THE Knutsford Edition of the Works of Mrs. Gaskell aims at 
including all those which she would have desired to see included in 
a "definitive" edition of her writings. The text has been carefully 
revised, and not a few long - lived errors of the Press have been 
removed. In the Introductions it has been sought to avoid an 
expository kind of criticism of which few authors have ever stood 
less in need, and details of a sort which in Mrs. Gaskell's deliberate 
judgment ought to form no part of a writer's literary legacy. It is 
not ,believed that she would have disliked the name which this 
Edition has made bold to assume. So closely is that name identified 
with the title of one of her books that when her kinsman Lord 
Knutsford, was choosing a title for his peerage, there was a current 
jest about his having hesitated between "Knutsford" and "Cranford." 
The former of these names not only possesses a wide literary 
significance, but is associated with her life and affections in a way 
that makes it appropriate to what is intended as a memorial of 
herself in her writings - the only memorial she ever desired. 
        The present Editor would never have undertaken a task 
which, in a spirit of friendly confidence very gratifying to him, 
Messrs. Smith, Elder & Co. invited him to perform, had it not been 
for the wish kindly expressed by Mrs. Gaskell's daughters - Miss 
Gaskell and Miss Julia B. Gaskell - that he should accept this 
invitation. They have afforded him invaluable assistance in his 
attempt to make this Edition not wholly unworthy of her and of 
their devotion ; but he feels that he is best meeting their wishes if 
he refrains from indicating any particular debt owed by him to 
information supplied, corrections made, or suggestions offered by 
        The Editor's own kinsman and lamented friend, the late 
William Thomas Arnold, had at one time hoped to furnish special 
introductions to Mrs. Gaskell's chief productions ; and he left behind 
him a collection of critical extracts and a few - too few  -  notes of his 
own, of which occasional use has been made in these volumes. Mr. 
Arnold spent some time on the problem of the best arrangement of 
the sequence of the stories, without arriving at any definite 
solution. In the present Edition it has been thought best to follow 
the order of chronological sequence of the principal works, the 
minor tales and other papers being distributed among the several 
volumes, so far as possible in the order of their appearance. Papers 
not previously printed in collected editions of Mrs. Gaskell's works 
are here inserted each in its proper place, with the exception of a 
few fragments for which it is hoped that a place may be found in 
one of the later volumes of this edition. 
        The Editor has to thank Mr. W. E. A. Axon for various services 
rendered by him with his habitual generosity. To his guidance is 
owing the choice of the court in Hulme, from which Mr. William 
Canning, of Manchester, has made the drawing, prefixed to the 
present volume; and Mr. Axon has given other occasional assistance 
for which it is a particular pleasure to thank him. Of his "Annals of 
Manchester," and more especially of the "Gaskell Bibliography" 
compiled by himself and Mr. Ernest Axon, free use has been made. 
I have also referred to the Hand - List of the "Gaskell Collection" in 
the Moss Side Public Library, Manchester, made by Mr. J. A. Green. 
My friend Mr. Charles Rowley, of Manchester, has given advice in 
the selection of illustrations for some of these volumes. Mr. Bernard 
Holland has kindly allowed the reprinting in the Introduction to 
"Cranford " of some pages of his deeply interesting" Life and Letters 
of Mary Sibylla Holland," published by Mr. Edward Arnold. Other 
obligations have been, or will be, duly acknowledged in the special 
Introductions prefixed to the successive volumes of this Edition. 

        May 30th, 1906. 


THE facts of Mrs. Gaskell's life were few and simple, and it would 
have been not less repugnant to the highspirited candour of her 
nature that they should be expanded by fancy than that they 
should be distorted by design.  Fortune cast no shadows across the 
path of her personal experiences save such as are the lot of 
mortality; and the fame which suddenly encircled her brow, before 
she had yet passed into middle age, was alike unasked and 
undisturbing.  Beyond a doubt that fame, and the consciousness of 
the genius which had brought it to her and which sustained it, 
added a new significance to the labour in which she delighted; but 
it in no wise changed or unsettled the even tenor of her existence.  
Her husband, who had won her band in the days of her beautiful 
girlhood, was the associate of the best and highest thoughts of her 
womanly maturity; and the honoured name that she left was safe in 
the care of her dearly loved daughters.  On such a life who would 
not wish to look back; to it who is not ready to look up?  But it 
could hardly be told in detail without its onward flow seeming to be 
broken, and its inner unity marred.
        It has thus seemed advisable to prefix to the present Edition 
the substance of the plain account of Mrs. Gaskell's life and literary 
work, which appeared, a few years ago, in vol. xxi of the Dictionary 
of National Biography, with such additions as have since become 
possible.  The facts given in that narrative may be taken as 
authentic; for such particulars as have been added in the present 
version, the Editor, where he has not cited his authority, is 
prepared to hold himself responsible. And he ventures to think that 
to their number few further facts of importance are likely to be 

        Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell was born on September 29th, 1810, 
in Lindsay Row - called by some Lindsay Place - which at the present 
day forms part of Cheyne Walk, Chelsea. She was the daughter, by 
his first marriage, of William Stevenson, a man of some mark, and 
of a versatility of mind sufficiently attested by his career.  He was a 
native of Berwick ? on - Tweed:  but, according to a tradition half - 
humorously cherished by his celebrated daughter, his family was of 
Norwegian descent, and its name was in old family papers 
occasionally spelt Stevensen.  His father was a captain in the Royal 
Navy; and his brother, Joseph Stevenson, was a lieutenant in the 
same service (he died in a French prison).  Captain Stevenson's wife, 
Isabela, whose maiden name was Thomson, was first cousin, once 
removed, to the author of The Seasons.  A strong love of the sea 
must have run in the family; and Mrs. Gaskell's only brother 
Charles entered the Merchant Service, in which he in turn became a 
lieutenant.  In the course of his last voyage he mysteriously 
disappeared; and, unlike Peter in Cranford, was never found again. 
The incident can hardly have failed to arouse in her a painful 
interest in the subject of "Disappearances," on which she put 
together a curious paper.
      In Mrs. Gaskell's father, William Stevenson, many fresh 
interests were at work.  In his early manhood he became a 
Unitarian minister, and preached in that capacity in Dob Lane 
Chapel, Manchester.  Simultaneously he performed the duties of 
classical tutor at the Manchester Academy, where not a few 
nonconformists, who afterward attained to distinction, received 
their education.  Having quitted the Unitarian ministry, he for a 
time combined farming with the management of a private school - 
somewhat as Mr. Hale in North and South, for conscientious reasons, 
resigned his incumbency and took to teaching; and of this period of 
his life we may safely trace some features in the character (in 
Cousin Phillis) of Mr. Holman, farmer and divine, who prayed and 
worked with his farm - hands, and came home from the fields to 
study his Bible and his Vergil. Ultimately, William Stevenson was, 
through the interest of the Earl of Lauderdale, appointed Keeper of 
the Records to the Treasury.  By this time he had acquired a 
considerable literary reputation, having contributed articles and 
papers to the Edinburgh Review, and other publications of a high 
class, especially on agricultural subjects.  He died in 1829; but, 
though there must have been some intellectual affinity between his 
daughter and himself, she saw little of him in his later years, when 
he had married again, and her occasional visits to Chelsea, where 
she found him living far from happily, were very saddening to 
herself.  By his first wife he had, besides his daughter, a son named 
John. Father Joseph Stevenson, S.J., the distinguished historian and 
archivist, who, after holding a benefice in the Church of England, 
became a Roman Catholic and a Jesuit, and at one time held a 
prominent position at Stonyhurst, was Mrs. Gaskell's first cousin.  
During the last weeks of her father's life, he was nursed by her 
with the utmost devotion.
        Mrs. Gaskell's mother, Elizabeth Stevenson, was a daughter of 
Samuel, the fourth son of John Holland of Mobberley - the head of 
the Cheshire (Mobberley) branch of an old and once powerful 
Lancashire family, and of Anne Swinton, whose family had been 
connected with Knutsford for more than two centuries.  Samuel 
Holland farmed his own land at Sandle Bridge in Cheshire, two or 
three miles from Knutsford, to which his grand - daughter was to 
give a world  -  wide celebrity. Sandle Bridge, which had come into the 
possession of the Hollands by the marriage, in 1718, of John Holland 
to Mary Colthurst, the heiress of a family possessed of the property 
for several generations, was very probably the "Woodley" of 
Cranford - the simple house "among fields," with "an old  -  fashioned 
garden where roses and currant - bushes touched each other;" and it 
may have suggested one or another feature of "Heathbridge" in 
Cousin Phillis. The great Lord Clive, whose mother was a Gaskell, 
and who, according to a long - standing tradition, was connected with 
the Holland family, when a schoolboy in Knutsford, spent some of 
his holidays at Sandle Bridge, where it was his joy to terrify the 
Hollands by jumping from the ball on the top of one of two stone 
Gate - posts to its fellow on the other. Mrs. Gaskell's uncle, Peter 
Holland, the father of the eminent physician Sir Henry Holland, and 
the grand - father of the present Lord Knutsford, resided at Church 
House in the little town, and no doubt afterwards furnished her 
with a type, the good country doctor, of which, like some other 
novelists, she was fond, and which she reproduced with increasing 
satisfaction and success in Cranford, Mr. Harrison's Confessions, and 
in the long - suffering Mr. Gibson of her last work, Wives and 
        With Knutsford Mrs. Gaskell very early in her life began to 
acquire that kind of familiarity which no other kind of admonitus 
loci can equal or supplant. Within a month after her birth she lost 
her mother, and was for a week entrusted by her helpless father to 
the care of a shopkeeper's wife.  She was then taken down to her 
mother's sister, Mrs. Lumb, who was living at Knutsford; the 
journey from London being made in the care of a family friend, a 
Mrs. Whittington; so that the legend of Mrs. Gaskell's early travels 
having suggested the adventures of the "babby" in Mary Barton 
seems to require some modification.  It was thought that the 
presence of the little Elizabeth might brighten the life of Marianne, 
Mrs. Lumb's only child, who was a cripple; but death soon parted 
them.  Elizabeth's aunt, however, became a second mother to her, 
and the modest house on the heath, with its old - fashioned garden, a 
second home.  Here, in the midst of a small society of relatives and 
friends, she spent her childhood; taking part in Sunday worship at 
the ivy - grown Unitarian chapel on the hillside, which was to be her 
last resting - place; paying many a visit to her uncle and his 
daughters at Church House, and to her grand - father at Sandle 
Bridge; and occasionally journeying to London to see her father.
        When about fifteen years of age she was sent to a school kept 
at Stratford ? on - Avon by the Miss Byerleys daughters of Josiah 
Wedgwood's principal assistant and friend.  At this school (where 
was also educated Miss Boucheret, afterwards an early and a 
munificent sup porter of the movement for women's suffrage, and a 
friend of Madame Bodichon), she learnt, like Shakespeare at the 
grammar school near by, "some Latin," as well as French - a language 
and literature for which she always had a special affection - and 
Italian.  That she kept her eyes open for the associations of the 
chosen part of England into which she had been transplanted is 
shown by her earliest published piece of prose, the charming sketch 
of "Clopton Hall," which allows us to picture to ourselves its 
youthful visitor roving "fancy free" in the green lanes by the river 
side.  "I had been brought up by the river Avon in Warwickshire," 
says the Signora Brunoni in Cranford, by way of explaining why she 
was not terrified by woods and waters in the course of her 
wanderings in India.
        At Stratford Elizabeth Stevenson remained two years 
including holiday times; and it must have been on her return to 
Knutsford that she began unconsciously to collect those humorous 
impressions of the life and society of the little town, which were 
afterwards to be reproduced in the inimitable sketches of Cranford, 
in the admirable narrative of Mr. Harrison's startling experiences as 
a young medical practitioner at Duncombe, and in the mellow - 
tinted picture of Hollingford in Wives and Daughters.  But wider 
aspects of men and things were opening to her.  She continued to 
pay occasional visits to London, where, after her father's death, on 
April 22, 1829, she stayed with her uncle, Mr. Swinton Holland, in 
Park Lane.  She spent two winters at Newcastle - on - Tyne, not far 
from the haunts of her ancestors north of the Humber, in the family 
of the Rev. William Turner, a learned and public - spirited Unitarian 
minister and a very remarkable man, from whom some features in 
the sympathetic character of Thurstan Benson, in Ruth are 
supposed to have been derived. Mr. Turner, to whom George 
Stephenson is said to have acknowledged himself indebted for 
much of his scientific knowledge, died in Manchester, at the age of 
ninetyseven, in 1859. His grave is at Brook Street Chapel in 
Knutsford, near that of Mrs. Gaskell.  And a third winter was 
rendered memorable to her by a sojourn at Edinburgh, of whose 
perennially attractive society she drew a lively picture many years 
afterwards in the Introduction to Round the Sofa.  Her youthful 
beauty was greatly admired at Edinburgh, and several painters and 
sculptors asked permission to take her portrait.  Fortunately, it was 
granted in the case of Mr. D. Dunbar. whose lovely bust of her, 
reproduced in marble, is one of the chief ornaments of the Christie 
Library in the Victoria University, Manchester.
        On August 30, 1832, a new chapter in her life opened with 
her marriage, in the Parish Church at Knutsford, to the Rev. William 
Gaskell, then, and to the end of his life, joint minister of the 
Unitarian Chapel in Cross Street, Manchester.  Mr. Gaskell (whose 
father was a prosperous manufacturer) not only held the most 
important administrative offices in his own denomination, and in 
connection with its Home Missionary Board and its chief College for 
the training of ministers (Manchester New College, now removed to 
Oxford), but he also taught in the latter for several years as 
Professor of English history and literature. He acted as lecturer on 
English literature in the evening classes' department of the Owens 
College, Manchester; and, as it so happened that (I think in 1866) I 
took over those classes on my appointment to a professorship in 
that vigorous young institution, I can testify to his popularity with 
the students, and to the enthusiasm which he inspired in them.  He 
was a remarkably handsome man even in his later years, and the 
refinement and charm of his manner were well set off by a 
dignified reserve. A trained English scholar and accomplished 
writer, he also possessed a marked poetical gift which he chiefly 
exercised in the composition, and translation from the German, of 
hymns and other sacred verse.
        Mrs. Gaskell's married life was one of unbroken happiness, 
and, especially in the earliest years of it, she was able to identify 
her interests completely with those of her husband.  She describes 
somewhere how she used to accompany him on his drives to 
preachings in the towns near Manchester - then not so easily 
accessible as they are now; and, while ready to devote some of her 
leisure to teaching, she was from the first eager to take part in 
works of charity; for her heart was always full of fervent sympathy 
with affliction.  It is not, however, generally known that it was the 
nearer acquaintance which she thus gained with the homes and 
ways of the poor, and the circumstance that Mr. Gaskell was 
specially attracted by poets and poetry that treated such subjects, 
and frequently lectured about it to popular audiences, which 
suggested an extremely interesting literary collaboration between 
husband and wife.
        Writing, in August, 1838, to Mrs. Howitt, she says "We once 
thought of trying to write sketches among the poor, rather in the 
manner of Crabbe (now don't think this presumptuous), but in a 
more seeing - beauty spirit; and one - the only one - was published in 
Blackwood, January, 1837.  But I suppose we spoke our plan near a 
dog - rose, for it never went any further." *
        Although the poem is long, and although it cannot be said to 
have much of the force which is rarely wanting to any narrative 
sketch of Crabbe's as a whole, it seems

