours,
F. G.

' " Religio Poetse."


19, Argyll Road, Kensington, W.,

March 13th, '94.

My Dear Patmore,

The success of your republished essays should, I
think, urge you to spend on the public more of your fine
critical prose ; or prose not of the order commonly called
critical, perhaps, though that it will still be in some measure
and in some kind. Think of a subject for the "New Review":
it has a wide and a good circulation. Or if you write at
greater length than 12 or 14 pp., there is Knowles of the
" Nineteenth Century" ready to jump at you, no doubt. —
Did you see that a first edition copy of your poems sold for
£^ the other day ? — Yes, my dear Patmore. Come out of
your hermitage a little more. I see abundant welcome for you,
and you must see it also. And don't you go scorching the
people too much. Enclosed is your little paper on "Dreams" ;
for the loan of which my thanks to you. . . .

Yours ever,

St. Leonards, Sunday, 1895.

My Dear Patmore,

Bell sent me a copy of your new book,^ according to
your instructions. I read a score or so of pages at a time,
taking the proper intervals of reflection {not taking, but being
forced into them, is the right expression) between the para-
graphs. I find it a bag of nuggets, this book — and of
polished stones ; with here and there something which is I
don't know what. The firm and quiet audacity and courage
of a good deal of it is an admirable particular, I prophesy
a larger and quicker sale for it than your other prose books
have had : which will quite content you on that score. . . .

Ever yours,

F. Greenwood.

The following letter may be compared with one of
Patmore's to Mr. Gosse on the same subject, the
essay on " Distinction."

' " Rod, Root and Flower."


Kensington, Friday.
My Dear Patmore,

The humorous ironical is most dangerous to handle.
I've not been able to see the Guardian on your " Fortnightly"
article, but the " Spectator " I read, not without pleasure ;
for the attitude of that journal to you is certainly one of
awe-full respect. I too took your paper more seriously than
it was meant, to tell you the truth, though the banter of it
was not so entirely lost on me as on the gentlemen who have
replied to you in print.

Yours ever,

F. Greenwood.

St. Leonard's, Aug. 27, 1896.

My Dear Patmore,

I have waited to thank you for that most welcome
little book^ till I had looked all through it. This I have
done ; and it seems to me a very good selection indeed ; as
strong a testimony of Mrs. Meynell's taste and judgment
as I have yet encountered. I think that you might perhaps,
in looking to the later sale of your books, put something
down to the spontaneous appreciation of the new generation
of readers ; and yet it would be remarkable if the circulation
of this little volume (which you will remember is a sample-
budget from your own writings far more than anything else)
did not send many of its readers to the bookseller for your
poems in bulk.

Meanwhile I rest,

Ever yours,

F. Greenwood.

The following letter from Mr. W. E. Henley is
written in answer to Patmore's letter printed on
page 272.

I Great College Street,
Westminster, 11/11/92.
My Dear Mr. Patmore,

I should have answered your first letter, but there are
days when I can do nothing at all, and on them when I can
do anything, I have of necessity to do too much.

I am sorry indeed that the N. O. is no longer to be read

Pathos and Delight," see vol., i. p. 342.


die:: vous. But perhaps I could have looked for nothing
else ; I confess, however, that the offence does not appear
to me so offensive as all that. It is a romance — impossible,
unreal — fantastical all : a failure, as I believe, but the failure
of a very clever man ; an error in taste, but the error of an
exquisite artist a ses heures. I feel as though I myself, and
not he, had written and were responsible for the effect.
Which, as I have said, I am the first to regret.

What you say of my own verses does both please and
interest me, I am sure you have excellent grounds for
saying what you say ; but to defend or rather to explain my
position would be to write a volume about myself; which
cannot as you know be done by letter. Someday we may
meet and talk it out. Till then . . . !

Ever sincerely yours,
W. E. H.

I hope some day, to hear that a sobered and abashed
N. O. is still tolerated at Lymington. Indeed to be plain,
I am rather sorry for Lymington this week. For Greenwood
(once more with us) is in his best form, & Blank & Dash &
Three Stars & the others are " equal to themselves ! ! "
However — !

