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Title: Trilbyana
       The Rise and Progress of a Popular Novel

Author: Joseph Benson Gilder & Jeannette Leonard Gilder

Editor: Joseph Benson Gilder
        Jeannette Leonard Gilder

Release Date: June 19, 2010 [EBook #32887]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by Chuck Greif and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team at (This book was
produced from scanned images of public domain material at
the Internet Archive.)

Mr. du Maurier's First Drawing in "Punch"
Showing himself (smooth face) and Mr. Whistler (with eyeglass). (See page 14.)
Mr. du Maurier's First Drawing in "Punch"

Photographer.—"No smoking here, Sir!"

Dick Tinto.—"Oh! A thousand pardons! I was not aware that——"

Photographer [interrupting with dignity."—Please to remember, Gentlemen, that this is not a Common Hartist's studio!" [N. B.—Dick and his friends, who are Common Artists, feel shut up by this little aristocratic distinction, which had not occurred to them.]


The Rise and Progress of a
Popular Novel

Mr. du Maurier's Monogram



Copyright 1895
The Critic Co.

This edition is limited to
250 copies, of which this
is No.

It is many a year since a book has attained the popularity of Mr. du Maurier's second novel, "Trilby" (printed as a serial in Harper's Monthly, from January to August, inclusive, and then issued in book-form, on Saturday, 8 September, 1894). Several others have sold as well—some even better; but neither "Looking Backward" nor "Ben Hur" (to name but these two) has captivated the public in the same manner or in the same degree as this romance, this fairy-tale of the three British artists, the blanchisseuse who posed for "the altogether," the Parisian masters of painting, and the trans-Rhenish masters of music, in the Latin Quarter of the early fifties. It is a story written out of the author's very heart, and it finds its way straight to the hearts of his readers. This is the secret of its unique success. Its charm is emotional rather than intellectual. With all its art, it impresses one as essentially ingenuous. It is a book to be loved, not merely to be liked or admired.

On 16 June, 1894, The Critic printed, with comment, a letter in which Mr. Whistler protested to the editor of an English newspaper against the libellous likeness of himself to be found in the character of Joe Sibley, one of the minor personages in the story of "Trilby." In the fall there were so many sporadic calls for this number of the paper as soon to exhaust the supply carried over from the summer. There seemed to be a general desire on the part of our readers to bind up the Whistler letters, etc., with the text and pictures of "Trilby" as printed in Harper's Monthly, the American artist's protest having led to a slight revision of the story before its appearance in book-form. The hint was acted upon; and two pages of "Trilbyana" were printed in The Critic of Nov. 17.

Though an extra edition was struck off, the call for this number has at last exhausted the supply; and the present pamphlet, containing among its many items of interest a majority of those that have found a place in the columns of The Critic, may fairly claim to be issued in response to a popular call.

J.B. & J.L. Gilder.


"Trilby: a Novel"1
Mr. du Maurier as a Draughtsman4
"Trilby" on the Stage8
Mr. du Maurier and Mr. Whistler15
"Trilby" Entertainments19
A Search for Sources35
Nodier's "Trilby," le Lutin d'Argail37


Mr. du Maurier's MonogramTitle-page
Mr. du Maurier's First Drawing for PunchFrontispiece
Portrait of Mr. du Maurier from a PhotographFace 10
Portrait of Mr. du Maurier by Himself11
Portrait of Mr. Whistler15
"Platt, the New Svengali"25
Mr. du Maurier's House on Hampton HeathFace 27

"Trilby: a Novel"

By George du Maurier. With Illustrations by the Author. Harper & Brothers.

When "Trilby" began to appear as a serial in Harper's Monthly, January 1894, Mr. Henry James prophesied that it would prove to be a glorification of "the long leg and the twentieth year." The prophecy was soon verified. At the outset, indeed, it seemed as if the glorification were to be, not so much of the long leg, as of the large and shapely foot. The whole story rested for a while on one of Trilby's feet. We say one, for it was only one of them—the left one—that Little Billee immortalized by drawing on the wall of the studio in the Place St. Anatole des Arts; but they were equally perfect. As the young woman who had the happiness of standing on this foot proclaims, kicking off one of the big slippers in which she is introduced to us, "It's the handsomest foot in all Paris: there's only one in all Paris to match it, and here it is"—and off goes the other slipper. The sketch of it that proves Little Billee already a master of his art is not shown till near the end of the book; and neither this nor Mr. du Maurier's own portrait of the pieds nus on page 21 fully realizes one's notion of the thing's unapproached perfection.

As we have said, the whole story rests for a while on one of these handsome feet; but the novelist manages at last to free his neck from the thraldom of the "slim, straight, rosy heel, clean-cut and smooth as the back of a razor," and proceeds to gratify our curiosity to know something about the strange being who poked about the studios in the Quartier Latin in the early fifties, bare-headed, and wearing a big, military coat with epaulets, which she could throw off when she posed for the ensemble as easily as she could kick off the loose slippers when only her foot was desired as a model. It will be seen that Trilby was not a woman of any social standing. Her father was an educated Irishman, her mother (his wife) a pretty barmaid. They both were dead, and she herself was a professional model.

Two things about her were equally marvellous: one was her foot, the other her voice—an organ of surprising power, range and sweetness. No less extraordinary, perhaps, was the trick that nature had played upon her, by coupling so glorious a voice with an ear that could not distinguish one note from another—could scarcely tell a bass from a treble, and permitted her to sing so badly that her hearers either stopped their ears, laughed in her face, or bolted from the room. The American song "Ben Bolt" was the one she liked the best to sing, and sang the worst. There was something else about her, almost as strange as her beautiful feet, her magnificent voice and her defective (or altogether lacking) ear for music; and that was the purity of her character. She had had affairs with half a dozen men in the studios, without really knowing that it wasn't the right thing to do. But her heart remained spotless (so Mr. du Maurier assures us); and it is a most unfortunate thing that Little Billee's mother comes tearing over to Paris, leaving the peaceful dales and dairies of Devonshire behind her, in her mad haste to break the engagement which Trilby has at last made with the young English painter, after having repeatedly refused to do so, notwithstanding her great love for him. Mrs. Bagot has no difficulty in convincing her that she is no worthy mate for Little Billee; and she accordingly runs away from Paris, heart-broken, and becomes a blanchisseuse de fin. Little Billee's heart is broken, too; or if not broken, benumbed; and henceforth, though he becomes a most successful artist, and the pet of all London, he takes his pleasures and successes sadly and listlessly, caring nothing for the wealth and fame that come to him.

In the meantime a great prima-donna appears upon the European stage, and all the world bows down before her. Happening to be in Paris, Little Billee is persuaded by his old chums, Taffy the Yorkshireman ex-soldier, and the "Laird of Cockpen"—painters both,—to go and hear the prodigy. Fancy their stupefaction at recognizing in the glorious singer the tuneless Trilby of five years gone! No longer Trilby O'Ferrall, but La Svengali, wife of their old acquaintance Svengali the Jew, who had recognized the possibilities of her voice when he first heard it in their Paris studio, and had afterwards captured her and cultivated it and by his mesmeric arts trained her as a singer and even made her love him as a dog loves his master. A day or two later, meeting him at a hotel, Svengali spits in Little Billee's face, and gets his nose pulled for his pains by Taffy. And then the great prima-donna and her master go to London; and Trilby breaks down in trying to sing "Ben Bolt," and is hooted off the stage—Svengali's sudden death in a stage-box (unknown to anyone in the house) having broken the mesmeric influence that has made her a singer. She pines away, surrounded by her old friends the Englishmen, and an object of solicitude to all Christendom; and after her death Little Billee pines away, too, and no one is left but the big ex-officer Taffy—with the exception of Trilby, the most attractive character in the book. For Little Billee (whose sister he marries, after the death of Trilby, whom he, too, loved) is, truth to tell, somewhat of a prig, even after the sight of Trilby at the concert in Paris has roused him from the unemotional state to which her flight consigned him, years before; and Svengali is a beast, and Gecko is insignificant.

The text of the book is the counterpart of its illustrations, for Mr. du Maurier writes as he draws—with infinite precision and detail. Nothing is omitted that could possibly heighten an effect. Instead of flashing a scene or a sensation upon you, he describes it and redescribes it, heaping up the adjectives in masses. His art is a different art from Kipling's, for instance, which never wastes a syllable. But the point to be decided is not one of methods but of results; and as a whole "Trilby" is delightful. It is a slow and laborious process by which the author creates an impression and surrounds his characters with the atmosphere he wishes us to see them in; but he does finally create the impression and the atmosphere, and in so doing justifies his means. He has steeped his mind in Thackeray, and so has had a noble master. Like "Peter Ibbetson," his new story is unique. It is a book that could have been written only by an artist—and illustrated only by the author; it is a book, moreover, in which the man and the style are one.

In its present form the story contains certain passages not printed in the magazine—notably, a brief disquisition on sitting for the nude. On the other hand, certain passages have been altered in deference to the wishes of Mr. Whistler, who saw in Joe Sibley, as described and pictured by Mr. du Maurier, an unpleasant resemblance to himself. Not only has the text been altered, but our friend Sibley is now called Antony, and his hitherto unbearded face is adorned with a non-Whistlerian beard. (See "Trilby," opposite page 132.) One picture has been omitted altogether. It needed not the accidental advertising of Mr. Whistler's threatened libel suit to draw attention to the book. It is its own best advertisement, and has fairly earned the success implied in advance orders so numerous as to cause the postponement until to-day (8 Sept. 1894) of the original date of publication.

