1 correction by anonymous - Show corrections
When "King Solomon's Mines" appeared, it was shown that Mr. Haggard had coolly ap propriated the incident of Good's white logs
from Mr. Johnston's ' Kilima-Njaro Expedi tion," and that of the false teeth from Mr. Joseph Thomson's "Maasi Land." This was nothing: But when the Pall Mall Gazette de nounced Mr. Haggard for stealing the plot of "She" from Tom Moore's old "Epicurean," the public was taken by surprise, even if half inclined to take sides with Mr. Haggard.. . Everybody remembers that the marvellous dexterity of Umslopogaas with the battle axe was but a paraphrase of the way Sergeant Troy played his sword about the form of his sweet- heart in "Far from the Madding Crowd." In "Jess" perhaps the prettiest thing that looked from the page was that unpretentious poem, "If I Should Die To-night." But it was too pretty to be forgotten, for its lotus numbers had sung their way into many a heart and would not be put down. So when Mr. Haggard printed them as his own there was a general turning to old scrapbooks, and the fact that the verses had been stolen was made patent to all. The New York girl who had originally written them came forward ; but Mr. Haggard said
lamely, that they had been given him by his sister-in-law, and he supposed them to be her own composing. . . . Mr. Rider Haggard, it appears, has not yet made up his mind to be content with the plagiarists laurels he has earned, as he has been adding to them of late. He recently wrote for the summer number of the Illustrated London News, a story entitled " Mr. Meeson's Will," for which we are afraid to name the sum he obtained from the pro prietors. The central idea, and in fact the only idea in it (after the statement that, in re gard to copyright, the Americans were break ing tho Seventh Commandment), is that of a girl who allowed a will to be tattoed on bor shoulder. Tho entire plot is hung upon this, ridiculous incident.. The 'idea'— such as it was— sold the book, but unfortunately it be longed to another writer. » . . The writer from whom Mr. Rider Haggard borrowed tho tattooing idea is Mr. Charles Aubert, and his bookisa collection of stories called the "Les Nouvelles Amoureuses," published by Marpon or Flammarion, Paris, 1886. "Le Cas. de Mademoiselle Suzanne" is the one in which Mr. Rider Haggard found his plot. Mr. Hag- gard was simply writing a book which he knew the reputation of his earlier productions would make people buy. So he wrote a novel with one idea in it— the quaint idea of a woman with a will tattooed on her back. To be sure, a Parisian gentleman had already used that idea, but there was little danger or discovery, so few people out of France read French stories, and no people in France read English. stories.