The following letter alludes to an article in the
Edinburgh Review for October 1893, entitled " Con-
temporary Poets and Versifiers." Patmore used
as I have already related (p. 263), constantly to take
his friends, or his youngest son, to visit Mr. Dykes
Campbell on Sunday mornings. This explains the
" Causeries des Sundries," in the second letter, the
allusion being to M. Sainte-Beuve's " Causeries des

40, West Hill,
St. Leonards,

My Dear Patmore,

I have been amusing myself this evening over the
new number of the " Edinburgh," which contains an article
on living poets and poetasters, which I recommend to you.
It is many a day since the venerable periodical attained its
dotage — but I did think it would always preserve the good


breeding if not the ability of its middle-age. I am dis-
illusioned. It is well to tell the public that Austin and
Lewis Morris and Edwin Arnold are not poets — but it is
also well to say it in decent language, and not in the manner
of the very newest journalism of the gutter. You will be
sorry to find yourself patted on the back by such a creature
as this Reviewer, even though he counts you only a little

lower than such angels as and and etc.,

(you will see the names — I can't write them for laughing).
The very touch of the dirty fingers will make you grieve.
Almost the only consolation you will find is — that he rates

Christina Rossetti as inferior to whom do you think ?

Jean Ingelow ! Mrs. Meynell is not mentioned, or

she would doubtless have been recommended as equal to
mending Mrs. Webster's pen, and taking Mr: Le Gallienne's
contribution to the pillar-box. What a comfort to be ignored
by a person who cannot do away with the " element of the
grotesque and disproportionate " in the " Goblin Market,"
whose two girls, " like the figures in Dante Rossetti's pictures,
are unhuman and unreal," — so unlike the unfailing sweet-
ness of verse and sentiment of Miss Somebody Else. O
Trumpery ! O Morris !

I am deep in the final reviews of my big print " Life of
S. T.C."^ which of course is only the Old Obadiah expanded
by say 2o7o to 257o- I am hoping to be able to read the
thing myself in this big print — and see if I can detect any
of the merits my partial friends like yourself see in it. I
don't think I've watered it. We want news — the best possi-
ble news, of you all — especially to learn that Mrs. Patmore
is herself again — and that long, long ago. I have been
literally driven for three months past beyond observance of
the courtesies of life, or I should have written to thank Mrs
Patmore for so kindly sending me a copy of the *• Guardian,
which contained a certain review.^ I read every word of it
with admiration for the gallantry with which the writer tried
to iron out the creases in his mind which your book had
brought about. I think I understand your Essays, and I
am keeping the " Guardian " by me to read over again in
the hope that I may understand it too. I have no leisure

* Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

" This refers to a review of the " Religio Poetae," entitled "Mr
Patmore's Philosophy," Aug. 23, 1893.


for it just now — but I promise you to find and make enough
to read anything you will print. Meantime, I am mumbling
your last book for the third time, and always with increasing
pleasure and profit, and wonder that somebody does not
say the truth about it — that it shows you to be the deepest
thinker and best writer of English extant.

Yours ever,

J. Dykes-Campbell.

To Mrs. Patmore.

40, West Hill,
St. Leonard's-on-Sea.

March 7, 1895.

My Dear Mrs. Patmore,

We were very sorry to get your depressing news of
Mr. Patmore, and a day or two ago Mr. Greenwood told us
that later letters gave no better account. I shrink from
adding a feather's weight to your burthen, dear Mrs. Pat-
more, but would you mind putting a word or two on a post-
card to say how your patient progresses ? We are anxious
— but hopeful, for the weather is better on the whole — a
little. How I wish you were still at Hastings, or I at
Lymington, that I might look in on you all ! — How I miss
too those Causeries des Sundries ! with Piffie on the rug
here in the library — his big collar lighted up the dingy room.
How big he must be himself now — big enough to dwarf
the collar — which of course he has now to leave in its drawer.
We long to see you all. You would be delighted to see
Mrs. Campbell now — up to walking a mile twice a day —
her only weakness and danger is that she wants to walk
two, a la fois. And you (happily) could not be jealous —
for you too are the strong one of the pair now, like Mrs.
Campbell. I am " not myself at all " — not ill, but only kept
from that by strictest dieting. We are both looking forward
almost desperately to our change of air and scene — which
will come, we hope, immediately after Easter — when we
pack off our furniture to London, and betake ourselves to
Tunbridge Wells. The mildness of this place is killing me
— and Mrs. Campbell needs bracing too. But, the " flitting,"
is a " Lucy's flitting" in a measure, and not pleasant to fore-
cast in its details. Our love and sympathy to you all.

