A rally, probably the result of a gift from Manchester, came about in the latter half of February 1887. I quote his own words : " With a few shillings to give me breathing space, I began to decipher and put together the half-obliterated manuscript of' Paganism.' I came simultaneously to my last page and my last halfpenny; and went forth to drop the MS. in the letter-box of Merry England?- Next day I spent the halfpenny on two boxes of matches, and began the struggle for life."

This was the covering letter to my father, its editor :-

" Feb. 23rd, '87.-Dear Sir,-In enclosing the accompanying article for your inspection I must ask pardon for the soiled state of the manuscript. It is due, not to slovenliness, but to the strange places and circumstances under which it has been written. For me, no less than Parolles, the dirty nurse experience has something fouled. I enclose stamped envelope for a reply, since I do not desire the return of the manuscript, regarding your judgment of its worthlessness as quite final. I can hardly expect that where my prose fails my verse will succeed. Nevertheless, on the principle of 'Yet will I try the last,' I have added a few specimens of it, with the off chance that one may be less poor than the rest. Apologising very sincerely for any intrusion on your valuable time, I remain yours with little hope,

1 Merry England was a magazine he had known in 'Manchester, and noted especially during his Christmas holiday at home. His uncle, Edward Healy Thompson, was already a contributor, and among others were Cardinal Manning, Lionel Johnson, Hilaire Belloc, May Probyn, St. John Adcock, Sir William Butler, Coulson Kernahan, Alice Corkran, Coventry Patmore, W. H. Hudson, Katharine Tynan, J. G. Snead Cox, Aubrey de Vere, Wilfrid Scawen Blunt, Father R. F. Clark, J. Eastwood Kidson, and Bernard Whelan.

Francis Thompson.

Kindly address your rejection to the Charing Cross Post Office."

Francis had more than remembered the existence of the.magazine and its editor. " I was myself virtually his pupil and his wife's long before I knew him. He has in my opinion-an opinion of long standing-done more than any man in these latter days to educate Catholic literary opinion," he wrote to Manchester soon after his first appearance in the magazine. He knew the target at which he aimed.

" Paganism Old and New" is written in the un-harassed manner of a man whose style, and cuffs, had been kept in order at the Savile Club. But he had no backing of library and chef to give him the courage of his fine sentences; he was the man selling matches in the gutter and sharpening his pencil on the kerb-stone. The beauty of the circumstances of Pagan life, its processional maidens, " shaking a most divine dance from their feet," its theatres unroofed to the smokeless sky- with these, he says, the advocates of a revived Paganism contrast the conditions of to-day : " the cold formalities of an outworn worship ; our ne plus ultra of pageantry, a Lord Mayor's show; the dryadless woods regarded chiefly as potential timber; the grimy streets, the grimy air, the disfiguring statues, the Stygian crowd; the temple to the reigning goddess Gelasma, which mocks the name of theatre ; last and worst, the fatal degradation of popular perception which has gazed so long on ugliness that it takes her to its bosom. In our capitals the very heavens have lost their innocence. Aurora may rise over our cities, but she has forgotten how to blush." From the pavement where the East sweeps the soot in eddies round his ankles, he protests : " Pagan Paganism was not poetical. No pagan eye ever visioned the nymphs of Shelley." " In the name of all the Muses, what treason against Love and Beauty ! " he cries against Catullus, Propertius, and Ovid, for the arid eroticism that was satisfied to write of love without tribute to the colour of a lady's eyes. For contrast, he quotes Rossetti's-

Her eyes were deeper than the depth Of waters stilled at even ;

Wordsworth's " Eyes like stars of twilight fair"; Collins's Pity " with eyes of dewy light" ; Shelley's " Thy sweet-child sleep, the filmy-eyed." And of the fair love of Dante and other Christian poets he makes sweet and loyal praises. He was the lover to write an essay in defence of the social order that denied him love, sleep, pity, and the eyes of any lady. It was the essay, too, of a man physically hungry. He supped full, but with fancies.

Thompson's manuscripts, most uninviting in outward aspect, were pigeon-holed, unread by a much-occupied editor for six months-were then released, read, and estimated at their worth. The sanity of the essay was proof enough of the genius of Thompson's inspiration against the evidence in some of the poems of another inspiration-that of drugs. My father and mother (the A. M. and W. M. of following pages) decided to accept the essay and a poem, and to seek the author. To this end my father wrote a letter addressed to Charing Cross Post Office, stating the intention of printing some of the manuscript, and asking Francis to call for a proof and to discuss the chances of future work. To that letter came no reply and publication was postponed, but when at last his letter was returned through the dead-letter office, he printed the " Passion of Mary " as the best way of getting into communication with the author. The poem appeared in Merry England for April 1888, and on the 14th my father received the following letter :-

"April 14th, 1888.-Dear Sir,-In the last days of February or the first days of March, 1887 (my memory fails me as to the exact date), I forwarded to you for your magazine a prose article, " Paganism Old and New " (or "Ancient and Modern," for I forget which wording I adopted), and accompanied it by some pieces of verse, on the chance that if the prose failed, some of the verse might meet acceptance. I enclosed a stamped envelope for a reply, since (as I said) I did not desire the return of the manuscript. Imprudently, perhaps, instead of forwarding the parcel through the post, I dropped it with my own hand into the letter-box of 43 Essex Street. There was consequently no stamp on it, since I did not think a stamp would be necessary under the circumstances. I asked you to address your answer to the Charing Cross Post Office. To be brief, from that day to this, no answer has ever come into my hands. And yet, more than a twelve-month since the forwarding of the manuscript, I am now informed that one of the copies of verse which I submitted to you {i.e. 'The Passion of Mary') is appearing in this month's issue of Merry England. Such an occurrence I can only explain to myself in one way, viz., that some untoward accident cut off your means of communicating with me. To suppose otherwise-to suppose it intentional-would be to wrong your known honour and courtesy. I have no doubt that your explanation, when I receive it, will be entirely satisfactory to me. I therefore enclose a stamped and addressed envelope for an answer, hoping that you will recompense me for my long delay by the favour of an early reply. In any case, however long circumstances may possibly delay your reply, it will be sure of reaching me at the address I have now given.- I remain, yours faithfully,