        * I owe my knowledge of the existence of this poem, and of 
Mrs. Gaskell's reference to it, to a passage in Mr. John Mortimer's 
admirable article on her as a "Lancashire Novelist" in The 
Manchester Quarterly, No. lxxxiii., for July, 1902. The letter to Mrs. 
Howitt will be found in an interesting paper, entitled "Stray Notes 
from Mrs. Gaskell," contributed by Miss Margaret Howitt to Good 
Words for 1895 (pp. 604 - 612).

 to me worth reprinting here.  And this, not only be. cause, as will 
be pointed out in the introductory page' prefixed to Mary Barton, a 
character and a passage a most attractive character and a very 
pathetic passage in that story, are prefigured in the poetic "Sketch," 
but also and chiefly because it furnishes the earliest proof of an 
insight and a sympathy which, to my mind are of the essence of 
Mrs. Gaskell's genius as a writer.


No. I.

In childhood's days, I do remember me
Of one dark house behind an old elm - tree,
By gloomy streets surrounded, where the flower
Brought from the fresher air, scarce for an hour
Retained its fragrant scent; yet men lived there,
Yea, and in happiness; the mind doth clear
In most dense airs its own bright atmosphere.
But in the house of which I spake there dwelt
One by whom all the weight of smoke was felt.
She had o'erstepped the bound 'twixt youth and age
A single, not a lonely, woman, sage
And thoughtful ever, yet most truly kind:
Without the natural ties, she sought to bind
Hearts unto hers, with gentle, useful love,
Prompt at each change in sympathy to move.
And so she gained the affection, which she prized
From every living thing, however despised - 
A call upon her tenderness whenever
The friends around her had a grief to share;
And, if in Joy the kind one they forgot,
She still rejoiced, and more was wanted not. 
Said I not truly, she was not alone,
Though none at evening shared her clean hearth - stone?
To some she might prosaic seem, but me
She always charmed with daily poesy.
Felt in her every action, never heard,
Even as the mate of some sweet singing - bird, 
That mute and still broods on her treasure nest, 
Her heart's fond hope hid deep within her breast.
In all her quiet duties, one dear thought
Kept ever true and constant sway, nor brought
Before the world, but garnered all the more
For being to herself a secret store.
Whenever she heard of country homes, a smile
Came brightening o'er her serious face the while;
She knew not that it came, yet in her heart
A hope leaped up, of which that smile was part.
She thought the time might come, ere yet the bowl
Were broken at the fountain, when her soul
Might listen to its yearnings, unreproved
By thought of failure to the cause she loved;
When she might leave the close and noisy street,
And once again her childhood's home might greet. 
It was a pleasant place, that early home!
The brook went singing by, leaving its foam
Among the flags and blue forget - me - not;
And in a nook, above that sheltered spot,
For ages stood a gnarled hawthorn - tree;
And if you passed in spring - time, you might see
The knotted trunk all coronal'd with flowers,
That every breeze shook down in fragrant showers;
The earnest bees in odorous cells did lie,
Hymning their thanks with murmuring melody;
The evening sun shone brightly on the green,
And seemed to linger on the lonely scene.
And, if to others Mary's early nest
Showed poor and homely, to her loving breast
A charm lay hidden in the very stains
Which time and weather left; the old dim panes,
The grey rough moss, the house - leek, you might see
Were chronicled in childhood's memory;
And in her dreams she wandered far and wide
Among the hills, her sister at her side - 
That sister slept beneath a grassy tomb
Ere time had robbed her of her first sweet bloom.
0 Sleep! thou bringest back our childhood's heart,
Ere yet the dew exhale, the hope depart;
Thou callest up the lost ones, sorrowed o'er
Till sorrow's self bath lost her tearful power;
Thine is the fairy - land, where shadows dwell,
Evoked in dreams by some strange hidden spell.
But Day and Waking have their dreams, 0 Sleep,
When Hope and Memory their fond watches keep;
And such o'er Mary held supremest sway,
When kindly labours tasked her hands all day.
Employed her hands, her thoughts roamed far and free,
Till sense called down to calm reality.
A few short weeks, and then, unbound the chains
Which held her to another's woes or pains,
Farewell to dusky streets and shrouded skies,
Her treasured home should bless her yearning eyes,
And fair as in the days of childish glee
Each grassy nook and wooded haunt should be.
 Yet ever, as one sorrow passed away,
Another called the tender one to stay,
And, where so late she shared the bright glad mirth,
The phantom Grief sat cowering at the hearth.
So days and weeks passed on, and grew to years,
Unwept by Mary, save for others' tears.
As a fond nurse, that from the mother's breast
Lulls the tired infant to its quiet rest,
First stills each sound, then lets the curtain fall
To cast a dim and sleepy light o'er all,
So age drew gently o'er each wearied sense
A deepening shade to smooth the parting hence.
Each cherished accent, each familiar tone
Fell from her daily music, one by one;
Still her attentive looks could rightly guess
What moving lips by sound could not express.
O'er each loved face next came a filmy veil,
And shine and shadow from her sight did fail.
And, last of all, the solemn change they saw
Depriving Death of half his regal awe;
The mind sank down to childishness, and they,
Relying on her counsel day by day
(As some lone wanderer, from his home afar,
Takes for his guide some fixed and well known star,
Till clouds come wafting o'er its trembling light,
And leave him wildered in the pathless night),
Sought her changed face with strange uncertain gaze.
Still praying her to lead them through the maze.
They pitied her lone fate, and deemed it sad;
Yet as in early childhood &he was glad;
No sense had she of change, or loss of thought,
With those around her no communion sought;
Scarce knew she of her being. Fancy wild
Had placed her in her father's house a child;
It was her mother sang her to her rest;
The lark awoke her, springing from his nest;
The bees sang cheerily the live long day,
Lurking 'mid flowers wherever she did play;
The Sabbath bells rang as in years gone by,
Swelling and falling on the soft wind's sigh;
Her little sisters knelt with her in prayer,
And nightly did her father's blessing share;
So, wrapt in glad imaginings, her life
Stole on with all her sweet young memories rife. 
I often think (if by this mortal light
We ever can read another's lot aright),
That for her loving thought a blessing came,
Unseen by many, clouded by a name;
And all the outward fading from the world
Was like the flower at night, when it has furled
Its golden leaves, and lapped them round its heart,
To nestle closer in its sweetest part.
Yes! angel voices called her childhood back,
Blotting out life with its dim sorrowy track;
Her secret wish was ever known in heaven,
And so in mystery was the answer given.
In sadness many mourned her latter years,
But blessing shone behind that mist of tears,
And, as the child she deemed herself, she lies
In gentle slumber, till the dead shall rise.

From Blackwood's Magazine, vol. xli., 
No. cclv. Jan. 1837, pp. 48 - 51

        The first twelve years of Mrs. Gaskell's married life passed 
quite uneventfully.  Their first abode in Manchester was in Dover 
Street, on the south or "educational" side of the town, where now 
stands the Manchester High School for Girls, in the near 
neighbourhood of the University.  In 1842 they moved to Rum ford 
Street, not far off; and in 1850 they settled down at 84, Plymouth 
Grove.  The solid old - fashioned house with its hospitable portico in 
front and its walled garden on the drawing - room side, must then 
have been bordered by a wider extent of fields on the Longsight 
side; but even now it can hardly be called a town - house.  Her' the 
greater part of Mrs. Gaskell's life was spent, and nearly all her 
books were written; and here - to those of us, at least, who used to 
write ourselves of the younger generation - the traditions of her 
gracious personality and the thoughts of what is noble and pure 
called forth by the creation of her genius, will always find their 
natural centre.
        To these early married years belongs another poem - one of 
great tenderness and sweetness - which I am allowed to print, and 
which needs no comment of mine In date it is a little earlier than 
the lines reprinted above Her eldest daughter, Marianne, was born 
in September 1834.



I made a vow within my soul, 0 child,
When thou wert laid beside my weary heart,
With marks of Death on every tender part,
That, if in time a living infant smiled,
Winning my ear with gentle sounds of love
In sunshine of such joy, I still would save
A green rest for thy memory, 0 Dove!
And oft times visit thy small, nameless grave.
Thee have I not forgot, my firstborn, thou
Whose eyes ne'er opened to my wistful gaze,
Whose suff' rings stamped with pain thy little brow;
I think of thee in these far happier days,
And thou, my child, from thy bright heaven see
How well I keep my faithful vow to thee.

