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Full text of "The Note Books Of Samuel Butler"

Poems                       381

that, if any one tlse were to ask the question, he should reply that
the challenge came from me.

x. In Memoriam H. R. F.

This appears in print now for the first time. Hans Rudolf
Faesch, a young Swiss from Basel, came to London in the
autumn of 1893. He spent much of his time with us until i^th
February, 1895, when he left for Singapore. We saw him off
from Holborn Viaduct Station ; he was not well and it was a
stormy night. The next day Butler wrote this poem and, being
persuaded that we should never see Hans Faesch again, called it
an In Memoriam. Hans did not die on the journey, he arrived
safely in Singapore and settled in the East where he carried
on business. We exchanged letters with him frequently; he
paid two visits to Europe and we saw him on both occasions.
But he did not live long. He died in the autumn of 1903 at
Vien Tiane in the Shan States, aged 32, having survived Butler
by about a year and a half.

xi. An Academic Exercise

This has never been printed before. It is a Farewell, and
that is why I have placed it next after the In Memoriam. The
contrast between the two poems illustrates the contrast pointed
out at the close of the note on " The Dislike of Death " (ante,

P- 359) '

" The memory of a love that has been cut short by death re-
mains still fragrant though enfeebled, but no recollection of its
past can keep sweet a love that has dried up and withered through
accidents of time and life."

In the ordinary coiwse Butler would have talked this Sonnet
over with me at the time he wrote it, that is in January, 1902;
he may even have done so, but I think not. From 2nd January,
1902, until late in March, when he left London alone for Sicily,
I was ill with pneumonia and remember very little of what hap-
pened then. Between his return in May and his death in June
I am sure he did not mention the subject, Knowing the facts
that underlie the preceding poem I can tell why Butler called it
an In Memoriam ; not knowing the facts that underlie this poem
I cannot tell why Butler should have called it an Academic
Exercise. It is his last Sonnet and is dated " Sund. Jan. izth