ROBERT WILLIAMS BUCHANAN (1841 - 1901)
NEWTON NEVILLE (2)
The St. James’s Magazine (December, 1865)
ROMANCE FROM THE DANISH.
WHILE winter snows were falling,
Old Hans, in quiet gossip,
“Ay, son, when the cock croweth,
Then enter’d, spade on shoulder,
* Skaltegraveren—signifying the digger after hidden treasures.
“It is so cold without there!
So pale he stands, and bloody,
His spade he quickly shoulder’d,
Dimly along the darkness
They follow, but in horror,
“See!” cried the pallid stripling,
“Oh, gracious God of heaven!”
See how he wildly claspeth
The St. James’s Magazine (January, 1866)
ROMANCE FROM THE DANISH.
OLD WINKELRED AND THE DRAGON.
BY B. S. INGEMANN.
At Roslock lieth a cavern great,
Who with bloody teeth and a flaming tongue
Like torches glimmer’d his eyes each night;
Now who will slay this dragon of sin,
The doughtiest cannot the monster withstand,
So many a knight, both doughty and good,
And the dragon springeth with claws accurst,
Upriseth, upriseth at last a knight,
White are his locks as the mountain snow,
In armour he standeth erect and hale,
Twelve sons once sat at this champion’s side;
Where was a knight so bold to be found?
“Though half the world in his den be dead,
The little boy hears his father’s groan,—
“So will I knock him so much about,
The old man smiles in a fierce unrest,
“Thy brothers thou’lt look on never more;
“When thou art big, and manly, and tall,
By Roslock gleameth the dragon bright,
In the cavern the monster raises his head;
“Ah! ah! to battle with me you’d try—
“Wouldst raise the treasure which none have seen,
With his sword responded the brave old man,—
The flesh of the dragon is stung, and stung;
“Truce, champion! cause me no further pain!
“Spare me! spare me! spare me! I pray,
As the dragon utter’d the final word,
Over and over the dragon fell dead;
It is not silver, it is not gold,
With the spear returns the champion now—
Honour’d let the champion be!
Where the free hand wields that weapon tried,
’Tis a heritage from son to son;
It has wielded been since the days of old,
Bravely ’twas wielded by Winkelred,
Never shall it return to the ground,
The St. James’s Magazine (February, 1866)
ROMANCE FROM THE DANISH.
The sky is netted with sable cloud,
The Gothic stone mass uprises high,
On Norway’s shore King Olaf springs,
Loud crows the cock at midnight-tide,
High in the air cross-banners wave,
On, on, rides Hakon, a trembling steed,
Gloom and anger are on his face,
Then the darkness murmurs; at Olaf’s side
* In the original the name is Thormod Karker; i.e., Karker against Thor.
The red shade vanishes while it speaks;
In his dream smiles Hakon quietly,
Loud cry the spies from the mountains near,—
The thunder roars and rolls in the sky,
The St. James’s Magazine (March, 1866)
A DANISH ROMANCE.
THE GIFT OF ÆGIR.
WHILE the high gods sported
No snail-shell lying
The red winds melting
The goddesses assembled
Follow’d by her sister,
Then the young sea-maiden,
Ægir’s great brown fingers
Then the beech-crown’d Frigga
Then Gesion stretch’d snowy
Then rose Eir, upholding
Rota, high and mighty,
Then smiled Freya, tripping
On his knee she sat her,
Ægir grasp’d the goblet,
* The holder of the precious fruit whereby the gods continually renewed their immortality.
With her crape-bound forehead,
She a bowl pure golden
And the mild-eyed goddess,
With a voice which murmurs
“Only those small apples,
“While the harp of Bragi
And in awe and wonder
“And I ask thee only,
Gentle Ydun promised;
If thereafter Loke,
That the wondrous story
Newton Neville in the Press
The Glasgow Sentinel (16 March, 1861 - p.7)
THE WELCOME GUEST. London: Houlston and Wright, Paternoster Row.
