[KDKJ-084]歐美白雪公主系列Sir John took a pinch of snuff; glanced approvingly at an elegant little sketch, entitled ‘Nature,’ on the wall; and raising his eyes to the locksmith’s face again, said, with an air of courtesy and patronage, ‘You were observing, Mr Varden—’
Besides contributing this historical romance to the columns of the Australian Journal Clarke was busy writing in the Australasian those sketches of the early days of Australia, which were afterwards published in book form under the title of Old Tales of a Young Country. These sketches, like his great novel, though highly interesting as historical records of the colonies, were for the most part worked up from governmental pamphlets and old journals. But in the casting they were stamped by the genius of the master-hand, which could appropriate and improve upon the appropriation as only men of original calibre are able to do. In the meantime the "Peripatetic Philosopher" ceased to adorn the pages of the Australasian with his caustic and eccentric dissertations, because, through the influence of one of the noblest patrons of letters in Victoria--the late Sir Redmond Barry--the Philosopher had been found a congenial post as Secretary to the Trustees of the Public Library, of whom Sir Redmond himself was the respected President. This appointment was made in June, 1870, and from that time Clarke ceased to be connected with the staff of any journal, though remaining a brilliant and valued contributor all his life to newspapers, magazines, reviews, &c., instead of, unfortunately, concentrating his exceptional powers on the production of works of a class with His Natural Life. Among other articles contributed by him about this time were the "Buncle Letters," which appeared in the Argus and attracted much attention, being running comments of a satirically humorous character, on the social and political events of the day, supposed to be written by one brother resident in town to his less sophisticated brother in the country. In the same journal, Clarke wrote a descriptive sketch of the mining mania which had seized upon Sandhurst at the time; and for piquancy the sketch was among his best in descriptive journalism. At this period, also, he once more tried his hand at the drama, and adapted for John Dunn, his father-in-law, Moliére's celebrated comedy, Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme, into English, under the title of Peacock's Feathers, which was produced with great success at the Theatre Royal. Mention has been made of the interest Sir Rednond Barry evinced in the rising littérateur whom he took under his parental wing when obtaining for him the post in the Public Library. And this interest and regard the respected Judge retained for his protégé, despite his oft-repeated thoughtless acts, to the end of his life, which end arrived, strange to say, only some few months before that of the much younger man, who, on hearing of Sir Redmond's death, expressed himself as having lost his best and truest friend. But with all the warm regard existing between the vererable judge and the youthful author, there was always a certain characteristic hauteur on the one hand, and a reverential respect on the other, in their official and social relationships. In proof of this a couple of examples may be related. It was a hot summer's day, and, as was his style in such weather, the librarian was dressed dandily in unspotted white flannel, a cabbage-tree hat shadowing his face. So clothed he was leisurely wending his way up the steps of the library when he met the President, looling more starched, if possible, than ever, and wearing the well-known, flat-rimmed, tapering, belltopper, which shone sleekily in the glare of the noonday sun. The following brief dialogue then ensued:--President: "Good morning, Mr. Clarke." Librarian: "Good morning, sir." President: "I scarcely think your hat is exactly suited to the position you occupy in connection with this establishment, Mr. Clarke--Good morning," and with a stiff bend of the erect body the President took his departure with just a glimmer of a smile playing round the firmlyclosed lips. Again, not long before Sir Redmond's death, and when the librarian had got himself into "hot water" among the "unco guid" section of the Trustees, through writing his clever though caustic reply to the Anglican Bishop, Dr. Moorhouse's criticism on Clarke's article, "Civilisation without Delusion," the President appeared one evening in the librarian's office with a clouded countenance, and said, "Good evening, Mr. Clarke." The librarian, with an intuitive feeling that something was wrong returned the salutation, when the President remarked: "Mr. Clarke, you would oblige me greatly if you were to leave some things undone. For instance, that unfortunate article of yours--attacking so estimable a man as the bishop. Very indiscreet, Mr. Clarke. I--think--I--should-require-to-have- some-- thousands a year of a private income before I would--venture--upon writing such an--article on --such a subject, and among so punctillious a community as exists here. Good evening, Mr. Clarke:" and the librarian was left dazed and speechless at the solemnity of the rebuke, and the dignified departure of his President. Recurring back to the literary work being done by our author, we find that it was during the next two years--namely, in 1872-73--that his prolific pen was in its busiest mood, for within the space of those twenty-four months he wrote the psychological dialogues styled "Noah's Ark," in the Australasian; these were interspersed with those exquisitely told stories, subsequently published in book form under the names of Holiday Peak and Four Stories High. The former was dedicated to Oliver Wendell Holmes upon whom he looked as one of the brightest gems in the literary firmament, and from whom he had received much literary encouragement; the latter was dedicated to an appreciative friend, the late kind-hearted though explosive William Saurin Lyster, the man to whom Australian lovers of music owe a deep debt of gratitude as the first introducer of high-class opera and oratorio to these shores. Of these stories, Pretty Dick is perhaps the finest piece of work as regards execution done by Australia's greatest literary artist. And in this opinion I am not alone, as the following letter, from one who stands very high in the world's estimate as a master of true pathos und humour will show:--[KDKJ-084]歐美白雪公主系列
[KDKJ-084]歐美白雪公主系列"You are right, my dear, I won't. But I'll follow the other. Look alive here with them horses. Send a man for'ard in the saddle to the next stage, and let him send another for'ard again, and order four on, up, right through. My darling, don't you be afraid!"
"Lady Dedlock has been so kind," proceeds Mr. Rouncewell with a respectful glance and a bow that way, "as to place near her a young beauty of the name of Rosa. Now, my son has fallen in love with Rosa and has asked my consent to his proposing marriage to her and to their becoming engaged if she will take him--which I suppose she will. I have never seen Rosa until to-day, but I have some confidence in my son's good sense--even in love. I find her what he represents her, to the best of my judgment; and my mother speaks of her with great commendation."[KDKJ-084]歐美白雪公主系列