Friday, September 20, 2019

Gansevoort Melville, speeches and more on Melvilliana

The New York Public Library Digital Collections
For anyone looking into the life and times of Herman Melville's brilliant older brother Gansevoort Melville (1815-1846), here are links to relevant posts on Melvilliana, starting with those containing transcriptions (partial, mostly) of Gansevoort's political speeches.

Speeches by Gansevoort Melville


More on Gansevoort Melville

Published scholarship:
  • Hershel Parker, Herman Melville: A Biography, Volume 1, 1819-1851 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996). See especially chapter 5, In the Shadow of the Young Furrier (pages 84-103); and chapter 16, The Sailor, the Orator, and the Grand Contested Election: 1844 (pages 316-338).

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

1892 receipt for Clarel

1892 receipt to Samuel Cabot for Herman Melville's Clarel
Image Credit: Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin
h/t Hemingway

Papers in the Richard Garnett Collection of the Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin show that Richard Garnett (1835-1906), then Keeper of Printed Books in the British Museum, received a two-volume set of Herman Melville's verse epic Clarel (1876) from Samuel Cabot of Boston. The relevant papers currently are located in Manuscript Collection MS-1545, Container 12.8. Cabot had purchased the volumes from Manhattan book dealer John Anderson, Jr., for $6.00, as indicated on the receipt dated March 14, 1892. Just a few weeks before, on February 25, 1892, Anderson paid Elizabeth Shaw Melville $120 for a lot of books from her late husband's library, as reported by Merton M. Sealts, Jr. in Melville's Reading (University of Wisconsin Press, 1966), page 6; and Pursuing Melville, 1940-1980 (University of Wisconsin Press, 1982), page 35.

On his passport application dated May 26, 1891 (issued May 28, 1891), Samuel Cabot gave his occupation as "Chemist" and his date of birth as February 18, 1850. With business partner Frederick Nourse, this Samuel Cabot (1850-1906) founded the Samuel Cabot Company, later famous for Cabot Stains. Cabot is named among "Notable Alumni" of the Boston Latin School. According to the Boston Athanaeum,
Cabot became an entrepreneur and manufacturer of lampblack and coal tar products and was one of the earliest New England manufacturers to introduce a profit-sharing system to his employees, ca.1885
Cabot was an alumnus and strong supporter of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. As reported in the Boston Globe, his unexpected death from pneumonia on November 26, 1906 was widely mourned in the M. I. T. community.

Wed, Nov 28, 1906 – 14 · The Boston Globe (Boston, Massachusetts) ·

Catalog records reveal that Richard Garnett himself owned a copy of Clarel, and so did the British Museum. Garnett's personal copies of Melville's Clarel and also The Whale are listed in the Catalogue of the library of the late Dr. Richard Garnett, C.B.:
Works by Herman Melville in the British Museum included Battle-Pieces and Clarel, both listed in the British Museum Catalogue of Printed Books 1881-1900, Volume 35 Marl to Mendthal:
Possibly Samuel Cabot's Clarel, the one bought from John Anderson, Jr. on March 14, 1892, was meant for the British Museum. In the second of two undated notes transcribed below, Cabot offers to hunt up "any other books that you might want at the Museum." But Cabot then extends his offer to Garnett personally, complicating the question of where this particular Clarel went.

Garnett may have asked Cabot for more of Melville's poetry. Samuel Cabot of "70 Kilby St., Boston, Mass." advertised in The Publishers Weekly on March 5, 1892 for "Any vols. of verses by the late Herman Melville."

Publishers' Weekly - March 5, 1892
On March 19, 1892 and March 26, 1892, Cabot advertised in The International Bookseller under "Books Wanted" for "Any of the poetical works of Herman Melville."
Here then are my transcriptions of two letters from Samuel Cabot to Richard Garnett. For expert help with finding and duplicating these items for research, I am grateful to Virginia T. Seymour at the Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin.
Dear Mr Garnett
I have just received your "leaflet from the Greek Anthology" together with a copy for my sister, which I sent to her.

I thank you very much, and expect to owe you more still after I have read it.

I wish you would allow me to present you with the "Clarel" but as you insist so strongly in your last letter I enclose the bill, although I should much prefer that you would accept it as a slight return for your kind assistance to me while in London.

Nothing I have ever seen has impressed me as your superb Library did. It seemed like the Arabian Nights and I felt as if you had lent me Aladdin's lamp.

Very sincerely yours
Sam Cabot

R Garnett Esq 
-- Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin
 Dear Sir
I received your kind note with its enclosed money-order just as I was leaving home and now hasten to acknowledge it.
I have read your charming verses with much pleasure.
Pray give me the pleasure of looking for any other books that you may want at the Museum, only please allow me to contribute them myself if it is possible.
I should be equally glad to do the same for you and I assure you it was a genuine regret to me that the circumstances of the case seemed to you to force you to repay my outlay.
With much regard
I am yours
Sam Cabot

Richard Garnett Esq
-- Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin
Cabot's appreciation of Garnett's kindness at the British Museum was echoed in the beautiful memorial article by Frank Karslake, published in Book Auction Records Volume 3 (London, 1906):
"A stranger expected to find an official, and instead found the kindest of friends."
Karslake's 1906 tribute will reward further study, being rich in biographical facts and insights.