        Mrs. Gaskell does not seem to have followed up the 
collaboration with her husband, noted above, by seeking to publish 
anything in either verse or prose, till, on the announcement in 
1838, by William Howitt, of publishing what proved to be his very 
successful Visits to Remarkable Places, she offered him a short 
paper on Clopton Hall in Warwickshire.  It duly appeared in the 
book, when this was published in 1840, and is thence reprinted in 
the present volume.  Her personal intimacy with William Howitt 
and his kindly wife (Mary), who, in her Autobiography, repeatedly 
refers with evident pleasure to the fact that her husband William 
had been the means of introducing Mrs. Gaskell into literary life, 
began a year later, in the course of a Rhine tour. About this time 
Mrs. Gaskell also appears to have set her hand to the composition of 
a short story which may have been Lizzie Leigh, not published till 
1851, or The Sexton's Hero, printed in 1847 in Howitt's Journal, 
where two other slight tales by her also appeared in this and in the 
following year.
        Meanwhile, Mrs. Gaskell's literary life bad begun in earnest, 
and in circumstances to which fuller reference will be made below, 
but which, as possessing the deepest biographical interest, cannot 
be passed over here.  In 1844, Mr. and Mrs. Gaskell visited 
Festiniog, in North Wales, where they had spent some time on their 
wedding tour; and it was at the inn there that their eldest daughter 
caught the scarlet fever.  Mrs. Gaskell took her and her little baby - 
brother, "Willie," to Port Madoc, where he sickened of the fever and 
died.  It was to turn her thoughts from the subject of her grief that, 
by her husband's advice, she attempted to write a work of some 
length; and there seems every reason for supposing that Mary 
Barton was at once begun. But not only does that story bear direct 
testimony to the mother's sorrow.  It is traceable also in the vision 
of the little angel - face vouchsafed when it seemed too late to poor 
Lizzie Leigh, and in the pathetic narration of little Walter's death in 
Mr. Harrison's Confessions, and it haunts as a recurrent thought 
some of her later productions: Ruth, Morton Hall, and others.
        Mary Barton, as is detailed elsewhere, was finished in 1847, 
and published in the following year.  It established Mrs. Gaskell's 
reputation at once, and its literary merits were recognised without 
stint, even by those who took objection to the conclusions which 
they supposed it to advocate on the burning public question of the 
times.  Among men of letters, none more readily and more warmly 
welcomed the accession of a novice, who had incontestably taken 
her place at once among the foremost writers of English fiction, 
than Charles Dickens, whose popularity surpassed that of any of his 
fellows.  On May I, 1849, we find Mrs. Gaskell mentioned as dining 
with him, in a company including Carlyle and Thackeray, to 
commemorate the publication of the first number of David 
Copperfield; and when, early in the following year, he was 
projecting Household Words, he invited her co - operation in the 
most flattering terms.  It is pleasant and honourable to both 
writers, that a connection, based upon sincere goodwill and 
sympathy, should have been so rapidly established between them, 
and should have established itself so firmly.  Mrs. Gaskell, in 
Cranford and elsewhere, returned the spontaneous kindness of 
Dickens by straightforward tributes of genuine admiration; and he 
was afterwards a welcome guest at Plymouth Grove. Here and there 
in her earlier writings, she may have shown that, like so many of 
their contemporaries, and those in particular who were associated 
with him in his editorial capacity, she was in some measure under 
the spell of his manner.  The potency of that spell no' later 
generation can, perhaps, quite sufficiently understand. But her 
method of workmanship - her treatment of character in particular - in 
her more sustained efforts, at all events, and in her later 
masterpieces more especially, bore little resemblance to his; while 
the unaffected simplicity of her style, due to an innate purity of 
taste and to a rare unconsciousness of literary models, was sure to 
avoid any imitation of the mannerism into which he so easily fell.  
It is not suggested, on the other side, that Dickens was influenced 
by the younger writer. The subject of Hard Times has no doubt 
certain affinities with that of Mary Barton; and there is an 
undeniable resemblance between certain of the characters in the 
same story by Dickens, and Ruth, which preceded it by a year in the 
date of publication.  With Thackeray, on the other hand, though his 
literary perception was far too fine not to recognise readily the 
qualities of her genius, Mrs. Gaskell was, in her own words, "not at 
her ease"; and with him her relations as a writer were never 
        The contributions by Mrs. Gaskell to Household Words during 
the years 1850 - 6 were numerous, and a few others followed in 
1858, and to the cognate All the Year Round in 1859, 1861, and 
1863.  The earliest and most continuous series included, besides 
Cranford, which appeared occasionally from December 1851, to 
May, 1853, and North and South, which ran from September, 1854, 
to January, 1855, the pathetic tale of Lizzie Leigh, the powerful 
character - study of The Heart of John Middleton, and the 
watercolours, if I may so call them, which already have some of the 
delicate charm of Mrs. Gaskell's later manner, of Morton Hall and 
My French Master.  The weird Old Nurse's Story  (which, together 
with the still earlier Well of Pen Morfa, illustrates that inclination to 
allow her mind to hover on the borders of the supernatural, in 
which, like many persons of excellent sense, she occasionally 
indulged) appeared in one of those Christmas numbers of Charles 
Dickens's journal,which we used to look forward in those days of 
happy trustfulness between writers and readers, and The Squire's 
Story - a true tale of Knutsford Heath - in another. Of the remainder of 
these contributions, which it is impossible to compare with one 
another without being struck by the freshness of treatment applied 
to remarkable variety of subjects - so excellent a thing it is for a 
writer not to have written himself out - each will receive notice in its 
        In 1850, the year in which the series began, Mrs.Gaskell had 
also published her second larger story, The Moorland Cottage, with 
illustrations by Birket Foster Although in every sense 
unpretending, the homely tale is notable among her works, as first 
showing, more especially in the sweet, shy, girlish figure of Maggie 
Browne and her rough, tender old servant Nancy, trace of that more 
subtle vein of humour in which Mrs.Gaskell was afterwards to 
        Curiously enough, it was in this very year that her friendship - 
a memorable one in the history of English literature - began with a 
writer who was to offer a quite new solution to the question, almost 
as old in literature as it is in life, What is a heroine? In the course 
of a stay during August, 1850, in Westmoreland, where in the 
previous year Crabb Robinson had intrdouced Mr. and Mrs. Gaskell 
to Wordsworth, they paid a visit to Sir James Kay Shuttleworth, at 
his house in the Lakes, to which he afterwards gave some literary 
celebrity; and here it was that Mrs. Gaskell made the acquaintance 
of Charlotte Bront, of whose personality and its characteristic 
surroundings her friend's biography remains an. imperishable 
monument.  Miss Bront visited Mrs. Gaskell at Manchester, in 
1851, and again in 1853; and the hostess became truly fond of, and 
"very sorry for," her guest.  On her side the visitor was charmed by 
the brightness of a home where daughters were growing up in 
whom, especially in the youngest, she recognised a resemblance to 
their mother in something more than outward features.  In the 
autumn of 1853 Mrs. Gaskell returned Miss Bront's visit at 
Haworth; and she was present with her husband at the wedding of 
Mr. and Mrs. Nicholls in June, 1854 - to be followed by the death of 
the latter only nine months afterwards.
        The marked contrasts of temperament and mental 
idiosyncrasy between these two gifted women had only 
strengthened a friendship as sincere, and as free from the faintest 
shade of jealousy, as any that is recorded in literary biography.  
Nothing could have better illustrated the fallibility of critical 
guessing than the rumour, mentioned by Mary Howitt, that a story 
called The Miner's Daughter,  which  appeared  in Household Words 
in the spring of 1850, was "either by Currer Bell or by Mrs. Gaksell."  
It happened to be by neither, but could there have been two 
authoresses of whom it would have been more difficult to mistake 
the one for the other? Yet I have sometimes thought that a certain 
increase of freedom in the handling both of characters and 
situations becomes observable in Mrs. Gaskell from North and South 
onwards, and that for the gain in strength which this brought with 
it she was unconsciously in some measure indebted to the 
authoress of Shirley, as she afterwards was to the authoress of The 
Mill on the Floss.
        Curiously enough - and no incident could have more pleasantly 
attested the warmth of their friendship - at the beginning of 1853 
Miss Bront agreed to defer for a few weeks the publication of 
Villette, in order to avoid comparisons with Mrs. Gaskell's second 
important novel, Ruth, which made its appearance at this time. This 
story is still in the earlier and intenser manner of Mary Barton, and 
less relieved than its predecessor by the humour to which Mrs. 
Gaskell was so soon afterwards, in Cranford, to give free play; it 
seems to date from a time in which the growth of experience was 
making her acquainted with the darker as well as with the brighter 
sides of life, and in which she learnt much from personal 
intercourse with such men as Travers Madge, the home missionary, 
and Thomas Wright, the prison reformer.  On the other hand, the 
story itself has a much deeper psychological interest than Mary 
Barton, and the style, though still wanting in the more delicate 
charm and humorous ripple, as of a sunny sea, which captivate us 
in the writer's later works, is unmistakably superior to that of her 
first book.
        If the authoress of Ruth did not escape censure for certain 
shortcomings which a vigilant - but I do not think in this instance 
unjust - literary censorship had detected in the story, the merum 
mel of the Cranford series, which was brought to a close and 
republished in May and June of the same year, 1853, could have no 
effect but that of adding to the sum of general happiness. Early in 
1855 North and South was brought to a close in Household Words; 
and soon afterwards this novel was republished.  Dickens was 
warm in his congratulations to Mrs. Gaskell "on the vigorous and 
powerful accomplishment of an anxious labour;" and no words of 
praise could have been more happily chosen or more directly 
deserved.  A word will be said elsewhere as to the literary merits 
of the book, which are those of a sense of strength and of self - 
possession proving the writer to have become fully conscious of her 
great powers, and capable of using them with the perfection of 
ease.  Equally notable are the advance in impartiality of judgment 
and maturity of reflexion which the writer has achieved, as her 
experience had widened and her interest in political and social 
problems deepened. She had, as already noted, become personally 
acquainted with philanthropists of experience and ability.  
Moreover, she had moved about among the working - classes, often 
in the company of her friend Susanna Winkworth, a woman of 
deeply human spirit as well as of genuine learning, and one of three 
sisters whose intimacy counted for much in the life of Mrs. Gaskell 
and her family. (One of them, Catharine, had learnt her love of 
literature, and of German hymnology in particular, from Mr. 
Gaskell.)  She had lost no opportunity of widening her outlook, had 
listened to discussions at workmen's clubs, and made herself the 
confidante of many a poor girl. On the other hand, though she did 
not wish to make any amende to the masters for Mary Barton, she 
may fairly be supposed to have desired to supplement the picture 
there drawn of their relations towards the men and to mark the 
recognition of the spirit that was work in the best of a class without 
whom England would not be what it is.  No "revision of judgment" 
was ever more generously conceived by an author, or carried out 
with more dignity.
        Her next literary achievement, the Life of Charlot Bronte, is 
not included in the present Edition of her works, as it has already 
found its natural place in the volume introductory to Charlotte 
Bront's writing It was undertaken at the urgent request of Mr. 
Bront who survived his daughter; and all through the year 1856 
Mrs. Gaskell was employed upon the biography, giving herself up to 
the work with the utmost assiduity, an sparing no pains' to ensure 
accuracy in her statements and descriptions: Then she spent a 
fortnight at Brussels in careful investigations, to which nothing of 
moment has been subsequently added.  When, in the spring 1857, 
the book was at last ready for publication, Mrs. Gaskell, in 
accordance with a habit which, like other eminent writers after her, 
she was coming to form, with drew from the buzz of criticism, 
travelling with two her daughters to Rome, where they were the 
guests Mr. W. W. Story.  She was a great admirer of h inimitable 
Roba di Roma papers, which two years later she was at great pains 
to introduce to the notice Thackeray as editor of the Cornhill 
        This time, however, her peace was broken by a protest which 
gave her much pain, and which, as she speedily recognised, there 
was but one way of meeting. In a passage of the original Edition of 
the Life, she had reproduced a supposed statement of facts, which 
had been explicitly made to her by Miss Bront herself, and on the 
authenticity of which she as a matter of course placed absolute 
reliance.  The truth of the statement was denied by the persons 
implicated; and the result was a retraction in The Times, and the 
withdrawal from circulation of all the unsold copies of the first 
Edition of the biography.  Concerning certain other statements 
contained in it the authoress was much harassed by disclaimers and 
corrections, to which she endeavoured to do justice in the later 
Edition; and in the end she was obliged, as other' biographers have 
been before her, to decline further personal correspondence with 
regard to the book. The all but unparalleled interest excited in 
Charlotte Bronte and her sisters, and in everything that concerns 
them, their family or their home, has led to a microscopic 
investigation of every detail connected with them; and this has no 
doubt brought to light some additions that might be made to Mrs. 
Gaskell's narrative, and possibly some slight rectifications of which 
this or that statement of hers may be susceptible.  But the 
substantial accuracy of the picture drawn by Mrs. Gaskell of her 
heroine's life and character, and of the influences exercised upon 
them by her personal and local surroundings has not been 
successfully impugned; nor should it be forgotten that it was she 
who not only "discovered" Haworth, but who has told, once for all, 
the story of the Bront sisters, now itself a permanent part of our 
literature. For as to Mrs. Gaskell's literary skill and power as a 
biographer there cannot be two opinions, any more than as to her 
absolute uprightness of intention in this capacity. She expressly 
disclaimed having made any attempt at psychological analysis; but 
she was signally and enduringly successful in her endeavour to 
bring before her readers the picture of a very peculiar character 
and altogether original mind. The story of an unknown life had 
been so told that, in the words of the great French scholar Ampre, 
it impressed the reader "like a Greek tragedy."
        There seems no doubt that the strictures, rightly or wrongly, 
passed upon passages of her Life of Charlotte Bront gave rise in 
Mrs. Gaskell to a temporary distaste for more continuous writing.  
During the next five or six years she published nothing of 
importance, though she sent occasional papers to English and 
American magazines - among the former to the Cornhill Magazine, 
which her last three stories were so appropriately to adorn.  Of her 
life in these years there is little else to tell, except that it continued 
its usual course of active intellectual exertion, social kindliness, and 
domestic happiness.  She never forgot old friends, though 
constantly making new ones, among whom there were many 
beginners in the art in which she had achieved fame. To these she 
was always ready to give help and advice.  In all her home - 
relations she showed an unsurpassable tenderness and sweetness.  
She possessed, too, happily for her comfort and that of her house, a 
peculiar tact for training her servants.  One of these,. Hearn the 
nurse, who was devoted to Mrs. Gaskell and her daughters, lived 
with them for fifty years at Plymouth Grove, and died there in an 
honoured old age. Among Mrs. Gaskell's special intimates at 
Manchester were, as already mentioned, the three Miss 
Winkworths - Susanna, Catharine, and Emily (afterwards Mrs. 
Shaen) - the Sidney Potters, the Darbishires, and among younger 
associates the Henry Roscoes and one or two others whose 
friendship I was afterwards fortunate enough to enjoy at " 
Drumble." For myself, I cannot even say of her "vidi tantum;" 
though I am allowed not to account myself a stranger in her house.  
Her celebrity had of course greatly enlarged her friends both in 
London and in the country.  Among the former she had a 
particularly warm regard for the Hensleigh Wedgwoods, of whose 
daughters, Julia and Effie, she was very fond, the Stanleys, and the 
George Smiths.  Her correspondence with Mr. Smith, which I have 
been allowed to see, is one of the gayest ever carried on between 
author and publisher, and nothing could be more pleasant than the 
reminiscences with which Mrs. Smith has favoured me of Mrs. 
Gaskell's animation of manner and depth of feeling.  Another friend 
whose hospitality - none the less cordial because so catholic - was 
returned by the Gaskells at Manchester, was the late Lord 
Houghton, whom I very well remember telling me that their house 
made that city a quite possible place of residence for persons of 
literary tastes.  But to enumerate the friends and admirers whom 
she found in London would be a task beyond my powers; not only 
was Thackeray among the number of both, but his eldest daughter 
(then a young girl), who with something of his own power combines 
the purely feminine grace which few of our later authoresses have 
shared with Mrs. Gaskell, introduced to his notice one of 'her most 
charming creations.  It is not wonderful that both in London and at 
home there should have descended on her a flow of continental 
and, still more copiously, of American admirers of her genius - the 
latter, as I will repeat when speaking of the book in particular, 
being, above all, eager to pay their tribute of gratitude to the 
authoress of Cranford, In the autumn of 1854, during a delightful 
visit which she and her daughter Marianne paid to Mrs. Salis 
Schwabe in Paris, Mrs. Gaskell first met Madame Mohl; and this 
acquaintance soon ripened into the closest friendship, which proved 
to her a source of great pleasure, and a constant stimulus in her 
literary work.  Madame Mohl was the wife of the celebrated 
orientalist, Julius Mohl, who, though German, long resided in Paris 
for the prosecution of hi studies, and became ultimately Professor 
of Persian at the Collage de France.  She was an Englishwoman by 
birth (her maiden name was Mary Clarke); but she was one of those 
cosmopolitans whose destiny in former days was to preside over a 
Paris salon - whether great 0 small, whether political of literary; and 
there can no doubt but that she was equal to her destiny. It is to 
her that the sprightly paper entitled Company Manners seems to 
allude.  Mrs. Gaskell repeatedly stayed in her friend's house in the 
classic Rue du Bac at Paris; and it was in Madame Mohl's historic 
salon "standing up before the mantelpiece which she use as a desk," 
that she wrote part of her last story, in the opening of which this 
excellent critic took the most admiring interest.
        In I862 - 3 a time of trouble came over Manchester and South - 
west Lancashire in general, which called fort one of the most 
notable, and certainly one of the best - organised efforts of goodwill 
and charity which this country has ever seen.  In the long struggle 
between masters and men, the times of the Lancashire Cotton 
Famine, due to the outbreak and continuance of the American Civil 
War, brought about a protracted truce in which the kindly feelings 
inspired by the self - sacrificing efforts of many leading employers 
of manufacturing labour cannot but have counted for much.  Mrs. 
Gaskell, whose name had so good a sound among the Lancashire 
working - classes that we hear of an Oldham man regularly bringing 
his children to gaze upon the house in Plymouth Grove where dwelt 
the authoress of Mary Barton, gave many proofs in these times of 
trouble of her readiness to help suffering in every way in her 
power.  For a time she became quite absorbed in the relief problem 
which was brought so close home to her at Manchester.  "I wish," 
she writes from Eastbourne, in October, 1862, to Mr. George Smith, 
North and South would make friends, and let us have cotton, and 
then our poor people would get work, and then you should have as 
many novels as you liked to take, and we should not be killed with 
'Poor on the Brain,' as I expect we shall before the winter is over. 
We were really glad before leaving home to check each other in 
talking of the one absorbing topic, which was literally haunting us 
in our sleep, as well as being the first thoughts in wakening and the 
last at night."  She took a conspicuous part in organising and 
superintending, at times for six or seven hours a day, a method of 
relief - sewing - rooms - which had occurred to her before it came to be 
largely adopted; she took a very active interest in the movement 
for providing dinners for the poor; and, gifted as she was with the 
faculty, not shared by us all, for quickly gaining the confidence of 
others, she made herself the personal friend of many a, poor and 
distressed household.
        Genius works in its own fashion; and though the "see - saw" 
between real and imagined sorrow broke her nightly rest, she 
cannot but have found some relief in turning not only to a fresh 
scene but to as different as possible a sphere of action and emotion.  
Even the date of her next story, Sylvia's Lovers, which is second to 
very few of her stories in depth of human interest, and the earlier 
portions of which are full of imaginative charm, is laid as far back 
as the beginning of the nineteenth century - a very unusual thing for 
her. The locality of the tale, thinly disguised under the name of 
Monkshaven, is Whitby, to which Mrs. Gaskell ha paid a visit in 
order to study the character of the town which half a century of 
improvements have for better or worse been unable quite to take 
away, and to learn something of the history of the peculiar 
institution from which it suffered in the evil days of the French 
war. Sylvia's Lovers appeared early in 1863, the summer of which 
year Mrs. Gaskell spent with her daughters in Rome and Florence.  
In the same year was begun in the Cornhill Magazine the exquisite 
prose idyll of Cousin Phillis, which was not published as complete 
story till November, 1865.  M. E. D. Forgues, who had previously 
published a French translation of Sylvia's Lovers, brought out one 
of Cousin Phillis and some of Mrs. Gaskell's minor tales, with a 
biographical notice by Madame Louise S. Belloc.  None have more 
directly appealed to the sympathies of the country men and 
countrywomen of Georges Sand - who personally cherished a most 
generous admiration for Mrs. Gaskell' writings - than Cousin Phillis, 
an artistically perfect composition, and one of the gems of English 
imaginative prose.
        In these years Mrs. Gaskell must have been in the full 
possession, not only of her great gifts and powers, but of that sense 