Mr. du Maurier as a Draughtsman

It is hardly necessary to say that Mr. du Maurier's work as a novelist is in no way matched by his work as a draughtsman, as exemplified, for instance, in the 120 drawings for "Trilby," exhibited in December, 1894, at the Avery gallery. Until he began to write he was known merely as the author of innumerable caricatures, which had a certain vogue because they were at the same time pictures of fashionable society; but even of these the legend was often the best part. He had mastered many types, but they were nothing more than that; and one had seen his millionaires and swells and singing people and artists until one had grown rather tired of them. Then, suddenly, it was found, with the first chapters of his first novel, that in writing he could give to all these well-known figures individuality, could make flesh and blood of them. The drawings themselves, at least those done as illustrations for his two romances, seem to have gained by that discovery. These do not appear to be the same French blouses and English guardsmen. Something has got into them, a touch of life, which they did not have before. Yet no one will say that the Little Billee of the drawings now exhibited at Avery's gallery is even a shadow of the Little Billee of the text. Of Trilby there is not so much as the famous foot. Any schoolboy, almost, might have made as clever a travesty of the Venus de Milo. The best presentment of the gigantic Taffy is that in which he poses as the Ilyssus. The Laird o' Cockpen is much better, being frequently very like Mr. George W. Cable, particularly where he listens to Trilby's confession—an accidental likeness, no doubt, but one that increases our respect for the Laird. The intentional likeness of Frederick Walker, who is said to be the real original of Little Billee, is vastly superior to the ideal one; and the many unnamed figures in the more crowded compositions that appear to have been sketched from the life or from a particularly vivid memory are among the most amusing and enjoyable things in the drawings.

But it must not be denied that there is here and there a bit of chic that approaches the ideal—something not easily to be discovered in the artist's former work. Svengali is throughout a creation of this sort. He is as grotesquely romantic, as Mephistophelian a figure in the illustration as in the printed page. The only failure is the head (on page 59 of the book) which is in more senses than one "as bad as they make them." He is excellent where he laughs over the two Englishmen cleaning themselves; he is delightful where he examines the roof of Trilby's mouth, "like the dome of the Panthéon," "room in it for 'toutes les gloires de la France.'" Where he stands in the midst of the crowded studio, "All as it Used to Be," he looks every inch the artist, more so than the "idle apprentice," lounging against the door-jamb. If there were such a man, one who had sunk his whole soul in his art, he might look like this, or like the same figure in the hussar uniform, a Semitic conqueror "out of the mysterious East." There is a touch of the spirit of the illustrators of the romantic period in the pictures of the Christmas festivities, especially in the two that illustrate the peculiar interchange of rôles between Little Billee and the festive Ribot, and in the sketch of Zouzou as the "Ducal French Fighting-Cock." The scenes of common life, too, are admirable, the free-and-easy, the "Happy Dinner," the bargaining of the Laird with Mme. Vinard—"Je prong!"—and the scene at the rehearsal where "The First Violin Loses his Temper." The art of the drawings is all in expression and action, and Du Maurier, in spite of all that is French in him, is thoroughly British in this, and a descendant in the right line of Hogarth, Cruikshank and Leech.

The "Trilby" drawings were bought en bloc by some one in England. They had been sent here to be engraved for Harper's Monthly and the book; the sale occurred before they were placed on exhibition in New York. A representative of The Critic asked Mr. Avery, who said that a number of people had expressed a desire to buy some of them, what he thought they would have brought, if sold over here. He replied that he could not tell with any degree of accuracy, but he thought they would have averaged at least $50 apiece. As there are 120 drawings, this would have meant $6,000 more for Mr. du Maurier. En bloc, no doubt, they brought a smaller sum.

A painting of "Trilby," by Mr. Constant Mayer, was shown at Knoedler's gallery, in December, along with half a dozen other and more satisfactory paintings by the same artist. The hypnotic condition of the subject was declared by Dr. Allan McLane Hamilton to be admirably suggested in this fancy portrait.

* * *

To the Editors of The Critic:—

Those who express surprise at the sudden literary development of du Maurier's genius do not apparently recognize the fact that the whole series of his drawings has included the literary element. His thoughts as expressed in art have always shown a close and philosophical observation of life, an understanding of the actions and motives of men. Every one of his illustrations tells not only an individual story, but a story of surroundings and times, of tendencies, fads and foibles. And the text is always as important as the picture; sometimes it is far more so. Who can have forgotten the history and culmination of the "old china" craze given by du Maurier in a four-inch-square illustration of the young husband and wife examining an old teapot, with the exquisite text, "Oh, Algernon, do you think we can ever live up to it?" Certainly the man who could invent the application of that phrase must have stores of wit and sense equal to the writing of many "Peter Ibbetsons" and "Trilbys." And those stores were bound to find their larger expression in literature.

New York, 22 Nov., 1894. Candace Wheeler.

* * *

The New York Tribune has printed the following protest against the insinuation that the author of the book was not its illustrator also:—

"It ought not to be necessary for any formal contradiction to be made of that absurd rumor which has just been set adrift concerning the illustrations to 'Trilby.' On the face of it, it is impossible for either Mrs. du Maurier or her daughter to have given the pictures the character they possess. They have du Maurier's style, du Maurier's technique, du Maurier's peculiar little touches of humor, not merely in the broad idea but in that minute turn of the pen which makes all the difference in the world between an empty profile and a funny one. It is true that there is a dissimilarity between Trilby in one illustration and Trilby in another, but it should be remembered that du Maurier's eyesight has been failing him, that he has been compelled to be prolific at a time when he has most needed to lie fallow as an artist; and, in brief, the shortcomings of the 'Trilby' designs, if serious shortcomings they have, are to be explained on the most natural and logical of grounds. The intrinsic character of the drawings proclaims their authorship. Only George du Maurier could have done them, and not any of the trifling assistance which he may have received from his family in matters of posing, costume, etc., could deprive him of his responsibility or his honor. The recent tendency to criticise these designs with some severity will soon be counteracted. As a matter of fact, they present some of the cleverest work du Maurier has ever done."

* * *

The New York Sun printed a letter, not long ago, in which the drawings were declared to be anachronistic. "Why," it was asked, "should Mr. du Maurier deny to his characters the crinolines, waterfalls, surtouts, cravats, chignons, peg-top trousers and hoop-skirts of the early sixties, and make them, despite Taffy's whiskers, of the monde of to-day? Is it that his artistic instincts have reverted to that fine school of old masters who delighted to portray, saving Taffy's grace, Hector fighting in the armor of the Black Prince, or turned out Madonnas by the score in Margaret of Anjou skirts?"

* * *

In "Trilby" every stroke of pen or pencil seems to be significant. Is there special meaning in the fact that, in the dainty tail-piece, one glass in the spectacles appears to be heavily shaded, while the other is clear? Is Mr. du Maurier, like so many literary people, afflicted with partial loss of sight or other visual difficulty?

Amherst College Library. W. I. Fletcher.

[Unhappily he is, and has been for many years. It is only with the greatest difficulty that he is able to work with either pen or pencil.]

From "Trilby." Copyright, 1894, by Harper & Brothers.
From "Trilby." Copyright, 1894, by Harper & Brothers.

"Trilby" on the Stage

Mr. Paul M. Potter's dramatization of "Trilby" was produced by Mr. A. M. Palmer's company at the Boston Museum on Monday, 4 March, 1895, and achieved so great a success that several companies were immediately put upon the road to play it throughout the country. Its first production in New York, with the original cast, occurred at the Garden Theatre, on April 15. Hundreds of people were turned away from the door for want of room to accommodate them; and an offer was received from Mr. Beerbohm Tree, the eminent English actor, for the privilege of producing the play in England, where he himself wished to impersonate Svengali. It would be a pity if the Lyceum company did not secure the English rights; for Mr. Irving would make an inimitable Svengali, and Ellen Terry would be Trilby without trying.

As nobody has ever succeeded, or is likely to succeed, in really dramatizing a novel, it is not surprising that the stage version of "Trilby" should prove in some respects unsatisfactory. It might be thought that the book would lend itself readily to dramatic treatment; but a little consideration will show that it offers peculiar difficulties to the playwright, inasmuch as its chief charm is one of manner, which cannot be transferred to the stage, while its story, although it contains some striking situations, such as Trilby's collapse upon the death of Svengali, consists chiefly of a series of episodes, largely independent of each other and strung together very loosely. All things considered, Mr. Potter ought not, perhaps, to be held to too strict an account for the liberties he has taken with the text and some of the personages, but he has certainly lowered the tone of the work, and been guilty of various crudities of construction. There is some excuse for his employment of Svengali as the evil influence which wrecks the happiness of Little Billee and Trilby, but he leaves nothing of the author's original intention, and infinitely belittles the character of the girl, when he attributes her flight from her lover to mesmeric suggestion, instead of her own noble and unselfish devotion. In many other similar ways the spiritual side of the book suffers at his hands. His persistent references to Trilby's posing for the figure, his selection of that particular incident for her first introduction, and the joking references to it which he puts into the mouths of other personages, are in bad taste, while his travesty of the character of Dr. Bagot is entirely without justification. Mrs. Bagot he treats with more consideration, but he reduces her to the level of the dullest stage conventionality. Trilby herself preserves a good many of her characteristics, but is degraded even more than in the book by her subserviency to Svengali.

The play is in four acts, and the whole story up to the flight of Trilby is compressed into the first two. This feat is accomplished with no small ingenuity, but at great cost of probability. In this brief space Trilby is wooed and won, Svengali asserts his mesmeric power, the marriage of Little Billee is arranged and interrupted by the arrival of his mother, and an elopement is planned and frustrated. In the third act Trilby is to sing in the Cirque des Bashibazouck, and all the characters reassemble as if by magic in the foyer of that temple of art, which is abandoned of all other persons for their sole benefit. The proceedings which are supposed to occur in this retired spot are intrinsically absurd, but they are effective enough from a scenic and theatrical point of view, and were accepted by the audience, on the first night, as eminently natural and satisfactory. They culminate in the ghastly death of Svengali and the restoration of Trilby in a dazed and exhausted condition to the three faithful friends. In the fourth act there is another reunion of characters, and Trilby, who has agreed once more to marry Little Billee, and is supposed to be on the road to recovery, dies suddenly, upon the unexpected apparition of Svengali's photograph.

As it stands, the play is not much superior, if at all, to ordinary melodrama, being almost wholly void of the literary, humorous and personal charm of the book, but it is very well played, has a number of effective scenes, and is unquestionably popular. Miss Harned's Trilby, though rather a faint reflection of the original, has the merit of being attractive and womanly, as well as free and frank, and exhibits true pathos in the mesmeric scenes. On the whole, it is a very creditable impersonation. Mr. Lackaye's Svengali is overwrought but indisputably strong; and Burr McIntosh, John Glendenning and Alfred Hickman represent the three friends cleverly, and furnish excellent living pictures of du Maurier's sketches. Mr. Dietrichstein makes an admirable Zouzou, and all the minor parts are performed competently. A feature of the representation which is received with special favor is the Christmas merrymaking in the Latin Quarter, which is as vivacious and realistic as could be wished.