Born at Lichfield, Feb. 27, 1835; Eldest son of the Rev. Richard Garnett, Assistant Keeper of Printed Books, British Museum ; Entered the Library of the British Museum, 1851 : Entrusted to arrange the recent acquisitions to the Library, 1857; Married Olivia Narney, daughter of Edward Singleton, Esq., 1863; Appointed Superintendent of the Reading Room, 1875; Edited the Printed Catalogue of the British Museum Library, 188o 1889; Received the degree of LL.D. from the University of Edinburgh. 1883; Appointed Keeper of the Printed Books in the British Museum, 1890; Made a C. B., 1895; Retired from the British Museum, 1899 ; Appointed a Trustee of the National Portrait Gallery, 1905; Died at Hampstead, April 13, 1906. Dr. Garnett was an Honorary Member of the American Philosophical Society of Philadelphia, the Massachusetts Historical Society, the Società Bibliographica Italiana; and of the Dante Society; and has been President of the Library Association ; of the Bibliographical Society, of the Modern Languages Association, and of the Hampstead

Antiquarian Society. The following is believed to be a correct list of his more important publications:—

‘Primula", a volume of poems, (anonymously), 1858, republished in 1859, with extensive additions, under the title of . Io in Egypt and other Poems ’; Poems translated from the German, 1862; ' Relics of Shelley (Fragments in Verse and Prose discovered among Shelley's MSS. since incorporated into the standard editions of the poet's writings). 1862; Monthly Digest of Contemporary German Literature (for The Saturday Review), 1864-82; Idylls and Epigrams chiefly from the Greek Anthology’, 1869 (republished under the title of ‘A Chaplet from the Greek Anthology', 1892); ‘The Soul and the Stars”, (article under the anagram of A. G. Trent, in The University Magazine, March, 1880, since republished); ' Life of Thomas Carlyle', 1887; Survey of Victorian Literature (in T. H. Ward's Reign of Queen Victoria'), 1887; 'Life of Emerson', 1888; 'Twilight of the Gods', 1888, (two new and augmented editions were published in 1903); ' Life of Milton ’, 1800; ' Iphigenia in Delphi, a Tragedy ', 1800 ;  Poems', 1893; ‘The Age of Dryden', 1895; ‘Life of William Blake, Painter and Poet', (Portfolio Monograph), 1895; ‘Sonnets translated from Dante, Petrarch and Camoens', 1896; ‘Richmond-on-the-Thames, (Portfolio Monograph), 1896; A Short History of Italian Literature', 1898; Edward Gibbon Wakefield, a Biography ', 1898; Essays in Librarianship and Bibliography ', 1809; Essays of an Ex-Librarian', 1901; ‘The Queen and other Poems', 1902; ' William Shakespeare, Pedagogue and Poacher', 1904; English Literature, an Illustrated Record, (with Edmund Gosse), 1904; De Flagello Myrteo', 1905. Dr. Garnett also edited and prefaced many books, wrote several pamphlets, (now sought for and scarce), contributed extensively to periodical literature, and wrote numerous articles in the ‘Encyclopaedia Britannica' and the Dictionary of National Biography', while at the date of his death he was engaged upon a Life of William Johnson Fox, announced for publication during the present year by Smith, Elder & Co.]