of life, in all its variety of charms and humours, which was an 
essential part of her genius.  Here is typical extract from a summer 
holiday letter written probably at a rather earlier date, to Mr. 
George Smith from "Auchencairn, by (i.e. twenty - two miles off) 
Dumfries, N.E."
        *If ingratitude is virtuous I am praiseworthy!  You never, 
no never sent a more acceptable present than 'Cousin Stella' and 
'The Fool of Quality,' and that irrespective of their several merits. 
But books are books here - where potatoes have to be sent from 
Castle Douglas, nine miles off - when we
are uncertain what King or Queen reigns in England, - when we are 
far away from newspapers or railways or shops, or any sign of the 
world; when we go to bed by daylight, and get up because the cocks 
crow and cows low to be milked, and we can't sleep any longer. 
Thanks many for your kind thought of us. I am sorry to say Meta 
lies at this present moment fast asleep with 'Cousin Stella' in her 
hand, but that is the effect of bathing and an eight mile walk; not of 
the book itself. I know and I like
'The Fool of Quality' of old. I was brought up by (uncles old) and 
aunts, who had all old books, and very few new ones; and I used to 
delight in the 'The Fool of Quality' and have hardly read it since. I 
mean to be so busy here, but I am, at present continuously tempted 
out of doors. I can hardly believe that we were in London two days 
ago. Oh! I will so try and write you a good novel, as good as a great 
nosegay of honeysuckle just under my nose at present.
        My girls send you all manner of pretty messages.  Please 
write to us. An old man whistles at the end of the field if he has 
any letters for us, and some one races down for them, holding them 
up in triumph if there are many.  But suppose the day should 
arrive when there is no whistle!. Heaven and Mr. Smith avert that 
evil time Besides we know nothing out here.

        Mrs. Gaskell's occasional productions were rare during what 
were to be the closing years of her life, though her mental activity 
was by no means, as that of some of our chief novelists has been, 
absorbed by her works of fiction.  In the course of 1865, inspired 
perhaps by the example of Madame Mohl's Essay on Madame 
Rcamier, she entertained, or resumed, the idea of writing a life of 
Madame de Svign, and carried on some preliminary researches 
on the subject, both at Paris and in Britanny, which she and her 
daughter Meta had begun as early as 1562.  They were 
accompanied on this journey by Miss Isabel Thomson afterwards 
Mrs. William Sidgwick, whose friendship together with that of her 
sister, Lady Brodie, was or of the great pleasures of Mrs. Gaskell's 
later year She had always taken a warm interest in French history 
and literature, as the list of her occasional papers would suffice to 
show; and her sensitive humour and in some respects incomparable 
delicacy of touch have enable her to draw what no English hand has 
as yet draw with conspicuous success, the literary as well as the 
personal portrait of the most feminine of the great writers of 
France.  But the experiment was not to be made.
        Her last story, Wives and Daughters, which ha begun to 
appear in the Cornhill Magazine in August 1864, was still 
unfinished when the pen dropped from her hand.  Enough, 
however, of the story had bee. written by her for it to be carried on 
in the magazine till the January number of 1866, when its 
conclusion, which was shrouded by no mystery, was with admirable 
taste supplied by ,sympathetic conjecture.  There are few other 
instances - that of R. L. Stevenson's Weir c Hermiston is perhaps one - 
in which the last imaginative work of a great writer, though 
unfinished has by universal consent been classed among the best o 
his or her books.  In Wives and Daughters, Mrs. Gaskell's later 
manner asserts itself with genial amplitude and with irresistible 
grace and ease, ranging from the most charming playfulness of 
humour to a pathos which softens, subdues, and endears.  Were it a 
fragment, it would be invaluable for its beauty; but complete as it is 
to all intents and purposes, it can hardly be refused recognition as 
Mrs. Gaskell's masterpiece.
       Her strength. had begun to fail as she neared the end of her 
task; but her exertions had never relaxed.  In March, 1865, she had 
paid a visit to Madame Mohl, in Paris, but broke down during her 
stay, of which she spent the last fortnight indoors.  On her return in 
April she was too ill to see her friends, and in a letter to Mr.' George 
Smith exclaimed, "Oh, for a house in the country!" By June she had 
pledged herself to purchase a place called The Lawn, Holybourne, 
near Alton, in Hampshire, which she intended to present as a 
surprise to her husband.
        It was here that on Sunday, November 12, 1865, the end 
came very suddenly, and that she was carried away by disease of 
the heart, according to her epitaph, "without a moment's warning."  
She was at the time conversing with her daughters, three of whom 
were around her, in a country house at Holybourne, near Alton, in 
Hampshire, which she had purchased with the proceeds of her last 
novel, and she was buried in the little sloping graveyard of Brook 
Street Chapel at Knutsford, which had been so familiar to her 
girlhood; and here her husband was in 1884 laid by her side.  A 
cross, with the dates of their births and deaths, marks their 
restingplace; but in the Cross Street Unitarian Chapel at Manchester 
they are commemorated by mural inscriptions, of which that to 
Mrs. Gaskell is from her husband's hand.
        Mrs. Gaskell had at one time been very beautiful; she was not 
tall, but her head must have been a remarkably fine one, and her 
hand was always thought perfect. The best of the portraits 
preserved of her is that by George Richmond; of the beautiful cast 
taken of her in her youth mention has already been made; on the 
front of the post - office at Knutsford there is a has - relief in bronze, 
which is not unsuccessful in showing the expression of her face in 
her last years,
        The refinement of her manners was noticed by all w became 
acquainted with her, and must have had singular charm, united as 
it was to a natural vivacity that made her the life' and soul of every 
circle in which she moved.  She had great conversational gifts, 
including, as could hardly have been otherwise, much natural 
humour and fun; and the letters in her Li of Charlotte Bront would 
of themselves show her have been a most delightful correspondent. 
The was probably just enough impatience in her disposition to 
invest with an additional charm her cheerful acceptance of the 
rather uniform conditions of existence that had fallen to her lot.  
But the Sparta 'which she had found was at least a city without 
walls, and she foul it an easy conquest.  Few great towns, in England 
or elsewhere, are so especially associated with a great literary 
        Attracted, like all natures in which deep feeling accompanied 
by a spontaneous flow of humour, she never dwelt in extremes.  In 
dealing with those social problems with which she was brought face 
to face, and which became one of the chief interests of her life,, 
person as well as literary, she schooled herself into a sustained 
moral effort - perhaps as difficult a one as any to which a generous 
woman's heart can school itself - to be just. With regard neither to 
these nor to other public questions was she much inclined to 
personal intervention, except in the blessed byways of beneficence; 
but she did not shrink from placing her name at the service a cause 
which she deemed just; thus it appeared, 1856, at the foot of a 
petition as to the property married women, side by side with those 
of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Mary Howitt, 'and Anna Jameson.
        Though reasonableness and a lucidity of mind which mirrored 
itself in a style of perfect clearness were among her most unfailing 
characteristics as a writer, yet her imagination was unmistakably 
attracted by whatever bordered on, or partook of, the supernatural.  
In fact, like Miss Matty in Cranford, Mrs. Gaskell had 'rather a 
leaning to ghosts."  Her reputation as a teller of ghost - stories 
extended beyond the immediate circle of her home life; and in her 
earlier as well as in her later writings - from the Old Nurse's Story of 
the haunted hall by the Westmoreland wolds to the harrowing tale 
of The Poor Clare in Round the Sofa - she subjects her readers to the 
same spell.  But these were fancies only, to which she allowed no 
place in her conception of life, or in the expression which that 
conception found in her principal works.
        The present occasion would hardly be suitable for an attempt, 
such as the time has surely come for making, to determine  - Mrs. 
Gaskell's permanent position in English literature.  Any attempt of 
the kind must necessarily be affected by the judgment that is 
formed of a notable movement in the history of English prose 
fiction which was contemporary with the earlier half of her career 
as a novelist, and in which she took a very prominent part.  For 
while it admits of no dispute that this movement proved a 
beneficent one by stirring to higher activities or to nobler 
conceptions of duty what is regarded by some as the comfortable 
optimism of the early Victorian age, it may remain open to question 
whether Thackeray's satire was out of place, that in those days only 
novelists who wrote with a purpose were "good for anything."  In a 
work of remarkable originality and force, *M. Louis Cazamian has 
described this movement, to which he assigned the wide limits of 
1830 - 50, as that of a sentimental and conservative 
"interventionism" - an appeal, with the aid of human or religious 
emotions, to the idea of a community of social interests.