A matter of considerable interest to authors and publishers, for the copyright question involved, occurred in connection with the Boston performances. Elmer Chickering, the well-known photographer of Boston, took some pictures of Mr. A. M. Palmer's company, which naturally came into demand at once. But rushing over the wires came a message from Harper & Bros., saying that, as the characters were made up after du Maurier's drawings, they should regard the sale of any such pictures as an infringement of their copyright. To this, Mr. Chickering disagreed, on the ground that the photographs were not copies of any drawings, but of actual scenes on the stage, which any man might sketch. Telegrams flew back and forth, for the Messrs. Harper would not yield. Meanwhile, the papers sought for the photographs, and Mr. Palmer was apparently willing to receive the advertisement their publication would ensure; but the publishers still held off. At last Mr. Chickering decided to fight it out on his own line, for two of the New York papers printed some of the 160 "Trilby" pictures taken by him; and—as indicating an amicable adjustment of the dispute—a number of them appeared in Harper's Weekly.

The morning papers of April 30 contained this despatch:—"Denver, Col., April 29. Did du Maurier write 'Trilby'? This novel question was propounded to-day in the United States Court in good faith, when the suit of Harper & Bros. and A. M. Palmer for an injunction against the Lyceum Stock Company to restrain them from producing 'Trilby' at their theatre was called. The defendants allege that the book entitled 'Trilby' was not originated, invented or written by du Maurier. They assert that the original title and book of 'Trilby' were first published in France in 1820, and afterwards translated and published in English in 1847, and that the title and book have been common property for seventy-five years. The attorneys for the plaintiffs asked for time to communicate with their clients in New York as to the course they should pursue, and the Court postponed the hearing until Wednesday morning. Should the allegations of the Lyceum Company be true, a sensation will be caused all over the two continents. This is the first public intimation of an attack on the authenticity of the work, and if it is successful every company in the world will have as much right to play 'Trilby' as the Boston Organization."

The Lounger reprinted the telegram with this comment:—"Charles Nodier's 'Trilby, le Lutin d'Argail,' was published in Paris in 1822. It has just one thing in common with du Maurier's book—the first word in its title." The Sunday papers of May 12 printed this paragraph:—"Denver, May 11. Judge Hallet, in the United States District Court to-day, granted an injunction restraining the Lyceum Theatre from producing 'Trilby' hereafter, deciding that it infringed on the rights of Harper & Bros., and others. To-day's performance was stopped."

Portrait of George du Maurier George du Maurier


A London correspondent of the Philadelphia Press furnishes some interesting notes of a talk with Mr. du Maurier. Concerning literary practice, the artist-novelist said that "Peter Ibbetson" was absolutely the first story he ever wrote. "And yet," he added, "I have in one sense been writing stories all my life. Every one of my pictures, for example, has had under it a story condensed to the smallest possible space. The necessity of condensing my description and dialogue has been of great benefit to me in writing my two novels." As for "Trilby," Mr. du Maurier said that his earliest conception of the story was quite different from the one he finally worked out. "I had first thought of Trilby as a girl of very low birth—a servant, or something like that. Then it occurred to me that it would be much better to make her interesting—to create a person who would be liked by readers. As a good many people seem to be fond of 'Trilby' now, I am very glad, indeed, that I made the change." And he declared further that the character of Trilby was not a study from life, but wholly imaginary. It was Henry James who suggested to the artist that he should write novels.

By Himself
From Harry Furniss's "Lika-Joko" BY HIMSELF From Harry Furniss's "Lika-Joko"

"It was one day while we were walking together on Hampstead Heath. We were talking about storywriting, and I said to him:—'If I were a writer, it seems to me that I should have no difficulty about plots. I have in my head now plots for fifty stories. I'm always working them out for my own amusement.' 'Well,' he said, 'it seems to me that you are a very fortunate person; I wish you'd tell me one of those plots.' Then I told him the story of 'Trilby.'" "Yes, he praised it very generously. 'Well,' I said, 'you may have the idea and work it out to your own satisfaction.' But he refused to accept it. 'You must write it yourself,' he said: 'I'm sure you can do it, if you'll only try.' But I insisted that I couldn't, and so we left the matter. But that night after going home it occurred to me that it would be worth while trying to write, after all. So on the impulse I sat down and began to work. It was not on 'Trilby,' however, but on 'Peter Ibbetson.' I kept at it for a time, but after doing several chapters I became utterly discouraged, and said to myself one evening:—'Oh, I can't do anything with this. It's a mad story. It's utter rubbish.' Then I took up the sheets and was just about to throw them into the fire when I thought I'd keep them for another day and think the thing over. That night in bed, while I was worrying about the impossibility of going on with the tale, the solution of my difficulty suddenly occurred to me. 'I'll make the hero mad,' I cried to myself, 'that will put everything right.' So the next day I wrote the introduction, explaining Peter's madness, and after that I went on with the work to the end without any more trouble."

"Trilby's" American publishers have sent out the following note:—"A letter from Mr. du Maurier to the late James R. Osgood is given herewith. Possibly the hint it contains as to the secret of an exquisite literary style will interest the greater number of readers; or perhaps his saying (in 1890) that he has 'several good ideas,' which would seem to be an answer to those who have maintained that 'Trilby' was written many years ago.   * * *

'My Dear Osgood:—Of course I remembered my promise, and as soon as my book—"Peter Ibbetson"—was finished and typewritten, I wrote to you—last week, as it happens—at 50 Fleet Street, but behold! you were in America; so I sent them the copy, and I believe it starts by to-day's mail for Harper in New York. I don't know how it got into the papers that I was coming out in this new line, but I have already offers to come to an arrangement. I have no notion whether it is suited to a periodical or not—you will see; probably not,—but if it is I want to be well paid for it; first [illegible], as far as my first book is concerned, whatever its merits; secondly, because the only people to whom I have told the story (H. James, Canon Ainger, poor Allingham and a few others) thought so well of it—or said so—as an idea; and I have taken great pains in the carrying out thereof. If Harper's doesn't see its way to it, I shall offer it elsewhere; and after that, I shall put it in the hands of an agent. And if I don't get what I think I ought to, I shall keep it and write another, as I have several good ideas, and writing this has taught me a lot. All of which sounds very cheeky and grand; but I am in no hurry to come before the public as a novelist before I'm ripe, and to ripen myself duly I am actually rewriting it in French, and you've no idea what a lesson that is!   * * *

'Yours ever, G. du Maurier.

'15 Bayswater Terrace, London, April 18, 1890.'"

It is said that when the Messrs. Harper were negotiating with Mr. du Maurier for "Trilby," he declined their offer of a royalty on the sales of the book and decided in favor of a "lump sum." We do not know how large this sum was, but we are pretty sure that it was not so much as he would have made by the royalty plan. That would have earned at least $30,000 for him on a sale of about 100,000 copies to 31 Dec., 1894. The Messrs. Harper have, however, done a more than generous thing by him: they have informed him that they will pay him a royalty, and a good big one, too, on all sales after 1 Jan., 1895, on both "Trilby" and "Peter Ibbetson." The 600 copies of the édition de luxe of "Trilby," at $10 a copy, were sold outright to the Syndicate Trading Co.

Our London correspondent, Mr. Arthur Waugh, wrote to us on 16 April, 1895:—"The English reading public is to have its illustrated 'Trilby' in one volume in June. Hitherto the three-volume edition has alone been in circulation, and that without the illustrations. There are to be no sketches in all, and arrangements are also in progress for a large-paper edition of 250 copies, with six facsimile reproductions of original drawings, unbound." Advance orders were received for 15,000 copies of the six-shilling edition.

In an interview reported in the Tribune of June 14, Mr. J. Henry Harper was quoted as saying, apropos of a cablegram to the effect that the writing of "The Martians" was completed:—

"He assures me that his new story will not be ready for the publishers until December, 1896. I cannot tell you much about the book itself yet, but it will not be in any sense a sequel to 'Trilby' except so far as it will succeed that book. The new story will deal in its opening chapters with French school life, and then with English life, both fashionable and rowdy; then the artistic world of Antwerp and Dusseldorf is exploited, while the closing stages occur in England. There will be love in the tale, of course, and du Maurier also brings in the supernatural again. There will be plenty of liveliness and some tragedy. The book, I am given to understand, will be capable of illustration; but I am sorry to say there is some doubt as to whether du Maurier himself will illustrate it. It will depend entirely upon the state of his health, which of late has not been of the best. The length of the story will be greater than 'Trilby' and will run through about twelve numbers of Harper's Magazine, in which it will first be published in serial form."

As a matter of course, Mr. du Maurier has had no end of invitations to read and lecture in this country, but to all these invitations he has turned a deaf ear. In a recent letter to The Critic's Lounger, he expressed himself as flattered by these overtures, but added that his health would not permit of his accepting any of the tempting propositions. He might be more in the way of temptation, if it were not for the play of "Trilby." This brings him in almost as much money as readings would. We are told that he is in receipt of several hundred dollars a week from this source—not ten hundred, but very near it. This, surely, is a much easier way of earning money than travelling from one end of a big country to the other, for it costs him no greater exertion than the signing of his name to a check.

No one who loves "Trilby" should fail to read the "autobiographic interview" with du Maurier which Mr. Robert H. Sherard contributed, with illustrations, to McClure's Magazine for April, 1895. From this singularly intimate and interesting article, one learns that the author's first picture in Punch represented himself and his chum Whistler[A]; also, that the studio in the Latin Quarter where Trilby visited the three English artists was drawn from that of his master, Gleyre.