Yours sincerely,

J. Dykes Campbell.


The following letter refers to an article by Mr.
Traill in the "Nineteenth Century" entitled "Our
Minor Poets," (Jan. 1892) in which a list of sixty-
five contemporary poets is given, Lord Tennyson
being excluded as above rivalry. Patmore had over-
looked Mrs. Meynell's name, which occurs in this
catalogue, and had protested against the omission
in the letter to the "Saturday Review" (Oct. 26,
1895), the same letter in which he advocates her
claims to the laureateship (see vol. i., pp. 341-342).
The title of the article was certainly misleading.

47 Gordon Square
Oct. 28, '95.
Dear Mr. Patmore

Mrs. Meynell's name was in my list of poets in the
Nineteenth Century. May I add, in correction of a much
too persistent misconception, that, though the subject, as
also the title of the article, was " Our Minor Poets," that is
not an accurate description of the list contained in it, which,
with the exception of the then Poet Laureate, enumerated
or aimed at enumerating all living poets of every degree.
If you should ever come across it again you will find that
none of the greater names are omitted from it.

And perhaps I may be allowed to say that I could even
correct the misconception I refer to by an appeal to an
admission in your own letter to the " Saturday Review." " I
think," you say, "that Mr. Traill does not mention Mrs.
Meynell, but he does me." Had the list in question been
a mere limbns minonmi I at least should not have ventured
to consign to it the author of " The Unknown Eros."
Believe me faithfully yours

H. D. Traill.



IN this concluding chapter I have put together a
few tributes paid to Patmore during his life and
after his death. The first of these was called
forth by Cassell's publication of a cheap edition of
''The Angel."

pure and lofty Bard ! thy song
So sweet and true has made me long
For Heaven, where my spirit may
Meet thine, and in some sort repay
My hopelessly deep debt to thee
For thy seraphic melody,

And to the Father-Spirit, Source
Of all thy glory, grace and force.
For His great gift of thee. What though

1 cannot hope on earth to know
Thee face to face ! At home above,
With intuition of deep love.

My soul, poor kinsman to thine own,
Shall know thee, and of thee be known.

But shall I wait till then to tell
How thy transcendant strains impel
My heart and mind to lofty ways
Of broader love and purer praise ?
No ! let my words be ne'er so weak
And vain, I feel that I must speak.
And thou, I do not doubt, wilt take
My simple thanks for Love's sweet sake.

I read thy pages o'er and o'er
And know thee better, love thee more.
I share thy hopes, thy creed believe,
For as I read. Sir, I perceive


Thou art a prophet, making clear

The ways of God. If this appear

To some, profanity of praise —

For men, alas ! refuse to gaze

On Truth near by, but strain their eyes

To distant days and other skies —

I can but speak the things I know,

And all my soul affirms it so.

And why not ? Is our God without

Sure witness in an age of doubt ?

Or has He sworn to speak no more

To man through man ? No ! as of yore

He lifts the pure in heart to see

The glory of Divinity ;

To hear the still small voice that thrills

All nature, and to climb great hills

Of knowledge, high above the reach

Of merely human thought and speech.

And lo ! the inner harmony

Of all things fills with ecstacy

Their soaring souls, until they sing

Perforce, as skylarks on the wing.

O minstrel ! happy in thy theme !
Surely a very special beam
Of Heaven sunned thee in thy flight
From finite things to infinite.

Thy song, as deathless as thy soul,
With growing influence shall roll
Throughout the world, throughout all time,
And men shall hear its notes sublime
When, like the lark in Heaven lost,
Thy soul, uncaged by Death, has crossed
The limit of our mortal sight.
To sing for ever, in the light
Of God's unclouded face, above,
The perfect song of perfect love.

J. H. Goring.
222 New North Rd., N.

Patmore's strono- reeard for Mr. Frederick Green-
wood has been mentioned in many parts of these
volumes, nor is it much less easy to discern from
v^hat has been recorded that this friendship was


fully reciprocated. I print the following letter as
additional testimony to this.

Brittany Road,

St. Leonard's-on-Sea,

Nov. 27 [1896].
Dear Mrs. Patmore,

This morning's papers bring the grievous news which
after yesterday's telegram was only too surely expected. It
is a great blow to us who were his friends — to me certainly,
who from first to last had for him a fast affection as well as
a profound respect.

But it is on you at home, of course, that the blow falls
most sharply, and I am most deeply grieved for you.

I do wish I had known of his illness half a day earlier.
As it was, there was no chance of seeing him (if that could
be allowed) once more before he went ; which I shall ever
regret as long as I live. But I see that his illness was

Online LibraryBasil ChampneysMemoirs and correspondence of Coventry Patmore (Volume 2) → online text (page 30 of 36)