* Le Roman Social en Aegleterre, 1904.

Its purpose, according to this critic was to purify English life by 
philanthropy; to pacify and reconcile the spirit of revolt from 
amidst terrible suffering; to preserve the foundations of a public 
order which was unduly threatened; and at the same time to 
overthrow a dogmatism by which a system of social passivity 
complacently justified itself. In this movement Dickens, Disraeli, 
and Kingsley - a strangely assorted triad - were among the foremost 
fighters and Mrs. Gaskell too, as the authoress of Mary Barton a tale 
of the troubled forties, Ruth, and North and South, in which the 
echoes of the great strike of 1852 are still audible, took a share in 
the struggle. It was, as they would have granted to Thackeray, a 
struggle with a purpose - but the purpose was often complicated and 
it was often only partially self - confessed.  But it amounted to a 
protest of human nature against scientific formul which "neglected 
friction"; to a pro test of idealism against the implied assumption of 
best of all possible worlds, certain, if allowed time to find its 
balance again; and also, in Mrs. Gaskell at all events, to a protest on 
behalf of that wide and constant Christian sympathy which a 
profession and practice, seemingly sufficient for so many convinced 
believers, is content to ignore.
        In this protest Mrs. Gaskell had participated, without taking 
much thought of literary name and fame; and these had come to 
her unasked.  But, of course, the qualities which had secured it had 
been those of he own genius; nor was it probable that when she had 
become conscious of its strength she should not be impelled to exert 
them in full creative freedom, unfettered by the desire of bringing 
home to her readers lessons however needful, or serving purposes 
however lofty. Already in her earlier works she had made it clear 
that, as with all true artists, so with her, the creative force was 
sovereign, and that her supreme power, as well as her supreme 
charm, lay in her being at all times true to herself.  Nature had 
gifted her with a kindly humour to which all extravagances of 
passion, all the eccentricities of folly, were alien even in this 
literary reflection or presentment; but also with a quick and 
penetrating intelligence which saw the world and the men and 
women who form it clearly and completely; to these was added a 
generous heart which beat in sympathy with human joy and 
sorrow, and a pure and lofty spirit in natural harmony with the 
laws which forbid whatsoever is harsh, or garish, or tawdry, or 
mean, and with those other laws of which Divine Love is the source 
and the informing principle.  When Mrs. Gaskell had become 
conscious that if true to herself, to her own ways of looking at men 
and things, to the sympathies and the hopes with which life 
inspired her, she had but to put pen to paper, she found what it has 
been usual to call her later manner - the manner of which Cranford 
offered the first adequate illustration, and of which Cousin Phillis 
and Wives and Daughters represent the consummation.
        Mrs. Gaskell never deviated into mannerisms of her own, or 
into the imitation of other writers.  Except in so far as the choice of 
theme and the bent of purpose which marked some of her earlier 
works, and which will be discussed in connexion with these, she 
belongs to no group or school in the history of our literature; and 
even at this stage she copied no model - neither, as is virtually 
certain, Disraeli on the one hand, nor the homelier products of Mrs. 
Trollope on the other. She owed something to Crabbe, but not as a 
literary artist. The influence of Dickens was, as I have said, strong 
upon her during a considerable part of her literary life, but she 
never succumbed to it, and it was only by a quite exceptional 
accident that she may once or twice have fallen into one of his 
tricks of style. For the rest, she was too absolutely free from 
literary affectations of any kind to be guilty even of the venial sin 
of unconscious plagiarism - unless Charley Jones, when encouraging 
Mary Barton in her request by the reflexion, "We are but where we 
were, if we fail," is to be held to have borrowed from Lady 
        The "century of praise" which it would not be difficult to 
compose from the tributes, public and private, paid to the genius of 
Mrs. Gaskell by eminent men and women of her own generation, 
need hardly be invoked by its successors, to whom her writings still 
speak. Such a list would include among other eulogies, those of 
Carlyle and Ruskin, of Dickens, who called her big "Scheherazade," 
and of Thackeray, of Charles Kingsley, and of Matthew Arnold, of 
whom his sister, the late Mrs. W. E. Forster, drew a picture in his 
own happy manner, "stretched at full length on a sofa, reading a 
Christmas tale of Mrs. Gaskell, which moves him to tears, and the 
tears to complacent admiration of his own sensibility."  Lord 
Houghton, John Forster, George Henry Lewes, Tom Taylor, were 
among her declared admirers; to whom should be added among 
statesmen, Cobden and the late Duke of Argyll. Among Mrs. 
Gaskell's female fellow - writers, Charlotte Bronte and George Eliot, 
Harriet Martineau, and Mrs. Beecher Stowe (facies non omnibus 
una) were at least alike to each other in their warm admiration of 
her.  To these names should be added that of one whose praise 
came near home to Mrs. Gaskell's heart - Mrs. Stanley, the mother of 
Dean Stanley.  Among French lovers of her genius Ampre has 
already been mentioned; and with him should be named Guizot and 
Jules Simon.  But I may end with the words of an illustrious writer 
who, to my mind, shared with two Englishwomen a prerogative 
claim to judge the claims of their fellow - authoress.
        Georges Sand, the great French novelist, whose later works, 
including her autobiography, appear to me in certain ways - above 
all in their large - heartedness - to resemble Mrs. Gaskell's later 
writings, only a few months before her death observed to Lord 
Houghton: "Mrs. Gaskell has done what neither I nor other female 
writers in France can accomplish: she has written novels which 
excite the deepest interest in men of the world, and yet which 
every girl will be the better for reading." Though this is high praise, 
it is not from this point of view that I should primarily, at least, 
care to compare her with either Charlotte Bront or George Eliot, the 
two great English authoresses of whom she was the contemporary, 
and, though not in the same degree in each case, the friend.  If she 
lacks the intense individuality of her earlier, and the wide 
intellectual and moral horizon, of her later fellow - writer, she is the 
equal of both the one and the other in her power of understanding 
and reproducing the varieties of human character within the range 
of her observation. And a distinctive quality of her own - it may be 
called a literary quality, because alike in her graver and in her 
gayer moods she was able to give literary expression to it - is her 
sweet serenity of soul.
        April, 1906.


        IN the year 1844 Mrs. Gaskell, as has already been mentioned 
in the preceding Biographical Introduction, had passed through an 
experience of which the recollection was never to abandon her.  
Traceable in many passages of her works, it never found a more 
direct expression than in the pathetic reference in Mary Barton to 
the land of dreams - "that land where alone I may see, while yet I 
tarry here, the sweet looks of my dear child."  No further clue is 
needed to the significance of the stanza from Ubland's beautiful 
poem which she prefixed to the original edition of the novel in 
1848, and of which the following version may perhaps be 
accepted: - 

"Take, good ferryman, I pray,
Take a triple fare to - day:
The twain who with me touched the strand 
Were visitants from spirit - land."

