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stockholders. Provision is made for ers' money. In straggling prairie towns similar participation by national banks stand some of the latter structures of the state if the comptroller will allow gorgeous, marble-pillared, ornately fressuch action. This is the first guaranty coed creations, now occupied chiefly by deposit law ever enacted, though similar insurance agents and real-estate firms. bills have been introduced in legislatures These are the exceptions. Far out toand in Congress. It is possible that other ward the Rocky Mountains, in the Misstates will adopt such a measure, both to sissippi Valley, in growing towns, are protect banks on their borders, in close banking-houses that would surprise the proximity to states which have such a Wall Street capitalist who is wont to think provision, and to restore confidence to yet of the “American Desert.” The depositors who have withdrawn large floors are tiled, the walls are richly ornasums in the closing months of 1907. mented, the fixtures are brass and marWhile there are weak points in such legis- ble! - modern safes, adding machines,
lation and many bankers do not approve loose-leaf ledgers, vaults with electricit, the plan appears exceedingly plaus- wired burglar protection reaching to sevible to the average depositor, and its ad- eral central points of the town, safetyvocates believe that through the allaying deposit boxes, electric lights, steam heat, of timidity it will bring stability in the mahogany desks - every convenience volume of local deposits. Hence bankers and every adornment that go into the are watching Oklahoma's experiment office of the city banker's business home with interest.
is here, though on a smaller scale. It is Little of mystery surrounds tiled floors, done both because the banks can afford shining brass gratings, and polished it and because it has come to be recogcounters in these latter days, when dozens nized as due to the dignity of the busiof
persons in the community are as able to possess the fixtures — and the bank, Even in the little towns is an effort to too as the banker himself. The sci- be distinctive. The frame building with ence of business and investment has be- the bank and post-office in the front end come common knowledge in increasing and living rooms of the cashier in the measure, and, though many an under- rear, is exceedingly simple, but into it graduate woefully overestimates his the modern appliance has made its way, knowledge therein, all have acquired and labor-saving devices and other evia passing acquaintance with financial dences of touch with the outside world methods that tends to sensible and sober
are manifest. dealings rather than to hysterics.
The country banker has had a varied In no one thing has the country banker experience in the past decade, — rangmade greater progress than in the ar- ing from abundant prosperity, with rangement of his surroundings — his deposits and profits heaping up faster banking-office and its accessories. Once than loans could safely be placed, to it was thought that any room was good sudden reversal, when everybody looked enough for the bank. It might be in the askance at the bank doors, and for a few rear of a real-estate office, or in an or- weeks caused managers of the soundest dinary storeroom, with cheap fixtures. institutions sleepless nights and nerveWith the advent of prosperity this has wracking days. Perhaps the sharp corchanged, and the banking-rooms, in the rective was, on the whole, helpful, in that newer states particularly, are remark- it emphasized the need of caution and able for their magnificence.
preparation in such sensitive financial This is not true alone of the large undertakings. It has also brought about cities, nor of the boom banks that were a clearer comprehension of the relations built out on the prairies with Eastern- of country banks to the reserve banks of
the cities, and the future ought to see positors, and with his own course so such readjustment in currency volume arranged that he can look forward to and movement as shall prevent another stability in his own operations, the counsimilar trial.
try banker should have a life of comfort With peace of mind brought to his de- and satisfaction.
