Our anticipation last week as to the real origin of
the " curi- ous coincidence" between passages in the Daily Telegraph letters from Russia and contributions to All the Year Round and other periodicals has proved to be correct. This day week the Daily Telegraph gave the name of the correspondent who has served it so shabby a trick,—Mr. David Ker,—and asserted that his letters to that journal and to his own relatives had always borne the postmarks of the places from which they had professed to come,—Tiflis amongst the number. Mr. Ker had taken good honours at Oxford, and seems to have been altogether by no means the kind of man you would have expected to trade so exclusively on his supposed monopoly in an old savage of whom he had once made a rather telling, though rather flashy pic- ture. Perhaps Mr. Ker is filled with the cynical ambition of showing that sensation letters might be constructed, like legal documents, on " common forms," which the individual litte'rateur may at any time piece together. If so, his first experiments in this direction will not encourage him to go on. Literary cynicism is a good paying article, but it should not
feed on itself. That is not literary cynicism, but literary cannibalism.