Mr. du Maurier's monogram, which appears on the title-page of this pamphlet, is reproduced from a carving on the table at which the staff contributors to Punch dine once a week, and on which many of them have made similar inscriptions. We are indebted for it to McClure's Magazine.

spiral floral decoration

Mr. du Maurier and Mr. Whistler

The first two or three of the following paragraphs appeared on the Lounger's page in The Critic of 16 June, 1894, and were reprinted, with most of the Whistler-du Maurier items that succeed them, in the issue of Nov. 17.

drawing: (From The Westminster Budget)
Mr. Whistler

(From The Westminster Budget)
Mr. Whistler

Mr. Whistler has mastered two arts besides painting and sketching. One he has immortalized in that unique brochure, "The Gentle Art of Making Enemies"; the other is the Gentle Art of Advertising Oneself. These two generalities are not always to be distinguished from each other. It is quite possible to make an enemy in advertising oneself; and nothing is easier than to draw general attention to oneself, by the same act that incurs the enmity of individual—especially if the individual be eminent. At the present moment M. du Maurier happens to be one of the most conspicuous figures in the field jointly occupied by Art and Letters. In choosing him as an object of clamorous attack, Mr. Whistler has shown himself a past-master of the art of advertising oneself. By identifying himself with one of the characters in a story that everyone is reading, he brings himself more conspicuously before the public than by painting a new picture. Moreover, in sending to an English newspaper a letter in which he vituperates his quondam friend and fellow-artist, he interrupts himself for but a moment in the pursuit of his legitimate calling as a painter.

In America, at least, few readers of "Trilby" would have known that, in Joe Sibley, Mr. du Maurier had hit off some of the most salient "peculiarities" of the immensely talented etcher, who, when he takes the newspapers into his confidence, dips his pen in the corrosive acid with which he bites his plates. Joe Sibley is not an engaging character; he is a Bohemian of the Bohemians, clever, witty, penniless and presuming. In taking his sibilant surname as a pseudonym for Whistler, we have the endorsement of the artist himself, though he does not expressly declare himself to be the archetype of this particular character. Sibley is the only man in the book who could have been drawn from Whistler—the Whistler of a generation ago; and no one but Sibley could have written the following letter, in which the creator of the character is so wittily vilified:—

"To the Editor—SIR: It would seem, notwithstanding; my boastful declaration, that, after all, I had not, before leaving England, completely rid myself of the abomination—the 'friend '! One solitary, unheeded one—Mr. George du Maurier—still remained, hidden in Hampstead. On that healthy heath he has been harboring, for nearly half a life, every villainy of good fellowship that could be perfected by the careless frequentation of our early intimacy and my unsuspecting camaraderie. Of this pent-up envy, malice and furtive intent he never at any moment during all that time allowed me, while affectionately grasping his honest Anglo-French fist, to detect the faintest indication. Now that my back is turned, the old marmite of our pot-au-feu he fills with the picric acid of 30 years' spite, and, in an American magazine, fires off his bomb of mendacious recollection and poisoned rancour. The lie with which it is loaded à mon intention he proposes for my possible 'future biographer'—but I fancy it explodes, as is usual, in his own waistcoat, and he furnishes, in his present unseemly state, an excellent example of all those others who, like himself, have thought a foul friend a finer fellow than an open enemy.

"Paris. J. M'Neill Whistler.

"Reflection: The compagnon of the pétard we guillotine. Guineas are given to the popular companion who prepares his infernal machine for the distinguished associates in whose friendship he has successfully speculated."

* * *

The following card appeared in Harper's for October:—

"Pursuant to an arrangement made with Mr. J. McNeill Whistler by our London agents, Messrs. Osgood, McIlvaine & Co., the publishers of the English edition of Harper's Magazine, the following letter is published:—

August 31, 1894.

"'Dear Sir—Our attention has been called to the attack made upon you by Mr. du Maurier in the novel "Trilby," which appeared in our magazine. If we had had any knowledge of personal reference to yourself being intended, we should not have permitted the publication of such passages as could be offensive to you. As it is, we have freely made such reparation as is in our power. We have agreed to stop future sales of the March number of Harper's Magazine,[B] and we undertake that, when the story appears in the form of a book, the March number shall be so rewritten as to omit every mention of the offensive character, and that the illustration which represents the Idle Apprentice shall be excised, and that the portraits of Joe Sibley in the general scene shall be altered so as to give no clue to your identity. Moreover, we engage to print and insert in our magazine for the month of October this letter of apology addressed to you. Assuring you again of our sincere regret that you should have sustained the least annoyance in any publication of ours, we are,

"'Yours respectfully, Harper & Brothers.
"'J. McNeill Whistler, Esq.'"

* * *

One of the humors of the controversy was a letter that appeared in the first number of Harry Furniss's Lika-Joko. It was supposed to have been written by Whistler to express his indignation at having been cut out of the book. The English as well as the American papers fell into the trap, and discussed the letter as a genuine expression of Mr. Whistler's outraged feelings. It was only a joke, however—and is said to have been the only joke in Mr. Furniss's comic paper. To an interviewer for The Westminster Budget, Mr. Whistler expressed his surprise that anyone should have been taken in by the parody. "There was no harm in the appearance of the article," he said, "but what caused my merriment, though not surprise, is that anyone would have thought for a moment that I had written it. But then, it was in England, and in England anything is possible!" That the parody was a clever one will be seen from the following extract:—

"In the fascinating numbers of 'Trilby,' as they appeared in Harper's Magazine, I read with delight of one Joe Sibley, idle apprentice, king of Bohemia, roi des truands, always in debt, vain, witty, exquisite and original in art, eccentric in dress, genial, caressing, scrupulously clean, sympathetic, charming; an irresistible but unreliable friend, a jester of infinite humor, a man now perched upon a pinnacle of fame (and notoriety), a worshipper of himself; a white-haired, tall, slim, graceful person with pretty manners and an unimpeachable moral tone. My only regret was that too little was said about so charming a creation. I looked to see more of him in the published three volumes. But no! I found the addition of some thoughtful excursuses by Mr. du Maurier upon nudity, agnosticism, and other more hazardous subjects, which had, presumably, been judged too strong for the ice-watered, ice-creamed constitution of the American Philistine; but I looked in vain for the delightful Joseph Sibley. In his place I find a yellow-haired Switzer, one Antony, son of a respectable burgher of Lausanne, who is now tall, stout, strikingly handsome and rather bald, but who in his youth had all the characteristics of the lost Joseph Sibley—his idleness, his debts, his humor, his art, his eccentricity, his charm. I rubbed my eye-glass. Je me suis demandé pourquoi."

Displeased with The Speaker's comments on his connection with "Trilby," Mr. Whistler compelled that paper to print a letter from his solicitors, from which it appears that the revised MS. of the novel was sent to him to be passed. And apropos of this, he remarks in a letter to the editor:—"I question if it be not without precedent that a writer ever before so abjectly regorged his spleen as to submit his Bowdlerized work to his victim for his approval."

In the Chicago Tribune of Sunday, 2 Dec., 1894, were reprinted from Harper's the pictures of, and passages about, Joe Sibley which provoked Mr. Whistler's threatened libel-suit. The revised passages, as they appear in the book, were also given.

floral design

"Trilby" Entertainments

Of entertainments founded upon Mr. du Maurier's book, the name is legion. The most pretentious, and at the same time the most successful, was the series of "Scenes and Songs from 'Trilby,'" given at Sherry's in the afternoon and again in the evening of Saturday, February 9, for the benefit of that admirable institution, the New York Kindergarten Association. The affair, which had the advantage of distinguished patronage, was given under the special management of Mrs. Charles H. Ditson; Mr. E. Hamilton Bell arranged the details of scenery and costume; and among those who personated the various characters were several well-known artists.

The audience was a large one, which was excellent for the little ones who were to be benefited; and it was enthusiastic, which was only a just and fit tribute to managers, performers and singers. Every detail of the tableaux had been thought out with infinite care, and posing, grouping and make-up were as near perfection as du Maurier himself could have wished. The program included the singing of "Ben Bolt," "Bonjour, Suzon," "Au Clair de la Lune" and several other songs, and the following tableaux:—"The Three Musketeers of the Brush"; "Wistful and Sweet"; "Svengali"; "I will Not!"; "All As it Used to Be"; "Answer Me, Trilby!"; "The Soft Eyes"; "The Sweet Melodic Phrase"; "Dors, Ma Mignonne"; "The Nightingale's First Song"; "Malbrouck" and "It was Trilby." The entertainment opened most effectively with a quartet by Messrs. Devoll, Moore, Bracewell and Devoll. The first tableau, "Three Musketeers of the Brush," received the admiration it deserved, as did, also, the singing of Miss Akers and Mr. Mackenzie Gordon interspersed with the different tableaux. The first appearance of Trilby was awaited with impatient expectancy, and when she came, she proved to be "wistful and sweet," indeed, in the person of Mrs. Eric Pape, the wife of the well-known young artist. The last tableau of the second part, "It was Trilby," was most effectively arranged by Mr. Pape. The full cast of characters was as follows:—Trilby, Mrs. Eric Pape; Taffy, W. Harris Roome; The Laird, Evert Jansen Wendell; Little Billee, J. Gerald Benkard; Svengali, Robert Reid; Gecko, Eric Pape; Dodor, William Abbott; Zouzou, Franklin C. Butler; Mrs. Bagot, Mrs. J. Wells Champney; Miss Bagot, Miss Lilian Wing; Mme. Malbrouck, Mme. Bettini; Durien, Leslie G. Cauldwell; Blanchisseuse, Miss Lou-lou Noel; Fencer, Lieut. Gianni Bettini.

During the intermission between the first and second parts of the program, Mrs. Kate Douglas Wiggin sold a copy of "Trilby" presented by the Messrs. Harper. To this Mr. du Maurier and Mr. Henry James (who persuaded the author to write the book) had contributed their autographs, and Dr. English a manuscript copy of his song "Ben Bolt." The volume fetched $100, making the net addition to the Kindergarten Association's treasury about $2500.

* * *

At Mr. Mansfield's Garrick Theatre, "Trilby" has been burlesqued. It had already been parodied in book-form, produced as a melodrama, read aloud in drawing-rooms, with music, and put on the platform in "scenes and songs," so that nothing was left to do with it but to make an "operatic burlesque" of it; and this was duly accomplished by Messrs. Joseph W. Herbert and Charles Puerner, the latter being responsible for the music and the former for the words. The piece is called "Thrilby." As in the serious play founded upon the novel, the villain (rechristened "Spaghetti") is the principal figure; and mesmerism is carried to a ridiculous excess, even inanimate objects succumbing to its influence. There is a farce within this farce; for "Mme. Sans-Gêne" is parodied in a sub-play introduced under the name of "Mme. Sans Ra-Gêne." The burlesque is by no means free from horse-play, but it unquestionably accomplishes its purpose, which is merely to amuse.