THE POETRY OF LEIGH HUNT
BY ARTHUR SYMONS
The poetry of Leigh Hunt has more "rejection of superfluities,” its correcimportance historically than actually. tion of “mistakes of all kinds.” It may Historically, it has its place in the ro- be quite true, as the author protested, mantic movement, where Leigh Hunt is that the first edition contained weak seen fighting, though under alien colors, lines, together with “certain convenby the side of Wordsworth. His chief tionalities of structure, originating in his aim was to bring about an emancipa- having had his studies too early directed tion of the speech and metre of poetry, towards the artificial instead of the natuand he had his share in doing so. The ral poets.” Yet, in fact, the second verearly style of Keats owes much of its sion is much more artificial than the first, looseness and lusciousness to an almost and what was young, spontaneous, realdeliberate modeling himself upon the ly new at the time, has given way to a practice and teaching of Hunt. "I have firmer but less felicitous style of speech something in common with Hunt,” Keats and versification. Such puerilities, of the admitted, in a letter written in 1818; kind which Hunt very nearly taught to and the Quarterly, in its review of En- Keats, as, dymion, defined Keats as a "simple
What need I tell of lovely lips, and eyes, neophyte of the writer of The Story of A clipsome waist, and bosom's balmy rise ? Rimini." That poem had only been pub- are indeed partly, though not wholly lished two years, but had already made obliterated, and for the better; and the a small revolutionary fame of its own. terrible line, revealing all Hunt's vulgari
For its actual qualities, this poetry, ties at a stroke, which seems now to have so slight an
She had stout notions on the marrying score, existence by the side of the still almost
– popular prose-writings, is not so easily disappears into the discreet — valued. Infinite tiny sparks flicker
She had a sense of marriage, just and free. throughout, but are rarely alight long Yet what goes, and is ill supplied, is such enough to set a steady fire burning. One frank bright speech as, lyric, a few sonnets, an anecdote or two, A moment's hush succeeds; and from the a few passages of description or of dia
Firm and at once, a silver answer calls, can we reckon up more than these in a final estimate of the value of
which turns into the droning, – this poetry as a whole ? Yet are not these The crowd are mute ; and from the southern few successful things, each rare of its wall, kind, themselves sufficient to make the A lordly blast gives welcome to the call. reputation of one who was content to be The simple country landscape is changed, remembered in whatever “humble cate- because the author has seen Italy, to the gory of poet, or in what humblest corner due citrons and pine-trees; but such of the category,” it remained for "an- evocations of the fancy cannot be done other and wholly dispassionate genera- twice over, and the freshness goes as the tion” to place him?
"local color” comes on. Even more The Story of Rimini as it was pub- inexcusable are the moral interpositions, Lished in 1816 is a very different thing such as the tears and explanations of from the revised version of 1832, with its Francesca at the fatal moment, by which
Dante and the picture are spoiled. “The bells on a fool's bauble. The criticism in mode of treatment still remains rather the one hundred and twenty-five pages material than spiritual,” Hunt admits, of the notes has still interest for us, if without fully realizing how much he is not value. There is always, in Leigh losing in material beauty, and how in- Hunt's criticism, something of haste and capable he is of replacing it by any kind temporariness, and it is generally reof spiritual beauty.
vised in every new edition. Here, the Byron, to whom The Story of Ri- recognition, on second thoughts, that mini is dedicated, said of it in a letter, Wordsworth is the chief poet of the age, “Leigh Hunt's poem is a devilish good together with the good-natured, superior, one — quaint here and there, but with and impertinent advice which he gives the substratum of originality, and with him for the bettering of his poetry, has poetry about it that will stand the test.” something more than curiosity as coming It has not stood the test, and is now from Leigh Hunt, and in 1814. Thescorn quoted nowhere but in the footnotes to of Southey, who “naturally borrows his Keats; but it is full of those suggestions language from those who have thought which lesser men are often at the pains for him,” remains good criticism, and of making for the benefit of their betters. there are phrases in a somewhat unjust All its “leafy " and rejoicing quality, its estimate of Scott which are not without woodlands and painted "luxuries," were relevance; as when we are told that “he to have their influence, direct or reflected, talks the language of no times and of no on much of the romantic poetry of the feelings, for his style is too flowing to be century.
