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lism, this entirely desirable literary crime. Never was a better instance of the truth that good may proceed from evil—(for the principle of cutting up two books to make a third is of course evil: I cannot see any way out of that. But if all criminals

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The fact is that many people would never be caught by Borrow at all unless a tempting bait were thrown out. He is too moody, too various. We English like a book to be one thing or another, and Borrow is so many things at once. Mr. Seccombe puts part of the case against him in the following words (not from this book itself, but from the circular describing it):

There is a widely-spread opinion that Borrow, like the famous egg, is excellent in parts; but that for sustained reading Borrow is dry. It is perfectly true; Borrow is dry. What needs to be appreciated is that his dryness is not that of dry rot, but the dryness of high elevation, of a somewhat solitary and craggy humour-the dryness of “ Don Quixote,” of “ Robinson Crusoe,” of “ Gil Blas, ' of "Tom Jones," of "D'Artagnan," and of " Hadji Baba."

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I don't think I agree with the inclusion of D'Artagnan; but the contention is sound. Mr. Seccombe continues :

There is an absence of verdure. You will not find much sentiment in Borrow; but you will find 'part of the secret, brother,' especially in the Dingle. For here Borrow is at his best, in the open air among the gypsies-with Jasper, Pakomovna, Tawno, Ursula, the Man in Black-above all, Isopel or Belle Berners. These are characters in the present volume, nterlocutor, in dialogues of the greenwood, unrivalled since the heyday of the Forest of Arden.

I don't know again whether I quite see the force of bringing in the Forest of Arden; but again the intention is sound.

Borrow is at his best in the Staffordshire Dingle, and the Dingle is in this little book. Hence anyone who likes this book will probably take heart and tackle the rest of the great man. Borrow will, of course, never be popular : he is too independent, too contemptuous; but he ought to number many more intellects than he now does, after this little red herald has moved sufficiently among men.

At the form of the book one may be permitted to grunble I find that the present volume is to be succeeded in the "Red Leather Series," by a collection of stories by Miss Wilkins and an edition of "In Memoriam." No one admires the delicate art of Miss Wilkins more than I, and no one looks forward with more resignation to another commentary on Tennyson's monody; but

that the antagonist of Blazing Bosville, and Blazing Bosville himself, should be ranged into line with them is a thought too incongruous. If red leather and a pretty crimson ribbon to mark the place are fitting for Miss Wilkins (which one does not deny) can they also be appropriate to George Borrow? This is a question in the dynamics of publishing, which I will do no more towards answering than by saying that my copy of Mr. Seccombe's epic no longer has its ribbon.

Another slight cavil. The title page is unnecessarily formal. "The Text, edited with introduction and notes by Thomas Seccombe, author of the Age of Johnson, assistant editor of the Dictionary of National Biography." That's a hard word, "text." I never see it without thinking of a school book; and when we have along with it" notes" and "introduction," those two other old rascally companions, without which a "text" rarely travels, one may be pardoned for feeling instead of the anticipatory glow that the names of Isopel Berners and George Borrow ought to kindle, a certain chill sinking, such as Borrow himself would have at once put right by leaving the Dingle and calling for strong ale in the fighting landlord's inn. (Perhaps Mr. Seccombe intended this result.) The objection raises another question in the dynamics of publishing. My own feeling is that the emphasis here laid upon Mr. Seccombe's other works is an error in publishing tact. His admirable articles in the Dictionary, his. compact history of the Johnson period, are not relevant. Borrow would be equally well served had Mr. Seccombe already written nothing at all. Whereas there are of course many books on whose title page such a record belonging to author or editor would inspire confidence or even impart a thrill.

Both these points, however, lie rather with Mr. Seccombe's publishers than with himself. His own share of the book seems to me hardly to be improved anywhere. He comes to Borrow neither as a literary chaperon nor a patron, as is so often the case with those who supply a text (with introduction and notes), but as a man and a brother: as one to whom Petulengro might also have talked ; as one who has found virtue in strong beer, and will find it again; who can walk his miles as well as read tongues; who prefers action to literature, but, like Borrow, can see good in both. Borrow's fame could not be in better hands.

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IT

17

I. RICHARD TURPIN.

BY THOMAS SECCOMBE.

"The wisdom that is written in the lives
Of 'parted worthies were enough to teach
Wisdom to all. if they would emulate
Their glorious actions."

-TURPIN, Spring Blossoms, 1874.

T was in 1894 that the editors of the Essex Review first commissioned me to write a full and trustworthy history of the career of Richard Turpin, and it was promised that his portrait should occupy a foremost place in a gallery designed to exhibit such chevaliers as Sir Jolin Hawkwood, the evermemorable John Gilpin, and the heroic George Wombwell.

My intention soon became fixed to work up this subject with a befitting amount of scholarly apparatus and of erudite detail. To begin with a brief yet compact account of the etymology of the name Turpin, in which the totally unfounded views of Rumphius as to its Franconian origin should have received incontestable castigation. To pass on to a swift yet discerning enquiry into the geographical distribution of the name, more especially in France. (In this department of the subject I must freely confess that my views at present are far from being sufficiently matured to admit of any very precise generalisation). And so to pass on to that fascinating question of the heraldry, pedigree, and genealogical descent of the complete Stirpes Turpiniana, a subject which has fittingly engrossed the minute life-study of some of the profoundest antiquaries of Western Europe. My idea was to commence no farther back than Archbishop Turpin (upon whose character, by a fatality common in the Turpin family, the imputation of the False Chronicle, "Karoli Magni" has seemed to throw a kind of posthumous reflection of turpitude), but to bring the family tree down step by step to the person of that M. Turpin, whose name was so recently and unhappily, though it may be most unjustly, implicated in the Mélinite scandals. To use as a middle term the notorious Richard Turpin of Calais, the last of the Hampnes pursuivants, who was suspended by the Duke of Norfolk for his evil demeanour and died of a green and yellow melancholy in October 1581. To dwell with mournful deliberation upon the degeneracy of the Turpin stock in France, having especial regard

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