At the Casino, as well as at the Garrick, "Trilby" and "Mme. Sans Gêne" have both been travestied.

* * *

(Harper's Weekly)

"The Weekly has received a copy of the programme of a novel and decidedly interesting literary and musical entertainment that was given on Oct. 17, at Omaha. It was called 'An Evening with Trilby.' The participants were all gentlemen. The subjects of the papers read were 'The Story of Trilby,' 'Du Maurier, his Life and Work,' 'The French of Trilby,' 'The Identity of the Artists in Trilby,' 'Trilby's Voice and Method,' 'Trilby as a Hypnotic Subject,' 'Could Trilby be Successfully Dramatized?' After each paper there was Trilby music, which included 'Ben Bolt,' 'Au Clair de la Lune,' 'Malbrouck s'en va-t-en Guerre' and other songs and instrumental pieces. At the end of the programme comes the inquiry, What shall we 'ave the pleasure of drinkin' after that werry nice 'armony?' and then the page turns over to the farewell couplet:—

'A little warmth, a little light
Of love's bestowing—and so, good-night.'

"It is a pretty far cry from Paris to Omaha, but Trilby's voice seems to have carried that distance without the least trouble. It is worth remarking that these Omaha gentlemen made seven 'papers' about her without finding it necessary to discuss her morals."

* * *

Of the many "Trilby" entertainments in New York one of the most successful was given in May, at the house of Postmaster Dayton, for the benefit of St. Luke's Home for Indigent Christian Females. A literary criticism of the book was read, and one of the chapters of the story; and the songs that are oftenest alluded to were sung. The affair was given under the auspices of the Daughters of the Revolution.

* * *

"Trilby's" wide popularity—in the sense that many people who are not, ordinarily, novel-readers take a lively interest in it—is evidenced by many indications, not the least significant being the concerts made up from the music mentioned in the novel. One such was given in San Francisco last December, under the management of the ladies of the Mercantile Library Auxiliary and for the benefit of the Library's unfortunately slender exchequer. According to The Argonaut, a very interesting program was presented, including Schubert's "Rosamonde," Adam's "Cantique de Noël," Chopin's Impromptu in A flat, "Bonjour Suzon," "Le Capitaine Roquefinette" and the much-discussed "Ben Bolt."

* * *

"Trilby" representations have broken out in all sorts of strange places. At the Eden Musée, New York, Miss Ganthony has been restrained from impersonating du Maurier's heroine; and at "The Greatest Show on Earth," Miss Marie Meers, who has not been restrained, appears nightly in Trilby costume, riding bareback (not barefoot) around the tan-bark to the snapping of ringmaster Svengali's whip.


Mr. du Maurier and Mr. James took a walk together, one day, and the artist unfolded to the novelist the plot of "Trilby," suggesting that he should use it in a novel. Mr. James persuaded him to write the story himself. He did so; and what has been the result? Think of the time and skill, the money and material that have been employed in putting the thing in type, preparing its illustrations, printing it as a serial and reprinting it in book-form; in dramatizing it, burlesquing it in books and on the stage, in adapting its songs and illustrations for reproduction on lecture-platforms and in drawing-rooms, and in translating and publishing Nodier's tale, from which the author took his title! Its presentation has given employment, onerous or enjoyable, honorary or remunerative, to thousands; hundreds of thousands have read it, and hundreds of thousands seen it on the stage; and its leading characters—Trilby, Svengali and "the three musketeers of the brush"—have become household names and personalities. It has enriched its author, added to the wealth of its publishers, put money in the purses of playwright and manager and replenished the treasuries of more than one excellent charity. Directly or indirectly, no doubt, it has caused much more than a million dollars to change hands within the past eighteen months. And last but not least, it is responsible for this pamphlet, in which is chronicled the story of its rise and progress.

* * *

At the Mercantile Library, New York, it was found necessary, at the time when "Trilby" was in greatest demand, to circulate a hundred copies of the book; at the beginning of June the number in circulation was seventy. Mr. Wingate wrote to The Critic from Boston, in June, that there were six copies of the book in the main building of the Public Library, and one in each of its branches, but that this supply was inadequate, 72 demands for the book having come from the branch libraries in a single day. And Mr. Hild writes to us from Chicago that the Public Library of that city has 26 copies, but that they do not begin to supply the demand. "I believe we could use 260 and never find a copy on the shelves. Every one of our 54,000 card-holders seems determined to read the book."

On the point of the morality or immorality of the book, The Independent says:—

"Mr. du Maurier, apparently in deference to the current craze for heroines that have been seduced, or are just going to be, bedaubs the first fifty pages of his otherwise clean story with telling how his pure heroine, Trilby, a blanchisseuse de fin, had been led astray, and so forth. That is to say, he unnecessarily goes behind the true door of his story to wash some dirty linen, and then he sets forth."

On this point the San Francisco Argonaut does not agree with its New York contemporary:—

"With those who think these passages immoral, we cannot agree. Mr. du Maurier has treated with candor some facts belonging to the realm of things which are usually understood instead of being talked about; but he has done this with singular manliness and delicacy, and with entire absence of mawkish or other improper sentiment. The impression of Trilby's character left upon the reader is entirely that of a noble, generous woman, whose life is not a sin, but a tragedy."

The same paper reproduces "a letter Mr. du Maurier wrote to a Paterson, N. J., man who contended that the relations of Trilby with her hypnotizer were chaste, so far as her consciousness of them went, and decided to find out if he were right by writing to the novelist":—

"New Grove House, Hampstead Heath,
"October 31, 1894.

"Dear Sir: In answer to your letter of September 24th, I beg to say that you are right about Trilby. When free from mesmeric influence, she lived with him as his daughter, and was quite innocent of any other relation. In haste, yours very truly,

"G. du Maurier."

* * *

Early in March, 1895, one of the Boston clergymen advertised Robert Grant's "Art of Living," as our Boston correspondent reported at the time, and on Sunday, March 17, another prominent minister took up "Trilby." So it is evident that, even if Boston authorship is on the decline, as so many New Yorkers enviously declare, the Boston clergy are going to keep alive the interest in literary matters by emphatic words to their congregations. "Have you read 'Trilby'?" was the theme of the Rev. George W. Bicknell's sermon, and the topic crowded the church. The Reverend Doctor declared that he had spent five hours reading the book, and had decided that it was a story of magnificent possibilities, but that its morality was "as one viewed it." He considered the tale far-fetched and over-drawn and lacking in healthful flavor, and placed it in the same class of art with the nude paintings at the World's Fair—a position to which, we presume, the author would not object. Then he launched out into an emphatic declaration that it was time for the pulpit to speak out against art of this kind.

* * *

Du Maurier's heroine has been heard of over in Brooklyn. A married woman, aged twenty-nine, got into a dispute with her husband, recently, as to the morals of the young model, and proved her point by "smashing him over the head with an earthenware jar." In the newspaper in which we read of this intemperate act, the husband's age is not given, nor the side he took in the argument, before he was shown to be wrong. The fact that he got his head broken proves little—except the folly of arguing with a woman; nor the additional fact that he refused to appear against his wife in court. But the case is one in which a good deal might be said on both sides—if earthenware jars were not introduced too early in the discussion.

* * *

Mr. du Maurier has worse offenses to atone for than the breaking of the Brooklyn man's silly head. But for his entertaining book we should have been spared the unreadable prose of "Biltry: a Parody on 'Trilby'" and the unspeakable verse of "Drilby Re-versed," the former by Mary Kyle Dallas, the latter by Leopold Jordan. In vulgarity and banality, these two precious productions run each other a close race. Of the two we think "Drilby" a trifle the less objectionable, merely because the proportion of text to white paper is somewhat smaller. Both are poorly illustrated, and printed on much better paper than they deserve.

* * *

E. C. of New Albany, Ind., thinks that "Trilby's" possibilities as a vehicle of evil to the much-considered American "young person" are emphasized by a conversation recently overheard by her between two feminine "young persons" in Indiana. "What is this 'Trilby' everybody is talking about?" asked one of these. "Oh," replied the other, "it's a book—a novel." "They say it is awfully bad," said the first young person. "Yes, I've heard so; but it isn't so at all. I read it clear through, and there wasn't anything bad in it. I didn't like it either; there is too much French in it." "French?" commented the first young woman; "well that's it, then—all the bad part is in French." "I hadn't thought of that," mused the other one; "I suppose that's just the way of it. Anyway, it isn't nearly as good as 'Dally.'"

Have you read "Trilby?" Svengali was a bad, wicked man, who
used to hypnotize poor, sweet little Trilby and make her sing and
act as he pleased—With apologies to Du Maurier.


Have you read "Trilby?" Svengali was a bad, wicked man, who used to hypnotize poor, sweet little Trilby and make her sing and act as he pleased—With apologies to Du Maurier.

"Trilby" has even got into American politics. This shows better than anything else how wide an audience the story most have reached. How many allusions to a book of the current year would be comprehensible to the average reader of a New York daily paper? We reproduce the accompanying cartoon from the World of Dec. 9 as a curiosity of literature and an interesting contribution to "Trilbyana." It is adapted from Mr. du Maurier's drawing entitled "Et Maintenant Dors, ma Mignonne!"

* * *

A Broadway caterer now "molds his ice-cream in the shape of a model of Trilby's ever-famous foot." Mr. du Maurier can want no greater evidence of the popularity of his story in America. That there is not a "Trilby" shoe on the market reflects little credit upon the enterprise of our bootmakers. It is an opportunity that no soap-maker would neglect if it came his way. Possibly the fact that Trilby's foot was large (as well as shapely) has something to do with the shoemakers' backwardness. Hers were not Cinderella slippers. ("The Lounger," 30 March, 1895.)

