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auxiliary and subsidary flavours. Take the potato. Undoubtedly it has not positiveness (positivität) enough for isolated consumption. Even when mashed and reduced by complete attrition and the agency of butter and milk to that sublimated form in which potatoes are handed round by some Continental cooks for separate eating, no one can deny that there is a certain neutrality of flavour which is almost as unsatisfactory as, to a truly artistic eye, a drabcoloured dress. But yet there is almost as much to be said against the practice of using potatoes as mere auxiliaries to meat. It is true that they bave auxiliary flavours, of the same order as bread, which serve as a very good foil to the more positive qualities of beef or mutton,- that is not disputed; but then they have so much beyond this, so much that merely repeats the foody and, so to say, heavy, prosaic, dead-labour character of meat, instead of supplementing and completing it. What you want in a true auxiliary flavour to the meat is not so much what will shade off and graduate the otherwise too positive and dominant taste of the animal fibre into faint vegetable flavours, as something, like the white margin of a picture, that will set it off by contrast, and relieve it by giving the sense of ample space and room. Now it is only a very small part of the flavour of potato of which this can be truly said: there is much redundant flavour which is nothing but a reiteration of the uphill work of real eating. Hence the difficulty, what to do with potato, which is on the border line between an auxiliary and a substantive food? Undoubtedly the true solution is likely to be found in the direction of combining it with etherealized essences of meat stripped of their fibrine, appetite-satisfying character, but the perfect solution has not been reached. Tiefdenken thinks he sees more scientific insight in the bias of the Continent, and also, as he reminds us, of the Irish Celts, in this, as in so many other things, showing their kinship with the French as distinguished from the heavy Saxon genius,for treating it as a substantive food, than in the heavy and rather carnal English fashion of allowing it to reduplicate and thicken by its redundant fibre, the natural stogginess of meat. The preference of the Continental cooks for serving pototoes, when they use them as an auxiliary and subsidiary dish at all, chiefly with the lighter textures, such as fish, rather than with the heavy textures of beef, mutton, and veal, is therefore earnestly justified by Tiefdenken. On the other hand, in the case of cauliflower
dant qualities, which unfit them for purely and French beans, he deprecates the Continental fashion of sending them round solemnly as substantive dishes, as if deserving, and, indeed, demanding a separate individual state of consciousness for the appreciation of them, and lays it down that both cauliflower and French beans are really of that subsidiary class of foods which are too deficient in positiveness of flavour for self-sufficiency (Selbstständigkeit). On the other hand, he approves in the most emphatic manner of the universal combination of salad with chicken which characterizes the Continental cuisine,- both of France and of Germany. Every stranger on the Continent has noticed that salad and chicken go as invariably together, as horse-radish and beef in England. The present writer has often been puzzled by this phenomenon, for which there seems to be less obvious cause than for the grouping of the hot and biting flavour of horse-radish in the same unit of flavour, the same state of "palateconsciousness" Gaumen-Bewusstseyn) as the German Professor accurately, if somewhat pedantically, calls it,-with the rich and yet tenacious fibre of roast beef. One can understand why a keen and biting heat like that of horse-radish is specially suitable to the richness and tenacity of beef, though it would not be at all equally suitable to the richness of pork, which melts away, as it were, and becomes evanescent, offering too little resistance to so dominant an auxiliary flavour as that of horse-radish. But we never saw equally clearly, till we read the great German's treatise, why the traditional association of roast chicken and salad which prevails on the Continent has satisfied so completely the demands of the most highly educated palates of our century. Englishmen usually associate salad with cold roast beef, a dish unknown abroad in any sense in which an Englishman understands the term,- and we still lean to the national prejudice. Tiefdenken defends his view, however, thus: :- - he subdivides flavours into those which may be called (1) absolutely subsidiary and incapable of substantive existence, like condiments and faint vegetables; (2) substantive-subsidiary, like most of the stronger green vegetables (spinach, for instance), i.e., those which though, on the whole, subsidiary, are on the verge of substantive flavours; and (3) subsidiarysubstantive, like potatoes, salad, and a few of the fainter species of white meats, such as chicken, which, though on the whole substantive, and capable of occupying, though not perfectly, a complete state of palateconsciousness, yet have so many lacunæ of flavour in them as to be capable also of still
more perfect use in combination with other Keats strove so constantly to kindle a fire complementary flavours. Now he lays it of passion around everything that he saw or down as a great canon that though the sub- thought of. Through Hunt he became acstantive-subsidiary flavours always need quainted with Hazlitt, Shelley, Haydon, combination with a flavour more substan- and Godwin, and the encouragement of such tive, and can never be reinforced by each companionship did much to prompt him to other, — spinach, for instance, not being efforts which he might have hesitated to capable of any combination with artichoke make had he remained amongst the suror any other flavour of the substantive-sub- roundings in which he was born. sidiary class, so as to form a complete state The author of the book before us, while of palate-consciousness, the subsidiary- approaching his task in a reverent spirit substantive flavours, if of different orders, enough, appears to indulge in a niminy. like a white meat and a vegetable, will coa- piminy criticism not altogether worthy of lesce perfectly into a single state of palate- bis subject. A great deal too much bas consciousness, and this the more, if the dif- been already said upon what is termed the ference of order be so great that the white slovenliness and incompleteness of what meat is best eaten hot, and the vegetable Keats has left us. Lord Houghton even cold, or vice versa.
