Skip to main content

Full text of "The Note Books Of Samuel Butler"

See other formats

The Enfant Terrible of Literature    195

many. I enquired and found they were standing to be hired
for the day, any one wanting labourers would come there,
engage as many as he wanted and go off with them, others
would come up, and so on till about four o'clock, after which
no one would hire, the day being regarded as short in weight
after that hour. Being so collected the men gossip over
their own and other people's affairsówonder who was that
fine-looking stranger going about yesterday with Nausicaa,
and so on. [Od. VI. 273.] This, in fact, is their club and the
place where the public opinion of the district is formed.

Ilium and Padua

The story of the Trojan horse is more nearly within possi-
bility than we should readily suppose. In 1848, during the
rebellion of the North Italians against the Austrians, eight
or nine young men, for whom the authorities were hunting,
hid themselves inside Donatello's wooden horse in the Salone
at Padua and lay there for five days, being fed through the
trap door on the back of the horse with the connivance of the
custode of the Salone. No doubt they were let out for a
time at night. When pursuit had become less hot, their
friends smuggled them away. One of those who had been
shut up was still living in 1898 and, on the occasion of the
jubilee festivities, was carried round the town in triumph.

Eumaeus and Lord Burleigh

The inference which Arthur Platt (Journal of Philology,
Vol. 24, No. 47) wishes to draw from Eumaeus being told to
bring Ulysses* bow ava Sto/iara (Od. XXI. 234) suggests to
me the difference which some people in future ages may wish
to draw between the character of Lord Burleigh's steps in
Tennyson's poem, according as he was walking up or pacing
down. Wherefrom also the critic will argue that the scene
of Lord Burleigh's weeping must have been on an inclined

Weeping, weeping late and early,

Walking up and pacing down,
Deeply mourned the Lord of Burleigh,
Burleigh-house by Stamford-town,