Mr. C. W. Coleman, Librarian of William and Mary College, writes from Williamsburg, Va., to say that I am in error in supposing that the bootmakers of this wide-wake country have not yet seized the name of du Maurier's heroine for advertising purposes. In his note of correction he encloses a clipping from the catalogue of a Chicago house, containing a picture of a high-heeled ladies' shoe, flanked by an advertisement of "'The Trilby,' price $3, postage 15 cts.—'an ornament to any foot,'" etc. And I hear that the shop-windows of Norfolk, Va., fairly bristle with shoes of this brand. Moreover, a bootmaker's advertisement in the Pittsburg Post shows (as a punning Pennsylvania correspondent writes to me) that "Trilby has obtained a foothold even in the Iron City." According to the advertisement, "this enterprising firm offer to the lady sending in the most accurate dimensions according to the diagram above, together with a drawn outline of the nude foot on paper, a handsome pair of the highest grade 'Trilby' shoe, which they will have made up especially for the winner. This stylish foot adornment for Pittsburgh's model feet will be satin or silk lined throughout, of the finest quality kid and best workmanship. Bear in mind, ladies, it need not be the smallest feet that win, but the most perfect form of a foot from a standpoint of proportionate measurements." ("The Lounger," 13 April, 1895.)

* * *

G. A. D. writes from Philadelphia to deplore the Quaker City's vulgarization of the name and fame of Trilby; and in justification of his plaint encloses a Chestnut Street dealer's advertisement of the "Trilby Sausage"! This, it is claimed, "is something new, and fills a long-felt want"; "they melt in your mouth." They don't melt in G. A. D.'s mouth, but they rankle in his æsthetic soul. "What next?" he exclaims; "an Ophelia tooth-wash, a Duchess of Towers garbage-pail!" Our correspondent has not yet heard of the "Trilby Ham." This, if anything, is worse than the Sausage. It has been heard of in this city; whether or no it originated here, I do not care to inquire. But in an Eighth Avenue dime-museum, there are "Twenty Trilbys," and visitors vote for the handsomest! Moreover, we have now the "Trilby Hearth-brush"; and huge posters on the East Side announce a picnic of the "Trilby Coterie and Chowder Club."

* * *

The Evening Post reprints from James Braid's "Observations of Trance" (1850, page 43) the following paragraph, which is of singular interest in connection with the novel which has made such an extraordinary sensation in this country during the past year, and has become as great a success on the stage as in book-form. Svengali's transformation of a girl with no ear for music into a singer of marvellous powers seems to have been almost paralleled in real life, half a century ago:—

Du Maurier's House.
Hampstead Heath. DU MAURIER'S HOUSE.

"Many patients will thus repeat accurately what is spoken in any language; and they may be also able to sing correctly and simultaneously both words and music of songs in any language which they have never heard before—i. e., they catch the words as well as music so instantaneously as to accompany the other singer as if both had been previously equally familiar with both words and music. In this manner a patient of mine, who, when awake, knew not the grammar of even her own language, and who had very little knowledge of music, was enabled to follow Mlle. Jenny Lind correctly in songs in different languages, giving both words and music so correctly and so simultaneously with Jenny Lind, that two parties in the room could not for some time imagine that there were two voices, so perfectly did they accord, both in musical tone and vocal pronunciation of Swiss, German and Italian songs. She was equally successful in accompanying Mlle. Lind in one of her extemporaneous effusions, which was a long and extremely difficult elaborate chromatic exercise, which the celebrated cantatrice tried by way of taxing the powers of the somnambulist to the utmost. When awake the girl durst not even attempt to do anything of the sort; and, after all, wonderful as it was, it was only phonic imitation, for she did not understand the meaning of a single word of the foreign language which she had uttered so correctly."

* * *

(Miss Frances Albert Doughty, in The Critic, 15 June, 1895.)

"The strength of 'Trilby' as a novel lies in the exquisitely dear realization of the good in the girl's nature, which the fine art of the author has been able to give to the reader. The divine in the Laird, in Taffy and in Little Billee responded to the divine in that undeveloped girl, and to them the angel in her was the real Trilby in spite of all her past experience. But idealism and realism in this charming story are not quite happily balanced: the reader receives a blow on the spiritual side of his being from the manifestation of an agency in the universe that is endowed with an all-conquering malevolence, something extraneous from the individual and yet able to arrest in her the growth of the budding germ of holiness and moral beauty, a power triumphant even at the moment when her spirit was about to return to the God who gave it. Without Svengali there would be no novel of Trilby; nevertheless, he is the sole blot upon it."

* * *

(San Francisco Argonaut)

"Perhaps the most surprising circumstance connected with 'Trilby' in the eyes of American readers is the way the book has been received in England. At best it has been accorded lukewarm praise, and the tone of its reviews has run the gamut down to downright slating. Some have been spiteful enough to be exceptionally entertaining. Of these, that of The Pall Mall Gazette is the most striking, the reviewer of that journal showing himself to be (as an exchange puts it) a master of vituperative diction. To this reviewer, 'Trilby's' three Englishmen are 'British prigs cut in pasteboard,' and their biographer is denied even the poor ability to express himself in grammatical English."

* * *

To the Editors of The Critic:—

If there yet remains a word to be said in criticism of this book, it may, perhaps, be in regard to the musical part of it. Whether intentionally or not, du Maurier has certainly added an instance, which tends to prove the theory true, that music in itself is neither elevating nor refining. Svengali is drawn with inimitable skill, and with so much realism that the reader feels that he must have been known and hated by du Maurier in all his repulsiveness. And yet this loathsome creature has the power of so seizing and expressing the noblest works of the great masters of harmony as to move his hearers to tears, to sway them at his will by the tenderness and feeling he puts into the notes. It is a hard thing for a music-lover to comprehend, that a man of low and vicious life, and utterly without aspirations, can so express the penetrating beauty that lies in music more than in any other art. It shows, too, that music gives us only what it finds in us, and proves the folly of "program music," or music with a translation.

Auburn, N. Y. S. M. Cox.

(Mrs. Emma Carleton, in the Louisville Courier-Journal.)

"A great deal has been said and written about 'Ben Bolt,'" said a woman who doesn't pretend to be musical, "and the other songs of the Trilby repertoire; but I have not yet seen or heard any comment on Trilby's 'great and final performance'—the vocalization of Chopin's Impromptu, A flat. Du Maurier devotes two entire pages to most wonderful description of this wonderful musical achievement; two exquisite pages of music painted in words, in most masterly and matchless fashion. Who can forget the depiction of La Svengali's voice, 'as a light nymph catching the whirl of a double-skipping rope as she warbles that long, smooth, lilting, dancing laugh, that wondrous song without words.' This impromptu should be rechristened the 'Trilby Impromptu,' and musicians everywhere should now—while the Trilby wave is riding high—be charming their audiences by playing it."

* * *

The Oliver Ditson Co. has published a pamphlet of "Trilby" songs, etc., containing the words and music of "Ben Bolt," "Malbrouck," "Bonjour, Suzon," "Der Nussbaum" ("The Nut-tree") "Cantique de Noël" and "Au Clair de la Lune," and the music of Chopin's "Impromptu."

* * *

On March 1, 1895, a postcard was sent from the office of Life, calling the attention of "exchange editors" throughout the country to "A 'Trilby' Examination." We reprint the card in full:—

"Life's Monthly Calendar offers a series of cash prizes for the best sets of replies to the following questions on 'Trilby':

1. What does the author claim as the king of all instruments? Who does he claim was the greatest violinist of his time? What does he call the most bourgeois piece of music he knows?

2. What was Svengali's real name?

3. Where does the author state that he is a social lion? Where does he deny that he is a snob?

4. Where does he bring Little Billee in contact with Punch?

5. What did the Laird call M. le général Comte de la Tour-aux-Loups?

6. In what places does the author compare Gecko to a dog?

7. How old was Trilby when she died?

8. What was Little Billee's physical explanation of his inability to love?

9. What verbal description of one of the heroes contradicts almost every one of the author's drawings of him?

10. What incident of the story is inconsistent with the author's own argument in behalf of the nude in art?


"Dear Sir: The above questions are covered by our copyright, but in view of the popular interest in 'Trilby,' you may wish to reproduce them. We should be more than pleased to have you do so, if you will give us credit.

Yours very truly,

James S. Metcalfe,
Editor and Manager Life's Monthly Calendar."

floral decoration

The Songs in "Trilby"

Dr. Thomas Dunn English wrote the words of "Ben Bolt" in New York, in 1842, when he was a young man of three-and-twenty. Mr. N. P. Willis had asked him to write a sea-song for The New Mirror, and so he wound up the last stanza with an allusion to "the salt-sea gale!" As a sea-song, "Ben Bolt" is not a success; but it has been sung on every sea and in every land where the English tongue is spoken. At Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1848, an English journalist named Hunt quoted the words (from a defective memory) to Nelson Kneass, who was attached to the local theatre; and, adapted by Kneass to a German melody, the song, in a somewhat garbled version, was introduced in a play called "The Battle of Buena Vista." In Helen Kendrick Johnson's "Our Familiar Songs, and Those Who Made Them" (Henry Holt & Co., 1881), the story of its vogue in England as well as in America is told effectively. Not only were ships and steam-boats named in its honor, but a play was built upon its suggestions, and as recently as in 1877 an English novelist made the memories evoked by the singing of the song a factor in the development of his catastrophe. Its revival at the hand of Mr. du Maurier is the latest and perhaps the most striking tribute to its hold upon the popular heart. To the author himself—in his ripe old age a member of the LIIId Congress—its fame is seemingly a bore, for he is quoted as saying:—"I am feeling very well and enjoying life as well as an old man can, but this eternal 'Ben Bolt' business makes me so infernally weary at times that existence becomes a burden. The other night, at a meeting of a medical association at my home in Newark, some one proposed that all hands join in singing 'Ben Bolt,' whereupon I made a rush for the door, and came very near forgetting the proprieties by straightway leaving home. However, I recovered my equilibrium and rejoined my friends. I don't think that General Sherman ever grew half so tired of 'Marching Through Georgia' as I have of that creation of mine, and it will be a blessed relief to me when the public shall conclude to let it rest."