ancient, too antique to be modern, and Before writing The Story of Rimini, too artificial in every respect to be the Hunt had published a satire in verse, result of his own first impressions." He called The Feast of the Poets, which is reasonably fair to Crabbe, though with he was to rewrite and republish at in- evident effort, and sees through Rogers tervals during his life. It was the first without effort. But the accidental qualiof what was to be a series of bookish ties of his taste betray themselves in the poems, in which he expressed the most sympathetic praise of Moore, in the prepersonal part of himself, but that part ference for “Gertrude of Wyoming," as which was best fitted perhaps for poetry. “the finest narrative poem that has been Few men have loved literature more pas- produced in the present day,” in the sionately and more humbly than Leigh contemptuous reference to Landor as Hunt, or with a generosity more disin- "a very worthy person,” and to “Gebir” terested. Books were nearer to him than as “an epic piece of gossiping,” and in men, though he sought in books chiefly the uncertainty and apparent distaste of their human or pleasing qualities. But what is meant to be said not unfavorably his poetry about books never passes of Coleridge. In the final edition, nearly from criticism to creation, as when Dray- fifty years later, Coleridge, “whose poeton writes his letter to H. Reynolds, and try's poetry's self,” is promoted to the Shelley his letter to Maria Gisborne. place of Wordsworth. We shall find no “brave translunary H t's miscellaneous mind was active, things” and no “hooded eagle among sympathetic, foraging; he made discovblinking owls.” He tells us that what the eries by some ready instinct which had public approved of in The Feast of the none of the certainty of the divining rod; Poets was a “mixture of fancy and fa- he was a freebooter, who captured vamiliarity;” but the savor has only gone rious tracts of the enemy, but could not out of it. The criticism in the twenty- guard or retain them. He was among the five pages of the poem is superficial and first to help in breaking down the eightobvious, and the verse jingles like the eenth-century formalism in verse, in let
ting loose a free and natural speech; The ignoble quality of jauntiness mars but his influence was not always a safe almost the whole of Hunt's work, in one. In 1829 Shelley writes to him, in which liberty cannot withhold itself from sending the manuscript of “ Julian and license. The man who can wish a beMaddalo:” “ You will find the little
loved woman piece, I think, in some degree consistent To haunt his like taste personified, with your own ideas of the manner in
cannot be aware of what taste really is; which poetry ought to be written. I have
and, with a power of rendering sensation, employed a certain familiar style of lan
external delicacies of sight and hearing, guage to express the actual
which is to be envied and outdone by people talk with each other, whom edu. Keats, he is never quite certain in his cation and a certain refinement of senti
choice between beauty and prettiness, ment have placed above the use of vul- sentiment and sentimentality.
In his later works Hunt learned someIt was just that proviso that Leigh thing of restraint, and when he came to Hunt neglected. What he really brings attempt the drama, though he tried to be into poetry is a tone of chatty colloquial
at the same time realistic and romantic, ism, meant to give ease, from which, how
was more able to suit his manner to his ever, the vulgar idioms are not excluded.
material. The Legend of Florence has He introduces a new manner, smooth,
his ripest feeling and his most chastened free, and easy, a melting cadence, which style, and more than anything else he did he may have thought he found in Spen- in verse reflects him to us as, in Shelser, whom he chooses among poets "for ley's phrase, "one of those happy souls luxury." The least lofty of English poets,
Which are the salt of the earth." he went to the loftiest among them only The gentle Elizabethan manner is caught for his sensitiveness to physical delight.
up and revived for a moment, and there His own verse is always feminine, lus
is a human tenderness which may well cious, with a luxury which is Creole, and a
remind us of such more masterly work was perhaps in his blood. He would go
as “A Woman killed with Kindness." back to such dainty Elizabethans as
Hunt was convinced that “we are Lodge, but his languid pleasures have
more likely to get at a real poetical taste no edge of rapture; the lines trot and amble, never fly.
through the Italian than through the
French school,” and he names together Hunt mastered many separate tricks and even felicities in verse, and acquired Spenser, Milton, and Ariosto, thinking
that these in common would “teach us a certain lightness and deftness which is
to vary our music and to address ouroccasionally almost wholly successful, as in an actual masterpiece of the trifling, his favorite poets, he begins with “Pulci,
selves more directly to nature.” Naming like “Jenny kissed me.” But he did not realize that lightness cannot be employed
for spirits and a fine free way.” To in dealing with tragic material, unless it acquaint English taste with Italian
models he did many brilliant translations, is sharpened to so deadly a point as
Dante being less perfectly within his Byron and Heine could give to it. It is
means than Ariosto or Tasso. He was difficult to realize that it is the same hand which writes the line that delighted
best and most at his ease in rendering Keats,
the irregular lines of Redi, whose “Bac
chus in Tuscany ” he translated in full. Places of nestling green for poets made,
In this, and in the version from the Latin and, not far off, these dreadful lines, of Walter de Mapes, there is a blithe The two divinest things the world has got,
skill which few translators have attained. A lovely woman in a rural spot.
It was through his fancy for Italian bur