says “ he did not escape the charge of sacGrant Tiefdenken's theory, and his ex- rificing beauty to supposed intensity, and of planation is really admirable. But, after all, merging the abiding grace of his song in the we must remember that bis theory is as yet passionate phantasies of the moment.
We only the induction of a profound and acute prefer the “passionate phantasies" to the mind from a great number of facts presented abiding grace"(whatever it means,) and to a sensitive and highly educated palate- simply because Keats himself did best in consciousness. Why, if 'liefdenken's theory following his own drift. Nor do we believe is true, do the inost cultivated palates of it to be true, as Lord Houghton again inEngland revolt from potato with fish,—sists, that he was the worse for his love of which is precisely a case of the union of two Spenser and his introduction of phrases subsidiary-substantive flavours of different sanctioned by the usage of the author of orders? Why, again, would they revolt • The Faërie Queen." In touching those still more from a union of cold potato with very words Keats felt all the more deeply hot fish, or hot potato with cold fish? We the noble spirit of an age of poetry to which doubt if even Tiefdenken has yet completely we look back with pride and affection. exhausted the facts from which the induc- When he employs them he does so with a tion ought to be made. He has leaped to manifest justice and appreciation, and with the universal, before completely exhausting a full knowledge of their picturesque and the particular. Greatly as we respect him, suggestive power. He cannot be accused we doubt if his theory of the true relation of conceit in following this manner, when of vegetables to meats in the palate-con- we find he bears himself so evenly under sciousness, will be sustained by subsequent the rich burdens with which he decorated inquirers. We doubt even if his own ma- his verses. A poet may use any language turest views will completely bear out his which he can use gracefully and effectually, present theories.
and it is cant of criticism to look up phrases for him, as though it were a fine
thing, so to speak, to see him working for From The London Review.
our pleasure with one hand tied.
A distinct characteristic of Keats' poetry
consists in his ability for selecting epithets The finest poetical instruction that Keats brilliant with light and colour. Of course got was from Leigh Hunt, who tells us that no poet is a poet without this accomplishno imaginative pleasure was left unnoticed ment; but in Keats it was specially remarkby him and his friend, “ from the recollec- able. Take this line : tion of the bards and patriots of old to the
“Oh! what a power has white simplicity !” luxury of a summer rain at our windows or the clicking of the coal in winter time.” The reader has only to pause for a moment Hunt was exactly the sort of a man to ap- over the vivid image awakened by the word preciate Kcats. His own intense sympa
" white” here to see our ineaning.. It perthies with material beauty of all kinds led sonifies the idea of the line with a flash. him to understand the fervour with which Keats had in his mind the taste and feeling The Life and Letters of John Keats. By Lord aided him in finding the expression he re
of a painter as well as of a poet, and this Houghton A New Edition. One vol, London: Edward Moxon & Co.