I had originally meant to attempt a Memoir of Dr. Garnett, but the above mere summary of the main incidents of his career and list of books written by him  during what to most men would be hours of leisure show that even a brief one cannot be got within the limits of this publication. For nearly fifty years Dr. Garnett was a part of the British Museum, and only when a history of that splendid institution comes to be written can his extraordinary activity and devotion as a Public Servant be made known. The Department of Printed Books is certainly one of the glories of the British Empire; with it must indissolubly be connected the name of Richard Garnett. It has been said that the printed catalogue is his greatest work but I believe that were it possible to enumerate his acts of kindness to students they would be found to out-number its pages, as they are. So to me, his greatest work was his daily life in the Museum, his charming relations with the British Public. A stranger expected to find an official, and instead found the kindest of friends. Personal experiences are always interesting, so let me recall my first interview with Dr. Garnett. It was in 1897, when I had published a work some part of which was in special state. As has happened before to publishers, I had got into a rebellious frame of mind from the fact that the Copyright Act requires the delivery to different Institutions of five copies of the best state of any book, forming a heavy tax when such state is very limited and very costly. Well, I sent a copy of the cheaper issue to the Museum and refused, point-blank, to deliver one of the édition de luxe. I don't know what the British Museum could have done, in its wrath, had it so chosen ; whether it could have haled me off to gaol or not, and have kept me there till 1 came to a better state of mind; but what did happen was the arrival of a courteous note from Dr. Garnett, suggesting that I should call upon him. I did call, at once, and the resulting half-hour's interview at the Museum left upon my mind an indelible impression of a unique personality, of a man of years and position who was as kind-hearted as a good woman should be; who was great in his qualities, and learned and clever, yet who hid the strong hand beneath the silk glove, and was withal as shy almost as any schoolgirl. I surrendered at discretion, left a copy of my best issue in his hands and came away feeling that I had lost my book but had gained a friend. After that Dr Garnett would occasionally bring me some special book—his copy of the first edition of The Germ, and his own monograph on William Blake—for instance, to be bound by the women in an industry the story of which remains to be told in fitting time. When the workshops were established at Hampstead they were within a short distance of Dr Garnett's house, and, passing the door every time he went to town, he would often drop in to see the binding in progress, or would call to chat with my wife upon work upon which she was engaged. She remembers him telling her how Queen Victoria entrusted General Gordon's bible (brought back from Khartoum) to him for repair, and stating that he had executed the work in his own room so that the precious volume should not leave his possession. Upon another occasion he saw and was much interested in a rare proof engraving of Queen Victoria's coronation, from the picture by E. T. Parris, which my wife was colouring under the superintendence of the artist's daughter. The engraving, when finished, was purchased by the King for the Royal Collection, and Dr. Garnett never afterwards failed to ask if my wife was doing any more work on historical subjects. Yet another time Dr. Garnett saw and was much interested in the album which the women-binders were commissioned to make for the Princess of Wales to take on the voyage to Australia, the Cape, and Canada, and he remarked that even a princess might consider herself fortunate to have so much thought given to emblematic detail. I mention these occurrences to show Dr. Garnett's tact and kindness. He was not very specially interested in binding, I believe, but it had its place in his mind. He saw that my wife was deeply interested in her work, and he chatted to her about what appealed to her, as if he had been engaged in binding books all his life. It is well known that he would take an interest in any subject if by doing so he thought he could be of use to a student. Thus in the Reading Room some one might tell him that he was going to write a life of Hannibal or of Paul de Kock. Dr. Garnett perhaps would say little, perhaps much, at the moment. But at the next meeting he would be almost sure to impart some special piece of information, and often by the time the book was written he would have indicated the materials for a good deal of the contents. His marvellous memory enabled him to make a mental note of everyone's requirements, and he seemed to be able to acquire knowledge without the tiresome process of hunting it down. If Dr. Garnett took enormous pleasure in facilitating the work of his “Readers" and improving the complicated machinery of his Department, he took scarcely less in adding to its treasures. For many years it was his delightful duty to report to the Trustees in favour of the purchase of rare books. He was a cool-headed man, but not infrequently he must have known what real excitement is. Many of my readers have seen him at Sotheby's or Puttick's on the eve of a great sale. One of the most interesting pieces of bibliography ever compiled is entitled “Three Hundred Notable Books added to the Library of the British Museum under the Keepership of Richard Garnett" (privately printed for the Editors and Subscribers, by Constable, in March, 1899). After going through it one arrives at at least some idea of what he did in securing treasures for Great Russell Street. 
Of course such a man bought some books for himself and more to give away. Some of us have seen him at Denny's in the Strand, or at Dobell's in Charing Cross Road, but no doubt his large private library grew more through gifts from authors and friends than from purchasing. He was for many years an intimate friend of Lady Shelley, he is said to have owned some Shelley MSS. and he must certainly have had a fine collection of Shelley literature and scarce books in nearly all departments of letters, for his interests were very wide. I should guess that in particular he had everything written by his friends Coventry Patmore and George Meredith, whose early works he reviewed for the Examiner. But my theme is inexhaustible. It is pleasant to know that Dr. Garnett was most happy in his home-life. Mrs. Garnett, who often looked in upon us, must have been an ideal wife. Bright and witty, she, too, was fond of books, and had her own particular collection. Their children have inherited their tastes, and the names of three of them appear as authors or editors in the British Museum Catalogue. When Mrs. Garnett's death came I received a letter from Dr. Garnett on the subject which I shall treasure as a memento of a remarkable personality. Of late he seemed to age somewhat rapidly. Yet the fatal illness came quite unexpectedly. The nurse who tended him during the week which was his last on earth told us that she never had so gentle, so considerate a patient; that his one complaint was that the family and she were doing more than they should ; that he was giving them too much trouble; that they were getting no rest. All the week through only smiles and thanks came from his lips. Simplicity, I take it, was the main feature of his character; it is often so with great minds.

The following sonnet, written by Dr. Garnett, is comparatively little known, and will be of interest to all “book-men.”
Printed at a Mission Station in the Andes, 1612.

Screened in the shadows Cordilleras fling,
Where straining breast scarce breathes, and straining eye
Sees naught 'twixt lifted sight and silent sky
Save the huge Condor hung on heavy wing:—
Small skill, great love, there made me, light to bring
Where, sunk beneath the mountain far as I
Had birth aloft, the Indian's misery
Plied toil unblest for Europe's profiting.
The silver that his labour sunward drew
Now buys me, haply, in this foreign mart
Where Love and Skill and Labour bartered are,
And it and I have interchanged our part:
Homeward it journeys to remote Peru
Leaving me here beneath the Northern Star.
Note:— The portrait of Dr. Garnett which accompanies this part was taken shortly after he received his C.B. in 1895, and the order is seen on his breast. The portrait, I think, has never before been published: it possesses special interest in that it presents Dr Garnett in the prime of his life, before evidence of age appeared. It was originally taken by Messrs. Dickinson of New Bond Street, with whom I have arranged for its reproduction here. It should not go unchronicled in these pages that since Dr. Garnett's death a general chorus of appreciation of his unvarying goodness and kindness, to all alike, as well as of the great value of his writings, has gone up from the press of many countries, finding keen expression in England from the pens of such writers and associates as A. W. Pollard, Sir F. T. Marzials, Ford Madox Hueffer, Beatrice Harraden, Agnes A. Adams, and Alice Zimmern. By many critics Dr. Garnett's remarkable volume of stories “The Twilight of the Gods" is now ranked with the best work of the celebrated Anatole France. I believe that many of Dr. Garnett's stories were originally published in magazines before the great Frenchman began to write. Copies of the first edition of the “Twilight,” published by Fisher Unwin, are now scarce; but the scarcest of Dr. Garnett's works is his first volume of poems— “Primula." Indeed I do not recollect a copy of it occurring for sale.
Related post:

Monday, August 26, 2019

Reformer Samuel Leavitt on Moby-Dick and White-Jacket

Herman Melville gets several mentions in an obscure, densely allusive, anonymously published reform novel titled Exit of Caliban and Shylock (Philadelphia: A. Winch, 1868). One copy is held by the Library of Congress in the Rare Book/Special Collections Reading Room (Jefferson LJ239):
 PS991.A1 E88.
Harvard has another one at Widener Library, Offsite Storage AL 4314.5:
The NYPL copy is Google-digitized and accessible via Google Books
and Hathi Trust Digital Library
Notes in the Folger Library Catalog indicate that the book is
"Attributed to a Mr. Leavitt."
Joshua King Ingalls reliably identified the author of "Caliban and Shylock" as lifelong reformer Samuel Leavitt:
I should apologize perhaps to Mr. Samuel Leavitt, for not mentioning his name before. But he has been met on so many different platforms, I scarce know where to place him, particularly. We were in accord on the land and interest problems: but differed politically on the tariff and the greenback questions, although I acted as treasurer for the Liberty Bell, which he published in the Peter Cooper Presidential campaign. He advocated rational divorce for mismated couples. He has been a newspaper man ever since I knew him. He was the author of "Caliban and Shylock," "Peace Maker Grange," a social romance, and "Our Money War," a most elaborate and exact statement of the history of our money metallic or paper, since the existence of our nation, with a bias in favor of fiat money.  -- Reminiscences of an Octogenarian in the Fields of Industrial and Social Reform (New York, 1897) pages 153-4; h/t Shawn P. Wilbur on The Libertarian Labyrinth.
Described by Chester McArthur Destler in American Radicalism, 1865-1901 as a "veteran reform journalist," Samuel Leavitt (1831-1899) was a son of John Wheeler Leavitt (1790-1870) and Cecilia Kent Leavitt (1798-1892).

Here's a helpful plot summary of Leavitt's book from the Springfield Republican of April 14, 1869:
Exit of Caliban and Shylock is the odd name of an odd, crude book, published by A. Winch, 505 Chestnut street, Philadelphia. It is the spiritual autobiography of a young New Englander, Clement Romain [Clarence Romain, actually] who is brought up a Calvinist, and studies divinity, then becomes a spiritualist, and in New York and Brooklyn falls in with a wretch named Merlin, a spiritual medium, married to a wife of whom Clement falls in love after a time, and finally marries. But in the interim he passes through all sorts of conditions and experiences at the west, and finally settles down as a proof-reader at Cincinnati. He is always seeking to reform the world and to live a true life himself; but he is entangled in speculations about marriage and divorce, Fourierism and spiritualism, and does not make a very brilliant figure in the eye of the world. The book has many passages of truth and power, together with much rubbish and many tiresome discursions. It inculcates a pure morality, too, but one somewhat at variance with the laws and usages of society. It cannot be read by all persons, but to those enlightened enough to see what is best in the author, it is a thoughtful and suggestive book.
Springfield Republican (Springfield, MA) April 14, 1869
The notice in the Springfield Republican is critical yet sympathetic, too. With fewer reservations, Exit of Caliban and Shylock was promoted in Susan B. Anthony's The Revolution, the weekly newspaper of the National Woman Suffrage Association, edited by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Parker Pilsbury. On November 5, 1868, The Revolution published a long extract, and this strong recommendation from Eleanor "Nellie" Ames, aka Eleanor Kirk:

To our friends of “THE REVOLUTION” who have not read the “Exit of Caliban and Shylock,” I will say, get it immediately and have a feast. I have no knowledge of the author, not even his name: but that he has launched a work upon the world destined to prove a brilliant success, requires no gift of prophecy to foretell. The title is a strange one, and not at first thought particularly happy or suggestive; but a careful reading will convince all, of its singular appropriateness. The “Exit of Caliban and Shylock” is a scholarly emanation from a thoughtful, earnest, live man; and as such cannot but commend itself to the refined and discriminating. Its exquisite and classical quotations and allusions make it invaluable to the metaphysical student. It so combines the ideal and the actual—the visionary and the practical, making so plain that blending which with the most of us is such a mystery—that as I finished the last page I was constrained to say— woman! woman! where have your senses been wandering these years” that you could not see “some things as well as others”! 
Previously noticed in The Revolution on October 8, 1868:
EXIT OF CALIBAN AND SHYLOCK. A tale of Captive lady, Knight, Tourney and Crusade. Philadelphia: A. Winch, 505 Chestnut street. 
A large octavo pamphlet of nearly a hundred and fifty pages, treating of the Woman Question in more aspects than any other work of its size yet produced. Its price is 75 cents, one-third too much, most buyers will think, and not unreasonably. And yet we venture to say, that those who do like it, will never complain of its cost. It will have foes, too, as well as friends, as readers of "THE REVOLUTION" will see, and perhaps become, should we give them some specimens of its pages, as we hope to do soon.
Ads for Exit of Caliban and Shylock in The Revolution ran through August 1869.
It treats Catholicism, Universalism, Socialism, Swedenborgianism. Spiritualism, Woman’s Rights and Free-Divorce as candidly as Hepworth Dixon or Parton.  
Treats of the Woman Question in more aspects than any other work of its size. — Revolution, Oct 8. 
Singularly profound, and crammed full of thoughts. Affords volumes of suggestions.— Banner of Light. 
One of the most astonishing and mysterious books ever issued. Bold sometimes brilliant. — Phila. City Item. 
Large 8 vo. 50 cents, postpaid. American News Co., New York; A. Winch, Phila. ; N. E. News Co., Boston. (See advertisement Oct 8.)
References to Melville appear in chapter 29 at page 94, and in chapter 40 at pages 128-9. The first occurs when the diarist-hero Clarence Romain quotes and endorses "the wild-souled author of 'Moby Dick'" on the parable of Dives and Lazarus:
The poverty of the very poor for instance, presses me sorely. 'Tis hard for me to realize how the affluent can be so little effluent toward the needy. I say with the wild-souled author of “Moby Dick:” “Now that Lazarus should lie stranded on the curbstone of Dives, this is more wonderful than that an iceberg should be moored to one of the Moluccas.” Yet the sight and hearing of the strange medley of modern reforms and reformers and philanthropists tempt me to say, Uses avast! Put money in thy purse! It is enough to make one doubt the possibility of human disinterestedness to see the latter class so like the “very contentious gentlemen,”described in “Bleak House,” who “said it was his mission to be every body's brother, but seemed to be on terms of coolness with the whole of his large family.”   -- Exit of Caliban and Shylock, page 94.
Here Leavitt's protagonist fixes on a warm, reform-minded passage in chapter 2, The Carpet-Bag that was cut in the first British edition. In chapter 40 he looks back to White-Jacket, after lamenting that now (thinking of The Confidence-Man: His Masquerade, perhaps) "Herman Melville is evidently soured, blase, and going to the bad generally."

The right column on the digitized image of this page is cut off before the end of each line. That's all I have for now, hence the bracketed guesses--easy enough where the text is from White-Jacket, chapters 18 and 22.
Feb. 10th.—Though Herman Melville is evidently soured, blase, and going to the bad generally, his sharp criticisms are often very just. I have elsewhere said that the alms-house appears to be about the only substitute now-a-days for the monastery as a place of refuge for jaded spirits. According to Melville we may rate the frigate's hold among the last refuges of able-bodied males of this sort. In “White Jacket” [chapter 18] he says: “Indeed from a frigate's crew might be culled out men of all callings and professions, from a back-sliding parson to a broken-down comedian. The na[vy is] the asylum for the perverse, the [home] of the unfortunate. Here the [sons of] adversity meet the children of cal[amity] and the offspring of sin. Ba[nkrupt] brokers, bootblacks, blacklegs and [black]smiths here assemble together[; and] cast-a-way tinkers, watchmakers, drivers, cobblers, doctors, farmers[, and] lawyers compare past experience [and] talk of old times.” A sorry [sight?] truly for the weary and heavy [laden] and a poor purgatory for the [?]. How few of them all could resi[st the] healing influence of a genuine ph[alans]tery; how few of them would hav[e gone] astray had they been raised in this [?] sought normal school of life. 
Another point I gain from Mel[ville's] corroboration of my theory that civ[ilians?] would fare better if they made les[s fren]zied, life-destroying effort toward [diur?]nal progress and perfection, and re[served] their strength more for heart c[ure?]. He insists that our men-of-war are too clean [chapter 22]. “Now against this [invar]iable daily flooding of the three de[cks of] a frigate, as a man-of-war’s [man], White Jacket most earnestly pr[otests.] In sunless weather it keeps the s[ailor's] quarters perpetually damp—so mu[ch so,] that you can scarcely sit down w[ithout] running the risk of getting the lumbago, &c." He also complains that most officers force the sailors to a great deal of unnecessary polishing of brass knobs, while the more sensible supply a permanent coat of paint. So I say about the phalanstery; there may be less show and glitter than in some communities where the strong force the weak to unnecessary labor, but there will be more general comfort. -- Exit of Caliban and Shylock, page 128.
The Revolution - October 8, 1868




This story, written by an experienced journalist, has the merit of being entirely different in subject and treatment from any other. Its hero was led into a series of singular--some will say Quixotic--adventures, by indignation at the
The Democrats might make a campaign document of it, and call it
Its Tournaments and Crusades are mostly in behalf of woman. It is, then, a book for this hour of excitement on the
Without much regard for fig leaves, it lifts the veil of DOMESTIC LIFE and shows man the DOMESTIC TYRANT. It does this plainly, but in all serious decency.

It is full of ISMS, but extreme in nothing. It treats the "Evangelical" bugbears--Catholicism, Universalism, Socialism, Swedenborgianism, Spiritualism, Women's Rights and Free-Love as candidly as Hepworth Dixon.

It has blood-curdling stories for Spiritualists, and hard-cash facts for the Materialists.

It shows the poor a "door of hope" in CO-OPERATION and CHRISTIAN SOCIALISM, and both rich and poor that no modern quackery supplants Christ as the soul's healer.

