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who had been kind to him when at Odensee. This is the poet Galberg, who offers to give him lessons in Danish and the profits of a small work he had just published. His mother's words, spoken in the harvest fields, “ All men are good to my Hans Christian," proved true enough; allmen, or at least most men, were good to him. But the
dwindled there was no more coming-so Hans was compelled to hire a smaller room, indeed a garret, where he almost starved. He did not like his landlady to know how poor he was; he was supposed to dine out; so he did, perched on a bench in the Royal Gardens—his dinner consisted of a crust of bread. At night when he comes home, cold and hungry, he falls on his knees beside his little bed and prays aloud, asking piteously, “Will it soon be better with me?" At last the black cloud began to show a streak of silver. He sent his tragedy to Collin, the director of the Theatre Royal, and this man, cold and business-like as he appeared at first, proved a firm and fast friend throughout his life. Through Collin's influence the King agreed to grant Hans a small sum annually, and he obtained at the same time admission into a Latin school in Glageldee. Before starting, Collin saw a good deal of him, and treated him with the kindness of a father, telling him to write regularly and confide everything to him. A new life seemed opening before him: he would work hard, and in a few years' time become a student. He boarded in a house near the school ; his room looked out upon a garden and field. He began to work very hard ; he had so much to make up that it seemed almost hopeless at first, but he struggled on manfully, studying far into the night, bathing his head in cold water to keep himself awake. He still wrote verses whenever he had a free moment, and these he showed to two of his companions, who did the same thing. These same verses got him into trouble a little later on. The Rector of the school where he was had applied for, and obtained, a Rectorship in a grammar school at Helsingor, and had proposed to Hans that he should remove to it with him, should his protector Collin approve and suggest. If he did he would probably become a student in halfayear's time. Collin seeing no objection, Hans accompanied the Rector, not with the idea of being with him, for he was far from a favourite, but because he believed it would be the wisest step. Soon after this removal it was that his poetical proclivities got him into trouble. The Rector seems to have been one of those, by no means a small portion of humanity, who ridicule and condemn what they are utterly incapable of comprehending. He was a hard, severe man, destitute alike of delicacy and refinement, and utterly devoid of poetry. It came to this man's ears that Hans wrote verses. If there was a habit more idle than another from his point of view it was this writing of verses. He objected to it on principle; not being able to do it himself, it was of course his duty to put it down, so he tried to do so. He summoned the delinquent to his presence, and blandly requested to see some of his beautiful verses." The Rector was partial to a bit of sarcasm. Hans changed colour; he had learned by this time most of the pleasant little traits of the Rector's character, and brought forth the poem entitled “The Dying Child.” If a man wishes to cast ridicule upon a poem, no matter how pretty or even pathetic it may intrinsically be, he is able to do so with the best possible effect. A peculiar intonation, a mocking smile, a few telling remarks between the verses, will do for it, and the poem cannot be heard withnut laughter. The Rector was a clever man, and he took infinite pains to mortify and wound his poor sensitive pupil. He promised if there was a word of poetry in it he would forgive him—very magnanimous of him!—but he could not find one,and characterised it as a mass of sentimentality and verbiage. After this little episode Hans's life is a misery to him. He becomes the butt of the school, and whenever the Rector is in a bad humour he wreaks it on him.
Hans worked hard, but he could not please him, and his misery and persecution were so patent that at last one of the under masters communicated with Collin, and informed him of the state of affairs. Collin at once sent for him ; the Rector became furious. When Hans came to bid him good-bye, he railed, and cursed him, and expressed a wish that he might become a student, and that his poems might grow mouldy in a bookseller's shop; and then, feeling that this might possibly be misunderstood, concluded his agreeable remarks with the prophecy that he would certainly end his days in a madhouse.
In September, 1828, he did become a student, and in the same year published his first book, entitled “A Journey on Foot to Amack," which was very successful. The year following, the first edition of his collected poems appeared, and in 1830 he applied the money so obtained to a trip to Jutland
A change came over him about this period. His hopeful and ardent nature disappeared for a time, giving place to a gloomy, melancholy humour altogether alien from his character. His “Journey on Foot " was severely criticised and held up to ridicule ; each grammatical error was carefully picked out and exposed to public gaze. Kind friends felt it their duty-a painful one, no doubt --to talk to him about his mistakes, and were good enough to show him how very unfitted he was to appear in print. One gentleman took infinite pains in the author's presence to point out all the errors in one of the poenis--stopping at every word--until a little girl who had listened with astonishment, and had followed every sentence, suddenly exclaimed, “There is still a little word, and," which you have not scolded.” The good-natured gentleman must have felt, one would think, the irony of the child's remark.