quired to complete the tone and finish of
his verses. That they were rugged or care-! But he never forced himself. When he had finless we cannot for a moment believe. They ished his writing for the day he usually read it are not set to common airs, or steeped in over to me, and then read or wrote letters until atmospheres which artists have plenty of we went out for a walk. It was in this summer receipts for making, but they are polished that he first visited Stratford-on-Avon, and to the mark of their own design, and their added his name to the thousands inscribed on abruptness is only the chromatic discord and Shakespeare's walls.” involution of an artist who hovers in a short Keats expressed rather strong views on the uncertainty above the point on which he is female question, and spoke bitterly of the about to settle. Keats did not write for women scribblers who, “having taken a Rosa Matilda, for Grub-street, or for the snatch or luncheon of literary scraps, set rule-of-thumb judges. Neither did he aban- themselves up for towers of Babel in landon himself to mysticism, although there guages, Sapphos in poetry, Euclids in gewere strong temptations in his way to do so. ometry, and everything in nothing." People talk currently of the difficulty of un- It is pleasant to learn that Keats admired derstanding him. There is no such diffi- Wordsworth, and “ was never tired of readculty. The smallest sensibility for the real ing the Ode on Immortality.?” The two writthing in poetry should be capable of detect- ers were indeed widely apart in their modes ing the music and the vast reach and thrill of thinking and expressing themselves, yet of Keats' writing. To be sure, if minds it is not difficult to understand Keats' apare saturated with the drugged rhetoric of preciation of the one poem at least in which Byron, it is possible that they may be often Wordsworth seems to flush with a rare prodeaf to Keats; but we hold that a man phetic instinct. With reference to his perwho can lay down “Hyperion,” and not be sonal habits, Keats was neither a dissipated stirred into admiration for it, is only fit to nor an exceedingly temperate man. derive his enjoyment from verse from the thing, he enjoyed the world too much for penny readings of a mechanics' institute. his health. He possessed a nervous energy
We have here a number of letters written which gave him an appearance of strength; by the poet to Haydon and others. There and, indeed, it was strength, for it enabled is nothing so forcible in them as the con- him to trounce a butcher whom he saw beatstant faith which he had in his mission to ing a small boy at Hampstead. But he was sing. “I find,” he says, in one place, “ I not organically sound. " His lungs were discannot exist without poetry, without eternal eased, and Coleridge says that when he first poetry; I began with a little, but habit has met him, “a loose, slack, not well-dressed inade me a leviathan. Phad become all in a youth,” in a lane near Highgate, he retremble from not having written anything inarked aside to Leigh Hunt, when he had of late; the sonnet over leaf did me good shaken hands with Keats, “ There is death - I slept the better last night for it; this in that hand.” We get a further description morning, however, I am nearly as bad of Keats from Mrs. Bryan Procter, who met again." Here was a constitutional temper- him at Hazlitt's lectures. This was before ament determining towards verse as a relief. the delicacy of his constitution began to show We find constant expressions of a similar itself. • His eyes were large, his hair autendency. Such a disposition unfortunately burn; he wore it divided down the centre, does not win its way in the world of money. and it fell in rich masses on each side his Keats had duns frequently at his gate, and face; his mouth was full and less intellectat times he bore up with the infliction with ual than his other features. His countefortitude enough. He wrote with great ease nance lives in my mind as one of singular and fluency. During a visit he made to a beauty and brightness — it had an expresMr. Baily at Oxford, the latter had an op- sion as if he had been looking on some gloportunity of noting his habits in this respect, rious sight. The shape of his face had the of which he has left the following record :- squareness of a man's, but more like some
women's faces I have seen, it was so wide “He wrote and I read — sometimes at the over the forehead, and so small at the chin. same table, sometimes at separate desks- from breakfast till two or three o'clock. He sat down offering all things that were precious to
He seemed in perfect health, and with life to his task, which was about fifty lines a day, him.” We have remarked on Keats' pleas with his paper before him, and apparently with
This as much ease as he wrote his letters. Indeed, ure in producing a melody in verse. he acted quite up to the principle he lays down, he did without regard for the strict rules of
that if poetry comes not as naturally as the metre. Lord Houghton is of opinion that, leaves of a tree, it had better not come at all.' in compassing his project, he often thus diSometimes he fell short of his allotted task, but verted“ attention from the beauty of the not often, and he would make it up another day. I thoughts and the force of the imagery."