As we predicted last month, the ‘Indian Scout,’ which occupies the leading position in the Guest for this current month, is increasing in interest as it proceeds, though who are these interesting creatures—the hero and heroine—cannot yet be clearly made out. The plot is deep, the characters numerous, the scenery wild and grand—partly Mexican and partly American—so the lovers of these attractions will find the ‘Scout’ more exciting than his quiet predecessor, ‘Prairie Flower.’ Mr. Rowsell supplies three of his agreeable relieving officer’s recollections. Besides the humour and pathos which they contain, an admirable insight is given Scottish readers of the English Poor Law system. Lascelles Wraxall continues to pore over the criminal records of Europe, and gives a sample from those of Berlin, Rouen, and Flanders. ‘Janeta’ is an excellent story of Luther and the Reformation, by Marguerite A. Power. The great event of the 13th century is made to tell very powerfully on the fortunes of an humble couple, who feel its influence, and in their way forward the great Reformer’s work. ‘Drawing the Long Bow’ is a brief history of the manufacture and ancient use of that weapon. In these days when the merits of long or short Enfields are keenly discussed, it will scarcely be credited, we fancy, that a yeoman good was able effectively to send a shaft four or five hundred yards. We agree with the writer in hoping that in the hands of our Volunteers ‘the rifle will become what the long bow was in the hands of our forefathers.’ In the ‘Lady Curll,’ a rhyme for the winter fire, we find the following admirable definition of ‘honour.’ We have a notion that the hero of the day—Major Yelverton—will be of the class described in the last four lines. The man who could give such a description of a ‘gentlewoman,’ as he did, can be nothing else:—
‘The thing we call honour, Wife, differs in men;
‘Cœlebs in Search of Relaxation’ gives some smart hits at certain representative men, whom any one may number among their acquaintances. Among others, is the man whose hobby is to be, or who professes to be, on terms of intimacy with actors and actresses, and to say or hint naughty things of the latter. To him and his fellows ‘Cœlebs’ administers the following rebuke:—‘Does Buxton, when he perpetrates those doubtful winks and nods on the mention of the names of respectable actresses, ever reflect that said winks and nods are very serious things? I am afraid not; yet Buxton, who has a good heart, in spite of his nonsense, would turn very pale were he aware of the amount of harm wrought by such silly insinuations. Innocent reputations have been materially injured by men like Buxton, who act from want of common forethought. A dubious shake of the head has ruined many a stainless lady in social estimation. A careless gesture has been the cause of much bitter heartache in hard-working families. Such things spread quickly; there are fools to perpetuate every libel. The worst of the matter is, that men like Buxton (and they are many) are often the indirect thieves of the morality they have the impudence, on no real grounds, to doubt. They laugh over supposed error as if they rather admired it, as a good joke. What is the consequence? A very general false estimate of professional ladies, and—through the weakness of individuals—a proportionate increase of “easy virtue” in the parties libelled. Thus. A helpless young creature, trembling on the verge of temptation, generally feels her strength in exact proportion to the social estimate conceived of her up to that moment. “She will be just as well thought of one way as the other;”—the common (and often too patent) female argument. The probable result is, she takes the bait offered, and is thenceforth a lost woman. Think over this, friend Buxton.’ Another score of articles, all more or less meritorious, make up the contents of the part.
The Morning Advertiser (1 October, 1863 - p.3)
The St. James’s.—
The Borough of Marylebone Mercury (3 October, 1863 - p.3)
St. James’s has for some time failed to fulfil the high promise given in its early numbers.
“Though she may never be mine
The Illustrated London News (10 October, 1863 - p.18)
. . .
[From The Chester Chronicle (24 October, 1863 - p.2).]
The Western Morning News (16 November, 1865 - p.4)
The St. James’s Magazine opens with Miss Braddon’s new story, “The Lady’s Mile,” of which a tolerably large instalment is given; and contains also the continuation of Mr. Gilbert’s “Village Doctor,” and of the romance “Working in the Dark,” by Paul Féval. A posthumous fragment, by Sir Lascelles Wraxall, is also published in the present number under the title of “A French Hero.” It looks rather like a translation, but if it is not it does not do sufficient credit to its author to make it worth while to have printed it. Mr. Newton Neville’s paper on “Danish Romances” is, however, so far superior to the general run of magazine articles as to call for more than a passing notice. The translations which it includes are especially noticeable—they preserve much of the vigour of the originals, and are by no means destitute of a certain amount of poetical feeling.