It is condensed to a fault; original, quaint, pathetic, drily humorous, boiling over with indignation; full of the mysteries of this life and the next. It gives the words of many Sages and the gist of many Books concerning the great Questions of the day.

It is sensational without intending it.  
Some will call this book a FIRE BRAND, others a BALM; some very devout, others blasphemous; some very moral, others very immoral. It will enrage or delight, sadden or gladden, as seen through diverse spectacles.
A. WINCH, Author's Agent,
505 Chestnut street, Philadelphia.
Large Octavo. Paper. Price 75 cents.
For further study:

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Fragments from a Writing Desk: Who remembers ACCENTUATE THE POSITIVE? WELL, ACCEN...

Fragments from a Writing Desk: Who remembers ACCENTUATE THE POSITIVE? WELL, ACCEN...:        Parthenope--All together now: “Accentuate the Antepenultimate”        In his review of the Northwestern-Newberry Edition TH...

Here's another poetic use of Parthenope in Melville's time, to go with others cited by Hershel Parker on Fragments from a Writing Desk. From Bulwer's Glenaveril; Or, The Metamorphoses by Edward Bulwer Lytton:
And still the Siren's song, thro' scented airs.
Lulls with delightful spells the tideless sea
In whose embrace sleeps blue Parthenope.  --Book 1, Canto 1, stanza 68
As Hershel points out, John Walker gave the rule, "Accent the Antepenultimate" syllable when pronouncing OPE words like Penelope or Parthenope.

And Noah Webster incorporated "Walker's Key to the Classical Pronunciation of Greek, Latin, and Scripture Proper Names" in, for instance, An American Dictionary of the English Language (New York, 1841).

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Reade's Whale

via NYPL Digital Collections
Charles Reade's copy survives into the 21st century, as Hershel Parker verifies in his essay on "Melville's British Admirers," available in the Third Norton Critical Edition of Moby-Dick, pages 646-662.

The 1915 item described below is an early witness of its existence, before Michael Sadleir footnoted it in the "Herman Melville" chapter of Excursions in Victorian Bibliography (London, 1922):
* There is in existence the copy of Moby Dick in which Reade made extensive notes and excisions, maybe with the idea of issuing an abbreviated version. Readers of Love Me Little, Love Me Long will immediately detect the influence of Melville's great book on the whaling narrative related by Frank Dodd to Mr. Fountain and to his lovely niece.
Trying to track down Charles Reade's copy of Moby-Dick in the 1930's, John Howard Birss wrote Sadleir who told him
"it must have been fifteen years ago when he saw the book, 'three volumes in one, and bound in scarlet cloth, in a little shop kept by Everard Meynell off Piccadilly, which shop shortly disappeared for its owner went to California and there died.' " -- Notes and Queries Volume 173, November 27, 1937, page 390.
Everard Meynell (1882-1926) was a son of Alice and Wilfred Meynell. Viola Meynell (who in 1920 wrote on "Herman Melville" for The Dublin Review and then introduced the influential Oxford Worlds Classics edition of Moby-Dick) was his sister. Everard's place was The Serendipity Shop, a "charming little book snugery" as Edward Storer called it, reviewing "literary book-shops" in a 1916 "London Letter" for Bruno's Weekly. Originally located on Museum Street near the British Museum, the Serendipity Shop relocated to 7 East Chapel Street in Mayfair--which is where Michael Sadleir saw Reade's copy of The Whale (as Moby-Dick was titled in the first British edition). Off Piccadilly, as you can see in this wonderful map by MacDonald Gill, available today from Blackwell's Rare Books.

via Blackwell's Rare Books
Before Everard Meynell had it in his Serendipity Shop, Reade's Whale was in the possession of Charles Garvice (1850-1920), the popular romance novelist. During the First World War, Garvice gave it to the British Red Cross Society, to be sold at auction with a dazzling inventory of donated art works. Reade's Whale was included in the Red Cross Sale of rare books conducted by Christie's on Tuesday, April 27, 1915. From the Catalogue of the collection of works of art presented to the British Red Cross Society and the Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem in England:

Presented by Charles Garvice, Esq. 

1740      Melville (Herman) The Whale, FIRST EDITION, 3 vol. in
1, with 2 Autograph Signatures of CHARLES READE, and
numerous MS. alterations, apparently for a new edition
Accessible online courtesy of HathiTrust Digital Library:
As Parker states, "Reade had marked up the 1853 Bentley issue, three volumes bound as one" ("Melville's British Admirers" in Moby-Dick, 3rd Norton Critical Edition page 652).

For the same 1915 auction, Alice Meynell donated an autographed copy of her Collected Poems, and the original autograph manuscript of "Any Saint" by Francis Thompson.