Yet we think he was successful enough to fection and care of those who knew him and feel justified in making the experiment. loved him. The letters contained in the volume under Athough Keats was not a brilliant letternotice are not, on the whole, comparable writer, he possessed a certain humour and with those of men who were neither as great freedom of style which often rendered his poets or as quick humorists as Keats. Po- correspondence sufficiently marked and etry became him better than prose, and he characteristic. What spoiled his mind, moved easier in it. Indeed, occasionally he however, for such light work was the fierce resumes his natural habit of expression in earnestness which lay underneath everything corresponding with his friends; and to one he wrote, and which he was altogether unJohņ Reynolds he sends some amusing epis- able to control. The bubbles of fun upon tles in rhyme. The following note is from the surface frequently indicated a hot and Haydon. It is amusingly marked with his feverish nature below rather than a natural style
fresh spring of feeling. In fact, he was in
tensely and painfully self-conscious. He “MY DEAR KEATS, “I shall go mad! In a field at Stratford- the world thought of him. Not only his
was constantly thinking of himself and what upon-Avon, that belonged to Shakespeare, they heart was laid bare, but his very brain have found a gold ring and seal, with the ini- seemed uncovered to the attacks of crities; tials W. S. and a true lover's knot between. If and he shrank from their blows like one of this is not Shakespeare, who is it? A true those men whose skulls have imperfectly lover's knot! I saw an impression to-day, and am to have'one as soon as possible. As sure as
knitted, and who wince with a morbid teryou breathe, and that he was the first of beings, ror even at a threatening gesture. He the seal belonged to him. O Lord !
strove to disarm his enemies by confessing “ B. R. HAYDON.” his fear of them — now by loud challenges,
now by abject admissions of incapacity, Keats took a more sensible view of this dis- mingled incongruously with desperate avowcovery than his enthusiastic correspondent, als of what he could do, and intended to and hoped the seal was not “ Brummagem.” do. He had no philosophic balance of mind In return for his news, however, he sends whatever. He was unable to contemplate Haydon some verses, the first batch of which either failure or success with patience. His concludes
sympathies, too, drifted in an ominous fash
ion towards the saddest tragedies in the his" Then who would go
tory of literature. “ Endymion” was inInto dark Soho,
scribed to the memory of Chatterton. In And chatter with dark-haired critics, When he can stay
his introduction to the same work he writes : For the new-mown bay,
“ This may be speaking too presumptuously And startle the dappled crickets?
and may deserve a punishment; but no There's a bit of doggerel ; you would like a bit feeling man will be forward to inflict it; he of botheral !
will leave me alone with the conviction that
there is not a fiercer hell than the failure of “ Where be you going, you Devon maid ?' a great object." There are people who have
And what have you there in your basket ? admired the brutal epigram of Byron, reYe tiglit little fairy, just fresh from the dairy, ferring to the supposed effect of a review Will ye give me some cream if I ask it ?
upon Keats, and to them the above sentence
will seem a proof that the epigram was true; “ I love your hills and I love your dales And I love your flocks a-bleating ;
but Keats did not die of a Quarterly. With But, oh, on the heather to lie together,
all his sensitiveness, he had the sustaining With both our hearts a-beating !