Apropos of the use made of the song in "Trilby," Harper's Bazar published the words and music; whereupon the author sent this letter to the editor:—

"It is very pleasing to an old man like myself to have the literary work of a half-century since dragged to light and commended, as has been the case with 'Ben Bolt' of late. I was flattered by seeing my likeness—or, rather, the likeness of a younger man than myself—in your pages; but I must protest against some errors which, in spite of careful editing, enter into your transcription of the song. The words of the original were:—

'Don't you remember the school, Ben Bolt,
With the master so cruel and grim,
And the shaded nook in the running brook,
Where the children went to swim?'

"This has been changed in the song, as usually sung, to read:—

'With the master so kind and so true.
And the little nook by the clear-running brook,
Where we gathered the flowers as they grew?'

"You have copied this, but in a better shape, with the exception of changing the rhythm. I must protest against this change, because the school-masters of between sixty and seventy years since were, to my memory, 'cruel and grim'; they were neither kind nor true. They seemed to think the only way to get learning into a boy's head was by the use of the rod. There may have been exceptions, but I never met them. At all events, 'what I have written I have written.'"

Ben Bolt

Oh, don't you remember, Sweet Alice, Ben Bolt?
Sweet Alice, whose hair was so brown,
Who wept with delight when you gave her a smile,
And trembled with fear at your frown!
In the old churchyard, in the valley, Ben Bolt,
In a corner obscure and alone,
They have fitted a slab of the granite so gray.
And Alice lies under the stone!
Under the hickory tree, Ben Bolt,
Which stood at the foot of the hill,
Together we've lain in the noon-day shade,
And listened to Appleton's mill.
The mill-wheel has fallen to pieces, Ben Bolt,
The rafters have tumbled in,
And a quiet that crawls round the walls as you gaze,
Has followed the olden din.
Do you mind the cabin of logs, Ben Bolt,
At the edge of the pathless wood,
And the button-ball tree with its motley limbs,
Which nigh by the door-step stood?
The cabin to ruin has gone, Ben Bolt,
The tree you would seek in vain;
And where once the lords of the forest waved,
Grows grass and the golden grain.
And don't you remember the school, Ben Bolt,
With the master so cruel and grim,
And the shaded nook in the running brook,
Where the children went to swim?
Grass grows on the master's grave, Ben Bolt,
The spring of the brook is dry,
And of all the boys who were schoolmates then,
There are only you and I.
There is change in the things I loved, Ben Bolt,
They have changed from the old to the new;
But I feel in the depths of my spirit the truth,
There never was change in you.
Twelve-months twenty have past, Ben Bolt,
Since first we were friends—yet I hail
Thy presence a blessing, thy friendship a truth,
Ben Bolt, of the salt-sea gale!


To the Editors of The Critic:—

In your columns of "Trilbyana" I have seen no mention of the fact that George W. Cable, in his "Dr. Sevier"—a thousand times better novel and better work, in every way, than "Trilby,"—has introduced the old song "Ben Bolt" with wonderful effect. It is strange that the old melody should have appealed to the two men, so widely apart, and it is but fair that the American's first, and most skilful, use of it should have due recognition.

Philadelphia. John Patterson.

* * *

To the Editors of The Critic:—

Du Maurier says that there is but one verse of the little French song, which Trilby sings with so much effect—"Au clair de la lune." He mistakes; there is another, running thus:—

"Je n'ouvrirai pas la porte,   J'ouvre bien la porte,
À un vieux savetier,À un pâtissier,
* * * * * Qui m'apporte des brioches
* * * *Dans un tablier."

The two missing lines have escaped the memory of the writer.

Auburn, N. Y. S. M. Cox.


Your correspondent, S. M. Cox, offers some more verses of "Mon Ami Pierrot." They do not quite agree with those taught me, shortly after the Revolution of 1848, by an old French gentleman. You will notice that the French of the last verse is quite "eighteenth-century" in style and diction.

Je n'ouvre pas ma porteMais j'ouvre bien ma porte
À des savetiers,À des officiers,
Ils ont des alènes,Ils ont des pistoles,
C'est pour me piquer.         C'est pour me les baîller.
Paris, 1 Jan., 1895.B. F.


Mr. du Maurier was correct in saying that there is only one verse of "Au Clair de la Lune"; yet there are possibly, and probably, a thousand made in imitation of it, which go to the same air. We quote from the San Francisco Argonaut:—

"It is to be observed that these amateurs de Trilby do not go the length of singing 'Au Clair de la Lune,' even repeating the first stanza twice, as Trilby did. But perhaps they are as ignorant concerning the song as is Mr. du Maurier, who declares there is but one verse. There are four. The first is given in 'Trilby' thus:—

'Au clair de la lune,        Ma chandelle est morte....
   Mon ami Pierrot!   Je n'ai plus de feu!
Prête-moi ta plumeOuvre-moi ta porte
   Pour écrire un mot.   Pour l'amour de Dieu!'

The second runs:—

'Au clair de la luneVa chez la voisine—
   Pierrot répondit:   Je crois qu'elle y est,
Je n'ai pas de plume,Car, dans sa cuisine,
   Je suis dans mon lit.          On bat le briquet.'

The third stanza contains the point of the song:—

'Au clair de la luneQui frappe de la sorte?
   S'en va Arléquin   Il dit à son tour:
Frapper chez la brune      Ouvre-moi ta porte
   Qui répond soudain:   Pour le dieu d'amour.'

The fourth stanza continues in the same strain, and it goes farther."


"Malbrouck s'en va't en Guerre"

   Malbrouck s'en va-t'en guerre—
       Mironton, mironton, mirontaine!
Malbrouck s'en va-t'en guerre....
   Ne sais quand reviendra!
   Ne sais quand reviendra!
   Ne sais quand reviendra!
   Il reviendra-z-à Pâques—
       Mironton, mironton, mirontaine!
   Il reviendra-z-à Pâques....
       Ou ... à la Trinit!
   La Trinité se passe—
       Mironton, mironton, mirontaine!
   La Trinité se passe....
       Malbrouck ne revient pas!
   Madame à sa tour monte—
       Mironton, mironton, mirontaine!
   Madame à sa tour monte,
       Si haut qu'elle peut monter!
   Elle voit de loin son page—
       Mironton, mironton, mirontaine!
   Elle voit de loin son page,
       Tout de noire habillé!
   "Mon page—mon beau page!—
       Mironton, mironton, mirontaine!
   Mon page—mon beau page!
       Quelles nouvelles apportez?"
   "Aux nouvelles que j'apporte—
       Mironton, mironton, mirontaine!
   Aux nouvelles que j'apporte,
       Vos beaux yeux vont pleurer!"
   "Quittez vos habits roses—
       Mironton, mironton, mirontaine!
   Quittez vos habits roses,
       Et vos satins brochés!"
   "Le Sieur Malbrouck est mort—
       Mironton, mironton, mirontaine!
   Le Sieur—Malbrouck—est—mort!
       Est mort—et enterré!"


There is no more eloquent description of the effect of music on an impressionable nature than du Maurier gives of the impression made upon Little Billee by the singing of Adam's "Cantique de Noël" at the Madeleine on Christmas Eve.

Cantique de Noël

Minuit, Chrétiens, c'est l'heure solennelle,
Où l'homme Dieu descendit jusqu'à nous,
Pour effacer la tache originelle
Et de son Père arrêter le courroux.
Le monde entier tressaille d'espérance
A cette nuit qui lui donne un sauveur.
Peuple à genoux! attends la délivrance!
Noël, Noël, voici le Rédempteur!

A Search for Sources

To the Editors of The Critic:—

The liquid name, "Trilby," of du Maurier's heroine having been duly run down to its source, will a slight excursus be amiss as to the origin of the affectionate title applied by the novelist on his charming little hero—"Little Billee"? Evidently the name, together with certain descriptive touches, has been taken from Thackeray's ballad, "Little Billee." This racy skit, as many doubtless know, is in the best vein of the great humorist's inimitable burlesque. It narrates the tragic cruise of

"Three sailors of Bristol city
Who took a boat and went to sea,"

the second stanza running thus:—

"There was gorging Jack, and guzzling Jimmy
And the youngest, he was Little Billee.
Now when they got as far as the Equator
They'd nothing left, but one split pea."

And the unpleasant ultimatum being arrived at, that "We've nothing left, us must eat we," the poem continues:—

"Says gorging Jack to guzzling Jimmy,
With one another we shouldn't agree,
There's little Bill, he's young and tender,
We're old and tough, so let's eat he."

Here, I say, we have the origin of the novelist's "Little Billee," while, in the italicized phrases, we have also du Maurier's, "the third, he was little Billee" (page 6), and "he was young and tender, was little Billee."

It would be sheer nonsense, of course, to urge against the famous novelist any charge of unacknowledged borrowing in matters so entirely trivial. The point is merely a curious one of origins; a little siccatine botanizing, so to speak, on the folia disjecta that have been wonderfully spun by du Maurier's genius into a fabric of grace and beauty so rare as is this "Trilby." Nor, indeed, should the further fact be a detraction from the gifted author of "Trilby," that his indebtedness to Thackeray is obviously greater than in the minutiæ under consideration—that, in fact, he has caught from the great immortal the note of much that is best in his book. In his limpid, graceful simplicity of words, and their easy, natural flow—in his delicate, playful humor, and tender but not overwrought pathos, we discover a careful study of found only a few general remarks about fairies, their habits and habitations, nothing in the least resembling the story of Jeannie's lover. Perhaps Nodier was mistaken about his source. As he travelled in the Highlands, he may possibly have "collected" the tale at first hand, and, there being no folk-lore societies in those early days of romanticism, he was not aware of the honor that thus accrued to him. It cannot have evolved itself from a mere hint. We appeal to Mr. Lang to take up and follow the chase farther. He might be worse occupied than in tracing out the original John Trilby MacFarlane, and whence he got his English-sounding name, his fairy powers and his connection with Saint Columba—the last probably from Nodier himself, who may have been reading Montalembert's "Monks of the West" before setting out upon his pilgrimage. Mr. Dole, by the way, irreverently converts the Dove of the Churches into a "Saint Columbine," unknown to any respectable hagiographer. Think, Mr. Lang, what a delightful coil this romancing Frenchman, let loose among your Hielan' men, fairies, monks and Scotch novels, has made for you to straighten out, and how many strange discoveries may be made while you are about the job!

