was Daniel Webster, who sent as his contribution a five-dollar gold piece, and that particular coin was sent to Mrs. Cowden-Clarke. In a letter to Mr. Balmanno she referred to it thus:

"Do you know what touched me to the heart? It was the sentiment of your sending me that identical gold coin that had passed through the hands of that great man. It seemed hardly a piece of money, but rather some valuable medal and token of national and individual kindness and esteem.

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Looking at Mr. Webster's golden gift, and reading his letter and those of the other subscribers who have taken such kind interest in an unknown stranger, quite overpowered me. . . . I was obliged to pause several times to regain my voice as I read them to my dear Charles, just now an invalid."

Among the other subscribers were Longfellow, Bryant, George Ticknor, Lewis Gaylord Clark, Washington Irving, Charlotte Cushman, Richard Grant White, N. P. Willis, Henry J. Raymond, George P. Putnam, S. A. Allibone, and William Gilmore Simms.

The gift was forwarded to Mrs. Cowden-Clarke through the Hon. Abbott Lawrence, then our minister to England.

The frontispiece to the present volume is from a photograph never before reproduced, which was presented by Mrs. Cowden-Clarke to the writer. It represents that lady as Mrs. Malaprop, a rôle she enacted in amateur theatricals in 1881, being then in the seventy-third year of her age.


HAT is a Proverb? Archbishop


Trench in his Lessons in Proverbs-to my thinking, the best popular book on the subject (first published in 1858, in a seventh revised edition in 1879, and often reprinted since, both in England and in this country)—says: "Few things are harder than a definition. While on the one hand there is generally no easier task than to detect a fault or flaw in the definitions of those who have gone before us, nothing on the other is more difficult than to propose one of our own which shall not also present a vulnerable side." He adds that "Some one has said that

these three things go to the constituting of a proverb-shortness, sense, and salt."

The "some one," as the Archbishop appears to have forgotten for the moment, was James Howell, whose Epistolæ Ho-Eliana, the most famous of his many books, is an English classic (first brought out in three volumes in 1645, 1647, and 1650, often reprinted down to 1737, but not again until 1890, when two editions appeared), which Thackeray coupled with Montaigne's Essays as his "bedside books,” adding: "If I awake at night, I have one or other of them to prattle me to sleep again. They talk about themselves for ever, and don't weary me. I like to hear them tell their own stories over and over again." The elder Disraeli (possibly the Archbishop's authority),

remarks, in his Curiosities of Literature: "The pithy quaintness of old Howell has admirably described the ingredients of an exquisite proverb to be sense, shortness, and salt."

Trench, however, says that Howell's definition" errs alike in defect and excess;" in the latter, because though 66 brevity, the soul of wit, is eminently the soul of a proverb's wit," and though the proverb, as Fuller tells us, is "much matter decocted into few words," it "need not be absolutely very short." Howell's definition errs in defect because it omits one quality of the proverb, "and that the most essential of all, and indeed almost the only essential one-popularity, acceptance and adoption on the part of the people." Without this popularity,

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