        Mr. Gaskell had suggested to his wife, sorrowing for the loss of 
their beloved little boy, that to divert her mind from this absorbing 
grief, she should engage in some longer piece of writing.  It has 
been seen that after the publication, as early as January, 1837, the 
notable poem (Sketches among the Poor, No. 1,) jointly composed by 
her husband and herself, she had, with the exception of one short 
published paper and a stray poem or two, put no written 
production of hers into a definite shape.  Whether to one or more of 
her shorter tales or sketches she had already set a tentative hand, 
it is impossible to determine.  But the impression is not easily 
resisted that Lizzie Leigh, not published till 1850, was a first sketch, 
rather than a reproduction, of one of the most pathetic episodes in 
Mary Barton, and thus Mrs. Gaskell's earliest literary utterance of 
that infinite pity for the fallen which was always near to her heart.
        Still, her natural inclination to writing had already shown 
itself to be such as to explain both her husband's advice and her 
ready adoption of it.  Nor is there any particular reason for 
quarrelling with the assertion of the excellent Mary Howitt in her 
Autobiography, that her husband had been so pleased by Clopton 
Hall as to urge Mrs. Gaskell "to use her pen for the public benefit." 
This, she continues, led to the production of the beautiful story of 
Mary Barton, the first volume of which was sent in MS. to William 
Howitt, as the result of his advice.  "We were both delighted with it, 
and a few months later Mrs. Gaskell came up to London, and to our 
house, with the work completed.
This kindly cackling, to be sure, does not altogether agree, though it 
may not be absolutely irreconcilable, with the account given by 
Mrs. Gaskell herself.  Part', at least, of the story was probably 
written at Silverdale, near Grange - over - Sands, always a favourite 
retreat of herself and her family; and this would explain the 
exquisite personal touch by which she contrasts Mary Barton's 
nocturnal loneliness, when at the height of her trouble, among the 
hard, square houses of 'the Manchester court with the gentle 
sympathetic calm of "the lovely night in the country in which I am 
now writing."
        After the work had been brought to a close in the way in 
which the authoress had first intended to finish it, she offered it for 
publication to more than one publisher in succession - among these 
to Mr. Moxon, who kept it by him longer than the rest. After he had 
returned it, she sent it to Messrs. Chapman & Hall They retained it 
so long that she had "forgotten al about it," when at last she heard 
of its acceptance Before they actually published it in 1848, she had, 
a,' will be seen, added to the story towards its close.
        It is not surprising that Mrs. Gaskell should have readily 
followed her husband's advice; but not the less striking is the 
illustration furnished by the result of the intimate alliance in noble 
minds between what Spenser might have distinguished as "private" 
emotion and "public" sympathy.  What else could have made her 
turn so naturally and so quickly from her domestic sorrow in order 
to absorb herself in a natural trouble of the broadest human 
interest? Thus the key to the commanding effect exercised by Mrs. 
Gaskell's first novel - an effect which was surpassed by that of none 
of its successors, and which no lapse of time is likely to take wholly 
away - is to be found without difficulty. It lies in the fact, to which 
every page of the book bears testimony, that it was her heart and 
its ponderings, widened in their range instead of narrowed by grief, 
which drew her to her theme and endeared it to her. The note of 
Mary Barton is simply a fellow - feeling, unstinted and unchecked in 
its utterance, and as deep as it is strong, with the poor and 
suffering.  "Defend the poor and fatherless: see that such as are in 
need and necessity have right."
        The subject to which in Mary Barton an untried writer, hardly 
conscious of all the responsibilities of authorship, addressed herself 
with unhesitating directness, was one that at the time occupied the 
thoughts of most Englishmen and Englishwomen capable of thinking 
at all.  Among the publications of varied significance which, in that 
troubled decade of our national life, discussed the sufferings of the 
workmen and their families in our manufacturing districts, few 
attracted a more general interest than this anonymous tale, 
unpretentious in both tone and spirit.  Indeed, this simple 
unpretentiousness was itself Mary Barton's first passport to public 
attention and favour.  In the Preface to the original Edition of 1848 
(which has been reprinted in the present Edition) the authoress 
disclaims any knowledge whatever "of Political Economy, or the 
theories of trade. I have tried to write truthfully; and if my 
accounts agree or clash with any system, the agreement or 
disagreement is unintentional." As a matter of fact, she had read 
Adam Smith, and perhaps, like Nicholas Higgins in North and South, 
had "tugged at" a few later authorities "about capital and labour, 
and labour and capital."  Accordingly, though she never hesitated 
about supporting a principle as to whose justice she was satisfied at 
heart - taking the side, for instance, of those who went to the 
extreme length of objecting to factory work for married women - she 
contrived to avoid that kind of blunder into which well - intentioned 
ignorance is sure to rush; and her keenest critics were more eager 
to quarrel with her facts than to refute her arguments.  And, in 
truth, the cause pleaded by her was one of which no hostile 
comment could impair the force - inasmuch as at bottom it was only 
a demand for a more careful study of the working population's 
sufferings (which nobody attempted to deny) and for a more 
sympathetic treatment of their complaints - a more humane way of 
dealing with a vast social problem of which she neither ignored the 
complexity nor undertook to indicate the actual solution. Clothed in 
the form of a narrative combining intense force of feeling with 
scrupulous fidelity of description, full of the pathos that springs 
from a conviction of the reality of the emotions reproduced, and 
interfused with a humour which just sufficiently lights up the 
gloom overhanging the scene, her plea went home.
        Written in the years 1845 - 7, when, notwithstanding the 
continuance of distress, the victory of free trade principles marked 
by the abolition of the duty on corn seemed to many minds to 
assure a brighter economical future, and published in 1848, when 
the menaces of the storm which was convulsing Europe passed 
harmless over our political horizon, the story of Mary Barton was 
avowedly concerned with a rather earlier period of English social 
history - the sorely troubled years 1842 and 1843.  By 1842, ten 
years had passed since Mr. Gaskell had brought home his bride to 
Manchester; and though there is no reason for assuming that she at 
once came into much contact with factory operatives and their 
families, yet, as she tells us, it was the circumstance of her 
becoming acquainted with some of them which first gave her an 
insight into their ways of thinking or feeling.  It has been seen how 
warm the interest was, which both she and her husband took in the 
life of the poor; and in these years to take such an interest meant, 
even more than in ordinary times, to enter into, and to sympathise 
with their sufferings. No literary influence seems to have in any 
appreciable degree cooperated with this experience - for, though the 
condition of the working classes, and of the factory operatives and 
their families in particular, was beginning to attract widespread 
attention, and to be discussed in many literary forms, the topic was 
only beginning to find its way into fiction, and it was Mrs. Gaskell 
whose example suggested to Dickens his much later effort in this 
direction.  Oil the other hand, Disraeli's Coningsby was published in 
1844, probably just before Mrs. Gaskell began her story, and 
followed in 1845 by his Sybil, a work designed, even more directly 
than its predecessor, to "illustrate the condition of the people," more 
especially in the manufacturing north.  Beyond a doubt, though the 
prophet of the Young England party may not uncharitably be 
supposed to have been at the same time influenced by other 
motives, he and the authoress of Mary Barton were alike animated 
by a spirit of revolt against the principle of leaving economic 
processes to work themselves out in their own way.  But - apart 
from its being virtually certain that Mrs. Gaskell, before writing her 
own novel, had remained quite unacquainted with both Coningsby 
and Sybil, of which neither she nor her husband is known ever to 
have made any mention - it would have been surprising had there 
not been at the time in which these works were produced sufficient 
coincidence of both theme and treatment to mislead ingenious 
critics. The signs of the times were writ large across the sky, and to 
a sympathetic observer face to face with them stood in no need of 
interpretation by the quick - witted, if at times fantastic, political 
        The condition of the manufacturing districts had been one of 
extreme gravity for some years before Mrs. Gaskell began her life 
in Manchester.  The distress was primarily due to the scarcity of 
corn resulting from the bad harvests that from 1837 onwards had 
followed on four - or five - years of good harvests and general 
prosperity. The fall in wages, the rise in prices, and the growth of 
distress had caused alarm already in 1838, when neither 
Government nor Parliament were in the least prepared to look any 
real remedy in the face, and the working classes entirely in the 
dark as to the chief cause of their sufferings, could only grope after 
remedies that did not touch the real seat of the evil. The great 
Chartist meeting on Kersal Moor, Manchester was held on the same 
day (September 24, 1838) as a conference which took place in a 
Manchester hotel, and which resulted in the formation of the Anti - 
Corn - Law League.  In 1839 the harvest was wretched, the distress 
increased, and the rejection by Parliament of a great Chartist 
petition, promoted by the National Convention of working - men's 
delegates and signed by upwards of 1,200,000 persons, embittered 
the feeling of the operatives; and at Manchester and elsewhere 
there was much turbulence, intimidation, and violence.  This 
petition, presented to the House of Commons on June 14 and not 
unfavourably received (though a motion to consider it was on July 
12 lost by a majority of 189 in a House of 281), is that referred to 
in Mary Barton, John Barton's account of his visit to London as a 
delegate includes a satirical account by him of the company 
proceeding to a royal drawing - room. The incident is not idly 
introduced, for a good deal of feeling was at the time excited by 
court "functions" that were thought too full of display and were 
consequently soon moderated to obviate such censure.  During the 
whole of this, and in the following, year (1840), things went from 
bad to worse.  The operatives, after having been employed half 
time, largely found themselves out of work altogether, and had to 
live on their savings. With the growth of distress an increase of 
crime became perceptible.  In 1841 these symptoms continued, and 
contributed to strengthen the general conviction of the impotence 
of the existing Government and to bring about its overthrow in the 
general election in that year. When Parliament met early in 1842, 
the distress of the manufacturing districts had reached its extreme 
point. The workmen and their families seemed hopelessly doomed 
to starvation, preceded by the loss of whatever bits of property 
they possessed.  Appalling stories were publicly told at Manchester 
of the famine through which men, women, and children were 
passing, and of the methods, pitiable or desperate, to which resort 
was had in order to obtain food or clothing - or what had to do duty 
for these.  "I remember," wrote only the other day one of the few 
Lancashire employers of labour who survive to recall "the hungry 
forties," "groups of men and women singing in the streets and 
begging for bread from door to door; employment was scarce, and 
the seething discontent continued till 1842, when it broke into riot, 
which spread over a great part of the county of Lancaster."  It was 
early in this year that Lord Brougham declared in the House of 
Lords, that, though he remembered the distress of 1808, of 1812, 
and of 1816 - 17, those times, as compared with the present, had 
shown a relatively prosperous condition of things. At the opening of 
the Session of Parliament in 1842 the Queen's speech had been able 
to state that "the sufferings and privations" resulting from the 
continued distress in the manufacturing districts had been "borne 
with exemplary patience and fortitude." But while Sir Robert Peel's 
remedial measures could not be expected to produce immediate 
results, and neither the minister nor the legislature were as yet 
able to make up their minds to the adoption of the only measure 
from which permanent relief could be expected, the working - men 
in vain looked for help from the expedients of a monster petition 
and a terrorizing strike. The petition, praying for the six points of 
the Pe6ple' Charter, and said to have been signed by over 
3,315,000 persons, was presented to the House of Commons or May 
2 by Mr. Thomas Duncombe; and on the following day he moved 
that the petitioners should be heard by themselves or their counsel 
at the Bar of the House, when he was defeated by a majority of 236. 
In August alarming riots took place in Manchester and the 
neighbourhood, and on the 9th of the month a general strike began, 
when thousands of men, with banners and bludgeons, broke into 
the town and for three days compelled the workmen to leave the 
mills. But though a meeting of Chartist delegates on the 12th 
decreed the continuance of the strike, it only lasted for six days 
longer, and a meeting of the delegates was dispersed by the police.
        The distress continued for some time without much 
abatement, though strenuous efforts were made to resist it by 
charitable efforts.  The scheme for a national subscription, set on 
foot in August, 1842, by the Queen's letter to the Archbishop of 
Canterbury, and carried on for several months, brought together a 
considerable sum, and private efforts went on at the same time on 
a large scale.  It is certain that the sympathies of the governing 
classes with the sufferings of the workmen and their families had 
been stirred as they had never been stirred before.  Though in 
February, 1843, Lord Howick's motion for considering the distress 
of the country was rejected by the House of Commons, this was only 
on the legitimate ground that it was at the moment premature.  A 
notable sign of the interest now taken in the condition of the 
working classes, especially in the manufacturing districts, was the 
attention bestowed upon the philanthropic exertions of Lord Ashley 
(afterwards Earl of Shaftesbury), and upon the exposure by him, 
not always after a careful consideration of the evidence on which 
he relied, of existing hardships and abuses.  The impression 
produced by these enquiries, and by the legislation which followed 
in the years 1842 - 4, is perceptible in Mary Barton, together with 
the differences of opinion which prevailed among the working 
classes on some of the reforms introduced for their benefit, as for 
instance on "this law o' theirs, keeping childer from factory - work."  
Other endeavours made about this time for the improvement of the 
conditions under which the working classes lived and had their 
being, show that the conscience of the country had been awakened 
to something deeper and better than a mere sense of danger. It was 
therefore not only a wide - spread compassionate interest in the 
existing state of things, but also a national eagerness for active 
effort towards a change for the better, of which contemporary 
English literature was catching the spirit, and of which Mary Barton 
in so signal a degree exhibited the influence.
        Enough has been said to recall the circumstances of the times 
in which Mary Barton, was written.  At the date of its publication 
they were still so fresh in the minds of men, and in fact still so 
unchanged, as to explain much of the interest and most of the 
excitement created by the book before its literary merits could 
have been fully recognised.  But these were acknowledged by a 
remarkable consensus of friend and foe, and to them must be 
attributed the remarkable endurance of the popularity of Mary 
Barton, at home, and the translation of the story into foreign 
tongues - French (by Mdlle. Morel), German, Spanish, Hungarian, and 
        In Manchester, the leading paper, the Manchester Guardian - 
always fearless, but not then as now an organ of wide popular 
sympathies - asserted the "only fault" of Mary Barton to be that the 
book "sinned generally against truth in matters of fact, either above 
the comprehension of its authoress, or beyond her sphere of 
knowledge." The review (which appeared on February 28, 1849) 
animadverted on the "morbid sensibility to the condition of 
operatives" displayed by her in accordance with the fashion that 
had set in of lat among "the gentry and landed aristocracy"; and 
proceeded to throw in a few minor charges as to inaccuracies of 
detail, including incorrectness in the reproduction of the dialect.  
Far more skilfully hostile was the editorial comment on a letter 
signed "D. Winstanley," published in the same paper on March 7; 
here the authoress was blamed for having misrepresented the 
conduct of the masters, while disguising from the men the fact that 
their surest remedy lay in self - help.  On the other hand 
congratulations reached Mrs. Gaskell, which left no doubt as to the 
impression created by her work. Carlyle from whom she had 
borrowed a rather tinkling motto (afterwards suppressed) for the 
original Edition, encouraged her to "write on"; Dickens was of the 
same mind; and the veteran Walter Savage Landor wrote some fine, 
if rather extravagant, lines (afterwards included in The Last Fruit 
off an Old Tree), in which he placed the "paraclete of the Bartons" 
side by side with the greatest of poets, as having recognised and 
proved that - 

 "The human heart holds more within its cell 
Than universal Nature holds without. 
This thou hast shown me, standing up erect 
While I sat gazing, deep in reverent awe,
  Where Avon's genius and where Arno's meet;
  And thou hast taught me at the fount of Truth,
  That none confer God's blessing but the poor,
  None but the heavy - laden reach his throne."