And finally ...
The following story appeared in various newspapers: The Morning Post on 7th April, 1864, The Penny Despatch and Irish Weekly Newspaper on the 16th, and The Glasgow Daily Herald on 9th May. This is from The Sheffield Daily Telegraph, 9th April, 1864 - p.7:
Of course the problem with finding one duck is the desire to nail the whole flock. With the short-lived Welcome Guest, Buchanan’s change in editorial policy, making everything anonymous, had only one real aim, he could then fill it with as much of his own writing as he wished. Not from ego, I believe, more from idleness. He seems to have followed the same principle when he took over the St. Pauls Magazine in 1872, although there, anonymous poems and articles were joined by work “by the author of ‘St. Abe and His Seven Wives’”, or ‘An Idle Voyager’, or Walter Hutcheson, or B., or T. M. (Thomas Maitland? - a bit cheeky, that), or the old favourite, John Banks. Although I’m not sure whether Buchanan was the de facto editor of The St. James’s Magazine during the period when Newton Neville was in his prime, finding one pseudonym alongside legitimate Buchanans and R.W.B.s makes one question everything that’s anonymous or initialed. But the one (possibly two) which do stand out are Kingswood Clare and Caroline King (sometimes with a middle initial M). Both these poets are very well-represented in The St. James’s Magazine from 1862 to 1864 and then their careers seem to stop. A Caroline King Robertson publishes a book of poetry, Spring, Summer, and Autumn Leaves in 1895 (unavailable in all the usual places), so maybe it’s best to leave her for now, but Kingswood Clare seems to disappear completely. There’s no direct link to Buchanan, of course, or else he’d be displayed on the wall alongside Newton Neville, so all I can do is direct you to the HathiTrust, or the Internet Archive or google books, where you’ll find copies of The St. James’s Magazine. But I will add one of Kingswood Clare’s poems here. Most of his work is short lyrics, useful for filling gaps in pages, but here, for a change, he tries his hand at something longer, in rather a Scottish vein (quack! quack!):
The St. James’s Magazine (September, 1863)
THE LAY OF TRAQUHAIR.
OH! whose is this mansion so old and so grey,
The trees of the avenue, wither’d and spare,
Grass-grown is the pavement, the terrace, the court,
Pass ’neath the low archway, and up the broad stair,
But Death on that threshold his shadow hath cast;
O raise not the pall! let the dull sable gloom
The funeral over, the lawyers draw round
“I hated my brother—I hated my kin—
“If his son shall be living, go seek him, and say,
Astonish’d—bewilder’d—each one in surprise
The lawyers rode east, and the lawyers rode west,
Now one of the number alone had a clue,—
“And Stuart is now in the height of his prime!”
Then he slack’d not his speed, till near London’s great town,
* * * *
A low-storied villa—upon the white walls
A tea-table spread, but deserted—a swell
It ceases—and footsteps approaching are heard,
What sees he? A man over whose noble head
The brow of a genius, serene, broad, and high,
And she! No proud Beauty’s bold splendour is there,
Not yet in her autumn, nor yet in her spring,
She gathers a bouquet—verbena and rose,
She presses his hand to her lips with a smile,
How little they thought what a change in their fate
The lawyer, in haste, told his errand in brief,
There’s a smile on her lip, there’s a tear in her eye,
Then with a quick impulse she springs to his breast,
“No care for the morrow—no fear for thy health;
* * * *
What means all this movement in Castle Traquhair?
There are tramplings of footsteps, and distant hurrahs,
They alight;—as his tall, noble figure appears,
He bares his proud head, and he utters a prayer
“Oh, clansmen! among you we’ll live and we’ll die.”
Robert Stuart, like one all bewilder’d, had stood,
“My own faithful darling! my dear one! my wife!
“I ardently long’d to be loved for myself,
“Yes, we have been most happy!—so happy, that I
“What ease and what honour shall compass thee now!
“Oh! fitted alike for man’s weal or man’s woe,
* * * *
Once more there is feasting in hut and in hall,
For when autumn the earth in her gay tints had drest,