Andersen lost his confidence and fearlessness; he became timid, and more acutely sensitive. Soon after he left Denmark for a time and travelled about Germany, during which period he supported himself by the fruits of his pen. Even here he was followed by the ill-natured criticism of his enemies, who went to the pains of forwarding to him anonymous papers and letters holding him up to ridicule.
On one occasion, he tells us, in his “ Story of his Life," a book as entertaining as any novel, that he was waiting impatiently for a letter from home, some time having elapsed since he had heard, when a packet was brought him, which he opened with the utmost eagerness. It proved to be a newspaper containing a bitter and scurrilous attack upor. his last book. The postage was unpaid. It was a noble tribute of affection from his fellow-countrymen, and must have been very gratifying and encouraging. But this is the dark side of his life ; among so many sweets there must be some bitter things. Soon after his return from Germany, he obtained a travelling stipend, which enabled him to spend some time abroad. His kind friend Collin offered him a home whenever he was in Denniark, and invariably treated him as one of the family. Edward Collin, his son, and Andersen, grew up together like brothers, sharing the same tastes and opinions, and remaining staunch friends throughout their lives. It was in the bosom of Collin's family that Andersen was the happiest; it was here that he wrote his fairy tales, telling them to the children before putting them on paper.
No doubt this was the secret of his wonderful charm for children; he loved them so well, and understood them so thoroughly, that he was enabled to write what they would like. His guileless nature had so much of the child about it that he was always a favourite among children. He was never at a loss with them, but always able to amuse, and in amusing them enjoy himself. His tales were commented upon, as his other books had been, and met with no small censure. It was deemed childish and useless to write for children; it was a waste of time and talent, but Andersen knew better than that. The child's life, with its eager yearnings and bright hopes, was too near his heart to permit the idle tattle of a few wrongheaded critics to stay his hand. He pursued his way quietly and happily. He wrote "The Ugly Duckling,” and the story “Little Tottie," because he could not help it; he wrote as the birds sing, because it was his nature ; he could not prevent himself any more than they could. Nor are the gracefullywoven stories suited to children's capacities only; most of them have some subtle meaning 'neath the fanciful imagery. To comprehend the magician's spells, it is needful to be in possession of his wand, and it is equally indispensable for the proper fathoming of a poet's hidden meaning to have at least some touch of poetry in the soul; and so it cannot be altogether wondered at, that more than one critic, destitute of that most essential gift, failed to see aught but very foolish and childish stories. So it will always be.
We know little more of Andersen's life. It flowed on like a beautiful stream, pure and bright, making the world better and more beautiful. He has passed from among us, but not before he completed his life's task; and it will be long, we think, before the gentle, pure-minded Hans Andersen will be blotted from the child's heart.
“Make room and let him stand before our face !"
O says the Doge of Venice at the trial of Shylock v.
Antonio, in the great hall of justice, and so says the
public eager to find seats at the Lyceum Theatre to witness the latest revival of Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice.
All playgoers are anxious to see Mr. Henry Irving's Shylock, and when they have once seen it, they will be quite as ready to enjoy the pleasure of seeing it again. In no character, perhaps, has Mr. Irving so completely conquered his mannerisms or subdued his propensity to exaggeration as in this rendering of the revengeful Jew. Calm, shrewd, and satirical in the beginning, devoted to his race and proud of his own business capacities, he stifles all sense of insult in his satisfaction at spoiling the Egyptian, and only begins to show his capability of resentment when an opportunity is given him to torment the man, of all others, who has continually met him with studied rudeness and coarser ridicule. Mr. Irving's delivery of the lines beginning,“ Signor Antonio, many a time and oft on the Rialto, you have rated me, &c.,” was given as no other actor we have could have delivered it, and probably as no other actor ever gave it. The simple irony was just weighted with sufficient hate to be a foreshadow of the tiger that migh tbe roused within him. Every word a barb, fixed with all the dexterity of a bull-fighter, goads Antonio to quick fury. It is the Christian, not the Jew, who loses his temper. Why look you! How you storm!” says Shylock.
From this moment the Shylock now before us is seen to feed his hopes of revenge, and when the same night, he returns to find not only his daughter but his gems and ducats gone, he gives himself up entirely to his cruel determination to kill Antonio. It is Antonio's friend who has carried off his Jessica, and she has carried off his jewels. For after all Shylock is more hurt at the loss of his goods than at the disappearance of his daughter, with whom there is evidently little affection, as Jessica's subsequent reproaches, and evident pleasure at finding freedom in escape, go to prove.