        Grateful, also, was the praise of Samuel Bamford, the author of 
the Passages in the Life of a Radical, the fervent aspirations of 
whose youth had mellowed down into a patient hopefulness of 
better days, to be brought on with the aid of education.  In an 
earlier chapter of Mary Barton, Mrs. Gaskell had cited his pathetic 
poem God help the Poor; and in a note she had with perfect justice 
described him as "a man who illustrates his order, and shows what 
nobility may be in a cottage."  A late but invaluable testimony to 
the truthfulness of Mary Barton was that borne by Miss Edgeworth, 
who in 1849, only a few months before her death, in a letter to 
Mme. Belloc, described Mrs. Gaskell's book as "not an exaggerated 
fiction like Eugene Sue's Juif Errant, but only too true a 
representation." She complained, however, that, notwithstanding 
the, truthfulness of Mary Barton, its effect was to discourage and, to 
fatigue - there were in it too many dying people and too many 
deathbeds. The criticism was not quite fair; for in a story telling of 
the life of the working classes at a time when death was never far 
from their thresholds, this visitant could not be kept out; moreover, 
death and the incidents attending it at all times exercise a 
commanding influence over the imaginations of the classes in 
question.  What Miss Edgeworth really missed was the pervading 
presence of a humour that at once lightens, diverts, and cheers; nor 
could she have foreseen the measure of fulness to which this 
quality, here only observable in particular passages, was to attain 
in Mrs. Gaskell.
        The most formidable critic of Mary Barton was writer who 
may unhesitatingly be described as one the most powerful 
controversial publicists of his day. The late Mr. William Rathbone 
Greg, with excellent warrant, constituted himself the champion of 
the master manufacturers; and was drawn by an irresistible 
fascination to expose what seemed to him a misrepresentation of 
their attitude and action during the distress by a writer for whose 
literary merits he cherished warm admiration.  In an elaborate 
paper which man years later he reprinted in his well - known 
volume, Mistaken Aims and Attainable Ideals of the Working 
Classes, he joined issue with the authoress of Mary Barton on two 
heads in particular.  In the first place he disputed the implication 
which he held to be conveyed by the book as to the indifference 
exhibited towards the sufferings of the men by the employers an 
their class, and which, in his opinion, ignored alike the charitable 
efforts that had been made, the fairly high rate of wages that had 
been maintained, and the equally great misery in rural districts.  In 
the second place he insisted that the picture drawn in Mary Barton 
ignored the sufferings of the masters, which were "not the less 
severe, because the worst part of them were the kind into which 
their dependants could not enter." The sufferings of the operatives, 
he contended, were more acute, but much shorter.
        It may be conceded that there was an element truth in these 
strictures.  Beyond a doubt, the impression conveyed in Mary 
Barton as to the relations between employers and employed would 
have bee none the less true if relieved by some reference to the 
efforts made among the classes to which the employers belonged 
for the alleviation of a distress which they were incapable of 
removing.  Beyond a doubt, too, the picture of the daily life of the 
Carson family - and its younger members in particular - fails to 
suggest that all who were in the ship had a share, of one kind or 
another, in the storm and stress. And there is a ring which 
somehow does not sound quite true in the account of the meeting 
between masters and men, and in the incident (on which the plot of 
the tale partially hinges) of the caricature of the starving workmen 
drawn with so brutal an apathy by young Carson.  But, even if this 
be allowed, Mrs. Gaskell's chief censor - on his own showing - failed to 
convict her of having erred in maintaining that, from the standpoint 
whether of humanity or Christianity, there was something radically 
wrong in the existing relations between masters and men.  She 
repeatedly sums up her view as to the faultiness of these relations, 
and as to what might alleviate - she never takes it upon herself to 
suggest that it would remove - the evils of which she complains.  
Nowhere in the book is this so directly essayed as in the final 
conversation - added after the story had been first completed - 
between old Carson and Job Leigh.  At the root of the 
misunderstanding between masters and men, it is here suggested, 
lay the rooted belief of the working - men that there was "no 
inclination" on the part of the masters "to try and help the evils" 
which were wearing out the lives of the men and their families, 
"while they saw the masters could stop work and not suffer."  "It's 
in things for show they cut short," says Job, a most reasonable 
wrangler; "while for such as me it's in things for life we've to stint."  
"Have they ever, asks John Barton, in a more passionate moment, 
"seen a child o' their'n die for want of food?"  Such questions 
deserved not only answers which were fitted to turn away wrath, 
but also such as frankly and openly dealt with the questioners as 
with brethren and friends. Was Mrs. Gaskell mistaken in implying 
that this was not the spirit in which the problem had been treated 
within her experience? And while her censor, applauding her 
insight into the wonderful sympathy of the poor for the poor, was 
suggesting that rich and poor would understand one another better 
"if they could but change places for a while, " was she not actually 
suggesting methods of mutual understanding which may have at 
the time seemed not less visionary, but which the efforts of late 
generations have not quite fruitlessly begun to put into practice?
        It should, in common justice, be added that the whole 
conception and plan of Mary Barton was unfairly treated when the 
authoress was accused of having in the character of John Barton - ill - 
humoured and vindictive - misrepresented the sentiments' and 
conduct of the very workmen for whom she was so anxious to 
plead.  Manifestly, John Barton was intended to b the central figure 
of the story; but, quite as unmistakably, he was not intended as a 
type of the class to which he belonged.  An inevitable consequence 
of such a social crisis as this novel is designed to depict is its 
exceptional effect upon exceptional natures - passionate profound, 
with the defects of their qualities superadded to the defects of their 
training. But on this topic Mrs. Gaskell may be left to speak for 
herself, in a letter of which the uncompleted draft remains among 
her paper and which was addressed, or intended to be addressed to 
the sister -  in - law of the most prominent censor c her book, Mr. W. 
R. Greg.  This letter, it will be noticed at the same time contains an 
interesting statement as to an addition made, owing to accidental 
causes, to the conclusion of the story - an addition which extends to 
considerably more than three pages.

        MY DEAR MRS. GREG,

        May I write in the first person to you, as I have many things I 
should like to say to the writer of the remarks on 'Mary Barton' 
which Miss Mitchell has sent me, and which I conjecture were 
written by your husband? Those remarks and the note which 
accompanied have given me great and real pleasure.  I have heard 
much about the disapproval which Mr. Greg's family have felt with 
regard to 'M. B.,' and have heard of it with so much regret that I am 
particularly glad that Mr. Sam Greg does n6t participate in it. I 
regretted the disapprobation, not one whit on account of the 
testimony of such disapproval which I heard was to arise out of it, 
but because I knew that such a feeling would be conscientiously 
and thoughtfully entertained by men who are acquainted by long 
experience with the life, a portion of which I had endeavoured to 
represent; and whose actions during a long course of years have 
proved that the interests of their work - people are as dear to them 
as their own. Such disapproval, I was sure, would not be given if 
the writing which called it forth were merely a free expression of 
ideas; but it would be given if I had misrepresented, or so 
represented, a past as the whole, as that people at a distance should 
be misled and prejudiced against the masters, and that class be 
estranged from class.
       "I value the remarks exceedingly, because the writer has 
exactly entered into my own state of mind, and perceived the 
weakness of which I was conscious. The whole tale grew up in my 
mind as imperceptibly as a seed germinates in the earth, so I 
cannot trace back now why or how such a thing was written, or 
such a character or circumstance introduced.  (There is one 
exception to this which I will name afterwards.)  I can remember 
now that the prevailing thought in my mind, at the time when the 
tale was silently forming itself and impressing me with the force of 
a reality, was the seeming injustice of the inequalities of fortune.  
Now, if they occasionally appeared unjust to the more fortunate, 
they must bewilder an ignorant man full of rude, illogical thought, 
and full also of sympathy for suffering which appealed to him 
through his senses. I fancied I saw how all this might lead to a 
course of action which might appear right for a time to the 
bewildered mind of such a on but that this course of action, 
violating the eternal laws of God' would bring with it its own 
punishment of an avenging conscience far more difficult to bear 
than any worldly privation. Such thoughts I now believe, on looking 
back, to have been the origin of the book. "John Barton" was the 
original title of the book.  Round the character of John Barton all the 
others formed themselves; he was my hero, the person with whom 
all my sympathies went, with whom I tried to identify myself at 
the time, because I believed from personal observation that such 
men were not uncommon, and would well reward such sympathy 
and love as should throw light down upon their groping search 
after the causes of suffering, and the reason why suffering sent, 
and what they can do to lighten it.  Mr. Greg has exactly described, 
and in clearer language than I could have used, the very treatment 
which I am convinced is needed to bring such bewildered thinkers 
round into an acknowledgment of the universality of some kind of 
suffering, and the consequent necessity of its existence for some 
good end. If Mary Barton has no other result than the expression 
of the thoroughly just, wise, kind thoughts which Mr. Greg has 
written down with regard to characters like John Barton, I am fully 
satisfied. There are many such whose lives are magic poems which 
cannot take formal language. The tale was formed, and the greater 
par of the first volume was written, when I was obliged to lie down 
constantly on the sofa, and when I took refuge in the invention to 
exclude the memory of painful scenes which would force 
themselves upon my remembrance.  It is no wonder then that the 
whole book seems to be written in the minor key; indeed the very 
design seems to me to require this treatment. I ac knowledge the 
fault of there being too heavy a shadow over the book; but I doubt 
if the story could have been deeply realised without these shadows. 
The cause of the fault must be looked for in the design; and yet the 
design was one worthy to be brought into consideration. Perhaps 
after all it may be true that I, in my state of feeling at that time, 
was not fitted to introduce the glimpses of light and happiness 
which might have relieve the gloom. And now I return to the part I 
named before, where I can trace and remember how unwillingly 
and from what force of outside pressure (which is, I am convinced, 
a wrong motive for writing end sure only to produce a failure) it 
was written. The tale was originally complete without the part 
which inter venes between John Barton's death and Esther's; about 
three pages, I fancy, including that conversation between Job Leigh, 
and Mr. Carson, and Jem Wilson. The MS. had been in the hands of 
the publisher above 14 months, and was nearly all printed, when 
the publisher sent me word that it would fall short of the requisite 
number of pages, and that I must send up some more as soon as 
possible.  I remonstrated over and over again - I even said I would 
rather relinquish some of the
payment than interpolate anything; that the work.