The project of abridgement inferred by Sadleir has been confirmed in Emerson Grant Sutcliffe's work on Charles Reade's Notebooks, Studies in Philology Vol. 27, No. 1 (January 1930), pages 64-109 at 77-78.
As reported by Sutcliffe, Reade's 1858-9 "Digest" lists numerous "literary projects" including a collection of "Good Stories, or corpus fictorum" starting with "1. Leviathan." Reade thought such tales "Might use 1st my power of discerning the immortal element" and 2nd, "my knowledge of what is to be done by excision."  As Sutcliffe also observes,
"Data in the other notebooks show that Leviathan is Moby Dick, and that Reade had some thoughts of using some part of it in a whaling story, "fabula cetacea."
Elsewhere in the notebooks, the whale story exemplifies "Reade's abridgments. [This is struck out.] Sharp novels or some such general title. Fabula cetacea." These particular notes are discussed in more detail by Thomas Mallon in Stolen Words: Forays into the Origins and Ravages of Plagiarism (Boston: Ticknor & Fields, 1989), pages 79-80. Mallon observes that "at some point Reade abandoned this plan" of transparent abridgments, "in favor of simple theft." Here Mallon refers most directly to Reade's plagiarism of Mlle. de Malepierre by Madame Charles Reybaud (Henriette Étiennette Fanny Reybaud) in The Picture, first published in Harper's New Monthly Magazine, March–April 1884.

For a specific instance of Reade's use of Melville in David Dodd's whaling narrative (David not Frank Dodd, as Sadleir misnamed the young sailor-hero), one might compare Dodd's ambergris yarn with the adventure of Stubb in chapter 91 of Moby-Dick, The Pequod Meets the Rose-Bud, followed in the next chapter by Ishmael's riff on Ambergris. For a start, here's the rewrite by Charles Reade from Love Me Little, Love Me Long Vol. 1 (London, 1859), pages 82-4):
... Then David told them how he had fallen in with a sperm whale, dead of disease, floating as high as a frigate; how, with a very light breeze, the skipper had crept down toward her; how, at half a mile distance, the stench of her was severe, but, as they neared her, awful—then so intolerable that the skipper gave the crew leave to go below and close the lee ports. So there were but two men left on the brig's deck, and a ship's company that a hurricane would not have driven from their duty sculked before a foul smell; but such a smell—a smell that struck a chill and a loathing to the heart, and soul, and marrow-bone; a smell like the gases in a foul mine: 'it would have suffocated us in a few moments if we had been shut up along with it.' Then he told how the skipper and he stuffed their noses and ears with cotton steeped in aromatic vinegar, and their mouths with pig-tail (by which, as it subsequently appeared, Lucy understood pork or bacon in some form unknown to her narrow experience), and lighted short pipes, and breached the brig upon the putrescent monster, and grappled to it, and then the skipper jumped on it, a basket slung to his back, and a rope fast under his shoulders in case of accident, and drove his spade in behind the whale's side-fin.
'His spade, Mr. Dodd?'
'His whale-spade; it is as sharp as a razor;' and how the skipper dug a hole in the whale as big as a well and four feet deep, and, after a long search, gave a shout of triumph, and picked out some stuff that looked like Gloucester cheese; and when he had nearly filled his basket with this stuff, he slacked the grappling-iron, and David hauled him on board, and the carcass dropped astern, and the captain sang out for rum, and drank a small tumbler neat, and would have fainted away, spite of his precautions, but for the rum, and how a heavenly perfume was now on deck fighting with that horrid odor. And how the crew smelt it, and crept timidly up one by one, and how 'the Gloster cheese was a great favorite of yours, ladies: it was the king of perfumes: ambergris: there is some of it in all your richest scents; and the knowing skipper had made a hundred guineas in the turn of the hand. So knowledge is wealth, you see, and the sweet can be got out of the sour by such as study nature.'
'Don't preach, David, especially after just telling a fib — a hundred guineas!!'
'I am wrong," said David. '
'Very wrong, indeed.'
'There were eight pounds; and he sold it at a guinea the ounce to a wholesale chemist, so that looks to me like 128 l.'
Then David left the whales, and encouraged by bright eyes, and winning smiles, and warm questions, sang higher strains.  

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Moby-Dick and Clarel in the library of Richard Garnett

Richard Garnett Vanity Fair 11 April 1895
"Printed Books" by Spy [Sir Leslie Ward].
Caricature of Dr Richard Garnett, CB in Vanity Fair, April 11, 1895.
Richard Garnett (1835-1906) succeeded his father at the British Museum, serving there as Assistant Keeper and eventually Keeper of Printed Books. The Times of London eulogized the son as "a scholar and literary man of much distinction and wide knowledge." Notable publications include The Relics of Shelley (1862) and The Twilight of the Gods, and Other Tales (1888). As revealed in the catalogue of his personal library, Richard Garnett owned two great works by Herman Melville: the verse masterpiece Clarel (1876) in two volumes; and in prose, the three-volume Bentley edition of Moby-Dick (1851).

Catalogue of the library of the late Dr. Richard Garnett, C. B. (London, 1906) p. 17
158 Melville (Herman) The Whale, 3 vol. FIRST EDITION, slightly
soiled, uncut, 1851 — Clarel, a Poem, etc. 2 vol. New York, 1876 (5)
Accessible online courtesy of HathiTrust Digital Library:
and Google Books
In the December 1929 Blackwoods Magazine article "Moby-Dick and Mocha-Dick," Richard Garnett's son Robert Singleton Garnett (1866-1932) recalled that his father had corresponded with Melville. Unlocated letters to and from Richard Garnett are assigned the uncertain date 1890? in the 1993 Northwestern-Newberry Edition of Melville's Correspondence, ed. Lynn Horth, pages 520 and 754.