Miss Smith (2) has prepared another translation of Nodier's story, and, though there is little choice between her version and Mr. Dole's, we prefer it. It seems a trifle less exact, but it is more idiomatic; and, if anything, she perhaps intensifies the local color a little, which does not do the tale any harm. Her book is got up in tartan cover; Mr. Dole's has a design adapted from Paul Konewka.

* * *

Mr. Richard Mansfield has secured from Estes & Lauriat the right to dramatize and produce Mr. Dole's translation of Nodier's "Trilby, le Lutin d'Argail."


Nodier's "Trilby, le Lutin d'Argail"

It was not long after the appearance of "Trilby" that our readers detected the French origin of the name of Mr. du Maurier's heroine. The story of the unearthing of this delightful French fairy-tale may be followed in this series of communications to The Critic:


On looking over Roche's "Prosateurs Français," I find that one of the "plus jolis" contes of Charles Nodier (1788-1844) is entitled "Trilby"; therefore the title of du Maurier's much-bought novel is not original with him. I should be pleased if any reader of The Critic would inform me as to the plot of Nodier's story.

St. Francis of Assisi Rectory, Wm. J. McClure,

Mt. Kisco, N. Y., 29th Oct., 1894.

* * *

The following lines occur in the "Réponse à M. Charles Nodier" of Alfred de Musset:—

"Non pas cette belle insomnie
Du génie
Où Trilby vient, prêt à chanter,

This would seem to offer some clue to the origin of the name chosen by Mr. du Maurier for his heroine. Can you enlighten me as to the identity of the "Trilby" referred to by Musset?

Ridgefield, Conn., 19 Nov., 1894. Roswell Bacon.

* * *

In answer to the request of your correspondent in The Critic of Nov. 17, I find the tale of "Trilby" in my copy of the "Contes de Charles Nodier, illustrés par Tony Johannot." "Trilby" is the story of a household fairy of Scotland (a "Lutin familier de la Chaumière"). It is fantastic and touching, but it has nothing in common with du Maurier's "Trilby."

Leesburgh, Virginia, 20 Nov., 1894. I. L. P.

* * *

From the recent contributions to "Trilbyana" in your columns, it would appear as if the name of Trilby (originally Scotch or Irish?) were not uncommon in the writings of French authors. Charles Nodier, in his conte, says that M. de Latouche—a contemporary—wrote on the same subject, "où cette charmante tradition était racontée en vers enchanteurs"—which gives one to suppose that "Trilby" was the name of his enchantress; though, perhaps, he refers to the old story of "Le Diable Amoureux." I find, moreover, that Balzac takes the name for a type in his "Histoire des Treize: Ferragus: Vol. I. Scènes de la Vie Parisienne" (page 48 of edition of 1843):—"Pour développer cette histoire dans toute la vérité de ses détails, pour en suivre le cours dans toutes ses sinuosités, il faut ici divulguer quelques secrets de l'amour, se glisser sous les lambris d'une chambre à coucher, non pas effrontément, mais à la manière de Trilby [the opposite to du Maurier's Trilby], n'effaroucher ni Dougal, ni Jeannie, n'effaroucher personne," etc.

Tuxedo Park, 26 Nov., 1894. E. L. B.

* * *

(Boston Evening Transcript, 1 Dec. 1894.)

"The Listener was asked the other day where du Maurier got the name of Trilby—a sweet and pleasant word, neither English nor French, which seemed to suit so perfectly the adorable young person of his creation. He was able to answer, more by accident certainly than as the result of erudition, that the name was not invented by du Maurier but belongs to the French classics—possibly to Scottish folk-lore. In the year 1822 there was first published in Paris a nouvelle, by Charles Nodier, afterward a member of the French Academy, entitled, "Trilby, or the Fay of Argyle"; it was a sort of fairy-story, in which a fay is in love with a mortal woman, and the woman is very far from being indifferent to his sentiment. This 'Trilby' attained a considerable degree of popularity; it became, indeed, a French classic; Sainte-Beuve has particularly praised the charm of its style. * * * In his preface to the story, Nodier says: 'The subject of this story is derived from a preface or a note to one of the romances of Sir Walter Scott, I do not know which one.' This is a very indefinite acknowledgment While Nodier may have got his subject from Scott, the Listener doubts if he got the name 'Trilby' from him. It is just the sort of name that a French writer would give to a Scotch fay. Nevertheless, Trilby may be a real Scotch elfin. The Listener would hardly claim personal acquaintance with them all.

"Du Maurier's 'Trilby' is curiously prefigured, in part at least, in Nodier's; and yet there is not the smallest thing that the most jealous critic could call a plagiarism; it is a legitimate parentage. As you go on with Nodier's story, you love his Trilby more and more, as you do du Maurier's, until you think that there was never so bewitching a fairy; and your love for Trilby is interwoven with your love for Jeannie, his mortal sweetheart, just as your love for du Manner's Trilby is forever mixed up with your tender sentiment for Little Billee. You feel a sort of enchantment over you like the hypnotism that you are under in du Maurier's strange book. And both stories, while abounding in wit and pretty things, are deeply tragical. It has been said of Nodier's 'Trilby' that it belongs to the realm of the supra-sensible, and so, in large measure, certainly does du Maurier's. Du Maurier has confessed his obligation flatly in giving his story the very name that Nodier's bore. It is conceivable that the image of the Frenchman's haunting fairy dwelt with him until he resolved to reincarnate the adorable elf in the body of a girl as adorable. He gave his Trilby a Scotch ancestry to connect her the more naturally with the lutin d'Argail; and her fairy ancestry will easily account not only for her early prankishness, but for her later unreality. But it is a prefiguring merely, and not a direct suggestion. Whatever du Maurier's 'Trilby' lacks, it isn't originality!"

* * *

(From Mr. C. E. L. Wingate's Boston Letter in The Critic of 20 April, 1893.)

It appears that the first mention of the French book appeared in The Critic, last November. It was in the same month that Mr. Bradford Torrey * * * happened to find a copy of Nodier's "Trilby" in the Boston Athenæum. He took the book to his friend, Mr. J. E. Chamberlin of The Youth's Companion, who began its translation at once. A few days later appeared a note in The Critic from a correspondent in Virginia. Thinking that secrecy was no longer worth while, Mr. Chamberlin wrote his paragraphs for the Transcript "Listener" column, incorporating a bit of translation. This was printed on Dec. 1. Miss Minna C. Smith went to Roberts Bros. at once, to ask them if they would consider the publication of a translation of the romance by her Transcript confrère, and Mr. F. Alcott Pratt replied that they would like very much to see that gentleman's work. Circumstances made Mr. Chamberlin decide not to finish the translation, and he gave Miss Smith his idea and a few pages of the manuscript for a Christmas present. During several weeks following she was engaged upon her careful translation. The Scotch words and names of localities in her manuscript were corrected by Mr. J. Murray Kay of Houghton, Mifflin & Co., an accomplished Scot, who walked through Argyle with his daughters last summer. On March 19, an article on Charles Nodier's story, foreshadowing Miss Smith's translation, appeared in the Transcript. On the morning of March 20, Mr. Dana Estes sent for Mr. Nathan Haskell Dole and asked him to make a translation, which was done with remarkable rapidity, and put out on March 29. Learning of this, Lamson, Wolffe & Co. hurried on Miss Smith's book, which had been in the hands of their printer at the Collins press for days, advertised it on Thursday and brought it out on Saturday, in Scotch plaid covers.

This firm of Lamson, Wolffe & Co., by the way, has just been dissolved for a novel reason. Mr. Wolffe is a member of the class of '95 at Harvard. The publication of "Trilby, the Fairy of Argyle" called the attention of the faculty to his publishing business, and he was asked to give it up, or else forfeit his degree. He chose the former alternative, and although the firm name will remain Lamson, Wolffe & Co., a new and, for the present, silent member of the firm has added capital and scholarship to the house.

* * *

"Trilby, the Fairy of Argyle"

By Charles Noder. 1. Translated from the French, with introduction, by Nathan Haskell Dole. Estes & Lauriat. 2. From the French by Minna Caroline Smith. Boston: Lamson, Wolffe & Co.

Nodier's "Trilby," who now revisits the book-stores owing to Mr. du Maurier's having taken his name for his heroine's, is one of the few latter-day fairies that have fairy blood (or ichor) in their veins. He belongs on the same shelf with Fouqué's "Undine," but, though he was only joking when he personated a father who "had not seen him since the days of King Fergus," he is certainly of the breed of Una and Maer, Caoilte and Mananan. That he made a sensation on his first appearance in the world of letters is shown by Victor Hugo's ode, warning the Fairy of Argyle to beware of ink-slinging penny-a-liners:—

"Car on en veut aux Trilbys
  * * * * * * * *
Ils souilleraient d'encre noire,
Hélas! ton manteau de moire,
Ton aigrette de rubis"—

advice which might be repeated apropos of Mr. du Maurier's creation.

Mr. Dole, who has made a translation (1) of Nodier's "Trilby," has looked through all of Scott's novels, he says, to discover, if possible, the "preface or note" from which the French author claimed to have drawn his story, and has the deft art of "Pendennis" and "The Newcomes." And the "Cave of Harmony," with its songs and its bumpers and long whiffs, the gay nights and rollicking days of F. B. and Clive and Pendennis—the glamor of all which has enticed full many a youngster towards the easy descent, or the shining slopes (as the case may be) of art and letters—all these scenes have doubtless served as the studies of the pictures, almost as delightful and masterly as their prototypes, that du Maurier gives us of the joyous Bohemian life of the three jolly Musketeers of the Brush in the Quartier Latin in "Trilby."

Auburn, Ala., 26 Dec., 1894. Charles C. Thach.

* * *

As a small contribution to "Trilbyana," I would call attention to the fact, unnoted so far, that Trilby was the name of Eugénie de Guérin's pet dog, mentioned several times in the journal she kept for her brother Maurice. Was the dog, perhaps, named for the fairy?

Louisville, Ky. A. C. B.

* * *

As there seems to be a mania for hunting up the sources of the inspiration of certain authors, I will engage in the game also. In Saintine's "Picciola," Book I., Chap XII., after the first paragraph, you will find the germ of "Peter Ibbetson."

Grand Rapids, Mich. C. C.



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