        No more can be said here as to the controversial criticism 
which at such a time such a book was fated to provoke; though it 
may be worth while to remind those who at the present day might 
be inclined to regard the authoress of Mary Barton as a herald of 
the advancing tide of democracy, that her ideals are still very far 
removed from those which later generation have, with more or 
less of success, striven to realise.
        The letter printed above shows how quickly Mrs. Gaskell's 
warm heart, stimulated by the imaginative power which was of the 
essence of her genius, had initiated her into that knowledge of the 
poor to which none of her works bears witness with such amplitude 
and directness as her earliest story.  Here her sympathy went the 
full length of the recognition due to the virtues of the poor.  She 
rendered justice to ,that fellow - feeling which regards no sacrifice as 
such, because it is merely a response to a claim that' admits of no 
denial: - "'it's the poor, and the poor only, as does such things for the 
poor." And she also acknowledged the force of a virtue whose 
sources lie deeper than even those of the most unselfish kindliness - 
the patience of the poor under suffering, and the self - surrender to 
the dispensations of a Higher Power which this renunciation 
implies.  Of the noblest kind of unselfishness, as that which springs 
from the deepest' source, the character of old Alice, drawn with a 
singularly refined tender ness, is clearly designed to furnish an 
illustration. And it is interesting to find that the pathetic picture of 
the deathbed amidst "dusky streets and shrouded skies,' irradiated 
by dreams of a happy country home in the long ago, were 
anticipated 'in the Sketch among the Poor, written several years 
earlier by Mrs. Gaskell and her husband.  But the sympathy and 
admiration with which contact with her poor neighbours had in 
spired her by no means blinded the authoress' of Mar' Barton to the 
failings of the masses - to their fatalism and superstitiousness, 
whether shown in such recklessness as that cherished by them on 
the subject of infection ("and well for them it is so!"), or in fond 
fancies, like the belief that "there's none can die in the arms of 
those who are wishing them sore to stay on earth." A rapidly 
acquired knowledge ,of her own Manchester surrounding already 
gave a colouring of its own to Mrs. Gaskell's "intimate" reproduction 
of the lives and thoughts c the working - men and their families. The 
whole ton and temper of the story, so to speak, closely identify' 
themselves with Manchester, from the opening scene onwards in 
the Greenheys fields, to which (or to what remains of them) "Barton 
Street" leads at the present day.  As one turns over the pages of the 
book, it transplants one among the endless monotony of streets an 
courts, among the rough - mannered but quickly responsive 
workmen and women, and the factory - girl in their picturesque 
plaid "mantillas"; and a sort of Heimweh comes upon one as it came 
upon Mary Barton on her first railway journey to remote Liverpool.  
Mrs. Gaskell had already, by a kind of intuition, qualified herself to 
become the representative novelist of the Manchester district.  She 
understood its people and their parlance; and, whether or not she 
was already firmly grounded in their dialect, her severest critic 
cannot be held to have gone too far in expressing his conviction that 
the dialogues of her story "approached very nearly, in both tone 
and style, to the conversations actually carried on in the dingy 
cottages of Lancashire." And she knew the folk by whom she was 
surrounded in their intellectual vigour - as showing itself for 
instance in the scientific tastes and pursuits of many a thoughtful 
working - man in Manchester, Oldham, and the neighbouring towns - 
and in their opinionativeness, so largely due to the conservative 
instincts of a race eminently fitted for survival.
        With Mrs. Gaskell's power of observation, the quality of 
humour with which she was so richly endowed was in her earliest 
work not yet altogether able to keep pace.  Occasionally, as in the 
narrative of John Barton's London experiences, or the contention 
about mermaids between the old naturalist and the young sailor, it 
is still too strictly of the northern, and somewhat patriarchal type; 
but here and there it asserts itself with a genial truthfulness which 
Dickens at his best could not easily have excelled.  Such passages 
and characters are the famous journey of two men and a baby, said 
to have been based in a measure upon the traditions of the 
authoress' own infant experiences; the gamin Charley who guides 
the desperate Mary through the perils of the Liverpool Docks and 
river; and the hospitality shown to her by the gruff Ben Sturgis and 
his silent wife. But more notable in Mary Barton than the playful 
charm of Mrs. Gaskell's humour is its restraining and mitigating 
force, which prevents the action of the story, with all its intensity, 
from passing into melodrama, and its characters, though strongly 
marked and contrasted, from lapsing into caricature. Old Carson, 
who is presented as the type of the master manufacturer, is, as has 
been well remarked, a character far more true to nature than 
Dickens's grotesque creation of Bounderby; his pride has its limits, 
and, though his outer ma remains unchanged, his heart is softened 
at the last.
        In her use of passion, and of that gentler reflexion of it which 
we call pathos, on the other hand, the authoress of Mary Barton at 
once came near to the height 0 her powers.  If Mr. Carson's 
reception of the news 0 his son's death, and perhaps another 
incident or two in the story, is rather over - coloured in the 
melodramatic style on which Dickens's Oliver Twist and subsequent 
writings had set the seal of popularity, there are scenes such as that 
of the final interview between the old man and the murderer of his 
son, in which the strength of the situation calls for an intensity of 
manner in which the narrative is not found wanting. *  But by far 
the most notable among the distinctive features of this book - 
however blandly it would be ignored in a criticism disregarding all 
connexion between the ethical value of a work of the imagination 
and the aesthetici pleasure given by it - is the elevation and purity 
of it conception and execution.  The story is an attempt t embody in 
human action the effect of the divine precept of unselfish love - 
"instead of over - much profession to work it into life;" while the 
writer stands aside in sympathy and sorrow, content to send up her 
cry of

        * It seems desirable to place on record the fact, as stated b 
Mr. W. E. A. Axon in his Annals of Manchester, p. 181, that there is 
no resemblance between the circumstances of the murder of young 
Carson, as narrated in Mary Barton, an those of the murder of Mr. 
Thomas Ashton, of Werneth, in 1831. In the case of Mr. Ashton, the 
motive was not private vengeance - for Mr. Ashton was an amiable 
young man - but a desire to intimidate the masters generally. There 
was at the time a very serious strike in the Ashton district, but the 
example was not followed at Manchester. The murder, in 1830, at 
Manchester, near what is now Brunswick Street, of Charles 
Robinson, was at the time thought to be a trade outrage, but the 
murderer was never detected, and the evidence at the inquest 
pointed to an intention of robbery.

simple self - reproach, "that we have not done all we could for the 
stray and wandering ones of our brethren." The literary qualities of 
this work impressed themselves at once upon its readers; nor has 
the lapse of years in any way impaired their freshness or their 
force.  In mere power of narrative - the art of telling a story so as to 
keep all to whom it is told under its spell -  Mrs. Gaskell cannot be 
said to have ever surpassed her earliest sustained effort.  What 
could be better in its way than poor Mary's chase of Will Wilson, by 
land and by water, and who could read of it with soul so dead as 
not to echo Charley's admonition - " Don't give it up yet; let 's have a 
try for him"? The scene at the Assize Courts, too - a kind of scene 
whose infinite dramatic capabilities rarely fail to put a writer on his 
mettle - is admirably put through, odd as it is that a summing up by 
the Judge should have been omitted by Mrs. Gaskell (whose happy 
family connexion with Bench and Bar, through the marriages. of two 
of her four daughters, was still to come).  The dialogues so 
abundantly interspersed in the story have an ease and a 
spontaneity most uncommon in a writer who never so much as 
essayed the dramatic form; and Mr. W. R. Greg justly described 
them as "managed with a degree of ease and naturalness rarely 
attained even by the most experienced writers of fiction."
        There is no reason for attributing to the lyrical inventiveness 
of Mrs. Gaskell the mottoes at the heads of several of the chapters 
of Mary Barton, to which is appended the description, something in 
Scott's wellknown "Old Play" manner, of "Manchester Song." They 
were more probably the productions of her husband who had a 
distinct lyrical gift, to which his contributions to the late Dr. 
Martineau's Hymns of Pray and Praise, and some translations from 
the German particular, remain to testify.  One of these "Manchester 
Song" quotations - that at the head of Chapter EXX. - was substituted 
for the Wordsworthian motto that appeared in the original edition 
of 1848. The interest taken by Mr. Gaskell in the work which so 
quickly secured a literary name to his wife, remains in evidence 
through his elaborate illustrations of dialect forms introduced by 
her into the conversations of the personages of her story. To the 
fifth Edition of Mary Barton (1854), now out of print, were 
appended two lectures by him on the Lancashire dialect.
        Finally, Mary Barton gives proof - in a measure extraordinary 
in a first work - of a literary gift which whether in novelist or in 
dramatist, surpasses all other gifts in enduring imp6itance as well 
as in resistless effect This is the insight into character which may 
be said to enable the author to understand the creatures of hi 
imagination better than they understood themselves - as a parent 
often sees further into the working of child's mind than the child 
can see. The good Margaret, incapable of perceiving the stress of a 
struggle against principle which she has never been tempted to 
maintain; poor old Mrs. Wilson, "hugging her grief and proud of a 
martyrdom largely self - inflicted; and good Job Leigh, not 
accustomed to "pray regular," but often, when very happy or very 
miserable, "speaking a word to God" - these are instances of an irony 
which, made up of clear - sightedness and sympathy, is the 
superlative gift of imaginative writers of a later age. For John 
Barton, her primary hero, the narrator of his story has a profound 
pity where she most strongly condemns; of his daughter, whom we 
persist in regarding as, in spite of herself, the heroine of the tale, 
we come to understand that, though there never was so young a 
girl so friendless, or so penniless, as Mary was at this time," there 
never was one who, like Una in the poem, was so sure of help.

        Of the shorter pieces included in this volume, Libbie Marsh's 
Three Eras and The Sexton's Hero were first published in 1847 in 
Howitt's Journal, where in the following year also appeared the 
sketch entitled Christmas Storms and Sunshine, which is reprinted 
in vol. ii. of the present Edition.  All three tales were published 
under the collective title of Life in Manchester, with the composite 
pseudonym signature of "Cotton Mather Mills, Esq." Libbie Marsh's 
Three Eras was republished as a Lancashire Tale, in 1850; and a 
French translation of it appeared in 1854, in a series called the 
Bibliotheque Universelle, under the title of Trois Epoques de la vie 
de Libbie Marsh.  It is a "city idyll" of a quite unpretending and 
unaffected sort - a pretty pendant to Mary Barton, showing the life 
of the Manchester working classes in its very kindliest phase, the 
holiday - making of Whitweek.  This holiday - making had, even in 
Libbie Marsh's days, extended far beyond the confines of Dunham 
woods, and before long will doubtless carry its victims to Paris or 
the Riviera; but the kindly spirit of the tale is a mood which, it may 
be hoped, has not yet been condemned by Manchester operatives 
as mere "Early Victorian" optimism.

        The Sexton's Hero, was, in 1850, together with Christmas 
Storms and Sunshine, printed by Mrs. Gaskell as a contribution by 
the authoress of Mary Barton to a fete organised by her intimate 
friend Mrs. Davenport (afterwards Lady Hatherton), of Capesthorne 
in Cheshire, "for the benefit of the Macclesfield Public Baths and 
Wash - houses." A unique copy of the booklet containing the two 
stories, printed by Johnson, Rawson and Co., of Corporation Street 
(who may have privately enjoyed the fun about the Examine' in the 
Christmas tale), is preserved at the Moss Side Manchester Free 
Library, to which it was presented by Mrs. Gaskell 's daughters. The 
Sexton's Hero was reprinted in 1855 in a volume entitled Lizzie 
Leigh, and other Stories.  It is a stirring tale of self - sacrifice, of 
which the scene is laid on the stretch of sands along Morecambe 
Bay, between Lancaster and Ulverston, commonly called the 
Lancaster Sands. The dangers by which, notwithstanding all 
precautions, the passage over these sands is beset, are familiar to 
visitors to the Lake Country.  An interesting account of the passage 
is given in W. T. Palmer's Lake Country Rambles, pp. 90 - 118.  This 
writer says of a dangerous part of the sands that "its difference in 
level between the channel and the shore is really a trifling twenty 
feet or more; yet when you are crossing, the idea forces itself upon 
you that you are descending into a great depth, and the 
neighbouring shores seem to rise higher as they become more 
distant"; and mentions some of the chief disasters, which occurred 
not far from the date of Mrs. Gaskell's story.  In 1846 nine young 
men and women returning from the Whitsuntide fair at Ulverston 
to their homes on the Cartmel side were drowned; in 1857 seven 
young men who had started to cross Kent Sands to Lancaster.  
"People living within measurable distance of the sands will tell you 
that those who get their living by 'following the sands' hardly ever 
die in their beds." Of course the opening of the Furness Railway in 
1864 has put an end to such risks being run by ordinary travellers 
and traffic.
        The author cited refers (p. 114) to a story of a horse's sagacity 
told by the poet Gray in his Journal (Works, 1816, vol. ii., pp.541 - 2), 
which so closely resembles the incident of the "old mare's" 
instinctive perception of the danger in The Sexton's Hero, that it 
may possibly have suggested to Mrs. Gaskell the germ of her story:

[Lancaster].  October II, (1769). . .Walked over a peninsula three 
miles to the village of Pooton, which stands on the beach. An old 
fisherman mending his nets (while I enquired about the danger of 
passing those sands) told me in his dialect a moving story. How a 
brother of the trade, a cockler (as he styled him), driving a little 
cart with two daughters (women grown) in it, and his wife on 
horseback following, set out one day to pass the Seven Mile Sands, 
as they had frequently been used to do; for nobody in the village 
knew them better than the old man did. When they were about 
halfway over a thick fog rose, and as they advanced they found the 
water much deeper than they expected. The old man was puzzled; 
he stopped and said he would go a little way to find some mark he 
was acquainted with. They staid a little while for him, but in vain. 
They called aloud, but no reply; at last the young women pressed 
their mother to think where they were, and go on. She would not 
quit her horse, and get into the cart with them. They determined, 
after much time wasted, to turn back, and give themselves up to 
the guidance of their horses. The old woman was soon washed off 
and perished. The poor girls clung close to their cart, and the horse, 
some times wading and sometimes swimming, brought them back 
to land alive, but senseless with terror and distress, and unable for 
many days to give any account of themselves. The bodies of their 
parents we found soon after (next ebb); that of the father a very 
few paces distant from the spot where he had left them.

        On the other hand, Mrs. Gaskell may have heard son such tale 
on the spot; for, as has been seen, in the ear days of her married 
life, Lancashire "north of the Sands" had already become one of her 
familiar retreats

March, 1906.

(Provided by Souhei Yamada and Mitsuharu Matsuoka, Nagoya University, Japan, on 17 January 2002.)

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