pride of a man of genius; and, although
the general reception of his work might tell “I'll put your basket all safe in a nook, upon him, he could not but despise, although Your shawl I'll hang on a willow ;
he might have felt, the splenetic blackguardAnd we will sigh in the daisy's eye
ism which it was then the fashion to call litAnd kiss on a grass-green pillow.” erary opinions. It is impossible now to
read with patience the coarse personalities Up to the time when Keats indulged in of Wilson and his clique upon Leigh Blunt this sort of clever tritling, his mind appears and his friends. In Blackwood appeared buoyant and brisk enough. Indeed for a an article on Keats which has been seldom considerable period afterwards, he continued equalled for ignoble scurrility. The cirto correspond in a gay and cheerful mood: cumstance of his having been brought ups but at the close his life was dismal and surgeon inspires the writer with the remark clouded, though not uncheered by the af- l that " it is a better and a wiser thing to be a starved apothecary than a starved poet; ment and will keep his name.” He also reand he is told “ to go back to his gallipots.” marked, in connection with the ruffianly atJeffrey, however, had the taste to discover tack on Keats of which so much has been the value of the new poet, though he was said, “ I would not be the person who wrote not very prompt in his declaration of it; that homicidal article for all the honour and and his criticism on Endymion," when it glory in the world.” We may dismiss this did come, was thickly sprinkled with those worn theme by noting the manner in which damnable qualifications which seem inter- Shelley avenged his friend in a verse which posed between the work and the vision of must have made the writer of the article the reviewer, especially for the purpose of writhe. exhibiting the power of the latter in cork- Keats fell in love (your poet must have ing down enthusiasm. Jeffrey could not his grand passion), and a sad story his lovefully appreciate Keats. He was in truth a story reads. Lord Houghton alludes with fine, though a narrow judge. Poetry, ac- a becoming delicacy to the circumstances. cording to him, was an art well furnished Where personal feelings of so profound a with precedents. He had his rules and his character are concerned, it does not become statute laws on the subject. At the same the biographer in any case to do more than time, his yellow spectacles and his plumb indicate their effect on the life of his hero, line did not altogether cause him to miss and where the memoir so nearly approaches the beauties and the excellences of Keats. the times of its subject that the persons in He concludes one notice of “ Endymion” question, or at any rate their near relations, in the following words, and the reader will may be still alive, it will at once be felt how observe the illiberal caution with which he indecorous would be any conjectural analyintroduces what would otherwise have been sis of such sentiments, or indeed any more a frank, as well as a sincere compliment:- intrinsic record of them than is absolutely “ We are very much inclined to add that necessary for the comprehension of the real we do not know any book which we would man. We cannot, however, read Keats' sooner employ as a test to ascertain whether letters without a sensibility for the constant any one had in him a native relish for poetry quivering affection, fed by a fancy which and a genuine sensibility to its intrinsic sought so far and wide for wherewithal to charm.'" We must however say for Jeffrey trick out the idealized woman. And it is that when he wrote he had not the assist with some relief in the lasting beauty and ance in his judgment of that public feeling fitness of a pure love that we learn that the for concentrated poetry which is now com- poet did not give his heart into the keeping mon enough. In some respects his opinions of a fool. Keats's health as well as circumof Keats are marked by great shrewdness stances made the prospect of a union hopeand neatness of expression, but that is all. less. Lord Houghton, however, says of the He was mechanical and scholarly, but never lady of his choice It is enough that she sought to reveal Keats; he was content to has preserved his memory with a sacred interpret and translate him with skill. This honour, and it is no vain assumption that to is one function of criticism, but it is neither have aspired and sustained the one passion the first nor the most satisfactory. With of this noble being has been a source of reference to Byron, it can only be said that grave delight and earnest thankfulness as bis opinion of Keats was contradictory, through the changes and chances of her it is valueless; but it may also be said that earthly pilgrimage." All early deaths of some of his expressions towards Keats men of promise read sadly, but there is should never have been printed by those something inexpressibly touching in the who would care to have his memory pro- death of Keats to those who enter into the tected from dislike. What are we to think spirit of his poetry. His whole mind was of the chivalrous “Childe Harold” writing surcharged with life with the life of the to the editor of a review, “No more Keats, earth. He vibrated to the movements not I entreat; flay him alive — if some of you only of the world of people about him but don't, I must skin him myself. There is no to the material world, every flower of which bearing the drivelling idiotism of the mani- affected him, not with the borrowed pathos kin.” Against this we can only put, for of association, but with a sort of personal Byron's sake, the following, addressed to kinship and regard. He never would set Mir. Murray:
“ You know very well that an oak the task of talking or thinking a I did not approve of Keats' poetry, or pretty love-idyll, but, in a far more proprinciples of poetry, or of his abuse of found sense, he would believe it to be conPope; but as he is dead, omit all that is stantly palpitating and brooding. The unisaid about him in any MSS. of mine or pub- verse to him was not contrived as a sort of lication. His • Hyperion' is a fine monu- theological orrery in order to instruct peo