Edward Garnett (1868-1937) was another of Richard's sons who "attained literary prominence," as noted by William Garnett Chisolm:
The other son, Edward Garnett, is an eminent critic and author, and first gave encouragement to Joseph Conrad, W. H. Hudson, John Galsworthy and Stephen Crane. He married Constance Black, whose translations of the novels of Turgeniev and other Russian writers, has gained her a wide reputation. Their son, David Garnett, is a writer of brilliant prose, and his latest novel, "Pocahontas", is a vivid and most interesting portrayal of that romantic Colonial figure. -- The Garnetts of Essex County, The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography Vol. 42, No. 1 (January 1934), pages 72-83 at 73.
The year after he married Constance, Edward Garnett wrote Melville about "remaking" Redburn, as Hershel Parker recounts:
"In July 1890 young Edward Garnett wrote Melville from the office of the publisher T. Fisher Unwin in London with an unusual proposal. For an adventure series, he hoped Melville would "recast Redburn, or preface it with an introduction, showing that whereas it was given to the world as a fiction remaking it from the class of fictitious to that of personal adventures." -- Herman Melville: A Biography Volume 2, 1851-1891 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002), page 901.
For more on the Garnetts, check out Helen Smith's The Uncommon Reader: A Life of Edward Garnett where 
"Beyond his connections to some of the greatest minds in literary history, we also come to know Edward as the husband of Constance Garnett—the prolific translator responsible for introducing Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, and Chekhov to an English language readership—and as the father of David “Bunny” Garnett, who would make a name for himself as a writer and publisher."  -- Macmillan publishers
I'm reading the Kindle version now, with delight. The Uncommon Reader is reviewed by Amitava Banerjee on The Victorian Web. In the Times Literary Supplement review ("Father in letters," November 8, 2017), Andrew Motion highlights Garnett's editorial preference for evidence-based matter, plainly narrated:
The framework of everything Garnett said and did as an editor was defined by his wish to see literature adopt a large cosmopolitan spirit, while clearing itself of stylistic verbiage and abstraction, and embracing “documentary evidence”, unique physical details and real­istic dialogue.
Edward Garnett's 1890 pitch for a remake of Redburn would seem to illustrate this editorial "framework," although Helen Smith does not mention it. And Sir Andrew has decided that "Garnett's life will not need to be written again." Too bad for Melville fanatics, since the author of Moby-Dick and Clarel (both listed in the catalogue of his father's library) gets only one un-indexed mention. In chapter 23, Smith quotes a 1927 letter from Garnett to T. E. Lawrence that honors Melville as one of "the great spirits" like Dostoevsky and Dante who "don't hesitate about expressing themselves frankly." Perhaps some future edition of The Uncommon Reader could squeeze in a word or two more about Edward Garnett's inherited interest in Herman Melville.

Related post:

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Clement C Moore, always "an agreeable talker"

via NYU Irish Studies Research Collective
From Thomas Addis Emmet, Incidents of My Life (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1911), pages 98-99:
About this time [Spring of 1843] I remember seeing frequently at my uncle's house, Mr. Clement C. Moore, who I think was a connection, or at least he and his daughter were very intimate with the McEvers family. In after life it was my good fortune to have met Mr. Moore frequently and I always found him an agreeable talker. He then lived at his country place, "Chelsea," on the banks of the Hudson River; the site is now covered by the Episcopal Theological Seminary, on the block between Twentieth and Twenty-first Streets and Ninth and Tenth Avenues. At my last visit to that neighborhood, it seemed to me that there had been a great deal of filling in along the river front.
Mr. Moore was the author of "A Visit from St. Nicholas,"
" 'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse" —
a poem which will be remembered so long as the English language exists.
Accessible online courtesy of HathiTrust Digital Library:
Moore seemed an "agreeable talker" to Dr. Thomas Addis Emmet (1828-1919), son of John Patten Emmet (1796-1842) and grandson of Thomas Addis Emmet the distinguished Irish and American lawyer. The uncle was Bache McEvers who had married Jane Erin Emmet (TAE's aunt, his father's sister). Clement C. Moore later wrote a poem for their daughter Jeanette, at her request.

Like other contemporaries, Thomas Addis Emmet was impressed by Moore's friendly and sociable manner. Privately, Moore must have deeply felt the loss of his wife Eliza and two daughters, then a third when his married daughter Margaret Elliot Ogden died a few years later, in April 1845.

Moore's daughter Emily died on April 18, 1828; age 6.

His wife Catherine Elizabeth (Taylor) Moore died April 30, 1830; age 47.

New York Evening Post - April 5, 1830
Moore's daughter Charity Elizabeth died December 14, 1830; age 14.

Clement C. Moore’ 2nd daughter Charity’s death 14 Dec 1830Clement C. Moore’ 2nd daughter Charity’s death 14 Dec 1830 Wed, Dec 15, 1830 – Page 2 · The Evening Post (New York, New York) ·

Moore's daughter Margaret Elliott Ogden died April 13, 1845; age 30.

Tue, Apr 15, 1845 – Page 3 · New-York Tribune (New York, New York) ·

New York Spectator - April 16, 1845
Moore's grief, naturally intensified at holiday time, is the theme of his moody New Year's poem To Miss Jeannette McEvers. December 27th 1848. Heroically transcribed by Mary S.Van Deusen and accessible via her great Henry Livingston website:


Jeanette Emmet McEvers (1826-1884) was Thomas Addis Emmet's cousin, the daughter of Bache McEvers (1798-1851) and Jane Erin Emmet (1802-1887).

Related posts: