Page:The Irish in Australia.djvu/347

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.
333
LITERATURE, SCIENCE AND ART.

ones. Others, and men of fine mind and fine fettling too, would perhaps have come out of the typhoon dismasted and with broken timbers, but eventually to regain and to ride quietly for years on the world's waters. So young, too—so gifted—so abounding and ebullient with the life-blood of intellectual power, not the mere faculty of writing graceful verses or beautiful trifles of any kind, but with that power, disciplined by learned experiences of the ways of life, to deal with men and things, hard and cold and clear, and bright, warm and joyous, just as they are. His creation of Nea in 'Friends of Bohemia'—the poor girl-wife that her father, a selfish peer, deeply in debt to an old commercial speculator, had given to the latter's Bohemian son—though but a sketch, is a creation of the very highest beauty and a positive contribution to imaginative English literature."

The hand that penned this fraternal criticism belonged to Daniel Henry Deniehy, and the mention of that honoured name, in conjunction with those of Marcus Clarke and Edward Whitty, completes an ill-fated trinity of Irish-Australian genius. Born in the capital of the parent Australian colony, he mastered several European languages at an early age, and, in his twenty-fifth year, gave his countrymen the first glimpse of his oratorical powers in a striking course of lectures on "Modern Literature." His fresh and vigorous eloquence made him, at the outset of his career, the idol of the people, and, unfortunately for himself, he was triumphantly elected to a seat in the first representative assembly of New South Wales. Mr. Frank Fowler, in his "Southern Lights and Shadows," passes in review the leading politicians of New South Wales, and describes Deniehy as the "most accomplished man in the popular chamber. Brought up under the care of the best of guides, philo-